When people speak of South India, they are mostly referring to the region of Tamil Nadu. It marks the cultural boundaries of the Dravidian Hindu homeland and the legacy of the Deccan kingdoms. It is unique in that it is the area of India that has had the least influence by outside cultures, and Tamil Nadu travel offers you a chance to see culture and sights that are most representative of the India of antiquity than any other place in the country. It is known for its temples, hilly countryside and beautiful plantations.
The great Temples
The Tamil speaking population is also predominately Dravidian Hindu in belief. There is an extensive amount of temples, sacred monuments, shrines and sacred trees in the area. The unique climate and geography have protected many of these structures from weather and quake damage. It also protected the culture from outside influence as the area is off the main trade routes. What outsiders were most interested in, the coffee and tea of its great plantations, they were content to receive in the trade cities to the north. Many of the temples and sacred sites are still in use. It pays to find out about etiquette when visiting to respect the religious rules of the area. Some of the sacred sites are not open to tourists or non-Hindus as well, so check with your Tamil Nadu travel guide before entering a space.
The great plantations
There are many established hiking trails that will take you between and beyond the sacred sites. The beautiful, hilly country is verdant and known for its trees. It is the home of some of the oldest tea and coffee plantations in India. There are many opportunities to hike or bicycle the countryside while visiting them.
The cuisine and culture
The Tamil cuisine and culture is spicy and lively. The majority of the Tamil culture is celebrated in art, music and dance; but there are also martial arts, cuisine, textile and architecture associated with the culture too. It survives not just in Tamil Nadu, but is found throughout Sri Lanka and other East Indian Islands. In the Tamil Nadu area, you can see many of the traditional festivals and dances performed, as well as sample the food and drink that have made this a hot spot for culinary tourists.
Creating Tamil Nadu travel plans that let you see the most
The best way to create the Tamil Nadu travel plans that will show you what you want to see most is to research the area by season. Given its rich spiritual and cultural heritage, the tourist season will coincide more with festivals than with the weather. October through March remain the preferred times to travel as the weather is temperate and the rains are over. Travel into the region at other times however, can expose you to rituals and celebrations not commonly seen. You can craft your Tamil Nadu travel plans to highlight your interests, then come again another time and see something entirely new.