Tamilnadu Tourism | Tamil Nadu Tourism

Tamilnadu Tourism | Tamil Nadu Tourism

About Tamilnadu:

Tamil Nadu is one of the 28 states of India. Its capital and largest city is Chennai. Tamil Nadu lies in the southernmost part of the Indian Peninsula and is bordered by the union territory of Puducherry, and the states of Kerala, Karnataka, and Andhra Pradesh. It is bound by the Eastern Ghats in the north, the Nilgiri, the Anamalai Hills, and Palakkad on the west, by the Bay of Bengal in the east, the Gulf of Mannar, the Palk Strait in the south east, and by the Indian Ocean in the south.

Tamil Nadu is the eleventh largest state in India by area (about the size of Greece) and the seventh most populous state. It is the fifth largest contributor to India's GDP and ranks tenth in Human Development Index as of 2006. Tamil Nadu is also the most urbanised state in India. The state has the highest number (10.56%) of business enterprises and stands second in total employment (9.97%) in India, compared to the population share of about 6%.

The region has been the home of the Tamil people since at least 500 BCE. Its official language Tamil has been in use in inscriptions and literature for over 2000 years. Tamil Nadu is home to many natural resources, grand Hindu temples of Dravidian architecture, hill stations, beach resorts, multi-religious pilgrimage sites and eight UNESCO World Heritage Sites

Tamil Nadu Geography:

Tamil Nadu covers an area of 130,058 square kilometres (50,216 sq mi), and is the eleventh largest state in India. The bordering states are Kerala to the west, Karnataka to the northwest and Andhra Pradesh to the north. To the east is the Bay of Bengal and the union territory of Puducherry. The southernmost tip of the Indian Peninsula is located in Tamil Nadu. At this point is the town of Kanyakumari which is the meeting point of the Arabian Sea, the Bay of Bengal, and the Indian Ocean.

The western, southern and the north-western parts are hilly and rich in vegetation. Tamil Nadu is the only state in India which has both the Western Ghats and the Eastern Ghats and they both meet at the Nilgiri hills. The Western Ghats dominate the entire western border with Kerala, effectively blocking much of the rain bearing clouds of the South West Monsoon from entering the state. The eastern parts are fertile coastal plains and the northern parts are a mix of hills and plains. The central and the south central regions are arid plains and receive less rainfall than the other regions.

Tamil Nadu has a coastline of about 910 kilometres (600 mi) which is the country’s third longest coastline. Tamil Nadu's coastline bore the brunt of the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami when it hit India, which caused 7,793 direct deaths in the state. Tamil Nadu falls mostly in a region of low seismic hazard with the exception of the western border areas that lie in a low to moderate hazard zone; as per the 2002 Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) map, Tamil Nadu falls in Zones II & III. Historically, parts of this region have experienced seismic activity in the M5.0 range.

Tamil Nadu Weather:

Tamil Nadu is heavily dependent on monsoon rains, and thereby is prone to droughts when the monsoons fail. The climate of the state ranges from dry sub-humid to semi-arid. The state has three distinct periods of rainfall:

  • advancing monsoon period, South West monsoon from June to September, with strong southwest winds;
  • North East monsoon from October to December, with dominant northeast winds;
  • dry season from January to May.

The normal annual rainfall of the state is about 945 mm (37.2 in) of which 48% is through the North East monsoon, and 32% through the South West monsoon. Since the state is entirely dependent on rains for recharging its water resources, monsoon failures lead to acute water scarcity and severe drought.

Tamil Nadu is classified into seven agro-climatic zones: north-east, north-west, west, southern, high rainfall, high altitude hilly, and Cauvery Delta (the most fertile agricultural zone). The table below shows the maximum and minimum temperatures that the state experiences in the plains and hills.

Tamilnadu District:

The 32 districts of Tamil Nadu are listed below with the numbers corresponding to those in the image at right.

  1. Ariyalur District
  2. Chennai District
  3. Coimbatore District
  4. Cuddalore District
  5. Dharmapuri District
  6. Dindigul District
  7. Erode District
  8. Kanchipuram District
  9. Kanyakumari District
  10. Karur District
  11. Krishnagiri District
  12. Madurai District
  13. Nagapattinam District
  14. Namakkal District
  15. Nilgiris District
  16. Perambalur District
  17. Pudukkottai District
  18. Ramanathapuram District
  19. Salem District
  20. Sivagangai District
  21. Thanjavur District
  22. Theni District
  23. Thoothukudi District
  24. Thiruchirapalli District
  25. Thirunelveli District
  26. Thirupur district
  27. Thiruvallur District
  28. Thiruvannamalai District
  29. Thiruvarur District
  30. Vellore District
  31. Viluppuram District
  32. Virudhunagar District

Tamilnadu Tourism:

Temples in Tamilnadu:

Tamil Nadu is known as : Land of Temples. Nearly 33000 ancient temples - many at least 600 to 800 years old, scattered all over the land. Studded with complex architecture, variety of sculptures, & rich inscriptions - capture the very essence of the culture & heritage of Tamil land, historically more than 2000 years old.

Temples of Tamil Nadu can be categorized as below:

  • Temples of Sangam Age
  • Temples of Thevaram Hymns
  • Temples of Divya Prabhantham Hymns
  • Cave Temples of the Pallavas
  • Cave Temples of Pandiyas
  • Rockcut Monolith Temples of the Pallavas
  • Rockcut Monolith Temples of the Pandiyas
  • Structural Temples of the Pallavas
  • Structural Temples of the Pandiyas
  • Structural Temples of the Cholas
  • Structural Temples of Vijayanagar / Nayaks

Following is a list of such ancient temples, with an indication on when and by whom they were built.

Cave Temples of Pandiyas:

  • Kandan Kudaivarai - Muruga Temple, Madurai- Period:Pandiya
  • Seevaramudaiyar Kudaivarai - Shiva Temple, Pudukkottai- Period:Pandiya
  • Pathinen Bhoomi Vinnagaram - Pazhiyili Iswaram - Naarthamalai, Pudukkottai - Period:Muttaraiya

Rockcut Monolith Temples of Pallavas:

Adyantha Kaamam - Dharmaraja Ratha, Mamallapuram - Period:Pallava

Structural Temples of Pallavas:

Kailasanatha Temple - Thiruppattur, Tiruchi Dt - Period:Pallava

Structural Temples of Cholas:

  • Srirangam Temple, Trichy
  • Srirangam Temple, Vaikunda Ekadasi
  • Raajarajeswaram - Brihadeeswarar Temple or Big Temple, Thanjavur - Period:Chola
  • Thayinum Nalla Iswaram - Aaragalur - Period:Chola
  • Raajasimmeswaram / Kshatriya Simmeswaram - Shore Temples, Mamallapuram - Period:Pallava
  • Vijayalaya Choleeswaram - Naarthamalai, Pudukkottai - Period:Muttaraiyar
  • Valanchuzhi Complex - Thiruvalanchuzhi, Kumbakonam - Period:Chola
  • Thiruvalithayam - Padi, Chennai - Period:Chola
  • Apradeeswara Temple- Nagar, Lalgudi - Period:Chola
  • Melakadambur - period: chola

See also:

  • Annamalaiyar Temple, Thiruvannamalai
  • Chidambaram Temple, Chidambaram
  • Ekambareswarar Temple, Kanchipuram
  • Erode Fort, Erode
  • Kailasanathar Temple, Kanchipuram
  • Kamakshi Amman Temple, Kanchipuram
  • Kapaleeshwarar Temple, Mylapore, Chennai
  • Karpaka Vinayakar Temple, Pillayarpatti, Karaikkudi
  • Meenakshi Amman Temple, Madurai
  • Palani Murugan temple, Palani
  • Ramanathaswamy Temple, Rameswaram
  • Rockfort Ucchi Pillayar Temple, a complex of 3 temples in Tiruchirappalli
  • Sangameswarar Temple, Bhavani, Erode
  • Six Abodes of Lord Muruga
  • Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple, Srirangam
  • Swamithope Pathi, Swamithoppe
  • Temples of Kumbakonam
  • Temples of Tirunelveli
  • Thiruchendur Murugan Temple, Thiruchendur
  • Thiruppandikodumudi, on the banks of Cauvery, near Erode
  • Thirupparamkunram Murugan Temple
  • Varadharaja Perumal Temple, Kanchipuram

Tourist Places in Tamilnadu:

Tamil Nadu is a state in Southern India. Its tourism industry, centered around Hindu temples, wild life sanctuaries, hill stations and waterfalls is the second largest in India, with an annual growth rate of 16%. It has an extensive tourism industry. Tourism in Tamil Nadu is promoted by Tamil Nadu Tourism Development Corporation (TTDC), an organisation run by the Government of Tamil Nadu. The tagline adopted for promoting tourism in Tamil Nadu is Enchanting Tamil Nadu. Approximately 1,753,000 foreign and 50,647,000 domestic tourists visited the state in 2007. Along with the neighbouring Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu draws the maximum number of tourists in India.


