Tamil Nadu Culture & history

Our most recommended Tamil Nadu Culture & history

Chennai: Marina Beach Heritage Walk

1. Chennai: Marina Beach Heritage Walk

Start the tour at 4 PM at Marina Light House where your tour will commence. Meet your guide and follow them as you set off along the beach. First, climb up the lighthouse for a great view of the beach and the city, before heading back down to explore the Maritime Museum. Continue your walk and soak up the festive atmosphere as you listen to your guide tell the story of Chennai through its statues. The statues tell a great story about the evolution of the city from a small fishing village to a thriving metropolis. Next, head to the famous Vivekananda House and learn about Swamy Vivekananda and his landmark speech about Indian Philosophy. Hear more about how he was the first religious leader in India to understand the need to provide food and other bare necessities of life to the hungry millions.  Make your last stop at the ancient Parthsarathy Temple. Take a guided walk inside the temple and its surroundings as you get to know the rituals. Admire incarnations of Vishnu and shrines which were built during the rule of Cholas and Vijayanagara Kings. Be spellbound by the intricately carved pillars of the temple. Finally, end the tour at 7 PM outside the temple.

From Chennai: Kanchipuram Temples and Textiles Private Tour

2. From Chennai: Kanchipuram Temples and Textiles Private Tour

Kanchipuram, the ancient city of temples is one of the seven most sacred pilgrim centres for the Hindus. There were believed to be about 1000 temples in Kanchipuram, out of which 126 temples remain today and a few more in its outskirts. The city was the capital of the early Cholas as far back as the 2nd century B.C. and a Pallava capital between the 6th and 8th centuries. Visit the three important temples in Kanchipuram - the Ekambareswarar Temple which is an eleven-storey Shiva Temple adorned with beautiful sculptures; the Kailasanatha Temple which is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is one of the earliest temples; the Devarajaswamy Temple which is dedicated to Lord Vishnu. It is an enormous monument and has massive outer walls and a beautifully sculptured 1000-pillared hall. Apart from its temples, this small town is also known for its thriving handloom industry. The silk weavers of Kanchi settled here more than 400 years ago and have given it an enviable reputation as the producer of the best silk saris in the country. Visit some of the silk weavers who weave saris from pure mulberry silk. These are available in dazzling colours and embellished with fine gold thread (zari).

Chennai: 2-Day Great Living Chola Temples Cultural Tour

3. Chennai: 2-Day Great Living Chola Temples Cultural Tour

Day 1 Following an early morning pickup from your hotel in Chennai, head in direction of Tanjore. At around 1:00 PM, you will arrive in Tanjore, the first capital of the Ancient Chola Empire. Visit the famous Brihadeeswara Temple located at the Great Living Chola Temples Trail and gaze in awe at one of the most imposing architectural structures in India. On this trail, you'll also visit the Thanjavur Big Temple, a more than a 1000-year-old temple with remains of the finest specimen of architecture, sculpture, bronze casting, and painting. Admire the excellent collection of frescoes that can be found on the walls around the sanctum and see the legendary tales of Lord Shiva depicted on the walls. Learn about the special material that was used to paint the murals and the secret they were able to last for so many centuries. Another highlight in Tanjore is the Grand Palace, built during the Nayak rule and repaired during the rule of the Marathas. Walk through the queen’s courtyard and witness divine scenes painted on the walls of the Durbar Hall. Then, search for the underground passage in this palace. There is also the Royal Museum, a gallery, and the Saraswati Mahal Library stationed within the palace complex. In the evening, stay overnight in Tanjore and continue your adventure the next morning. Day 2 Drive to Darasuram from Tanjore and visit the Airavateswar Temple, the second destination in the Great Living Chola Temples Trail. Dedicated to Lord Shiva, the temple was built by Chola King Raja Raja II in the 12th century AD. Learn the history of this UNESCO World Heritage Site which is considered a treasure trove of art, carvings, and architecture. The final stop in the Great Living Chola Temples Trail is the city of Gangaikonda Cholapuram. Built in 1025 by Rajendra Chola, son of the famous Chola emperor Raja Raja, it was meant to commemorate his victory over the Pala Empire across the Ganges. Gangaikonda Cholapuram served as the capital of the mighty Chola Empire for 250 years and is most famous for its Shiva Temple. Visit other highlights of this lost city of Cholas including The Royal Palace made of burnt brick, a giant Nandi, and a magnificent lion figure next to the well where the King poured the Ganges water brought from his conquests. Following the final stop, return to Chennai from Gangaikonda Cholapuram where you'll be dropped off at your hotel at around 8:30 PM.

  • Guided tours
  • Private tours
  • Multi-day trips

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What people are saying about Tamil Nadu

Overall rating

4.3 / 5

based on 20 reviews

It was an amazing experience, I had the opportunity to visit several temples from the Chola's empire. The staff did a great job explaining Chola's history and culture, they even went beyond that and make me feel comfortable all the time. I really recommend this trip