At a distance of 89 km from Coimbatore, 128 km from Mysore, 265 km from Bangalore,158 km from Kozhikode, 244 km from Munnar, 254 km from Kodaikanal, 18 km from Coonoor & 556 km from Chennai, Ooty is one of the best hill stations in India and also one of the top places to experince Tamilnadu Tourism. Ooty can also be visited along with Wayanad as part of Ooty – Wayanad tour packages.
Also known as Udhagamandalam, Ooty is often referred to as ‘Queen of hill stations’. It is the capital of Nilgiris district in the state of Tamilnadu. Nilgiris means ‘Blue Mountains’. A land of picturesque picnic spots & lakes, it was a popular summer and weekend getaway for the British during colonial days. It is situated at an altitude of 7,440 feet (2,240 meters).
At a distance of 464 km from Chennai, 136 km from Trichy, 169 km from Thanjavur, 170 km from Rameswaram, 114 km from Kodaikanal & 209 km from Coimbatore, Madurai is the third largest city in Tamilnadu and one of the most famous centers of pilgrimage in India and also the prime site of heritage in Tamil Nadu. The city is very well known for Madurai Meenakshi Temple and among the must include places in your South India tour packages.
Situated on the banks of the River Vaigai, Madurai is also referred to as Athens of the East and Temple Town. Madhurai is the oldest continually inhabited city in the Indian peninsula, with a history dating all the way back to the Sangam period of the pre-Christian era. It has been inhabited since at least the 3rd century BCE. It is considered as the cultural capital of Tamilnadu.
At a distance of 95 km from Dindigul, 117 km from Madurai, 169 km from Coimbatore, 469 km from Bangalore,272 km from Kochi, 162 km from Munnar, 253 km from Ooty & 528 km from Chennai, Kodaikanal, also referred to as Kodai is a beautiful hill station in Dindigul district of Tamilnadu. It is one of the best hill stations not to miss in a South India tour and among the top places to experince the Tamilnadu Tourism.
Often referred to as the ‘Princess of Hill stations’, Kodai is one of the popular places to visit in summer as part of honeymoon trip. It is situated at an altitude of about 7000 feet (2133 m) on the southern tip of upper Palani hills. It has several scenic natural attractions which are enjoyed by its visitors and make it a popular romantic destination.
Chennai (formerly called Madras), the ‘Cultural Capital of India’, is the fourth largest metropolis in the country with a population of over 8 millions. At a distance of 337 km from Bangalore, 629 km from Hyderabad, 453 km from Vijayawada, 170 km from Pondicherry & 772 km from Trivandrum, Chennai is one the largest cities in India and capital of the state of Tamil Nadu. It is also one of the famous Tourist places in Tamilnadu.
The present town was founded in 1639, by Sir Francis Day, who arrived with East India Company. The British East India Company established a fort and a trading post at the small fishing village of Chennai. Today, it has emerged as a major industrial and educational center. Chennai with the Bay of Bengal on its side had been major British trading post for years.
At a distance of 562 km from Chennai, 227 km from Tirunelveli, 311 km Kanyakumari, 387 km from Pondicherry, 230 km from Trichy, 171 km from Madurai, 371 km from Trivandrum and 607 km from Bangalore, Rameshwaram is one of the most famous Pilgrimage centers in South India & also a Jyotirlinga, situated in Ramanathapuram district of Tamil Nadu. Rameshwaram is also one of the best Tourist places in Tamilnadu and among the popular pilgrimage places to visit as part of South India tour packages.
Rameshwaram Temple is one of the most famous Shiva shrines in India. It is significant for Hindus as a pilgrimage to Banaras is incomplete without a Pilgrimage to Rameswaram. According to the legend, Rameswaram is the place from where Lord Rama, built a bridge across the sea to rescue his consort Sita from Ravana.
At a distance of 334 km from Chennai, 133 km from Madurai, 57 km from Thanjavur and 212 km from Coimbatore, Tiruchirappalli, also called Tiruchi or Trichy is the 4th largest city and administrative headquarters of Tiruchirappalli District in Tamilnadu. Situated on the banks of the Cauvery River, Trichy is one of the famous Tourist places in Tamilnadu.
The history of Tiruchirappalli begins in the 3rd century BC, when it was under the rule of the Cholas. It was a stronghold of the early Cholas which later fell to the Pallavas. But the Pallavas never really managed to retain control of this strategic city and lost it to the Pandyas several times. Trichy continued to be in the possession of Cholas until the decline of the empire after which it became a Vijayanagara stronghold. Trichy came under the rule of Nayaks of Madurai after the collapse of Vijayanagara, later to the Marathas of Tanjore, the Nawabs of Carnatic, the French.
At a distance of 31 km from Salem, 193 km from Coimbatore, 114 km from Hogenakkal, 349 km from Chennai and 249 km from Bangalore, Yercaud is a beautiful hill station in Salem district of Tamil Nadu and also one of the popular places to visit as part of Tamilnadu tour packages. At an altitude of 1515 m in the Shevaroy hills, Yercaud is one of the top hill stations near Bangalore in summer.
Yercaud town got its name from the Yercaud Lake located at its center. In Tamil, Yeri means lake and Kaadu means forest. Stone-age implements have been found from the ancient shrine located near Shevaroy Hills, which is about 5 km from the Yercaud Lake. Sir Thomas Munroe, erstwhile governor of Madras Presidency in 1842 developed this place. David Cockburn, the Scottish collector.
At a distance of 707 km from Chennai, 85 km from Trivandrum, 22 km from Nagercoil, 242 km from Madurai, 375 km from Trichy, 82 km from Tirunelveli and 130 km from Tuticorin, Kanyakumari is a coastal town in Tamil Nadu. Located at the southernmost tip of the Indian Peninsula, it is also called Cape Comorin. Kanyakumari is a famous pilgrimage places to visit as part of Tamilnadu tour and also one of the best Places to visit in Tamilnadu.
Kanyakumari has been a great centre for art and religion for centuries. It was also an area of great trade and commerce. It was ruled by Cholas, Pandyas and Nayaks. Later on, Kanyakumari came under the rule of the Venad dynasty and its capital was located at Padmanabhapuram. In spite of the troubles encountered in the southern border of Venad, Marthanda Varma expanded the kingdom northwards to Aluva.
At a distance of 18 km from Ooty, 71 km from Coimbatore and 32 km from Mettupalayam, Coonoor is a taluk and a municipality in the Nilgiris district in the state of Tamil Nadu. It is a beautiful hill station and known for its production of Nilgiri tea. Coonoor is one of the popular Places to visit in Tamilnadu and among the best hill stations near Bangalore.
At an altitude of 6,000 feet above sea level, Coonoor is famous for its verdant environs and for a variety of wildflowers and birds. It is the second largest hill station in the Nilgiri hills after Ooty. The Nilgiri Mountain Railway (Toy Train) is one of the oldest mountain railways in India. The train ride in the midst of the Nilgiris, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is an unforgettable travel experience.
At a distance of 217 km from Chennai, 189 km from Kanchipuram, 43 km Cuddalore, 66 km from Pondicherry, 43 km Mayiladuthurai, 85 km from Nagapattinam, 303 km from Madurai and 173 km from Trichy, Chidambaram is a pilgrimage town in Cuddalore district of Tamil Nadu. Well known for Nataraja Temple, Chidambaram is one of the most celebrated shrines in South India and also one of the famous Tamilnadu places to visit.
Chidambaram is also known as Thillai. The name Chidambaram comes from the Tamil word Chitrambalam which means the small hall or stage of wisdom. According to legend, it was once a forest of thillai, a mangrove species of trees. There was once a small shrine on the banks of a tank. The saints Vyagrapada and Patanjali are said to have worshipped at this shrine, now called Thirumoolanathar. It is believed that their penance attained perfection with the revelation of Shiva’s cosmic dance by Lord Nataraja on the auspicious Thai Poosam.
At a distance of 57 km from Chennai, 65 km from Kanchipuram, 96 km from Pondicherry, 420 km from Madurai and 290 km from Trichy, Mahabalipuram (also called Mamallapuram) is situated in Kanchipuram district in the state of Tamil Nadu. It is famous for its shore temples built in 7th century. Mahabalipuram is one of the must visit weekend getaways from Chennai for one day trip. This also a major historical / heritage site in Tamil Nadu and one of the best places to experience Tamilnadu Tourism. Mahabalipuram is one of the best places to include in your Pondicherry tour packages.
This UNESCO World Heritage Site was the second capital of the Pallava kings of Kanchipuram. It is an ancient historic town and was a bustling seaport.
At a distance of 75 km from Chennai, 68 km from Vellore, 65 km from Mahabalipuram, 108 km from Tirupati & 127 km from Pondicherry, Kanchipuram or Kanchi is one of the most famous pilgrimage sites in Tamil Nadu. It is a temple town and the headquarters of Kanchipuram district. Kanchipuram is one of the most popular weekend getaways from Chennai and one of the major Places to visit in Tamilnadu.
Kanchipuram has rich history and it’s one of the oldest cities in India. The temples of Kanchipuram are known for their grandeur and great architecture. The architecture of Kanchi monuments were trendsetting with great sculpture work and unique style and became a benchmark for South Indian architecture.
At a distance of 47 km from Dharmapuri, 88 km from Hosur, 85 km from Salem, 146 km from Bangalore, 345 km from Chennai, 180 km from Mysore, 114 km from Yercaud and 217 km from Coimbatore, Hogenakkal Falls is a waterfall in on the Kaveri (or Cauvery) River located in Dharmapuri district of Tamil Nadu. It is a major waterfalls near Bangalore and also one of the best waterfalls in India, sometimes referred to as the ‘Niagara of India’.
Hogenakkal is also one of the best waterfalls and one of the wonderful tourist places to visit near Bangalore & Chennai. When the River Kaveri enters the Tamil Nadu border after winding its way through the state of Karnataka, it descends down the lofty landscape forming the Hogenakkal Waterfalls.
At a distance of 56 km from Trichy, 112 km from Chidambaram, 86 km from Nagapattinam, 170 km from Madurai, 326 km from Chennai, Thanjavur, also known as Tanjore, is a city and district headquarters in the state of Tamil Nadu. Thanjavur is famous for the Brihadeeswarar Temple built by Rajaraja Chola in the year 1010 AD. Also known as the Big Temple, it is one of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in India and also one of the popular places to experince Tamilnadu Tourism.
Situated on the banks of River Cauvery, Thanjavur has a rich historical heritage and is a must visit place in Thanjavur as part of Tamilnadu tour. The city was once the stronghold of the historic Cholas and at one time was also the capital of the Cholas, Mutharayars and Marathas when they were at the peak of their power.
At a distance of 230 km from Chennai, 178 km from Bangalore, 145 km from Yercaud and 94 km from Vellore, Yelagiri is a hill region in Vellore district of Tamil Nadu, located in between the towns of Vaniyambadi and Jolarpettai. This is one of the best hill stations near Bangalore & Chennai. It is also one of the must include places in Tamilnadu tour packages.
Yelagiri is a cluster of 14 hamlets lie between four mountains spread over an area of 30 sq km having an altitude of 3500 ft. The tribal people who live here are engaged in agriculture, horticulture, forestry, etc. Orchards, rose gardens and green valleys, surround these hills.
The main town of Yelagiri Hills is Athanavur, which comprises a winding road.
At a distance of 35 km from Mayiladuthurai, 43 km from Thanjavur, 54 km from Karaikal, 65 km from Nagapattinam, 72 km from Chidambaram, 105 km from Trichy, 129 km from Pondicherry, 235 km from Madurai and 282 km from Chennai, Kumbakonam is one of the ancient temple town located amidst the two rivers Cauvery and Arasalar in Thanjavur district of Tamil Nadu. Kumbakonam is one of the top places to visit in Tamilnadu and among the popular places to visit near Chennai.