Located on the shore of Bay of Bengal, Chennai is known for its Vegetarian cuisine,Beaches, Carnatic music,Bharata Natyam dance and country's largest Shopping locality and World's largest Gold and diamond shop.

Medical tourism:

This city houses Asia's largest hospitals which has recently spurred a new wave of medical tourism. World class medical surgeries provided at a fraction of cost when compared with USA and Europe.

Land of temples:

Tamil Nadu has the credit of having 34000 Hindu temples which are several centuries Old.

UNESCO heritage sites:

Temples in Thanjavur, Darasuram, Gangaikonda Cholapuram and Mahabalipuram, have been declared as UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Kumbakonam and Chidambaram:

Navagraha temples devoted to the nine celestial bodies of Hindu astronomy is situated in Kumbakonam. There are around 188 Hindu temples within the municipal limits of Kumbakonam. Apart from these, there several thousand temples around the town thereby giving the town the sobriquets temple town and City of temples. Chidambaram Temple is dedicated to Aether and Lord Shiva.

Srirangam temple:

Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple, a major pilgrimage destination for Hindus (especially Vaishnavites) is the biggest functioning Hindu temple in the world (156 Acres). Srirangam temple tower with height measuring 196 ft is the tallest Hindu temple tower in the world. The base of the main tower (Gopuram) is built using 32500 sq.ft. land. Srirangam temple is located in a island formed by river cauvery.


Ardhanareeswarar temple in Tiruchengode in western Tamil Nadu is the only temple that enshrines Ardhanareeswarar in India.Sculpture works are extraordinary in this temple.

Murugan temples:

Temples dedicated for Lord Murugar (also called as Kandhan, Kadamban, Kathirvelan, Kumaran, Murugan) are in many numbers in Tamil Nadu. Aaru-padai (6 battle camps) Veetukal for Lord Murugan is spread across Tamil Nadu and they are located in Thiruparankundram near Madurai, Pazamuthir Cholai near Madurai, Thiruthani near Chennai, Palani near Madurai, Swamimalai near Kumbakonam and Thiruchendur near Tuticorin. The first four Padai Veedukal are located on hill tops while the fifth one is on the river bank and the sixth on sea shore.

Madurai and Rameshwaram:

Lord Raman is believed to have prayed to Shivan in Rameshwaram to absolve any sins that he might have committed during his war against the demon king Ravanan. The temple is one of the holiest Hindu Char Dham shrines that has to be visited in one's lifetime and this island Temple is connected by Pamban Bridge over the sea for 2.3 km. Madurai Meenakshi Amman Temple whose history dates back to 2000 years has been awarded the Title of 7 wonders in India by NDTV.


Kanchipuram (75 km from Chennai) is one of the seven holy cities in the country, and a visit is believed to bestow salvation. Kanchipuram once had over a thousand temples. There now remain about 126 temples in Kanchi and a few more in its outskirts. The city was the capital of the early Cholas and it was the Pallava capital between the 6th and 8th centuries.

Thiruvannamalai and Vellore:

In Arunachaleshwara Temple of Thiruvannamalai, Siva is worshipped in the form of fire. The earliest known record of the temple is in the works of the poet Nakkirar of the third Tamil Sangam period which dates the temple's origins back at least 2000 years. The golden temple of Sripuram is a modern day Spiritual park.

Archaeological sites in Tamil Nadu:

Adichanallur in Tirunelveli District, Kuadam in Thoothukudi district, Sembiyankandiyur in Nagapattinam district are other sites which are evidence for human civilization existence in the state dating back to several thousand years. Thiruvakkarai near Mailam has the country's first National Fossil-Wood Park with petrified trees lying scattered on low mounds date a 100 million years. Poompuhar was the port capital of Chola Kings.

Hill stations in Tamil Nadu:

Tamil Nadu is also home to many hill stations. Popular among them are Udhagamandalam (Ooty), Kodaikanal, Yercaud, Coonoor, Topslip, Valparai, Kolli Hills, Yelagiri and Sirumalai. The Nilgiri hills, Palani hills, Shevaroy hills and Cardamom hills are all abodes of thick forests and wildlife.


Ooty, situated in the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve is the most popular Hill station in South India The Nilgiri Mountain Railway (NMR)which connects Mettupalayam and Udagamandalam (Ootacamund) is a UNESCO Heritage Site. It provides a scenic view of Nilgiri Hills.


Kodaikanal means "The Gift of the Forest". Kodaikanal was established in 1845 as a refuge from the high temperatures.

Kolli Hills:

Kolli Hills or Kolli Malai is a small mountain range located in central Tamil Nadu in Namakkal district of India. The mountains are about 1000 to 1300 m in height and cover an area of approximately 280 km². The Kolli Hills has 70 hair pin bends to reach the top of the hills. The Kolli Hills are part of the Eastern Ghats, which is a mountain range that runs mostly parallel to the east coast of South India. The mountains are relatively untouched by commercial tourism and still retain their natural beauty.


Yercaud is in the Shevaroys) hills of Salem District. It is at an altitude of 1515 metres (4969 ft) above the mean sea level. The stone-age implements were found from the ancient shrine located near the Pagoda Point, which is about 5 km from the Yercaud lake. There are accounts of coffee plantations being introduced by a British officer in the area in the second decade of the 19th century.The cool climate attracted Christian missionaries and they established reputed convent schools in the state.


Valparai in Coimbatore district is located 3,500 feet (1,100 m) above sea level on the Anaimalai Hills range of the Western Ghats.While major portions are owned by private tea companies, large forest areas continue to be out of bounds to tourists.

Yelagiri Hill:

Yelagiri near Vellore comprises 14 small villages. The tribal people who live here are engaged in agriculture, horticulture, forestry, etc. Their customs, habits, and the structure of their houses are unique and attract tourists.

Kalvarayan Hills:

Kalvarayan Hills are situated 10 km north of Attur, and spread over an area of 600 km2. There is a botanical garden on these hills. These hills also have two waterfalls. The area is ideal for those interested in trekking. A summer festival is also held in the month of May every year.

Javadu Hills:

Javadu Hills is situated in the northwestern part of Thiruvannamalai, and a part of the Eastern Ghats. The beautiful mountain lies at about 2,350 feet (720 m) to 3,500 feet (1,100 m) above sea level. The cliffs and precipices of hills allure and excite tourists. Places of interest in the Javadu hills are Beema Falls, Komutteri Lake, Kavalur Observatory,Amirthi Forest, and the Glass House.

Tamilnadu Forests:

The mangrove forests in Pichavaram is the second largest mangrove forest in the world, located near Chidambaram. Mukurthi National Park & Kalakkad Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve are the two tiger reserves in the state. Tamil Nadu has many National Parks, Biosphere Reserves, Wildlife Sanctuaries, Elephant and Bird Sanctuaries, Reserved Forests, Zoos and Crocodile farms. Prominent among them are Mudumalai National Park, The Gulf of Mannar Biosphere Reserve, Indira Gandhi Wildlife Sanctuary and National Park, Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary and Arignar Anna Zoological Park.

