Thursday, May 6, 2010


தமிழ்நாடு "Country of the Tamils", pronounced is one of the 28 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 States of Puducherry (Pondicherry), Kerala, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. It is bound by the Eastern Ghats in the north, the Nilgiri, the Anamalai Hills, and Palakkad on the west, by the Bay of Bengal in the east, the Gulf of Mannar, the Palk Strait in the south east, and by the Indian Ocean in the south.

Tamil Nadu is the eleventh largest state in India by area (about the size of Greece) and the seventh most populous state. It is the fifth largest contributor to India's GDP and the most urbanised state in India. The state has the highest number of business enterprises in India, compared to the population share of about 6%. It is one of the foremost states in the country in terms of overall development.

The region has been the home of the Tamil civilization since at least 1500 BC, as attested by numerous archeological sites in and around Adichanallur. Its classical language Tamil has been in use in inscriptions and literature for 2500 years. Tamil Nadu is home to many natural resources, grand Hindu temples of Dravidian architecture, hill stations, beach resorts, multi-religious pilgrimage sites and eight UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Topographic map of Tamil Nadu

Tamil Nadu covers an area of 130,058 square kilometres (50,216 sq mi), and is the eleventh largest state in India. The bordering states are Kerala to the west, Karnataka to the northwest and Andhra Pradesh to the north. To the east is the Bay of Bengal and the union territory of Puducherry. The southernmost tip of the Indian Peninsula is located in Tamil Nadu. At this point is the town of 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. Tamil Nadu is the only state in India which has both the Western Ghats and the Eastern Ghats and they both meet at the Nilgiri hills. The Western Ghats dominate 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 a coastline of about 910 kilometres (600 mi) which is the country’s third longest coastline. 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 & III. Historically, parts of this region have experienced seismic activity in the M5.0 range.

Districts of Tamil Nadu

The 32 districts of Tamil Nadu are as listed below with the numbers corresponding to those in the image at right.

1. Ariyalur District
2. Chennai District
3. Coimbatore District
4. Cuddalore District
5. Dharmapuri District
6. Dindigul District
7. Erode District
8. Kanchipuram District
9. Kanyakumari District
10. Karur District
11. Krishnagiri District
12. Madurai District
13. Nagapattinam District
14. Namakkal District
15. Nilgiris District
16. Perambalur District

17. Pudukkottai District
18. Ramanathapuram District
19. Salem District
20. Sivagangai District
21. Thanjavur District
22. Theni District
23. Thoothukudi District
24. Tiruchirapalli District
25. Tirunelveli District
26. Tirupur district
27. Tiruvallur District
28. Tiruvannamalai District
29. Tiruvarur District
30. Vellore District
31. Viluppuram District
32. Virudhunagar District

Education and social development
The main entrance of IIT Madras, showing its logo and its motto.

Tamil Nadu is the most literate state of India according to the HRD ministry of India's 2003 statistics.[60] Tamil Nadu has performed reasonably well in terms of literacy growth during the decade 1991-2001. The state's literacy rate increased from 62.66% in 1991 to 73.47% in 2001.[52] which is above the national average. A survey conducted by the Industry body Assocham ranks Tamil Nadu top among Indian states with about 100% Gross Enrollment Ratio (GER) in primary and upper primary education.[61] 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% is significant.[62]

Tamil Nadu has 19 universities,[63] 349 engineering colleges[64] and 1150 arts college, 2550 schools and 5000 hospitals.[citation needed] Some of the most reputed educational institutes present in Tamil Nadu are University of Madras, IIT Madras, TANUVAS(Tamil Nadu veterinary and Animal sciences university), Anna University (includes MIT Chennai - Madras Institute of Technology), NIT Tiruchi, VIT University Vellore, Institute of Road & Transport Technology (IRTT) at Erode, Christian Medical College & Hospital Vellore, Bharathidasan Institute of Management Trichy, Madras Medical College, Loyola College, Chennai and Annamalai University. The Indian Institute of Management is scheduled to open in Trichy by 2009-2010.[65] Tamil Nadu produces the highest number of engineering graduates in India (around 1,30,000) every year which attracts many software companies to set up their shop in south India.
College of Engineering, Anna University, the oldest engineering school of south India

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.[68] However, it has a number of challenges, significantly, the poverty is high, especially in the rural areas. As of 2004-2005, the poverty line was set at Rs. 351.86/month for rural areas and Rs. 547.42/month for urban areas.[69] Poverty in the state dropped from 51.7% in 1983 to 21.1% in 2001[70] For the period 2004-2005, the Trend in Incidence of Poverty in the state was 22.5% compared with the national figure of 27.5%. 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%.

