Upon arrival at Chennai airport, our representative will meet you at airport arrival lounge, then he will escort you till hotel check in. Overnight stay at hotel.
Morning after breakfast we will go on an excursion to the Chennai City visiting its historic landmarks and buildings, long sandy beaches, cultural and art centres. Overnight stay at hotel.
Chennai: Chennai, popularly regarded as the Gateway to the South, is the capital city of Tamil Nadu. It is the fourth largest metropolis in India, located on a 17 km stretch of the Coromandel Coast. The city grew up around the English settlement of Fort St. George and gradually absorbed the surrounding towns and villages. However, despite the strong British influence, Chennai has retained its traditional Tamil heritage and effectively blended it to create a unique synthesis of cultures. Retaining much of its traditional charm, this 350-year-old city provides many a fascinating vignette of southern heritage.
Chennai is also the centre of South India's film industry. Its skyline is dotted with bright movie billboards advertising the latest celluloid fantasies. It has become a significant form of popular art with their gaudy colors and garish layouts. Here traditional art forms like dance and music are a way of life even in the most modern homes. Training in classical Carnatic music - vocal and instrumental and the exposition of the Bharatanatyam dance form are pursued with zeal.
Fort St. George: The British East India Company under the direct supervision of Francis Day and Andrew Cogon built it in 1640 AD. 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. It presently house the Secretariat and Legislative Assembly.
San Thome Basilica: San Thome Basilica at the south end of Marina Beach was named after Saint Thomas (Doubting Thomas). It is believed that he had come to Chennai in 52 AD and was killed at St. Thomas Mount just outside the city in 78 AD. Built in 16th Century by the Portuguese, in 1896 it was made a basilica.
Theosophical Society: It was formed to facilitate and encourage the study of comparative religion, philosophy and science situated in beautiful sylvan settings in Adyar. Founded by Madame Blavatsky and Col. Olcott in USA, the society was later moved to Adyar in 1882. Apart from shrines of all faiths and the peaceful Garden of Remembrance, there is a 95-year.
Senate House: One of Chennai's most impressive architectural marvels. Senate House, at the Chennai University campus on the Marina, was constructed in 1873 under the supervision of Robert Fellowes Chisholm, one of the greatest architects of the 19th century. The entire structure is a harmonious blend of Indo-Saracenic style, with Byzantine architectural features. The Senate House has a central hall on the ground floor, 130 feet long, 58 feet broad and 54 feet high, with the corridors supported by six massive stone pillars on either side.
St. Mary's Church: The oldest surviving English church in Chennai was completed in 1680. You will find the remainders of Robert Clive and Elihu Yale the early governor of Chennai in this church.
Morning after an early breakfast we will go on an excursion to Tirupati. Upon arrival in Tirupati proceed for Tirupati Temple Darshan. Later in the afternoon return to Chennai for night stay.
Tirupati is located in Andhra Pradesh. Tirupati is an ancient Hindu temple town having historical references in Puranas. The temple of Lord Venkateswara is located on the Tirumala hill and Tirupati is at the footsteps of the Tirumala hills. Every day around 1 lakh people visit this place. It has great reputation for famous temples.
Temples located in and around Tirupati include: 1. Sri Padmavathi Devi temple at Tiruchanoor (Alamelu Mangapuram) 2. Kalyana Venkateswara Swamy Temple at Srinivasa Mangapuram. According to legend, Lord Venkateswara stayed here after his marriage with Sri Padmavathi Devi, before proceeding to Tirumala. 3.Govindaraja Swamy Temple in Tirupati adjacent to the railway station (Lord Vishnu in Ananthasayanam pose). Saint Ramanujacharya consecrated this temple in 1130 AD. 4. Kapila Theertham in Tirupati town at the base of Tirumala Hills dedicated to Lord Siva 5. Sri Kodandaramaswami Temple, Tirupati built by Chola kings during the tenth century AD 6. Sri Kalahasteeswara Temple at Srikalahasti 7. Sri Kalyana Venkateswaraswami temple at Narayanavanam (40 km from Tirupati). Lord Sri Venkateswara swamy and Sri Padmavathi Ammavari, daughter of Akasa Maharaja were married here.
Morning after breakfast drive to the temple city of Kanchipuram (Kanchi). Upon arrival check into the hotel. After fresh-n-up sightseeing of Kanchipuram including temples & silk industries. Overnight stay at hotel.
Kanchipuram was the capital of the Pallavas rulers from the 1st to 9th centuries. It was also important during the Chola, Vijayanagar, and Nayak periods. It was mentioned in the Mahabhasya, written by Patanjali in the 2nd century BC. The term "nagareshu Kanchi" in the above verse attributed the famous Sanskrit poet, Kalidasa, means that Kanchi was the best amongst the cities of medieval India.