The name Kumbakonam in English means the Pot’s Corner. In olden days it was called Thirukudamookku and it is also popularly called as Kudanthai now. According to history, Kumbakonam dates back to the Sangam period and was ruled by the Early Cholas, Pallavas, Medieval Cholas, Later Cholas, Pandyas, the Vijayanagar Kings, Madurai Nayaks, Thanjavur Nayaks and the Thanjavur Marathas.
At a distance of 491 Kms from Chennai, 209 km from Madurai, 383 km from Bangalore, 85 km from Ooty, 189 km from Kochi and 207 km from Mysore, Coimbatore (also known as Kovai) is the second largest city in the state of Tamil Nadu with metro population of over 2 million.Coimbatore is also the administrative headquarters of Coimbatore district and also one of the top Tamilnadu tourist places.
Situated on the banks of the Noyyal River, Coimbatore is known as Manchester of southern India due to large number of textile industries located in the city. Coimbatore is also famous for its engineering firms, automobile parts manufacturers & educational institutions.
Coimbatore was ruled by several dynasties including Gangas, Cholas, Delhi Sultanates, Vijayanagara Kings & Madurai Nayaks when it was a small town of less than 3000 residents.
At a distance of 142 km from Chennai, 70 km from Kanchipuram and 106 km from Tirupati, Vellore is a popular and one of the oldest cities of South India. It is the administrative headquarters of Vellore district in Tamil Nadu situated on the banks of Palar River. Vellore along with Sripuram is among popular weekend getaways from Chennai for a 2 day tour and it is a major historical site in Tamilnadu. Vellore is one of the top attractions you must include in South India trip.
Vellore is popularly known as the Fort City of Tamil Nadu. Now a very calm and understated place, it was once a battleground and has seen many wars. The name Vellore also means a City of Spears. Vellore has an enriching legacy reflecting the early Dravidian culture. It has been ruled by the Pallavas, Cholas, Vijayanagara Empire, Rashtrakutas and Carnatic kingdom.
At a distance of 53 km from Thoothukudi, 84 km from Kanyakumari, 158 km from Madurai, 291 km from Trichy and 623 km from Chennai, Tirunelveli is a city situated on the banks of the river Thamirabarani in Tamilnadu. Also known as Nellai, Tirunelveli is the administrative headquarters of the Tirunelveli district and also the sixth largest city in Tamilnadu.
Tirunelveli is positioned close to the southern tip of India and is very eminent for various geographical features. It comprises of 5 geographical territories which include mountains, forests, paddy fields, coastal and deserts. The name Tirunelveli is derived from three Tamil words, thiru, nel and veli, meaning ‘sacred paddy hedge’. The freedom fighters of 18th to 20th century Veera Pandiya Kattabomman, Pulithevan Veeran AzhagumuthuKone and Vanachinathan were born in Tirunelveli district.
Tirunelveli is believed to be an ancient settlement. This town was once the capital of the Pandiyas and it has a history that goes back.
At a distance of 56 km from Tirunelveli, 109 km from Trivandrum, 160 km from Madurai, 100 km from Kollam, 132 km from Kanyakumari & 625 km from Chennai, Tenkasi is a popular tourist destination situated on Madurai – Kollam highway and also one of the top Tamilnadu places to visit. Tenkasi is famous for numerous waterfalls spread around the region including the famous Courtallam Falls.
It is the second largest town in Tirunelveli district surrounded by the Western Ghats on three sides. A river called Chittar flows through the town. Tenkasi was founded by Pandyan kings who ruled Southern Tamil Nadu for long time. The Word Tenkasi means Kasi of the South referring to Kasiviswanathar temple situated in the town. The temple was built by Parakrama Pandyan, but was shattered by lightning.
Marina Beach (Near Chennai)
At a distance of 4 Kms from Chennai Central Railway Station (located at Kamarajar Road, near local Chepauk Railway Station), the famous Marina beach is the second longest beach in the World and runs to a length of 13 Km. This is one of the top tourist places to visit in Chennai city and also one of the popular attraction not to miss in a Chennai tour packages.
Situated on the beach, the Anna Park, named after the founder of D.M.K Anna durai and the tomb of M.G. Ramachandran who was a film star (both were former Chief Ministers of Tamil Nadu) and the Statue of Labour is a splendid sculpture depicting the efforts of a team of labourers who are at hard manual labour.
The beach can be ideally visited in the early mornings or in the late evenings when the area becomes a virtual ground with food stalls and other entertainments.
Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple – Srirangam (Near Tiruchirappalli)
At a distance of 1 km from Srirangam Railway Station, 9 km from Trichy Railway Junction, 62 km from Thanjavur, 145 km from Madurai & 327 km from Chennai, Srirangam is well known for Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple which is the foremost of the eight self-manifested shrines of Lord Vishnu. The temple is considered the first among 108 prominent Vishnu temples and also one of the popular Tamilnadu tourist places.
Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple is one of the most famous temples in South India, constructed in the Dravidian style of architecture. Built across an area of 156 acres, this temple is dedicated to Ranganatha, a reclining form of Hindu deity, Lord Vishnu. This temple lies on an island formed by the twin Rivers Cauvery and Kollidam. Though the temple existing since 2nd century BC, the archaeological inscriptions are available only from the 10th century CE.
This temple is also known by other names such as Thiruvaranga Tirupati, Periyakoil.
Kutralam Falls / Courtallam Falls (Near Tenkasi)
At a distance of 7 km from Tenkasi, 160 km from Madurai, 62 km from Tirunelveli & 625 km from Chennai, Courtallam, or Kutralam is well known for Courtallam Falls which is one of the most famous waterfalls in Tamilnadu and among the must include places in Tamilnadu tour packages during monsoon season. Courtallam is famed as the ‘Spa of South’.
The main attraction of this summer resort is its waterfalls. The waters of Courtallam are believed to have medicinal qualities as it flows through forests of herbs. There are nine waterfalls at Courtallam where the River Chittar cascades over 92 meters at varying volumes.
The Main falls or Peraruvi is the most popular and the biggest among the nine falls, at a distance of about 300 meters from Courtallam Bus Stand. Falling from a height of 60 m, it is located right inside Courtallam town. The flow of water is interrupted by the Pongumakadal.
Pichavaram (Near Chidambaram)
At a distance of 16 kms from Chidambaram & 217 Kms from Chennai, Pichavaram is among the most exquisite places of tourist interest near Chennai and a scenic spot.
The backwaters are interconnected by the Vellar and Coleroon River system and offer abundant scope for water sports such as parasailing, rowing and canoeing. The Pichavaram forests not only offer scenic waterscape and backwater cruises but combines the mangrove forests. These are trees permanently rooted in a few feet of water.
The mangroves of Pichavaram are considered among the healthiest mangrove forests in the world. Pichavaram consists of a number of small islands interspersing a vast expanse of water and covered with green trees. The area is about 2800 acres and is separated from the sea by sand bars.
Darasuram Airavatheswar Temple (Near Kumbakonam)
At a distance of 34 Kms from Thanjavur & 284 Kms from Chennai, Darasuram, a small town 8 Kms away from Kumbakonam is known for the Airavathesvara Temple built by Rajaraja Chola II in the 12th century CE. This temple is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site ‘Great Living Chola Temples’.
This temple is a storehouse of art and architecture. The vimana is 85 feet high. The front mandapam itself is in the form of a huge chariot drawn by horses. The temple has some exquisite stone carvings. The main deity’s consort Periya Nayaki Amman temple is situated adjacent to Airavateshwarar temple.
The legend goes to show that Airavata, the white elephant of Indra, worshipped Lord Siva in this temple; so did also the King of Death, Yama. Inscriptions on the temple walls say that it was known in those days as Raja Rajeswaram and Raja Rajapuram.
Timings: 6 AM to 7 PM
Gangai Konda Cholapuram (Near Chidambaram)
At a distance of 42 km Chidambaram, 76 km from Thanjavur, 110 km from Trichy & 268 km from Chennai, Sri Brihadeeswara Temple is situated at Gangaikonda Cholapuram. Gangaikonda Cholapuram was the capital of Cholas. It was built by Rajendra Chola I, the son and successor of Rajaraja Chola, who conquered a large area in South India at the beginning of the 11th century. It occupies an important place in the history of India as the capital of the Cholas from about 1025 CE for about 250 years. This temple is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site ‘Great Living Chola Temples’.
Rajendra Chola I has established this temple after his great victories in Northern India. He was originally called Madurantakan and assumed the title of Rajendra during his coronation and continued to rule along with his father Rajaraja-I for a while. Gangai Konda Cholapuram is regarded as the reproduction of Brihadisvara Temple that was built by Rajaraja Chola, father of Rajendra Chola.
Thiruvanaikoil / Jambukeshwar Temple (Near Tiruchirappalli)
At a distance of 2.5 km from Srirangam Temple and 11 km from Trichy Railway Junction, Sri Thiruvanaikoil or Thiruvanaikaval, is famous for Jambukeswarar Temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. The temple was built by Kochengon, one of the Early Cholas around 1800 years ago on Srirangam Island.
Thiruvanaikoil Temple is one of the five major Shiva Temples known as Panchabhoota Sthala representing element of water. The sanctum has Shiva Lingam in the form of Appu lingam (water lingam). The sanctum of Lord Jambukeshwara has an underground water stream and one can see water coming out of that stream all the time. The presiding goddess is Devi Akilandeswari Amman.
According to legend, Parvathi performed penance in the form of Akilandeswari in the Jambu forest. She made the lingam out of the water of river Kaveri, installed it under the Venn Naaval tree evolved out of Saint Jambu and commenced her worship. Lord Siva at last gave darshan to Devi Akhilandeswari and taught her Siva Gnana.
Balamurugan Temple – Ratnagiri (Near Vellore)
At a distance of 400 m from Ratnagiri Bus Stop and 17 km from Vellore Town Railway Station, Ratnagiri Balamurugan Temple is an ancient temple located on top of a hillock in Ratnagiri on Vellore – Chennai National Highway. It is one of the important temples around Vellore.
The Ratnagiri Temple is dedicated to Lord Murugan. There are two forms of the deity in this temple, one is Lord Thirukkolam, seen with his wives Valli and Devasena and the other is Lord Gurukkolam. The idol of the main deity Bala Murugan was installed in a chariot which is made of granite. The garbhagriha is made of granite and is modeled according to the Chola architecture. The wall surrounding the shrine has small idols of Ganesha, Dakshinamurthy, Murugan, Brahma, Durga, and Chandikeswarar. There are 2 temples for the Lord Vinayaka, one on top of the hill and another at the bottom of hill.
Siruvani Waterfalls (Near Coimbatore)
At a distance of 36 Kms from Coimbatore Railway Station, 50 Kms from Palakkad & 535 Kms from Chennai, Siruvani Waterfalls (also called as Kovai Kutralam Falls) are located in Siruvani Hills in Tamil Nadu. These falls formed by Siruvani River are located in dense forest.
The falls can be reached by about 4 Kms trek from the nearest road point between Siruvani Dam and Madavarayapuram. The falls are best seen in monsoon season between June and October. The upper part of the falls is dangerous with deep cliffs and tourist usually enjoy the beauty and bathing at bottom of the falls.
These falls are very close to Siruvani Dam (5 Kms away) which provides drinking water for Coimbatore City. The water of the Dam is famous for its sweetness.
This place is usually evacuated before 5 PM due to its remote accessibility and darkness spread by the forest. Siruvani Dam is connected by frequent buses from Coimbatore.
