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Indian States

Tamilnadu

  Tamil Nadu - The history of Tamil Nadu is very old and goes back to thousands of years back. It is believed that the Dravidians of Tamil country were once a part of the early Indus Valley settlers and moved south after the advent of the Aryans around 1500 BC. However, the recorded history of human civilization in Tamil Nadu goes back only to the 4th century BC. The Sangam literature has several references to the social, economic and cultural life of people in this part. The close proximity to the Sea put the Tamil Country on the maritime map of the world even before the dawn of Christian era. Over a period of time, the Tamils developed trade links with ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome.

Due to its geographical and strategic location, Tamilnadu remained a bone of contention for political supremacy among different empires. Prior to the Christian era, the Cholas, Cheras and Pandyas ruled the Tamil Country. The domains of these three dynasties changed many times over the centuries. Later, other dynasties like the Pallavas and the Chalukyas came into power. All these dynasties remained engaged in political skirmishes to retain supremacy over the land. The most remarkable aspect of these rulers was their patronage to literature, architecture, art and crafts. Most of these rulers gave their steady patronage to various arts that expedited the expansion of the Dravidian culture. The rich tradition of literature, music and dance, which were so ably supported by the Tamil rulers, continue to flourish to this day.

 

Main Cities / Towns

 

Chennai, the capital city of Tamil Nadu

 

Tour of Chennai will prove fascinating for any visitor, for the capital of Tamil Nadu is a vibrant metropolis. With beaches, historic monuments and temples to snake parks, a choice of the finest hand-woven textiles in silk and cotton, spicy south Indian cuisine, strong filter coffee, Chennai is a historic city turning increasingly cosmopolitan.

 

Tourist attraction in Chennai,

Fort St George - Built by the British East India Company in 1653 this fort houses St Mary's Church, the first British Church in Chennai and has a museum with a collection of British and French historical artifacts. It is currently used as the State Secretariat or seat of local government.

St Thomas Mount- One of Christ's disciples, St Thomas is believed to have visited India between 52 and 72 AD. He is believed to have died in the area called St Thomas Mount. The Portuguese built the Luz and Descanco churches. There are several churches and a museum to be seen on St Thomas Mount.

 

Theosophical Society - The serene setting of this institution in Adyar, spread out over 100 green acres, makes it a popular spot for visitors. It is also famous for the large Banyan tree in its grounds. This banyan is over 200 years old and its branches and aerial roots spread out over a large circumference.

Kalakshetra - Smt Rukmini Devi Arundale founded this cultural institution of international repute in 1936 as a cultural academy for the preservation of traditional values in Indian art, especially in the field of dance and music. Performances of the classical arts can be seen here throughout the year.

Guindy National Park and Snake Park - A unique institution, this centre is renowned for the study and preservation of snakes and other reptiles.

Parthasarthi Temple -  Built in the 8th century B.C. by the Pallava Dynasty and dedicated to Lord Krishna, this temple was renovated in the 16th century by the Vijayanagara dynasty and continues to be in active use today.

 

Marina Beach - Stretching over 13 kilometers this popular beach is the second longest beach in Asia.

 

CHIDAMBARAM

 

Chidambaram, a town with ancient temples and beautiful locales, is an important tourist destination in Tamil Nadu. Chidambaram is a place which must be visited as it has a lot to offer, ranging from its antiquity, cultural richness, festival traditions, architectural and sculptural splendor and love for music and dance, truly a perfect representation of the rich Indian cultural heritage.

Tourist attraction in Chidambaram


The Nataraja Temple
- The Nataraja temple is located in the center of the town and covers an area of 40 acres. It is one of the ancient temples of Tamil Nadu. The roof of the sanctum sanctorum is covered with gold plates. The deity presiding in this temple is represented by air, one of the five elements of the universe. It is also known as Akasa Lingam. The Eastern tower has a height of 40.8 metres whereas the Northern tower has a height of 42.4 meters. One of the special things seen here are the 108 Bharatha Natyam Dance gestures on the Eastern tower as well as on Western tower. Apart from these, the Sivakamiamman temple, the Sivaganga tank, the thousand pillar hall are other important features of the Temple.

Vaitheeswaran Koil - The Vaitheeswaran Koil is famous for the Siva temple dedicated to the healer of all diseases, Vidyanatheeswarar and his consort Thaiyalnayaki. It is located around 24 kms away from Chidambaram. A bath in the holy waters of the Siddhamirtham tank within the temple complex is believed to be therapeutic.

Gangaikondas Cholapuram - about 50 kms. from Chidambaram, Gangaikondas Cholapuram was established as a capital by Rajandra -1, a mighty Chola King. He also built a temple of Lord Siva. This temple is famous for its massiveness and richly carved sculptures. There's big Nandi in front of the temple made of brick and mortar, a lion head well with a flight of steps leading to the water level and gigantic Dwarapalakas are the other highlights of this temple.

Pichavaram - Pichavaram is situated 16 kms. east of Chidambaram. It is among the most eye-pleasing destinations with abundant and varied tourism resources. Pichavaram also has backwaters which are interconnected by the Vellar and Kollidam system. These backwaters offer an array of water sports opportunities like - parasailing, rowing and canoing.

Kalvarayan Hills - The Kalvarayan hills are situated 150 kms. north west of Chidambaram on the western side of Kallakurichi Taluk. It is sprawled over an area of 600 sq. kms, located at a height that ranges from 315 mts. to 1190 mts. The climate at these hills is temperate, offering absolute serenity. There are two waterfalls and a botanical garden here. This area is the venue of a summer festival held every year in the month of May. It is also ideal for trekking

COIMBATORE

Originally Coimbatore district formed part of the Kongu country the history of which dates back to the Sangam age. It is found that in early days the area was inhabited by tribes, the most predominant among them being the Kosars who are reported to have had their headquarters at Kosampathur which probably later became the present Coimbatore. However, tribal predominance did not last long as they were over-run by the Rashtra Kutas. From Rashtrakutas the region fell into the hands of the Cholas who were in prominence at the time of Raja Raja Chola. Coimbatore is snuggled near the Western Ghats and bestowed with a pleasant climate throughout the year. One of the interesting tourist spots of South India, Coimbatore is rich in flora and fauna. Coimbatore's landscape is marked with glorious temples and is one of the loved places by tourists.

Another important attraction here is the Perur Temple, situated about 6 km from Coimbatore. It is one of the seven Kongu Sivalayams. The temple has shrines to the presiding deity Patteeswarar and his consort Pachainayaki. There are also some elegantly carved sculptures in the Kanagasabai hall. The Marudhamalai Temple is well-known temple of this area, located on a hillock about 12 km from Coimbatore Railway Station. This temple is dedicated to Lord Subramanya.

Tourist attraction in Coimbatore

Perur Temple -
Built by Karikala Cholan, this temple is situated 7 kms. west of Coimbatore near River Noyyal. It is dedicated to Lord Siva. The presiding deity of the temple is known as Patteeswarar and His Consort, Pachai Nayaki. The exquisite sculptures in the hall, Kanagasabi, attract one and all. It is also known as Mel Chidambaram.

Maruthamalai Temple :- Dedicated to Lord Murugan, the presiding deity is known as Dandayuthapani. This temple located on a hillock is 12 Kms from Coimbatore Railway Station and Bus Stand.

Annamalai Wildlife Sanctuary - Situated near Pollachi at a distance of around 90 km, the Annamalai Wildlife Sanctuary forms an interesting excursion from Coimbatore. The sanctuary, situated at an altitude of 1,400 metres in the Western Ghats, is home to different kind of animals and birds like elephant, gaur, tiger, panther, sloth bear, deer, wild bear, wild dog, porcupine, flying squirrel, jackal, pangolin, civet cat and birds like rocket-tailed drongo, re-whiskered bulbul, black-headed oriole, tree pie, spotted dove, and green pigeon. The Amaravathy reservoir in the Annamalai has a large number of crocodiles. Annamalai also has many places of scenic beauty such as Karainshola, Anaikunthi shola, grass hills, waterfalls, dams and reservoirs

Agricultural University - About 5 kms from the Coimbatore Railway Station, this is the sixteenth Farm University in independent India. Though it came into existence on June 1, 1971 its ancestry is much older than that of the earliest started Agricultural University in the country. The nucleus was an Agricultural Demonstration Farmstarted in 1868 in Saidapet, Madras, which was later shifted to Coimbatore in 1907 and became one of the internationally reputed Agricultural Colleges in course of time. It is this Agricultural College that has been converted into the present Tamil Nadu Agricultural University.

 

Thirumoorthy Temple - It is situated at the foot of Thirumoorthy Hills adjoining the Thirumoorthy Dam. This is about 20 kms. from Udumalpet on the Highway from. Palani to C.oimbatore. A perennial stream flows by the side of the Sri Amallngeswarar temple and nearby there is a waterfalls. The Crocodile Farm at Amaravathi Dam is just 25 kms. from here. This place is being developed as a District Excursion Centre. Regular buses are available from Udumalpet.

 

Black Thunder - It is Asia's number one theme park based at the foothills of gigantic Nilgiris. The Water park spread over 65 acres at Mettupalayam has a number of thrilling water games and land games.

V O C Park - This children's park is named after the freedom fighter V. O. Chidambaram. It encloses a mini Zoo, models of prehistoric dinosaurs, Children' Train, Swings other play equipments making it an interesting and engaging amusement park for the children.

 

Siruvani Waterfalls and Dam - The project consists of a series of dams interconnected by tunnels and canals for harnessing the Parambikulam, Aliyar, Nirar, Sholiyar, Thunakadavu, Thekkadi and Palar rivers, lying at various elevations, for irrigation and power generation. The scheme is an outstanding example of engineering skill. It is located in the Anamalai range. Perur

 

Patteeswaraswamy Temple - 7 km from Coimbatore, Perur Patteeswaraswamy temple is situated on the shores of River Noyyal. It is one of the most popular temples of Coimbatore and has huge statues. Its reference can be found in the poetic creations of Arunagiri Nather and Kachiappa Munivar.

Khadi Gandhi Gallery - The Khadi Gandhi gallery was set up on 15th of July 1970 and displays pictures of Gandhi right from his birth to his death. It houses some of the rare photographs titled 'Journey through Harijan Life', 'Family', 'Friends', 'Independence Struggle', 'Jail Life' and 'Peace Talks'.

 

Forest College Museum - One of the oldest of its kind in the country, the Forest College is situated 3.5 km from the railway station of Coimbatore. The college museum exhibits the fossils of plants and animals, the dead specimens of plants and animals of rare variety and has a special advisory counter that offers counseling regarding plant husbandry.

Bhawani Sagar Dam - The lower Bhavani Dam is located on the Bhavani River just below the confluence of River Moyar, at 16 kms West of Sathyamangalam and about 36 km North - East of Mettupalayam in Periyar District. It is an earthen dam, constructed after India's independence. Alongside the dam there is a well-maintained park with all amenities for children to play around and an orchard that can be enjoyed. 

KOTAGIRI

Kotagiri is one of the three popular hill stations, located in the Nilgiri Hills. It is just an hour's drive from Udhagamandalam, popularly known as Ooty. Kotagiri is a small hill resort located amid the lush tea estates. Kotagiri used to be the summer resort of the British. If you want to spend your vacations from the hustle and bustle of the crowded city life, Kotagiri is the perfect place for you. The climate of Kotagiri is a temperate one and attracts a large number of tourists every year.

Tourist attractions in Kotagiri

Kodanad View Point - Kodanad viewpoint is located 18 Km away from Kotagiri on the easternmost ridges of the Nilgiri Hills. On both sides of the road you can have a great view of the distant plains, tea estates, dams and the River Moyar.

Elk Falls -Elk fall is another popular attraction at Kodagiri. Besides the waterfall, it is also known for the European house that was built here during the colonial period. Though the house is in ruins but that still makes a great sight. You can also have a close look into the lives of the tribal people by exploring the Badaga settlement, on the road to the falls.

Rangaswamy Pillar and Rock - The Rangaswamy peak lies 20 km from Kotagiri. This peak is sacred for Irulas (a tribe) that adds mysticism to the natural beauty. Just nearby is the Rangaswamy rock, a challenge for the rock-climbers. The Rangaswamy Rock rises abruptly on all sides to about 400 meters, which makes it impossible to climb.

Longwood Shola - The Longwood shola is the source of pure water for the people of Kotagiri area. Shola forests are a type of stunted evergreen vegetation that is found in the Southern states of India. The Longwood Shola forms an essential part of the delicate eco-system of the area. The micro climatic conditions make Kotagiri one of the ideal climatic locations. You can trek along on the picturesque trekking path, which goes through this calm shola forest.


Kotagiri Hill Station-India

In the serene setting of the Nilgiri Hills and just an hour's drive from Udhagamandalam, Kotagiri is a small resort set among the lush tea estates. Retaining the essence of hill magic and charm, the resort offers year round sylvan charm. Trips to Kodanad View Point, St. Catharine Falls and Rangaswamy Pillar and Peak are worthwhile.Kotagiri is a hiker's paradise, with endless trails and sufficient 'off beat ness'. It is the third largest and the oldest hill station in the Nilgiri's. Like all hill stations in India, this also has had strong presence of the British Raj. The town is fast becoming commercial, with many banks and shopping facilities coming up. It has a Kota temple in the middle of the town, even though the Kota tribes have long moved out, giving it an exotic tribal feel. Kotagiri has one of the best climates in the world. It is more temperate than Ooty, attributed to its altitude of 1984 metres above sea level.

