The Land of Tamils -Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu, Land of Tamils, is the most popularly visited place due to its uniqueness, in every sense of the term, may it be in the sphere of its hospitality, historic places, local food, its culture and tradition. There are numerous outstanding hill stations such as Ketti Valley, Kalrayan Hills, Kodaikanal, Kolli Hills, Kolukkumalai, Javadi Hills Anaimalaiand there are other stunning hill stations too. These stations are in itself picturesque and alluring as far as spending one's vacations is concerned. Winter is the appropriate time to visit the splendid tail Naduas during these months the climate is pretty soothing and pleasant to the extent of being comfortable for exploring the beautiful sites of the richly endowed state. On the other hand, summers become very unpleasant and therefore touring is best avoided. Shopaholics will also find winters most preferably pleasant to explore the various market places around. Adventure sports engage the visitors in a way that is not only enjoyable but memorable also. Summers do provide opportunities to spend vacations in the hill stations in Tamil Nadu.
Mouth-watering cuisines are an added delight that makes one’s visit unforgettable. Some of the popular dishes of the state areIdli, Sambar, Chicken Chettinad, Vada, Dosa, Uttapam, Banana Bonda, Rasam, Payasam, Prawns Kuzhambu and other local delicacies. Festivals are celebrated dedicatedly with great pomp and show in the state of Tamil Nadu. These important festivals being Pongal, Thiruvaiyaru, Thaipusam, Natyanjali Dance festival, Mahamaham, Tamil New Year’s day, Karthigai Deepam and there are other festivals too that are celebrated with great jest and zeal that is seen to be believed.
For Shopaholics there are plenty of market places in the state where they can indulge and shop according to their own interests. Some famous markets of the state include T. Nagar Market, Pondy Bazaar, Sowcarpet market, George Town. Apart from the aforesaid market, there are other markets too that cater to the curiosity and interests of the visitors.
Tourists having an adventurous bent of mind can indulge in mountain biking and cycling, Paragliding, surfing, trekking, sports racing. These adventurous activities just push the person to the limits of his tolerance making him realize his inner power and resistance. There are many wonderful moments that will not only astonish any tourist coming to explore Tamil Nadu but also make his soul happy. People coming in search of peace, serenity, shopping, adventure, witness the outstanding opportunities in ample measure that the state of Tamil Nadu provides to the unsuspecting visitor.
Things to do in Tamil Nadu
Visiting South India can never be complete without visiting Tamil Nadu. It is a favored destination for most tourists. What with the natural endowments that simply lure them to it. Not only it is considered for sight-seeing but it is also an ideal destination for hill- trekking, sports racing, mountaineering, jet-skiing, jungle-trekking, surfing, sports fishing and a lot more other thrilling activities. Tourists intending to visit, usually pack their bags with thrill and excitement to explore Tamil Nadu as the tour is replete with so much adventure, natural scenic beauties and much much more. Those bitten by the adventure bug can go for hill- trekking in Kodaikanal. Trekkers have a number of popular trekking routes near Kodaikanal–Echo Rock Trek, Mountain Beauty Trek and Dolphin’s Nose Trek. Another exciting experience one can have is sports racing.
One can take part in sports racing in Chennai. The Chennai city has a full-fledged racing track in Irungattukottai near Sriperumbadur, which hosts a number of local racing events in which tourists can take part. There are national parks and reserves such as - Madumalai National Park in Madumalai, Anamalai Tiger Reserve, Mukurthi National Park in Ooty, Vedanthangal Bird sanctuary in Vedanthangal, Kerikili Bird sanctuary, Kalakkad Wildlife sanctuary and some other national parks that will give an exciting tryst with nature’s bounty.
Paragliding is another one of the thrilling activities in Yelagiri. This hill station is best known for offering an exciting Paragliding experience to its tourists. Surfing is yet another activity that overpowers and attracts people adventure-seekers. Kovalam and Mahabalipuram are great destinations for surfing. The two destinations have numerous surfboard rental shops. It is one of the unique activities to take part in.
Other places are also there where one can take part in mountain biking. Ooty is one such place that is popular for this activity. This hill station is home to Mountain Bike Park which is constructed upon the hilly and rugged terrain of Western Ghats. Tourists can indulge here in mountain biking activity and feel the amount of energy required. Chennai’s East coast has become a major spot for go-karting, jet-skiing and ATV riding. The stretch between Chennai’s Sholinganallur and Mahabalipuram now provides for such alluring activities to the tourists.