Pykara Falls (Near Ooty)
At a distance of 2 km from Pykara Lake and 23 km from Ooty Bus Stand, Pykara Falls is a majestic waterfalls situated on Ooty – Mysore road in Ooty, Tamil Nadu. This is one of the best waterfalls near Bangalore and also one of the most popular Ooty tourist places. It is another popular attraction not to miss in a Ooty tour package.
Pykara Falls is formed by Pykara River on the downstream of the Pykara Dam. The falls drops down into two sections with height of 55 m and 61 m through multiple layers on the rocky bed providing a unique beauty to the stream. The waterfall amidst the dense forest is a treat to watch. It is one of the must visit places for honeymoon couples and nature lovers during their Ooty trip.
Thirukkadaiyur (Near Chidambaram)
At a distance of 23 km from Karaikal, 23 km from Mayiladuthurai, 44 km from Chidambaram and 57 km from Kumbakonam, Thirukkadaiyur is a popular temple town located on the east coast of Tamil Nadu in the Nagapattinam district. The Amritaghateswarar – Abirami Temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva is the most famous temple in Thirukkadaiyur.
The presiding deity of this temple is Sri Amirthalingeswara and his consort is Sri Abirami. Thirukkadaiyur is one of the 8 Veera Sthalas, where Yama was clashed with Lord Shiva. It is believed that this is the place where Lord Shiva protected Markandeya, son of Mrikandu, from Yama. The scar caused by the Yama’s rope is visible on the Linga during abisheka times.
The temple was built by Chola kings in 11th century in the traditional Chola architectural style. Spread over 11 acres, the temple has great architecture and has five enclosures, huge towers and spacious mandapas.
Thirukandiyur (Near Thanjavur)
At a distance of 12 km from Thanjavur and 35 km from Kumbakonam, Thirukandiyur is a temple town situated in Tamilnadu. The major attraction of Thirukandiyur is the Temple of Hara Sapavimochana Kandeswarar. The temple of Thirukandiyur is considered one of the 108 Divyadesams and is also known as Pancha Kamala Kshetram. As per history, the temple was built by Emperor Mahabali and is located between Kudamurutti and Vennar Rivers.
According to a legend, Brahma became very arrogant and feet superior to Shiva. Brahma once visited Kailas to meet Shiva. Parvathi, the wife of Shiva got confused and performed pooja to Brahma instead of Shiva. Lord Shiva plucked off one head of Brahma to avoid the confusion between the two. This resulted in Shiva incurring a Brahmahathya dosha. The skull of Brahma stuck to the hands of Shiva which he could not separate despite all efforts. All the food offered to him was consumed by the skull and it was never.
Mariamman Temple – Samayapuram (Near Tiruchirappalli)
At a distance of 1 km from Samayapuram Bus Stand, 11 km from Srirangam, 19 km from Trichy, 66 km from Thanjavur & 317 km from Chennai, Sri Mariamman Temple situated at Samayapuram on NH-45 is one of the popular temples in the state of Tamil Nadu.
Sri Mariyamman Temple is dedicated to Samayapurathal or Mariamman, an incarnation of Goddess Shakti. The main deity in the sanctum is made of sand and clay and hence there are no abhishekams conducted to the main deity, but instead the abishekam is done to the small stone statue in front of it.
According to legend, the present deity was at the Ranganathaswamy temple at Srirangam, and one of chief priests of the temple believed that the idol caused him illness and hence asked it to be removed from the temple. It is a common belief that such local deities have immense powers and they must always be satisfied by proper offerings and sacrifices.
Margabandeswarar Temple – Virinjipuram (Near Vellore)
At a distance of 650 m from Virinjipuram Bus Stop and 13 km from Vellore Town Railway Station, Sri Margabandeswarar Temple is a 13th century temple situated on Bangalore – Chennai National Highway. The temple has rich sculptures and artistic pillars. The temple was built by Cholas Kings in 13th Century while Bomma Nayakars, who built Vellore Jalagandeswarar temple, made several extensions to the temple including beautiful kalyana mandapa.
The main deity of this temple is Swayambu Lingam known as Margabandeeswarar. The Siva Lingam is slightly leaning to North East direction. The Goddess of the temple is Maragadambal. Other deities seen in the temple are Ganapathy, Subramanya, Chandra Mouleeswara, Pancha Mukha Lingam, Saptha Matrukas, Lakshmi, Saraswathy & Durga. In this temple Lord Brahma is worshiped as Virinjan.
Mudumalai Wildlife Sanctuary (Near Ooty)
At a distance of 12 km from Bandipur National Park, 37 km from Ooty, and 92 km from Mysore, Mudumalai Wildlife Sanctuary or Mudumalai National Park is located at the foothills of the Nilgiri hills in the state of Tamil Nadu. It is one of the finest and most attractive wildlife sanctuaries in India and also one of the top places to visit in Ooty.
Mudumalai is the first sanctuary in South India set up in 1940 and was declared as a National Park in 1990. In April 2007, the Tamil Nadu state government declared Mudumalai to be a tiger reserve. The sanctuary is situated on Karnataka-Kerala border adjacent to Bandipur National Park of Karnataka and Wayanad (Muthanga) Wildlife Sanctuary of Kerala.
Padmanabhapuram (Near Kanyakumari)
At a distance of 35 Kms from Kanyakumari, 53 Kms from Trivandrum & 700 Kms from Chennai (situated on Trivandrum – Kanyakumariroad), Padmanabhapuram is an ancient historical town surrounded by a fort with an area of 187 acres. The ancient capital of Travancore might be constructed before AD 1601. The palace with an area of seven acres, is situated in the very centre on the Padmanabhapuram Fort, amidst hills, dales and rivers.
The fort which was built with mud originally was dismantled and reconstructed with granite by Maharaja Marthanda Varma. The height of the walls varies from 15 ft to 24 ft according to the inclination of the ground.
Entry Fee Rs 25 for Adult & Rs 10 for Children. Closed on Mondays.
Fees for Foreigners : Adult Rs 200 & Children Rs 50
Video and Camera Fee are Rs 1500 & Rs 25 Respectively
Separate fee for Car parking
Mayiladuthurai (Near Chidambaram)
At a distance of 37 km from Kumbakonam, 37 km from Karaikal and 42 km from Chidambaram, Mayiladuthurai is a town and headquarters of the Mayiladuthurai Taluk in Nagapattinam district of Tamil Nadu. Mayiladuthurai is known for the Mayuranatha Swamy Temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. This temple is one among the six temples which are compared as equivalent to the temple in Varanasi. The other 5 Shivasthalams are Tiruvenkaadu, Chaayaavanam, Tiruvaiyaru, Tiruvanchiam and Tiruvidaimarudur.
This temple was reconstructed with stone in 10th century during the period of Sembiyan Mahadevi. However, the renovations from the 19th century have destroyed some of the older structures and the inscriptions. Some of the stone sculptures of Vinayakar, Natarajar, Dakshimamurthy, Lingodbhavar, Brahma, Ganga Visarjanamurthi, Durga and Bhikshatanar from the period of Sembiyan Mahadevi have been well preserved.
Silver Cascade (Near Kodaikanal)
At a distance of 8 kms from Kodaikanal Bus Station & 500 Kms from Chennai, Silver Cascade is a 55 meters (180 ft) waterfall formed from the outflow of kodaikanal Lake. This is one of the most popular waterfalls near Bangalore and among the prime place to visit on a Kodaikanal tour.
Situated on Laws Ghat Road, Silver Cascade’s water quality is reportedly poor and not good enough for bathing. This impressive waterfall is a popular stop for a nice view of the falls and surroundings. There are a few souvenir and fruit vendors and many monkeys here. There is also a smaller but more serene waterfall below the bridge which crosses the stream here.
This waterfall is close to the main road and does not demand much walking/trekking.
Timings: 6 AM – 6 PM
Sripuram (Near Vellore)
At a distance of 10 km from Vellore Town Railway Station, 70 Kms from Kanchipuram, 55 kms from Kanipakam, 146 Kms from Chennai, 120 Kms from Tirupati and 212 Kms from Bangalore, Sripuram Golden Temple dedicated to goddess Mahalakshmi is one of the famous temples in Tamilnadu and it was built using 1500 kilograms of gold.
Constructed in the year of 2007, Sripuram is the biggest structure made out of gold. The Vimana and Ardha Mandapa have been coated with gold both in the interior and exterior. The temple is built in 100 acres area of land and constructed by Vellore-based Sri Narayani Peedam, headed by spiritual leader Sri Sakthi Amma. One and half tonnes of gold has been used for the construction of the temple with a cost of 600 crore.
The temple is built in Dravidian style with wonderful artisitc work. Sripuram design represents a star-shaped.
Annamalai / Indira Gandhi Wildlife Sanctuary (Near Coimbatore)
At a distance of 108 Kms from Coimbatore, 67 Kms from Pollachi & 600 Kms from Chennai, Annamalai (or Indira Gandhi) Wildlife Sanctuary is situated at an altitude of 1,400 meters in the Western Ghats.
Spread across 958 Sq. Kms, it is bordered with Parambikulam Wildlife Sanctuary, Eravikulam National Park and Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary. This park is home for varieties of fauna like elephant, gaur, tiger, panther, sloth-bear, deer, wild bear, wild dog, porcupine, flying squirrel, jackal, pangolin, civet cat and birds like rocket-tailed drongo, red-whiskered bulbul, black headed oriole, etc.
This WLS is famous with several scenic waterfalls, grass hills, tea estates & reservoirs. The best gateway for the Sanctuary is Top Slip (70 Kms from Coimbatore & 30 Kms from Pollachi). Other gateways are Amaravathi (90 Kms from Coimbatore & 50 Kms from Pollachi), Sethumadai (5 Kms before Top Slip) and Valparai (92 Kms from Coimbatore & 52 Kms from Pollachi).
Wenlock Downs (Near Ooty)
At a distance of 16 km from Ooty, Wenlock Downs is a vast expanse of grassy meadow located on the way to Pykara in Ooty, Tamilnadu. It is one of the most scenic places in Ooty and also one of the best Ooty tourist places. Along with Ooty Lake, this place is most commonly represented for Ooty Tourism.
Wenlock Downs is a spectacular meadow named after Sir Arthur Lawley’s sibling Beilby Lawley, third Baron Wenlock. The downs spread majestically across 20,000 acres of rolling lands that seems to be stretching endlessly. The entire place is covered with Shola forest. More popularly known as the Shooting Point, Wenlock Downs has two popular movie filming points known as Sixth Mile and Ninth Mile named so because of they are located at 6 miles and 9 miles away from Ooty.
Thiruvarur (Near Thanjavur)
At a distance of 2 km from Thiruvarur Junction, 40 km from Kumbakonam, 39 km from Karaikal and 62 km from Thanjavur, Thiruvarur is a famous temple town known for Sri Thyagaraja Temple is a Hindu temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva. This is the fore most form of the Saptha Vidanga Sthalams.
Thyagaraja Swamy temple was first constructed by Aditya Chola I in 9th century. The temple was upgraded and rebuilt with stone by Rajendra Chola I in 11th century. The later expansions are attributed to Vijayanagar rulers. This temple is one of the biggest in the country and has the biggest temple chariot in Tamil Nadu.
Sri Vanmikanathar (Lord Shiva) is the presiding deity of the temple. According to the legend, Vishnu worshipped Shiva in the form of Somaskanda, associated with Ajapa dance. Shiva is said to have appeared in an anthill to Vishnu. So, no abishekam is performed for Vanmikanathar.
Vaitheeswaran Koil (Near Chidambaram)
At a distance of 17 km from Mayiladuthurai, 27 km from Chidambaram, 45 kms from Karaikal, 54 km from Kumbakonam and 94 km from Thanjavur, Vaitheeswaran Koil is town in Nagapattinam district which is famous for the Vaidyanatha Swamy Temple. The temple is also known as Pullirukkuvelur.
