50 Lesser Known Facts of Tamil Nadu

Are you interested to know about the lesser known facts of Tamil Nadu? We generally assume that we know everything about our home state. Also for an outsider many unique history of Tamil Nadu is not known. Many do not know about the glorious history of this important south Indian state. Here are the 55 lesser known facts of Tamil Nadu which I’m sure will force you to refer the internet once more.

1. Tamil Nadu is the second largest economy in India after Maharashtra.

2. Tamil Nadu is the only state which has Indian flag in its seal.
3. Tamil language spoken by Tamil Nadu people is one of the oldest classical languages in the world. Tamil written literature is one of the oldest in the world surviving for more than 2000 years.

4.  Another definite lesser known facts of Tamil Nadu is that it is probably the only culture in the world which accepts multiple religion as its epics

  • Silapathikaram – traditional Tamil culture
  • Manimekalai – Buddhism
  • Sivaka Sinthamani – Jainism
  • Valayapathi _ Jainism
  • Kundalakesi – Buddhism
5. According to a 2005 report, around 55% of the all inscriptions found in India are from Tamil Nadu.
6. Tamil Nadu has the following UNESCO World heritage sites
  • Mahabalipuram
  • Chola temples: the Brihadisvara Temple at Thanjavur, the Temple of Gangaikonda Cholapuram and the Airavatesvara Temple at Darasuram
  • Nilgiri Mountain Railway
  • Darasuram
  • Western ghats (shared with other states)
7. Rani Velu Nachiyar, was the woman freedom fighter of India against British colonialism and she was Queen of Siva Gangai. The first woman freedom fighter of India was Rani Abbakka Chowta is another lesser known facts of Tamil Nadu, the Queen of Ullal (Mangalore), The Queen fought against the Portuguese rule during the latter half of the 16th century.
8.  The first documented instance of large scale uprising of Indian sepoys against British East India company happened at Vellore in 1806 and was called Vellore Mutiny of 1806.
Vellore Mutiny 1806 @ www.lightlybrowse.com
10. TAMIL NADU is the largest producer of banana, turmeric, flowers and Tapioca in India.
11. A noted population geneticist Spencer Wells had surveyed the Jyothimanickam village near Madurai, Tamil Nadu and has found rare genes of “NRYM130. This is a gene which is found among all the primitive aboriginals. This traces back the oldest migration of people from Africa at about 70000 years ago and proves that people living in Tamil Nadu may be one of the oldest thriving migrants from Africa.
12. Bhakti movement started in Tamil Nadu and spread to North India.
13. Any idea why is India by far the most successful international team of Kabaddi in the world? We have been playing it for centuries as our native sport. The game Kabaddi originated in Tamil Nadu.
14. Tamil Nadu is the top tourist state of India for three consecutive years from 2014
15. People of Tamil Nadu has great love for their language. Many of them has put “Tamil” in the name of their kids as follows: Tamil selvi/selvan, Tamil Anbu, Senthamil selvi/ selvan, Tamilanban, Tamil Arasan / Tamil Arasi, Tamil Mithran, Tamil Vanan, Muthamilselvi, Tamil priya, Tamil Alagan, Thenthamizhosai, Tamizhnidhi, Tamizhiniyal etc.
16. Tamil Nadu leads the country in organ donation
17. Tamil Nadu tops the nation in solar power and wind power generation.
18. Chennai amounts to 60% of the country’s automotive exports to the world. Chennai is known as the Detroit of India. It is one of the top ten automobile hubs of the world. Chennai emerging as global export hub for small cars.
19. Spencer Plaza located in Chennai is the oldest shopping mall of India.
20. Koyambedu bus terminus in Chennai is the largest in Asia.
21. Vandalur zoological Park is the largest in India in terms of area. It is also the first public zoo of India.
22.  CANCER INSTITUTE (WIA) at Sardar Patel Road, Chennai was established more than 50 years ago by the Womens’ Indian Association Cancer Relief Fund under the leadership of Dr. Muthulakshi Reddyas has been rated as a top ranking center in the country by World health organization (WHO).
23. Kathipara Junction is the largest cloverleaf flyover bridge in Asia.
24. Wootz steel is the pioneering steel alloy developed in Southern India in the 6th or 7th century BC and exported
Wootz steel @ www.lightlybrowse.com
Wootz steel
globally. India used to exported steel ingots as early as 3 to 17 A.D to Middle East. This special steel was used in Damascus, Syria to make Damascus steel which are used in making sharp resilient blades. This steel was known as It was also known in the ancient world by many different names including Ukku, Hindvi Steel, Hinduwani Steel, Teling Steel and Seric Iron.
25. The longest natural urban beach in the world is in Tamil Nadu. It is known as Marina Beach. It is also the second longest beach of the world.
26. The world’s largest solar power plant is in Kamuthi, Tamilnadu. It can generate a maximum of 648 MW.The largest solar power plant in the world is now in our backyard
