States Tamil Nadu Nagapattinam

Nagapattinam Travel Guide

A stretch of a beach with yellow warm sand and sparkling blue waters of Bay of Bengal welcomes you, as you enter Nagapattinam. A district headquarters and a key town of Tamil Nadu, Nagapattinam has emerged as a prominent travel destination of South India in the recent past. If taking a sunbath, walking on the soft, warm sand of a beach and playing with the waters of the ocean is your idea of an idyllic holiday, then Nagapattinam must be on your bucket list. As a district of Tamil Nadu and also a major town, Nagapattinam is endowed with a rich history and culture along with strong inter-faith influences. The town has loads to offer to the discerning traveller. Whether you are a staunch pilgrim, or a classy tourist or an absolute crazy backpacker, Nagapattinam will always keep you surprised with its numerous places to visit. Nagapattinam's strategic location makes it an ideal weekend getaway for the people of Chennai and its nearby cities. With a strong Buddhist history; a religious shrine where Hindus and Muslims pray together, with the famous Christian pilgrimage site, Velankanni a stone's throw away, Nagapattinam offers you ample reasons to fall in love with it. From temples to churches, beaches and sanctuaries and even art galleries - the several places to visit in Nagapattinam will fill you with an absolute sense of delight. The name Nagapattinam literally translates as the Land of Serpent Gods and the history of the town can be traced back to the times of the Chola Empire.

A prominent port during the time of the Cholas, the place owes its development to this empire. Even Emperor Ashoka ordered a Buddhist Vihara to be built in the town the remains of which can be seen in the form of Chudamani Vihara today. Over time, colonial rulers including the Dutch and Portuguese captured the port town and left behind their legacy that are still proof of their faith and heritage. Several churches such as the Velankanni Church (built by the Portuguese) and as many as 10 churches were built by the Dutch and some of these are today the important places for sightseeing tour. Today, with its so many colours, vibes and idiosyncrasies, Nagapattinam is a popular tourist destination. It is an ideal travel place that attracts all kinds of tourists and that too from different kinds of background. Right from backpackers to solo travellers, pilgrims to family vacationers and even the likes of photographers and thrill-seekers, Nagapattinam welcomes all with open arms. All kinds of travellers can enjoy themselves to the fullest at Nagapattinam. In our Nagapattinam travel guide, we have tried our best to compile an extensive list of all the places to visit and things to do that include churches, temples, Buddhist viharas, dargas, wildlife sanctuaries as well as art galleries in this picturesque port town located in India's Coromandel Coast.

Best Time to Visit Nagapattinam

The best time to visit Nagapattinam is during the winters months, from October to March when the temperature is pleasant. However, these days tourist flock round the year as the months of April and May are good for pilgrimage. During the monsoon months - July to September the town looks remarkably beautiful and tourists (though in less number) have started visiting that time too.

  • Summer


    Summers in Nagapattinam span from early April to June and are characterised by hot and humid climate. Bright sunny days followed by humidity can make it a little uncomfortable for the tourists. Temperature during the summer months ranges between 28°C to 36°C. Despite that, Nagapattinam attracts a lot of tourists, most of whom are pilgrims during the summer months.

  • Monsoon


    Nagapattinam experiences monsoons from June end to mid-September. Though it experiences somewhat moderate rainfall, the town looks unusually beautiful. It goes without saying that monsoons can be one of the best time to soak in the beauty of the town completely.

  • Winter


    While monsoons lend a different beauty to the town, winters are the best time to visit Nagapattinam when the weather in absolutely splendid. Temperature ranges between 20° to 27°C. Bright sunny days with cool breeze characterizes the town during this time with even cooler evenings. It goes without saying that winters are the best time for a tour of Nagapattinam.

Popular Tourist Attractions & Best Places to Visit in & around Nagapattinam

The town of Nagapattinam makes for an ideal weekend escape for thousands of discerning travellers. Be it pilgrims from various faiths, solo travellers, backpackers and even family vacationers-all can have their fair share of enjoyment in this small coastal town. From temples to churches, beaches and lighthouses, sanctuaries and even art galleries - the places to visit in Nagapattinam will fill you with a sense of absolute delight.

  • Kayarohana Swami and Neelayadakshi Temple

    Kayarohana Swami and Neelayadakshi Temple is one of the most prominent Hindu religious shrines in Nagapattinam and is dedicated to Lord Shiva. The presiding deity here happens to be Lord Kayarohana and his consort Nilayathaksi. Constructed in the 6th century AD, the temple finds mention in the compositions of the Appars, Nayammars, Sambandar and Sundarar. There's an idol of Thyagaraja in the temple made of Lapis Lazuli.

