Tamil Nadu is located on the south-eastern corner of India, and has an amazing history dating back thousands of years. This Tamil speaking Dravidean state has seen the powerful Chola and Pallava dynasties leave behind temples of unquestionable beauty, with stunning colourful stone carvings and bronze sculptures that impress any visitor. A tour of Tamil Nadu doesn’t have to involve seeing a long list of temples, as its rural heartlands are exceptionally interesting. A visit to the rural district of Chettinad or the hills around Kodaikanal give a tour of Tamil Nadu a perfect balance. The British established the capital of Tamil Nadu, Madras (now Chennai) in the 17th century, alongside the French at Pondicherry, the Danes at Tranquebar and the Dutch at Cuddalore. For those with an interest in temples, you can explore Kanchipuram, close to Madras, the rock-cut shore temples of Mahabalipuram and the temples in Tanjore, Trichy and Madurai, which includes the most impressive temple in Tamil Nadu, the Meenakshi Amman Temple. Many guests combine Tamil Nadu with a journey right across into neighbouring Kerala, or you can add on a beach stay in the Andaman Islands.