The Mudumalai National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary, now also declared a Tiger Reserve, lies on the northwestern side of the Nilgiri Hills (Blue Mountains), in Nilgiri District, about 160 km (99 mi) north-west of Coimbatore in the westernmost part of Tamil Nadu, on the interstate boundaries with Karnataka and Kerala states in South India. Mudumalai, which means 'first hills’, is one of the first wildlife sanctuaries established in India. The sanctuary is divided into 5 ranges - Masinagudi, Thepakadu, Mudumalai, Kargudi and Nellakota.

Back Waters in Tamil Nadu:

Pulicat Lake is the second largest brackish – water lake or lagoon in India. It straddles the border of Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh states on the Coromandal Coast in South India. The lake encompasses the Pulicat Lake Bird Sanctuary. The barrier island of Sriharikota separates the lake from the Bay of Bengal. The island is home to the Satish Dhawan Space Centre. Pichavaram is the second largest Mangrove forest in the world, near the temple town of Chidambaram, is one of the unique Eco-tourism spots.

Water falls in Tamilnadu:

There are many waterfalls in Tamil Nadu that are popular destinations for picnicking and recreation. Some of the waterfalls are:


Courtallam (Kutrallam) situated at a mean elevation of 160m on the Western Ghats in Tirunelveli District. Many seasonal and a few perennial rivers such as the Chittar River, the Manimuthar River, the Pachaiyar River and the Tambaraparani River originate in this region. The numerous waterfalls and cascades along with the ubiquitous health resorts in the area have earnt it the title the Spa of South India.

Hogenakkal falls:

Hogenakkal Falls on the Kaveri (or Cauvery) River is located in the Dharmapuri district about 180 km from Bangalore. It is sometimes referred to as the "Niagara of India". With its fame for medicinal baths and hide boat rides, it is a major site of tourist attraction. Carbonatite rocks in this site are considered to be the oldest of its kind in South Asia and one of the oldest in the world. This is also the site of a proposed project to generate drinking water.

Vattaparai falls:

Vattaparai Falls are located at: 8°15.919′N 77°27.062′E / 8.265317°N 77.451033°E / 8.265317; 77.451033, elevation 40 M, in the Keeriparai reserve forest near Bhoothapandi village (Pin:629852) (Met Sta #10145) on the Pazhayar River in Kanyakumari district, Tamil Nadu state, South India. It is 13 km N of Nagercoil) and 32 km NW of Kanyakumari. This 20 km² area is proposed to be a Wildlife Sanctuary.

Catherine falls:

Catherine Falls is a double-cascaded fall located 7 km from Kotagiri, located on the Mettupalayam road branching off at Aravenu. The upper fall drops 250 feet (76 m) to the floor, and is the second highest in the Nilgiris (mountains).[citation needed] The waters from the upper stream of the Kallar river are crossed by the invisible[citation needed] Mettupalyam-Ooty road beyond the mountains in the south-west.Catherine Falls is named after the wife of M.D. Cockburn, believed to have introduced the coffee plantation to Kotagiri. The native name of the Catherine Falls is Geddhehaada Halla, meaning "Foothills Dale River".

Ayyanar falls:

Ayyanar Falls is in Western Ghats of Virudhunagar District named after a Temple near the falls.A small Dam near the Falls provides water to nearby towns.

Agaya gangai:

Agaya Gangai is located in Kolli Hills of the Eastern Ghats. Panchanathi, a jungle stream cascades down as the Agaya Gangai, near the Arapaleeswarar temple atop the Kolli Hills in Namakkal district.

Kiliyur falls:

Kiliyur Falls is in the Shervaroyan hill range in the Eastern Ghats, the waters overflowing the Yercaud Lake fall 300 feet (90 m) into the Kiliyur Valley.

Kumbakkarai Falls:

Kumbakkarai Falls is in the foothills of the Palani Hills. along the Kodai-Vellagavi-Periyakulam foot path.These falls have two stages. At the first stage water collects in huge rock recesses which are each named after wild animals such as tiger, elephant, snake etc.. The Pambar river then flows .5 kilometers (0.3 mi) to the second stage before falling as the main waterfall.

Monkey Falls:

Monkey Falls is near the Pollachi–Valparai road in the Anaimalai Hills range. An interesting trek route at the Monkey Falls; a linear stretch of evergreen forests surrounded by rocky cliffs, is available and regular guided treks are conducted during favourable season. Prior request should be given to the Tamil Nadu Forest Department before a fortnight.

Suruli falls:

Suruli falls is located 56 km (35 mi) between Theni10 km (6 mi) and Cumbum It is a 2 stage Cascading water fall. The Suruli River supplying the falls originates from the Meghamalai mountain range. The falls drop from a height of 150 feet (46 m) gathers into a pool, flows for a short distance and again plummets an additional 40 feet (12 m).

Tirparappu waterfalls:

Tirparappu Waterfalls are located in Kanyakumari district. The Kodayar River makes its descent at Thiruparappu. The water fall at this place is about 13 kilometres (8.1 mi). from Pechiparai Dam. The river bed is rocky and about 300 feet (91 m) in length. The water falls from a height of nearly 50 feet (15 m) and the water flows for about seven months in a year. The whole bed above the falls is one rocky mass which extends 250 metres (820 ft) upstream where the Thirparappu weir has been constructed for supplying water to the paddy fields. On either side of the river, on the left bank of the river in between the waterfalls and the weir, there is a temple dedicated to Siva enclosed by strong fortification. The District Administration has recently constructed a swimming pool for children over here which is very popular among the children.

Palani Hills:

There are many scenic waterfalls in the Palani Hills Some of which are popular tourism destinations. Others require some hiking and local guide to reach. Thalaiyar Falls is 975 feet (297 m)(297 meters) high. It is the highest waterfall in Tamil Nadu and the third highest in India. Silver Cascade, 55 metres (180 ft) high, is 8 kilometres (5.0 mi) from Kodaikanal) on the Ghat Road. Bear Shola Falls are only 2 kilometres (1.2 mi) from Kodaikanal

Wildlife sanctuaries in Tamil Nadu:

Vedanthangal - Birds Sanctuary:

Vedanthangal This sanctuary for water and other migratory birds has come up around a village tank that is surrounded by a grove of trees. It is a haven for migratory birds such as herons, egrets, sandpipers, white ibis, spoonbills, swans and grey wagtails among others. There is also a sizeable population of resident breeding water birds. Between October–February is the season to visit Vedantangal.

Vellode - Birds Sanctuary:

Vellode Birds Sanctuary is a Sanctuary of some specific variety of Birds that comes for seasonal migration to the large lake available near the village of Vellode. It is located near the city of Erode, Tamil Nadu. The sanctuary features thousands of birds coming from various countries, some of which can be easily identified. Some easily found bird species include cormorants, teals, pintail ducks, and Darters.

Kalakkad Mundanthurai Tiger reserve:

Kalakkad Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve (KMTR), situated in the Southern Western Ghats in Tirunelveli district, in the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu, is the second largest protected area in Tamil Nadu State. This reserve was created in 1988 by combining Kalakad Wildlife Sanctuary (251 km²) and Mundanthurai Wildlife Sanctuary (567 km²), both established in 1962. Notification of 77 km² of parts of Veerapuli and Kilamalai Reserve Forests in adjacent Kanyakumari district, added to the reserve in April 1996, is pending. A 400 km2 (154.4 sq mi) core area of this reserve has been proposed as a National Park

Indira Gandhi Wildlife Sanctuary and National Park

Indira Gandhi Wildlife Sanctuary and National Park (IGWLS&NP) is a protected area named after Prime Minister Indira Gandhi who visited the park on October 7, 1961. It is often called "Topslip", a village in the northeast corner of the park which is the main visitor center. This name is derived from the local 19th century practice of sliding Teak timber logs down from the hills. It is located in the Anaimalai Hills of Pollachi, Valparai and Udumalpet taluks of Coimbatore District, Tamilnadu state, South India. The 108 km² National Park is the core area of the 958 km² Indira Gandhi Wildlife Sanctuary, formerly called Anaimalai Wildlife Sanctuary. It was notified as a sanctuary in 1974 and 108 km2 of its unique habitats at 3 places - Karian Shola, Grass hills, Manjampatti were notified as National Parks in 1989.

