16 Best Tourist Places to Visit in Tamil Nadu

Tamil Nadu is one of the best places to visit in South India. Among the famous temples in Tamil Nadu are Meenakshi Temple, Kanchipuram and Nataraja temple. A trip to the Southern part of the country isn’t considered complete without a visit to the two C's - Chennai and Coimbatore. Taking pride in their uniqueness, both the places have their own charm and grandeur.

Tamil Nadu is an important South-Indian state of India with a great historical and cultural past. It is popular for its culture and rich tradition. This state has seen some of the greatest rulers and greatest dynasties of all time like the Cholas, the Cheras, and the Pandayas. It has contributed a lot to the textile, agriculture and leather industry.

This state has many beautiful cities that are visited by tourists all over the world. It has some of the best tourist places that keep its visitors engaged. You can explore the magnificent views and you can also partake in adventure activities. There are many beautiful cities in Tamil Nadu that one must explore like Chennai which is also the capital of this state.

Explore Mahabalipuram, Madurai, and Puducherry. These cities offer beautiful and amazing views. The temples built in this state are in the Dravidian style. From some historic Forts and Temples to exotic beaches, there's a lot you can explore here. While Chennai is most famous for its culture and cuisine, Coimbatore is known for its natural beauty and age-old temples. Coimbatore to Chennai bus route is also scenic and adds a fun factor to the entire vacation.

1. Tiruchirappalli

Tiruchirappalli is known for its rock fortress and temple at a height of more than 83 meters. The best place in Trichy is the Rockfort temple and the shopping places around the temple. Other famous temples are the Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple (Srirangam), Siva Tiruvanaikkaval Temple and the Samayapuram Mariamman Temple.

Of course, there are other scenic places like the Kallanai dam, Mukkombur, Butterfly park, churches, and other temples like Srirangam, Vayalur Murugan temple, Erumbeeshwarar temple, Sai Baba temple, etc.

But Malaikottai Uchi Pillayar temple is the highlight of the city. Climbing the rock is a unique experience and when you reach the top, you can enjoy the panoramic view of the whole city of Trichy, Cauvery river and the Gopurams of Srirangam. We have a place to sit at the top of the rock and enjoy the breeze hitting your face as you listen to the amazing devotional music from the temple.

And not to forget, Ganesha here is quite powerful. It is also said that the rock itself looks like Ganesha from aerial view. The temple is as old as 7th century. And then, there is also this huge shopping area around the base of the rock where you can buy anything and everything. This area is full of activity and vibrant and very delightful to watch.

Though Saradhas is the speciality of Trichy for shopping clothes, we also have The Chennai Silks and Pothys in the vicinity (near Singarathoppe).

2. Coonoor

It is impossible not to visit Coonoor, a mountain city located 19 kilometres from Ooty. In it we can visit Sim Park, one of the most visited nature reserves in Asia. Without a doubt, this is one of the best places to go hiking in India.

Dolphin's Nose is very popular. The name is so because here the rock is in a dolphin's nose shape and exactly look alike a dolphin nose. From this point, one can have a total look of Catherine Fall and also of the whole city. This rock will give such a scenic view and the view is just indescribable in words.

3. Yelagiri

Yelagiri is a small hill station located in the Vellore district of Tamil Nadu. If you are looking for some peace and isolation during the weekend, then you should go to this place. Yelagiri is a vibrant hill station and is one of the ideal places to visit near Bangalore. Like Kodaikanal and Ooty, you can enjoy the calm amid the incredible views.

Endowed with an aesthetic beauty by nature, Yelagiri provides a peaceful environment suitable for nature walks and hiking. There are several attractive tourist spots to visit here such as Punganoor Lake, Velavan Temple, Jalagamparai Falls, Murugan Temple, Moksha Vimochana Temple and Nilavoor Lake. Yelagiri also offers numerous adventure avenues especially trekking and rappelling.

