regarded as the "Gateway to the South", boasts of a culture that is
distinctly different from that of northern India. Music, dance and all
other art forms of the South are cherished and nurtured in this city,
which, though industrialized, continues to be traditional and
conventional in many ways. Ancient KANCHIPURAM, the city of thousand
temples, is one of the seven most sacred pilgrim centres for the Hindus.
Apart from its temples, this small town is also known for its thriving
silk weaving handloom industry, producing some of the best silk sarees
in the country. MAMALLAPURAM's (OR MAHABALIPURAM) wonders in rock, an
impression of beauty, harmony, gentle wit and humour. The monuments are
skilfully carved in a rock and is the largest bas - relief sculpture in
the world. PONDICHERRY The French established their supremacy in this
area by waging several battles against Dutch, the English and the
Caranatic Nawabs. This quaint old French town in India is also the place
where Sri Aurobindo, a well known philosopher established his Ashram,
which today is an important landmark.