The Top 10 Tourist Places in Tamil Nadu

Top 10 Tourist Places Tamil Nadu

Tamil Nadu, situated at the southern-most end of India holds a vibrant and colorful history dating back to thousands of years. The state once ruled by the Chera, Chola and Pandya empires contributed to its ethnic and unique culture and literature wealth. This Dravidian state boasts of its remarkable culture, spread across the state in the form of alluring temples, jaw dropping sculptures and carvings, enormous gateways, dance and art forms, the speculating architecture equaled by its spectacular wildlife, waterfalls, forests, hill stations, beaches etc. that can make any living being breathless and inspiring.

This urbanized state stands at 11th position amongst other 29 Indian states in terms of territorial abundance and holds sixth place for its ubiquitous population. Witness the miracle where the Western Ghat and Eastern Ghat mountain ranges meet at Nilgiri hills in Tamil Nadu. Also be spectator to the wonder where the three oceans; Bay of Bengal, Arabian Sea and the Indian Ocean meet at one point in Kanyakumari. When in Tamil Nadu make sure that you visit the places listed below are Top 10 Tourist Places Tamil Nadu:

chennai photo

chennai

Photo Credit : Dr. Mithun James

1. Chennai – Fondly called by many as ‘Madras’ earlier is the capital city of Tamil Nadu and the gateway to the South. A charming and welcoming city open to developments both modern and traditional is embraced by many. This metropolis is well connected by road, rail and air to all parts of India and is best known for beaches, malls, parks, forts, cultural centres, museums, Anglo-Indian architecture, Portuguese-style churches, amusement parks, festivals and shopping destinations. Marina beach, Besant nagar beach, Fort St. George, Santhome Cathedral, Victory War Memorial, Vivekananda House, Covelong beach, Yelagiri hills, Veilankanni church are some of the famous places to visit in Chennai.

 

mamallapuram photo

Mamallapuram

Photo Credit : Pancha Rathas

2. Mamallapuram – Also known as the city of Mahabalipuram is a prominent sea port dating back to the times of the Pallava. The city is a UNESCO recognized world heritage site showcasing the brilliance of Dravidian architecture through monuments and intricate carvings. The temple art, unique and mighty in all its forms carved on rocks will leave the spectator gaping on this incredible creation witch etch out tales from the Mahabharata. Located 60 kms from Chennai and on the coastal area, covering a terrain of just 8 sq.km. and observing a tropical climate, Mamallapuram will engulf you in its beauty, harmony and serenity. The Shore temple, Mamallapuram beach, Five Rathas and Arjuna’s Penance are all sights which should not be missed out while at Mamallapuram.

kanchipuram photo

kanchipuram

Photo Credit : PROLuca Penati

 

3. Kanchipuram – A prominent pilgrim centre for all religions especially Hindus is located on the shores of Vegavathy river and 80 kms away from Chennai. Kanchipuram widely known as the “City of Thousand Temples” and once the capital of the Pallava kingdom and an important place for learning is considered one among the seven holy destinations in India. The land of temples now reduced to just a hundreds, worship both lord Shiva and Vishnu built during the era of different kings and remain unique and true for its Dravidian style architectural brilliance. Kanchipuram is now famously known for its thriving handloom industry producing hand-woven silk saris which the women so graciously drape and dress around for social functions and ceremonies. The weavers who have taken up the occupation since hundreds of years ago have settled near the temples producing some of the finest silk and cotton saris of vibrant colours and designs from pure mulberry silk.

pondicherryy photo

pondicherry

Photo Credit : Arvind Thampi

4. Pondicherry – Also known as Puducherry is a separate Union Territory (U.T.) lying on the cost of Bay of Bengal in the state of Tamil Nadu. The former 18th century French colony still preserves its remnant flavours in the form of cathedrals, bungalows, villas in French style of architecture making you want to double check if you are really in a French province or not. The beautiful and shady streets, sandy beaches, famous monuments and churches will leave you relaxed, imbibing the French culture. Sri Aurbindo Ashram, the French Quarter and the Promenade, Auroville etc. are all visited by thousands every year.

