Duration: 09 Nights / 10 Days
Chennai - Kanchipuram - Mamallapooram - Pondicherry - Chidambaram - Tanjore - Trichy - Madurai - Trivandrum - Kanyakumari
Day 01 :
Welcome to Chennai, a bustling city that serves as the gateway to southern India. Established in 1639 by the East India Company, Chennai is one of the oldest cities in the country, steeped in history and culture.
Upon arrival at Chennai Airport, you will be greeted by our representative who will transfer you to your hotel. After checking in, you can freshen up and enjoy a delicious lunch at the hotel.
In the afternoon, we will embark on a half-day sightseeing tour of Chennai. Our first stop will be Anna Salai, a famous landmark in the city that is also known as Mount Road. Anna Salai is lined with a number of important buildings, including the Reserve Bank of India, the Madras High Court, and the LIC Building.
From Anna Salai, we will make our way to Marine Beach, a popular destination for locals and tourists alike. This long stretch of beach is perfect for a leisurely walk or a dip in the sea. You can also enjoy some of the local street food and snacks here, such as bhajjis, vadas, and ice cream.
Next on our itinerary is the Gandhi Memorial, a tribute to Mahatma Gandhi, one of India's most revered figures. The memorial is a simple but elegant structure that houses a museum with exhibits about Gandhi's life and teachings.
From the Gandhi Memorial, we will head to Kala Kshetra, an arts and culture center that is dedicated to promoting Indian dance, music, and other forms of artistic expression. Kala Kshetra is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in Indian arts and culture.
Our next stop is Mylapore temple, one of the oldest and most important temples in Chennai. This temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is a popular pilgrimage destination for Hindus from all over the world. The temple is known for its stunning architecture and intricate carvings, and it is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in Indian religious architecture.
Our final stop of the day is Kapaleshwaran temple, another important temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. This temple is located in the heart of Chennai and is famous for its magnificent gopuram (tower). The temple is also known for its beautiful architecture and intricate carvings.
After a full day of sightseeing, we will return to the hotel for a well-deserved rest. You can spend the evening at your leisure, exploring the city or relaxing at the hotel.
The next day, you will have the opportunity to explore Chennai further or embark on a day trip to one of the nearby attractions. Some popular day trips from Chennai include a visit to Mahabalipuram, a UNESCO World Heritage Site known for its stunning rock-cut temples and sculptures, and Kanchipuram, a holy city known for its beautiful temples and silk sarees.
Day 02 :
Kanchipuram is an ancient city that was once the capital of the Pallava dynasty. It is often referred to as the "City of 1000 Temples" due to the large number of temples that can be found here. In fact, there are still 124 shrines in Kanchipuram, many of which date back to the 7th and 8th centuries.
Our first stop in Kanchipuram will be the Ekambaswara temple, one of the most famous temples in the city. This temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is known for its towering gopuram (tower) and intricate carvings. The temple is also surrounded by a beautiful garden, which is a great place to relax and enjoy the scenery.
Next, we will visit the Kailasanatha temple, another important temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. This temple is known for its stunning architecture, which features intricate carvings and sculptures. The temple is believed to have been built in the 8th century, during the reign of the Pallava dynasty.
After visiting the Kailasanatha temple, we will make our way to the Sri Kamakshi temple, which is dedicated to the goddess Kamakshi. This temple is known for its beautiful architecture and is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in Indian religious architecture.
Our final stop in Kanchipuram will be the Varadarajaswamy temple, another important temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu. This temple is known for its stunning architecture and intricate carvings, and it is a popular destination for pilgrims from all over India.
After exploring Kanchipuram, we will stop for lunch at a local restaurant before continuing on to Mahabalipuram. Upon arrival in Mahabalipuram, we will check in at our hotel before embarking on a half-day city tour.
Pondicherry is a former French colony, and its rich heritage and architecture reflect the influence of French culture. The city is also known for its serene beaches, beautiful promenades, and the famous Sri Aurobindo Ashram.
Upon arrival in Pondicherry, check in at your hotel and take some time to freshen up. After lunch, your half-day city tour of Pondicherry will begin. The first stop on the tour is the Sri Aurobindo Ashram, which is located around 10 km north of the city. The ashram was founded by Sri Aurobindo and his spiritual collaborator, the Mother, in 1926 with the aim of promoting the idea of spiritual unity and self-realization. The ashram promotes the practice of yoga and meditation to bring about a synthesis of spiritual and material life.
Next on the tour is Auroville, a unique experimental township that was founded in 1968 with the aim of creating a new environment where people of all nationalities can live together in harmony. The township is located around 10 km from the city center and is known for its sustainable living practices and unique architecture.
The Matrimandir, which is located at the center of Auroville, is a striking golden globe-shaped structure that serves as the town's spiritual center. The building is surrounded by beautiful gardens and a man-made lake, making it a serene and peaceful place to visit.
After the city tour, return to your hotel and spend the evening at your leisure. You can take a stroll along the Promenade Beach or explore the local markets for some souvenirs. Enjoy a delicious dinner at your hotel and spend the night in Pondicherry.
The next morning, you can explore more of Pondicherry's attractions, such as the French Quarter, which features beautiful colonial architecture, or the Bharathi Park, which is a popular picnic spot. Alternatively, you can spend the day relaxing on one of the many beautiful beaches in the area, such as Paradise Beach or Serenity Beach.
