Tamil Nadu is the place where you will find everything from hills to beaches; culture to fashion; temples to churches; food to amusement parks, and you won’t get tired of exploring this charming southern state of India.
Ooty is also known as Udhagai, Nilgiris district, Tamil Nadu. It is one of the best hill stations of India. The best way to explore the natural beauty of Ooty is the railway, i.e. Nilgiri Mountain Railway (NMR), one of the oldest mountain railways of India. Unfortunately, such a beautiful place doesn’t have a civilian airport, but the nearest airport from Ooty is Coimbatore, almost 96 km (60 mi) away. So, tourists can land in Coimbatore and have a glimpse of an amazing Ooty. However, tourists can choose suitable options as to their comfort and choice for the transportation, because travelling to Ooty is an experience in itself, be it by road or by train. You will see mesmerizing landscapes by either of these options, but by road is what I recommended.
One of the best places to visit in Ooty is the ‘Botanical Garden’ over a small hill, established in 1847 by the governor of Madras. The purpose of Botanical Garden is to display exquisite plants, trees, and flowers collected from different parts of the world. Fossilized tree trunk, believed to be 20 million years old, and the ‘Monkey Puzzle Tree’ in the garden on which no monkey can climb, these two are the major attractions of the Botanical Garden. The ideal time to visit Botanical Garden is the month of May because several exhibitions and other programs are organized during this month.
Aboard one of the oldest mountain railways of India stands the Nilgiri Mountain Railway. If you are in the Ooty and did not hop the train of Nilgiri Mountain Railways, then you missed the heart of Ooty. Established in 1899 to connect Ooty, and as an amenity for the British families to enjoy the moments of leisure, this is a 46 km long railway line with the stops at four hill stations, viz., Coonoor, Wellington, Lovedale and Ketti.
Ooty’s Racecourse – Organised every summer of the year following 125 years old colonial-era tradition. However, this may not be an attraction for tourists as much as other tourist destinations of Ooty. An interesting fact about this racecourse is that it is built at an altitude of 2200 m above the sea level. And if adventure sports of this kind interest you then this spot is good for you.
Ooty Lake – An artificial water body, constructed in 1824 by confining a mountain stream, a prime location to relax with the natural scenery. Families can enjoy horse-riding, mini train ride, and a deer park along with the boating in the Ooty Lake.
Furthermore, experience a Sunday service at the British-era churches. Ooty has numerous historical churches to devout yourself.
The capital of Tamil Nadu situated on the coasts of Bay of Bengal. Chennai is famous for its temples and churches, however, beaches, museum, and zoological park are the points of attraction. Most visited spots in Chennai are, Marina Beach, Golden Beach, Edward Elliot’s Beach, Kapaleeshwarar Temple, ISKCON Chennai Sri Sri Radha Krishna Temple, Fort St. George Museum & Church, St. Thomas Mount Church, Arignar Anna Zoological Park, Government Museum, Madras Crocodile Bank Trust, etc.
Marina Beach is the longest beach of India along the Bay of Bengal; it has an approximate length of 13 km. Bathing and swimming are legally prohibited on this beach because of its unstable undercurrent water. However, Marina Beach is one of the most crowded places with approximate 30000 visitors a day during weekdays and 50000 during weekends.
Golden Beach is also an attraction for tourists every day.
Edward Elliot’s Beach is the end point of Marina Beach, also know as Besant Nagar Beach as it’s located in Besant Nagar of Chennai. Edward Elliot’s Beach is well-known for its cleanliness. This beach is quite famous among the local people as its preferred because of its calmness, local crowd choose it for long walks and to spend quality time with their loved ones.
Religious crowd prefer to visit Kapaleeshwarar Temple and ISKCON Chennai Sri Sri Radha Krishna Temple because of its spiritual importance.
Fort St. George Museum & Church opened for public in 31st January 1948 for the display of antiquity collection from British Raj donated by the then Madras Presidency Government. Museum has 3661 registered antiquities, among which 602 are exhibited in the museum in ten galleries spread over three galleries.
Arignar Anna Zoological Park, a zoological garden in southwestern part of Chennai, almost 31 km (19 mi) away from the city centre and 15 km (9.3 mi) away from the Chennai Airport, associated with ‘Central Zoo Authority of India.’ The park is the largest zoological park of India with 2553 species of flora and fauna spread over 1265 acres, the park includes 1500 wild species; 46 endangered species.
Government Museum represents the human history. The Museum comprises archaeological, numismatics, zoological, and botanical collections. It has six independent buildings which have 46 different galleries. It is the second largest museum of India after Indian Museum in Kolkata.
Madras Crocodile Bank Trust, 40 km (25 mi) away from Chennai, is the home for 2500 reptiles and it is one of the largest reptile zoo in the world. A place where several reptiles’ species are exhibited and open for the public for various activities during a day. Feeding demonstration of saltwater crocodile every Sunday at 4:30 pm is the primary attraction.
The Madurai Meenakshi Amman temple
Tamil Nadu is well-known for its ancient temples, the Madurai Meenakshi Amman temple is one of them, but one of the most prominent temples all across the India. If you are visiting Madurai then the Madurai Meenakshi Amman temple must be at the top of your bucket list as it has an intriguing history and splendid architecture, which dates back to thousands of years. According to the history, the temple was depredated and robbed by a Muslim raider in 14th Century, however, in the 16th century, Vishwanatha Nayak reintegrated the temple in accordance to the Shilpa Shastra.
Pondicherry is now Puducherry, a separate union territory along the east coast of Tamil Nadu. Famous for its beaches and a long lasted former French colony since the 18th century which still retains its flavors with a touch of French culture in its foods and architecture. Who feel to calm themselves off their busy schedules in nature’s arms then Pondicherry is the best choice to visit.
Rameswaram (Ramanathaswamy Temple)
Rameswaram is separated by the Pamban channel from mainland India, and is just 50 km away from Mannar Island, Sri Lanka. Rameswaram is a little pilgrimage for the Hindu religion where people from all over the India frequently visit to worship the Lord Rama due to its mythological importance. According to the latest version of Ramayana penned by Tulsidas approximately in the 15th century, Lord Rama, along with his wife ‘Sita’ and his brother ‘Lakshmana,’ had installed a ‘Lingam’ of Lord Shiva to let off any sins he might have committed during the war against demon king Ravana. It is said that the same Lingam is placed in the temple, hence, the place becomes holy and mythological important for the Hindu religion.