The best time to visit Tamil Nadu is during the winter season, i.e. from November to February when the temperature is relatively low, and pleasant to explore the attractions in the state. Monsoons bring torrential downpour which makes it an inappropriate time to travel through Tamil Nadu. Summer, however, is perfect for exploring the hills stations. Tourists can pick the region they wish to see according to the season because offseason visits could be extremely inconvenient for some.
This season begins in March and lasts until May. The temperatures are high, ranging between 35°C and 40°C and so is the humidity especially in the coastal regions. Sightseeing during this time is not very convenient because of the improper temperature. The season, however, is visited to witness the festival of Chithirai held in the Madurai temple in the month of March-April. Puthandu, another important festival that marks the Tamil New year falls in mid-April and Mahamahan Festival is celebrated in March (celebrated once in 12 years). If visiting during summer, it is a good idea to visit the attractions on higher attitudes. Hill stations like Ooty, Kodaikanal and Yelagiri hills are the best where the temperature is pleasant and has scenic views that tourists can witness.
This southern state sees monsoon two times a year - once between June to September and the retreating monsoon in November and December. The temperature is slightly less than what it is in the summer season. It ranges between 25°C and 30°C. The rains often occur in long spells and the humidity during this time is high especially in coastal regions. Some of the hilly areas see massive rainfall and venturing out during this time around is not a great idea. The Eastern seaboard of Tamil Nadu sometimes experiences cyclones during the late monsoon, making it an unsafe place to visit.
Winter in Tamil Nadu begins in October and lasts until February. November and December have intermittent rainfall because of the retreating monsoon, but otherwise, the temperature remains between 10°C and 15°C. The humidity is low, and it is the best climate for sightseeing and touring the cities. Most of the tourist attractions are bustling with activities during this season. The beaches call the beach lovers, and adventure seekers for bathing in the sun, swimming and water sports as the temperature remains moderate all through the day.
While one is making the most of travelling through Tamil Nadu, they can also witness some of the most important festivals celebrated here. The festival of Pongal, celebrated in January, marks the Harvest Season. Thiruvaiyaru Festival is also celebrated in the same month. Natyanjali Festival is celebrated in February/ March. It is celebrated with traditional dance and music. Karthigai Deepam is celebrated in November-December for ten days. Winter, thus, is the best time to explore the authentic culture of Tamil Nadu.
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One of the most popular harvest festivals of South India is Pongal. It is celebrated in mid-January every year and marks the beginning of Uttarayan-sun’s journey northwards. It is mainly observed in Tamil Nadu and lasts for about four days. The literal meaning of Pongal is “spilling over”, and it is so called because of the tradition of boiling rice in a pot until it starts to spill while people show gratitude to nature during the festival. Drawing of Kolam, swinging and cooking are essential traditions of the festival.
Panguni Uthiram is a significant Tamil festival that sees thousands of devotees flocking to all Murugan temples. This festival is also auspicious to Lord Vishnu as well as Lord Shiva and is hence considered sacred by both Saivites and Vaishnavites. This day is also celebrated as Gowri Kalyanam Day as it is believed that Goddess Parvati, in the form of Gowri, had married Lord Shiva in Kanchipuram on this holy day. Devotees offer their prayers in different ways, and it is believed that their offerings have yielded astonishing results, which drives them to continue to keep coming to the temples each year on this occasion.