Tamil Nadu

 

Tamil Nadu is one of the most ancient regions of India and a state that was once ruled by some of the most powerful dynasties of the country. Tamil Nadu has managed to retain its rich ancient history while also being open to modern trends and lifestyles. The people of the region are extremely polite and hospitable and are well-versed in the culture and traditions of their land. Tamil Nadu is also recognised to be the ‘Cultural Capital of India’. Arts such as dancing, music, and painting thrive in the region.

Culture is the widening of the mind and of the spirit.

-Jawaharlal Nehru







HERE ARE 5 HIGHLIGHTS TO TAMIL NADU

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HISTORY

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The history of Tamil Nadu is marked by the rule of several able dynasties. It all began when the  Dravidians, who were believed to be the settlers of the early Indus Valley civilisation, moved to southern India to establish their presence in the state of Tamil Nadu. Being surrounded by the sea helped this southern state establish strong trade links with the rest of the world.  A political battle ensued between five dynasties to gain control over the state of Tamil Nadu. The five powerful dynasties – The Cholas, the Pallavas, the Cheras, and the Chalukyas ruled Tamil Nadu over a period of time. The Chola dynasty was deemed the most recognized for its eternal contribution to the arts, literature, and cultural activities that were undertaken under the patronage of Chola rulers. These rulers were also known for their exceptional architectural innovations. The most exquisite temples, including Brihadishvara Temple in Thanjavur, was built during the reign of the Chola kings. As the rule of these dynasties began to decline, the British rulers found a strong foothold in the state of Tamil Nadu and established colonies in Pondicherry and Chennai.

 


ART & ARCHITECTURE

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Tamil Nadu is predominantly known for being home to spectacular temples and colonial style buildings. Tourists can visit the famous Brihadisvara Temple located in Thanjavur. The temple is known for its intricate architecture and is one of the largest temples in India. What’s more, the temple’s tower is known to be the highest in the entire world. Other attractions include the Meenakshi Amman Temple, Valluvar Kottam, Varaha Cave Temple, Thirumalai Nayakkar Mahal, Manora Fort, and Tiruchirapalli Rock Fort. Colonial marvels including Victory War Memorial, Fort St. George, Senate House, Ripon Building, and Madras High Court, all give tourists a glimpse into the colonial era of Tamil Nadu. While the architecture of the state is famous all across the world, so is the art produced in the region. Thanjavur paintings are particularly known for the unique process adopted at the time of creating the paintings. These works of art are studded with pearls, diamonds, and other gemstones, which lend a beautiful effect. Stone carvings and wooden artefacts made by skilled craftsmen have also gained popularity in the region for their expert craftsmanship.

 



NATURAL 
DIVERSITY

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Not many people know that Tamil Nadu provides a rich habitat for the growth of flora and fauna. Animals including elephants, leopards, sloth bears, Nilgiri langurs, grey pelicans and marine species like turtles and dolphins can be found here. Tamil Nadu also holds the record for having the largest number of Indian Angiosperm species in all of India. Plant types including Eucalyptus, Cinchona, rubber and rare plants such as Ebony and Orchid are found to be thriving in the forests. The state also protects its wildlife species in specialised biospheres and wildlife reserves. One can visit The Gulf of Mannar Biosphere Reserve and the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve to get a glimpse of the vibrant plants and animal species present in these reserves.

 



DIVERSE CULTURE

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Tamil Nadu is known as the ‘Cultural Capital of India’ and for a good reason. The state offers a range of diverse cultural experiences. The rulers of Tamil Nadu laid great emphasis on the growth of literature, arts, music and dance and these traditions have thrived till date. Carnatic music is one of the most revered forms of classical music and is practised across the state. The famed dance form – Bharatanatyam is said to have originated here. Many musical and dance schools are also established in cities like Chennai, so the youth can continue to practice these traditional art forms. Additionally, in Tamil Nadu, religious practices and traditions are observed with great fervour. Festivals such as Pongal, Puthandu (Tamil New Year), and Thaipusam are celebrated with gusto. The cuisine plays a key role in festivals and everyday life. The use of curry leaves and mustard seed adds a distinctive flavour to the food. Sambhar is yet another delicious dish that is widely prepared and loved.

 



LOCAL EXPERIENCES

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Tamil Nadu provides a host of local experiences that are unique and enriching. A traveller can collect a lifetime worth of memories as each region has something special to offer. The must-visit cities include Chennai, which is also the capital city, Mahabalipuram, Rameswaram, Yelagiri and the southern most tip of India – Kanyakumari. One can also visit the famed Marina Beach in Chennai just to take in some sea breeze. If you prefer hills to the beaches, spend a few days visiting the Queen of Hills, Ooty, and the magical hills of Valparai. Tamil Nadu has something to offer to every traveller. One should definitely visit the union territory of Pondicherry and stay at the Aurobindo Ashram. A range of water sports and a glimpse of the French way of life are also aspects of Pondicherry one can explore. The famous Hogennakal Falls is a must-visit attraction. All these are just some of the many local experiences a traveller can explore during their visit to the picturesque state of Tamil Nadu.

 

With Unventured, you can explore a side to Tamil Nadu that is drenched in traditional practices. Our team of local hosts and guides will help you traverse the entire region with ease and can show you the hidden treasures of the state.

 

 

 

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