Tamil Nadu is one of the 29 States of India and its capital is Chennai. It is surrounded by Pondicherry and states of Kerala, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. On the west lies Kerala in the east lays Bay of Bengal and Eastern Ghats on the North. It is 11th largest State in India area wise and 6th most populous State in India. The State has tremendous business enterprises and industries thus employing ample people from all over the world. Tamil Nadu is also famous for having many Hindu Temples of Dravidian architecture, which are famous hill station and eight UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Tamil Nadu is one of the top 3 states in India which attracts highest foreign investors towards many different sectors. Tamil Nadu is visited due to its rich cultural heritage; mouth watering Dosas and classical dance.
History of Tamil Nadu
According to the legendary Tamil Nadu was ruled by three main dynasties- in the west Cheras, in central area the Pandyas, in the east Cholas. Around 3 hundreds years ago after the birth of Christ, Sangam Age which is also known as classical period prevailed in the state. After that, Pallava Dynasty dominated the state during 7th and 8th centuries. Monuments at Mamallapuram are live examples of that period. During 13 centuries, fear of Muslim attacks led to union of Southern of Hindu Dynasties and the empire of Vijay Nagar, which is spread over all South India, was established. During 18 centuries, many conflicts took place among British, French, Dutch and Danes over possession of areas. The British finally won, while Pondicherry and Karaikal were in the power of French.
Economy of Tamil Nadu
Though economy of the state is agriculture based, still 17% of the population is engrossed in industries. Plenty of hydel power stations are actively working and one atomic power plant is situated at Kalpakkam. It is also rich in minerals like lime stone, salt, gypsum, lignite, mica, magnetite and so on. Apart from this, other industries like cotton textiles, chemicals, fertilizers, diesel engines, paper products and many more are also flourishing in the state. It exports leather and leather products, cotton goods, spices, tobacco, tea and coffee etc. Around 17% of the state area is covered by forests. Main crops of the state are maize, rice, pulses and Bajra. Commercial crops are sugar cane, sunflower, coconut, cashew and ground nut.
Food of Tamil Nadu
People of Tamil Nadu are religious minded, their traditional food is vegetarian which comprises of Dosa, Idly, Sambar, Badas, Rasam, coconut Chutney, Upma and many more. Apart from this, in non-vegetarian food there are many delicacies like fish, mutton, and chicken which are relished by people.
Dance and Music of Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu boasts of rich culture and tradition popularity of its classical dance is known all over the world. Bharat Natyam is the one of the most popular and revered classical dance form of India which originated in Tamil Nadu. It is believed that this dance form was initially performed by Devdasis, who were believed to be married to Deities. The popular musical instruments are wooden fluid, Veena, Violin, Ghatam. Many famous singers and musician were born at this place.
Costumes and Culture of Tamil Nadu
As per legendaries first Dravidians came to the South after attack in the North, about 15 hundred BC. Majority of the people in Tamil Nadu follow Hinduism while very few people belong to Islam and Christianity. Especially Brahman community here is religious minded and they put broad white mark on their and wear dhoti to symbolized their cast. Women love to adorn their long hair with fresh flowers. They are usually seen in Saries. The Kanjivaram sari are specialty of Chennai and worn at special occasion. In local crafts, baskets and other items made up of Bamboo sticks are very popular. There are many famous temples which exhibit marvelous testimony of stone carvings, painting of Tanjore and Wood carvings.
Education in Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu was the proud owner of one of the first engineering institute which was established in 1794 at Chennai. Its name was Survey School of Engineering and was established by East India Company. The state is ahead in imparting technical education in the state. Two main institutes, Gundy and Chennai College are renowned in the area. Apart from this, state government is taking active steps to eradicate problem of illiteracy in rural areas. Literacy rate of the state is 74%, which is higher than average literacy rate of India. Many famous institutes are established in cities like Chennai, Coimbatore, Madurai and Trichi. Some of them work as research centers too.
Tourism in Tamil Nadu
- Chennai – The Capital City of the Indian State of Tamil Nadu was formerly known as Madras. It is situated on the Coromandel Coast of the Bay of Bengal. It is the fourth most thickly populated metro city and fifth the most populous city in India. According to 2001 census, its population was 4.34 million. The place is popular for its beautiful beaches and vibrant culture. It is also called “Detroit of India” due to its automobile Industry. Growth in the economy of the city is due to leading industries including automobile, software services, petrochemicals, textiles and hardware etc. Tamil Nadu is well connected to all main cities of India and with overseas countries. It is a hub of rich heritage of music architecture, sculpture, classical dance and many more.
