The Tamilnadu Run Rickshaw Challenge 2017 begins this weekend.
The Tamilnadu Run Rickshaw Challenge 2017 kicks off in Chennai on October 14th, beginning a week of adventure through one of India’s most beautiful provinces. Teams, when they aren’t grappling with their rickshaws, navigating India’s roads and making new friends, will be treated to majestic nature, historic treasures, and buzzing city life. Here are the cities visited by the Tamilnadu Run.
Chennai, which is also the final stop of the event, is by far the largest city in Tamilnadu. The state’s capital, and one of the country’s largest cities, Chennai makes a great first stop when visiting India. While not as showy as other comparable metropolises, there are plenty sites to keep you occupied. Popular activities include a stroll along Marina Beach (pictured above), India’s longest natural urban beach, and visiting Fort St George, the impressive English fortress built in the 17th Century.
The second stop on the Tamilnadu Run offers a very different experience of India. Pondicherry (now officially known as Puducherry) was a French colony until the mid 20th century, and their influence is still felt by the architecture, cuisine, and general vibe of the place. Though relatively small, the city offers a great chance to compare the effects of various cultural influences: visit the Tamil and French quarters, see the traditional Indian temples and colonial Roman Catholic Churches, and of course, taste how Tamil and French cooking (and excellent seafood) combine! There are also many fabulous beaches.
The next stop, Thanjavur, is one of India’s oldest cities, and Tamil Nadu’s religious and cultural heart. Here you’ll find many important temples alongside ruins of ancient empires. The Brihadeeswara Temple, pictured above, is over a thousand years old and one of India’s architectural treasures. The city is also home to Saraswathi Mahal Library, one of the oldest libraries in Asia. Famous for its painting, music, and dance, its impossible to get bored in Thanjavur.
In Yercaud, a picturesque hill station, you can get away from the searing heat and constant rush of Indian cities. Once popular among the British, who were attracted by its cool climate, Yercaud is a natural paradise, and the perfect place to relax. Its name means Lake Forest, referring to the glorious lake (surrounded by, predictably, forest) around which Yercaud is centered. Plentiful coffee and citrus fruits, amongst other crops, are grown here, and its no surprise Yercaud earned the nickname the Jewel of the South.
The penultimate stop of the Tamilnadu Run is Thiruvannamalai, often known as Moon City, which has attracted pilgrims for several millennia. Every month at full moon, the town attracts thousands of religious devotees, who gather at the base of Arunchala mountain. Located here is Annamalaiyar Temple, an important religious site, with a structure dating back to the 9th Century. Dedicated to Shiva, this is one of India’s largest and most impressive temples.