Tamil Nadu (TN)

Tam: தமிழ்நாடு tamiḻnāṭu

‘Land of the Tamils’

From Tam: tamiẕ(h)/tami [Skt: drāviḍa], ‘Tamil people and language’; and Tam: nāṭu (nadu), ‘land’, ‘country’.

Tamil refers to the country, the people and the language, but the origin of tamil itself is unclear with ‘sweet’, ‘cool’, ‘melodious’, and ‘refined’ being commonly suggested. The Tamils have ancient roots with a classical language, literature and civilization dating back more than two thousand years. 

Under British rule Tamil Nadu was part of Madras Presidency which also included parts of five other states: Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Karnataka, Telangana, Odisha and the union territory of Lakshadweep.

The post-Independence state of Madras was reorganized in 1953 on linguistic lines (creating a new Telugu-speaking Andhra Pradesh) and was renamed Tamil Nadu in 1969. 

Tamil Nadu is, not surprisingly, known as the ‘Land of Temples’ it has nearly 39,000 ancient temples, many of them more than 800 years old. Most feature the classic gopuram (an ornate pyramid-shaped entrance tower with intricate multicolored sculptures) bathing tanks, courtyards, and pillared halls. 

A personal selection of books on Tamil Nadu:

Ambur (TN)

Tam: ஆம்பூர் āmpūr ‘Lily Town’  -City, Tamil Nadu From Tam: āmpal,...

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Arakkonam (TN)

Tam: அரக்கோணம்  arakkōṇam ‘Six Angles’   Town, suburb (Chennai), Tamil Nadu...

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Arcot (TN)

Tam: ஆற்காடு āṟkāṭu 'Forest Way’  [Arkkadu]  Town, Tamil Nadu Tam: āṟu,...

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Chennai (TN)

Tam: சென்னை c(h)eṉṉai ‘Chennappa’s Village’ [Madras] City/ Capital/...

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Chidambaram (TN)

Tam: சிதம்பரம் c(h)itamparam ‘Dwelling of Consciousness’  [Thillai]  Temple...

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Coonoor (TN)

Tam: குன்னூர kuṉṉūr ‘Mountain Slope’  Town/Taluk, Tamil Nadu From Bad/Tam:...

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Cuddalore (TN)

Tam: கடலூர் kaṭalūr ‘Junction Town’  City/District, Tamil Nadu From Tam:...

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Darasuram (TN)

Tam: தாராசுரம் darasuram ‘Lord of Raja Raja’  Town, Temple, Tamil Nadu        ...

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Dharmapuri (TN)

Tam: தர்மபுரி darmapuri ‘City of Dharma’  [Tagadur]    City/District, Tamil...

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Dindigul (TN)

Tam: திண்டுக்கல் tiṇṭukkal ‘Pillow Rock’  [Tintukkal] City/District, Tamil...

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Erode (TN)

Tam: ஈரோடு īrōṭu ‘Two Streams’   City/District,  Tamil Nadu From Tam:...

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Gudalur (TN)

Tam: கூடலூர் gūṭalūr 'Valley Town'  Town/Taluk, Tamil Nadu From Bad:  goḍalu,...

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Gudiyattam (TN)

Tam: குடியாத்தம் guṭiyāttam ‘Village Way’   Town,  Tamil Nadu From Tam: kudi,...

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Hosur (TN)

Tam: ஓசூர் ōsūr ‘New City’  City, Tamil Nadu From Kan: posa/hosa, ‘new’;...

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Kanchipuram (TN)

Tam: காஞ்சிபுரம் kāñcipuram ‘Kanchi City’  City/District, Tamil Nadu. From...

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Kanyakumari (TN)

Tam:கன்னியாகுமரி kaṉṉiyākumari ‘Virgin Goddess’  Town/District, Tamil Nadu...

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Karaikudi (TN)

Tam: காரைக்குடி kāraikkuṭi ‘Karai Village’   City, Tamil Nadu Tam: kārai,...

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Karur (TN)

Tam: கரூர் karūr 'Black Town'  [Vanji]   City/District, Tamil Nadu From Tam:...

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Kodaikanal (TN)

Tam: கொடைக்கானல் koṭaikkāṉal  ‘Forest of Creepers’ Hill Station,  Tamil Nadu...

