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Things to Do in Tamil Nadu - page 2

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Luz Church (Shrine of Our Lady of Light)
1 Tour and Activity

Believed to be the oldest church in Chennai, Luz Church (Shrine of Our Lady of Light) was built in 1516 by Franciscan missionaries from Portugal. The Gothic and baroque structure, besides being one of the oldest European monuments in India, is also a classic example of Portuguese colonial church architecture.

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Kovalam Beach (Covelong Beach)

Situated on the southern outskirts of Chennai, peaceful Kovalam Beach (Covelong Beach) offers visitors a cleaner, quieter alternative to urban Marina Beach, with a host of water sports options to boot. The beach is named after the small fishing village where it’s found and occupies the former site of a Dutch fort by the same name.

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Besant Nagar

Besant Nagar, a popular neighborhood in Chennai best known as the home of Elliot’s Beach, was named after British activist Annie Besant, a prominent member of the Theosophical Society and staunch supporter of Indian self-rule. Besant Nagar is also home to many of the city’s wealthy citizens.

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Velankanni Church (Basilica of Our Lady of Good Health)

Dedicated to Our Lady of Good Health, Velankanni Church is a Roman Catholic church located on the coast south of Tamil Nadu, in the town of Velankanni. The structure as it stands today was consecrated in 1962 and granted the status of a minor basilica by Pope John XXIII.

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George Town

The George Town neighborhood of Chennai is centered around the 17th-century Fort St. George. Here you'll find many of the city's historic buildings, including the fort itself, which now houses the Chennai High Court. George Town also boasts colorful markets that tourists can visit independently or as part of a walking tour.

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Dhanushkodi Beach
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4 Tours and Activities

The ghost town of Dhanushkodi sits at the southeast tip of Pamban Island in India’s Tamil Nadu state, just 30 kilometers from Talaimannar in Sri Lanka.

According to Hindu mythology, Lord Rama built a bridge between the mainland and Sri Lanka in order to bring his army across. After the war, Rama was said to destroy the bridge with one end of his bow, hence the name Dhanushkodi, which means 'end of the bow'. Hindu pilgrims come to bathe in the waters here before completing their pilgrimage to the city of Rameswaram.

Visitors can hire a jeep or join a minibus to traverse the beach, visiting the Kodanda Rama Temple, which juts out into the ocean, along the way. The beach is a stunning strip of white sand and, since there is little commercialism here, it remains clean and picturesque. The tour vehicles will navigate the sand and water up to the ‘ghost town’ resettlement colony, which was destroyed in a devastating cyclone in 1964, with only the remnants of railway platforms, the church, and an old post office remaining.

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Thanjavur Royal Palace and Museum
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The Royal Palace of Thanjavur was built by the Nayak rulers after they took control of the city in 1535 but was added onto by the Maratha rulers during their rule from 1676 to 1855. The result is a sprawling complex in various states of upkeep. Several areas of the palace are open to visitors in three different ticketed areas.

Just past the ticket office lies the Royal Palace Museum, where ceremonial costumes, weaponry and a few sculptures are on display. The Maharaja Serfoji Memorial Hall commemorates the Maratha scholar-king of the same name, while the Mahratta Dharbar Hall was where the Maratha rulers gave audience — you can still see their portraits behind the dais.

Two of the highlights of the palace complex are the Sarawasti Mahal Library Museum and the Art Gallery. The former displays pieces from Serfoji II’s collection of books, manuscripts and naturalist paintings of Indian plants and animals, while the latter houses a magnificent collection of bronze (mostly Chola) and stone carvings.

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VGP Universal Kingdom
2 Tours and Activities

Popular with families, VGP Universal Kingdom is India’s first and largest theme park, featuring a mix of water adventures, theme rides, and quirky attractions. Here you’ll find all sorts of slides, rafting adventures, and pools, along with shows, a beach area, and plenty of rides for toddlers and older visitors alike.

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VGP Snow Kingdom
2 Tours and Activities

VGP Snow Kingdom is an indoor, snow-themed entertainment park, where visitors can experience the thrill of playing in the snow any day of the year. In addition to snowball fights and watching snowflakes fall, activities include “mountain” summiting, toboggan rides, and even photo sessions with props such as igloos and polar animals.

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MGM Dizzee World

A Chennai theme park designed for family fun, MGM Dizzee World has rides for children and adults including a log ride, a Ferris wheel, and a double-loop roller coaster. In addition to carnival rides, a water-park area features a wave pool and a swimming pool with slides, and shows entertain park visitors in season.

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