- Mahabalipuram – The place is also known as Mallapuram which is renowned for its rich cultural heritage. It was a famous sea port during 7th century AD and was ruled by Pallava Dynesty. It has been classified as UNESCO World Heritage Sites for its beautiful monuments which are a fine example of Dravidian style architecture. They are carved out of Granite. Tourist visits this place especially to get knowledge about history and see the charm of intricate carvings.
- Kanyakumari – The place carries importance since the Reign of the Chola, Chera and Pandya Dynesty. Tourists are attracted to this place due to its fascinating beaches, old monuments, temples and many cultural heritages. Kanyakumari is also famous for the sunrise and the sunset at the beach thus attracting tourists in huge number. Interestingly, three water sources namely the Arabian Sea, the Indian Ocean, and the Bay of Bengal meet here at the same point thus making it famous pilgrimage for devotees. Besides, many mouth watering south Indian dishes can also be relished here like Sambhar, Idly and Dosa.
- Madurai – The Temple is dedicated to the Goddess and it is very near to Bragadhambal Temple. The World famous Meenakshi, Ammam Temple are housed at this place and carries a great significant all over the world. Mainly devotees visit this place to pay obeisance. It hasa huge complex which comprises of around 27 different temples. Many religious festivals are celebrated here. River Vagai flows through the city dividing it in two parts.
- Vellankallni – At the shores of Bay of Bengal, at a distance of 14 Km from Nagapattinam is a small village called Vellankallni. It is a famous Christian pilgrimage, visited by people of all caste and creed. The main attraction of the place is attractive buildings decorated in Gothic style. It is believed to have great wish – fulfilling power.
- Mundanthurai – Kaladad wild life sanctuary – It is spread over an area of 817 sq km and well known National Tiger Reserve since 1988. It has been doing great job in preserving endangered species like Malabar, Neelgiri, Tahr, Indian Bison, Mouse, Deer, Malabar, Jiand, and Squirrel. One can have view of predators like tigers, jungle cat, jackal, striped, hyenas and many more. The sanctuary also houses poisonous, reptiles, different kinds of birds and amphibians. The place is also perfect for exciting adventures and there is accommodation for tourists too.
Religious sites of Tamil Nadu
The state is famous for having more than 34000 Hindu Temples which belong to ancient time. Some of the magnificent temples were built by Pallava, Chola, Pandya Dynasties. Kanchipuram and Madurai Temples are renowned all over the world. Some of them are –
Chidambaram- It is believed to be the seat of Cosmic Dancer (Lord Natraja) which was built during 9th century. Peculiarity of the structure of the temple is that it has hut like sanctum with gold covered roof and four towering Gopuras. As per legendary many kings of Chola Dynasty were crowned here.
Ervadi – It is a small hamlet in Ramanathapuram District where old shrines and graves of Hazrat Sulthan Syed Ibraham Saheed Vadushah along with the thousand of his friends and relatives who migrated from Saudi Arabia in the Mid Twelve Century are present. The place is believed to have great significance for healing mental and physical ailments. There are some other shrines like Kattupalli, Natham Missel, Valilokkam and many more. A very famous festival Santhanakoodo takes place here and the place is visited by one million people from different parts of the country.
Kancheepuram – According to Hindu Mythology, it is one of the 7th holiest cities in India. It used to be capital of ancient Pallava Kingdom. Kanchipuram houses more than 100 old temples which remain thronged with pilgrims though some of the temples are in ruins. The most famous temple of the place is Kailashnathar Temple, which is dedicated to lord Shiva. The temple is testimony of splendor of Dravidian style of architecture built by the Pallava King Raya Sima.
Shri Parthsarthy Chennai – Built in 8th century and renovated in 16th century, the temple is dedicated to Lord Krishna. It is one of the oldest and famous temples of Chennai. One can witness five ‘Avtars’ of Lord Vishnu with Vishnu Consort Vedavalli Ammi.
Kumbakonam – It is hub of temples and is located 40 km away from Thanjavur. Devotees visit this place to get Darshan of 188 temples within its Municipal limits. There are more than 1000 of temples in the vicinity which remain thronged with devotees all over the year. The most famous temple of the place is Kumbeswarar Temple which is spread over 30181 sq ft with 3 Gopurams situated at Northern, Eastern and Western Entrances. The second famous temple is Ramaswami Temple which is dedicated to Lord Rama and popular for intricate carvings exhibits characters from epic Mahabharata. Another very famous temple is Kashi Vishav Nath Temple which is a fine example of fascinating Dravidian architecture. Peculiarity of the place is its holy pond which contains water of 9 rivers namely Ganga, Yamna, Narmada, Saraswati, Kaveri, Godawari, Tungabhadra, Krishna and Sarau. The water is believed to have great powers to nullify a person from his sins and is visited mostly on Mahamaham Festival which is held once in 12 years.