 

KUMBAKONAM

 

Kumbakonam – The Temple Town

It is in Tanjore district & 40 Km away from Tanjore. It is one of the oldest towns in Tamilnadu & is called as Temple Town. The city is famous for the Mahamaham festival, which is celebrated once in 12 years in the Mahamaham tank located in the heart of the town. The town is famous for brass vessels especially lamps, Silks, Panchaloga (5 metals) idols & Betel leaves. Betel leaves are cultivated more in Kumbakonam since it is also called as Kumbakonam Vettrilai (in Tamil). Dozens of temples are scattered around the town and this is a good base to visit the Chola temples nearby. The famous Mathematician Ramanujam belongs to Kumbakonam. The town is bounded by two rivers, the river Cauvery on the North & the river Arasalar on the South.

 

Tourist attraction in Kumbakonam

 

Aadhi Kumbeswarar Temple – Adi Kumbeswarar temple is the major one among the Saivite temples and located in the centre of Kumbakonam at Big Bazaar Street. Shri Adhi Kumbeswarar (Shiva) is the presiding deity of Kumbakonam and Manthrapeeteswari Mangalambika (Parvathi) is the lord's Consort. The temple complex is huge and has beautiful artwork.  A unique feature here is the depiction of 27 stars and the 12 zodiac signs carved on a large block of stone in the Navarathri Mandapam. The famous festival of Hindus Mahamaham is associated with this temple.

 

Timings: 5.00 AM – 12.30 PM & 4 PM – 8.30 PM

No Entrance

Camera: Not Allowed

Video: Not Allowed

No Holiday

 

Nageswara Temple – Nageswaran Temple is dedicated to Shiva in the guise of Nagaraja, the serpent king. Also known as "Koothandavar Kovil", it is located near the Kumbakonam old bus stand. The design and orientation are structured in such a way that it allows the sunrays inside the temple only during the Tamil month of Chithirai. This is the site of an annual festival that celebrates the worship of the Lingam by the Sun. Therefore it is also known as Soorya Kottam or Keel Kottam. This is the town’s oldest temple. 

 

Timings: 5.00 am – 12.00 pm & 4 pm – 8.30 pm

Entrance: No

Camera: Not allowed

Video: Not allowed

Holiday: No Holiday

 

Sarangapani Temple - It is the largest Vishnu temple in Kumbakonam. The main deity of this temple is Lord Sarangapani swamy (Lord Vishnu) with Lordess Komalavalli Thayar (Lakshmi). The karuvarai (Inner sanctum) and Vimanam (roof) are made with 12 sculptured columns shaped like a chariot.  This temple shrine is in the form of a chariot, was the work of Cholas.

 

Timings: 5.00 AM – 12.30 PM & 4 PM – 8.30 PM

No Entrance

Camera: Not Allowed

Video: Not Allowed

No Holiday

 

Rama Swamy Temple – The main deity of Ramaswamy temple is Rama, Sita, Lakshmana & Hanuman. This temple consists of one Gopuram, one Maha Mandapam and Karuvarai.  The columns of Maha Mandapam are enriched with some of the famous stone carvings of Vamana Avatar, Meenakshi Kalyanam, Sukreeva Pattabhishekam and Ramayana.  The wall paintings of outer Prahara explain the series of incidents from the great epic ‘Ramayana’.

 

Timings: 5.00 AM – 12.30 PM & 4 PM – 8.30 PM

No Entrance fee

Camera: Not Allowed

Video: Not Allowed

No Holiday

 

Chakrapani Temple - This temple is considered to be one of the most important Vishnu temples in South India along with Srirangam and Tirupathi.  According to legend, Surya (The Sun) once competed with Vishnu to decide who is brighter.  Vishnu appeared in the form of Chakra and put down the pride of Surya.  The main deity of Chakkarapani temple is Sri Chakkarath Alwaar with Sri Vijayavalli and Sri Sudharsanavalli.  Like Lord Shiva, Lord Chakrapani has a third eye in his forehead.  The eastern and the western entrances of this temple are known as ‘Thatchinaya Vayil’ and ‘Utharayana Vayil’ respectively.  The outer prakkaram of this temple is made in the form of a balcony. 

 

Timings: 5.30 AM – 12.30 PM & 4 PM – 8.30 PM

No Entrance

Camera: Not Allowed

Video: Not Allowed

No Holiday

 

Dharasuram – It is 35kms from Tanjore and 5 kms from Kumbakonam. It is also a silk weaving centre.  Airavatheeswarar Temple is a storehouse of art and architecture.  This temple was built by Raja Raja Chola II in the 12th century A D.  This temple is recognized as UNESCO World Heritage Monument.  The Vimanam is 85 feet high.  The front Mandapam is in the form of a huge chariot drawn by horses. This temple has some exquisite stone carvings.  The stone panels which are in the front of the temple, when struck produce tones of varying pitches.

 

Timings: 7AM – 12 Noon & 4 PM – 8 PM

Entrance fee - No

Holidays - No

Camera and Video charges - No

 

Swamimalai – It is situated about 7 kms west of Kumbakonam.  It is one among the six abodes of Lord Muruga.  Lord Muruga is named Swami Nathan because he taught the Pranava Mantra – “OM” to his father Lord Shiva in this abode. One has to climb 60 steps from the foothill to reach the temple and these 60 steps of the temple refer to the 60 years in the Tamil Calendar.

Also, Swamimalai is famous for bronze casting in Tamilnadu.

 

Timings: 5 AM – 12 Noon & 4 PM – 8.30 PM

No Entrance

Camera: Rs.50 (With Permission)

Video: Rs.250 (With Permission)

Holiday: No Holidays

Kumbeswara Temple - Kumbeswara is an important Saivite temple situated in the central part of the Kumbakonam town. Shri Adhi Kumbeswara is the presiding God with Manthrapeeteswari Mangalambika as his Consort. The Kumbeswara temple complex is quite enormous and beautiful. The Mahamaham festival, which takes place once every 12 years during the Tamil Month of Masi (February-March), is the main festival. The Mahamaham festival attracts lakhs of pilgrims from different parts of India.

Someswar Temple - Someswar Temple is located in the southern portion of Sri Sarangapani temple. The architectural style of Someswar temple resembles the Dravidian style of temple architecture of 13th century (Chola period).

Airavatesvara Temple - The Airavatesvara temple is situated at Dharasuram, 4 km west of the Kumbakonam town. The Airavatesvara (Airavat means white elephant) temple was constructed by Rajaraja Chola and is a superb example of the Chola architecture. Stories from epics and Hindu mythology are depicted all over the temple.

 

KODAIKANAL

Kodaikanal located amidst the folds of the verdant Pali hills is one of the most popular serene hill stations in India, which mesmerizes any visitor. With her wooded slopes, mighty rocks, enhancing waterfalls and a beautiful lake, Kodaikanal is a charming hill station. It Presents a Very Natural Eco-Environment, Which Provides You a Great Freshness.

In 1845, Kodaikanal was started as hill station in the Palani hills at 7375 ft. The Palani Hills were first surveyed by British Lieutenant Ward in 1821.The first people lived in the hills were dolmen-boulders, who have left here several visible artifacts. But dolmen sites have not been carbon dated. In the Palani hills Tribes are of two kinds, the Paliyans and Pulaiyans. Kukkal Caves, which in 20 kms. away from kodaikanal, show traces of Paliyan occupation. Paliyans are tribes. Next to Paliyans, Pulaiyans were settled as agriculturists at later stage. The survey report of 1821, reveals Pulaiyans were the aborigines of the Palani Hills and followed Tamil Culture.

There is proof of settlement of prehistoric tribes at Kodaikanal by visible artifacts such as dolmens homes of great stone slabs. After the primitive tribes of Paliyans and Pulyans in 14th century, villagers of Palani foot hills fled into Kodai Hills, to escape from the oppressive rule in the plains and also from the invasion of Tippu Sultan.

Tourist attraction in  Kodaikanal

Palani hills - Tucked away among the Palani Hills in Tamilnadu, in South India, and jealously guarded like a prized jewel by the dark forests, is Kodaikanal. In fact, the name itself means ‘gift of the forest’ in Tamil. A more appropriate and evocative name could not have been imagined for this quaint, unspoilt little hill station, where the air is intoxicating, the scenery breathtakingly beautiful, and a serenity seldom found in other hill stations. Cradled in the southern crest of the upper Palani Hills, in the Western Ghats, 120 km from Madurai, Kodaikanal is located 2133 m above sea level.Tucked away among the Palani Hills in Tamilnadu, in South India, and jealously guarded like a prized jewel by the dark forests, is Kodaikanal. In fact, the name itself means ‘gift of the forest’ in Tamil.

The Town - Driving into Kodaikanal from Palani is a dramatic experience, reminiscent in parts of the drive up the Ghat road from Kallar to Ooty. It is a relief to leave the hot, dusty plains behind and drive up into the cool hills. The vegetation changes gradually from palm-fringed paddy fields to wild brush with flaming blossoms to plantations interspersed with stately silver oaks. The view of the Amaravathi Dam, a shimmering sapphire sheet of water is an unforgettable sight. Driving higher, banana trees give way to tall eucalyptus trees, and the whole countryside is dotted with wildflowers in jeweled colors, magenta and purple predominating.

The Kodai Club - The Kodai Club gives the impression of stepping back into colonial India. The lounge with its period fireplace, the piano, the Leigh Hunt prints, the library stocked with books by Evelyn Waugh, Anthony Trollope, and the bar with stuffed heads of bison, tigers, deer-horns, and a picture of the Laughing Cavalier by Franz Hals, the restaurant with old English plates, a glowing hearth-fire, and landscape prints, are all British legacies. Cinnereras and primulus add to the English atmosphere, and again one is struck by the predominance of the lilac-purple theme.

Berijam Lake - Berijam Lake located at a distance of 21-km from Kodaikanal in Tamil Nadu is one among the beautiful lakes of South India. Spread over an area of 24 hectares, the lake is star shaped and is known for its pure water.

Kodaikanal Trekking - Head for Kodaikanal in the Palani Hills for small-time trekking. You can take short treks and hikes to tourist spots close by as well to local viewpoints. Overnight treks are also possible here where one can spend a night at a local village.

The Golf Club - The Golf Club is located 5-km from the Kodaikanal Lake. Boating and Angling facilities are available at the Kodaikanal Lake. Picturesque trek routes are available in and around Kodaikanal. For details, contact: The Trek Director, Department of Tourism, Government of Tamilnadu, Chennai

AROUND KODAIKANAL

Dolphin’s Nose -  located about eight km from the lake, is a flat projecting rock from where one can have a breathtaking view of the yawning chasm below.

The Perumal Peak - The Perumal Peak about 11 km from Kodaikanal, is a trekker’s delight. Climbers begin their ascent from the Neutral Saddle.

Kukal Cave  40 km from Kodaikanal, is a favourite camping site for trekkers. Reportedly, descendants of the Paliyans still live here.
 

KALAKKAD

Kalakad is also known as Chozha kula vallipuram, chora karanyam etc., The temple was constructed in many stages, by various Maharajas, during different periods and the current shape was finished by Maharaja Veeramarthanda pandiyan, in the 11th century.

Tourist attraction in Kalakkad

Wildlife Sanctuary of Kalakkad - This Reserve is situated in the south Western Ghats of India. It is bound by forests in west, north and south and by villages in the east. The Western Ghats is among the 18 world biodiversity hotspots. Agasthiarmalai (1681 mtrs) which falls within the core zone of the Reserve is the 3rd highest peak in South India. Part of Agasthyamalai hills in the core of the Reserve is considered one of the five centres of plant diversity and endemism in India (IUCN). The topography is undulating.

This is the only area of Western Ghats which has longest raining period of about 8 months,and it is the only non-dipterocarp evergreen forest in the region.It is floristically very different from other sites.

The rich forests of the Reserve form the catchment area for 14 rivers and streams. Among them the Tambraparani, Ramanadi, Karayar, Servalar, Manimuthar, Pachayar, Kodaiyar, Kadnar, Kallar form the back-bone of the irrigation network and drinking water for people of Tirunelveli, Turicorin and part of Kanyakumari district. Sever major dams - Karaiyar, Lower Dam, Servalar, Manimuthar, Ramanadi, Kadnanadi and Kodaiyar - owe their existence to these rivers.

Conservation History

Papanasam Reserved Forests and Singampatty Ex-zamindari Forests of Tirunelveli District were declared Tiger Sanctuary in 1962. The Wildlife (Protection) Act 1972 came into force in the state of Tamil Nadu in 1974. All the existing Sanctuaries were deemed sanctuaries under the Wildlife (Protection) Act. The entire Kalakad Reserved Forests was notified sanctuary in 1976.

