Temple Towns – Tamil Nadu
These cities in central Tamil Nadu were the heartland of the Chola Empire.
Tanjore (Thanjavur) was the capital of the Chola Empire for three centuries. The Brihadishwara Temple is a UNESCO World Heritage site and a truly beautiful example of Chola architecture. Trichy (Tiruchirappalli) has been ruled by the Cholas, Pallavas, Pandyas, the Cholas again and then the Nayaks, Marathas, French and British. Here you can visit the Rock Fort Temple as well as the huge Ranganathaswamy Temple at Srirangam (6 km north of Trichy). There are a large number of other temples and temple towns in this area but there is little in the way of accommodation. Therefore these temples are best visited as a day trip from Trichy or Tanjore or en route to or from Pondicherry. Do not expect to be able to visit them all but select those that interest you most, these may include Chidambaram, Dharasuram, Kumbakonam or Gangaikondacholapuram.