The Dravidian movement, which championed the causes of educating the people and eradicating superstitions, began in Tamil Nadu. In addition, it aims to uplift the socially repressed Dravidian people and drew considerable support from the middle classes for their efforts in this matter. The movement was committed to social justice which led to the expansion of reservations for the deprived communities. Tamil Nadu now has a 69% reservation in educational institutions, the highest among all Indian states.

The Mid-day Meal Scheme program in Tamil Nadu, initiated by Kamaraj, was expanded considerably during the rule of the AIADMK in 1983. It feeds over a fifth of the state's population.[citation needed] Despite this, the state is among the 12 states in India that have alarming level of hunger according to the 2008 Global Hunger Index.

Language and literature
எப்பொருள் யார்யார்வாய்க் கேட்பினும் அப்பொருள்

மெய்ப்பொருள் காண்ப தறிவு
'The mark of wisdom is to discern the truth

From whatever source it is heard.'
- (Tirukkural - 423)

Tamil is the only 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 very first language to be recognized as a classical language of India.

Most early Tamil literary works are in verse form, with prose not becoming more common until later periods. Throughout its history, Tamil literature has sought to inform and inspire, educate and entertain. Tamil poetry has universal appeal as evidenced by many examples. Tirukkural, which was written nearly two millennia ago portrays a universal outlook. This is evident as the author, Tiruvalluvar, does not mention his religion, land, or the audience for his work. He is often portrayed as a holy saint of Tamil Nadu today.

The first Tamil printing press was established at Tarangambadi by the Danish missionaries. 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.

Meenakshi Amman Temple complex in Madurai, one of the grandest Hindu temples in Tamil Nadu

About 88% of the population identifies as Hindu and Tamil Nadu is the home of the core schools of medieval and modern Hinduism as well as several non-mainstream Hindu movements. These include Advaita Vedanta, Ramanuja's Vishishtadvaita, Alvars' Sri Vaishnavism, and Nayanmars Shaivism. Several important Hindu Tamil figures became important figures for Hinduism as a whole (e.g.Ramanuja.) In modern times, well known figures for Hinduism in the state include Ramana Maharishi and the Sankaracharyas of Kanchi. Murugan, Thirumal (Vishnu), Sivan, Sakthi in various forms and a large number of village deities are also worshiped by Hindus in Tamil Nadu. The emblem of Government of Tamil Nadu contained the popular Hindu temple of Srivilliputhur.

Christians and Muslims together form over 11% of the population. Christians are mainly concentrated in the southern districts of Kanyakumari (44% of the population, 2001), Thoothukudi (17%, 2001) and Tirunelveli (11%,2001). St. Thomas Mount in Chennai, the place where St. Thomas, one of the disciples of Jesus Christ, was believed to have been martyred,[76] is an important pilgrimage site for Indian Christians. The Santhome Basilica, supposedly built atop the tomb of St. Thomas, and the Vailankanni Basilica of Our Lady of Good Health — revered churches by India's Roman Catholics — are good examples of majestic church architectures in Tamil Nadu. The Church of South India and the Pentecostal Mission Church are headquartered in Chennai
Erwadi durgah in Ramanathapuram District, a major pilgrimage center of Muslims in Tamil Nadu

Muslims are mainly concentrated in areas such as Adirampattinam, Kayalpatnam, Kilakarai, Ambur, Vaniyambadi, Madurai, Nagore, and Melapalayam, with the state capital Chennai also home to a number of Muslims. Among Muslims, 97.5% are Sunni and the rest are Shias. All Muslims in tamil Nadu are Sunnis, who adhere to either Hanafi or Shafi schools of thought. Erwadi in Ramanathapuram district and Nagore in Nagapattinam district are important pilgrimage site for Muslims, while the Thousand Lights Mosque in Chennai is one of the largest mosques in the country. Kazimar Big Mosque in Kazimar Street, Madurai and Karpudaiyar masjid in Kayalpatnam are the oldest mosques in Tamil Nadu.
[edit] Festivals
Jallikattu, a raw bull taming contest, is held on the occasion of Maattu Pongal

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. During this final day, Kaanum Pongal — the word "kaanum", means 'to view' in Tamil.