These Sanctuaries formed part of the Kalakad Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve in Tamil Nadu, the seventeenth Tiger Reserve in the country, created in 1988-89. Initially, it comprised of two adjacent wildlife sanctuaries of Kalakad and Mundanthurai in district of Tirunelveli to which parts of Veerapuli and Kilamalai Reserve Forests (Approx. 77 sq. km.) of adjacent district Kanyakumari, were added in April 1996. The area of the Reserve is 895 sq. km.

Kalakad Mundanthurai comprises of 665 sq. km. Reserved Forest. About 230 sq. km.of Singampatty Ex-zamindari Forest is not yet declared as Reserve Forest under Section 16 of Tamil Nadu Forest Act 1882. The legal status of this forest is Reserve Land under the Act.

 

KANYAKUMARI

 

Kanyakumari is located in the state of Tamil Nadu and it is the southernmost point of the Indian peninsula. The enchanting natural beauty of this place attracts hordes of tourists from far corners of India and the world at large. The place is blessed with a pleasant climate and you will come across several places of tourist interest that are located here. The tourist attractions in Kanyakumari are chiefly of religious and historic importance. The sea shore of Kanyakumari is well-known for exquisite sunset and sunrise.

Kanyakumari Temple also known as Kumari Amman is located on the shore and is devoted to a manifestation of Parvati. The temple is located picturesquely and commands breathtaking views of the surrounding natural beauty. You will be amazed to find that the diamond nose ring of the deity can even be witnessed from the sea. The Kanyakumari tourist attractions are must watch for the tourists since they are instances of the age-old culture, heritage and civilization of this place.

 

Tourist attraction in Kanyakumari

 

Kumari Amman Temple - Kumari Amman Temple dedicated to Goddess Parvati as Devi Kanya (the Virgin Goddess) is an important shrine here.

Temple Of Goddess Bhagavathi - Goddess Bhagavathi Temple in Kanyakumari is picturesquely located at the confluence of the three oceans - the Indian Ocean, the Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea. Originally built by Pandyas, it was expanded later by Nayaks. The image of the Goddess in the sanctum looks serene and beneficent. The eastern gate of the temple facing the Bay of Bengal is opened only five times a year.

Swami Vivekananda Rock Memorial - The memorial was erected to commemorate the evening of December 25, 1892, when Swami Vivekananda visited Kanyakumari as a pilgrim and swam to the rock in the sea and spent the whole night there in deep meditation. Only after that, he resolved to serve his Motherland and spread the message of Vedanta.
                                                                                                                                                           Gandhi Mandapam - It enshrines the spot where the urn containing the ashes of Mahatma Gandhi was kept for public view before immersing its contents in the three seas. Built like an Oriyan temple, the uniqueness in its construction lies in the fact that on October 2nd, Gandhiji's birthday, the sun's rays fall on the place where his ashes were kept.

Alvar Tirunagari - One of the celebrated Vaishnav temples of Kannyakumari, Alvar Tirunagari temple is one of the nine sung of by the saint Namalvar. It is said that the saint attained enlightenment under a tree enshrined here. It is dedicated to Lord Adinatha and the musical instrument used in the temple festival here called Nadaswaram is made of stone.

Vattakottai - 6 km from the city, Vattakottai is an 18th century fort overlooking the sea. Those who would like to swim and bathe in the sea can come here, as the sea here is calm and suitable for bathing.

 

Kanyakumari Beach - The Kanyakumari beach is a beautiful sight with multi-coloured sand. The beach here does not really offer one the opportunity to sunbathe on soft golden sands, or to frolic in the waves either. The seashore is rocky and dangerous, and there is a manmade wall running along it. People are warned to stay off the rocks, and when if someone ventures out of bounds, he or she is quickly and severely reprimanded by a watchful policeman. There is a lighthouse from where one can get a panoramic view.

 

Wildlife in Kanyakumari

Kanyakumari is a delightful place to visit. There are several places to visit in Kanyakumari. There are also several other facilities such as hotels, cuisine and dance that reel the tourists to Kanyakumari. Kanyakumari is the southern most districts in Tamil Nadu. The city is situated on the sea shore and is the last southern city in India. The city is a great center for tourism. Kanyakumari wildlife is one of the best aspects in Kanyakumari tourism.

As such there are no facilities to enjoy wildlife in Kanyakumari one has to visit the sanctuaries that are located in the near by district, Thirunelveli. Thirunelveli has the Kalakadu wildlife sanctuary and the Mundanthurai wildlife sanctuary where Kanyakumari wildlife, India is carried out. Kalakadu wildlife sanctuary is located in the Thirunelveli district and stretches for an area of 223 square kilometers. The sanctuary is 47 kilometers away from Thirunelveli.

It is situated along the Western Ghats foothills and the nearby areas as well. Kanyakumari wildlife is carried on in this sanctuary. This sanctuary is popular with botanists as well as ornithologists as there are large varieties of flora and fauna. The Kanyakumari wildlife India is carried on in this park with full earnest. Along with the tourists from Kanyakumari, there are also the tourists from Thirunelveli who come to visit the sanctuary.

Kanyakumari wildlife, India is recommended to be visited between September and March. The flora from forests of evergreen to tropical deciduous and thorn forests is strikingly beautiful. The sanctuary has Fauna lion tailed Macaque, Bonnet Macaque, Sambar, Nilgiri Langur, Common Langur, Sloth Bear, Nilgiri Tahr, Flying Squirrel, Wild Dog, Panther and Elephant.

Kanyakumari wildlife has a range of birds and reptiles. The Mundhanthurai Sanctuary is a sanctuary known for beautiful landscapes, lush green Ghats and also for the opulent variety of wild creatures. This is a place worth visiting.

Kanyakumari wildlife, India is one of the attractions of any state. The evergreen forests as well as rainfall vary and the Mundanthurai sanctuary is a haven for animal lovers.

 

KANCHIPURAM

 

Kanchipuram is a temple city, one of the most sacred Hindu pilgrimage sites in India. It is situated about 70 kms from Chennai in the south Indian state of Tamil Nadu. Famous for its temples and hand-woven silk sarees, it is a popular tourist destination.


Kanchipuram famous as the 'City of a Thousand Temples' has its history intertwined with the glorious reign of the Pallavas, the Cholas and the Rayas of Vijayanagar.The city is also famous as an ancient center of Tamil learning and culture. Kanchipuram was home to great luminaries like Appar, Siruthonder, the great Buddhist bhikshu Bodhidharma and Sri Shankaracharya. Shankaracharya or Adi Shankara established his Episcopal seat here called Kamakotipeetam.

Tourist attraction in Kanchipuram

 

Sri Ekambareswara Temple - The deity Sri Ekambareswara here is in the form of 'Prithvi Lingam'. According to a legend, Kailash Parvathy, Shiva's consort, playfully closed his eyes bringing darkness to the entire world. Lord Shiva angrily cursed her to become black like Kali. The goddess however did penance here and made a lingam under a mango tree. The temple is spread over an area of 20 acres and has a 58.5 m tall south gopuram.

Sri Kailasanatha Temple - The 8th century temple was made by Rajasimha of the Pallava in red sandstone. Among the innumerable carvings, the Urdhva Tandava dance of Siva and the laughing face of Parvati are fabulous. The architecture of the temple looks like that of the Shore Temple at Mamallapuram.

Sri Kamakshiamman Temple - One of the three Shakti peethas of India, the patron deity of Kanchi is Goddess Kamakshi, having Saraswati, Lakshmi and Parvati as her eyes. The sanctum sanctorum faces southeast in the centre of Gayatri Mandapam, a delightful grove of Champaka trees.

Sri Ulagalandar Temple - This Vaishnava Temple of Chola period, it features the idol of the main deity as 35 feet high and 24 feet wide, called Trivikrama. This temple is said to be one of the 108 Divya Desam's of Lord Vishnu.
 

Sri Kacchapaeswarar Temple -
In this temple, Lord Vishnu is shown worshipping Lord Siva in the form of turtle (kurmemerali).

Sri Vijayaraghava Perumal Temple- One of the 108 Divya desams, it is said to be the site where Lord Rama is said to have performed the funeral rites for Jatayu, the giant bird who sacrifices his life for him.

Jain Temples at Tirupparuthikkundram -
The 9th century temples of the Jain Tirthankaras contain several fresco paintings and a grand image of Bhagwan Mahaveer.

Sri Subramaniya Swami Temple - Built around in 1915, this temple gained its significance due to its location for Hindus on pilgrimage. According to the Hindu scriptures, this temple is located in the city in the rare 'Soma Skandha' Posture.

 

MAHABALIPURAM

Mahabalipuram 60 km to the south of Chennai, Mahabalipuram (Mammalapuram) is an important tourist place of Tamil Nadu and is most famous for its spectacular monolithic structures. Some of the monuments in Mahabalipuram have also been recognized by the UNESCO and are must see for the tourists on their tour to Mahabalipuram. Besides, Mahabalipuram is quite popular for its sun-kissed beaches that are idyllic retreats for cooling off or taking long strolls in the evening. The tourist attractions in Mahabalipuram carry their individual significance and reflect the historic charm of this place.

Tourist attraction in  Mahabalipuram

Thirukadalmallai :-
It is a marvelous temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu. This temple was built by the Pallavas for safeguarding the sculptures from the waves of the ocean. According to the sources, after this temple was built, the remaining structure was preserved and was unharmed by the sea.

Shore Temple - This charming temple located on the shore is the most famous among the tourist attractions in Mahabalipuram. It is located between two Shiva temples and is a visual delight recognized for its architectural masterpieces. You will find the attractive sculptures of Nandi the bull while the figure of Vishnu is present in the sanctum.

Pancha Pandava Rathas - These splendid structures dating back to the 7th century are located in the southern end of Mahabalipuram. These Rathas (chariots) are five in number and carved out of a single rock. Out of these rocks, gigantic stone animals have been carved out including an elephant.

Arjuna's Penance - It is a massive bas-relief replete with meticulous carvings that include a family of elephants and monkeys. The carvings on the bas-relief are the stories from the legends of India and the Panchatantra . You will also encounter the Krishna Mandapa nearby, which is a bas-relief of enthralling architectural brilliance.

Caves - The caves in Mahabalipuram are among some of the most sought-after Mahabalipuram tourist attractions. The Varaha cave is one such cave which is actually a rock-cut mandapam (hall) and features two incarnations of Vishnu which are Varaha (boar) and Vamana (dwarf). There is also a seventh century Dharmaraja Cave and consists of three empty shrines. The other caves located here are Mahisasurmardini Cave and Tiger cave.

 

Krishna's Butterball - This is a huge natural rock perched on a hillside and the precarious way in which it is balanced simply startles its onlookers.

 

MADURAI

 

Madurai is located on the banks of river Vaigai. This ancient city is about 2600 years old. This city is referred to as the Athens of the East. This is the place where the tradition of the Tamilians got its emergence and grew popular. The Tamil literature flourished due to the kings, nobles and poets who dwelled in this part of the ancient Tamilnadu. The three Tamil Sangams evolved and flourished here. According to mythologies and history, this is the oldest city of Tamil Nadu. Ramayana and Arthasasthra the great epics had something to do with Madurai.

The rulers who ruled Madurai were none other than the great, brave, knowledgeable Pandya kings. They were the old patrons of the Tamil language, its art and great constructions. They ruled the place for a very long time. After them, succeeded the Cholas, the Vijayanagar kings, and the Nayaks. Madurai had trade links with Rome and Greece and was the major trade center in the early periods. Great travelers and traders like Megasthenes, Pliny and Ptolemy visited this glorious city. Even Marco Polo and Ibn Batuta also visited this place.

 

Tourist attraction in Madurai

 

Madurai is an exquisite city which is most popular for its marvelous temples that are magnificent examples of rich architecture and breathtaking sculptural works. Madurai is located in Tamil Nadu and attracts numerous tourists all the year round by its inescapable charm. There are many tourist attractions in Madurai that are reminiscent of the rich culture and heritage of this town during the ancient and medieval ages. Some of the important Madurai tourist attractions and their descriptions are given in brief below.

Sree Meenakshi Temple - It is one of the most prominent among the temples of Madurai. It is dedicated to Lord Shiva who was known here as Sundareshvara and his wife Parvati or Meenakshi. This temple was built by Kulasekara Pandya and the most impressive feature of this temple is the 12 gopurams. It also has soaring towers that stand on the granite bases and have stucco figures of deities, mythical animals and monsters tinted in vibrant colors.

Thirumalai Nayak Palace - It is a magnificent palace that was built by King Thirumalai Nayak with valuable assistance of an Italian architect in the year 1636. The palace had two parts known as Swargavilasa and Rangavilasa. You will come across theatre, shrine, apartments, armory, palanquin place, royal bandstand, quarters, pond and garden while taking a stroll inside this imposing palace.

 

Gandhi Museum - This is the most distinguished among the tourist attractions in Madurai and is a living memorial of Mahatma Gandhi. This museum houses photos, paintings, sculptures, manuscripts, quotations, and some articles that were used by him.

