Offers

Total Temple Heritage Circuit of Tamil Nadu(10 Nights)

Chennai, Mahabalipuram, Pondicherry, Thanjavur, Chettinadu, Madurai, Kanyakumari, Kovalam, Trivandrum

for Inbound Traveller

Holiday Overview

Vivekananda Memorial (Nivalink Trip Dated - 15 November 2011)
Vivekananda Memorial (Nivalink Trip Dated - 15 November 2011)
Vivekananda Memorial
Meenakshi Amman Temple
Meenakshi Amman Temple
Auroville
French War Memorial
Pondicherry Promenade
French Quarters

Total Heritage Temples of Tamilnadu offers travellers a comprehensive insight into temple heritage of Tamilnadu alongwith french heritage and beaches of Tamil Nadu / Pondicherry.

Route

Mahabalipuram(2) - Pondicherry(2) - Thanjavur(2) - Chettinadu(1) - Madurai(1) - Kanyakumari(1) - Kovalam(1)

Summarised Itinerary
  • Day-1 Arrival at Chennai and proceed to Mahabalipuram
  • Day-2 Explore Mahabalipuram and Kanchipuram
  • Day-3 Travel to Pondicherry Via Auroville
  • Day-4 Heritage walk / Cycle Rickshaw ride and Temple visits in Pondicherry
  • Day-5 Pondichery - Thanjavur via Chidambaram. Visit UNESCO World heritage site temple
  • Day-6 In and around Thanjavur or Kumbakonam Temples visit
  • Day-7 Thanjavur - Chettinadu. Heritage walk and sightseeing
  • Day-8 Chettinadu Madurai. Visit Meenakshi Temple
  • Day-9 Travel to Kanyakumari via Tirunelveli and Suchindram
  • Day-10 Visit Kumari Amman Temple and then proceed to Kovalam
  • Day-11 Travel to Trivandrum for departure
Sightseeing Summary

Kanyakumari - Kumari Amman Temple (1.00 kms), Vivekananda Memorial (1.00 kms)

Kovalam - Padmanabhaswamy Temple (11.00 kms)

Madurai - Meenakshi Amman Temple (1.00 kms), Thousand Pillar Hall (2.00 kms)

Mahabalipuram - Monuments at Mahabalipuram (1.00 kms), Dakshinachitra (30.00 kms)

Pondicherry - Pondicherry Promenade (1.00 kms), French Quarters (1.00 kms), French War Memorial (6.50 kms), Auroville (8.00 kms), Chidambaram Shiva Temple (Nataraja Temple) (46.00 kms)

Thanjavur - Brihadeeswarar Temple (1.00 kms), Chola Art Gallery (1.00 kms), Tanjore Painting (1.00 kms), Tanjore Palace (1.00 kms), Thanjavur Veenai (2.00 kms), Swamimalai Murugan Temple (37.00 kms)

Preferred Arrival /Departure Destination
Arrival - Chennai Departure - Trivandrum
Best Season to Travel
  • Jan
  • Feb
  • Mar
  • Apr
  • May
  • Jun
  • Jul
  • Aug
  • Sep
  • Oct
  • Nov
  • Dec
Popular Extensions to the Itinerary

Guests with more time and looking to mix a bit of culture and experiential elements may opt to extend into Kerala, renowned for backwaters, homestays, cuisine and plantation highlands.

Distances
  • Chennai to Mahabalipuram -60 kms (1 hrs)
  • Mahabalipuram to Pondicherry -100 kms (2 hrs)
  • Pondicherry to Thanjavur -176 kms (4 hrs)
  • Thanjavur to Chettinadu -108 kms (2.5 hrs)
  • Chettinadu to Madurai -100 kms (2.5 hrs)
  • Madurai to Kanyakumari -245 kms (6 hrs)
  • Kanyakumari to Kovalam -82 kms (2 hrs)
  • Kovalam to Trivandrum -11 kms (0.5 hrs)
Route

Chennai - Mahabalipuram(2) - Pondicherry(2) - Thanjavur(2) - Chettinadu(1) - Madurai(1) - Kanyakumari(1) - Kovalam(1) - Trivandrum

Detailed Itinerary

Day-1 Arrival at Chennai and proceed to Mahabalipuram Arrive at Chennai and travel to Mahabalipuram (60 kms - 1.5 hour), a beachfront area renowned for its shore temples (a UNESCO site). Time permitting visit Dakshinachitra, a craft centre.

