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Home :: South India States :: Lakshadweep Tourism

Lakshadweep Tourism

Lakshadweep Travel GuideCapital : Kavaratti
Area : 32 square km.
Population: 60,595 (2004)
Languages : Malayalam
Literacy : 79% (1991)
Best Season : November - April

History in Tourism of Lakshadweep
Early history of Lakshadweep is not known. The historical evidence only starts somewhere in 7 th Century, when Hazrat Ubaidullah of Mecca set off on instructions he received in his dream from Prophet Mohammed. Ubaidullah immediately set sail and his ship got wrecked in storm near these small islands of Lakshadweep. Clinching on to one of the planks he drifted to reach the island of Amini. It is at Amini that he is said to have first started propagating Islam, which gradually was spread to other islands.

Women of the islands can be heard chanting folk ballads during their household chores. Events that led Ubaidullah to Lakshadweep, the plunder of the islands by the Portuguese, have been all been heard and performed by the local balladeer.

Lakshadweep Culture IndiaLakshadweep Tourism - People and Culture
In Malayalam language spoken in Kerala, Lakshadweep means �a hundred thousand islands'. Ethnically, the people of the Lakshadweep islands are very similar to the people of Kerala, and speak the same language i.e. Malayalam. It is only at Minicoy that people speak Mahl. With predominantly Muslim population (93%), they follow conservative traditions and customs. Each island has several mosques but tradition does not allow women to enter. People follow the Madrasa system of education as per Islamic tenets. Since there is shortage of drinking water, only 10 of the total 36 islands are inhabited; rest all are almost uninhabited. The names of the ten islands with population in alphabetical order are Agatti, Amini, Andrott, Bitra, Chetlat, Kadmat, Kalpeni, Kavaratti, Kiltan and Minicoy. With a span of just 32 Sq.Kms, Lakshadweep is tiniest of Union Territories of India with 3 reefs, 5 submerged banks and 12 atolls.

Theories presented so far about coral atoll formation are all inconclusive. However the one presented by the Sir Charles in 1842 is prominently quoted and perhaps finds acceptance with the most researchers. According to Sir Charles the base of the islands below the reef is a volcanic formation over which corals settled and built fringing reefs. The process transformed to barrier reefs and finally to atolls due to geological submergence of volcanic base.

Tourism in Lakshadweep
Much of the land mass of the islands being surrounded by vast lagoon, Lakshadweep has emerged as a water sport destination in the country. Since the land is precious and scarce it is avowed policy of the Administration to relieve pressure on land and promote water based tourism. Though all the islands are endowed with the beauty of coral reef, unpolluted and clear water, sandy beaches, and hospitable settings, most of these differ in terms of facilities and services offered. The land spread of the island is surrounded by 4200 sq. km of lagoon rich in marine wealth. By far Lakshadweep is considered one of the world's most spectacular tropical island systems.

Lakshadweep Tourism IndiaThe Government of India through Department of Tourism is committed to the cause of Eco tourism in Lakshadweep . It has resultantly and consciously followed a middle path between tourism promotion and environmental conservation. Some islands have been promoted for diving and water sports; still others have been developed so that people enjoy the charm of relaxation and natural enjoyment. The steps have been taken to promote tourism in a way that is consistent with ecological concerns. The motto being adopted is to admire and not exploit the natural beauty.

In the environmental analysis of the Department of tourism, it has been observed that preservation of environment is the cherished goal of Lakshadweep. In order not to adversely affect the physical environment emphasis of the administration is to promote tourism only in those islands that can sustain it keeping in view the concept of carrying capacity. The facilities are developed in such a way that they do not result in loss of bio-diversity.

There are Lakshadweep tour packages that Visit India South arranges as per varied interests of the tourists and the desired duration of stay.

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Pondicherry Tourism IndiaArea: 293 Sq. Kms.
Population: 912,000
Religion: Hindu, Christian, Buddhism, Jainism, and Islam
Resources: Cotton products, Chemical products, Tourism, Fishing, and others
Languages: Tamil, Malayalam, Telugu, French, and English
Literacy Rate: 90%

The ancient and recent history of Pondicherry
Tracing the ancient history of Pondicherry Beach Legend, Pondicherry was once known as Vedapuri where great sage Agastya came to worship Vedapuriswara, one of the oldest deities worshipped here. Since Lord Shiva was the presiding spirit and deity of Vedapuri, he was also known as �Agatiswara�. Generally such a tradition is developed from the presence of a great sage in a remote past. There must have lived in this Ashram the disciples and seekers of celestial truth. The kingdoms of the Pallavas, the Cholas, the Vijayanagar rulers and the Nayaks also changed and flourished here from time to time. Pondicherry has been fascinated by the seekers from time immemorial.

Ancient and recent Settlements in Pondicherry
Pondicherry Tourism & Travel  IndiaPondicherry was considered to be a traditionally a seat of learning and Vedic culture. In line with it evidence also exist that Pondicherry or originally �Puducherry�, meaning a new hamlet, attracted the Romans and the Chinese to its shores. In the Pondicherry tourism the sites of excavations your tour operator in Pondicherry shows, prove that the Romans had once settled here. Many other findings also confirm that regular commerce was carried on between the port of Pondicherry and the Roman cities. In the gone by two millennia it saw the advent, rise and fall of Buddhism, the resurgence of Hinduism and the penetration of Christianity and Islam.

The later power wrestlers that rooted here were French, the Portuguese and the Dutch. The 18th century saw most of power struggles between England and France, gaining and losing supremacy over Pondicherry several times. However, the French established the firm supremacy on 26 th September 1816 and went on to rule for one hundred and thirty eight years until transfer of power to independent India in 1954. Turmoil's apart, one finds a repository of a very high standard of art and culture tourism in Pondicherry .