Mariamman Teppakulam - It is also among one of the many things to watch in Madurai and is located at a distance of 5 km to the east of Meenakshi temple. There is a tank having an idol of Vinayaka which is located on a platform in the centre. It is also a venue of the temple's annual Teppakulam float festival which is celebrated with huge zeal and excitement.

Thirupparankunram - Tirupparankundram is famous for the Pandyan rock-cut shrines that date back to the 8th century that later came to be known as the Nayaka Hindu temple. You will find a wide range of Hindu deities carved on the walls on your visit to this temple. Located on the top a hill, people believe that it is one of six abodes of Lord Subramanya.

 

NAGAPATTINAM

Nagapattinam is 320 kilometers from Chennai, the capital city of Tamilnadu. The city is extended along the long stretch of coastline that runs along the Bay of Bengal for hundreds of Kilometers. Due to its prominence in fisheries, Nagapattinam boasts off one of the most thriving harbors in India. The city is also famous for its temples. The Shri Kayahorana Swami Neelayathatchi Amman Temple and Sowriraja Perumal Temple are some of the important temples that can be seen here. Apart from that, there are other attractions in and around Nagapattinam. Some of them are as follows: -

Tourist attraction in Nagapattnam

 

Velankanni Velankanni is a small town that is situated ashore Coromandel Coast 14 kilometers south of downtown Nagapattinam. Velankanni has a special place in the pages of Christian history in India. The most holy church on the Coromandel namely, The Arokiya Madha Church or the Velankanni Basilica is located in this town. However, typical of the homogenous society in South India, people of all religions offer their worship at this church. The annual carnival that takes place in the month of August and September is a very famous affair. Hordes of tourists flock Velankanni at that part of the year.

Koothanur - Located at a distance of 45 kilometers from downtown Nagapattinam, Koothanur is associated with the life of the great Tamil poet Ottakkoothar. The place is famous for the magnificent temple dedicated to this poet. The temple complex has a separate temple for Goddess Saraswati, the goddess of learning and arts.

Kodikkarai - Kodikkarai is situated just 68 kilometers from the downtown Nagapattinam. The place has been developed as a backwater and bird sanctuary. The quiet destination attracts a lot of honeymoon couples.

Mannarkudi - Mannarkudi situated at a distance of 56 kilometers from Nagapattinam is famous for the Vaishnava shrine called Rajagopalaswamy temple.

Nagore - Nagore is just 5 kilometers North of Nagapattinam. The place is famous for a Muslim Sufi shrine that is frequented by the people of various caste, creed and religion. The place considered a focal point of secularism in peninsular India. The Kandhuri festival, similar to the Urs of North India that is celebrated during the month of October is very popular among the tourists.

Sikkal - Sikkal that is famous for Shri Singaravelan temple is located 5 kilometers from Nagapattinam. This is an old Shiva Temple where Lord Muruga is worshipped in the form of Singaravelan. Many Shivite saints such as Appar, Thirugnana Sambandar and Manickavasagar have evoked the place in their devotional songs. The place is also famous for a festival called Soora Samharam that is celebrated in the month of April.

Thirukkuvalai - Thirukkuvalai or Tiruvarur lies at a distance of around 27 Kilometers from the downtown Nagapattinam. This too is considered one of the Saptha Vaidanga Thallams. Two of the most well known temples in Tiruvarur are Thyagaraja Swamy and Angalamman temple.

Vedaranyam - Vedaranyam is situated just 58 Kilometers off to the downtown Nagapattinam. The place is famous for the Vedaranyewarar temple that is considered among the Saptha Vidanga Thallams. The place has a historical importance as well. Vedaranyam was the center stage of Salt Sathyagraha in South India, during the Indian freedom movement.

 

 

PONDICHERRY

Pondicherry is a union teritory which lies within the state of Tamil Nadu.The inherent ambience of Pondicherry becomes most evident in the oldest part of the town which flanks the seashore boulevard.Quiet beaches and peaceful resorts to the north and south balance the towns bustling, yet easy going life. But Pondy hasn't only its own special attractions to offer.

Colonial buildings which trace back to the 18th century, line along a grid of straight clean streets and house the French institutions, private homes and businesses, and the sprawling premises of the famous Sri Aurobindo Ashram. The visitor is greeted by mellow colours of cream, yellow, pink and grey with flamboyant bougainvillae bursting over gates and compound walls of cool courtyards.
It is a perfect base to explore the rich destinations around it, even in daily trips: Auroville, the international City of Unity; the imposing Gingee Fort, the holy temple towns of Kanchipuram, Tiruvannamalai and Chidambaram, the heritage sculptures and magnificent rock temples of Mamallapuram, and the cool and lush hillstations of Yercaud and Kodaikanal.

Tourist attraction in Pondicherry

 

Plage Paradiso (Paradise Beach) - At Chunnambar, 8 kms from the town, along Cuddalore Main Road, lies this stretch of tropical paradise. Flanked h a quiet-flowing creek on one side. In fact, you can sail downstream to the sands and pitch up a cozy seaside tent for yourself. Overnighting within the tree-houses on the backwater banks provides a relishing experience of the great outdoors.

 

Aurobindo Ashram - The main building comprises the houses of Shri Aurobindo and The Mother (Mirra Alfassa, a French woman who accepted Aurobindo as her spiritual mentor and guide and later became his most important disciple). In the courtyard are the samadhis of Aurobindo and The Mother where their mortal remains have been enshrined. Visitors are allowed to visit the samadhi between 8am and 6pm everyday. The other places of interest in the Ashram complex are the International Education Centre, guest houses, libraries and the cottage industries.

 

Karaikal Beach - Sunrise-watchers can catch their magnificent view over the bay, with the pretty Arasalar river reaching out to the sea. Alternatively, you can canoe or kayak in picture-book surroundings. Have a round of beach volley ball. Or, armed with the angling gear, you can reel in a surprise.

 

Government Park - The Government Park is the centre of old colonial part of the town and provides a cool and lush green anchor around which most government buildings are situated: the Lt. Governor's Palace, the Legislative Assembly, Government Hospital, but also the Ashram Dining Room in a beautiful Villa, the Cercle de Pondichery, which is a private club, and old Hotel Qualité.

Jimper - This is one of the foremost medical institutions in the country. JIPMER, which is Jawaharlal Institute of Post-graduate Medical Education and Research, was established 20 years ago and is one of the most prestigious institutions of its kind in the country.

Botanical Gardens - Just off West Boulevard, the gardens planned by C.S. Perrotet in 1826, have a good collection of exotic flowering plants from India and abroad. There is also an aquarium here which has some rare species of ornamental fish.

Pondocherry Museum - Opened in 1984, this museum has on display some fine antiques apart from sections devoted to archaeology, geology, sculpture, handicrafts, objects of art, printing and armaments. Among the exhibits on display are the bed used by Dupleix, a palanquin and a pousse-pousse which resembles a rickshaw.

Auroville (10kms) - This city of dawn was designed by the French architect Roger Arger and was started as an experimental commune where people of all nationalities irrespective of caste, creed or religion would live together in harmony. About 550 people from different countries live in the 40 settlements of Auroville. It is advisable to hire bicycles to look around as the village is too large to wander through on foot. Surrounded by lakes and gardens, the sphere shaped Matri Information Centre at Promesse the first stop is Here, a 25 hectare farm and orchard where organic agriculture has been practised successfully.

French Institute - Situated on Dumas street, this internationally acclaimed institute was established by the renowned French Indologist Dr. J. Fillozet in 1995. The institute has separate sections on science, technology, ecology, cartography, pedagogy, Indian languages and culture. The Romain Rolland Library has a collection of over 60,000 books, some of which are rare French volumes. The institute conducts research in arts and sciences and is perhaps the only permanent link with France in Pondicherry.

 

Chunnambar Water Sports Centre - Facilities for boating are available at the Boat House on the River Chunnambar, 8 kms from Pondicherry. The backwater and the lush greenery on both sides of Chunnambar provide an ideal setting. Boats are available on hire on all days of the week.

PALANI

Palani Hills are of great religious importance for Hindus. The major attraction of the hills is a temple, dedicated to Lord Subramanya. The temple is situated on top of a hill, reached by a flight of 659 steps. It is one of the six abodes of Lord Muruga and devotees from across the country visit the place in huge numbers. There is an interesting legend about how the place came to be called as Palani. The story revolves around Narada Muni, a sage who visited the court of Lord Shiva and Parvati.

He brought a golden mango, known as Jnanapalam, along with him and gave the miraculous fruit to them. Lord Shiva announced that whoever amongst Lord Murugan and Lord Vinayakar completes a round of the earth first, will get the fruit. Lord Murugan immediately took for the journey on his peacock whereas Lord Vinayakar denoted his parents as the world and took a round around them. This is how Lord Vinayakar got the fruit. Murugan felt cheated, left his home and became a recluse.

He traveled to Palani Hills in anger, and then Lord Shiva called him as Pazham Nee i.e. the fruit itself. This is how the place came to be known as Palani. The deity of Lord Subramanya Temple is in the form of a sage, standing with a stick in his hand and is called Dandayudhapani. The statue was made by Muni Bhoga, by mixing Nine Poisons called Navapashanam in a specific proportion. The idol thus contains miraculous powers.

 

 

Tourist attraction in Palani

 

Dhandayuthapani Temple -    most visited shrines in Tamilnadu. It is built on a hillock and is accessed by a flight of steps or an electic winch. This shrine dedicated to Dhandayuthapani or Murugan is referred to in ancient Sangam literature. Contributions to this temple have been made by the Cheras, Pandyas and the Naik Kings. The Tiruvavinankudi temple at the foot of the hill is also considered to be a part of this complex.

Periyanayaki Amman Temple - Popularly called 'Town Temple', 'Űr-k-kovil' and 'Űr-Ambalam', this large and spacious temple is in the heart of Palani town, two kilometres from Adivaram. Built four centuries ago by the Nâyaks and enlarged by chieftains of Palani, Ayakudi and Neikkarappatti, it has Goddess Periyanâyaki as the presiding deity; there are sanctums for Muttukumâraswâmi, Subramanyar, Kailâsanâthar and Nâtarajar. In the Muttukumâra Swâmi shrine, within the iron railings are a series of festival deities, the last of which Uchi Mahâkâli is an amazing piece of art.

Palani  Nagarathar Sangam - Nagarathar was started during 1982 and the sangam is conducting monthly Karthigai Prayers at Palani Anna Dhaana Madam. We are also continuously conducting and celebrating Pillayaar nonbu, Arudra Dharsanam, One day Mariamman Temple festivel, Tamil New Year & Thirukkaarthikai Prayers.  Ramayana is also being read at Palani Iraakkala Madam for 10 days. Various important functions connected with Raamayana is celebrated during this Period.

Thaipoosam festivel is an important festivel for our nagarthar community and also to the whole of Palani. Our Sangam is conducting a two day cultural, religious and literary annual thaipoosam programme. This programme is being continuously conducted for the past 25 years successfully.

POOMPUHAR

The beautiful port town of Poompuhar is located in Sirkali Taluk of Nagapattinam District in the south Indian state of Tamil Nadu. Situated in the estuary of the river Kaveri, this ancient town once flourished as a major center of power of the Chola dynasty. The historical significance of Poompuhar, coupled with the inherent charm of the town, has made Poompuhar a favored destination among tourists visiting Tamil Nadu. Include a Tour to Poompuhar in your Tamil Nadu itinerary and appreciate the rich history of the land dating back to times immemorial. the greatness of Poompuhar has been mentioned and cited on temple inscriptions and in ancient literature, especially in the Sangam epics ‘Silappathikaram’ and ‘Manimekalai’.

Tourtoindia offers exclusive tours to Poompuhar - the city is also known by names like Pumpuhar, Kaveripumpattinam or Kaveripattinam.

For a tour to Poompuhar, visitors will have to land at Mayiladuthurai railway junction and thereafter, head for Poompuhar by road. Travelers from Chennai by train need to alight at Sirkali.

Tourist Attractions around Poompuhar

Silappathikara Art Gallery – A must-visit destination on your tour to Poompuhar, this art gallery is a seven-tiered building containing exquisite sculptures on its walls, depicting scenes from ‘Sillappathikaram’ - the Epic of the land.

Thiruppallavaneeswaram Temple – It is an ancient temple famous as the birth place of Iyarppakai Nayanar and Pattinatthar. It is believed that even the hero and heroine of Sillappathikaram - Kovalan and Kannagi - were born here.

Nagapattinam - A land well-known for its rich religious heritage, Nagapattinam is an important religious destination, acclaimed as one of the most prominent among ancient Tamil Nadu kingdoms. This unique pilgrim center features the confluence of the three major religions of India – Hinduism, Islam and Christianity.

Shani Temple at Thirunallar – It is famous as the only temple in India to offer prayers to Saturn (the 'Shani Dev'). People suffering from ailments or under adverse Saturn conditions (Shani Dasha), visit the temple to appease Shani Dev.

