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You are at the southern tip of India in the state of Tamil Nadu. It is the third largest metropolis in India. Planning an itinery with Chennai as the gateway will put you in touch with a different face of India - classical, ancient and gentle. Definately touched by colonialism but not ravaged by wars and intensely aware of its roots and traditions.
Founded in 1639 on a piece of land donated by the Raja of Chandragiri, Chennai, the capital city of Tamil Nadu, is the fourth largest city of India. Lesser pollution and congestion marks the city from other major metros of India. Public services, transport and passenger trains in the state are highly dependable and efficient. Marina Beach, a popular tourist spot of Chennai, is the second largest beach in the world. Due to the presence of numerous sharks here, the place is not very popular with swimmers.
Best time to visit Tamil Nadu
The best time to visit Tamil Nadu is October to March.
A large part of the state being on the coastal edge of the country, the weather is tropical and sultry for most part of the year. The summer months of April, May, June are hottest where temperature ranges to 40 degrees.
December and January are the peak months for Chennai. The temp ranges from 20-22 degrees. To avoid peak rush October is better. The weather in these months is pleasant and easy to bear the humidity.
The famous festivals held at Madurai, include Teppam festival, the annual Float Festival, wherein the images of Shree Meenakshi and Lord Sundareswara are mounted on floats, and taken to Mariamman Teppakkulam Tank, where for several days they are pulled back and forth across the water in the middle of the tank, on an illuminated raft embellished with flowers, before being taken back to the main temple.
Chithirai festival held during March-April, celebrates the marriage of Shree Meenakshi to Lord Sundereswara. On the occasion, an elaborately decorated chariot bearing the images of the divine couple, is taken around the city. The resounding notes of the nadaswaram and the drums, creates a vibrant ambience. Avanimoola festival is held in late August-early September, when temple cars are drawn around the streets of Madurai.
Festivals in Rameswaram
Festivals are celebrated in the Ramanathaswamy temple, in connection with Thai Amavasi (Jan), Masi Sivarathiri (Feb-Mar), Thirukalyanam (July-Aug) and Mahalaya Amavasi (Sept).
Festivals in Trichy
Mohini Alangaram, Vaikunta Ekadasi, Garuda Sevai, Flower Festival and Car Festival, during the last week of December, and first week of January. The Float festival at Teppakulam, during the months of March-April.
Festivals in Thanjavur
The great Mahamaham festival is held at Kumbakonam, every 12 years, last held in 1992. To commemorate the saint Thyagaraja, the Thyagaraja Aradhana Music festival is held every year, in the month of January.
Festivals in Kodaikanal
Chitra Pournima Festival - in the first week of May, Navaratri - in the last week of October, and the Holy Annual festival of RC Church in the fourth week of December.
Festivals in Chennai
Navaratri or Dussehra (Sept/Oct), Diwali (Oct/Nov), Karthika (Nov/Dec) and Pongal (in Jan) are some of the popular festivals in the region.
Festivals in Kanchipuram
The festivals that are celebrated with great pomp and show, are the Brahmothsavam, Garudothsavam and the Chariot festival.