Who said history can't be fun? Relive a slice of Tamil Nadu's' history by visiting these heritage sites. The weekend is approaching and we're sure you are looking for places to head out to for that relaxing holiday. Our list will give you just that and more with a touch of pre-independence history thrown into the mix.
Have A Fun Filled History Lesson By Travelling To These Archaic Spots In Tamil Nadu
Peria Puliyur Forest
Feel the wind brush through your hair at this mountainous forest range, just about 53 Kms from Chennai. Go on that long-awaited road trip and treat yourself to lush greenery and silence. You can trek up the hill as well and free your mind to peel away the city stress.
Situated on the border of Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu, Nellore is famous for the Pulicat lake. Now, only 3% of the lake is in Tamil Nadu while 97% lies in Andhra Pradesh, but this shouldn’t stop you from taking a long romantic boat ride in the lake or exploring the beaches in this historic town. You can also visit the first Dutch settlement and experience a piece of our history with the Dutch East India Company just about 56 Kms away from Chennai.
Resting in between Vellore and Tiruvannamalai districts, around 239 kms from Chennai lies this mountainous forest range which is an extension of the Eastern Ghats. A popular holiday destination during the British Colonisation, this range has been featured in many gazettes of that era. You will find old colonial bungalows, now converted and used as hotels or homestays for tourists, with excellent valley views.
Formerly, known as Tranquebar, one of the first Dutch settlements in India, this offbeat destination is rich in history. The former Dutch fort now houses a museum where artefacts that the first explorers carried, are displayed. The town was the first Dutch trading port set up by King Christian IV and was later sold to the Crown. The town is just 15 Kms from Karaikal and 270 Kms from Chennai.
Originally a French colony in 1674, Karaikal was under constant dispute between the British, Dutch and French governments. It was finally incorporated into the Indian nation in 1954, after the success of the Independence movement. Like Pondicherry, this town also reflects the French essence with the remains of its architecture. The town is located around 283 Kms from Chennai and makes for a scenic and fun road trip.
Kalrayan Hill forest
Originally a part of the King Krishna Devaraya Kingdom, these mountains were returned to the residing tribes by the king. After this, the area was ruled by three Jagirdars who, after independence, refused to recognise the newly formed government of India as their own. The range was finally brought under the Indian government in 1976. The area, 334 Kms away, is now run amok with forests and quarries, and is a popular picnic destination.
Sirumalai Forest Reserve
Located around 451 Kms from Chennai, this mountainous range is located very close to Dindigul. It is famous for the Agasthiarpuram temple which has been inhabited by monks since ancient times. With a strong British history in the region, you will find antique colonial bungalows and churches (some abandoned and covered in creepers) that are perfect for those Instagram stories. The forest is known for its botanical heritage and is home to many medicinal plants, thanks to the generations of monks.
Named after the massive deposits of red soil found there, this temple town is a good 10 hour/ 638 Kms drive from Chennai. Said to have been the battleground for Lord Muruga and Senthoor, legend says that the soil remains red to this day due to the blood that stained it during this battle. Located in the Thoothkudi district, this town has traces of the French as well as Dutch settlements. Spend the weekend gazing at the different shades of blue in the sea and take a chill break from life.
Home to one of the five biosphere reserves in the country, this mountain range lies at the Kerala - Tamil Nadu border. Located in the Kalakkad Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve, this mountainous forest range is home to 73 tigers in India. The range is perfect for trekking. Put on those boots and hike your way to this forest.
This town is home to the Vattakotai Fort which is completely constructed using granite blocks. Built under the supervision of the Dutch East India Company, by the King of Travencore, the structure was a crucial piece in the defence fortifications that were undertaken. Located about 701 Kms from Chennai, you can take an overnight bus to get there. The town has some beautiful views of the seaside and the Western Ghats. It is a must-visit for you history buffs!