The first month in the Tamil calendar is Chitterai and the first day of this month in mid-April is celebrated as Tamil New Year. Thiruvalluvar Calendar is 31 years ahead of Gregorian Calendar, that is 2000A.D. in Gregorian calendar is represented as 2031 in Thiruvalluvar Calendar. Aadi Perukku is celebrated on the 18th day of the Tamil month Aadi, which celebrates the rising of the water level in the river Cauvery. Apart from these 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.

Additional major Hindu festivals including Deepavali ( Death of Narakasura), Ayudha Poojai, Saraswathi Poojai (Dasara), Krishna Jayanthi and Vinayaka Chathurthi are celebrated widely. Ayya Vaikunda Avataram, is celebrated predominantly in the southern districts.[77] In addition, Christmas, Eid ul-Fitr, Easter and Bakrid are celebrated by Christians and Muslims in the state.
[edit] Music
See also: Ancient Tamil music
Nadhaswaram and Thavil players

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, ladies who work 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, and the Nāṭṭuppur̲appāṭṭu, ballads that convey folklore and folk history. Some of the leading Tamil folk artists in the early 21st century are Pushpuvanam Kuppuswamy, Dr. Vijayalakshmi Navaneethakrishnan, Chinnaponnu, Paravai muniammal etc.

Carnatic music is the classical music form of Southern India. This is one of the world's oldest & richest musical traditions.[78] The Trinity of Carnatic music Tyagaraja, Muthuswami Dikshitar and Syama Sastri were from Tamil Nadu. Thyagarajar Aaradhanai (worship) takes place every year in the month of Marghazhi in Thiruvaiyaru all carnatic musicians render their obesiance to Saint Thyagarajar by singing his compositions.[79] The composers belonging to the Tamil Trinity, namely Muthu Thandavar (?1560 - ?1640 CE), Arunachala Kavi (1712–1779) and Marimutthu Pillai (1717–1787) composed hundreds of devotional songs in Tamil and helped in the evolution of Carnatic music. Today, Tamil Nadu has hundreds of notable carnatic singers and instrumentalists who spread this music all over the world. Chennai hosts a large cultural event, the annual Madras Music Season during December-January, which includes performances by hundreds of artists all over the city.

In terms of modern cine-music, Ilaiyaraaja was the most prominent composer of film music in 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 is also the home of the double Oscar Winner A.R. Rahman[80][81][82] who has composed film music in Tamil, Telugu, Hindi films, English and Chinese films, was once referred to by Time magazine as "The Mozart of Madras".
[edit] Arts and dance
A Bharatanatyam danseuse

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 is 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 or thevar pāṭṭu, 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 colours; 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. Bharatanatyam is thought to have been created by Bharata Muni, a Hindu sage, who wrote the Natya Shastra, the most important ancient treatise on classical Indian dance. In ancient times it was 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 and widely performed 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.
[edit] Film industry
Main article: Cinema of Tamil Nadu

Tamil Nadu is also home to the Tamil film industry called Kollywood, the second largest film industry in India after Hindi .[citation needed] It is based in Chennai in Kodambakkam, the section of Chennai that houses cinema-related facilities.
[edit] Cuisine
Main article: Tamil cuisine
Chettinad cuisine, typically served on a banana leaf

Tamil cuisine is basically South Indian cuisine, where Rice and rice-derived dishes form the major portion of a diet. There are regional sub-varieties namely Chettinadu, Kongunadu, Madurai, Tirunelveli varieties etc. Traditionally, food is served on a banana leaf instead of a plate and eaten with the right hand. Rice is the staple food of Tamils and is typically eaten mixed with Sambhar (with or without Ghee), vegetarian or non - vegetarian Kulambu, Rasam, Curd and Buttermilk. This is accompanied with various vegetarian and / or non - vegetarian dishes like Kootu, Aviyal, Poriyal, Appalam, Varuval, Peratal, Kothsu, varieties of Pickles and Chicken / Mutton / Fish fry. Breakfast and snack items include Dosai, Adai, Idly, Vadai, Pongal, Appam(Aappam), Paniyaram, Puttu(Pittu), Uppumavu(Uppuma), Santhakai(Noodles), Idiyappam and Uthappam. These items are eaten along with Sambar, varieties of Chatni and Podi . Traditionally prepared Filter Coffee is unique in taste and popular all over the state. The Chettinad region is famous for its spicy non-vegetarian cuisine, while Ambur, Dindigal and Sankarankoil are known for their Biriyani. Sweet items that are native to Tamil Nadu and prepared at homes are Athirasam, Chakkarai Pongal (prepared during Pongal) and Kuli Paniyaram. Tirunelveli is known for its unique wheat Halwa and Palani is renowned for its Panchamirtham. In the recent past, North Indian, Western, Chinese and fast food culture are also witnessing a steady growth in Tamil Nadu.