Day-2 Explore Mahabalipuram and Kanchipuram Visit heritage areas of Mahabalipuram and take an excursion to Kanchipuram to visit some of the fabulous temples of Kanchipuram (such as Ekambareswarar Temple, Kailasnathar temple, Kamakshi Temple etc.). Kanchipuram is also a renowned craft centre, renowned for its Kanjivaram Saris.

Day-3 Travel to Pondicherry Via Auroville Leave early (8:30 AM) for Pondicherry (An erstwhile french colony, renowned for its unique amalgamation of French and ethnic Tamil heritage areas). Enroute stopover at Auroville commmune, a unique community of travellers from world over living in harmony together. Arrive at Pondicherry by late afternoon. Evening walk on the promenade before dinner.

Day-4 Heritage walk / Cycle Rickshaw ride and Temple visits in Pondicherry Take a morning heritage walk or Rickshaw ride to explore heritage areas of French quarters (French war memorial, Basillica, French Church etc.). Evening visit to local temples (there is a renowned Lord Ganesha temple in Pondicherry)

Day-5 Pondichery - Thanjavur via Chidambaram. Visit UNESCO World heritage site temple Travel to Thanjavur (174 kms - 3.5 hours) via Chidambaram (renowned for its Nataraja Temple) and Gangakonda Cholapuram (UNESCO heritage site). Thanjavur is home to Brihadeeswarar Temple (A UNESCO heritage site) and base point to visit many significant temples around the area.

Day-6 In and around Thanjavur or Kumbakonam Temples visit Visit temples around Swamimalai and Kumbakonam area such as Darasuram (UNESCO site) and visit craft centres around Thanjavur.

Day-7 Thanjavur - Chettinadu. Heritage walk and sightseeing Travel to Chettinad (90 kms - 1.5 hours) area via Trichy (where one can visit Rockfort and temples in the Rockfort complex). Chettinad is renowned for its village character is good for night stay to explore ethnic cuisine and craft villages.

Day-8 Chettinadu Madurai. Visit Meenakshi Temple Travel to Madurai (90 kms - 1.5 hours), renowned for its Meenakshi Temple, a massive complex having 14 gateway towers upto 50 meters height. Visit Meenakshi Temple in afternoon.

Day-9 Travel to Kanyakumari via Tirunelveli and Suchindram Travel to Kanyakumari (250 kms - 5 hours) via Tirunelveli (a renowned Lord Shiva Temple) and Suchindram Temple (a renowned Lord Vishnu Temple). Kanyakumari lies at the southern edge of India where Bay of Bengal, Arabian Sea and Indian Ocean meet.

Day-10 Visit Kumari Amman Temple and then proceed to Kovalam Take a boatride across to visit Vivekananda Memorial and Kumari ammam temple before departing for Kovalam, a renowned beach getaway of Kerala.

Day-11 Travel to Trivandrum for departure Depart from Trivandrum (20 kms), time permitting visit Padmanabha Swmay Temple, the richest temple trust and one of the most renowned Lord Vishnu Temples in India.

Detailed Sightseeing

Kanyakumari :

  • Kumari Amman Temple - The Kumari Amman Temple in Kanyakumari is a Devi temple located on the shore and is considered one of the Shakti Peetha temples. The temple and the adjoining ghat, situated overlooking the shore, attract tourists from all over the world.

  • Vivekananda Memorial - Vivekananda Rock Memorial is where Swami Vivekananda, great philosopher is believed to have meditated. The memorial stands on one of two rocks located about 500 meters off mainland accessible by a boat. There is also a 133 feet tall statue of Tamil saint-poet Thiruvalluvar right next to it.

Kovalam :

  • Padmanabhaswamy Temple - Padmanabhaswamy Temple (1566) is a Lord Vishnu temple in Trivandrum and one of the richest temple trusts in India and one the most visited temples in Kerala. The 100-foot seven-tier gopuram made in the Pandyan style architecture is the prime attraction for tourists.