27. As a gratitude the state of Tamil Nadu has erected statues for the foreigners who have made exemplary contributions to the Tamil language and literature. For example, VIRAMAMUNIVAR (Constanzo Beschi, an Italian missionary), Bishop Robert Caldwell – an Irish linguist and missionary who is also a Tamil language scholar,
G. U Pope, who has translated Thirukkural and Thiruvasagam.
28. Fort St George was the first English fortress in India. It currently houses the Tamil Nadu legislative assembly and other official buildings.
29. Tamil Nadu has given India the most number of Presidents. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, Ramaswamy Venkataraman, A. P. J Abdul Kalam
30. India’s oldest bird sanctuary, the Vedanthangal bird sanctuary is in Tamil Nadu.
31. TAMIL NADU ranks first in the country in the diversity of Flowering plants (Angiosperms). The state has 32% of total species of India.
32. The largest rose garden of India is the Government Rose Garden, Ooty, India. Around 22000 varieties of rose is grown here.
33. The first 3 Bharat Ratna recipients were all from Tamil Nadu which was known as the erstwhile Madras Presidency. They are:-
  • CV RAMAN, he was the first Asian and first colored man to receive a Nobel Prize in the sciences,
  • C. RAJAGOPALCHARI – Last Governor General of India and
  • SARVEPALLI RADHAKRISHNAN – The second President of India
34. Tamil Nadu/Madras state has gifted two Nobel laureates. They are :-
  • CV Raman – The Nobel Prize in Physics 1930
  •  Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar – The Nobel Prize in Physics 1983
  •  Venkatraman Ramakrishnan – The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2009
35. SRINIVASA RAMANUJAM, the renowned mathematician was from Tamil Nadu. His birthday (December 22) is celebrated as the National Mathematics day.
36. Madras was the only city in India which was attacked by Germany, Austria and Hungary during the First world
SMS EMDEN @ www.lightlybrowse.com
War (1914–18). The German warship SMS EMDEN targeted the Oil tankers in the Madras Harbour. At around 20:00 on 22 September, Emden entered the port, which was completely illuminated, despite the blackout order. She set fire to two oil tanks and damaged three others, and damaged a merchant ship in the harbor. In-fact the very word “Emden” (or at least variations of it) has become so popular that in Tamil language if you want to describe someone as sneaky, clever or sly you can use the word emdena.
37. THIRUKKURAL is a collection of 1,330 couplets or Kurals in Tamil language dealing with everyday virtues of ethics and morality of an individual. It was authored by Thiruvalluvar. The text has been dated from 300 BCE to 7th century CE. It is considered to be one of the most translated non-religious works in the world and is also known as  “ULAGA PODHU MARAI” (The Universal scripture). The book Thirukural can be read by a 1st std student and a PhD student (There is no other such book in history)
38. Leo Tolstoy was inspired by the concept of non-violence in the German translation of Thirukkural. He instilled this concept in to MAHATMA GANDHI through his letter to a Hindu. Mahatma Gandhi took to studying Thirukkural in prison. He described it as a textbook of indispensable authority on moral life and ethics. The maxims of Valluvar have touched his soul. There is none who has given such a treasure of wisdom like him. A two line, seven worded sentence can have such purity and worldly idea. There is a Thirukkural which can make sense for each and every person living on earth.
39. KUMARI KANDAM refers to an intriguing and mythical lost continent with an ancient Tamil civilization, located south of present Indian peninsula, in the Indian Ocean. Also know as LEMURIA CONTINENT – In order to be able to explain geological and other similarities between AFRICA, INDIA and MADAGASCAR, a section of the European and American scholars speculated in the 19th century about the existence of the submerged continent. Some Tamil revivalists connect it to the Pandyan legends of lands lost to the ocean due to a catastrophe, as described in ancient Tamil and Sanskrit literature. According to these writers, an ancient Tamil civilization existed on Lemuria, before it was lost to the sea and mass submerged, Literature drowned, but culture remains.You will never know whether this fact is true or not. But you can’t reject this lesser known facts of Tamil Nadu either.
40. Bodhidharma was an ancient buddhist monk who lived in the 5th or 6th century and was credited to be the transmitter of Chan Buddhism to China. According to Chinese legend, he trained the monks of Shaolin Temple that led to the creation of Shaolin Kung-fu. In Japanese legends, he is known as Daruma.  According to legends Bodhidharma was the third son of a Pallava king, who renounced his royalty and practiced Buddhism. The references are from ancient Chinese and Tamil scriptures.Dàoxuān, a 7th century Chinese historian referred Bodhidharma’s origins as was of South Indian origin possibly he refers to Pallava Kings.