Beside the infamous Nilavoor Lake in Yelagiri stands the Nachi Amman Temple.

4. Kolli Hills

Situated in the central region of Tamil Nadu, Kolli Hills are also known by the name Kolli Malai and was the home of Chanakya, the writer of Arthashastra. A fine mix of pilgrimage and adventure, Kolli Hills have the very famous Arapaleeswarar Temple resting under its folds along with 75 spine chilling bends making it a ride full of adventure and thrill.

The viewpoints here give a panoramic view of the scenic landscape rich in natural beauty. Kolli hills give a glimpse of the very famous Akash Ganga waterfall which makes it impossible to not get awestruck with its beauty. The milky white waters of Akash Ganga along with the peaceful green landscape rich in biodiversity is a perfect weekend getaway for those seeking some quiet time away from the cities.

5. Mudumalai

Considered the queen of hill stations of South India and the capital of the Nilgiris district of Tamil Nadu, Ooty, also known as Udhagamandalam is one of the most recommended hill stations in India. A drive through the Mudumalai forests is a treat to the soul. Home to the Indian tigers, elephants, gaurs, sloth bears, dhols and more; this is a safari you don't want to miss!

6. Masinagudi

You can proceed to Masinagudi, a small village located near the wildlife sanctuaries in Mudumalai and Bandipur. Another place where you can go for a safari AND stay in a tree house!

7. Coimbatore

Manchester Of South India or Coimbatore is a bustling city in the state of Tamil Nadu. South India has a lot of places to visit and is, of sure a treat to the eyes. The temples in Coimbatore not only holds a beautiful aura where one can seek spiritual peace but is also a great example of beautiful and ancient Indian architecture. These temple holds history and charm and is a must visit whenever a person decides to visit the place.

Marudamalai Temple: Situated atop a hill, Marudamalai Temple is dedicated to Murugan or Kartikeya. The temple complex is built using unique Dravidian style, which is around 1200 years old. Other than the religious aspect, the temple complex also offers sensational views of the surroundings.

Adiyogi Shiva Statue: Adiyogi Shiva Statue has been recognized as the "Largest Bust Sculpture" by Guinness World Records. This 112-foot tall statue of Shiva is situated at the foothills of Velliangiri Mountains.

Siruvani Waterfalls: Home to the tribals of Mudugars and Irular, Siruvani Waterfalls is located at a distance of 35km from Coimbatore. This dam is a major tourist attraction and is flocked by tourists all year round.

8. Pollachi

It is a large town near Coimbatore. Thanks to its scenic beauty, many movies are shot here. Azhiyar Dam is in close proximity and it is frequented by monkeys as also tourists for its surreal beauty. Anamalai Wildlife Sanctuary is also nearby. Parambikulam Dam, many temples including Maasani Amman Temple and a National Park are other favoured tourist attractions. Should be visited during winters.

Pollachi is a small industrial town near Coimbatore known for its winsome landscape. The laid back, relaxed countryside lifestyle attracts tourists to shed their city fatigue amidst paddy fields and green valleys. Explore the Azhiyar Dam, Parambikulam Dam and Anamalai Wildlife Sanctuary if you wish to step out and explore the places around. The best time to visit Pollachi would be during winters.

While the Western Ghats have been in the limelight as a tourist spot for a long time, its tallest subset, the Anaimalai Hills, has often been overlooked in favor of more popular areas and clusters such as the Sahyadris and the nearby Nilgiris. In recent years, the rich coffee, teak and sandalwood plantations surrounding the hills have attracted many travelers seeking to experience the majestic Western Gates in their pristine and untouched form.

From here the Anaimalai Nature Reserve located in the Anaimalai Hills of Pollachi in Valparai is a must-visit center. With tea estates ranging up to 70,000 acres of plantation and more, this slice of heaven is as green as it can get throughout the year! Turn back in time, live the colonial life and hospitality in plush bungalows and walk through the green lands and detox. Be sure to visit the numerous dams and lakes, plan a picnic or hike!

