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^# Jana Gana Mana is the national anthem, while "Invocation to Tamil Mother" is the state song/anthem. ^† Established in 1773; Madras State was formed in 1950 and renamed as Tamil Nadu on 14 January 1969 ^^ Tamil is the official language of the state. English is declared as an additional official language for communication purposes.

Symbols

EMBLEM Srivilliputhur Andal temple

LANGUAGE Tamil

SONG " Invocation to Goddess Tamil "

DANCE Bharathanattiyam

ANIMAL Nilgiri tahr

BIRD Emerald dove

FLOWER Gloriosa lily

TREE Palm tree

SPORT Kabaddi

TAMIL NADU (Tamil pronunciation: IPA : ; _ pronunciation (help ·info ); TamiḻNāṭu_; literally 'The Land of Tamils' or 'Tamil Country') is one of the 29 states of India . Its capital and largest city is Chennai (formerly known as Madras). Tamil Nadu lies in the southernmost part of the Indian Peninsula and is bordered by the union territory of Puducherry and the South Indian states of Kerala , Karnataka , and Andhra Pradesh . It is bounded by the Eastern Ghats on the north, by the Nilgiri , the Anamalai Hills , and Kerala on the west, by the Bay of Bengal in the east, by the Gulf of Mannar and the Palk Strait on the southeast, and by the Indian Ocean on the south. The state shares a maritime border with the nation of Sri Lanka .

Tamil Nadu is the eleventh-largest state in India by area and the sixth-most populous. The state was ranked sixth among states in India according to the Human Development Index in 2011, and is the second largest state economy in India with ₹13,842 billion (US$210 billion) in gross domestic product after Maharashtra. Tamil Nadu was ranked as one of the top seven developed states in India based on a "Multidimensional Development Index" in a 2013 report published by the Reserve Bank of India . Its official language is Tamil , which is one of the longest-surviving classical languages in the world.

Tamil Nadu is home to many natural resources. In addition, its people have developed and continue classical arts, classical music, and classical literature. Historic buildings and religious sites include Hindu temples of Tamil architecture , hill stations , beach resorts, multi-religious pilgrimage sites, and eight UNESCO World Heritage Sites .

CONTENTS

* 1 History

* 1.1 Prehistory * 1.2 Indus valley script between 2000 and 1500 BCE * 1.3 Sangam period (300 BCE – 300 CE) * 1.4 Bhakti Movement

* 1.5 Medieval period (600–1300)

* 1.5.1 Chola Empire

* 1.6 Vijayanagar and Nayak period (1336–1646) * 1.7 Power struggles of the 18th century (1692–1801) * 1.8 During British rule (1801–1947) * 1.9 India (1947–present)

* 2 Geography

* 2.1 Climate

* 3 Flora and fauna * 4 National and state parks * 5 Governance and administration * 6 Administrative subdivisions

* 7 Politics

* 7.1 Pre-Independence * 7.2 Post-Independence

* 8 Demographics * 9 Religion * 10 Language * 11 Education

* 12 Culture

* 12.1 Literature * 12.2 Festivals and traditions * 12.3 Music * 12.4 Art and dance * 12.5 Film industry * 12.6 Television industry * 12.7 Cuisine

* 13 Economy

* 13.1 Agriculture * 13.2 Textiles and leather * 13.3 Automobiles * 13.4 Heavy industries and engineering * 13.5 Electronics and software

* 14 Infrastructure

* 14.1 Transport

* 14.1.1 Road * 14.1.2 Rail * 14.1.3 Airports * 14.1.4 Seaport

* 14.2 Energy

* 15 Sports * 16 Tourism * 17 See also * 18 Notes * 19 References * 20 External links

HISTORY

Main article: History of Tamil Nadu

PREHISTORY

Archaeological evidence points to this area being one of the longest continuous habitations in the Indian peninsula. In Adichanallur , 24 km (15 mi) from Tirunelveli , archaeologists from the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) unearthed 169 clay urns containing human skulls, skeletons, bones, husks, grains of rice, charred rice and celts of the Neolithic period, 3,800 years ago. The ASI archaeologists have proposed that the script used at that site is "very rudimentary" Tamil Brahmi . Adichanallur has been announced as an archaeological site for further excavation and studies. About 60 per cent of the total epigraphical inscriptions found by the ASI in India are from Tamil Nadu, and most of these are in the Tamil language .

INDUS VALLEY SCRIPT BETWEEN 2000 AND 1500 BCE

A Neolithic stone celt (a hand-held axe) with the Indus script on it was discovered at Sembian-Kandiyur near Mayiladuthurai in Tamil Nadu. According to epigraphist Iravatham Mahadevan , this was the first datable artefact bearing the Indus script to be found in Tamil Nadu. Mahadevan claimed that the find was evidence of the use of the Harappan language , and therefore that the " Neolithic people of the Tamil country spoke a Tamil language ". The date of the celt was estimated at between 1500 BCE and 2000 BCE.

SANGAM PERIOD (300 BCE – 300 CE)

Main articles: Sangam period , Tamilakam , and Sangam landscape Sage Agastya father of Tamil literature, Sangam period

The early history of the people and rulers of Tamil Nadu is a topic in Tamil literary sources known as Sangam literature . Numismatic, archaeological and literary sources corroborate that the Sangam period lasted for about six centuries, from 300 BC to AD 300.

Three dynasties, namely the Chera , Chola and Pandya , ruled the area of present-day Tamil Nadu and Kerala . The Chera ruled the whole of present-day Kerala and parts of western Tamil Nadu comprising Coimbatore , Dharmapuri , Karur , Salem and Erode districts from the capital of Vanchi Muthur (thought to be modern day Karur ). The Chola dynasty ruled the northern and central parts of Tamil Nadu from their capital, Uraiyur ; and the Pandya dynasty ruled southern Tamil Nadu, from capitals at Korkai and Madurai .

All three dynasties had extensive trade relationships with Rome, Greece, Egypt, Ceylon , Phoenicia , Arabia , Mesopotamia and Persia . Trade flourished in commodities such as spices, ivory, pearls, beads and gems. Chera traded extensively from Muziris on the west coast, Chola from Arikamedu and Puhar and Pandya through Korkai port. A Greco-Roman trade and travel document, the Periplus of the Erythraean Sea (c. AD 60 – 100) gives a description of the Tamil country and its ports.

Besides these three dynasties, the Sangam era Tamilakam (Tamil homeland) was also divided into various provinces named 'nadu', meaning 'country'. Sangam literature refers these provinces as "koduntamil mandalam" which were not exactly political or socio-cultural units but linguistic agglomerations like Kongu Nadu , Puzhinadu , Thondai Nadu , Nanjilnadu , Ay Nadu and Venadu .

Between the 3rd and 6th centuries AD, the three Tamil kingdoms were overwhelmed by the Kalabhras . The period of their rule is sometimes referred to as the "Dark Age" in Tamil history and little is known about it. The Kalabhras were expelled by the Pallavas , Mutharaiyar , Badami Chalukyas and Pandyas in the 6th century.

BHAKTI MOVEMENT

Main article: Bhakti Movement Sambandar , one of the sixty-three Nayanars , ( Bhakti Movement)

The Bhakti movement originated in Tamil speaking region of south India and spread northwards through India. The _ Bhakti Movement _ was a rapid growth of _bhakti_ beginning in this region with the Saiva Nayanars (4th–10th centuries) and the Vaisnava Alvars who spread _bhakti_ poetry and devotion. The Alwars and Nayanmars were instrumental in propagating the Bhakti tradition.

MEDIEVAL PERIOD (600–1300)

Kallanai or Grand Anicut, an ancient dam built on the Kaveri River in Tiruchirappalli by Karikala Chola around the 2nd century AD Shore Temple built by the Pallavas at Mamallapuram during the 8th century, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site

During the 4th to 8th centuries, Tamil Nadu saw the rise of the Pallava dynasty under Mahendravarman I and his son _Mamalla_ Narasimhavarman I . The Pallavas ruled parts of South India with Kanchipuram as their capital. Tamil architecture reached its peak during Pallava rule. Narasimhavarman II built the Shore Temple which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site . The Meenakshi Amman Temple

Much later, the Pallavas were replaced by the Chola dynasty as the dominant kingdom in the 9th century and they in turn were replaced by the Pandyan Dynasty in the 13th century. The Pandyan capital Madurai was in the deep south away from the coast. They had extensive trade links with the south east Asian maritime empires of Srivijaya and their successors, as well as contacts, even formal diplomatic contacts, reaching as far as the Roman Empire . During the 13th century, Marco Polo mentioned the Pandyas as the richest empire in existence. Temples such as the Meenakshi Amman Temple at Madurai and Nellaiappar Temple at Tirunelveli are the best examples of Pandyan temple architecture. The Pandyas excelled in both trade and literature. They controlled the pearl fisheries along the south coast of India, between Sri Lanka and India, which produced some of the finest pearls in the known ancient world.