Shopaholics may not be discouraged as there are ample items to shop for such as - woodcraft, musical instruments, textile, pottery, Jewellery, stone carving, Tanjore paintings and metalwork, One can leisurely stroll in the marketplaces and indulge in purchases that are according to one’s likes and preferences. The famous markets of Chennai are- T. Nagar Market that is famous for Jewellery and sarees, Pondy Bazaar- famous for footwear street food, Sowcarpet market known for crafted lehengas and suits, George Town which has an amazing collection of bazaars famous for wholesale markets, retail shops and food. There are some sight-seeing places like Sri Ranganathaswamy temple, Meenakshi Amman Temple, Guindy National Park, Sri Ranganathaswamy temple, Anamalai Tiger Reserve, Kanyakumari Beach, Mahabalipuram beach, Rama Setu, Victory War Memorial and other historic places of interest.
Places to visit in Tamil Nadu
1. Meenakshi Amman Temple
The Meenakshi Amman Temple is situated in Madurai. This temple is devoted to Goddess Parvati who resides here in the form of Meenakshi andSundareshwar who is a form of Lord Shiva. It was built in the 6th century A.D. It is a great masterpiece of Dravidian architecture. One paying a visit to this beautiful temple can feast one’s eyes with devotion to the thousands of figures of gods, goddesses and demons. It is one of the famous temples of Tamil Nadu.
2. Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple
The temple is situated on the Srirangam island of Tiruchirappalli city in Tamil Nadu. The Dravidian architecture of Sri Ranganathaswamy temple is breath-taking. It has 49 sub-shrines with elegantly carved Gopurams standing so tall that they are the tallest temple in Asia. It also has 7enclosures or Prakaras with the presiding deity, the Lord Ranganathaswamyan incarnation of Lord Vishnu. The tower above the innermost Prakara is in the shape of OM and is plated in gold. The archaeological records place the temple somewhere in the 10th century.
3. Guindy National Park
The Guindy National Park is located in Chennai. It is the 8th smallest national park in India that one can pay a visit to. The park has dense forest areas, lakes and streams. A large number of tourists are seen throughout the year.
4. Gulf of Mannar Marine National Park
The Gulf of Mannar Marine National Park is in Dhanushkodi located in Tamil Nadu. It is a group of 21 small pretty islands. Biologists consider the national park as being one of the wealthiest areas under marine biodiversity. It is the first biosphere reserve constructed in the year 1980 in India. Tourists can enjoy the glass-bottomed boat rides that attract in a unique way. This park has three aquatic ecosystems – coral reef, seagrass and mangroves. The unique estuaries, beaches and forests in the park are the center stage of most attractions for the tourists.
5. Anamalai Tiger Reserve
The Anamalai Tiger Reserve is also known as Indira Gandhi Wildlife Sanctuary and National Park. It was built in 1848 and was declared a Tiger Reserve in 2007. The species in this reserve, both plants and animals are endangered and are in a need of protection measures that will help preserve them in their habitats. Not only for species but also for its beautiful location and picturesque views, this reserve attracts a number of tourists every year. One coming to Anamalai Tiger Reserve can witness the scenic views of the Thirumoorthi Falls, NallamudiPoonsolai viewpoint. Tourists can enjoy the forest safari, elephant rides, as well as the thrilling sites of waterfalls like Chinakallar, Falls and Monkey Falls. Anamalai Tiger Reserve is worthy of a visit as it is so splendid.
6. Mukurthi National Park
The Mukurthi National Park is located in Ooty. It was previously known as NilgiriTahr National Park. It is one of the best examples of rich flora and fauna. It comes under the UNESCO heritage sites. The main aim of establishing this National Park was to conserve its key species, The NilgiriTahr.
7. Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary
It is a bird sanctuary located in the city of Kancheepuram. It is one of the protected sanctuaries. Vedanthangalbird Sanctuary is a migratory home to about 40,000 different species of birds from all over the world. Being a perfect place for bird watching, the place is a paradise for bird watchers. On entering one can see birds doing a host of such charming activities as swimming, eating, diving and squawking. It is a perfect place away from all the hustles and bustles of city life.
8. Kanyakumari Beach
Kanyakumari Beach is the prettiest of the beaches of Tamil Nadu. Most tourists flog to the place just to bathe in the beauty of the confluence of three water bodies that make the Indian subcontinent peninsula.
9. Mahabalipuram beach
Mahabalipuram beach is also known as the Mamallapuram beach. It is located at a distance of 58 kms from Chennai city of Tamil Nadu. It poses a perfect place to rest and take a break from one’s hectic schedule. The beach has some astonishing sites to visit like – crocodile banks with about 5000 crocodiles, a school of art & sculpture, and a snake venom extracting center.
10. Hogenakkal Falls
On reaching Tamil Nadu just make a beeline for the Dharmapuri district where Hogenakkal falls is situated. It is sometimes referred to as the Niagara Falls of India. The carbonatite rocks of Hogenakkal Falls are the oldest of its kind in the country. The falls is frequented for its medicinal baths.
11. Courtallam Falls
Courtallam Falls are located in Courtallam. It is formed by the Chittar river on the Western Ghats in the Tirunelveli district. It is interesting in a way that tourists can find KalakkadMundanthurai Tiger reserve and Lord Shiva’s temple, Papanasanathar temple along with Courtallam Falls. It is one of the prominent and picturesque falls in Tamil Nadu.
