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+ 91 9818 30 57 57

The following twelve day itinerary can be personalized based on your requirement. Click here to book this tour

 


 

South India Temple Tours (11 Nights,12 Days)

 

Day 1: Chennai

 

Arriving Chennai take a little rest till afternoon.

Chennai - (formerly Madras) is the capital of the South Indian State of Tamil Nadu. The city is fourth largest metropolis of India, after New Delhi, Bombay and Calcutta. It has many monuments and temples exemplifying the contributions of the Chola and Pallava dynasties, the ancient Dravidian civilization & ancient churches and Cathedrals pointing to British heritage of 150 years. With so much to know about you can set on a walk to the Marina Beach (a major port) where the sea is a exuberantly blue. The old buildings on side of Kamarajar Salai, a main road along the Marina, reminds of the British era.

People from all over the city gather here in the evenings to cool off and eat crispy “sundal and murukku”!

 

Day 2: Chennai

 

Take a morning breakfast at the hotel & leave for full day city tour of Chennai.

Fort ST. George: was built in 1640 AD, by the British East India Company. The place achieved its name from Saint George, the patron saint of England. The fort houses Saint Mary’s Church and legislative assembly where tombstones in the courtyard are the oldest British tombstones in India.

 

Located beyond 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 is run on the ancient gurukulam system which is now a days obsolete but effective. Throughout the year Kalakshetra conducts music recital and dance performances in different parts of Chennai.

 

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 prehistoric findings. Sculptures and bronzes of various periods, sections for zoology, anthropology and geology do impress. Buddhist sculptures found in the Amaravathi section depict the events recorded in the life of the Buddha. Finished with three important places you can fill up with Dosa (south Indian main food) which if you like it you'll make it your main course for the stay!

 

Day 3: Chennai/Thirupati

 

On day three proceed to Tirupathi - The Lord of seven hills. Tirupathi is a temple town known for the famous ancient temple of Lord Venkateswara Bala Ji. Traditionally the pilgrims get their hair shaved as a holy ritual. The Image of Bala Ji has the attributes of both Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu. The temple with its soaring Gopurams and glided Vimna, is a fine example of Dravidian architecture. Afternoon Pooja & Darshan at the temple is quite a watch. Having done with the day long trip head to the hotel.

 

Day 4: Thirupati/ Kanchipuram/ Mamallapuram

 

Drive to Mahabalipuram

En route visit Kanchipuram - one of the seven sacred cities of India, is famous for its exquisitely woven silk sarees. It is a golden city of thousand temples of which 124 have withstood the ravages of time. History says that it was the capital of the Pallavas. Kanchipuram, the Varanasi of the South, 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 pilgrimage. Though the temples in this city of gods and erstwhile kings date back to the 4th century, the finest temples were 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 is dedicated to Lord Shiva. Thereafter continue your drive to Mamallapuram. Upon arrival check in the hotel. After freshening 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.

 

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.

 

Day 5 : Mamallapuram/ Tiruvannanmalai/ Pondicherry

 

Today you will have to start a bit early because there is a bit much to cover. A drive to Pondicherry, the place carries a strong whiff of the French presence in India. Legend says that Pondicherry is the place where St. Agasthaya settled down.

 

An enroute visit to Tiruvannamalai where spiritual seekers from all over the globe gather at the Pilgrimage city filled with living enlightenment gurus . This sacred city is Located 200 kilometres from Chennai. This ancient town has been built around Arunachala hill (Annamalai hill), a mountain raising 4000 Meter heavenly from the ground.

 

Tiruvannamalai is famous for the sprawling 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, Aurabindo 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 freshening up leave for the 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 in context of modern science so as to unite the spirit and matter.

In 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.

Spend your rest of the day at leisure. Overnight stay at hotel.

 

Day 6 : Pondicherry/ Thanjavur

 

A drive to Thanjavur which is a small town in the state of Tamilnadu in South India takes two & a half hours. The Bragadeeshwara temple, an archaeological splendor, is quite a place as it reflects art on subtle & minute levels. The town is now growing fast with technology to optimize the growth. After the whole afternoon ramble in the city, try your skills on shopping through bargain as there are nice traditional mementoes to carry home.

 

Day 7: Thanjavur/ Trichy/ Madurai

 

It takes one and a half hours drive to reach Madurai where you visit Trichy or Tiruchirapalli, 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. Having seen the stunningly rich temple with precious metals continue your drive to Madurai.

 

Madurai - One of the South India's greatest 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. In the afternoon leave for city tour of Madurai where 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.

Visit other prominent places i.e Sri Meenakshi Sundereswarar and Palani temples, King Tirumala’s Palace, Vandiyur Mariamman Tank and Gandhi museum.

 

Day 8 :Madurai/ Rameshwaram/ Madurai

 

Rameshwaram an island- of Lord Rama's temple at Tamil Nadu is a terrific destination. Besides 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 (you can taste if you like!) which are believed to possess medicinal properties.

 

Rameshwaram by mythics 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 for stay.

 

Day 9 : Madurai/ Kanyakumari

 

Take your morning breakfast at hotel and drive to Kanyakumari, the land’s end of India where the water of the Arabian Sea , the Bay of Bengal and the Indian Ocean meet, is an important pilgrim centre of 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 in three directions. Before you set out on a tour, you should have enough information about Kanyakumari that helps you explore the town conveniently.

 

Pay an afternoon visit to the famous Amman Temples – a symbol of unity and sanctity – dedicated to the virgin Goddess , Kanya Kumari who prayed to Lord Shiva to be accepted as wife by him.

 

To its South – East lies the famous Vivekananda Rock Memorial, a blend of all the architectural styles of India from where sunset is most charming of all.

Having seen the unique pilgrimage return to the hotel.

 

Day 10 : Kanyakumari/ Kovalam/ Trivandrum

 

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, means 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.

 

En route visit Kovalam - Today Kovalam has become one of the most popular beach hangouts in India. Kovalam means a grove of coconut trees and truly the coconut trees along the beaches gives it a ravishing look. The palm-fringed bays in secluded coconut groves, promises a relaxed stay. The boundless blue waters of the Arabian Sea and miles of white sands washed away by the surf at the feet of the stalwart palms and the rocky promontories, makes this beach a paradise. This marvelous beach is a tourist's dream come true. Thereafter continue your drive to Trivandrum. Overnight stay at hotel.

 

Day 11 : Trivandrum

 

Today you leave for city tour for Trivandrum.

 

Napier Museum , the Indo-Saracenic building a work of architectural art where 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.

 

Even though Padmanabhanswami Temple, Kerala’s oldest temple, is off-limits to non-Hindus, visitors can get a close look at the amazing structure. There are some excellent photography 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 of central Kerala.

 

The visit to Padmanabhanswami Temple marks the end of your eleven day journey to the temples of South India.

 

Day 12 Trivandrum/Onward destination by flight

 

Checking out this morning you catch the flight to your destination, taking home some beautiful memories to cherish.