Tamil Nadu
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Tamil Nadu

Tamil Nadu, land of the Tamils has many ancient temples.

It has been the cradle of the Dravidian civilization. Manifestations of this old culture are in temples with stepped gopurams (gateway towers) and fine decorated rock carvings.

Highlights are the temple cities of Mahabalipuram, Kanchipuram, Thanjavur and Madurai. Pondicherry has a lot of French influences and is with Auroville an important spiritual center.

Mahabalipuram - Kanchipuram

Mahabalipuram was a 7th century port city of the South Indian dynasty of the Pallavas around 60 km south from the city of Chennai. Nowadays it is still a fishing ‘harbor’.
Mahabalipuram has various historic monuments built largely between the 7th and the 9th century, and is as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Kanchipuram is a major temple city of Tamilnadu.
Brahmin Sthapathis have shown their excellent architecture cognizance in planning the architecture and sculpting the numerous temples at Kanchipuram. Today’s city is the opposite a dirty, noisy mess.

To the Mahabalipuram - Kanchipuram pictures and index


YouTube HD: Mahabalipuram and Kanchipuram, major temple cities in Tamilnadu

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Pondicherry - Auroville - Thanjavur

The former French colony of Pondicherry stands as a living monument of the French culture in India. It colony exudes a Mediterranean aura with its chic streets, elegant houses, ornamental gardens and the Hotel de Ville.
What attracts most travelers to Pondicherry is the Sri Aurobindo Ashram and its offshoot, Auroville, 10 km outside town.

Thanjavur is famous for The Brihadishwara Temple, which is one of India's most prized architectural sites. It is a brilliant example of the major heights achieved by Cholas in temple architecture. The temple is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site "Great Living Chola Temples".

To the Pondicherry - Auroville-Thanjavur pictures and index

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Nowhere on my journey there has been a greater contrast then between the splendid monuments of ancient India and the INCREDIBLE INDIA mess they make out of it nowadays. I asked myself often what happened to the people who created this great architecture?
Madurai is one of the oldest continually inhabited cities in the Indian peninsula, with a history dating all the way back to the Sangam period of the pre-Christian era.
Madurai's cultural heritage goes back 2,500 years, and the city has been an important commercial center and has conducted trade as far as Rome and Greece since as early as 550 BC.

To the Madurai pictures and index


YouTube HD: Pondicherry - Auroville - Thanjavur - Madurai

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