Tamil Nadu is the southernmost state in India and it is home to a range of attractive tourist destinations. Tamil Nadu tourist destinations include but not limited to picturesque valleys, stunning beaches, tranquil hill stations, wildlife parks, gorgeous temples, and scenic mountains.
Places to See in Tamil Nadu
Vellankanni is a small hamlet on the shores of Bay of Bengal. It lies at a distance of 14 kms from Nagapattinam in Tamil Nadu. The sacred Basilica of Our Lady of Health, situated here, is one of the most important Christian Pilgrimages in India. It draws pilgrims from all over the world irrespective of caste and creed. The awesome building is adorned with Gothic style architecture and is a marvel in itself. Mysteries and miracle-stories are common here and the church is held in high-esteem for its wish-fulfilling power. The sidewalls are beautifully decorated with biblical incidents. What is more peculiar is that, pilgrims here follow many Hindu ways of offering which includes tonsuring of heads and ear-boring.
Also known as Thirumaraikkadu, Vedranyam had been witness to C. Rajagopalachari's Salt March and Gandhiji's Dandi March. At a distance of 55 kms from Nagapattinam it also houses Shri Vedaranyeswarar Temple.
66 kms from Nagapattinam and 11 kms south of Vedaranyam is the popular seaside town of Kodikkarai. Better known as Point Calimere, it has a wild life sanctuary for animals and Bivats sanctuary for migrating birds. The birds are known to travel from as far as Russia, Siberia, Iran, Australia and the Himalayas. Species include the flamingos, ibises, herons, spoonbills, woodcock, hornbills, storks, willow warbler, wagtail and the wild duck. The lighthouse is reminiscent of the Chola period, and popular belief says there is also a foot print of Lord Rama called Ramar patham.
Thirunallar, located at a distance of 5 kms from Karaikkal, is the seat of Lord Saneeswara.
The history of Thirunelveli or Nellai in Tamil Nadu dates back to 2000 year old. Thirunelveli lies on the western bank of the Tamraparni river. Once the capital of the Pandyas, the city is named after the Kanthimathi Nellaiyappar Shiva temple.
A National Tiger Reserve from 1988 onwards, Mundanthurai-Kalakad wildlife sanctuary stretches over an area of 817 sq. km. Road access is from Ambasamudaram (20km) and Kalakad (15 km).Predators other than the tigers include panthers, jungle cats, civets, dholes, jackals and striped hyenas. It is a safe haven for the endangered species like Nilgiri tahr, Malabar giant squirrel, sloth bear, Indian bison, Indian elephant, mouse deer and pangolin. Poisonous reptiles, amphibians and a large variety of birds are also found in the sanctuary. Trekkers have the choice of 24 different nature walks for exciting adventures. The Tiger Reserve is open all through the year for tourists between 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mundanthurai and Thalayanai Forest Rest Houses provide accommodation for the tourists.
District Science Centre
Koonthankulam Bird Sanctuary
A popular Bird Sanctuary in the far south of Thirunelveli, this place is fast developing as a haven for migratory birds. Winters here see around 35 various species of birds.
A picturesque health resort near Thirunelveli, here the western ghats form the beauteous backdrop. Courtallam is known for its gorgeous waterfall that divides itself into further eight forceful falls and is perfect for bathing all day through. The water is said to have therapeutic qualities and cures rheumatic joints, chronic headache and nerve disorder on regular use.
Swamy Nellaiappar-Kanthimathi Ambal Temple
The Swamy Nellaiappar-Kanthimathi Ambal Temple's musical pillars in Mani Mandapam produce sweet sound when struck. The thousand pillared Somavara Mandapam, Vasantha Mandapam and the beautiful carvings in Tamra Sabha dates back to 700 AD.
Thiruchirappalli was built by the Nayaks of Madurai on the banks of the serene Cauvery river. Spread over an area of 146.90 sq.kms, Thiruchirappalli was under the stronghold of the early Cholas and then to the Pallavas. Lovingly called Trichy, this ancient city is famous for its architectural marvels. This bustling city of Tamil Nadu is famous for colorful glass bangles, artificial diamonds, cigars, handloom cloth, and wooden and clay toys.
The Rock Fort is perched atop an abrupt massive rock formation within the town and is 83m high. The rock dates back to 3.800 million years and is in itself a marvel. The main tourist attraction is, however, the temple inside rather than the fort itself. The Uchipillaiyar Koil temple dedicated to Lord Vinayaka offers a spectacular view of Thiruchirappalli. Amidst the ruins, a climb of 344 steps takes you to inscriptions of 3rd century B.C.
Lying in a 600 acre island, 7 kms from Thiruchirappalli, is one the most important pilgrimages of India. Wedged between the Cauveri river on one side and its tributary Kollidam on the other, the whole of the Srirangam town is enclosed within the seven walls of the massive Sriranganathaswami Temple. There are 21 gopurams, among which Rajagopuram is the largest one and is a spectacle to behold from miles away.
Thiruvanaikkaval Or Jambukeswarar Temple
Situated near Srirangam, this calm and serene Siva temple is known especially for its excellent architectural grandeur. Under an ancient Jumbu tree, the lingam here is partially submerged by water representing God-incarnate as Water.
Theni in Southern Tamil Nadu is a favored tourist spot and is known for its serene environment. Enchanting dams, mesmerizing waterfalls and innumerable pilgrim centers amidst the verdant green landscape make Theni very different from the hustle and bustle of busy tourist spots.
