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4 DAY TRIP FROM CHENNAI | CHIDAMBARAM - THANJAVUR - MADURAI - 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:8 AM:9 AM:8 AM

Total Places Visited: 13

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 THANJAVUR & TRAVEL TO MADURAI

Travel from Chidambaram to Thanjavur

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 .....

Overnight Stay in Madurai

DAY 3 : MADURAI SIGHTSEEING

Start Madurai Sightseeing

Historical & Heritage | Pilgrimage

Duration of visit: 2-3 Hours
Timings: 5 AM to 12:30 PM & 4 PM to 9:30 PM
Entry Fee: FREE

At a distance of 2 Km from Madurai Junction Railway Station, the historic Meenakshi Sundareswarar Temple, also called as Meenakshi Amman Temple, is one of the biggest and most popular pilgrimage sites in India. Dedicated to Goddess Parvati and Lord Siva, the temple is considered an architecture marvel. It was shortlisted as one of the top 30 nominees for New Seven Wonders of the World. It is one of the the prime places to visit in Madurai.

The Madurai Temple forms the heart and lifeline of Madurai city which is 2,500 year old. The original temple was built by Kulashekara Pandya, but the initiative to rebuild the structure was taken by first Nayak king of Madurai, Viswanatha Nayak (1559-1600) under the supervision of Ariyanatha Mudaliar. The temple was substantially expanded to the current structure during the .....

Pilgrimage

Duration of visit: 1 Hour
Timings: 5.30 AM to 12 PM and 4 PM to 9 PM
Entry Fee: FREE

At a distance of 1 km from Madurai Junction Railway Station & 1.5 km Meenakshi Temple, The Koodal Alagar Temple, also known as Arulmigu Koodalazhagar Thirukoil, is another important temple in Madurai. Dedicated to Lord Vishnu, this temple is believed to be older than the Meenakshi temple. It is one of the important places to visit in Madurai.

A unique feature of this temple is the three different postures of the same God. The three figures of Vishnu are in standing, sitting and reclining postures. These three figures of the deity are known by three different names. The most venerated of the three figures is Lord Vishnu in the seated posture. The seated Lord Vishnu is locally known as Lord Koodal Alagar from whom the temple derives its name. The reclining idol is known as Sri Ranganatha. Sri Surya Narayan Perumal is the name for the standing image of Lord Vishnu.

This temple possesses wonderful architecture .....

Historical & Heritage

Duration of visit: 1-2 Hours
Timings: 9 AM to 1 PM & 2 PM to 5 PM, Light show at 6.45 PM & 8.15 PM
Entry Fee: Rs. 10 for Adults & Rs. 5 for Children

At a distance of 3 km from Madurai Junction Railway Station and 1 km from Meenakshi Temple, Thirumalai Nayak Mahal is a palace complex constructed in the Indo-Saracen style by Thirumalai Nayak in 1636. It is among the major Madurai tourist places.

The original palace complex was four times bigger than the present structure. It was divided into two parts, Swargavilasa and Rangavilasa and only the Swargavilasa is survived today. The palace was designed by an Italian architect. The ceilings are decorated with large paintings showing Shaivite and Vaishnavite themes. The Darbar hall (courtyard) and the Natakasala (dancing hall) are carry the original glory and are central attractions for visitors. There are 248 pillars, each 58 feet tall and 5 feet in diameter. It is believed that the Rangavilasa portion of the palace was demolished by Chockanatha Nayak, the grandson of Thirumalai Nayak and the materials were carried to Trichy to build a new palace.

The most remarkable part of this .....

Pilgrimage

Duration of visit: 1 Hour
Timings: 5:30 AM to 1 PM and 4 to 9:30 PM
Entry Fee: FREE

At a distance of 8 km from Madurai Junction Railway Station, Thiruparankundram Temple, also known as Tirupparamkunram Murugan Kovil is renowned for its 8th century rock cut cave temple dedicated to Lord Murugan (Subrahmanya). It is one of the major sacred places to visit in Madurai.

Tirupparankundram Temple is one of the six abodes of Murugan and considered as the first and foremost temple of Lord Muruga. Several myths and legends are associated with this temple and one of them says that it is at this place that the Lord Muruga defeated the demon Surapadman and got married to Deivayani, daughter of the king of heaven, Indra and worshipped Lord Shiva.

The main shrine is an early rock cut temple which has cells that house the sanctums of Subramanya, Durga, Vinayakar, Shiva and Vishnu. There are several mandapas in this temple known as Kambathadi Mandapam, Ardha Mandapam, and Mahamandapam situated at different levels connected by steps. There are several architectural features .....

Overnight Stay in Madurai

DAY 4 : VISIT TRICHY & TRAVEL TO CHENNAI

Travel from Madurai to Tiruchirappalli

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 .....

Travel from Tiruchirappalli to Chennai

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