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4 DAY TRIP FROM CHENNAI | CHIDAMBARAM - KUMBAKONAM - THANJAVUR - TRICHY

Historical & Heritage | Pilgrimage | City

Photo Credit: Flickr

ITINERARY SUMMARY

Trip Starting Point: Chennai City

Mode of Travel: Car (or Cab)

Trip Duration: 4 Days

Ideal Start Time: 6 AM:9 AM:9 AM:9 AM

Total Places Visited: 17

Day 1 Destinations | Day 2 Destinations
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 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 .....

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.

Adi Kumbeswarar Temple, also known as Thirukudamooku, is dedicated to the Lord Shiva, and was built during the Chola dynasty in the 9th century, while the temple 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 make a magic pot with the sand collected from various sacred places and floats it in the flood .....

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.

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.

There are 21 wells inside the tank in the shape of small spring wells. Beginning the eastern side of the tank, there are 8 wells in the name of celestial deities namely Indra, Yama, Agni, Niruthi, Vayuya, Kubera and Isanya respectively. In between the Vayu and Kubera wells, the ninth .....

Historical & Heritage

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

At a distance of 34 Kms from Thanjavur & 284 Kms from Chennai, Darasuram, a small town 8 Kms away from Kumbakonam is known for the Airavathesvara Temple built by Rajaraja Chola II in the 12th century CE. This temple is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site 'Great Living Chola Temples'.

This temple is a storehouse of art and architecture. The vimana is 85 feet high. The front mandapam itself is in the form of a huge chariot drawn by horses. The temple has some exquisite stone carvings. The main deity's consort Periya Nayaki Amman temple is situated adjacent to Airavateshwarar temple.

The legend goes to show that Airavata, the white elephant of Indra, worshipped Lord Siva in this temple; so did also the King of Death, Yama. Inscriptions on the temple walls say that it was known in those days as Raja Rajeswaram and Raja Rajapuram.

Timings: 6 AM to 7 PM

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 TRICHY

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, also known as Peruvudaiyar Kovil or Periya Kovil 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 as 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 known as The Big Temple, Brihadeeswarar temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva, is famous for its grandeur and beautiful sculptures. The temple consists of an entrance tower followed by the main temple complex spread on a plot of 33,000 sq. ft. The inner part of the temple starts with a large Nandi mandapa which is a 12 .....

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, 1.5 km from Brihadeeswarar Temple & 0.5 km from Old Bus Station, Thanjavur Palace, also known as Maratha Palace or Nayak Palace is a wonderful historical structure in the town of Thanjavur. 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. The Palace is a must visit place in Thanjavur to understand the history and lifestyle of its rulers.

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. The Goodagopuram, also known as Bell Tower, an eight storied vimana like building situated on the southern side of the third quadrangle, has a height of 190 ft. It was the palace watch tower .....

Museum & Gallery

Duration of visit: 30 Mins
Timings: 9 AM to 1 PM & 3 PM to 6 PM
Entry Fee: Thanjavur Palace Entry Fee

At a distance of 2 km from Thanjavur Junction Railway Station & 0.5 km from Old Bus Station, the Art Gallery is located within Thanjavur Palace. The gallery houses a treasured collection of bronze icons, stone sculptures and other artifacts, which today stand testimony to that golden age in Tamil history.

The gallery is situated in the second part of the palace behind bell tower. The galley consists of Stone sculptures arrange in a hall at the entrance and in the hall towards southern side of the complex near Manimandapam. The bronze sculptures inside the Nayak's Durbar Hall showcase excellent craftsmanship. Durbar Hall is an excellent structure with beautiful paintings & sculptures on upper part of the walls and the ceiling. The hall also houses a marble sculpture of Raja Serfoji, popular Maratha ruler.

The examples of art that we see today at this gallery are the finest. Most of the pieces belong to Chola period between the 9th and the 13th centuries AD, to the post-Chola .....

Pilgrimage

Duration of visit: 1 Hour
Timings: 6 AM to 12 PM and 4-9 PM.
Entry Fee: FREE

At a distance of 13 kms from Thanjavur & 312 Kms from Chennai, Thiruvaiyaru in Thanjavur district is situated on the banks of the river Kaveri. Thiruvaaiyaru has an old Shiva temple dedicated to Panchanatheeswar. However, it's more famous for association with Thyagaraja, the Saint Composer,

The Panchanatheesvarar Temple dedicated to Shiva sprawls over a 14-acre campus and is both grand and serene. Beyond the temple are lush paddy fields and groves. The temple is about 1 Km from Thiruvaiyaru town centre. Timings - 6 AM to 12 PM and 4-9 PM.

Thyagaraja is a composer of Carnatic music, who along with his contemporaries Muthuswami Dikshitar and Syama Sastri forms the Trinity of Carnatic. He composed hundreds of devotional songs, most of them in praise of the Hindu god Rama in Telugu language.

