10 days in Tamil Nadu & Goa Itinerary

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Fly to Chennai International Airport, Drive to Mahabalipuram
1
Mahabalipuram
— 1 night
Fly
2
Goa
— 3 nights
Drive
3
Kumbakonam
— 1 night
Drive
4
Rameswaram
— 2 nights
Drive to Madurai Airport, Fly to Washington

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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 2nd (Sun): admire nature's wide array of creatures at The Madras Crocodile Bank Trust and Centre for Herpetology and then examine the collection 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 reviews, more things to do, where to stay, and tourist information, read our Mahabalipuram trip itinerary planning app.

Washington, USA to Mahabalipuram is an approximately 25-hour combination of flight and car. The time zone difference when traveling from Washington to Mahabalipuram is 10.5 hours. In January, Mahabalipuram is warmer than Washington - with highs of 86°F and lows of 69°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 3rd (Mon) early enough to catch the flight to Goa.
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Museums · Historic Sites · Parks · Zoos & Aquariums
Side Trip
Find places to stay Jan 2 — 3:

Goa — 3 nights

On India's western coastline, the former Portuguese colony of Goa tells a visibly different story than the rest of India.
Kick off your visit on the 4th (Tue): stop by Zorro Jewellers and then kick back and relax at Benaulim Beach. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: take in the spiritual surroundings of Shri Mahalasa Temple and then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Shantadurga Temple.

To find photos, where to stay, maps, and tourist information, you can read our Goa driving holiday planning app.

Getting from Mahabalipuram to Goa by flight takes about 3.5 hours. Other options: 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 your sightseeing early on the 6th (Thu) to allow enough time to drive to Kumbakonam.
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Historic Sites · Parks · Outdoors · Shopping
Find places to stay Jan 3 — 6:

Kumbakonam — 1 night

A notable temple town, Kumbakonam harbors a wealth of Hindu buildings dedicated to Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva.
Start off your visit on the 7th (Fri): contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Chakkarapani Temple and then contemplate the long history of Arulmigu Naganathaswamy Temple Thirunageswaram.

For maps, other places to visit, more things to do, and tourist information, you can read our Kumbakonam trip itinerary planning app.

Traveling by car from Goa to Kumbakonam takes 17.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive. In January, daytime highs in Kumbakonam are 88°F, while nighttime lows are 69°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 7th (Fri) early enough to go by car to Rameswaram.
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Historic Sites
Find places to stay Jan 6 — 7:

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 8th (Sat), stroll through Villoondi Tirtham and then kick back and relax at Ariyaman Beach. Here are some ideas for day two: contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Hanuman Temple, then make a trip to Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam Memorial, and then take in the spiritual surroundings of Gandhamadhana Parvatham.

To see ratings, traveler tips, more things to do, and other tourist information, use the Rameswaram trip maker tool.

Traveling by car from Kumbakonam to Rameswaram takes 5.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 9th (Sun) early enough to travel back home.
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Historic Sites · Parks · Nature · Outdoors
Find places to stay Jan 7 — 9:

Tamil Nadu travel guide

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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.
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