It is located at an altitude of 1,400 meters in the Western Ghats near Pollachi. The highest peak is the Anaimudi (8850 feet). A large number of dams and reservoirs exist in the area including the Aliyar dam, Kadamparai dam, Nirar dam, Solaiyar dam (one of the largest of its classes in Asia) Mannambhally Dam and the largest of all is the Parambikulam dam.

Some other prominent attractions in the city include Parambikulam Wildlife Sanctuary, Perur Pateeswarar Temple, Eachanari Vinayagar Temple and Marudamalai Temple. Coimbatore to Chennai bus fare is cheap and varies between Rs 700 to 1200.

9. Valparai

Surrounded only by mountains and green hills, Valparai is at an altitude of 3500 feet above the sea level. Some of the main tourist attractions in this area are Solaiyar Dam, Balaji Temple, Koolangal Aaru, Pancha Mugha Vinayak Temple, Nallamudi Poonjolai, Monkey Falls, Chinnakallar Dam, Aaliyar Dam and Athirampalli Falls. A major portion of Valparai is covered with shops of local artisans. You can visit Valparai for one of the weekend getaways and indulge in some shopping spree to take a part of their culture back home.

Valparai is a soothing hill station in Tamil Nadu. This little corner in Tamil Nadu receives the highest rainfall during the months of monsoon. If you are looking for some quiet and hassle-free time, Valparai is the perfect destination for it has everything to soothe your tired city soul.

From the misty tea estates, overflowing dams, dense forests, gushing waterfalls, whispering streams to the cool climate to give you just the right monsoon experience. Soak in the beauty of this little heaven in South India when you take a morning stroll through the tea plantations in Valparai.

Located in the wide mountain range of Anamalai hills on the western ghats, Valparai will stun you into silence with its tea gardens and coffee estates. This place is a perfect travel destination. Take your car in Monsoon, ride through the most beautiful, thrilling ghat section with 40 hairpin bends on Pollachi - Valparai road, rest, play your favourite song and close your eyes. How would you feel if rain also joins in the situation.💕

This road trip is scenic beyond words, and hence is highly recommended. The tea plantations are surrounded by evergreen forests. The region is also a rich elephant tract and is known to have many leopards. Reaching Valparai is a most enjoyable hair raising experience. A snakelike road from Pollachi takes you through 40 hairpin bends hidden in lofty lush green mountains.

Rich wildlife, tribe spotting, never-ending tea estates, silver waterfalls and soulful hikes – Valparai has it all for the enthusiastic tourists. Indulge in all the tea that you can – you’re in tea country! Visit the dams, particularly the Upper Nerar dam for its unspoiled charm. You need permissions at most entry points.

It is 104 km away from Coimbatore, 64 km from Pollachi and 110 km from Ernakulam. Closest airport and railway station is at Coimbatore. Buses are available from Coimbatore to Pollachi. Every 30 minutes, there are heavily crowded public buses from Pollachi to Valparai which take 4 hours. Taxi services are available from Coimbatore.

There are many options between hotels and homestays like Joby’s Holiday Home, Misty Creek Homestay, Valparai, Raja complex, and Sinna Dorai’s Bungalow.

Pothigai Hills also known as Agasthiyar Mountain (6122 feet) contains natural habitats of biological diversity including forest with threatened species. This mountain has a history of Shiva and Muruga and has a Agasthiyar statue in the top. This mountain has wonderful green scenery and also wild species like bear, snakes, tiger, elephants.

There are lots of waterfalls and small lakes where you can enjoy taking bath in the middle of the forest. This trekking also has some risky part like dark jungles, open spaces with 5 feet grassland on both side of the path, and rocks which is climbed using rope to reach the peak of hill. The feel of lying in the rocks in the forest while closing the eyes and hearing the voice and trees and birds will give a soothing moment to your mind.