Ooty is one of the most preferred hill stations of Tamil Nadu. It is popularly known as Queen of Hills. Tourists find it awesome as the fog that envelopes the area engulfs one in a thick blanket of mist giving one an out of the world feeling. Ooty is a place that is tranquil and peaceful for tourists.
13. Brihadeeswara Temple
The Brihadeeswara Temple is located in Thanjavur city. It is one of the ancient temples of Tamil Nadu. The temple is seen to have the tallest temple tower in the world. It is considered to be the largest temple in India.
14. Victory War Memorial
Victory War Memorial in Chennai was constructed to preserve the memory of the victory achieved by the Allied Armies during world war I that took place from 1914 to 1918. It was later converted as Victory War Memorial for world war II soldiers from the Madras Presidency who lost their lives in the Wars. Inscriptions from 1948 Kashmir aggression and the 1962 China war and later Indo-Pak war have now been included.
15. Rama Setu
Rama Setu is a national monument that showcases national unity. It is a stretch of limestone shoals between Rameshwaram Island located between Srilanka and Peninsular India. It is also known as Adam’s bridge or Rama’s bridge. It is located off the South-Eastern coast of Tamil Nadu. According to the Geological Survey, this bridge is a former land connection between India and Srilanka.
16. Valluvar Kottam
ValluvarKottam is a famed monument located in Chennai. It is situated at the junction oftheKodambakkam high road and the village road that is situated in Nungambakkam. It is dedicated to the famous Tamil Poet, Valluvar.
17. Varaha Cave Temple
Varaha cave temple is situated in Mamallapuram. The cave has the elegant rock- cuts of Lord Vishnu and his incarnation–the Varaha. The temple is a prominent sculpture in the area and stands as one of the finest testimonials to the ancient Vishwakarma.
18. Thirumalai Nayakkar Mahal
The ThirumalaiNayakkar Mahal or Palace is the finest fusion of Dravidian and Rajput styles. It is situated in Madurai. This Mahal is considered to be one of the wonders of South India. It has been declared as a national monument.
19. Ripon Building
The Ripon Building is near the Chennai central railway station. It is the finest example of a structure that is built in Indo – Saracenic styled architecture. It is the most visited and thus makes it a popular monument of Tamil Nadu.
20. Vivekananda Rock Monument
Vivekananda Rock Monument is located in Kanyakumari. It has beautiful and elegant architecture. It is one of the 7 magnificent memorial structures. This Rock monument is considered worldwide to be an elegant tourist monument.
21. Yanaimalai Elephant Hill
Yanaimalai or Elephant Hill is considered to be the most popular place for tourists. It has been declared as a protected monument by the Archaeological Survey of India.
How to Reach Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu has three international airports and two domestic airports. The three international airports are – Coimbatore International Airport, Madurai International Airport and Tiruchirapalli International Airport. The two domestic airports are – Salem Airport and Tuticorin Airport. These are well connected with major cities like – Mumbai, Kolkata and New Delhi. After reaching the airport one can hire a taxi and reach his desired destination.
The state Tamil Nadu has about 150 railway stations that are well connected with some major cities of India like – Kolkata, Mumbai, Bangalore, New Delhi. Some major railway stations in Tamil Nadu are- Chennai central, Madurai railway junction, Coimbatore junction, Thanjavur junction and other stations. One can easily reach Tamil Nadu by rails. On reaching the railway station one can hire taxis or can board a bus to reach their destination of choice.
Tamil Nadu state has 25 National Highways. Tourists coming to visit from cities like Mumbai, Kolkata, Delhi can easily approach Tamil Nadu via the national and state Highways. The major inter and Intra bus stands are:-Kovai central, Trichy Central, Erode, Salem, Thanjavur Central bus stand, Tirunelveli and Madurai Periyar bus stand. One coming from nearest states like – Kerala, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh can board buses provided by state express Transport Corporation. These buses may be Deluxe, Ultra – Delux Volvo and air-conditioned buses, which one can avail as per one’s choice.
Where to Stay
Tamil Nadu state has a number of options for its tourists to spend their vacations comfortably. One can stay at Chennai, Coimbatore, Dharmapuri, Dindigul, Erode, Chengalpattu, Cuddalore, Tiruvallur, Viluppuram and other districts of Kerala. Kerala is the most preferred destination among the tourists. One can find a number of luxury and budget hotels that one can choose from.
Best time to Visit Tamil Nadu
The Winter season starting from November to February is considered to be the most perfect time to explore this beautiful state. During winters the weather of the state is pleasant and the temperature is so low that it makes the tour comfortable for the tourists. Whereas summers are most apt for visiting hill stations. One coming to Tamil Nadu should manage their visit according to the weather and temperature for eking out maximum enjoyment with comfort and ease.