Tamil Nadu is one of the 28 states of India. It lies on the eastern coast of the southern Indian Peninsula bordered by Puducherry ( Pondicherry), Kerala, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. Tamil Nadu is bound by the Eastern Ghats in the north, the Nilgiri, the Anamalai Hills, and Palakkad on the west, Bay of Bengal in the east, Gulf of Mannar, Palk Strait in the south east and Indian Ocean in the south. It is the eleventh largest state in India by area (about the size of Greece) and the sixth most populous state.
Tamil Nadu is the homeland of the Tamils and has existed since prehistoric times.The culture and artwork of this region are considered to be some of the oldest in the world. It is home to one of the world’s classical languages, Tamil.
Tamil Nadu covers an area of 130,058 square kilometres (50,216 sq mi),and is the eleventh largest state in India. West and North of the state has lofty hills while the East and South are coastal plains. The bordering states are Kerala to the west, Karnataka to the northwest and Andhra Pradesh to the north. To the east is the Bay of Bengal. The southernmost tip of the Indian Peninsula is located in Tamil Nadu. At this point is the town of Kanyakumari which is the meeting point of the Arabian Sea, the Bay of Bengal, and the Indian Ocean. Tamil Nadu has a coastline of about 1,000 kilometres (600 mi) which forms about 18% of the country’s coastline (third longest).
Tamil Nadu, a coastal state, is prone to droughts. The climate of the state ranges from dry sub-humid to semi-arid. The state has three distinct periods of rainfall: (1) Advancing monsoon period, South West monsoon (from June to September), with strong southwest winds; (2) North East monsoon (from October to December), with dominant northeast winds; and (3) Dry season (from January to May). The normal annual rainfall of the state is about 945 mm (37.2 in) of which 48% is through the North East monsoon, and 32% through the South West monsoon. Since the state is entirely dependent on rains for recharging its water resources, monsoon failures lead to acute water scarcity and severe drought. Tamil Nadu is classified into seven agro-climatic zones: north-east, north-west, west, southern, high rainfall, high altitude hilly, and Cauvery Delta (the most fertile agricultural zone).
Tamil Nadu has a wide variety of minerals with the most reserves in India lignite (almost 90% of India’s reserves), magnesite (45%) and garnet (over 40%) among others.Tamil Nadu contributes 15% of the total Salt production in the country. Forests cover over 17% of the state’s geographical area with several Protected areas of Tamil Nadu including wild life and bird sanctuaries.
Tamil Nadu is leading producer of garnet (abrasive), graphite, lignite, magnesite, limekankar and dunite. State accounts country’s 81% lignite, 77% vermiculite, 70% dunite, 63% rutile, 52% molybdenum, 49% garnet, 33% ilmenite and 24% sillimanite resources.
Important minerals occurring in the state are bauxite in Dindigul, Namakkal, Nilgiri and Salem districts; dunite/pyroxenite in Salem district; feldspar in Coimbatore, Dindigul, Erode, Kanchipuram, Karur, Namakkal, Salem and Tiruchirapalli districts; fireclay in Cuddalore, Kanchipuram, Perambalur, Pudukottai, Sivaganga, Thiruvallur, Tiruchirapalli, Vellore and Villupuram districts; garnet in Chidambaram, Kanyakumari, Thanjavur and Tirunelveli districts, granite in Dharmapuri, Erode, Kanchipuram, Madurai, P.Muthuramalingam, Salem, Thiruvannamalai, Tiruchirappalli, Tirunelveli, Vellore and Villupuram districts; graphite in Madurai, Ramnathapuram, Shivganga and Vellore districts and Gypsum in Coimbatore, Perambalur, Ramnathapuram, Tiruchirapalli, Tirunelveli, Tuticorin and Virudhanagar districts. Lignite deposits are located in Cuddalore Ariyalur, Tanjavur, Thiruvarur, Nagapattinam and Ramanathapuram districts; limestone in Coimbatore, Cuddalore, Dindigul, Kanchipuram, Karur, Madurai, Nagpattinam, Namakkal, Perambalur, Salem, Thiruvallur, Tiruchirapalli, Tirunelveli, Vellore, Villupuram and Virudhanagar districts; magnesite in Coimbatore, Dharmapuri, Karur, Namakkal, Nilgiri, Salem, Tiruchirapalli, Tirunelveli and Vellore districts; quartz/silica sand in Chengai-Anna, Chennai, Coimbatore, Cuddalore, Dharmapuri, Dindigul, Erode, Kanchipuram, Karur, Madurai, Namakkal, Perambalur, Salem, Thiruvallur, Thiruvarur, Nagapattinam, Tiruchirapalli, Villupuram, Virudhunagar and Vellore districts; steatite in Coimbatore, Salem, Tiruchirapalli and Vellore districts; titanium minerals in Kanyakumari, Nagapattinam, Ramanathapuram, Thiruvallur, Tirunelveli and Tuticorin districts; vermiculite in Dharmapuri, Tiruchirappalli and Vellore districts and Zircon in Kanyakumari district.
Other minerals that occur in the state are apatite in Dharmapuri and Vellore districts; barytes in Erode, Madurai, Perambalur, Tirunelveli and Vellore districts; bentonite in Chengai-Anna district; calcite in Salem district; china clay in Cuddalore, Dharmapuri, Kanchipuram, Nilgiri, Shivaganga, Thiruvallur, Thiruvannamalai, Tiruchirappalli and Villupuram districts; chromite in Coimbatore and Salem districts; copper, lead-zinc and silver in Villupuram district; corundum and gold in Dharmapuri district; dolomite in Salem and Tirunelveli districts; emerald in Coimbatore district; iron ore (magnetite) in Dharmapuri, Erode, Nilgiri, Salem, Thiruvannamalai, Tiruchirappalli and Villiupuram districts; kyanite in Kannyakumari and Tirunelveli districts; molybdenum in Dharmapuri, dindigul and Vellore districts; pyrite in Vellore district; sillimanite in Kanyakumari, Karur and Tirunelveli districts; tungsten in Madurai and Dindigul districts; and wollstonite in Dharmapuri and Tirunelveli districts.