Tamil Nadu

India’s Dravidian Hindu heartland, Tamil Nadu is true temple country. Nowhere else in India can you find so many beautiful examples of India’s famous primary coloured, carved temples. Less exposed to the northern influences, over the last thousand years, Tamil Nadu was run by three powerful dynasties that helped to maintain the unique religious and political institutions, leaving a legacy of astounding towering temples throughout the state.

The capital of Chennai is a chaotic and noisy metropolis that is situated on the Bay of Bengal. Considered a centre of performing arts, the city offers several sights of interest including the seaside Fort of St George, St Mary’s, the oldest surviving Anglican church in Asia and many grand colonial mansions.

There are several sites of interest just outside of Chennai including the ancient seaside town of Mamallapuram boasting several World Heritage listed temples and carvings and the temple town of Kanchipuram famed for its hand woven silks. Continue onto the former capital of French India and discover the unique town of Puducherry. Stroll along the boulevards and sea front admiring the blend of French and Tamil culture and architecture, with the French street names, Gendarmeries and richly ornamented Catholic churches.

Other landmark temples in the region include the colourful Meenaskshi Temples that tower over of the oldest cities in India: Madurai and the Great Living Chola Temples of Thanjavur. Chettinad is also well worth a visit with its multitude of unique lavish, former ancestral homes and famous spiced food.

Far from the madding temple crowds, head to the peace and quiet of the forested mountains and coffee estates of the Ghats. Here you can escape the heat and dust in the cool climate of the hill stations of Ooty, Conoor and Kodaikanal.

Itineraries in Tamil Nadu

Saffron & Sandalwood

17 Days / 16 Nights

Woman standing on hilltop in Safronsandalwood, India

Hotels in Tamil Nadu

Hotel De L’Orient, Puducherry, Tamil Nadu

Independent & Heritage Hotels


ITC Grand Chola, Chennai, Tamil Nadu

Outside view of the ITC Grand Chola and gardens

La Villa, Puducherry, Tamil Nadu

Independent & Heritage Hotels

Decorative room inside La Villa

Maison Perumal, Puducherry, Tamil Nadu

CGHEarth Independent & Heritage Hotels

Maison Perumal garden courtyard

Palais De Mahé, Puducherry, Tamil Nadu

CGHEarth Independent & Heritage Hotels

Dining area at Palais De Mahe

Rajakkad Estate, Tamil Nadu

Rajakkad Estate Gardens

Taj Coromandel, Chennai, Tamil nadu

Taj Hotels, Palaces, Resorts & Safaris


The Bangala, Chettinad, Tamil Nadu

Independent & Heritage Hotels

Woman in car

Speak to one of our travel experts