Nagore – It is situated in the North of Nagapattinum and is a spiritual place for people of all religion. It is home to tomb of Meeran Sahib Abdul Kadir Shahul Hamid Badshah which is also known as Nagore Durgah. A famous festival Urs takes place here every year and many devotees all over the world visit this place.
Palani – It is second largest shrine center in Tamil Nadu and second largest in South India after Triupati. Palani is known as 6 Abodes of Murugan. More than 7 million pilgrims throng this place during Thi Poosam festival and go through various Penances like shaving their heads, walking barefoot etc. Pilgrims are taken to the hilltop with the help of cable car service.
Rameshwaram – It is situated at the coast of Sri Lanka and compared to Varanashi. Pambam Island is also situated nearby it. According to legend Lord Rama initiated his journey to Sri Lanka from Rameshwaram thus making it significant holy shrine. It is also one of the Hindu Char Dham shrines which are visited by Hindu devotees. Construction of the temple was started in 12 century and finished in 19 century. The most fascinated specialty of the temple is its 1,220 meter long corridor which is longest in India with fascinating carvings on the pillars, walls and ceiling. The famous Kothandaramaswamy Temple which is situated on the shore of Dhanush Kodi is believed to be a place where Vibhishna the brother of Ravna confronted Rama and his army. Surprisingly, in 1964, a cyclone destroyed everything in the vicinity except miraculous escape of this temple.
Maya Jaal is a recreation centre situated on the east coast road in Kanathur, Chennai. It covers an area of 30 acres. It houses shopping mall, a sport complex, a resort, and multiplex. It has 16 screen multiplex and boast of being the largest multiplex in Asia. Its sport complex was initiated in year 2003, where Indian Cricket League matches also took place. Resort and shopping mall opened later in 2005 and 2006 respectively.
Adam’s Bridge is also called Rama’s Bridge or Rama Setu. It lies between Rameshwaram Island of Tamil Nadu and Mannar Island of Sri Lanka and made up of chain of lime stone shoals. It is old connection between India and Sri Lanka. It was mentioned in Epic Ramayana. It is believed to be built by apes, army of Lord Rama to reach Lanka to rescue Rama’s wife from Ravana. In the map this bridge was also called Adam’s Bridge by a British Cartographer in 1804. According to which a man called Adam travelled by this bridge to access Adam’s peak in Sri Lanka. Thie Pongal, it is a famous festival celebrated by Tamilians after harvesting season. It lasts for four days. It is one of the most popular festivals celebrated in the state. Meaning of Pongal word is over flowing, which symbolizes abundance and prosperity. Residents go through a certain rituals in which they boil fresh milk in a new clay port and when it boils over everybody shouts “Pongalu Pongal”. It is a kind of thanksgiving ceremony to the God Sun which help them grow and harvest good crop. On this day houses are decorated tastefully with mango and banana leaves and floor is also adorned with beautiful colors.
It is the longest natural urban beach in India and second largest in the world. It runs along Bay of Bengal in city of Chennai covering a distance of 13 Km. It is covered with shining gold sand and blue sea. It is the most popular beach in India. It lies at a distance of 3 Km from capital city of Tamil Nadu. What attract tourists to this place are fascinating sunrise and sunset, breathtaking sightseeing and groves of palm trees. One can also enjoy horse ride along the shores. The rejuvenating air makes you relax and stress free. Besides this there are many popular historical monuments like Anna Durai and MG Rama Chandran Memorials, monuments of famous scholars and historic heroes including Mahatma Gandhi and Subhash Chander Bosh. Tourist can satisfy their taste buds by relishing traditional south Indian food and snacks available at eateries in the vicinity. Aquatic life at sea beach can also be closely observed where astonishing range of sea animals can be seeing. The Ice House is also worth visiting place which used to be a store house of Ice brought from North America during Colonial era.
This temple is situated at Thanjavur in Tamil Nadu. The temple is dedicated to Hindu Lord Shiva. It is a fine example of magnificent architecture of Chola Dynasty. It was built as a tribute to Raja Raja Chola. It has been recognized as UNESCO World Heritage Site (Great Living Chola Temple). Its architectural beauty is India’s one of the most valued and commended. It is erected in the center of four walls. It has a temple tower which is fondly called Vimana. It is the unique of its kind and its height is 216 feet and top of the temple is believed to be made out of single stone carving. At the entrance of the gate 13 feet height and 16 feet long statue of Nandi is placed which is also made of a single rock carving. It is one of the most popular and oldest temples which completed its 1000 year in 2010.
