Tamil Nadu is a state in the south-eastern part of the Indian Peninsula.One of the four Dravidian states of India.
It has had more than 4,000 years of continuous cultural history.Tamil Nadu has some of the most remarkable temple architecture in the country, and a living tradition of music, dance and fine arts.Tamil Nadu is well renowned for its temple towns and heritage sites, hill stations, waterfalls, national parks, local cuisine and the fabulous wildlife and scenic beauty.
The state boasts the second largest tourism industry in India with an annual growth rate of 16%.
Visit the temple city of India – Tamil Nadu. Get to explore the magic of famous cities of Tamil Nadu like Chennai, Madurai, Mahabalipuram.
Experience the brilliance of architectural marvels of Dravidian times. Plethora of ancient monuments and temples has its own story of artistic and cultural achievement that attract history lovers from all over.
Pristine beauty of hill stations like Ooty, Kodaikanal leaves the visitors mesmerized with its irresistible charm.
Chennai is the capital city of the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. Located on the Coromandel Coast off the Bay of Bengal, it is a major commercial, cultural, economic and educational center in South India.
The area around Chennai had been part of successive South Indian kingdoms through centuries. The recorded history of the city began in the colonial times, specifically with the arrival of British East India Company and the establishment of Fort St. George in 1644.
The British defended several attacks from the French colonial forces, and from the kingdom of Mysore, on Chennai’s way to becoming a major naval port and presidency city by the late eighteenth century. Following the independence of India, Chennai became the capital of Tamil Nadu and an important centre of regional politics that tended to bank on the Dravidian identity of the populace.
Mahabalipuram, also known as Mamallapuram is a town in Kancheepuram district in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. It is around 60 km south from the city of Chennai. It is an ancient historic town and was a bustling seaport during the time of Periplus (1st century BC) and Ptolemy (140 BC). Ancient Indian traders who went to countries of South East Asia sailed from the seaport of Mahabalipuram.
By the 7th Century it was a Port city of South Indian dynasty of the Pallavas. It has various historic monuments built largely between the 7th and the 9th centuries, and has been classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It has an average elevation of 12 metres (39 feet). The modern city of Mahabalipuram was established by the British Raj in 1827.
Kanchipuram is a Spectacular Temple city known as city of thousand temples which reflects the Glorious Traditions of South India with its noted temples. Located on the banks of the Vegavathy River, Kanchipuram has been ruled by the Pallavas, the Medieval Cholas, the Later Cholas, the Later Pandyas, the Vijayanagar Empire, the Carnatic kingdom, and the British. The city’s historical monuments include the Kailasanathar Temple and the Vaikunta Perumal Temple. Historically, Kanchipuram was a centre of education and was known as the ghatikasthanam or “place of learning”. The city was also a religious centre of advanced education for Jainism and Buddhism between the 1st and 5th centuries. Kanchipuram based Buddhist institutions were instrumental in spreading Theravada Buddhism to South East Asia.
In Hindu theology, Kanchipuram is one of the seven Indian cities in which to reach final attainment, and has the Varadharaja Perumal Temple, Ekambareswarar Temple, Kamakshi Amman Temple, and Kumara Kottam – major Hindu temples. The city is a holy pilgrimage site for both Saivites and Vaishnavites. Of the 108 holy temples of the Hindu god Vishnu, 14 are located in Kanchipuram. The city is well known for its hand woven silk sarees and most of the city’s workforce is involved in the weaving industry.
Hogenakkal Falls or Hogenakal Falls is a waterfall in South India on the river Kaveri. It is located in the Dharmapuri district of the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu, about 180 km (110 mi) from Bangalore and 46 km (29 mi) from Dharmapuri town. It is sometimes referred to as the “Niagara of India”. With its fame for medicinal baths and hide boat rides, it is a major site of tourist attraction. Carbonatite rocks in this site are considered to be the oldest of its kind in South Asia and one of the oldest in the world. This is also the site of a proposed project to generate drinking water.
Pondicherry or Puducherry is a city, an urban agglomeration and a municipality in Pondicherry district in the Indian union territory of Puducherry.
The city of Pondicherry was designed based on the French grid pattern and features neat sectors and perpendicular streets. The town is divided into two sections: the French Quarter (Ville Blanche or ‘White town’) and the Indian quarter (Ville Noire or ‘Black Town’.) Many streets still retain their French names, and French style villas are a common sight. In the French quarter, the buildings are typically colonial style with long compounds and stately walls. The Indian quarter consists of houses lined with verandas and houses with large doors and grills. These French and Indian style houses are identified and their architecture is preserved from destruction by an organization named INTACH. The use of the French language can still be seen and heard in Pondicherry. Puducherry is one of the most popular tourist spots for national and international tourists. There are several beaches here. There is also Sri Aurobindo Ashram, where Sri Aurobindo spent his last years. There are several temples, monuments, parks and mosques which attract tourists.