Vaidyanatha Swamy and Thaiyalnayaki are the presiding deities of this temple. The Selva Muthukumara Swamy shrine here is also considered to be of important. There are Shiva lingas said to have been worshipped by Rama, Jatayu, Skanda, Surya and Angaraka. It is believed that Rama and his brother Lakshmana cremated the vulture king Jatayu who was killed by Ravana when he tried to prevent the abduction of Sita at this place. There is a pond at this temple called Jatayu kundam.
It is one of the Navagraha temples associated with the planet Mars (Angaraka). According to legend, Planet Mars was once afflicted with leprosy and was cured by Vaidyanatha.
Topslip (Near Coimbatore)
At a distance of 76 km from Coimbatore, 30 km from Pollachi and 550 km from Chennai, Topslip is a popular place located in the Annamalai mountain range in the Western Ghats in Coimbatore district of Tamilnadu. It lies at an altitude of 2554 feet and is famous for its wildlife sanctuary and national park that are in proximity.
Topslip is the Tiger Reserve Forest in small part of Annamalai Tiger Reserve, which is separated from the Nilgiri Hills by Palghat Gap in north. It got its name during British era, as lots of its timber sliped down to the plains below. Being a medical plant conservation area, it is famous for the elephant camp, wildlife safaris, pleasant weather and beautiful views of Annamalai Hills.
It is the best gateway for wonderful wildlife experience of the Indira Gandhi WLS. The unique teak forests, Bamboo forests, rich exotic species of plants and wild animals.
Kamaraj Sagar / Sandynalla Reservoir & Pine Forest (Near Ooty)
At a distance of 9 km from Ooty Bus Station, Kamraj Sagar Dam, also known as the Sandynalla Reservoir, is a very quiet and scenic dam situated on the slopes of the Wenlock Downs in Ooty. It is one of the top Ooty tourist places and also a must include in every Ooty Tour Package.
The dam, built on the Kamrajar Lake, is spread over 400 acres and is situated on the way to Wenlock Downs & Pykara. The dam is a monsoon fed water body and measures about 6 km in length. The dam and the serene location make it a heavenly place and a favorite haunt for the nature lovers. It is also a popular destination with honeymoon couples because of its picturesque natural beauty. It is a popular shooting location in Ooty.
There are several walking trails around the lake and visitors can also explore several tourist places.
Poompuhar (Near Chidambaram)
At a distance of 40 Kms from Chidambaram, 40 km from Karaikal, 90 Kms from Thanjavur & 257 Kms from Chennai, Poompuhar was once the biggest port on the east coast of Tamil Nadu, and was as its peak of glory under the earlier Chola kings.
The River Kaveri is merging with the sea here. It was known as puhar due to the exquisite beauty of the port town, and it later came to be called Poompuhar. Silappathikaram and Manimekalai, the tamil epics, bring out the greatness of the city in some of the poems in Sangam literature.
Danish Fort that was built as early as 1620 A.D is the masterpiece of the Danish architecture in India. The fort is in perfect condition till now and most of the decorations and carvings are still prominent.
A fine beach and calm waters offer good opportunity for sunbathing and swimming.
Valparai (Near Coimbatore)
At a distance of 65 km from Pollachi, 105 km from Coimbatore, 60 kms from Athirapally Falls and 600 km from Chennai, Valparai is a cute Hill Station and a municipality located in Coimbatore district of Tamilnadu. It lies at an altitude of about 3,500 feet on the Annamalai Hill Range of the Western Ghats and is also one of the top Tamilnadu tourist places.
This place has number of tea and coffee estates surrounded by thick forest. The climate of Valparai is most suitable for tea, coffee, cardamom and cincona trees. According to the earlier records, in 1846, Mr. Ramaswamy Mudaliyar started cultivating coffee in his private estate. Afterwards, in 1864, the Karnatic Coffee Company began their coffee plantation here but they could not make it profitable, hence they sold part of their land.
Pykara Dam & Reservoir (Near Ooty)
At a distance of 22 km from Ooty, Pykara Lake is a placid lake situated on Ooty – Mysore road in Tamilnadu. Pykara Lake & Dam is one of the best places to visit in Ooty and an ideal place to experience beautiful boat ride.
Pykara Dam built on Pykara River amidst dense forest is a beautiful destination offering breathtaking scenery. Pykara is the largest river in Nilgiris district. Pykara Lake is a blessed lake for the Todas, the local tribe of Nilgiris. This is the best place to relax and admire the beauty of nature. The dam is near the main Ooty – Gudalur road and includes a power station. Often referred as one of the oldest power plants in South India, the Pykara Power Station still functions and generating about 60 megawatts electricity. It was declared as a heritage plant in 1997, triggered the establishment of more hydro-electric power stations in the state.
Thiruparappu Waterfalls (Near Kanyakumari)
At a distance of 50 Kms from Kanyakumari, 51 Kms from Trivandrum & 704 Kms from Chennai (about 12 kms from Trivandrum – Kanyakumari highway, 13 kms from Pechiparai Dam), the Kodayar makes its descend at Thiruparappu and forms this wonderful waterfall.
The river bed is rocky and about 300 feet in length. The water falls from a height of nearly 50 feet and the water flows for about seven months in a year. The whole bed above the falls is one rocky mass which extends up to a distance of about quarter of a kilometer upstream where the famous Thirparappu weir has been constructed for supplying water to the paddy fields. A swimming pool has been constructed for children over here. This is a safe place for swimming.
Mahadeva Temple dedicated to Siva enclosed by strong fortification is very close to the waterfalls and it’s one of the important Siva temples in Kanyakumari district.
Nagore (Near Thanjavur)
At a distance of 14 km from Karaikal, 85 Kms from Thanjavur, 9 Kms from Nagapattinam & 291 Kms from Chennai, Nagore is famous for a Muslim dargah dedicated to the 16th century saint Meeran Sahib.
The Nagore Dargah shrines are situated at three locations, Nagore, Vanjur and Silladi. The main campus is at Nagore, spread over an area of about five acres, which is enclosed by compound wall, with four impressive entrances, one each on the north, south, east and west. In front of the western gate, just outside the compound, is a large tower, 131 feet tall, called ‘Periya Minara’. Nagore Dargah literature discloses that Tanjore King Pratap Singh built -Periya Minara- around 1760 AD, about 200 years after the death of Meeran Sahib. He is said to have built it in appreciation of having received the grace of Meeran Sahib.
Although this is a Muslim religious place, the dargah’s rituals and architecture are influenced by Hinduism.
Amaravathi Dam (Near Coimbatore)
At a distance of 90 Kms from Coimbatore, 50 Kms from Pollachi & 516 Kms from Chennai, Amaravathi Dam & Reservoir is located at Amaravathi Nagar in Indira Gandhi Wildlife Sanctuary. The dam is surrounded by Annamalai Hills & Palani Hills and offer wonderful view of the valleys.
The dam was built in 1957 across the Amaravathi River. The Reservoir and the Chinnar, Thennar and Pambar rivers that drain into it are known for South India’s largest wild breeding population of Mugger Crocodiles. The Amaravathi Sagar Crocodile Farm is the largest Crocodile nursery in India with about 100 crocodiles. Established in 1976, Crocodile Farm is 1 km before the Amaravathy Dam.
There is a well laid-out park near the dam with tranquil surroundings. Amaravathi Nagar is connected by bus with Pollachi vial Udumalpet. More bus connections are available from Udumalpet.
Timings of the Park and Crocodile Farm: 9 AM to 6 PM.
Emerald Lake (Near Ooty)
At a distance of 17 km from Ooty and 27 km from Coonoor, Emerald Lake, a serene lake with emerald blue waters, is located near Emerald village in the Nilgiris district of Tamil Nadu. Situated amidst dense forests, it is one of the top Ooty tourist places. The lake is part of the Silent Valley National Park situated on the way to Avalanche village.
The blue waters of Emerald Lake surrounded by lush green meadows and forest is simply mesmerizing. The water is crystal clear and of course cold. This is a great place to enjoy the day with breathtaking views of the slopes of Nilgiris. Emerald Lake is also a haven for a variety of birds. It is a mini paradise for bird lovers and ornithologists as they get to see and study a number of native birds. It is also notable for the scenic sun rise and sun set views near the lake. The Tea gardens is a great spot to spend some time as it gives a memorable experience.
Point Calimere Wildlife Sanctuary (Near Thanjavur)
At a distance of 115 Kms from Thanjavur, 56 Kms from Nagapattinam (which is 85 Kms from Thanjavur) & 354 Kms from Chennai, Calimere Wildlife Sanctuary (also known as Kodikkarai Wildlife Sanctuary) is a coastal island sanctuary situated at a distance of 11 Kms from Vedaranyam in Nagapattinam district towards Bay of Bengal.
Stretching across an area of 21.47 sq. kms, it is surrounded by the sea and mesmerizing beaches. This sanctuary is famous for the migratory birds like flamingos, water fowl, etc, which arrive here every winter. The park is also home for Wildlife like chital, wild boar, bonnet macaque, Painted stork, black buck, terns, plovers and stilts. Dolphins and turtles can also be observed near the shore.
The best time to visit is November to January. The Forest Department Rest House at Point Calimere Wildlife Sanctuary provides accommodation.
Timings: 6 AM to 5 PM on all days
Bear Shola Falls (Near Kodaikanal)
At a distance of 3 kms from Kodaikanal Bus Station & 512 Kms from Chennai, Bear Shola Falls is a tall waterfall in a Reserve forest. It is said that bears used to drink water at top of the falls, and the falls are called so. This is one of the top places for sightseeing in Kodaikanal and one of the best waterfalls in kodaikanal.
The approach road to the falls is bumpy and hilly. The falls offer best views just after monsoon during the months of September & October. You don’t find any water in summer season. The pathway from the main road follows through dense forest amidst serene location. Apart from the majestic waterfall, the walk through the forest itself is a wonderful experience.
Height of the falls is about 40 feet and the water drops into a small pool. Swimming here is safe if the water flow is not fierce. This place demands a 10 minute walk from the road point.
Vaideki Waterfalls (Near Coimbatore)
At a distance of 35 Kms from Coimbatore Railway Station & 533 Kms from Chennai, Vaideki Falls are located near Narisipuram town.
The falls is very beautiful and has a naturally formed slope. It is located inside the forest and one must obtain permission before entering the forest. Visitors are only allowed by being escorted by a forest guard into the forest. This area of forest has lot of animal movements; especially elephants. There are lot of incidents of elephants attacking humans, so it is always advisable to obtain permission and get some guards accompanying while entering the forest.
About 5 Kms trek through forest is required to reach the falls from nearest road point. One can get private vehicles to reach forest trek point from Narisipuram town.
Elliot’s Beach (Near Chennai)
At a distance of 13 Kms from Chennai (located in Besant Nagar), The Elliot’s Beach is a well known destination for people who seek relief from the crowded metropolitan life of the Chennai. The Adyar River drains into the sea here.
Popularly known as ‘Bessie’ among locals, this is an extremely calm and tranquil place. The Beach has become a popular hangout for the young generation. Elliot’s Beach is also a favorite haunt of foreigners where they can peacefully take their sun bath.
The Ashtalakshmi Temple near the beach is around 20 years old and has modern style architecture. Velanganni Church is a pilgrim place for the Christians.
Elliot’s Beach has good connectivity and transportation options from Chennai.
Thiruchendur (Near Kanyakumari)
At a distance of 59 km from Tirunelveli, 35 km from Tuticorin and 92 km from Kanyakumari, Thiruchendur is a small coastal town in the Toothukudi district of Tamil Nadu and is a popular pilgrimage destination situated in the Gulf of Mannar.
