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Tamil Nadu Introduction


Chennai  Mamallapuram Kanchipuram  Tiruchirapalli 
Kodaikanal Coimbatore Ooty Thanjavur
Madurai Rameshwaram Kanyakumari   

The visual legacy of the culture of Tamil Nadu is among the most satisfying spectacles in India. Its numerous ancient temples with their characteristic gateway towers, hundred or thousand pillared pavilions and corridors, their spectacular array of sculptures, bronze images and stucco embellishments; its woodcraft and textile creativity; and the sublimity of its performing arts of dance, music and drama. 

Tamil Nadu is bounded on the north by the southern limb of the eastern ghats, on the west by the lofty backbone of the Sahyadrichain, and by the sea east and south. Religion is second nature to the Tamils, inextricably mingled with their daily life. The divinities in the Hindu pantheon are innumerable among whom, however, Shiva, Vishnu, Ganesha, Muruganand Durga stand out. 

General Information 
Population:                 62,110,839 

Area:                         
130,058 sq km 

Capital:                     
Chennai 

Languages:              
 Tamil 

District: 
                      29 

People Per Sq. km:     478 

Literacy:                    
 73.47% 

Fairs and Festivals 


Cape Festival At Kanyakumari October 
Kanyakumari, also known as "Cape Comorin" is located at the southern most tip of India, where the Bay of Bengal, Indian Ocean and the Arabian Sea meet. A dip in the ocean here is considered holy, but the sea is rough here and not fit for bathing. This is the only place in India, where the sunset and moonrise can be viewed simultaneously on a full moon day.

The Vivekananda memorial set amidst the sea is a place known to give mental emancipation. The Cape festival is celebrated on a large scale for three days at Kanyakumari. The festival is marked by a series of cultural programs. 

Chithirai Festival 
The Chithirai festival is held in Madurai temple, 500-km from Chennai. The festivity starts from the Tamil month Chithirai (April-May) and ends on the tenth day. 

Dance Festival At Mamallapuram 
Globally renowned "Mamallapuram Dance Festival" is organized by the Department of Tourism, Government of Tamil Nadu every year in Mamallapuram - the renowned and ancient 7th century center for Pallava culture and arts.

The Dance festival starts on the 25th of December every year and is conducted on all Saturdays and Government holidays, up to February first week. Dancers and musicians of repute from India and abroad thrill the crowds every year. Folk dances of India are an added attraction.

Pongal January 15 -18 

Pongal is a harvest festival celebrated by Tamilians for four days. At Dakshinachitra, Pongal is ritually prepared in the open air and served. Bullock cart rides and folk performances are organized for the festival.

Vasant Vizha February 18 - 28
Vasant Vizha, festival of craft is celebrated in the month of February and provides a special occasion to see the unique crafts of South India.

Ugadi March 12 - 21Ugadi is the beginning of New Year for the Telugus, Kannadigas, Sindhis and Maharashtrians. At Dakshinachitra, a ten-day Telugu festival is held highlighting the cultural, religious, cuisine and costumes of the regions of Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka. 

The Tamil New Year April 14 - 17
The first day of the Tamil month of Chithirai is the New Year's Day for the Tamilians, also called the "Chaitra Vishu". The ritual is offering of 9 grains to the sun is organized.

Onam August 21 - 29
Onam, a harvest festival, celebrated by all Malayalis, is being recreated in the beautiful setting of Dakshinachitra with exotic floral decorations. The main attractions of different performing arts of Kerala can be seen during this festival and authentic Kerala food is also provided. 

Karthigai Deepam is the oldest festival of, which is also the most elaborate and the most important festival. Karthigai Deepam falls in the Tamil month of Karthigai when the star Krithigai is on the ascendant and usually occurs on a full moon day. This festival is also called as "the Festival of Lights". 

Kavadi Festival
The Kavadi festival is celebrated at all shrines of Lord Muruga. Dancing in a hypnotic trance to the rhythm of drums, devotees of Muruga carry the Kavadi all the way up the Palani hills to fulfill their vow. Ettukudi Kavadi Festival is a famous festival celebrated during the months of April-May. Devotees from places and villages around this temple come here with Kavadis, milk pots, coconuts, cocks and goats. This is a major crowd pulling festival where one can see the true Tamil culture in its habitat. 

Music And Dance Festival, Chennai 

Music and Dance festival celebrated during the latter half of December and early part of January is a cultural extravaganza that has no parallel anywhere in the world. A unique feature of this art festival is the fact that upcoming artistes also get a chance to exhibit their talents to this city of music and dance lovers at large along with the well-established artistes. 

It's a celebration of the classical music and dance of South India, with songs in all the main languages Tamil, Telugu, and Kannada. At each venue there's usually a lecture and demonstration in the morning, followed by several concerts, each lasting around three hours, in the afternoon and evening.

Panguni Uthiram Festival 

This festival falls in the month 'Panguni' (March-April). This month is special because of the star 'Uthiram' and 'Pournami' occurring together. Besides, it is on "Panguni Pournami Uthiram" that the marriage of Parvati and Parameshwara, Muruga and Devasena, and Andal (also known as 'Kothai') and Rangamannar (also splet as Rangamannar) took place. 
Devotees flock in hundreds to the Perur temple near Coimbatore during the Panguni Uthiram festival, which is celebrated in March every year. 