  • Soundararaja Perumal Temple

    More than 2000 years' old, the Soundararaja Perumal Temple is a major religious shrine in the town of Nagapattinam. Dedicated to Lord Vishnu, the shrine dates back to the 6th century. Owing to its popularity among the Tamilians, the temple often finds its mention in ancient Tamil Literature. Upholding typical Dravidian architecture, the temple is believed to have been built by the Medieval Cholas with later additions by the Thanjavur Nayaks.

  • Nagore Dargha

    Located five kilometres from Nagapattinam, the Nagore Dargah is yet another prominent Islamic religious shrine in the district. The Dargah is built over the tomb of the Sufi Saint Nagore Shahul Hamid who lived during the late 15th and early 16th century. Some of the common worship practices at Nagore Dargah include certain offerings accompanied by the playing of certain musical instruments like nadaswaram, a typical of certain Hindu rituals.

  • Vaitheeswaran Kovil Shrine to Mars

    One of the Navagraha Temples, the Vaitheeswaran Kovil Shrine is associated with the planet Mars. Dedicated to Lord Shiva, the deity Vaidyanathar presides over the temple. He is considered the God of Healing and he is believed to be so powerful that he can even cure diseases such as leprosy. The temple is believed to be in existence since the time of the Ramayana and is one of the popular shrines in Nagapattinam.

  • Sikkal Singaravelar Temple

    Situated on the Nagapattinam- Tiruvarur route, the Sikkal Singaravelar Temple is a key shrine dedicated to Lord Muruga. Interestingly, idols of Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu are also enshrined in the temple complex. While the temple is witness to several festivals round the year, the major festival that is celebrated with much pomp and pleasure happens to be the Skanda Shasthi. It is celebrated during the Tamil month of Aprasi.

  • Mayuranathaswamy Temple

    Mayuranathaswamy Temple is a major Hindu religious shrine in the Nagapattinam district, dedicated to Lord Shiva. However, the presiding deity here happens to be Mayuranathaswamy, a form of Lord Shiva. It is believed that Parvati worshipped Lord Shiva at this location in the form of a mayura or peafowl. Hence the name Mayuranathaswamy. Built in the typical Dravidian style, the architecture of the temple is worth admiring.

  • Kodikkarai Wildlife Sanctuary

    One of the must visit places in Nagapattinam happens to be the Kodikkarai Wildlife Sanctuary. It is also one the oldest in the region and houses rich flora and fauna. The sanctuary is ideally a small island on the Bay of Bengal near Palk Strait. Proposed as a National Park, the sanctuary houses endless number of flora and fauna. From blackbucks to deer, flamingos and common iora - one can spot several species of mammals and birds here. Read more

  • Nataraja of Konerirajapuram

    Dedicated to Lord Shiva, who is worshipped here in the form of Uma Maheswarar, Nataraja of Konerirajapuram is yet another major Hindu temple in the holy city of Nagapattinam. The presiding deity of the temple happens to be Maheswarar, just another form of Lord Shiva who is often mentioned in the works of traditional Tamil saint poets. The religious shrine was originally built by the Cholas and later renovated by the Vijaynagar Empire and Madurai Nayaks.

  • Poompuhar Beach

    Stretches of light yellow sands will welcome you as you enter the Poompuhar Beach in Nagapattinam. Existing since the times of the Chola Dynasty, the shore line is a popular beach of Nagapattinam that attracts thousands of tourists round the year. Take a walk on the warm soft sands, simply relax on the beach or take a stroll with your significant other as you admire the sunset - a tour of Poompuhar Beach is a must.

  • Ettukudi Murugan Temple

    The Ettukudi Murugan Temple is yet another well-known Hindu religious shrine in the holy city of Nagapattinam. Lord Murugan is the presiding deity in the temple. Historians are of the opinion that the temple dates back to the 13th century and was constructed by the rulers of the Chola. The shrine is built in the typical Dravidian style of architecture with gopurams and bright coloured figurines.

  • Akshyalingaswamy Temple

    Dedicated to Lord Shiva, the Akshyalingaswamy Temple is yet another major Hindu religious shrine in Nagapattinam. Historians are of the opinion that the temple is more than 2000 years old. Upholding a typical Dravidian style of architecture, the temple has a seven storied Gopuram that is strikingly beautiful. Apart from Lord Shiva, two other presiding deities in the temple are Lord Muruga and Lord Kuber.

