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For the visitor wishing to explore southern India extensively, Chennai, the capital of the state of Tamil Nadu, is the most convenient point of entry. Chennai has an international airport, a sea port and a rail and road network that links it to all major towns and cities of the region. It also has several deluxe hotels and others to suit modest budgets. Tamil Nadu is a bastion of Hinduism, whose past endures into the present. Temples with towering spires called gopurams are a common feature of this state, seldom seen anywhere else in the country. Temples in Tamil Nadu were the fulcrum of society and even today art forms that have their origin in religious worship continue to colour daily life. Notable among these are splendid bronzes of deities, painting on glass and Bharatnatyam, an evocative dance form.
Mahabalipuram, Kanchipuram and Thanjavur are good examples of temple towns where within the temple fortifications grew a multi layered society that preached faith and grew from social harmony. Kanchipuram, also called Kanjeevaram, is famous throughout the country as the center where lustrous silk sarees are woven. Likewise Thanjavur is an important center for bronze figure casting. Mahabalipuram, with its wealth of sculptures, is located by the seaside and has excellent resorts.
The towns of Tiruchirapalli and Madurai also contain famous temples.
Quite a contrast to the temple heritage is provided at Pondicherry, for long a French colony. French is still widely spoken, and seaside villas and cobbled streets are more reminiscent of the south of France than the south of India! Yet another facet of this surprisingly diverse state is two hillstations Ootacamund and Kodaikanal. Both are little patches of England, being much loved by the expatriate population of the Raj. Both places provide delightful relaxation during an extended tour of the south, having a wide range of hotel accommodation. The cuisine of Tamil Nadu, more or less totally vegetarian, has become enormously popular all over the country, and few towns do not have at least one eatery serving popular snacks from the state’s extensive repertoire
Tamil Nadu is the land of the Tamils and it has a history that dates back to several thousand years. It is a land where traditions and culture blend and continue to live in harmony. The state abounds in monuments and temples that are ancient and each has its own story of religious, artistic and cultural accomplishment and specialty waiting to be heard.
Are there answers to be found on its beaches and hill stations as they welcome the traveler? We are sure you will form your own opinions and have your own perceptions as we welcome you to this enchanting and ancient Dravidian land, in the extreme south of peninsular India.
Tamil Nadu has a long coastline that stretches nearly a 1000 kms. The Coromandel Coast, along the Bay of Bengal, boasts of many ideal locations for sun and surf. Golden sands of the beach are dotted with coconut palm and casuarina groves. The sea washes ashore pebbles and shells and the gentle breeze sways the yachts and catamarans into the deeper waters of the sea and the waters form small dunes on the shore. Crabs play hide-and-seek by coming out of one burrow, and taking refuge in another. Sea gulls hover in the sky and then rest on the sails of the fishing boats. There are many more breathtaking sights that will please you and hold you spell bound in Tamil Nadu.
Welcome to Tamil Nadu and may you enjoy your stay!