25 Best Tourist Places to Visit in TamilNadu
Tamil Nadu attracts more foreign tourists than any other state in India. With its historical monuments, hill stations and beaches, it offers a wholesome experience for any visitor. The wildlife sanctuaries and tiger reserves are definitely a must visit for any tourist. Here we have listed the best 25 places to visit in Tamil Nadu.
Madurai is one of the popular tourist destinations in India. The Meenakshi Amman Temple is a must visit tourist spot even if you spend few hours in the temple city. Besides there are over a dozen structures built during the rule of Thirumalai Nayak.
The Brihadeeswara Temple located at the heart of Thanjavur is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The city is surrounded by many temples built during the Chola period. Thanjavur also falls in the Cauvery delta region and is known for its fertile soil which facilitates paddy cultivation throughout the year and is called the “Rice bowl of TamilNadu”.
Mamallpuram is the capital of Pallava Kingdom. The Shore Temple, Pancha Rathas (Five Chariots) and other sculptures are for heritage tourists. But beyond that, The UNESCO world heritage site is home to some of the best beach resorts in Tamil Nadu. Domestic Travelers are advised to visit during November to January while western travelers who like sun and sand can visit during summers though peak summer is to be avoided for good.
Pichavaram is the second largest mangrove forest in the world and the only Mangrove forest in India worth visiting. The boating, rowing, kayaking and canoeing routes are a feast for the eyes and perhaps for your cameras as well. With hundreds of boat routes, you’ll never feel content until you cruise through all of them.
Ooty or Ootacumund is located in the Nilgris Mountains. Often called the “Queen of hill stations”, the wonderful scenic beauty of the pine forests, tea plantations and terrace farming offer a pleasant experience along with the cool breeze which add more life to it. Ooty is the capital of Tamil Nadu Tourism map.
Kodaikanal is called the “Princess of Hill Stations”. The place was founded as a summer getaway site for the affluent class of people that were scary of diseases prone to high tropical temperature in the plains. However, during the British Raj, many parks and structures along with some industries and educational institutions made it more commercial. Kodaikanal Lake is one of largest mountain lakes in India.
Rameswaram is more famous as a pilgrim center. The Ramanathaswamy Temple attracts most tourists to the Pamban Island. Along with Kasi(Varanasi), Rameswaram is a place where hindus prefer to do pithru karyams or tharpanam poojas. The island is connected to the mainland by rail route as well as road. The rail route is quite old and is in operation for over 100 years. Tamil Nadu Tourism Development Corporation (TTDC) runs a hotel near Ramanathaswamy Temple overlooking the sea.
Dhanushkodi is a ghost town which was once a thriving fishing town with a railway station. The rail route was destroyed in 1964 cyclone .The Beach and the ghost town is today accessible only by sea route, but there are trucks which carry tourists till the tip on the island for a fare through a sand pass. The water is crisp and clear and beach is very clean with white sand. Tourists can enjoy a brief stroll along the beach and take a dip in the sea.
Manapad is a fishing village famous for its beach and the Holy Cross Church built in the 16th century by St.Francis Xavier. It is about 20 kilometers from Tiruchendur and 60 kilometers from Thoothukudi. Tourists can take a train till Thoothukudi or Tiruchendur and then take taxi or bus. Kayalpattinam, Uvari and Vanathirupathi are some more tourist places to visit near Manapad.
Kanyakumari is the southern tip of Indian peninsula. It derives its name from the Devi Kanya Kumari Temple located near the shore. Tourists arrive throughout the city and visit Thiruvalluvar Statue, Vivekananda rock memorial and Tsunami Memorial Park. Ferry services are made available by Poompuhar Shipping Corporation which ferry tourists to Thiruvalluvar Statue and Vivekananda Rock Memorial.
Courtallam is the biggest waterfalls in Tamil Nadu where people are allowed to take bath. Main falls, old courtallam falls, shenbagadevi falls, five falls, small falls and puli falls are the main tourist attractions. Lodging is cheaper except during the season between July and September. Tamil Nadu Tourism Development Corporation runs two hotels in Courtallam. There are no direct trains to Courtallam. The nearest railway station Tenkasi is only 5 kilometers and has frequent bus services to Courtallam.
Yercaud is a hill station near Salem. GRT Sky Rocca – Natural Trails and Sterling Yercaud are two popular resorts which offer luxury stay in the otherwise calm and simple hill town. Most activities are located around lake which has pedal boats for fun rides into the lake. There is a small park near the lake. Weather is never too cold in Yercaud even during winter.
Topslip is a small village in Analamai Mountain Range. Topslip is a tourist spot preferred for its wide range of wild life including elephant, bisons and tigers in particular. Parambikulam Wilf Life Sanctuary, Eravikulam National Park and Chinnar Wild Life Sanctuary are other popular tourist destinations near Topslip.
