The places of tourist interest in the state are Chennai, the beautiful capital city; Mamallapuram, the beach resort; Kanchipuram, the land of 1000 temples; Madurai famous for the Meenakshi temple; Rameswara, Tiruchirapalli and Thanjavur, the temple trio; the charming hill resorts of Yercaud, Ootacamund and Kodaikanal and Kanyakumari, the southern tip of India, renowned for its fantastic sunrise and sunset.
The state of Tamil Nadu is divided into 26 Administrative Districts which in turn are further bifurcated into smaller divisions and subdivisions including a total of 17,272 villages. The state Capital, Madras now renamed as Chennai is the fourth largest city in the Indian sub-continent. It extends over an area of 174 Sq.km.
The history of Tamil Nadu dates back to the time the Dravidians had moved south, following the advent of Aryans in the north. Historically, South India consisted of four main Dravidian Kingdoms, the Pallavas, the Cholas, the Pandyas (who ruled over what is now Tamil Nadu) and the Chalukyas. The Muslim invasion of the South in the 14th century caused a retaliatory reaction from the Hindus, who rallied to build a strong new kingdom, with its capital at Vijaynagar. On independence, the Madras province, as the south was known then, was divided on a linguistic basis into states of Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Andhra Pradesh. A mutual exchange of certain areas between Kerala and Tamil Nadu (Malabar and Kasargod to Kerala; Shencotta and Kanyakumari from Kerala) was undertaken according to the State Reorganisation Act, following which Madras adopted a new name, Tamil Nadu.
The Sound of Veena rends the morning air. A Bharatanatyam dancer is immersed in her daily practice. The aroma of “filter coffee” tickles the nostrils. Young girls with flowers in their hairs, draw bleft coloured “rangoli”pattern in front of their houses. Men clad in impeccably white dhotis, umbrellas in hand walk down to the vegetable market.
Chennai is the most Indian of all the Indian cities. Tradition is still alive here. Age old customs and rituals are still religiously followed. Food is till cooked the way “ajji”used to do it. Festivals are still celebrated with all the devotional fervour of yore. And yet Chennai is also managed to keep pace with the times. This Harmonious blend of the old and the new is one of the charming aspects of this lovely city. Close to Chennai is Mamallapuram-the land of beaches and Shore temples. A perfect Place to unwind. Dodge the waves. Build sand castles. Or simply soak in the Sun. Come Have a great Holiday at Chennai and Mamallapuram.