CHIDAMBARAM - KUMBAKONAM - THANJAVUR (FROM CHENNAI)

Historical & Heritage | Pilgrimage

Photo Credit: Flickr

ITINERARY SUMMARY

Trip Starting Point: Chennai City

Mode of Travel: Car (or Cab)

Trip Duration: 3 Days

Ideal Start Time: 6 AM (Day 1), 9 AM (Day 2) & 9 AM (Day 3)

Total Places Visited: 11

DAYS

DAY 1 : TRAVEL TO CHIDAMBARAM & CHIDAMBARAM SIGHTSEEING

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 km from Chidambaram & 217 km from Chennai, Pichavaram is an exquisite coastal village near Chidambaram in the Cuddalore district of Tamil Nadu, India. It is one of the picturesque places to visit near Chennai and among the must include places in Chidambaram packages.

Located between the Vellar estuary and Coleroon estuary, Pichavaram is well-known for its mangrove forests spread over 1100 hectares area. The mangroves of Pichavaram are considered the second largest mangrove forests in the world. Apparently, the forest has more than 50 islands of various sizes and 4,400 big and small canals. The trees grow in water that's 3 to 10 feet deep in different places. The conditions are quite hostile, as the sea's tides bring saltwater in and out twice a day, changing the salinity. Hence, the trees have unique root systems, with membranes that only allow fresh water to .....

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 km from Chidambaram Bus Station, Nataraja Temple is an ancient Hindu temple located in Chidambaram town in Tamil Nadu. It is one of the ancient temples in South India, and among the must include places in Chidambaram tour packages.

Also referred to as the Chidambaram Nataraja Temple or Thillai Nataraja Temple, the Nataraja Temple is dedicated to Nataraja - Shiva as the lord of the dance. It is one of the five Panchbootha Sthalas of Lord Shiva, and it denotes the Skies. The temple has mythical roots and a Shiva shrine existed at the site when the town was known as Thillai. Chidambaram, the name of the city and the temple literally means 'atmosphere of wisdom' or 'clothed in thought', the temple architecture symbolizes the connection between the arts and spirituality, creative activity, and the divine.

The temple was constructed during the 10th Century .....

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 .....

Overnight Stay in Chidambaram

DAY 2 : VISIT KUMBAKONAM & TRAVEL TO THANJAVUR

Travel from Chidambaram to Kumbakonam

Pilgrimage

Duration of visit: 1 Hour
Timings: 6 AM - 12.30 PM & 4 PM - 9.30 PM
Entry Fee: Free

At a distance of 2.5 km from Kumbakonam Railway Station, Adi Kumbeswarar Temple is a famous Hindu temple located in the center of Kumbakonam in Tamil Nadu. This temple is considered to be the 26th Paadal Petra Sthalam in the Chola kingdom that spread south of the River Cauvery, and among the must include places in Kumbakonam tour packages

Adi Kumbeswarar Temple, also known as Thirukudamooku, is dedicated to Lord Shiva. It was built during the Chola dynasty in the 9th century CE and was renovated by Govinda Dikshitar, the Chieftain of Achutha Nayakar of Thanjavur in the 16th century AD. The temple is maintained and administered by the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Department of the Government of Tamil Nadu.

According to mythology, when the world was facing destruction due to the devastating tsunami, Lord Brahma approached Lord Shiva to know from where he had to restart creation. Lord Shiva suggested that Brahma .....

Pilgrimage

Duration of visit: 30 Mins - 1 Hr
Timings: 6 AM - 12 PM & 5 PM - 8.30 PM
Entry Fee: Free

At a distance of 2 km from Kumbakonam Railway Station, Ramaswamy Temple is an ancient Hindu temple located on the southeastern portion of the Porthamarai Kulam in Kumbakonam.

This temple is dedicated to Lord Rama, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu. Achutha Nayaka of Thanjavur constructed the temple during the 16th century CE. The temple was built in Dravidian architectural style. This temple consists of one Gopuram, one Maha Mandapam and Sanctum Sanctorum. The columns of Maha Mandapam are enriched with some of the famous stone carvings of Vamana Avatharam, Meenakshi Kalyanam and Sugreeva Pattabishekam. The outer Prakaram consists of 219 wall paintings, which explains the series of incidents from the great Epic Ramayana.

This temple, known as the southern Ayodhya, is unique as Rama and Sita are in a Pattabishekam posture-Coronation scene. Lakshmana stands next to Rama, holding a bow and arrows; they are flanked by Bharatha holding an Umbrella and Shatrughna holding a fan. This .....

Pilgrimage

Duration of visit: 30 Mins - 1 Hr
Timings: 6 AM - 12 PM & 5 PM - 9 PM
Entry Fee: Free

At a distance of 2 km from Kumbakonam Railway Station and 500 m from Adi Kumbeswarar Temple, Sarangapani Temple is a Hindu temple situated in Kumbakonam.

The temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu. Sarangam means bow and pani means hand. The deity is having a bow in the hand. Also known as Tiru Kudanthai is the third of the 108 Divya Desams. The Sarangapani Temple is also one of the Pancha Ranga Khestras with the other four being Srirangapatnam, Srirangam, Appalarangam, Parimala Ranganatha Perumal Temple at Mayiladuthurai and Vatarangam at Sirkazhi.

The Sarangapani Temple existed during the Pallava period. However, the current structure is attributed to the period of Vikrama Chola (1121 AD onwards) and it was renovated in 16th century during the period of Nayaks.

