Wild about Tamil Nadu

Tamil Nadu is the land of the Tamils and it has a history that dates back to several thousand years. It is a land where traditions and culture blend and continue to live in harmony. The state abounds in monuments and temples that are ancient and each has its own story of religious, artistic and cultural accomplishment and specialty waiting to be heard.

In Tamil Nadu, it is possible to find the best of Dravidian temple architecture. This style of architecture, which is thousands of years old, consists primarily of pyramid shaped temples which are dependent on intricate carved stone in order to create a step design consisting of numerous statues of deities, warriors, kings, and dancers. If you really like your temples then plan to visit the Brihadeeswara Temple in Thanjavur, the Shore Temple of Mahabalipuram, also Chidambaram Natarajar Temple in Chidambaram, the Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple in Srirangam and Madurai Meenakshi Amman Temple in Madurai, because they resemble ancient sky scrapers with their soaring gopurams (intricately carved pyramids) and these are considered to be among the grandest temples of Tamil Nadu.

Located on the extreme south of the Indian peninsular, Tamil Nadu has a long coastline that stretches nearly a 1000 kms.  It is a land where the three seas: Indian Ocean, Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal meet. The Coromandel Coast, along the Bay of Bengal, boasts of many ideal locations for sun and surf. By exploring the coastline you will come across golden sands on beaches that are dotted with coconut palm and Casuarina groves. The sea washes ashore pebbles and shells and the gentle breeze sways the yachts and catamarans into the deeper waters of the sea and the waters form small dunes on the shore.

The state of Tamil Nadu also has a number of hill stations and wildlife sanctuaries, which have great tourist appeal. Kodaikanal, Ooty and Coonoor are the prominent hill stations of Tamil Nadu, whereas to indulge in your wild streak, go for Mudumalai National Park, Indira Gandhi Wildlife Sanctuary, The Gulf of Mannar Biosphere Reserve and Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary.

There are a couple of great ways to see Tamil Nadu.  One is a Hop On Hop Off bus tour, which begins in Chennai and follows a particular route.  As the title of the bus suggests, when you get to a place at which you wish to stay for a while, hop off and do your own thing, then when its time to move on, wait for the next bus, and head on to your next destination.  There is also a three day train tour of Tamil Nadu.  You get a sleeper carriage, and tours in each place that you visit, meaning that you don’t have to hassle with accommodation or trying to find your own way around.  Both of these options are perfect for people who want to visit India, but are a little daunted by the crowds and language difficulties.

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