Tamil Nadu, India

The pyramid-shaped towers of Dravidian Hindu temples are liberally dotted throughout this South Indian state. Tamil Nadu’s a coolly cultural spot too – renowned for its art, music and literature – and vibrant, colourful performances of its traditional Karakattam folk dance. In Chennai (the state’s capital city), Fort St George has beautifully preserved colonial columns and porticos, and sunning (more so than swimming) is the favoured way to pass a day at Marina Beach. The state’s cuisine, which is an enticing cross-section of traditional dishes from every region of the state is by turns coconut-laced, veggie-packed and piquant. Outdoorsy types can get their hit of fresh air – and likely a blast of oven-warm sunshine – in the state’s national parks and wildlife sanctuaries. And, if it's in-depth exploring you're after, our range of Indian adventures traverse Tamil Nadu…

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Areas in Tamil Nadu

When to go

Temperatures are at their coolest in January, when harvest celebrations all but guarantee performances of traditional music amid lively festivities. To catch the full-moon festival of lights, visit in November or December. Weather is manageably warm (but not always dry) from July through September.

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Getting there

  • Planes

    Chennai International Airport is the third largest airport in India after Mumbai and Delhi; direct flights arrive from an assortment of major airports, including London, Frankfurt, Hong Kong and Singapore. Other international hubs include the Coimbatore Airport, Madurai Airport and Tiruchirapalli Airport.
  • Trains

    Southern Railway services from major cities all over India stop at Chennai station; express trains connect the Tamil state capital to Mumbai, Delhi and Kolkata.
  • Automobiles

    Capital city Chennai is one point on the Golden Quadrilateral project, which connects the four major metropolitan cities of India – Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata.There’s also an extensive road network within the state, so if you’re feeling up to the adventure of navigating (and it is an adventure…), you can drive between Tamil Nadu’s urban centres and lush rural vistas.