Tamil Nadu Tourist Attractions

 

The Tanjavore Palace

The Palace, adjacent to the temple is a vast structure of fine masonry, built partly by the Nayaks around 1550 AD, and partly by the Marathas.

Ramanathapuram

The district headquarters and an ancient town, Ramanathapuram, is worth visiting for its Ram Vilas Palace. This palace of the Sethupati Rajas, houses oil portraits of the Rajas, of the past centuries. Ceilings and walls are decorated with early eigteenth century murals, depicting subjects such as business meetings with the English, and battles with the Maratha Sarabhoji, as well as scenes from epics.
 

Kodaikanal


Kodaikanal, a charming and beautiful hill station, stands amidst sylvan beauty on the southern crest of the upper Palani Hills near Madurai in Tamil Nadu. It is located 120 kms away from Madurai. It is at an altitude of 2133m on the southern tip of the upper Palani hills in the Western ghats. Kodaikkanal has a bracing climate where temperature do not vary much from summer to winter. Fruits like plums and plantains grow abundantly on the wooded slopes apart from a wide variety of flowers, among which is the famous Kurinji flower which blooms once in twelve years. Kodai's most enchanting sights include the star shaped lake, spread over an area of 24 hectares where fishing allowed and boating facilities are available; one of the world's oldest Solar Observatories that was built in 1899; and the Orchidorium at the Sacred Heart College where about 300 species of orchids can be seen. There are also a number of picturesque walks like Coaker's Walk and Priest's Walk. Kodai's best view points are Pillar Rocks, and Green Valley View. Bear Shola Falls, Silver Cascade, Fairy Falls and Glen Falls are popular with picnickers while the Perumal Peak is a favourite with trekkers. The Kurinji Andavar temple 3.2 kms away is dedicated to Lord Subramanya.

Ooty       

Ootacamund, the queen of the hill stations of South India, is situated in the Nilgiris at an altitude of 2240 metres. Ooty is nited for its extraordinary scenic beauty and salubrious climate amidst the "Nilgiris" or "Blue Mountains".green Udhagamandalam better known as Ooty is the most popular hill station in the South. Udhagamandalam is the headquarters of the Nilgiris district where the two ghats meet. Nature has been generous with this region which is by far the most beautiful in the state. Apart from coffee and tea plantations, trees like conifers, eucalyptus, pine and wattle dot the hillside in Udhagamandalam and its environs. Summer temperature is rarely higher than 25c with a minimum of 10c and winter is are distinctly cooler with a high of 21c and a low 5c.

Chennai Fort St. George 

 It is located on the seashore near the harbour, Fort St. George was built for the East India Co. in 1640 AD. The first bastion of British power in India, it once housed the British Regiments'mess and later the lighthouse. Today it houses the Tamilnadu Legislative Assembly and Council as well as the offices of the State's Secretariat. Fort St. George's towering flagstaff is, even today, the tallest in India. The black charnockite pillars of the building provide an insight into British military architecture of the 17th and 18th centuries. Glimpses of early Chennai are preserved in Clive Corner, Wellesley House, Fort Museum and St. Mary's Church.

Udayagiri Fort 

Built by King Marthanda Varma (1729-1758AD) in Kanyakumari, this fort also has a foundry for casting guns. De Lennoy's tomb is located within this fort.

Genji  

 It is located on the Tindivanam - Thiruvannamalai road about 25 kms. from Tindivanam and is about 132 kms. from Chidambaram. This place is associated with Raja Desingh. There is a 700 year old fort running over three hills of huge and steep boulders. According to tradition the original fort was laid by Kone Chiefs. The fort was ruled by Vijayanagar Nayaks, Marathas, Moghuls, Carnatic Nawabs, the French and the British. Rajagiri and Krishnagiri are two important fortifications here and it is a popular picnic spot.

Tarangambadi

Once the site of a Danish settlement in Chidambaram, Tarangambadi has the remains of the Dansborg fort built by Ore Gedde, the commander of the Royal Dutch Navy, in the 17th century. The fort constructed in 1620 with two storeys was the most important building which housed the top echelons of the Danish officials. Apart from the ramparts, the rest of the buildings are in good condition.

Little Mount Shrine

Little Mount Shrine in Chennai is the place where St. Thomas is said to have lived and preached in a small cave.

Tanjore Brihadeeshwara Temple

The beautiful Chola Temple of Brihadeeshwara is capped by a monolithic cupola made of a single granite block weighing 80 tons which was taken to the top with the help of a 6 km long ramp, an old technique used by the Egyptians for building pyramids. Its bronzes and handicrafts make Tanjore one of the highlights of a visit to South India.

