Top 10 Tourist Destinations in Tamil Nadu

Tamil Nadu, the only state that could properly describe the majesty of South India is blessed with diversity and is believed to be the ideal homeland of classical civilization that has retained and nurtured their two eras old culture, art, and traditions in such a nice way that it has been represented as a great example for several other states. The best thing about this southern state is that it breaks down all the clichés and has grown as a state that has diversity and bounty. Azure Seas, Gorgeous Mountains, Swaying Fields, Sandy Beaches, huge cascading waterfalls, lofty shopping malls, Chic Hotels, Uber cool lounges, and many other things or in simple words we can say that there is nothing that Tamil Nadu lacks and thus, it is enlisted among some of the must-visit destinations in India.

Check out the list of some of the best appealing and impressive places in the state that are pretty eye-catching and let you know about the facts of classical India.

01. Chennai

Marina Beach
Marina Beach, Chennai

Chennai, the capital city of Tamil Nadu is one of the most sought travel destinations in India where tourists from all across the globe flock to witness the incredible architectural grandeur, glimmering beaches, ancient temples, and many other things. Providing all the comforts and facilities of a metropolitan city including the impeccable charm of the young and vivid crowd, irresistible nightlife, and is therefore indeed considered as one of the best travel destinations to explore in Tamil Nadu. Apart from exploring the wonderful places in the city, one can also enjoy going on gastronomic hangouts, ideal for shopping, pilgrimage, and casual hangout, and can witness diversity in almost every aspect of life. One can also enjoy after-dark parties, beautiful sunsets, serene ambiance, and spiced-right food.

Foods in Chennai: The city serves you the traditional South Indian food like Sambhar, Idlis, Appam, Vada, Parotha, and Dosas and ranges from the street side stalls to upscale restaurants. Chennai is known for its traditional and authentic South-Indian cuisine and provides countless options.

02. Kodaikanal

Kodaikanal Lake
Kodaikanal Lake

Kodaikanal, the princess of Hill Stations is one of the most popular honeymoon destinations in India and is adorned with mist-covered manicured cliffs, beautiful climate, and the gorgeously flowing waterfalls and this altogether makes it a perfect weekend getaway destination. The word Kodaikanal means “the gifts of the forests” and likewise this beautiful quaint hamlet is tucked at an elevation of almost 7200 feet above the sea level and amidst the rolling slopes of the Palani Hills. When you reach this place, you will feel that whatever you had imagined about the place is real. It is considered to be one of the best places to escape away from the rigors, hustle, and bustle of your daily city life along with enjoying biking on mountains or trekking.

Foods one must try here: Brownies, Chocolates, cheese, sandwiches, and a cup of hot “chai” are some of the most ordered eateries and beverages in Kodaikanal. Apart from these, there is a lot more to taste in this city including locally produced organic foods, popular items of Tibetan cuisine, spicy Punjabi cuisine, a great collection of Biryanis, and also an elaborate Gujarati platter. Rasam, Payasam, Sambhar, Dosas, Idlis, Upma, Kesari, Sweet Pongal, etc. are some of the top-picked traditional foods.

03. Ooty


Tucked beautifully amidst the Nilgiri Hills, Ooty also called as Udagamandalam is a gorgeous hill station in Tamil Nadu, a top-rated travel destination in India. Years ago, Ooty used to be regarded as the summers headquarter of East India Company and the British officials used to come along with their family members to enjoy their holiday. It has a wonderful backdrop of the greenery all around that makes it a great destination for both family and honeymooners and it is believed that Ooty sightseeing is everything that one needs to rejuvenate and relax on their Holiday to Tamil Nadu. Once you are done with Ooty exploration, cover a total distance of 250 km to reach Kodaikanal, another exciting place in South India that is best to be accessed by a car or taxi.

Places to explore in Ooty: The tea factory, Tea Museum, Tiger Hill, Government Rose Garden, and St. Stephens Church are some of the most popular places to visit here.

Foods one must binge on: If you have sweet tooth then Ooty is a perfect place for you as you can find a great number of bakeries that serve temptations including home-made chocolates, strawberry chocolate, white chocolate, buns, and cakes.

04. Rameshwaram


Rameshwaram popularly called as the bridge on the Indian Ocean is one of the holiest places in India and is established on a gorgeous island. As per the Hindu mythological tales, Rameshwaram is a place where Lord Rama established a bridge across the sea that leads you to Sri Lanka. However, the destination is dedicated to Lord Rama yet when you enter the city you get to worship the holy shrine of Lord Shiva. Reckoned for its majestic prakaras with gracefully sculptured pillars on either side, the Ramanathaswamy Temple is one of the most sought pilgrimages in the country and boasts of the longest corridor in the world. Five-faced Hanuman Temple is another exciting place in the city where you can find the floating stone which was used to construct the holy bridge to connect India with Sri Lanka.