Sarangapani Temple is the biggest Vishnu temple in Kumbakonam. It is of great religious significance and considered to be second only to the Srirangam Temple in Trichy. The temple boasts of 5 prakaras and a holy .....

Pilgrimage

Duration of visit: 30 Mins
Timings: 6 AM - 6 PM
Entry Fee: Free

At a distance of 1 km from Kumbakonam Railway Station, Mahamaham Tank is a huge temple tank located in the heart of Kumbakonam town in Tamil Nadu. It is considered to be the foremost and one of the largest temple tanks in Tamil Nadu, and among the must-visit Kumbakonam tourist places.

The tank covers an area of 6.2 acres and is trapezoidal in shape. The tank is surrounded by 16 small Mandapams (shrines) and has 21 wells inside the tank. Govinda Dikshitar, the chieftain of Ragunatha Nayak of Thanjavur, constructed the sixteen Mandapams and stone steps around this tank. Brahmatheerthesar, Mukunthar, Thalesar, Rishakesar, Umaipakesar, Nairuthesar, Brahmeesar, Gangatheerthesar, and Seshtra Paleesar, are the names of deities located in these Mandapams. It is one of the most prominent places to visit as part of Kumbakonam trip.

There are 21 wells .....

Historical & Heritage

Duration of visit: 1 Hour
Timings: 6 AM to 7 PM
Entry Fee: FREE

At a distance of 8 km from Kumbakonam, and 34 km from Thanjavur, Darasuram Airavathesvara Temple is an ancient Hindu temple located at Darasuram town near Kumbakonam in Tamil Nadu. It is one of the popular places of heritage in Tamilnadu, and among the best places to visit as part of Kumbakonam tour.

Airavatesvara Temple in Darasuram is deicated to Lord Shiva. A UNESCO world heritage site, it is a part of the popular trio known as the Great Living Chola Temple along with Brihadeeswara Temple at Thanjavur and the Gangaikondacholisvaram Temple at Gangaikonda Cholapuram. Airavatesvara Temple was built by the Chola King Rajaraja Chola II in the 12th century CE. It is amongst the eighteen medieval era Hindu temples in the Kumbakonam area. The shrine displays the Vaishnavism and Shaktism legs of Hinduism, and the traditional Nayanars- the Bhakti saints of Shaivism.

According .....

Pilgrimage

Duration of visit: 1 Hour
Timings: 6 AM - 1 PM & 4 PM - 9 PM
Entry Fee: Free

At a distance of 8 km from Kumbakonam, Patteeswaram is famous for the Sri Durga Shrine and a Shiva Temple called Sri Dhenupureeswarar or Thenupureeswarar Temple.

Dhenupureeswarar Temple is fairly a big temple and is dedicated to Hindu god Shiva. This temple has 5 tall gopurams and 3 prakarams. The sanctum sanctorum of the main deity Thenupureeswarar is located in the central mandapam of the first prakarams. There are shrines for Chandikeswarar, Natarajar and Sun god. To the north of the main sanctum sanctorum is the shrine for the female deity Sri Gnanambikai.

According to the legend, divine cow Kamadhenu's daughter Patti is said to have worshipped Lord Shiva here and hence this sthalam is called as Patteeswaram. Sage Viswamitra got the title of Brahma rishi at this Sthalam. Sri Rama is said to have worshipped Shiva at this sthalam to absolve himself of the Chaayadosham which he got by killing Vaali. Shiva is said to have blessed Sambandar by sending through his Shivaganas .....

Overnight Stay in Thanjavur

DAY 3 : THANJAVUR SIGHTSEEING & TRAVEL TO CHENNAI

Start Thanjavur Sightseeing

Historical & Heritage | Pilgrimage

Duration of visit: 2 Hours
Timings: 7 AM - 12 noon & 4 PM - 8.30 PM
Entry Fee: FREE

At a distance of 2 km from Thanjavur Junction Railway Station & 5 km from New Bus Station, the Brihadeeswarar Temple is ancient Hindu temple located at Thanjavur, Tamilnadu. It is one of the famous heritage places to visit in Tamilnadu, and among the must include places in Thanjavur packages.

Also known as Peruvudaiyar Kovil or Periya Kovil, the Brihadeeswarar Temple is a brilliant example of the major heights achieved by Cholas in temple architecture. It was built in the year 1010 AD by the mighty Chola Emperor Raja Raja Chola I. It remains one of the greatest glories of Indian architecture and also one of the best places to visit in Thanjavur. The temple is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site known as 'Great Living Chola Temples'.

Also .....

Historical & Heritage

Duration of visit: 1 Hour
Timings: 9 AM to 1 PM & 1.30 PM to 6 PM
Entry Fee: Rs. 7 for Adults, Rs, 2 for Children, Rs. 60 for Foreigners & Rs. 30 for Still Camera

At a distance of 2 km from Thanjavur Railway Station, and 1.5 km from Brihadeeswarar Temple, Thanjavur Palace is a wonderful historical structure in the town of Thanjavur. It is one of the famous Thanjavur tourist places.

Also known as Maratha Palace or Nayak Palace, it was the official residence of the Maratha rulers from 1674 to 1855. It was constructed partly by Thanjavur Nayaks around 1550 CE and expanded by the Marathas. The palace is noted for its huge halls, spacious corridors, observation and arsenal towers, and a shady courtyard. This palace is a must-visit place for history buffs to understand the history and lifestyle of its rulers as part of Thanjavur tour.

The entrance to the palace is a large quadrangular courtyard which is encircled by walls with big gateways to the north and the east. The courtyard leads to a many-pillared hall. .....

Travel from Thanjavur to Chennai