Duration: 7 Nights / 8 Days
Destinations: Chennai - Kanchipuram - Mahabalipuram - Pondicherry - Tanjore - Trichy - Madurai - Chennai
Day 01: Arrive Chennai
Assistance on arrival and transfer to the hotel.
Check-in time is 12 Noon.
Day 02: Chennai
Morning sightseeing tour.
Chennai, the capital city, popularly regarded as the 'Gateway to the South
represents a culture that is distinctly different from that of northern
India. The places of interest are Kalakshetra, a school of art and music
that encourages exponents of Bharatnatyam, Carnatic music, traditional
weaving and designing; Fort St. George built in 1653 during British reign
in India, - now houses the Secretariat and Legislative Assembly of Tamil
Nadu; St. Mary's Church, the oldest Anglican Church in India with its
premises; Sri Parthasarathy Temple built by Pallavas in the 8th century
AD; Kapaliswara Temple, Mylapore also an eighth century Pallava Temple
dedicated to Lord Shiva; San Thomas Cathedral Basilica rebuilt in 1606
as a cathedral and in 1896 it was made a basilica; and Theosophical Society
- the world headquarters of the Theosophical Society formed to encourage
the study of comparative religion philosophy and science.
Afternoon at leisure.
Day 03: Chennai-Kanchipuram-Mahabalipuram
Morning drive to Kanchipuram.
Kanchipuram, 70 kms west of Mahabalipuram, this city of thousand temples lies. One of the seven sacred cities of Hindus, it was the capital of the early Cholas as far back as the 2nd century BC. Kanchi was a major seat of Tamil learning as well as an important place of pilgrimage for Buddhists, Jains and Hindus. Apart from temples, the city is also famous for its silk weavers, settled here some 400 years ago and have given it an enviable reputation.
Later proceed to Mahablipuram.
Mahabalipuram, driving south of Madras on the coast lies Mamallapuram (Mahabalipuram), the ancient port of Pallavas. The pallavas have created many marvellous monuments with sculptural panels, caves, Monolithic Rathas and Temples. Krishna Mandapam, has a big bas relief, notable for its realistic representation. The world's largest bas relief measuring 27m x 9m, whale back shaped rock contains figures of gods, demi-gods, men .beasts, birds and representation of the entire creation. Shore Temple, one of the oldest in south dating back to 8th century AD is a good example of the first phase of structural temples constructed in Dravidian style. The Five Rathas, a group of five monolithic temples, each created in different style.
Overnight at the hotel in Mahabalipuram
Day 04: Mahabalipuram-Pondicherry
Morning drive to Pondicherry.
Afternoon visit Pondicherry.
Pondicherry - Although the French influence is gradually fading, Pondicherry retains a few Gallic accents. Pondicherry's main sights are the Rai Nivas, the Sacred Heart Church and the Sri Aurobindo Ashram. The ashram retreat was founded in 1926 by Sri Aurobindo after whose death the spiritual authority passed to one of his disciples, a French woman known as the Mother. The Mother was also instrumental in founding the city of Dawn Auroville, 10 km from Pondicherry. Its original charter aimed at creating a city of the future where people from India and abroad could live and work together in a spiritual environment. On arrival, check-in at the hotel.
Arrive Tanjore and on arrival, check-in at the hotel for overnight.
Day 05: Pondicherry-Tanjore
Drive to Tanjore visiting enroute Chidambram.
Chidambram, the seat of the Cosmic Dancer; dedicated to Lord Nataraja. Spread over an area of 40 acres with a gopuram on each side, the temple is distinguished by the five sabhas or counts. The towering gopurams, the tallest one on the north is 42.4 m are carved on it with 108 dance poses of Bharatanatiyam.
On arrival, check-in at the hotel.
Afternoon visit Tanjore.
Tanjore - The home of Carnatic music, musical instruments, dance and traditional hadicrafts, Tanjore (Thanjavur) is famous for the Brahadeeswarar Temple. The temple constructed more than a thousand years ago by the Chola King Raja Rajan is an architect's marvel. The Art Gallery and the Saraswathi Mahal Library are also well known places of interest.
Day 06: Tanjore-Trichy-Madurai
Drive to Trichy, 56 km for sightseeing.
Srirangam - 5 kms from Trichy, located in an island is Srirangam. Surrounded by the Kaveri water is a 600 acre island town enclosed within the seven walls on the gigantic Sri Ranganathaswami temple. There are no less than 22 gopurams, one of which is the tallest in India. The 72 m high 13 tiered gopuram dominates the landscape for miles around.
The Rock Fort situated on the banks of the Kaveri river, Trichy's most famed land mark is an 84 m high rock, one of the oldest in the world aprox.3,800 million years. The attraction is not for fort itself but the temple at the summit. 344 steps hewn out of rock lead to the top where are the inscriptions dating back to the 3rd century B.C.
Later drive to Madurai and on arrival, check-in at the hotel.
Day 07: Madurai
Morning sightseeing tour of Madurai
Madurai, known as Athens of the East, it is the second largest city on the banks of the River Vigai. The city believed to be more than 2500 yeras old. The city got its name from the drops of nectar (Mathuram) that fell from Shiva's locs when he came to bless its people for constructing a temple for him. Madurai where the people wake up at the chant of hymns is proud of magnificent 'The Meenakshi-Sundareswara Temple. Of its 12 gopurams, four of the tallest stand at the outer walls of the temple. The 48.8 m high southern gopuram is the most spectacular and have over 1500 sculptures. In the Ashta Shakti Mandapam inside the Meenakshi temple, the sculpted pillars tell the story of the beautiful princess of Madurai and her marriage to Lord Shiva.
Afternoon at leisure.
Evening witness Prayer Ceremony at the Meenakshi Temple.
Overnight at the hotel.
Day 08: Madurai-Chennai
Transfer to the airport for flight to Chennai.