10. Chidambaram

Now its the turn of the East coast. An equally beautiful road trip from Chennai, Pichavaram on East Coast road is as refreshing as it can get. Most of us know that the world's biggest mangrove forest is Sundarbans spread in West Bengal and Bangladesh. But majority doesn't know that the second largest mangrove forests is also in India. It's the Pichavaram mangrove forest in Tamil Nadu.

The forest is spread about 1100 acres and there are more than 400 routes for boating. The forest is known for its richness in biodiversity. It houses some endangered species of plants and birds. Snakes could surprise you during your boat ride. As you go inside the forest, it would get denser and you could feel the thrill and the adventure. Make sure not to miss peaceful sunrise next day after exploring mangroves.

11. Tiruvannamalai

Tiruvannamalai isn’t much famous and not at all popular for a vacation purpose but it’s super peaceful and rejuvenating. There are very frequent buses from Chennai Koyambedu Bus stand. If you would prefer to stay in Ramanashram (many properties outside the ashram), you need to write to them atleast three weeks before your plan to stay. Stay in super clean rooms, and food in the Ashram are free, and you can donate if you want to.

You will cover eight lingams on the path. The last one is Esanya lingam, which is on the side road next to the grave-yard. Due to its location, some people miss it. So, you may want to make sure. It is said that those who seek material well-being do the Girivalam on Pournami days and those who seek spirituality do the Girivalam on Amavasya days.

There are so many sadhus on the way, several temples, ashrams, and altering views of Arunachala Hill to prostrate and meditate. So, it may be in our best interest to do the Girivalam on a slow pace, relishing every step, contemplating, singing, chanting, doing satsang with your friends, meditating at any spot you like, or simply enjoying the presence of Arunachala within.

Javadi Hills are part of the Eastern Ghats and are about 55 miles wide and 23 miles long. This place is a perfect hideout for the ones seeking some alone time to relax or catch up on some reading. The population of this place is very less and this lets you explore the hills uninterrupted without too many tourists around.

12. Kotagiri

Like an electrocardiogram of the Earth, these valleys and mountains descend and rise in Kotagiri. Kotagiri is a small town not very far from Ooty, and is quite popular in the Nilgiri Hills stretch. The temperature of this place is pleasant all throughout the year thus making it extremely pleasant for the tourists to enjoy the wildlife, nature, and vegetation.

This place is particularly popular among photography buffs. The Rangaswamy Pillar is also a point of attraction. Visit Kotagiri to rejuvenate yourself with the purest touch of nature.

Kodanad View Point is located at a distance of 40 kms from Kochi on the eastern edges of Nilgiri Hills (which comprises Kotagiri, Coonoor, Ooty and Gudalur). Kodanad View Point is also known by Thengu Marahada and overlooks three states/provinces (Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Karnataka). It has an unexplored scenic beauty, exotic flora and fauna and enjoyable good weather.

Tourists can enjoy a spectacular view of the Blue Mountains and the valley below. The panoramic view of the place covering nearby tea estates and Moyar River is a real treat for the eyes. Also, it gives a bird's eye view of Rangaswamy Peak and Pillar. There is a high view point and a small restaurant nearby.

13. Tharangambadi

Want to go into a different era that is full of exquisite calmness and historical oddity? Welcome to Tranquebar, down at the west coast of Tamil Nadu! Also known as Tharangambadi, this beach town is in the Nagapattinam district offers something for everyone.

You can have delicious meals at a local restaurant, enjoy the sea breeze to freshen yourself, have a walk at the lovely seaside location, or get mesmerized by the fascinating 17th-century buildings. This place is home to some of the most beautiful places such as Masilamani Nathar Temple, Fort Dansborg, and Danish Fort to name a few.

Also sometimes called Alapur, Tharangambadi attracts tourists to this part of the country because of the Danish Museum, Danish Fort and the Sri Masilamaniswara Temple. The artifacts in the museum, the stories of the centuries-old fort and the eroding temple let you travel back in time to the bygone eras.