Thanjavur, formerly Tanjore, is a city which is the headquarters of the Thanjavur District in the south Indian state of Tamil Nadu. Scholars believe the name Thanjavur is derived from Tanjan, a legendary demon in Hindu mythology. Thanjavur District is the Rice Bowl of Tamil Nadu. The Big Temple and the other famous temples in the district are known all over the world. Thanjavur was the cultural capital of the country in 1790. Thanjavur gained prominence during the period of Chola Kings, who made it as their capital. Thereafter, it was ruled by Nayaks and Maratta Kings, who nurtured art and culture. The cultural, the architectural and the scholarly pursuits of these rulers are reflected in the great monuments like Grand Anaicut, Big Temple and Serfoji Mahal Library etc. in the district.
Madurai is the administrative headquarters of Madurai District in the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu. It is the third largest city and the second largest municipal corporation 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.
Madurai is closely associated with the Tamil language, as all three primary congregations of Tamil scholars, the Third Tamil Sangams, were held in the city. The recorded history of the city goes back to the 3rd century BC, being mentioned by Megasthenes, the Greek ambassador to India, and Kautilya, a minister of the Mauryan emperor Chandragupta Maurya. The city is believed to be of significant antiquity and has been ruled, at different times, by the Early Pandyas, Medieval Cholas, Later Cholas, Later Pandyas, Madurai Sultanate, Vijayanagar Empire, Madurai Nayaks, Chanda Sahib, Carnatic kingdom, and the British. The city has a number of historical monuments, with the Meenakshi Amman Temple and Tirumalai Nayak Palace being the most prominent.
According to Hindu mythology, this is the place from where the Hindu god Rama built a bridge, across the sea to Lanka to rescue his wife Sita from her abductor Ravana. The Ramanathaswamy Temple dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva is located at the centre of the town and is closely associated with Rama. The temple along with the town is considered a holy pilgrimage site for both Shaivites and Vaishnavites.
It is located on Pamban Island separated from mainland India by the Pamban channel and is about 50 kilometres from Mannar Island, Sri Lanka. It is situated in the Gulf of Mannar, at the very tip of the Indian peninsula. Pamban Island, also known as Rameswaram Island, is connected to mainland India by the Pamban Bridge.
Rameswaram is the closest point to reach Sri Lanka and geological evidence suggests that the Adam’s Bridge was a former land connection between India and Sri Lanka.
Kodaikanal is a city in the hills of the taluk division of the Dindigul district in the state of Tamil Nadu, India. Its name in the Tamil language means “The Gift of the Forest”. Kodaikanal is referred to as the “Princess of Hill stations” and has a long history as a retreat and popular tourist destination.
Kodaikanal was established in 1845 as a refuge from the high temperatures and tropical diseases of the plains. Much of the local economy is based on the hospitality industry serving tourism.
Udhagamandalam, sometimes abbreviated Udhagai and better known as Ooty, is a town, a municipality, and the district capital of the Nilgiris district in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. It is located 80 km north of Coimbatore. It is a popular hill station located in the Nilgiri Hills. Originally occupied by the Todas, the area came under the rule of the East India Company at the end of the 18th century. Today, the town’s economy is based on tourism and agriculture, along with manufacture of medicines and photographic film. The town is connected to the rest of India by road and rail, and its historic sites and natural beauty attract tourists.
Thiruchendur Murugan Temple is a Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Muruga and one of the Arupadaiveedu of Lord Muruga. It is located in the district of Tuticorin, Tamil Nadu, on the Indian Ocean. The seashore temple of Muruga Perumal at Tiruchendur is one of the delightful spots sanctified and venerated by every Hindu. As one of the first spiritual centres for the salvation of man, His shrine has been an attraction for Hindus for ages. This sacred house of God is in the extreme southwest of the Indian peninsula. The rising sun bows in adoration of it each morning as he rises from the rippling expanse of the ocean, and spreads light and life over every living object.
Bordered by the sea on the East and the North, the temple walls on these sides are washed by the foaming waves of the Gulf of Mannar. The date of the temple is hidden in the Puranic past. The nucleus of the structure however has been here for more than 2,000 years as the Tamil Classics inform us.
Lord Muruga’s association with Tiruchendur is highly significant. It is described in extenso in His epic, the Skanda Puranam. The young Muruga as the Devasenāpati vanquishes evil in the form of Surapatuma. The Tamils have ever since been celebrating the event as an annual festival during Skanda Sashti.
Tiruchentil means as it does, the House of Victory. It borders the sea and has all the natural charm of a hero’s fortress. It is verily a haven of Peace and Bliss. The Tamils in this part of the peninsula have such an attraction for the place and its presiding Lord Arumuga Nayinar.
