You are on page 1of 15

Tamil Nadu (/tml ndu/; in Tamil

About this sound Tamil pronunciation (helpinfo),

literally "Tamil Country" is one of the 28 states of India. Its capital is Chennai (formerly known as Madras), the largest city. Tamil Nadu[5] lies in the southernmost part of the Indian Peninsula and is bordered by the union territory of Puducherry, and the states of Kerala, Karnataka, and Andhra Pradesh. It is bound by the Eastern Ghats in the north, the Nilgiri, the Anamalai Hills, and Kerala 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 and the seventh most populous state. It is the second largest state economy in India as of 2012.[6] The state ranked 6th among states in India according to the Human Development Index as of 2011.[3] [7] The state has the highest number (10.56 per cent) of business enterprises and stands second in total employment (9.97 per cent) in India,[8] compared to the population share of about 6 per cent.

The region has been the home of the Tamil people since at least 500 BCE and is currently the only official homeland of Tamils anywhere in the world. Its official language Tamil has been in use in inscriptions and literature for over 3,800 years.Tamil Nadu is home to many natural resources, Hindu temples of Dravidian architecture, hill stations, beach resorts, multi-religious pilgrimage sites and eight UNESCO World Heritage Sites.[9][10] Contents

1 Regions/Divisions 2 History 2.1 Prehistory 2.2 Early history (Sangam Period 300 BCE - 300 CE) 2.3 Interregnum (300600) 2.4 Medieval Period (6001300) 2.4.1 Chola Empire 2.4.2 The Raise and Fall of Pandyan dynasty 2.5 Vijayanagar and Nayak period (13361646) 2.6 Rule of Nawabs and Nizams (16921801)

2.7 Early struggle for Independent states 2.8 European rule (18011947) 2.9 Independent India (1947 - present) 3 Geography 4 Flora and fauna 5 National and State Parks 6 Climate 7 Governance and administration 8 Districts 9 Politics 9.1 Pre-Independent politicians and freedom fighters 9.2 Post-Independent India 10 Demographics 10.1 Religion 10.2 Language 11 Education 12 Culture 12.1 Literature 12.2 Festivals and traditions 12.3 Music 12.4 Arts and dance 12.5 Film industry 12.6 Cuisine 13 Economy 13.1 Agriculture

13.2 Leather industry 13.3 Textiles 13.4 Automobiles 13.5 Heavy industries 13.6 Electronics and software 13.7 Others 14 Infrastructure 14.1 Transport 14.1.1 Road 14.1.2 Rail 14.1.3 Airports 14.1.4 Seaport 14.2 Energy 15 Sports 16 Tourism 17 See also 18 Notes 19 References

Regions/Divisions

Chera or Kongu Nadu

The western region comprising roughly the modern districts of Coimbatore, Tiruppur, Nilgiris, Erode, Salem, Namakkal, Dindigul, Karur and Dharmapuri.

Chola Nadu

The eastern region comprising roughly the modern districts of Tiruchirappalli, Thanjavur, Thiruvarur, Nagapattinam, Ariyalur, Perambalur and Pudukottai with UT of Karaikal.

Pandya Nadu

The southern districts of Madurai, Theni, Sivaganga, Ramanathapuram, Tirunelveli and Thoothukudi.

Tondai Nadu

The modern districts of Chitoor, Velur, Thiruvannamalai, Villupuram, Chengulput, Thiruvallur, Cuddalore, Krishnagiri , part of Dharmapuri and Chennai with UT of Puducherry

Nadu Nadu

Parts of Villupuram, Cuddalore and Salem districts.

