Tamil Nadu

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Tamil Nadu is reckoned to be one of the oldest civilizations in the world. This southern state in India is bounded by Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka on the north, Kerala by the west, with the Bay of Bengal in the east and the Indian Ocean to the south. The heritage-rich state is famous for its Dravidian culture, colossal temples, alluring rock carvings, intricate silk weaving, and baroque bronze sculptures. The capital of Tamil Nadu is Chennai (Madras) and Tamil is the official language of the state. Hosting the ancient Dravidian culture, this supreme state is one of the most alluring tourist destinations in India where the tourists get an opportunity to discover the ethnicity and grandeur of rich heritage.

History of Tamil Nadu

The antiquity of Tamil Nadu can be traced back to 6000 years when one of the oldest civilizations in the world, Dravidian’s first rooted in Tamil Nadu. The state was originally known as Tamilham and the ancient ports like Karipattinam, Arikamedu, and Korkai are evidence of the Tamilham settlements. The Chola Dynasty ruled Thanjavur and Tiruchirapalli districts in Tamil Nadu between the 1st and 4th centuries. During this period many temples were built and the state was strong due to military prowess of the Cholas. The Pallavas took control over the state by the latter half of the 4th century and ruled for about 400 years. However, Cholas made their way back in the 9th Century and rose to prominence. 

Then the Pandyas reinstated their control in the 14th Century that was brief as Alauddin Khilji ransacked and ravaged Madurai which led to the rehabilitation by the Bahmani Kingdom. British came into power eventually after establishing dominance over the Dutch and the French and later consolidated south India into the Madras Presidency at the beginning of the 19th century. Then began the Nationalist Movement that led to independence in 1947. Madras Presidency became Madras State, comprising of present-day Tamil Nadu, coastal Andhra Pradesh, Northern Kerala, and the southwest coast of Karnataka post-independence. However, in 1968 the state was divided on linguistic diversity and Madras was renamed as Tamil Nadu. 

Culture of Tamil Nadu

In affinity with the most ancient Dravidian civilization, the natives of Tamil Nadu are deeply rooted in the rich culture. The state has been home to many Hindu dynasties therefore even today there is a stronghold of Hinduism in the south. Over 88% of the total population is Hindus while Christians and Muslims fill the rest of the population of the state. Famous for the rich temple culture, Tamil Nadu boasts myriad temples that exemplify the ancient heritage of the state.

People of the state are spiritual and follow the age-old rituals even when the state has emerged with a modern lifestyle. Also known as a hub of technology, Tamil Nadu is amongst the top-performing literacy rate in India. Folks of Tamil Nadu are inclined towards music, dance, and literature. Tamil literature is considered a classical language by the government of India while Carnatic music and Bharat Natyam have flourished for centuries now and they are the depiction of the rich culture of India. Tamil Nadu's contribution to national heritage is exceptional.

Art and Handicraft of Tamil Nadu

The cultural capital of India, Tamil Nadu is supremely rich in art and handicrafts. Renowned for its splendid temples and architectural edifices, the state in the south has well preserved its art and handicraft culture. Tamil craftsmen are famous for their skill of magnificent Tanjore paintings that are considered a hallmark of India’s rich cultural legacy. Famous for the handwoven beautiful Kanchipuram silk saris, the delicate and intricate work deserve special mention. Stone carvings and granite figurines that have been excavated from archeological sites are masterpieces that can never be replicated. Chola dynasty left behind the art of casting icons of bronze has evolved with time and are great souvenirs to carry from Tamil Nadu. 

Handicrafts out of Paper Mache are widely available. Appliqué work from Tanjore is quite famous as it is used for decorating carved chariots during processions. Being a hub of classical music, making musical instruments is a major craft practiced by the people of Tamilnadu. The fine quality of musical instruments such as Veena, Thamburas, flute, etc is crafted out of bamboo, bronze, and also sandalwood. The archives of Kautilya, Pliny, and many renowned scholars are replete with the praise of soft muslin, fine silk, exquisite ivory work, and precious gems that have been produced by the state. 

Food of Tamil Nadu

From tangy flavors, diverse infusions, and spicy recipes - Tamil cuisine is much more than dosa and sambar. The versatility of the grub menu of Tamil Nadu is a blend of various cultures and recipes that were left behind to savor. A large population of the state comprises of Brahmin community, therefore, food is mostly vegetarian. There are few non-vegetarian dishes as well that has a unique taste. Dosa, Idli, Vada, Uttapam, Rasam, Sambar, Coconut Chutney are traditional dishes of the state while Milagu Pongal, Cabbage Poriyal, Takkali Sadam, Sundal, Ven Pongal, Thayir Sadam, Vada Curry, Elumichai Sadam, Orange Peel Pachadi are few of the dishes that are cooked in every Tamil kitchen. Chicken Chettinad, Prawns Kuzhambu, Arcot Mutton Chops, Arcot Biryani, Kozhambu, Chicken 65 are few luscious non-vegetarian dishes of the state. Famous Filter coffee is quite popular all over the world. Turmeric-pepper milk known as Manjal Milagu Paal is one of the traditional drinks of Tamil Nadu. Semiya Kesari, Nei Payasam, Naralchi Vadi, Payasam, Mysore Pak,  Rava Kesari are sweet savories that will leave you drooling. Lip-smacking culinary delights and rich curries from Tamil Nadu are hard to resist.  

Chicken Chettinad, Prawns Kuzhambu, Arcot Mutton Chops, Arcot Biryani, Kozhambu, Chicken 65 are few luscious non-vegetarian dishes of the state. Famous Filter coffee is quite popular all over the world. Turmeric-pepper milk known as Manjal Milagu Paal is one of the traditional drinks of Tamil Nadu. Semiya Kesari, Nei Payasam, Naralchi Vadi, Payasam, Mysore Pak,  Rava Kesari are sweet savories that will leave you drooling. Lip-smacking culinary delights and rich curries from Tamil Nadu are hard to resist.

Things to do in Tamil Nadu

Known for its Dravidian culture, Tamil Nadu state of India attracts the minds of both tourists and pilgrims. Adorned with beaches, temples and natural beauty, it becomes one of the most incredible tourist spots across the whole country. 

  • Sit on the shore of Mahabalipuram beach which is an hour away from Chennai.
  • Explore the temples of Pallavas’ capital at Kanchipuram.
  • Seek blessings at Meenakshi temple in the temple city of Madurai.
  • Put your footsteps into engineering marvel, Thanjavur - also a famous historical destination in India.
  • Witness the royalty of old mansions of Chettinad.

  • Unleash the beauty of the Pichavaram mangrove forest which is largest in India.
  • Dive into spirituality at Mount Arunachala of Tiruvannamalai.
  • Witness the mesmerizing view of merging Bay of Bengal and Arabian Sea at Kanyakumari.

India’s southernmost tip - Kanyakumari is known for spectacular sunrises, embellished with intriguing figures - Gopuram towers of Meenakshi Amman Temple in Madurai are astonishing, Ramanathaswamy Temple on Pamban Island is known to be the pilgrimage site, capital city Chennai is famous for the pristine beaches and Fort St. George, French Colonial architecture of Punducherry, ancient hills in Mudumalai, scintillating waterfalls of Hogenakkal and plethora of tourist destinations in Tamil Nadu are absolutely breathtaking and worth exploring.

Be it an adventure enthusiast, pilgrim, history explorer, Tamilnadu has an extensive array of amusements to offer. Unveil the hidden sites and capture the moments to make them a part of your life book.

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