Chola Empire

Main article: Chola dynasty The Chola Empire at its greatest extent, during the reign of Rajendra Chola I in 1030

During the 9th century, the Chola dynasty was once again revived by Vijayalaya Chola , who established Thanjavur as Chola's new capital by conquering central Tamil Nadu from Mutharaiyar and the Pandya king Varagunavarman II . Aditya I and his son Parantaka I expanded the kingdom to the northern parts of Tamil Nadu by defeating the last Pallava king, Aparajitavarman . Parantaka Chola II expanded the Chola empire into what is now interior Andhra Pradesh and coastal Karnataka, while under the great Rajaraja Chola and his son Rajendra Chola , the Cholas rose to a notable power in south east Asia. Now the Chola Empire stretched as far as Bengal and Sri Lanka. At its peak, the empire spanned almost 3,600,000 km2 (1,400,000 sq mi). Rajaraja Chola conquered all of peninsular south India and parts of Sri Lanka. Rajendra Chola 's navy went even further, occupying coasts from Burma (now ) to Vietnam, the Andaman and Nicobar Islands , Lakshadweep, Sumatra , Java , Malaya , Philippines in South East Asia and Pegu islands. He defeated Mahipala , the king of Bengal, and to commemorate his victory he built a new capital and named it Gangaikonda Cholapuram .

The Cholas were prolific temple builders right from the times of the first medieval king Vijayalaya Chola . These are the earliest specimen of Dravidian temples under the Cholas. His son Aditya I built several temples around the Kanchi and Kumbakonam regions. The Cholas went on to becoming a great power and built some of the most imposing religious structures in their lifetime and they also renovated temples and buildings of the Pallavas , acknowledging their common socio-religious and cultural heritage. The celebrated Nataraja temple at Chidambaram and the Sri Ranganathaswami Temple at Srirangam held special significance for the Cholas which have been mentioned in their inscriptions as their tutelary deities. Rajaraja Chola I and his son Rajendra Chola built temples such as the Brihadeshvara Temple of Thanjavur and Brihadeshvara Temple of Gangaikonda Cholapuram , the Airavatesvara Temple of Darasuram and the Sarabeswara (Shiva) Temple, also called the Kampahareswarar Temple at Thirubhuvanam , the last two temples being located near Kumbakonam. The first three of the above four temples are titled Great Living Chola Temples among the UNESCO World Heritage Sites . Architecture from Chola period From left to right: Airavatesvara Temple at Darasuram; Natarajan , Shiva as celestial dancer; and Parvathi, the consort of Shiva

VIJAYANAGAR AND NAYAK PERIOD (1336–1646)

Main article: Vijayanagara Empire Thirumalai Nayakkar Mahal at Madurai

The Muslim invasions of southern India triggered the establishment of the Hindu Vijayanagara Empire with Vijayanagara in modern Karnataka as its capital. The Vijayanagara empire eventually conquered the entire Tamil country by c. 1370 and ruled for almost two centuries until its defeat in the Battle of Talikota in 1565 by a confederacy of Deccan sultanates . Subsequently, as the Vijayanagara Empire went into decline after the mid-16th century, many local rulers, called Nayaks , succeeded in gaining the trappings of independence. This eventually resulted in the further weakening of the empire; many Nayaks declared themselves independent, among whom the Nayaks of Madurai and Tanjore were the first to declare their independence, despite initially maintaining loose links with the Vijayanagara kingdom. The Nayaks of Madurai and Nayaks of Thanjavur were the most prominent of Nayaks in the 17th century. They reconstructed some of the well-known temples in Tamil Nadu such as the Meenakshi Temple .

POWER STRUGGLES OF THE 18TH CENTURY (1692–1801)

By the early 18th century, the political scene in Tamil Nadu saw a major change-over and was under the control of many minor rulers aspiring to be independent. The fall of the Vijayanagara empire and the Chandragiri Nayakas gave the sultanate of Golconda a chance to expand into the Tamil heartland. When the sultanate was incorporated into the Mughal Empire in 1688, the northern part of current-day Tamil Nadu was administrated by the nawab of the Carnatic , who had his seat in Arcot from 1715 onward. Meanwhile, to the south, the fall of the Thanjavur Nayaks led to a short lived Thanjavur Maratha kingdom . The fall of the Madurai Nayaks brought up many small Nayakars of southern Tamil Nadu, who ruled small parcels of land called palayams. The chieftains of these Palayams were known as Palaiyakkarar (or 'polygar' as called by British) and were ruling under the nawabs of the Carnatic. Fort Dansborg at Tharangambadi built by the Danish

Europeans started to establish trade centres during the 17th century in the eastern coastal regions. Around 1609, the Dutch established a settlement in Pulicat , while the Danes had their establishment in Tharangambadi also known as Tranquebar. In 1639, the British, under the East India Company, established a settlement further south of Pulicat, in present-day Chennai . British constructed Fort St. George and established a trading post at Madras. By 1693, the French established in trading posts at Pondichéry . The British and French were competing to expand the trade in the northern parts of Tamil Nadu which also witnessed many battles like Battle of Wandiwash as part of the Seven Years\' War . British reduced the French dominions in India to Puducherry. Nawabs of the Carnatic bestowed tax revenue collection rights on the East India Company for defeating the Kingdom of Mysore . Muhammad Ali Khan Wallajah surrendered much of his territory to the East India Company which firmly established the British in the northern parts. In 1762, a tripartite treaty was signed between Thanjavur Maratha, Carnatic and the British by which Thanjavur became a vassal of the Nawab of the Carnatic which eventually ceded to British.

In the south, Nawabs granted taxation rights to the British which led to conflicts between British and the Palaiyakkarar, which resulted in series of wars called Polygar war to establish independent states by the aspiring Palaiyakkarar. Puli Thevar was one of the earliest opponents of the British rule in South India. Thevar's prominent exploits were his confrontations with Marudhanayagam , who later rebelled against the British in the late 1750s and early 1760s. Rani Velu Nachiyar , was the first woman freedom fighter of India and Queen of Sivagangai. She was drawn to war after her husband Muthu Vaduganatha Thevar (1750–1772), King of Sivaganga was murdered at Kalayar Kovil temple by British. Before her death, Queen Velu Nachi granted powers to the Maruthu brothers to rule Sivaganga. Kattabomman (1760–1799), Palaiyakkara chief of Panchalakurichi who fought the British in the First Polygar War . He was captured by the British at the end of the war and hanged near Kayattar in 1799. Veeran Sundaralingam (1700–1800) was the General of Kattabomman Nayakan's palayam, who died in the process of blowing up a British ammunition dump in 1799 which killed more than 150 British soldiers to save Kattapomman Palace. Oomaithurai , younger brother of Kattabomman, took asylum under the Maruthu brothers , Periya Marudhu and Chinna Marudhu and raised an army . They formed a coalition with Dheeran Chinnamalai and Kerala Varma Pazhassi Raja which fought the British in Second Polygar Wars. Dheeran Chinnamalai (1756–1805), Polygar chieftain of Kongu and feudatory of Tipu Sultan who fought the British in the Second Polygar War. After winning the Polygar wars in 1801, the East India Company consolidated most of southern India into the Madras Presidency . Srivilliputhur Andal Temple Gopuram has been adopted as the official Seal of Tamil Nadu

DURING BRITISH RULE (1801–1947)

Main article: Madras Presidency

At the beginning of the 19th century, the British firmly established governance over the entire Tamil Nadu. The Vellore mutiny on 10 July 1806 was the first instance of a large-scale and violent mutiny by Indian sepoys against the British East India Company , predating the Indian Rebellion of 1857 by half a century. The revolt, which took place in Vellore , was brief, lasting one full day, but brutal as mutineers broke into the Vellore fort and killed or wounded 200 British troops, before they were subdued by reinforcements from nearby Arcot. The British crown took over the control governance from the Company and the remainder of the 19th century did not witness any native resistance until the beginning of 20th century Indian Independence movements. During the period of governor George Harris Harris (1854–1859), measures were taken to improve education and increase representation of Indians in the administration. Legislative powers given to the Governor's council under the Indian Councils Act 1861 and 1909 Minto-Morley Reforms eventually led to the establishment of the Madras Legislative Council . Failure of the summer monsoons and administrative shortcomings of the Ryotwari system resulted in two severe famine in the Madras Presidency, the Great Famine of 1876–78 and the Indian famine of 1896–97 . The famine led to migration of people as bonded labours for British to various countries which eventually formed the present Tamil diaspora .