Sangam texts refer to more "Koduntamil" mandalams which are not exactly political or socio - cultural units but linguistic agglomerations. History Main article: History of Tamil Nadu Prehistory

Archaeological evidence points to this area being one of the longest continuous habitations in India.[11] In Adichanallur, 24 km (15 mi) from Tirunelveli, archaeologists from the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) unearthed 169 clay urns containing human skulls, skeletons and bones, husks and grains of rice, charred rice and celts of the Neolithic period, 3,800 years ago.[12] The ASI archaeologists have proposed

that the script used at that site is "very rudimentary" Tamil Brahmi.[13] Adichanallur has been announced as an archaeological site for further excavation and studies.[14] About 60 per cent of the total epigraphical inscriptions found by the ASI in India are from Tamil Nadu, and most of these are in the Tamil language.[15]. Virumandi Andithevar, of the Piramalai Kallar community from the Tamil Nadu region of southern India, was identified by the Genographic Project as one of the direct descendants of the first modern human settlers in India. His Y-DNA belongs to Haplogroup C and he carries the M130 marker which defines the first migrants to South East Asia and Australia from the African coast 60,000 years ago; more than half of Australian Aborigines also carry the M130 gene.[16] Early history (Sangam Period 300 BCE - 300 CE) Main article: Sangam period Roman pottery excavated in Arikamedu (1st century CE, Guimet Museum).

The early history of the people and rulers of Tamil Nadu is a topic in Tamil sources known as Sangam literature. Numismatic, archaeological and literary sources corroborate that the Sangam period lasted for about six centuries, from 300 BCE to 300 CE. Three dynasties, namely the Chera, Chola and Pandya, ruled the area of present-day Tamil Nadu and Kerala. The Chera ruled the whole of present day Kerala and parts of western Tamil Nadu comprising Coimbatore, Karur, Salem and Erode districts from the capital of Vanchi Muthur (thought to be modern day Karur). The Chola dynasty ruled the northern and central parts of Tamil Nadu from their capital, Uraiyur; and the Pandya dynasty ruled southern Tamil Nadu, from capitals at Korkai and Madurai. All three dynasties had extensive trade relationships with Rome, Greece, Egypt, Ceylon, Phoenicia, Arabia, Mesopotamia and Persia. Trade flourished in commodities such as spices, ivory, pearls, beads and gems. Chera traded extensively from Muziris on the west coast, Chola from Arikamedu and Puhar and Pandya through Korkai port. The early Pandya had a formal diplomatic relationship with Roman emperor Caesar Augustus around 13 C.E.[17][18] Pandya excelled in both trade and literature. They controlled the pearl fisheries along the south coast of India coast, between Sri Lanka and India, which produced some of the finest pearls in the known ancient world.[19] A Greco-Roman trade and travel document, the Periplus of the Erythraean Sea (c. 60100 CE) gives a description of the Tamil country and its ports. Interregnum (300600)

Between the third and the seventh centuries CE, the three Tamil kingdoms were overwhelmed by the Kalabhras; this is sometimes referred to as the "Dark Age" in Tamil history, and little is known of it. The Kalabhras were expelled by the Pallavas and the Pandyas in the sixth century. During the Kalabhras' rule Buddhism flourished in the land of the Tamils. The didactic work Naaladiyar was composed during their reign. It consists of moral sayings in the venpa meter, 400 in number in 40 chapters, each by one Buddhist ascetic, according to tradition. Following the tradition of Tamil Buddhism, Naaladiyar

emphasises virtues such as control of the senses, Dhamma (Lord Buddha's teaching), renunciation, and other desirable social qualities. Pali was the court language of the Kalabhras who were also called Kalapara or Kalaparaya according to the Koramangalam inscription. Medieval Period (6001300) Shore Temple built by the Pallavas at Mamallapuram during the eighth century, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