Thiruchendur Murugan Kovil is the prime attraction of the town. This temple is considered to be one of the six Padai Veedu (Battle Camps) of Lord Murugan, the others being Thiruparamkundram, Palani, Swamimalai, Thiruthani and Pazhamudhircholai. This temple is known as the second Padai Veedu of Lord Muruga. Lord Muruga won the battle with the demon Surapadma and worshipped Lord Shiva at this sacred place. It is believed that the temple existed since the Vedic period, as it is mentioned in many ancient scripts.
The main entrance to the temple faces south although the sanctum faces east. The 133 feet Rajagopura, built close to the shores of Bay of Bengal, is an outstanding example of Dravidian.
Srivilliputhur Andal Temple (Near Madurai)
At a distance of 80 km from Madurai and 100 km from Tirunelveli, Srivilliputhur Andal Temple is an ancient Hindu temple situated at Srivilliputhur in Virudhunagar district of Tamilnadu. This is one of the popular temples in Tamilnadu and also one of the 108 divya desams of Lord Vishnu. The 11 tier Raja gopuram is the tallest in Tamilnadu and is also the Emblem of Tamil Nadu Government.
The temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu, who is worshipped as Vatapatrasayi and his consort Lakshmi as Andal. It is believed to be the birthplace of two of the Alwars, namely Periazhwar and his foster daughter Andal. The Alwars lived in 8th century, so that the existence of the temple can be traced even before. Vatapatra Sayanar Temple was constructed by the King Villi who ruled the place. The tall temple tower was constructed by Peria Alwar with the help provided by the Pandian king Vallabadevan (765-815 AD). The Andal Shrine had been constructed by different kings of Pandya dynasty at different times.
Nagapattinam (Near Thanjavur)
At a distance of 20 km from Karaikal, 85 Kms from Thanjavur & 298 Kms from Chennai, Nagapattinam is a coastal town on Bay of Bengal and is a district headquarters.
This place is also famous for its temples. There are few famous temples in Nagapattinam – The Shri Kayahorana Swami Neelayathatchi Amman Temple, Sowriraja Perumal Temple, and Nellukkadai Mariamman Temple.
The long and clear beaches of Nagapattinam attract large crowds on evenings.
This favourite town of Chola Kings was also celebrated later by Vijayanagara Kings. The Portuguese had a commercial contact with this town during the rule of the Thanjavur Nayak Sevvappa Nayakkar and Acchuthappa Nayakkar.
There are several historical and pilgrimage places around Nagapattinam.
Monkey Waterfalls (Near Coimbatore)
At a distance of 67 Kms from Coimbatore, 27 Kms from Pollachi & 548 Kms from Chennai, Monkey Falls is a magnificient falls situated near Aliyar Dam between Pollachi and Valparai in the Anamalai Hills (24 Kms before Valparai).
With a height of about 60 feet, these falls are very close to the main road and easily accessible. Bathing is possible at bottom of the falls, though it’s bit dangerous during monsoons when the water flow is high.
Best time to visit the falls is between October & March. This place attracts several thousands of tourists across the year and usually crowded on weekends. It is easily accessible by Bus from Pollachi. All the buses between Pollachi and Valparai stop here.
V.G.P. Golden Beach (Near Chennai)
At a distance of 21 Kms from Chennai Central Railway Station and 40 Kms from Mahabalipuram (situated on East Coast Road between Chennai and Mahabalipuram), VGP Golden Beach is the only resort in Chennai city limits. This is one of the popular tourist places to visit near Chennai.
This Beach cum Amusement Park is developed by The Tourism and Entertainment Corridor of Tamil Nadu, and offers wide range of entertainment options like Gokarting, Dashing Cars, Water Chute, Giant Wheel, Break-dance, Dragons belly, Super trooper and many more. Kids can enjoy the special sight seeing of Jurassic Park and Aquarium. There is an Art Centre which sells handicrafts and articles made out of sea shells.
The sea facing Swimming pool is an extra attraction. The beach is clean and ideal for sun-bathing.
Avalanche Lake / Sanctuary (Near Ooty)
At a distance of 5 km from Emerald Lake, 23 km from Ooty & 33 km from Coonoor, Avalanche Lake is beautiful lake situated at Avalanche village in the Nilgiris district of Tamil Nadu. It is a popular eco- tourism spot and also one of the best places to visit in Ooty.
Avalanche Lake is a mesmerizing lake formed naturally in the year 1823 AD due to a massive landslide (Avalanche). Surrounded by a rolling landscape with blooming flowers and rhododendrons, the lake is a heaven for nature lovers, as small waterfalls falling down from the encircling mountains creates a picture perfect ambience. This lake is the major source of water supply for the Kundah Hydro Power stations.
The journey from Ooty to Avalanche takes one to a picturesque spot centered on a lake. The Avalanche Dam creates Upper Bhavani Lake beyond Emerald Lake.
Swamimalai (Near Kumbakonam)
At a distance of 9 km from Kumbakonam and 37 km from Thanjavur, Swamimalai, situated on the banks of river Cauvery, is known for Sri Swaminatha Swami Temple dedicated to Lord Murugan. Swamimalai is famous for being one of the six Padai Veedugal (Battle Camps) of Lord Murugan, the others being Thiruparamkundram, Thiruchendur, Palani, Thiruthani and Pazhamudhircholai.
The temple of Swaminatha is very ancient one and believed to be existed before 2nd century BC. It is said that Parantaka Chola I upgraded this temple. The temple was greatly damaged during the Anglo-French war between Hyder Ali and British in 1740.
The presiding deity Lord Murugan is depicted here as expounding the meaning of Pranava mantra ‘Aum’ to his father Lord Shiva. According to legend, Brahma disrespected Murugan at the time of visiting Mount Kailash. The child Muruga got angry with Brahma and asked him how he was creating living beings.
Thirubuvanam (Near Kumbakonam)
At a distance of 500 m from Thirubhuvanam Bus Station, 9 km from Kumbakonam and 50 km from Thanjavur, Thirubhuvanam is well known for Kampahareswarar Temple, also known as Sarabeswarar temple. It is an ancient temple situated in Thirubhuvanam on Mayiladuthurai – Kumbakonam road.
The Kampaheswarar Temple is a Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Shiva; the temple enshrines Kampaheswarar as the presiding deity, worshipped in the form of a Shiva Linga. According to legend, Shiva is believed to have relieved Kampa (quaking) of a king haunted by evil spirits on account of the king killing a Brahmin by mistake. This led to the name of Kampaheswarar.
The temple was built by Kulottunga Chola III (1178-1216), to celebrate a military victory. However, Pandyan kings have completed the construction of this temple. The architecture of the temple resembles Brihadeshwarar Temple of Thanjavur, Airavatesvara Temple at Darasuram and Gangaikonda Cholapuram Temple.
Arignar Anna Zoological Park (Near Chennai)
At a distance of 38 Kms from Chennai Central Railway Station (located in Vandalur, Kanchipuram district), Arignar Anna Zoological Park is one of the finest zoos in India. This is also one of the popular tourist places near Chennai and said to be one of the biggest in South East Asia.
Established in 1855 and shifted to the current location of Vandalur reserved forests in the year 1979. This park is officially opened to public in 1985, the park covers 510 hectares of land. The park shelters more than 170 species of animals. The dry forests surrounding the Vandalur region is the ideal breeding ground for these animals. It is home for Tigers, Jaguars, Lions, Panther, Elephants, Sambar, Giraffes and many more.
The Park has a library with good collection of wildlife related books and information. Elephant safari is also available in the park.
Timings 9 AM to 8 PM. Tuesday Holiday.
Palani (Near Kodaikanal)
At a distance of 41 kms from Kodaikanal, 108 Kms from Coimbatore & 487 Kms from Chennai, Palani is one of the padi veedu for Lord Muruga and is an important pilgrim centre for Hindus. Palani is one of the popular pilgrimage sites in Tamilnadu and another popular attraction not to miss in a Kodaikanal tour package.
Puranas have a story that Lord Muruga disappointed for Gnanapazham came here to stay alone. Lord Shiva & Goddess Uma Devi convinced him by saying that he itself is the fruit of knowledge (Gnanapazham) and called him as Pazham Nee. Thus the town got its name ‘Pazhani’.
The temple of Pazhaniandavar is situated in the Palani Hills at the height of about 1400 feet from the sea level. From the temple prakaram one can see the Idumban Hill, the Kodaikanal Hills, the rivers flowing around Palani, the greenfields and even the Kurinjiandavar temple in Kodaikanal hills on a clear day.
Kalhatty Falls (Near Ooty)
At a distance of 14 km from Ooty, Kalhatty Falls is an attractive waterfall situated on the Ooty – Mysore Road or Sigur Ghat Road. Also known as the Kalahasti Falls, it is one of the top places to visit in Ooty and also one of the best waterfalls in Ooty.
Situated on the slopes of Kalhatti Mountain, the Kalhatty Falls cascades down from a height of 120+ feet and is considered to be an ideal destination for trekking. It is situated at an average height of around 400 feet in the Sigur Plateau of Tamil Nadu.
The Kalhatty-Masinagudi slope is rich in wildlife such as Panthers, Bisons, Wild Buffaloes, Wild Dogs, Spotted Deers, Sambars and different types of hill birds. The falls are accessible from main road through a private tea estate. There is a viewpoint that offers a far view of the falls. One can walk down through a narrow path for 15 minutes (one way) from viewpoint to take a closer view & reach.
Kotagiri (Near Ooty)
At a distance of 29 km from Ooty, 20 km from Coonoor, 72 km from Coimbatore & 544 km from Chennai, Kotagiri is a small Hill Station in Nilgiris district of Tamilnadu and is one of the top places to visit in Ooty. It is situated at an altitude of 1793 m. This the oldest and the third largest hill stations in the Nilgiris after Ooty and Coonoor. The name Kotagiri literally means mountains of the Kotas and refers to the Kota tribe who lived here in the past. It is one of the top attractions you must include in Ooty packages.
Kotagiri was the first British settlement in the Nilgiris and preferred summer retreat, till a road was built from Mettupalayam to Coonoor. The region was discovered by two civil servants of the Madras government in pursuit of outlaws.
Law’s Falls (Near Coonoor)
At a distance of 10 kms from Coonoor (on the road way to Mettupalayam) & 26 Kms from Ooty, the beautiful Law’s falls is set inside the Coonoor forest range with vast stretches of undisturbed nature around. It is one of the must visit Coonoor tourist places and also one of the waterfalls in Coonoor.
Named after Col. Law, who constructed the new Coonoor ghat, this waterfall is formed by Coonoor river near its junction with the Mettupalayam ghat road. This small & pretty wafterfall attracts huge crowd, especiall during post monsoons. Since this place is close to main road, it does not need much walk/trek.
One can enjoy the force of the water at bottom of the falls. The place is rocky and slippery.
Height of the falls is about 30 feet through multiple cascades.
Catherine Falls (Near Coonoor)
At a distance of 7 km from Kotagiri, 21 km from Coonoor, and 36 km from Ooty, Catherine Falls is a beautiful waterfall situated near Kotagiri in Nilgiris district of Tamilnadu. It is the second largest waterfalls in Nilgiris and one of the best waterfalls in Ooty. It is also one of the best places to visit in Coonoor.
Cascades down from a height of 250 feet, the stunning Catherine Falls is a double-cascaded waterfall located at Aravenu. The River Kallar descends down the rocks as Geddhehaada Halla stream, to form the Catherine Falls. Also known as Geddhehaada Halla by locals, this waterfall is named after Catherine Cocburn, the wife of M.D. Cocburn, who had introduced coffee plantation to the areas of Kotagiri and Yercaud.
