Steeped in classical Indian culture, performance, language and history, Tamil Nadu is most frequently visited for its distinctive temples. There are hundreds scattered throughout the region that will take your breath away. With spectacular beach towns, hill stations, and peaceful spiritual destinations within its borders, Tamil Nadu is an inviting and welcoming destination for visitors from all corners of the world.
The capital is Chennai, a large and thriving city on the Coromandel Coast. Formerly known as Madras, it’s now an up and coming cosmopolitan hotspot, thanks to the addition of luxury hotels, contemporary restaurants, and upscale clubs and bars. The historic centre of Chennai is George Town, a colonial-style hub full of bazaars, winding alleys, and an impressive fort. Chennai has an intriguing collection of museums, galleries, temples, churches, and parks to explore, and some great beaches for relaxing.
Temple enthusiasts will find it hard to be selective: Tamil Nadu is full of temple towns, the most popular among them being Kanchipuram (the city of a thousand temples), Madurai (famous for the most impressive and incredibly important Meenakshi Temple), and Thanjavur, where Dravidian inspiration reflects itself in more than 70 temples. The most striking of all of them is the towering Brihadishwara Temple, built between 1003 and 1010.
Sunseekers in Tamil Nadu flock to Chennai and Mahabalipuram Beach, just south of the capital, or Pondicherry, a quintessentially French colonial town with a charming French quarter and palm-lined boulevards. Kanyakumari, perched on the southernmost tip of India, is where three bodies of water meet in a remarkable feat of nature: the Arabian Sea, the Bay of Bengal, and the Indian Ocean. Take in the panorama; it is particularly spectacular at sunrise and sunset. ETG doesn't recommend beaches in Tamil Nadu for a prolonged relaxation period - for pure relaxation head to the beaches of Kerala, Goa or The Andaman Islands - Tamil Nadu beaches are great for a few days of people watching, local festivities and cultural immersion.
Spiritual seekers are drawn to Rameshwaram, with its holy waters, and Tiruvannamalai Mountain, known as the most silent place on earth. And then there are the hill stations, Kotagiri, Coonoor, and world-famous Ooty, nestled in the Nilgiri mountain ranges. Ooty’s British landscaped charm and cool plantation-filled countryside are a welcome relief from the heat and bustle of Tamil Nadu’s temple towns and major cities.
For those planning a trip to Tamil Nadu, we encourage you to speak to Experience Travel Group. Our consultants have done treks, marvelled at the temples, laid on the beaches, and dined in style in the cities. We would be thrilled to share our expert knowledge with you and to help you plan a tailor-made visit to Tamil Nadu.