Unity in Diversity � Affable people of Pondicherry
Having once been the capital of erstwhile French India, and often referred to as " A small piece of Medieval France in India " and " ... a sleepy provincial French town ", Pondicherry has managed to retain its French aura. It is quite amazing to know that the people of this small archipelago speak 55 different languages. But Telugu, Malayalam, Tamil, English and French are the five official languages for a small place like Pondicherry and still has absolute harmony certainly raises eyebrows in pleasure. Very few streets in the town will be found not sanctified by the precincts of a church, a mosque or a temple. Further harmony is found at the time of religious celebrations when all join every festival in almost equal numbers, irrespective of the fact it is held at 10 th Century Temples or 17th Century Churches. This kind of harmony is hard to find elsewhere in India.

Serenity Beach Pondicherry Tourism & Travel  IndiaPondicherry Beaches Tourism

Pondicherry has 45 kms of frothy and picturesque coastline, and virgin beaches with unpolluted golden yellow sand. With all the essential ingredients present, the potential of Pondicherry becoming a beach resort of world fame cannot be debated. The continental slope that it provides is gentle and safe. Mass festivals like, Masi Magam, Veerampattinam Festival, etc. are celebrated which culminate on the beaches. That the Indian spiritualism attains the highest vibrancies on such occasions has to be seen to be believed. During the visit to beaches you enjoy following:

Serenity Beach Tourism
A ten-minute drive to the north of the town brings you to these virgin sands, true to its name. The ambience and serenity become synonyms here. You can touch the calm. The beach is ideal for a quick dip in the clear waters, a touch of the sun and a cool reprieve in the shade. It is one of the best for romantic beach tourism in India .

Paradise Beach Tourism
This tropical paradise lies on the stretch along Cuddalore main road. Pitch up a cozy seaside tent or relish the great experience of overnight stay outdoors within the tree-houses on the backwaters . Follow this with a short, pleasant cruise into the sea. You are more likely to chance upon sighting of playful dolphins in natural habitats, horsing around.

Karaikal Beach Tourism
Magnificent view of sunrise over the bay can be catched and also clicked for posterity. The pretty Arasalar River reaching out to the sea provides another veurs delight. Canoeing, kayak or beach volley ball in picture-book surroundings is also possible. Angling skill can also be used to enjoy the Mahe Beach  Pondicherry Tourism & Travel  Indiasea delicacy freshly caught.

Mahe Beach Tourism
On the northern strip of coastal Kerala lays this bewitching beach strip. The town is bordered by a luxuriant crop of tall palm and dotted with numerous fishing hamlets on the way.

Yanam River Cruise Tourism
Yanam is in the coastal Andhra Pradesh range. It provides a different route to exhilaration. Here you enjoy a sunset cruise down the spectacular Goringa Godavari River which winds through rich mangrove forests.

Places of Interest in Pondicherry:

The Promenade
The land mass of Pondicherry is oval-shaped while the city within is laid with parallel streets cutting each other at right angles. The 1.5 Kms long The Promenade is one of the finest in the whole country that provides an irresistible attraction for the young and the aged alike. A leisurely walk up to the southern tip of the Promenade brings you where stands the statue of Monsieur Dupleix, the greatest French Governor of Pondicherry. The natives know that he was once the king of their land. There is a Distillery at the northern tip of the Promenade. Right at the midway point stands the 4.25m tall statue of Mahatma Gandhi, while the statue of Jawaharlal Nehru stands at Gandhi Maidan. The Light house and the 284 metres long new pier can also be visited further south of these monuments. Also in the vicinity, facing the Bat of Bengal is the Town Hall and a little distance on the left is the War Memorial in honour of Pondicherry soldiers who died in the First World War.

The Government Square
The place has �Raj Niwas'; the �Cercle de Pondichery'; the Assembly Hall; the General Hospital and the Maternity Hospital; and the �Chamber of Commerce'. Besides, there are some charmingly chiselled pillars adding beauty to the Square or the Park. A curious setting is provided by a 16 th Century rare and surprise monument built in the name of a harlot belonged to Pondicherry for her charitable nature had made direct supply of water to the town possible.

Pondicherry Ashram Pondicherry Ashram
Every city and place in the world has its own distinguishing landmark which draws hordes of visitors like a magnetic pull to the place. Paris and Eiffel Tower, London and Big Ben, and similarly think of Pondicherry and the first thing that strikes your mind is the Aurobindo Ashram associated with Sri Aurobindo and the Mother.

It is a unique spiritual concept of Devine offering, as there are no compulsory meditations, no rituals to follow, and no practices. But it revolves around only one principle of unconditional surrendering to the Divine principle and force.
Sri Aurobindo, Pondicherry Ashram or Sri Aurobindo Ashram is just synonym. With Pondicherry the names of Sri Aurobindo, The Mother and Auroville flash in the mind of tourists seeking spiritual solace. It is for this reason that the spiritual bend of Pondicherry is internationally acknowledged. Sri Aurobindo, the poet, did his Integral Yoga and wrote his literary and philosophical works at political asylum here.

With the advent of a French lady, Madam Mirra Richard Alfassa, later known as the Mother, who had followed the same spiritual path on her own, Sri Aurobindo started his Ashram to train others in his comprehensive and world-accepting system of spirituality. For those with spiritual bent of mind, Sri Aurobindo Ashram offers peace and tranquility. The Samadhi that houses the bodies of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, in the main premises of the Ashram, is always decorated with a wide variety of flowers in charming patterns where hundreds of devotees visit this holy place every day.

Having attained saint-cum-yogi state, Sri Aurobindo taught Integral Yoga, synthesizing yoga conjoining it with modern science. The activities of the ashram include the development of art, culture, and spirituality, besides agriculture and cottage industries. Today, Pondicherry plays host to the International Yoga Festival in January every year.

