Tamil Nadu

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Introduction

Tamil Nadu is located in the southern region of the Indian Peninsula and is better known as the ‘Temple State of India’. It provides a great opportunity to peek at the cultural heritage of India. Its capital city is Chennai. It is bordered by states of Karnataka, Kerala and the Union territory of Puducherry. To the north are the eastern ghats, on the east is the Bay of Bengal, to the west is Kerala, Anamalai hills and Nilgiris, to the south is the Indian Ocean and to the south east is the Palk Strait and the Gulf of Mannar.

Tamil Nadu has an old history. It was inhabited since 300,000 years ago. The Pandyas, Cholas and Cheras ruled Tamil Nadu in the Sangham Age, before the Christian era. Over the centuries, the three dynasties had their domains changed. The Chalukyas and Pallavas too came into power and were engaged in skirmishes continually. Later on, the Dravidian culture expanded and became part of civilization in the Indus Valley. Then the Aryans came, and pushed the Dravidians towards the south after which they settled around 1500 BC ultimately. Later on people from Tamil Nadu were bonded through various links of trade with ancient Rome, Greece and Egypt besides popular monuments, and heritage and historical destinations.

 

Best Time To Visit

The weather is nice and pleasant all through the year. Winter is the best time to visit Tamil Nadu to have a fulfilling holiday and enjoying various outdoor activities and sightseeing. To visit the hill stations, summer and spring is the best time.

 

How To Reach

By Road

The road network in Tamil Nadu is extensive. Many coaches that are privately run, taxis and state run bus services are available. A comfortable option is to hire vehicles for covering long journeys in the state.

By Rail

Coimbatore, Chennai, Tiruchirapalli and Madurai are the main railheads. Trains from all over India are available to reach this city. Trains are also available to many of the temple towns in the state.

By Air

There are airports in all the large cities of Tamil Nadu. International flights can be availed from Meenambakkam airport at Chennai. From Colombo, Sri Lanka there are flights to Tiruchirapalli. In Coimbatore and Madurai too there are airports. Outside the main terminus of the airports, auto rickshaws, city airport bus shuttle and taxis are available.

 

Availability Of Hotels And Restaurants

A range of accommodation facilities are available in Tamil Nadu. Larger cities like Kodaikanal, Ooty, Coimbatore and Chennai are big favorites amongst tourists where top end and budget friendly hotels are available. All the convenience, comfort and luxury one is looking for is available at many of the Tamil Nadu hotels. In the temple towns and smaller cities, there may not be all the luxuries available but they are eminently livable at budget and mid rung options. Ashrams, retiring rooms provided by the railways, double room accommodation, dormitories, shared bathroom outfits and two or three star hotels offering comfort are also available.

Great value for money is provided by the tidy and neat affairs provided by the Tamil Nadu hotels that have facilities like air conditioning, cable television, excellent room service, refrigerators, etc. Excellent in-house restaurants and decent room accommodation is available at low costs. A good option is to consider paying guest accommodation and home stays are also promoted by the Tamil Nadu government for tourists planning to stay for a longer period. Popular South Indian food items like uppama, sambar, vada, dosa and idli are served at most restaurants and hotels in Tamil Nadu. Almost all south Indian meals center on a rice dish. Besides this, international and Indian cuisine both is offered at all the hotels here.

 

Best Places, Locations, Monuments

Tamil Nadu is an industrialized state that is popular for its rich traditions of dance, literature and music. The official language of the state is Tamil. During the 1950s it was carved from the old state of Madras. A lot of effort is being put in by the government to protect the Dravidian culture and Tamil language in Tamil Nadu.

Cities to visit in Tamil Nadu are Mahabalipuram, Madurai and Chennai. Brilliant marvels of architecture from the Dravidian period can be seen in Tamil Nadu. History lovers are sure to get attracted to the plethora of ancient temples and monuments. The irresistible charm of the pristine hill stations at Kodaikanal and Ooty can mesmerize almost anyone. Pongal, Deepavali and Kartigai Deepam are the festivals that provide a peep into the mystique and beliefs of the people. A lot of information about the culture followed in Tamil Nadu can be gained while touring the place. Bharatanatyam is a classical dance form that has reached a high level of popularity in Tamil Nadu. Memorable and enjoyable beach holidays can be enjoyed beside beaches like Rameshwaram, Kanyakumari and the Marina Beach, the second longest beach in the world. Tourists hence must set aside time from their busy travel plans to visit the mesmerizing beaches and also visit other exquisite places in Tamil Nadu.

Visitors are left breathless watching the sheer opulence of the artistic expression at the Padmanabhampuram Palace. At Tiruchirappalli is situated a prominent landmark, the Rock Fort Temple. Ancient monuments like the Valluvar Kottam which is in the shape of a temple chariot, the Bharathiyar Illam, Senate House, Vivekananda Illam, Kamaraj Memorial House, Rippon Building and Madras War Cemetery can be seen at Chennai. In Madurai is located the most visited monument in Indo Saracenic style called the Thirumalai Nayak Mahal. Arjuna’s Penance in stone and the largest bas-relief in the world can be visited in Mahabalipuram in Tamil Nadu.

Tanjavur Palace is also the main attraction in Tanjavur. The Sivaganga Palace infused with the beautiful Rajputana arts and the oldest English fort called St. George’s fort which is located on India’s eastern coast, is also worth a visit. Customized tour packages are offered by a number of tour operators for capturing the charming beauty of this incredible temple city. The TTDC – Tamil Nadu Tourism Development Corporation offer various travel plans to help tourists enjoy their best time in the state.