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Tamil Nadu is one of the 28 states of India. Its capital is Chennai, the largest city. Tamil Nadu lies in the southernmost part of the Indian Peninsula and is bordered by the union territory of Pondicherry, and the states of Kerala, Karnataka, and Andhra Pradesh. It is bound by the Eastern Ghats in the north, the Nilgiri, the Anamalai Hills, and Palakkad on the west, by the Bay of Bengal in the east, the Gulf of Mannar, the Palk Strait in the south east, and by the Indian Ocean in the south.

Tamil Nadu is the eleventh largest state in India by area and the seventh most populous state. It is the second largest state economy in India as of 2012, after overtaking Uttar Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh in the two years since 2010 when it was the fourth largest contributer to India's GDP. The state ranked among the top 5 states in India in Human Development Index as of 2006.Tamil Nadu is also the most urbanised state in India.The state has the highest number (10.56%) of business enterprises and stands second in total employment (9.97%) in India,[8] compared to the population share of about 6%.

Places to Visit in Chennai

Tourist expenditure generates multiple effects with extensive outreach along its value chain. Adding to the demand for a variety of goods and services, tourism offers potential to exploit synergies across a large number of sectors such as agriculture, horticulture, poultry, handicrafts, transport, construction ? the sectors, where growth of income has favourable impact on poverty alleviation.

Tamil Nadu is a State with several distinguished tourism genre. It has cerulean mountains, verdant vegetations, sandy beaches, mammoth monuments, timeless temples, fabulous wildlife, scintillating sculptures and reverberating rural life. It has picturesque spots, continuing heritage, cultural confluence and aesthetic magnificence.

Chidambaram is one of the most ancient and most celebrated of shrines in India. It is of great religious as well as historic and cultural significance. Chidambaram is associated with Nataraja, or Shiva in his Ananda Tandava pose (the Cosmic Dance of bliss) in the cosmic golden hall and the hall of consciousness (Chit Sabha). Shiva is also worshipped in the "formless form" of the Chidambara Rahasyam, while the temple is known for its Akasa Lingam, an embodiment of Shiva as the formless Space. The word "Koyil" or temple in the Tamil Saivite tradition refers to none other than the Chidambaram Nataraja temple.

The Chidambaram Natarajar temple is a specimen of the assimilation of several architectural styles. The innermost sanctum of the temple, houses the grand images of Shiva (Nataraja) and Parvati (Sivakami) in the ChitSabha or the hall of consciousness, adjoining which is the KanakaSabha or the Golden Hall, both these structures resting on a raised platform. The innermost prakaram surrounds this holiest of shrines, and to the South West of Nataraja, is the shrine of Govindaraja Perumaal facing the East.

Hogenakkal Waterfalls, known as the 'Niagara' falls of India, are not a single waterfall but a series of falls and they offer a promising holiday destination for nature lovers from within and outside the country.

Hogenakkal is considered as one of the most beautiful places in the state. The broad stream of the River Kaveri gets forked at this point, forming an island from where one stream continues on while the other plunges into a deep chasm to create one of the loveliest waterfalls, giving these rocks the name Hogenakkal which means "smoking rock".

This riverside spa is famous for coracles, masseurs and roaring waters. The sound of the Kaveri river, roaring between rocky banks, is a constant presence in most places in Hogenakkal. At Hogenakkal, the Kaveri river enters the plains and the river dashing against the rocks is a great sight.

Another attraction is the diving skills of local kids, who can show their diving skills for a fee. They can dive for you from a height of around 30 feet into the water and climb straight up back on the rocks in no time, all for mere Rs 5/- from the spectator.

One can try getting a massage from the famed Hogenakkal masseurs. The local malishkarans or the mystic masseurs are armed with oils, powders and esoteric knowledge about the different massage points in the human body. There are also a few women masseurs. The massage offered here is a nice experience for the visitors.

Kanchipuram is one of the holiest cities in India, and is only 72 km from Chennai in Tamil Nadu. It is a city with more than 1000 temples, is sacred to both the Saivites and Vaishnavites. Kanchipuram and was a city of learning for both Tamil and Sanskrit. It was during the reign of Pallava dynasty, from the 4th to the 9th centuries that Kanchipuram attained its limelight. The city served as the Pallava capital, and many of the known temples were built during their reign. Kalidasa a Sanskrit poet who lived around 4th-5th century extolled the virtues of the city in one of his verses. Kanchipuram today is also the center for the Kanchi Mutt, a religious institution that became influential and famous under the leadership of Shri Chandrashekarendra Saraswati. Apart from its temples, this small town is also known for its thriving hand loom industry. The main profession of the people living in and around is weaving silk sarees, more than 5,000 families are engaged in this industry. The silk weavers of Kanchi settled more than 400 years ago and have given it an enviable reputation as the producer of the best silk sarees in the country. Woven from pure mulberry silk the sarees have an enviable reputation for texture, lustre, durability and finish.

