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Tamil Nadu, India
Tour Information & Highlights
Area : 130,058 sq. km
Religion : Hinduism (88.34%), Islam (5.57%), Christianity 6.08%, Others (0.26%)
Annual Rainfall : 945 mm
Temperature : Max. on Plains- 43 °C (109 °F), Min. on Plains- 13.1 °C (55.6 °F), Max. on Hills- 32.3 °C (90.1 °F), Min. on Hills- 3.0 °C (37.4 °F)
Capital : Chennai
Literacy : 80.3% (11th)
Languages : Tamil, English
Best Time To Visit : October to March
Tamil Nadu was ruled by three major dynasties-the Cholas in the east, the Pandyas in the central area and Cheras in the west. This was during the Sangam Age-the classical period of Tamil literature-that continued for some 300 years after the birth of Christ.
The Pallava dynasty was influential particularly in the 7th and 8th centuries, testimonies to which are the monuments at Mamallapuram. In the 13th century, with threats of Muslim invasions from the north, the southern Hindu dynasties combined and the empire of Vijayanagar, which covered all of South India, was firmly established. However, by the 17th century, due to the disintegration of the Vijayanagar Empire, various small rulers like the Nayaks ruled southern India.
By the middle of the 18th century, there were frequent conflicts between the British, French, Danes, and Dutch due to their interest in these areas. The British were finally victorious, while small pockets like Pondicherry and Karaikal remained under French control. Under the British rule, most of south India was integrated into the region called the Madras Presidency. In 1956, the Madras Presidency was disbanded and Tamil Nadu was established.
Major Tourist Attractions in Tamil Nadu: Chennai, Coonoor, Kanchipuram, Kanyakumari, Kotagiri, Madurai etc.
Tamil Nadu has a glorious past, a vibrant culture, a rich tapestry of history, and natural bounty in the form of blue beaches and clear skies, Tamil Nadu is a tourist's dream come true.
One can enjoy on the Marina beach, go cruising in the theme parks, or let the mind search for peace in the midst of magnificent temples. Alternatively, one can relish the mouth-watering dosas, savor the refreshing filter coffee, or enjoy the Bharatnatyam performances. Tamil Nadu is not about the past only, but it has set it's site on the future.
The state is developing rapidly on all the fronts whether it is economy, social, human resource, culture, and so on. Tamil Nadu is one of the top three Indian states which receive highest foreign investment in the sectors like automobiles, information technology, power, telecommunication, and others.
On the social front, the state has a high per capita income, there is easy availability of social resources to people, and it produces quite a large number of trained manpower to increase the productivity. No wonder that the past and present in Tamil Nadu has a harmonious coexistence.
Festivals, Tamil Nadu
The four-day Harvest festival is celebrated all over the state in January. The festival begins on the last day of the Tamil month with Bhogi Pongal followed by Surya Pongal on the next day. It is on this day that Chakkara Pongal, a delicacy of harvest rice cooked with jaggery, ghee and cashew nuts is offered to the Sun God. The third day, Mattu Pongal is dedicated to the Cattle when cows are bathed and adomed with colourful beads and flowers. Jallikattu, the bullfight is held on the last day known as Kannum Pongal.
Skanda Sashti is celebrated in Saivite temples all over Tamilnadu on the sixth day in the holy half of the month of Aippasi (Oct 15 - Nov 15). Legend is that Skanda Sashti is celebrated on the destruction of evil by the Lord Kartikeya, son of Shiva. When it comes to celebration there must be mention of the grand celebrations at Tirupparankunram, Tiruchendur, two of the 6 'PadaiVeedu' temples of Murugan. At Sikkal, the festival image of Subramanya receives a spear, from the Ambal shrine, and breaks out in sweat, a day before the climax of the festival.
In most of the South Indian temples Bhramotsavam is celebrated. This is a ten day long festival with the procession of festival images on gaily decorated mounts. Srinivasa Bhattar and KotiSreekrishna of Cincinnati, present the significance of Bhramotsavam in SriVaishnava temples, and describe the daily events in the 9 day long Bhramotsavam at Tirupati.
Beaches, Tamil Nadu
Marina Beach :
One of the longest in the world, the beach has a wide expanse of glistening golden sands. The area fronting the beach is beautiful landscaped. Worthy of special mention is a group of bronze figures by the renowned Indian sculptor, Debi Prosad Rai Chaudhari, eulogizing the 'Dignity of Labour'. These apart, the beach-front offers some splendid examples of Indo-Saracenic architecture such as the Madras University, the Chepauk Palace and the Presidency College.
Kanyakumari Beach :
India's Land's End. Kanyakumari or Cape Comorin is unique in being surrounded by three seas, the Bay of Bengal, the Indian Ocean and the Arabian sea, and the confluence is called 'ThriveniSangamam'. Here one can get a breath-taking view of the Sunrise and Sunset at their best. The multicoloured sand is yet another unique feature of the beach here. Kanyakumari is a famous pilgrim centre, too.
40 kms away from the hustle and bustle of Chennai, Covelong is a salubrious village, brisk with fishing activities.
How to reach Tamil Nadu?
By Air - The Anna International Airport, 16 km south of Chennai, has flights to/from Sri Lanka, Dubai, Germany, Jakarta, Malaysia, England, Maldives, Saudi Arabia, and Singapore. Most major Indian cities are also connected to Chennai by regular domestic flights.
By Rail - The railway station at Chennai has connecting trains to/from all major cities in India. The reservation office is on the first floor of the reservation complex next to the railway station.
By Road - The bus terminals in Chennai are on either side of Prakasham Road in George Town, near the High Court Building.