Place's to visit in Tamil Nadu

The sights, sounds and experiences you will get to witness in Tamil Nadu are endless. From relaxing by the shores of pristine beaches along the coastline to sitting on the lap of nature at the Nilgiris or getting a step closer to attaining divinity in the religious places of attractions, Tamil Nadu just keeps exceeding your travel expectations with every of its attraction. Tourism in Tamil Nadu is not just a visual treat but a humbling experience as well.

With monuments standing the tests of time for over centuries, the megalithic structures make you wonder on their built and the technology that could have been deployed at times when there was nothing to erect such gigantic structures. The cultures, traditions and lifestyle tell you how beautiful it is to live in the diverse cities of the state and understand their way of life. Tamil Nadu ensures that you are not the same person when you leave and gifts you with fond memories and unique experiences you will cherish forever.

Some of the major attractions in Tamil Nadu are temples of different sizes and age. There are also beaches and hill stations. Be it the archeological excavations of monuments relating to the Indian epic the Mahabharata in Mammalapuram, the temples where gods came down to interact with people in Madurai, Tiruchirappalli, Thanjavur, Sri Rangam, and more, or the temple that got surfaced from underwater after the recent tsunami, the temples are truly marvels, historic and signify mysticism that adds to travelers’ spiritual quest. So those of you looking forward to visiting, here are a few recommendations and things to do in Tamil Nadu.  

Kolli Hills is one of the beautiful places, situated in Namakkal District of the state of Tamil Nadu. This beautiful location is referred to as the Kolli Malai, and it means the ‘Mountains of Death.' The hills are over almost 1000 to 1300 meters in height that cover more than 280 sq. Km. You will get nearly 70 hairpin bends, which take the tourists to the top of the hill. Furthermore, the hills are actually the part of discontinuous Eastern Ghats.

The early Hindu literature talks about the actual existence of the Kolli Pavai ghost on the top of these hills and in this way, they have earned the ultimate destination this name. This image or spirit used to tempt the wayfarers and kill them. So, if you are a travel buff, you would surely love to roam around the entire place to explore the beauty of nature as well.

 

Location

Namakkal district ,Tamil Nadu

https://www.google.co.in/maps/place/Kolli+Hills/@11.3388965,78.2381378,11z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m5!3m4!1s0x3babb98203e2b5e9:0x18dc43aab135b9fa!8m2!3d11.2485139!4d78.3387066

 

How to reach Kolli hills?

Air: The location can be easily accessed from the contiguous airport located at Trichy, and this is around 90 km from Kolli Hills.

Road: You can also get the prepaid taxis, which is accessible from the airport reaching the destination.

Rail: The Salem Railway Station is the nearby railhead, outside which direct buses are available for the Kolli Hills.

 

Highlight

The location can be visited any time of the year, excluding the monsoon season when there is a danger of landslide due to heavy rainfall. So, once you are there, you will get to visit lots of places for sure.

Name of the place

Distance from city center

Approximate cost

Arapaleeswarar Temple

76.2 km. approx

No entry fee

Botanical Garden

 14 km approx

 20 Rs. Entry fee for   Children: 10 Rs.

Tampcol Medicinal Farm

  502 km approx

 No entry fee

 

 

1. Arapaleeswarar Temple

Along with a rich historical and cultural significance, which dates back to as long as the 1st century CE, the Arapaleeswarar Temple was built by the Valvil Ori. The place is dedicated to Lord Shiva and an essential part of Kolli Hills sightseeing, the temple stands as the witness to the excellent Dravidian style of architecture till today.

 

2. Botanical Garden

This is situated at a distance of only 3 km from Semmedu. The Botanical is one of the paramount places to visit in Kolli Hills. It features a beautiful rose garden, eco-friendly cottages, and a majestic viewpoint and also a Children's Park. This is an absolute must visit.

 

3. Tampcol Medicinal Farm

The place is much famed for being the home to the medicinal plants in abundance. This is a beautiful place to roam around as well. If you are a travel buff, you will surely love to wander around the area for sure.

 

Season to visit

This is a beautiful place where you can visit the entire year. But avoiding monsoon, you can easily visit this place anytime you want. Winter months are moderately cold, and that is why you will not be able to enjoy the beautiful season at that time too. The ideal time to visit Kolli Hills is from the months of March to June. You will be a witness to some beautiful foggy scenes over there.

To make your trip entirely smooth, you need to carry some essentials stuff along with.

