Duration: 09 Nights / 10 Days
Destinations:Mumbai – Chennai, Kanchipuram, Mahabalipuram, Tiruvannamalai, Pondicherry, Thanjavour, Trichy, Madurai (Rameswaram), Kanyakumari, Trivandram, Mumbai
Day 01: Arrive Chennai by International Carrier
Arrive Chennai airport. After clearing your custom & immigrations you shall be met by our representative outside the exit gate of the arrival hall. After meeting/assistance and traditional welcome at the airport transfer to hotel. Rest of the day/night at leisure to overcome jet-leg of the long flight & to recuperate to our weather conditions. Overnight stay at hotel.
Chennai – Madras, which recently reverted to its historical name Chennai, is the capital of the South Indian State of Tamil Nadu. It is the fourth largest metropolis of India, after New Delhi, Bombay and Calcutta. Chennai is a seaside (and a major port) city where the sea is a rhapsodist blue, hugging the second largest beach in the world. It has many monuments and temples exemplyfying the contributions of the Chola and Pallava Dynasties to the ancient Dravidian civilization. Chennai also has the ancient churches and Cathedrals pointing to British heritage of 150 years.
Overnight stay at hotel.
Day 02: Chennai:
Morning breakfast at hotel at 0900 leave for full day city tour of Chennai – The Capital city of Tamilnadu and the main centre of this region.
Fort ST. George: was built in 1640 AD, by the British East India Company under the direct supervision of Francis Day and Andrew Cogon. This place achieved its name from Saint George, the patron saint of England. The fort houses Saint Mary’s Church and fort museum. Saint Mary’s Church the oldest Anglican Church built in 1680 and the tombstones in its courtyard are the oldest British tombstones in India.
Marina Beach: its the second longest beach in the world with a strech of 4.5 kms (2.5 miles). This strech is filled with statues of rememberence from our Tamil culture to our great leaders. A walk along the Marina in the evening creates elated feelings. The old buildings on side of Kamarajar Salai, a main road along the Marina, would remind you of the good old British days. People from all over the city gather here in the evenings to cool off and eat crispy “sundal and murukku”!
ANNA Memorial: the memorial for ARINZAR ANNADURAI – leader of the Dravidian movement, affectionately called Anna. His speech in Tamil has enchanted millions. Adjoining to this memorial lays another for leader Dr. M.G. Ramachandran leader of AIADMK movement, commonly know as Puractchi Thalaivar MGR. Both of them are situated at the northern end of the Marina Beach. Both these leaders are still living in the hearts of Tamil Nadu people.
Kalakshetra: is located eyond Elliot’s beach, is Kalakshetra or ‘Temple of Art’. It was founded in 1936 by Rukmini Devi Arundale to train, encourage and revive interest in bharatanatyam, which is the classical dance form of the state. This institution is among the finest of its kind in the country and is run on the ancient gurukulam system. Throughout the year Kalakshetra conducts music recital and dance performances in different parts of Chennai. Details about venue and timings can be obtained from the daily newspapers or from the information desk of the Government of India Tourist Office
Light House – a massive tall structure situated at south end of the Marina Beach beckons the visitors in the evening and adds glory to the golden sands. All India Radio (AIR) radio broadcast station is located opposite to the light house.
Government Museum: previously known as Pantheon Complex in British period, today houses the Government Museum, Connemara Public Library and the National Art Gallery. The museum contains exhibits ranging from contemporary artifacts to prehistorical findings. Sculptures and bronzes of various periods, sections for zoology, anthropology and geology impress every visitor. Buddhist sculptures found in the Amaravathi section depict the events recorded in the life of the Buddha.
Overnight stay at hotel.
Day 03: Chennai/Kanchipuram/Mamallapuram (140 Kms)
Morning breakfast at hotel and at 0900 hrs drive to Mahabalipuram.
Enroute visit Kanchipuram – one of the seven sacred cities of India, is famous for its exquistely woven silk sarees. It is a golden city of thousand temples of which 124 have withstood the ravages of time. This has the capital of the Pallavas. Kanchipuram is the holy city of both Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu and it is for this reason that Kanchipuram is one of the seven holy cities of India and on the pilgrim route. Some have called Kanchipuram the “Varanasi of the South”. Though the temples in this city of gods and erstwhile kings date back to the 4th century, the finest temples was constructed in the 6th and 7th centuries. Kanchi was also the seat of learning and Hindus and Buddhist philosophies flourished side by side. The oldest temple, constructed in sandstone by the Pallavas, the Kailashnatha temple dedicated to Lord Shiva.
