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Temples Of Tamil Nadu - Indianpanorama
Tamil Nadu- literally, the Land of the Tamils, is home to one of the oldest continuous civilisations in the world. The Tamil language is also one of the oldest still spoken anywhere. The written history of Tamil dates back to more than 2000 years.
Day 1 - Arrival in Chennai - Mahabalipuram
On arrival in Chennai you'll be met and introduced to your driver. Depart immediately and drive 90 minutes south to the quiet seaside town of Mahabalipuram. Overnight in Mahabalipuram.
Day 2 - Mahabalipuram
Relax and acclimatize in the morning, before meeting a local guide in the afternoon and taking a sightseeing tour of the ancient temples and rock carvings of Mahabalipuram. Although many of these temples are no longer used for regular worship or pilgrimage, all sacred sites in India retain their importance to local people and you will often see small offerings at even the oldest and most obscure temples. Overnight in Mahabalipuram.
Day 3 - Mahabalipuram - Kanchipuram - Mahabalipuram
A day excursion to the sacred temple city of Kanchipuram, home to several important places of pilgrimage including the intricate and beautiful Kailasanatha Temple, dedicated to Shiva and dating back to the 7th century CE and the massive Sri Ekambaranathar which boasts a 59 - metre high gopuram (temple gateway) Tour the main temples with a local guide. Overnight in Mahabalipuram.
Day 4 - Mahabalipuram - Tiruvannamalai
Depart Mahabalipuram and drive 3 hours to Tiruvannamalai, a major pilgrimage centre and home to the ashram of Sri Ramana Maharshi. At most of the major Temples in Tamilnadu, it is not possible for non - Hindus to enter the innermost sanctum - this is not the case at Arunachaleswar Temple, allowing you a chance to see the entirety of a major temple (this is also possible at Tanjore's Brihadisvara Temple). Spend time at the temple and in Ramana's ashram. Overnight in Tiruvannamalai.
Day 5 - Tiruvannamalai - Pondicherry
While the Annamalaiyar Temple is an important place of pilgrimage, so too is the sacred mountain of Arunachala itself - many hundreds of thousands of people come to Tiruvannamalai every month to complete the 14 km circuit of the mountain. You may wish to rise early and complete your own Pradakshina (the term for a circuit of the mountain - traditionally undertaken barefoot, but this is far from compulsory) before departing for Pondicherry later in the morning. At Pondicherry you can visit Aurobindo Ashram and explore the heritage quarter with its French Colonial buildings, on foot. Overnight in Pondicherry.
Day 6 - Pondicherry - Chidambaram - Tanjore
Day 7 - Tanjore - Trichy
Day 8 - Trichy - Madurai
Day 9 - Madurai Sightseeing
Day 10 - Madurai - Chennai