Tamil Nadu is an Indian state in the south of Indian Peninsula. Besides being an urbanized state, it is well known for its varied natural resources, the grand Hindu temples that reflect the Dravidian architecture and a number of World Heritage Sites. The era of Dravidian architecture was at its zenith during the rule of the Pallava kings. The main geographical feature is the 910 km of coastline. There are several tourist regions in Tamil Nadu frequented by travelers from India and abroad. In far south is Kanyakumari, the southwestern part has Madurai, in western Tamil Nadu you can visit Coimbatore, Nilgiris and Erode. The northern coast is dotted with cities of Chennai, Kanchipuram and the district of Tiruvallur. Indian Holiday offers information on what to do, what not to do in Tamil Nadu by highlighting all places of tourist interest.
Things to do in Tamil Nadu
Sightseeing is an important activity for visitors. For a complete trip of Tamil Nadu, visit its prominent tourist places.
Visit Chennai – One of the four metropolitans in India, it is Tamil Nadu’s capital city. The Marina Beach is Chennai’s top attraction. Other beaches here include the Edward Elliot’s beach and the Breezy Beach. This city is also home to a number of shopping malls, pubs, clubs, restaurants and hotels offering the perfect city life. You can also enjoy the traditional Tamil cuisine, be a part of the Chennai Music Festival held in mid-December. Few Places of historical interests are Basilica of the National Shrine of St Thomas, St Mary’s Church, Fort of St George and the Government Museum. .
Kanyakumari – A revered place of Hindu pilgrimage, Kanyakumari is also popular as Cape Comorin. The Kanyakumari Temple, Vivekananda Rock and the Gandhi Memorial are top attractions here. The ferry ride from the beach to the Vivekananda Rock will be a memorable experience. The rock has a mandapa and a meditation hall. You can also tour the Padmanabhapuram Palace and the Lady of Ransom Church. This church reflects the Portuguese influence with its Gothic style of architecture.
Excursion to Mamallapuram – Previously known as Mahabalipuram, Mamallapuram is where you will have a glimpse of ancient stone-carved temples that are fine examples of Dravidian architecture. This place is a drive of around 60 km from the city of Chennai. The temples here date back to the period of the Pallava dynasty rule of the 9th century. They are major tourist attractions now. The sea is few meters away from here. The entire strip has a number of hotels, restaurants and amusement parks enough to spend an entire day.
Madurai Temples – Another prominent pilgrimage place in Tamil Nadu, Madurai is famous as the Temple City. It is one of the oldest cities ruled by the Pandya rulers. It is home to the famous Meenakshi Amman Temple. Dedicated to Parvati, this temple has four gateways and a number of gopurams or towers. The towers have sculptures of Hindu God and Goddesses. Other temples in Madurai are Koodal Alagar Temple, the Thiruparankundram and the Pazhamudhir Solai. The Chithrai Festival is held during the month of April and will be the best for you to tour Madurai. Besides these temples, the Thirumalai Nayak Palace is a tourist attraction.
Kanchipuram – Kanchipuram is home to a number of medieval period temples that reflect spectacular Dravidian architecture. Kanchipuram was the erstwhile capital of the Pallava empire. You can visit the Kanchi Kamakshi Temple, Ekambaranatha Temple, the Varadaraja Perumal Temple and the Kailasanathar Temple. International Library and the Kanchi Kudhil cultural institute are also important places of visit. Modern day Kanchipuram is an important trade and weaving center. Hand-woven silk sarees and other handloom wears are popular buys for tourists.
Safari at the Mudumalai National Park – This wildlife sanctuary is situated in the Nilgiri district and is a Tiger Reserve. It is around 160 km from Coimbatore. This park acts as a habitat for several endangered species such as the Indian elephants, gaur and leopards. On a safari through the park, you will come across several scenic spots such as the Moyar River banks. There is also a museum adjacent to the elephant camp. Elephant safari tours depart from Theppakadu, the headquarters.
What not to do in Tamil Nadu
- Indian Holiday offers travel and safety tips for travelers in Tamil Nadu.
- Avoid the touts and guides outside the temples as they often lure tourists to the nearby shops
- Beware of bookies, get your hotel reservations done in advance
- Many temples do not allow non-Hindu visitors inside the complex
- Adhere to the dress code stated for entry to the Kanyakumari Temple
- Do not feed animals or stroll through the national parks without a guide
- Do not irritate the animal while on safari tours
- Avoid mingling with strangers
- Carry a proof of your identification, foreign tourists should keep their passports safe