Tamil Nadu is the cradle of South Indian temple architecture that originated in the 7th century and matured in the huge temple complexes studded with towering gateways called `Gopurams’ that soar above the markets of almost every town. Quite a contrast to the temple heritage is provided at Pondicherry which remained a French colony for a long time. French is still widely spoken, and seaside villas and cobbled streets are more reminiscent of South France than South India ! Another facet of this diverse state is the two hill stations of Ootacamund and Kodaikanal. Both are little patches of England in India !!