Madurai :

  • Meenakshi Amman Temple - Meenakshi Amman Temple is a 17th century temple dedicated to Goddess Parvati known as Meenakshi and her consort, Lord Shiva as Sundareswarar. It is most prominent landmark of the city. The complex houses 14 gopurams, highest being about 52 meters. Meenakshi Amman Temple is one of the most visited temples of Tamilnadu and must visit for any traveller.

  • Thousand Pillar Hall - Thousand Pillar Hall part of Meenakshi temple complex contains 985 carved pillars built in 16th century and is a structure that is nothing short of engineering marvel. Must visit for a heritage traveller.

Mahabalipuram :

  • Monuments at Mahabalipuram - Mahabalipuram is home to 7th - 9th century monuments of Pallava kingdom which are now a designated UNESCO world heritage site. The monuments include Rock Temple, Lord Vishnu Temple, Arjuna Penance, Varaha Cave temple. Its a popular stopover on inbound heritage circuit and day visited from chennai.

  • Dakshinachitra - Dakshinachitra is a Craft village on east coast road where one can purchase authentic handcrafts from artisans.

Pondicherry :

  • Pondicherry Promenade - Pondicherry has a renowned Promenade around the french quarters which is where locals converge on a sunday evening. Promenade otherwise is an excellent area for a walk and to visit in evening for some romantic restaurants in bylanes around.

  • French Quarters - French quarters is a colony of residential buildings with distinct colonial era french architecture. These are quiet bylanes that end up at the promenade. A morning or evening walk through these lanes can be very interesting and best way to explore French quarters.

  • French War Memorial - French War Memorial (1971) on Goubert Avenue is built in memory of French soldiers who lost their lives in First World War

  • Auroville - Auroville is an experimental township situated 8 km north of Pondicherry off East Coast Road. It was founded in 1968 by Mirra Richard (also known as The Mother), the spiritual collaborator of Sri Aurobindo. The dome here is an architectural marvel and overall spread of the area and its character means that interested tourists and devotees arrive here all through the year.

  • Chidambaram Shiva Temple (Nataraja Temple) - Chidambaram is one of the five Pancha Bootha Sthalams and one of the most significant and visited temples of Shiva. Temple is spread over 40 acres and built around 10-11th century representing Chola period architecture. Chidambaram is the only known temple where Shiva is depicted performing Cosmic activities. The architecture of the temple is imposing and therefore visited by heritage traveller and those interested in temple architecture.

Thanjavur :

  • Brihadeeswarar Temple - Brihadeeswara Temple at Thanjavur is an ancient Lord Shiva temple Shiva and is considered Landmark in South Indian temple architecture. It has a massive 66 meter temple tower and is a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is a must visit for any heritage traveller.

  • Chola Art Gallery - Chola art gallery is inside the palace having a large collection of stone and bronze images from the 9th to 12th centuries

  • Tanjore Painting - Tanjore paintings are an early 17th Century art. Tanjore paintings are renowned for their richness and colors. There are number places in Thanjavur where one can purchase authentic Tanjore paintings.

  • Tanjore Palace - The Thanjavur Maratha Palace Complex, known locally as Aranmanai, is the official residence of the Bhonsle family who ruled over the Tanjore region from 1674 to 1855. The palace complex consists of the queens courtyard and the Durbar Hall. The Raja Serfoji Memorial Hall and the Royal Palace Museum are situated in the Sadar Mahal Palace. The Saraswathi Mahal Library is situated with the Thanjavur palace complex.

  • Thanjavur Veenai - There are number of Veena making units in Thanjavur with more than 100 artisans dedicated to it. Veena and Thanjavur are integral to carnatic music and traditions of South India. There are many units like Sruthilaya that offer guests insight into the veena making units and where one can purcahse authentic Veena and other musical instruments.

  • Swamimalai Murugan Temple - Swamimalai Murugan Temple is a Lord Murugan temple in Swamimalai near Kumbakonam on the banks of a tributary of river Cauvery is one of the Arupadaiveedu, one of the six main abodes of Lord Murugan.