Catherine Falls is surrounded by beautiful views of forest, tea plantations and the Mettupalayam plains. The falls is clearly visible from the top of Dolphin’s Nose.
Thiruttani (Near Kanchipuram)
At a distance of 13 km from Arakkonam, 44 km from Kanchipuram, 86 km from Chennai and 65 km from Tirupati, Thiruthani is a holy town located in Tiruvallur District of Tamil Nadu and is famous for the Murugan Temple. This temple is one among the six Padai Veedus (Battle Grounds) of Lord Murugan, other five are Palani, Swamimalai, Tirupparangunram, Pazhamudircholai and Thiruchendur. This place represents the site where Subramanya stayed after destroying the demon Surapadman.
Tiruttani is also said to be the place where the Lord Subramanya married Valli – one of his two consorts. This temple has been mentioned in the Sangam period work Tirumurugaatruppadai composed by Nakkeerar. According to legend, Devayani, daughter of Indra married Lord Murugan and was presented Indra’s elephant Airavatam as part of his dowry offering. Upon Airavatam’s departure Indra found his wealth waning. Lord Subramanya is said to have offered to return the white elephant, however Indra refused to accept.
Sadras Beach Resort (Near Mahabalipuram)
At a distance of 13 kms from Mahabalipuram (towards South) and 68 Kms from Chennai, Sadras is an outstanding beach resort that takes advantage of the beautiful landscape. This is one of the popular tourist places to visit around Chennai.
The beaches that surround Mahabalipuram are encompassed by beautiful, green casuarinas groves. The contrast of the vibrant green with the sparkling white beaches is breathtaking, and a sight that numerous tourists want to experience.
There is an old ruined Dutch Fort and a Dutch cemetery with finely carved headstones at Sadras as well.
Covelong Beach (Near Mahabalipuram)
At a distance of 23 Kms from Mahabalipuram and 35 Kms from Chennai (on Chennai – Mahabalipuram Road) Covelong/Kovalam is a famous beach resort and one of the popular tourist places to visit near Chennai.
It was originally just a small fishing village, but now also expanded to become one of the most famous beach resorts in South India. You can still explore the old sea port that used to exist there. Numerous quality beach resorts can be found at Kovalam. The beaches at that location are absolutely exquisite, and are greatly enjoyed by all that visit there. It is also to these beaches that the well-known Olive Ridley Turtles travel to every year to hatch their eggs.
Swimmimg and wind surfing are popular activities at this beach.
Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary (Near Mahabalipuram)
At a distance of 53 kms from Mahabalipuram and 89 Kms from Chennai, Vedanthangal has the reputation of being one of the oldest water bird sanctuaries in India. It is said that almost 100,000 avian species visit this sanctuary between October and March. This is one of the popular tourist places near Chennai.
Records reveal that this sanctuary has been in existence for more than 200 years. This area was the favorite hunting spot for the local landlords some 300 years ago. This region seems to have attracted birds because it has a number of small lakes that became convenient feeding grounds for the birds.
Two watch towers are available here that provide a clear view of the birds from the binoculars stationed there. There is also a viewing platform that provides a vantage point.
Adikesava Perumal Temple – Thiruvattaru (Near Kanyakumari)
At a distance of 7 km from Marthandam and 45 km from Kanyakumari, Sri Adikesava Perumal Temple is a Hindu temple located in Thiruvattaru. It is one of the 108 divya desams of Sri Vaishnavas and also one of the popular places of pilgrimage in Kanyakumari.
The temple is dedicated to Sri Adikesava Perumal, meaning ‘Foremost Friend’. According to the legend, Lord Adikesava defeated the demon Kesi. The demon’s wife prayed to the River Ganges and River Thamirabarani and created destruction. They came in spate to wash off the Lord. Mother Earth simply raised the ground level where Perumal was reclining. Both Rivers went round the Lord, prayed to Him and continued to flow round as two garlands. Thus, the formation of the rivers made in a circle came to be known as Thiruvattaru.
The temple was built in Dravidian style architecture with wooden pillars, doors and roofs. The presiding deity here is in reclining posture along with Goddess Maragathavalli Nachiar.
Manimuthar Dam & Falls (Near Tirunelveli)
At a distance of 16 km from Papanasam and 45 km from Tirunelveli, Manimuthar Dam is an artificial dam in Tirunelveli district of Tamil Nadu. This is one of the largest dams in Tirunelveli district and also one of the top places to visit in Tirunelveli.
Situated at the foothills of the scenic Podhigai Hills, Manimuthar Dam was built across the Manimuthar River just three km above its confluence with Thamirabarani River in 1957. The maximum storage capacity of the dam is 118 feet. The river Manimuthar is the major tributary of Thamirabarani. The Dam is an ideal picnic spot blessed with beautiful garden and peaceful atmosphere. Boating in this picturesque dam is one of the most memorable things to do in Tirunelveli.
About 6 km from Manimuthar Dam is Manimuthar Falls which is created by the waters of Manimuthar River. This natural waterfall cascades down from a height of 25 feet into a pond. The pond is 90 feet in deep and is very dangerous.
Papanasam (Near Tirunelveli)
At a distance of 15 km from Ambasamudram and 47 km from Tirunelveli, Papanasam is a small town in Ambasamudram Taluk of Tirunelveli district in Tamilnadu. It is one of the popular picnic spots in Tirunelveli.
Papanasam has a famous temple called the Papanasam Sivan Temple which lies on the banks of Thamirabarani River. Constructed in the Dravidian style of architecture, the holy shrine is dedicated to Lord Shiva and his consort Parvati who are worshipped as Papanasanathar and Ulagammai respectively. This is the place where Saint Agasthiyar got the Kalyana dharshan of Lord Shiva and Parvati along with his wife Lopamudra.
The Shiva lingam of the temple is completely made up of Rudraksha. Of the nine Kailash Kshetras – Nava Kailash, Papanasam is the first place and is attributed to Sun God. Hence, the place is known as Surya Kshetra and Surya Kailash. Devotees strongly believe that Lord Shiva in this temple is most powerful and cures all kind of diseases.
Papanasam Falls / Agasthiyar Falls (Near Tirunelveli)
At a distance of 4 km from Papanasam and 51 km from Tirunelveli, Papanasam Falls, also known as Agasthiyar Falls is a stunning waterfall located near the town of Papanasam in Tirunelveli district of Tamilnadu. Located in the Western Ghats, Papanasam Falls is a prominent tourist destination in Tamil Nadu and is usually frequented by devotees of the Papanasanathar Temple.
Formed over Thamirabarani River, Papanasam Falls drop down from a height of 120 m. The river Thamirabarani, which flows from the Western Ghats of the Podhigai Hills, reaches the plains at Papanasam. This is highly revered by the locals both for their immense beauty and religious significance. Papanasam means absolution of sins and it is an important pilgrim center where people take bath in the sacred water to relieve themselves from sins.
Agasthiyar Temple is situated near the falls. According to legend, during the wedding ceremony of Lord Shiva & Goddess Parvati, all the Gods and Goddesses from Heaven had gone.
Kuthirapanjan Falls / Panagudi Fall (Near Tirunelveli)
At a distance of 5 km from Panagudi Railway Station, 32 km from Nagercoil and 57 km from Tirunelveli, Kuthirapanjan Falls is a mesmerizing waterfall situated near Panagudi town in Tirunelveli district of Tamilnadu.
Also known as Panagudi Falls, Kuthirapanjan Waterfalls is a seasonal waterfall formed over Hanuman River, a tributary to the famous Thamirabarani River. The height of the falls is about 150 feet. It is situated in Western Ghats surrounded by mountain ranges and is the heart of the Mahendragiri hills.
The falls can be accessed from the town of Panagudi and is the main attraction of Panagudi. There are also three churches in Panagudi namely Hosannah Church, St. Joseph Church and Annai Velankanni Church. It is surrounded by a chain of mountains, windmills along with the mountains offer a lovely view.
Visitors have to trek 2 km through a well laid path amidst thick forests from the parking area to reach the falls.
Sri Sivasailanathar Paramakalyani Temple – Sivasai (Near Tirunelveli)
At a distance of 12 km from Papanasam and 47 km from Tirunelveli, Sri Sivasailanathar Paramakalyani Temple is a 500 year old Saivaite temple situated on the banks of River Gadana at Sivasailam in Tamilnadu. Popularly called as Sivasailam Temple, this is one of the famous Shiva temples near Tirunelveli.
The Sivasailam Temple is dedicated to Lord Sivasailanathar and Goddess Parvati. Built by Pandiyas, the temple is surrounded by Velli malai, Mulli malai and Podhigai hills. It is believed that the Shiva Lingam in the sanctum is swayambhu lingam. At the back of the statue, there are lines that appear like hair, so he is also called Sadaiappar. This can be seen through a hole while strolling around the sanctum sanctorum. This is visible only when the Archakar gives Aarathi at the back of the lingam.
The temple is huge with many mandapams and carved pillars. The principle gopuram has five stories and is embellished with numerous statues.
Narubunatha Swamy Temple (Near Tirunelveli)
At a distance of 16 km from Ambasamudram and 30 km from Tirunelveli, Narubunatha Swamy Temple is an ancient Hindu temple situated at Thirupudaimaruthur near Veeravanallur in Ambasamudram Taluk of Tirunelveli district, Tamilnadu. Situated at the merging place of Gadana River & Thamirabarani River, this temple is one of the oldest temples in Tirunelveli region.
Also known as Thirupudaimaruthur Temple, the temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is more than 1200 years old. Maravarman, the king of Madurai and his son had built a small temple in 650 BCE. After that, Pandiyas, Vijayanagara Kings and Kalakkad Kings expanded the temple. The sanctum sanctorum has a huge Shiva lingam, which is known as Pudaar Jeeneshwarar or Narumbunathar. The Shiva lingam leans slightly towards the left side and has marks of scratches made by deer and sickle cut.
According to the legend, the region was under the rule of Maravarman then. He came to this place dense with Marudha trees for hunting.
Sri Sankaranarayana Swamy Temple – Sankarankovil (Near Tirunelveli)
At a distance of 16 km from Thirumalpuram and 56 km from Tirunelveli, Sri Sankaranarayana Swamy Temple is a famous Hindu temple situated at Sankarankovil in Tirunelveli district of Tamilnadu. It is one of the top pilgrimage places to visit in Tirunelveli region and also one of the popular temples in Tamilnadu.
The temple is dedicated to Sankaranarayanar, who is the combined manifestation of Shiva and Vishnu. This temple was built by Ukkira Pandiya Thevar in the 11th century AD. This temple also called as Avudaiamman Kovil or Davasu Kovil. According to mythology, once the devotees of Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva quarreled with each other to determine whose god is powerful. Then Lord Shiva appeared as Sankaranarayanar to mark his devotees to understand that both Hari and Shiva are one and the same. So it is held sacred by Saivites and Vaishnavites as well. Hence this temple depicts the concept of Hari and Haran being one God.
Thirukkurungudi (Near Tirunelveli)
At a distance of 45 km from Nagercoil, 46 km from Tirunelveli and 49 km from Kanyakumari, Thirukkurungudi is a holy place for Hindus situated on the banks of Nambi River at the foot hills of Mahendragiri in Tamilnadu.
There are five Nambis in this Kshetram. They are Ninra Nambi (Standing posture), Irundha Nambi (Sitting posture), Kidandha Nambi (Sleeping posture), Thiruparkadal Nambi and Thirumalai Nambi. Of these, Ninra Nambi Temple is the main temple and is located in the center of the town flanked by four big Mada Veethis. The Nambi Rayar Temple or Thirukkurungudi Temple is 1300 years old. It is also called as Vaamana Kshetram and is one among the 108 divya desams of Lord Vishnu.
