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^# Jana Gana Mana
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
Tamil Nadu
on 14 January 1969[9] ^^ Tamil is the official language of the state. English is declared as an additional official language for communication purposes.[8]

Symbols

Emblem

Srivilliputhur
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 Nadu
(Tamil pronunciation: [t̪amiɻ n̪aːᶑu] ( listen) literally 'The Land of Tamils' or 'Tamil Country') is one of the 29 states of India. Its capital and largest city is Chennai
Chennai
(formerly known as Madras). Tamil Nadu[10] lies in the southernmost part of the Indian Peninsula
Indian Peninsula
and is bordered by the union territory of Puducherry
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
Kerala
on the west, by the Bay of Bengal
Bay of Bengal
in the east, by the Gulf of Mannar
Gulf of Mannar
and the Palk Strait
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
Tamil Nadu
is the eleventh-largest state in India
India
by area and the sixth-most populous. The state was ranked sixth among states in India according to the Human Development Index
Human Development Index
in 2011, and is the second-largest state economy in India
India
with ₹15.96 lakh crore (US$240 billion) in gross domestic product after Maharashtra.[6][11][12] Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu
was ranked as one of the top seven developed states in India
India
based on a "Multidimensional Development Index" in a 2013 report published by the Reserve Bank of India.[13] Its official language is Tamil, which is one of the longest-surviving classical languages in the world. Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu
is home to many natural resources. In addition, its people have developed and continue to develop classical arts, classical music, and classical literature. The state is also home to a number of historic buildings and religious sites including Hindu
Hindu
temples of Tamil architecture, historic hill stations, multi-religious pilgrimage sites, and eight UNESCO
UNESCO
World Heritage Sites.[14][15]

Contents

1 History

1.1 Prehistory 1.2 Indus valley script between 2000 and 1500 BCE 1.3 Sangam period
Sangam period
(300 BCE – 300 CE) 1.4 Bhakti
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
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 Film industry 12.5 Television industry 12.6 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 Airports 14.1.3 Seaport

14.2 Energy

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

History[edit] Main article: History of Tamil Nadu Prehistory[edit] Archaeological evidence points to this area being one of the longest continuous habitations in the Indian peninsula.[16] In Attirampakkam, archaeologists from the Sharma Centre for Heritage Education excavated ancient stone tools which suggests that humanlike population exists in the Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu
region somewhere around 300,000 ago before homo sapiens arrived from Africa.[17][18] In Adichanallur, 24 km (15 mi) from Tirunelveli, archaeologists from the Archaeological Survey of India
India
(ASI) unearthed 169 clay urns containing human skulls, skeletons, bones, husks, grains of rice, charred rice and celts of the Neolithic
Neolithic
period, 3,800 years ago.[19] The ASI archaeologists have proposed that the script used at that site is "very rudimentary" Tamil Brahmi.[20] Adichanallur
Adichanallur
has been announced as an archaeological site for further excavation and studies.[21] About 60 per cent of the total epigraphical inscriptions found by the ASI in India
India
are from Tamil Nadu, and most of these are in the Tamil language.[22][23][24][25] [26][27][28][29][30] A new study of Indigenous Australian DNA suggests there was some form of migration from India
India
to Australia about 4,000 years ago.[31] Genetic evidence suggests that just over 4 millennia ago a group of Indian travellers landed in Australia and stayed. The evidence emerged a few years ago after a group of Aboriginal men’s Y chromosomes matched with Y chromosomes typically found in Indian men. The study found a pattern of SNPs that is found in genetics of Dravidian speakers from South India.[32][33][34] Indus valley script between 2000 and 1500 BCE[edit] A Neolithic
Neolithic
stone celt (a hand-held axe) with the Indus script
Indus script
on it was discovered at Sembian-Kandiyur near Mayiladuthurai
Mayiladuthurai
in Tamil Nadu. According to epigraphist Iravatham Mahadevan, this was the first datable artefact bearing the Indus script
Indus script
to be found in Tamil Nadu. According to Mahadevan, the find was evidence of the use of the Harappan language, and therefore that the " Neolithic
Neolithic
people of the Tamil country spoke a Harappan language". The date of the celt was estimated at between 1500 BCE and 2000 BCE.[35] .[36] Sangam period
Sangam period
(300 BCE – 300 CE)[edit] Main articles: Sangam period, Tamilakam, and Sangam landscape

Sage Agastya
Agastya
father of Tamil literature, Sangam period

The early history of the people and rulers of Tamil Nadu
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. The recent excavations in Alagankulam
Alagankulam
archaeological site suggests that Alagankulam
Alagankulam
is one of the important trade centre or port city in Sangam Era.[37] Bhakti
Bhakti
Movement[edit] Main article: Bhakti
Bhakti
Movement

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

The Bhakti movement
Bhakti movement
originated in Tamil speaking region of South India and spread northwards through India. The Bhakti Movement
Bhakti Movement
was a rapid growth of bhakti beginning in this region with the Saiva
Saiva
Nayanars (4th–10th centuries)[38] and the Vaisnava
Vaisnava
Alvars
Alvars
who spread bhakti poetry and devotion.[38][39] The Alwars
Alwars
and Nayanmars
Nayanmars
were instrumental in propagating the Bhakti
Bhakti
tradition. Medieval period (600–1300)[edit]