INDIA (1947–PRESENT)

When India became independent in 1947, Madras presidency became Madras state , comprising present-day Tamil Nadu, coastal Andhra Pradesh up to Ganjam district in Odisha, South Canara district Karnataka, and parts of Kerala. The state was subsequently split up along linguistic lines. In 1969, Madras State was renamed Tamil Nadu, meaning "Tamil country".

GEOGRAPHY

Topographic map of Tamil Nadu Western Ghats traverse along the western border of Tamil Nadu

Tamil Nadu covers an area of 130,058 km2 (50,216 sq mi), and is eleventh largest state in India. The bordering states are Kerala to the west, Karnataka to the north west and Andhra Pradesh to the north. To the east is the Bay of Bengal and the state encircles the union territory of Puducherry . The southernmost tip of the Indian Peninsula is Kanyakumari which is the meeting point of the Arabian Sea , the Bay of Bengal, and the Indian Ocean.

The western, southern and the north western parts are hilly and rich in vegetation. The Western Ghats and the Eastern Ghats meet at the Nilgiri hills . The Western Ghats traverse the entire western border with Kerala, effectively blocking much of the rain bearing clouds of the south west monsoon from entering the state. The eastern parts are fertile coastal plains and the northern parts are a mix of hills and plains. The central and the south central regions are arid plains and receive less rainfall than the other regions.

Tamil Nadu has the country's third longest coastline at about 906.9 km (563.5 mi) .Tamil Nadu's coastline bore the brunt of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami when it hit India, which caused 7,793 direct deaths in the state. Tamil Nadu falls mostly in a region of low seismic hazard with the exception of the western border areas that lie in a low to moderate hazard zone; as per the 2002 Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) map, Tamil Nadu falls in Zones II * North east monsoon from October to December, with dominant north east winds;

The annual rainfall of the state is about 945 mm (37.2 in) of which 48 per cent is through the north east monsoon, and 32 per cent through the south west monsoon. Since the state is entirely dependent on rains for recharging its water resources, monsoon failures lead to acute water scarcity and severe drought. Tamil Nadu is divided into seven agro-climatic zones: north east, north west, west, southern, high rainfall, high altitude hilly, and Kaveri Delta (the most fertile agricultural zone).

FLORA AND FAUNA

Main articles: Wildlife of Tamil Nadu and List of birds of Tamil Nadu

There are about 2000 species of wildlife that are native to Tamil Nadu. Protected areas provide safe habitat for large mammals including elephants , tigers , leopards , wild dogs , sloth bears , gaurs , lion-tailed macaques , Nilgiri langurs , Nilgiri tahrs , grizzled giant squirrels and sambar deer , resident and migratory birds such as cormorants , darters , herons , egrets , open-billed storks , spoonbills and white ibises , little grebes , Indian moorhen , black-winged stilts , a few migratory ducks and occasionally grey pelicans , marine species such as the dugongs , turtles, dolphins, _ Balanoglossus _ and a wide variety of fish and insects.

Indian Angiosperm diversity comprises 17,672 species with Tamil Nadu leading all states in the country, with 5640 species accounting for 1/3 of the total flora of India. This includes 1559 species of medicinal plants , 533 endemic species, 260 species of wild relatives of cultivated plants and 230 red-listed species. The Gymnosperm diversity of the country is 64 species of which Tamil Nadu has four indigenous species and about 60 introduced species. The Pteridophytes diversity of India includes 1022 species of which Tamil Nadu has about 184 species. Vast numbers of bryophytes , lichen , fungi, algae and bacteria are among the wild plant diversity of Tamil Nadu.

Common plant species include the state tree: palmyra palm , eucalyptus , rubber, cinchona , clumping bamboos (_Bambusa arundinacea_), common teak , _ Anogeissus latifolia _, Indian laurel , grewia , and blooming trees like Indian labumusum , ardisia , and solanaceae . Rare and unique plant life includes _Combretum ovalifolium_, ebony (_Diospyros nilagrica_), _ Habenaria rariflora_ (orchid), _Alsophila _, _ Impatiens elegans_, _ Ranunculus reniformis_, and royal fern .

NATIONAL AND STATE PARKS

Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserve has the largest elephant population in India Main article: Protected areas of Tamil Nadu

Tamil Nadu has a wide range of Biomes extending east from the South Western Ghats montane rain forests in the Western Ghats through the South Deccan Plateau dry deciduous forests and Deccan thorn scrub forests to tropical dry broadleaf forests and then to the beaches, estuaries , salt marshes , mangroves , and coral reefs of the Bay of Bengal . The state has a range of flora and fauna with many species and habitats. To protect this diversity of wildlife there are Protected areas of Tamil Nadu as well as biospheres which protect larger areas of natural habitat often include one or more National Parks. The Gulf of Mannar Biosphere Reserve established in 1986 is a marine ecosystem with seaweed and sea grass communities, coral reefs, salt marshes and mangrove forests. The Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve located in the Western Ghats and Nilgiri Hills comprises part of adjoining states of Kerala and Karnataka. The Agasthyamalai Biosphere Reserve is in the south west of the state bordering Kerala in the Western Ghats. Tamil Nadu is home to five declared National parks located in Anamalai , Mudumalai , Mukurithi , Gulf of Mannar and Guindy located in the centre of Chennai city. Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserve , Mukurthi National Park and Kalakkad Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve are the tiger reserves in the state. Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserve has the largest elephant population in India. Besides these bio reserves, there are many state and central run wild life sanctuaries for tiger, elephant and birds.

GOVERNANCE AND ADMINISTRATION

Main articles: Government of Tamil Nadu and Tamil Nadu Legislature Madras High Court, Chennai

The Governor is the constitutional head of the state while the Chief Minister is the head of the government and the head of the council of ministers. The Chief Justice of the Madras High Court is the head of the judiciary. The present Governor, Chief Minister and the Chief Justice are Vidyasagar Rao (acting governor) , Edappadi K. Palaniswami and Indira Banerjee respectively. Administratively the state is divided into 32 district. Chennai (formerly known as Madras) is the state capital. It is the fourth largest urban agglomeration in India and is also one of the major Metropolitan cities of India. The state comprises 39 Lok Sabha constituencies and 234 Legislative Assembly constituencies.

Tamil Nadu had a bicameral legislature until 1986, when it was replaced with a unicameral legislature , like most other states in India. The term length of the government is five years. The present government is headed by Edappadi K. Palaniswami , after the demise of former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, J. Jayalalithaa of the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam . The Tamil Nadu legislative assembly is housed at the Fort St. George in Chennai. The state had come under the President\'s rule on four occasions – first from 1976 to 1977, next for a short period in 1980, then from 1988 to 1989 and the latest in 1991.

Tamil Nadu has been a pioneering state of E-Governance initiatives in India. A large part of the government records like land ownership records are digitised and all major offices of the state government like Urban Local Bodies – all the corporations and municipal office activities – revenue collection, land registration offices, and transport offices have been computerised. Tamil Nadu is one of the states where law and order has been maintained largely successfully. The Tamil Nadu Police Force is over 140 years old. It is the fifth largest state police force in India (as of 2015, total police force of TN is 1,11,448) and has the highest proportion of women police personnel in the country (total women police personnel of TN is 13,842 which is about 12.42%) to specifically handled violence against women in Tamil Nadu . In 2003, the state had a total police population ratio of 1:668, higher than the national average of 1:717.

ADMINISTRATIVE SUBDIVISIONS

Main articles: Districts of Tamil Nadu and Local bodies in Tamil Nadu Districts of Tamil Nadu

Tamil Nadu is subdivided into 32 districts , which are listed below. A district is administered by a District Collector who is mostly an Indian Administrative Service (IAS) member, appointed by State Government. Districts are further divided into 226 Taluks administrated by Tahsildars comprising 1127 Revenue blocks . A District has also one or more Revenue Divisions (in total 76) constituted by many Revenue Blocks. 16,564 Revenue villages (Village Panchayat ) are the primary grassroots level administrative units which in turn might include many villages and administered by a Village Administrative Officer (VAO), many of which form a Revenue Block. Cities and towns are administered by Municipal corporations and Municipalities respectively. The urban bodies include 12 city corporations , 125 municipalities and 529 town panchayats. The rural bodies include 31 district panchayats, 385 panchayat unions and 12,524 village panchayats.