41. K Prithika Yashini is the first transgender person to become a police official in India. For the first time in India, transgenders are now allowed to apply for the post of Sub Inspector of Police at Tamil Nadu.
42. Tamil Nadu is the only state covered with three seas of India (Bay of Bengal, Arabian Sea, Indian ocean)
43. Tamil Nadu is the pioneer state in India to introduce the Mid-Day meal scheme in India and is definetly a lesser known facts of Tamil Nadu. It was introduced first in Chennai and extended later to all other districts by the late Chief Minister Thiru K. Kamarajar.
44. Mathoor Aqueduct or hanging bridge is one of the highest and longest in South Asia. It was constructed in 1966 as a drought relief measure across river Pahrali in Nagercoil, Kanyakumari
45. Siddha medicine is a system of traditional medicine which originated from ancient Tamilakam in South India and Sri Lanka is another lesser known facts of Tamil Nadu. AgasthiySiddha medicine @ www.lightlybrowse.comar was considered the first Siddha and guru of all Siddhars. National Institute of Siddha was established in Chennai to promote reasearch, higher studies and global recognition for Siddha Medicine. Former Chief Minister M. Karunanidhis announced that Tamil New Year’s Day will be celebrated as World Siddha Day from 2009.
46. However, it should not be a lesser known facts of Tamil Nadu that Chennai is the health capital of India and attracts about 45% of Health Tourism in the country. Chennai Hospitals treats about 150 international patients every day. The Sankara Nethralaya is one of the most famous not-for-profit missionary institution for reuophthalmic care (i.e., an eye hospital) has its origins in Chennai, India. Nani A. Palkivala, former Indian ambassador to United States, once described the Sankara Nethralaya as the “Best managed charitable organization in India”. It has nearly 1000 employees and serves 1200 patients per day, performing more than 100 surgeries per day. The annual revenue is close to US$100 million.
47. Chennai Corporation is the oldest Municipal Corporation in India and was established at 1687. It is also the second oldest in the world after London city.
48. Bharatha Natyam is possibly the oldest classical dance tradition of India.
49. AVM Productions in Chennai is the oldest surviving film studio in India.
50. Meet Rama, a white tiger born at Vandalur Zoo in 2011. He was used to the Tamil language commands given at the vandalur zoo and when he was transferred to Udaipur, Rajasthan, the Tiger could not understand the Mewari language or any other. A Tamil caretaker was sent to Udaipur zoo to settle the issue.Either the tiger learns Mewari language or the caretakers here learn Tamil.Said an official at the zoo.I’m unable to fathom which is easier, but Rama sure did made Tamil Nadu proud.Source: Udaipur-bound white tiger Rama puts new keepers in ‘Tamil’ soup
51. College of Engineering, Guindy is one of the oldest Technical and Engineering institution of India is another lesser known facts of Tamil Nadu. It was established as a school of survey in 1794 and established as a college in 1859.
52. Siruvani River water is one of the tastiest River water in the world. Siruvani is the tributary of Bhavani in Coimbatore, which is a tributary of river Cauvery
53. PAMBAN Bridge connecting Rameshwaram Island with mainland is India’s First Sea Bridge (1914) and second longest sea bridge in India.
54. For those people, who are feeling hungry after reading the long post on lesser known facts of Tamil Nadu — Now a few items as  “Foods” for thought.
  •  Vada was believed to be popular among Tamil people during 100 BC to 300 BC. The hole in the center is believed to maximize the surface area to volume ratio, so that it is completely cooked
  •  Chicken 65 was introduced in Buhari hotel, Chennai in 1965. Now you know why 65 !!!Chicken 65 appears as the 65th item of Buhari hotel menu card.
55.  Lesser known facts of Tamil Nadu cuisine-Traditionally the banana leaf is laid so that the leaf tip is pointed left
Tamil Thali @ www.lightlybrowse.comas most Tamils were right handed and would be easier for a right handed person to eat if placed that way as he will have more leaf space on his right. Salt is placed on the left as it would require less space and will be served in less quantity. Before the feast begins the leaf is sprinkled with water and cleaned by the diner himself even though the leaves are already clean.The top half of the banana leaf is reserved for accessories, the lower half for the rice. It is one of  the most easily bio degradable food plate as after finishing, the banana leaf either becomes food for cows or it is easily degraded by nature.
From the above list of 55 lesser known facts of Tamil Nadu it is quite clear that Tamil Nadu has a great history and a very promising future ahead.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.