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MAJOR CITIES IN TAMILNADU, INDIA

CHENNAI : Chennai, also known as Madras, the fourth largest city in India and the capital of Tamilnadu. The city sprawls over more than 70 square km. The population of Chennai is 5.9 million. Many of the Indian languages are spoken in Chennai, though the main language of Chennai is Tamil. For travelers with an interest in the colonial history of India, Chennai has much worth exploring and abundant transport operations make other parts of the country readily accessible.

For more than 2000 years the area has been popular with seafarers, spice traders and cloth merchants. The 16th century saw the arrival of the Portuguese, followed by the Dutch. In 1693, the British East India Company established a settlement in the fishing village of Madraspatnam.For St. George was constructed over a period of 15 years and finally completed in 1653.

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George town grew in the area of the fort and was granted its first municipal charter in 1688 by James II, making it the oldest municipality in India. During the 18th and 19th centuries, French and British traders competed for supremacy in India.
In the 19th century, the city became the seat of the Madras presidency, one of the four divisions of British imperial India. After independence, it continue to grow into what is now a significant southern gateway.

COONOOR : Coonoor is surrounded by the tea plantations, and at an altitude of 1850 m, Coonoor is the first of the three Nilgiri hill station-Udhagamandalam (Ooty ), Kotagiri and Coonoor - that you come to when leaving behind the southern plains. Like
Ooty, it's on the toy train line from Mettupalayam. While Kotagiri had the Kotas, and Ooty the Todas, so Coonoor was home to the Coon hill tribe. ( The suffix, 'oor', means village. ) This now bustling town appears rather squashed between
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the hills and it's only after climbing up out of the busy market area with the bus and train terminals that you'll get a sense of what hill stations were originally all about. For this reason, too, most of the better accommodation is in Upper Coonoor

THANJAVUR :
Thanjavur was the ancient capital of the Chola kings whose origins, go back to the beginning of the Christian era. Power struggles between these groups were a constant feature of their early history, with one or other gaining the ascendancy at various times. The Cholas' turn for empire building came between 850 and 1270 AD and ,at the height of their power. Probably the greatest chola emperors were Raja Raja who was responsible for building the Brihadishwara Temple
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(Thanjavur main attraction ) and his son Rajendra-I whose navy competed with the Arabs for controls of the Indian Ocean trade routes and who was responsible for bringing Srivijaya under Chola control.

Thanjavur is famous for its distinctive art style , which is usually a combination of raised and painted surfaces. Krishna is the most popular of the gods depicted and in the Thanjavur school his skin is white rather than the traditional blue-black.
The enormous gopurams of the Brihadeshwara Temple dominate Thanjavur. The temple itself, between the Grand Anicut Canal and the old town is surrounded by fortified walls and a moat. The old town, too used to be similarly enclosed, but most of the walls have now disappeared. What remains are winding streets and alleys and the extensive ruins of the palace of the Nayakas of Madurai.

COIMBATORE : One of the most important cities of Tamilnadu, Coimbatore is called the 'Manchester of South India' and is the third largest city in the state. The
headquarters of the Nilgiri region, its exposure to the Palghat Gap of the Western Ghats Coimbatore a Salubrious climate. A highly industrialised city, it is the centre of textile manufacturing in the state - there are over a hundred mills in and around Coimbatore. Primarily a business centre, it is known for the manufacturing of motor pump sets and various engineering and electronic goods.
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UDACAMANDALAM (OOTY): This famous hill station in the Nillgiri Hills was founded by the British in the early part of the 19th century to serve as the summer headquarters of the Madras government. Untill about two decades ago, 'Snooty' Ooty resembled an unlikely comnination of southern England and Australia: single-storey stone cottages, bijou fenced flower gardens, leafy, winding lanes, and tall eucalypt stands covering the otherwise barren hilltops.
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The other main reminders of the British period are the stone churches, the private schools, the Ooty club, various maharajas' summer palaces and the terraced botanical gardens.

Udhagamandalam (Ooty), is spread over a large area amongst rolling hills and valleys. Between the lake and the racecourse are the railway station and bus stand . From either of these it's a 10 minute walk to the market area ans 20 minutes to Ooty's real centre, Charing Cross (the junction of Coonoor, Kelso and Commercial roads ).

MADURAI : More than 2500 years old ancient city, situated on the banks of the river
Vaigai Madurai is believed to have been built by the Pandyan King Kulasekara. Legend has it that drops of Maduram (nectar) fell from Lord Shiva's locks when he came to bless its people for constructing a temple for him. Madurai's history can be divided into four periods, beginning over 2000 years ago, when it was the capital of the Pandyan Kings. Apart from a brief period it fell to the Cholas, Madurai remain with Pandyan till the decline of the empire. The 200year old reign of the Natakas marked the golden era when art, architecture and learning scaled new heights.
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THIRUCHIRAPPALLY : The most famous landmark of this bustling town is the Rock Fort Temple, a spectacular monument perched on a massive rocky outcrop which rises abruptly from the plain to tower over the old city. It is reached by a flight of steep steps cut into the rock and from its summit you get a fantastic view of the town plus its other main landmark.

Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple
. This temple is one of the largest and most interesting temple complexes in India, built on an island in the middle of the Cauvery River and covering a staggering 2.5 sq km.

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Trichy itself has a long going back to the centuries before Christian era when it was a Chola citadel. The town and its fort as it stands today, was built by the Nayaks of Madurai. It was one of the main centres around which the wars of the Carnatic were fought in the 18th century during the British-French struggle for supremacy in India.

The most famous landmark of this bustling town is the Rock Fort Temple, a spectacular monument perched on a massive rocky outcrop which rises abruptly from the plain to tower over the old city.It is reached by a flight
steep steps cut into the rock and from its summit you get a fantastic view of the town plus its other main landmark, the Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple. This temple is one of the largest and most interesting temple complexes in India, built on an island in the middle of the Cauvery River and covering a staggering 2.5 sq km.

Trichy itself has a long going back to the centuries before Christian era when it was a Chola citadel. The town and its fort as it stands today, was built by the Nayaks of Madurai. It was one of the main centres around which the wars of the Carnatic were fought in the 18th century during the British-French struggle for supremacy in India.

VELLORE : Vellore, 145 km from Chennai, is a dusty, semi rural bazaar town. For tourists, it is noteworthy only for the Vijaynagar fort and its temple, which are in an excellent state of preservation and worth visiting.The town has a modern church built in an old British cemetery, which contains the tomb of a captain who died in 1799' of
excessive fatigue incurred during the glorious campaign which ended in the defeat of Tipoo Sultan'. Here, too is a memorial to the victims of the little known 'Vellore Mutiny' of 1806. The mutiny was instigated by the second son of Tipoo Sultan , who was incacerated in the fort at that time, and was put down by a task force sent from Arcot.
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Vellore is now best known for its hospital, one of the best in the country. The people who come here from all over India for medical care give this humble town a cosmopolitan feel..

RAMESWARAM :
Rameswaram known as the Varanasi of the south, Rameswaram is a major pilgrimage centre for both Shaivites and Vaishnavaites as it was here that Rama ( an incarnation of Vishnu in the Indian epic the Ramayana ) offered thanks to Siva. At the town's core is the Ramanathaswamy Temple, one of the most important temples in southern India.
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Rameswaram is on an island in the Gulf of Mannar, connected to the mainland at Mandapam by rail and by one of India's engineering wonders, the Indira Gandhi Bridge. The bridge took 14 years to build and was opened by Rajiv Gandhi late in 1988.
The town lies on the island's eastern side and used to be the port from which the ferry to Talaimannar ( Sri Lanka ) departed before passenger services were suspended more than a decade ago. as a result, there are now very few foreign visitors.

KANYAKUMARI :
Kanyakumari was once referred to as the "ALEXANDRIA OF THE EAST".This place has been a great centre for art,culture,civilization and pilgrimage for years. It was also a famous centre for commerce and trade. During the early part of the 8th century A.D,Islam entered the southern part of India through the sea route
with traders and Missionaries.Through St.Thomas, Christianity arrived in this area in 52 A.D. Islam, Christianity and Jainism religions have greatly contributed to the Architectural wealth and literal heritage of this place. Kanyakumari was also under the control of the Cholas, the Cheras, the Pandyas and the Nayaks who were the great rulers of South India. The architectural beauty of the temples are the beautiful work of these rulers.
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KANCHIPURAM : Kanchipuram is one of the seven sacred cities of India and was, successively, capital of the kingdom of the Pallavas, Cholas and rajas of Vijayanagar. During Pallavas times, it was briefly occupied by the Chalukyans of Badami, and by the Rashtrakutas when the battle fortunes of the Pallavas kings reached a low ebb

Kanchipuram is a temple city and its many gopurams can be seen from a long way

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Other than the temples, Kanchipuram is a dusty and fairly nondescript town and there's precious little to see or do except when the temple car festivals take place.

MAMALLAPURAM :
The town of temples, sand and sea - Mamallapuram, formely known as Mahabalipuram is world renowned for its beautiful Shore Temple. It was once the main port and naval base of the great Pallava kingdom and was later made the capital of this Dynasty.
'Mamall ', meaning the great wrestler was the name given to king Narasimha Varman I. Most of the temples here is dedicathe Lord Siva and Vishnu, were completed between 630 A.D and 728 A.D during the reign of Narasimha Varman II.

At the annual Mamallapuram Dance Festival , sand , water and temples set the backdrop for the graceful and evocative dancers who celebrates the ancient Indian culture and tradition. This quaint little town of Mamallapuram is enriched with ancient and splendid sculptures.
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Each of the beautiful works of arts has a story to tell. Like the large bas relief that narrates the tale of Arjuna's Penance. Arjuna here, is shown standing on one leg to please Lord Shiva into helping him win back the Pandava Empire.
 
 
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 Hotels in Pondicherry
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 Hotels in Tuticorin
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