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TAMIL NADU GUIDE

 
Tamilnadu is bounded by Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh in the north and Kerala in the west.   The eastern and western tips of the Tamilnadu are defined by the Point Calimere and Mudumalai wildlife sanctuaries while the northern extreme is Pulicat lake and the southernmost tip is Kanyakumari, the land's end. Tamil Nadu is principally washed by the Cauvery, originating in Coorg in neighbouring Karnataka. Chennai, the capital of Tamil Nadu is known for its beautiful beach resorts.


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  TAMIL NADU INFORMATION

 
Tamil Nadu, the heart of the Dravidian culture and tradition, is one of the four states of Southern India. Bounded by the states of Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Kerala on the north and west, Tamil Nadu is washed by the waves of the Indian Ocean to the south. Its eastern shores are kissed by the waters of the Bay of Bengal. The state has an unbroken coastline of 992 km, which includes several scenic beaches. If you want to tour the land of temples, Tamil Nadu is the right place for you. The places of tourist interest in Tamil Nadu are Chennai, the beautiful capital city, Madurai, the temple town, and Rameshwaram, one of the holiest cities in India.
 
   

  TAMIL NADU FACTS AND FIGURES

 

Tamil Nadu at a Glance ...

 

Area:    

103.058 sq km

 

Capital:

Chennai

 

Languages: 

Tamil, Telegu, Kannada
  No. of Districts:   20
  Religion: Hindu, Muslim, Christian
  Location: South West India
  Urban: 24%
  Main Income: Agriculture, Industries
  Best Time to visit: December to February
 
   

  TAMIL NADU HISTORY

 
The history of Tamil Nadu is very old and it is believed that human endeavour s to inhabit this area began as early as 300, 000 years ago. It is also suggested that the first Dravidians of Tamil country were part of the early Indus Valley settlers and moved south during the advent of Aryans around 1500 BC. However, the recorded history goes back only to the 4th century BC. There are references in the early Sangham literature to the social, economic and cultural life of people. The proximity to the sea established the Tamil Country on the maritime map of the world even before the dawn of Christian era. The Tamils were bonded through trade links with ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome.

History rewinds
Prior to the Christian era, the Cheras, Cholas and Pandias ruled Tamil Country. This was the golden period of Tamil literature, the Sangham Age that shadowed three centuries after Christ. The domains of these three dynasties changed many times over the centuries. At times other dynasties like Pallavas and Chalukyas came into power. All these dynasties engaged in continual skirmishes; but their steady patronage of arts served the expansion of Dravidian culture.

It is speculated that the early Dravidians were part of the Indus Valley Civilisation. However, with the coming of the Aryans, the Dravidians were pushed back into the deep south where they ultimately settled around 1500 BC. Excavations have revealed that the features of the people of the Indus Valley Civilisation bore a marked resemblance to that of this region.

Bastion of legacy
Tamil Nadu is famed for its rich tradition of literature , music and dance which are continuing to flourish today. It is one of the most industrialized states in India. Tamil is the official language of Tamil Nadu (as well as one of the official languages of India).

Tamil Nadu was carved from the old Madras State in the 1950s, when India re-drew some state lines according to language. State politics continue to have a lot to do with protecting and celebrating the Tamil (and Dravidian in general) language and culture.
 
   

  TAMIL NADU TOURIST ATTRACTIONS

 
Kapalleswarar (Chennai) » San Thome Cathedral (Chennai) » Thomas Mount (Chennai) » Sim's Park (Coonoor) » Little Mount Shrine (Chennai) » Fort St. Shrine (Chennai) » Tamukkam Palace (Madurai) » Lomd's Nose (Coonoor) » Kodaikanal (Madurai) » Rameshwaram (Madurai) » Meenakshi Temple (Madurai)
 
   

  TAMIL NADU FAIRS AND FESTIVALS

 
Pongal is the harvest festival of Tamil Nadu. People extend their tribute to the Sun, Nature and the Cattle wealth for helping them with a rich harvest and Prosperity. The traditional preparation of 'Pongal' i.e. boiling rice with jaggery and milk, takes place at every home. At dawn on this day families everywhere gather around a new earthen pot. As the pot of milk boils over, signifying prosperity, a shout of "Pongalo Pongal" rents the air. This thanks- giving festival is celebrated on the first day of the Tamil Month Thai (Middle Of January). and Dussehra,Yugadi,Karaga,Makara Samkramana, Sri Ramanavami, Sri Krishna Janmashtami, Ganesh Chaturthi and Deepavali.Fairs:Sri Vithappa,The Godachi Fair, Shri Yellamma Devi Fair, Banashankari Devi Fair.
 