Kallanai or Grand Anicut, an ancient dam built on the Kaveri River
Kaveri River
in Tiruchirappalli
Tiruchirappalli
by Karikala Chola
Karikala Chola
around the 2nd century AD[40][41][42][43]

Shore Temple
Shore Temple
built by the Pallavas
Pallavas
at Mamallapuram
Mamallapuram
during the 8th century, now a UNESCO
UNESCO
World Heritage Site

During the 4th to 8th centuries, Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu
saw the rise of the Pallava dynasty
Pallava dynasty
under Mahendravarman I
Mahendravarman I
and his son Mamalla Narasimhavarman I.[44] The Pallavas
Pallavas
ruled parts of South India
India
with Kanchipuram
Kanchipuram
as their capital. Tamil architecture
Tamil architecture
reached its peak during Pallava rule. Narasimhavarman II
Narasimhavarman II
built the Shore Temple
Shore Temple
which is a UNESCO
UNESCO
World Heritage Site.

The Meenakshi Amman Temple

Much later, the Pallavas
Pallavas
were replaced by the Chola dynasty
Chola dynasty
as the dominant kingdom in the 9th century and they in turn were replaced by the Pandyan Dynasty
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
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
Marco Polo
mentioned the Pandyas as the richest empire in existence. Temples such as the Meenakshi Amman Temple
Meenakshi Amman Temple
at Madurai
Madurai
and Nellaiappar Temple
Nellaiappar Temple
at Tirunelveli
Tirunelveli
are the best examples of Pandyan temple architecture.[45] The Pandyas excelled in both trade and literature. They controlled the pearl fisheries along the south coast of India, between Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka
and India, which produced some of the finest pearls in the known ancient world. Chola Empire[edit] Main article: Chola dynasty

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

During the 9th century, the Chola dynasty
Chola dynasty
was once again revived by Vijayalaya Chola, who established Thanjavur
Thanjavur
as Chola's new capital by conquering central Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu
from Mutharaiyar
Mutharaiyar
and the Pandya king Varagunavarman II. Aditya I
Aditya I
and his son Parantaka I
Parantaka I
expanded the kingdom to the northern parts of Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu
by defeating the last Pallava king, Aparajitavarman. Parantaka Chola II
Parantaka Chola II
expanded the Chola empire into what is now interior Andhra Pradesh
Andhra Pradesh
and coastal Karnataka, while under the great Rajaraja Chola
Rajaraja Chola
and his son Rajendra Chola, the Cholas
Cholas
rose to a notable power in south east Asia. Now the Chola Empire stretched as far as Bengal
Bengal
and Sri Lanka. At its peak, the empire spanned almost 3,600,000 km2 (1,400,000 sq mi). Rajaraja Chola
Rajaraja Chola
conquered all of peninsular south India
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[46] 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
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
Aditya I
built several temples around the Kanchi and Kumbakonam regions. The Cholas
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
Nataraja
temple at Chidambaram
Chidambaram
and the Sri Ranganathaswami Temple at Srirangam
Srirangam
held special significance for the Cholas
Cholas
which have been mentioned in their inscriptions as their tutelary deities. Rajaraja Chola
Rajaraja Chola
I and his son Rajendra Chola
Rajendra Chola
built temples such as the Brihadeshvara Temple
Brihadeshvara Temple
of Thanjavur
Thanjavur
and Brihadeshvara Temple
Brihadeshvara Temple
of Gangaikonda Cholapuram, the Airavatesvara Temple
Airavatesvara Temple
of Darasuram
Darasuram
and the Sarabeswara
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
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)[edit] Main article: Vijayanagara
Vijayanagara
Empire

Thirumalai Nayakkar Mahal
Thirumalai Nayakkar Mahal
at Madurai

The Muslim invasions of southern India
India
triggered the establishment of the Hindu
Hindu
Vijayanagara Empire
Vijayanagara Empire
with Vijayanagara
Vijayanagara
in modern Karnataka
Karnataka
as its capital. The Vijayanagara
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
Battle of Talikota
in 1565 by a confederacy of Deccan sultanates. Subsequently, as the Vijayanagara Empire
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
Madurai
and Tanjore were the first to declare their independence, despite initially maintaining loose links with the Vijayanagara
Vijayanagara
kingdom.[45] The Nayaks of Madurai
Madurai
and Nayaks of Thanjavur
Thanjavur
were the most prominent of Nayaks in the 17th century. They reconstructed some of the well-known temples in Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu
such as the Meenakshi Temple. Power struggles of the 18th century (1692–1801)[edit] By the early 18th century, the political scene in Tamil Nadu
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
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
Arcot
from 1715 onward. Meanwhile, to the south, the fall of the Thanjavur
Thanjavur
Nayaks led to a short lived Thanjavur
Thanjavur
Maratha kingdom. The fall of the Madurai
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
Palaiyakkarar
(or 'polygar' as called by British) and were ruling under the nawabs of the Carnatic.