Main articles: Economy of Tamil Nadu, List of conglomerates in Tamil Nadu, and List of rivers in Tamil Nadu
Gross State Domestic Product in Rs. Crores and Current Prices[83] Year GSDP Change Share of India
1994 - 95

Green Arrow Up.svg 19.32%

Green Arrow Up.svg 7.49%
1996 - 97

Green Arrow Up.svg 29.96%

Red Arrow Down.svg 7.18%
1998 - 99

Green Arrow Up.svg 32.47%

Green Arrow Up.svg 7.40%
2000 - 01

Green Arrow Up.svg 19.36%

Red Arrow Down.svg 7.33%
2002 - 03

Green Arrow Up.svg 09.92%

Red Arrow Down.svg 6.85%
2004 - 05

Green Arrow Up.svg 21.81%

Red Arrow Down.svg 6.61%

Tamil Nadu's gross state domestic product for 2007 is estimated at 275,000 crores (70 billion USD) in current prices.[84][85] The state experienced a GDP growth rate of 12.1% for this period.[61] It was the third largest economy (2007–2008) among all states in India,[86] and also the most industrialised state in India.[87] It ranks third in foreign direct investment (FDI) approvals (cumulative 1991-2002) of Rs.225,826 million ($5,000 million), next only to Maharashtra and Delhi constituting 9.12% of the total FDI in the country.[88] The per capita income in 2007 - 2008 for the state was Rs.43,000 ranking second among the South Indian states [89] and steadily been above the national average.[90]

According to the 2001 Census, Tamil Nadu has the highest level of urbanisation (43.86%) in India, accounting for 6% of India’s total population and 9.6% of the urban population.[91] and is the most urbanized state in India.[4] Services contributes to 45% of the economic activity in the state, followed by manufacturing at 34% and agriculture at 21%. Government is the major investor in the state with 51% of total investments, followed by private Indian investors at 29.9% and foreign private investors at 14.9%. Tamil Nadu has a network of about 110 industrial parks and estates offering developed plots with supporting infrastructure.[92]
[edit] 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.[93] The Cauvery delta region of the composite Thanjavur district is known as the Rice Bowl of South India. In terms of production, Tamil Nadu accounts for 10% in fruits and 6% in vegetables, in India.[94] Mango and Banana are the leading fruit crops in Tamil Nadu accounting for over 87% of the total fruit production. The main vegetables grown are tapioca, tomato, onion, brinjal and drumstick. Tamil Nadu is also a leading state in the production of flowers with the total production of horticultural crops standing at Rs. 99.47 Lakhs during 2003-04. The main flowers grown in Tamil Nadu are Jasmine, Mullai, Chrysanthemum, Marigold and Rose.
Paddy fields at Kanyakumari district

The state is the largest producer of bananas,[95] flowers,[96] tapioca,[96] the second largest producer of mango,[96] natural rubber,[97] coconut,[98] groundnut and the third largest producer of coffee,[99] sapota,[96] Tea[100] and Sugarcane.[101] Tamil Nadu's sugarcane yield per hectare is the highest in India.[101] The state has 17,000 hectares of land under oil palm cultivation, the second highest in India.[102] Tamil Nadu is the home to Dr M.S. Swaminathan, known as the "father of the Green Revolution" in India.[103] 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% of the total poultry population in India.[104] In 2003 - 2004, Tamil Nadu had produced 37,836 lakhs of eggs, which was the second highest in India representing 9.37% of the total egg production in the country.[105] With the third longest coastline in India, Tamil Nadu represented 27.54% of the total value of fish and fishery products exported by India in 2006.[106]
[edit] Textile, Automobile and Heavy Industries

A large number of textile mills and engineering industries are present around the city of Coimbatore. It is home to numerous textile, automotive spare sparts and motor pump manufacturing units. Cities of Tirupur and Erode are the country's largest exporters of knit wears.[107] They are well known for textile manufacturing industries and exports to such extent that the districts of Coimbatore, Tirupur and Erode are referred to as 'Textile Valley of India'.[108]
Hyundai's manufacturing plant at Irungattukottai near Sriperumbudur.

