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.
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.
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 25°c with a minimum of 10°c and winter is are distinctly cooler
with a high of 21°c and a low 5°c.
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
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 ShrineLittle Mount Shrine in Chennai is the place where St. Thomas is said to have lived and preached in a small cave.
Tanjore Brihadeeshwara Temple
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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.
Built by the Cholas, this temple is
located near the Kamakshi Amman Temple in Kanchipuram.
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.
Built by Rajasimha and his son
Mahendra the 3rd, in the 8th century AD at Kanchipuram.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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.
Located in Rameshwaram,
100 metres away from the
temple. Here Rama worshipped Lord Shiva, to cleanse away the sin of
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, 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.
Also known as Dharbasayanam, the
Vishnu temple at Tirupullani, is dedicated to Lord Adi Jagannatha
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.
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.
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
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
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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