TAMILNADU TOURIST PLACES LIST– One of the most popular states for tourists to visit, Tamil Nadu combines a sophisticated ancient history with natural beauty and sandy beaches. It’s little wonder it is one of the most appealing travel destinations in Asia!
TAMILNADU TOURIST PLACES LIST
Chennai– The former centre of the Madras Presidency, Chennai is the largest city in Tamil Nadu and the fourth largest in India. As a centre of the British Raj, it has tons of British architecture giving a unique flavour to the city, although it has a short history going back only to the 17th century and as such does not offer as many historical sites as older Indian cities. Nevertheless, it has many clubs and museums and is nearby the famous historical sites of Mahabalipuram and Kanchipuram.
Marina Beach– Marina Beach is one of the longest beaches in the world. It is in remarkably good condition, especially considering it is in Chennai city itself, and is a popular tourist attraction, with most tourists in Chennai coming to the beach to spend a day in the sun. The beach has many excellent restaurants lining it, and many local fishermen come out here during the day.
On par with Grand Central Station in New York in terms of fame, it is one of the major landmarks of the city and is recognizable by most Indians as a symbol of Chennai. It was built by Henry Irwin during the British Raj, and earned a special place in the history of South India as the departure point for anyone travelling from the north to the south, garnering the moniker “Gateway of the South” for its instrumental role in the migrations.
Mahabalipuram– Nearby Chennai is the UNESCO World Heritage Site Mahabalipuram, a shore temple regarded as one of the finest extant examples of rock-cut architecture in India. The main temple, Thirukadalmallai, is dedicated to its patron Lord Vishnu and was built by a Pallava king hundreds of years ago. Legend had it that the time prevented the sea from engulfing the dozens of other structures at the site. Recently, some evidence has been discovered showing there was once an ancient city near the sea that has been consumed, suggesting that though the temple may have saved the sites behind it, the ones in front were not as fortunate!
Kanchipuram– Kanchipuram is a city of temples nearby chennai and is widely considered as having some of the finest examples of Pallava architecture. Though there are many temples here, the most famous are the Varadharaja Perumal and Ekambaranatha Temples, which continue to attract hundreds of thousands of pilgrims each year, as well as many intrigued tourists.
Coimbatore– A relatively modern city by Tamil standards, Coimbatore only arose recently as a provincial city of Mysore and later the British. Now the second largest city in the state, Coimbatore, while not having many sites of historical interest, is in the Western Ghats and is nearby some of the most spectacular nature in Southern India. Anyone visiting the city should take a day trip to the neighbouring hills and explore the mountains.
Madurai– A city with a history going back over 2500 years, Madurai was, until quite recently, the centre of Tamil Nadu and arguably still the cultural engine of the state. It is famous worldwide for its temples, which tower over its skyline, and is nowadays the third largest city in Tamil Nadu.
Meenakshi Temple Complex– In the heart of Madurai is the Meenakshi Amman Temple, lending the city its unique skyline of 12 towering gopurams, or temple towers. The temple has existed in one form or another for thousands of years, though its current incarnation was built in the 1600s. It is one of the most popular draws in the city and attracts millions of people.
Kodaikanal– Very close to Madurai is Kodaikanal, a beautiful hill station known as the “princess of Hills.” It is in the foothills of the Western Ghats and is an immaculate and peaceful retreat from the tropical climes of sea-level Tamil Nadu.
Periyar National Park
A tiger reserve and national park near Madurai, Periyar is reachable in a couple of hours drive from Madurai and features some amazing wildlife such as the tigers it was established to protect, many deer and bird species, wild dogs, elephants, and mountain goats. It is also a botanist’s paradise, with many flower and tree species here, some found nowhere else.
One of the seven holiest cities of Hinduism, Rameswaram is a major pilgrimage centre because it is said to be where Lord Rama rescued Sita by building a massive bridge to Sri Lanka. Moreover, pilgrimages to Varanasi are incomplete without a trip here. Even for non-religious tourists, the temple here is a wonder of architecture not to be missed.
TAMILNADU TOURIST PLACES LIST
Brihadishwara Temple– A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Brihadishwara Temple is among the largest temples in India and is one of the greatest architectural wonders of the world. About 18 stories in height, the temple is made of granite, imported from miles away, and was built by the Chola kings over a thousand years ago. The temple defies the imagination, as any observer is immediately struck by the realization that to build such a monument would be almost impossible without modern technology. Nevertheless, the temple towers over the town of Thanjavur and is perhaps the greatest tourist draw in Tamil Nadu. An absolute must-see.
Second, only to Brihadishwara Temple in grandeur, Gangaikonda Cholapuram was the former capital of the powerful Chola kings, and the temple here is, like its nearby bigger sister, a truly breathtaking work of art. The city has many fortifications, with its walls and gates remaining after many ages of history. It is worth the trip.
Darasuram is a small temple town famous for the large and magnificent temples here. There are many awe-inspiring sculptures here that dazzle the senses with their intricacy. Many consider these to be even finer than the more famous temples in the region due to the painstaking detail in the temple reliefs.
TAMILNADU TOURIST PLACES LIST
Tamil Nadu history
Tamil Nadu has one of the oldest histories in the world and is home the oldest surviving civilization on Earth. The Tamil language has existed since antiquity and is comparable to Sanskrit or Latin in its historical significance. It’s the earliest history goes back before records were made, with archaeological excavations indicating it has been inhabited for tens of thousands of years. The Chera dynasty was the first major kingdom in Tamil Nadu, although this was destroyed by invaders, plummeting the Tamil civilization into three hundreds years of the dark ages. The Pallavas came next, ruling the area for a century and a half and leaving their mark in the form of many temples, of which Kanchipuram is a premier example. The Pandyas followed in succession, ruling out of Madurai and developing a sophisticated culture in the city By far the most powerful of the Tamil Kingdoms were the Cholas, who expanded far beyond Tamil country up north into Bengal and even ruling parts of Thailand and Indonesia at their height. The legendary Brihadeshwara Temple was built by them, a testament to the immense power of the kings in their heyday. When the Cholas finally collapsed around the year 1000, the Pandyas returned to power briefly before Muslims invaded and created the Madurai Sutanate. After this, the Vijayanagara Empire conquered and controlled Tamil Nadu, ruling it for three hundred years. Europeans arrived in the area and set up colonies around Pondicherry, among other places, starting the long process of European domination. The British Empire eventually ruled the area, with Madras (Chennai) being the political centre of British rule in southern India. When Independence came, Tamil Nadu became its own state. Most people in the state are Tamil and speak Tamil, although Telugu, Kannada, and Malayalam, the languages of neighbouring states, are spoken on the frontiers. Most Tamils are Hindu, but there is a significant minority of Christians and Muslims. The Tamils are rightly proud of their history and culture, one of the oldest in the world with an astoundingly vast reserve of literature and art. The many sites in the city attest to this ancient civilization, and it is no surprise that so many millions of tourists visit each year!