Image credit: Sujith
Tamil Nadu, also known as the land of Tamils, is one of the most interesting regions of South India. The South Indian peninsula is a tourist heaven as the region attracts more tourists than any other district of India. Tamil Nadu Tourism Development Corporation promotes tourism in the region for tourists who want to get some taste of the Tamil culture and the Tamil land, which constitutes a meeting point for ancient and new.
According to the data obtained by the Union Tourism Ministry, Tamil Nadu is on the top of the list of popularity among the Indian states. The region was visited by 327.6 million domestic and 4.66 million foreign tourists in 2014.
What renders this region so special for tourists is the abundance of beautiful Hindu temples, existence of a rooted culture, and unprecedented cuisine. You can pay a visit to beautiful UNESCO World heritage sites such as the Chola Temples and the monuments at Mahabalipuram before embarking on a train ride on the Nilgiri Mountain Railway.
Nevertheless, we know that your adventure lust has to be satisfied with more challenging destinations and activities. For instance, hiking in the Western Ghats can boost your adrenaline level as you enjoy the landscape of beautiful Tamil Nadu. And then you can participate in a bullock cart race if you want to experience the limits of adventure while being as slow as a lazy, calm bull. Nevertheless, the region offers some other amazing adventure travel activities as well. Thus, buckle up and enjoy your trip to the South India with us. Please keep in mind that these activities are not included in the travel booklets given by many tour operators.
Discovering Suruli Falls
Let’s start our adventure with a short visit to Suruli Falls! If you are already tired of the traffic jam that you encountered in the mega cities of India, this place will definitely cure you with its amazing nature. After you feel that you are relaxed enough you should visit Kailasanathar Cave Temple which is situated 800m above the fall. The rock-cut architecture of the surrounding caves will definitely fascinate you.
In the second part of your trip, we advise you to hike to the top of the highest peak in the surrounding area called Narasimha Parvata. After you climb around three hours, your will be awarded with an amazing view which will turn into a souvenir if you take photos.
If you are feeling tired, it is time to head to Meghamalai coffee plantations. What is better than a cup of freshly brewed coffee after an exhausting day? Here is your chance to see how your beloved hot beverage is produced.
Exploring the Region on a Tuk-Tuk
Auto rickshaws, or commonly known as tuk-tuks, are among the most enjoyable means of transportation in India. Losing yourself in the traffic jam while driving a tuk-tuk and then head to the hidden places of Tamil Nadu will inspire you while granting you memories that you’ll keep like a treasure box forever.
For a three-wheeled adventure, you can simply rent a rickshaw and hit the road unless you want to race in a tuk-tuk. Yes, it is a real thing and yes you can easily be a part of it in order to explore Tamil Nadu in the most enjoyable way possible. All you need to do is taking part in one of the Rickshaw Challenge events which take place throughout the year. You should choose the route that you want to follow and embark on the craziest rickshaw adventure on the earth. For instance, the latest rickshaw challenge race, Mumbai Xpress, kicked off on the 8th of August and lasted for two weeks full of adventure and fun. Mumbai Xpress participants raced through the course of 1,950 km visiting four Indian states such as Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.
You haven’t missed the chance of becoming a bad-ass tuk-tuk racer since the upcoming event Tamil Nadu Run will kick off on 17 October 2015. Thus, we advise you to book your place and experience the unforgettable.
The best feature of the Rickshaw Challenge, which was listed among the World’s Greatest Adventures in 2012 by Lonely Planet, is that the event includes trips to mysterious temples, ancient villages, and beautiful cities of South India. Therefore, you can visit beautiful sights of Tamil Nadu while keeping your adrenaline level high as you will be in a challenge throughout the race.
Driving a Vintage Hindustan Ambassador Car through Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu is breathtaking on a three-wheeler. But if you want to experience the vibrant vehicle culture of India, you can also rent a Hindustan Ambassador vintage car and feel as if you are traveling in India in the 60s. The Ambassador is regarded as the definitive Indian car; thus it is called the king of the Indian roads.
You already know that you can’t be the king of India as they don’t have one. However, you still have the chance of being the king of the Indian roads while racing in your Ambassador. India’s Cup gives you the opportunity to turn your vintage Ambassador into a race car and drive it for over 3600 km from Panjim, the capital of the Indian state Goa, to Tamil Nadu’s capital Chennai.
Well-known British TV program Top Gear declared Ambassador the best taxi in the world in 2002. If you enjoy this vehicle as a taxi, then you’ll have an enjoyable experience monitoring life in an Indian city. However, if you are planning to drive it for more than 3600km, then you can smell the sour odor of challenge and adrenaline. But don’t worry! You’ll be fine as long as you remember the magical car fixing hacks.
Another significant feature of the India’s Cup is that it is different from average banger rallies since it offers an unprecedented travel towards the heart of the Tamil culture; as you drive your vintage car as fast as you can, you will enrich your cultural background and keep yourself surprised as you can’t know what to expect from the little towns of India.
Paragliding at the Nilgiris
The Nilgiris, also known as the Blue Mountains, are a range of mountains which are a part of the Western Ghats. If you head towards the western part of Tamil Nadu, you’ll be saluted by many high peaks which are above 2,000 meters. The peaks are situated in the Nilgiri Biopshere Reserve which is a part of UNESCO World Network of Biosphere Reserves.
The Nilgiri peaks attract thousands of visitors thanks to their natural beauty, charming little towns, tea gardens, and coffee plantations. Since you are not a casual tourist, you’d better head to the peak to test your paragliding skills.
When you arrive to Ooty, you can obtain information about the paragliding activities in the Kalhatti Falls. You will be the modern Icarus while flying over the Kalhatti falls and dense forests around the region as you observe such wild animals as panthers, bison, and buffaloes.
You deserve a freshly brewed coffee after trying such amazing activities in the land of Tamils where one of the longest surviving classical languages in the world, Tamil is spoken. Don’t forget to thank to Hindu gods which has kept you safe during your adventure travels in the country!