Temples of the South - 8 Days

Validity: Till 31st July 2020

Itinerary:

Discover the magnificent temples of Tamil Nadu, architectural wonders that will leave you spellbound. Visit Tanjore, Trichy and Mahabalipuram - a World Heritage site.

Day 1: Mumbai - Chennai – Pondicherry (170 km, 3 ½ hrs drive)

Meet at Chennai airport and drive by car to Pondicherry. Arrive and check in at your hotel. The Union Territory of Pondicherry is a unique blend of French colonial heritage, traditional culture, spiritual aura and cosmopolitan lifestyle. If time permits, visit Auroville (open Monday – Friday, 9 am – 5.30 pm) an ideal township devoted to an experiment of human unity in diversity. It is quite different to the Sri Aurobindo Ashram. Overnight.

Day 2: Pondicherry – Aurobindo Ashram – City Tour

Breakfast. This morning, visit Aurobindo Ashram, founded by the spiritual leader Shree Aurobindo and his favorite disciple 'the mother' who set up this sprawling Ashram in 1926, exploring Yoga and meditation at as paths for salvation. Visit Auroville if you were unable to visit on the day you arrived.

On the afternoon tour of Pondicherry visit the French Institute, the Library which contains a rich varied collection of books and journals relating to cultural knowledge and heritage between 1500 – 2000; the Pondicherry Museum, Botanical Gardens, churches of Pondicherry influenced by French architectural style. Visit ancient Pondicherry Temples dedicated to Lord Ganesha, some of them dating back to the 10th century AD Chola Empire. End at Pondicherry beach known for its serene ambience and scenic beauty. Overnight.

Day 3: Pondicherry - Tanjore (71 kms) – Sightseeing Tour

After breakfast depart by car for Tanjore (Thanjavur). Arrive and check in at the hotel. This afternoon, visit the Brihadeeswara Temple, the greatest architectural achievement of the Chola era. Other attractions are the Vijayanagar Fort, the Thanjavur Palace, Saraswati Mahal in the Palace and Schwartz Church in the Thanjavur palace garden. It was built by the Chola king Raja Serfoji in 1779 AD to show his affection to the Danish Reverend Frederick. Also visit the popular Mariamma Temple, dedicated to goddess Mariamma. Overnight.

Day 4: Tanjore – Trichy (Tiruchilappalli) Tour

After breakfast, enjoy a full day tour of Trichy believed to be 2500 years old. The Cholas, Pallavas, Nayaks and Marathas ruled the city in the course of history. Visit the Rock Fort Temple which is located on a massive rock on the banks of the river Kaveri. The Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple at Srirangam is one of the most revered shrines dedicated to Lord Vishnu in India. The Mariamman Temple is one of the most popular and most visited temples. The museum has an excellent collection of beautiful sculptures of Mahivira, Gautam Buddha, Lord Vishnu and houses very interesting fossils, prehistoric Megalithic tools, Paleolithic tools and Neolithic tools. Return to Tanjore in the evening. Overnight.

Day 5: Trichy - Kumbakonam (40 km)

After breakfast, drive to Kumbakonam also known as the Cambridge of South India because of its many educational institutions. Srinivasa Ramanujan was one of India's greatest mathematical geniuses; his family home is now a revered museum. Kumbakonam is a manufacturing centre for bronze statues, bronze crafts, gift items and the famous Natraja statue. Overnight.

Day 6: Kumbakonam – Mahabalipuram (240 km) – Shore Temple Tour

After breakfast, drive to Mahabalipuram, arrive at lunch time and check in at your hotel. After lunch, visit the Shore Temple which was built in the 7th century and depicts the royal taste of the Pallava dynasty. It is a brilliant example of a structural temple and comprises three shrines, where the prominent ones are dedicated to Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu. The sculpture here is particularly interesting because, instead of gods and goddesses, the sculpture shows scenes from contemporary day to day life. Overnight.

Day 7: Mahabalipuram – Chennai (53 km)

Breakfast. Check out and transfer to Chennai. En route, visit Kanchipuram famous for its silks and temples. Arrive Chennai and check in at your hotel. Overnight.

Day 8: Chennai – City Tour

After breakfast, enjoy a city tour of Chennai. Visit Fort St. George, completed in 1653 and St. Mary's, the first church consecrated on Indian soil. The National Art Gallery has many excellent bronzes including the famous Chola period bronze Nataraja, the God Shiva, in the cosmic dance pose. The Government Museum (closed on Fridays) contains sculpture and architecture of the Dravidian dynasties. Drive along the Marina, an elegant promenade to the old Indian section of Mylapore. Visit San Thome Basilica - the culmination of the enduring legend of Thomas Didymus, the apostle who doubted and who is believed to have lived and preached on Mylapore's shores. Afternoon, transfer to the airport.

Package Price: Rs. 26,355 per person on double sharing basis.

Validity: Till 31st July 2020

City Hotels Meals Nights
Pondicherry Shenbaga Hotel and Convention Centre Breakfast 2
Tanjore Star Residency Breakfast 1
Trichy Redfox Breakfast 1
Kumbakonam Hotel Quality Inn Viha Breakfast 1
Mahabalipuram Mamallaa Heritage Breakfast 1
Chennai Clarion Breakfast 1

Price Includes:

  • Accommodation at hotels as mentioned / similar.
  • Airport transfers & sightseeing tours by Ac Etios car.
  • Daily breakfast.

Price Excludes:

  • Airfare.
  • Entrance fees at monuments, camera fee.
  • English speaking guide.

Note:

  • Price valid for Indian nationals only. NRIs / Overseas guests are requested to contact us.
  • Hotel mentioned are subject to availability.
  • Taxes as applicable.

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