South India - Temple Tour
Route : Chennai Mahabalipuram Pondicherry Tanjore Madurai Kovalam Trivandrum
Upon arrival at Chennai airport meet and greet by our airport representative and transfer to your hotel - the capital of Tamilnadu, the land of festivals.
Overnight stay at hotel in Chennai.
After Breakfast at hotel check out and city tour of Chennai: known as the Gateway of Southern India and also the 'Queen of the Coromandel'. Chennai, capital of Tamilnadu and the fourth largest city in India, is a sprawling metropolis and also an important port. Chennai displays a blend of Dravidian and Gothic architecture in its buildings.
SANTHOME CATHEDRAL: Built by Portuguese in the 14th and 15th century, this Cathedral is named after St. Thomas. Historically important, it is one of the Fort pilgrimages for the Christian community. ST. GEORGE FORT St. George, one the first few bastions built by the east India company, marks the beginning of Chennai as a modern city this bastion achieved it's from St. George, the patron saint of England. Now the Fort is converted to Museum. KAPALEESWARAR TEMPLE Dedicated to Lord Shiva, Kapaleeswarar temple has inscriptions from the 13th century A.D. The temple 'Gopuram' (tower) is in the characteristic Dravidian style of architecture. The walls and pillars of temple has very delicate and intricate carvings which depict the scenes from Hindu mythology name Marina Beach, pride of Chennai, is the second longest beach in the world and has a wide sandy foreshore.
Later continue drive to Mahabalipuram. Enroute visit Kanchipuram. Kanchipuram - is a Spectacular Temple city which reflects the Glorious Traditions of South India with its noted temples and thriving Handloom industries. The city is famous for silk weaving. Visit of Kanchipuram temple, Visit of Handloom Weaving factory.
Upon arrival at Mahabalipuram, check-in into hotel for overnight stay.
This morning after breakfast at resort. Enjoy full day sightseeing tour of Mahabalipuram. Mahabalipuram: Built in the 7th century, this ancient Pallava port is the site of several antique sculptural marvels. The only remaining shore temple is a spectacular two-spired shrine which is unique in that it buses shrines for Vishnu and Shiva. The Pallavas had perfected the art of sculpting rocks to build temples without using brick, mortar or timber and the five monolith Raths (chariots) stand as the surviving masterpieces of Pallava sculpture.
Visit the SHORE TEMPLE (one of the oldest temples in south India, belonging to the early 8th century AD), ARJUNA'S PENANCE (the world's largest bas-relief measuring 27m x 9m - this huge rock consists figures of Gods, men, beasts, birds and represents the entire creation), FIVE RATHAS (five monolithic temples, each having its own style - also known as the "Panch Pandav Rathas").
Overnight stay at beach resort.
After Breakfast, embark on drive to Pondicherry - The old French colony has retrieved its Indian character, but the scent of the French influence in "Pondicherry" as we call now French dream of an Indian empire has taken life but it also rapidly came to an end in Pondicherry. Among the dispersed territories of the territorial Union of Pondicherry, it is in Pondicherry itself that we can discover what has symbolized the French influence in India. That is also what makes this territory unique and especially, the French district. Something quite different from the rest of India. One can found again in the red kepis of the police officers, French spelling on signboards and traffic signs and some buildings and old stones.
Visit of Beaches, Old churches, Aroville “the sacred banyan tree”. Overnight stay at hotel.
This morning after breakfast, embark on drive to TANJORE: was once the capital of the Cholas, a dynasty of temple builders who ruled south India between 10 century and 14 century. The pallavas, the pandyas, the nayaks and Marathas have their monuments of history here. The tanjore have maintains the glorious chola culture.
Upon arrival in Tanjore, check in to your hotel and freshen up. This afternoon visit the Brihadeshwara Temple, which is often referred as the crowning glory of Chola Temple architecture.
Also, visit the Thanjavur Palace, which was constructed in the 16th century and has huge corridors, spacious halls, observation and arsenal towers. Overnight stay at Tanjore.
After breakfast at hotel and check out, later embark on drive to Madurai. MADURAI: More than 2500 years old ancient city, situated on the banks of the river Vaigai Madurai is believed to have been built by the Pandyan King Kulasekara. Legend has it that drops of Maduram (nectar) fell from Lord Shiva's locks when he came to bless its people for constructing a temple for him.
Enroute visiting TRICHY - or trichinapally is situated on the bank of river cavery. The city was a chola citadel from sangam age the pandyas, pallavas held sway over this region for short periods. You will visit 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. ROCK FORT TEMPLE tops on a 83m high outcrop. This temple was built by the Pallavas as a small cave temple, but the Nayaks made use of its naturally fortified Position. RANGANATHAR: This superb temple complex at Srirangam, about three kms from the Rock Fort is surrounded by seven concentric walls with 21 gopurams and is probably the largest in India. Most of it dates from the 14th to 17th centuries, and many people have had a hand in its construction, including the Cheras, Pandyas, Cholas, Hoysalas and rulers from Vijayanagar.
Later continue drive to Madurai. Upon arrival at Madurai check into hotel for an overnight stay.
Evening visit Madurai MEENAKSHI TEMPLE - This temple is the city's main attraction. This temple is nearly 2000 years old placed in the heart of the old town - a splendid example of Dravidian architecture. The present temple was designed in 1560 by Vishwanatha Nayak and subsequently built during the reign of Tirumalai Nayak. Visit of 1000 pillar Mandapan (hall). Each pillar got different sculpture; this is one of the best examples for Dravidian style of architecture.
After breakfast check out from hotel and later embark on drive to Kovalam. This morning, visit Madurai the Gandhi museum and Tirumalai Nayak Palace which is famous for its rectangular dance courtyard.
Later continue drive to Kovalam. Upon arrival check-in into hotel for overnight stay.
KOVLAMA- The palm-fringed beach of Kovalam is one of the most famous beaches in India. The boundless blue waters of the Arabian Sea and miles of white sand washed away by the surf, make this beach a paradise come true. The leisure options at this beach are plenty and diverse - sunbathing, swimming, herbal body toning massages, special cultural programmes, catamaran cruising etc.
After breakfast at hotel, proceed for sightseeing tour of Trivandrum – Visiting Napier Museum, Padmanabhaswamy Temple (from outside) & Horse Palace.
Later in time departure transfer to Trivandrum airport to catch your flight for onward destination.