Districts of Tamil Nadu

DISTRICT HEADQUARTERS AREA Population (2011) Population density

1 Ariyalur Ariyalur 7003194400000000000♠1,944 km2 7005752481000000000♠752,481 7002387000000000000♠387 /km2

2 Chennai Chennai 7002174000000000000♠174 km2 7006468108700000000♠4,681,087 7004269030000000000♠26,903 /km2

3 Coimbatore Coimbatore 7003464200000000000♠4,642 km2 7006317257800000000♠3,172,578 7002648000000000000♠648 /km2

4 Cuddalore Cuddalore 7003370500000000000♠3,705 km2 7006260088000000000♠2,600,880 7002702000000000000♠702 /km2

5 Dharmapuri Dharmapuri 7003452700000000000♠4,527 km2 7006150290000000000♠1,502,900 7002332000000000000♠332 /km2

6 Dindigul Dindigul 7003605400000000000♠6,054 km2 7006216136700000000♠2,161,367 7002357000000000000♠357 /km2

7 Erode Erode 7003569200000000000♠5,692 km2 7006225960800000000♠2,259,608 7002397000000000000♠397 /km2

8 Kanchipuram Kanchipuram 7003430500000000000♠4,305 km2 7006269089700000000♠2,690,897 7002666000000000000♠666 /km2

9 Kanyakumari Nagercoil 7003168500000000000♠1,685 km2 7006186317400000000♠1,863,174 7003110600000000000♠1,106 /km2

10 Karur Karur 7003290200000000000♠2,902 km2 7006107658800000000♠1,076,588 7002371000000000000♠371 /km2

11 Krishnagiri Krishnagiri 7003509100000000000♠5,091 km2 7006188373100000000♠1,883,731 7002370000000000000♠370 /km2

12 Madurai Madurai 7003369500000000000♠3,695 km2 7006244103800000000♠2,441,038 7002663000000000000♠663 /km2

13 Nagapattinam Nagapattinam 7003241600000000000♠2,416 km2 7006161406900000000♠1,614,069 7002668000000000000♠668 /km2

14 Namakkal Namakkal 7003340200000000000♠3,402 km2 7006172117900000000♠1,721,179 7002506000000000000♠506 /km2

15 Nilgiris Udagamandalam 7003255200000000000♠2,552 km2 7005735071000000000♠735,071 7002288000000000000♠288 /km2

16 Perambalur Perambalur 7003174800000000000♠1,748 km2 7005564511000000000♠564,511 7002323000000000000♠323 /km2

17 Pudukkottai
Pudukkottai
Pudukkottai
Pudukkottai
7003465200000000000♠4,652 km2 7006161872500000000♠1,618,725 7002348000000000000♠348 /km2

18 Ramanathapuram Ramanathapuram 7003418000000000000♠4,180 km2 7006133756000000000♠1,337,560 7002320000000000000♠320 /km2

19 Salem Salem 7003524900000000000♠5,249 km2 7006348000800000000♠3,480,008 7002663000000000000♠663 /km2

20 Sivaganga Sivaganga 7003414000000000000♠4,140 km2 7006134125000000000♠1,341,250 7002324000000000000♠324 /km2

21 Thanjavur Thanjavur 7003347700000000000♠3,477 km2 7006230278100000000♠2,302,781 7002661000000000000♠661 /km2

22 Theni Theni 7003287200000000000♠2,872 km2 7006114368400000000♠1,143,684 7002397000000000000♠397 /km2

23 Thoothukudi Thoothukudi 7003459900000000000♠4,599 km2 7006173837600000000♠1,738,376 7002378000000000000♠378 /km2

24 Tiruchirappalli Tiruchirappalli 7003450800000000000♠4,508 km2 7006271385800000000♠2,713,858 7002602000000000000♠602 /km2

25 Tirunelveli Tirunelveli 7003670900000000000♠6,709 km2 7006307288000000000♠3,072,880 7002458000000000000♠458 /km2

26 Tirupur Tirupur 7003519200000000000♠5,192 km2 7006247122200000000♠2,471,222 7002476000000000000♠476 /km2

27 Tiruvallur Tiruvallur 7003355200000000000♠3,552 km2 7006372569700000000♠3,725,697 7003104900000000000♠1,049 /km2

28 Tiruvannamalai Tiruvannamalai 7003618800000000000♠6,188 km2 7006412196500000000♠4,121,965 7002667000000000000♠667 /km2

29 Tiruvarur Tiruvarur 7003237900000000000♠2,379 km2 7006126809400000000♠1,268,094 7002533000000000000♠533 /km2

30 Vellore Vellore 7003608100000000000♠6,081 km2 7006402810600000000♠4,028,106 7002671000000000000♠671 /km2

31 Viluppuram Viluppuram 7003718500000000000♠7,185 km2 7006346328400000000♠3,463,284 7002482000000000000♠482 /km2

32 Virudhunagar Virudhunagar 7003428000000000000♠4,280 km2 7006194330900000000♠1,943,309 7002454000000000000♠454 /km2

POLITICS

Main articles: Elections in Tamil Nadu , Politics of Tamil Nadu , and Dravidian parties Fort St. George hosts the Chief Secretariat of the government of Tamil Nadu

PRE-INDEPENDENCE

Prior to Indian independence Tamil Nadu was under British colonial rule as part of the Madras Presidency . The main party in Tamil Nadu at that time was the Indian National Congress (INC). Regional parties have dominated state politics since 1916. One of the earliest regional parties, the South Indian Welfare Association, a forerunner to Dravidian parties in Tamil Nadu, was started in 1916. The party was called after its English organ, Justice Party , by it opponents. Later, South Indian Liberal Federation was adopted as its official name. The reason for victory of the Justice Party in elections was the non-participation of the INC, demanding complete independence of India.

The Justice Party which was under E.V.Ramaswamy was renamed Dravidar Kazhagam in 1944. It was a non-political party which demanded the establishment of an independent state called Dravida Nadu . However, due to the differences between its two leaders EVR and C.N. Annadurai , the party was split. Annadurai left the party to form the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK). The DMK decided to enter politics in 1956.

POST-INDEPENDENCE

Political Alliance Assembly (2016) Lok Sabha (2014)

AIADMK+ 134 37

DMK+ 98 0

Independent/Other 0 2

Source: Election Commission of India.

Re-organisation of Indian states according to linguistic and ethnic basis has moderated Tamil nationalism, especially the demand for separation from the Indian Union. The Anti-Hindi agitations in the mid-1960s made the DMK more popular and a more powerful political force in the state. The DMK routed the INC in the 1967 elections and took control of the state government, ending INC's stronghold in Tamil Nadu. C.N. Annadurai became the DMK's first Chief Minister . M Karunanidhi took over as Chief Minister and party leader after Annadurai's death in 1969. Karunanidhi's leadership was soon challenged by MG Ramachandran , popularly known as MGR. In 1972, he split from DMK and formed the Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (ADMK) and later renamed the party as All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam. He was the Chief Minister of the state from 1977 until his death in 1987. After the death of MGR, AIADMK was defeated in 1989 assembly polls because of the split of the party into two factions headed by Janaki (wife of MGR) and Jayalalithaa. Later on J. Jayalalithaa took control of the party. She was elected as the General Secretary of the unified AIADMK. There have been several splits in both the DMK and the AIADMK, but since 1967 one of those two parties has held power in the state.

DEMOGRAPHICS

HISTORICAL POPULATION

YEAR POP. ±%

1951 30,119,000 —

1961 33,687,000 +11.8%

1971 41,199,000 +22.3%

1981 48,408,000 +17.5%

1991 55,859,000 +15.4%

2001 62,406,000 +11.7%

2011 72,138,958 +15.6%

Source:Census of India

Main article: Demographics of Tamil Nadu

Tamil Nadu is the seventh most populous state in India. 48.4 per cent of the state's population live in urban areas, the second highest percentage among large states in India. The state has registered the lowest fertility rate in India in year 2005–06 with 1.7 children born for each woman, lower than required for population sustainability.

At the 2011 India census, Tamil Nadu had a population of 72,147,030. The sex ratio of the state is 995 with 36,137,975 males and 36,009,055 females. There are a total of 23,166,721 households. The total children under the age of 6 is 7,423,832. A total of 14,438,445 people constituting 20.01 per cent of the total population belonged to Scheduled Castes (SC) and 794,697 people constituting 1.10 per cent of the population belonged to Scheduled tribes (ST).

The state has 51,837,507 literates, making the literacy rate 80.33 per cent. There are a total of 27,878,282 workers, comprising 4,738,819 cultivators, 6,062,786 agricultural labourers, 1,261,059 in house hold industries, 11,695,119 other workers, 4,120,499 marginal workers, 377,220 marginal cultivators, 2,574,844 marginal agricultural labourers, 238,702 marginal workers in household industries and 929,733 other marginal workers.