Tamil Nadu is one of the highly industrialised states in India. Over 11.2% of the S&P CNX 500 conglomerates have corporate offices in Tamil Nadu [109]. Many heavy engineering and manufacturing companies are located in and around the suburbs of Chennai (nicknamed, 'Detroit of Asia') and Coimbatore (nicknamed 'Manchester of South India'). 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. Major global automobile companies including Ford, Renault-Nissan, Caterpillar, and Hyundai have complete manufacturing operations in Tamil Nadu. The region around Coimbatore, Tirupur and Erode is referred to as the "Textile Valley of India" with the export turnover from the Tirupur in 2004 at Rs. 50,000 million ($1,000 million). 56% of India's total knitwear exports come from Tirupur. Karur generates around (35,500 million) $750 million a year in foreign exchange. Arani and Kanchipuram are famous for their handloom and silk weaving industries.

Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited, one of India's largest electrical equipment manufacturing company, has manufacturing plants at Tiruchirapalli and Ranipet. India's leading steel producer, SAIL has a steel plant in Salem.[110] Sterlite Industries has their copper smelter plant in Tuticorin and aluminium plant in Mettur. The state government owns the Tamil Nadu Newsprint and Papers Ltd. (TNPL),[111] the world's biggest bagasse based Paper mills in Karur, as well as the world's sixth largest manufacturer of watches together with TATA at Hosur, under the brand name of "Titan".[112]
[edit] Electronics and Software Industry
Infosys' campus at Mahindra World City near Chennai

Electronics manufacturing is a growing industry in Tamil Nadu, with many major global telecommunications giants like Companies like Nokia, Flextronics, Motorola, Sony-Ericsson, Foxconn, Samsung, Cisco, Moser Baer and Dell having chosen Chennai as their South Asian manufacturing hub. Products manufactured include circuit boards and cellular phone handsets.[113]

Tamil Nadu is the second largest software exporter by value in India, second only to Karnataka. Software exports from Tamil Nadu grew from Rs. 76 billion ($1.6 billion) in 2003-04 to Rs.207 billion {$5 billion} by 2006-07 according to NASSCOM[114] and to Rs. 366 billion in 2008-09 which shows 29% growth in software exports according to STPI.[115] Major national and global IT Companies such as Verizon, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Accenture, Ramco Systems, Computer Sciences Corporation, Cognizant Technology solutions, Tata Consultancy Services, Infosys, Wipro, HCL, Tech Mahindra, Polaris, Aricent, MphasiS and many others have offices in Chennai.
[edit] Food and Beverage Industry

Expansion of Foods and Beverage based corporations within Tamil Nadu has been noteworthy. Principal amongst the established entities now in Tamil Nadu are Chez Leeloo, Pizza Hut and Kentucky Fried Chicken. New entrants seem to be appearing all around the state creating mass employment opportunities.
[edit] Infrastructure
Main article: List of State Highways in Tamil Nadu
Pamban road (left) and rail (right) bridges, connecting the Indian mainland with the Pamban Island. The rail bridge was opened to traffic in 1914, and was considered an engineering marvel in its time

Tamil Nadu has a well established transportation system that connects all parts of the state. This is partly responsible for the investment growth in the state. Tamil Nadu is served by an extensive road network, providing links between urban centers, agricultural market-places and rural areas. There are 24 national highways in the state, covering a total distance of 2,002 km (1,244 mi).[116] The state is also a terminus for the Golden Quadrilateral project. The state has a total road length of 167,000 km (103,769 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.[117]
The Railway network and the major cities in Tamul Nadu

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, Pondicherry, a small portion of Karnataka and a small portion of Andhra Pradesh. Tamil Nadu has a total railway track length of 5,952 km (3,698 mi) and there are 532 railway stations in the state.[118] The system connects it with most major cities in India. Main rail junctions in the state include Chennai, Erode, Coimbatore, Tirunelveli Madurai, Tiruchirapalli (Trichy) and Salem. Chennai has a well-established suburban railway network and is in the process of developing a metro.