Kamakshi Amman temple is one of the main temples in the city and dedicated to goddess Kamakshi, the Goddess of love. It is one of the three Shakti peetams along with Madurai and Kashi. All the other temples in Kanchipuram do not face East but actually face this temple. Also in this city with so many temples it is strange that there are no other temples with a shrine for Goddess Durga. This temple is tied very closely to Adi Sankaracharya and a lot of the festivals here are begun with his blessings. Foreigners are not allowed into the inner sanctum of the temple as with all the temples in Kanchipuram.

Kailasnatha temple is an early structural Shiva temple built of sandstone in Kanchipuram, India, by a Pallava dynasty king Narasimhavarman II also known as Rajasimha in the early 8th century. It is decorated with Yallis or fierce monsters. The stone gets very hot in the sun so make sure you visit this architectural wonder in the early morning. It is protected by the ASI.

This is the first Durga Temple created by Lord Parasurama and is also one among the 108 Shakthi Peethas in the world. Kanyakumari Devi Temple is situated in Tamil Nadu. Kanyakumari is a cape at the southernmost tip of the Indian peninsula. During British rule, it was known as Cape Comorin. The closest major cities are Nagercoil, the capital of Kanyakumari district(22kms) and Thiruvananthapuram, the capital of Kerala(85 kms).Kanyakumari got its name from the Kumari Amman or the Kanyakumari Temple situated at the shore on the confluence of the Bay of Bengal, Indian Ocean and the Arabian Sea. Devi Kanya Kumari, that is, the virgin goddess, is an aspect of Parvathy. She is known by several other names, including Kanya Devi, Devi Kumari, and Kumari Amman.

The Kanyakumari temple has been mentioned in the Ramayana, Mahabharata, and the Sangam works Manimekalai and Puranaanooru. The name Kanyakumari stands for Kanya(Virgin) and Kumari(girl).

Kodaikanal, the Princess of Hill Stations is located in Dindugal District of Tamilnadu. It is one of the most famous hill stations in South India. Located on the southern tip of the Palani Hills Kodaikanal is 120 km northwest of Madurai, in Tamil NaduFavourite among the Honeymooners, this charming place is one of the most visited tourist destination which offers its visitors boat rides, nature walks, hiking, trekking and rock-climbing.

The Kodai Lake is a perfect picnic spot for those on a Kodaikanal tour. One can also take a boat ride in order to realize the natural beauty of the place to the fullest. Though customary and very common, a stroll down the Coaker's Walk never seems to become old and stale. One of the biggest attraction of a Kodaikanal tour, one can enjoy some of the breath taking views from the Coaker's Walk.

The Green Valley view is a must visit while on a Kodaikanal tour. The Bear Shoal Falls is located at about a distance of 2 Kilometers from the city center of Kodaikanal. The Silver Cascade is one of the most popular spots of a Kodaikanal tour and it is located just 7 Kilometers away from the town.

Places to see in Kodaikanal include Kodai Lake, Shenbaganur Museum, Coaker's Walk, Berijam Lake, Dolphin's nose, Boat Club, Telescope Houses, Silver Cascade, Pillar Rocks, Bryant Park, Kurinji Andavar Temple, Bear Shola Falls

Once the capital city of Pandyas, Madurai is today the second largest city in Tamil Nadu. It is famous for the Meenakshi Temple with its towering gopurams and rare sculptures. The city is said to have got its name from the drops of nectar (Mathuram) that fell from Shiva's locks when he came to bless its people for constructing a temple for him. Originally named Madhurapuri or the 'land of nectar', the name later got modified as Madurai.

Madurai lies on the banks of the river Vaigai. The temple and the old city are on the banks, while modern Madurai with its textile mills, engineering industries and large university sprawls around.

Ooty, the queen of the hill stations of South India, is situated in the Nilgiri district. Udhagamandalam is the headquarters of the Nilgiri's district where the two ghats converge. The height of the hills in the Nilgiri range varies between 2280 and 2290 metres, the highest peak being Doddabetta at a height of 2623 metres. Nilgiris means "Blue Mountains". Nature has been bounteous with this region which is indeed the most beautiful in the region. The establishment of numerous tea estates made Ooty famous. Apart from coffee and tea plantations, trees like conifers, eucalyptus, pine and wattle embrace the hillside in Udhagamandalam and its environs. The annual Tea and Tourism Festival attracts crowds in huge numbers. A summer festival is held each year during the month of May in the Botanical Gardens. The Flower Show is the pride of the festival. Cultural programmes are organised for those interested in traditional classical arts. During summer festival Boat races, Boat pageantry, dog show etc., add more festivity to the celebration.

