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State of India - Tamil Nadu
 
QUICK FACTS Climate (Degree C.): Summer - Max: 37, Min: 22, Winter - Max: 32, Min: 20 | Best Season: November - March | Languages Spoken: Tamil, Telugu, Malyalam, Kannada, Urdu, Hindi and English | Capital: Chennai

Overview:
Welcome to Tamil Nadu, land of the Tamils, where golden beaches, luscious hill stations, absorbing temples and a fascinating blend of cultures and traditions will keep you spellbound. Sample the famous Chettinad cuisine, a Tamil Nadu speciality, or discover your future with the Naadi Shashtra, palm leaf astrology.

Geography of Tamil Nadu:
Tamil Nadu is the southern most state of India, surrounded by Andhra Pradesh from the North, Karnataka and Kerala from the west, Indian Ocean from the south and Bay of Bengal from the East. Cape Comorin or Kanyakumari, the southern most point of India lies in the state of Tamil Nadu. Cauvery is the most important river of Tamil Nadu. Other important rivers in the state are the Palar, Vaigai, Pennar and Tamiraparani. This state receives plentiful rainfall and the scenic valleys here are dotted with tea, spice and coffee plantations.

History of Tamil Nadu:
The cradle of Dravidian culture, Tamil Nadu has a very rich history dating back to thousands of years. The ancient history of Tamil Nadu dates back about 6000 years and the origin of its people is topic debate related to the Aryan invasion theory. Those who believe in this theory support the view that the Tamils belong to the Dravidian race and were part of the early Indus Valley settlers. Later with the advent of the Aryan invasion, the Dravidians were forced to remain back into the Deep South, where they ultimately settled.

Tourist Places of Tamil Nadu:
"A land of temples", as Tamil Nadu is better known enchants divinity. There are more than 30,000 temples in Tamil Nadu. The temples were constructed by various dynasties. Tamil Nadu is the home of the legacy of ancient Dravidian art and culture, characterised best by deliberately ornate temples with their towers known as gopurams which aspire to touch the heaven. The places famous for these temples include Madurai, Kanchipuram, Mahabalipuram, Trichy, Tanjore.

The beaches of Tamil Nadu are as mesmerizing as its culture and heritage. Marina Beach in Chennai is the second longest beach in the world and is a must visit. . It has a wonderful golden foreshore and is known as the 'Pride of Chennai'. The Covelong beach is quiet far away from the distractions of the city and the Elliot's beach is the favorite destination for those looking for a clean and peaceful atmosphere.

The hill stations of Tamil Nadu promises to be an ideal getaway, for those craving for an invigorating yet soothing holiday, away from the busy life of the city. With endless patches of tea gardens, lush surroundings and soothing atmosphere, Tamil Nadu hill stations are every traveller's delight. With their dreamy and rejuvenating atmospheres, Ooty on the Nilgiri's and Kodaikanal on the Palani Hills in Tamil Nadu are two favourite tourist spots.

Fairs & Festivals of Tamil Nadu:
Tamil Nadu has perhaps the largest number of religious celebrations in the year. Most of the temple-festivals take place in September-October and in the post-harvest months of March-June. The duration of each festival is from three to ten days more. The main deity is draped in colorful bright costumes and adorned with very valuable and rare items of jewellery of the distant past. The deity is mounted on specially constructed carriers called 'Vahanams' and taken round the temple in processions. Some of the major festivals are Pongal, a festival of Thanks giving to the Sun, the Earth and the cow, Natyanjali Dance Festival, Kavadi Festival, Karthigai Deepam and Deepavali.

Cuisine in Tamil Nadu:
The state of Tamil Nadu is also known for a wide variety of delicious food both for the vegetarians as well as the non-vegetarians. The typical meal in Tamil Nadu consists of rice (mostly steamed), lentils, grains and vegetables. The food is made spicy with the use of host of spices and condiments. Some of the most common and popular dishes of the region are idly, dosai, vada, pongal and Uppuma. Coconut chutney and sambhar invariably form a part of most of the Tamil dishes.

Shopping in Tamil Nadu:
Renowned for its rich culture heritage including its exquisite arts and crafts, which are world-famous for their uniqueness, Tamil Nadu offers exciting shopping experience for its visitors. Traditional items like silk of Kanchipuram, Pattamara mats and the leaf, Tirunellveli's Palmyra-fiber handicrafts, bronze and brass castings and traditional Jewellery from Kumbakonam. The capital city of Tamil Nadu, Chennai is world-famous for its fine South Indian silk, embroidered silk sarees, hand-woven garments and handicrafts items. Madurai also known as the textile hub of South India is famous for its readymade garments of fine silk and cotton. Tanjore is known for its bronze items, especially the beautiful Chola Nataraja. Coimbatore offers beautiful silk sarees and a range of handicraft items. Mahabalipuram offers exquisite ancient art and craft including granite carved sculptures of Hindu Gods, exquisite woodcarvings and Jewellery.