Tamil Nadu is the most preferred tourist destination by both Indian and International tourists. It has got lots of places of historical, cultural and architectural significance. The capital city of Tamil Nadu is Chennai. Tourism in Tamil Nadu is promoted by Ministry of Tourism by the sate government with a logo “enchanting Tamil Nadu-experience yourself”. Ttdc promotes tourism in the sate by arranging various functions and events. Chennai is the largest city of tamilandu and the only place in India to be listed in “52 places to go around the world” by “The New York Times”. Marina beach in chennai is the second largest beach in the world.
Chennai is also famous for Kabaleeswarar temple at Mylapore and Parthasarathy temple at Triplicane. Arignar anna zoological park (also known as vandalur zoo) is one of the largest zoological park in Asia which houses more than 1500 wild species including many endangered species. Chennai also has a crocodile park and children park.
The state also holds the credit of having maximum number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites (5) in India which includes Great Living Chola Temples and Mahabalipuram. Archaeological sites with civilisation dating back to 3800 years are found in Tamil Nadu.
Mahabalipuram sea shore temples were built by rulers of pallava dynasty and depicts remarkable art and architecture. The carvings depicts rathas, mandapas and the lord Shiva. The temple is made of monolithic marvels and carved from rocks. The Big temple at thanjavur was a classical example chola art and architecture. The temple tower is made of a single stone of granite which was a great piece of work done almost 1000 years ago without the use of modern technology. Thanjavur is also very famous for its painting and Veena. Sri Meenakshi temple at Madurai is in the top list of New seven Wonders of the world. Sri Meenakshi temple has a 1000 pillar hall made of granite and nine temple towers that depicts the various organs of Human in ancient Hindu mythology. Some more temples of art and cultural significance were
Kamatchi temple – Kanchipram; Arunachaleeswarar temple – Thiruvannamalai; Sri Ranganathaswamy temple – Srirangam; Sri Andal temple- Srivilliputhur
Bridhadeeswarar temple- Gangaikindacholapuram; Ramanathaswamy temple- Rameswaram; Natrajar temple- Chidhambaram
With more than 34000 temples, Tamil Nadu has some great temples like Madurai Meenakshi Amman Temple, Brihadeeswarar Temple, Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple and Srilakshmi Golden Temple. All these temples showcase the art and architecture prevailed during the ancient period.
Meenakshi Amman Temple
Meenakshi amman temple is located at the ancient city of Madurai. The city has a continuous cultural history of 2500 years. The temple in the present form was re- constructed by the pandyas of Madurai. The temple has a 1000 pillar hall, 14 towers with remarkable art, architecture and painting. Thirugnanasambandar the Hindu Saint has mentioned the temple in his songs which go back to early 7th century. At least 15,000 visitors visit these temple regularly which include both Indians and Foreigners. The temple is now administered by HR and CE department of Tamil Nadu.
Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple
Sri Ranganathaswamy temple is located at Srirangam and is one of the largest functioning Hindu complexes in the world. The temple has towers in various entrances throughout the city. The main tower “Rajagopuram” was measuring 270 feet high. The temple attracts millions of Indian and International visitors monthly. The temple karpakraham was plated with gold. The god and goddesses renganayaki will be decorated with high end jewelry on important occasions.
Abodes of Lord Murugan (Subramanyaswamy)
The six abodes of Subramanyaswamy were situated in Tamil Nadu. They were Tirupparamkunram, Thiruchendur, Thiruavinankudi, Swamimalai, Thiruthani, and Pazhamudircholai.
The wetlands attract numerous migratory birds from Europe and America. The state government has established 13 bird sanctuaries to protect the birds from poaching and hunting. The state also has various bird sanctuaries including 13 established bird sanctuary among others maintained by the state government. They include Vedanthangal, Pulicate Lake, Vettangudi, Kanjirankulam, Uthayamarthandapuram, Point Calimere among others.
The state also has squirrel sanctuary, protected areas for tiger, elephant, deer etc. Arignar Anna Zoological park is the first public zoo in India which attracts millions of tourists worldwide.
Ooty, Kodaikanal and Yercaud are well-known hill stations. These places attract many tourists due to its climate, lakes, botanical gardens, flora and fauna. Mettupalyam=Ooty hill train is an UNESCO heritage site.
The Nilgiri Mountain Railway, a UNESCO World Heritage Site provides a scenic view of hills throughout its 41 km journey between Mettupalayam and Ooty (7500 FT above ground level).
The Nilgiri Mountain Railway is a railway in Tamil Nadu, India, built by the British in 1908, and was initially operated by the Madras Railway. The railway still relies on its fleet of steam locomotives. NMR comes under the jurisdiction of the newly formed Salem Division. In July 2005, UNESCO added the Nilgiri Mountain Railway as an extension to the World Heritage Site of Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, the site then became known as “Mountain Railways of India.” After it satisfied the necessary criteria, thus forcing abandonment of the modernisation plans. For the past several years diesel locomotives have taken over from steam on the section between Coonoor and Udhagamandalam. Local people and tourists have led a demand for steam locos to once again haul this section.
Kanyakumari is the southernmost tip of India provides scenic view of sunset and sunshine over the Indian ocean. Mathur Totti Palam one of the biggest aqueducts, both in height and length, in Asia. Thiruvalluvar statue of the St Tamil poet, tallest statue of Asia and ancient wooden palace of Marthandavarma (known as Padmanabapuram palace), Hill stations like Yercaud, Kodaikanal, Ooty, Valparai, Yelagiri are widely visited. Water Falls like Hogenakkal Falls and Wildlife sanctuaries are located across the state. Pichavaram the world’s second largest mangrove forest is located in the state.