Chennai is a commercial city, but it has important monuments, national parks and temples to rank among the most important tourist spots in Tamil Nadu.Chennai is home to Marina beach which is the second longest beach in the world. Vandalur zoo, Egmore museum, Guindy National Park, Kalashetra, Elliotts beach (Besant Nagar beach), Cholamandalam artists village, Muttukadu and Crocodile park are must visit tourists spots in Chennai.
Hogenakkal is called the “Niagara of India”. The sheer volume of water flowing through the rocky terrain releases fog which makes it a wonderful site. Parrisal or Indian Coracles which are made of Bamboo take tourists for rides around the lake. Massage services are offered by untrained professional but worth the money. Many vendors sell fish fry made from fresh catch.
Kumbakonam is home to over 1000 temples. The Mahamaham festival attracts more than a million visitors every year. The maths genius Ramanujan spent his childhood and formative years in Kumbakonam. The Srinivasa Ramanujan Centre (museum and maths centre) attracts large number of foreign tourists especially around his birthday in 22 December.
Tiruvannamalai is the spiritual capital of South India. Even since the English philosopher Paul Brunton visited Ramana Maharishi during the pre-independence era, the temple town is visited by many foreign tourists who stay here for months learning the ways of the spiritual guru. Girivalam which is marked by pournami (Full Moon Day) of every tamil month happens to be an auspicious day. Thousands Pilgrims circumnavigate the hill during this event. Karthigai Deepam and Chitra pournami are annual events which attracts over half a million pilgrims to Tiruvannamalai.
Kanchipuram is a temple town near Chennai. Kailasanathar Temple and Vaikunta Perumal Temple are important monuments besides hundreds of historical temple complexes in Kanchipuram. Vedanthangal bird sanctuary is a must visit place near Kanchipuram. Vellore fort, Delhi Gate and Vainu Bappu Observatory are important tourist spots in the nearby town of Vellore. SriLakshmi Golden Temple built with over 1500 kilograms of gold is about 100 kilometers from Kanchipuram.
Valparai is a hill station near Coimbatore. The nearest town is Pollachi which is well connected by buses and trains. Solayar dam, Monkey falls, Aaliyar dam, nallamudi poonjolai and koolangal aaru are important places to visit in Valparai. The famous athirampalli falls is 130 kilometers from Valparai. Traveling in the road is an adventure trip in itself. Though a thrilling experience, travelers are advised to venture only during day time as wild animals can cross the roads and pose danger. The tea plantations on either side are a magnificent sight and excellent location to take photographs.
Tharangambadi was a Danish colony between 1620 and 1845. Famous for its beach with singing waves (and hence the name), it was also known as Tranquebar. The Bungalow on the beach which is operated as a hotel by Neemrana hotels is a historical monument. Fort Dansberg located on the rocky shore is another important site to visit in Tharangambadi. Tourists can stay in monuments turned heritage hotels like Gate House and Nayak House which offer fantastic experience.
Chidambaram is famous for its Thillai Nataraja Temple. Pondicherry is very close to Chidambaram which also hosts an annual dance festival in February when Bharatnatyam dancers from around the world perform in front of Natarajar. It is well connected by road and rail, wheras the nearest airport is Pondicherry.
Yelagiri used to be called the “poor man’s Ooty”. Sterling resorts offers nice rooms and swimming pool in the tourist village which relatively has few shops and few important places of interest including the lake, fountain show and park. Yelagiri is located off Bangalore-Chennai highway and equidistant from both the cities.
Coimbatore is surrounded by many tourist spots including Amaravathi dam, Dyanalinga temple, Vellingiri Hills, Siruvani waterfalls, Singanallur Lake and Indira Gandhi Wildlife Sanctuary. The city is also famous for its industries and textile mills and hence called as” Manchester of South India". The amusement park “Black Thunder” near Mettupalayam on the foot of Nilgiri hills is visited by over half a million visitors every year.
Theni itself is not a tourist spot, but it has over a dozen attractions which are separated by few kilometers. Suruli falls, Kumbakarai falls, Chinnamanur and Vellimalai are frequented by local tourists. Bodinayakanur (or simple Bodi) is close to Kerala border and en route to Munnar, a hill station in Kerala. Mullaiperiyar dam is about 80 kilometers which is one of its kind in India.
Tiruchendur is a temple down and a Lord Muruga abode. Vanathirupathi , Kayalpattinam, Tuticorn port, Arunjunai Katha Ayyanar Temple and Karukkuvel Ayyanar Temple are some attractions tourists can visit though most are not well connected by road. Tiruchendur has many lodges and hotels including the TTDC run Hotel Tamil Nadu.