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Places to see in Tamil Nadu

Tourism & Places to see in Tamil Nadu

                 Tamil Nadu's tourism industry is the second largest in India, with an annual growth rate of 16%.[99] Tourism in Tamil Nadu is promoted by Tamil Nadu Tourism Development Corporation (TTDC), a Government of Tamil Nadu undertaking. TTDC was incorporated in July, 1971, with the objective of promoting tourism in Tamil Nadu by providing infrastructure facilities in transport and accommodation. To fulfil this objective, TTDC has expanded its activities into 3 main operations, namely, hotels, transport and fairs. At present, TTDC operates 54 hotels, 11 boat houses, 3 restaurants, 3 snack bars, 4 telescope houses, 2 landscaping & gardening and 1 tourist service center. TTDC offers wide range of package tours and operates a fleet of 22 coaches.[100] The tagline adopted for promoting tourism in Tamil Nadu is Enchanting Tamil Nadu. In 2004, Tamil Nadu had earned Rs. 20 million ($457,000) from tourism. Approximately 1,219,000 foreign and 29,305,000 domestic tourists visited the state in 2005.

Tamil Nadu is a land of varied beauty. It boasts some of the grandest Hindu temples of Dravidian architecture in the World. The temples are of a distinct style which are famous for their towering Gopurams. The Brihadishwara Temple in Thanjavur, built by the Cholas, and the Shore Temple, along with the collection of other monuments in Mahabalipuram have been declared as UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The Rajagopuram of Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple in Srirangam the largest functioning Hindu temple in the world is the tallest temple gopuram in the world Madurai is home to one of the grandest Hindu temples in the World Madurai Meenakshi Amman temple. Rameshwaram, Kanchipuram and Palani are important pilgrimage sites for Hindus. Other popular temples in Tamil Nadu include those in Gangaikonda Cholapuram, Chidambaram, Thiruvannaamalai, Tiruttani, Swamithoppe, Tiruchendur and Tiruvallur.

St. Thomas Mount in Chennai, the place where St. Thomas, one of the disciples of Jesus Christ, was believed to have been martyred, is an important pilgrimage site for Indian Christians. The Santhome Basilica, supposedly built atop the tomb of St. Thomas, and the Vailankanni Basilica of Our Lady of Good Health revered churches by the Catholics in India are good examples of majestic church architectures in Tamil Nadu. Nagore, in Nagapattinam district, is an important pilgrimage site for Muslims.

Tamil Nadu is also home to many beautiful hill stations. Popular among them are Udhagamandalam (Ooty), Kodaikanal, Yercaud, Coonoor, Top Slip and Yelagiri. The Nilgiri hills, Palani hills, Shevaroy hills and Cardamom hills are all abodes of thick forests and wildlife. Mukurthi National Park & Kalakkad Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve are the two tiger reserves in the state. Tamil Nadu has many National Parks, Biosphere Reserves, Wildlife Sanctuaries, Elephant and Bird Sanctuaries, Reserved Forests, Zoos and Crocodile farms. Prominent among them are Mudumalai National Park, The Gulf of Mannar Biosphere Reserve, Indira Gandhi Wildlife Sanctuary, Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary and Arignar Anna Zoological Park. The mangrove forests in Pichavaram are also eco-tourism spots of importance.

Kanyakumari, the southern most tip of peninsular India, is famous for its distinct and beautiful sunrise, Vivekananda Rock Memorial and Thiruvalluvar's statue built off the coastline. Marina Beach in Chennai is one of the longest beaches in the world. The stretch of beaches from Chennai to Mahabalipuram are home to many resorts, theme parks and eateries. The Waterfalls in the state include Courtallam, Hogenakal, Papanasam and Manimuthar. The Chettinad region of the state is renowned for its Palatial houses and cuisine. In recent years, Tamil Nadu is also witnessing a growth in Medical tourism, as are many other states in India.

 
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