I am a marketing professional holding a postgraduate degree in management. I live in Chennai and have traveled extensively in Tamil Nadu.
Tamil Nadu is a state in India with a rich heritage and a unique culture. This state has retained much of its heritage from the distant past since this part of the country remained peaceful before and during the British era. There, one can find structures that have lasted over a millennium.
Tamil Nadu is a preferred destination for foreign and Indian travelers. For the sake of convenience, this state is divided into three regions.
1. North Tamil Nadu
2. Central Tamil Nadu
3. South Tamil Nadu
1. North Tamil Nadu
1. Chennai, Beach, Heritage, Pilgrimage and Nature: This is the capital city of Tamil Nadu and the 4th largest metropolitan city in India. It is known for its beaches, colonial era buildings, temples and nature.
2. Kanchipuram, Pilgrimage and Shopping: It is near Chennai and is well known for its Kamatchi Amman Temple and Silk Sarees.
3. Vellore, Heritage and Pilgrimage: Vellore Fort, Sripuram Golden Temple and Amirthi Zoological park are some of its major attractions.
4. Yelagiri, Hill Station: It is the closest hill station from Chennai. At an altitude of over 1100 meters, it is a hill station for all seasons.
5. Denkanikottai, Nature: This area is also called Little England because of its pleasant weather and ample greenery.
6. Mahabalipuram, Heritage and Beach: The stone sculptures created there over a thousand years ago by the Pallava kings are the major attractions. We have some majestic temples and wall canvas created out of stone carvings.
7. Pondicherry, Heritage and Beach: This town was under French rule, unlike the rest of India that was under British rule. The buildings in the heritage town have a distinct French touch, transporting us back in time.
8. Chidambaram, Pilgrimage: The iconic Natarajar Temple is in Chidambaram and is frequented by pilgrims from all over the country.
9. Pichavaram Mangrove Forest, Nature: Boating is offered on the narrow canals surrounded by mangrove forests. It is a picturesque location and a protected forest.
10. Tarangambadi or Tranquebar, Heritage: An old Danish fort is the main attraction in this quiet village. The British were not the only Europeans to occupy India. The Danish had some presence, but the British drove them away by the 18th century.
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11. Thiruvannamalai, Pilgrimage and Heritage: The famous Ramana Maharishi had spent his last days in this town. An ashram dedicated to him is the main attraction. Not far from here, there is an 18th-century fort in a town called Chenji.
2. Central Tamil Nadu
12. Trichy, Pilgrimage: Rangarajan Temple in Srirangam and Rockfort temple are its major attractions. The river Kavery flows through this city.
13. Tanjore or Thanjavur, Pilgrimage: Periya Koil, a massive temple, was built by a Chola emperor over a millennium ago. It has a huge Nandhi statue carved from a single stone.
14. Coimbatore, Shopping, Nature and Recreation: It is the third-largest city in Tamil Nadu with many shopping malls. It has many natural attractions in its surroundings such as Top Slip (hill station), Kovai Kutralam Falls, Monkey waterfalls and Siruvani waterfalls. Black Thunder Theme Park in Mettupalayam
15. Point Calimere or Kodiakarai, Nature and Pilgrimage: The Kodiakarai wildlife sanctuary includes a bird sanctuary, mangrove forest and dry evergreen forests. This place also has some religious significance because of the references in the epic Ramayana.
16. Ooty: This is called the queen of all hill stations. This is the most popular hill station in Tamil Nadu. This was developed primarily by British, since they needed a summer retreat to escape from the harsh climates in the plains.
17. Coonoor: It is another picturesque hill station on the way to Ooty.
18. Top Slip: It is an offbeat hill station offering a large scope of outdoor activities like trekking and camping.
19. Valparai: It is another offbeat hill station that is pristine and less commercialized.
20. Yercaud: It is the most popular among all the offbeat hill stations (except Ooty and Kodaikanal) in Tamil Nadu. It is near Salem and is well connected by road and rail.
21. Hogenakkal: This is a nature's paradise, where the Kaveri River flows down as a sheet of waterfalls from higher grounds. This waterfalls have a close resemblance to Niagara Falls and called the Niagara of India.
22. Kolli Hills: It is an offbeat hill station near Namakkal.
3. South Tamil Nadu
23. Madurai, Pilgrimage and Heritage: This is the third-largest city in Tamil Nadu and is called the Temple city. It has many ancient temples such as Meenakshi Amman Temple, Tirupparangunram Murugan Temple and Theppakulam Mariamman Temple. It also has an old palace called Thirumalai Nayakkar Mahal.
24. Tirunelveli, Pilgrimage and Wildlife: The famous Nellaiappar Temple and Kalakkad wildlife sanctuary are in and around Tirunelveli town. Kalakkad is a tiger reserve and a protected forest.
25. Kanyakumari or Cape Comorin, Nature and Pilgrimage: This is the southern tip of India where the three seas meet, namely the Indian Ocean, Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal. It is the only place in India where one can watch the sun rise from and set into the sea. Vivekananda rock, Thirparappu Falls, Padmanabha Palace and Susindram Temple are some attractions there.
26. Courtallam, Nature and Pilgrimage: It is blessed with many waterfalls where one can take bath safely. There is an ancient Kutralanathar Temple from 5th century in Courtallam.
27. Kodaikanal, Hill Station: It is the second most visited hill station in Tamil Nadu after Ooty. It is called the Princess of Hill Stations.
28. Sirumalai, Hill Station: It is a small offbeat hill station near Dindigul and not far from Kodaikanal.
29. Rameswaram, Pilgrimage: This town also finds references in Ramayana epic. There are many famous temples including Sri Ramanathaswamy Temple, Kothandaramaswamy Temple, Five Faced Hanuman Temple and Lakshmana Theertham. Dhanushkodi is a ghost town near Rameshwaram destroyed by a cyclone in 1964 with no survivors and no traces for any home.
30. Palani, Pilgrimage: A Murugan temple is on top of a Palani hill. One can walk up the distance or take the winch to get there, a memorable experience by itself.
31. Kovilpatti, Pilgrimage: It is a small industrial town with many ancient temples such as Shenbagadevi Amman Temple and Kathiresan Temple. Nature lovers can visit the tiger cave in Kathiresan Hills.
© 2019 Mohan Babu