Lake in Kodaikanal, Tamil Nadu, India
Tamil Nadu is situated in the south of the Indian Peninsula and is surrounded by the states of Kerala, Puducherry, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka as well as the Eastern Ghats, Nilgiri, the Anamalai Hills, Palakkad, the Bay of Bengal, the Gulf of Mannar, the Palk Strait and the Indian Ocean. Its capital city is Chennai. It is known as the most urban state of the subcontinent and has the most business enterprises.
From as early as 1500 BCE (Before our Common Era), the Tamil tribes made this region their home. Muslims invaded the area, which led to the Hindu Empire of Vijayanagara. During the following centuries, Tamil Nadu underwent the typical battles and changes of empires experienced by much of the rest of India. The British only arrived in the mid-1600’s, and worked hard to gain dominance over the entire subcontinent. Southern India, in which Tamil Nadu lies, was consolidated into the Madras Presidency. India finally achieved political independence in 1946, when this presidency became the state of Madras. This was then divided into various areas, one of which was Tamil Nadu. Tamil Nadu is the 11th largest state in terms of its geographical area. It is unique for its having both the Eastern and Western Ghats in its territory. Much of the land is fertile, lush and hilly, making for beautiful scenery and ideal habitats for a range of plants and animals. The central area is more arid. In addition, Tamil Nadu has a coastline, which stretches for over 900 kilometres. Most of the rainfall occurs during the monsoon seasons (June to December). These are particularly important as it is an area that is prone to droughts.
Because of the many different types of biomes, the plants, birds, insects, mammals, reptiles and so on vary enormously from one area to another within the borders of Tamil Nadu. This has also led to a large number of reserves and sanctuaries being set up throughout the state, designed to protect these valuable species. These are popular amongst tourists wanting to get up-close-and-personal with some of India’s most beautiful and exciting species. Local fauna includes the Indian / Asian Elephant, Bengal Tiger, leopard, sloth, tiger, deer, Nilgiri Langur, Nilgiri Tahr, Sambar, egret, stork, heron, Grey Pelican, turtle, dolphin, and many more. This state promotes awareness and active campaigns by offering various academic courses in environmental studies, which aim to create a generation of greater social responsibility.
The vast majority of the Tamil Nadu society subscribes to the Hindu faith, followed by Christianity, Islam and then some minority religions (such as Sikhism, for example). The conversion to Christianity from Islam or Hinduism has caused a fair amount of feuds and unrest in recent times.
This Indian state has a well-established culture, with many fascinating customs and traditions. These are expressed through art, literature, theatre, song and dance. In addition, there are many festivals held in Tamil Nadu throughout the year for religious or cultural reasons. These are fun and fascinating for visitors, who are given the opportunity to become immersed in Indian culture.
Agriculture is a major supporting industry of Tamil Nadu. Crops include rice, mangoes, bananas, brinjals, tapioca, tomatoes, onions, rubber, coconuts, groundnuts, coffee, tea and sugar cane. Engineering as well as the textile, automotive, electronics and software industries are also major economic pillars in this region.
Visitors to Tamil Nadu are advised to visit the following sights during their stay:
• The Mahabalipuram Temple
• The Kanchipuram Temple
• Thiruvarur (a World Heritage Monument)
• Ooty Hill Station
• Kodaikanal Hill Station
• The Mudumalai Wild Life Sanctuary
For more information, please view: http://www.tamilnadutourism.org/