"That man has reached immortality who is disturbed by nothing material." ~ Swami Vivekananda

Tamil Nadu

Agriculture is the prime occupation of three-quarters of the rural population of Tamil Nadu. 34% of the state's 55 million population resides in urban areas.

With agriculture as the prime occupation, agricultural practices have undergone radical improvement since independence. Tamil farmers conserve scarce rainwater in small and large irrigation reservoirs or tanks. Government canals, tube wells and ordinary wells also form part of the irrigation system. Several river valley projects in the state depend on the erratic northeast monsoon for water. Consequently, subsoil water sources are being tapped. Multiple cropping, the use of new and better strains of rice, cotton, sugar, and millet, and the use of chemical fertilizers have been widely adopted. By 1967, the state was self-sufficient in the production of food grains.

The main food crops are rice, pulses and oil seeds. Important commercial crops that are grown in Tamil Nadu include sugarcane, cotton, tea, rubber, cashew and coconut. Major forest products are timber, sandalwood, pulpwood and fuel wood while the minor products include bamboo, eucalyptus, rubber, tea, cashew, honey and ivory.

About Tamil Nadu


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Improved port facilities and the effective use of electric power resources have helped industrial development in Tamil Nadu. Cotton ginning, spinning and weaving continue to be the major industries, followed by the production of automobiles, motorcycles, diesel engines, sugar, agricultural implements, fertilizers, cement, iron & steel, paper, chemicals, transformers and electric motors.


Tamil Nadu is one of the most industrialized among the Indian states with a per capita income of 6,205.
The railway-coach factory at Perambur is one of the largest in Asia; the heavy vehicles factory producing tanks, is at Avadi, near Chennai. There is an oil refinery at Chennai and a larger thermal power project at Neyveli, both public-sector ventures. The state ranks second only to Kerala in the production of fish. Tamil Nadu is rich in limestone, bauxite, gypsum, salt, lignite, magnetite, mica, quartz and iron ore. The Tamil film industry based at Chennai now rivals Bollywood for output and provides considerable employment.

Tamil Nadu is rich in handicrafts; notable among them are handloom silk, metal icons, leather work, kalamkari (hand-painted fabric, using natural dyes), brass, bronze, copper wares, carved wood, palm leaf and cane articles. The state is an important exporter of tanned skin, hides, leather goods, cotton goods and yarn, tea, coffee, spices, engineering goods, tobacco, handicrafts and black granite.

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Editor: Romola Butalia       (c) India Travelogue. All rights reserved.