During the fourth to eighth centuries C.E., Tamil Nadu saw the rise of the Pallavas under Mahendravarman I and his son Mamalla Narasimhavarman I and his uncle Bodhidharma.[20] The Pallavas ruled a parts of South India with Kanchipuram as their capital. Dravidian architecture reached its peak during Pallava rule. Narasimhavarman II built the Shore Temple which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. They came into conflict with the Kannada Chalukyas of Badami. During this period, Badami Chalukya King Pulakesi II extended the Chalukya Empire up to the northern extents of the Pallava kingdom and defeated the Pallavas in several battles.[21] Narasimhavarman led his army along with his general Paranjothi and invaded Vatapi, successfully defeating and killing the Chalukya king Pulakesi II in 642 C.E at the Battle of Vatapi.[22][23] During the reign of Narashimhavarman, Chinese traveler Xuanzang visited Kanchipuram in 640, recorded that the city was 6 miles (9.7 km) in circumference and that its people were renowned for their bravery, piety, love of justice, and veneration for learning.[24][25] A century later Chalukya King Vikramaditya II took revenge for slain of Pulakesi II by repeated invasions of the territory of Tondaimandalam and his subsequent victories over Pallava Nandivarman II and the annexation of Kanchipuram.[26] The Pallava dynasty was overthrown in the 9th century by the imperial Rashtrakutas who ruled from Gulbarga. Rashtrakuta king Krishna III consolidated the empire so that it stretched from the Narmada River to Kaveri River and included the northern Tamil country (Tondaimandalam) while levying tribute on the king of Ceylon.[27] Chola Empire Main article: Chola dynasty

The Cholas, who were very active during the Sangam age, were entirely absent during the first few centuries.[28] The period started with the rivalry between the Pandyas and the Pallavas, which in turn caused the revival of the Cholas. During the ninth century, the Chola dynasty was once again revived by Vijayalaya Chola, who established Thanjavur as Chola's new capital by conquering central Tamil Nadu from the local clans of Mutharayar and the Pandya king Varagunavarman II. Aditya I and his son Parantaka I expanded the kingdom to the northern parts of Tamil Nadu by defeating the last Pallava king, Aparajitavarman. A sculpture at Airavatesvara Temple, Darasuram, built by Tamil Chola Kings. The Great Living Chola Temples are UNESCO World Heritage sites.

Parantaka Chola II expanded the Chola empire into what is now interior Andhra Pradesh and coastal Karnataka, while under the great Rajaraja Chola and his son Rajendra Chola, the Cholas rose to a notable power in south east Asia. Now the Chola Empire stretched as far as Bengal and Sir Lanka. At its peak, the empire spanned almost 3,600,000 km2 (1,400,000 sq mi). Rajaraja Chola conquered all of peninsular south India and parts of Sri Lanka. Rajendra Chola's navy went even further, occupying coasts from Burma (now Myanmar) to Vietnam, the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Lakshadweep, Sumatra, Java, Malaya, Philippines[29] in South East Asia and Pegu islands. He defeated Mahipala, the king of Bengal, and to commemorate his victory he built a new capital and named it Gangaikonda Cholapuram. Chola Empire under Rajendra Chola about 1030 CE.

The Cholas were prolific temple builders right from the times of the first medieval king Vijayalaya Chola. These are the earliest specimen of Dravidian temples under the Cholas. His son Aditya I built several temples around the Kanchi and Kumbakonam regions. The Cholas went on to becoming a great power and built some of the most imposing religious structures in their lifetime and they also renovated temples and buildings of the Pallavas, acknowledging their common socio-religious and cultural heritage. The celebrated Nataraja temple at Chidambaram and the Sri Ranganathaswami Temple at Srirangam held special significance for the Cholas which have been mentioned in their inscriptions as their tutelary deities. Natarajan, Siva as celestial dancer, an example of Chola art. Brihadeeswara Temple built by Raja Raja Chola I in 1010 CE.

Rajaraja Chola I and his son Rajendra Chola, who built temples such as the Brihadeshvara Temple of Thanjavur and Brihadeshvara Temple of Gangaikonda Cholapuram, the Airavatesvara Temple of Darasuram and the Sarabeswara (Shiva) Temple, also called the Kampahareswarar Temple at Thirubhuvanam, the last two temples being located near Kumbakonam. The first three of the above four temples are titled Great Living Chola Temples among the UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

The Chola period is also remarkable for its sculptures and bronzes all over the world. Among the existing specimens in museums around the world and in the temples of southern India the fine figures of Siva in various forms, Vishnu and his consort Lakshmi, and the Siva saints are the examples of Chola bronze. Though conforming generally to the iconographic conventions established by long tradition, the sculptors worked with great freedom in the 11th and the 12th centuries to achieve a classic grace and grandeur. The best example of this can be seen in the form of Nataraja the Divine Dancer.

