Tourism in Tamil Nadu
Place of Interest:
Udhagamandalam (Ooty): Called the Queen of Hill Stations picturesque, green Udhagamandalam better known, as Ooty is the most popular hill station in the South. Located in the Western ghats at a height of 2240m, Udhagamandalam is the headquarters of the Nilgiris district where the two ghats ranges meet. Nature has been generous with this region, which is by far the most beautiful in the state. Apart from coffee and tea plantations, trees like confiers, eucalptus, pine and wattle dot the hillside in Udhagamandalam and its encirons. Summer temperature is rarely higher than 25°c with a minimum of 10°c and winter is are distinctly cooler with a high of 21°c and a low 5°c. Curiously enough, this slice of paradise remained unknown to the great southern dynasties and it took the British to discover it in the early 1800s. They were, however, not the first inhabitants of this land as a tribe called Todas had been living there long before the British came, claiming that the Nilgiris had been their home since time immemorial. But the credit for modernising Udhagamandalam and making it accessible goes to the British who constructed the first railway line in the area and made it the summer capital of the Madras Presidency.
Kodaikanal: The charm of Kodaikanal lies in its wooded slopes and gigantic trees. The mighty rocks, bowers, creeks and slopes captivate the visitors. The meadows, the long stretches of forests, beautiful spots and the flocks of sheep grazing on green pastures are a source of joy, delight and thrill to onlookers. The climb to the various jutting rocks at Kodai is rewarding. The arduous climb to the Pillar rocks, to a height of 400 ft, is a must for every visitor to this hill resort.More info: Tamilnadu tourism (Kodaikanal)
Kanniyakumari: Described as the southernmost end of Tamil Nadu, the land’s end of India or the point where the three seas meet, enchanting Kanniyakumari or Cape Comorin is one of the most popular tourist spots in the state. Part of the fascination is of course due to the fact that it is the very tip of the Indian peninsula and the confluence of the Bay of Bengal, the Arabian Sea and the Indian Ocean. Nature is so spectacular at Kanniyakumari that several other Indian beaches pale by comparison. Cape Comorin is at its best during Chitra Pournami (the full moon day in April) when the sun and moon are face to face on the same horizon but other full moon days are also special and you can see the sun set and the moon rise almost simultaneously. It seems as if it is by prior arrangement.Kanniyakumari is 705 kms from Chennai.
Chidambaram: is also known as Thillai, since the place was originally a forest of the thillai, botanically known as excecaria agallecha shrubs. It is an important pilgrim centre and a holy place for Saivites as the famous Nataraja Temple is located here. Dedicated to Lord Nataraja, this ancient temple of the Cholas is unique not only it is devoted solely to the art of Bharatanatyam, but also it is one of the rare temples where Shiva is represented by an idol rather than the customary lingam. Spread over an area of 40 acres with a gopuram on each side, the temple is distinguished by five sabhas or courts.
Chettinad: The Land of Heritage and Devotion It is a place that enchants and enhances the soul. Chettinad is the homeland of the Nattukottai Chettiars called the Nagarathars, are a prosperous banking and business community. It is a tourist’s paradise with a difference, and one which certainly cannot be missed by the discerning tourist. A stray thundershower adds to the charm of the place, churning up the red soil, and filling up the temple tanks. The palatial mansions, makes Chettinad a place of rare charm, and a must visit destination.
Kanchipuram: It is (75 kms from Chennai) one of the seven holy cities in the country, and a visit is believed to bestow salvation. Kanchipuram once had over a thousand temples. Today, there are more than a hundred extant, and all are worth a visit. Kanchipuram also has some notable churches and mosques. Ancient Kanchipuram is the city of thousand temples and is one of the seven most sacred pilgrim centres for the Hindus. This city is also known as Kanchi. 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.
Madurai : is known as Athens of the East, Madurai is a place of great historical and cultural importance. It is the oldest city in Tamil Nadu and Madurai lies on the banks of the River Vaigai. Madurai is one of the liveliest cities in South India it was originally known as Kadambavanam or the “forest of Kadamba” or the Nauclea kadamba.
Mamallapuram: Though it is no longer a port, Mamallapuram has retained its fame in stone, thanks to the great contribution of Pallava artisans. It is among the most outstanding examples of Dravidian art and architecture and a jewel in the crown of Tamil Nadu. In a land that is liberally strewn with some of the best in temple art, Mamallapuram holds its own, and stands as a silent yet eloquent witness to the glory of its creators. Unfortunately most of the work was left incomplete, and time and nature have also eroded the remains of this once great port. Yet, Mamallapuram’s wonders in rock leave visitors enthralled, conveying as they do, an impression of beauty and harmony. The monuments are floodlit at night and so it is possible to enjoy their beauty even after sunset. The Mamallapuram dance festival is conducted every year during Dec-Jan. It is a month long festival and dances take place during the weekends. Classical dances such as Bharatanatyam, Kuchipudi, Kathakali, Mohini Attam, Odissi, Kathak etc., are performed by well-known exponents of the art.
Rameswaram: Rameswaram (Chennai to Rameswaram 572 km) is a small island in the Gulf of Mannar, is a major pilgrim centre. It is connected to the mainland by road and railway bridges. Rameswaram is a holy place because Sri Rama, on his return from Sri Lanka, offered his thanks to Lord Shiva and performed pooja to wash away his sin in killing the Demon King, Ravana. Rameswaram is known for its 22 theerthas or wells in and around the main temple. This place is equally sacred to both Vaishnavites and Shaivites. According to Hindu Mythology, if one visits Rameswaram and prays to Lord Shiva one will be relieved of one’s sins. It is 197 metres long. The Ramanathaswamy temple is renowned for its magnificent corridors and massive sculptured pillars. The third corridor of Ramanathaswamy temple is the longest one in the world.
Thiruvannamalai: Thiruvannamalai, located at the foot of a hill is 185 kms from Chennai. It is one of the major pilgrim centers in India. Five different temples were dedicated to lord Siva for worshipping Him in the form of five elements of nature, namely, earth, water, wind, ire and ether. The Arunachaleshwara Temple in Thiruvannamalai is one of them and Siva is worshipped in the form of fire.
Marina Beach: is located on the eastern side of Chennai, adjoining the Bay of Bengal. Watching the sun set and rise 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. With its natural sandy beauty and spacious promenade and beautiful gardens, the beach is a major attraction for tourists visiting Chennai. It has acquired a South Indian aura with vendors hawking wares ranging from shell and glass baubles to kites and fruit juices. The Marina, however, is large enough to accommodate all visitors as well as the hawkers and is often the venue for important state functions.
Source: Tamilnadu Tourism