Places to explore in Rameshwaram: Besides the magnificent Ramanathaaswamy Temple, the city houses Dhanushkodi Temple and Beach, Jatayu Tirtham, Agniteertham, and many more.

Foods one must taste in the city: Rameshwaram provides a great collection of South-Indian platters and delicious Thai cuisines that are mostly vegetarian. Keema Vadas, Cuttle Fish, Crab Meat, Sambhar, Filter Coffee, Baby Octopus, etc. are some of the most popular food items served here.

05. Mahabalipuram


Reckoned for its intricately carved out temples and the majestic rock-cut caves, Mahabalipuram or Mamallapuram is popularly known for its historical importance and well-established tourist location nestled on the Coromandel Coast along the Bay of Bengal in Tamil Nadu. Once the destination was the holy abode of the demon King Mahabali, the site later got renamed as Mamallapuram. The alluring atmosphere, the serenity, and the striking setting with several gorgeous white sandy beaches studded with Casuarina trees, and these are the top reasons why one should visit this wonderful town. Group of Monuments like the Five Rathas and the Shore Temple that are enlisted among some of the most popular UNESCO World Heritage Sites are few of the must-visit travel destinations in Tamil Nadu where travelers from all across the globe flock to witness a unique travel experience.

Places to explore in Mahabalipuram: Descent of the Ganges, Shore Temple, Pancha Rathas, Mahabalipuram Beach, Arjuna’s Penance, and others.

Foods one must taste here: the city is brimming with fascinating and flattering cafes and restaurants that serve you a variety of lip-smacking cuisines. In the city, you will find almost everything whether you are fond of traditional foods or western foods. For vegetarians, the city serves vegetarian Thali and if you are a non-veg lover then you must try prawns, crabs, lobsters, and grilled fish.

06. Kanyakumari


Popularly called “the Land’s End” or “Cape Comorin”, Kanyakumari is a beautiful city encircled by three gorgeous seas- the Bay of Bengal, Indian, and the Arabian Sea. Located on the southernmost tip of the Indian Peninsula, Kanyakumari is a small coastal town that was earlier named Cape Comorin. It is a mountainous terrain situated amidst three seas and adorned with coconut trees, hugely elevated hill patches, and paddy fields. The most interesting fact about the place is that it is the only place where one can enjoy witnessing sunrise and sunset by sitting at the same beach. Kanyakumari is not only famous for its unique phenomenon but also for its glimmering beaches, ancient temples, and the iconic monuments that appeal to thousands of tourists every year. If you are a nature lover and love witnessing the view of water falling from a height then you must the places like Courtallam Falls, Thirparappu Waterfalls, and the Olakaruvi Falls.

Places to explore in Kanyakumari: Kanyakumari Beach, Kumari Amman Temple, Thiruvalluvar Statue, Thirparappu Falls, etc. are some of the most popular places to visit in Kanyakumari.

Foods one must try here: Upma, Chutney, Idli, Payasam, Sambhar, Idli, Sweet Pongal, Kesari, Rasam, Sambhar, etc. are some of the most famous dishes that are served in the platter.

07. Kanchipuram


Widely reckoned for its gorgeous “Kanchipuram Saree” and also renowned as “golden city of a thousand temples”, Kanchipuram is one of the most sought tourist destinations in South India that attracts millions of tourists from all across the globe. Being a philosophical and cultural hub, Kanchipuram attracts a particular group of tourists who are interested in witnessing the cultural and traditional aspects of life. The city is blessed with the magnificent Kanchi Kamakshi Temple, a holy pedestal dedicated to Goddess Parvati, wife of Lord Shiva. Kailasanathar Temple is another popular pilgrimage in the city and is highly reckoned for its impeccable architecture and it is believed to be the highest, largest, and most appealing temple in this beautiful town. Another amazing holy shrine in Kanchipuram is Ekambareswarar Temple that is spread over a huge area of almost 40 acres and dates back to the Pallava period. The Kanchi Mutt holds South Indian classical music concerts or Kutcheris in the evenings.

Foods one must taste here: if you are excited to serve your taste buds with the typical South Indian foods then Kanchipuram is a perfect place where you can enjoy Sweet Pongal, Sambhar, Idli, Dosa, Payasam, and Vada are some of the most delicious eateries served in the city.

