Tourist Places to Visit in Tamil Nadu (2022)

  • Post last modified:20 April 2022
  • Reading time:18 mins read

Tamil Nadu is a state nestled in the southern part of the Indian subcontinent. This state boasts its presence in the deep cultural roots of the country and its many civilizations. Tamil, the native language of Tamil Nadu is one of the oldest languages in India.

Tamil Nadu shares its borders with the other South Indian states of Kerala, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. The western borders of this state are guarded by the majestic Western Ghats and to the north, Tamil Nadu has got the Eastern Ghats.

Tamil Nadu has been ruled by various dynasties which paved the way for this state to be home to numerous architectural marvels and cultural cities. This state is flooded by tourists who have a liking for architectural wonders, religious sites and modern cities. In addition, Tamil Nadu is home to cities and villages that are rich in cultural and touristic values. In this article, check out the places to visit in Tamil Nadu.


10 Places to Visit in Tamil Nadu

  1. Chennai
  2. Ooty
  3. Madurai
  4. Mahabalipuram
  5. Coimbatore
  6. Kanyakumari
  7. Coonoor
  8. Kanchipuram
  9. Rameswaram
  10. Thanjavur

Chennai

Can we ever consider visiting Tamil Nadu without planning a trip to Chennai? The city that is labelled Tamil Nadu’s heart is also the most popular and the most visited city in Tamil Nadu. The capital city of the state rests in the north-eastern part of Tamil Nadu. It is a prominent location in South India from economic, cultural and educational perspectives. The civic body of the city — The Greater Chennai Corporation — is the oldest city corporation in the world after London.

Chennai attracts people from not just all over the country but the world as well. It is called the ‘Medical Capital of India’ due to its rising number of tourists who visit the city for medical purposes. Home to a lot of attractive places like Marina Beach, MGR Film City, and Valluvar Kottam, among others, there are a lot of places to visit in Chennai.

Best Time To Visit: November to February

Major Attractions: Marina Beach, MGR Film City, and Valluvar Kottam

Ideal duration to explore: 2-3 days

Things to do: Experience life in a metro

Ooty

Ooty aka Udhagamandalam lies comfortably within the Nilgris in the southern state of Tamil Nadu. Popularly called the Queen of Hill Stations, Ooty is one of the top places to visit in Tamil Nadu. Bask in the soothing climate of this city while taking a memorable railroad trip with the Nilgiri Mountain Railway. Or just take a stroll through the calming pine forests to make the most of Ooty and its beloved cold weather.

Nicknamed the Switzerland of India, Ooty is a famous honeymoon destination. The backdrop of lush green Nilgiris could be found anywhere in Ooty. The same makes this city a photographer’s heaven. Make sure you pay a visit to the Ooty Lake and Ooty Rose Garden. Do not forget to buy authentic tea from Ooty on your way back home as a souvenir.

Best Time To Visit: April to June and September to November

Major Attractions: Ooty Lake and Ooty Rose Garden

Ideal duration to explore: 2-3 days

Things to do: Vacation, Trekking, Camping, Hiking

Madurai

The city of Madurai is symbolic of culture in India. It is one of the oldest cities in the world. Evidence suggests that Madurai is over 2500 years old. The history of Madurai is closely tied to that of the Tamil language itself. It is the hub of Tamil Scholars and musicians. Apart from the brimming cultural roots, the city is also one of the top destinations in Tamil Nadu for pilgrims.

The Madura Meenakshi Temple is renowned worldwide for its architecture and religious values. Madurai hosts a plethora of tourist places that could be chosen to make the most of the Tamil Nadu trip. The city is also renowned for its influence on the manufacturing and educational sectors in the state. Visit Madurai to absorb the real essence of Tamil Nadu in every way possible.