During the rule of Chalukya King Vikramaditya VI, in the late eleventh to early twelfth century, the Western Chalukyas convincingly defeated the Cholas on several occasions, weakening their empire.[30][31] With the decline of the Chola dynasty between 1116 and 1185 C.E., the Hoysalas rose to prominence under King Vishnuvardhana and his grandson Veera Ballala II.[32][33][34] The Hoysalas extended their foothold in Tamil Nadu around 1225, making the city of Kannanur Kuppam near Srirangam a provincial capital that give them control over South Indian politics that began a period of Hoysala hegemony in the southern Deccan.[35][36] Hoysala Vira Narasimha II's son Vira Someshwara earned the honorific "uncle" (Mamadi) from the Pandyas and Cholas by royal marriages. The Hoysala influence spread over Pandya kingdom from who they gained tribute.[37] The Raise and Fall of Pandyan dynasty Main article: Pandya dynasty The Meenakshi Amman Temple in Madurai is one of the grand Hindu temples in India.

The First Pandya Empire was established by Kadungon druing 590 C.E by ending the Kalabhra rule.[38] Pandya were ruling from the capital Madurai in the deep south away from the coast were active from sixth to tenth century. Raise of Middle and Later Cholas almost completely enthroned or reduced Pandyas to feudatory paying tributes to Cholas or Hoysalas until early 13th century. Weaker Cholas under Kulothunga Chola III saw revival of Pandyas under Maravarman Sundara Pandyan to establish a short lived Second Pandyan Empire.[39] Kulothunga Chola III and his son Rajaraja Chola III became tribute-paying subordinates of Maravarman Sundara Pandya. Describing the Pandyan kingdom under Jatavarman Sundara Pandyan as the richest empire in existence, Marco Polo the Venetian traveler arrived Madurai during the reign of Maravarman Kulasekara Pandyan I, son of Jatavarman Sundara Pandyan I and one of five brother kings on the continent.[40][41] Temples such as the Meenakshi Amman Temple at Madurai and Nellaiappar Temple at Tirunelveli are the best examples of Pandyan temple architecture.[42] The Pandyan dynasty revival was short-lived as the Pandya capital of Madurai, then under civil unrest due to succession dispute between the by the last known Pandyan princes Sundara Pandyan IV and Veera Pandyan IV, was sacked by Alauddin Khilji's troops under General Malik Kafur in 1316 to establish a short lived Madurai Sultanate.[43] Vijayanagar and Nayak period (13361646) Main article: Vijayanagara Empire

The Muslim invasions of southern India triggered the establishment of the Hindu Vijayanagara Empire with Vijayanagara in modern Karnataka as its capital. The Vijayanagara empire eventually conquered the

entire Tamil country by c. 1370 C.E. and ruled for almost two centuries until its defeat in the Battle of Talikota in 1565 by a confederacy of Deccan sultanates. Thirumalai Nayakkar Mahal at Madurai

Subsequently, as the Vijayanagara Empire went into decline after the mid-16th century, many local rulers, called Nayaks, succeeded in gaining the trappings of independence. This eventually resulted in the further weakening of the empire; many Nayaks declared themselves independent, among whom the Nayaks of Madurai and Tanjore were the first to declare their independence, despite initially maintaining loose links with the Vijayanagara kingdom.[42] The Nayaks of Madurai and Nayaks of Thanjavur were the most prominent of Nayaks in the 17th century. They reconstructed some of the well-known temples in Tamil Nadu such as the Meenakshi Temple. Rule of Nawabs and Nizams (16921801) See also: Nawab of the Carnatic, Nizam of Hyderabad, and Kingdom of Mysore