Auroville - Pondicherry's Other Half
Auroville, Pondicherry Travel Guide IndiaAuroville is situated 8 Kms north of Pondicherry. The foundation was laid on 28th February 1968, when a boy and a girl representing each of 124 countries of the world poured a handful of their native soil into a concrete lotus/urn, symbolic of their support of the project aimed at peaceful international understanding. The purpose of Auroville is to realize human unity. The time is ripening to make the Ashram and Auroville examples to the world of a new life in which men will realise their souls. There is also an International University perhaps the first of its kind in the world.
�Auroville wants to be a universal town where men and women of all countries are able to live in peace and progressive harmony�, such was the Mother's vision of it. At the center of the township stands Matrimandir (meaning Mother's Temple) built in the form of a globe, is a place for quiet concentration. It's a unique township never seen of its kind in India. It was an experiment for celebrating unity in diversity, rightly and deservedly chosen all that India is already known for centuries. At present it is managed by the Auroville foundation.

Pondicherry Museum : Here you can find everything from Pallava sculptures to a bed used by Monsieur Dupleix, the colony's most famous governor.

Sacred Heart Church : There is a plethora of large churches and cathedrals around the town. But the prominent ones include the white and striking brown sacred Heart Church on South Boulevard. In the vicinity are the peaceful, extensive Botanical Gardens.

Bharathi and Bharathidasan Memorial Museums : The houses of two great Tamil poets of yore have been converted into the museums.

Pondicherry provides many other places of tourist interest:
•  Mandagupettu
•  Mansion Anandha
•  French Institute
•  Manakula Vinayanagar
•  Ousteri Lake
•  Jawahar Toy Museum
•  Mailam Murugan Temple

Pondicherry Wildlife & Bird SanctuaryPondicherry Wildlife & Bird Sanctuary
A remarkable variety of birdlife may be found at Pondicherry Wildlife Refuge in Jefferson and Whitefield. This wetland complex of ponds, streams and bogs, is the feeding habitat site of a great blue heron rookery and other important species of water birds. It is also important stopover habitat for ring-necked ducks, wood ducks, and black ducks, and home to moose, bear, deer, and an array of non-game species as well. Since its designation as a National Natural Landmark in 1974 by the National Park Service, Pondicherry has often been called a "crown jewel" of New Hampshire's landscape. The refuge is owned and managed by the Audubon Society of New Hampshire, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the N.H. Department of Fish and Game.
Festivals in Pondicherry

Pondicherry is a place of festival galore. With the people being always happy and easy-going, the life itself is a celebration at Pondicherry festivals . The festivals of every faith are participated, celebrated and enjoyed with equal verve by all the people, all around the year.
•  Fire Walking Festival (3 to 4 times a year)
•  International Yoga Festival (4-7 January)
•  Pongal (January)
•  Gourmet Festival (January)
•  Maasi Mangam (March)
•  Good Friday
•  Bakrid
•  Villianur Temple Car Festival (mid-May & mid-June)
•  Chitrai Kala Vizha Festival (Art & Culture; summer)
•  Bastille Day (14 July)
•  The Mangani Festival (July)
Pondicherry Festivals•  Sri Aurobindo's Birthday (15 August)
•  Fete De Pondicherry (15-17 August)
•  Vinayaka Chathurthi Period (September)
•  Ayudha Puja (October)
•  Deepavali (October - November)
•  Christmas Season (December)

Pondicherry � A Multi-Cuisine Splendour
Pondicherry is perhaps a most cosmopolitan town in our country. Its multi-cuisine magic with Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Gujarati, Punjabi, Bengali, Thai, Vietnamese, and of course, French and Continental food make it a veritable "mosaic of culinary integration" unseen elsewhere. No wonder food festival (Gourmet) receives unprecedented response from tourists and people of Pondicherry. "Multiplicity of cuisine under one sky" is an important tourism product. Gourmet festival is held with aplomb every year in January. Franco-Indian food mix is considered the best in the list of Pondicherry Cuisines .

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State Capital: Chennai
Tamilnadu Travel GuidePopulation ('000s in 1991): 55,859
Area ('000 sq. km): 130
Females per 1000 males (1991): 974
Literacy rate (1991): 62.7
Ratio of urban population (1991): 34.2
Airports: Chennai, Tiruchirapalli, Coimbatore and Madurai
Rivers: Godavari, Krishna, Pennar, Palar, Ponnayar, Cauvery, Vaigai and Thamrapani
Hill Stations: Ooty, Kodaikanal, Coonoor, Kotagiri, Yercaud, Velliangiri Hills
Wildlife Sanctuaries: Mudumalai, Annamalai, Point Calimere, Kalakkad, Mundanthurai, Kotagiri
Principal Language: Tamil, English

Overview of Tourism in Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu is predominantly located along the coastline of Bay of Bengal, also providing some very breathtaking sights on the Western Ghats as may be presented in your South India Tourism . It is bounded by Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh in the north and Kerala in the west. One of the best sights, besides many beautiful beaches in Tamil Nadu , the state presents is the rare confluence of three oceans, namely Arabian Sea, Bay of Bengal and Indian Ocean. At the southern most tips is Cape Comorin or Kanyakumari, the Land's End of India where a beautiful rock memorial is erected, dedicated to Swami Vivekananda. The high points of this site are the beauty of sunrise and sunset from this. A visit on full moon days presents the tourists with the ultimate joy. The eastern tip has the Point Calimere, western tip presents Mudumalai wildlife sanctuaries , and the north extreme of the state is defined by Pulicat Lake .

Beaches in Tamil Nadu Visit India South arranges excellent bouquets of Tamil Nadu tourism in the form of a great variety of flora and fauna at many of its protected Wildlife Sanctuaries and National Parks, including the prominent and biggest Vendanthangal Bird Sanctuary . The touch of cool can be enjoyed at famous hill stations in Tamil Nadu like Ooty and Kodaikkanal in the Nilgiris. During the south India tours you will find the Tamil Nadu of today has made strides in industrialisation and the state capital, Chennai, is fast developing as a hub for its state-of-the-art health care units, IT, and biotechnology. Visit India South as your tour operator in South India also facilitates all kind of affordable dental health care in India package under the headings of Health Care in India or Medical Tourism in India .