Summer temperature is rarely higher than 25°c with a minimum of 10°c and winter is are distinctly cooler with a high of 21°c and a low 5°c. The climate of Ooty is pleasant throughout the year. The best time to visit is between February to May and September to November.

Rameshwaram Temple is situated in the island of Rameswaram, off the Sethu coast of Tamil Nadu and is reached via the Pamban Bridge across the sea. The huge temple is known for its long ornate corridors, towers and 36 theerthams.

Rameshwaram Jyotirlinga represents the southernmost of the 12 Jyotirlingams of India and has been a time honored pilgrimage center held on par with Banaras. Rameshwaram Temple Jyotirlinga is associated closely with the Ramayana and Rama's victorious return from Sri Lanka.

Called "Gowri Vilasam", the palace situated in the heart of Sivaganga about 40 km from Madurai, was the seat of many Marava kings. Now,only the dilapidated portions of the palace remain. Built in the architectural style of Thirumalai Nayak's period and infused with Rajputana arts, which the remains are mute witness to, the palace is said to have been ignored during the period of Rajah Doraisingh Thevar (1898-1941). Citing "bad luck" as the reason, he abandoned this palace to occupy another palace called "European Bungalow" on the Madurai Road. This led to the neglect of the palace and its plundering, mainly by the British.The worst damage is said to have been done during the period of late Vijayaraja Karthik, who sold most of the properties, antiques and wooden carving.

South of the temple is a huge hall supported with numerous pillars. All the functions of the royal household are said to have taken place there. But now the hall remains locked. In the front façade of the palace lies a palanquin in a dilapidated condition.

Sripuram, the spiritual oasis stands as a testimony to the creative manifestation of Sri Sakthi Amma’s divine vision, enabling humankind to tread the path of Dharma (righteousness), by understanding and transforming oneself, in the most difficult period of Kaliyuga.

The Golden temple is situated in a lush green landscape of 100 acres, with beautiful flora and water bodies, that create delight for everyone. The Golden Temple in South India is dedicated to humankind and all religions of the world, wherein everyone can experience the divine energy and transformation by walking through the 1.8 KM starpath, laid with profound messages of truth and righteousness.

Our devotion is always related to the attainment of material pleasures and fulfillment of one’s personal needs. Amma has created Sripuram, Spiritual Oasis with the aim to infuse wisdom through materialism. Sripuram, a unique South Indian temple situated in Vellore district of Tamil Nadu, India is completely covered with gold, created in vedic style of temple architecture, with intricate details of art and culture, hand engraved by hundreds of artisans, tirelessly creating this wonderful masterpiece in a record time span of 7 years.

It is being told that “Sri Sakthi Amma was born on the auspicious Saturday of 3rd January 1976, to the holy couple Shri. Nanda Gopal and Smt. Jyothiamma in Satvachari, Vellore district of Tamil Nadu. The special baby was born with a divine light on the forehead, and with the divine symbols of Shanka and Chakra on either side of the chest. From a very early age, the child began showing great interest in spiritualism, and often performed miracles, bringing joy and solace to hundreds & thousands of people”

Vivekananda Rock Memorial is built on the legendary Vivekanad Rock that juts out of the convergence of the Indian Ocean, the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal. About 400 mts offshore the two rocky islands became the seat of enlightenment for Swami Vivekanand, an Indian philosopher and social reformer. It is believed that in the year 1892, Swami Vivekanand swam across the sea and meditated on this isolated rock island, imparting the spiritual charisma to him.

Kanyakumari is famous all across the world for Vivekanand rock that houses a memorial dedicated to Swami Vivekanand. The memorial has two structures in its precincts - Vivekananda Mandapam and Sripada Mandapam on two rocks facing each other. The smaller rock called 'Sripada Parai' is revered as a sacred spot where Goddess Kanya Kumari did meditation. The rock has an impression of a human footprint, which is revered to be that of Goddess Kanya Kumari.

Vivekananda Mandapam is thronged by tourists from across the world and all those who seek mystical enlightenment come to meditate here. It has a Meditation Hall called Dhyan Mandapam where one can meditate in peace. In the Assembly Hall or Sabha Mandapam there is a statue of Swami Vivekanand. The design of mandapam has different styles of temple architectures of India, instilling a complete Indian essence within itself.


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