In the early 18th century, the eastern parts of Tamil Nadu came under the dominions of the Nizam of Hyderabad and the Nawab of the Carnatic. While Wallajah was supported by the English, Chanda Shahib was supported by the French by the middle of the 18th century. In the late 18th century, the western parts of Tamil Nadu came under the dominions of Hyder Ali and later Tipu Sultan, particularly with their victory in the Second Anglo-Mysore War. Early struggle for Independent states

The fall of Nayaka period brought up many small Nayakars of southern Tamil Nadu, who ruled small parcels of land called Palayams. Some of these Palaiyakkarar ('polygar' as called by British) were ruling under Nawabs of Carnatic. Nawabs granted taxation rights to the British which led to conflicts between British and the Palaiyakkarar, which resulted in series of wars to establish independent states by the aspiring Palaiyakkarar. Azhagu Muthu Kone (1728-1757) was an Indian revolutionary and independence activist. He is regarded for having raised one of the first revolts against the British East India Company in India. Kone was born and brought up in Kattalankulam, a village in erstwhile Tirunelveli district of Tamil Nadu. Puli Thevar (1715-1767), Palaiyakkara chieftain of Nerkattumseval who fought the British East India Company in the 1750s and 1760s. Vennikkaladi Kudumbar, Thalapathi in Puli Thevar Force chieftain who fought the British East India Company in the 1750s and 1760s. Rani Velu Nachiyar, First Woman Freedom fighter of India and Queen of Sivagangai. She was drawn to war after her husband Muthu Vaduganatha Thevar (17501772), King of Sivaganga was murdered at Kalayar Kovil temple by British generals Joseph Smith and Benjour. Before her death, Queen Velu Nachi granted powers to Maruthu brothers to rule Sivaganga. Kattabomman (17601799), Palaiyakkara chief of Panchalakurichi

who fought the British in the First Polygar War. He was captured by the British at the end of the war and hanged near Kayattar in 1799. Veeran Sundaralingam (1700-1800) was the General of Kattapomman Nayakan's palayam, who died in the process of blowing up a British ammunition dump 1799 which killed more than 150 British soldiers to save Kattapomman Palace. Oomaithurai, younger brother of Kattabomman, took asylum under the Maruthu brothers Periya Marudhu and Chinna Marudhu and raised army. They formed a coalition with Dheeran Chinnamalai and Kerala Varma Pazhassi Raja which fought the British in Second Polygar Wars. Dheeran Chinnamalai (17561805), Polygar chieftain of Kongu and feudatory of Tipu Sultan who fought the British in the Second Polygar War.

The Vellore Mutiny on 10 July 1806 was the first instance of a large-scale and violent mutiny by Indian sepoys against the British East India Company, predating the Indian Rebellion of 1857 by half a century. The revolt, which took place in the South Indian city of Vellore, was brief, lasting only one full day, but brutal as mutineers broke into the Vellore fort and killed or wounded 200 British troops, before they were subdued by reinforcements from nearby Arcot. European rule (18011947) Fort Dansborg at Tharangambadi built by the Danes. Main article: Madras Presidency

Around 1609, the Dutch established a settlement in Pulicat, while the Danes had their establishment in Tharangambadi also known as Tranquebar. In 1639, the British, under the East India Company, established a settlement further south of Pulicat, in present day Chennai. In the late 18th century, the British fought and reduced the French dominions in India to Puducherry. Nizams of Hyderabad and the Nawabs of the Carnatic bestowed tax revenue collection rights on the East India Company for defeating the Kingdom of Mysore. After winning the Polygar wars, the East India Company consolidated most of southern India into the Madras Presidency coterminous with the dominions of Nizam of Hyderabad. Pudukkottai remained as a princely state. Independent India (1947 - present)

When India became independent in 1947, Madras Presidency became Madras State, comprising present day Tamil Nadu, coastal Andhra Pradesh up to Ganjam district in Orissa, South Canara district Karnataka, and parts of Kerala. The state was subsequently split up along linguistic lines. In 1969, Madras State was renamed Tamil Nadu, meaning "Tamil country".[citation needed] Geography