According to the legend, Goddess Bhudevi was abducted by the demon Hiranyaksha and hid her deep under the ocean. All the deities and sages prayed to Lord Vishnu to retrieve Mother Earth from the demon. Lord Vishnu transformed into a wild boar and plunged into deep under the ocean.
Sorimuthu Ayyanar Temple (Near Tirunelveli)
At a distance of 12 km from Papanasam and 61 km from Tirunelveli, Arulmigu Sorimuthu Ayyanar Temple is situated between Papanasam and Karaiyar Dam in Tirunelveli district of Tamilnadu. Located on the bank of River Thamirabarani, this is one of the 6 important Sastha Temples in South India.
The presiding deity of the temple is Mahalinga Swamy. Lord Dharma Sastha appears with his left leg bent and the right hanging down. Sorimuthu Ayyanar is a kuladevata for many families in the area. Families that are not aware of their kuladevata are also welcome here. As it is the first Ayyappan temple, people who resolve to begin the Sabarimala yatra, come here to wear their mala. The name of the temple is derived from ‘Pon Soriyum Muthiar’, which means the Lord who pours down golden rain on the plateau.
Here, Muthianar is worshipped along with his two consorts – Pushkala and Poorna. Ayyappa’s lieutenants, Sangili Bhootham, Thoosi Madan, Thulasi Madan, Pechi, Isakki and Pattavarayan.
Sri Vaikuntanatha Perumal Temple – Srivaikuntam (Near Tirunelveli)
At a distance of 29 km from Tirunelveli and 39 km from Thoothukudi, Sri Vaikuntanatha Perumal Temple is an ancient temple situated at Srivaikuntam in Thoothukudi district of Tamilnadu. Located on the banks of the river Thamirabarani, this is one of the 108 divya desams of Lord Vishnu and the first of the Navatirupathis.
Also called Srivaikuntam Temple and Kallapiran Temple, Sri Vaikuntanatha Perumal Temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu in the form of Vaikuntanathar. It is believed that this temple was used as a fort in the fight between the legendary freedom fighter Veerapandiya Kattabomman and the British in the 1800s. The temple is classified as a Navatirupathi, the nine temples revered by Nammazhwar located on the banks of Thamirabarani River. This is the first in the series of these nine Tirupathi Temples.
There are many legends associated with this temple. According to one legend, Somuka, a demon stole the four Vedas from Lord Brahma.
Sri Kailasanathar Temple – Srivaikuntam (Near Tirunelveli)
At a distance of 1 km from Sri Vaikuntanatha Swamy Temple, 30 km from Tirunelveli and 39 km from Thoothukudi, Sri Kailasanathar Temple is another important Hindu temple situated in Srivaikuntam town of Tamilnadu.
Sri Kailasanathar Temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. This is the 6th Nava Kailasam temple which is dedicated to Planet Saturn. The temple is originally believed to be built by the Pandiya king, Chandrakula Pandiya. He built the central shrine and vimana of the temple. Veerappa Nayak (1609-23 AD), a ruler of Madurai Nayak dynasty built the Yagasala, flag staff and Sandana Sababathy hall.
According to the legend, Sage Romasa wanted to install the Shivalingas on the banks of the Thamirabarani. So, he asked his guru Agasthiya about this, who advised to throw flowers used for Shiva puja on the river and do the installations wherever the flowers reached the shores. Based on his advice, sage Romasa threw lotus flowers, nine of these flowers reached the bank.
Sri Rajagopalaswamy Temple – Mannargudi (Near Kumbakonam)
At a distance of 36 km from Kumbakonam, 45 km from Thanjavur and 96 km from Trichy, Sri Rajagopalaswamy Temple is a Vaishnavite shrine located in the town of Mannargudi, Tamil Nadu.
Sri Rajagopalaswamy Temple is dedicated to Rajagopalaswamy, an incarnation of Lord Krishna. The temple was first constructed by Kulothunga Chola I. Successive kings of the Chola Empire, Rajaraja Chola III, Rajendra Chola III and kings of Thanjavur Nayaks, Achyuta Devaraya expanded the temple. The temple contains inscriptions of the Hoysala kings and some Vijayanagara grants and many records of the later Nayaks and Marathas. The Thanjavur Nayaks made the temple as their dynastic and primary shrine and made significant additions.
The temple is spread over an area of 23 acres and is one of the important Vaishnavite shrines in India. The temple is called Dakshina Dwarka along with Guruvayoor by Hindus.
Manjolai Hills (Near Tirunelveli)
At a distance of 23 km from Manimuthar and 63 from Tirunelveli, Manjolai is a small hill station in Tirunelveli district of Tamilnadu. Manjolai is set deep in the Western Ghats within the Kalakkad Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve.
Situated at an altitude of 1162 m, Manjolai is a perfect summer resort located near Upper Kodaiyar. This is famous for its tea estates and plantations. Various varieties of tea are grown in the estates. Due to its scenic beauty, climate and calm atmosphere, this place is compared with Udhagamandalam (Ooty). The serenity of this place provides people with peace of mind and relaxation.
Tourist attractions in Manjolai are Upper Kodaiyar Dam and a windy viewpoint called Kuthiravetti. Kuthiravetti viewpoint is located after the Nalumukku and Ooth Estate. From this viewpoint one can view the lush green forests of Kalakkad Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve, Papanasam Dam and Manimuthar Dam. Other important tourist spots near Manjolai are the Kakkachi and Nalumukku.
Koonthakulam Bird Sanctuary (Near Tirunelveli)
At a distance of 31 km from Tirunelveli, Koonthankulam or Kunthankulam Bird Sanctuary is a protected area located in Koonthankulam village in Nanguneri Taluk of Tirunelveli district. This is the largest reserve for breeding water birds in South India and also one of the popular places to visit in Tirunelveli for bird lovers.
Koonthankulam Bird Sanctuary consists of Koonthankulam and Kadankulam irrigation tanks and is spread over an area of 1.29 sq. km. It is declared as a sanctuary in 1994. This sanctuary is actively protected and managed by the Koonthankulam village community. This sanctuary is an important Bird site in Tamilnadu and it attracts more than one lakh birds annually. The tourists visit the place in pursuit of seeing painted stork which is the major attraction of this place.
The Babul plantation in Koonthankulam is the main breeding ground for several birds. The sanctuary is visited by more than 43 types of water birds both resident and migratory every year especially.
Kalakkad Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve (Near Tirunelveli)
At a distance of 12 km from Papanasam, 58 km from Kalakkad, and 60 km from Tirunelveli, Kalakkad Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve is located in the Southern Western Ghats in Tirunelveli and Kanyakumari districts of Tamil Nadu. This is the second largest protected area in Tamil Nadu and among the best places to visit as part of your India wildlife tour.
The Kalakkad Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve was created in the year 1988 by combining Kalakkad Wildlife Sanctuary (251 km²) and Mundanthurai Wildlife Sanctuary (567 km²), both established in 1962. This sanctuary covers an area of around 817 sq. km, out of which 459 sq. km falls under the core zone and remaining 358 sq. km comes under the buffer zone. Nestled between Kerala and Tamil Nadu, the Agastya Malai Hill Range forms the core area of the sanctuary and is part of one of the world’s 18 biodiversity hotspots. It is also under consideration by the UNESCO as a world heritage site.
Kumbakkarai Waterfalls (Near Madurai)
At a distance of 85 kms from Madurai, 78 Kms from Thekkady, 8 Kms from Periyakulam in Theni district & 490 Kms from Chennai, the scenic Kumbakkarai Waterfalls is situated close to Madurai – Kodaikanal road.
It also serves as the base camp for trekkers venturing into the hills of Kodai. The pristine beauty of the Kumbakkarai hills is highlighted by its charming waterfall falling from a height of 87ft. These falls offer a breath taking view of the surrounding nature. A 500 year old temple dedicated to Goddess Thadagai Nachiamman, is located near this spot. Around 7kms from the falls is the amusement park Sirumalai.
Vehicles can go up to the surroundings of the falls. Kodaikanal buses stop at the crossroads around 2 Kms before the falls.
The falls are filled with dangerous holes, be careful while going closer to the falls.
Suruli Waterfalls (Near Madurai)
At a distance of 123 kms from Madurai, 22 Kms from Thekkady (via Gudalur & Karuna Muthevan Patti), 10 Kms from Kambam (via Suruli Patti) & 548 Kms from Chennai, Suruli Falls are situated amidst rich flora fauna and serve as a perfect picnic spot.
The falls originate from the Megamalai hills and descend from a height of 150 feet. They are surrounded by the astounding beauty of the dense forest. The best feature of Suruli Falls is that they are round-the-year Falls, best time is June to October.
The falls serve as the venue of Summer Festival, organized every year by the Tamil Nadu Tourism Department. The Kailasanathar Temple Cave is also an added attraction of the place. There are also other 18 caves in and around the Suruli Falls. The Kailasanatha temple and Suruli Velappar temple are also nearby the falls.
The falls are reachable by road from Kambam and Gudalur towns. About 1-2 Kms trek through dense forest is required to reach the falls from nearest road.
Perumal Peak (Near Kodaikanal)
At a distance of 18 km from Kodaikanal & 55 km from Palani, Perumal Peak is a trekker’s delight situated near Perumalmalai village close to Palani road. Perumal Peak or Perumal Malai Peak is a high peak at kodaikanal in the Perumalmalai hills, which are part of the greater Western Ghat mountain range in Tamil Nadu. It is one of the popular places for trekking in Kodaikanal and also one of the top attractions you must include in Kodaikanal packages.
The trek begins from the foot of the Peak near Perumal Malai Village which is 11 km from Kodaikanal. The trek distance is about 7 km one way and takes about 3-4 hours one way. Most of the trekking stretch is of moderate difficulty while few parts are little steep. Overnight camping is also possible on the peak while most of the trekkers visit the peak and return on the same day.
Perumal Malai Village can be reached from Palani.
Pambar Falls (Near Kodaikanal)
At a distance of 4 kms from Kodaikanal Bus Station.This magnificent falls is also popularly called as the ‘Grand Cascade’. The town water reservoir overflows southwards forming the Fairy Falls which continues to join the Vaigai River forming the Pambar Falls through its course.
It can be reached by a steep, slippery path behind Pambar house. Racing down Pambar Ravine is the zig-zagging Levinge stream that cascades over a series of rock formations. The Pambar Ravine showers down the Waterfall and a series of steep and precariously slippery rocks during its meandering course.
There is a pond like formation at the foot suitable for bathing. Three or four adjacent small cascading falls can be seen as you go downstream. The wild vicinity of the falls flourishes in rare flora and fauna. Endemic birds and butterflies create a center of attention to this soothing spot.
Fairy Falls (Near Kodaikanal)
At a distance of 6 kms from Kodaikanal Bus Station and 5 kms from Kodai lake, Fairy Falls is the source of Pambar River, continuing to join the Vaigai River at the foot.
Swimming at the foot of the falls will indeed leave you refreshed and revitalized. It is the spillover of the rural community water reservoir streaming southwards the hill to form the enchanting fairy falls. The sparkling waters that fill the basin at the foot of the Fairy fall is one of the most habitually visited tourist destination for the travelers for bathing during Kodaikanal tour.
Arunachala Temple – Tiruvannamalai (Near Kanchipuram)
At a distance of 120 Kms from Kanchipuram, 195 Kms from Chennai, 204 Kms from Bangalore and 83 Kms from Vellore, the famous Arunachala Temple in Thiruvannaamalai is one of the greatest Shaiva temples in South India. Tiruvannamalai along with Gingee Fort is one of the ideal Chennai weekend getaways and a major pilgrimage site in Tamilnadu.