Old & Recent History of Tamil Nadu � The Temple State
Tamil Nadu has a vivid history that spans into ancient times more than 2000 years back. More and finer points continue to be dug up only to be added to its expansive history. The monuments, sculptures, and associated art form give the tourists an insight into the virtual past. The Cheras, Cholas and Pandyan dynasties have left indelible marks in culture and tradition with the grandeur of their marvellous creations. The Pandyan legend king Kulasekhara founded the city of Madurai in 6th century BC in a place believed to be the spot where a few drops of nectar (celestial honey) fell from Lord Siva's locks. Pandyas are also associated with Madurai's older and perhaps more absorbing and enthralling legend of the mother goddess Meenakshi.

The tourists throng from worldwide for excellent temple architecture in Tamil Nadu is renowned for. The state has almost 30000 temples, of which so many are architectural marvels. The Brihadeeswara temple in Tanjore is believed to be the place from where the temple dance form Bharat Natyam was introduced in praise of the mythological gods and goddess. Kancheepuram the city of 1000 temples; Mahabalipuram has the rock monuments; Tanjore temples have architectural excellence besides musical instruments and metal castings. In the Dravidian culture, temple music and art was dedicatedly nurtured at places like Thanjavur, Tiruchirapalli and Madurai. The Dancing Siva and Carnatic music also find their origin in the region. Tamil Nadu has produced many famous saint poets with works including Thiruvalluvar's 1330 couplets about morality in public and private life rythmising some of life's greatest truths. The appreciable work has already been translated into many foreign languages and reached the world over.
Tamil Nadu  Temples
Tamil Nadu is aptly referred as the cradle of south Indian temples architecture that has good evidential origins in the 7 th Century. Every temple is a living museum of styles that matured in the huge temple complexes that came up one after the other. The beauty and awe lies in their being studded with towering gateways called "Gopurams" soaring so high that it can be seen miles before touching the town. Some of the famous pilgrim centres in Tamil Nadu include Chidambaram, Mahabalipuram, Kumbakonam, Kanchipuram, Rameshwaram, Tiruttani, Srirangam, Palani and Kanyakumari. A south India tourism package is incomplete if a visit to the famous Meenakshi temple of Madurai is missed; it is simply a must see.

Places of Interest in Tamil Nadu Tourism

Chennai Tourism
It is undoubtedly believed that the Dravidians founded the beautiful State of Tamil Nadu some 5,000 years ago. Today it is home to some of the most magnificent sculptures and architectural wonders of the world that went on to be added by rulers of one dynasty after another.

About 350 years ago, Tamil Nadu's capital city Chennai (the region collectively known as Madras) was created by the East India Company. Rajah of Chandragiri, who was the last king of the vanishing Vijayanagar Empire, offered an East India Company trader named Francis Day, a three-mile long strip of land. Francis Day and his superior went on to built a factory on this land in July 1639, which was named Fort St. George. French were also involved in trying to gain supremacy here. The British made expansion of their reign to city by encompassing the neighbouring villages of Egmore, Purasawalkam, Triplicane, and Chetput to form the city of Chennapatnam.

Chennai Travel Guide IndiaBesides being Britain's first bastion from which flourished an empire, Chennai, formerly known as Madras retains a harmonious blend of the old and the new. Elaborate pujas continue to be part of daily ritual in every household. The tradition of women wearing flowers in their hair and young girl pratice the age-old Bharatanatayam Dance everyday still continues. The charming city of Chennai has seen the modernization come to it in leaps and bounds in every sphere of life. But the best part one finds in the tourism of Chennai is that the passage of time has not dampened even by an iota the rich heritage handed down from generation to generation.

Places of Interest:

Kapaleeswara Temple, San Thom Cathedral, Snake Park, Theosophical Society, Fort St. George & St. Mary's Church, Parthasarathy Temple, Valluvar Kottam, Ripon Buildings and War Memorial, Fort Museum and Govt. Museum & Art Gallery, Gandhi Mandapam, Anna Square, Light House, Marina Beach & Aquarium.


Elliots Beach- 11 kms, Red Hills- 14 kms, Ennore Beach- 18 kms, Cholamandal Artists Village- 20 kms, Anna Zoological Park (Vandalur), Muttukudu- 30 kms, Covelong- 38 kms, Crocodile Bank- 42 kms, Pundi Reservoir- 60 kms, Pulicat- 61 kms, Mahabalipuram- 61 kms, Kanchipuram- 71 kms, Vendanthangal Bird Sanctuary- 85 kms, Thirukkalikundram- 80 kms.

Mahabalipuram Tourism (Mamallapuram Tourism)

The town of temples, sand & sea, Mahabalipuram (Mamallapuram) is world renowned for its beautiful shore Temple . In the ancient times it was the main port of the great Pallava Kingdom and was later designated as the capital of this Dynasty.

Mahabalipuram Travel Guide IndiaIn Tamil language Mamalla means the great wrestler. It was the name given to King Narasimha Varma I due to his great qualities. Most of the temples and rock carvings in Mamallapuram are dedicated to Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu. Most temples in Mahabalipuram are believed to be constructed between 630 A.D and 728 A. D. during the reign of Narasimha Varma I and II. The sculptures here show scenes of everyday life, as also poses of women with a subtle touch of erotica. The Mamallapuram Dance Festival is held during January and February every year. The expressive Indian Classical dancers adorned in their relevant traditional costumes perform Bharatanatyam, Odissi, Kathakali, and Kuchupudi. Sand, water and temples provide the perfect backdrop for the graceful and evocative dancers.

Places of Interest: Shore Temple, Arjuna's Penance, Mandapams, Mahishasurmardini Cave, Krishna Mandapa, Rathas (Chariots), and Varaha Mandapa.

