Take a trip down India’s southeastern coast.
Home to many powerful dynasties in the past including the Cholas, Pallavas and the Pandyas, Tamil Nadu offers a quintessential South Indian experience. So while its main offering includes coastal and mountain delights, head here for the endless views of rice paddies that fill the gaps between alluring temple towns. The surrounding streets are decked with religious paraphernalia, tiny restaurants serving spicy food on banana leaves, women selling fruits and oxes navigating streets alongside cyclists and pedestrians.
One of the most obvious things to do in the city is temple trails. And if you are keen to do this, skip Chennai and head straight to Mamallapuram, that is located only 60 km from the coast. Famed for the simple but exquisite twin Shore Temple, and more elaborate Arjuna’s Penance, this town wins hearts for its stone carving techniques and is a great place to pick up some impressive souvenirs as well. Additionally, this is the only place in the state that offers a full beach experience with a plethora of inexpensive, friendly guesthouses and chilled restaurants.
If food is still on your mind, head to Pondicherry, which was earlier home to French colonial rulers. They have managed to leave their impressions not only on the culinary techniques of the place but also on the architecture of the state. The town is also home to Sri Aurobindo ashram and you can visit the sprawling New Age community of Auroville, just a short way north to the town.
Other temple places in the state include, Kanchipuram, Tiruvannamalai,Kumbakonam Tiruchirapalli Thanjavur and Madurai.If you fancy a breath of fresh air away from temples, the hill stations of Tamil Nadu await you. Kodaikanal is much more relaxed and laidback than Ooty, both these places are perfect for not just honeymooners but also solo travellers.
No trip to Tamil Nadu is complete without making your way to Kanyakumari, the southern tip of country. A major pilgrimage site, where the Arabian Sea, Bay of Bengal and Indian Ocean meet, this is one of the best places to witness a sunset in the entire country.
Cities to explore in Tamil Nadu
More places waiting to be discovered