Tamil Nadu, the heart of the Dravidian culture and tradition, has for time immemorial, been a pioneer of peace and knowledge, and the visual legacy of the culture of the state, is among the most satisfying spectacles in India. Sharing boundaries with the states of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, and Kerala, Tamil Nadu has an unbroken coast line, edging the Bay of Bengal. Densely forested uplands which abound in wildlife, intensively cultivated farmlands interspersed with rocky wastes, mountain chains of the Western Ghats, which give way to fertile coastal plains and plateaus form the geographical features of Tamil Nadu.
The History of the Tamils presents an exciting pageant of a powerful civilization whose origin dates back to ancient times. It is clear that the Tamils, who belong to the Dravidian race, were the first major occupants of the country and settled in the north-western part of India long before the coming of the Indo-Aryans. Excavations have revealed that the features of the people of the Indus Valley Civilization bore a strong resemblance to this race.
Tamil Nadu is bounded by Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh in the north and Kerala in the west. The coastal eastern and southern boundaries are lapped by the waters of the Bay of Bengal and the Indian Ocean respectively. The eastern and western tips of the state are defined by the Point Calimere and Mudumalai wildlife sanctuaries while the northern extreme is Pulicat lake and the southernmost tip is Cape Comorin or Kanniyakumari - the Land's End of India.
Tamil Nadu has a tropical climate with no wild swing between summer and winter temperature. April and May are the hottest months with the mercury often soaring above the 40 ºC mark. Coastal regions also get uncomfortably warm and humid during these months but the nights are usually cool, thanks to the sea breeze that sets in during the afternoons. Summer temperatures are quite equable at the foothills of the ghats.
Tamil Nadu provides the visitor with a wide variety of delicious food both for the vegetarians as well as the non-vegetarians, though most food in Tamil Nadu consists of grains, lentils, rice and vegetables. Spices are added to give a distinctive taste.
Chennai, also known as Madras, the capital of Tamil Nadu, is the country's fourth largest city. Compared to the other major metros of India, it is far less congested and polluted.
At dawn on this day families everywhere gather around a new earthen pot. As the pot of milk boils over, signifying prosperity, a shout of "Pongalo Pongal" rents the air.
The music and dance of Tamil Nadu had their beginnings in the temples. From early times, different groups of people were appointed to sing divine songs in the temple. Officers called Thevara Nayakams or leaders of the world of music, arranged the private worship of kings and group singing.
The topography of Tamil Nadu is delightfully varied and diverse. Of the 1,30,058 sq-kms land area, 17.6% is covered with forest area. These spread over the plains and on mountain slopes. Dry lands are bestowed with dry-deciduous forests, thorn forests, scrubs and mangroves.
The topography of Tamil Nadu is delightfully varied and diverse. Of the 1,30,058 sq-kms land area, 17.6% is covered with forest area. These spread over the plains and on mountain slopes.
Government State Museum : This museum in Chennai is best known for two important collections: sculptures from Amarvati and its famed Bronze Gallery. The Amaravati collection has panels, pillars, carved railings and Buddha statues of Milky white marble from a Buddhist stupa excavated at Amaravati, Andhra Pradesh.