Kanyakumari takes its name from the Hindu goddess Kanyakumari (also called Kumari Amman). Her temple stands on the shores of the Laccadive Sea. In his work on ancient India, Ptolemy had identified Kanyakumari (Cape of Comorin) along with the Gulf of Mannar as a center for pearl fishery. He also identifies Korkai, a place to the east of Kanyakumari as an emporium of pearl trade. Hindu legend, Lord Hanuman dropped a piece of earth as he was carrying a mountain with his life-saving herb, Mrita Sanjivani, from the Himalayas to Lanka (Sri Lanka) during the Rama-Ravana war. This chunk of earth is called Marunthuvazh Malai, literally “hills where medicine lives”. This is said to be the reason for the abundance of unique native medicinal plants in the area. Marunthuvazh Malai is located near Kottaram about 7 km (4 mi) from Kanyakumari town on the Kanyakumari-Nagercoil highway. The Kumari Amman or the Kanyakumari Temple, located on the shore, is a Shakti Peetha dedicated to a manifestation of Parvati, the virgin goddess who did penance to obtain Lord Shiva’s hand in marriage. The temple and the adjoining ghat, situated overlooking the shore, attract tourists from all over the world. The sparkling diamond nose-ring of the deity is said to be visible even from the sea.
On two rocky islets just off the shore, southeast of the Kumari Amman temple, are the Vivekananda Rock Memorial, built in 1970 by Eknath Ranade, and the 133 feet (41 m) tall statue of Tamil saint–poet Thiruvalluvar, one of the biggest statues in Asia, completed in 2000 by sculptor V. Ganapati Sthapati. One of the rocks, called Sri Padhaparai, is said to bear the footprints of the virgin goddess. Swami Vivekananda is said to have meditated on this rock for three days. Also on this rock, there is a Dhyana mandapam, an area for meditation.
MUDUMALAI NATIONAL PARK:
The Mudumalai National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary also a declared Tiger Reserve, lies on the northwestern side of the Nilgiri Hills (Blue Mountains), in Nilgiri District, about 150 km (93 mi) north-west of Coimbatore city in Kongu Nadu region of Tamil Nadu. It shares its boundaries with the states of Karnataka and Kerala. The sanctuary is divided into 5 ranges – Masinagudi, Thepakadu, Mudumalai, Kargudi and Nellakota.
The protected area is home to several endangered and vulnerable species dinging Indian elephant, Bengal Tiger, Gaur and Indian Leopard. There are at least 266 species of birds in the sanctuary, including critically endangered Indian White-rumped Vulture and long-billed vulture.
The Western Ghats, Nilgiri Sub-Cluster (6,000 km2 (2,300 sq mi)), including all of Mudumalai National Park, is under consideration by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee for selection as a World Heritage Site.
PALANI HILLS NATIONAL PARK:
The Palani Hills Wildlife Sanctuary and National Park is a proposed Protected area in Dindigul District, Tamil Nadu State South India. The Park will be an upgrade and expansion of the 736.87 km² (PRO) Palani (Kodaikanal) Wildlife Sanctuary which was to be established in 2008. The core of the proposed Kodaikanal Wildlife Sanctuary awaiting government notification is located in this division. There are many waterfalls throughout the Park which are popular tourist attractions like Alanthoni Falls, Bamen Falls, Bear Shola Falls, Glen Falls, Fairy Falls, Neptune Falls and Pool, Palar Upper Falls also called Anju Veedu Falls, Silver Cascade falls etc.
GULF OF MANNAR MARINE NATIONAL PARK:
The Gulf of Mannar Marine National Park is a protected area of India consisting of 21 small islands and adjacent coral reefs in the Gulf of Mannar in the Indian Ocean. The Gulf of Mannar Marine National Park has the core area of about 560 sq.KM from Rameswaram to Tutucorin lying within the Gulf of Mannar Biosphere Reserve covering an area of 10,500 Sq.KM. on the south-east coast of India. It covers the coast of Rameswaram, Tutucorin, Tirunelveli and Kanyakumari. It is one of the world’s richest regions from marine bio diversity perspective and the first marine Biosphere Reserve in Southeast Asia.
The Biosphere Reserve comprises 21 islands with estuaries, mudflats, beaches, forests of the near shore environment, including marine components like algal communities, sea grasses, coral reefs, salt marshes and mangroves.
Among the Gulf’s 3600 plant and animal species, there are the globally endangered species Sea Cow (Dugong dugong) and six mangrove species endemic to peninsular India.
INDIRA GANDHI NATIONAL PARK (ANAIMALAI NATIONAL PARK):
Indira Gandhi Wildlife Sanctuary and National Park is a protected area located in the Anaimalai Hills of Pollachi, Valparai and Udumalpet taluks of Coimbatore District and Tirupur District, Tamil Nadu state.
The Indira Gandhi Wildlife Sanctuary and National Park, the largest and well preserved sanctuary in Tamil Nadu, lies in the Western Ghats south of the Palghat Gap, better known as Anaimalais (Mountain of Elephants). With an area of 958 sq.KM, it is rich in flora and fauna.This protected area constitutes the most important watershed for the agricultural economy and power supply. Major reservoirs like Parambikulam, Aliyar, Thirumurthi, Upper Aliyar, Kadambarai, Sholayar and Amaravathi are fed by the perennial rivers which originate from the Sanctuary.
The tribal communities living in the sanctuary are Kadar, Malasar, Malai Malasar, Muduvar, Pulayar and Eravalar. They participate in the management as Forest watchers and Antipoaching Watchers.