One of the prominent states of South India, Tamil Nadu is home to many famous temples, hill stations, and beautiful beaches. The culturally rich state has eight UNESCO World Heritage sites. It is the birthplace of Tamil, one of the last surviving classical languages and Bharatanatyam, a traditional dance.
Places to visit in Tamil Nadu
There are several incredible tourist destinations in Tamil Nadu for you to begin planning a trip to Tamil Nadu. A trip here must definitely include the following tourist places in Tamil Nadu:
Doddabetta must definitely be on your list of places to visit in Tamil Nadu. The highest peak in the Nilgiri range, Doddabetta stands tall at 2,637 metres. Tourists can also visit the reserved forest area surrounding the peak, which is home to different varieties of flora and fauna. Another major attraction at Doddabetta is an observatory located at the top of the mountain, from where you can have a panoramic view of the Nilgiri Range. Located about 7 kilometres from Ooty main town, the easiest way to reach Doddabetta is by public transport. You can also avail the ferry jeep service. The best time to visit Doddabetta peak is early morning so you can get a good view as well as avoid the crowd and afternoon mists.
2. Mudumalai National Park:
Located about 150 kilometres from Coimbatore, Mudumalai National Park is a widely-visited tourist place in Tamil Nadu. The national park is also home to a very famous tiger reserve. The Mudumalai National Park and Sanctuary is divided into five regions - Masinagudi, Theppakadu, Mudumalai, Kargudi and Nellakotta. The National Park is a treat for animal and bird lovers as there are examples of many endangered species one will find here. These include the Indian elephant, gaur and Indian leopard. Bird species like the almost extinct Indian white-rumped vulture and long-billed vulture can also be found here.Mudumalai National Park covers a total area of 321 square kilometres. The land, rich with diverse flora and flauna, connects the Western Ghats with the Eastern Ghats. Tourist activities like safari, bird-watching are mostly concentrated in the Mudumalai area. Wildlife safari tours are also organised in this area by Tamil Nadu Tourism.
3. Kodaikanal Lake:
Also known as the Kodai Lake, it is located in the Kodaikanal town of Tamil Nadu. It is one of the most popular tourist place in Tamil Nadu. No visit to Kodaikanal is complete without a boat ride on the Kodai Lake. Different boat services like rowing boats, pedalling boats and a public ferry are available for tourists to choose from. The water from this man-made lake forms a waterfall known as Silver Cascade, which is also a famous tourist spot. Kodai Lake is home to unique fauna like Macophytes and fish like Danio aequipinnatus, Rasbora daniconius and Gambusia affinis.
4. Ooty Botanical Garden:
Located on the lower areas of the Doddabetta Peak, the botanical garden at Ooty is very popular with tourists. Spread over 55 hectares, the garden is a visual delight. Maintained effortlessly by the Tamil Nadu Horticulture Department, the botanical garden is divided into various sections - Lower Garden, New Garden, Italian Garden, Conservatory, Fountain Terrace and Nurseries. Set up in 1848, the garden is home to both exotic and indigenous species of plants, shrubs, ferns, trees, herbal and bonsai plants.
Things to do in Tamil Nadu
There is something for everyone in Tamil Nadu. A Tamil Nadu tourism would be incomplete without the following:
There are many spots in Tamil Nadu for trekking enthusiasts. The Nilgiri hills are a favourite destination. The most sought-after places are Siruvani Waterfalls, TopSlip and Vaideki Waterfalls near Coimbatore, Perumal Park on the outskirts of Kodaikanal.
Tamil Nadu tourism has many camping locations, ideal for spending some time with Mother Nature. Camping spots in Tamil Nadu include Masinagudi, Yelagiri, Mudumalai, and Krishnagiri. These places also offer activities like paragliding, bungee trampoline, mini golf, shooting, archery among others.
3. Temple tours:
The state is synonymous with temples so a temple tour is a must-have on a Tamil Nadu trip. Tamil Nadu tourism companies offer temple tour packages to famous destinations like Madurai Meenakshi, Brihadeeshwara, Parthasarathy and Airavatesvara Temple.
4. Cultural Tours:
Tamil Nadu tourism also offers cultural tours to different tourist destinations. These include day/night trips to Mahabalipuram, Kanyakumari, local Chennai tours, Thanjavur/Tiruchirapalli tours etc.
How to Reach Tamil Nadu
It is very convenient to reach Tamil Nadu by road, rail, and air. Tamil Nadu has an extensive road network of around 1.70 lakh kilometres. There are many buses that run within the state as well as connecting other states like Kerala, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh.
Chennai is a major point in Southern Railways, which covers entire South India. Tamil Nadu is well-connected to the rest of the country through its wide rail network.
Tourists can visit Tamil Nadu easily by air as well as the Chennai Airport handles both domestic and international flights. Other important airports in Tamil Nadu are the ones in cities like Coimbatore, Madurai.
Best Time to Visit Tamil Nadu
The best time to plan a Tamil Nadu trip is during the winter months as the summers here can get treacherous. One should ideally visit the tourist places in Tamil Nadu after the monsoon in November. The weather then is ideal for tourism and remains so until March. It is the best time for activities like trekking and camping, having fun at the beach and cultural tours.
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