10 days in Tamil Nadu & Goa Itinerary

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Fly to Chennai International Airport, Drive to Mahabalipuram
— 1 night
— 3 nights
— 1 night
— 2 nights
Drive to Madurai Airport, Fly to Washington


Mahabalipuram — 1 night

Once an important sea port city in the ancient Pallava kingdom, Mahabalipuram today draws in visitors with UNESCO-listed monuments and temples carved out of rock during the 7th and 8th centuries CE. The structures showcase the decoration and form of early Dravidian architecture, and their distinctive designs, striking coloration, and scale still create an evocative atmosphere when studied closely and when seen as a whole.
Start off your visit on the 5th (Wed): admire nature's wide array of creatures at The Madras Crocodile Bank Trust and Centre for Herpetology and then see the interesting displays at DakshinaChitra Museum. Here are some ideas for day two: see the interesting displays at India Seashell Museum and then take in the spiritual surroundings of Shore Temple.

For photos, maps, and other tourist information, go to the Mahabalipuram day trip tool.

Washington, USA to Mahabalipuram is an approximately 25-hour combination of flight and car. Due to the time zone difference, you'll lose 10.5 hours traveling from Washington to Mahabalipuram. In January, Mahabalipuram is much warmer than Washington - with highs of 86°F and lows of 69°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 6th (Thu) to allow time to fly to Goa.
Museums · Historic Sites · Zoos & Aquariums · Parks
Side Trip
Find places to stay Jan 5 — 6:

Goa — 3 nights

On India's western coastline, the former Portuguese colony of Goa tells a visibly different story than the rest of India.
On the 7th (Fri), contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Shri Mahalasa Temple and then take in the spiritual surroundings of Shantadurga Temple. On the 8th (Sat), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: look for gifts at Zorro Jewellers and then kick back and relax at Benaulim Beach.

For reviews, ratings, where to stay, and tourist information, you can read our Goa trip itinerary maker website.

You can fly from Mahabalipuram to Goa in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of taxi and bus. In January, plan for daily highs up to 84°F, and evening lows to 72°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 9th (Sun) so you can go by car to Kumbakonam.
Historic Sites · Beaches · Outdoors · Parks
Find places to stay Jan 6 — 9:

Kumbakonam — 1 night

A notable temple town, Kumbakonam harbors a wealth of Hindu buildings dedicated to Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva.
On the 10th (Mon), contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Chakkarapani Temple and then steep yourself in history at Arulmigu Naganathaswamy Temple Thirunageswaram.

For photos, maps, other places to visit, and tourist information, use the Kumbakonam tour itinerary planner.

Traveling by car from Goa to Kumbakonam takes 17.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive. In January in Kumbakonam, expect temperatures between 88°F during the day and 69°F at night. Cap off your sightseeing on the 10th (Mon) early enough to go by car to Rameswaram.
Historic Sites
Find places to stay Jan 9 — 10:

Rameswaram — 2 nights

A trip to Rameswaram on Pamban Island will take you across a long limestone shoal bridge with spectacular ocean scenery.
On the 11th (Tue), contemplate the waterfront views at Villoondi Tirtham and then enjoy the sand and surf at Ariyaman Beach. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: take in the spiritual surroundings of Hanuman Temple, then make a trip to Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam Memorial, and then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Gandhamadhana Parvatham.

To find maps, traveler tips, photos, and tourist information, read Rameswaram route builder site.

You can drive from Kumbakonam to Rameswaram in 5.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 12th (Wed) so you can travel back home.
Historic Sites · Parks · Beaches · Outdoors
Find places to stay Jan 10 — 12:

Tamil Nadu travel guide

Sacred & Religious Sites · Bodies of Water · Beaches
Land of Tamils
Home to a Tamil population that speaks one of the world's oldest languages, the state of Tamil Nadu appeals to tourists with its many Hindu temples, beach resorts, charming hill stations, and World Heritage Sites. Several major civilizations have thrived in this area over the last 2,000 years, including the famous Chola, Chera, Pallava, and Pandya. Today, a trip to Tamil Nadu reveals its unique heritage blending elements of all the cultures that lived and died here, leaving their mark on the area's cuisine, music, religious traditions, and literature. In an ancient land steeped in history, state capital Chennai serves as a modern and convenient tourist base, providing great shopping, dining, and entertainment options.