Grizzled Squirrel Wildlife Sanctuary:

The Grizzled Squirrel Wildlife Sanctuary (GSWS) was declared to protect the Vulnerable Grizzled Giant Squirrel (Ratufa macroura). It is one of the best preserved forests south of the Palghat Gap. The sanctuary covers 480 square kilometers (185.3 sq mi) in western Tamil Nadu, South India in the eastern water-shed of the Western Ghats and consists of high hills and valleys, with a number of peaks reaching up to 1,800 meters (5,906 ft).

Vallanadu wildlife sanctuary:

Vallanadu Wildlife Sanctuary is a Protected area of Tamil Nadu in South India created for the protection of Blackbuck Antelope. Located on an isolated hillock in Vallanadu Village of Srivaikundam Taluk, it is the southernmost place in India where a natural population of Blackbuck exists.

Palani Hills Wildlife Sanctuary and National Park:

The Palani Hills Wildlife Sanctuary and National Park is a proposed Protected area in Dindigul District, Tamil Nadu State South India. The Park will be an upgrade and expansion of the 736.87 km² (PRO) Kodaikanal Wildlife Sanctuary being established in 2008. The park includes about 36% of the 2,068 km² in the Palani Hills. The park is located between Latitude 10°7' - 10°28' N and Longitude 77°16' - 77°46' E. Central location 10°17.5′N 77°31′E / 10.2917°N 77.517°E / 10.2917; 77.517 is .7 km west of the Aeon centre of Cosmology[33] and 7.4 km N X NE of Kodaikanal.

Mudumalai National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary:

The Mudumalai National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary, now also declared a Tiger Reserve, lies on the northwestern side of the Nilgiri Hills (Blue Mountains), in Nilgiri District, about 160 km (99 mi) north-west of Coimbatore in the westernmost part of Tamil Nadu, on the interstate boundaries with Karnataka and Kerala states in South India. Mudumalai, which means 'first hills’, is one of the first wildlife sanctuaries established in India. The sanctuary is divided into 5 ranges - Masinagudi, Thepakadu, Mudumalai, Kargudi and Nellakota.

Point Calimere Wildlife and Bird Sanctuary:

Point Calimere Wildlife and Bird Sanctuary (PCWBS) is a 21.47-square-kilometre (8.29 sq mi) protected area in Tamil Nadu, South India along the Palk Straight where it meets the Bay of Bengal at Point Calimere at the southeastern tip of Nagapattinam District. The sanctuary was created in 1967 for conservation of the near threatened Blackbuck Antelope, an endangered endemic mammal species of India. It is famous for large congregations of waterbirds, especially Greater Flamingos.[34] International name: Point Calimere Wildlife Sanctuary, IBA Code: IN275, Criteria: A1, A4i, A4iii. The 7-square-kilometre (2.7 sq mi) core area of this sanctuary has been proposed as a National Park.

Udayamarthandapuram Bird Sanctuary:

Udayamarthandapuram Bird Sanctuary is a .45 km² (0.2 sq mi) Protected area in Tiruvarur District, Tamil Nadu state, India. The Sanctuary is mostly an irrigation tank that is fed by water from Mettur dam and by the northeast monsoon from August till December. It remains dry from April till August.

Suchindram Theroor Birds Sanctuary:

The Suchindram Theroor Birds Sanctuary is a proposed protected area comprising the Suchindram Kulam wetlands at 8°7′30″N 77°27′30″E / 8.125°N 77.45833°E / 8.125; 77.45833, and the Theroor Kulam wetlands at 8°10′45″N 77°27′45″E / 8.17917°N 77.4625°E / 8.17917; 77.4625, both near Suchindram town in Kanyakumari District, Tamil Nadu state, South India. It is located between Nagercoil and Kanyakumari on the National Highway No. 47. Being at the extreme southern tip of India, this area underlies the southernmost continental range of the Central Asian Flyway. Constitution of this new wildlife sanctuary was proposed in 2002 and remains under consideration of the Government. International name is Suchindram Therur, Vembanoor, Important bird area code no. IN279, criteria: A1, A4i.

Water Bird Sanctuary:

There are around five hundred water tanks in Ramanathapuram District (Rameswaram) and most of these are happy hunting grounds for water birds from October to January during the north-east monsoon season. The native birds come for feeding, while the migratory birds, from as far as Europe and Australia, come for breeding. The Arichamunai Bird Sanctuary at Dhanushkodi, the Kanjirankulam and Chittirankudi Sanctuaries on the mainland in Ramanathapuram are a paradise for bird watchers. October to January is a good time to visit Ramanathapuram and explore these sanctuaries.

Beaches in Tamilnadu:

Tamil Nadu is known especially for its blue beaches and sunny skies. Some of south India's nicest beaches dot Chennai's long seafront. The Marina beach is a 12 km long stretch of fine sandy shore and is known as the Pride of Chennai, the Kovalam beach is quiet and far away from the distractions of the city and the Elliot's beach is the preferred destination for those with a clean atmosphere in mind. A short 20-minute drive from Chennai City, VGP Golden Beach Resort offers a serene and relaxing atmosphere in today's stress-driven world. 58 km south of Chennai is the Mahabalipuram beach, famous for its unique 7th century Shore Temple.

Marina beach:

Marina Beach is located on the eastern side of Chennai, adjoining the Bay of Bengal, which is the second longest beach in the world. Watching the sunrise from the beach is an enthralling experience. Though bathing and swimming can be dangerous, as the undercurrent is very strong, even then people come for swimming here. In the evenings, the beach is virtually a fair ground with various kinds of entertainment and food stalls lining the beach

Covelong (Kovalam) beach:

Covelong (Kovalam) Kovalam or Covelong as it was known earlier is a small fishing village located 40 km from Chennai on the way to Mahabalipuram. Now it is a luxury beach resort. This beach has a fort built by the Nawab of Carnatic, Saadat Ali. Covelong (Kovalam) is a fishing village in India, 40 kilometres south of Chennai, on the East Coast Road en route to Mahabalipuram. Covelong was a port town developed by the Nawab of Carnatic, Saadat Ali. It was taken over by the French in 1746, and destroyed by the British in 1752. The Dutch built a fort in Covelong during the colonial times, which today has been made the Taj Fisherman's Cove, a private luxury beach resort. Covelong beach is one of the few places in the East Coast where wind surfing takes place.


Mamallapuram, 58 km south of Chennai, has a beautiful beach spanning a distance of over 20 km. An erstwhile port of the Pallava dynasty the place abounds with stone carvings, caves, rock cut temples also attract tourists. A crocodile farm, snake. venom extracting centre, schools of art and sculpture and a wide choice of resorts along the beach draw holiday-seekers all round the year.

Kanyakumari beach:

Kanyakumari beach At the southern most tip of India, where the Arabian Sea, the Indian Ocean and the Bay of Bengal meet, lies Kanyakumari, an important pilgrim center. Kanyakumari is famous for its spectacular sunrises and sunsets, especially on full moon days. The beach itself is a beautiful sight with multi-colored sand. There is a lighthouse from where one can get a panoramic view. The Government museum offers a good collection of sculptural art crafts of Tamil Nadu.

