Tamil Nadu or the land of Tamils is a region situated on the southern tip of India. With Chennai as capital, it is bordered by the Bay of Bengal in the east, Kerala on the west and Karnataka and Andra Pradesh on the north. Tamil Nadu is visited by tourists for its great temples and pristine beaches. It is one of the major touristic destination in India. During a travel to Tamil Nadu, one can visit the great temples constructed in ancient times or, relax on the beaches, going for a trek in the tropical forest and discover the rich flora and fauna, or experience the rural life of South India. This region is filled with glorious history, ancient traditions, rich culture, architecture marvels, music, literature & arts.From being witness to the rules of different Hindu dynasties like Cholas, Pallavas, Pandyans and the Nayaks to the rule of Muslim sultanates of Delhi and then the period of British colonial rule Tamil Nadu has seen it all. All the rulers brought in their distinctive styles in art, architecture and culture which reflects in the monuments of today. Some of the major touristic attractions of Tamil Nadu are the Hindu temples in distinctive Tamil architecture (Meenakshi Amman Temple at Madurai, Brihideshwar temple at Tanjore, the Chola temples of Kumbakonam, Darasuram, and Gangaikondacholapuram. Tamil Nadu has all to attract traveler from around the world. A tour to Tamil Nadu, on one hand, takes you back to the ancient glory of India and on the other hand, reminisces you of the colonial world gone by. Kanchipuram the temple town believed to be one of the seven holiest places that will mesmerize your five senses. Apart from this, the state of Tamil Nadu is a treasure trove of nature with the biodiversity rich mountain ranges of the Eastern &Western Ghats running along the boundaries of the state and meeting at the Nilgiri Hills.
By Air: Tamil Nadu has excellent air connectivity with domestic as well as International destinations. The state is served by four International airports (Chennai, Coimbatore, Tiruchirappalli, and Madurai) and six domestic (Salem &Tuticorin apart from the four mentioned) airports. Chennai airport is not only one of the busiest airports in India but also a major aviation hub in Asia. Apart from all the major Indian destinations, it is well served by destinations from Europe and Asia.
By Road: There are a number of private as well as government buses that connect Tamil Nadu with other neighboring states. The state of Tamil Nadu has an extensive road network providing connectivity within and outside the state. There are 29 national highways crisscrossing the state. Moreover, the state capital Chennai is also a terminus of Golden Quadrilateral system of National Highways which connects all the four major Indian metros Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata & Chennai. Tamil Nadu state owned corporation buses connect every nook and corner of the states as well as provide bus services to all the major destinations in entire southern India through various state highways.
By Train: TamilNadu is a part of southern railways in the Indian railway network and its capital Chennai is the headquarter of Southern railways.Chennai, Madurai, Tiruchirappalli, Salem, and Coimbatore are the major railway junction in Tamil Nadu. All the major destinations in the state are well covered by Indian Railways network suitable connecting it with all corner of the country.
The best time to visit Tamil Nadu is from October to February. With mercury levels down, the weather at this time is most suitable for traveling and exploring most of the region. Tamil Nadu experiences hot and humid weather all the year. There is little variation during the seasons.The summer season begins in March and the heat last till October. During May to June temperature crosses 45° C marks. The destinations which can be visited during summers are Ooty, Kodaikanal, and Yelagiri Hills. All of these are ideal summer getaways providing some respite from hot and humid temperatures.Monsoon arrives by the end of June and lasts till September.Heavy rainfall brings relief from the high temperatures but there is always a danger of cyclone hitting the state due to its proximity to the Bay of Bengal. Winters starts from November and lasts till February all of 4 months.With mercury usually around 15°C to 22°C, this is the most pleasant season & best suited time to travel to Tamil Nadu.
There are lots of touristic attractions that can engage you for several days in Tamil Nadu. We are summing up some of the best places to visit in Tamil Nadu which are worth to see for your next holidays to this land of legends.
• Chennai: Chennai earlier called Madras is the capital of the state of Tamil Nadu. It is the main entry for travelers wishing to visit Tamil Nadu. It is the hub of industrial, commercial, cultural, economic and education activities of the region. Its importance was first realized by the British East India Company who stepped on the shore bought a piece of land from the King of Vijayanagar and settled with the establishment of Fort St. George in1639.Fort St. George today houses the Secretariat complex of Government of Tamil Nadu.Chennai of today is a modern fast paced developed city defined by beautiful beaches, historical monuments, Ancient temples and churches with arts and culture in the air. Some of the main attractions & excursions in and around Chennai are Fort St. George, The Marina Beach, Santhome Cathedral, Ramakrishna Math, Kapaleeswarar Temple, The Kalikambal Temple, Adeeswar Temple, Kandaswamy Temple, Kovalam, Guindy birds sanctuary, The National Art Gallery, ValluvarKottam, Elliot’s Beach, St.Thomas Mount,Vedanthangal birds sanctuary,Cholamandal Artists’ Village,Crocodile Bank etc. Chennai is also home to Tamil film industry popularly known as Kollywood.
