Tamil Nadu temples
Intricate rock carvings, vibrant festivals, classical music and magnetic dance forms highlight the cultural heritage of the cultural capital !
Tour Length : 6 Nights / 7 Days
Highlights : Chennai - Mahabalipuram - Thanjavur - Madurai

Day 1 : Chennai - Mahabalipuram
On arrival in Chennai, transfer to hotel (for wash and change). Chennai, one of the four major metropolitan cities of India, is the capital of Tamilnadu-the exotic state famous for its cutwork in temples, coconut fringes, and silk saris. Later go for a brief tour of Chennai, visiting some of India's oldest British monuments, including Fort St. George (presently used as the offices of the Tamilnadu secretariat and the legislative assembly) and the Garrison Church of St. Marys, the oldest Anglican church in India. Thereafter, proceed to Mahabalipuram. Overnight at Mahabalipuram.

Day 2 : Mahabalipuram
Go for an excursion to Kanchipuram. Kanchipuram is a spectacular temple city which reflects the glorious traditions of south India, with its noted temples and thriving handloom industries. It is popularly called the Golden Town of Thousand Temples, and is renowned for the Kamakshi, Varadarajaswami, and Kailasanathan temples, all more than worthy of visit. Return to Mahabalipuram to see the fascinating temples there. The magnificent Shore Temple, built by king Rajasimha in the seventh century, is a unique temple that houses the shrines of both Shiva and Vishnu. Overnight at hotel.

Day 3 : Mahabalipuram - Thanjavur
In the morning, drive to Thanjavur. Arrive Thanjavur and check into your hotel. Rest of the day is at leisure. Thanjavur was once the royal city of the Cholas and the Nayaks. It is still considered the centre of all the classical arts and music, and is also well known for its unique painting style called Tanjore Painting. Overnight at Thanjavur.

Day 4 : Thanjavur
Morning proceed for brief city tour of Thanjavur. Home to 93 temples, Thanjavur stands out as a towering monument proclaiming the glory of the Chola regime, and its commitment to the arts and culture. Visit the Gangaikondacholapuram Temple. The Gangaikondacholapuram Temple lies right to Kumbakonam. The son of Chola king Raja Raja, Rajendra Chola, had built the temple on the lines of the big Temple of Thanjavur. Till date, even the ruins of the temple are visited for the splendid specimens of Chola sculpture. Overnight at Thanjavur.

Day 5 : Thanjavur - Madurai
Drive to Madurai via Trichy. Enroute visit the Rock Fort Temple and Srirangam Temple-a 17th century temple dedicated to Vishnu. Srirangam, surrounded by the waters of river Kaveri on one side and its tributary Kollidan on the other, is a 600 acre island town enclosed within the seven walls of the gigantic Sri Ranganathaswami Temple. There are 21 gopurams, among which the Rajagopuram is the largest in South India. Arrive Madurai and check into your hotel.

Day 6 : Madurai
Madurai was the capital city of the great Pandya kings, and today it is Tamil Nadu's most happening cultural arena. In the morning visit the Meenakshi Temple, the Teppakkulam Tank and the ancient Tirumala Nayak Palace. The structures of the Meenakshi Temple date mostly from the twelfth to the eighteenth century. Its enormous gopurams, covered with gaily-coloured statues, dominate the landscape and are visible from all over Madurai. At every turn there is a superb sculpture; a magnificent architecture. The Tirumala Nayak Palace is a gracious building in the Indo Saracenic style, famous for the stucco work on its domes and arches. Afternoon is at leisure. Overnight at Madurai.

Day 7 : Madurai
Onward transfer to the airport to board a flight for your onward destination.

Tamil Nadu temples and beaches

Tour Length :11 Nights / 12 Days
Highlights :Chennai - Mahabalipuram - Pondicherry - Tiruchirapalli - Madurai - Kanniyakumari - Kovalam - Thiruvananthapuram

Day 1 : Chennai
Arrive at Chennai rly station / airport. Chennai, once a fishing village is now a sprawling metropolis and the capital of Tamil Nadu. Rest of the day is free. Overnight at hotel.