Tamil Nadu has a major international airport, Chennai International Airport, that is connected with 19 countries with more than 169 direct flights every week. This is currently the third largest airport in India after Mumbai and Delhi and has a passenger growth of 18%. Other international airports present in the state are Coimbatore International Airport and Tiruchirapalli International Airport. Madurai Airport, Salem Airport and Tuticorin Airport are domestic airports which connect their respective cities to other parts of the country. Increased industrial activity has given rise to an increase in passenger traffic as well as freight movement which has been growing at over 18 per cent per year.[119]
MRTS Train station in Chennai

Tamil Nadu has three major seaports at Chennai, Ennore and Tuticorin, as well as one intermediate port, at Nagapattinam. Chennai Port is an artificial harbour situated on the Coromandel Coast in South-East India and it is the second principal port in the country for handling containers. 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.[120][121]

As of 2005, Tamil Nadu is one of the few Indian states with surplus Electricity generation capacity, enabling the electrical authority to sell it to neighbouring states of Andra Pradesh & Karnataka. The Kalpakkam Nuclear Power Plant, Ennore Thermal Plant, Neyveli Lignite Power Plant, many hydroelectric plants including Mettur and the Narimanam Natural Gas Plants are major sources of Tamil Nadu's electricity. 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, in terms of capacity.[122]

Tamil Nadu sources[123] a significant proportion of its power needs from renewable sources with wind power installed capacity at over 3600 MW[124] or over 40% of the maximum peak demand. Tamil Nadu ranks first nationwide in diesel-based thermal electricity generation with a national market share of over 34%.[citation needed] 55% of all wind-generated electricity in India is created by windmills in Tamil Nadu. Renowned Danish wind power company NEG Micon has established its manufacturing unit in Chennai

Kari Motor Speedway near Coimbatore

Tamil Nadu has made fair strides in the field of sports. The Sports Development Authority of Tamil Nadu (SDAT) is the government body that is vested with the responsibility of developing sports and related infrastructure in the state.[133][134] The SDAT owns and operates a number of world class stadiums and organizes various sporting events.[135] It also accommodates various sporting events, both at domestic and international level, organized by other sports associations at its venues.[136] The YMCA College of Physical Education at Nandanam in Chennai was established in 1920 and was the first college for physical education in Asia.[137]

Cricket is the most popular sport and Kabaddi, also known locally as Sadugudu, is the state game of Tamil Nadu. M. A. Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai is an international cricketing arena with a capacity of 50,000 and houses the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association. Popular cricketers from Tamil Nadu who have represented the national team are S. Venkataraghavan, Kris Srikkanth, Robin Singh, Lakshmipathy Balaji, Murali Kartik, Murali Vijay, Subramaniam Badrinath and Dinesh Karthik. Cricket contests between local clubs, franchises and teams are also popular across the state. The MRF Pace Foundation in Chennai is a much sought after fast bowling academy by pace bowlers all over the world. The state game of Kabaddi is another popular sport played extensively in the rural areas. Silambam is another popular traditional sport played in the rural areas.

The ATP Chennai Open tournament held in Chennai every January is the biggest Tennis event in South Asia.[138] Tennis players from Tamil Nadu who had made it to the big stage include Ramanathan Krishnan, Ramesh Krishnan, Vijay Amritraj, Mahesh Bhupathi and Prakash Amritraj. Tamil Nadu has a long standing motorsports culture. The sport was pioneered by Sundaram Karivardhan in its ear ly days. Notable sportspersons from Tamil Nadu in the field are Narain Karthikeyan, the first Indian to participate in F1 racing, and Karun Chandhok. Motor racing events are held at the Irungattukottai track (near Sriperumbudur), Sholavaram track and Kari Motorspeedway near Coimbatore.
Viswanathan Anand, the World Chess Champion

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 state-of-the-art infrastructure.[139] Chennai hosted the SAF Games in 1995. Anju Bobby George, a world renowned athlete, represents Tamil Nadu in the national arena.[140] Santhi Soundararajan, silver medalist (later stripped) from Doha Asian Games, also hails from the state.[141] The Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Chennai is a multipurpose stadium hosting Football and Track & Field events. The Indian Triathlon Federation and the Volleyball Federation of India are headquartered in Chennai.[142] Chennai hosted India’s first ever International Beach Volleyball Championship in 2008.[143]

