With its distinctive ancient Dravidian culture, Tamil Nadu is a fascinating part of India. Its towering and intricately built temples draw both pilgrims and tourists alike to the state. Hill stations and beaches are also famous tourist places in Tamil Nadu. Because of its rich culture, Tamil Nadu is a hassle-free state of India to visit, especially for women. Have a look at these top tourist places to visit in Tamil Nadu so that you don’t miss out on them while you are there.
We have created an ultimate list of places to visit in Tamil Nadu, have a look and plan your vacation keeping these places in mind.
Known as the gateway to South India, Chennai is the capital of Tamil Nadu. Chennai is a sprawling, busy and conservative city with deep traditions that are yet to give space to the rising western influence. Chennai doesn’t have well-renowned monuments or tourist attractions like some other cities in India yet, if you are willing to explore Chennai, it will show you why it is so special among travelers.
An independent union territory on the east coast of South India, Pondicherry, is a place that no one would expect to find in India. Back in the 18th century, Pondicherry or Puducherry was a French colony that still retains a distinctly French flavor. Those who feel that they need a break from India but are low on a budget will surely enjoy the taste of French culture here and the laid-back environment. Spiritual seekers frequently visit Pondicherry due to Sri Aurobindo Ashram. Bordered by the Bay of Bengal, the Promenade and the French Quarter are the most happening parts of Pondicherry.
About one hour away from Chennai, there is one of the top beaches on India’s east coast known as Mahabalipuram Beach. This beach is very popular among backpackers and surfers but it is also favorable among the tourists who just want to relax at the lavish resorts there. Famous for its stone sculptures industry, Mahabalipuram is a great place to shop for handcrafted sculptures and see artisans at work. Some other tourist attractions include Five Rathas, Shore Temple, and Arjuna’s Penance.
Home to the most important and impressive temple in South India, Meenakshi Temple, Madurai is an ancient city in Tamil Nadu. If you have to choose just one south Indian temple to visit, then Meenakshi Temple is the right choice for you. Madurai city dates back to almost 4,000 years and was a major center of Tamil learnings and culture. Many magnificent temples and religious buildings with intricate architecture were built during the rule of the Nayak dynasty. In April, Madurai hosts a 12-day Chithirai Festival, featuring a re-enacted celestial wedding of idols.
Located around two hours away from Madurai, Tamil Nadu’s Chettinad region is popular for its fiery meat curries and old mansions. A day trip to Chettinad or a heritage stay at a mansion are the perfect ways to explore this region. The food here is the major highlight of Chettinad; a meal including seven courses is served on a banana leaf. This place offers cooking classes and special packages for the exploration of local cuisine.
The small town of Tranquebar, the first trading post of the Danish colony in India established in 1620, is located about two hours away from Kumbakonam on the Coromandel Coast. The major highlights of this town are an old church and a 17th-century fort. On the beach, you can find an 18th-century Danish colonial house that once belonged to the Governor of Danish India, which is now turned into a heritage hotel.
One of the largest mangrove forests in the world, the Pichavaram forest is yet another place not many travelers know about. Adjacent to the Bay of Bengal, this mangrove jungle is spread over 1,100 hectares of land. There are more than 50 islands of different sizes and around 4,400 big and small canals. A boat ride is the best way to explore these jungles. It is located about 30 minutes away from Chidambaram town in Tamil Nadu. There is an old temple dedicated to Lord Shiva which houses an idol of Nataraj and special fire ceremonies.
According to many people, Mount Arunachala and Tiruvannamalai have special spiritual energies. Because of the ability to quieten the mind, the holy mountain of Arunachala has been called the most silent place in the world. Hindus consider this mountain as the embodiment of Lord Shiva. It is a major attraction for both pilgrims and spiritual seekers because it is home to Arunachaleswarar Temple and Sri Ramana Ashram.
Established in the 19th century by the British as the summer capital of the Chennai government, Ooty is one of the most sought-after tourist places in Tamil Nadu to escape the scorching heat. The best time to visit Ooty is during the months of April and May as travelers from all over the world come to spend a peaceful vacation here. The main attractions of Ooty are boating on Ooty Lake, Climbing Doddabetta Peak, and 22 hectare Government Botanical Gardens. A toy train ride from Mettupalayam through the Nilgiri mountains is a must-experience activity.
Alternative to Ooty, the British created Kodaikanal. Situated in the lap of the densely forested Western Ghat mountains, Kodaikanal features a unique old-world charm and attracts a lot of tourists during summer. Fun activities like walking, trekking, horse rides, and boat rides are very popular among visitors. The outskirts of Ooty are peaceful and are ideal for a relaxing vacation away from the hustle and bustle of a city.
So these were the best tourist places in Tamil Nadu according to our travel experts. Did we miss your favorite one? Let us know in the comments! Meanwhile, stay safe, stay sound, and don’t go out just yet.