Tamil Nadu covers an area of 130,058 km2 (50,216 sq mi), and is the eleventh largest state in India. The bordering states are Kerala to the west, Karnataka to the north west 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 south boundary of India is Kanyakumari, Tamil Nadu. Topographic map of Tamil Nadu

The western, southern and the north western parts are hilly and rich in vegetation. 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 km (570 mi) which is the countrys 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.[44] Flora and fauna Main articles: Wildlife of Tamil Nadu and List of birds of Tamil Nadu

There are about 2000 species of wildlife that are native to Tamil Nadu. Protected areas provide safe habitat for large mammals including elephants, tigers, leopards, wild dogs, sloth bears, gaurs, lion-tailed macaques, Nilgiri Langurs, Nilgiri Tahrs, Grizzled Giant Squirrels and Sambar deer, resident and migratory birds such as cormorants, darters, herons, egrets, Open-billed storks, Spoonbills and White Ibises, Little Grebes, Indian Moorhen, Black-winged Stilts, a few migratory Ducks and occasionally Grey pelicans, marine species such as the Dugongs, turtles, dolphins and Balanoglossus and a wide variety of fish and insects. The endangered Lion-tailed Macaque is found in a few forests in southern India.

Indian Angiosperm diversity comprises 17,672 species with Tamil Nadu leading all states in the country, with 5640 species accounting for 1/3 of the total flora of India. This includes 1559 species of medicinal plants, 533 endemic species, 260 species of wild relatives of cultivated plants and 230 red-listed species. The Gymnosperm diversity of the country is 64 species of which Tamil Nadu has four indigenous species and about 60 introduced species. The Pteridophytes diversity of India includes 1022 species of which Tamil Nadu has about 184 species. Vast numbers of bryophytes, lichen, fungi, algae and bacteria are among the wild plant diversity of Tamil Nadu.

Common plant species include the state tree: Palmyra Palm, Eucalyptus, Rubber, Cinchona, Clumping Bamboos (Bambusa Arundinacea), Common teak, Anogeissus latifolia, Indian Laurel, Grewia, and blooming trees like Indian labumusum, Ardisia, and Solanaceae. Rare and unique plant life includes Combretum ovalifolium, Ebony (Diospyros nilagrica), Habenaria rariflora (Orchid), Alsophila, Impatiens elegans, Ranunculus reniformis, and Royal fern.[45] National and State Parks Main article: Protected areas of Tamil Nadu

Tamil Nadu has a wide range of Biomes extending east from the South Western Ghats montane rain forests in the Western Ghats through the South Deccan Plateau dry deciduous forests and Deccan thorn scrub forests to tropical dry broadleaf forests and then to the beaches, estuaries, salt marshes, mangroves, and coral reefs of the Bay of Bengal. Kodayar Shola Grassland Forests in the Western Ghats of Nagercoil

The state has a range of flora and fauna with many species and habitats. To protect this diversity of wildlife there are Protected areas of Tamil Nadu as well as biospheres which protect larger areas of natural habitat often include one or more National Parks. The Gulf of Mannar Biosphere Reserve established in 1986 is a marine ecosystem with seaweed and sea grass communities, coral reefs, salt marshes and mangrove forests. The Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve located in the Western Ghats and Nilgiri Hills comprises part of adjoining states of Kerala and Karnataka. The Agasthyamalai Biosphere Reserve is in the south west of the state bordering Kerala in the Western Ghats. Tamil Nadu is home to five declared National parks located in Anamalai, Mudumalai, Mukurithi, Gulf of Mannar and Guindy located in the center of Chennai city. Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserve, Mukurthi National Park and Kalakkad Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve are the tiger reserves in the state. Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserve has the largest elephant population in India. Besides these bio reserves, there are many state and central run wild life sanctuaries for tiger, elephant and birds. Climate

A semi-arid wasteland near Tirunelveli. Monsoon clouds pour torrents of rain on windward-facing Kerala, but are prevented from reaching Tirunelveli by the Agasthyamalai Range of the Western Ghats (background).