Chess and Carrom are popular indoor sports. World Chess champion and Indian Grand Master Viswanathan Anand and Arjuna Awardee and two-time world carrom champion Maria Irudayam hail from Tamil Nadu. Snooker was invented by General Sir Frederick Roberts at the Ooty Club in Udhagamandalam.[144][145] The SDAT - TNSRA Squash Academy in Chennai, one of the very few modern squash facilities in South Asia,[146] hosts international squash events. Tamil Nadu has six 18-hole Golf courses,[147] the most popular of which are the Kodaikanal Golf Club, established in 1895, and Gymkhana Club, Chennai. The Madras Boat Club, set up in 1867, hosts regular rowing races on the Adyar River.[148] The 232 year old Guindy race course in Chennai is a popular horse racing venue. In the recent years, adventure sports have also gained popularity, especially amongst the tourists visiting the state.[149]
[edit] Tourism
Main article: Tourism in Tamil Nadu
Vanatheertham waterfall, Papanasam, Tirunelveli district

Tamil Nadu's tourism industry is the second largest in India, with an annual growth rate of 16%.[150] Tourism in Tamil Nadu is promoted by Tamil Nadu Tourism Development Corporation (TTDC), a Government of Tamil Nadu undertaking. The tagline adopted for promoting tourism in Tamil Nadu is Enchanting Tamil Nadu. Approximately 1,753,000 foreign and 50,647,000 domestic tourists visited the state in 2007.[151]

Tamil Nadu is a land of varied beauty. It boasts some of the grandest Hindu temples of Dravidian architecture. These temples are of a distinct style renowned for their towering Gopurams. The Brihadishwara Temple in Thanjavur, built by the Cholas, the Airavateswara temple in Darasuram and the Shore Temple, along with the collection of other monuments in Mahabalipuram also called as Mamallaburam have been declared as UNESCO World Heritage Sites.[152][153] The Rajagopuram of Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple in Srirangam — the largest functioning Hindu temple in the world — is the tallest temple gopuram in the world[154] The largest Shiva Temple in Tamil Nadu is Nellaiappar Temple situated in the heart of Tirunelveli city. Madurai is home to one of the grandest Hindu temples in the World — Madurai Meenakshi Amman Temple. Rameshwaram, Kanchipuram and Palani are important pilgrimage sites for Hindus. Other popular temples in Tamil Nadu include those in Gangaikonda Cholapuram, melakadambur Chidambaram, Thiruvannaamalai, Tiruttani, Swamithoppe, Tiruchendur and Tiruvallur.

Tamil Nadu is also home to many beautiful hill stations. Popular among them are Udhagamandalam (Ooty), Kodaikanal, Yercaud, Coonoor, Topslip, Valparai, Yelagiri and Manjolai. The Nilgiri hills, Palani hills, Shevaroy hills, Kolli Hills and Cardamom hills are all abodes of thick forests and wildlife. Mukurthi National Park & Kalakkad Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve are the two tiger reserves in the state. Tamil Nadu has many National Parks, Biosphere Reserves, Wildlife Sanctuaries, Elephant and Bird Sanctuaries, Reserved Forests, Zoos and Crocodile farms. Prominent among them are Mudumalai National Park, The Gulf of Mannar Biosphere Reserve, Indira Gandhi Wildlife Sanctuary and National Park, Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary and Arignar Anna Zoological Park. The mangrove forests at Pichavaram are also eco-tourism spots of importance.

Kanyakumari, the southern most tip of peninsular India, is famous for its distinct and beautiful sunrise, Vivekananda Rock Memorial and Thiruvalluvar's statue built off the coastline. Marina Beach in Chennai is one of the longest beaches in the world.[155] The stretch of beaches from Chennai to Mahabalipuram are home to many resorts, theme parks and eateries. The prominent waterfalls in the state are Courtallam, Hogenakal, Papanasam, Manimuthar, Thirparappu, Pykara and Silver Cascade. The Chettinad region of the state is renowned for its Palatial houses and cuisine. In recent years, Tamil Nadu is also witnessing a growth in Medical tourism, as are many other states in India.