Tamil Nadu was the seat of some of the oldest civilizations in the world. They left behind magnificent temples, majestic monuments and formidable forts. Tamil Nadu also boasts of some of the finest hill stations in the country. Whether you are a history buff or a nature lover, you will enjoy every moment you spend in this vast South Indian state. The sights and sounds of this place will captivate your eyes and soul and make you want to stay longer.
Here are the most popular tourist destinations in Tamil Nadu.
Chennai (formerly Madras) is the capital of Tamil Nadu. It is a major commercial hub and is often called the Detroit of India because several automobile companies have manufacturing plants here.
An old city, Chennai has several cultural and heritage monuments. It will take weeks to explore every nook and corner of Chennai. If time is limited try to visit all major landmarks in 2-3 days. Chennai has over 20 heritage monuments and these include its railway stations, museums, cinema halls etc. Chennai is also famous for its lovely beaches and magnificent temples. Chennai provides plenty of shopping opportunities as well. It is the third most visited city in India after Delhi and Mumbai.
Mahabalipuram or Mamallapuram is an ancient city famous for its monuments and historic ruins. According to historical documents Mamallapuram was an important port city in the 7th century AD. At that time it was ruled by the Pallava Dynasty. The place is famous for its monuments that showcase the ingenuity and brilliance of Dravidian architecture. UNESCO has recognized Mahabalipuram as a World Heritage Site. Most monuments here are carved out of granite.
Since Mahabalipuram is a small town, you should be able to explore it on foot. Or you can rent a bike to get around. You will be able to explore all monuments in the city in a couple of days. Mahabalipuram attracts a large number of domestic and international visitors throughout the year. The majestic monuments and the intricately carved temples cast a magic spell on the visitor. Each monument has an interesting story behind it. Hire a knowledgeable guide while exploring Mahabalipuram and they will make the visit truly memorable.
Kanyakumari (formely Cape Comorin) is the southernmost tip of mainland city. Since the town lies at the confluence of three major water bodies – the Arabian Sea, the Indian Ocean and the Bay of Bengal – it is a major pilgrimage center for Hindus. Kanyakumari has several famous temples, beautiful beaches and cultural monuments. Another peculiarity of this place is that because of its unique location, you get an opportunity to watch both the sunrise and the sunset at the same beach. The temples of this town are built in the Dravidian style of architecture. Kanyakumari is also a great place to savor South Indian delicacies like Dosa, Idli, Vada and Sambhar.
One of the oldest cities in the world, Madurai has seen many dynasties and civilizations come and go. The place has been mentioned in the works of Megasthenes and Kautilya. A temple city, Madurai has several gorgeous temples that attract pilgrims and tourists alike. Of these, the Meenakshi Amman Temple is the most famous. It is a major pilgrimage center for Tamil people. It is also a major tourist attraction. The temple complex houses 27 temples with huge and elaborately carved towers. The tallest tower stands at a height of 51.9 meters. There are several other temples and monuments in Madurai.
One of the most famous hill stations in South India, Kodaikanal lies at an average elevation of 2,331 meters above sea level. There are thick forests around this place. While the rest of Tamil Nadu has a tropical climate, Kodaikanal enjoys a cool climate throughout the year. It has several lakes, parks and waterfalls. Tourism is the mainstay of Kodaikanal.
Ooty is the capital of the Nilgiri district of Tamil Nadu. One of the most visited hill stations in India, Ooty is famous for its picturesque hills, valleys and lakes. The blue smoky mist coming from the thick eucalyptus forests lends the town an ethereal charm. Because of its perfect scenery, Ooty has often been likened to Switzerland. The town enjoys pleasant climate throughout the year. The days are pleasantly cool and the nights are chilly. Ooty also provides plenty of opportunities for trekking.