Fort Dansborg
Fort Dansborg
at Tharangambadi
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,[47] while the Danes
Danes
had their establishment in Tharangambadi
Tharangambadi
also known as Tranquebar.[48] In 1639, the British, under the East India
India
Company, established a settlement further south of Pulicat, in present-day Chennai. British constructed Fort St. George[49] and established a trading post at Madras.[50] 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
Tamil Nadu
which also witnessed many battles like Battle of Wandiwash as part of the Seven Years' War.[51] British reduced the French dominions in India
India
to Puducherry. Nawabs of the Carnatic bestowed tax revenue collection rights on the East India
India
Company for defeating the Kingdom of Mysore. Muhammad Ali Khan Wallajah surrendered much of his territory to the East India
India
Company which firmly established the British in the northern parts. In 1762, a tripartite treaty was signed between Thanjavur
Thanjavur
Maratha, Carnatic and the British by which Thanjavur became a vassal of the Nawab of the Carnatic
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
Puli Thevar
was one of the earliest opponents of the British rule in South India.[52] 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
India
and Queen of Sivagangai.[53] She was drawn to war after her husband Muthu Vaduganatha Thevar (1750–1772), King of Sivaganga
Sivaganga
was murdered at Kalayar Kovil
Kalayar Kovil
temple by British. Before her death, Queen Velu Nachi granted powers to the Maruthu brothers to rule Sivaganga.[54] Kattabomman
Kattabomman
(1760–1799), Palaiyakkara chief of Panchalakurichi who fought the British in the First Polygar War.[55] 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[56]. They formed a coalition with Dheeran Chinnamalai and Kerala
Kerala
Varma Pazhassi Raja
Pazhassi Raja
which fought the British in Second Polygar Wars. Dheeran Chinnamalai
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
India
Company consolidated most of southern India
India
into the Madras Presidency.

Srivilliputhur Andal Temple
Srivilliputhur Andal Temple
Gopuram
Gopuram
has been adopted as the official Seal of Tamil Nadu

During British rule (1801–1947)[edit] Main article: Madras Presidency At the beginning of the 19th century, the British firmly established governance over the entire Tamil Nadu. The Vellore mutiny
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
India
Company, predating the Indian Rebellion of 1857 by half a century.[57] The revolt, which took place in Vellore, was brief, lasting one full day, but brutal as mutineers broke into the Vellore
Vellore
fort and killed or wounded 200 British troops, before they were subdued by reinforcements from nearby Arcot.[58][59] 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 administration of Governor George 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
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
India
(1947–present)[edit] When India
India
became independent in 1947, Madras presidency became Madras state, comprising present-day Tamil Nadu, coastal Andhra Pradesh
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".[60] Geography[edit]

Topographic map of Tamil Nadu

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

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
Kerala
to the west, Karnataka
Karnataka
to the north west and Andhra Pradesh
Andhra Pradesh
to the north. To the east is the Bay of Bengal
Bay of Bengal
and the state encircles the union territory of Puducherry. The southernmost tip of the Indian Peninsula
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
Western Ghats
and the Eastern Ghats
Eastern Ghats
meet at the Nilgiri hills. The Western Ghats
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
Tamil Nadu
has the country's third longest coastline at about 906.9 km (563.5 mi).[61] Tamil Nadu's coastline bore the brunt of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami
Indian Ocean tsunami
when it hit India, which caused 7,793 direct deaths in the state. Tamil Nadu
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
Tamil Nadu
falls in Zones II & III. Historically, parts of this region have experienced seismic activity in the M5.0 range.[62] Climate[edit] Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu
is mostly dependent on monsoon rains, and thereby is prone to droughts when the monsoons fail. The climate of the state ranges from dry sub-humid to semi-arid. The state has two distinct periods of rainfall:

south west monsoon from June to September, with strong southwest winds; 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.[63] 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[edit] Main articles: Wildlife of Tamil Nadu
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
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
Balanoglossus
and a wide variety of fish and insects. Indian Angiosperm
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
Tamil Nadu
has four indigenous species and about 60 introduced species. The Pteridophytes diversity of India
India
includes 1022 species of which Tamil Nadu
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
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
Impatiens
elegans, Ranunculus reniformis, and royal fern.[64] National and state parks[edit]

Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserve
Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserve
has the largest elephant population in India

Main article: Protected areas
Protected areas
of Tamil Nadu Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu
has a wide range of Biomes
Biomes
extending east from the South Western Ghats
Western Ghats
montane rain forests in the Western Ghats
Western Ghats
through the South Deccan Plateau dry deciduous forests
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
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
Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve
located in the Western Ghats and Nilgiri Hills
Nilgiri Hills
comprises part of adjoining states of Kerala and Karnataka. The Agasthyamala Biosphere Reserve
Agasthyamala Biosphere Reserve
is in the south west of the state bordering Kerala
Kerala
in the Western Ghats. Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu
is home to five declared National parks located in Anamalai, Mudumalai, Mukurithi, Gulf of Mannar
Gulf of Mannar
and Guindy located in the centre of Chennai city. Sathyamangalam
Sathyamangalam
Tiger Reserve, Mukurthi National Park
Mukurthi National Park
and Kalakkad Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve
Kalakkad Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve
are the tiger reserves in the state. Governance and administration[edit] Main articles: Government of Tamil Nadu
Government of Tamil Nadu
and Tamil Nadu
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.[65] The Chief Justice of the Madras High Court
Madras High Court
is the head of the judiciary.[65] The present Governor, Chief Minister and the Chief Justice are Banwarilal Purohit
Banwarilal Purohit
(governor),[66] Edappadi K. Palaniswami[67] and Indira Banerjee[68] respectively. Administratively the state is divided into 32 district. Chennai
Chennai
(formerly known as Madras) is the state capital. It is the fourth largest urban agglomeration in India
India
and is also one of the major Metropolitan cities of India. The state comprises 39 Lok Sabha
Lok Sabha
constituencies and 234 Legislative Assembly constituencies.[69] Tamil Nadu
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
J. Jayalalithaa
of the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam. The Tamil Nadu legislative assembly is housed at the Fort St. George
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
Tamil Nadu
has been a pioneering state of E-Governance
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
Tamil Nadu
is one of the states where law and order has been maintained largely successfully.[70] The Tamil Nadu Police
Tamil Nadu Police
Force is over 140 years old. It is the fifth largest state police force in India
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.[71][72] In 2003, the state had a total police population ratio of 1:668, higher than the national average of 1:717. Administrative subdivisions[edit] Main articles: Districts of Tamil Nadu
Districts of Tamil Nadu
and Local bodies in Tamil Nadu