Best Time To Visit: December to February

Major Attractions: Madurai Meenakshi Temple

Ideal duration to explore: 2 days

Things to do: Pilgrimage

Mahabalipuram

Mahabalipuram is yet another ancient city of India that adorns the state of Tamil Nadu. Home to the 7th and 8th-century Group of Monuments, Mahabalipuram is one of the most visited tourist spots in Tamil Nadu. History and religious buffs visit this town to witness the rock chariots, mandapas, rock sculptures and the famous Shore Temple.

Once known as Mamallapuram and Thirukadalmallai, Mahabalipuram earned its current name after Pallava king Narasimhavarman I. Add Mahabalipuram to your list of places to see in Tamil Nadu if you are keen on the Hindu culture and historic monuments. The royalty of this then-prominent port town can be sensed even today.

The addition of the Group of Monuments to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites has put Mahabalipuram among one the most cultural cities in the world.

Best Time To Visit: October to February

Major Attractions: Shore Temple, Rock Chariots

Ideal duration to explore: 1-2 days

Things to do: Pilgrimage, Learn more about various dynasties in the history of Tamil Nadu

Coimbatore

Located on the banks of the Noyyal River and surrounded by the Western Ghats, lies this wonderful metro city of Tamil Nadu called Coimbatore. Referred to as the “Manchester of South India”, Coimbatore is famous for its textile industry. It is the second-largest city in Tamil Nadu after Chennai. Like many other prominent cities in Tamil Nadu, Coimbatore has had its share in shaping the state’s cultural aspect too.

In its vast history, the city was ruled by the Cheras, Cholas, Nayaks and also by the Vijayanagara Empire. It welcomes tourists of all sorts around the year. Coimbatore is also identified as one of the safest cities for women in India. Do not miss out on tasting delicious south Indian delicacies like appam, idli and dosa while in the city. Coimbatore is one of the most beautiful places in Tamil Nadu.

Best Time To Visit: September to March

Major Attractions: Adiyogi Shiva Statue, Vydehi Falls

Ideal duration to explore: 2-3 days

Things to do: Food Tasting, Experience City Life

Kanyakumari

Words can only do little justice to the mesmerising beauty of this town. Kanyakumari is the southernmost town in India and is referred to as “The Land’s End”. Dotted with enchanting beaches and jaw-dropping architectural marvels, Kanyakumari is one of the must-visit places in Tamil Nadu. The presence of the Vivekananda Rock Memorial makes Kanyakumari a famous pilgrim spot.

Filled with picturesque locations, this town is a favourite among families. Make sure you have a planned itinerary to make the most of your trip to Kanyakumari. And also, catch the view of the red sun escaping into the horizon from the sunset point. You will be certain to return home with loads of Instagram-worthy pictures.

Best Time To Visit: October to March

Major Attractions: Vivekananda Rock Memorial, Sunset Point

Ideal duration to explore: 1-2 days

Things to do: Pilgrimage. Family Outing, Experience Sunset, Photography

Coonoor

The presence of Nilgiris makes cities in Tamil Nadu much more beautiful and Coonoor is no different. Coonoor is the second-largest town in the Nilgiri hills after Ooty. The town is majorly divided into Upper Coonnoor and Lower Coonoor. Lower Coonoor is host to busy markets and the town’s transportation hubs. Meanwhile, Upper Coonoor has tourism-rich places.

Sim’s Park botanical garden is a must-visit spot in Upper Coonoor. People from all parts of the country visit Coonoor to witness the annual fruit and vegetable festival at Sim’s Park. Other famous spots include Dolphin’s Nose Viewpoint, Droog Fort, Lamb’s Rock and Law’s Falls. Visit this town during winter to make your trip even more memorable. Coonoor should be a must addition to your list of places to see in Tamil Nadu.

Best Time To Visit: October to March

Major Attractions: Dolphin’s Nose Viewpoint, Droog Fort, Lamb’s Rock and Law’s Falls

Ideal duration to explore: 1-2 days

Things to do: Bike ride/Road Trip, Weekend Getaway, Camping, Hiking

Kanchipuram

The term Kanchipuram is synonymous with supreme quality silk. Apart from its renowned silk sarees, Kanchipuram is also famous for its temple architecture, 1000-pillared halls and huge towers. The city boasts establishments that date back to the 7th century. Kanchipuram is a religiously significant place. It served as one of the seven pilgrimage sites for the Vaishnavas.