The 111 feet Vaigai Dam can store 71 feet of water.14 kms from Theni sylvan surroundings is a popular picnic spot.
Mavoothu Vellappar Temple
The main shrine in Devadanapatti is Kamatchi Amman Temple but the sanctum sanctorum here is never opened. Pujas are offered only to the portals. The Evening Puja lends a beautiful environment with the performance by various musical instruments.
Thanjavur, formerly the Tanjore city of eastern Tamil Nadu, lies in the Kaveri (Cauvery) River delta stretching over an area of 29.24 sq.kms. It served as the seat of power for the Chola (Cola) empire from the 10th to the 14th century and became important during the Vijayanagar, Maratha, and British periods. Known as a centre of learning and culture it is famous for its unique art in bronze, Handicrafts and South Indian Musical Instruments.
Sri Brihadeswara temple
Built by the great Chola King, Raja Raja I in the 10th century AD, Sri Brihadeswara temple is an marvelous example of the Chola architectural grandeur. The awesome 14 storied granite temple rise to a height of 216 feet, the plinth of central shrine being 45.72 sq.m. and the shrine proper measuring 30.48 sq.m. The Vimanam of Sri Brihadeswara temple which rises perpendicularly from a square base to height of 60.96m.and the gold-plated copper Kalasa at the top weighs 339.5 Kilogram. Nandi, the Big Bull, weighing around 20 tonnes, is sculpted out from a single stone and sits exactly opposite to the sanctum sanctorum. Inside this colossal structure of Sri Brihadeswara temple, a 7m. high Sivalinga presides. The temple is adorned with beautiful paintings and suberb sculpture on the inner walls and ceilings.
The beautiful Palace of masonry was built partly by the Nayaks around 1550 AD and partly by the Marathas. Spread over an area of 530 acres it is surrounded by 15 feet high wall. Inside the complex the 190 feet Arsenal tower stands majestically in eight storeys and attracts large number of tourists. Built to a little north of Arsenal Tower in Serginayakas style, the Bell Tower houses the famous Maratha Durbar Hall abounding in exquisite paintings. The Saraswathy Mahal Library offers priceless collection of ancient books and manuscripts while the Art Gallery is enriched by granite, bronze and stone sculptures of the Chola Period. The Sangeet Mahal is a wonder and especially known for it bears mark of the engineering skills of the period which is reflected in its acoustically perfect musical hall. Schwartz Church stands in the Palace Garden.
Thousands attend the annual car festival of the Pookara Street Our Lady of Sorrows Church which is celebrated every year with pomp and gaiety in the third week of September. The Sacred Heart Cathedral Church, St. Peter's Church, Fort Church and the Lutheran Church all stands as testimony to the religious harmony existing in Thanjavur.
The princely state of Pudukkottai is presently a part of the state of Tamil Nadu. The origin of the state dates back to the 17th century. The city is rich in archaeological reminiscent deposited in various part of Pudukkottai. The city also has an abundance of temples, tanks and canals constructed by the various dynasties that ruled Pudukkottai.
Pudukkottai lies at a distance of 390 km from the capital city of Tamil Nadu, Chennai. The region is well connected by railroads and bus routes to other cities in the state. The cultural and religious heritage of the city is visible from the monumental structures and the holy temples that abound the Pudukkottai region.
Sri Bragadhambal Temple
This is one of the oldest temples in South India. The temple is dedicated to the deity Gorkarnesvara. The architecture of the temple is magnificent. The presence of the temple over a long period of time has led to the development of certain special features in the temple.
Meenakshi Sundaresvara Temple
This temple is dedicated to the Goddess Meenakshi and lies close to the Bragadhambal Temple. Near the temple is the Periya-Kulam tank. The southern end of the Periya-Kulam tank lies the shrine which contain figures of the sixteen forms of Lord Ganesa.
Chennai, Tamil Nadu is the fourth largest of the Indian cities. Situated on the east coast, Chennai is considered to be the gateway to the south of India. Chennai, Tamil Nadu was the first major British settlement in India. The city of Chennai is a fascinating blend of tradition and modernity. While the growing and changing exterior presents an increasingly cosmopolitan look, while the city interior remains traditional and religious. The British influence on Chennai can still be noticed because of the presence of the buildings of Indo Saracenic style, wide tree lined avenues and old cathedrals.
This city is a major trade center and is very well connected by road, rail and air to all the important cities of the country. Kamraj National and Anna International Airports are situated about 20 km away from the city, in Tirusulam. The major railway stations of Chennai are Central and Egmore. Chennai is also a major sea port.
Some of the important cities near Chennai are Kancheepuram, Pondicherry, Bangalore, Tirupati, Vellore and Mamallapuram. Very good network of roads connects Chennai of Tamil Nadu to these cities.
Monuments in Tamil Nadu
There is a range of historic monuments in the state and they are as follows:
- Bharathiyar Illam
- Madras War Cemetery
- Kamaraj Memorial House
- Rippon Building
- Senate House Chennai
- Valluvar Kottam Chennai
- Vivekananda Illam Chennai
- Tanjavur Palace Tanjore
- Rock Fort Temple Tiruchirappalli Ayantika
- Padmanabhapuram Palace Kanyakumari
- Sivaganga Palace
Hill Stations in Tamil Nadu
The state is famous for the following hill stations:
- Kotagiri Hill Station
- Yercaud Hill Station
- Udagamandalam Hill Station
- Yelagiri Hill Station
- Ooty Hill Station
- Kodaikanal Hill Station
Last Updated on : May 30, 2015
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