Districts of Tamil Nadu

Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu
is subdivided into 32 districts, which are listed below. A district is administered by a District Collector
District Collector
who is mostly an Indian Administrative Service
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
Municipal corporations
and Municipalities respectively. The urban bodies include 12 city corporations, 125 municipalities and 529 town panchayats.[73][74][75] The rural bodies include 31 district panchayats, 385 panchayat unions and 12,524 village panchayats.[76][77][78]

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 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[edit] Main articles: Elections in Tamil Nadu, Politics of Tamil Nadu, and Dravidian parties

Fort St. George
Fort St. George
hosts the Chief Secretariat of the government of Tamil Nadu

Pre-Independence[edit] Prior to Indian independence Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu
was under British colonial rule as part of the Madras Presidency. The main party in Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu
at that time was the Indian National Congress
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
Dravidian parties
in Tamil Nadu, was started in 1916. The party was called after its English organ, Justice Party, by its opponents. Later, South Indian Liberal Federation
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[edit]

Political Alliance Assembly (2016) Lok Sabha (2014)

AIADMK+ 134 37

DMK+ 98 0

Independent/Other 0 2

Source: Election Commission of India.[79][80]

Demographics[edit]

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[81]

Main article: Demographics of Tamil Nadu 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
India
in year 2005–06 with 1.7 children born for each woman, lower than required for population sustainability.[82][83] At the 2011 India
India
census, Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu
had a population of 72,147,030.[84] 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.[84] 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
Scheduled Castes
(SC) and 794,697 people constituting 1.10 per cent of the population belonged to Scheduled tribes (ST).[85][84] 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.[86]

 

v t e

Largest cities or towns in Tamil Nadu As of the 2011 Census

Rank Name District Pop.

Chennai

Coimbatore 1 Chennai Chennai 70,88,000

Madurai

Tiruchirappalli

2 Coimbatore Coimbatore 16,01,438

3 Madurai Madurai 15,61,129

4 Tiruchirappalli Tiruchirappalli 9,16,674

5 Salem, Tamil Nadu Salem 8,77,267

6 Tiruppur Tiruppur 8,29,778

7 Erode Erode 4,98,129

8 Tirunelveli Tirunelveli 4,73,637

9 Ambattur Tiruvallur 4,66,205

10 Avadi Tiruvallur 3,45,996

List of most populous towns in Tamil Nadu Among the cities in 2011, the state capital, Chennai, was the most populous city in the state, followed by Coimbatore, Madurai, Trichy and Salem respectively.[87] India
India
has a human development index calculated as 0.619, while the corresponding figure for Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu
is 0.736, placing it among the top states in the country.[88][89] The life expectancy at birth for males is 65.2 years and for females it is 67.6 years.[90] 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
Poverty
in the state dropped from 51.7 per cent in 1983 to 21.1 per cent in 2001[91] For the period 2004–2005, the Trend in Incidence of Poverty
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
Poverty
& Human Development Initiative ranks Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu
to have a Multidimensional Poverty
Poverty
Index of 0.141, which is in the level of Ghana among the developing countries.[92] Corruption is a major problem in the state with Transparency International ranking it the second most corrupt among the states of India.[93] Religion[edit]

Religion in Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu
(2011)[94]    Hinduism
Hinduism
(87.58%)    Christianity
Christianity
(6.12%)    Islam
Islam
(5.86%)    Jainism
Jainism
(0.12%)    Sikhism
Sikhism
(0.02%)    Buddhism
Buddhism
(0.01%)   Other or not religious (0.3%)