Among the cities in 2011, the state capital, Chennai, was the most populous city in the state , followed by Coimbatore , Madurai , Trichy and Tiruppur respectively. India has a human development index calculated as 0.619, while the corresponding figure for Tamil Nadu is 0.736, placing it among the top states in the country. The life expectancy at birth for males is 65.2 years and for females it is 67.6 years. However, it has a high level of poverty especially in the rural areas. In 2004–2005, the poverty line was set at ₹ 351.86/month for rural areas and ₹ 547.42/month for urban areas. Poverty in the state dropped from 51.7 per cent in 1983 to 21.1 per cent in 2001 For the period 2004–2005, the Trend in Incidence of Poverty in the state was 22.5 per cent compared with the national figure of 27.5 per cent. The World Bank is currently assisting the state in reducing poverty, High drop-out and low completion of secondary schools continue to hinder the quality of training in the population. Other problems include class, gender, inter-district and urban-rural disparities. Based on URP – Consumption for the period 2004–2005, percentage of the state's population Below Poverty Line was 27.5 per cent. The Oxford Poverty margin:auto;position:relative;width:200px;height:200px;overflow:hidden">

Religion in Tamil Nadu (2011) Hinduism (87.58%) Christianity (6.12%) Islam (5.86%) Jainism (0.12%) Sikhism (0.02%) Buddhism (0.01%) Other or not religious (0.3%)

As per the religious census of 2011, Tamil Nadu had 87.6% Hindus , 6.1% Christians , 5.9% Muslims , 0.1% Jains and 0.3% following other religions or no religion.

The state is home to the core schools of medieval and modern Hinduism as well as several non-mainstream Hindu movements. These include Nayanmars Saivism, Saiva Siddhanta , Alvar Vaishnavism , Sri Vaishnavism and Ayya-Vazhi . In modern times, well known figures for Hinduism in the state include Ramana Maharishi and the Kanchi Sankaracharya . All Hindu deities in various forms and a large number of village deities are worshiped by Hindus in Tamil Nadu. Murugan is considered to be the God of Tamil people. Tamil Nadu dominates the list of largest Hindu Temples in the world which include the Srirangam Ranganathaswamy temple , Madurai Meenakshi Amman Temple , Ekambareswarar Temple at Kanchipuram , Chidambaram Nataraja Temple , Tiruvannamalai Arunachaleswar Temple, Brihadeeswarar Temple at Tanjore among others. The emblem of Government of Tamil Nadu depicts the Gopuram (gateway tower) of the Andal Temple at Srivilliputhur . Meenakshi Amman Temple , Madurai has one of the largest temple complexes

Christians form 6 per cent of the population. Christians are mainly concentrated in the southern districts of Kanyakumari , Thoothukudi , Sivagangai and Tirunelveli . St. Thomas Mount in Chennai, the place where St. Thomas , a myth generated by the church about Saint Thomas coming to India, The Santhome Basilica , built atop the site widely believed by Christians to have been the tomb of St. Thomas, and the Vailankanni Basilica of Our Lady of Good Health are churches revered by Christians in India. The Church of South India and the Pentecostal Mission Church are headquartered in Chennai.

Muslims constitute close to 6% of the population of the state and are mainly concentrated in Ramanathapuram , Thanjavur , Nagappattinam , Vellore , Thoothukudi , Madurai and Tirunelveli districts. Among Muslims, 97.5 per cent are Sunni and the rest are Shias . The Sunnis adhere to either Hanafi or Shafi schools of thought. Erwadi in Ramanathapuram district and Nagore in Nagapattinam district are important pilgrimage sites for Muslims. Kazimar Big Mosque in Madurai and Karpudaiyar masjid in Kayalpatnam are among the earlier mosques in Tamil Nadu.

Samanars or Tamil Jains have a legacy dating back to 250 BC. They made significant contributions to Tamil literature. According to the 2001 census there were 83,359 Jains in Tamil Nadu. Jains make up 0.13 per cent of the population. Scheduled castes and Scheduled tribes comprise 19 per cent and 1 per cent of the population respectively. An anti-conversion law came into force in 2002 which law was repealed later in June 2004. Tamil Brahmi inscription

LANGUAGE

Main article: Tamil language

Tamil (தமிழ்) is the official language of Tamil Nadu. English is also in common usage as an official language of India . When India adopted national standards, Tamil was the first language to be recognised as a classical language of India . As of 2001 census, Tamil is spoken as the first language by 96 percent of the population.

EDUCATION

Tamil Nadu is one of the most literate states in India. Tamil Nadu has performed reasonably well in terms of literacy growth during the decade 2001–2011. A survey conducted by the Industry body Assocham ranks Tamil Nadu top among Indian states with about 100 per cent Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) in primary and upper primary education. One of the basic limitations for improvement in education in the state is the rate of absence of teachers in public schools, which at 21.4 per cent is significant. The analysis of primary school education in the state by Pratham shows a low drop-off rate but poor quality of state education compared to other states. Tamil Nadu has 37 universities , 552 engineering colleges, List of engineering colleges in Tamil Nadu 449 Polytechnic Colleges and 566 arts and science colleges, 34335 elementary schools, 5167 high schools, 5054 higher secondary schools and 5000 hospitals. Some of the notable educational institutes present in Tamil Nadu are Indian Institute of Technology Madras , College of Engineering, Guindy , Indian Institute of Management Tiruchirappalli , Indian Maritime University , National Institute of Technology, Tiruchirappalli , Tamil Nadu Dr. Ambedkar Law University , Madras Medical College , Loyola College, Chennai , Ethiraj College for Women , Stella Maris College, Chennai , Anna University , PSG College of Technology, Coimbatore , Government College of Technology, Coimbatore and Tamil Nadu Agricultural University .

Tamil Nadu now has 69 per cent reservation in educational institutions for socially backward section of the society, the highest among all Indian states. The Midday Meal Scheme programme in Tamil Nadu was first initiated by Kamaraj , then it was expanded by M G Ramachandran in 1983.

CULTURE

Main articles: Tamil people , Temples of Tamil Nadu , and Tamil literature Seventh century paintings in the Sittanavasal Cave , Pudukottai

Tamil Nadu has a long tradition of venerable culture. Tamil Nadu is known for its rich tradition of literature, art, music and dance which continue to flourish today. Tamil Nadu is a land most known for its monumental ancient Hindu temples and classical form of dance Bharata Natyam . Unique cultural features like Bharatanatyam (dance), Tanjore painting , and Tamil architecture were developed and continue to be practised in Tamil Nadu.

LITERATURE

Tamil written literature has existed for over 2000 years. The earliest period of Tamil literature, Sangam literature , is dated from ca. 300 BC – AD 300. It is the oldest Indian literature amongst all others. The earliest epigraphic records found on rock edicts and _hero stones _ date from around the 3rd century BC.

Most early Tamil literary works are in verse form, with prose not becoming more common until later periods. The Sangam literature collection contains 2381 poems composed by 473 poets, some 102 of whom remain anonymous. Sangam literature is primarily secular, dealing with everyday themes in a Tamilakam context. The Sangam literature also deals with human relationship and emotions. The available literature from this period was categorised and compiled in the 10th century into two categories based roughly on chronology. The categories are: Pathinenmaelkanakku (_The Major Eighteen Anthology Series_) comprising Eṭṭuttokai (_The Eight Anthologies_) and the Pattupattu (_Ten Idylls_) and Pathinenkilkanakku (_The Minor Eighteen Anthology Series_).

Much of Tamil grammar is extensively described in the oldest known grammar book for Tamil, the _ Tolkāppiyam _. Modern Tamil writing is largely based on the 1000 B.C grammar _Naṉṉūl_ which restated and clarified the rules of the _Tolkāppiyam_, with some modifications. Traditional Tamil grammar consists of five parts, namely _eḻuttu_, _sol_, _poruḷ_, _yāppu_, _aṇi_. Of these, the last two are mostly applied in poetry. Notable example of Tamil poetry include the _ Tirukkural _ written by Tiruvalluvar before 2000 years.

In 1578, the Portuguese published a Tamil book in old Tamil script named 'Thambiraan Vanakkam', thus making Tamil the first Indian language to be printed and published. _ Tamil Lexicon _, published by the University of Madras , is the first among the dictionaries published in any Indian language. During the Indian freedom struggle , many Tamil poets and writers sought to provoke national spirit, social equity and secularist thoughts among the common man, notably Subramanya Bharathy and Bharathidasan .

