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Tamil Nadu Tour Itineraries - Culture of Tamil Nadu

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. The culture of the Tamil speaking people is quite distinct from that of the rest of the Indian subcontinent. Dress-codes, cuisine, their methods of worship, even their general attitude to life, reflects this ancient culture of which the Tamil people are very proud. Indigenous architecture, poetry and music are all unique as well. Tamil Nadu has been ruled by many kingdoms over the past, however the most prominent of them were the Cholas who left their legacy in form of some spectacular temples clustered throughout the state.

Culture of Tamil Nadu - (9 Days & 8 Nights)

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Day 1 : Arrival at Chennai

On arrival in Chennai you’ll be met by an Indian Panorama executive and assisted with the transfer to your hotel. Overnight in Chennai.

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Day 2 : Chennai

After breakfast, start early for the city tour which includes visiting the historic Fort St. George, Government Museum, Vivekananda House, the prominent Parthasarathy temple and the Kapaleeshwarar temple. Overnight in Chennai.

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Day 3 : Chennai – Kanchipuram - Mahabalipuram

Depart Chennai and drive 2 hours to Mahabalipuram, a coastal enclave with a rich past tied to the 9th-10th century CE Pallava dynasty. Tour the town with a local guide, taking in several UNESCO World Heritage listed monuments and the wonderful natural rock formations around the town. Mahabalipuram was at one time the capital of the Pallava dynasty which ruled large parts of modern-day Tamil Nadu. The landmarks such as Arjuna’s Penance (the largest bas relief carving in the world), the beautiful Shore Temple and many rock cut temples make it a fascinating destination. Afternoon free to explore, shop or relax. Overnight stay at Mahabalipuram

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Day 4 : Mahabalipuram- Kanchipuram- Tiruvannamalai

Leave Mahabalipuram promptly in the morning and drive across to Kanchipuram, a city famous for its temples and silk-weaving industry. The city boasts numerous shrines both for Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu and most popular among them are the Varadharaja Perumal Temple and Kanchi Kailasanathar Temple. The city is world renowned for the handloom silk sarees which are sort after across the world. Overnight in Tiruvannamalai

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Day 5 : Tiruvannamalai

A walk around the sacred mountain, Arunachala, is considered highly auspicious, even enlightening, in Hindu lore. The 14km circuit can be walked in the company of hundreds, or many thousands, of pilgrims more or less any day of the year. Tour the Arunachaleswarar temple and later climb a short way up Arunachala to a small cave-ashram. Overnight in Tiruvannamalai

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Day 6 : Tiruvannamalai- Kumbakonam

Make an early start from Tiruvannamalai, and head towards Kumbakonam, via the grand Lord Nataraja temple in Chidambaram, and the first of the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Chola temples at Gangakondacholapuram and Darasuram. At the end of the day, reach Kumbakonam. Overnight in Kumbakonam

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Day 7 : Kumbakonam- Tanjore

With a wealth of temples, a great vegetable market and the best coffee in South India (you must try South Indian filter coffee- it’s heavenly), there’s plenty to keep you occupied in Kumbakonam for the morning. Later drive via Swamimalai and visit a bronze-casting foundry here to learn a bit about this ancient artform. Reach Tanjore during the afternoon, and be sure to head to Brihdishwara- the legendary ‘Big Temple’ of Tanjore at sunset. Overnight in Tanjore

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Day 8 : Tanjore

Head into the countryside near Tanjore to the small village of Alangudi and take a long, gentle stroll through villages, visiting small local temples, observing local craftspeople at work and, finally, enjoying a cooking demonstration and lunch with your hosts. In the afternoon, join a guide and tour Brihadishwara temple and other places of interest in Tanjore. Overnight in Tanjore

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Day 9 : Tanjore - Chettinad

Drive south into the Chettinad region, home to the Chettiar merchant sub-caste. Their business acumen and diligence saw them become bankers and trade intermediaries in the latter period of British rule in India, and from the mid-19th to mid-20th centuries many families here amassed vast fortunes. They used these riches to build vast mansions, combining both architectural styles and materials from the places and cultures their trade saw them interact with, and the resultant homes are, to say the least, spectacular. You can tour one of these during your time here, and better still stay in one which has been lovingly restored and operates as a heritage hotel. Chettinad is also famous for its unique cuisine which is known for complex flavours and innovative use of ingredients. Overnight in Kannudakathan, Chettinad

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Day 10 : Chettinad- Madurai

Depart Chettinad after breakfast and reach Madurai in around 2 hours , where you can tour Sri Meenakshi Temple and Nayak Palace in the afternoon. Madurai is a well-planned city built few thousand years ago with the Meenakshi Temple at the exact centre of the city with entire city around it placed in perfect squares. The temple draws visitors from all over India and is not just a place of devotion but a market place and social hub for the city. At the end of each day the temple is closed at the end of a wonderful procession through its innermost sections. This closing ceremony is well worth staying out late for. Overnight in Madurai.

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Day 11 : Madurai – Depart

Begin your final day with an early morning walking tour in Madurai, exploring little-seen aspects of the city and meeting local people, sampling street food and so on. Free time later in the day before transferring to Madurai airport and fly from Madurai to your international hub airport and depart from there.

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