As per the religious census of 2011, Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu
had 87.6% Hindus, 6.1% Christians, 5.9% Muslims, 0.1% Jains and 0.3% following other religions or no religion.[95] Language[edit] Main article: Tamil language Tamil (தமிழ்) is the official language of Tamil Nadu. When India
India
adopted national standards, Tamil was the first language to be recognised as a classical language of India.[citation needed] As of 2001 census, Tamil is spoken as the first language by 89.43 percent of the population. Education[edit] Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu
is one of the most literate states in India.[96] 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
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.[97] The analysis of primary school education in the state by Pratham
Pratham
shows a low drop-off rate but poor quality of state education compared to other states.[98] Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu
has 37 universities, 552 engineering colleges[99] 449 Polytechnic Colleges[100] 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, St. Joseph’s Institute of Management
St. Joseph’s Institute of Management
Tiruchirappalli, Indian Maritime University, National Institute of Technology, Tiruchirappalli, Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu
Dr. Ambedkar Law University, Madras Medical College, Loyola College, Chennai, Ethiraj College for Women, Stella Maris College, Chennai, Anna University, Government College of Technology, Coimbatore
Coimbatore
and Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu
Agricultural University. Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu
now has 69 per cent reservation in educational institutions for socially backward section of the society, the highest among all Indian states.[101] The Midday Meal Scheme
Midday Meal Scheme
programme in Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu
was first initiated by Kamaraj, then it was expanded by M G Ramachandran in 1983. Culture[edit] Main articles: Tamil people, Temples of Tamil Nadu, and Tamil literature

Seventh century paintings in the Sittanavasal Cave, Pudukottai

Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu
has a long tradition of venerable culture.[102] Tamil Nadu is known for its rich tradition of literature, art, music and dance which continue to flourish today. Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu
is a land most known for its monumental ancient Hindu
Hindu
temples and classical form of dance Bharata Natyam.[103] Unique cultural features like Bharatanatyam[104] (dance), Tanjore painting,[105] and Tamil architecture
Tamil architecture
were developed and continue to be practised in Tamil Nadu. [106] Literature[edit] Tamil written literature has existed for over 2000 years.[107] The earliest period of Tamil literature, Sangam literature, is dated from ca. 300 BC – AD 300.[108][109] It is the oldest Indian literature amongst all others.[110] The earliest epigraphic records found on rock edicts and hero stones date from around the 3rd century BC.[111][112] 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.[113] Sangam literature
Sangam literature
is primarily secular, dealing with everyday themes in a Tamilakam
Tamilakam
context.[114] The Sangam literature also deals with human relationship and emotions.[115] 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.[116] Notable example of Tamil poetry include the Tirukkural written by Tiruvalluvar
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.[117] Tamil Lexicon, published by the University of Madras, is the first among the dictionaries published in any Indian language.[118] 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
Subramanya Bharathy
and Bharathidasan. Festivals and traditions[edit]

Pongal
Pongal
is an important festival in Tamil Nadu

Thiruvalluvar
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.[119] The Tamil language
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
Alanganallur
is famous for its Jallikattu[120][121] 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
Madras High Court
Bench ordered the cockfight at Santhapadi and Modakoor Melbegam villages permitted during the Pongal
Pongal
festival while disposing of a petition filed attempting to ban the cockfight.[122] 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
Thiruvalluvar
calendar is 31 years ahead of the Gregorian calendar, i.e. Gregorian 2000 is Thiruvalluvar
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
Deepavali
(Death of Narakasura), Ayudha Poojai, Saraswathi Poojai (Dasara), Krishna
Krishna
Jayanthi and Vinayaka Chathurthi are also celebrated. Eid ul-Fitr, Bakrid, Milad un Nabi, Muharram are celebrated by Muslims
Muslims
whereas Christmas, Good Friday, Easter are celebrated by Christians
Christians
in the state. Mahamagam a bathing festival at Kumbakonam in Tamil Nadu
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.[123][124] Music[edit] See also: Ancient Tamil music
Ancient Tamil music
and Carnatic music

M. S. Subbulakshmi, was the first musician to be awarded the Bharat Ratna, India's highest civilian honour

In terms of modern cine-music, Ilaiyaraaja
Ilaiyaraaja
was a prominent composer of film music in Tamil cinema
Tamil cinema
during the late 1970s and 1980s. His work highlighted Tamil folk lyricism and introduced broader western musical sensibilities to the south Indian musical mainstream. Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu
is also the home of the double Oscar Winner A.R. Rahman[125][126][127] who has composed film music in Tamil, Telugu, Hindi films, English and Chinese films. He was once referred to by Time magazine as "The Mozart of Madras". Film industry[edit] Main article: Tamil cinema Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu
is also home to the Tamil film industry nicknamed as "Kollywood", which released the most number of films in India
India
in 2013.[128] The term Kollywood is a portmanteau of Kodambakkam
Kodambakkam
and Hollywood.[129] Tamil cinema
Tamil cinema
is one of the largest industries of film production in India.[130] 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.[131] The first silent film in Tamil Keechaka Vadham, was made in 1916.[132] 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.[133] Swamikannu Vincent, who had built the first cinema of South India
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.[134] Television industry[edit] There are more than 30 television channels of various genre in Tamil. DD Podhigai, Doordarshan's Tamil language
Tamil language
regional channel was launched on 14 April 1993.[135] 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.[136] The government of Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu
distributed free televisions to families in 2006 at an estimated cost ₹3.6 billion (US$55 million) of which has led to high penetration of TV services.[137][138] Cable used to be the preferred mode of reaching homes controlled by government run operator Arasu Cable.[139] From the early 2010s, Direct to Home has become increasingly popular replacing cable television services.[140] 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.[141]

Vegetarian food from Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu
served in a banana leaf

