The nickname ‘Golden City of 1,000 Temples’ is well earned, and travelers who make the 45-mile (72-kilometer) trek from Chennai will be rewarded with a veritable treasure trove of Shaivite and Vaishnavite temples. The most notable, the Devarajaswami Temple dedicated to Vishnu, includes a 96-pillar marriage hall and a huge chain carved from stone.
Most of the temples open in the morning and again during the late afternoon and evening hours, but the cooler morning hours are typically a much more pleasant time to visit. For a memorable photo opportunity, give a rupee or two to one of the temple elephants. After passing your donation to the handler, the elephant will offer you a blessing by touching your head with its trunk.
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