Built within an area of 25 acres, this temple was constructed by Vijayanagara kings between 16th and the 17th centuries. This temple is famous for its huge & massive gopurams built on four sides of the temple. The Rajagopuram on East Gateway is 217 feet high with 11 storeys. The base measure 135 feet by 98 feet. This tower was built by King Krishna Devaraya of Vijayanagar. The Thousand Pillared Mantapam and the tank opposite to it were also constructed by Krishna Devaraya. The temple is fortified by a huge wall. Each of the prakarams has a huge Nandi.
Malayadipatti Rock-Cut Temples (Near Tiruchirappalli)
At a distance 42 km from Pudukkottai, 36 km from Trichy, 39 km from Thanjavur & 363 from Chennai, The Malayadipatti Rock-Cut temples are situated on granite hillocks, south of the Malayadipatti village, also known as Thiru Valattur Malai.
There are two temples in Malayadipatti, one for Lord Shiva and the other for Lord Vishnu. Both temples are situated on the same hillock. Built in 8th century by Pallavas, the Shiva temple is older than the Vishnu temple. Constructed by Kuvavan Sathan, the Shiva temple is named as Vakeeswarar, according to epigraphic notes. This temple, popularly known as Alathurthali is situated towards the eastern side of the granite hill.
This temple consists of rock-cut mandapa. The sanctum is built on eastern end in cubical form cut inside the mandapa. In later period, a compound wall enclosing the cave and the front mandapa were built. The pillared mandapa has statues of Ganesha and Muruganalong with Nandi.
Agaya Gangai Falls (Near Tiruchirappalli)
At a distance of 1 km trek from Sri Arappaleeswarar Swamy Temple at Ariyurnadu, 55 km from Namakkal, 92 km from Salem, 138 km from Trichy and 400 km from Chennai, Agaya Gangai or Akasa Ganga waterfall is located in Kolli Hills of the Eastern Ghats.
Akasa Ganga is an enchanting 300 feet waterfall formed on River Aiyaru. The fall is enclosed with the dense forest which increases its charm and grandeur. It is situated in a beautiful valley surrounded by the mountains on all sides. The picturesque landscape created by the water fall is an ideal destination for the nature lovers.
The location is ideal for trekking and the breeze is pleasant. The water of the falls is considered to contain medicinal properties due to the varieties of medicinal herbs grown across the forest which makes it a natural spa. People here believe that taking bath in the water cures many diseases. Owing to this attribute, people from nearby areas take bath in the water so as to cure their diseases.
Thalaiyar Falls / Rat Tail Falls (Near Kodaikanal)
At a distance of 40 Kms from Kodaikanal & 485 Kms from Chennai, Thalaiyar Falls, also known as the Rat Tail Falls is the highest waterfalls in Tamil Nadu and third highest falls in India. It is also one of the popular sites for trekking near Kodaikanal.
With a height of 975 feet (297 meters), the falls is visible from a great distance on the ghat road towards Dindigul. This falls is considered inaccessible to the general public, as there is no access road to it. However, one can reach these falls with 6 kms trekking after 34 Kms of road journey on ghat road from kodaikanal. The trek duration is around 2-3 hours one way. The trek is considered to be of moderate difficulty.
The very edge at the top of the falls has a concrete wall. One can walk along the wall and get near the center of the falls. The water here is considered polluted and it’s better to avoid bathing here.
Puliyancholai Falls (Near Tiruchirappalli)
At a distance 50 km from Namakkal, 76 km from Trichy & 340 km from Chennai, Puliyancholai is a scenic spot on the foothills of Kolli Hills. It is a forest region splashed with a small stream and covered with lush green foliage and tamarind groves. The place is a favorite haunt among the tourist throughout the year to enjoy bathing in natural springs.
The Puliancholai falls is a terrace waterfall which appears like a stream of water that cascades through rocky terrain. Puliancholai is known for its scenic beauty located on the foot hills of kolli hills. It is a thick forest region, best suited for trekking and other adventurous activities.
Located far away from the hustle and bustle of the urban areas, this place offers you a quite escape from busy city life. There is a Shiva Temple which is situated about 12 km inside the thick forest. Devotees come here to trek up to Shiva temple in June and July.
Accommodation of provided by two resorts situated near the falls.
Kolli Hills (Near Tiruchirappalli)
At a distance 50 km from Namakkal, 87 km from Salem, 135 km from Trichy & 395 km from Chennai, Kolli Hills or Kolli Malai is a small mountain range located in Namakkal district of Tamil Nadu. Semmedu is the headquarters for the Kolli hills. These hills are part of lie at an elevation of 1000 to 1300 m and cover an area of approximately 280 sq km. The Kolli Hills have 70 hair pin bends to reach the top of the hills from Namakkal side. The mountains are relatively untouched by commercial tourism and still retain their natural beauty.
The Mountain is named Kolli Malai after the Goddess Ettukkai Amman (Kolli Paavai). According to legend, the sages chose Kolli hills when they were looking for a peaceful place to do their penance. However, the demons invaded the hills to disrupt the penance when the sages began their rituals. The sages prayed to Kollipavai, who according to the myth, chased away the demons.
Trekking at Kolli Hills is a popular activity.
Amirthi Zoological Park (Near Vellore)
At a distance of 27 km from Vellore Town Railway Station, Amirthi Zoological Park is situated under the Javadu hills of Tellai across Amirthi River. Established in 1967, the zoo park occupies an area of 25 hectares. It is named after the Amirthi River which flows next to the park.
This park is popular for its waterfalls, swing and animal habitats. Half of this jungle is cleared to serve as a tourist spot while the other half is developed as a wildlife sanctuary. One km trek in the park leads to a full view of Amirthi falls, a small cascading seasonal falls. Visitors can play and swim in the pool formed by the falls here in monsoons.
Animals in the park include spotted deer, mongoose, hedgehog, foxes, reason monkeys, red headed parrots, love birds, tortoises, peacock, crocodiles, wild cats, eagles, ducks, pigeons, wild parrots, rabbits and pythons. Many herbal and medicinal plants can be seen growing in the Park.
Gingee Fort (Near Vellore)
At a distance of 2 km from Gingee Bus Stand, 71 km from Puducherry, 85 km from Kanchipuram and 93 km from Vellore, Gingee Fort or Senji Fort in Villupuram District is one of the largest surviving forts in Tamil Nadu. The fort was historically considered most impregnable and it was called the ‘Troy of the East’ by the British. The fort is one of the prominent tourist places to visit near Villupuram & Chennai also among the best places near Chennai & Pondicherry for a day trip.
Originally the site had a small fort built by the Chola dynasty during 9th century. Gingee Fort, also known as Chinji or Jinji, was modified by Kurumbar while fighting the Cholas and again by the Vijayanagara Empire during the 13th century. As per one account, the fort was built during the 15-16th century by the Gingee.
Thirumalapuram Rock-Cut Cave Temples (Near Tenkasi)
At a distance of 1 km from Thirumalapuram Bus Stop, 24 km Tenkasi and 62 km from Tirunelveli, The rock cut cave temples are situated on the hill of Thirumalapuram also known as Varanasimalai in Sankarankovil Taluk of Thirunelveli District. These ancient Cave temples are now under the protection of Archaeological Survey of India.
There are two rock cut cave temples which are excavated by Pandyan Kings in 750 AD. Among the two caves one is finished and other is unfinished. The finished one is more significant with rectangular ardha-mandapa with a flight of steps and cells on the western walls. It contains bas-relief sculptures and two inscriptions from Pandyan period.
This temple has 3 sections with 3 bas-relief structures. The first one is a beautiful dancing Siva with a bhootha gana and bull on both sides. Lord Shiva is seen in dancing posture of Chatura. A dwarf near his foot plays the musical instrument.
At a distance of 4 km from Courtallam Main Falls, 4 km from Courtallam Bus Station and 11 km from Tenkasi, Five Falls or Aintharuvi is another important waterfall in Courtallam. After the main falls, this is the most famous waterfall and the most enjoyable of all falls here.
The water here splits into five branches while falling, so it is called Five Falls. It is unique as water flows in five directions, resembling a 5-headed cobra. It is highly revered among locals as they compare it to Adishesha. Among the five falls, three are open to men and two for women. There is a Swami Ayyappa Temple and Vinayaka Temple close to waterfall. Bathing here is very safe and enjoyable activity. There is also an Eco Park and boat house nearby.
Road access is available close to the falls and about 100 meters walk is required from the parking area to reach the falls.
Fruit Garden Falls or Pazhathotta Aruvi is situated above the Five Falls.
Aliyar Dam (Near Coimbatore)
At a distance of 64 Kms from Coimbatore, 24 Kms from Pollachi & 545 Kms from Chennai, Aliyar Dam is a charming location surrounded by Annamali Hills with wonderful natuarl views. It is located between Pollachi and Valparai.
Built across Aliyar River between 1959 and 1969, the primary purpose of the dam is to support irrigation. The height of the dam is 81 meters. There is a well maintained park built at bottom of the Dam. The view of the Anamalai range around the reservoir is a feast for the eyes and the view of the coconut groves from top of the dam is amazing. Boating is available here.
It is connected by frequent buses from Pollachi. Most of the people visiting Valparai make a trip Aliyar Dam too.
Pazhaya Courtallaruvi / Old Courtallam (Near Tenkasi)
At a distance of 8 km from Main Falls, 8 km from Courtallam Bus Station and 11 km from Tenkasi, Pazhaya Courtallaruvi or Old Courtallam is also known as Shivamathungai Falls.
The 200 ft fall features steps that are cut out into the rocks for breaking flow of the cascading water to make it safe for bathing. The water flows through two rocks and drop into the valley to form this waterfall. Along with separate bathing areas for men and women, tourists can engage themselves in oil massages. Bathing here is safe and is a popular activity.
Road access is available close to the falls and about 100 meters walk is needed to reach the falls from parking area.
Tiger Falls or Puli Aruvi is situated 2 km from Courtallam bus stand. It is situated between the Main Falls and Old Courtallam. This artificial falls has a moderate flow of water which is collected into a lake and is diverted for irrigation.
Kodiveri Dam & Waterfalls (Near Coimbatore)
At a distance of 75 Kms from Coimbatore and 70 Kms from Erode, Kodiveri Dam & Waterfalls is a wonderful picnic spot situated near Satyamangalam in Erode district (20 Kms from Bannari Mariamman Temple).
Constructed on Bhavani River, the Dam provides irrigation water for over 25000 hectars of land. There is a beautiful Park developed at bottom of the dam with many attractions.
The Waterfalls formed by the downstream of Kodiveri Dam is a wonderful spot with nice views of the falls (close to the dam). Since the falls are not heavy, anyone can easily reach bottom of the falls and enjoy. Bathing & swimmings in the pool at bottom of the falls is a memorable experience.
Olakkay Aruvi Waterfalls (Near Kanyakumari)
At a distance of 40 km from Kanyakumari, 21 km from Nagercoil, 74 km from Trivandrum, 85 km from Tirunelveli & 691 km from Chennai, Olakkay Aruvi or Ulakkai Aruvi Waterfalls is a wonderful waterfall located near Azhagiapandipuram in Kanyakumari district of Tamilnadu. Located within the limits of Kalakkad Wildlife Sanctuary, Ulakkai Aruvi is one of the best waterfalls in Kanyakumari and also one of the popular places to visit near Tirunelveli.
Also known as Rod Falls, Ulakkai Aruvi Falls is a mesmerizing waterfall formed over Pazhayar River. Ulakkai meaning Pestle and Aruvi meaning Falls in Tamil. This falls looks like a Pestle from long distance, hence the name Ulakkai Aruvi. Even as the surrounding water sources and forests dry up in the sweltering summers, the water still keeps flowing from this natural waterfall.