Cuisine[edit] Main article: Tamil cuisine Items that are native to Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu
are Santhakai/Sandhavai, Athirasam, Chakkarai Pongal
Pongal
and Kuli Paniyaram. Salem is renowned for its unique mangoes, Madurai
Madurai
is the place of origin of milk dessert Jigarthanda while Palani
Palani
is known for its Panchamirtham.[142] Coffee and tea are the staple drinks.[143] Economy[edit] Main articles: Economy of Tamil Nadu, List of conglomerates in Tamil Nadu, and List of rivers of Tamil Nadu

TIDEL Park, Coimbatore; Coimbatore
Coimbatore
is one of the leading IT/ITS centres in India

For the year 2014–15 Tamil Nadu's GSDP was ₹9.767 trillion (US$150 billion), and growth was 14.86.[144] 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
Delhi
constituting 9.12 per cent of the total FDI in the country.[145] 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.[146]

Gross State Domestic Product in ₹ Crores at Constant Prices[147]

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
Tamil Nadu
is the most urbanised state in India
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.[148][11] 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
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
Tamil Nadu
has six Nationalised Home Banks which originated in this state; Two government-sector banks Indian Bank
Indian Bank
and Indian Overseas Bank in Chennai, and Four private-sector banks City Union Bank
City Union Bank
in Kumbakonam, Karur
Karur
Vysya Bank, Lakshmi Vilas Bank
Lakshmi Vilas Bank
in Karur, and Tamilnad Mercantile Bank Limited
Tamilnad Mercantile Bank Limited
in Tuticorin. Agriculture[edit] Tamil Nadu
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.[149] The Cauvery delta region is known as the Rice Bowl of Tamil Nadu.[150][better source needed] In terms of production, Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu
accounts for 10 per cent in fruits and 6 per cent in vegetables, in India.[151] Annual food grains production in the year 2007–08 was 10035,000 mt.[149]

Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu
is the largest producer of turmeric

The state is the largest producer of bananas, turmeric, flowers,[151] tapioca,[151] the second largest producer of mango,[151] natural rubber,[152] coconut, groundnut and the third largest producer of coffee, sapota,[151] Tea[153] 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.[154]

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.[155] 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
Tamil Nadu
is one of the leaders in livestock, poultry and fisheries production. Tamil Nadu
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.[156] In 2003–2004, Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu
had produced 3783.6 million of eggs, which was the second highest in India
India
representing 9.37 per cent of the total egg production in the country.[157] With the second longest coastline in India, Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu
represented 27.54 per cent of the total value of fish and fishery products exported by India
India
in 2006. Namakkal is also one of the major centres of egg production in India. Coimbatore
Coimbatore
is one of the major centres for poultry production.[158][159] Textiles and leather[edit]

Kanchipuram
Kanchipuram
hand loom silk sarees

Tamil Nadu
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
Tamil Nadu
accounts for 17 per cent of the total invested capital in all the industries.[160] Coimbatore
Coimbatore
is often referred to as the " Manchester
Manchester
of South India" due to its cotton production and textile industries.[161] Tirupur
Tirupur
is the country's largest exporter of knitwear.[162][163][164] for its cotton production. The region around Coimbatore, Tirupur, Palladam, Karur
Karur
and Erode
Erode
is referred to[by whom?] as the "Textile Valley of India" with the export from the Tirupur
Tirupur
₹ 50,000 million ($1,000 million) and Karur
Karur
generates around ₹ 35,500 million ($750 million) a year in foreign exchange. Rajapalayam, Gobichettipalayam, Pollachi, Udumalpet, Theni
Theni
and Vedasandur are known for its cotton spinning mills. Gobichettipalayam
Gobichettipalayam
is a prominent producer of white silk with the country's first automated silk reeling unit present here. Kanchipuram
Kanchipuram
and Arani are world-famous for their pure silk sarees and hand loom silk weaving industries. Aruppukottai, Salem, and Sathyamangalam
Sathyamangalam
are also famous for art-silk sarees. Rajapalayam, Srivilliputhur, Sankarankovil, Andipatti, Tiruchengodu, Paramakudi, Kurinjipadi, Chennimalai, Komarapalayam
Komarapalayam
are major handloom centres. Rajapalayam, Srivilliputhur, Sankarankovil, Negamam, Cinnalapatti, Woraiyur, Pochampalli are famous for its soft cotton saree weaving. Madurai
Madurai
is known for its Chungidi cotton sarees and Bhavani for its cotton carpets. Automobiles[edit] Tamil Nadu
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
Chennai
is known as the Detroit of India.[165] 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
DaimlerChrysler AG
Company also invested (₹) 4 billion for establishing new plant in Tamil Nadu.[166] Heavy industries and engineering[edit] Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu
is one of the highly industrialised states in India. Over 11% of the S&P CNX 500 conglomerates have corporate offices in Tamil Nadu. Many heavy engineering and manufacturing companies are located in and around the suburbs of Chennai. Bharat Heavy Electricals, one of India's largest electrical equipment manufacturing companies, has manufacturing plants at Tiruchirapalli
Tiruchirapalli
and Ranipet. India's leading steel producer, the state-owned Steel Authority of India
India
has a steel plant in Salem. Sterlite Industries
Sterlite Industries
has a copper smelter at Tuticorin
Tuticorin
and an aluminium plant in Mettur. The Chennai Petroleum Corporation is a state-owned oil and gas corporation headquartered in Chennai, and owns refineries at Manali and Panangudi. The state government owns the Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu
Newsprint and Papers,[167] in Karur. Jointly with the Tata Group, the state owns the world's sixth largest manufacturer of watches, under the brand name of Titan, at Hosur. A number of large cement manufacturers, including the Chettinad Group, Ramco Cements, Tancem, the Dalmia Group, UltraTech Cements and ACC are present across the state. Coimbatore
Coimbatore
is also referred to as "the Pump City" as it supplies two-thirds of India's requirements of motors and pumps. The city is one of the largest exporters of wet grinders and auto components and the term " Coimbatore
Coimbatore
Wet Grinder" has been given a Geographical indication.[168]