Warm Clothes: Whenever you travel to a hill station, warm clothes are a must-have. The climate is entirely cold all around the year. So, before planning the trip, you should take weather into account. Try to choose the clothes, which keep you warm and comfortable. Along with that you also should take medicines, shoes, socks, and bags as well.

Things to do in the place

There are ample amount of activities that you can try such as:

1.Trek to Agaya Gangai Waterfalls

The notable part of the Eastern Ghats and situated in the famous Kolli Hills, the Agaya Gangai Waterfalls or the Kollimalai Falls, measures up to 300 feet, includes of about the 1000 steps descending to the base, and this is much famed amidst the trekkers. Along with the trail stretching up to the distance of only 1 km from Arapaleeswarar Temple, the trek to Agaya Gangai waterfalls is a crucial part of Kolli hills trekking in Tamil Nadu. Post monsoons during the months from November to January.

2.Vasalurpatty Boat House

 

This is situated at a distance of about 5 km from city center of Vasalurpatty, and the boathouse has been built on the artificial lake which is one of the favorite places to visit in Kolli Hills. The tranquil lake is surrounded by the vibrant green landscape of the hills that makes is it one of the most experience in Kolli Hills.

3.Explore The Siddhar Caves

If you are in the Kolli, you will surely love to explore lots of beautiful places and amongst all Siddhar Caves is one of the exciting places to roam around. Fit for only one or even two people to enter the caves at a time, and this has been believed that the Siddhar Caves are surrounded by medicinal herbs on all sides that are also the specialty of Kolli Hills.

Other things to do

  1. You can visit the Ettukai Amman Temple situated in Valapoor
  2. Encounter surprises at Masilla fall, and Namma Falls
  3. You can discover the numerous viewpoints like Selur viewpoint, Binnam viewpoint, Sirumalai viewpoint, and Seekuparai viewpoint
  4. You can get to the remote Bogar Caves, as well as Kayanavandhu Caves
  5. Stay at one of the traditional wood houses

Interesting facts to know about the hill

 

Kolli Hills is a beautiful mountain block in a particular shape of the kidney bean. Part of the Eastern Ghats, Kolli Hills is east of Namakkal as well as Rasipuram towns in Tamil Nadu. The Kaveri River flows not very far from the southern and western edge of the mountain block. The curved side of this mountain has the good forests, which has been started from the bottom to the top of this mountain. So, considering an erosional incident is rising the way up, this might have been a headwork of the excellent river, which joined the Kaveri.

The Rameshwara Temple is located on the banks of the Lakshmana Tirtha River in Nagarhole. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. During the festival of Shivaratri, this temple is visited by numerous devotees. There is a religious connotation about the Lakshmana Tirtha River that passes by this auspicious temple of Lord Shiva. The Rameshwara Temple is a major tourist spot in Kabini and is located on the banks of the Lakshmana Tirtha River in Nagarhole.

Perched at an altitude of 1,515 meters above sea level and nestled in the Shevaroys range of Eastern Ghats in Salem, Tamil Nadu, it is one of the most popular scenic hill stations. Literally translated, it means ‘lake forest’ owing to the bountiful forests near the Yercaud lake. Yercaud is a paradise of breathtaking beauty with luscious dense green forests, luxuriant hills, vast coffee plantations and various species of flora and fauna.

Some of the top attractions are: 

Big Lake -  An alluring lake, it is a popular attraction due to the naturally green hued tranquil waters. Dubbed as the Emerald lake, it is swathed with mountain tops, verdant garden along its banks and a floating fountain in the center making it a magnificent sight to behold. Revel in boating in the lake with a picturesque ambience elevating the experience.

Pagoda Point – An impeccable viewpoint, it offers a sprawling resplendent view of Salem, Kakambadi village and the Eastern Ghats flushed with green hills. Visitors can relax and soak in the splendid views while enjoying the cool breeze and the enticing sunrise and sunset Also known as pyramid point, it gets its name due to piles of stones arranged in the form of a pyramid resembling a Pagoda or temple tower and is believed to have been built by the local tribes. Near the Pagoda Point, there is a Sri Rama Temple that is devoted to Lord Rama and is an important pilgrimage site for the locals. 