Destination Overview

Trivandrum - Trivandrum is a state capital of Kerala and access point to visit Beach Resorts of Kovalam / Varkala and plantation highlands around Ponmudi.

Chennai - Located on the Coromandel Coast of the Bay of Bengal, Chennai is a metro city of India and the largest in South India. Chennai is starting point for many itineraries of Taminadu and South India.

Mahabalipuram - Mahabalipuram also known as Mamallapuram is situated 60 km south Chennai on the famous East Coast Road. It has various historic monuments built largely between the 7th and the 9th century, and has been classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Pondicherry - Pondicherry is a popular destination in South India for Inbound guests on the heritage itinerary covering other areas like Mahabalipuram, Chidambaram, Thanjavur, Madurai etc. Pondicherry is a popular weekend getaway ex-Chennai and Bangalore.

Thanjavur - Thanjavur is an important center of South Indian art and architecture. The Brihadeeswara Temple is located in the center of the town, which is UNESCO World Heritage site.

Chettinadu - Karaikudi is known as the base town for the area of Chettinad. Chettinad is well known for its Chettinad cuisine, Mansions, and Temples. The villages around are rich in cultural heritage, art and architecture, and is well known for its 18th century mansions

Madurai - Madurai today is one of the busiest towns in Tamilnadu. The Meenakshi temple is awe-inspiring and is a must visit for any South India itinerary for both Indian as well as Overseas guests

Kanyakumari - Kanyakumari is a pilgrimage and spiritual destination. Kanyakumari is a popular 1-night destination for overseas groups to Tamilnadu.

Kovalam - Kovalam is one of the few developed beach retreats in India alongside Goa and home to several luxury beach resorts.

Access
Prefered Arrival : No ImageChennaiNo ImageChennai
Prefered Departure : No ImageTrivandrumNo ImageTrivandrum
Distances
  • Chennai to Mahabalipuram -60 kms (1 hrs)
  • Mahabalipuram to Pondicherry -100 kms (2 hrs)
  • Pondicherry to Thanjavur -176 kms (4 hrs)
  • Thanjavur to Chettinadu -108 kms (2.5 hrs)
  • Chettinadu to Madurai -100 kms (2.5 hrs)
  • Madurai to Kanyakumari -245 kms (6 hrs)
  • Kanyakumari to Kovalam -82 kms (2 hrs)
  • Kovalam to Trivandrum -11 kms (0.5 hrs)

Ready Cost estimate for this itinerary is not available.

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Travel Ideas incorporated in the itinerary

Kanyakumari Getaway

Kanyakumari lies at the southern most edge of Indian mainland and has been known for the place more

Lines indicate the best available driving routes.
Arrows indicate connectivity other than Road (e.g. Waterways or Air).
Please click on the markers for more detailed Information.

Distances
  • Chennai to Mahabalipuram -60 kms (1 hrs)
  • Mahabalipuram to Pondicherry -100 kms (2 hrs)
  • Pondicherry to Thanjavur -176 kms (4 hrs)
  • Thanjavur to Chettinadu -108 kms (2.5 hrs)
  • Chettinadu to Madurai -100 kms (2.5 hrs)
  • Madurai to Kanyakumari -245 kms (6 hrs)
  • Kanyakumari to Kovalam -82 kms (2 hrs)
  • Kovalam to Trivandrum -11 kms (0.5 hrs)

Expert Speak

Thanjavur (Brihadeswarara), Kumbakonam (Darasuram) and Gangaikonda Cholapuram are some of the most awesome temple heritage sites in India alongwith Madurai Meenakshi Temple, Chidambaram Nataraja temple and therefore makes for a definitive experience for travellers.

Expert Connect

Nivalink has taken over 300 trips across India and select destinations overseas over last 10 years to verify hotels, evaluate destinations and understand its suitability with different profiles of customers across different seasons.

At Nivalink you are able to connect directly with experts who have travelled to these destinations and are able to offer novel ideas, honest perspectives and help you narrow down choices.

Email to expert@nivalink.co.in to connect with sector expert for specific ideas and recommendations.

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