Thereafter continue your drive to Mamallapuram. Upon arrival check in at hotel. After fresh n up leave for half day city tour, built in 7th century, earlier called Mahabalipuram, this ancient Pallava port, is today the sight of several antique sculptural marvels. In this ancient seaside town, shrines and huge sculptures cut-out of rocks more than 1200 years back during the reign of Pallava Kings in the region can be seen. At the mouth of the river Palar, on large granite hall about 1 km in length from north to south is the site of many monuments, like The Descent of Ganges also known as Arjuna’s Penance, this open air sculpture showing the descent of the holy river, Krishna Mandap, The Rathas and the Shore temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. Rest of the day at leisure. Overnight stay at hotel.
Mahabalipuram – the ancient capital and sea port of Pallava kings is famous for its south Indian temple architecture.But today it is a sleepy village living on its past glory and the tourist traffic. The sculptures and carvings are fascinating. Mahabalipuram is also known as the “city of seven pagodas” for out of solid stone were carved exquisite rock temples. Five of the temples are known as “Rathas” and on their walls the story of Hindu mythology has been lovingly carved out. The most famous of them is group of five rathas. This ratha is dedicated to the five Pandava princes and their consort-wife Draupadi. A group of elephants one of them 5 meters long known as “Arjuna Penance” is the most prominent feature of this sculpture.
Overnight stay at hotel.
Day 04: Mamallapuram/Tiruvannanmalai/Pondicherry (135 Kms)
Morning breakfast at hotel and at 0800 hrs drive to Pondicherry carries a strong whiff of the French presence in India. Legend says that Pondicherry is the place where St. Agasthaya settled down.
Enroute visit Tiruvannamallai – Spiritual seekers from all over world comes to Tiruvannamalai, an Pilgrimage city filled with living enlightenment gurus. This sacred city is Located 200 kilometer from Chennai. This ancient town has been built around Arunachala hill (annamalai hill), an mountain raising 4000 Meter heavenly from the ground. Tiruvannamalai is famous for sprawling temple arunachala temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. Every full moon day people walk around the annamalai hill and offer special prayers to Arunachala temple called Girivalam. Spiritual gurus Yogi Ramsuratkumar, Ramana Maharshi, Arabindo, Shesathiri Swamigal, Muniyandi swamigal and many more saints and sadhus were living and still living here to bring the divine close to people.
Thereafter continue your drive to Pondicherry. Upon arrival check in at hotel. After fresh n up leave for leave for city tour of Pondicherry visiting Aurbindo Ashram, the city of dawn, which is 10kms north of Pondicherry. This ashram promotes Aurbindo’s ideas in bringing about a synthesis of Yoga and modern science, so as to unite the spirit and matter. Afternoon, visit Auroville – a unique experiment in international living and in creating a new environment where men and women of all nationalities live together in harmony; Vardaraja Perumal Temple, Vedapureeswarar Temple & Manakula Vinayagar Templewar memorial, Town hall. Rest of the day at leisure. Overnight stay at hotel.
Pondicherry – Pondicherry is a union teritory, which lies within the state of Tamil Nadu.The inherent ambience of Pondicherry, becomes most evident in the oldest part of the town, which flanks the seashore boulevard. The French ruled this territory for 300 years, Pondicherry is a living monument of French Culture in India. The Aurobindo Ashram and ‘Auroville’ the international township are famous all over the world.
Day 05: Pondicherry/Thanjavur / Trichy (220 Kms)
Morning breakfast at hotel at 0900 hrs and drive to Trichy or Tiruchirapalli
Enroute visit Thanjavur – is a small town in the state of Tamilnadu in South India. It is a wonderful place to visit. The Bragadeeshwara temple, an archaeological splendour is found in this town. The town is now growing fast and is now getting in touch with technology. Tourists find Thanjavur a very nice place to spend their time.
Upon arrival check in at hotel. Later in the afternoon visit Trichy also called as Thillai, which has the famous Nataraja temple with the root of the sanctum-sanctorum covered with golden plates is located in the centre of the town covering an area of 40 acres.
Overnight stay at hotel.
Day 06: Trichy/Madurai (160 Kms)
Morning breakfast at hotel and drive to Madurai.
Madurai – One of South India’s great temple towns, Madurai is synonymous with the celebrated Meenakshi Temple. Situated on the banks of river Vaigai, Madurai has a rich cultural heritage passed on from the great Tamil era more than 2500 years old. Madurai was an important cultural and commercial centre even as early as 550 AD. It was the capital city for the great Pandya kings.
