CITIES NAMED AFTER DEITY
Mangalore located in Karnataka, is named after the Hindu goddess Mangaladevi. Mangalore is also a very significant Indian port on the shores of the Arabian Sea. The city is lined with the River Netravati on north and Gurupura on south that flow to the Arabian Sea.
Madurai is the administrative headquarters of Madurai District in Tamil Nadu. It is the third largest city in Tamil Nadu. Located on the banks of River Vaigai, it has been a major settlement for two millennia and is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world.
The city is referred by various names like "Madurai", "Koodal", "Malligai Maanagar", "Naanmadakoodal" and "Thirualavai". The word Madurai is derived from Madhura (sweetness) arising out of the divine nectar showered on the city by the Hindu god Shiva from his matted hair. Another theory is that Madurai is the derivative of the word Marutham, which refers to the type of landscape of the Sangam age. There is a town in the neighbouring Dindigul district called Vada Madurai (North Madurai) and another in Sivagangai district called Manamadurai. The different names by which the city has been referred to historically are listed in the 7th-century poem Thiruvilayaadal puraanam written by Paranjothi Munivar.
Tirupati is a major pilgrimage and cultural city in the Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh. It is the largest city in the Rayalaseema region and also the 4th largest growing city of the Indian state Andhra Pradesh next to Hyderabad, Vizag and Vijayawada. It is located at the foothills of the Eastern Ghats, 65 kilometres (40 mi) from Chittoor, 150 kilometres (93 mi) from Chennai, 250 kilometres (160 mi) from Bangalore and 550 kilometres (340 mi) from Hyderabad. It is one of the richest pilgrimage cities of any religious faith in the world.
Tirupati is famous for Venkateswara Swamy temple dedicated to Lord Venkateswara, located about 20 kilometres (12 mi) north west of Tirupati in the Tirumala hills at an elevation of 853 metres (2,799 ft). One of the most important pilgrimage centers in the world, the temple draws millions of pilgrims and is the busiest pilgrimage center in the world. Tirupati has several temples and is a major economical and educational hub in the southern region of the state.
Tiruvannamalai is a town in Tamil Nadu. The town is administered by a special grade municipality that covers an area of 16.33 sq km (6.31 sq mi) and had a population of 144,278 as of 2011. It is the administrative headquarters of Tiruvannamalai District. Roadways are the major mode of transport in Tiruvannamalai, while the town also has rail connectivity. Chennai International Airport is the nearest domestic and international airport to the town. Tiruvannamalai is named after the central deity of the Annamalaiyar Temple, Annamalaiyar. The Karthigai Deepam festival is celebrated during the day of the full moon between November and December, and a huge beacon is lit atop the Annamalai hill. The event is witnessed by three million pilgrims. On the day preceding each full moon, pilgrims circumnavigate the temple base and the Annamalai hills in a worship called Girivalam, a practice carried out by one million pilgrims yearly.
Thiruvananthapuram is the capital of Kerala and the headquarters of the Thiruvananthapuram District. It is located on the west coast of India near the extreme south of the mainland.
The city gets its name from the Malayalam word thiru-anantha-puram, meaning the "City of Lord Ananta". The name derives from the deity of the Sri Padmanabhaswamy temple at the centre of the city. Anantha is the serpent Shesha on whom Padmanabha or Vishnu reclines. This temple of Vishnu reclining on Anantha remains the iconic landmark of the city. It is estimated that the value of the monumental items and assets of the temple partially revealed are close to INR1000 billion (US$17 billion), making it the richest temple in the world. The city was officially referred to as Trivandrum until 1991, when the government decided to reinstate the city's original name Thiruvananthapuram.
Chidambaram is a town and municipality in Cuddalore district in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. It is the taluk headquarters of the Chidambaram taluk. The town is believed to be of significant antiquity and has been ruled, at different times, by the Medieval Cholas, Later Cholas, Later Pandyas, Vijayanagar Empire, Marathas and the British. The town is known for the Thillai Nataraja Temple, and the annual chariot festival held in the month of April.
Gokarna is a small temple town located on the western coast of India in Uttara Kannada district in the beautiful Indian state of Karnataka. Main temple and deity is Lord Shiva, also known as Mahabhaleshwara. This temple houses what is believed to be original image of Lord Shiva's lingam. There are many other temples all over this small town. Ankola and Kumta on Highway 17 are the main towns near Gokarna.
Gokarna is historically known as one of the seven important Hindu pilgrimage centers. Gokarna is located on what was once pristine unspoiled beach near estuary of river Aghanashini with its beautiful palm trees, other colorful tropical fruit and flower trees. Of late due to the numbers of tourists the character of this town has changed. This town is no longer just a center of pilgrimage though massive numbers of devotees still visit the town for the purposes of offering prayers and worship to Lord Shiva.