Fifteen out of One Hundred and Five Lord Vishnu temples in India are located in Kanchipuram. During your visit, make sure you come across the handloom industries that weave top-quality silk sarees. The presence of numerous small-scale textile setups makes Kanchipuram one of the top places to visit in Tamil Nadu for shopping for clothing goodies.

Best Time To Visit: March to October

Major Attractions: Kamakshi Amman Temple

Ideal duration to explore: 1 day

Things to do: Sightseeing, Pilgrimage, Photography, Shopping

Rameswaram

Rameswaram personifies all the religious epics that you have heard in your childhood. It is lauded as one of the holiest places in India. Rameswaram is part of the Char Dham pilgrimage alongside Dwarka, Puri and Badrinath. Geographically, it is separated from mainland India and is connected by a railway bridge called the Pamban Bridge.

Rameswaram lies just 40 kilometres off Sri Lanka’s Mannar Island. Rameswaram is the closest point to Sri Lanka and geological evidence supports the epic of Ramayana and the construction of Ram Sethu. Rameshwaram thrives on tourism and the fishery. It was a significant location for Shaivas and Vaishnavas equally. Rameshwaram can certainly be added to your itinerary of places to visit in Tamil Nadu.

Best Time To Visit: October to February

Major Attractions: Pamban Bridge

Ideal duration to explore: 1-2 days

Things to do: Pilgrimage, Sightseeing

Thanjavur

Religion, art and architecture – these sum up Thanjavur. The city is home to countless Chola Temples which happen to be UNESCO World Heritage Monuments. One should surely visit Brihadeeswara Temple which is a widely famous monument and is located at the heart of the city. Art enthusiasts visit Tanjavur to gain firsthand experience of witnessing the Tanjore painting.

Thanjavur served as the capital of the Chola dynasty and thrived under their rule. Later, it served as a home to the Mutharaiyar dynasty, the Pandyas, the Vijayanagar Empire, the Madurai Nayaks and many more. It is one of the most famous places to visit in Tamil Nadu.

Best Time To Visit: October to March

Major Attractions: Brihadeeswara Temple

Ideal duration to explore: 1-2 days

Things to do: Pilgrimage, Sightseeing

To conclude, Tamil Nadu is arguably one of the best places in South India for tourists to experience a wholesome trip. Even though travellers mostly prefer places to visit in Kerala, a day or two could be easily spared to visit its neighbour state, Tamil Nadu. The state has all sorts of travel destinations to cater to all sorts of visitors. The presence of imposing temples that are older than many cities in India attracts pilgrims from all over the country.

Apart from its pilgrimage perspective, Tamil Nadu is also home to many waterfalls, lakes, beaches and national parks. Planning camping or a trekking getaway gets easier over here. If you have a weak spot for hill stations then visit either Coorg, Coonoor or Kodaikanal and if it is coastal areas that entice you then there is always Chennai, Kanyakumari and Rameswaram.


FAQ

Why is Tamil Nadu famous for tourism?

Tamil Nadu radiates the age-old tradition and history of India. It is dotted with places that are full of cultural, religious and tourist values. Apart from famous temples and historic monuments, Tamil Nadu is also home to beautiful beaches, mesmerising waterfalls and hill stations.

What are the famous activities in Tamil Nadu?

Tamil Nadu has an array of activities to choose from. Watching the sunrise at Kanyakumari, discovering dolls and paintings in Thanjavur, experiencing sunset in Marina Beach, Chennai — the list just goes on.

Which district is the best for tourism in Tamil Nadu?

Tamil Nadu is full of significant tourist destinations and pointing out one would be a difficult task. However, Ooty, Madurai, Chennai, Kanyakumari and Rameswaram stand out.

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