Story offer: words & pictures
Location: Tamil Nadu, India
Subject: engrossing excursions in India’s deep south
Title: Tamil Travels
Tamil Nadu, India’s southernmost state, offers a fascinating range of sights: Mamallapuram with its 7th century rock-sculpted temples and today's colourful budget beach resort; Kanchipuram, the ancient capital of the Pallava kings, a major Hindu pilgrim centre with an extraordinary range of classic temples; Vedanthangal, an outstanding wetland bird sanctuary where tens of thousands of storks and pelicans congregate; Gingee, the ruins of a colossal 15th century fortress complex built on three mountains; the vibrant Hindu pilgrim city of Tiruvannamalai couched beneath a volcano, holding the aura of a great guru; Chidambaram Temple, where Shiva danced and fanatical devotees drag a juggernaut round its walls; the former Danish trading port of Tranquebar, Denmark’s sole colony in Asia; the bon vivant French colonial enclave of Pondicherry and the utopian city project of Auroville. All these and more provide engrossing excursions in India’s deep south.