Madurai Tourism
Madurai is aptly called Athens of the East because of the way myth seamlessly merges into the life here. Madurai is situated in southern Tamil Nadu on the banks of Vaigai River. Madurai is the second largest city in Tamil Nadu and is said to be more than 2,500 years old. Besides being the most important temple city, it is also an important cultural and commercial centre. The ancient city of Madurai was an important seat of Tamil Madurai  Travel Guide Indialearning and even today it happens to lead the state where Tamil language is still spoken in its purest form. The ancient structure of the city was planned in the shape of a lotus. Kulasekhara is known to have built the city in a lotus shape by first clearing the forest for the purpose. The legend has it that the day this new city was to be christened by the Pandian monarch, Lord Shiva appeared to bless the people. The nectar (celestial honey) is said to have flowed from the matted locks of Shiva, so it was appropriate to call the city 'Madhurapuri' and later it came to be known as Madurai.

The Pandyas, great patrons of Tamil learning, art and architecture helped flourish the 2000 years old Tamil academies. The subsequent rulers like the Nayaks not only helped to preserve the work of earlier kingdoms but ensured enrichment of the traditions. Modern Madurai is a burgeoning industrial centre.

Places of Interest: Meenakshi Temple, Koodal Alagar Temple, Tirumalai Nayak Palace, Mariamman Tank, Government Museum and Gandhi Museum.

Tiruchirapalli Tourism (Trichy Tourism)
Situated on the banks of river Cauvery, Tiruchirapalli (Trichy) is the fourth largest city in the state. Once a citadel of the early Cholas, reigns of the city were wrested by Pallavas later. But the Pallavas lost control of this strategic city to the Pandyas several times. The Pallavas and Pandyas Tiruchirapalli Travel Guide Indiacontinued their struggle for power until end of 10th century when the Cholas assumed the reigns until once again.

The long rule of this empire collapsed in 1565, and Trichy came under the various dynastic rules of the Nayaks of Madurai, the Marathas, the Nawabs of Carnatic, the French and finally the British. But the city of Trichy saw the best progress and prosperity in all aspects of city life under the Nayaks of Madurai and grew in stature that it is today. The city built around the Rock Fort is a fine blend of the traditions and modern way of coexisting with all religions. Today there are several churches, missions, and colleges with foundation in 18 th Century. Trichy is a flat land but for the only and most famous landmark in the form of an 83m high rock. The most amazing fact to note about the rock is that it is considered to be one of the oldest in the world-approximately 3,800 years. Its formation period is compared with the rocks of Greenland and surprisingly even older than the Himalayas. Ucchi Pillayar Koil is a temple dedicated to Lord Vinayaka atop the rock that gives a panoramic setting to the town of Trichy. Also situated atop is Mathrubutheswarar or Thayumanaswami temple dedicated to Lord Siva where the lingam is a projection of the rock itself.

Places of Interest:
Rock Fort, Sri Jambukeshwara Temple, Museums & Art Galleries, Tiruvanaikkaval, and Srirangam.

The other major tourist places in Tamil Nadu :

Annamalai Wildlife Sanctuary Tourism is situated in the hilly terrains and boasts of various kinds of animals like Elephant, Tiger, Panther, Gaur, Wild Bear, Wild Dog, Sloth Bear, Deer, Porcupine, and Flying Squirrel and also houses a large number of crocodiles.

Auroville Tourism is an International Utopian city being built near Pondicherry where young men and women from 124 countries and various Indian states placed handfuls of earth from their homelands in an urn. The act symbolises the creation of a city dedicated to peace and international understanding.

Nataraja TempleChidambaram Tourism is famous for its many temples and Tamil culture. The Nataraja Temple roof is covered with gold plates; air, one of the five elements of the universe, is the presiding deity called as "Akasa Lingam". Eastern and Western side walls of the tower have 108 Bharatnatyam gestures engraved on it. The Sivakamiamman Temple: The Sivaganga tank and a hall with thousand pillars are important features of the temple. The Kali Temple: The Thillaikaliamman temple was between 1229 AD and 1278 AD. Annamalai University: A residential University, it is a great centre of Tamil learning and Carnatic music, besides Engineering and other disciplines.

Coimbatore Tourism : Second largest city and leading industrial centre, Coimbatore is known as the "Manchester of South India" with obvious reference to the chief commodity being textiles. Agriculture University here is one of the best in South Asia; Glass Forest Museum ; Perur Siva Temple; Marudhamalai Temple dedicated to Lord Subramanya is most visited temple here; Velliangiri Hills with a Siva Temple perched atop.

Coonoor Tourism : The serene and picturesque hill two of Coonoor lies in the arms of the Nilgiri Hills where it is surrounded by is a small tea garden with a profusion of variety of flowers in its Botanical garden . Coonoor provides picturesque hill resort tourism . The rich flora and fauna has attracted since long the nature lovers, adventure seekers, holidaymakers, and even many movie makers. At Coonoor opportunities for indulging adventure sports like trekking and hiking are enjoyable activities.

Covelong Tourism : The beautiful and god gifted Covelong Beach on the Coromandel coastline is home to a plethora of water sports and other outdoor engagements like wind surfing and swimming, with beach resorts to relax.

Gingee Fort Gingee Tourism : The Chola Dynasty built the Gingee Fort in the 13 th Century. It is often referred to as the "Troy of the East"; the 15 th Century Vekataramana Temple is the largest temple in Gingee; Gingee is also considered a good picnic spot.

Hogenakal Tourism : It means smoky rocks, as the area is s urrounded by hills at various heights. The descent of the river Cauveri at Hogenakkal creates a panoramic waterfall . The water spreads for miles around. Freshly cooked fish caught from the river is the enjoyable delicacy available here.

Kanchipuram Tourism : It is one of India's seven sacred cities and pilgrimage centre famous for being called a city of 1000 temples. As of today, nearly 126 temples are there in better shape, while the rest have all been lost form due to vagaries of time. Kanchipuram still has magnificent temples of unique architectural. The eloquent beauty and architecture is testimony to its glorious Dravidian heritage. The saint Adi Sankara established his episcopal seat (Kamakotipeetam). Kanchi continues to produce the best of handloom silk sarees by the handful families of traditional weavers that are left.

Places of Interest: Kailashnath Temple, Shri Vaikuntaperumal Temple, Shri Varadaraja Temple, Ekambareshwara Temple and Shri Kamakashi Temple.