Upon arrival in Madurai check in at hotel. Afternoon leave for city tour of Madurai history goes back to six centuries before Christ. The Pandyan rulers made this their capital until the 14th Century and the city flowered with the genius of its writers, builders, poets and academics. Then the Nayaks ruled Madurai from the middle of the 16th Century to 1743. The ten tall Gopurams of the Meenakshi Temple were raised during their dynasty. visiting – Sri Meenakshi Sundereswarar and Palani temples, King Tirumala’s Palace, Vandiyur Mariamman Tank and Gandhi museum.
Overnight stay at hotel.
Day 07: Madurai/Rameshwaram/Madurai (155 kms one way)
Morning breakfast at hotel and excursion to Rameshwaram.
Rameshwaram – Rameshwaram an island- of Lord Rama’s temple at Tamil Nadu is a terrific destination. Along with being a major pilgrimage for the Hindus, Rameshwaram is a happening holiday spot too.The religious island is spread in an area of 61.8 square kilometers and happens to be in the shape of a conch. The Ramanatha Swamy Temple occupies major area of Rameshwaram. The masterpiece of Dravidian architecture boasts of the largest temple corridor in India. Different rulers built the Ramanatha Swamy Temple over a period of time starting from the 12th century. The temple comprises of twenty-two wells where the taste of the water of each well is different from the other. The waters of the wells are believed to possess medicinal properties. Rameshwaram is where Lord Rama rested and prayed after his triumph over the demon king Ravan. A sacred site for both Vaishnavites and Shaivities, no Hindu pilgrimage is complete without a visit to this holy city. The island of Rameshwaram is one of the most venerable temple towns in India without a visit to which, the pilgrimage of a devout Hindu is not complete.
Therafter return back to Madurai. Overnight stay at hotel.
Day 08: Madurai/Kanyakumari (245 kms)
Morning breakfast at hotel and drive to Kanyakumari – is the land’s end of India where the water of the Arabian Sea, the Bay of Bengal and the Indian Ocean meet. An important pilgrim centre of India.
Kanyakumari – There are no words that can completely describe the beauty of Kanyakumari and it remains one of the most popular tourist destinations of south India. Located in the southernmost point of the Indian mainland, it is a magnificent place of natural beauty where you can see the deep blue waters of the ocean meeting the horizon. This southernmost town of Tamil Nadu is an important attraction for the tourists. Before you set out on a tour, you should have enough information about Kanyakumari that would help you explore the town conveniently.
Upon arrival check in at hotel. Afternoon visit famous Amman Temples – a symbol of unity and sanctity – deidicated to the virgin Goddess, Kanya Kumari. and to its South – East lies the famous Vivekananda Rock Memorial, a blend of all the architectural styles of India.
Overnight stay at hotel.
Day 09: Kanyakumari/ Trivandrum (110 kms)
Morning breakfast at hotel and at 0900 hrs drive to Trivandram.
Trivandrum (Thiruvananthapuram) – the capital of the State of Kerala, is a beautiful seaside city built on seven hills. The city gets its name from the word, Thirua Ananthapuram, meaning the city of Anantha or the abode of the scared Anantha on which Lord Vishnu, the preserver of the Hindu Trinity reclines. The famous Sripadmanabhaswamy Temple dedicated to Vishnu and a landmark in the city was, according to legends, built in stages to house an idol found in a forest by a saint devotee, Vilwamangalam Swamiyar. It has, in many ways, dominated the fortunes of the town, quite apart from contributing its name. In 1750, when it was the capital of Marthanda varma, the most famous king of the Travancore State, the entire state was dedicated to the deity of the temple. From then on, all the rights of the ruler and all his possessions belonged to the deity and were held by the king and his successors as servants of the deity.
Upon arrival check in at hotel. Afternoon visit Trivandrum.
Napier Museum: Not only is the Indo-Saracenic building a work of architectural art but inside is Trivandrum’s finest collection of 12th century Chola bronzes, ancient carvings, intricate musical instruments and a number of other unique and priceless treasures from Kerala’s past. It is located on Museum-Vellaymbalam road.
Shri Padmanabhaswami Temple – Even though Kerala’s oldest temple is off-limits to non-Hindus, visitors can get a close look at the amazing structure right in the centre of Trivandrum. There are some excellent photo opportunities of the seven-story entrance tower and the huge water tank where devotees take ritual dips. The temple is located in the Fort district.
Overnight stay at hotel.
Day 10: Trivandrum- Mumbai by morning flight
Morning breakfast at hotel. In time meeting/assistance at hotel and transfer to airport to board your flight to Mumbai. On arrival in Mumbai transfer to the international airport to connect flight back home.
……..End of The Tour & Let the pleasant memories of the past days linger on your mind for a long, long time………