Chennai Region, India
Tamil Nadu is the homeland of one of humanity’s living classical civilisations, stretching back uninterrupted for two millennia and very much alive today in the Tamils’ language, dance, poetry and Hindu religion.
But this state, with its age-old trading vocation, is as dynamic as it is immersed in tradition. Fire-worshipping devotees who smear tikka on their brows in the famously spectacular Tamil temples might rush off to IT offices to develop new software applications – and then unwind at a swanky night-time haunt in rapidly modernising Chennai (Madras).
When the heat and noise of Tamil Nadu’s temple towns overwhelm, escape to the very end of India where three seas mingle, or up to the cool, forest-clad, wildlife-prowled Western Ghats. It’s all packed into a state that remains proudly distinct from the rest of India, while at the same time being among the most welcoming.
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