Ekambareswarar Temple: The temple is the largest temple in the town of Kanchipuram and is located in the northern part of the town. The temple gopuram (gateway tower) is 59m tall, which is one the tallest gopurams in India. It is one of the Pancha Bhoota Sthalams representing earth referring to the five temples, dedicated to Shiva, a Hindu god, each representing the manifestation of the five prime elements of nature - land, water, air, sky, fire.
Kailasanathar Temple: The temple is the oldest Pallava temple still in existence and is declared an archaeological monument by Archaeological Survey of India.
Kamakshi Amman Temple: The goddess is depicted in the form of an yantra. Chakra or peetam (basement) is where the deity placed. But in this temple, the yantra is placed in front of the deity.
Varadharaja Perumal Temple: Varadharaja Perumal Temple was originally built by the Cholas in 1053 and it was expanded during the reigns of the great Chola kings Kulottunga Chola I and Vikrama Chola. In the 14th century another wall and a gopura was built by the later Chola kings. It is an ancient temple and one of the 108 divya desams, the holy abodes of Vishnu.
Tiruparamechura Vinnagaram (Sri Vaikunda Perumal Temple): The place is the birthplace of the azhwar saint, Poigai Alvar. The central shrine has tiers of 3 shrines, one over the other, with Vishnu depicted in each of them.
Morning after breakfast we will drive to Mamallapuram. Upon arrival check into the hotel. After fresh-n-up explore the city. Overnight stay at hotel.
Mamallapuram, known as poetry in Stone is situated 60 km from the capital city of Tamilnadu. Mamallapuram earlier known as Mahabalipuram was the second capital and seaport of Pallavas. The seaport was built by Mahendravarman during the 7th century AD. The Pallava chisels breathed life into stones. The most important of the architectural relics are the shore temple, the five chariots, Arjuna's penance and the Mahishasuramardini temple.
Shore Temple: This beautiful temple built in the 7th century AD represents the final phase of Pallava art. The temple has two shrines, one dedicated to Vishnu in the reclining form and the other to Shiva.
Arjuna's Penance: The open-air rock sculpture known, as Arjuna's Penance is the largest bas-relief in the world. It depicts the penance of Arjuna to obtain the legendary arrow Pasupatastra from Lord Shiva.
Stone Pagodas, Mamallapuram Five Rathas (Chariots): These are monolithic temples named after the five Pandava Brothers, the heroes of epic Mahabharata. Each temple represents different style of architecture and looks like a chariot.
Caves: There are nine rock-cut cave temples. The Mahishasuramardini cave, contrasting the goddess fighting a demon on one side, and Lord Vishnu's cosmic sleep on the other, is a particularly remarkable.
Morning after breakfast drive to Tiruvannamalai. One of the holiest towns of Tamil Nadu, its name meaning the "red mountain" derives from the spectacular extinct volcano behind it. Upon arrival check into the hotel. In the afternoon temple tour of Tiruvannamalai. Overnight stay at hotel.
The temple town of Tiruvannamalai is one of the most ancient heritage sites of India and is a centre of the Saiva religion. The Arunachala hill and its environs have been held in great regard by the Tamils for centuries. The temple is grand in conception and architecture and is rich in tradition, history and festivals.
Arunachala Temple: The temple dedicated to Lord Shiva was built between the 9th and the 10th centuries by the Chola kings of the Tamil empire. The temple is famous for its massive gopurams. This has been determined from an inscription in the structure that was made during the reign of Chola kings who ruled in the ninth century A.D.
Morning after breakfast we will drive to Puducherry, earlier known as Pondicherry. Puducherry is situated on the eastern seaboard of India. Although the French influence is gradually fading, it still retains a few Gallic accents. Main sights are the Rai Nivas, the Sacre Coeur church, Sri Aurobindo ashram. Overnight in Pondicherry.
Sri Aurobindo Ashram: The Sri Aurobindo Ashram located on rue de la Marine, is one of the most well known ashrams in India.
The ashram was set up in 1926 by one of India's famous sons Sri Aurobindo, who originally came to Pondicherry to escape persecution by the British. Sri Aurobindo, a saint-yogi, philosopher-poet, taught Integral Yoga, a new system of mind development, a synthesis of yoga and modern science. Madame Mirra Richard Alfassa, a French painter-sculptor-musician who had followed the same path on her own, joined him later. She is now known as the Mother. After the death of Sri Aurobindo, "the Mother" continued the social work till she died in 1973 at the age of 93. The idea of Auroville or the "City of Down" was conceived by 'The Mother'.
