The Indian Cormorant is characterized by blue eyes, a small head, sloping forehead and a narrow bill that ends in a hooked tip.Breeding birds have a short, white, ear tuft. It fishes in inland rivers, large water bodies, estuaries and mangroves. It builds its nest with twigs in the fork of trees. It catches its prey with short dives into the water. They often hunt for feed in groups and thus drive the fishes to a corner.
White Bellied Sea Eagles are found mostly along the Indian Coastline through China to the Phillipines and Australia. Their prey mainly consists of water snakes and fish. They also feed on birds, swimming crabs, turtles and even bats. They catch their prey by just skimming over the water surface. They have excellent eyesight and usually foray in pairs.They are not migratory birds and usually stay put near their nests. They have a loud and harsh cry that can be heard even a kilometer away.They build their nests which are usually quite huge on the tallest object near the coast line. They build their nests with sticks and line it up with green vegetation. Usually two eggs are laid. While the female incubates the male feeds her and depends the nest from predators.
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The “Aayiram Kaal Mandapam” or Thousand Pillar Hall contains 985 (instead of 1000) carved pillars. The hall was built by Ariyanatha Mudaliar in 1569 and it is a structure where the engineering skill and artistic vision are blended. Ariyanatha Mudaliar was the prime minister and general of Viswanatha Nayak, the first Nayaka of Madurai (1559–1600). He was also the founder of Poligar System, the quasi-feudal organization of the country, which was divided into multiple palayams or small provinces and each palayam was ruled by a palayakkarar or a petty chief. At the entrance of the hall the statue of Ariyanatha Mudaliar seated on a horse-back is present, which flanks one side of the entrance to the temple. The statue is periodically garlanded by worshippers. Each pillar in the hall is a carved monument of the Dravidian sculpture. The more prominent among the carved figures are those of Rati(wife of Cupid), Karthikeya, Ganesha, Shiva as a wandering mendicant and endless number of yalis(mythical figures of lions). There is a Temple Art Museum in the hall where icons, photographs, drawings, and other exhibits of the 1200 years old history of the temple is displayed. Just outside this hall, towards the west, are the Musical Pillars. Each pillar, when struck, produces a different musical note.
Juices in general are liked by all for their taste and health benefits. Watermelon juice presented here is a cool and soothing drink that helps you take on the summer heat. Loaded with water it can be had in an undiluted form. For variation try adding minimum sugar and top up with a pinch of salt & pepper. The condensed water drops on the chilled glass adds to the visual impact and makes one want to reach out for one straight away.