Near the Shiva temple is the one-roomed house where Tyagaraja composed some of his greatest works. On the banks of river is the samadhi of the saint where music festival takes place .....

Overnight Stay in Tiruchirappalli

DAY 4 : TRICHY SIGHTSEEING & TRAVEL TO CHENNAI

Start Tiruchirappalli Sightseeing

Historical & Heritage | Pilgrimage

Duration of visit: 2 Hours
Timings: Vary between 6 AM to 9 PM for different temples
Entry Fee: FREE

At a distance of 5 km from Trichy Railway Junction, The Rock Fort is a historic fort and temple complex built on a large rock with a height of 85 meters.

Pallavas built the initial temple, but the Nayaks made use of its naturally fortified position and designed it as a fort. There are 344 steps carved out of rock lead to the top. The fort complex has witnessed fierce battles between Madurai Nayakas and Bijapur, Carnatic and Maratha forces. The fort played an important part during the Carnatic wars, helping lay the foundations of the British Empire in India. The Rockfort is the most prominent landmark of the city.

There are three Hindu temples inside the Rockfort, the Ucchi Pillaiyar Temple, Thayumanavar Temple and the Manikka Vinayakar Temple. The Manikka Vinayakar Temple is located at the foot of the hill, dedicated to Lord Ganesha. Manikka Vinayakar is the patron deity of the Trichy.

The Ucchi Pillayar Temple is a 7th century Hindu temple, dedicated to Lord Ganesh .....

Pilgrimage

Duration of visit: 1-2 Hours
Timings: 5.30 AM to 12 PM and 5 PM to 9 PM
Entry Fee: FREE

At a distance of 2.5 km from Srirangam Temple and 11 km from Trichy Railway Junction, Sri Thiruvanaikoil or Thiruvanaikaval, is famous for Jambukeswarar Temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. The temple was built by Kochengon, one of the Early Cholas around 1800 years ago on Srirangam Island.

Thiruvanaikoil Temple is one of the five major Shiva Temples known as Panchabhoota Sthala representing element of water. The sanctum has Shiva Lingam in the form of Appu lingam (water lingam). The sanctum of Lord Jambukeshwara has an underground water stream and one can see water coming out of that stream all the time. The presiding goddess is Devi Akilandeswari Amman.

According to legend, Parvathi performed penance in the form of Akilandeswari in the Jambu forest. She made the lingam out of the water of river Kaveri, installed it under the Venn Naaval tree evolved out of Saint Jambu and commenced her worship. Lord Siva at last gave darshan to Devi Akhilandeswari and taught her Siva Gnana.

According .....

Historical & Heritage | Pilgrimage

Duration of visit: 2-3 Hours
Timings: 6 - 7:15 AM, 9 AM - 12 PM, 1:15- 6 PM and 6:45 - 9 PM
Entry Fee: FREE

At a distance of 1 km from Srirangam Railway Station, 9 km from Trichy Railway Junction, 62 km from Thanjavur, 145 km from Madurai & 327 km from Chennai, Srirangam is well known for Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple which is the foremost of the eight self-manifested shrines of Lord Vishnu. The temple is considered the first among 108 prominent Vishnu temples and also one of the popular Tamilnadu tourist places.

Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple is one of the most famous temples in South India, constructed in the Dravidian style of architecture. Built across an area of 156 acres, this temple is dedicated to Ranganatha, a reclining form of Hindu deity, Lord Vishnu. This temple lies on an island formed by the twin Rivers Cauvery and Kollidam. Though the temple existing since 2nd century BC, the archaeological inscriptions are available only from the 10th century CE.

This temple is also known by other names such as Thiruvaranga Tirupati, Periyakoil, .....

Pilgrimage

Duration of visit: 1 Hour
Timings: 5.30 AM to 9.30 PM
Entry Fee: FREE

At a distance of 1 km from Samayapuram Bus Stand, 11 km from Srirangam, 19 km from Trichy, 66 km from Thanjavur & 317 km from Chennai, Sri Mariamman Temple situated at Samayapuram on NH-45 is one of the popular temples in the state of Tamil Nadu.

Sri Mariyamman Temple is dedicated to Samayapurathal or Mariamman, an incarnation of Goddess Shakti. The main deity in the sanctum is made of sand and clay and hence there are no abhishekams conducted to the main deity, but instead the abishekam is done to the small stone statue in front of it.

According to legend, the present deity was at the Ranganathaswamy temple at Srirangam, and one of chief priests of the temple believed that the idol caused him illness and hence asked it to be removed from the temple. It is a common belief that such local deities have immense powers and they must always be satisfied by proper offerings and sacrifices.

According to history, King Vijayaraya Chakaravarthi built the present day temple in .....

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