   

  HOW TO REACH

 
By Air : Directly linked to the major cities.

By Rail : Connected with Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Bombay, Calcutta, Cochin, Coimbatore, Delhi, Hyderabad, Kodai Road, Lucknow, Madurai, Mangalore, Ooty, Rameshwaram, Trichy, Tirupati Trivandrum and Varanasi.

By Road : Bombay- 1329 kms, Bangalore- 334 kms, Hyderabad- 669 kms, Kanyakumari- 693 kms, Madurai- 461 kms, Mahabalipuram- 60 kms, Pondicherry- 162 kms, Rameshwaram- 619 kms, Kanchipuram- 71 kms, Tirupati- 143 kms, Ooty- 535 kms, Kodaikanal- 498 kms, Trivandrum- 709 kms, and Thanjavur- 334 kms.
 
   

  TAMIL NADU MAJOR CITIES

 
Chennai » Chidambaram » Coimbatore » Coonoor »Kanchipuram » Kotagini » Madurai » MamallaPuram » Rameswaram » Thanjavur » Tiruvannaamalai » Vellore
 
   

  TAMIL NADU WILDLIFE AND BIRDS

 
The topography of Tamil Nadu is delightfully varied and diverse. Of the 1,30,058 sq-kms land area, 17.6% is covered with forest area. These spread over the plains and on mountain slopes. Dry lands are bestowed with dry-deciduous forests, thorn forests, scrubs and mangroves. The Western Ghats and a few cooler regions are endowed with moist deciduous, wet evergreen forests and grasslands. There are 5 national parks and 17 wildlife sanctuaries in Tamil Nadu. The famous wildlife sanctuaries are the Anamalai (Indira Gandhi) Wildlife Sanctuary, Calimere Wildlife Sanctuary, Kalakadu Wildlife Sanctuary, Mundanthurai Tiger Sanctuary, Kunthakulam Bird Sanctuary, Mudumalai Wildlife Sanctuary and National Park, Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary and The Viralimalai Sanctuary. The Gulf of Mannar Marine National Park and the Guindy National Park are the most visited national parks in the state. Anna Zoological Park in Chennai is one of the latest and modern zoos of India. The Snake Park and the Crocodile Bank also located in Chennai are known for their collection of reptiles.
 
   

  TAMIL NADU ARTS AND CRAFTS

 
The heart of Tamilaham, the home of the Tamils or Tamil Nadu, lies around and south of the curve of the Eastern Ghats as it goes to merge with the Western Ghats in the Nilgiris. Some of the oldest prehistoric settlements of India have been found in this area, which has also been the cradle of ancient arts and crafts and industries, a land of innumerable, incomparable temples.

The development of the region has been attested by several writers of olden times. Pliny the Younger of Rome and others have written of the Tamil country in the 1st and 2nd century AD as being a source of silk, fine muslin, ivory work and diamonds, rubies, pearls and tortoise shell. Even earlier, Kautilya (circa 300 BC) referred to pearls of the Taamraparni River in Pandyan country and cotton fabrics from Madurai and sandalwood carvings.
 
   

  TAMIL NADU SHOPPING

 
Tamil Nadu, popularly referred as the cradle of Dravidian culture, offers exciting shopping experiences to its visitors. The state is renowned for its rich culture heritage including its exquisite arts and crafts, which are world-famous for their uniqueness. Traditional items like Kanchipuram silks, Pattamara mats and the leaf and palmyra-fiber handicrafts from Tirunellveli, bronze and brass castings and traditional jewelry from Kumbakonam, metal works from Tanjore and stone sculptures from Mahabalipuram are famous all over the country.
Chennai, the capital city of Tamil Nadu, is world-famous for its fine South Indian silk, embroidered silk sarees, hand-woven garments and handicrafts items. Poompuhar, the Tamil Nadu Emporium, and Khadi Gramodyog Bhawan have their shops in all major cities and tourist destinations of Tamil Nadu. They sell exquisite handicrafts and other exotic souvenirs, offering a rewarding shopping experience to visitors.

Madurai, the textile hub of South India, is famous for its readymade garments of fine silk and cotton. Thanjavur, also known as Tanjore, is known for its bronze items, especially the beautiful Chola Nataraja. The beautiful replicas of the ancient paintings and Thanjavur plates with their exquisite copper and silver work are specialty of Tanjore. Coimbatore also offers beautiful silk sarees and a range of handicraft items.

If you are fond of collecting fine pieces of sculptures, then Mahabalipuram is the perfect shopping place in Tamil Nadu. Mahabalipuram offers exquisite ancient art and craft including granite carved sculptures of Hindu Gods, exquisite woodcarvings and jewelry.