 

TANJORE

 

Tanjore (Thanjavur) – the Rice Bowl of Tamilnadu

 

It is the head quarters of Tanjore district. It is famous for Brahadeeswarar Temple. It is known as Granary of South India, lying in the deltatic region of the famous river Cauvery. Tanjore is an important centre for South Indian art and architecture. Most of the living Chola temples and UNESCO world heritage monument are located in and around Tanjore. Tanjore is also the home of the Tanjore painting, a unique style of this region. Tanjore was at height of its glory during King Raja Raja Chola.

 

Tourist attraction in Tanjore

 

Brahadeeswarar Temple – it is also called as “Big Temple”, which was built by King Raja Raja Chola. It is an architect’s marvel & it is one of the UNESCO world heritage sites. The main shrine of this temple is Lord Brahadeeswarar (Shiva). The shivalinga of Brahadeeswara is probably the grandest in existence. Big Temple stands tall with its beaming tower. It's one of the architectural wonders of the world. The Massive Nandhi measures 25 tons weight. This is the second biggest Nandhi in India. It will take 1 hour to visit this place.

 

Time: 5.30 am – 12.30 pm & 3.30 pm – 8.30 pm

Entrance fee: No

Video Camera & Still Camera: No Fees

Holidays: No

 

Palace – it is 1 Km from the temple & it was built by Nayakas around 1550 AD and partly by Marathas. The total area of the palace is around 10 acres.

The palace has huge corridors, spacious halls, observational and arsenal towers and shady courtyards. Now inside the palace, King Saroboji Saraswathi Mahal Library, Art Gallery and Sangeetha Mahal are situated.

 

Saraswathi Mahal Library - The Saraswathi Mahal Library was started between the intervals of 1535  AD and 1673 for the Royals of Nayakas and the library was expanded by the Maratha kings between  1673 AD and 1855. Specifically during the kingdom of Saroboji II, thousands of books were got placed. And the library has collections of rare and illustrated manuscripts in Indian and European languages. The palm leaf manuscripts go beyond 20,000 in number. The rare Sanskrit books in the library were collected by the Mannar Saroboji from various places of the western side of India and hence the name Saroboji. 

 

Time: 9.00 am – 1.00 pm & 2.00 pm – 5.00 pm

Entrance fee: No

Video Camera & Still Camera: Not Allowed

Holidays: Every Wednesday, 2nd Saturday of every month & National Holidays

 

Art Gallery – the art gallery occupies the Nayak Durbar Hall. It has a collection of Bronze statues and stone statues of Cholas ranging from the12th to 15th centuries.

 

Time: 9.00 am – 1.00 pm & 3.00 pm – 6.00 pm

Entrance fee: Rs 30 for foreigners & Rs 7/- for Indians

Video Camera & Still Camera: Rs 30/-

Holidays: Government Holidays

 

Maratha Durbar Hall - The splendid Maratha Durbar Hall, built by Shahji II in 1684 has elaborately decorated pillars, walls and ceilings. The Durbar Hall now houses the Rajaraja Museum and Art Gallery with an impressive collection of bronze and stone idols dating from 7th to 20th centuries

 

Time: 10.00 am – 1.00 pm & 2.00 pm – 5.00 pm

Entrance fee: Rs 50 for foreigners & Rs 10/- for Indians

Still Camera: Rs 30/-

Video Camera: Rs 100/-

Holidays: Government Holidays

 

Sivagangai Garden - It is a beautiful park.  It is located to the North of the Big Temple.  It has a good collection of beautiful flowers, birds and animals.

 

Tamil University - It is established in 1981.  The university is engaged in advanced study and research in Tamil.  It has a collection of coins and musical instruments.

 

Timings: 10 AM – 5 PM

No Entrance

Holidays – Sundays & all National Holidays

 

Punnai Nallur Mariamman Temple - Punnainallur is on the way of Needamangalam route, at about 5kms on the eastern direction of Tanjore.  The main deity in this temple is Mariamman. 

 

Timings: 6 AM – 8.30 PM

No Entrance fee

Camera: Rs.50/-

Video: Rs.300/-


The Palace - The Palace of Tanjore stands near the Brihadeswara temple. The Palace is a huge building that has been built through many decades. Nayaks initiated the foundation and primary work of construction around 1550 AD. The Marathas later completed the building during the reign of Peshwas.
 
Royal Museum - Like various other tourist attractions in Thanjavur, The Royal Museum too is located in the Thanjavur Palace complex only. The museum is one of its kinds in peninsular India as it houses mixed collections of manuscripts, weapons, utensils, musical instruments and clothing that were used by the Royal Family of Thanjavur.

Schwartz Church - Schwartz Church is a living example of religious tolerance of Cholas. Rajah Serfoji built the Church that stands in the Thanjavur Palace garden in the year 1779 AD in token of his affection for the C. V. Schwartz who belonged to the Danish Mission. The architecture is a welcome break from the Chola temple architecture that dominates the city of Tanjore.

Sharja Madi  - Sharja Madi is the Royal balcony in the Thanjavur Palace. Located in the eastern part of the palace complex, Sharja Madi offers a panoramic view of Thanjavur city to the visitors. The balcony has been decorated with wooden carvings and sculptures that are unique in Peninsular India.

 

Day Excursions from Tanjore

 

Tanjore – Velankanni (Vailankanni)– Tanjore

Velankanni is a small town, located on the shores of Bay of Bengal. Velankanni is famous for Roman Catholic church, dedicated to “ Our Lady of Good Health”. It is 100 Km from Tanjore & will take 2 ˝ hours drive.

 

Time: 5.30 am – 8.30 pm

Entrance fee – No

Holidays – No

Camera & Video Camera – Not allowed

 

Tanjore – Tranquebar – Tanjore

Tranquebar is 110 Km from Tanjore. Tranquebar is also known as Tarangampadi, which means ‘Place of the singing waves’.  Tranquebar is a panchayat town in Nagapattinam district.  It is about 100 km south of Pondicherry near the mouth of a distributory of River Cauvery.  It was a Danish colony in India from 1620 – 1845.

 

Tranquebar Beach - Tranquebar beach is a sea side village, where the Danish merchants settled for trade.  A beautiful Governor’s palace is on the right of the beach, which tells us the past.  It is an ideal shore for Sun and tans our skin.

 

Fort - A Danish navy officer built this fort in 1620 A.D.  It is called as Dansborg Fort.  It is still standing like a rock.  It is just 100m away from the sea shore.    The fort consists of two levels.  The Rooms adjoining the Rampart wall at the lower level were used as godown, prison as well as rest area for the soldiers.  The upper level was used for the residence of the Governor and the Priests.  The monument is declared historically important under the Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act of 1966. 

 

Timings: 10 AM – 2 PM & 3 PM – 6 PM

Entrance: Indians – Rs.5/- & Foreigners – Rs.50/-

Camera:   Rs.30/-

Video   :   Rs.100/-

Holidays: Fridays & Government Holidays

 

Tanjore – Gangaikondacholapuram – Tanjore

Gangaikondacholapuram is 75 Km from Tanjore & 35 Km from Kumbakonam.  The city was founded by Rajendra Chola to commemorate his victorious march to the Ganges.  The name means – The Town of the Chola who captured Ganges.  The temple which is found here is a replica of Brihadeeswara Temple in Tanjore.  It was built by Rajendra Chola son of Raja Raja Chola The Shiva Lingam in the temple is the biggest in South India.  The inner sanctum always remains temperature controlled.  It remains cool during summer and warm during winter.  There are 42 Chola style sculptures on the roof as well as in the walls.  The best time to visit this place is winter. It is in between Chidambaram and Kumbakonam.

 

 

TRICHY – TIRUCHIRAPALLI

 

Trichy (Tiruchirapalli) – the Rock City

It is situated on the banks of River Cauvery. It is the fourth largest city in Tamilnadu. Trichy is an ancient city, famous for its beauty of architectural monuments and culture. Trichy has a fine blend of tradition and modernity built around the Rock Fort. It is also famous for artificial diamonds, cigars, handloom clothes, glass bangles, wooden and clay toys.  Trichy itself is an industrial town, where a number of industries flourish. Some of them are BHEL, OFT, HAPP and Golden Rock Railway Work Shop along with its ancillary industries.

 

Places to visit:

 

Rock Fort Temple – The most famous landmark of Trichy is the Rock Fort temple which is 83m tall, perched on a huge rocky out crop. The temple complex is composed of two parts – a Shiva temple (Thayumanaswamy) carved in the middle of the rock and a Ganesh temple at the top portion of the rock. The Ganesh temple is much smaller with an access through steep steps carved on the rock and provides a stunning view of Trichy, Srirangam and the rivers Kaveri and Kollidam. The Rock fort Hillock is said to be 230 crore years old. Due to its ancient and impressive architecture created by the Pallavas, the temple is maintained by the Archaeological department of India. It will take 1 - 2 hours to visit this place.

 

Timings: 6 AM – 8 PM

Entrance: Rs.2

Video: Rs.100

Camera: Rs.20

No Holidays

 

Srirangam Ranganathaswamy Temple - It is an important pilgrimage centre and an exclusive Vaishnavite landmark. Srirangam looks like an island surrounded by river Cauvery and Kollidam on its either side. It is situated at a distance of 7 km from Trichy. This temple’s fame stands for its Rajagopuram, which is the highest tower in south India. The Rajagopuram could be well seen even from miles apart. It will take 1 to 2 hours to visit this temple.

 

Timings: 6 AM – 1 PM & 2 PM – 9 PM

Camera: Rs 50

Video: Rs 100

View Point – Rs 10 (until 6.00pm only)

Temple Museum

Timings: 8AM–1PM & 2 PM– 6PM
Entry Fee: Re.2.00

No Holidays

 

Thiruvanaikaval Jambukeswarar & Akilandeswari Temple - An important place of worship for Saivites, located at a distance of 3 km from Trichy and close to Srirangam. Presiding deities are Lord Jambukeshwara (Shiva) and Lordess Akilandeswari (Parvathi). Lord Shiva is seen in the form of Lingam and he is partially submerged in water. It is one of the five elements called “Appu” (Water). It will take 1 hour to visit this temple

 

Timings: 5 AM – 1 PM & 3 PM – 8.30 PM

Video: Rs.200

Camera: Rs.20

No Holidays

 

Amma Mandapam - Amma Mandapam Ghat is located at Srirangam Situated on the banks of the Cauvery River, the site is having great importance as ceremonies and rituals take place here. Thousands of pilgrims come here to purify themselves before offering Puja at the Ranganathasamy Temple

 

Time to visit: 7.00 am to 11.00 am

No Holidays

No Entrance fee

 

Samayapuram Mariamman Temple - This temple is situated at a distance 17 km from Trichy. The deity here is called “Samayapuram Mariamman”. This Goddess is believed to be the sister of Lord Vishnu. An important place amongst the places of residence of Goddess Sakthi who is the wife of Lord Shiva.

 

Timings: 5.30 AM – 9.30 PM

Entrance: Rs.50

Video: Not allowed

Camera: Not allowed

No Holidays

 

Vayalur Subramaniaswamy Temple - This temple lies 14 kms away from Trichy.  It is one of the famous temples of Lord Murugan.  During all Shastis (6th day of the New / Full Moon day), Karthigai, Panguni Uthiram, Thai Poosam, first day of the English and Tamil New Year, thousands of devotees visit this temple.

 

Timings          : 6 AM – 1 PM & 3.30 PM – 9 PM

                          (On Kiruthigai, temple is opened throughout the day)

Entrance        : Rs.5

Video              : Rs.300/-

Camera          : Rs.200/-

No Holidays

 

Ayyappan Temple - This temple is a peaceful place for worship. There is no caste creed or race bars in this Temple. The high degree of discipline is propagated here. Infact, the temple is famous for its neat maintenance and planned activities. A large meditation hall is seen here. Also, many boards and Hoardings with excellent messages to life are seen here. It is located just 2 kms from the Central Bus Stand, near the District Court. There is a strict dress code being followed here (Dhoti, trousers in full, shirt, Saree, Chudidhar are only allowed)

 

Time: 5.00 am – 10.30 am and 5 pm – 8.30 pm

No Entrance fee

Camera & Video camera – strictly not allowed

 

 

Lady Lourdes Church – It is located in the heart of the city, just opposite the Rock Fort. The Church’s 200 ft tall spire is visible from a radius of 8 kms around it. Church of our Lady of Lourdes is the replica of the Basilica of Lourdes, the World famous place of pilgrimage in southern France

 

Time: 5.30 am – 7.30 pm

No Holidays

No Entrance fee

 

Mukkombu (Upper Anaicut) – it is 18 Km from Trichy & is situated at the head of Srirangam island. It is an ideal picnic spot where the river Kollidam or Coleroon branches off from the Cauvery.

 

Time: 6 am – 6 pm

Entrance – Rs. 4 Per Person

Camera – Rs 3/-

Video Camera – Rs 30/-

No Holidays

 

Kallanai (Grand Anaicut) - It is 15 Km from Trichy. It is an ancient dam, built by King Karikala Chola across the river Cauvery during 2nd Century B.C. it is considered one of the oldest water – diversion or water – regulator structures in the world & still it is in use. The purpose of the dam was to divert the waters of the Kaveri across the fertile Delta region for irrigation via canals.