Muttukkadu beach:

Muttukkadu beach is another beach resort created in memory of erstwhile "Kaveripoompattinam", a legendary Port city, washed away by the sea. The present complex was designed on the basis of the information available in the Tamil epic 'Silapathikaram'. The historical happenings depicted in Silapathikaram and the landmarks mentioned therein are brought back to life here in stone. The Department of Tourism offers conch and shell type accommodation here.

Silver beach:

Devanampattinam It is a beautiful golden sandy beach on the eastern side of the Cuddalore New Town. With the help of the District Administration, Cuddalore new town, the Cuddalore Municipal Administration, Tourism Department and other private organisations have joined together to create the entertainment for the people. Fun activities like boating, horse riding, a children's park have been created. The District Annual Summer Festival held in the month of May–June.

Amusement parks in Tamil Nadu:

VGP Universal Kingdom:

VGP Universal Kingdom is an amusement park located in East Coast Road in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India. The park offering small rides during the early days of its history became a full-fledged amusement park in 1997. The park provides several fun and adventure rides for children, youth and adults. VGP 2000 millennium tower, Water cascades, Paneer fort and statueman are some of the main attractions. The ticket for adults and children are 100 and 50 Rupees respectively. It is open all days from 11 AM till 7:30 PM and till 8 PM during weekends. The park is owned by VGP Group of Companies founded by V. G. Panneerdas and V.G.P. Ravidas is its current managing director.

Black Thunder:

Black Thunder is a theme park located in Tamil Nadu, India. It is situated at the foothills of Nilgiris at Mettupalayam, 40 km from Coimbatore spread in an area of about 65 acres (260,000 m2). The park offers about 43 rides, Surf Hill and the Wild River Ride notable among them. The park has a hotel situated within its premises. It charges Rs. 290 for children under 10 and Rs. 340 for people above 10.

MGM Dizzee World:

MGM Dizzee World is an amusement park located in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India. It is located in East Coast Road. It is one of the most visited theme parks in the city. The park has log flume, giant wheel, spider spin, roller coaster, the funny mountain, dashing cars, super trooper, a water world and it also hosts special seasonal shows.

Dash N Splash:

Dash N Splash is a water park located in Chennai, India. It is located on Bangalore-Chennai highway 30 km from Chennai. It is located on 21 acres (85,000 m2) on the banks of the Telugu Ganga project canal in Melvarkuppam village. The park offers Slide ride, spiral ride, free fall, wave slide and many other rides.


Kishkinta is a theme park located in Chennai, India.

Tamil Nadu Education:

Tamil Nadu is the one of the most literate states in India. Tamil Nadu has performed reasonably well in terms of literacy growth during the decade 2001–2011. The state's literacy rate increased from 73.47% in 2001 to 80.3% in 2011 which is above the national average. A survey conducted by the Industry body Assocham ranks Tamil Nadu top among Indian states with about 100% Gross Enrollment Ratio (GER) in primary and upper primary education. One of the basic limitations for improvement in education in the state is the rate of absence of teachers in public schools, which at 21.4% is significant. The analysis of primary school education in the state by Pratham shows a low drop-off rate but poor quality of state education compared to other states.

Tamil Nadu has 37 universities, 454 engineering colleges. and 566 arts and science colleges, 34335 elementary schools, 5167 high schools, 5054 higher secondary schools and 5000 hospitals. Some of the most reputed educational institutes present in Tamil Nadu are University of Madras, IIT Madras, PSG College of Technology, Anna University Chennai, Coimbatore Institute of Technology, NIT Tiruchi, Madras Christian College, Christian Medical College, Bharathidasan Institute of Management, Madras Medical College, Loyola College and Tamil Nadu Agricultural University. The Indian Institute of Management is scheduled to open in Trichy by 2009–2010. Tamil Nadu produces the highest number of engineering graduates in India (around 1,75,000) every year which attracts many software companies to set up their shop in south India.

India has a human development index calculated as 0.619, while the corresponding figure for Tamil Nadu is 0.736, placing it among the top states in the country. The life expectancy at birth for males is 65.2 years and for females it is 67.6 years. However, it has a high level of poverty especially in the rural areas. As of 2004–2005, the poverty line was set at Indian Rupee  351.86/month for rural areas and Indian Rupee 47.42/month for urban areas. Poverty in the state dropped from 51.7% in 1983 to 21.1% in 2001 For the period 2004–2005, the Trend in Incidence of Poverty in the state was 22.5% compared with the national figure of 27.5%. The World Bank is currently assisting the state in reducing poverty High drop-out and low completion of secondary schools continue to hinder the quality of training in the population. Other problems include class, gender, inter-district and urban-rural disparities. Based on URP – Consumption for the period 2004–2005, percentage of the state's population Below Poverty Line was 27.5%. The Oxford Poverty & Human Development Initiative ranks Tamil Nadu to have a Multidimensional Poverty Index of 0.141, which is in the level of Ghana among the developing countries.

The Dravidian movement, which championed the causes of educating the people and eradicating superstitions, began in Tamil Nadu. In addition, it aims to uplift socially repressed deprived communities and drew considerable support from the middle classes for their efforts in this matter. The movement was committed to social justice which led to the expansion of reservations for the deprived communities. Tamil Nadu now has 69% reservation in educational institutions, the highest among all Indian states.

The Mid-day Meal Scheme program in Tamil Nadu, initiated by Kamaraj, was expanded considerably during the rule of the AIADMK in 1983. It feeds over a fifth of the state's population. Despite this, the state is among the 12 states in India that have alarming level of hunger according to the 2008 Global Hunger Index.

Universities in Tamilnadu:

  • Alagappa University
  • Amrita University
  • Anna University
  • Avinashilingam University for Women
  • B S Abdur Rahman University
  • Bharath University
  • Bharathiar University
  • Bharathidasan University
  • Gandhigram Rural University
  • Kalasalingam University
  • Karpagam University
  • Karunya University
  • Madurai Kamaraj University
  • Manonmaniam Sundaranar University
  • Mother Teresa Women's University
  • Noorul Islam University
  • Periyar Maniammai University
  • Periyar University
  • SASTRA University
  • Sathyabama University
  • Sri Chandrasekharendra Saraswathi Viswa Mahavidyalaya
  • Sri Ramachandra University
  • SRM University
  • Tamil Nadu Agricultural University
  • Tamil Nadu Dr. Ambedkar Law University
  • Tamil Nadu Dr. M.G.R. Medical University
  • Tamil Nadu Open University
  • Tamil Nadu Physical Education and Sports University
  • Tamil Nadu Teachers Education University
  • Tamil Nadu Veterinary and Animal Sciences University
  • Tamil University
  • Tamil Virtual University
  • Thiruvalluvar University
  • University of Madras
  • VIT University
  • Vel Tech University
  • Vinayaka Missions University

Wildlife of Tamil Nadu:

Tamil Nadu includes a wide range of Biomes, extending east from the South Western Ghats montane rain forests in the Western Ghats through the South Deccan Plateau dry deciduous forests and Deccan thorn scrub forests to tropical dry broadleaf forests and then to the beaches, estuaries, salt marshes, mangroves, and coral reefs of the Bay of Bengal.

The state has a range of flora and fauna with many species and habitats. To protect this diversity of wildlife there are Protected areas of Tamil Nadu, including two Biosphere Reserves, five National Parks and several Wildlife Sanctuaries.

There are about 2000 species of wildlife that are native to Tamil Nadu. Protected areas provide safe habitat for large mammals including Elephants, Tigers, Leopard, Wild dog, Sloth bears, Gaurs, Lion-tailed macaques, Nilgiri Langurs, Nilgiri Tahrs, Grizzled Giant Squirrels and Sambar deer, resident and migratory birds such as Cormorants, Darters, Herons, Egrets, Open-billed Storks, Spoonbills and White Ibis[disambiguation needed]es, Little Grebes, Indian Moorhen, Black-winged Stilts, a few migratory Ducks and occasionally Grey Pelicans, marine species such as the Dugongs, Turtles, Dolphins and Balanoglossus and a wide variety of fish and insects.

