Tamil Nadu Village Tourism

The rural heartland of Tamil Nadu is home to an array of endowments, each distinctive, with lifestyles redolent of art, craft, and culture and natural heritage.  Rural tourism thus connects the visitor from the frantic present with the traditional assets of communities off the beaten track.  It recognizes the role of rural folks in preservation of art, craft and heritage and the community participation, especially for women and youth.

Sample a mix of dosa, idly, kuruma and other village delicacies. Visitors are treated to a dazzling dance performance in the evening and there is a rural handicraft bazaar.  You can also undertake a tour experiencing the village life.


Access: Mamallapuram 7km.

This picturesque village has all the ingredients of rural essence: village huts, lush palm groves, green fields, ponds, and friendly simple people.  The village has a beautiful lake with facility of boat ride and offers rejuvenation ayurvedic or siddha massage.


Access: Mamallapuram 20km Chengalpet 10km.

It is an Irulas tribal village, framed in the rustic beauty of rural Tamil Nadu, about 50km South of Chennai.  Thandarai is known for The Irula Tribe Women's Welfare Society (ITWWS) and it is the local community's warm disposition to the visitor.  Visitors can go snake hunting, witness tribal dances and taste native cuisine.

In this garden of nature, ITWWS aims to provide livelihood to Irula women who possess traditional knowledge of medicinal herbs and plants found there in abundance.  It has created a seed bank to preserve and proliferate many vanishing species of valuable trees and plants and to make and market herbal remedies.  The centre includes forest cover, herbal garden, handicrafts production unit, trading centre and a tribal museum.
The Masimagam, a traditional function, during the full moon day of 'Masi' (a Tamil month) draws thousands of Irulas who gather to celebrate the joyfulness of goddess at Mamallapuram.


Access: Bodinayakkanur 16km Madurai 100km.

Setamdst the Western Ghats, the villag of Kurangani (400 -6500m) displays Tamil Nadu's spice tourism model, culture, and natural attractions.  Perched atop Kurangani Kolukkumalai, is the highest tea estate in the world.  This entire region is blessed with rich flora and fauna.


Access: Madurai 80km.
The palatial homes and the magnificent palaces of Chettinad express a mix of distinct cultural influences and building styles.  The early migration of Chettiar families to Burma, Singapore, Malaysia, and the Gulf instilled in them the desire to create sprawling mansions that are signposts to the architectural heritage of historic Chettinad.

The use of indigenous material, style, and skill is the underlying concern in the support to rural tourism here.  The opportunity to stay in these homes and the exotic chettinad cuisine is an enduring experience.  Enterprising locals enthusiastically offer home stays for visitors.  The handicrafts range here is impressive too, ranging from engraved wooden doors to hand-woven saris and antiques.  The attractions within and nearby include the temples of Pillayarpatti, Vairavan and Sri Meenakshi Sundareswarar.


Access: Ramanathapuram 15km.

Devotees and tourists congregate here, as navabashana navagrahas (nine planets) are located at this site in the middle of the sea.  It is the spot where Goddess killed the demon Mahishasura. Pilgrims perform religious rites for their forefathers here.  Also known as Navabashanam it is also famous for the Ulakanayaki Amman Amman Temple.


Access:  Kovilpatti 22km.

It is a place of archaeological importance, with 8-century Jain rock carvings and sculptures Kazhugumalai village on Thootukudi coast is home to several forms of folk art, palm and banana based products and traditional marine practices.  You can witness artificial reefs at about 50 minute boat rides from the coast.  Other important destinations include Vettuvankoil and Kandasamy Temple.  During the Pongal, the area is a virtual treat.


Access: Tirunelveli 45km.

Kurungudi means the smaller abode of lord.  The Nindra Nambi Temple here is one of the 108 Vaishnavaite sites.  It is known among pilgrims as a holy spot where Lord Vamana took the role of a disciple.  The village lying on the banks of the river Nambiyaru is famed for the countries ole annual Kaisika Natakam (Worship of Lord through dance, drama and music).


Access: Kodaikanal 46km

This tranquil village lies at 1225m in forested Kodai hills.  Visitors can experience the trickling streams and pristine natural environs.  The region is especially known for international quality of horticulture through TNAU Horticulture Research Station and its exotic spices including avocado, cardamom, pepper, cloves, cinnamon, nut meg, pineapple, banana and coffee.  Thadaiyankudisai is one of the 13 hamlets that include the Paliar tribal community that subsists on forest produce and gum Arabic.

Bee keeping, yoga practices, catering training, beauty parlor training, guide training, and sanitation activities are imparted training by a GOI-UNDP sponsored programme.


Access: Tirunelveli 30km

Architecture and historical heritage of its Athalanathar Temple combined with its scenic beauty attracts visitors.  The temples on the banks of river Thamiraparani are a living treasure of four styles of temple architecture-Pandya, Chera, Chela, and Vijayanagar Empire.


Access: Harur 12km

Located in the Harur taluk of Dharmapuri district, Theerthamalai is a pilgrim centre.  The ancient Shri Theerthagirishwarar Temple dedicated to Lord Shiva atop the hillock is the main attraction.  The devotion is heightened by 5 springs, where a dip in its water is believed to absolve from all sins.  The scenic and panoramic Hongenekkal falls are nearby.