 

Excursions from Trichy

 

Trichy – Tanjore – Trichy

Tanjore is 65 Km away from Trichy. It is the rice bowl of Tamilnadu. It is famous for Brahadeeswarar temple (called Tanjore Big Temple). The temple was constructed more than thousand years ago by the King Rajarajan, an architect's marvel. It is a flourishing centre for bronze sculpture and painting. Also, here we can see Museum, Palace & an Art gallery.

 

Trichy – Naarthamalai - Sittanavasal – Trichy

Naarthamalai is 25 Km from Trichy. It has some oldest structural stone temples built by Mutharaiyars. This temple has six large skillfully carved statues of Vishnu in the central hall. It is surrounded by seven or eight hills with ancient caves containing Jaina Architectural remnants. A 9th century Pallava cave temple dedicated to Siva lies to the South.

 

Sittanavasal – It is 58 Km from Trichy. It is famous for its ancient monuments and Jain caves with intricate wall paintings. It is a cluster of rock caves, called the Ajanta of South.

Both the places lie between Trichy and Pudukottai.

 

Rock Cut Jain Temple - Sittanavasal

Time: 9.00 am to 5.30 pm

Entrance fee: Rs 5 for an Indian & Rs 100 for a foreigner

 

Natural Cavern with stone beds, Eladipattam (Sittanavasal)

Time: 9.00 am to 5.30 pm

Entrance fee: Rs 5 for an Indian & Rs 100 for a foreigner

 

Trichy – Chettinad – Trichy

Chettinad is the homeland of the Nattukottai Chettiars ( Nagarathar), a prosperous banking and business community, many of whose members migrated to South and Southeast Asia, particularly Ceyol and Burma , in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Chettinad is known for its culinary delicacies. Chettinad is rich in cultural heritage, art and architecture, and is well known for its houses used with marble and Burma teak, wide courtyards, spacious rooms, and for its 18th century mansions.

 

TIRUVANNAMALAI

Thiruvannamalai is a small town near the Arunachala hill. The Siva temple on the Arunachala hill is called the Tejo Lingam and is very famous.

The Arunachala hill was supposed to have been formed when Siva took the form of a Jyoti to stop a quarrel between Vishnu and Brahma. On their request, Siva took a concrete form and Arunachala hill was the result of this. The color of the hill is copper red. Parvati was supposed to have come to Arunachala hill with a linga, following a penance. She was under a penance as instructed by her husband. It was in the course of the penance that Parvati took the form of Durga to kill Mahishasura. As Mahishasura was a devotee of Siva, Parvati was asked by sage Gautama to strike a sword on the hill by way of atonement. When Parvati struck the sword a teertham was formed immediately called the Khadga Teertham. A lot of pilgrims come to this Thiruvannamalai

Tourist attraction in  Tiruvannamalai

 

Gingee Fort - Gingee fort is a very famous landmark for pilgrims visiting Lord Arunachalaeswar temple at Tiruvannamalai. This fort is believed to be built during the Chola dynasty some where in the 13th century A.D. Gingee fort occupies an extent of 3 square kilometer area. It is regarded as a rare architectural marvel created by Chola kings. Gingee fort can be reached from Tiruvannamalai by road by traveling 37 kilometres due east.

 

Sathanur Dam - this magnificent Sathanur dam was built in the year 1958. It is located near the Chennakeshava hills in Chengam district. One can reach from Lord Arunachaleswar temple by road which takes about half an hour drive by car. Sathanur dam is built across the Pennaiyar river that originates at the Chennakesava hills. A large area of agriculture lands are benefited through water stored in this dam. Roughly it irrigates around 8000 hectares of lands. The total storage capacity of this dam is 7321 million cubic feet when the water stands at the full level of 119 feet.

 

Melmalayanur - Melmalayanur is the abode for Angalaparameswari. This place can reached by road fromTiruvannamalai. Pilgrims coming to Arunachalaeswar temple travel to this famous Melmalayanur temple to receive the blessings of Angalaparameswari. Every new moon day this temple is thronged by thousands of devotees to seek Parameswari’s good wishes.

 


TIRUTTANI

Tiruttani constitutes one of the 6-padai veedu shrines of Skanda (Lord Subramanya), and it represents the site where Subramanya stayed after destroying the demon Surapadman. Tiruttani is said to be the place where the Lord Subramanya married Valli - one of his two consorts. This sacred place is on the Chennai-Mumbai route, 13 kilometers from Arkonam and 84 kilometers from Chennai. The beautiful temple of Lord Muruga at Tiruttani crowns a single rock 700 feet above sea level. It is situated amidst a range of hills with a dramatic panoramic view. The hill temple (the hill is called Tanikai hill) here is reached by a motorable road, and is also accessed through a flight of 365 steps. It has 4 Prakarams and a series of towers. There is a shrine to Aabat Sahaaya Vinayakar who is said to have come to the aid of Skanda in winning Valli's hand in marriage. The processional image of Skanda is housed in a Rudraksha Vimanam with his consorts. The "Shadkona Padakkam" or the hexagonal medallion adorning the image of Skanda is decorated with green stones and is of great beauty. Also of significance here is a golden Vilva garland.

Tourist attraction in Tiruttani

 

Saravana Poikai - The sacred tanks of the shrines of the Lord are all known as "Saravanapoikai" (sacred pond of the reedy marsh where Lord Kartikeya was born). The tank at Tiruttani, which (unlike in other places) is at the very foot of the hill, is particularly renowned for its sacred water (Teertham) having curative effect for ailments both bodily and mental, as it is rich in minerals such as sulfur, iron, etc. A bath in this holy tank refreshes the devotee and makes him hale and healthy.

Sapta Rishi Teertham -
At the lovely garden on the south side of this sacred hill amidst a thick cluster of shady trees and seven cool sprints, the Seven Rishis (who today form the Great Bear stellar constellation) are said to have worshipped Lord Muruga (Lord Subramanya) and the Sapta Kannikas (Seven Virgins) enshrined at this place in a tiny temple. On the outskirts of the Tiruttani town, on both sides of the Nandi River, are the ancient temples of Lord Vijayaragama Swami,

 

History Of The Temple - The origins of this temple are buried in antiquity. Nakkeerar has mentioned Tiruttani in the Sangam period work Tirumurugaatruppadai composed. The Vijayanagar rulers and local chieftains and Zamindars have patronized it.

Legends Connected With The Temple -
Legend has it that Subramanya married Valli who hailed from the Vallimalai hills nearby. The same legend is associated with Velimalai in Kanyakumari district. Legend also has it that Indra the king of the Gods gave his daughter Deivayanai in marriage to Skanda, and along with her presented his elephant Airavatam as part of his dowry offering. Upon Airavatam's departure Indra found his wealth waning. Subramanya is said to have offered to return the white elephant, however Indra bound by protocol refused to accept a gift that he had made, and insisted that the elephant face his direction, hence the image of the elephant in this temple also faces the east. Another legend has it that Indra presented a sandal stone as a part of his daughter's dowry.


Puranic Importance of Tiruttani -
Of Lord Murugan's six padai veedus, Tiruttani ranks prominent as the crown jewel of the Lord. As its very name indicates, when we propitiate the Lord in this holy shrine, He blesses us with mental peace and bodily happiness. His righteous indignation towards the Asuras for their cruelty is said to have been quelled and cooled at this place and is therefore known as "Shantipuri" (Abode of Peace). As the prayers and desires of the devotees who worship Lord Subramanya on this hill with faith and intense devotion are fulfilled in no time, this hill is also called "Chanikasalam".

 

Literary Importance of Tiruttani - Apart from the puranic greatness of Tiruttani, Saint Arunagirinathar, the illustrious devotee of Lord Muruga who lived 600 years ago, praised this hill as the chosen place for worship by devas and the favorite abode of saints performing prolonged tapas (austerities). He also compared this hill to Shivaloka (Bhuloka) and as the very soul of the world. Saint Ramalinga Swamigal (Arutprakasa Vallalar), who lived 150 years ago, was invited to come here by the Lord, Who appeared before the saint in the mirror of his puja room at Chennai after which the sour-stirring arutpa songs flowed from his lips in chaste Tamil like a torrential stream.

 

TIRUNELVELI

Tirunelveli is one of the most visited tourist destination in Tamilnadu. The place boasts off some of the well-preserved temples built by Pandayas rulers. The place also has some of the natural wonders in its surroundings that attract domestic as well as foreign tourists. Following are some of the most favored and most visited tourist attractions in Tirunelveli: -

Tourist attraction in Tirunelveli

Sankaran Koil - Sankaran Koli is situated 56 kilometers North of Tirunelveli. The place is famous for the Chariot Festival in Adithabasu Vizha that is celebrated in the month of July. Lacs of people flock to this place on this occasion.

Kutrallam - Kutrallam, which is popularly called the "Spa of the south", is situated at an elevation of about 170 m high, on the Western Ghats. This is not only a tourist spot but also a health resort. The waterfall has medicinal properties to cure physical ailments.

Papanasam - Papanasam is located 60 kilometers from Tirunelveli. The famous Shiva temple is located at the bottom of Western Ghats that is very near to the origin of the River Tambraparani. The place is also famous for the Chitrai Vishu festival that is celebrated in the month of April when lacks of people congregate here.

Thiruchendur - The shore temple here is one of the six abodes of Lord Subramanya and the only one of them to be built on an unalleviated stretch of land. Thiruchendur is believed to be the place where Subramanya offered prayers for his victory. The Skandasashti festival is celebrated in November every year that is attended my scores of devotees.

Manappad -Manappad is famous for a 400-year old Holy Cross Church that contains some of the fragments of the True Cross from Jerusalem. It is one of the few churches in India that is associated with St. Francis Xavier.

Thuthukudi - Thuthukudi is one of the major ports in the India. Thuthukudi was at one time known for its pearls and was one of the most prosperous cities on the coast. It is still a major pearl fishing center in India though the city has lost much of its splendors.

Agasthiyar Temple and fall - This temple adjoining the falls named Agasthiyar falls is one of the most visited tourist spot in the city. The place can be reached through a 3-hour trek.

Kalakadu Wildlife Sanctuary - This sanctuary is very popular with botanists and ornithologists as it has a great variety of fauna and bird life. Among the animals that roam here are tiger, panther, jackal and wild dogs while reptile population includes cobra, python and several other snakes.

Kunthakulam Bird Sanctury - It is situated 33 kilometers south of Thirunelveli. Kunthakulam is actually a small and natural scenic village. This village is covered with natural forest and ponds. During winter every year more than 10 thousand birds from various countries like Pakistan, Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Australia migrate here.

Mundanthurai Wildlife Sanctuary - Although this sanctuary is a Project Tiger Reserve you are likely to sight other animals like the leopard, sambhar, sloth bear and the chital apart from a wide variety of Indian primates including the bonnet macaque, common langur, Nilgiri langur and lion-tailed macaque.

Bharathar Ovari - Bharathar Ovari is a Roman Catholic Center where one can visit an ancient church. The annual carnival is celebrated for ten days in the middle of January when lacks of pilgrims congregate here.

NAGERCOIL

 

Nagercoil is the capital of Kanyakumari. Until 1956, it was a part of Kerala, but now it is included to Tamil Nadu.  Nagercoil is famous for Nagaraja Temple and the name of the city is derived from this Temple , which was once (1000 years back) a Jain temple. Nagaraja Temple is the centre of tourist attraction in Nagercoil.

 

St.Xavour's Church is the popular Roman Catholic Church built by St.Xaviour. Nagercoil is 12 kms away from Kanyakumari, which is the southern most part of India . In earlier days, Nagercoil and its surroundings were known as Nanjilnadu .

 

Nagercoil has a pleasant climate for most part of the year. Nagercoil is benefited by both the north-east monsoon and the south-west monsoon t is a district administrative center, with industries in motor repair, rubber goods, and rice- and cotton-milling. It is an important Christian center in the primarily Hindu country of India.

 

 

Tourist attraction in  Nagercoil

 

Azhagamman(alagamman) Temple is the Hindu Sivate temple situated in the Noth-East corner of the Vadiveeswaram Circle, Nagercoil, TN, India. The pimary deties are Sivan and Parvathi (azhagamman). The term Azhagamman means Beautiful Godess. This caused the name of the sorrounding circle as Vadiveeswaram, meaning Beautiful-God's Place. The temple is situated in a peaceful environment with lot of Hindu God Avatars contained in it.

 

Sri Nagarajar Temple – Nagercoil Presiding deity : Nagarajar also known as Nagaramman Installation : Under the water Reputation : Swayambu - exists of its own Sanctum : Sanctorum Palm leaf roof Holy tree :Odavalli Holy spring : Boat festival tank Special : shrine Durga Place : Nagercoil District : Kanyakumari Prayer: Devotees throng the temple for remedy from skin problems and go round the trees around which Snake idols (Nagar) are placed. The effect of Naga dosha is fully eliminated. The devotee gets child.

 

Prayer commitments: People bring and place Nagas made in silver, pour milk, bathe the Nagars with water mixed with turmeric powder. Offer eggs, salt and pepper. Speciality: Though the temple is big in size, sanctum sanctorum is constructed with roof made of palm leaves. No Vimanam in the temple. When the roof is renewed each year, a snake visits the place. The floor of the sanctum sanctorum is always wet as the presiding deity is installed on a base surrounded by water.

