Kodaikanal. Photo Courtesy: Tamil Nadu Tourism
Bound by tropical shores with shimmering ocean views and lush hills, Tamil Nadu is an astonishingly diverse state. Each landscape is unique, and no matter which part of the state you visit, chances are, you have access to some of these natural wonders that showcases Tamil Nadu’s stunning sceneries through activities such as camping, trekking, kayaking, scuba diving, and surfing holidays. Here are eleven memorable ways to experience the outdoors of Tamil Nadu, for first-time adventurers, adrenaline junkies, and more seasoned travellers.
1. Surfing in Covelong
Tamil Nadu’s coast has seen a tremendous upswing of interest in surfing, and the beaches near Chennai are at the center of this phenomenon. Covelong or Kovalam village is located between Chennai and Mahabalipuram and has earned its spot on the global map for surfing, all thanks to its popular annual surf festival. The annual Covelong Point surf and Music Festival attracts surfing enthusiasts from around the globe.
Mahabalipuram is another destination close by that is also getting popular for surfing. Both destinations have a large number of surfboard rental shops, and beginners can also take surfing classes at places like the Mumu Surf School in Mahabalipuram.
2. Paragliding in Elagiri
A quaint little cluster of 14 villages dotting the hills of Western Ghats- that’s Elagiri for you, also known as Yelagiri. Paragliding in Elagiri usually takes place in the pre-monsoon months of June to August. The place is also popular for trekking with lush green valleys awash with a flower-scented breeze. The best trekking trails will take you to the most stunning places you will ever see; like the riveting view of Swamimalai and mystic Jalagamparai Falls, which the locals believe have healing properties.
3. Trekking in Kodaikanal
One of Tamil Nadu’s popular hill stations, Kodaikanal, is a great destination for those of you who love trekking and nature hikes. There are several trek routes of varying grades in and around the region. The three most popular are the Dolphin’s Nose trek, Pillar Rock trek, and the Echo Rock trek.
However, trekking is not limited to just the hill station; you can also visit the nearby reserve forests with stunning trekking trials. The most popular one is the Palani Hills Reserve Forest, located at an elevation of 2,500 meters and home to some of the toughest trekking routes.
4. Jungle Trekking in Mudumalai
One of the most visited destinations for jungle trekking is the Mudumalai Wildlife Sanctuary in the Nilgiri sub-cluster of the Western Ghats. It draws trekkers from all across the country owing to its majestic sights, thick vegetation, and dense jungles that make it perfect for jungle trekking. Mudumalai is home to tigers, leopards, elephants, and various birds, making it a fantastic destination for jungle trekking.
5. Camping at Meghamalai
Escape the crowd and the city’s noise by camping in the mighty peaks, plentiful vegetation, and alluring streams of Meghamalai. Nestled in the lush green Western Ghats, Meghamalai has many hidden secret gems in its woods. The hills are an ideal spot to enjoy your tryst with nature. There are enthralling dams, misty mountains, and pristine streams at the end of uncharted trekking trials in the area. The soothing calm of the tea plantations veiled in a thin layer of fog will definitely lift your mood and rejuvenate you.
6. Parasailing in Rameswaram
Soar like a bird and cherish the ecstasy and fun that comes with flying. Ariyaman Beach in Rameswaram is one of the safest parasailing spots in the state. It will enable you to savor some of the most breathtaking views of its iconic landscape. The pristine beach on Palk Bay is an underexplored destination offering numerous activities apart from parasailing, like boating and windsurfing. The destination will quench your desire to soar into the clouds like Icarus.
7. Snorkeling and Diving in Pamban Island
Located in the ecologically rich Gulf of Mannar, Pamban island is lush with coconut tree-lined beaches and crystal-clear waters. On Pamban’s menu are kitesurfing, snorkeling, diving, kayaking and windsurfing. Gorge on fresh seafood, and explore all that abounds its surface and the (marine) life below, pearl oyster, sea horse, barracuda.
8. Canoeing and Kayaking in Sulur Lake, Coimbatore
One of the most sought-after locations in Coimbatore, Sulur lake has served as a hot bed for water sports. On any given day one can witness a hustle bustle of activities that includes kayaking, canoeing, sailing and wind surfing. The place is ideal for sailing in the morning and evening hours and one can bask in the scenic beauty as they can spot migratory birds including pelican, wood sandpiper and Asian paradise flycatcher.
9. Motor Racing in Chennai
Chennai, in many ways, can be called the racing capital of India. In this city, India’s only F1 drivers: Narain Karthikeyan and Karun Chandhok, started their racing careers. The city is known for its full-fledged racing track in Irungattukottai. The track hosts several local racing events for amateur and professional racers, drawing many racers from across the region.
10. Scuba Diving in Chennai
Chennai ECR is the prime scuba diving hotspot in Tamil Nadu, where several scuba diving companies are located. While scuba diving during the day is a magical experience, try night scuba diving in Chennai ECR for a once in a lifetime experience. Take that dive and witness life underwater change as the sun sets. As the nocturnal animals appear, their reflection on the otherwise dark blue waters creates a surreal experience.
11. Stargazing in Yercaud
Yercaud is one of the most popular hill stations among tourists for its serene ambience, sprawling green landscape, and natural beauty. It is also popular for its breathtaking views of the night sky during winter months (November to February). The Nilgiris Astronomical Observatory (NAO) in Yercaud is also known to draw amateur astronomers from across the globe who frequent its vantage points during moonlit nights to catch a glimpse of the heavenly bodies. You can visit places like Vellimalai, Anna Scenic View Point, or the Chinese Temple; all of which are renowned stargazing spots in Yercaud.
To know more visit Tamil Nadu Tourism’s official website.
In Partnership with Tamil Nadu Tourism