Day by Day itineraryDay 1: Chennai – Vaitheeswaran – Thiruvengadu – Keezhaperumpallam - Kumbakonam
Arrive at the international airport or railway station of Chennai, the capital city of Tamil Nadu. Our representative welcomes and escorts you to Vaitheeswaran Kovil (about 259 km.), where the temple dedicated to Mangala/Angaraka (Mars) is located. Dedicated to Lord Shiva, who is worshipped as Vaitheeswaran (the God of Healing) here, the temple hosts sacred pond which contains holy nectar. It is believed that praying to Shiva and holy dip in the pond can cure all diseases. Mars too was relieved from Brahma’s curse of leprosy at this temple. Pray and admire the architecture and centuries-old inscriptions. The place is also popular for Nadi (palm leaf) astrology.
Later, drive to Thiruvengadu (about 15 km.) which hosts Swetharanyeswarar Temple dedicated to Lord Shiva and having a shrine of Budha (Mercury). The legends state that Shiva incarnated as Agora Murthi to slay the evil called Maruthuvasuran who misused his powers to harm the people in the region. It is believed that apart from Budha, Sun, Moon and many others worshipped Shiva here. Explore the huge temple and pray.
From here, we drive to Keezhaperumpallam (about 8 km.) which is home to Naganatha Swamy Temple. While Lord Shiva is the main deity worshipped as Naganatha here, the temple also has a shrine dedicated to Ketu. It is believed that praying here relieves one from the misery caused by the lunar node. Pray and explore the temple. Later, we drive you to Kumbakonam (about 60 km.) for night stay.Day 2: Kumbakonam – Tirunallar – Alangudi – Thingalur – Suryanar Kovil – Kumbakonam
Have breakfast and start the day by visiting Saniswaran Temple (also called Dharbaranyeswarar Temple) in Tirunallar (about 52 km.). The temple has Lord Shiva as its chief deity, while Shani (Saturn) is also worshipped here. It is also counted among 275 Paadal Petra Sthalams, the greatest temples of Lord Shiva. Praying to Shani at this temple is believed to overcome troubles caused due to Shani Dasha. Pray at the temple and later drive to Alangudi (about 171 km.).
Home to Apatsahayesvarar Temple dedicated to Guru/Brihaspati (Jupiter), Alangudi is the place where Shiva consumed lethal poison to save the world and is hence worshipped as Apatsahayesvarar (the lord and saviour during hardships). The temple has a beautiful gopuram with mesmerizing carvings. Pray and explore the temple and then proceed to Thingalur (about 79 km.).
Dedicated to Chandra/Soma (Moon), the Kailasanthar Temple at Thingalur too has Lord Shiva as the main deity. It was here that Appar, one of the most renowned Saiva Saints, brought the son of one of his devotees back to life after he was bitten by a snake. Pray at the temple and explore the rich carvings and magnificent architecture. From here, we proceed to Suryanar Kovil (about 45 km.).
This village hosts Suryanar Temple dedicated to Sun (Surya) God. Interestingly, the temple has shrines dedicated to all other 8 Navgrahas, along with the main shrine of Surya where the God is worshipped along with his consorts. Flaunting the enchanting Dravidian Architecture, the temple built in masonry is popular not only for its religious value but also for architectural brilliance. Drive back to Kumbakonam (about 15 km.) for night stay.
Day 3: Kumbakonam – Swamimalai – Tirunageswaram – Kanjanur – Kumbakonam
After breakfast, drive from Kumbakonam to Swamimalai (about 8 km.), which is home to one of 6 holy abodes of Lord Murugan. It was here that Murugan explained the meaning of the Pranav Mantra ‘Om’ to his father Lord Shiva who praised the former as Swaminatha Swami (Teacher of Shiva). Discover beautiful gopurams (gateway towers) and pray at the temple. Drive further to reach Tirunageswaram (about 14 km.).
The place is home to Rahu Sthlama or the temple dedicated to the lunar node Rahu. Lord Shiva is worshipped as Naganathar who was worshipped by the snake called Adisesha here. Shiva blessed the snake with the designation of the King of Serpents. The place is also famous for being the abode of Goddess Girigujambal. Pray at the temple located on the bank of River Kaveri and move on to Kanjanur (about 13 km.).
At Kanjanur, you will visit the Agniswarar Temple, the abode of Shukra (Venus). Lord Shiva is worshipped as Agniswarar and it is believed that Shukra resides in the stomach of Shiva’s idol here. It was here that Lord Shiva performed cosmic dance and blessed Sage Parasara. Pray and drive back to Kumbakonam (about 17 km.) for night stay. Day 4: Kumbakonam – Chidambaram – Pondicherry
Leave Kumbakonam after breakfast on a drive to Pondicherry (about 129 km.) and stop at Chidambaram (about 73 km.) on the way. The holy temple town is home to numerous Hindu shrines, the most popular being Nataraja Temple, one of the five Panch Bhoot Sthlams (sacred Shiva temples representing various elements of nature called air, water, fire, earth and sky) where the Shiva Lingam represents the element sky (space). It was here that Shiva took the form of Nataraja (God of Dancers) and performed Tandava Dance on a demon’s back. Pray at the temple and spend some time at Pichavaram popular for its lush green mangrove forests and pristine backwaters. Continue to Pondicherry, the erstwhile French colony which bears the influence of European and Indian cultures, and check in at the booked hotel on arrival. Later, join us on the sightseeing trip and visit the top attractions like beaches, churches, temples and the famous Aurobindo Ashram. Stay overnight at Pondicherry.
Day 5: Pondicherry – Mahabalipuram – Chennai
Leave for Chennai (about 170 km.) after breakfast and stop at Mahabalipuram (about 100 km.) on the way. The coastal town hosts the World Heritage Sites of inimitable rock-cut architecture adorned with incredible carvings. Visit the top highlights like Shore Temple, Panch Rathas (five chariot-shaped temples dedicated to Pandavas) and Arjuna’s Penance (a giant open-bas relief). Continue the drive to Chennai. The tour ends as you reach the city.