Places to explore in city: Kamakshi Amman Temple, Devarajaswami Temple, Varadharaja Temple, Kanchi Kudhil, Kailasanathar Temple, and Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam.

08. Madurai


One of the oldest inhabited cities in the country, Madurai is popularly called as “The Lotus City” and “the cultural capital of Tamil Nadu. The city is believed to have been under the reign of Pandya Rulers for a long time and has been popular as Lotus City since the city is constructed in the shape of a Lotus. This cultural city boasts of the gorgeous Meenakshi Amman Temple that is dedicated to Goddess Meenakshi, the consort of Lord Sundareshwar. Besides Meenakshi Amman Temple, there are a few more holy temples in Madurai including Thiruparankundram, one of the most ancient temples in the country that has been devoted to Lord Muruga (Karthikeya). This gorgeous temple is established on a majestic hillock and is approximately at a distance of almost 8 km away from the city. The place holds a great cultural heritage as the city has trade ties with ancient Rome and so when you move towards the market areas you get to see the stuffs representing beautifully the rich culture and heritage of the place.

Foods one must taste here: Reckoned as the food capital of Tamil Nadu, Madurai offers a huge variety of food items and is a perfect place to gorge upon the lip-smacking delicacies including Italian, Bengali, North-Indian, and Chinese cuisines. Kuzhi Paniyaram, Paruthi Paal, Bengal Fish Curry, Fish and Chips, Chaats, etc. are a few of the most famous eateries of the place.

Places to explore: Vaigai Dam, Samanar Hills, Meghamalai, Meenakshi Amman Temple, etc. are a few of the must-visit places in Madurai.

09. Thanjavur


One of the most appealing travel destinations in Tamil Nadu, Thanjavur is popularly called as the city of temples that holds a great cultural value and is nationwide popular for its incredible paintings, textiles, Sarees, antiques and handicrafts, the Carnatic music played by the musical instruments, and yes most importantly the gorgeous temples. The city enjoys a great historical heritage and also huge importance in moulding the ancient as well as modern South India Civilization and so attracts a great number of pilgrims from different corners of the world. It is one of the perfect places where you can enjoy witnessing the gorgeous and dynamic cultures of the past as well as present that is present everywhere in the city and gives an impeccable and unique aura to the destination.

Places to explore: Brihadeshwara Temple, Vijayanagar Fort, Shiva Ganga Garden, Alangudi Guru Temple, Chandra Bagwan Temple, Swami Malai Temple, and many more.

Foods one must try here: The city offers you a great variety of eateries to flatter you appetite. A typical meal consists of two types of vegetables, rice, curd, Sambhar (Curry), and a pickle. Other famous eateries of the city are Dosa, Parota, Idlis, Payasam, Sweet Pongal, Kesari, Upma, and Rasam.

10. Coimbatore


Popularly called as “Manchester of India”, Coimbatore is believed to be the second-largest city in South India that is established on the banks of River Noyyal, Coimbatore. This beautiful city has been established amidst the picturesque location and is believed to be a perfect place where you can escape away from the hustle and bustle of your city life and one can also enjoy several activities. The city boasts of impeccable wonders ranging from ancient temples to classy new buildings, from gorgeous mountains to cascading waterfalls, and from delicious delicacies to pleasant and favorable weather all around the year. You must have heard of Adiyogi Shiva Statue, a massive 112 feet tall statue of Lord Shiva which is idolized gracefully in Coimbatore and enhancing its religious charm to the next level. If you are keen to experience the self-transformation and inner peace then you must add this place in your bucket of travel destinations.

Places to explore nearby: Kovai Kondattam, Vydehi Falls, Sree Ayyappan Temple, Marudhamalai Hill Temple, Vellangiri Hill Temple, and Adiyogi Shiva Statue.

Foods one must try here: One of the best places to enjoy the traditional South-Indian cuisine along with gorging upon the western dishes. Sambhar, Dosa, Idli, Chutney, Rasam, Sweet Pongal, Upma, Payasam, etc. are some of the most served traditional foods in the city. If you are in love with Continental, Chinese, North Indian dishes then check out the menu of some specific hotels and restaurants.

However, the list consists of only 10 popular destinations in Tamil Nadu but this doesn’t mean that the state is limited to these places only as there is no dearth of travel sites in South India but it is not good to compile them all together in a single article. So, if you are interested to know about other popular places in the state then do share your love with this article by sharing, liking, and commenting.

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