Beyond Ooty And Kodaikanal, Here Are The Places To Visit On Your Next Trip To Tamil Nadu

Tamil Nadu stands as a hub of Indian heritage and culture, offering a treasure of experiences. Steeped in a rich historical tapestry, this state holds something for every traveller.

Published On Aug 31, 2023 | Updated On Mar 07, 2024


The southern region of India boasts incredible beauty, with abundant flora, fauna, and significant historical importance. Taking a vacation there offers a unique experience. Among the southern states, Tamil Nadu stands out as particularly appealing.

Tamil Nadu features pristine and welcoming beaches, as well as enchanting valleys and hills that exude a magical charm. It's rapidly becoming a popular vacation destination within India. The state's appeal isn't limited to its natural beauty; it also holds deep historical and spiritual significance, showcasing India's greatness.

Furthermore, Tamil Nadu is renowned for its delectable cuisine, offering flavours that most travellers look forward to. Its musical heritage, passed down through generations, is also noteworthy. The landscape is adorned with numerous exquisite temples, each a masterpiece of intricate beauty. Additionally, there are historic sites that narrate tales of times gone by. There is no doubt that a stay in Tamil Nadu promises to create enduring memories, making it an exceptionally delightful and unforgettable vacation.

Here are the most beautiful places to visit in Tamil Nadu

Madurai, renowned as the 'Lotus City' due to its layout resembling the delicate flower, holds the esteemed title of Tamil Nadu's cultural capital. This ancient city stands as one of India's oldest continually inhabited settlements, bridging the gap between antiquity and the present day. As a testament to its historical significance, Madurai boasts enduring trade connections with ancient Rome and played a pivotal role as a key business hub in Tamil Nadu.
A visit to Madurai promises a treasure trove of temples and historic landmarks, each a splendid showcase of Tamil Nadu's rich heritage. The city's strong connection of culture and history invites exploration and promises to leave an indelible mark on every traveller.
Best time to visit: October – March 
Places to explore: Meenakshi Amman Temple, Samanar Hills, Vaigai Dam, Thirumalai Nayakar Mahal etc.

Chennai, the capital city of Tamil Nadu and formerly referred to as Madras, is famously known as the 'Detroit of India'. The city masterfully harmonises its historical legacy with contemporary progress, serving as a testament to its dual identity as a capital. Embarking on a visit to Chennai unveils an exceptional amalgamation of ancient temples, colonial architecture, and state-of-the-art infrastructure. Amidst this vibrant blend, the city's enchanting old-world allure remains untouched, despite the passage of time.
Best time to visit: October - March
Places to explore: Marina Beach, Marundeeswarar Temple, Government Museum, Madra War Cemetery, etc.

Nestled amidst the breathtaking hills of Coonoor and Ooty, the Ketti Valley emerges as a haven of natural beauty. It presents an ideal retreat for those seeking respite from life's stress and the relentless hustle and bustle. Known for its serene ambience, Ketti Valley bewitches visitors with its picturesque landscape. The cascading waterfalls, the majestic Nilgiri hills, and other equally enchanting spots transport you to a realm just like a dreamland.
Best time to visit: October - June
Places to explore: Lamb’s Rock, Hidden Valley, Law’s Falls, etc.

Chettinad, comprising a cluster of villages, stands as a significant historic destination. Celebrated for its regal palaces, ancient temples, and other historical landmarks, Chettinad is equally renowned for its traditional cuisine. The region emerges as a prime cultural and heritage hub within Tamil Nadu. Distinguished as a temple town, Chettinad is home to numerous temples that are integral to its historical fabric. 
Best time to visit: November - March
Places to explore: Chettinad Palace, Pillaiyarpatti, Chettinad Museum, Athmanathaswamy Temple, etc.

Valankanni is a peaceful and lovely village known for its strong religious importance. People believe that Mother Mary, along with Jesus, appeared here, making it a very holy place for Roman Catholics all over the world. The famous church dedicated to 'Our Lady in Good Health' is a major part of the village. This special church attracts many visitors from India and around the world every year. People come here to ask for blessings and show their respect.
Best time to visit: October – March  
Places to explore: Velankanni Beach, Sikkal, Nagapattinam, etc.

Encompassing the broader expanse of Mudumalai Wildlife Sanctuary, Mudumalai National Park is a vibrant sanctuary nurturing a diverse array of flora and fauna. Renowned for boasting India's largest tiger population, this national park also harbours numerous other endangered and vulnerable species. Situated on the border of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, Mudumalai National Park stands as a compelling attraction for avid wildlife and nature enthusiasts, inviting them to witness the thriving ecosystems within its realm.
Location: Gudalur NH 67, Gudalur, Devarshola, Tamil Nadu
Best time to visit: December – June 
Timings: 6 am – 6 pm
Entry fee: Rs. 15 per person
Places to explore nearby: Pykara Lake, Needle Rock View Point, Maravakandy Dam, etc.

Tanjore, also known as Thanjavur, stands as a renowned city in Tamil Nadu, bearing the weight of the state's rich culture and history. Proudly upholding its heritage through paintings, sarees, handicrafts, and more, this city's culture resonates globally, captivating people from across the nation and the world, each seeking to acquire the items that exude stunning beauty. Moreover, Tanjore holds immense religious significance, sheltering ancient historic monuments such as temples and forts. Amidst its streets, you'll experience a blend of history and modernity, enveloping you in a sense of timelessness.
Best time to visit: October – March 
Places to explore: Brihadeshwara Temple, Thanjai Mamani Koil, Shiva Ganga Garden, Vijayanagar Fort, etc.

When it comes to profound religious significance, Rameshwaram emerges as a prominent destination in Tamil Nadu, holding a deep place in the hearts of Hindus. Housing one of Lord Shiva's revered 'Jyotirlingas,' Rameshwaram beckons a multitude of devotees who journey from distant corners to seek blessings within the sacred confines of the splendid Rameshwaram temple. Remarkably, this temple also boasts the distinction of harbouring the world's longest corridor, enhancing its allure for both religious and architectural enthusiasts alike.
Best time to visit: October – April but pleasant all through the year
Places to explore nearby: Dhanushkodi Temple and Beach, Agniteertham, Lakshmana Tirtham, Ariyaman Beach, etc.

A paradise for nature enthusiasts, the Pichavaram Mangrove forest stands as the second-largest of its kind in the world. Within this captivating and distinctive ecosystem, nature's display will leave you awestruck by its abundant biodiversity. An encounter with previously unseen plant or animal species is a possibility, adding an element of serendipity to your experience. A visit to this natural wonder grants you the privilege to witness nature’s breathtaking beauty.
Location: Pichavaram Road, Chidambaram, Tamil Nadu
Best time to visit: November - February
Timings: 9 am – 6 pm
Entry fee: No entry fee but Rs. 150 per hour for paddle boats and Rs. 1000 per hour for motorboats
Places to explore nearby: The Nataraja Temple, Kali Temple, etc.

Tuticorin, renowned as Thoothukudi, shines as a port city celebrated for its pearl fishing heritage. Beyond its vibrant harbour, this city is hailed as one of Tamil Nadu's concealed treasures, offering far more than meets the eye. Known for its delectable cuisine, picturesque beaches, and serene escape from urban pressures, Tuticorin is an unwinding spot, perfect for you to recharge amidst its idyllic ambience. 
Best time to visit: October – March 
Places to explore: Kalakad Wildlife Sanctuary, Tuticorin Beach, Kalugumalai, Thiruchendur Murugan Temple, etc.

Photo: Shutterstock