TIDEL Park
TIDEL Park
in Chennai

Electronics and software[edit] 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, Sanmina-SCI, Texas Instruments
Texas Instruments
having chosen Chennai
Chennai
as their south Asian manufacturing hub. Products manufactured include circuit boards and cellular phone handsets.[169] Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu
is the second largest software exporter by value in India. Software exports from Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu
grew from ₹ 76 billion ($1.6 billion) in 2003–04 to ₹ 207 billion $5 billion by 2006–07 according to NASSCOM[170] 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, Bosch, Amazon.com, eBay, PayPal, IBM, Accenture, Ramco Systems, DXC Technology, Cognizant
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
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.[171] Coimbatore
Coimbatore
is the second largest software producer in the state, next to Chennai.[172] Infrastructure[edit] Transport[edit] Road[edit]

A view of the NH 47 Expressway between Coimbatore
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
Chennai
International Airport, one of India's major international airports

Main articles: Transport in Tamil Nadu
Transport in Tamil Nadu
and Road network in Tamil Nadu Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu
has a transportation system that connects all parts of the state.TNSTC Online Booking Portal
Portal
Tamil Nadu
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).[173][174] The state is also a terminus for the Golden Quadrilateral
Golden Quadrilateral
project, that connects Indian metropolises like (New Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Chennai
Chennai
and 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
India
road network.[175] 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
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
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.[176] Airports[edit] Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu
has four international airports namely Chennai International Airport, Coimbatore
Coimbatore
International Airport, Tiruchirapalli
Tiruchirapalli
International Airport and Madurai
Madurai
International Airport. Salem Airport and Tuticorin
Tuticorin
Airport are domestic airports. Chennai
Chennai
International Airport is a major international airport and aviation hub in South Asia. Besides civilian airports, the state has four air bases of the Indian Air Force
Indian Air Force
namely Thanjavur
Thanjavur
AFS, Tambram AFS, Coimbatore
Coimbatore
AFS and two naval air stations INS Rajali
INS Rajali
and INS Parundu of Indian Navy. Seaport[edit] Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu
has three major seaports located at Chennai, Ennore and Tuticorin, as well as seven other minor ports including Cuddalore
Cuddalore
and Nagapattinam.[149] Chennai
Chennai
Port is an artificial harbour situated on the Coromandel Coast and is the second principal port in the country for handling containers. Ennore Port
Ennore Port
handles all the coal and ore traffic in Tamil Nadu. The volume of cargo in the ports grew by 13 per cent during 2005.[177] Energy[edit]

Wind farm in Muppandal
Muppandal
and Aralvaimozhi region near Nagercoil

Kamuthi Solar Power Project

Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu
has the third largest installed power generation capacity in the country. The Kalpakkam Nuclear Power Plant, Ennore Thermal Plant, Neyveli
Neyveli
Lignite Power Plant, many hydroelectric plants including Mettur
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,[178] accounting for 38 per cent of total installed wind power in India .[179] It is presently adding the Koodankulam Nuclear Power Plant
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.[180] The total installed capacity of electricity in the State by January 2014 was 20,716 MW.[181] Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu
ranks first nationwide in diesel-based thermal electricity generation with a national market share of over 34 per cent.[182] From a power surplus state in 2005–06, Tamil Nadu
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.[183] Sports[edit] Main article: Sports in Tamil Nadu Kabbadi, is recognised as the state game in Tamil Nadu.[184] The traditional sport of Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu
include Silambam,[185] a Tamil martial arts played with a long bamboo staff, Cockfight, Jallikattu,[186] a bull taming sport famous on festival occasions, ox-wagon racing known as Rekkala,[187][185] Kite
Kite
flying also known as Pattam viduthal,[186] Goli, the game with marbles,[186] Aadu Puli, the "goat and tiger" game[186] and Kabaddi
Kabaddi
also known as Sadugudu.[186] Most of these traditional sports are associated with festivals of land like Thai Pongal
Pongal
and mostly played in rural areas.[186] In urban areas of Tamil Nadu, modern sports like bat and ball games are played.[186] S. Ilavazhagi carrom world champion from 2002–2016