FESTIVALS AND TRADITIONS

Pongal is an important festival in Tamil Nadu Thiruvalluvar was the great Tamil poet and philosopher

Pongal , also called as _Tamizhar Thirunaal_ (festival of Tamils) or Makara Sankranti elsewhere in India, a four-day harvest festival is one of the most widely celebrated festivals throughout Tamil Nadu. The Tamil language saying _Thai Pirandhal Vazhi Pirakkum_ – literally meaning, the birth of the month of Thai will pave way for new opportunities – is often quoted with reference to this festival. The first day, Bhogi Pongal, is celebrated by throwing away and destroying old clothes and materials by setting them on fire to mark the end of the old and emergence of the new. The second day, Surya Pongal, is the main day which falls on the first day of the tenth Tamil month Thai (14 January or 15 January in western calendar). The third day, Maattu Pongal, is meant to offer thanks to the cattle, as they provide milk and are used to plough the lands. Jallikattu , a bull taming contest, marks the main event of this day. Alanganallur is famous for its Jallikattu contest usually held on 3rd day of Pongal. During this final day, Kaanum Pongal – the word "kaanum", means 'to view' in Tamil. In 2011 the Madras High Court Bench ordered the cockfight at Santhapadi and Modakoor Melbegam villages permitted during the Pongal festival while disposing of a petition filed attempting to ban the cockfight. The first month in the Tamil calendar is Chittirai and the first day of this month in mid-April is celebrated as _Tamil New Year_. The Thiruvalluvar calendar is 31 years ahead of the Gregorian calendar, i.e. Gregorian 2000 is Thiruvalluvar 2031. Aadi Perukku is celebrated on the 18th day of the Tamil month _Aadi_, which celebrates the rising of the water level in the river Kaveri . Apart from the major festivals, in every village and town of Tamil Nadu, the inhabitants celebrate festivals for the local gods once a year and the time varies from place to place. Most of these festivals are related to the goddess Maariyamman , the mother goddess of rain. Other major Hindu festivals including Deepavali (Death of Narakasura), Ayudha Poojai, Saraswathi Poojai (Dasara ), Krishna Jayanthi and Vinayaka Chathurthi are also celebrated. Eid ul-Fitr , Bakrid , Milad un Nabi , Muharram are celebrated by Muslims whereas Christmas, Good Friday, Easter are celebrated by Christians in the state. Mahamagam a bathing festival at Kumbakonam in Tamil Nadu is celebrated once in 12 years. People from all the corners of the country come to Kumbakonam for the festival. This festival is also called as Kumbamela of South.

MUSIC

See also: Ancient Tamil music and Carnatic music M. S. Subbulakshmi , was the first musician to be awarded the Bharat Ratna , India's highest civilian honour

The kings of ancient Thamizhagam created sangams for Iyal Isai Nadagam (Literature, Music and Drama). Music played a major role in sangams. Music in Tamil Nadu had different forms. In villages where farming was the primary occupation, women who worked in the fields used to sing kulavai songs. Odhuvars, Sthanikars or Kattalaiyars offer short musical programmes in the temples by singing the devotional Thevaram songs. In sharp contrast with the restrained and intellectual nature of Carnatic music , Tamil folk music tends to be much more exuberant. Popular forms of Tamil folk music include the Villuppāṭṭu , a form of music performed with a bow,the urumee mellam or Naiyandi mellam which incorporates the use of the urumee and the Nāṭṭuppur̲appāṭṭu , ballads that convey folklore and folk history. Nadhaswaram and Thavil players

Carnatic music is the classical music form of southern India. This is one of the world's oldest "> Bharata Natyam performance

Tamils have a large number of folk dances. These are performed for every possible occasion, to celebrate the arrival of seasons, birth of a child, weddings and festivals. Tamil dance is closely intertwined with the Tamil theatrical tradition.

The most celebrated of these dances is the karakattam . In its religious form, the dance is performed in front of an image of the goddess Mariamman . The dancer bears on his or her head a brass pot filled with uncooked rice, decorated with flowers and surrounded by a bamboo frame, and tumbles and leaps to the rhythm of a song without spilling a grain. Karakattam is usually performed to a special type of song known as temmanguppāṭṭu a folk song in the mode of a lover speaking to his beloved, to the accompaniment of a nadaswaram and melam .

Other Tamil folk dances include mayilāṭṭam , where the dancers tie a string of peacock feathers around their waist; ōyilāttam , danced in a circle while waving small pieces of cloth of various designs colors; poikkal kuthiraiyaaṭṭam, where the dancers use dummy horses; manattam, where the dancers imitate the graceful leaping of deer; paraiyāṭṭam, a dance to the sound of rhythmical drumbeats, and thīppandāṭṭam, a dance involving playing with burning wooden torches.

Bharatanatyam is a classical dance form originating from Tamil Nadu. Prior to the colonial period, it used to be performed in Hindu temples by Devadasis . In this form, it as also been called _sadir_ or _chinna melam_. Many of the ancient sculptures in Hindu temples are based on Bharata Natyam dance postures. Bharatanatyam is a traditional dance-form known for its grace, purity, tenderness, and sculpturesque poses. It continues to be a popular dance style at present times and is practised by male and female dancers all over India. Terukkuttu or Kattaikkuttu is a traditional form of Tamil street theatre folk dance/drama.

FILM INDUSTRY

Main article: Tamil cinema

Tamil Nadu is also home to the Tamil film industry nicknamed as "Kollywood", which released the most number of films in India in 2013. The term _Kollywood_ is a portmanteau of Kodambakkam and Hollywood. Tamil cinema is one of the largest industries of film production in India. In Tamil Nadu, cinema ticket prices are regulated by the government. Single screen theatres may charge a maximum of ₹50, while theaters with more than three screens may charge a maximum of ₹120 per ticket. The first silent film in Tamil Keechaka Vadham , was made in 1916. The first talkie was a multi-lingual film, _Kalidas _, which released on 31 October 1931, barely 7 months after India's first talking picture _ Alam Ara _. Swamikannu Vincent , who had built the first cinema of South India in Coimbatore , introduced the concept of "Tent Cinema" in which a tent was erected on a stretch of open land close to a town or village to screen the films. The first of its kind was established in Madras , called "Edison's Grand Cinemamegaphone". This was due to the fact that electric carbons were used for motion picture projectors.

TELEVISION INDUSTRY

There are more than 30 television channels of various genre in Tamil . DD Podhigai , Doordarshan 's Tamil language regional channel was launched on 14 April 1993. The first private Tamil channel, Sun TV was founded in 1993 by Kalanidhi Maran . In Tamil Nadu, the television industry is influenced by politics and majority of the channels are owned by politicians or people with political links. The government of Tamil Nadu distributed free televisions to families in 2006 at an estimated cost ₹3.6 billion (US$56 million) of which has led to high penetration of TV services. Cable used to be the preferred mode of reaching homes controlled by government run operator Arasu Cable . From the early 2010s, Direct to Home has become increasingly popular replacing cable television services. Tamil television serials form a major prime time source of entertainment and are directed usually by one director unlike American television series, where often several directors and writers work together. Vegetarian food from Tamil Nadu served in a banana leaf

CUISINE

Main article: Tamil cuisine

Tamil cuisine is typical of south Indian cuisine in that rice and rice-derived dishes form the major portion of a diet (see rice and curry ). Guests sit on a coir mat rolled out on the floor and a full course meal was served on a banana leaf. Idli , steamed rice-cakes, prepared from a fermented batter of rice and black gram and Dosai , crepes made from a fermented batter of rice and black gram are popular breakfast items.

Items that are native to Tamil Nadu are Santhakai/Sandhavai , Athirasam, Chakkarai Pongal and Kuli Paniyaram. Salem is renowned for its unique mangoes , Madurai is the place of origin of milk dessert Jigarthanda while Palani is known for its Panchamirtham. Coffee and tea are the staple drinks.

ECONOMY

Main articles: Economy of Tamil Nadu , List of conglomerates in Tamil Nadu , and List of rivers of Tamil Nadu TIDEL Park, Coimbatore ; Coimbatore is one of the leading BPO centres in India

For the year 2014–15 Tamil Nadu's GSDP was ₹9.767 trillion (US$150 billion), and growth was 14.86. It ranks third in foreign direct investment (FDI) approvals (cumulative 1991–2002) of ₹ 225.826 billion ($5,000 million), next only to Maharashtra and Delhi constituting 9.12 per cent of the total FDI in the country. The per capita income in 2007–2008 for the state was ₹ 72,993 ranking third among states with a population over 10 million and has steadily been above the national average.

