Kanchipuram Tops In Foreign Tourist Arrivals In TN

CHENNAI: Kanchipuram, home to the world heritage site of Mamallapuram, is on the top position in Tamil Nadu in attracting foreign tourists and posted 12.03 per cent increase in vistors from abroad in 2013 when compared to the previous year.

Kanchipuram district, home to many heritage temples with stunning architecture, attracted 8,05,983 Foreign Tourist Arrivals (FTAs) in 2013.

In 2012, the figure was 7,19,386 and in the year before it was 6,79,139. As the numbers suggest, there is a year-on-year growth according to Tamil Nadu Tourism Department statistics.

Besides the renowned Shore Temple in Mamallapuram, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the coastal district is also home to many protected sites and monuments, including megalithic cists and cairns under the control of Archaeological Survey of India (ASI).

In fact, the district has been on the top in the state for the past several years in attracting FTAs, even pushing Chennai district to the second spot. Chennai had 7,94,098 foreign visitors in 2013 and 7,08,778 in 2012.

"Kanchi was given place of pride among cities by Sanskrit poet Bharavi as early as seventh century AD when he called it Nagareshu Kanchi," said historian, and convenor of South Indian Social History Research Institute S Ramachandran.

An over 2,000-year old Puranic Sanskrit verse beginning with "Ayodha Mathura Maya Kasi Kanchi Avantica Puri," lists Kanchi among the seven holy cities.

The district was ruled by several dynasties, including Satavahanas and the Pallavas. It had ancient sea ports like Sadras where trade flourished.

"With more facilities for tourists, I feel Kanchipuram and the rest of Tamil Nadu can attract much more foreign tourists," Ramachandran added.


Tamil Nadu saw 39,90,490 foreign tourists visiting the state in 2013, an increase of 12 percent when compared with the previous year. The state is in the second position nationally in attracting visitors from abroad.

Tamil Nadu saw 39,90,490 FTAs in 2013. In 2012, there were 35,61,740 FTAs while in 2011, 33,08,438 foreigners visited the state.

According to Union Tourism Ministry's statistics, Tamil Nadu is ranked number two nationally in attracting FTAs with a share of 20 percent in 2013.

Maharashtra is only marginally ahead with a share of 20.8 percent.

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