Tamil Nadu is mostly dependent on monsoon rains, and thereby is prone to droughts when the monsoons fail. The climate of the state ranges from dry sub-humid to semi-arid. The state has three distinct periods of rainfall:

advancing monsoon period, south west monsoon from June to September, with strong southwest winds; North east monsoon from October to December, with dominant north east winds; dry season from January to May.

The annual rainfall of the state is about 945 mm (37.2 in) of which 48 per cent is through the north east monsoon, and 32 per cent through the south west monsoon. Since the state is entirely dependent on rains for recharging its water resources, monsoon failures lead to acute water scarcity and severe drought.[46]

Tamil Nadu is classified into seven agro-climatic zones: north east, north west, west, southern, high rainfall, high altitude hilly, and Cauvery Delta (the most fertile agricultural zone). The table below shows the maximum and minimum temperatures that the state experiences in the plains and hills. Governance and administration State symbols of Tamil Nadu Song Neerarum Kadaludutha.jpg Invocation to Goddess Tamil Dance Bharatanatyam male.jpg Bharathanattiyam Animal

Niltahr.jpg Nilgiri Tahr Bird Emerald dove444.jpg Emerald Dove Flower Gloriosa Superba.jpg Gloriosa Lily Tree Palm Tamil Nadu.jpg Palm Tree Sport Kabaddi.jpg Kabaddi Main articles: Government of Tamil Nadu and Tamil Nadu Legislature

The Governor is the constitutional head of the state while the Chief Minister is the head of the government and the head of the council of ministers. The Chief Justice of the Madras High Court is the head of the judiciary. The present Governor, Chief Minister and the Chief Justice are Konijeti Rosaiah, J. Jayalalitha and M. Y. Eqbal respectively. Administratively the state is divided into 32 districts. It has 10 city corporations, 125 municipalities, 529 town panchayats and 12,524 village panchayats.[47][48] Chennai (formerly known as Madras) is the state capital. It is the fourth largest city in India and is also one of the eight Metropolitan cities of India. The state comprises 40 Lok Sabha constituencies and 234 Legislative Assembly constituencies.

Tamil Nadu had a bicameral legislature until 1986, when it was replaced with a unicameral legislature, like most other states in India. The term length of the government is five years, as is elsewhere in India. The present government run by the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK)-led alliance came to power in 2011 and consists of a council of 33 ministers, headed by the Chief Minister J. Jayalalitha. The Tamil Nadu legislative assembly is housed at the Fort St. George in Chennai. The state

had come under the President's rule rule on four occasions first from 1976 to 1977, next for a short period in 1980, then from 1988 to 1989 and the latest in 1991. The Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple at Srirangam in Tiruchirappalli district is often listed as the largest functioning Hindu temple in the world.

The local administration is divided into revenue administration and developmental administration. Revenue administrative units are classified based on the district. Each of the 32 districts in Tamil Nadu is divided into divisions, which are further divided to Taluks.[49] Each of these Taluks have a list of revenue villages under them. Tahsildar is the head of these Taluks. Developmental administration, in contrast, is carried out by Panchayat Unions (called blocks) in rural areas. These panchayat unions have a set of panchayat villages under them. In urban areas, the governance is done by municipal corporations, municipalities or town panchayats based on the size of the town.[49] Tamil Nadu has 12 municipal corporations: Chennai, Madurai, Coimbatore, Tiruchirappalli, Salem, Tirunelveli, Tirupur, Erode, Thoothukudi, Thanjavur, Dindigul and Vellore.

Tamil Nadu has been a pioneering state of E-Governance initiatives in India. A large part of the government records like land ownership records are digitised and all major offices of the state government like Urban Local Bodies all the corporations and municipal office activities revenue collection, land registration offices, and transport offices have been computerised. Tamil Nadu is one of the states where law and order has been maintained largely successfully.[50] The Tamil Nadu Police Force is over 140 years old. It is the fifth largest state police force in India and has the largest strength of women police personnel in the country.[51] As of 2003, the state had a total police population ratio of 1:668, higher than the national average of 1:717. The current Director General of Police (law and order) of Tamil Nadu is K. Ramanujan.[52]