Tamil Nadu

Area :130,058 square kilometers.

Capital :Chennai ( Madras )

Population :6,21,10,839

Language :Tamil

Economy :Cotton spinning and weaving are the major industries,followed by the production of automobiles,transformers,agricultural implements,fertilizers,cement,paper,chemicals,and electric motors. Tamil Nadu ranks second only to Kerala in the production of fish.

Minerals :Limestone,bauxite,lignite,magnesite and iron ore.

Climate :Typical tropical atmosphere prevails in Tamil Nadu. The temperature in summer seldom exceeds 43º C and in winter,it never falls below 18º C. Rainfall occurs during the months of October to December.

Culture :Tamil Nadu's famous music festival is held in the month of January every year at the place called Thiruvaiyaru ( Thyagaraja's birthplace on the banks of the Kaveri ).

January is rice harvest-time in Tamil Nadu and the best season to visit the state. Pongal is the major festival of Tamil Nadu when you can enjoy the sweet and savoury pongal,a rice dish,and wash it down with fragrant filter coffee.

Tamil Nadu has immense temples rich in sculpture at Mahabalipuram,Tanjore,Madurai,Chidambaram and Rameswaram. These temples have towering gates known as gopurams. Madurai was developed around the famous Meenakshi temple.

Tamil Nadu's famous dance form is called Bharata Natyam has a timeless appeal.

History :Tamil Nadu was ruled by three dynasties in the history - the Cholas,the Pandyas and the Cheras. In the 5th century A.D.,another dynasty called the Pallavas,rose to power and ruled over the Tamil Nadu region till the 9th century when Aditya Chola defeated the last Pallava king and took possession of his kingdom. The Cholas ruled the region for about four centuries.

The Chola presence in Southeast Asia lasted for about 50 years but in this short period Hinduism spread and took firm root and left its impress on local cultures for all time. The Chola Empire prevailed in South India till the end of the 13th century when the Pandyas pulled it down.

In 1639 the British were allowed to establish a settlement at a place presently called Chennai leading to the foundation of Fort St. George. Slowly the whole region of Tamil Nadu came under British sway. In 1947,when India became independent Tamil Nadu was part of an administrative unit called the Madras Presidency. In 1956 Tamil-speaking areas of Madras Presidency united to form a separate state called Madras,which was later renamed as Tamil Nadu.