Tamil Nadu and Puducherry
Temples – Cultural-historical sites – Places of pilgrimage – Ashrams – Spirituality – Mythology – Hinduism – Yoga – Wildlife & Nature Reserves – Mountains – Tea plantations – Beach
Tamil Nadu is ideal for adventure and study tours, which can be mixed with yoga and meditation or combined with spending time in the hills or on the beach. It invites you to experience the contrasting diversity of southern India by tracing its living spirituality and ancient traditions. Tamil Nadu is one of India’s oldest cultural regions and looks back on a rich and eventful history. The emergence of an advanced culture imbued with spiritual values can be traced back all the way from the early beginnings of the Pallava period to the heyday of the great Chola and Vijayanagara dynasties.
Tamil Nadu is famous for its magnificent temples, several of which are UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Majestic temple towers, impressive pillared halls, magnificent arcades and exquisite statues of the gods testify to a rich past, whose religious tradition is still alive today. The masterpieces of Dravidian temple architecture are popular sites of pilgrimage. Hindus come from far and wide to visit these sites and experience their special energy, worshipped in the form of a deity. Each shrine is connected to a particular aspect of Indian mythology and gives a fascinating insight into the ritualized world of Hinduism.
In addition to its cultural-historical sites and places of pilgrimage, Tamil Nadu offers attractive landscapes with real natural beauty. The golden beaches of the Coromandel coast are alternated with fertile plains, rolling hills and rugged rock formations of austere beauty. A special attraction are the forested Nilgiris, Palani and Cardamom hills with their “hill stations” and rich wildlife and nature reserves. With some luck, one can observe large herds of elephants and other wildlife in their natural habitat.
For spiritually inclined travelers, there are numerous ashrams that represent inspiring attractions. There is the Ramanasramam in Tiruvannamalai, where Sri Ramana Maharshi lived, one of the most famous master of Advaita Vedanta in the 20th century. The former French town of Puducherry (called Pondicherry until 2006) in the union territory of the same name, is the location of the ashram of Sri Aurobindo, whose future-oriented teaching, Integral Yoga, points to a new awareness about life in this world. Also recommended is a visit to the international township of Auroville, the spiritual foundation of which is the teachings of Sri Aurobindo.