5 Awesome Historical Places In Tamil Nadu (2023)
The state of Tamil Nadu has a rich history and tradition. Cities like Madurai are one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the state. In the last so many years, Tamil Nadu has witnessed different rulers and dynasties, and today, the state is a testimony to this glorious past.
There are many historical places to see in Tamil Nadu due to which it is a popular destination for history and archaeology lovers. A huge number of exquisitely carved temples, forts, monuments, paintings, and various cultural events reflect this rich history of the state. Visiting these historical places in Tamil Nadu will leave you spellbound and keep you coming back to explore more.
Here are some of the best historical places to visit in Tamil Nadu.
5 Awesome Historical Places In Tamil Nadu
This small city in Tamil Nadu is famous for its carved temples and rock-cut caves. Mahabalipuram is also known as Mamallapuram, and it is a famous historical tourist destination in Tamil Nadu.
Where is Mahabalipuram? This small town is located in Tamil Nadu on the Coromandel Coast along the Bay of Bengal. The city was once known as being the abode of the renowned demon king Mahabali. The town derived its name from the king and was later renamed Mamallapuram.
There are many historical sites in Mahabalipuram that have been classified as UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The stone structures throughout Mahabalipuram have been made in typical Dravidian or South Indian architectural style and are the oldest known structures of his type. Most of these ancient structures are made out of huge granite rocks.
Mahabalipuram has over 400 ancient monuments and temples. The architecture of these monuments is a testimony to the changing dynasties this city has witnessed.
What is Mahabalipuram famous for? Mahabalipuram is famous for the tourist spots that are also UNESCO World Heritage sites. These include the Shore Temple and the Five Rathas. Here are some other historically important places to visit in Mahabalipuram:
- Arjuna’s Penance
- Alamparai Fort
- Tiger Caves
- Descent of the Ganges
- Krishna’s Butter Ball
- Krishna Cave Temple
- Varaha Cave Temple
- Mahishasuramardini Cave
- Ganesh Ratha Temple
- Sri Sthala Sayana Perumal Temple
- Trimurti Cave
- Olakkannesvara Temple
When is the best time to visit Mahabalipuram? The best time to visit this historical city in Tamil Nadu is during the months of October to March when the winter season is going on. The climate is pleasant at this time, with warm days and cooler nights. November to February is the peak tourism season in the city, and most of the tourist spots remain very crowded. It is best to avoid visiting Mahabalipuram during the summers due to the very high temperatures and exhausting humidity.
Fondly referred to as the Cambridge of India, the historic city of Kumbakonam is located between two of the greatest rivers of South India – the Cauvery and Arsala Rivers. Kumbakonam is a very popular temple town situated in the heart of the Thanjavur District in Tamil Nadu. This city draws many history buffs and those who want better to understand the cultural roots of India and Hinduism.
What is Kumbakonam known for? The town of Kumbakonam is most famous for the grand festival of Mahamaham, which is celebrated every 12 years at the famous landmark of the town – the Mahamaham Tank.
Kumbakonam is one of the oldest in India’s history and is also famous for its ancient temples, its Chola heritage, which is visible in its architecture around the city, and even for it’s ahead of time educational institutes. Here are some of the famous historical places to visit in Kumbakonam:
- Adi Kumbeshwara Temple
- Nageswaran temple
- Mahamaham Tank
- Sarangapani Temple
- Sarangapani Temple (which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site)
- Kashi Viswanath Temple
- Swaminathaswamy Temple
- Uppiliappan Templ
- Thenupuriswarar Temple
The list of beautiful ancient temples in Kumbakonam is endless, and you will be left wondering which one to visit and which one to skip once you see the magnificent sculpting done on these structures.
3. The Lotus City – Madurai
When you think of historical places in Tamil Nadu, the city of Madurai will definitely find its name on such a list. Madurai, built in the shape of a lotus flower, is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in India. The Pandya dynasty ruled Madurai for the longest of time, and their style of architecture is evident all around the city.
What is Madurai famous for? Madurai is most famous for the revered Meenakshi Amman Temple. The temple is dedicated to the Goddess Meenakshi and her consort Lord Sundareshwarar, who is worshipped as a form of Lord Shiva.
There are many other historical temples to see in Madurai, such as the Thiruparankundram Temple. This ancient temple is important as it is considered to be one of the oldest temples dedicated to Lord Murugan (Kartikeya). This temple is located on a small hill, just around 8 kilometers from the city center.
For history lovers, there is an exciting heritage walk in Madurai that is conducted throughout the day. So if you want to see history unfold in front of your eyes in Madurai, joining this heritage walk would be an excellent idea.
Home of the famous Arunachala Temple, Thiruvannamalai is a town steeped in history that can be seen at the countless temples and ashrams located throughout the city. Many historians claim that Thiruvannamalai is one city in South India where you can see Hindu mythology come alive in the form of stunning architecture.
What is Thiruvannamalai known for? Thiruvannamalai is basically a holy town in Tamil Nadu that is most famous for the revered Aruvanchala Temple, among others. There are many temples and ashrams that are dedicated to many saints that are a must-see, such as Sri Seshadri Swamigal Ashram, Sri Ramana Ashram, and the Sathanur Dham. Some of the other historical places to visit in Thiruvannamalai include:
- Gingee Fort
- Annamalaiyar Temple
- Virupaksha Cave
When is the best time to visit Thiruvannamalai? The winter months are the best time to visit Thiruvannamalai as the weather remains cool and pleasant for sightseeing. It is best to avoid the summer months as Thiruvannamalai tends to get quite hot, making it uncomfortable to go around visiting these places. Monsoon season is also a beautiful time to visit Thiruvannamalai as the frequent rain showers revive the lush greenery around this town, adding a special sparkle to all the tourist spots.
Another city of temples, Thanjavur or Tanjore, is a culturally and historically rich city in Tamil Nadu. The town is especially famous for its beautiful Tanjore paintings, handicrafts, antiques, textiles, saris, and exquisitely carved temples.
Thanjavur is renowned for its rich historical heritage, and it is credited with molding the ancient and modern South Indian civilization. Thanjavur is also a pilgrimage hub for pilgrims from all over India. What is Thanjavur known for? There are many important religious places in Thanjavur that makes it an important destination, including the most famous Brahadeshwara Temple, the Alangudi Guru Temple, Chandra Bhagwan Temple, Bangaru Kamakshi Amman Temple, and many more.
Some of the historically significant places in Thanjavur are:
- Gangaikonda Cholapuram
- Shiva Ganga Garden
- Vijayanagar Fort
- Thanjai Mamani Koil
- Schwartz Church – One of the oldest churches in India
- Serfoji Sarasvati Mahal Library
- Manora Fort
How to get around in Thanjavur? There are many auto-rickshaws, tourist cabs, and even cycle rickshaws available to take you around the city. These are very reasonably priced as well.
The best place to begin exploring this magnificent city would be from the Gangaikonda Cholapuram to get an authentic feel of medieval architecture.