Tamil Nadu provides several perfect weekend getaways for travellers to enjoy. From beaches to hill stations to towns with significant architectural and cultural heritage, the state has it all. And due to its excellent network of roads and railways, you won&rsquot break into a sweat to figure out how to reach these destinations. Here are five best tourist places in Tamil Nadu, that you may consider for your next weekend getaway
East Coast Road, Mamallapuram
The East Coast Road (ECR) is a state highway running between Chennai and Kanyakumari, which covers a significant portion of Tamil Nadu. The roots of the ECR lie in the roads that once criss-crossed the entire region. Today, several of the state&rsquos popular heritage sites lie along this road.
However, probably the most popular highlight of this route is the city of Mamallapuram (or Mahabalipuram). Here, 40 ancient monuments and Hindu temples of spectacular craftsmanship, from the 7th and 8th centuries CE, form the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Group of Monuments. The prime attraction is probably the Shore Temple, perhaps among the finest structures constructed by the Pallava Dynasty.
Valparai, 102 kilometres away from Coimbatore, is a hill station on the Anamalai Hills range in the Western Ghats. Pay a visit to the sprawling Anamalai Tiger Reserve, spread over nearly 959 sq km, which is the refuge of many endangered animals (Bengal tiger, Indian elephant, Indian leopard, dhole, Nilgiri tahr and lion-tailed macaque, Indian brown mongoose and several more) as well as over 300 species of birds. Stop at verdant Chinna Kallar, one of the regions that receive the maximum rainfall here. Other sightseeing options in Valparai&rsquos proximity include Monkey Falls, Balaji Temple, Velankanni Church and Pancha Mugha Vinayagar Koil. Trekking is quite popular here. The best times to visit this hilly town are between October and November and March and May.
Kodaikanal&rsquos cooler climate ensured that it developed as a retreat and getaway for those escaping the summer heat of the Deccan Plateau or those in search of a cure to tropical diseases they may be suffering from. Kodaikanal is a misty paradise that is situated on top of the upper Palani Hills. Here, you will find meadows, grasslands, forests of pine, cypress, eucalyptus and acacia, and several rock formations that constitute some of the attractions (such as Green Valley View, Pillar Rocks, Guna Caves, Silver Cascade and Dolphin&rsquos Nose).
However, the biggest attraction here is the Kodaikanal Lake. This artificial, man-made, star-shaped lake is preferred for boating activities, despite evidence of water population. You can also enjoy walks, horse- and bicycle-rides beside or along the periphery of the lake.
There are many attributes of Pollachi, a town located 40 kilometres to the south of Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu. It is called the coconut city, as the produce here is marketed to towns and cities in India. While here, you can also visit one of the largest jaggery markets in Asia and the largest cattle market in south India&mdashboth of which make Pollachi a popular destination for tourists looking to shop to their heart&rsquos content.
Pollachi&rsquos position in the Western Ghats ensures that the climate here all year round is thoroughly enjoyable. Not only that, its natural beauty will also leave you spellbound. Like Valparai, Pollachi is also close to other tourist attractions&mdashwildlife sanctuaries such as the Parambikulam Tiger Reserve, dams such as the Azhiyar Dam and the Solaiyar Dam, and temples such as the Thirumurthyswamy Temple, Masani Amman, Eachanari Vinayagar Temple and Vethathiri Maharishi are some of them.
Visit Courtallam, a panchayat town in Tamil Nadu&rsquos Tenkasi district, and the first thing you will notice is its nine waterfalls on the river Chittar. The water of these nine falls&mdashPer Aruvi (Main Falls), Ainth Aruvi (Five Falls), ShenbagaDevi Aruvi, Then Aruvi (Honey Falls), Chitr Aruvi (Small Falls), Puli Aruvi (Tiger Falls), Pazhaya Aruvi (Old Falls), Puthu Aruvi (New Falls) and Pazhathotta Aruvi (Fruit Garden Falls)&mdashare said to have medicinal properties as they pass through areas of forests and herbs. This is the reason why Courtallam is called the &lsquoSpa of South India&rsquo. You may also want to visit the Kalakkad Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve which is located close by.
The streets of Courtallam are filled with devotees of the Papanasanathar Temple and the Sabarimala Temple every year, who take a dip in the waters here before visiting the respective temples.
In Courtallam, the Tamil Nadu Tourism Development Corporation offers boating services during June, July and August. Tourists can avail of rowboats, pedal boats and kayaks for a spot of fun and thrill in the midst of nature&rsquos abundant beauty.
Also Read Tiger Reserves of Tamil Nadu
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