The Angiosperm diversity of India includes 17,672 species. Tamil Nadu ranks 1st among all states in the Country, with 5640 species, 1/3 of the total flora of India. This includes 1559 species of medicinal plants, 533 endemic species, 260 species of wild relatives of cultivated plants and 230 red-listed species. The Gymnosperm diversity of the country is 64 species of which Tamil Nadu has four indigenous species and about 60 introduced species. The Pteridophytes diversity of India includes 1022 species of which Tamil Nadu has about 184 species. Vast numbers of bryophytes, Likens, Fungi, Algae and Bacteria are among the wild plant diversity of Tamil Nadu.

Common plant species include the state tree: Palmyra Palm, Eucalyptus, Rubber, Cinchona, Clumping Bamboos (Bambusa Arundinacea), Common teak, Anogeissus latifolia, Indian Laurel , Grewia, and blooming trees like Indian labumusum, Ardisia, and Solanaceae. Rare and unique plant life includes Combretum ovalifolium, Ebony (Diospyros nilagrica), Habenaria rariflora (Orchid), Alsophila, Impatiens elegans, Ranunculus reniformis, and Royal fern.

There are at least 85 widely diversified environmental organizations involved with environmental conservation and environmental education in Tamil Nadu. These organizations are notable for the diversity of their members and their intended impact groups, ranging from urban to rural, local to national, elementary students to government policy makers and rich to poor. The intent of these organizations is increased awareness of environmentalism by the state's population.

The Ministry of Environment and Forests through its Department of Environment and the Tamil Nadu Forest Department is the primary Government organization planning and implementing environmental policy in the state. The Tamil Nadu State Council for Science and Technology coordinates government scientific agencies and creates environmental awareness programs in the state, There are several prominent leaders worth public roles in these efforts. There are environmental NGOs working in the state who are characterized by funding from private sources, programs of environmental activism and a high degree of autonomy and volunteerism.

Schools, colleges and universities in the state have academic courses in environmental education and Environmental studies and non-academic clubs and student activities involved with environmentalism. Public and private mass media sources in the state play a role in increasing public awareness of environmental issues. The Hindu Newspaper and wildlife photographers and conservation writers are especially influential. There are several independent environmental consultants in the state, experienced in a wide range of environmental technical specialization.

Tamil cuisine

Tamil cuisine is basically South Indian cuisine, where Rice and rice-derived dishes form the major portion of a diet (see Rice and curry). There are regional sub-varieties namely Chettinadu, Kongunadu, Madurai, Tirunelveli varieties etc. Traditionally, food is served on a banana leaf instead of a plate and eaten with the right hand. Rice is the staple food of Tamils and is typically eaten mixed with Sambhar (with or without Ghee), vegetarian or non-vegetarian Kulambu, Rasam, Curd and Buttermilk. This is accompanied with various vegetarian and/or non-vegetarian dishes like Kootu, Aviyal, Poriyal, Appalam, Varuval, Peratal, Kothsu, varieties of Pickles and Chicken / Mutton / Fish fry. Breakfast and snack items include Dosai, Adai, Idly, Vadai, Pongal, Appam(Aappam), Paniyaram, Puttu(Pittu), Uppumavu(Uppuma), Santhakai(Noodles), Idiyappam and Uthappam. These items are eaten along with Sambar, varieties of Chatni and Podi. Traditionally prepared Filter Coffee is unique in taste and popular all over the state. The Chettinad region is famous for its spicy non-vegetarian cuisine, while Ambur, Dindigal and Sankarankoil are known for their Biriyani. Sweet items that are native to Tamil Nadu and prepared at homes are Athirasam, Chakkarai Pongal (prepared during Pongal) and Kuli Paniyaram. Tirunelveli is known for its unique wheat Halwa and Palani is renowned for its Panchamirtham. In the recent past, North Indian, Western, Chinese and fast food culture are also witnessing a steady growth in Tamil Nadu.


The Sports Development Authority of Tamil Nadu (SDAT) is the government body that is vested with the responsibility of developing sports and related infrastructure in the state. The SDAT owns and operates world class stadiums and organizes sporting events. It also accommodates sporting events, both at domestic and international level, organized by other sports associations at its venues. It has national racing tracks like Irungattukottai Race Track in Sriperumpudur near Kanchipuram district, where national level Bike and Car races were conducted. The YMCA College of Physical Education at Nandanam in Chennai was established in 1920 and was the first college for physical education in Asia.

Cricket is the most popular sport and Kabaddi, also known locally as Sadugudu, is the state game of Tamil Nadu. M. A. Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai is an international cricketing arena with a capacity of 50,000 and houses the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association. Cricketers from Tamil Nadu who have represented the national team either in ODI or Test or Both are

  • Krishnamachari Srikkanth
  • Srinivasaraghavan Venkataraghavan
  • Dinesh Karthik
  • Robin Singh
  • Murali Vijay
  • Murali Karthik
  • Ravichandran Ashwin
  • Laxman Sivaramakrishnan
  • Subramaniam Badrinath
  • Hemang Badani
  • Sadagoppan Ramesh
  • Lakshmipathy Balaji
  • Sridharan Sriram
  • V. B. Chandrasekhar
  • T. A. Sekhar
  • Bharath Reddy
  • W. V. Raman

Cricket contests between local clubs, franchises and teams are also popular across the state. Chennai is also one of the ten Indian cities to be featured in the nation level Twenty-20 Cricket competition, the Indian Premier League. The team, owned by the cement manufacturers, India Cements, is called Chennai Super Kings. The MRF Pace Foundation in Chennai is a much sought after fast bowling academy by pace bowlers all over the world. The state game of Kabaddi, and Silambam, are sports played in the rural areas.

The ATP Chennai Open tournament held in Chennai every January is the biggest Tennis event in South Asia. Tennis players from Tamil Nadu who had made it to the big stage include

  • Ramanathan Krishnan,
  • Ramesh Krishnan,
  • Vijay Amritraj,
  • Anand Amritraj,
  • Mahesh Bhupathi and
  • Prakash Amritraj.

Tamil Nadu has a long standing motorsports culture. The sport was pioneered by Sundaram Karivardhan in its early days. Notable sportspersons from Tamil Nadu in the field are Narain Karthikeyan, the first Indian to participate in F1 racing, and Karun Chandhok. Motor racing events are held at the Irungattukottai track (near Sriperumbudur), Sholavaram track and Kari Motorspeedway near Coimbatore.

The Tamil Nadu Hockey Association is the governing body of Hockey in the state. Vasudevan Baskaran was the captain of the Indian team that won gold medal in 1980 Olympics at Moscow. The Mayor Radhakrishnan Stadium in Chennai hosts international hockey events and is regarded by the International Hockey Federation as one of the best in the world for its infrastructure.Chennai hosted the SAF Games in 1995. Anju Bobby George, a world renowned athlete, represents Tamil Nadu in the national arena.

The Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Chennai is a multipurpose stadium hosting Football and Track & Field events. The Indian Triathlon Federation and the Volleyball Federation of India are headquartered in Chennai. Chennai hosted India’s first ever International Beach Volleyball Championship in 2008.

Chess and Carrom are popular indoor sports. World Chess champion and Indian Grand Master Viswanathan Anand and Arjuna Awardee and two-time world carrom champion Maria Irudayam hail from Tamil Nadu. Tamil Nadu boasts of total of 8 Grand Masters and numerous International Masters. Snooker was invented by General Sir Frederick Roberts at the Ooty Club in Udhagamandalam.

The SDAT – TNSRA Squash Academy in Chennai, one of the very few modern squash facilities in South Asia, hosts international squash events.