Botanical Garden -  A visual treat for nature lovers, the garden is a spectacular green house harboring exotic species of flowers and plant and is divided into different sections like topiary garden, foliage garden, rock garden, bonsai garden, herbal garden, water garden, butterfly garden and sensory garden. It also has an Orchidarium that showcases around 250 different species of orchids out of which 30 are endangered species. There are 3,000 trees and 1,800 shrubs grown in the Orchidarium and it is the third largest Orchidarium in India. Apart from orchids, there are other rare plants and flowers such as Rose, Kurinji flower that blooms once in every twelve years, Sylvan, Shevaroys Bombax and Bamboo plants. 

Killiyur Falls – One of the major attractions of Yercaud, the Killiyur falls is located in the Servaroyan hill and is a serene majestic waterfall with water cascading from a height of 300 feet. One of the highest waterfalls in India, it is an entrancing sight especially during and after the monsoons. It is a 2km trek challenging trek through the forest with steep steps and takes about an hour to reach the bottom of the falls.

Shevaroy Temple – Settled at the highest point of Yercaud hills at an altitude of 5,326 feet, it is a beautiful dark cave temple built by the ancient tribals and adorned with the idols of Lord Shevaroyan and Goddess Kaveri. The native tribes flock to the temple annually in May to celebrate their festival. To reach temple, one has to trek through the rugged terrain and once on top, it offers an incredibly spectacular panoramic view of the surrounding pristine hills and Yercaud town. 

Lady’s Seat -  located to the south-west of Shevaroy Hill, it is a cluster of rock formations in the form of a seat and is especially attractive point during the sunset when it offers a spectacular view of Salem and the sunset. During daytime one can view the Mettur Dam and Salem town with the help of a telescope at the watchtower located at Lady’s Seat.

The best time to visit Yercaud is between October to June. It received heavy rainfall during monsoons and hence can be avoided during the time. During the month of May, a seven-day Summer Festival is organized which includes flower shows, dog shows, boating races and village fairs

 

Highlights

  1. Yercaud is a picturesque hill station with abundant greenery offering a serene and tranquil ambience away from the buzz and noise of the city life.
  2. The forest is rich in silver oaks, sandalwood and teak harbouring diverse wildlife such as foxes, bisons, squirrels, mongoose, snakes, deer and many more. bird watchers can witness birds such as sparrows, swallows, kites and bulbuls.
  3. Yercaud has various plantations primarily being coffee along with cardamom, black pepper, guava, orange and jackfruit.
  4. Bears cave is an interesting tourist point near the Norton Bungalow and is believed to have been created by bears.
  5. Anna park with natural species of plants is and ideal spot for picnics and children to play. A Japanese inspired garden within the premises of the park showcases the primitive and ancient Japanese methods of horticulture.

 

 

Location

Salem, Tamil Nadu

https://www.google.co.in/maps?q=yercaud&um=1&ie=UTF-8&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwi6yY3mz-nbAhULqo8KHbF5BkgQ_AUICygC

 

Recommended For 

A short getaway holiday to the enchanting green hills to invigorate the mind

 

How to get to Yercaud

Flight: The nearest airport is Salem Airport, Tamil Nadu at a distance of 46km. A cab can be hired from there directly to Yercaud

Train: The closest station is Salem railway station at a distance of 30km. A cab can be hired from there directly to Yercaud   

Road: It is well connected to major cities and several private and state buses run to Yercaud. Private car and taxi can also be hired.

 

Interesting Facts About Yercaud

  1. David Cockburn, the Scottish collector of Salem district, between 1820 to 1829, was called the 'Father of Yercaud' because he helped in the development of the resources of the Shevaroy and for introducing the cultivation of coffee, pears and apple.
  2. Sir Thomas Munroe, erstwhile governor of Madras Presidency in 1842 developed Yercaud.
  3. Yercaud served as a summer retreat to British officers and commanders who lived in India and now it is a favorite summer getaway for Bangaloreans. 
  4. Yercaud is also called the ‘Jewel of the South’
  5. Lady’s Seat derives its name from the belief that British women used to spend their evenings watching the mesmerizing views and sunset from this rock.
  6. The breeding of silk worms and producing silk is one of the traditional arts of Yercaud and the silk farm depicts the history of how silk producing began in India.

Rameshwaram is a beautiful religious city in Tamil Nadu.  It is located in the Pamban Island which lies in the sea region of Gulf of Mannar. Pamban Island, which is separated from the mainland of India by the Pamban Channel, is connected by the Pamban Bridge or Annai Indira Gandhi Bridge.

One of the Char Dham pilgrimages, Rameshwaram is considered as one of the holiest places in India and a significant pilgrimage center renowned for its Ramanathaswamy Temple, making it a top attraction amongst the Indian devotees. Apart from its religious value and the magnificent temples, it also has picturesque beaches, bridges and a bird sanctuary.

