10 days in Tamil Nadu & Goa Itinerary

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Fly to Chennai International Airport, Drive to Mahabalipuram
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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

S M T W T F S
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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 26th (Wed): learn about wildlife with up-close encounters at The Madras Crocodile Bank Trust and Centre for Herpetology and then examine the collection at DakshinaChitra Museum. On your second day here, examine the collection at India Seashell Museum and then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Shore Temple.

To find reviews, more things to do, ratings, and tourist information, go to the Mahabalipuram route planning site.

Washington, USA to Mahabalipuram is an approximately 25-hour combination of flight and car. The time zone changes from Eastern Standard Time to India Standard Time, which is usually a 10.5 hour difference. Expect warmer temperatures when traveling from Washington in January; daily highs in Mahabalipuram reach 86°F and lows reach 69°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 27th (Thu) so you can fly to Goa.
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Museums · Historic Sites · Zoos & Aquariums · Parks
Side Trip
Find places to stay Jan 26 — 27:

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 28th (Fri): tour the pleasant surroundings at Animal Shelter Agonda and then kick back and relax at Agonda Beach. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 29th (Sat): relax and rejuvenate at Aranya Yoga and then tour the pleasant surroundings at Palolem Beach.

For reviews, ratings, more things to do, and other tourist information, read our Goa trip itinerary builder app.

Fly from Mahabalipuram to Goa in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of taxi and bus. Expect a daytime high around 84°F in January, and nighttime lows around 72°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 30th (Sun) to allow enough time to drive to Kumbakonam.
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Parks · Beaches · Outdoors · Spas
Find places to stay Jan 27 — 30:

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 31st (Mon): don't miss a visit to Arulmigu Naganathaswamy Temple Thirunageswaram and then take in the spiritual surroundings of Mahapratyangira Devi Temple.

To find photos, ratings, other places to visit, and more tourist information, refer to the Kumbakonam trip itinerary planner.

Drive from Goa to Kumbakonam in 17.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive. In January, plan for daily highs up to 88°F, and evening lows to 69°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 31st (Mon) to allow enough time to drive to Rameswaram.
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Historic Sites
Find places to stay Jan 30 — 31:

Rameswaram — 2 nights

A trip to Rameswaram on Pamban Island will take you across a long limestone shoal bridge with spectacular ocean scenery.
Start off your visit on the 1st (Tue): contemplate the waterfront views at Villoondi Tirtham and then tour the pleasant surroundings at Ariyaman Beach. Here are some ideas for day two: take in the spiritual surroundings of Hanuman Temple, make a trip to Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam Memorial, and then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Gandhamadhana Parvatham.

To see where to stay, more things to do, maps, and more tourist information, read our Rameswaram day trip planner.

Traveling by car from Kumbakonam to Rameswaram takes 5.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive. Cap off your sightseeing on the 2nd (Wed) early enough to travel back home.
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Historic Sites · Parks · Beaches · Outdoors
Find places to stay Jan 31 — Feb 2:

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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