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Kotagiri (TN)

Tam: கோத்தகிரி kōttakiri 'Kot(h)a Hill'   Town/Hill Station, Tamil Nadu...

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Krishnagiri (TN)

Tam: கிருஷ்ணகிரி kiruṣṇakiri ‘Krishna Hill’   City/District, Tamil Nadu From...

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Kumbakonam (TN)

Tam: கும்பகோணம் kumpakōṇam  ‘Cosmic Pot Corner’   City, Tamil Nadu From Tam:...

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Madurai (TN)

Tam: மதுரை madurai ‘Walled City’ [Matirai]   City/District,  Tamil Nadu From...

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Nagapattinam (TN)

Tam: நாகப்பட்டினம் nākappaṭṭiṉam ‘Naga City’   Town/District,  Tamil Nadu From...

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Nagercoil (TN)

Tam: நாகர்கோவில் nākarkōvil ‘Naga Temple’      City,  Tamil Nadu From...

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Neyveli (TN)

Tam:நெய்வேலி neyvēli ‘Paddy Fields’      Town, Tamil Nadu From Tam: nel ,...

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Palani (TN)

Tam:பழனி paḻaṉi ‘Paddy Fields’   Town, Tamil Nadu From Tam: paḻaṉam/pazhaṉam,...

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Pollachi (TN)

Tam: பொள்ளாச்சி poḷḷācci ‘Sesban Forest’  Town/Taluk,  Tamil Nadu From Tam:...

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Pudukottai (TN)

Tam: புதுக்கோட்டை putukkōṭṭai ‘New Fort’  City/District, Tamil Nadu From Tam:...

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Rajapalayam (TN)

Tam: இராசபாளையம் irācapāḷaiyam ‘Raju Cantonment’    City/Taluk, Tamil Nadu...

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Ramanathapuram (TN)

Tam: இராமநாதபுரம் irāmanātapuram  ‘Lord Rama's Town’  [Ramnad]   Town, Tamil...

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Ranipet (TN)

Tam: இராணிப்பேட்டை irāṇippēṭṭai  ‘Queen’s Suburb’    Town/District, Tamil Nadu...

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Salem (TN)

Tam: சேலம் sēlam ‘Mountain (City)’   City/District, Tamil Nadu From Tam:...

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Sivakasi (TN)

Tam: சிவகாசி sivakāci 'Shiva's City of Light'   City, Tamil Nadu From S(h)iva;...

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Tenkasi (TN)

Tam: தென்காசி teṉkāci ‘Southern Varanasi’     Town/District, Tamil Nadu Tam:...

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Thanjavur (TN)

Tam: தஞ்சாவூர் tañcāvūr  ‘City of Refuge’ [Tanjore]  City/District, Tamil Nadu...

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Thiruvaiyaru (TN)

Tam: திருவையாறு tiruvaiyāṟu ‘Five Rivers’  Town, Tamil Nadu From Tam:  tiru,...

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Tirumangalam (TN)

Tam: திருமங்கலம் tirumaṅkalam  ‘Prosperous Land’  Town, Tamil Nadu From Tam:...

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Tirunelveli (TN)

Tam: திருநெல்வேலி tirunelvēli ‘Paddy Field’  [Tinnevelly, Nellai] ...

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Tiruppur (TN)

Tam: திருப்பூர் tiruppūr ‘Holy City’  City/District, Tamil Nadu From...

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Tiruvannamalai (TN)

Tam: திருவண்ணாமலை tiruvaṇṇāmalai ‘Holy Red Mountain’   City/District, Tamil...

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Vaniyambadi (TN)

Tam: வாணியம்பாடி vāṇiyampāṭi ‘Trading Town’  Town, Tamil Nadu From Tam:...

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Vellore (TN)

Tam: வேலூர் vēlūr 'Babul Tree Town'    City/District, Tamil Nadu From Tam: vēl...

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Villupuram (TN)

Tam: விழுப்புரம் viḻuppuram 'Great Town'     City/District, Tamil Nadu From...

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Virudhunagar (TN)

Tam: விருதுநகர் virutunakar ‘Victory Town’     City/District, Tamil Nadu From...

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Wellington (TN)

Tam: வெல்லிங்டன் velliṅṭaṉ '(Duke of) Wellington' [Jakkatalla] Town, Tamil...

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