The Pondicherry Museum: The Pondicherry Museum is located on Saint Louis street and is open between 10.00-17.00hrs on all days except Mondays and national holidays. The museum is located in the former residence of the French Administrator. The museum has a collection of rare bronzes and stone sculptures from the Pallava and Chola dynasties, objects found in Arikamedu site (an ancient port just 7km from city that traded with the Roman empire), Greek and Roman jars, 200 year old beads made from glass and precious stones, a wide collection of temple lamps and even objects from the Tsung period in China.
Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus: The Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, located on the South Boulevard, Subbayah Salai, is a white and brown neo-gothic church. It was built by French missionaries in the 1700's. It is one of Pondicherry's finest Catholic churches.
Manakula Vinayagar Koil Temple: This temple is more than 300 years old and is dedicated to Ganesha. It has a golden spire.
Morning after breakfast drive to the Divine land of Chidambaram. Chidambaram is dedicated to Lord Nataraja – (God Siva in the form of a Cosmic Dancer – known as Shiva tandava). It is one of the few temples where Siva and Vishnu are enshrined under one roof. This ancient temple was built by the Cholas. It is devoted solely to the art of Bharatanatyam and is one of the rare temples where Shiva is represented by an idol rather than the customary Lingam. Spread over an area of 40 acres with a gopuram on each side, the temple is distinguished by five sabhas or courts. Apart from this, the sacred land of Chidambaram, has many exquisite temples and attractions. Overnight stay at hotel.
Morning after breakfast drive to Trichy. En-route we will visit the temple city of Thanjavur formally known as Tanjore. Tanjore is the birthplace of the Carnatic music, musical instruments, dance and traditional handicrafts. It is an important center of South Indian art and architecture. Most of the Great Living Chola Temples which are UNESCO World heritage monuments are located in and around Thanjavur. The foremost among the Great Living Chola temples, the Brihadeeswara Temple, is located in the center of the city. Thanjavur is also the home of the Tanjore painting, a painting style unique to the region. The city is an important agricultural center located at the heart of the region, known as the "Rice bowl of Tamil Nadu".
Brihadeeswara Temple: Listed as a UNESCO world heritage site, this temple, perhaps the oldest Shiva temple in India has welcomed all from powerful kings passing through its hallowed portals seeking divine blessings for the good of their subjects, to the commoner.
After visiting further drive to Trichy. Upon arrival check into the hotel. Overnight stay at hotel.
After breakfast temple tour of Trichy (short name of Tiruchirapalli) visiting Srirangam - 5 kms from Trichy, located in an island of Srirangam. Surrounded by the Kaveri water is a 600 acre island town enclosed within the seven walls on the gigantic Sri Ranganathaswamy temple. There are no less than 22 gopurams, one of which is the tallest in India. The 72 m high 13 tiered Gopuram dominates the landscape for miles around.
Also visit the Rock Fort: Tirchy's most famous landmark is 83 mt high rock which is the only outcrop in the otherwise flat inland of the city. The most amazing fact about the rock is that it is one of the oldest in the world. The sheer abruptness of its rise is an attention grabber. But the actual centre of attraction is not the fort itself, of which very little remains, but the temple at the summit.
Later in the afternoon drive to Madurai. Upon arrival check into the hotel. Overnight stay at hotel.
Morning after breakfast temple tour of the sacred city of Madurai. It is situated on the bank of river Vaigai and has been the kingdom of Pandya kings in the past century. The place has a great cultural heritage and strong mythological history to be passed on to the next coming generations. The place is more than 2500 years old and the commercial center was developed in 550 AD.
The city is constructed in the form of a lotus and is known as lotus city too. There is a beautiful temple constructed by the Pandyan kings and Lord Shiva is worshiped here. It was believed that divine nectar was showered at that place and due to it the Jasmine flowers bloom in the place all around.
In the evening witness the Prayer Ceremony at the Meenakshi Temple. Overnight stay at hotel.
Meenakshi temple: Also known as Meenakshi Amman Temple is an ancient and one amongst the most important temples of India. Meenakshi Sundareswar Temple is dedicated to Sundareswar (form of Lord Shiva) and Meenakshi (form of Goddess Parvati). The term "Sundareswar" suggests "the beautiful lord" and "Meenakshi" means "the fish-eyed goddess". As per the Hindu folklore, Madurai is the same city where Lord Sundareswarar (Shiva) appeared to marry Goddess Meenakshi (Parvati). Meenakshi Temple is regarded as one of the most sacred places of Parvati, other being Kamakshi at Kanchipuram, Akilandeswari at Thiruvanaikaval and Vishalakshi at Varanasi.
