Madurai, the second largest city of Tamil Nadu, is an important cultural and commercial center. With a history going back to the 6th century BC, it was once the seat of Tamil learning and still the place where the Tamil language is spoken in its purest form. The old city was planned in the shape of a lotus with the Meenakshi temple, the town’s main attraction, at the center. Madurai has long been a center of learning and pilgrimage. Its main event is the 14 day Chithrai festival every April/May.
Tanjore (Thanjavur) located on the eastern coast of Tamil Nadu, Thanjavur has the distinction of having been the capital of the Cholas, one of the greatest dynasties of the south. The Cholas were great temple builders, and Thanjavur bears witness to this, being dotted with no fewer than 74 temples, the most famous of which is the Brahadeeswara temple, a World Heritage Monument. The city is also known for its bronzes, silks, and the famous Tanjore paintings.
Ooty, “The Queen of the Blue Mountains”, lies in the Nilgiri mountain ranges in Tamil Nadu. Set at a height of 2268 meters, Ooty is a town of salubrious climate and scenic beauty. It was developed as a hill station by the British in the 19th century and is famous for its rolling hills and valleys covered with pine and eucalyptus forests, and its tea and coffee plantations.