Tourism

Tamil Nadu Tourism Information

Kanchipuram

This golden city of a Thousand Temples is one of the seven most sacred cities of India. Kanchi is also called the “Varanasi of the South” and is held in great reverence. Kanchi is also famous for its finest hand-woven silk fabrics and saris. Its famous temples are: Kailashnath Temple, Ekanibareshwara Temple, Sri Kamakshi Temple, Sri Vaikuntaperumal Temple and Sri Vardaraja Temple. Kanchi or Kanchipuram is connected with Chennai both by rail and road. The State Tourism Development Corporation runs many conducted tours from Madras.

Pondicherry

A former French Enclave and a provincial town, Pondicherry is a Union Territory. The chief attraction here is Aurobindo Ashram. Sri Aurobindo, a revolutionary, patriot, philosopher and a great humanist established this Ashram in 1926, following his political trial by the British. He wrote many books, the chief being The Life Divine and Savitri. He died in 1950 and then the Ashram was under the guidance of a French Woman called the “Mothe She also died in 1973 at a very mature age of 97. The Ashram and the Smadhi where the mortal remains of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother lie can be visited between 10.30 AM and 11.45 AM. Nearby is Auroville, designed by the French Architect Roger Auger. It is an International Community Centre, founded by the Mother in 1968. The Pondicherry Express is the direct train from Madras, which takes 5 hours to cover 159 kms. distance. By road Pondicherry is 160 kms. from Madras and there is regular bus service. There are good guest houses but the best place to stay here is the Ashram, International Guest House, Gingy Salai Steet.

Ooty

Ootacummund, or Ooty for short is the hill resort of Tamilnadu but it is easily accessible from Bangalore or Mysore. It is a beauty will all modern facilities and salubrious climate.

Tiruchirapalli

One of the most famous temple town of Tamilnadu, also called Tiruchi, this is the fourth largest town of Tamilnadu. The important temples are Rock Fort& Temple, Ranganathswamy Temple and Jambukeshwaram Temple. Tiruchi is linked with Madras by air, rail and road and has many good hotels for visitors’ stay.

Tanjavur

Also called Tanjore, this town is the ‘Art Capital of South India’. The bronzes made here are still the best and in January every year a great music festival is held where in master musician of Karnatak Music assemble here. The temple, fort and the palaces of Tanjore have been a silent witness to the great cultural and artistic awakening that it once experienced. The important spots here are: Brilfadeshwara Temple, the Palace and the Art Gallery. Tanjore is well-connected with Chennai, Trichy and Madurai with trains and buses. Trichy (58 kms. away) is the nearest airport. There are many good lodges and tourist bungalow to provide accommodation to the visitors.

Madurai

Madurai is also one of the ancient most cities of India and renowned for its Meenakshi Temple. The temple, measuring 255 metres by 217 meters and punctuated by four gateways, it itself a city within city. There are two main shrines, one dedicated to Meenakshi Amman (Parvati) and other to Shiva Sundareshwara, her lord. To the left of Meenakshi Shrine is the Golden Lotus Pool, surrounded by colonnade where the pilgrimes baths and do ablutions. Then there is a thousand pillard hail, an architectural and engineering marvel. Madurai is also a city of festivals and festivities. The biggest of the festivals held here is the Chitrai Festival (March-April) celebrating Lord Shiva’s marriage to Meenakshi. Madurai is very well connected with Madras by air, rail and road routes. There are scores of good hotels and lodges.

Rameshwaram

About 160 kms. from Madurai, Rameshwaram, is situated on an island in the Palk Straits. This sacred island is the site where Lord Rama erected lingam after killing the demon Ravana. It is a great pilgrimage centre. The most important temples here are Ramnath Swamy Temple and Kothandara Swamy Temple, both mainly dedicated to Lord Rama.
This holy island is connected with the main land only by rail so far but a road bridge is also likely to be ready. From Chennai it takes 17 hours to reach here by train. But the journey is quite fascinating as it offers fine view of the sea. There are many goods hotels, guest houses and lodges besides the Railway Retiring Rooms for visitor’s stay.

Kanyakumari

This is India’s Land’s End, the tip of peninsular India where the Bay of Bengal, the Indian Ocean and the Arabian Sea meet. There is a temple dedicated to Kanyakumari, one of the incarnations of Parvati, the consort of Shiva. Off shore there are two huge rocks where Vivekananda once meditated. One of them has now the Viveknanda Rock Memorial with the
Swami’s statue, built in 1970. Trivandrum (Kerala) is the nearest (87 kms.) railhead, Buses are also available from Chennai. There arc good hotels also.

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