South India Temple Tour 12 Nights / 13 Days

Destinations Covered : Chennai - Mahabalipuram - Pondicherry - Tanjore - Trichy - Madurai - Rameshwaram - Kovalam - Trivandrum

South India Temple Tour trails around the strong bastion of customs and traditions of peninsular region. The gopurams, mandapas, and lavish treasures, all form a part of South Indian Temples. Beginning from Chennai, the tour moves towards Kanchipuram - the Varanasi of South famed for 1000 Temples. The seven pagodas of Mahabalipuram also have a lot of temples to explore including Seashore Temple. The next halt at Pondicherry is the home of St. Aurobindo, Auroville, where harmony, tranquility and peace can be experienced on the rocky shore.

The next spiritual halt is in Chidambaram, famous for its Nataraja Temple. Tanjore’s Brihadeshwara Temple and Trichy’s Srirangam Temple also form an inevitable part of this tour. Madurai’s Meenakshi Temple and Rameshwaram form the apogee of South India Temple Tour with the impeccable architecture and associative legends. The tranquil beaches of Kovalam and Kanyakumari sum up the South India Temple Tour where one can sit and contemplate the whereabouts of life.

Arrive Chennai. On arrival at the airport, you will meet our representative and be transferred to hotel.

Overnight in Hotel.
After breakfast leave for city tour of Madras visiting the Museum to see the Art and Bronze Gallery (Closed on Fridays and Public holidays). Drive through the Flower and Fruit market, High court, Fort museum, Marina Beach, Santhome Cathedral and snake park.
Overnight at hotel.
Drive to Mahabalipuram (58 kms / 1½ Hrs) enroute visiting Kanchipuram - it is the ancient capital of the Pallavas famous as a city of 1000 Temples and still has 124 shrines. Temples of Ekambaswara, Kailasanatha, Sri Kamakshi and Varadarajaswamy are of interest. Kanchipuram is also famous for its silks. On arrival, check in at hotel. Afternoon visit Mahabalipuram - it is famous for the seven pagodas. Here on the seashore is an interesting group of ancient rock hewn temples which are the examples of Dravidian style of Architecture.
Drive to Pondicherry (134 kms / 3 ½ hrs) this erstwhile French colony on the east coast of South India merged with the rest of the country in 1954. Legend says that Pondicherry is the place where St. Agasthaya settled down. Enroute visit Tiruvannaamalai - a pilgrim centre with an ancient temple of Lord Shiva. On arrival, check in at hotel.
Morning visit Aurbindo Ashram, the city of dawn, which is 10 Kms 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.
Drive to Tanjore (196 kms / 5 hrs) enroute visiting Chidambaram also called 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. In this temple, postures from the Bharatnatayam form of dance are depicted in sculpture. On arrival, check in at hotel. Afternoon visit Tanjore, once the capital of Chola Kings, has the Brahadeswara temple (or the big temple of God).
Drive to Trichy (55 kms / 1 hr). Upon arrival check in at hotel. Afternoon visit the Trichy city, shortname of Trichurapalli, situated on the banks of Kaveri River is a blend of history and tradition as well as pilgrim centre. Visit the famous Rock fort and its temple at a height of over 23mts. Also visit Srirangam and Jambukeshwar Temple.
Drive to Madurai (142 kms / 4 hrs). Later check in at hotel. The ancient city of Madurai some 2600 years old is laid out in the banks River of Vaigai as a lotus flower with the Meenakshi temple in the centre. Afternoon,visit Meenakshi temple, King Tirumala's Palace, Great Tank and Gandhi museum.
Morning drive to Rameshwaram (170 kms / 3 hrs) - the most sacred temple town of India is an island hallowed by the epic Ramayana, where Lord Rama is said to have visited before going to battle of Sri Lanka. One of the twelve Jyotirlingam shrines is also well known for its magnificent corridors and the massive sculptured pillars lining them.
Morning drive to Kanyakumari (about 250 kms / 5 hrs) and check into hotel. Afternoon visit Vivekanada Rock, Kumari Amman temple etc. In the evening watch spectacular sunset from the beach. Overnight at hotel
Morning watch sunrise from the beach or from the hotel. Later drive to Kovalam enroute visiting Padmanabhapuram Palace noted for its solid wood works.
Evening free for leisure at beach. Overnight at hotel.
After breakfast full day excursion to Trivandrum (16 kms away). Here visit Kanakakunnu Palace, Napier Museum, Museume complex, Padmanabha Swamy Temple (for non Hindus from outside only), Sri chitra Art Gallery etc. Evening free at beach. Overnight at hotel.
Morning free for leisure at beach. In time transfer to airport to connect flight for onward destination

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