Tamil Nadu

Capital
Chennai (Madras)
Population
60 million
Area
130 000 km²
Languages
Tamil

Best time to visit
October - March
Climate (°C)
May - June: Temperatures
up to 40 degrees.
June - October: South-east monsoon brings rain.


Some areas of Tamil Nadu was hit hard by the tsunami. Please keep up to date on news about the situation in this area before attemping to travel here.

About

Tamil Nadu lies on the South-west tip of India. It is the center of the Dravidian culture. Cultural icons are found everywhere in the form of astonishing temples and enourmous entrance gateways. There are also a lot of impressive stonecarving here. The area depends largely on fishing. Tamil Nadu has a long coastline and there are numerous fishing villages scattered along it.

The state is also is a bastion of Hinduism, whose past endures into the present. Temples with towering spires called gopurams are a common feature of this state, seldom seen anywhere else in the country. It has a rich cultural life centred on its temple towns — Chidambaram, Kanchipuram, Thanjavur, and Madurai.

How to get here

Air, Rail & bus
Chennai is the main transport hub and is connected by air, rail and road. It has an international airport. There is also shipping services. A passenger liner connects the town with Port Blair.

Places to visit

Chennai - Mahabilaphuram - Madurai -Kodaikanal - Chidambaram - Kanyakumary Rameswram - Trichy - Coonoor - Coimbatore

.: Chennai
Chennai is the 4th biggest city in India, but it does not have the same magnitude of problems as the rest of the big cities do. A sprawling city on the coasts of Bay of Bengal, Madras was renamed as Chennai a few years back. Before the British came and developed the place as a port town for trade purpose in the 17th century, it was a village of fisherfolk known as Chennai. Today it is a blend of British, South Indian and cosmopolitan cultures. The beaches and the South Indian dishes are the enjoyable attractions.

The picturesque lakes of Hyderabad have contributed to its immense beauty and tourist attraction.

.: Mahabilaphuram (Mamallapuram)
A major beach resort famous for its magnificent monuments hewn out of rock.The sculptures in Mamallapuram emphasize on blending mythology, epics and day today life of the people. (Rathas, Arjuna's Penance, Krishna Mandapa, Shore Temple, Mahishasurmardini Cave, Varaha Mandapa and Mandapams)

.: Madurai
Madurai, originally known as Madhurapuri got its name from the falling of divine nectar from Lord Shiva's rocks. This ancient city has been a centre of learning and pilgrimage for centuries. It is most known for the Meenakshi Temple.

.: Kodaikanal
Kodaikanal, a charming hill station, stands amidst sylvan beauty on the southern crest of the upper Palani Hills near Madurai in Tamil Nadu.
(Kodaikanal Lake, Coaker's Walk, Fairy Falls, Kurinji Andavar Temple, Shenbaganur Museum, Pillar Rocks, Green Valley View.)

.: Chidambaram
Important pilgrim centre and a holy place for Saivaites as the famous Nataraja Temple is located here. Dedicated to Lord Nataraja, this ancient temple of the Cholas is unique not only because it is devoted solely to the art of Bharatanatyam, but also it is one of the rare temples where Shiva is represented by an idol rather than the customary Lingam. Chidambaram temple stands as an example of Dravidian architectural brilliance. Chidambaram is one of the fine Shaivite Mukti Sthalams, the others being Kalahasti, Kanchipuram, Tiruvannamalai and Tiruvanaikaval. A person of any race or religion can visit the temple.

.: Kanyakumary
Kanyakumari lies at the southernmost tip of India at the confluence of the Arabian Sea, the Indian Ocean and the Bay of Bengal. This exotic location is famous for its temples and 'sunrise and sunset' points.

The Kanyakumari Temple or the Kumari Amman Temple on the shore, is dedicated to a manifestation of Paravati, Shiva's consort, as a virgin. Parvati did penance to win the heart of Lord Shiva.

The Vivekananda Rock Memorial, built in 1970 in memory of Swami Vivekananda, stands on one of the rocks, called Sri Padaparai, where the footprints of virgin goddess are to be seen

.: Rameswram
Rameshwaram is an island situated in the gulf at the very tip of the Indian peninsula. A important pilgrim centre of the Indians. Rameshwaram is the place from where Lord Rama, built a bridge across the sea to rescue his consort Sita, from her abductor, Ravana. This is also the place where Rama worshipped Lord Shiva to cleanse away the sin of killing Ravana.

.: Trichy (Tiruchirapalli)
Tiruchirapalli or Trichy, situated on the banks of river Kaveri, is famous for the Ranganatha temple at Srirangam.

.: Coonoor
It is the second largest town of the three Nilgiri hill stations. This place is very pleasant to relax. It has an interesting market.

.: Coimbatore
It is a center of rich agriculture area and is noted for its agricultural university. This university is now internationally known for its agricultural research. The seed breeding experiments center is opened here. The cotton textile mills are boomed here on the development of hydroelectricity from the Pykara Falls in 1930.



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