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Tamil Nadu Tourism


In view of the Pongal Festival which is the most important festival of Tamil Nadu, the Government of Tamil Nadu have started marketing package tours.


With Pongal being only a week away, there have a lot of enquiries about the Chennai City Tour, Tamil Nadu Tour, and the Kancheepuram and Mahabalipuram Tours which are the most important Tours offered by the TTDC.

Other popular tours include the one-day Tirupati trip and also the Navagragha Tour. The TTDC will be marketing Pongal as a harvest festival unique to Tamil Nadu and accordingly promotional material are being readied. The Navagragha Tour organised by TTDC is a three-day trip starting form Chennai at 10.30 pm on Friday and returning to Chennai on Monday morning.

By the end of February 2007, one will see the onset of a new era in Tamil Nadu Tourism, with the introduction of resort tourism in Chettinad in South Tamil Nadu. The Chettinad Mansion "Visalam" built by KVALM Ramanathan Chettiar for his daughter Visalakshi more than 75 years ago, has been restored to its original glory and turned into a five-star resort. It is situated on National Highway 210, connecting Trichirapalli and Madurai,very near Karaikudi, and will enable high-end tourists to have a taste of Chettinad culture. The Chettinad area is a land of palatial houses, mostly lying unused except for the occasional family weddings. The temples in this area are all architectural marvels.

Today´s tourists want to experiment and carry home ethnic experiences. Most often than not, they want to fully savour the counry´s´ culture, by visiting the interior villages and staying with families. While staying here, they can get a taste of the world famous Chettinad cuisine and culture. There is an interactive kitchen where the tourists can actually watch the preparation of the hand-grounded spices . Only the locals will be recruited to prepare the food.

The Tamil Nadu Tourism Board is going all out to attract tourists. Some time back it has embarked on a big project to start a butterfly park in Mahabalipuram.

Now, a hotelier has created a Orchid Garden at Poonjeri near Mahabalipuram. The new tourist attraction has come up on ECR near Mahabalipuram. Nearly 30 varieties of orchids are displayed here. The chain of hotels is making attempts to include the Orchid Garden in the daily package tour of the TTDC. The group is planning to export these flowers in the near future.

Chennai Sangamam

Politics and art are irrevocably entwined in Tamil Nadu. On February 20, the Chennai Sangamam was inaugurated by the Chief Minister, Shri Karunanidhi , who is himself a noted script writer and poet. Chennai Sangamam attempts to give the people a slice of Chennai, a city which accepts any innovation with ease and grace, while retaining its traditional charm and beauty.

It is presented by Tamil Maiyam, and the Department of Tourism and culture, Government of Tamil Nadu and will go on till February 26.It is called Namma Theru Vizha, ( Our Street Festival) it will be mostly conducted on the streets and the parks and beaches in Chennai. Over 2500artists from all over Tamil Nadu will take part in the week-long celebrations, Carnatic music concerts are also being held simultaneously.

It is planned to keep this festival an annual event, on the lines of the Edinburgh and New York Festival, to bridge the growing distance between art and the people.it will be part of the Pongal celebrations and will be a huge tourist attraction. It will be an event to showcase Tamil Nadu’s ancient folk art and culture. A majority of artists will be from rural Tamil Nadu.

Reputed names from the Carnatic music world will net king part in the festival. Chennai will also witness the ancient folk dances like Karagattam, puliattam, poikal kuthirai etc. Special dramas like Valli Thirumanam and Pavalakodi will be performed. The world famous Avigna Troupe will perform at the YMCA grounds at Royapettah.

In keeping with the city’s cosmopolitan image, a segment on Western classical Music has also been included. Also, traditional dances from the neighbouring states of Andhra Pradesh, Kerala and Karnataka will be showcased.

Chennai Sangamam is for a cause. GIVE LIFE. Through GIVE LIFE, it will reach out to help the street children of Chennai. The large hearted people of Chennai are expected to contribute generously towards this project. The other project is The Green Chennai project. This will include a rally planting trees in schools, colleges and other open places. The finale was held at the Marina Beach on February 26.

The Tamil Nadu Government is serious about wanting to improve the tourist amenities in the state. One of the schemes to be introduced shortly will be the hop-on-hop-off city tours by the State Transport Corporation by pressing into service four 18-seater air conditioned coaches.A Southern Splendour tourist train covering the four southern states and Pondicherry will also be launched soon.

Soon, helicopter services will be introduced between Madurai-Coimbatore-Ooty for the benefit of tourists.

The Tamil Nadu Government proposes to introduce an innovative scheme to attract repeated visitors to the state. The State Governement has launched platinum and gold tourism cards for frequent visitors to the state. The cardholders will get discounts at TTDC Hotels, TTDC restaurants and houseboats. The platinum card costs RS 5000 and is valid for ten years, while the gold card costs Rs 1000 and is valid for three years. Tourists who hold these cards will get a 10% discount on room rents during the season of April to June and 20% discount during the rest of the year at the famous hill stations of Ooty, Kodaikanal, and Yercaud.

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