• Mahabalipuram: Mahabalipuram also known as Mamallapuram is one of the major touristic attraction of Tamil Nadu. It lies on the Coromandel Coast facing the Bay of Bengal. Mahabalipuram can be easily called the city of monuments. A group of monuments at Mahabalipuram has been declared a UNESCO world heritage site.Historically Mahabalipuram was the second capital of Pallavas dynasty and under their reign was a flourishing Sea port from 7th to 10th century. Pallavas were generous rulers who patronize art, architecture, and culture.The major touristic attractions of Mahabalipuram are the rock cut caves, temples made from a single rock, Krishna Mandapam, the Five Rathas (Chariots), the Varaha Mandapam and the Shore Temple. Open air Museum, Thirukazhukkundram & Tirupporur.
• Trichy: Located at a distance of around 325 km from Chennai Trichy is a fine blend of tradition and modernity. Trichy also called locally as Tiruchirappalli is a historical city famous for its Rockfort and religious monuments. The most prominent place to visit in Tiruchirappalli includes the Rockfort, the Ranganathaswamy temple at Srirangam and the Jambukeswarar temple at Thiruvanaikaval. Apart from a favorite travel destination, the city is an important educational & Trade center in the state of Tamil Nadu having many national level institutions within.
• Thanjavur: Thanjavur is an important center of religion, art, and architecture. Thanjavur maintains a reputation for being a famous touristic destination in Tamil Nadu thronged by tourist all the year. Major touristic place to visit in Tanjore are The Brahadeshwara Temple, Maratha Palace, The Thanjavur Palace, Thanjavur Art Gallery, Saraswathi Mahal Library, Schwartz Church, Royal Museum &Serfoji Memorial Hall,Sivaganga Tank,Punnai NallurMarriamman,Thirukandiyur,PoondiMatha Basilica,Thirukarugavoor,Manora,Patteswaram,Thiruvarur,Papanasam,Navagraha temples etc.Many Temples of Thanjavur termed as “Great Living Chola Temples”, have been classified as the World Heritage Monuments by the UNESCO.
• Rameshwaram : Rameshwaram is amongst the most important pilgrimage center in India. Rameshwaram is considered to be one of the holiest places for Hindus and is part of Chardham pilgrimage along with Badrinath, Dwarka & Puri. Ramanathaswamy Temple dedicated to Lord Shiva is the main attraction of the town. An important pilgrimage center for both Vaishnavite and Shaivites, Rameshwaram is thronged by lakhs of Pilgrims each year to seek salvation. The clean beaches, numerous temples, and sacred ponds give another reason to visit Rameshwaram. The Temple Of Ramanathaswamy, Jada Tirtham, Dhanushkodi Temple, Gandhamadhana Parvatham, Five Faced Hanuman Temple, Rama Setu, Ariyaman Beach, Lakshmana Tirtham, Kothandaramar Temple, The Annai Indira Gandhi Road Bridge, Water Bird Sanctuary, Temple Tanks or Tirthas are some of the key attraction in and around Rameshwaram.
• Chettinad: Chettinad is a unique and little known architectural heritage region of the Chettiar community. The region is famous world over for its unique history, architecturally brilliant mansions, ancient temples and tasty cuisines. A visit to Chettinad opens your eyes to the bygone era. The mansions of Chettinad are its signature attractions and tourist throngs the region all the year round for theses architectural marvels. A visit to Chettinad also provides you a chance to satisfy your taste buds through the authentic cuisine of the region. Chettinad is also famous for its unique art of tiles making called the Athangudi tiles. Apart from the numerous heritage mansions some of the key attractions in and around Chettinad are The Chettinad Museum, the Chettinad palace, Soorakudi temple, Iraniyur temple, The seven clan temples etc.
