Text-only Preview

Tamil Nadu is a state in the south-eastern part of the Indian Peninsula. One of the four
Dravidian states of India, it has had more than 4,000 years of continuous cultural history. Tamil
Nadu has some of the most remarkable temple architecture in the country, and a living tradition
of music, dance, folk arts and fine arts. Tamil Nadu is well renowned for its temple towns and
heritage sites, hill stations, waterfalls, national parks, local cuisine and the fabulous wildlife and
scenic beauty. The state boasts the largest tourism industry in India with an annual growth rate
of 16%. In 2013, the number of domestic arrivals was at 244.2 million making the state the most
popular tourist destination in the country, and foreign arrivals amounted to 3.99 million, the
second-highest in the country, and the combined aggregate gives it the most popular state for
tourism in the country
UNESCO World Heritage Sites
The Chola Temples
The Airavatesvara Temple at Darasuram, an 11th-century temple dedicated to Lord Shiva.
The Great Living Chola Temples constructed by the king Raja Raja Chola and his son Rajendra
are sites of glorious heritage and architectural achievements. The Cultural heritage site includes
the three great temples of 11th and 12th century namely, the Brihadisvara Temple at Thanjavur,
the Brihadisvara Temple at Gangaikondacholisvaram and the Airavatesvara Temple at
Darasuram. The temples testify to the brilliant achievements of the Chola in architecture,
sculpture, painting and bronze casting.

Group of Monuments in Mahabalipuram
The Shore Temple in Mahabalipuram, a 7th Century Pallava monument
The Group of Monuments at Mahabalipuram declared as a WHS in 198, in Tamil Nadu, about
58 km from Chennai, were built by the Pallava kings in the 7th and 8th centuries. The town is
said to have gained prominence under the rule of Mamalla. These monuments have been
carved out of rock along the Coromandel coast. The following are the sites related. These
monuments surprisingly survived the 2004 Tsunami that devastated the other coastal towns
The Nilgiri Mountain Railway
Part of the Mountain Railways of India, the Nilgiri Mountain Railway(NMR) was stated to be an
"outstanding examples of bold, ingenious engineering solutions for the problem of establishing
an effective rail link through a rugged, mountainous terrain." The Nilgiri Mountain Railway was
added to the list in 2005 preceding the Kalka-Shimla Railway which was granted the status in
The southernmost tip of the subcontinent, Kanniyakumari is known for the Hazrat Peer
Mohammed waliyullah Dargah, Kumari Amman Temple and the Thanumalayan Temple. Other
religious sites include the Mondaicaud Bhagavathi Temple, Sri Adikesavaperumal Temple, St.
Xavier's Church, devasahayam mount, St. Therese of Infant Jesus church and the St. Arockiya
Nathar Church within the district.

The Meenakshi Amman Temple, the heart and lifeline of the city of Madurai
Madurai also called as "Temple city" . Madurai consists of major temples. Madurai being one of
the world's oldest inhabited cities is the home to several temples built by the Pandyan and
Nayak kings with the most famous being the Meenakshi Amman Temple which dates back to
2000 years.[10] The city and the life of its inhabitants revolve around the temple which is one of
the largest Hindu temples by size and enclosure. Every year, hundreds of thousands of tourists
visit this temple and the surroundings.
The 16th Century Basilica of Our Lady of Good Health at the coastal town of Velankanni
Velankanni is located 12 km south of Nagapattinam on the Eastern coast. The town is home to
a significant Roman Catholic shrine dedicated to Our lady of Good Health. Virgin Mary is
believed to have miraculous healing powers. In 1560, Virgin Mary is said to have appeared to a
shepherd, asking him for milk to quench the thirst of baby Jesus. When the shepherd returned
to his master, after performing the good deed, his pitcher kept filling up with milk. Consequently,
a small thatched chapel was built at the site. At the end of the 16th century, Virgin Mary
appeared again in front of a lame boy, who regained the use of his limbs. The actual church was
constructed after the incident. Thousands of pilgrims belonging to various castes and
communities flock daily to this 'Lourdes of the East'.[13

A view of Ooty, from the Dodabetta Peak its highest point
Popularly known as Ooty situated in the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve is the most popular Hill
station in South India.[14] It provides a scenic view of Nilgiri Hills. The town is connected to the
rest of India by road and the popular Nilgiri Mountain Railway, and its historic sites and natural
beauty attract tourists from all over the country.
The hill resort of Kodaikanal with the lake in the picture
Located in the forests of the Dindigul distrcis, the hill station of Kodaikanal is fast gaining
reputation for its unspoilt beauty and soothing climate. It is known by the nickname "Princess of
Hill stations"[15] and is a leading tourist destination in Tamil Nadu
The lake at Yercaud, also known as the Jewel of the South.
The Yercaud hills situated at an altitude of 1515 m in the Salem District is an enchanting and
picturesque hill stations in the Eastern Ghats. Known for its rich flora and scenic views of the
other hills nearby Yercaud receives a good amount of tourists every year for its slightly less-
expensive fare as compared to Udagamangalam or Kodaikanal. Yeracud is also a great base
for trekking and visiting neighbouring tourist spots like:[16]

A view of the Courtallam Falls, popularly referred to as the Spa of South Asia
Courtallam, the 'Spa of the south', is situated at an elevation of about 167m on the Western
Ghats in Tirunelveli District. It is an excellent health resort and is visited by young and old alike,
because of the herbal medicinal properties the water is believed to contain. The town is noted
for its salubrious climate and natural scenery.
Hogenakkal falls
Hogenakkal Falls often referred as Niagara Falls of Asia
Hogenakkal waterfalls located close to the border of the adjacent state of Karnataka in the
beautiful district of Dharmapuri.It is a beautiful picnic spot with its waters supposed to be having
curative powers.[15] Hogenakkal is set in thick, green woods and is considered both a sacred
bathing place and a spa-like health resort. Here the water spreads for miles around. The area is
surrounded by hills and offers lovely panoramic view. People can take bath in the Kaveri river,
before and beyond the falls.
Mudumalai National Park
Mudumalai which translates into "Ancient Hill Range" is situated at the base of the Nilgiri Hills, is
the home to several endangered and vulnerable species such as the Nilgiri Tahr, Indian
elephant, Tiger, Gaur, Flying Squirrel, Sambar, Nilgiri langur and Indian Leopard to name a few.

It shares its borders with Kerala and Karnataka and is separated from Karnataka's Bandipur
National Park by the Moyar river.[19]
The lowest point of the sanctuary is the picturesque Moyar Waterfalls. Its rich topography is as
varied as the vegetation, which ranges from dense deciduous forests in the west to scrub
jungles in the east interspersed with grasslands, swamps and bamboo brakes.
Marina Beach
Marina Beach one of the world's largest and longest beaches, is located on the eastern side of
Chennai, adjoining the Bay of Bengal. Watching the sun set and rise from the beach is an
enthralling experience. Second largest beach in the world. With its natural sandy beauty and
spacious promenade and beautiful gardens, the beach is a major attraction for tourists visiting
Chennai. The Marina, however, is large enough to accommodate all visitors as well as the
hawkers and is often the venue for important state functions.
Poompuhar Beach
The environs of the Poompuhar beach
Once a legendary port city with trade links to ancient Greece and Rome, today Poompuhar is a
small coastal town with a superb shoreline that attracts a number of tourists for its vistas during

The Sotha Vilai or Chothavilai beach is one among the most important beaches in the district of
Kanyakumari, Tamil Nadu. The beach here stretches over 4 km which make it one among the
longest beaches in Tamil Nadu. It is about 10 km from Kanyakumari, close to Sanguthurai