Gross State Domestic Product in ₹ Crores at Constant Prices YEAR GSDP GROWTH RATE SHARE IN INDIA

2000–01 142,065 5.87% 7.62%

2001–02 139,842 −1.56% 7.09%

2002–03 142,295 1.75% 6.95%

2003–04 150,815 5.99% 6.79%

2004–05 219,003 11.45% 7.37%

2005–06 249,567 13.96% 7.67%

2006–07 287,530 15.21% 8.07%

2007–08 305,157 6.13% 7.83%

2008–09 321,793 5.45% 7.74%

2009–10 356,632 10.83% 7.89%

2010–11 403,416 13.12% 8.20%

2011–12 433,238 7.39% 8.26%

2012–13 447,944 3.39% 8.17%

2013–14 480,618 7.29% 8.37%

According to the 2011 Census, Tamil Nadu is the most urbanised state in India (49 per cent), accounting for 9.6 per cent of the urban population while only comprising 6 per cent of India's total population. Services contributes to 45 per cent of the economic activity in the state, followed by manufacturing at 34 per cent and agriculture at 21 per cent. Government is the major investor in the state with 51 per cent of total investments, followed by private Indian investors at 29.9 per cent and foreign private investors at 14.9 per cent. Tamil Nadu has a network of about 113 industrial parks and estates offering developed plots with supporting infrastructure. According to the publications of the Tamil Nadu government the Gross State Domestic Product at Constant Prices (Base year 2004–2005) for the year 2011–2012 is ₹4.281 trillion (US$66 billion), an increase of 9.39 per cent over the previous year. The per capita income at current price is ₹ 72,993.

Tamil Nadu has six Nationalised Home Banks which originated in this state; Two government-sector banks Indian Bank and Indian Overseas Bank in Chennai, and Four private-sector banks City Union Bank in Kumbakonam, Karur Vysya Bank , Lakshmi Vilas Bank in Karur, and Tamilnad Mercantile Bank Limited in Tuticorin.

AGRICULTURE

Tamil Nadu has historically been an agricultural state and is a leading producer of agricultural products in India. In 2008, Tamil Nadu was India's fifth biggest producer of rice. The total cultivated area in the State was 5.60 million hectares in 2009–10. The Cauvery delta region is known as the _Rice Bowl of Tamil Nadu_. In terms of production, Tamil Nadu accounts for 10 per cent in fruits and 6 per cent in vegetables, in India. Annual food grains production in the year 2007–08 was 10035,000 mt. Tamil Nadu is the largest producer of turmeric

The state is the largest producer of bananas, turmeric , flowers, tapioca, the second largest producer of mango , natural rubber , coconut , groundnut and the third largest producer of coffee, sapota , Tea and Sugarcane . Tamil Nadu's sugarcane yield per hectare is the highest in India. The state has 17,000 hectares of land under oil palm cultivation, the second highest in India. Agriculture forms a major portion of state's economy

Dr M.S. Swaminathan , known as the "father of the Indian Green Revolution " was from Tamil Nadu. Tamil Nadu Agricultural University with its seven colleges and thirty two research stations spread over the entire state contributes to evolving new crop varieties and technologies and disseminating through various extension agencies. Among states in India, Tamil Nadu is one of the leaders in livestock, poultry and fisheries production. Tamil Nadu had the second largest number of poultry amongst all the states and accounted for 17.7 per cent of the total poultry population in India. In 2003–2004, Tamil Nadu had produced 3783.6 million of eggs , which was the second highest in India representing 9.37 per cent of the total egg production in the country. With the second longest coastline in India, Tamil Nadu represented 27.54 per cent of the total value of fish and fishery products exported by India in 2006. Namakkal is also one of the major centres of egg production in India. Coimbatore is one of the major centres for poultry production.

TEXTILES AND LEATHER

Kanchipuram hand loom silk sarees

Tamil Nadu is one of the leading States in the textile sector and it houses the country's largest spinning industry accounting for almost 80 per cent of the total installed capacity in India. When it comes to yarn production, the State contributes 40 per cent of the total production in the country. There are 2,614 Hand Processing Units (25 per cent of total units in the country) and 985 Power Processing Units (40 per cent of total units in the country) in Tamil Nadu. According to official data, the textile industry in Tamil Nadu accounts for 17 per cent of the total invested capital in all the industries. Coimbatore is often referred to as the " Manchester of South India " due to its cotton production and textile industries. Tirupur is the country's largest exporter of knitwear. for its cotton production. The region around Coimbatore, Tirupur, Palladam, Karur and Erode is referred to as the "Textile Valley of India" with the export from the Tirupur ₹ 50,000 million ($1,000 million) and Karur generates around ₹ 35,500 million ($750 million) a year in foreign exchange. Rajapalayam , Gobichettipalayam , Pollachi , Udumalpet , Theni and Vedasandur are known for its cotton spinning mills. Gobichettipalayam is a prominent producer of white silk with the country's first automated silk reeling unit present here. Kanchipuram and Arani are world-famous for their pure silk sarees and hand loom silk weaving industries. Aruppukottai , Salem , and Sathyamangalam are also famous for art-silk sarees. Rajapalayam , Srivilliputhur , Sankarankovil , Andipatti , Tiruchengodu , Paramakudi , Kurinjipadi , Chennimalai , Komarapalayam are major handloom centres. Rajapalayam , Srivilliputhur , Sankarankovil , Negamam, Cinnalapatti, Woraiyur, Pochampalli are famous for its soft cotton saree weaving. Madurai is known for its Chungidi cotton sarees and Bhavani for its cotton carpets.

The state accounts for 70 per cent of leather tanning capacity in India and 38 per cent of leather footwear and components. Leather and tannery industries are located around Dindigul Erode and Vellore , its nearby towns such as Ranipet , Melvisharam , Pernambut , Ambur , Vaniyambadi and Perundurai .

AUTOMOBILES

Tamil Nadu has seen major investments in the automobile industry over many decades manufacturing cars, railway coaches, battle-tanks, tractors, motorcycles, automobile spare parts and accessories, tyres and heavy vehicles. Chennai is known as the _Detroit of India_. Major global automobile companies including BMW , Ford , Robert Bosch , Renault - Nissan , Caterpillar , Hyundai , Mitsubishi Motors , and Michelin as well as Indian automobile majors like Mahindra & Mahindra , Ashok Leyland , Hindustan Motors , TVS Motors , Irizar -TVS , Royal Enfield , MRF , Apollo Tyres , TAFE Tractors , DaimlerChrysler AG Company also invested (₹) 4 billion for establishing new plant in Tamil Nadu. Karur is a hub for Bus body building industries. The giants like Ashok Leyland, TVS, LMW, MRF and ELGI are headquartered in Tamil Nadu.

HEAVY INDUSTRIES AND ENGINEERING

Tamil Nadu is one of the highly industrialised states in India. Over 11% of the _S"> TIDEL Park in Chennai

ELECTRONICS AND SOFTWARE

Electronics manufacturing is a growing industry in Tamil Nadu, with many international companies like Nokia , Flextronics , Motorola , Sony-Ericsson , Foxconn , Samsung , Cisco , Moser Baer , Lenovo , Samsung , Dell
Dell
, Sanmina-SCI , Texas Instruments having chosen Chennai as their south Asian manufacturing hub. Products manufactured include circuit boards and cellular phone handsets.

Tamil Nadu is the second largest software exporter by value in India. Software exports from Tamil Nadu grew from ₹ 76 billion ($1.6 billion) in 2003–04 to ₹ 207 billion {$5 billion} by 2006–07 according to NASSCOM and to ₹ 366 billion in 2008–09 which shows 29 per cent growth in software exports according to STPI . Major national and global IT Companies such as Syntel , Infosys , Wipro , HCL , Tata Consultancy Services , Verizon , Hewlett-Packard , Robert Bosch, Amazon.com , eBay , PayPal , IBM , Accenture , Ramco Systems , DXC Technology , Cognizant Technology solutions, Tech Mahindra , Polaris , Aricent , MphasiS , Mindtree , Hexaware Technologies and many others have offices in Tamil Nadu. The top engineering colleges in Tamil Nadu have been a major recruiting hub for the IT firms. According to estimates, about 50 per cent of the HR required for the IT and ITES industry was being sourced from the State. Coimbatore is the second largest software producer in the state, next to Chennai.

