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2 DAY TRIP FROM CHENNAI | CHIDAMBARAM - KARAIKAL

Historical & Heritage | Pilgrimage | Beach

Photo Credit: Flickr

ITINERARY SUMMARY

Trip Starting Point: Chennai City

Mode of Travel: Car (or Cab)

Trip Duration: 2 Days

Ideal Start Time: 6 AM (Day 1) & 8 AM (Day 2)

Total Places Visited: 9

Day 1 Destinations | Day 2 Destinations
Day 1 Attractions | Day 2 Attractions

DAY 1 : CHIDAMBARAM - PICHAVARAM - VAITHEESWARAN KOIL - MAYILADUTHURAI

Travel from Chennai to Chidambaram

Lake & Backwaters

Duration of visit: 1-2 Hours
Timings: 8 AM to 6 PM
Entry Fee: Boating cost varies

At a distance of 16 kms from Chidambaram & 217 Kms from Chennai, Pichavaram is among the most exquisite places of tourist interest near Chennai and a scenic spot.

The backwaters are interconnected by the Vellar and Coleroon River system and offer abundant scope for water sports such as parasailing, rowing and canoeing. The Pichavaram forests not only offer scenic waterscape and backwater cruises but combines the mangrove forests. These are trees permanently rooted in a few feet of water.

The mangroves of Pichavaram are considered among the healthiest mangrove forests in the world. Pichavaram consists of a number of small islands interspersing a vast expanse of water and covered with green trees. The area is about 2800 acres and is separated from the sea by sand bars.

Pilgrimage

Duration of visit: 1-2 Hours
Timings: 6 AM to 12.30 PM & 4.45 PM to 9 PM
Entry Fee: FREE

At a distance of 2 Kms from Chidambaram Bus Station and less than 1 Km from Chidambaram Railway Station, Nataraja Temple located in the centre of the town covers an area of 40 acres. It is one of the ancient temples of Tamil Nadu.

The roof of the sanctum sanctorum is covered with gold plates. The presiding deity of the temple is represented by air, one of the five elements of the universe and is known as Akasa Lingam. Dedicated to Lord Nataraja, this ancient temple of the Cholas is unique as it one of Panchabootha sthala in India - and it is one of the rare temples where Shiva is represented by an idol rather than the customary lingam.

The Eastern tower rises to a height of 40.8 metres. 108 Bharathanatyam dance gestures can be seen on the eastern tower as well as on the western tower. The northern tower rises to a height of 42.4 meters.

Timings: 6 AM to 12.30 PM & 4.45 PM to 9 PM

Pilgrimage

Duration of visit: 1-2 Hours
Timings: 6 AM - 11 AM and 4:30 PM - 9:30 PM
Entry Fee: FREE

At a distance of 17 km from Mayiladuthurai, 27 km from Chidambaram, 45 kms from Karaikal, 54 km from Kumbakonam and 94 km from Thanjavur, Vaitheeswaran Koil is town in Nagapattinam district which is famous for the Vaidyanatha Swamy Temple. The temple is also known as Pullirukkuvelur.

Vaidyanatha Swamy and Thaiyalnayaki are the presiding deities of this temple. The Selva Muthukumara Swamy shrine here is also considered to be of important. There are Shiva lingas said to have been worshipped by Rama, Jatayu, Skanda, Surya and Angaraka. It is believed that Rama and his brother Lakshmana cremated the vulture king Jatayu who was killed by Ravana when he tried to prevent the abduction of Sita at this place. There is a pond at this temple called Jatayu kundam.

It is one of the Navagraha temples associated with the planet Mars (Angaraka). According to legend, Planet Mars was once afflicted with leprosy and was cured by Vaidyanatha .....

Pilgrimage

Duration of visit: 1-2 Hours
Timings: 5.30 AM - 12 PM and 4 PM - 8.30 PM
Entry Fee: FREE

At a distance of 37 km from Kumbakonam, 37 km from Karaikal and 42 km from Chidambaram, Mayiladuthurai is a town and headquarters of the Mayiladuthurai Taluk in Nagapattinam district of Tamil Nadu. Mayiladuthurai is known for the Mayuranatha Swamy Temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. This temple is one among the six temples which are compared as equivalent to the temple in Varanasi. The other 5 Shivasthalams are Tiruvenkaadu, Chaayaavanam, Tiruvaiyaru, Tiruvanchiam and Tiruvidaimarudur.

This temple was reconstructed with stone in 10th century during the period of Sembiyan Mahadevi. However, the renovations from the 19th century have destroyed some of the older structures and the inscriptions. Some of the stone sculptures of Vinayakar, Natarajar, Dakshimamurthy, Lingodbhavar, Brahma, Ganga Visarjanamurthi, Durga and Bhikshatanar from the period of Sembiyan Mahadevi have been well preserved.

The main diety is in the form of lingam .....

Pilgrimage

Duration of visit: 1-2 Hours
Timings: 6 AM - 1 PM and 4 PM - 9 PM
Entry Fee: FREE

At a distance of 23 km from Karaikal, 23 km from Mayiladuthurai, 44 km from Chidambaram and 57 km from Kumbakonam, Thirukkadaiyur is a popular temple town located on the east coast of Tamil Nadu in the Nagapattinam district. The Amritaghateswarar - Abirami Temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva is the most famous temple in Thirukkadaiyur.