Kanyakumari Tourism (Cape Comorin) : It has all the ingredients of tourism at one place, like temples, rock memorial, beach, sunrise, sunset, moonrise, and Land's end over the waters. Since Kanyakumari is situated at such a point in the southernmost point of peninsular India, it provides scenic meeting point of three oceans - the Bay of Bengal, the Indian Ocean, and the Arabian Sea.

Places of Interest include pilgrimage centre of Kanyakumari Temple (where only Hindus are allowed inside the inner sanctum), Gandhi Memorial, Vivekananda Memorial, and Sunrise-Sunset-Moonrise point.

Padmanabham Tourism : It is famous as being the ancient capital of the erstwhile rulers, where a palace, museum, and temples have the old world charm.

Pulicat Tourism Cholamandal Tourism : It is an artists' colony, located about 18km south of Chennai. One can see a gallery of fine contemporary paintings and sculptures, and also can buy the work of art including batiks and graphics from the showrooms.

Pulicat Tourism : The confluence of Backwaters formed by a shallow water spread. Bird watching, Catamaran ride, and other anticipated beach activities. Pulicat Lake and Buckingham Canal on the northern end provide ideal picnic spots.

Suchindram Tourism : The temple here is dedicated to the Trinity of Indian mythology - Lord Shiva, Lord Vishnu and Lord Brahma. Musical pillars and a huge 18-ft high exquisite sculpture in Hanuman temple are proof of the artistic skill of the 9th Century A.D. artisans.

Kodaikanal Tourism : Hill resort, solar physics laboratory, museum, orchidarium, lake, Kurinji flower which blossoms once in 12 years. Kodaikanal, a charming hill station, stands amidst sylvan beauty on the southern crest of the upper Palani Hills near Madurai in Tamil Nadu. But, it has the distinction of being the only hill station in India to be set up by American missionaries while India was under the British rule.

Places Of Interest:
Kodaikanal Lake, Coaker's Walk, Astrophysical Observatory, Fairy Falls, Kurinji Andavar Temple, Shenbaganur Museum, Pillar Rocks, Green Valley View.

Point Colimere Tourism : Set amongst tidal swamps, evergreen forests and mangroves with a spread of 17.26 Sq Kms in Thanjavur district, this wildlife sanctuary is home to Black Bucks and Flamingos, the chital and wild boar, with the dolphins and turtles that often come quite close to the shore. Boating can also be enjoyed here.

Kotagiri Tourism : Situated just 16 Kms from Ooty in the Nilgiri Hills, the spectacular and enchanting 1950 m high Kotagiri hill stations find favour with tourists for its breathtaking scenic beauty. The Catherine Falls generate musical echo in the valley of tea plantations. It once served as the summer resort for the British. A golf course adds to the playful moods for holidaymakers.
Mudumalai Wildlife Sanctuary
Thiruvanmiyur Tourism : Situated beyond Elliot's beach, the place is designated as Kalakshetra or 'Temple of Art', founded in 1936 by Rukmini Devi Arundale to encourage, revive interest, and to impart training in Bharatnatyam, the classical dance form of the state. Textile designing and handloom weaving is another vocational learning at the academy.

Mudumalai Tourism : Spread in 321 sq. Kms area and situated in deciduous forests of Nilgiri Hills just about 65 Kms from Ooty, Mudumalai Wildlife Sanctuary is one of the finest that boasts of riot of flora and fauna and is home to Elephant, dhole pather, tiger, chital, sloth bear, Python, barking deer, common langur, Otter, four-horned antelope, gaur, sambar, crocodiles and a variety of birds and reptiles.

Mandanthurai Tourism :
Mandanthurai Wildlife Sanctuary
or Guindy National Park is a Tiger sanctuary, situated on the outskirts of Chennai. It is one of the best picnic spots for entire family to find in the protected over 14 types of mammals like Elephant, Jungle Cat, Toddy Cat, Indian civet, rare Indian Antelope the �Black Buck', Spotted Deer, etc.; nearly 40 varieties of birds, like the Flycatcher, King Fisher, Blue Jay, Barkets, Parakeets, Grey Partridge, Tailor Birds, Golden Backed Woodpecker, etc., also amphibians and snakes; and it is equally interesting for botanical interests offering 14 varieties of shrubs and 24 varieties of trees like Feronia Limonia, Atlanta Monoplylla, Amona Squamosa, Azadirachta India, etc. to mention a few.

Nagore Tourism : Nagore dargah of Meeran Sahib Abdul Qadir Shahul Hamid Badshah is a pilgrimage centre not only for Muslims but all faiths, where an annual fair �Urs' is held. The Nagore town is situated in Nagapattinam district of Tamil Nadu on the cost of Bay of Bengal, not far from Nagore Beach.

Pichavaram Tourism: Pichavaram is situated at a distance of approx 16 Kms from Chidambaram and 75 Kms from Pondicherry. It offers unmatched rank and abundance of the most exquisite scenic spots with a variety of tourism activities. Pichavaram is a group of islands interspersed with vast expanse of water and possibly healthiest mangrove forests in the world. The beach and backwaters activities like boating are most enjoyable almost throughout the year.

Poompuhar Tourism Poompuhar Tourism : Once an ancient port and capital town of Cholas, the place has great historical importance and esteem. Poompuhar is situated at the estuary of River Kaveri. Puhar in Tamil means the estuary of river in the sea. Poompuhar, also known as Kaveripoompattinam, falls in the Sirkali Taluk of Nagapattinam district . This port town of Kaveripoompattinam is cited and finds mention on the temple inscriptions. In ancient literature, it has been referred to by the name of Cholapattinam, Kaberia, Palarpukar Moothur, Kaganthi, Sampapathi, Mannagathu Vanpathi, and Kolapattinam.  A fine beach and calm water offer enjoyably relaxed sea bathing.