 

Location

Ramanathapuram, Tamil Nadu, 623526

https://www.google.co.in/maps/place/Rameswaram,+Tamil+Nadu+623526/@9.2867184,79.3028783,15z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m5!3m4!1s0x3b01e3c4e61cf2b3:0xd667f9b98bbd63a1!8m2!3d9.2876254!4d79.3129291

 

 

 About Ramanathaswamy Temple.

As per the legend, the temple was built by Lord Rama in dedication to Lord Shiva to absolve him from the sin of killing a Brahmin – Ravan to save his wife Sita. There are two lingams inside the shrine - one built by Sita, from sand, Ramalingam and the one brought by Hanuman God from Kailash called Vishwalingam and it is also considered one of the 12 jyotirlinga temples. The temple is a strikingly magnificent and an epitome of Dravidian styled architecture with the longest hallway in the world at approximately 1,220 meters with over 1,200 brilliantly sculptured pillars adorning the splendid corridor. The temple has around 22 wells that are considered to have holy water with medicinal properties and 12 ponds.  Take a dip in the holy waters of Agnitheertham, one of the sacred baths located on the beach side of the temple which is considered to absolve humans from their sins.

Worship Timings: 5 am to 1 pm & 3 pm to 9 pm

 

The 5 Faced Hanuman Temple

A short distance of 2km from the Ramanathaswamy Temple, this temple is famous for the five faced Hanuman idol. Carved out of a large Senthooram Stone, it is perpetually covered by sindoor smeared by the devotees. The temple is believed to house stones that were used to build the bridge from India to Sri Lanka by the army of monkeys for Lord Rama and Lord Hanuman to cross and rescue Sita.

Temple Timings:6 am to 7 pm

 

About Kothandaramaswamy Temple

Situated in Dhanushkodi, Kothandaramaswamy temple is a shrine dediciated to Lord Rama holding a bow and hence the name ‘Kothandaramaswamy’.  Housing statues of Lord Ram, Lord Lakshman, Sita and Lord Hanuman, it is mentioned elaborately in the scriptures of Ramayana and believed to be the place where Vibhishana, the younger brother of Ravana asked Lord Ram for refuge after fleeing from Lanka. It is surrounded by the sea and is a major tourist attraction.

Temple Timings: 6:30 am to 10:30 am & 5:30 pm to 8:30 pm

Visit the serene and clean Dhanushkodi Beach adjoined by the Bay of Bengal and Indian Ocean for a quiet time of peace away from the crowd and pander in some bird watching as it is a natural sanctuary for birds migrating from Europe and Australia such as flamingoes and ocean gulls. The Ariyman Beach is a serene beach with calm waves and sheer beauty. It is perfect for visitors wanting to indulge in water sport activities such as parasailing. It also has a childrens park and a museum. 

The bridges at Rameshwaram warrant a visit and are major attractions visited by tourists. The Adam’s bridge or Rama Setu mentioned in the Ramayan, is the bridge built by Lord Ram from India to Lanka to rescue Sita. It is a beautiful formation of limestone shoals that start from the tip of Dhanushkodi into the ocean towards Sri Lanka.

Pamban Bridge boasts as the first and longest sea bridge in India. Consisting of 143 pillars, each 220 feet long and weighing 100 tonnes is an architecture marvel. A rail bridge, it connects Pamban island to the Indian mainland and its double leaf bascule raises itself to allow ships to sail through is an amazing sight. The bi-lane road running parallel offers an uninterrupted spectacular views of the sea and bridge. 

The best time to visit Rameshwaram is October to April.

 

Highlights

  1. The Ramanathaswamy Temple which is exquisite in its architecture and one of the char dhams of India.
  2. An opportunity to perform agni theertham by taking a dip in the holy bath.
  3. The Kothandaramaswamy Temple is mentioned is the Ramayan and is a must visit.
  4. The water bird sanctuary which hosts a lot of resident and migratory birds between October to January.
  5. The marvelous Pamban Bridge which is the first sea bridge of India. One can take a glass boat ride here and view the exotic fishes and corals.
  6. Other popular temples that should be visited are the Jatayu Tirtham, a holy temple dedicated to the loyal eagle, Jatayu that helped Lord Ram, Gandhamadhana Parvatham, a deity that is highly respected by most communities in South India and the temple has a chakra with Lord Ram’s foot imprints and devotees believe they are offering their prayers at his feet and Laxman Tirtham, a temple dedicates to Lord Ram’s younger brother Lord Laxman.