The M. A. Chidambaram
Chidambaram
Stadium chennai

Viswanathan Anand, world chess champion 2007–2013

The M. A. Chidambaram
Chidambaram
Stadium in Chennai
Chennai
is an international cricket ground with a capacity of 50,000 and houses the Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu
Cricket Association.[188] Srinivasaraghavan Venkataraghavan,[189] Krishnamachari Srikkanth,[190] Laxman Sivaramakrishnan,[191] Sadagoppan Ramesh, Laxmipathy Balaji,[192] Murali Vijay,[193] Ravichandran Ashwin[194] and Dinesh Karthik
Dinesh Karthik
are some prominent cricketers from Tamil Nadu. The MRF Pace Foundation in Chennai
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
Chennai
Super Kings represent the city of Chennai
Chennai
in the Indian Premier League, a popular Twenty20
Twenty20
league. The Super Kings are the most successful team in the league with two IPL titles and two CLT20
CLT20
titles. Tennis is also a popular sport in Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu
with notable international players including Ramesh Krishnan,[195] Ramanathan Krishnan,[195] Vijay Amritraj[196] and Mahesh Bhupathi. Nirupama Vaidyanathan, the first Indian women to play in a grandslam tournament also hails from the state. The ATP Chennai
Chennai
Open tournament is held in Chennai
Chennai
every January. The Sports Development Authority of Tamil Nadu (SDAT) owns Nungambakkam tennis stadium which hosts Chennai
Chennai
Open and Davis Cup play-off tournaments. The Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu
Hockey Association is the governing body of Hockey in the state. Vasudevan Baskaran
Vasudevan Baskaran
was the captain of the Indian team that won gold medal in 1980 Olympics at Moscow. The Mayor Radhakrishnan Stadium in Chennai
Chennai
hosts international hockey events and is regarded by the International Hockey Federation
International Hockey Federation
as one of the best in the world for its infrastructure.[197] Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu
also has Golf ground in Coimbatore, The Coimbatore
Coimbatore
Golf Club is an 18-hole golf course located in a place called Chettipalayam in Coimbatore, located within the city limits in the state of Tamil Nadu in India. The Club is also a popular venue for major Golf Tournaments held in India. The Sports Development Authority of Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu
(SDAT), a government body, is vested with the responsibility of developing sports and related infrastructure in the state.[198] The SDAT owns and operates world class stadiums and organises sporting events.[199] 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
Chennai
was established in 1920 and was the first college for physical education in Asia. The Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Chennai
Chennai
is a multi-purpose stadium hosting football and track & field events. The Indian Triathlon Federation and the Volleyball Federation of India
India
are headquartered in Chennai. Chennai
Chennai
hosted India's first ever International Beach Volleyball Championship in 2008. The SDAT – TNSRA Squash Academy in Chennai
Chennai
is one of the very few academies in south Asia hosting international squash events.Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Coimbatore, it is a football stadium and also a multi-purpose stadium in Coimbatore constructed in 1971. Tourism[edit] Main article: Tourism in Tamil Nadu

Brihadeeswarar Temple, Thanjavur
Thanjavur
is a UNESCO
UNESCO
world heritage site

Marina Beach, the longest urban beach in the country

The tourism industry of Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu
is the largest in India, with an annual growth rate of 16 per cent. Tourism in Tamil Nadu
Tourism in Tamil Nadu
is promoted by Tamil Nadu Tourism Development Corporation
Tamil Nadu Tourism Development Corporation
(TTDC), a Government of Tamil Nadu
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.[200] The state boasts some of the grand Hindu
Hindu
temples built in Dravidian architecture. The Brihadishwara Temple in Thanjavur
Thanjavur
and Gangaikonda Cholapuram
Gangaikonda Cholapuram
built by the Cholas, the Airavateswara temple in Darasuram,the Shore Temple
Shore Temple
and the Arunachaleshwara Temple, Tiruvannamalai, along with the collection of other monuments in Mahabalipuram
Mahabalipuram
(also called Mamallapuram) have been declared as UNESCO
UNESCO
World Heritage Sites.[201][202]. Erwadi
Erwadi
in Ramanathapuram
Ramanathapuram
district is one of the major Islamic tourist attraction site. See also[edit]

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[edit]

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2012. ^ Press Information Bureau releases 2012. ^ Nobrega 2008, p. 20. ^ "Science News : Archaeology - Anthropology : Sharp stones found in India
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& 1 January 2006. ^ The Hindu
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& 26 May 2004. ^ The Hindu
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& 22 November 2005. ^ Skeletons dating back 3,800 years throw light on evolution. The Times of India. ^ "The Hindu : National : 'Rudimentary Tamil-Brahmi script' unearthed at Adichanallur".  ^ Reserve Collections to be Displayed[permanent dead link] ^ Caldwell 1989, p. 88. ^ Ayyar 1991, pp. 498–499. ^ K.A.N. Sashtri, A History of South India, pp 109–112 ^ K.A.N. Sastri, A History of South India, OUP (1955) p 124 ^ Kamil Veith Zvelebil, Companion Studies to the History of Tamil Literature, p 12 ^ http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-01-15/research-shows-ancient-indian-migration-to-australia/4466382 ^ http://www.nationalgeographic.com.au/australia/four-thousand-years-ago-indians-landed-in-australia.aspx ^ http://www.smh.com.au/world/science/ancestors-of-modern-indians-may-have-come-to-australia-before-europeans-genetic-study-shows-20130115-2crk9.html ^ Genomes link aboriginal Australians to Indians, Nature, 14 Jan 2013 ^ "Significance of Mayiladuthurai
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2011. ^ "SC/ST population in Tamilnadu 2011" (PDF).  ^ Census of Tamil Nadu
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2001. ^ The Hindu
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