Pudukottai Tourism : The historical importance is judged from the fact that The Cholas, Pallavas, Pandyas, Vijayanagar, Nayaks, Hoysalas, Thondaiman, Irukkuvelirs, Mutharaiyars rulers, have ruled over the region. The indelible mark has been left in the form of beautiful temples and palace using Indo-Saracenic-Dravidian architecture. A visit to museum here provides more details. The places of interest in the vicinity include Avur is famous for the beautiful church by Father Joseph Beschi, locally known as Veeramamunivar, where Easter festival attracts Christians and others alike . Periyanayaki is the local name for Mother May; Kunnandar Koil where there is a rock-cut cave temple; at the foot of the hill; t he 17 th Century built Kattubhava Pallivasal Dargah is famous point where obeisance is paid by all at the tomb of Bhava Fakuriddin Aulia; Kodumbalur is a place of archaeological importance for its temple architecture, monuments, and sculptures.

Rameshwaram Tourism : It is situated at the extreme south-eastern limit of the India peninsula off the mainland surrounded by Palk Strait and the Gulf of Mannar connected by longest ever constructed bridge on sea in India. Rameshwaram the island town is one of the four most sacred Hindu pilgrimage centres of India. The temple and place is associated with Sri Rama. The Hindus are generally classified into Vaishnavites (worshippers of Vishnu) and Shaivites (worshippers of Shiva). But Rameshwaram is one major and holiest of pilgrimage sites for Vaishnavites and Shaivites both. As per a legend in the epic Ramayana, Rama, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu worshipped Lord Shiva here seeking permission before crossing the mighty ocean. One of the finest examples of the south India temple architecture, the temple with one thousand pillared Mandapam is about 1220 metres in length. The Places of Interest include Shri Ramnathswamy Temple, Agnitheertham, Gandhamadhana Parvadham, Kothandaramaswamy Temple, etc.

Brihadeeswara Temple  ThanjavurThanjavur Tourism : Also known as Tanjore , where the world famous Brihadeeswara temple built by Raja Chola in the early Dravidian style, is situated here. This is one of the royal cities of south India with a rich and varied heritage for which it is known across the globe. Thanjavur is called the rice bowl of Tamil Nadu and rightly so is the granary of South India. So many other items of tourism include Frescoes, palaces, Schwarz Churches, temple museums, art gallery, and handicrafts.

Kumbakonam Tourism : This place is famous for being very important Pilgrimage centre, with a number of temples of different gods and goddesses and bathing tank for those visiting here for penance; there are sixteen Mandapams around the tank in the name of deities that include Brahmatheerthesar, Umaipakesar, Nairuthesar, Brahmeesar, Gangatheerthesar, Mukunthar, Thalesar, Rishakesar, and Seshtra Paleesar. Besides, it is also believed that this tank consists of 19 Holy Theerthams. The local handicrafts items available are worth considering for buying.

Srirangam Tourism : A River Island and unique temple town, Srirangam is a major Hindu pilgrimage centre in south India temple tour package. Generally an excursion is taken from Trichy to cover these places. One can visit to admire beautiful sculptures and a thousand pillars hall within the temple. Situated at a distance of 7 kms from Trichy, the Sri Ranganathaswami temple at Srirangam is considered to be the largest in India. It is said to be the dwelling of the Supreme Lord Sri Ranganatha, the reclining form of Lord Vishnu. Situated 2 Kms east of Srirangam, there is a beautiful Shiva temple called Tiruvanaikkaval or Jambukeswara Temple having an excellent architectural design.

Tirunelveli Tourism : The small town of Tirunelveli is situated on the banks of river Tambraparani. It was once the capital of the Pandyas some 2000 years ago into the history. There are twin temples of Kanthimathi-Nellaiappar dedicated to Parvati and Shiva respectively. This temple also has one thousand pillared hall with exquisite sculptures. The unique feature of the temple is that when you strike at pillars, each one produces different musical notes. An excursion of 13 Kms from here takes you to Krishnapuram temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu where you find beautiful life-size sculptures carved with great intricacy. Local handicrafts are worth considering. Other places include Sankaran Koil where the Chariot festival is held; Kutrallam where there is �Spa of the south" which is not only a tourist spot but also a health resort too, as the waterfall picks up medicinal properties while passing through forests of herbs. Thus, the water has therapeutic qualities to cure physical ailments; Papanasam; Thiruchendur; Manappad Church; Mundanthurai Wildlife Sanctuary; Kalyanatheertham; Panartheertham; Agasthiyar Temple and Falls; Kalakadu Wildlife Sanctuary; Kunthakulam Bird Sanctuary; Krishnapuram; Murugan temples; Holy trinity Cathedral; Kanthimathi Nellaiyappar Temple; and much more.

Karthigai Deepam Festival TiruvannamalaiTiruvannamalai Tourism : It is one of the greatest Saivite shrine pilgrimage centers of Tamilnadu, drawing thousands of pilgrims every full moon. The 4 gopura entrances offer a formidable look to this vast temple complex. Legend  here goes that Shiva assumed the form of a huge column of fire, whose origins Brahma and Vishnu failed to trace. It is the strong belief of the devotees that god can be worshipped in the form of light or Flame. The Karthigai Deepam festival is an important event here. A big flame is lit atop the Thiruvannamalai hill considering it to be a manifestation of Shiva, when a huge crowd of devotees aspiring for spiritual solace and solitude congregate here. Kartikai Deepam festival here is of great significance. Tiruvannamalai is one of the Panchabhoota Stalams signifying the 5 elements of fire ( Tiruvannamalai ), earth ( Kanchipuram ), wind ( Kalahasti ), water ( Tiruvanaikka ), and space ( Chidambaram ). Thiruvannamalai has become an international center of study in spiritualism, at Sri Raman Maharishi Ashram.

Ootacamund Tourism
: Situated in the Nilgiris at an altitude of 2240 metres, Udhagamandalam is considered the queen of the hill stations of South India. Tourism in Ooty is noted for its extraordinary scenic beauty and salubrious climate amidst the "Nilgiris" or "Blue Mountains". One can see many profiles of nature, each with a distinctive grandeur.