Pongal - Pongal is an important festival of Tamil Nadu, which is celebrated to mark the withdrawal of the Southeast monsoons as well as the reaping of the harvest. It falls in the month Thai and is strictly a rural festival. The festival is celebrated for four days.
It is the biggest harvest festival, spread over four days. 'Bhogi' is celebrated on January 13, 'Pongal' on January 14, 'Mattu Pongal' on January 15, and 'Thiruvalluvar Day' on January 16. Thiruvalluvar has done a great contribution to Tamil literature with 'Thirukkural'. There are 1,330 verses in this work and they talk about all aspects of life. 

Thaipusam Festival
Thaipusam is the feast for the son of Shiva, Lord Subramanya. Celebrations of this festival are carried out at almost all the temples of Lord Subramanya. This festival is celebrated in the month of January/February.

Devotees walk long distances, carrying offerings, to reach the temple of the Lord. Many devotees raise the stakes by entering a trance, and piercing their bodies with skewers.

Velankanni Festival
It is the site of the famous Roman Catholic Church of Our Lady of Good Health and people of all religions flock to this church for the celebrations. During the annual feast days, the Basilica and Velankanni take a new life, and the vicinity is decorated even in its farthest corners.

It is believed by tradition that the merciful Mother rescued a few Portuguese merchant sailors from a violent storm, which wrecked their ship. When the merchants reached the shore of Velankanni local fishermen took them to the thatched chapel. The ship safely reached the shore in Velankanni on the September 8, on the feast of the nativity of our lady. In memory of these two great events, the annual feast of our lady of good health is also celebrated on this day.

Art and Handicraft 


Basketry 
Known for its cane weaving and palm leaf products, including trays, flower baskets, shopping bags, folding fans etc. Toys and dolls are also produced from grass, bamboo and cane. 

The Kora grass mats produced in the village of Pattamadai in Tirunelveli are very famous. Kora grass, which grows in abundance locally along the banks of the rivers in marshy areas is the material used for making fine Pattamadai mats.

Basketwork is mainly of two kinds, coiled and plated. The former requires two elements, the coil or core and the sewing and wrapping strips, while the latter is made by crossing the warp and the weft, in chequered, twill intertwined or hexagonal work.

Kolam 
It is referred to decorative artwork drawn on the floor in front of houses and in front of deities in Puja rooms. Kolam is considered as an important form of artistic expression in India. Undoubtedly, Kolam can be called a most essential part of South Indian culture and it serves to embellish the doorstep and make it look more inviting. Moreover, it is a symbol of good fortune.

The entrance decoration is a gesture of welcome. It is a symbol of inviting Goddess Mahalakshmi to home everyday. The designs are symbolic and basically common to the whole country, like geometrical patterns with line, dots, squares, circles triangles, the 'Swastika', lotus, trident conch shell, leaves, trees and flowers. No gaps to be left anywhere between the line for evil spirits to enter.

Kolam is not only aesthetic pleasing to the eye, but makes home attractive and spiritual. 

Tanjore Arts 
Tamil Nadu is also famous for its traditional ornate paintings, known as Tanjore paintings. This unique art form has its origin from Tanjore in South India. The portrayal of figures in these paintings is breathtakingly brilliant. The early paintings were embedded with real diamonds, rubies and other precious stones. Presently, pure gold foils and semi precious stones are used to adorn the paintings. 

Basketry 
Known for its cane weaving and palm leaf products, including trays, flower baskets, shopping bags, folding fans etc. Toys and dolls are also produced from grass, bamboo and cane. 

The Kora grass mats produced in the village of Pattamadai in Tirunelveli are very famous. Kora grass, which grows in abundance locally along the banks of the rivers in marshy areas is the material used for making fine Pattamadai mats.

Basketwork is mainly of two kinds, coiled and plated. The former requires two elements, the coil or core and the sewing and wrapping strips, while the latter is made by crossing the warp and the weft, in chequered, twill intertwined or hexagonal work.
 


NORTHERN STATES- Delhi -|- Hariyana  -|- Himachal -|- Jammu- Kashmir -|- Punjab  -|- 
Uttar Pradesh
-|- Uttranchal 
SOUTHERN STATES - Andaman & Nikkobar  -|- Karnataka -|- Kerala -|- Lakshdweep
Pondicherry 
-|-  Tamilnadu -|-  Andhra Pradesh
WESTERN STATES - Daman and Diu -|- Goa  -|- Gujrat  -|- Rajasthan  -|- Maharastra 
EASTERN STATES - Arunachal -|- Assam -|-  Manipur -|- Meghalaya -|- 
Mizoram
-|- Nagaland  -|- Orissa  -|- Sikkim -|- Tripura -|- West Bengal  -|- Bihar -|- Jharkhand
CENTRAL STATES- Madhya Pradesh -|-   Chattisgarh
 

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