• Ooty: Located in the Western Ghats zone it is a popular hill station in the Nilgiri Hills.Ooty was the Summer Capital of the Madras Presidency during the British Rule. The town is a popular summer destination all over India and has some great attractions and excursions apart from great outdoor activities. The major place to visit in Ooty are The Government Rose garden, The Ooty Botanical Garden, Ooty Lake, Deer Park, Government Lake, Government Museum, Doddabetta, Pykara Lake and Water Falls, Kalhatty falls,Wenlock Downs,Western Catchment,Upper Bhavani,Avalanche,The Mukurthi Peak &Mukurthi National Park,KamarajSagar (Sandynullah Reservoir,Mudumalai Wildlife Sanctuary,Fishing in the Nilgiri,Trekking,Coonoor,Sims Park,Dolphins Nose,Lambbs rock,Lady Canning’s Seat,Law’s Falls, KateryFalls,Droog. One can undertake some of the best and scenic treks from Ooty to explore the tea gardens and rich flora and fauna of the Nilgiri Biosphere.
• Madurai: Madurai is also known as Athens of the east.Located on the banks of River Vaigai, Madurai is flanked by the Sirumalai hills in the North and Nagamalai hills in the south. Witness to ancient cultures and dynasties, Madurai is an old city with rich history.The presence of the monuments of different religions makes it a sought after destination to visit in Tamil Nadu. Some of the key attraction to visit in Madurai is Meenakshi Amman Temple, Thirumalai Nayak Palace, Thiruparankundram Temple, Alagarkoil, Gandhi Museum, MariammanTeppakulam, Koodal Azhagar, Thirumohur, and Aruppukkottai.
• Kodaikanal: Kodaikanal is one of the most famous tourist destination of not only Tamil Nadu but the whole of India. It is one of the preferred destinations for Honeymooners. Situated in the Palani hills range of Western Ghats. Kodaikanal literarily means gift of the forests in Tamil. Originally a habitat of Palaiyar tribe, Kodaikanal was accidentally discovered by an Englishman Lieutenant Ward in 1821. He was trekking the Palani mountain ranges for survey work. By 1845 Britishers have developed the place to their liking and some missionaries have made the place their home apart from some official bungalows of Madras presidency. Some of the prominent attraction and excursion in and around Kodaikanal are Kodaikanal Lake,Bryant’s park,Kodaikanal Science Observatory,Kurinji Andavar Temple,Green Valley View, Coakers Walk & telescope house, The pillar rock & Moir Point, Chettiar Park, Berijam Lake, Shembaganur Museum of Natural History, Silver Cascade Falls, La Saleth Church, Dolmen Circle, Thalaiyar Fall, Kukkal Caves, KurinjiAndavarMurugan temple Palani etc.
• Kanyakumari: Kanyakumari formerly known as Cape Comorin is located at the Southern most tip of the Indian Subcontinent. This rocky mainland on the Indian Ocean is at distance of around 705 km from the state capital Chennai. Surrounded by Majestic Hills and the plains bordered by colorful sea-shores, fringed with coconut trees interwoven with Temples, Churches and other edifices makes Kanyakumari one of the most sought after tourism destination in India. The main touristic attractions of the city include- Vivekananda Rock Memorial, Vattakottai Fort, Padmanabhapuram Palace, Thiruvalluvar Statue, Vavathurai, Udayagiri Fort and Gandhi museum.For the religious minded Kanyakumari Temple, Chitharal Hill Temple and Jain Monuments, Nagaraja temple, Subramanya temple and the Thirunandhikarai cave temple are the attractions. And then there is the option of hitting the beach after a long day. Some of the famous beaches in Kanyakumari are Sanguthurai Beach, Thengapattinam Beach, and the Sothavilai Beach etc.
• Kanchipuram: Also called as Kanchior, this temple town is situated at distance of around 75 km from the capital Chennai. Kanchipuram is a revered city for the Hindus since it is believed to be one of the seven holiest places that every Hindu should visit during their lifetime.It is a sacred destination for Buddhists, Jains, and Hindus as well. Of the 108 holy temples of the Hindu god Vishnu, 14 are located in Kanchipuram. Apart from its temples, Kanchipuram is famous for its silk industry. Kanchipuram silk is popular & renowned all over the globe for its quality and craftsmanship. Some of the major attractions of Kanchipuram are Kailasanathar Temple ,Varadaraja Perumal Temple, Vaikunta Perumal Temple, Vaikunta Perumal Temple, Ulagalanda Perumal, Ashtabuja Perumal Temple, Kanchi Kudil, The KanchiKamakoti Mutt, The Kamakshi Temple, Ekambareshvara Temple…….