Shree Meenakshi Temple

This temple in Madurai is dedicated to the consort of Lord Shiva with its towering gopurams (rising high above the surrounding country side). Every day, the Meenakshi Temple attracts pilgrims in thousands, from all over India. The temple is named after the daughter of a Pandyan king who, according to legend, was born with three breasts. At the time of the birth, the king was told that the extra breast would disappear, when she met the man she was supposed to marry, and this happened when she met Lord Shiva on Mount Kailas. Shiva arrived in Madurai, later, in the form of Lord Sundereshwara, and married her. The Meenakshi temple is an excellent example of Dravidian architecture, with gopurams or multi pillared halls, covered from top to bottom, in a profusion of multicoloured images of gods, goddesses, animals and mythical figures. The temple occupies an area of around six hectares, and has four entrances to it.

Nataraja Temple 

Chidambaram was a Chola capital from 907 to 1310 and the Nataraja Temple was erected during the reign of Vira Chola Raja (927-997). The complex is said to be the oldest in southern India. It covers 13 hectares and has four gopurams, the north and south ones towering at 49m high. Two of the gopurams are carved with the 108 classical postures of Nataraja, Siva in his role as the cosmic dancer.Other notable features of the temple are the 1000-pillared hall, the Nritta Sabha court carved out like a gigantic chariot, and the image of Nataraja himself in the inner sanctum. There are other temples in the complex, including those dedicated to Parvati, Subrahmanya and Ganesh, and a newer Vishnu temple.

Marudhamalai Temple

Dedicated to Lord Subramanya, this hilltop temple at Coimbatore is one of the most visited temples in the region, the reason being that the residing deity Dandayuthapani is believed to have performed several miracles here. Thai Poosam and Tirukarthigai festivals are celebrated with great pomp and gaiety at this temple. Marudhamalai is 12 kms from the Railway Station.

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 Coimbatore. A perennial stream flows by the side of the Sri Amalingeswarar 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.

Perur Temple

This Temple is 7 kms from Coimbatore Railway Station and was constructed by Karikal Cholan over 1500 years ago. There are shrines to the presiding deity Patteeswarar and his consort Pachainayaki and some elegantly carved sculptures in the Kanagasabai hall. Devotees flock to this temple in hundreds during the Panguni Uthiram festival which is celebrated in March every year.

Bhavani

The Sangameshwarar temple at Bhavani is situated at the confluence of the rivers Bhavani and the Cauvery. This place is called as "Tiruveni of South India". It is an important pilgrim centre. Lord Sangameshwarer with His consort Vedanayaki is the presiding deity. It is said that during the East India Company regime the then Collector of Coimbatore and Salem Districts, William Garrow, who had his headquarters at Bhavani, worshipped the Goddess Vedanayaki. One night the Goddess directed him in his dream to vacate his bungalow immediately. The moment he vacated, the entire bungalow collapsed. In reverence of this miracle, he presented to the temple an ivory cradle which is still in the temple with his signature.

Kodumudi

It is 40 kms. from Erode and 105 kms. from Coimbatore. A special feature of this place is that shrines for Siva, Vishnu and Brahma are located in one temple complex. Siva is known as Muchukundeswarar, Vishnu as Veera Narayana Perumal. The temple is one of the important temples in Periyar district

Koodal Azhagar Temple

Dedicated to Lord Vishnu, this is one of the most ancient temples in Madurai. The temple displays the God in a variety of postures - sitting, standing, reclining.

Sakkiswarar Temple

Built by the Cholas, this temple is located near the Kamakshi Amman Temple in Kanchipuram.

Vaikuntha Perumal Temple

An important Vishnu temple built by the Pallava King Nandivarman Pallavamalla, in the 7th century AD in Kanchipuram. Numerous inscriptions are found in the temple, relating to the wars between the Pallavas and the Chalukyas.

Kailasanatha Temple

Built by Rajasimha and his son Mahendra the 3rd, in the 8th century AD at Kanchipuram.

Ekambareswarar Temple

Another ancient temple at Kanchipuram, renovated by the Pallavas, the Cholas and the Vijayanagar kings. The 57 metre high Rajagopuram, is one of the tallest towers in South India.

Devarajaswamy Temple

Also known as Varadarajar temple, it is a massive and impressive edifice at Kanchipuram. The shrine of Devarajaswamy is located on an elephant-shaped rock called Hastagiri.

Kamakshi Amman Temple

This is one of the three holy places of Shakti worship in Kanchipuram. The other two are in Madurai and Varanasi. The temple in its present form was built by the Cholas, during the 14th century AD.

