Tamil Nadu is one of the largest states and is considerably higher populated among Indian states. Its literacy rate is commendable and more than the national average. Notable engineering, management and medical institutions are located in the state. Many institutes are situated in its capital which is Chennai (previously known as Madras).
Tamil Nadu is an Indian state situated in the southernmost part of India. The capital of Tamil Nadu is Chennai. This is the most urbanized state in India with the highest number of organizations and ranks fourth in the GDP among other states of the country. People of Tamil Nadu speak Tamil language. Tamil Nadu is the proud possessor of eight UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
History of Tamil Nadu
The history of Tamil Nadu starts from prehistoric times and the ancient Tamil Nadu was divided into various kingdoms namely Chola Kingdom, Pandya Kingdom, Pallava Kingdom and it was also divided as Kongu Nadu, Thondai Nadu and Nadu Nadu. Trade and commerce excelled in those days and there were trade relationships with other countries of the world such as Egypt, Rome, Greece, Mesopotamia, Ceylon, etc.
Vijayanagar and Nayak rulers ruled a part of Tamil Nadu from 1336 A.D. to 1646 A.D. and from 1692 A.D. to 1801 A.D. it was under the influence of the Nawabs and Nizams. The European domination started with the establishment of Dutch settlement in Pulicat. Tamil Nadu was known as Madras Presidency during the rule of British. After the independence of India it was called Madras State and later in 1969 it was renamed Tamil Nadu.
Geography and Climate
Tamil Nadu spreads over an area of 130,058 square kilometers and has Kerala in the west, Karnataka in the northwest, Andhra Pradesh in the north and Bay of Bengal in the east. In the southernmost tip, Kanyakumari is located which is the meeting place of Arabian Sea, Bay of Bengal and Indian Ocean. Tamil Nadu has 910 kilometers coastline which is the third longest in the country.
Tamil Nadu falls under seven agro-climatic zones and its maximum temperature is 43 degree Celsius in plains and 32.3 degree Celsius in hills and the minimum temperature is 13.1 degree Celsius in plains and 0 degree Celsius in hills. The annual average rainfall of Tamil Nadu is 945 mm and it receives it from south west monsoon and north east monsoon.
Natural Resources of Tamil Nadu
There are two Biosphere Reserves and five National Parks and many Wildlife Sanctuaries. About 2000 species of wildlife are there in Tamil Nadu including elephants, tigers, leopards, langurs, deer, etc. Some of the common species of trees in Tamil Nadu are eucalyptus, rubber, palm, cinchona, ebony, Indian laurel, etc.
Districts of Tamil Nadu
There are 32 districts in Tamil Nadu as of June 2012. Given below is the Tamil Nadu state map with all 32 districts marked.
People and Culture of Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu ranks seven in its population and density of population among other states of India. Hinduism is the main religion though other religions such as Islam, Christianity, Sikhism and Jainism are also practiced by minority people. Festivals like Pongal, Deepavali, Eid ul Fitr, Eid ul Alha and Christmas are celebrated by the people of Tamil Nadu.
Rice and curry are the staple food of people and some of the dishes in Tamil Nadu cuisine are sambhar, rasam, curd, appalam, poriyal, koottu, pickles, paniyaram, uppuma, idli, dosai, idiyappam and chutney. During festival times and special occasions, food items are served on plantain leaves which is a part of Tamil culture.
Tamil language has rich and varied literary resources and many of them dates back to Sangam period. The music and dances such as Carnatic music, Bharatnatyam, Karakattam, etc. play important parts in the life of Tamil people. Tamil film industry is the second largest film industry in India and has its base at Kodambakkam in Chennai.
Economy of Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu has the third largest economy among other Indian states and also ranks third in the foreign direct investments. The per capita income of people in 2007-08 was 43,000 INR which is the second largest among other states in South India.
The rivers Cauvery, Bhavani, Amaravati, Kabini, Manimuthar, Mullaiyar, Palar, Thenpennai, Thamirabarani and Vaigai flow through the state helping in the agricultural production. Tamil Nadu ranks first in the production of bananas, flowers and tapioca and ranks second in the production of mango, groundnut and coconut and ranks third in the production of coffee, tea and sugarcane.
The major industries that contribute to the economy of Tamil Nadu are textile industries, automobiles, heavy industries, cement industries, software industry and leather industry. 40% of the leather exported from India is from Tamil Nadu.
Education and Sports of Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu has a literacy rate of 90.3% as of 2011 census and stands ahead of most of the states in India. 37 universities in are located in Tamil Nadu contributing to higher education and some of the important educational institutions are University of Madras, IIT Madras, Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, Madurai Medical College, Vellore Institute of Technology, Christian Medical College, etc. The Midday Meal Scheme introduced by the then Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu K. Kamaraj and other government educational policies had made Tamil Nadu achieve 100% Gross Enrollment Ratio in primary and upper primary education.
The state game of Tamil Nadu is Kabbadi. Other popular games are cricket, hockey, football and motor sports. M. A. Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai is one of the international cricket stadiums in India.
Transportation in Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu has a well developed infrastructure in transport. The 28 national highways passing through this state connects it with various parts of India. The Southern Railway has its headquarters at Chennai and there are 532 railway stations in the state with a total railway track length of 5952 square kilometers.
Chennai International airport is the third largest in India after Mumbai and Delhi and is connected with 19 countries of the world. Other airports are located at Madurai, Salem, Coimbatore and Tuticorin. There are three major seaports in Tamil Nadu at Chennai, Ennore and Tuticorin and seven other minor ports.
Tamil Nadu Tourism
Tamil Nadu tourism has an annual growth of 16% and the industry is the second largest in India. The Tamil Nadu Tourism Development Corporation promotes tourism in Tamil Nadu. Some of the important tourist destinations in Tamil Nadu are as below:
Brahadeeswara Temple at Thanjavur
Meenakshi Temple at Madurai
Vivekananda Rock Memorial at Kanyakumari