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Best time to visit Tamil Nadu
Aim for the end of the year through to March for comfortable temperatures. Saying that, it will always be chillier in the mountains and hotter on the plateaus.
Unless you like it seriously hot, the best time to go to Tamil Nadu is no later than mid-March (the mercury in Chennai hovers between 27°C and 38°C in June). Monsoon season generally lies between October and December, but you’ll get flash rains at any time of the year that can affect train trips and driving. Locals retreat to the Nilgiri Hills to cool down during the hot summers. It’s always a little cooler and wetter (and downright chilly in the evenings), so pack layers. If you’re after a wildlife spectacle, head to sanctuaries like Vedanthangal between December and January when storks and pelicans arrive in their thousands.
Chennai Weather Chart
Our Tamil Nadu Holidays
Things to do in Tamil Nadu
Things to do in Tamil Nadu...
Things not to do in Tamil Nadu...
If you'd like to chat about Tamil Nadu or need help finding a holiday to suit you we're very happy to help.
Tamil Nadu holiday advice
Rajat Kumar, from our friends ExplorIndya, shares his Tamil Nadu travel tips.
Not just temples
“For many years, Tamil Nadu has been perceived as merely a land of temples. Although Tamil Nadu does offer some fantastic temple architecture, it’s the living Hinduism and the culture of the people around these temples that truly brings them to life.”
Bird treks & bike rides
“I love birding walks and forest and countryside treks that indulge my love of photography. Tamil Nadu also has some of the best roads in India and hence offers some of the most epic bike rides possible in the country. With its fair share of hilly terrain and with mountains that rise to 2,600 metres above sea level, the state is a great place for cycling.”
“The best kept secret of Tamil Nadu is the living heritage of the Toda people. Living in only the Nilgiri Mountains, the Todas were once a nomadic group whose heritage today is under threat due to their small population. Preserving their ways of life is an ongoing effort.”
“Tamil Nadu’s Chettiar cuisine from the region of Karaikudi is its greatest export. It’s famed for its spice and use of peppers. Tamil Nadu is also home to a range of hot and filling yet light dishes that come under the umbrella term tiffin. Tiffin isn’t a full sit-down meal, but designed for people who’ve missed their main meal but are still looking for something filling to satisfy them on the go. These dishes can be either the fabled dosa, or an uttapam, or a steaming parotta served with stew or curried eggs.”
More about Tamil Nadu
Read our Tamil Nadu travel guide for a tour of the age-old trade routes that link temple-topped cities like Chennai and Madurai with the tea plantations and villages of the Nilgiri Hills. For now, it’s remains largely (and blissfully) tourist free.