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Tamil Nadu uniqueness lies in its history. It is a land that has been shaped by Hinduism, one of the world's oldest living cultures, rituals that are largely unchanged, stunning temple architecture and ancient religious shrines that are alive with worshippers.
Beginning Of Empire
Madras, Mahabalipuram & Kanchipuram
Madras or Chennai: The Land of Tamils was founded by Dravidians over 5,000 years ago, and their descendants pride themselves on being the ‘real Indians’. Ancient India survives here in its purest form, with the ancient temples at the heart and soul of the area. Paradoxically this is also the oldest European settlement. St. Thomas, the Apostle (doubting Thomas), arrived in Kerala in AD 52, came here as a missionary and was martyred in AD72.
Kanchipuram, the capital of the Pallava empire was at Kanchipuram, the Golden City of Temples, it is one of the oldest cities in India and one of its seven sacred cities. It contains more than 124 shrines and is one of the stops on the seven city tour of Hinduism’s holiest sites, often considered the Varanasi of the South. It was a great center of Buddhist and Hindu learning. Today it is also one of the most important centers of silk weaving.
Mahabalipuram, this ancient seaport was once the main harbor and naval base of the great Pallava Empire and is today the site of an enchanting seaside assemblage of temples and shrines. It was well known in the 1st century known to Greek traders, and was the Pallava’s second city. Though their power waned nearly 1200 years ago, they left a breathtaking legacy in four distinct kinds of sculpture, rathas (temple chariots), bas-relief sculptural panels, rock cut caves, and free standing temples.
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