Tamil Nadu is the
southern-most state of India. It is a beautiful state nestled in the
southern Indian peninsula, on the shores of the Bay of Bengal and the
deep blue Indian Ocean. Tamil Nadu is bounded by Karnataka and Andhra
Pradesh in the north and Kerala on the west. The eastern and western
tips of the state are defined by the Point Calimere and Mudumalai
wildlife sanctuaries while the southernmost tip of Cape Comorin or
Kanyakumari, the Land's End of India. There are more than 30,000
temples in this state; which has given Tamil Nadu the title, "Land of
Temples". It has everything to offer from temple architecture; rock
cut edicts, lush green hills and tea slopes at Kodaikanal, Ooty and
Coonoor ; flora and fauna at the game sanctuaries in Vedanthangal and
Mudumalai; the sound of ankle bells of the Bharat Natyam, the
classical dance with 108 postures and the Mahabalipuram beach near
Madras. It is a heady combination of tropical climate, cooler hill
resorts, ancient culture, and friendly people. Although Tamil Nadu is
one of the most urbanized states of India, it is still a rural land;
agriculture is the mainstay of life for about three-quarters of the
rural population. The principal food crops are rice, maize, Jowar,
Bajra, Ragi, and pulses. The cash crops include cotton, sugarcane,
oilseeds, coffee, tea rubber, and chillies. The major industries of
Tamil Nadu include cotton textiles, chemicals, fertilizers, paper and
paper products, printing and allied industries, diesel engines,
automobiles and parts, cement, sugar, iron and steel, and railway
wagon and coaches. The state of Tamilnadu is the largest textiles
producer in India and an important exporter of leather and leather
products, cotton piece goods, tea, coffee, spices, tobacco, etc. There
are a number of hydel power stations in Tamil Nadu. The atomic power
plant is located at Kalpakkam, in the Chengalpattu MGR district.
Chennai is the capital city of the state.
Tamil is one of the 15 major languages of India and the state language
of Tamil Nadu. It is one of the classical languages of the world, with
rich literature spanning over 2,000 years, making it arguably the
oldest living language. The pride of many Tamilians is the language
Tamil itself. Today, there are sizable Tamil speaking populations in
Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Singapore, Mauritius and other countries.
Scholars recognize Tamil to be one of India's two languages of
antiquity. Tamil, a Dravidian language of south India is comparable to
Sanskrit in its antiquity and textual traditions. It is written in a
derivative of the southern 'Brahmi' script (c. 250 BC) and its
literary and grammatical works date from the same period. The alphabet
of Tamil is unique, and is like English in that it is phonetic. That
is, letters represent sounds, rather than ideas as in 'Mandarin'.
Tamilians are avid readers, and there is a vibrant magazine publishing
industry. Tamil literature is amongst the oldest in India. Much of the
ancient culture of Tamil Nadu is still alive.
The climate in southern India shows only slight seasonal variations.
The climate of Tamil Nadu is essentially tropical. The temperature in
summer seldom 43º C and in winter seldom falls below 18º C.
Temperatures and humidity remain relatively high all year round.
Lightweight clothes and an umbrella are required throughout the year.
A few extra layers of clothing may also be useful during the cooler
months, as temperatures may drop slightly in the evening. The Cool
Season and the beginning of the Summer Season is the best time to
visit when rainfall is marginally lower which is between November and
April and May are the hottest months with the mercury often soaring
above the 40ºC (108.75 F approx.) mark. Even the coastal regions are
warm and humid during the summers, but with the nightfall, however,
cool sea breeze brings some respite. Summer temperatures are quite
equable at the foothills of the ghats. But the most pleasant are the
hill stations where the maximum temperature rarely rises above mid
twenties in summer.
In Tamil Nadu the rainy season is between October and December when
the Northeast monsoon brings rain in spurts. The average annual
rainfall, falling mainly between October and December, ranges between
25 and 75 inches. The most precipitation falls in the Nilgiris and
other hill areas.
Winter falls between November-February during which, the mercury
hardly falls below 20°C (54 F approx.), except in the hill stations.
The winter monsoons of Tamil Nadu occur in the months of October to
December. The lowest temperatures are recorded during December and