Tiruvanaikkaval

The Jambukeshwara temple, here, is dedicated to Shiva, and it houses five concentric walls, and seven gopurams. Legend has it, that an elephant once worshipped the Lord, under the holy Jambu tree, hence the name Jambukeshwara. The principal deity is the Shiva lingam, almost submerged in water, which flows from the subterranean spring, in the sanctum sanctorum.

Rock Fort Temple

This temple crowns a massive outcrop of rock, that soars 83 metres upwards, from the surrounding plains. It is reached by a steep flight of 437 steps, cut into the rock. Halfway up is the Sri Thayumanaswamy Temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva. It has a 100-pillared hall, and a Vimana, covered with gold. On the southern face of the rock, are several beautifully carved, rock-cut cave temples, of the Pallava period. Non - Hindus are not allowed into the sanctum sanctorum, at the summit. Built by the Nayaks, who were the founders of the city, it was one of the main centres, around which, the wars of the Carnatic were fought in the 18th century, during the British - French struggle for supremacy in India.

Srirangam (Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple)

This temple, 6 kms north of the city, is among the most revered shrines to Lord Vishnu in South India, and probably, the largest temple complex in India. Enclosed by seven rectangular walled courtyards, this 13th century temple has 21 gopurams. The town, and the temple, are set on a 250-hectare island in the Cauvery, connected to the mainland by a bridge. The temple is very well preserved, with excellent carvings, and numerous shrines to various gods, though the main temple is dedicated to Vishnu.


Ramanathaswamy Temple

Close to the sea, on the eastern side of the island, is this 17th century temple, renowned for its magnificent pillar corridor, running to a length of 1200 metres, and flanked by ornate pillars. This is the longest corridor in India. Construction of the temple began, in the 12th century AD, and additions were made to the building, over the succeeding centuries by various rulers, and, today, its gopuram is 53.6 metres high. There are 22 sacred wells in the temple, the water of each tasting different from the others.

Agnitheertham

Located in Rameshwaram, 100 metres away from the temple. Here Rama worshipped Lord Shiva, to cleanse away the sin of killing Ravana.

Gandamadana Parvatham

Situated on the highest point in the island, 2 km north of Rameswaram town centre, is the venerable shrine, housing the imprint of Lord Rama's feet placed on a chakra.

Dhanushkodi

Dhanushkodi, at the eastern end of the island, is located 8 kms away from Rameswaram. This is the place where Rama is said to have bathed, and the boulders that pepper the sea between here and Srilanka, known as Adam's bridge, were the stepping stones used by Hanuman to find Rama's wife Sita, after she was abducted by Ravana, the King of Lanka. Dhanushkodi was completely washed away by the sea, in the 1964 cyclone. The only surviving relic of the past is the Kothandaramaswamy temple, which still contains the icons of Rama, Sita, Lakshmana, Hanuman and Vibhishana. Legend states that Vibhishana, brother of Ravana, surrendered to Rama at this spot.

Tirupullani

Also known as Dharbasayanam, the Vishnu temple at Tirupullani, is dedicated to Lord Adi Jagannatha Perumal.

Uthirakosamangai

The site is famous for the Shiva temple, the deity of which is carved in emerald. The annual 'Arudhra' festival in December, attracts a large number of tourists.

Erwadi

An important site for Muslim pilgrims, Erwadi houses the tomb of Ibrahim Sahid Aulia. The annual festival in honour of this saint, takes place in December.

Rathas

These are architectural prototypes of all Dravidian temples at Mamallapuram, showcasing the imposing gopurams and vimanas, multi-pillared halls and sculptured walls, which dominate the landscape of Tamil Nadu. The rathas are named after the Pandavas, the heroes of the Mahabharata epic. Although they are widely known as "Five Rathas", there are actually eight of them.

Shore Temples

The shore temples at Mamallapuram were built in the 7th century, during the reign of Rajasimha, and depict the final phase of Pallava art. These beautiful temples, ravaged by wind and sea, were given the World Heritage listing, a few years ago. The two spires of the temples, contain a shrine for Lord Vishnu and for Lord Shiva. The Mahabalipuram dance festival is held every year from January 15 to February 15. During this period, dances from all over the country are staged here, including Kathakali from Kerala, Kuchipudi from Andhra Pradesh as well as tribal dances, puppet shows and classical and traditional music concerts.

Vellamalai

The temple of Vellamalai is 25 km from Vellore. The main temple is dedicated to Shiva's son Lord Murugan. It is carved from massive stone. The main temple is at top of hill and there is another temple at the bottom of hill. Shoes must be removed at the base of hill. There's a good view of the countryside around Vellamalai-the ground is stony and strewn with boulders. the cloth knots tied to trees are prayers that wishes be granted.

 
 
 
 
 

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