Beguiling Tamil Nadu is the heartland of Southern India with its ragged coastlines, forested mountains and crumbling Dravidian architecture. Temples, tradition and elusive tigers add to the allure of the land of the Tamil people. Here dynasties have risen and fallen and left a legacy of UNESCO World Heritage sites and fascinating living museums.
Tamil Nadu has had more than 2000 years of continuous cultural history. The signs of past empires and glory of bygone eras are evident in the temple compounds; cathedrals, mosques, ports and ornate palaces.
A centre for art and culture, the state still practices many of the ancient arts such as Bharatanatyam dance, Carnatic music, Tanjore painting and the centuries-old tradition of rock carvings.
Tamils are an animated and interesting people with culture as their lifeblood, evidenced by the large number of folk dances performed for every possible occasion. Tamil Nadu is a destination for tourists and pilgrims alike with some of the most remarkable temple architecture in the country: holy sites like Kanchipuram, Chidambaram, Kumbakonam, Trichy (Tiruchirappalli), Thanjavur (Tanjore), Madurai, Kanyakumari and Rameswaram, to name a few.
In addition to its rich culture, Tamil Nadu is renowned for its temple towns and heritage sites, waterfalls, wildlife reserves, spicy cuisine, excellent coffee, hill stations and scenic beauty.
A variety of traditional music and dance | Using your hands to eat a traditional Tamil lunch served in banana leaf | Browsing sarees and batiks at local tailors
Tamil Nadu is also home to the Tamil film industry, called ‘Kollywood’, India’s second largest after Bollywood