Less well known Tamil Nadu
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| Member

Less well known Tamil Nadu

I am travelling around southern India next year for about six weeks from february This is my first trip to India. Has anybody been to the following places Yercaud,Vellore, Tiruvannamalai.,Stanely Kodikkari. Are they worth going to see Any tips on acccomadation and places to stay. Or does anybody have a favourite place that I have not mentioned

How much Tamil will have to know to get around this around

Thanks for any help

51 Replies

| Member
If you are into Hindu temples, silk, or tin pots then Kumbakonam (about 35km from Thanjavur) is a must. This bustling town is bristling with the disneyesque multi-coloured gopora (gopurums?) of various Shiva and Vishnu temples, and a short rickshaw or bus journey will take you to the the architecturally important sites of Dharasuram and Gangaikondacholapuram, respectively. I have just spent four days in the town (I stayed at the hotel Athitya) and could have spent a couple more before exhausting all the sites. Moreover, during my time there I failed to see another white face. Quite a contrast to my present location, Mamallapuram.
| Maha Guru Member
Yercaud small hill station, you going for any bussiness ?Nothing much to see ,only one lake few waterfalls you have trek.
Tiruvannamalai is famous for temple.
If u wana. see hillstaion ,i would suggest Kodaikanal,OOTY.

Must see place Madurai,Tanjore,Kancheepuram,Ramaswaram.
SouthIndia plz include Kerela too.

Happy travelling.
| spacetraveller
Radz can you tell me a bit more about the hill station at Kodaikanal, is it an environment place, I read something about a famous botanist, a jesuit priest who resides and works there? I am very intersested in the wild plants of Southern India and am going there soon. Would the hill station be worth a visit? Thanks [whoa]
| Senior Member
Kodai (kodaikannal) should be pretty cool/misty in February and it is only a very short drive from Madurai (where the famed Meenakshi temple is). I would definitely suggest a Kumbakonam to Madurai itinerary :)
- Gopi
| Maha Guru Member
I wouldn't really call Kodai an "environment place." The town sprawls among terraced hillsides with a man-made lake at the center. There are some nice walks along the bluffs, which are quite steep. There is a famous flower festival every year. The area around the town is quite wild--much of it a preserve, for which you are supposed to get a permit to enter. Tribal people live in and around Kodai and toward Palani. They often work as bonded laborers in coffee and tea plantations. The thatched shacks you find at odd bends in the road belong to them.

Kodai is one of South India's favorite honeymoon and tourist spots. The climate that high up (some 7,000 feet) makes it mild all year. Winters are cold and misty--too cold, really, for South India. The drive up from Madurai is quite an adventure, as you overtake packed tourist buses at hairpin turns. If you stop at one of the overlooks on the way, avoid walking close to the parked buses--carsick people, tormented by an evil driver, will be vomiting out the window.

I'm sure you can find some botanists in Kodai. There are a few colleges and a prominent international school. The devastation of the environment in and around Kodai (because of the tourists and the plantations) is an issue that gets a fair amount of press. It's quite a lovely place--though environmental and human degradation is readily apparent.
| spacetraveller


Thanks Merchant, between your comments and the article I read I am getting quite an interesting picture of the place and must surely visit. [happy]
| Maha Guru Member
Kodai is a strangely fascinating place. I've been there many times and have friends associated with one of the colleges. There's a darkness there I can't quite pin down--this, in a honeymooners' paradise.

Anyway, enjoy your visit. If you can swing a night or two at the Carlton Hotel, it's well worth it. It's the five-star stone lodge at the heart of town on the lake. At least go for a drink and a meal. The food is the best in town, and the place (which is actually quite new) is one of India's finest hotels.

Also, see the famous sign at one of the bluffs:

Mark Moxon, travel writer, has some nice stuff about Kodai:

| Senior Member
Vellore isn't that interesting. Just the fort with the moat is sort of interesting. I spent a afternoon there waiting for a connection at Katpadi junction, after spending the previous day at Kanchipurum.
| taking a break
no one has mentionned anything about Tiruvannamalai. I'm also interested in hearing about people's impressions there, especially as compared to Kanchipurum if only one of the 2 places can be visited. (prefer to travel less and spend more time in each place)
| Senior Member
Here is a picture of what I mean about Kodai...
- Gopi
| Lord of Kalinjar
Tiruvanmalai is well worth a visit. Once a year there's a big festival with a bonfire on the hill above the town. Might be worth checking out when that is.
Also near there is the fortress of Gingee. Say hi to the temple elephant in T, we bonded!
| Member
As already mentioned by other IMers,

Vellore can be skipped unless you have to meet some body or a attending an occassion.
Tiruvannamalai is best if you are looking for serene atmosphere and laid back style.
Kanchipuram is best if you like buzling temple towns, shopping and more of a big town style.
Dont miss the major temple towns Madurai, Tanjore, Kumbhakonam, Chidambaram. For some nice time to spend relaxedly (Ooty or Kodai), Nelliampatty (in Palakkad district of Kerala, accessible from Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu).
Chidambaram, Sucheendram, Rameshwaram, Trichy, Kutralam if you have time.
| Lord of the Flames
go to kodai...it is so lovely...and it has a unique environment...it is one of the few remaining shola forests left in the world....
to merchant: there are no tea estates in kodai only coffee and spice plantations...
tiruvanamalai is a totally rocking place in terms of spirituality and relegion with its famous shiva temple and ramana ashram...
| Lost in translation
Silent Valley!!!

The are no crickets in this national park and hence the name! Small but a rich with wildlife. Not visited by many tourists.Located in the nort of Kerala bordering the Blue Mountain forest ranges.