Tamil Nadu has six 18-hole Golf courses, the most popular of which are the Kodaikanal Golf Club, established in 1895, and Gymkhana Club, Chennai. The Madras Boat Club, set up in 1867, hosts regular rowing races on the Adyar River. The 232-year-old Guindy race course in Chennai is a horse racing venue. Adventure sports have gained popularity, especially amongst the tourists visiting the state.

Tamil festivals:


Tamil Nadu is a land of many festivals. January marks the beginning of the festival season in the state. Pongal is the first festival and it is celebrated with much enthusiasm. It is the harvest festival of Tamil Nadu. "Pongal" is actually the name of a rice and lentil dish cooked in Tamil Nadu, and on this festive day Pongal is cooked. It is celebrated on January 14, each year. In fact, four festivals are celebrated in Tamil Nadu for four consecutive days in that week. Bhogi is celebrated on January 13, Pongal on Jan 14, Maattu Pongal on Jan 15, and Kannum Pongal and Thiruvalluvar Day on Jan 16.

BHOGI to rid the society of evil. People clean up their houses of all the junk that they have accumulated in the past year. All the waste stuff is burnt. Houses are freshly painted. Farm animals are bathed and decorated with colored powders and paint.

Pongal is celebrated on the first day of the Tamil month of Thai. It is considered to be an auspicious month. The Sun God is worshipped. In rural areas, people gather in front of their houses and cook pongal in new pots. Stoves are made with clay and wood is used as fuel. When the pongal is almost made, everybody shouts in ecstasy pongal o pongal. When milk is boiled, if it overflows, it is believed to be a sign of a prosperous agricultural during the coming season.

People visit their friends and relatives. Pongal food and sweets are exchanged among neighbours and relatives. The sugarcane crop ripens at the time of Pongal. Sugarcane is harvested and it is available in markets and children can be seen crunching sugarcane.

Mattu pongal:

Mattu pongal, the day next to Pongal, is the day for farm animals especially the bulls. Most farmers still use them to plough and till the land for irrigation. The farmer would find it difficult to survive without the bull. Bulls, cows and other farm animals are worshipped on this day. Bull fights or Manju Virattu also takes place on this day. These fights are also called Jalli Kattu.

Natyanjali festival:

The Natyanjali dance festival at Chidambaram brings together all the prominent dancers of India. They offer their abhinaya and their dance to the Lord Nataraja. To many of them it is like a dream come true, to be able to perform in the vicinity of the sanctum sanctorum of Lord Nataraja's temple, whose padams and varnams they often use creating an imaginary figure of the Lord Nataraja . This festival opens on the auspicious occasion of the Maha Shivaratri day and of course in the right kind of venue, which is the Prakara of the Chidambaram temple. Similar to Chidambaram Natyanjali in Mayiladuthurai Mayura Natyanjali a grand dance festival is celebrated during the time of Maha Shivaratri.

Karthikai Deepam:

The celebration of the festival Karthikai Deepam marks the conclusion of the ten day Brahmotsavam in the Tamil month of Karthikai.This event beats the Tirupathi Brahmotsavam in attracting number of devotees to the temple. On 1st of December 2009 around 3 million people participated to celebrate the Maha Deepam in the city of Tiruvannamalai. Four Brahmotsavams are celebrated every year, the most famous of which is the one celebrated during the Tamil month of Karthigai (November/December). This ten day event culminates on the day of Karthigai Deepam and on that evening, a huge lamp is lit in a cauldron with three tons of ghee at the top of the Annamalai hill. Every full moon night, tens of thousands of pilgrims worship Shiva by circumambulating the Arunachala hill barefoot. The circumambulation covers a distance of about 15 km. On the yearly Chitra Powrnami (full moon) night in the Tamil calendar year, lakhs of pilgrims come from across the world to worship Him. The height of the Arunachala hill is approximately 1600 feet.


Nagore is a town in the Nagapattinam District, Tamil Nadu, India. It is located approximately 16 km south of Karaikal and 4 km north of Nagapattinam. Nagore has a population of approximately 30,000. A prominent 5-acre (20,000 m2) dargah (Muslim shrine) dedicated to the 16th century saint Nagore Andavar (literally "the Lord (aandavar) of Nagore"; also popularly called Meeran Sahib or Qadir Wali) is located there, and serves as a pilgrim center. The 14-day Kandhuri Urs (also spelled Kandoori or Kandhoori) festival, dedicated to the saint, is held there annually.

Music Festivals:

Every December, Chennai celebrates heritage of Carnatic music through public recitals. Artistes both old and new participate in the festivals.

Mahamagam Festival:

This festival takes place once in 12 years and it will bring you to Kumbakonam the temple city that gets its name from the Kumbha or the divine pot. Legend has it that Brahma, the Creator, held a pot containing nectar and the seeds of creation. Shiva in the form of a hunter shot an arrow at the pot and spilt the nectar into the famous Mahamagam tank at the Adi Kumbeswarar Temple.

History of Tamilnadu:

Tamil Nadu's history dates back to pre-historic times. Archaeological evidence points to this area being one of the longest continuous habitations in India. In Adichanallur, 24 km (15 mi) from Tirunelveli, archaeologists from the Archaeological Survey of India unearthed 169 clay urns containing human skulls, skeletons and bones, plus husks and grains of rice, charred rice and Neolithic celts, giving evidence confirming them to be of the Neolithic period, 3800 years ago. The ASI archaeologists have proposed that the script used at that site is "very rudimentary" Tamil Brahmi. Adichanallur has been announced as an archaeological site for further excavation and studies. About 60% of the total epigraphical inscriptions found by ASI in India are from Tamil Nadu and most of which are in Tamil language.

There have been more discoveries of the evidence of prehistoric creatures inhabiting the landscape of what is now modern Tamil Nadu in the shape of eggs of dinosaurs and other animals of their kind. Geologists in Tamil Nadu have stumbled upon a Jurassic treasure trove buried in the sands of a river bed. Sheer luck led them to hundreds of fossilized dinosaur eggs, perhaps 65 million years old, underneath a stream in a tiny village in Ariyalur district.Researchers from the Salem-based Periyar University found clusters of eggs of what they believe to be the most aggressive Carnosaur and the docile, leaf-eating Sauropod at Sendurai village. While Carnosaurs were large predatory dinosaurs, Sauropods were long-necked, herbivores which grew to enormous heights and sizes.

Medieval Period (600–1300)

The Cholas who were very active during the Sangam age were entirely absent during the first few centuries. The period started with the rivalry between the Pandyas and the Pallavas, which in turn caused the revival of the Cholas. The Cholas went on to becoming a great power. Their decline saw the brief resurgence of the Pandyas. This period was also that of the re-invigorated Hinduism during which temple building and religious literature were at their best. The Cheras ruled in southern India from before the Sangam era (300 BCE – 250 CE) over the Coimbatore, Karur, Salem Districts in present day Tamil Nadu and present day Kerala from the capital of Vanchi Muthur in the west, (thought to be modern Karur). They traded extensively from nearby Muziris, in spices, ivory, timber, pearls and gems, with the ancient kingdoms of Egypt, Rome, Greece, Ceylon, Phoenicia, Arabia, Mesopotamia and Persia. The Kalabhras, invaded and displaced the three Tamil kingdoms and ruled between the third and the seventh centuries CE of the Sangam period. This is referred to as the Dark Age in Tamil history. They were expelled by the Pallavas and the Pandyas in sixth century.

There is considerable evidence to show that under the Kalabhras' rule Jainism flourished in the land of the Tamils. The didactic work Naaladiyar was composed during their reign. It consists of moral sayings in the venpa meter, 400 in number in 40 chapters, each by one Jain ascetic, according to tradition. Following in the tradition of Jainism, Naaladiyar emphasizes virtues such as control of the senses, asceticism, renunciation, and other desirable social qualities. Because the Kalabhras gave protection to Jains and perhaps Buddhists, too, some have concluded that they were anti-Hindu, although this latter view is not undisputed.