 

 

Recommended For

A short getaway and a religious pilgrimage

 

How to get to Rameshwaram

Air: The nearest airports to Rameshwaram are the Madurai Airport and Tuticorin Airport

Train: Rameshwaram railway station is well connected to the major cities of the country.

Road: There are regular bus services from different parts of the country to the Rameshwaram bus station. A private car or cab can also be hired.

 

Interesting Facts About Rameshwara

  1. It is believed that taking a dip in the holy waters of Agniteertham will absolve one of his sins of the lifetime and can also bless a childless couple with a child.
  2. After Dhanushkodi was severely affected by the 1964 Rameshwaram cyclone, the temple though ruined was the only structure that survived, and the place has since been declared a ghost town.
  3. In 1935, the British Government released a stamp with the picture of the Rameshwaram Temple.
  4. Rameshwaram island was known as “Gandhamadhanam” before the arrival of Lord Rama.

Also referred to as Rajesvara Peruvudaiyr, the Brihadisvara temple located in Thanjavur is a monument and a place of worship of historic importance. The design of the main temple is not vague but intricate. Dedicated to Lord Shiva, the temple is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is in a city that is known to house temples of significance in Tamil Nadu. Built by Raja Raja Chola I of the Chola dynasty, the temple has been standing for over a thousand years and represents an architectural style that is called Dravidian. Just the piece of structure on the top of the temple weighs 80 tons and the entire temple is said to have been built using over 60 tons of granite.

 

Location: Thanjavur

Known for: Its gigantic structure, intricate design and architectural significance and for being over a centuries old

How to Reach: Tiruchirappalli is the closest airport to Thanjavur and takes about 3 hours by road from the airport. There are both buses and cabs that you can take from Tiruchirappalli and will cost you approximately Rs. 150 per person by bus and approximately Rs. 3000 for a cab ride.

Cost: NA

Operating Hours: 6:00 AM to 12:30 PM and 4:00 PM to 8:30 PM

Any Precautions: As much as it might stand for architecture and design, it is a place of worship. Dress conservatively. The place is really hot during summers. So remember that you have to walk barefoot all through the temple premises. So time your visit around the early mornings or evenings when it is manageable to walk. Carry adequate water and maintain silence. Do not write on the temple walls as they have inscriptions that are over 1000 years old. Wear light yet conservatively.

Type: Temple

The perfect summer getaway, the scenic hill stations is located near Madurai and is a haven for tourists looking to indulge in some natural beauty and escape the scorching heat of the other cities. Kodaikanal is also necessary see attractions in Tamil Nadu that is ideal for family, groups of friends and honeymoon couples. An itinerary of two nights is enough to completely check out Kodaikanal and still have time to yourself.

The best time to visit Kodaikanal is between the months of September and May, where the place becomes more idyllic in terms of beauty. The place is known to offer some of the most intriguing views and attractions like Pillar Rocks, Silver Cascade waterfalls, Guna Caves (a deadly cave that shot to fame after a Tamil movie called Guna was filmed here) and more. The best part about Kodaikanal is that it is not as much commercialized like Ooty and serenity of the place is still retained to major extents.

 

Location: Approximately 120 kilometers from Madurai, 100 kilometers from Dindigul and 180 kilometers from Coimbatore

Known for: Its idyllic natural landscapes, chilly temperatures and a range of attractions that offer some of the finest views of the Western Ghats

How to Reach: The nearest airport is Madurai and the railway station is Dindigul. Cabs and buses are easily available from the two cities and it can cost you approximately Rs. 200 per person by bus and Rs. 3000 on cabs depending on the season. At an altitude of 2,133 meters, it takes close to three hours to climb up and reach the prime areas.

Cost: Depends on the places you visit in Kodaikanal. Most places have entry tickets and parking charges extra.

Operating Hours: 24 hours

Any precautions: Since it’s an uphill commute, consider if you would become nauseas when climbing. Carry appropriate tablets and adequate water and keep taking smaller breaks during the climb. It’s always better to take a cab from one of the cities as they offer less giddiness when climbing than the government buses. The place has enough ATMs so you do not worry about cash as well. When coming down, eat light, as nausea might get worse.