Neel Giri Mountain Railway
It is a railway built by the British in the year 1908 in Tamil Nadu. It was first leap initiated by Madras Railway. It has been declared World Heritage Site of UNESCO. It still works on steam Locomotives. In 2005 UNESCO added Neel Giri Mountain Railway and site became “Mountain Railways of India”. The train is designed in old fashioned and transports the tourists to the English era. To travel by the train, one has to do advance booking. The breathtaking sites of nature make your journey enjoyable. It is a unique train having 4 to 5 compartments which are neat and clean.
District Science Centre
It is a centre which exhibit new discoveries related to ocean and spread over 6 acre Science Park. It is the most visited place for science lovers. There are a planetarium, an animal kingdom and an observatory. It organizes many entertainments from time to time like mobile science exhibition, film show, temporary exhibition, science fair, science drama and many more.
Koonthankulam Bird Sanctuary
The place is home for many migrated birds. It is located in the far south of Thirunelveli. Tourist can see around 35 species of birds during winter season. There is a famous health resort near Thirunelveli which is full of scenic beauty. Another interesting feature of the place is beautiful waterfall which is divided into 8 waterfalls and tourist can enjoy bathing in the holy water. Water of this waterfall is believed to have many therapeutic qualities. It can cure many diseases like headache, joint pains, and nerve disorder.
Swami Nellaiappar – Kanthimathi Amble Temple
The temple is believed to be built during 700 AD and peculiarity of this temple is sweet sound produced by musical pillars when they strike.
Situated on the bank of Calm Cauvery River is an ancient city and which is famous for its old architecture design. The city is popular for its colorful glass bangles, handicrafts, handmade toys, and artificial diamonds.
Major Cities of Tamil Nadu
There are many popular hill stations in the state of Tamil Nadu. Some of them are below:
Udagamandalam – It is also known as Ooty, located in the Neel Giri Biosphere Reserve, is the most famous hill station in south India. The place provides beautiful sites of Neel Giri Hill. Ooty is well-connected to the rest of the country by roads and famous Neel Giri Mountain Railway. Its natural beauty and panoramic views attract tourist from whole country and other parts of the world also. In Ooty, one can enjoy Government Rose Garden which is the largest rose garden in India. Variety of roses can be seen blooming there. Another major attraction of the place is Ooty Lake. Its lush green mountains and Crystal clear lakes situated amid the alpine woods are the major attractions. There are many heritage bungalows which remind colonial era. Other popular sightseeing places at the site are Avalache Valley, Dolphine’s Nose, Droog Fort. Other places which attract tourist in Ooty are Bellika Lake, Kalhatti Falls, Kamraj Sagar Lake, Hidden Valley and many more. One can also visit Rose Gardens and Catherine Falls. Ooty witness almost pleasant climate throughout the year due to which it has become a famous honeymoon destination in India. One can visit Deer Park, Tribal Museum and Wax World to get more knowledge and dip into the colonial past.
Rameshwaram – It is one of the most visited pilgrimages situated in the Gulf of Mannar. It is believed that after returning from Lanka Lord Rama stopped here to thank god for his victory. Sea water here is regarded as holy water and called Agnitheeram. This temple is popular for its colossal corridors.
Kanyakumari – It is the southernmost tip of India and it is the place where three major seas meet, for example the Indian Ocean, Arabian Ocean and Bay of Bengal. Devotees from all over the world come here to take holy dip in the sacred water and offer prayers to goddess Canya, an incarnation of goddess Partvati who defeated demons and protected the world.
Madhurai – It is one of the oldest cities of Tamil Nadu, located on the banks of Vaigai River. The famous Meenakshi Temple is situated on the southern bank. Another thing worth visiting is Thirumalai Nayak Mahal.
Kodaikanal – It is a beautiful hill station located in Palani Hills which is only 121 km from Madhurai. Kodaikanal is well known for its star shaped, man-made lake named Kodai Lake.
The state has well developed and smooth network of roads which connect every part of the state to the rest of the country. Railway lines are also equally developed. Tamil Nadu has main two sea ports – one at Chennai another at Tuti Corim. Chennai is also proud owner of one of the largest airport.
Page Title: Tamil Nadu is Also Famous for Having Many Hindu Temples of Dravidian Architecture
Keywords: Major cities of Tamil Nadu, Thiruchirappali, Kanthimathi Amble Temple, Swami Nellaiappar, Koonthankulam Bird Sanctuary, Neel Giri Mountain Railway