oty photo

ooty

Photo Credit : Dibesh Thakuri

5. Ooty – Ooty also known as Udhagamandalam is the “Queen of Hill stations”, a pleasant chilly getaway from the scorching summer heat of Tamil Nadu. In the 19th century, the British established Ooty as the summer headquarters of the state. This green and picturesque popular hill station is a blessed with varied fauna and flora mainly tea and coffee plantations, eucalyptus, pine, conifers etc. April to June and September to November experience winter climate recording a temperature as low as 5 degree Celsius and high as 20 degree Celsius. You may also engage yourself in a long blossoming walk in and around the Botanical Gardens, boating on the lake, climbing the Dodabetta peak, picnic spots, visit the Coonoor and Kottagiri hill stations and witness the Nilgiri hills, a UNESCO recognized Biosphere Reserve.

tanjore photo

Tanjore

Photo Credit : Girish Gopi

6. Tanjore – Also known under the name Tanjavur, Tanjore was under the ruling regime of the Chola dynasty between the 9th and 14th century AD. Also known as the ‘Ricebowl’ of Tamil Nadu, the Chola’s built more than 70 temples out of which the outstanding one is the magnificent Brihadeswara Temple also known as the Big Temple, the tallest temple in South India. This edifice is an architectural brilliance constructed merely of stone and rises 60 meters from the ground and does not lay its shadows on the ground any time of the day. Tanjore is also famous for paintings, art galore, library, the Royal Palace, handicrafts, carvings, musical instruments etc.

madurai photo

madurai

Photo Credit : McKay Savage

7. Madurai – 450 kms away from Chennai stands this ancient city, which is over thousands of years old. The city holds great historical, cultural and religious importance for which it stands second after Chennai in attracting more tourists. One of India’s own temple towns, Madurai famously hosts the Sri Meenakshi Amman temple, a popular pilgrim spot visited by thousands which finds its place in ancient scripts. The temple is a spectacle in itself with 1000 pillar halls, 14 towers, 27 different temples, all adorned by alluring paintings, architecture and sculptures. The city was famous for its poets, critics and scholars since centuries and is now a commercial city and industrial city known for weaving mills and dyeing, handicrafts, brassware, wooden toys etc.

kanyakumari photo

kanyakumari

Photo Credit : Mehul Antani

8. Kanyakumari – Formerly known as Cape Comorin, Kanyakumari is the southernmost tip of India where the Bay of Bengal, Indian Ocean and Arabian Sea meets. 705 kms from Chennai, once you reach Kanyakumari, you will never miss the gigantic and towering statue of Thiruvalluvar, tamil poet located amidst the sea on a rocky island.On a full moon night in April, you can watch the magical spectacle of the sun setting and the moon rising at the same time over the ocean. The city also boasts of beautiful beaches, temples of Dravidian style architecture, monuments and cultural centres along with the famous Swami Vivekananda Memorial and Gandhi Memorial which are a must watch.

rameshwaram photo

Rameshwaram

Photo Credit : Puneet Sahalot

9. Rameshwaram – Travel 572 kms from Chennai and you will reach one of the holy and serene pilgrim place in India, Rameshwaram a small island situated in the Gulf of Mannar. Rameshwaram has its roots connected to the tales of Rama in Mahabharata, with over 22 theerthas or wells, believers from all over India take the holy snaan or bath to relieve themselves of their sins by praying to Lord Shiva. The Ramanathaswamy temple which began construction in 12th century ended in 19th century and has the longest corridor in India measuring an extensive 1,220 m adorned with beautiful sculptures and carvings on pillars, walls and ceilings. The Kothandaramaswamy temple situated on the shore of Dhanushkodi which survived the 1964 cyclone is visited by thousands every year. Beaches like Olaikuda and Pamban is a refreshing picnic spot for swimming and scuba diving with coral reefs in abundance.

thiruvannamalai photo

Thiruvannamalai

Photo Credit : Arun

10. Thiruvannamalai – Located at the foot of a hill, Thiruvannamalai is 185 kms away from Chennai and an important pilgrim centre. Lord Shiva is worshipped here in the form of five elements of nature; earth, water, wind, fire and ether in five different temples. The Arunachaleshwar temple, where Shiva is worshipped in the form of fire is the biggest temple in India dedicated to Lord Shiva with the gopuram standing 66 metres tall on the foot of the sacred Annamalai or Arunachala hills. The temple will leave you mesmerized by its architectural style, sculptures, carvings and pillars used to build the various features of the temple. The holy mountain called Mount Arunachala is believed to be the most silent place on earth as it has the ability to bring the mind to peace.

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