Type: Hill Station

Marina Beach in Chennai is the opening scene in tons of Tamil movies and is a place of iconic significance. The seaside avenue is one of the busiest and is home to offices like the Commissioner’s Office, All India Radio, Doordarshan and landmarks like Chepauk stadium, Queen Mary’s College and more. The place is buzzing with people throughout the year and is also one of the most secure places to be in. With a coastline of over 600 kilometers, the natural beach is the world’s second largest urban beach. It is sandy and one of the most visited places in Chennai. During weekends, the beach attracts over 50,000 visitors per day which increases during summers, when over 2,00,000 people visit the place daily. This is the place perfect for morning walks, jogs, exercising, and a hot cup of filter coffee after that. The entire avenue with the lighthouse in its proximity is a heritage and probably one of the best places to visit in Tamil Nadu.

Known for

It’s long coastline, food stalls, buzzing tourists and safety

How to Reach

You need to be in Chennai to visit the Marina Beach. There are local trains, taxis and buses that commute frequently from all corners of the city to Marina beach. While local trains can cost you approximately less than Rs. 10 per person, buses can cost you approximately Rs. 15 per person and cabs depending on meter charges and distance from your accommodation.

Approximate Cost

NA

Operating Hours

Though 24 hours, visitors are not allowed stroll after late evenings. Regular police patrolling will ensure you move out of the shore and spend time on the food stalls set up at a short distance from the shore.

Any Precautions

Overlooking the Bay of Bengal, the sea breeze starts in the evening, however leaving traces of salinity in your skin. Apply sunscreen and wear light when you visit and wear flipflops. Swimming and getting far into the ocean are legally prohibited and cops on horses will consistently check and pull out visitors attempting to do so.

Type  Beach

Situated in the midst of the Indian Ocean at a short distance from the Indian mainland, the Vivekananda Rock is probably one of the must visit destinations in Tamil Nadu. Built on a stone suspended in the ocean, the rock memorial was opened in 1970 to honor Swami Vivekananda. Tourists flock to the place to catch the rising sun from the rock’s behind, slowly witnessing the sun illuminating the entire sky. The rock memorial is a blend of conventional and contemporary architectural styles and has meditation halls inside. The breeze that hits you is unparalleled and once on the rock, you can actually the confluence of the three mighty water bodies, separated by different hues of blues – the Indian Ocean, Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea.

The place also has a temple of Kumari Amman, the glitter of the nosering of whose served as a lighthouse to the then explorers and ships. There is also the statue of Tamil poet Thiruvalluvar located next to the Rock Memorial. Together, they make for a scenic background on the ocean.

Known for

Being a memorial for Swamy Vivekananda and house the imprints of Swamy’s foot. It is also known for its scenic beauty.

How to Reach

You have to reach Kanyakumari to visit the Rock Memorial. Depending on where you are, you can take a train or a bus to Kanyakumari. While trains can cost you around Rs. 400 for a sleeper class ticket per person approximately, buses can cost you approximately Rs. 600 per person. Once in Kanyakumari, you can easily reach the jetty on foot or an auto.

Approximate Cost

Though there is no cost to enter the memorial, tourists have to take a ferry to reach the place located at around 500 meters from the mainland. The ferry rides can cost you approximately Rs. 60 per person.

Operating Hours

8:00 AM to 4:00 PM

Any Precautions

Since you need to take a ferry, be extra careful when seating and commuting in the ferry. It goes on a water body that has fierce currents. Wear the lifejacket they provide even if it is a ride for not more than 15 minutes. Take your camera with you as the ride is thrilling and scenic.

Type

 

Monument

Why you should attend this event

Happening during the month of December every year, this festival is a celebration of classical music and dance forms. This is more of a heritage and legacy being followed for decades. It is the time ace musicians come together to perform in various sabhas or auditoriums. The events happen across the entire city of Chennai in various places simultaneously and people gather in huge numbers to catch their favorite singers singing kritis. The festival is also famous for its food stalls. The best part about the festival is that NRIs from around the world come down on a cultural tourism and stay for a couple of weeks to witness the music festival.

 

Who should attend this?

If you are into music, appreciate, and love music in any form, this is the time you need to be in Chennai! The entire city is filled with a divine vibe that is truly magical. If you are into Hindustani music, you should come down to see its south Indian counterpart – the carnatic music.

Why you should attend this

Also known as the harvest festival, Pongal is a time of get together, celebration and festivities. Lasting up to 4 days, it happens during the month of January and marks the beginning of good times and is also like a way of showing gratitude to the sun god for a good harvest. People, especially farmers, buy new clothes, sweets and prepare delicacies and spread joy and happiness in their neighborhood.

