Tamil Nadu attractions

Top Choice Hindu Temple in Thanjavur (Tanjore)

Brihadishwara Temple

Come here twice: in the morning, when the honey-hued granite begins to assert its dominance over the white dawn sunshine, and in the evening, when the rocks capture a hot palette of reds, oranges, yellows and pinks …
Top Choice Hindu Temple in Madurai

Meenakshi Amman Temple

The colourful abode of the triple-breasted warrior goddess Meenakshi (‘fish-eyed’ – an epithet for perfect eyes in classical Tamil poetry) is generally considered to be the peak of South Indian temple architecture, …
Top Choice Hindu Temple in Trichy (Tiruchirappalli)

Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple

So large it feels like a self-enclosed city, Sri Ranganathaswamy is quite possibly India's biggest temple. It has 49 separate Vishnu shrines, and reaching the inner sanctum from the south, as most worshippers do, re…
Top Choice Hindu Monument in Mamallapuram (Mahabalipuram)

Arjuna’s Penance

The crowning masterpiece of Mamallapuram’s stonework, this giant relief carving is one of India's greatest ancient artworks. Inscribed on two huge, adjacent boulders, the Penance bursts with scenes of Hindu myth and…
Top Choice Hindu Temple in Kumbakonam

Gangaikondacholapuram Temple

The temple at Gangaikondacholapuram ('City of the Chola who Conquered the Ganges'), 35km north of Kumbakonam, is dedicated to Shiva. It was built by Rajendra I in the 11th century when he moved the Chola capital her…
Top Choice Palace in Kanyakumari (Cape Comorin)

Padmanabhapuram Palace

With a forest’s worth of intricately carved rosewood ceilings and polished-teak beams, this labyrinthine palace, 35km northwest of Kanyakumari, near the Kerala border, is considered the finest example of traditional…
Top Choice Hindu Temple in Tiruvannamalai

Arunachaleshwar Temple

This 10-hectare temple is one of India's largest. Its oldest parts date to the 9th century, but the site was a place of worship long before that. Four huge, unpainted white gopurams mark the entrances; the main, 17t…
Top Choice Palace in Thanjavur (Tanjore)

Royal Palace

Thanjavur’s royal palace is a mixed bag of ruin and renovation, superb art and random royal paraphernalia. The mazelike complex was constructed partly by the Nayaks who took over Thanjavur in 1535, and partly by a l…
Top Choice Hindu Temple in Trichy (Tiruchirappalli)

Rock Fort Temple

The Rock Fort Temple, perched 83m high on a massive outcrop, lords over Trichy with stony arrogance. The ancient rock was first hewn by the Pallavas and Pandyas, who cut small cave temples on its south side, but it …
Top Choice Museum in Chennai (Madras)

Government Museum

Housed across from the striking British-built Pantheon Complex, this excellent museum is Chennai’s best. The big highlight is building 3, the Bronze Gallery, with a superb collection of South Indian bronzes from the…