Drive from Thanjavur to Trichy (50 km / 1 hr) to visit the Rangnathswamy Temple and Rock Fort Temple. The latter stands 83 m high, perched on a huge rocky outcrop. The temple complex is composed of two parts - a Shiva temple carved in the middle of the rock and a Ganesh temple at the top portion of the rock. The Ganesh temple is much smaller with access through steep steps carved on the rock and provides a stunning view of Trichy and the rivers Cauvery and Kollidam. The Srirangam Ranganathaswamy Temple (7 km from Trichy) is an important pilgrimage site and an exclusive Vaishnavite landmark. Srirangam looks like an island surrounded by the Cauvery and Kollidam rivers on either side. This temple has the highest tower in south India and can be seen for many miles. Continue the drive to Chettinad (85 km / 2hrs), the land of Nattukottai Chettiars, which is famous for its fortress-like homes and temples that are architectural marvels.
Upon arrival at Chettinad, check into the Chettinadu Mansion heritage hotel is and step back in time. The Chettiars belong to a lineage of wealthy traders and financiers who made their fortunes by extending their business to the whole of Southeast Asia, particularly during the 19th century when they were at the peak of their economic power. As a result of their traveling, the Chettiars integrated diverse influences into their traditions which contributed to their uniqueness. The houses, which evolved over two centuries, are veritable palaces, and the Chettinadu Mansion is one of the most impressive of the many heritage homes of the Chettiars. This small town is equally famous for its astrological explorations and exquisite Chettinadu cuisine.