 

Who should attend this?

To understand what it means to be into agriculture and farming and how hard it is to get crops harvested. It is also a good way to get in touch with farmers and understand their motivation and traditions. It is celebrated throughout the state and most offices and shops remain closed during this time. 

The Nilgiri Mountain Railway or fondly known as the Ooty Toy Train is something that both kids and adults enjoy alike. Plying since the time of the British, the railway network takes visitors through scenic valleys and landscapes that keeps them in awe all through their journey. This place further shot to fame after Chayya Chayya song was shot in this route and became popular to people from different parts of the country. More than being a mode of transport from Mettupalayam  - the foothills of Ooty, it is seen as a heritage ride that takes you closer to the Western Ghats and every beautiful thing it has to offer. For all you tourists out there, taking the train is one of the best things to do in Tamil Nadu.

 

Location

Ooty

For

Families with kids, groups of friends and honeymoon couples

Difficulty Level

Easy

Approximate Cost

Approximately Rs. 15 for a general ticket, Rs. 30 for second class tickets and Rs. 210 for a first class ticket

Why you should do it

To look at the magnificence of the mountains from very close and catch a glimpse of the flora and fauna of the Western Ghats and just soak in the feel of a century old railway network

Tips 

Train tickets should be booked well in advance and can be done on the Indian railways ticketing website. Also, the trains tend to stop midway in their journey due to technical glitches. However, they are repaired in short whiles and the services are resumed soon. This is just to anticipate such an incident and in no way disrupts your vacation.

From the Malabar Giant Squirrels, Nilgiri Tahrs, Lion-tailed Macaque to Nilgir langurs and gaurs, if there is one way you can catch the raw wildlife of the Western Ghats, it is by exploring the mountains on foot. Taking you through beautiful landscapes, meadows, canopies and forests, trekking in the Western Ghats is truly a life-changing experience and probable the best activity to do in Tamil Nadu. Of all the treks, Maruti peak is considered to be the most scenic one and a fan favorite for frequent trekkers. Of late, trekking has been increasingly seen as a way to explore the mountains and a lot of tour operators and individual operators take people on treks to the Western Ghats. If you are in Tamil Nadu, spare a day or two for trekking.

 

Location: Western Ghats

For: Groups of friends and honeymoon couple

Difficulty Level: Moderate to difficult

Approximate Cost:  Depends on tour operators and the permits required

Why you should do it: To see in person the landscapes and wildlife animals you have only been reading in geography books and fairytales. This place lets you in and offers a vibe that will change the way you perceive life and approach towards it.

Tips: The Western Ghats house tons and tons of leeches. So cover up accordingly. Carry enough snacks and water, sunglasses, hats, and insect repellants. If you are camping here, carry flashlights and power banks. Though connectivity is not a concern, do check out the experience of your tour operator before booking. 

Imagine being taken to the mighty Bay of Bengal on a catamaran and pushed off into the water for adventure. Sounds fancy? Well, the catamaran ride in Chennai will offer that thrill you. Though not like scuba diving or snorkeling, this is more like a raw freefall into the ocean and staying in there for a while to experience the waves of the water body. Lifejackets are provided and there are a number of adventure operators in Chennai, especially the ECR region, who take you on a catamaran ride. The ride is initially scary but once you are acclimatized to the thrill of the ride, excitement kicks in and you cannot wait to jump into the limitless ocean.

 

Location: Chennai

For: Groups of friends

Difficulty Level: Moderate to difficult

Approximate Cost: Approximately Rs. 700 per adult

Why you should do it: To shed your inhibitions and outgrow your fear of water. When literally in the midst of nowhere surrounded by one of the most massive water bodies on earth, you are in for something special.

Tips: Never remove the lifejacket no matter how experienced of a diver or swimmer you are. You can never predict the depths of the ocean and do not attempt adventures of your own and listen to the operators. 

Already quite popular among people from other parts of the country, Hotel Saravana Bhavan serves idli, dosa and other local delicacies are like no other. People who have left Chennai to settle abroad miss the exquisite sambar preparation and the ghee masala dosa. Knowing this demand, the restaurant has now a global presence and has become a cult in food and beverage. Filter coffee here is phenomenal.