Places of Interest:
Valley View Lake, Botanical Gardens, Wilson Fish Farm, Marlimund Lake, Wenlock Downs, Tiger Hill, Dodabetta Peak, , Kalahasti Falls, Snowdon, Glen Morgen, St. Stephen Church, Avalanche, Elk Hill.

Excursions: Mudumalai Wildlife Sanctuary, Bandipur Wildlife Sanctuary, Coonoor, Wellingtion, Kotagiri.

Vendanthangal Tourism :
Vendanthangal Bird Sanctuary
is one of the oldest and largest bird sanctuaries in India. Almost 100,000 migrating birds come from near and far-off lands like Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Siberia, and Australia. The varieties of birds include Herons, Pelicans, Sandpipers, Shovellers, Pintails, Stilts, White Ibis, Cormorants, and Blue winged teals, Swans, Darters, and Spoonbills. A big credit goes to the local villagers in protecting the winged visitors to this sanctuary, and having helped in recording 115 species of birds.

Vellore Tourism : Vellore of today is pulsating with activities as an administrative, educational, commercial, and medical centre, while in ancient times it was the seat of the Cholas, Pallavas, and Nayaks, Maratha, Bijapur Sultan kingdoms and Arcot Nawab. The 13 th Century Vellore Fort is the main attraction for tourists for its ramparts made of massive granite blocks, turrets, posts, basements, and gates with its perennial water supply. The fort also has a Church, Mosque, Temple and many building that have now been converted as public Offices. Vellore has the renowned Christian Medical College and Hospital where the advanced medical treatment is available to local as well as overseas patients. Jalagandeeswarar Temple  inside the fort and is dedicated to Jalagandeeswar. The temple is noted for exquisite craftsmanship in its sculptures. It also has a big wedding hall adorned with elegant reliefs and monolithic sculptures. It is interesting to make a visit to the Government Museum.

Yercaud HillsYercaud Tourism : Situated at a height of about 1500 m above sea level in the Shevaroy Hills, Yercaud is calm, quiet and full of natural charms. Yercaud is called the �Poor man's Ooty' for all that it offers is affordable. The pleasant cool climate heightens the scenic beauties and panoramic views the Yercaud Hills has to offer. On the way to Yercaud you pass by the coffee plantations and orange groves. One of the main attractions of Yercaud is the Big Lake where boating is available. Other famous tourist destinations here include Shevaroy temple dedicated to local deity, Killiyur Falls, Pagoda Point, and Botanical Gardens.

Chettinad Tourism: It is the land of cultural heritage, devotion, art & architecture that enchants and enhances the soul. Chettinad is a tourist's paradise with a difference, as the temples and palatial mansions make it a place of rare charm, and a must visit destination. It is only here that one finds the grandly and wonderfully embellished houses, reflecting the prosperity of the Nagarathar business community. The architectural structure of a typical Chettiar home with high ceilings, airy and well ventilated is a study in how a human dwelling can be constructed in harmony with nature. For the lover of arts & crafts there is a variety of Wood carving, gold jewellery, hand-made tiles, architectural styles, silver embellishment, woven saris, palm-leaf baskets with intricate designs, and refined cuisine, vegetarian and non-vegetarian, for the gourmet are amongst the more visible contributions to the wide-ranging repertoire of Indian arts and crafts.

The sightseeing places include
1. Chettinad Houses
Athangudi, KaraiKudi, Kothamangalam, and Pallathur have the most lavish houses in the Chettinad.
2. Chettinad Palace
at Kanadukathan built in 1912.
3. Koviloor
for an a ncient Shiva Temple.
4. Kundrakudi
for the Arulmiga Perumal Temple.
5. Pillaiyarpatti for the Karpaga Vinayagar Temple.

Theni WaterfallsTheni Tourism: Theni offers the tourist attractions such as waterfalls, captivating dams, and countless pilgrim centres. The rustic ambience and hospitality of local people delights and warms up the soul making this destination worth for tourists. The distinguishing features of tourism in Theni include silver-lined clouds resting atop green hilltops, sheer rock faces, resounding cascades, and temples of antiquity.

Tiruttani Tourism: As per the legend, Tiruttani is one of the six abodes of Lord Subramanya. The temple is located atop the hill. There are 365 steps to be climbed to reach the temple symbolising the 365 days of the year. The ancient scriptures associate the temple with anecdote that the Lord had married one of his consorts, named Valli, at the place. The celebrations of Karthigai festival in December every year is a big event here.

Palani Tourism: Located 105 Kms from Coimbatore, the temple on the Palani Hills is abode of Lord Muruga. The presiding deity is Dandayuthapani. The interesting feature of the temple is that the idol is made of medicinal herbs. The place is considered to be one of the six abodes of Lord Muruga. The Palani temple is one of the major pilgrim centers in South India. It is next only to Thirupathi. The advancement in technology has brought an electrically operated winch to carry pilgrims to the top.

Thuthukudi Tourism:
Thuthukudi is the recent name of Tuticorin . It lies in the extreme south of Tamil Nadu. This port city has a natural harbour. The place is known for pearl fishing and production of salt, besides bulk carriers calling on the port. Thuthukudi make available many folk art and handicrafts. There are calm, sunny beaches around besides many significant historical and religious places that include Thiruchendur, Kulasekarapattinam, Puliyampatti, Deviaseyalpuram, Manappad, Kazhugumalai, Ottapaitapitram, Panchalankuruchi, Navathiruppathi, Korkai, Ettayapuram, and Kayalpattinam.

Pondicherry Tourism:
A French colony up to 1954, Pondicherry is a living monument of French Culture in India. The Aurobindo Ashram and 'Auroville' the international township are famous all over the world.

Places of Interest:
The Promenade, Sri Aurobindo Ashram, French Institute, Botanical Gardens, Eglise De Sacre Coeur De Jesus, Manakula Vinayagar Temple, Roman Rolland Library, Museums & Art Galleries and Government Park.

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