The southern state of Tamil Nadu is filled with many stunning travel destinations. An important center of South India tours, the state is known for its ancient temples, historical landmarks, beautiful hill stations, pristine coastline, sumptuous food, and impressive shopping options. The state is also rich in flora and fauna and a part of the International Network of Biosphere Reserves. The state has a distinct culture that reflects in the traditions and celebrations carried out by its natives. Here’s a list of some of the most popular travel destinations across the state.
Kanyakumari is the southernmost tip of India and renowned for revered temples, monuments, and the vast Lakshadweep Sea that surround it from three sides. The city gets its name from the Devi Kanya Kumari Temple which is located in located here. An integral part of temple tours of India, some of the most prominent landmarks here are Thiruvalluvar Statue, Vivekananda Rock Memorial, Kamarajar Mani Mantapa Monument, Bhagavathy Amman Temple, Gandhi Memorial Mandapam, and Tsunami Memorial Park. A ferry ride on the waters of Lakshadweep Sea is a must when in Kanyakumari.
Madurai is one of the holiest cities in the country and built around the ancient Meenakshi Amman Temple on the banks of Vaigai River. Madurai is a prominent part of religious tours of India as it has several revered temples. The Meenakshi temple is a massive complex and houses several gopurams, shrines, walls, and a sacred pond. The other prominent places of interest at Madurai are Koodal Azhagar Temple, Pazhamudircholai Temple, Thirumalai Nayak Palace, The Gandhi Memorial Museum, and Rajaji children’s park. The city hosts several religious festivals with the 10-day Chittirai Festival and Rathayatra attracting devotees from all parts of the country.
Mahabalipuram is an ancient town located about 60 km south of Chennai. The place was a lively port city being part of the once prosperous Pallava kingdom. Also known as Mamallapuram, the place is now a major center of beach tourism in India and also has a group of monuments that are declared as UNESCO World Heritage Site. One of the most important parts of South India tours, Mahabalipuram is one of the most visited places in the southern part of the country. The places of interest are Mahabalipuram Beach, the open-air rock relief Descent of the Ganges, Thirukadalmallai temple, Pancha Rathas, Shore Temple, India Seashell Museum, and Arjuna’s Penance.
A place renowned for its ‘Great Living Chola Temples’ that are listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Thanjavur was formerly known as Tanjore and is home to several architectural masterpieces of Dravidian art. When in Tanjore visit the Brihadeeswara Temple, Airavatesvara Temple, Gangaikonda Cholesvarar Temple, Thanjavur Maratha palace, and South Zone Culture Centre, Saraswathi Mahal Library, and Sivaganga Park. Tanjore is also a major cultural center of Tamil Nadu travel as prominent styles of Bharathanatyam dance were developed, Carnatic music was codified here, and the world-famous Tanjore also originated here.
Located at the tip of Indian peninsula on the Pamban Island in the Gulf of Mannar, Rameshwaram is one of the holiest places in India and a major pilgrimage center. The Ramanathaswamy Temple is the most significant landmark that draws a large number of pilgrims throughout the year. One of the 12 Jyotirlinga shrines of Lord Shiva, the temple is an architectural marvel housing several intricate corridors with the outer one counted among the largest in the world. The temple is also closely associated with Lord Rama who is built a bridge, called Ram Setu, in the waters of Rameshwaram to lead his army across to Sri Lanka to rescue his wife Sita from the kingdom of demon king Ravana. Other places of interest at Rameshwaram are Gandhamathana Parvatham, Dhanushkodi, Jadayu Theertham, Agni Theertham, and Kothandaramar Temple.
Coonoor is a quaint town in Tamil Nadu and known for its production of Nilgiri tea. It is the second largest hill station in the Nilgiri hills after Ooty and located at an altitude of 6,070 ft thus offering pleasant temperature as well as an abundance of scenic beauty. Visit Sim’s Park which is an incredible botanical garden with more than 1,000 plant species. Also, visit Dolphin’s Nose Viewpoint that offers stunning views of the Catherine Falls and Nilgiri Hills. Other places of interest include Hidden Valley, Droog Fort, and Law’s Falls.
Ooty is one of the most celebrated and renowned hill stations of India tours. Located in the Nilgiri Hills, it is filled with parks, lakes, forests, historical buildings, etc. Also known as Udagamandalam, this hill station and Coonoor are separated by only about 20 km by road. When in Ooty visit the Tribal huts and museum, Nilgiri Mountain Railway, Tea Estates of the Nilgiri Mountains, Botanical Gardens, Rose Garden, Kalhatti falls, Tiger Hill, and Emerald Lake. Savoring a boat ride on Ooty Lake is a must here. The place is filled with natural beauty and there is a lot to see and do in Ooty.