The presiding deity of this temple is Sri Amirthalingeswara and his consort is Sri Abirami. Thirukkadaiyur is one of the 8 Veera Sthalas, where Yama was clashed with Lord Shiva. It is believed that this is the place where Lord Shiva protected Markandeya, son of Mrikandu, from Yama. The scar caused by the Yama's rope is visible on the Linga during abisheka times.

The temple was built by Chola kings in 11th century in the traditional Chola architectural style. Spread over 11 acres, the temple has great architecture and has five enclosures, huge towers and spacious mandapas. Based on the inscriptions .....

Overnight Stay in Chidambaram

DAY 2 : KARAIKAL

Travel from Chidambaram to Karaikal

Beach

Duration of visit: 1-2 Hours
Timings: 24 Hrs
Entry Fee: FREE

At a distance of 1.5 km from Karaikal Railway Station, 23 km from Nagapattinam, 67 km from Chidambaram, 100 km from Thanjavur and 133 km from Pondicherry, Karaikal Beach is one of the best natural beaches in the South Tamil Nadu. It is one of the famous tourist attractions in Karikal located on the banks of Arasalar River. It is popular among the tourists as a place of entertainment and it is also the perfect place for those seeking leisure, tranquility, solitude and piousness.

The beach has been given easy accessibility by widening the 2 km road along the Arasalar River and by illumination of the road, now known as Beach Road. The Karaikal beach offers a lot to adventure lovers and family tourists with water sports like boating, canoeing, kayaking etc. and beach games like Volleyball. In addition to natural sandy beach, a boat jetty in the Arasalar, Children's Park, Restaurants, Tennis Court are also attracting large crowd of local people and tourists.

The boat club offers .....

Pilgrimage

Duration of visit: 1 Hour
Timings: 6 AM to 9 PM
Entry Fee: FREE

At a distance of 1.5 km from Karaikal Railway Station, Karaikal Ammaiyar Temple is a Hindu temple situated in Barathiar Street in the center of Karaikal Town.

The temple was constructed by Malaiperumal Pillai in 1929. The main goddess is Punithavathi, also known as Karaikal Ammaiyar, the only woman out of the sixty three Nayanmars. This temple is known for the huge idol of the lady saint and there is also a sanctum for Vinayaka inside this temple.

According to history, a lady named Punithavathi lived in Karaikal in 5th century AD. She married a merchant named Paramadatta and performed spiritual Pujas to Lord Siva. One day Lord Shiva sent two mangoes to Paramadatta through a devotee and he sent it home. Lord Siva disguised himself as a Saint and appeared before her for taking food in the house of Punithavathi. She offered food along with mangoes kept for her husband to the Saint. When the food was supplied to her husband he demanded the mangoes that he had given to her. She .....

Pilgrimage

Duration of visit: 1-2 Hours
Timings: 6 AM - 1 PM and 4 PM - 9 PM
Entry Fee: FREE

At a distance of 6 km from Karaikal Railway Station, 96 km from Thanjavur and 135 km Pondicherry, Sri Saneeswarar Temple, also known as Dharbaranyeswara Swamy Temple is one of the most popular Shani Temples in India and is located in Thirunallar near Karaikal. Dedicated to Lord Shiva, Dharbaranyeswara Temple houses a rare Marakata Linga.

According to history, the great King Nala was relieved from the trouble of Lord Saneeswaran after worshipping the Lord consecrated in this temple. It is believed that by bathing in Nala theertham here will wash off all kinds of misfortunes and miseries caused by one's past karmas. Whenever (planet) Saturn transits from one zodiac sign to another once in every 2.5 years, millions throng this shrine to offer prayers. Believed to have been built in the 7th century, the temple also has small shrines dedicated to other gods including Lord Ganesha.

Marakata Linga (Emerald Linga) is located inside .....

Pilgrimage

Duration of visit: 30 Mins - 1 Hr
Timings: 9 AM to 6 PM
Entry Fee: FREE

At a distance of 9.5 km from Karaikal, Sri Tantondreeswara Temple is an ancient shrine situated in Nedungadu and is believed to have been constructed during the Chola period. Dedicated to Lord Shiva, this temple is also known as Tantondrinathar Temple.

Sri Tantondreeswara Temple is named after the local deity Nedunthuyar Theertha Nayaki, meaning one who redressed the longstanding grievances of the people, the consort of Tantondrinathar or Swayambhu Eswara. The temple was declared as a protected monument in 1971. The temple features many inscriptions on the outer walls of the sanctum. It is also believed that the temple was renovated by the Nayak Rulers of Thanjavur. Tourists throng to the temple especially during the celebrations of Thiruvadhirai festival and the annual festival at Sri Mariamman Temple.

Several architectural excavations were conducted near the temple site in 1948, 14 Bronze idols belonging to the 14th century were unearthed in the vicinity of this temple. The .....

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