 

OOTY

Ooty is a land where green mountains and azure sky roll down to embrace quivering beds of crimson roses below. Known as Udagamandalam, Ooty is a popular hill station in Tamil Nadu and one of the best places in India, where travelers can recline in nature’s lap. Tucked away amidst the towering Nilgiri Mountains, the hill resort, with its veritable pleasures, beckons many tired urban tourists every year. Sparkling brooks, meandering waterfalls, green-cloaked valleys, mysterious gorges, colonial mansions and acres of tea plantations are a few enchantment traps laid by Ooty on its travelers. With the help of this article, explore some of the major tourist attractions of Ooty.

 

Tourist attraction in  Ooty

 

Botanical Garden - Set up in 1847, by the Marquis of Tweedale, the Botanical Garden of Ooty is a repository of a wide variety of rare trees, shrubs and flowers. Sprawled across an area of 55 acres, it is framed by luxuriant lawns, crowned with varicolored flowering bushes and plants. The cork tree, monkey-puzzle tree, fossilized tree and the Italian-style garden are some of its most prominent highlights.

 

Ooty Lake - John Sullivan, the founder of Ooty, formed this artificial lake in 1824. Today, the place forms a major attraction of Ooty with its host of recreational pleasures. The sparkling lake extends for a length of 2 km and snakes its way in an 'L' shape. Boats, in varying shapes, are available for waddling around the lake. There is also a children amusement park, with a miniature toy train, inside its premises.

 

Dodabetta Peak - With a height of 2623 m, Dodabetta Peak claims distinction for being the highest lookout point in the hill station. One can soak in the entire landscape of green valleys below from here. The peak derives its name from the two Kannada words ‘Dodda’ and ‘Betta’, literally translating to ‘Big Mountain’. Girdled by rhododendrons and flowering sub-elphine shrubs, the place is very popular amongst Ooty travelers.  

 

Deer Park - Located at a distance of about 1 km from Ooty Lake, Deer Park is a frequented tourist spot of Ooty. It is probably one of the few high-altitude wildlife sanctuaries in India. Sprawled across an area of 22 acres, the place is home to a wide variety of animal species, including hare, chital and sambar. There is also a good collection of aquatic birds in the park

 

Centenary Rose Park - The Centenary Rose Park stretches for an area of 4 hectares and is located in the main town of Ooty. Established in 1995, the garden is a treat to the senses, with its rose terraces, rose tunnels, marquees and rose creepers. In fact, with more than 3,000 varieties, it holds the largest collection of roses in the entire country. Popular species include Hybrid Tea Roses, Floribunda and Ramblers.

 

St Stephens Church - Consecrated on November 5, 1830, St Stephens Church is one of the oldest churches in the Nilgiri ranges. The colonial structure rests amidst the green hills and poses a majestic stance. The interior of the church is equally striking, with stained-glass painting adorning the eastern side as well as the area behind the chancel. Moreover, the area above the paneled doorways of the western wall displays a large painting of the Last Supper.

 

Government Museum - Another tourist hot spot of Ooty is the Government Museum located on the Mysore road. Established in 1989, it houses a large collection of tribal objects, ecological details of Ooty and various arts and artifacts of Tamil Nadu. Its exhibits go a long way in presenting vivid details of the lives of Todas of Tamil Nadu.  

 

RAMESHWARAM

Rameshwaram is a city belonging to the state of Tamil Nadu. It is an island city situated at the Gulf of Mannar at the end tip of the Indian peninsula. It is one of the most important pilgrimage centers of India. Here, Lord Rama built a bridge with the help of his devotee apes to regain his consort Sita from the grip of Ravana. Rameshwaram is a big pilgrimage center for the Hindus as both the devotees of Rama and Lord Shiva comes here for worship. Lord Rama worshipped Lord Shiva in this place to cleanse his sin of killing Ravana. It is also known as the Varanasi of the south.

The history of Rameshwaram draws back to the golden age of the epic Ramayana. It is mainly based on mythology. Lord Shiva thanked Lord Rama for killing the demon Ravana at the battle of Sri Lanka here in this holy place of Rameshwaram. Based on this belief, all the devotees of Rama and the devotees of Shiva are attracted towards this holy eventful place of Rameshwaram. The kingdom of Ravana is 24 km away. Rameshwaram is very significant in the story of Ramayana as it was full of events of Rama in his process to conquer Sri Lanka. It is in fact the most devoted place of Hindus.

Tourist attraction in Rameshwaram

The Temple of Sri Ramanatha - A pilgrimage centre and enshrining one of the 12 Jyotirlingas of India, it is said that Lord Rama worshipped Shiva here on his way back from Lanka. The island of Rameshwaram, where it is situated is connected to the mainland by a bridge. A pilgrimage to Rameshwaram is one of the important injunctions of the Hindus and a pilgrimage to Kashi is not considered complete without a pilgrimage to Rameshwaram.

Temple Of Sri Kodandarama - About 8 km from the temple is the beautiful temple of Sri Kodandarama where, tradition says, Vibishana was crowned king of Lanka when he joined Sri Rama.

Sethu - 5-km south of the Ramanatha temple is Sethu, said to be the bridge built by Sri Rama and his army to cross over to Lanka. There is a celebrated temple of Sri Anjaneya here. It is said that in Devipatnam or Navapashanam, there are nine stones visible in the sea, visible at low tide. It is believed that these stones represent 'Navgrahas' (nine planets) and were set up by Sri Rama.

Rameshwaram is a sea swept sacred island of great tourist potential. A hotspot pilgrim destination, Rameshwaram is nestled in the Gulf of Munnar at the very tip of Indian peninsula. Some of the most visited sites in the regions include:

Kothandaraswamy Temple & Dhanushkodi - Another popular tourist attraction, this temple is believed to be at the site where Vibishana, brother of Sita's abductor Ravana, surrendered to Rama. About 12 kms from the town, this temple is the sole structure to survive after the severe cyclone of 1964.

Adam's Bridge - Adam's Bridge is a long fragmented passage through the Indian Ocean that almost connects the India to Sri Lanka. Legends have it that Rama built up the bridge in quest to raid Lanka in order to retrieve his consort Sita. However, the Adam's bridge consists of the chain of reefs, sandbanks and islets.
 
Gandhamadana Parvatam - About a mile and a half west of the Ramanathaswamy Temple, Gandhamadana Parvatam offers a panoramic view of the countryside. It has stepped mandapam or hall and also treasures a footprint that is believed to be of Lord Rama.

Beach- Dhanushkodi beach is quite popular among tourists. Its closeness to town makes it quite visited spot. The serene beach with shallow water here are ideal for swimming and sunbathing.

 

SALEM

Salem town is 6 kms from Salem junction. The name "Salem" is enchanting perhaps because of the association of Jerusalem with that Apostle of Love, Jesus Christ. The name derived from the word "Sailam" - meaning an area surrounded by mountains. It is rich in mineral wealth. Salem is known for it's gold, silver and steel products. Salem is called The Steel City of the South. The river Manimutheru flows through the city. To the East is the old city consisting of shops and establishments.

Tourist attraction in Salem

The various places of interest are, Shree Sukbaneshwar or Lord Shiva temple, Mariyamman Temple, Ramkrishna Math, Juma Masjid of Tipu, London Missionary Society, a fort in dilapitated condition and Salem Steel Plant. The Indian Institute of Handloom Technology is located here. The Government Museum at Omalur contains valuable collections of terracottas and sculptures.

Mettur Dam - One of the largest of its kind in the world, it was completed in 1934. The total length of the dam is 1700 m. The quantity of water stored is 93,500 million cubic ft, and the height of the dam above the riverbed is 176 ft. The dam provides irrigation facilities to Salem, Trichy and Thanjavur districts for 2,71,000 acres. The Mettur Hydro Electrical project is also quite large. A thermal plant is also coming up. The dam, the park, the major hydroelectric stations and hills on all sides make Mettur a good tourist's attraction.

Poiman Karadu - 9 kms from Salem is this particular spot, the likeness of a deer with 2 horns, seen from the plains to the east. The mysterious vision disappears when you get nearer. Hence the name.

Belur - On the banks of the Vasistanadhi is located Belur with a ruined Siva temple. The roofing of the portico is a good specimen of the square within a square type.

Mariamman Temples - Salem is home to several Mariamman temples. Mariamman, which is a Hindu goddess, an incarnation of Shakti, is celebrated with great religious fervor every year around July in the form of Mariamman festival for a fortnight. During this period you could witness devotees walking on fire chanting their prayers. This is the best time to visit Salem City. The festival is celebrated at temples, at Fort, Shevapet, Ammapet, Gugai, Andheripati etc., Shevapet Mariamman temple car is the biggest one among the cars of Amman temples across the state.

Kandashramam - Situated at 10 kms from Salem city Kandashramam is small hill temple dedicated to Lord Muruga.

Sitthar Koil - Salem is also home to the heritage temple of Sitthar Koil, which is located about 10 km from the city. It is a Shiva Temple based on the foot hills of Kanja Malai.

Tharamangalam - 24kms from Salem, this town is famous for the Kailashnatha Temple. The rotating lotus flowers made of stone, statues of Rathi-Manmatha, Vali-Sugriva and the Yali with rotating stone ball in its mouth are some of the beautiful sculptures.

Kolli Hills - This is the second hill station in the district at an altitude of 1190 mts. the Arappateeswarar temple on Chathuragiri Hills is quite famous. This place is at a distance of 48 kms and 100 kms from Namakkal and Salem respectively and can be reached by bus. The Agasakangai waterfall is unique scenery.

Tiruchengode - It is one of the 7 'Sirasthalams' in Kongunadu. The presiding deity is 'Arthanarishwarar' half male and half female form i.e. Siva and Sakti and is worshipped as one. This type of worship at the sanctum is the unique feature in Tiruchengode.

Namakkal - 50 kms south of Salem is the town of Namakkal famous for its Vishnu temple, the fort and the massive Hanuman. The town lies at the foot of the rock, 200 mts. high and ˝ mile in circumference. There is a fort on the rock. There are 2 rock cut cave temples dedicated to Narasimhaswamy and Ranganathaswamy. The huge Hanuman statue is carved out of a single stone.

Yercaud - Yercaud in the Shevaroy range of Salem district is a quiet and lovely hill station with a pleasant cool climate and attracts tourists throughout the year.

Bears Cave - It is on the way to Servaroyan temple and is an important tourist spot.

The Servaroyan Temple - It is on the top of the hill of the same name. The annual festival in the month of May is a colorful event in which hundreds of tribal people take part.

Yercaud and the entire Shevaroy Hills are known for thriving coffee plantations, pears, oranges and bananas. The nearest airport is Trichy. It is also connected by buses to various places. Nearest railhead is Salem.

VEDANTHANGAL

 

Vedanthangal is a locality out of chennai and is towards south of chennai. birds are lured by the waters and the plantation around. The temperature at that time suits the birds and hence they reach the place. Vedanthangal, a few kilometers (around 30 Kms) from Chennai is a spectacular water bird sanctuary that is being taken care of the local people for several years. This bird sanctuary has a special place in history of Ornithology, because birds not only visit this place or migrate for a while, but there are some very rare birds that live here. Most Ornithologists have shown interest in this place and visit the areas almost every year during the November- December season. With the Marghazhi Masam or one of the coolest of Tamil months in the Tamil calendar, the place is filled with different kinds of birds from all over the world. Water birds like herons, cormorants, darters, ergets, open billed storks etc. are a common sight until mid of March. These visitors to the country come right after the monsoon here and rest until their biological clock takes them back to their homes. Some birds like the grey pelicans are a rare sight and these are found quite in number at Vedanthangal. Despite its national importance,

 

Tourist attraction in Vedanthangal

Vedathangal Bird Sanctuary is 90 minutes journey from Chennai. The sanctuary is the nest for various bird families. The local and the migratory birds have made this place a homeland for them.300 years ago the land was popular as the hunting ground for the then land lords of the local areas. But at present hunting or causing any harm to the birds and other animals are criminal offences.

The vegetation, the pool and the tranquil ambience attracts birds and make them to stay in this place. The region remains crowded with water and other kind of birds. The polls remains dotted with water fowls and ducks. The sanctuary was established by the British government in the year 1798 to protect these birds from being extinct.

This is a small sanctuary which is spread at about 2 square kms. This small sanctuary is the ideal place to walk and spot birds in their natural habitat. There are two watch towers from where the stretched area can be seen and experienced.

Tourists can find various birds like Cormorants, Darters, Herons, egrets, Open billed Storck, White Ibis, little Grebe, Indian Moorhen, Black Winged Stilts and other migratory birds. To spot varieties of birds it is better to visit the sanctuary in the months from November to February.

Chennai airport is the nearest airport and from there road route is the best option to reach the sanctuary. For the accommodation there are local guest houses, forest department rest houses, the Hotels of Tamil Nadu Tourism Development Corporation.