INFRASTRUCTURE

TRANSPORT

Road

A view of the NH 47 Expressway between Coimbatore and Salem in Tamil Nadu Pamban road (left) and rail (right) bridges, connecting the Indian mainland with the Pamban Island Nilgiri Mountain Railway Chennai International Airport , one of India's major international airports Main articles: Transport in Tamil Nadu and Road network in Tamil Nadu

Tamil Nadu has a transportation system that connects all parts of the state.TNSTC Online Booking Portal Tamil Nadu is served by an extensive road network, providing links between urban centres, agricultural market-places and rural areas. There are 29 national highways in the state, covering a total distance of 5,006.14 km (3,110.67 mi). The state is also a terminus for the Golden Quadrilateral project, that connects four major metropolitan cities in India ( Delhi , Mumbai , Chennai , Kolkata ). The state has a total road length of 167,000 km (104,000 mi), of which 60,628 km (37,672 mi) are maintained by Highways Department. This is nearly 2.5 times higher than the density of all- India road network. The major road junctions are Chennai, Vellore , Madurai, Trichy, Coimbatore, Salem, Tirunelveli, Tuticorin, Karur, Krishnagiri, Dindigul, Kanniyakumari. Road transport is provided by state owned Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation and State Express Transport Corporation . Almost every part of state is well connected by buses 24 hours a day. The State accounted for 13.6 per cent of all accidents in the country With 66,238 accidents in 2013, 11.3 per cent of all road accident deaths and 15 per cent of all road-related injuries, according to data provided by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways. Although Tamil Nadu accounts for the highest number of road accidents in India, it also leads in having reduced the number of fatalities in accident-prone areas with deployment of personnel and a sustained awareness campaign. The number of deaths at areas decreased from 1,053 in 2011 to 881 in 2012 and 867 in 2013.

Rail

Tamil Nadu has a well-developed rail network as part of Southern Railway . Headquartered at Chennai , the Southern Railway network extends over a large area of India's southern peninsula, covering the states of Tamil Nadu, Kerala , Puducherry, a small portion of Karnataka and a small portion of Andhra Pradesh . Express trains connect the state capital Chennai with Mumbai, Delhi and Kolkata. Chennai Central is gateway for train towards north whereas Chennai Egmore serves as gateway for south. Tamil Nadu has a total railway track length of 5,952 km (3,698 mi) and there are 532 railway stations in the state. The network connects the state with most major cities in India. The Nilgiri Mountain Railway is one of the UNESCO World Heritage Site connecting Ooty on the hills and Mettupalayam in the foot hills which is in turn connected to Coimbatore city. The centenary old Pamban Bridge over sea connecting Rameswaram in Pamban island to mainland is an engineering marvel. It is one of the oldest cantilever bridges still in operation, the double-leaf bascule bridge section can be raised to let boats and small ships pass through Palk Strait in Indian Ocean. Chennai has a well-established suburban railway network and is constructing a Chennai Metro with phase1 operational since July 2015 . Major railway junctions( 4 "> Wind farm in Muppandal and Aralvaimozhi region near Nagercoil

Tamil Nadu has the third largest installed power generation capacity in the country. The Kalpakkam Nuclear Power Plant , Ennore Thermal Plant, Neyveli Lignite Power Plant, many hydroelectric plants including Mettur Dam , hundreds of windmills and the Narimanam Natural Gas Plants are major sources of Tamil Nadu's electricity. Tamil Nadu generates a significant proportion of its power needs from renewable sources with wind power installed capacity at over 7154 MW, accounting for 38 per cent of total installed wind power in India . It is presently adding the Koodankulam Nuclear Power Plant to its energy grid, which on completion would be the largest atomic power plant in the country with 2000MW installed capacity. The total installed capacity of electricity in the State by January 2014 was 20,716 MW. Tamil Nadu ranks first nationwide in diesel-based thermal electricity generation with a national market share of over 34 per cent. From a power surplus state in 2005–06, Tamil Nadu has become a state facing severe power shortage over the recent years due to lack of new power generation projects and delay in the commercial power generation at Kudankulam Atomic Power Project . The Tuticorin Thermal Power Station has five 210 megawatt generators. The first generator was commissioned in July 1979. The thermal power plants under construction include the coal-based 1000 MW NLC TNEB Power Plant. From the current 17MW installed Solar power, Tamil Nadu government's new policy aims to increase the installed capacity to 3000MW by 2016.

SPORTS

Main article: Sports in Tamil Nadu

Kabbadi , a team contact sport originated in Tamil Nadu and is recognised as the state game. The traditional sport of Tamil Nadu include Silambam , a Tamil martial arts played with a long bamboo staff, Cockfight , Jallikattu , a bull taming sport famous on festival occasions, ox-wagon racing known as Rekkala, Kite flying also known as Pattam viduthal, Goli, the game with marbles, Aadu Puli, the "goat and tiger" game and Kabaddi also known as Sadugudu. Most of these traditional sports are associated with festivals of land like Thai Pongal and mostly played in rural areas. In urban areas of Tamil Nadu, modern sports like bat and ball games are played. Mrs. Ilavazhaki World carrom Champion from 2002–2016 The M. A. Chidambaram Stadium chennai Viswanathan Anand , world chess champion 2007–2013

The most popular game in Tamil Nadu like rest of India is cricket . The M. A. Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai is an international cricket ground with a capacity of 50,000 and houses the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association . Srinivasaraghavan Venkataraghavan , Krishnamachari Srikkanth , Laxman Sivaramakrishnan , Sadagoppan Ramesh , Laxmipathy Balaji , Murali Vijay , Ravichandran Ashwin and Dinesh Karthik are some prominent cricketers from Tamil Nadu. The MRF Pace Foundation in Chennai is a popular fast bowling academy for pace bowlers all over the world. Cricket contests between local clubs, franchises and teams are popular in the state. Chennai Super Kings represent the city of Chennai in the Indian Premier League , a popular Twenty20 league. The Super Kings are the most successful team in the league with two IPL titles and two CLT20 titles. Kari Motor Speedway in Coimbatore

Tamil Nadu has a long-standing motor sports culture. The sport was pioneered by Sundaram Karivardhan (1954–95) in its early days. Motor racing between the 1960s and 1980s was conducted at Sholavaram , a track used as a World War II air strip. Modern motor racing events are held at the Irungattukottai Race Track owned and operated by Madras Motor Sports Club near Sriperumbudur and Kari Motor Speedway in Coimbatore. The only two people to represent India in Formula 1 are both from Tamil Nadu, namely Narain Karthikeyan , the first Indian to participate in F1 racing, and Karun Chandhok .

Tennis is also a popular sport in Tamil Nadu with notable international players including Ramesh Krishnan , Ramanathan Krishnan , Vijay Amritraj and Mahesh Bhupathi . Nirupama Vaidyanathan , the first Indian women to play in a grandslam tournament also hails from the state. The ATP Chennai Open tournament is held in Chennai every January. The Sports Development Authority of Tamil Nadu (SDAT) owns Nungambakkam tennis stadium which hosts Chennai Open and Davis Cup play-off tournaments.

The Tamil Nadu Hockey Association is the governing body of Hockey in the state. Vasudevan Baskaran was the captain of the Indian team that won gold medal in 1980 Olympics at Moscow. The Mayor Radhakrishnan Stadium in Chennai hosts international hockey events and is regarded by the International Hockey Federation as one of the best in the world for its infrastructure.

The Sports Development Authority of Tamil Nadu (SDAT), a government body, is vested with the responsibility of developing sports and related infrastructure in the state. The SDAT owns and operates world class stadiums and organises sporting events. It also accommodates sporting events, both at domestic and international level, organised by other sports associations at its venues. The YMCA College of Physical Education at Nandanam in Chennai was established in 1920 and was the first college for physical education in Asia. The Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Chennai is a multi-purpose stadium hosting football and track "> Brihadeeswarar Temple , Thanjavur is a UNESCO world heritage site Marina Beach , the longest urban beach in the country

The tourism industry of Tamil Nadu is the largest in India, with an annual growth rate of 16 per cent. Tourism in Tamil Nadu is promoted by Tamil Nadu Tourism Development Corporation (TTDC), a Government of Tamil Nadu undertaking. According to Ministry of Tourism statistics, 4.68 million foreign (20.1% share of the country) and 333.5 million domestic tourists(23.3% share of the country) visited the state in 2015 making it the most visited state in India both domestic and foreign tourists . The state boasts some of the grand Hindu temples built in Dravidian architecture . The Brihadishwara Temple in Thanjavur and Gangaikonda Cholapuram built by the Cholas , the Airavateswara temple in Darasuram and the Shore Temple , along with the collection of other monuments in Mahabalipuram (also called Mamallapuram) have been declared as UNESCO World Heritage Sites .

SEE ALSO

* Chronology of Tamil history * List of countries where Tamil is an official language * Outline of Tamil Nadu * Coastline of Tamil Nadu * Tamil culture * Tamil diaspora * Tamil Eelam * Tamil Muslim

NOTES

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EXTERNAL LINKS

Find more aboutTAMIL NADUat's sister projects

* _Definitions from Wiktionary * Media from Commons * News from Wikinews * Quotations from Wikiquote * Texts from Wikisource * Textbooks from Wikibooks * Travel guide from Wikivoyage * Learning resources from Wikiversity

Government

* The Official Site of the Government of Tamil Nadu * Official Tourism Site of Tamil Nadu, India

General information

* Tamil Nadu Encyclopædia Britannica_ entry * Tamil Nadu at DMOZ * _ Geographic data

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