14. Kanchipuram

Pancha Bhootha Stalas are a set of five temples spread all across Southern India, where Shiva is worshiped as one of the five primal elements. One of these five is the Ekambareswarar Temple in Kanchipuram where Shiva is worshiped as Prithvi Lingam (the element of Earth). The earliest historical reference to the temple can be found in the classic Tamil Sangam literature, dating back to roughly 300 BCE.

Occupying an area of 25 acres, Ekambareswarar is also one of the largest temples in the country. Rajagopruam is the main and the southern entrance tower of the temple. At a height of 192 ft, this eleven storied tower is the sixth tallest gopuram in India. The gopuram was constructed in 1509 AD during the Vijayanagar era.

Oor Thiruvizha or village festival is a sangam of Tamil culture. It involves the worship of that respective village gods who guard their villages and as such some village festivals are conducted once in a year or once in 3 years and once in 9 years and spans for many days.

15. Rameswaram

Rameshwaram is home to the famed Adam's Bridge, Palk Strait, and the stunning walk over sea among other important things. In the middle of the Palk Strait, between India and Sri Lanka, there is the small elongated Pamban island, which is connected to the mainland of India by a hundred year old railway bridge. This Pamban bridge, the only link connecting the mainland, is considered one of the most dangerous bridges in the world.

With the Arabian Sea on one side and the roaring Bay of Bengal on the other side is Pamban island, a lovely place to visit. Pamban, Rameswaram and Dhanushkodi are situated in this island in triangle position. Pamban is the Junction, where trains leave for Rameswaram and Dhanushkodi in different directions.

Rameshwaram is 175 km from Madurai and 80 km far from Sri Lanka. Rameshwaram is also a place from where the ferry to Sri Lanka (Talaimannar) departs.

Kurusadai Island is one of a group of 16 islands in the region. The waters surrounding the islands are a biological paradise with rich marine life and rare colorful coral reefs. If you’ve never been on a glass-bottomed boat ride – here’s your chance. Krusadai Island, off the coast of Tamil Nadu, hosts these rides over the Gulf of Mannar. Expect the esteemed company of turtles, sea cucumbers, dolphins, seahorses, barracuda, herrings, whales, and dugongs – all under your feet as you sail along the mellow waters of the sea. Mind the gap, though!

16. Yercaud

A quaint hill town situated in Tamil Nadu is a perfect place to get away from the hustle and bustle of cities and relax with the purest touch of nature. The beauty of this picture-perfect town comes alive with the rains and the inky blue clouds. Overshadowed by the popularity of Ooty and Kodaikanal, Yercaud does not receive the same attention or even comes close to sharing the limelight with the popular names in Tamil Nadu.

Thus enjoy its pristine beauty and amazing monsoons here before this place is commercialized too. Located in eastern Ghats in Salem, Yercaud is commonly called as the poor man's Ooty. Yercaud is blessed with forests, mountains and waterfalls, making this a paradise for travelers with limited budget. The Yercaud roads are well maintained, making this a great destination for a road trip.

Dividing Kaveri River and Palar River, Kalrayan Hills are situated on the Eastern Ghats of India and are quite easily accessible. This place is well-known for the English vegetables that are grown here. Mostly favored as a picnic spot, the large orchards here are a huge attraction. Some popular tourist spots here are Pappanaikan Patti Dam, Periyar Falls, Megam Falls and Manimukhthnadi Dam.

With its unmatched beauty, Kalrayan Hills should be visited during monsoons to take home the best experience. Aadi Perukku is an important festival celebrated by the people living near the banks of Kaveri river and a Thanksgiving to the Kaveri. On this day, women pray for the long life of their husbands along the banks of the rivers and leave lamps in the river during evening. It is a beautiful thing to see the lamps floating over the river.

To cover all these destinations, keep at least a week's time in hand. So, what are you waiting for? Book your tickets now.
Kalyan Panja