Vedanthangal Water Birds Sanctuary

One of the most spectacular breeding grounds in India. Cormorants, herons, storks, pelicans, grebes and many others.The Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary has been protected by the local people for well over 250 years. The sanctuary gets its name from a nearby village and is only 75 Km from Chennai. The bird life (resident & visitors) includes Cormorants, Darters, Herons, Egrets, Open billed Stork, Spoonbill and White Ibis, Little Grebe, Indian Moorhen, Black Winged Stilts, a few migratory ducks and occasionally Grey Pelicans. November to February is the ideal season to visit the sanctuary.

Vedanthangal is a home not only to migratory birds but also to many ornithologists who camp here for weeks observing the birds at close quarters. With a powerful pair of binoculars, you can spot a Cormorant or a Snake Bird dive under the water to gobble up a nervous fish which is its staple diet. Soon after the hunt, the Cormorant must come up to the shore to dry its feathers as nature has not endowed it with oil-glands to water-proof the feathers.

The Spot-Billed Grey Pelican, on the contrary, moves in groups lashing the water with powerful wing strokes driving the fish to a shallow corner for the ultimate assault. The Spoon Bill, however, prefers to devour frogs and insects in the muddy water with its bills half open.

The winged visitors regulated by biological clocks land at Vedanthangal after the monsoon with amazing clock-work precision and get into the breeding act quietly. The population of the migratory birds swells to around 40,000 by the middle of January

 

VELLORE

Vellore attracts a floating population of 500 every day because of its world popular Christian Medical College and prestigious teaching centers of India. The Fort in Vellore is also very famous and draws hundreds of tourists. The Jalakanteswara Temple within the fort is very famous. The fort is one of the most ideal specimens of military architecture in Southern India. The fort commands a Christian Church, Muslim Mosque and a Hindu Temple.

The central Prison in Vellore is another historical prominent landmark and a must visit spot in Vellore. Many eminent freedom fighters have spent their days in the bars of this jail. Yelagiri hills, is an idyllic place for a short holiday. Green hills and picture post-card scenery greets you here. It is called the princess of hill stations and is the most pristine and unpolluted among the hill stations in Tamil Nadu.

 

Amirthi zoological park is yet another must visit spot in Vellore. The park majestically spreads over 25Kms and is a home for charming waterfalls and different kinds of animals and birds.

Tourist Attractions in Vellore

Vellore Fort - A popular destination in Vellore, this imposing fort is built of granite blocks and bound by a moat. The moat is supplied by a subterranean drain fed from a tank.

Pearl Palace - Built around the tomb of Vikramadithya Singh - the last king of Tamil Nadu - this memorial is located on the shores of Palar River.

Vellore Tourism - Accessibility - Getting to Vellore is quite simple and easy. Nearest International and domestic airport is at Chennai. the main railway station for Vellore is at Katpadi and it connects with other major cities with broad gauge line.

Gingee Fort - This 700-year-old fort, which served as a fortification for Chola kings, is certainly worth a visit for those on a tour to Vellore.

Jalakandeswarar Temple - This grand temple, displaying the scientific as well as the artistic building skills of ancient era, is a fine instance of Vijayanagar architecture.

Aruganthampoodi mausoleums - Explore these mausoleums and see craftsmen of Vellore at work.

YERCAUD

 

This picturesque hill station, situated in the Shevaroy Hills, was established by the British in the early 18th century. Today this is one of the state’s productive areas and its surrounding slopes are entirely covered with plantations of coffee, tea, jackfruit and plantains.

The other areas of beauty are the man-made Yerikadu Lake and the Killiyur Falls and Lady’s Seat which offers delightful views of the surrounding countryside. Also, if you are visiting to the Horticultural Research Station at Yercaud, you can see an interesting collection of rare plants here.

 

Tourist attraction in Yeracud

 

There are some pretty walking trails amidst the forested hills rich in flora and fauna. The Big Lake is a natural water body and a central talking point in the hill station with boating (both rowing boats as well as the pedal variety) on offer at nominal rates. The nearby ground at Anna Park hosts a weeklong summer festival. Another popular visitor attraction is the Silk Farm.

 

From the Lady's Seat you get some panoramic views of the ghats in the day and the nightlights of Salem. The telescope here serves up views of the Cauvery River. The Pagoda Point close by is another fine vantage point. Go for picnics to the Killiyur Waterfalls, which are at their very best post-monsoon.

 

A walk to the Shevaroy Temple, set atop the highest point in the hill town, takes you past Norton Bungalow one of oldest residences in town. An annual festival is held at the temple in the month of May by the local tribal community. The orchidarium at the beautifully maintained Botanical Gardens is a big favourite with gardening enthusiasts. The kurinji flower which blooms every 12 years also grows here. Montfort School which was established in 1917 is worth a visit for its sprawling grounds,  and the lovely chapel.

 
The Hogenakkal Waterfall -
is the main highlight of the place. And a trip to Hogenakkal revolves around the fall and the river. The Hogenakkal Waterfall is often called the Niagara Falls of India. Waterfalls here fall from a height of 60 to 1000 ft. A boat ride here is a thrilling activity and a good way to get a slice of adventure. Rides are taken on the coracles, the round small boats that are locally known as parisals. These are made from watertight hides stretched over lightweight wicker frames. It is a spectacular experience. And don’t be surprised when a boatman asks you for Rs. 500 to take you on a coracle ride. Heavy bargaining is recommended.

Another exciting attraction at Hogenakkal Waterfalls is the diving skills of local kids, who would dive for a fee. They can dive from a height of around 30 feet and climb straight up back on the rocks in no time. And the fee can range from 5 to 10 rupees.

The spot comes alive especially in July-August. A huge weekly fair is held in the nearby village of Pennagaram. Theerthamalai, a popular pilgrim centre 16 km from Dharmapuri is another interesting place that you can visit.

 

FESTIVALS OF TAMIL NADU

 

Chennai is also known the City of Fairs and Festivals. A number of festivals along with some exotic fairs are entertained every year. These are as follow:

Arubathimoovar Festival - Literally, 'Arubathimoovar' refers to the 63 saints of Shiva canonized for leading exemplary lives of devotion and penance. Bronze figures of these 63 saints adorn the magnificent Kapaliswar Temple at Mylapore, Chennai. Once, every year, they are carried in a colourful procession through the streets of Mylapore.

 

Natyanjali Festival - The Natyanjali dance festival at Chidambaram is famous for various dance performances by well-known dancers. It brings together all the renowned dancers of India. The enchantment and elation with which they dance can be seen in their eyes and evocative abhinaya performed by them presents an outstanding scene. These dances are supposed to be offered to Lord Nataraja. Many dancers feel privileged to be able to perform in the vicinity of the sanctum sanctorum of Lord Nataraja.

 

Dance Festival – Mamallapuram - Sit before an open-air 'stage' created 13 centuries ago the incredible monolithic rock sculptures of the Pallavas, next to the sea in this ancient city of Mamallapuram. Watch a very unique dance event where traditional dance forms of Bharathanatyam, Kuchipudi, Kathakali and Odissi, presented by the very best exponents of the art besides folk dances.

Kanthuri Festival: - A truly secular festival where devotees flock to the shrine of saint Quadirwali, believed to do equal good to people of all faiths. One of the descendants of the Saint is chosen as a Peer or spiritual leader and is honoured with offerings. On the tenth day of the festival, the Saint's tomb is anointed with sandalwood - and later the holy sandal paste, renowned for its healing powers, is distributed to everyone.

Kavadi Festival - Dancing in a hypnotic trance to the rhythm of drums, devotees of Muruga carry the 'Kavadi' a flower-decked decoration, all the way up the Palani Hills to fulfil their vow. According to Hindu mythology, Idumban is said to have carried two sacred hillocks on two ends of a pole laced on his shoulders.

Music Festival - Come December, Chennai celebrates her priceless heritage of carnatic music and dance presented by a galaxy of star artistes.

Mahamagam Festival -A holy festival celebrated in Kumbakonam once in 12 years - the temple city that gets its name from "Kumbha" - the divine pot. Legend has it that Brahma, the Creator, held a pot containing nectar and the seed of creation.Lord Shiva in the form of a hunter shot an arrow at the pot - spilling the nectar into the famous Mahamagam tank at the Adi Kumbeswarar Temple.

Natyanjali Dance Festival - The temple city of Chidambaram pays special tribute to Lord Nataraja the 'Cosmic dancer'. The setting is truly divine-Chidambaram's gold-roofed temple, with pillars depicting Lord Nataraja in 108 poses from Bharatha Natyam - Tamil Nadu's classical dance.

Summer Festival - The summer festival might find you in the 'Queen of Hill Stations', the evergreen Ooty; the exquisite Kodaikkanal or the salubrious heights of Yercaud - where boat races, flower and fruit shows are specially organized. Also, a splendid opportunity to go trekking in any of Tamil Nadu's other hill stations that promise unforgettable holidays off the beaten track.

Tourist Fair (Fairylands or Island Grounds - Chennai)
In January, the sun gets into a pleasant holiday mood and Chennai gets a cool respite from her famous hot weather! Time for family outings to the colourful TTDC Trade Fair. The exhibition presents a panorama of Tamil Nadu - all her places of touristinterest, her cultural wealth and economic progress.

Tayagaraja Festival - Tyagaraja was a South Indian composer and saint born in 1767, and is celebrated for many Telugu songs he composed in praise of Rama. His life and works are a source of great inspiration to young poets and musicians. At Tiruvaiyaru, about 13 km. from Tanjore, South Indian musicians gather at the composer's memorial to sing in his memory. Young artistes believe that they will be blessed with a melodious voice if they anoint the shrine with honey and sing Tyagaraja's songs at his memorial.

Velankanni Festival :- Wondrous legends surround the church-the most famous being that of the ship-wrecked Portuguese sailors, who in the 16th century, vowed to build a great shrine for the Virgin Mary, for saving their lives in a terrible storm. The Velankanni festival attracts thousands, clad in orange robes to the sacred spot where the ship landed. Equally famous are the Virgin Mary's miraculous healing powers- earning for the church the name 'Lourdes of the East'.

Karthigai Deepam - Rows of glittering earthen lamps outside every home, and the joyous burst of firecrackers mark Tamil Nadu's Festival of Lights.

Navratri - Literally, this means the festival of 'nine nights' taking unique and different forms in different states of India - all to propitiate the goddess Sakthi, for power, wealth and knowledge

Pongal 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.

Saral-Vizha -
A festival that makes a celebration out of a simple, daily ritual bathing! In addition, indeed, a bath at the picturesque Courtallam waterfalls is no ordinary event. The healing waters of the roaring Courtallam are famed for their medicinal properties

 

Float Festival - The float festival is a visual treat of twinkling lights and bedecked deities in all their finery.  Celebrated around March – April at the Rock Fort Temple, it attracts devotees in large number.

 

Vaikunta Ekadasi Festival - In mid December or early January, Vaikunta Ekadasi or Paradise Festival is celebrated in Srirangam Ranganathaswamy Temple.  Sorga Vasal or Door to Heaven, a huge door is opened on that day (once in a year).  Thousands of devotees come to the temple to participate in this event.

 

Car Festival - A huge chariot carries the deity and it comes around the temple.  Car Festival comes during the month of April / May (Tamil month Chithirai).  At this time a large number of people from all over the country visits the holy place Srirangam and celebrate this festival in a grand manner.  Especially the village people come in a large number.  During the month of April (Tamil month Panguni), the car festival is celebrated in Thiruvanaikaval Jambukeshwara Temple.

 

Aadi perukku - Aadi perukku is celebrated during the 18th day of the Tamil month Aadi.  It usually falls in the month of August.  This festival is celebrated by the people residing at the bank of the River Cauvery.  Special food is prepared on this day and family and friends get together and pray for uninterrupted supply of water and good harvest.  In some communities, the bride’s parents invite their son –in-law & daughter and present new clothes to them.

 

Thiruvaiyaru Music Festival - About 14 kms from Thanjavur, a Carnatic classical music festival (Thiyagarajar Aradhana) is celebrated at Thiruvaiyaru in the month of January. It is celebrated in honor of the Carnatic music saint, Thiyagarajar. He is one of the Trinity of Carnatic Music. The Thiyagarajar Aradhana festival is being celebrated in many places all over the world. However, the Aradhana festival at Thiruvaiyaru is much valued.

Pradosham is grandly celebrated every month in the Big Temple. It is believed that all the Devas & Gods are assembled in the Siva temples during Pradosham time. Pradosham falls once in every 15 days and considered most auspicious by Saivites, almost 2 days before either Amavasya (new moon day) or Pournami (full moon day). 

Birth Anniversary of King Raja Raja Chola is celebrated as “Chadhaya Vizha”at Tanjore Brahadeeswarar Temple every year during his birth star Chadayam which falls in the Tamil month of Iyppasi (March / April).

 

Fairs & Festivals - The important festival of the town is the Mahamaham festival.  It takes place once in 12 years during the Tamil Month of Masi (February/March) and Lakhs of pilgrims from various parts of India visit Kumbakonam and take a holy bath in the sacred Mahamaham tank, which is situated in the heart of the town.

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