 

Must Eat: Ghee masala dosa, mini tiffen, filter coffee

Approximate Cost for Two: Approximately Rs. 600

Address: 102, Sir Thyagaraya Rd, Pondy Bazaar, Parthasarathi Puram, T Nagar, Chennai, Tamil Nadu 600017

Contac: 044 2345 5589

Opening hours: 6:00 AM to 11:00 PM

If there’s one place locals and even those from other parts of the state don’t mind driving down just to savor that one plate of sumptuous biryani, it has to be Ambur Star Biryani. Located at a distance of about 185 kilometers, people make their weekend plans to come down to the place and relish a plate of biryani. On the highways, the place has been a hotspot for biryani for decades and is known for its excellent service as well. Reserve before you go as it gets really crowded.

 

Must Eat: Mutton biryani, chicken biryani

Approximate Cost for Two: Approximately Rs 800

Address: NO 67, M.C Road, Bangalore Highway, Opp Mazhar Uloom School, Ambur, Tamil Nadu 635802

Contac: 098942 47373

Opening Hours: 11:00 AM to 11:00 PM

Serving a cuisine what is known as Chettinadu, the place is a delight for non-vegetarians. The food is spicy, has a blend of aromatic spices and herbs and is slow cooked on flame to give you a meal that is worth dying for. Apart from Chettinadu delicacies, the place is also known for its biryani.

 

Must Eat: Chicken Chettinad, Kadaai Chicken, Varuthu aracha nandu kozhambu

Approximate Cost for Two: Approximately Rs. 600

Address: 356, Bharathiyar Road, Gandhipuram, Coimbatore

Contact: +91 7502433555

Opening Hours: 11:00 AM to 4:30 PM and 6:00 PM to 11:00 PM

As fancy as the name sounds, the place is too. Popular for visiting DJs and an amazing dance floor, Pasha is the place where electrifying parties happen in Chennai. Part of the Park Hotel, this is the club visited by popular celebrities and the elite of the city’s residents. The music tracks are thumping and the ambience that gets built up is phenomenal. If partying is on your list, Pasha is where you need to be in Chennai. One of the very few places that is open until 2 AM.

 

Must Try: Imported beer selection, finger food and cocktails by pro bartenders

Opening Hours: 8:00 PM to 2:00 AM

Location: The Park, 601, NungambakkamHigh Road, Nungambakkam, Chennai

Recently opened in Coimbatore, 10 Downing Street or 10D as it is fondly known offers an Irish feel to its visitors in terms of its set up and ambience. With light music on contemporary and pop genres, this is the place that gives you a laidback feel and ends up as the perfect spot to unwind to a glass of beer after work or after too much sightseeing. It is also situated very close to the airport.

 

Must Try: Finger food and cocktail selections

Opening Hours: 12:00 PM to 12:00 AM

Location: 04, The Arcadia, Goldwins, Avinashi Road, Kalapatti, Coimbatore

If it is street shopping in Chennai, it has to be Ranganathan Street. Located in the prime region of T. Nagar, Chennai, the avenue has the entire place dedicated for shopping. The place is a unique blend of very popular shopping retail chains and street vendors who sell their products outside the chains. The place is perpetually crowded and increases more during festivals. This is the best place to stand between the locals and experience color and vibrance of the place.

 

Timing: 9:00 AM to 9: 00 PM

Known for: Women apparel, t-shirts, stainless steel utensils and coffee powder

Bargaining: Though the retail shops follow a fixed price policy, the street vendors are open for bargaining. The more experienced you are, the better chances of striking a deal.

Located in T. Nagar again, the place offers the best of silk sarees in the city. Having been for more than decades, the place is where people involuntarily turn to for wedding shopping. Besides, sarees, the place also offers silk dhotis for men and is one of the best places to shop in Chennai Tamil Nadu.

 

Location: 100, Usman Road, T Nagar 

Timing: 9:30 AM to 9:30 PM

Known for: Silk sarees

Bargaining: Bargaining is not allowed in the store.

In Madurai, the shop probably runs with an intention to make jute bags look cooler and turn them into chick fashion accessories. Made by local craftsmen, the place is home to jute bags, mats, artifacts and bangles. The store is also courteous enough to get your things couriered to your place so you don’t have to move around carrying them. This is  a perfect souvenir for people back at home and office and the quality of the jute products will speak for itself.

 

Location: #5 Jute Cottage K K Nagar Main Road Ishwariya Lakshmi Plaza | Opposite to lake park entrance, Madurai 625020, India

Timing: 10:30 AM to 8: 30 PM

Known for: Jute products and jute based accessories

Bargaining: Bargaining is not allowed in the store.

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