Day 2 : Chennai
Morning after breakfast, sightseeing tour of Chennai including St. Thomas Cathedral Basilica, Kapaleshwara Temple, Marina beach, the second longest beach in the world and Santhome Cathedral which was built around 15th century. The Snake Park has a large collection of snakes and many other reptiles. Overnight at hotel.

Day 3 : Chennai - Mahabalipuram
After breakfast, drive to Mahabalipuram. Enroute visit Kanchipuram, the ancient capital of the Pallavas and famous as a city of 1000 temples. Also worth visiting are the temples of Ekambaswara, Kailasanatha, Sri Kamakshi and Varadarajaswamy. Kanchipuram is also famous for its silks. In the afternoon, drive to Mahabalipuram. Breathtakingly real and artistic impressions of beauty and harmony, Mahabalipuram attracts tourists, due to its monumental splendour and sunny beaches. Visit to the famous seven pagodas. Overnight at Mahabalipuram.

Day 4 : Mahabalipuram - Pondicherry
After breakfast, drive to Pondicherry and check in at the hotel. Visit Aurbindo Ashram. This ashram promotes Aurbindo's ideas in bringing about a synthesis of Yoga and modern science, so as to unite the material and soul. Later, go on for a visit to Auroville - a unique experiment in international living and in creating a new environment where men and women of all nationalities live together in harmony. Return to hotel for overnight at hotel.

Day 5 : Pondicherry
After breakfast, we drive through the tropical mountains to Chidambaram. At Chidambaram we visit the Natraja Temple which is dedicated to the dancing Lord Shiva, a famous Hindu deity of the Chola Kings. Overnight at Pondicherry.

Day 6 : Pondicherry - Tiruchirapalli
After breakfast proceed to Trichy. Trichy is so ancient that it was mentioned by Ptolemy in the 2nd century BC. The tour of the city starts with a visit to spectacular Rock Fort Temple. This temple tops an 83m high outcrop. One climbs a steep 437 steps to reach the Vinayaka Temple built at the top of the hill. The next stop on your tour is the Srirangam Temple complex around 3 kms from the Rock Fort. This complex with its seven concentric walls with 21 gopurams is probably the largest in India.The complex dates from the 14th - 17th centuries. Overnight at hotel.

Day 7 : Tiruchirapalli
After an early breakfast, excursion to Thanjavur for visiting the Brahadeeswara and other temples from the Chola dynasty. Later proceed to Kumbakonam, one of the oldest town in Tamilnadu and is famous for its Mahamaham festival. In the 7th Century, it was the capital of Chola Kings. Kumbakonam, the famous temple town of South India, is picturesquely located amidst the two rivers, Cauvery & Arasalar. Later we visit to Airavateshwarar Temple & Kampahareshwarar Temple. Overnight stay at Trichy.

Day 8 : Tiruchirapalli - Madurai
Today you will drive from Trichy to Madurai, one of southern India's oldest cities with a recorded history going back to the 6th century B.C.. Arrive and proceed to your hotel. This afternoon, you will visit the world famous Meenakshi Mandir, known for its beautifully carved Gopurams (towers), later visit the Tirumal Nayak Palace. Rest of the day is at leisure. This evening, you may return to Meenakshi Mandir to witness the evening aarti ceremony and overnight stay at the hotel.

Day 9 : Madurai
Morning, an excursion to Rameshwaram. A devoted Hindu visits Rameshwaram for the culmination of his quest for salvation. Pay your respect at the famous Ram & Shiva temples. And return to Madurai for another overnight stay.

Day 10 : Madurai - Kanniyakumari
Drive to Kanyakumari in the morning and check in at the hotel. Enchanting Kanyakumari or Cape Comorin is one of the most popular tourist spots in the state and indeed, in the country. Visit to the Kumariamman, Gandhi Memorial, Vivekananda Memorial. Overnight at hotel.

Day 11 : Kanniyakumari - Kovalam
After breakfast, proceed to Kovalam, India's most exotic beach. Arrive and proceed to your hotel. Rest of the day is at leisure to enjoy the Kovalam beach. Overnight at the hotel.

Day 12 : Kovalam - Thiruvananthapuram
After breakfast, transfer to Trivandrum to board a train/ flight for onward journey.


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