During the sixth to eighth centuries century CE, Tamil Nadu saw the rise of the Pallavas under Mahendravarman I and his son Mamalla Narasimhavarman I. The Pallavas were originally executive officers under the Satavahana Empire. After the fall of the Satavahanas, around 550 CE under King Simhavishnu they emerged into prominence. They subjugated the Cholas and reigned as far south as the Kaveri River. Pallavas ruled a large portion of South India with Kanchipuram as their capital. Dravidian architecture reached its peak during the Pallava rule.Narasimhavarman II built the Shore Temple which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The Pallavas were replaced by the Cholas as the dominant kingdom in the 10th century C.E and they in turn were replaced by Pandyas in the 13th century C.E. The Pandyan capital Madurai was in the deep south away from the coast. They had extensive trade links with the Southeast Asian maritime empires of Srivijaya and their successors, as well as contacts, even formal diplomatic contacts, reaching as far as the Roman Empire. During the 13th century C.E. Marco Polo mentioned the Pandyas as the richest empire in existence. Temples such as the Meenakshi Amman Temple at Madurai and Nellaiappar Temple at Tirunelveli are the best examples of Pandyan temple architecture. The Pandyas excelled in both trade and literature. They controlled the pearl fisheries along the South Indian coast, between Sri Lanka and India, which produced some of the finest pearls in the known ancient world.

Chola Empire

By the 9th century, during the times of the second Chola monarch Aditya I, his son Parantaka I, Parantaka Chola II itself the Chola empire had expanded into what is now interior Andhra Pradesh and coastal Karnataka, while under the great Rajaraja Chola and his son Rajendra Chola, the Cholas rose as a notable power in south Asia. The Chola Empire stretched as far as Bengal. At its peak, the empire spanned almost 3,600,000 km² (1,389,968 sq mi). Rajaraja Chola conquered all of peninsular South India and parts of the Sri Lanka. Rajendra Chola's navies went even further, occupying coasts from Burma (now Myanmar) to Vietnam, the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Lakshadweep, Sumatra, Java, Malaya in South East Asia and Pegu islands. He defeated Mahipala, the king of the Bengal, and to commemorate his victory he built a new capital and named it Gangaikonda Cholapuram.

The Cholas excelled in building magnificent temples. Brihadeshwara Temple in Thanjavur is a classical example of the magnificent architecture of the Chola kingdom. Brihadshwara temple is an UNESCO Heritage Site under "Great Living Chola Temples." Another example is Annamalaiyar Temple located at the city of Tiruvannamalai and the Chidambaram Temple in the heart of the temple town of Chidambaram. Raja Raja Chola and Rajendra Chola period is said to be the golden period of Tamil Nadu, and under them the Chola empire rose to be the most powerful empire in all of South-India. With the decline of the Cholas between 1230 and 1280 CE, the Pandyas rose to prominence once again, under Maravarman Sundara Pandya and his younger brother, the celebrated Jatavarman Sundara Pandyan.

This revival was short-lived as the Pandya capital of Madurai itself was sacked by Alauddin Khilji's troops under General Malik Kafur in 1316. The Muslim invasion led to the establishment of the short lived Madurai Sultanate.

Vijayanagar and Nayak period (1336–1646):

These Muslim invasions triggered the establishment of the Hindu Vijayanagara Empire in the Deccan. It eventually conquered the entire Tamil country (c. 1370 CE). This empire lasted for almost two centuries till the defeat of Vijayanagara in the Battle of Talikota in 1565. Subsequent to this defeat, many incompetent kings succeeded to the throne of Vijayanagara with the result that its grip loosened over its feudatories among whom the Nayaks of Madurai and Tanjore were among the first to declare their independence, despite initially maintaining loose links with the Vijayanagara kingdom." As the Vijayanagara Empire went into decline after mid-16th century, the Nayak governors, who were appointed by the Vijayanagar kingdom to administer various territories of the empire, declared their independence. The Nayaks of Madurai and Nayaks of Thanjavur were most prominent of them all in the 17th century. They reconstructed some of the oldest temples in the country such as the Meenakshi Temple.

Rule of Nawabs and Nizams (1692–1801):

In the early 18th century, the eastern parts of Tamil Nadu came under the dominions of the Nizam of Hyderabad and the Nawab of the Carnatic. While Wallajah was supported by the English, Chanda Sahib was supported by the French by the middle of the 18th century. In the late 18th century, the western parts of Tamil Nadu, encompassing Kongu Nadu, came under the dominions of Hyder Ali and later Tipu Sultan, particularly with their victory in the Second Anglo-Mysore War.

Tamil Nadu under European rule (1801–1947):

Around 1609, the Dutch established a settlement in Pulicat, while the Danish had their establishment in Tranquebar (Tharangambadi). In 1639, the British, under the British East India Company, established a settlement further south of Pulicat, in present day Chennai. In the late 18th century, the British fought and reduced the French dominions in India to Puducherry. Nizams of Hyderabad and the Nawabs of the Carnatic bestowed tax revenue collection rights on the East India Company for defeating the Kingdom of Mysore. After winning the Polygar wars, the East India Company consolidated most of southern India into the Madras Presidency coterminous with the dominions of Nizam of Hyderabad. Pudukkottai remained as a princely state.

Tamil Nadu in independent India:

When India became independent in 1947, Madras Presidency became Madras State, comprising present day Tamil Nadu, coastal Andhra Pradesh up to Ganjam district in Orissa, South Canara district Karnataka, and parts of Kerala. The state was subsequently split up along linguistic lines. In 1969, Madras State was renamed Tamil Nadu, meaning Country of Tamil.

Tamilnadu Government:

The Governor is the Constitutional head of the state while the Chief Minister is the head of the government and the head of the council of ministers. The Chief Justice of the Madras High Court is the head of the judiciary. The present Governor, Chief Minister and the Chief Justice are Surjit Singh Barnala, M. Karunanidhi and M. Y. Iqbal respectively. The major administrative units of the state constitutes 39 Lok Sabha constituencies, 234 Assembly constituencies, 32 districts, 10 city corporations, 152 municipalities, 611 town panchayats and 12,618 village panchayats. Chennai (formerly known as Madras) is the state capital. It is the fourth largest city in India and is also one of the five A1 Metropolitan cities of India.

Tamil Nadu had a bicameral legislature until 1986, when it was replaced with a unicameral legislature, like most other states in India. The term length of the government is 5 years, as is elsewhere in India. The present government run by the DMK led alliance came to power in 2006 and comprises a council of 29 ministers, chaired by the Chief Minister. Dr.M.Karunanidhi. Tamil Nadu legislative assembly is chaired by the speaker Mr. R Avudaiappan and is housed at the Omandurar Government Estate in Chennai. The state had come under the President's rule on four occasions – first from 1976 to 1977, next for a short period in 1980, then from 1988 to 1989 and the latest in 1991.

Tamil Nadu has 10 City Corporations: Chennai, Coimbatore, Madurai, Tiruchirapalli, Salem, Tirunelveli, Erode, Tirupur, Vellore and Thoothukudi. There is a plan to upgrade Nagercoil and Thanjavur as City Corporations. The Corporation of Chennai, established in 1688, is the oldest Municipal Corporation not only in India but also in any commonwealth nations outside United Kingdom.

Tamil Nadu has been a pioneering state of E-Governance initiatives in India. A large part of the government records like land ownership records are digitised and all major offices of the state government like Urban Local Bodies — all the Corporations and Municipal Office activities — revenue collection, land registration offices, and transport offices have been computerised. Tamil Nadu is one of the states where law and order has been maintained largely successfully. The Tamil Nadu Police Force is over 140 years old. It is the fifth largest state police force in India and has the largest strength of women police personnel in the country. As of 2003, the state had a total police population ratio of 1:668, higher than the national average of 1:717. The current Director General of Police (law and order) of Tamil Nadu is Latika Charan.

Tamilnadu Map:

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