  • Sri Rajagopalaswami Temple

    Sri Rajagopalaswami temple is a prominent place to visit in Nagapattinam. Considered to be one of the oldest in the region, the temple attracts several devotees and travellers alike. While the temple was constructed in the 12th century, the sanctum sanctorum is believed to have been in existence way before that. Place where the temple is located is referred to as South Dwarka and legends have it that Lord Krishna appeared here to bless two devotees.

  • Sri Agneeswaraswami Temple

    Situated in Thirupugalur, a few kilometres away from Nagapattinam's centre, the Sri Agneeswaraswami Temple is also revered by thousands of devotees and travellers alike. The primary deity of the temple happens to be Agneeswarar (a form of Lord Shiva) and his consort Karundharkuzhali. Just like most of its counterparts, the Agneeswaraswami Temple is also constructed in the typical Dravidian style of architecture and is believed to have been built during the Chola Dynasty.

  • Silappathikara Art Gallery

    The Silappathikaram Art Gallery is yet another must visit tourist attraction in Nagapattinam. Silapaddikaram is a famous Tamil epic composed by Ilango Adigal. The entire story of this epic has been depicted very beautifully through paintings in the art gallery. Apart from that, certain artefacts belonging to the Chola Dynasty are also housed in the art gallery. Art lovers will definitely have a great time here.

  • Kayarohanaswamy Temple

    Yet another prominent Hindu shrine in the holy town of Nagapattinam happens to be the Kayarohanaswamy Temple. The deity worshipped here is Kayarohanaswamy, a form of Lord Shiva. The term Karona is a corrupted version of Kaya-rohana and the shrine is a twin of the Kayarohana temple of Gujarat. Karonam might also have been believed to have been derived from phrases such as "Kar Onam". The temple was later rebuilt by the Cholas and the Pallavas.

  • Sri Gomuktheeswarar Temple

    Commonly known as the Masilamaniswara Temple, the Gomuktheeswarar holy place is an age-old Hindu religious shrine, located slightly on the outskirts of Nagapattinam. Another entrant among the host of religious shrines in the coastal civic body, the temple is flocked by thousands of pilgrims and travellers alike round the year. Sri Gomuktheeswarar Temple shrine is also an excellent example of the Dravidian style of architecture.

Where to Stay in Nagapattinam?

Nagapattinam has a long list of hotels catering to all kinds of travellers - from backpackers to luxury family vacationers. One can choose from ample options in terms of the places to stay in Nagapattinam. Whether it's a hotel overlooking the sea beach or an accommodation close to temples, one can find all. It goes without saying that most of the hotels can be booked online beforehand.

How to Reach Nagapattinam?

Nagapattinam's strategic location makes it a lot easy to commute from neighbouring cities. Chennai is roughly 318 kilometres from Nagapattinam while Puducherry and Trichy are nearly 150 kilometres away. Other nearby cities to Nagapattinam includes Madurai and Coimbatore. The ideal means to travel to Nagapattinam is railways. Other than that, buses and taxis are also available from various cities like Chennai, Puducherry, Coimbatore and Madurai.

  • By Air

    The nearest airport to Nagapattinam happens to be in Trichy or Tiruchirapalli, located at a distance of 150 kilometres. Trichy Airport is well-connected with the rest of the country through several domestic airlines. Once at the airport, buses and cabs can be easily availed to reach Nagapattinam.

  • By Rail

    Nagapattinam has its own railway station that is well-connected to a host of cities in Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Karnataka. However, the nearest railway junction to Nagapattinam is Thanjavur lying at a distance of roughly 92 kilometers. Thanjavur is very well-connected with the rest of India through express trains. From the Thanjavur station, several options are available to make it to Nagapattinam. Alternately, one can take a direct train to Nagapattinam from several cities of south India.

  • By Road

    Nagapattinam is extremely well-connected by roads from all major cities of south India. NH 32 connects Chennai to Nagapattinam while NH 67 connects the town to Coimbatore. If you are travelling from Madurai to Nagapattinam, you need to take a state highway. State buses, ac and non-ac ones are available for commuting most of the time. Other than that, cabs on rent are available from major points in cities like Chennai, Coimbatore and Madurai. Road conditions are mostly good, hence a road trip to Nagapattinam would be a great experience.

Tamil Nadu Travel Information at a Glance

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