Morning after breakfast drive to Rameshwaram. One of the 12 Jyotirlingas of India Rameshwaram is an island situated in the gulf of mannar at the very tip of the Indian peninsula. A very important pilgrim centre of the Indians. According to the legends of Hindu mythology, Lord Rama performed the ritualistic thanks giving after defeating the Demon King, Ravana in this region. The place is therefore thronged by the devotees of Lord Shiva as well as Lord Vishnu.
Upon arrival check in to the hotel. Overnight stay at hotel.
Full day visiting in Rameshwaram. Overnight stay at hotel.
Ramanathaswamy Temple: Ramanathaswamy temple was built in the 17th century. Situated close to the sea on the eastern side of the island, this temple is famous for its 1200 gigantic granite columns. The 54 metre tall gopuram (gate-tower), 1220 metres of magnificent corridors and the flamboyant columns embellish and render fame to the temple.
Agnitheertham: 100 metres away from the temple is Agnitheertham, where Rama worshipped Lord Shiva, to absolve himself from the killing Ravana.
Gandamadana Parvatham: The imprint of Lord Rama's feet placed on a Chakra (wheel) is found in this shrine which is at the highest point on the island at 2 km from Rameswaram.
Dhanushkodi: Dhanushkodi named after Rama's bow, is at the eastern end of the island at a distance of 8 kms from Rameshwaram. The boulders around the sea between Srilanka and this place known as Adam's bridge, are believed to be used by Hanuman to reach across Sri Lanka.
Sethu: 5-km south of the temple is Sethu, where there is a celebrated temple of Sri Anjaneya, and where, tradition holds, Sri Rama built a bridge to Sri Lanka.
Morning after breakfast drive to Tuticorin. Upon arrival check in to the hotel. After fresh-n-up city sightseeing tour of Tuticorin. Evening stroll through local marker. Overnight stay at hotel.
Tuticorin is a main Port city of India . The major harbor of Tuticorin is well known as pearl diving, fishing centre and shipbuilding. The city is also known as "Pearl City" and "Muthu Nagar". Tuticorin is famous for pearl fishing, production of salt, fishing and other related business. Totally 70% salt is manufactured in Tuticorin.
Sri Vaikuntam (Vaikuntanathan) temple is one of the famous pilgrimage destinations at Tuticorin. Sri Vaikuntam temple is considered among 108 Divya desams, which were patronized by the Azhvaars as well as among the Navatirupathi, the temples situated on both the banks of River Thamirabarani.
Sri Vaikuntam or Vaikuntanathan temple, dedicated to Lord Kallarpiran or Vaikuntanathan (Vishnu). The sanctum sanctorum of the temple features serpent Lord Adisesha unfurling his hood over the standing idol of Lord Vishnu, which is considered one of its kind among all the 108 Divya desams.
Morning after breakfast drive to Kanyakumari. Upon arrival check into the hotel. After fresh-n-up explore the heritage city of Kanyakumari. Overnight stay at hotel.
Kanyakumari: The name of has been christened after the virgin goddess – Kanyakumari Amman. Mythological stories depict that Goddess parvati under the disguise of Devi Kanniya did a penance in one of the rocks in this area to reach the hand of Lord Shiva. The enthusiastic scenes of the sunset & sunrise are very enjoyable here, (especially on full moon days).
Swami Vivekananda's Memorial: The great Indian Philosopher Swami Vivekananda's memorial is built in a small island like rock 200 meters from the shore. A very great building and other halls are constructed in this rock.
Kumari Amman Temple: This temple is located near the sea shore and it is a beautiful scene for visitors who visit this site. Mythology says that Goddess Devi performed prayers to get Lord Shiva's hand for marriage. When she did not get in hand to marry Lord Shiva, she promised never to be a virgin which means Kanya in Tamil. The idol of the goddess in this temple has a nose ring studded with diamond which is visible even from the sea.
Thiruvalluvar Statue: Thirukkural is a precious gem among the classics, unique in the deliverance of code of conduct to the mankind to follow for all time to come. It enshrines in it 1330 couplets under 133 chapters, each chapter comprising 10 verses. The chapters again fall under three major divisions Virtue, Wealth and Love.
Morning after breakfast drive to Kovalam. En-route we will visit the Padmanabha Swamy temple, in Trivandrum. The temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu. Exquisite carvings and age old murals adorn the walls of the temple also visit Napier Museum, This is a 19th century monument which comprises of a collection which is quite rare and unique. Considered to be an important destination amongst the tourist attractions of Thiruvananthapuram it reflects the features of Indo Saracenic architecture.
Later proceed to Kovalam. On arrival check in at the hotel. Rest of the at leisure. Overnight stay at hotel.
Full day free at leisure. Overnight stay at hotel.
Transfer to the Trivandrum airport for onward connection.
Tour & services Ends.