Day 04 :
After breakfast, you will embark on a scenic drive to Chidambaram, also known as Thillai. The town is famous for its Nataraja temple, which is dedicated to Lord Shiva in his form as a cosmic dancer. The temple complex, spread across 40 acres, houses the root of the sanctum-sanctorum that is covered with golden plates. One of the highlights of the temple is the depiction of postures from the Bharatanatyam form of dance in the form of sculptures.
After exploring the temple complex, you will proceed to a local restaurant for a delicious lunch before continuing your journey to Thanjavur. Enroute, you will stop at Kumbakonam to visit a brass factory, where you can witness skilled artisans creating intricate brassware using traditional techniques.
Thanjavur, which was once the capital of the Chola Kings, is renowned for its Brahadeswara Temple, also known as the Big Temple of God. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is a stunning example of Dravidian architecture and boasts a towering temple tower that rises to a height of 15 meters from a square base of 29 meters, tapering off to a total height of 66 meters.
Upon arrival in Thanjavur, you will check in at your hotel and have the rest of the day to explore the city at your own pace. You can also take some time to relax and unwind after a long day of sightseeing. Overnight stay at your hotel in Thanjavur.
Day 05 :
After enjoying a hearty breakfast, you will leave for Trichy, also known as Trichurapalli, a charming city situated on the banks of the Kaveri River. This city is a perfect blend of history, tradition, and spirituality, and it is home to some of the most magnificent temples in southern India.
Upon arrival in Trichy, you will check in at your hotel and then proceed for a half-day city tour. You will start by visiting the Rock Fort, a massive rock formation that rises to a height of over 23 meters. At the top of the rock is a stunning temple that offers breathtaking views of the city.
Next, you will visit the Ranganath Temple at Srirangam, which is one of the largest temple complexes in India. The temple is dedicated to Lord Ranganatha, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu, and is located on an island in the Kaveri River. The temple complex comprises seven concentric enclosures, with each enclosure having its own walls and gateways. The main sanctum sanctorum is located in the innermost enclosure, which is surrounded by a massive wall.
After visiting the Ranganath Temple, you will head to the Jambukeshwar Temple, which is dedicated to Lord Shiva. This ancient temple is renowned for its architectural beauty, and it is said to have been built over 1,800 years ago.
In the evening, you will return to your hotel, where you can relax and unwind after a long day of sightseeing. Overnight stay at your hotel in Trichy.
Day 06 :
Madurai is a city in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu, known for its rich cultural heritage and ancient temples. The city is believed to be more than 2,600 years old and is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. It is known as the "Athens of the East" for its contribution to Tamil literature, art, and culture.
After a hearty breakfast at the hotel, we will proceed to explore the city of Madurai. Our first stop will be the famous Meenakshi Amman Temple, which is dedicated to the Hindu goddess Meenakshi, who is believed to be an incarnation of the goddess Parvati. The temple is a masterpiece of Dravidian architecture and is one of the most important pilgrimage sites in India. It is said that the temple has been in existence since the 6th century AD and has been expanded and renovated over the centuries.
After visiting the temple, we will proceed to the King Tirumala's Palace, which is located in the heart of the city. The palace was built in the 17th century and was the residence of the Nayak kings. The palace is known for its beautiful architecture and intricate carvings.
Next, we will visit the Great Tank, which is also known as the Vandiyur Mariamman Teppakulam. The tank is one of the largest in South India and is a popular picnic spot. It is surrounded by beautiful gardens and is a great place to relax and unwind.
In the afternoon, we will visit the Gandhi Museum, which is located in the old palace of Rani Mangammal. The museum houses a collection of photographs and memorabilia related to Mahatma Gandhi, who played a key role in India's struggle for independence. The museum also has a library and a research centre.
After a busy day of sightseeing, we will return to the hotel for an overnight stay. Madurai is a city that will leave you mesmerized with its rich history and culture, and we are sure that you will have a great time exploring its various attractions.
Day 07 :
Rameshwaram is a holy pilgrimage site located on an island in the Gulf of Mannar in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu. The town is famous for its Ramanatha Swamy Temple, which is considered to be one of the most sacred shrines for Hindus.
The legend goes that Lord Rama, along with his wife Sita and brother Lakshmana, came to Rameshwaram after defeating the demon king Ravana in Lanka. As per the Hindu mythology, Lord Rama wanted to worship Lord Shiva in order to absolve himself of the sins committed during the war. Since there was no Shivlinga (an iconic representation of Lord Shiva) available in the island, Lord Rama asked Hanuman to bring it from Kailash. However, Hanuman was delayed in returning, and the auspicious time for the worship was approaching. So, the Lord Rama and Sita made a Shivlinga out of sand, which is now enshrined in the Ramanatha Swamy Temple.
The Ramanatha Swamy Temple is a grand and magnificent structure built in the Dravidian style of architecture, with lofty towers, intricate carvings and a vast courtyard. The temple has a huge corridor with around 1,200 intricately carved pillars that are said to be among the largest and finest specimens of Dravidian art. The temple is also home to 22 holy wells known as theerthams, which are believed to have medicinal properties and are used by the devotees for ritual purification.
Apart from the temple, Rameshwaram is also known for its beautiful beaches, scenic drives and water sports activities. The town is located on the tip of the Indian peninsula and is surrounded by the Bay of Bengal on one side and the Indian Ocean on the other. The beaches in Rameshwaram are pristine and offer stunning views of the sea. The town is also home to several other temples and places of religious significance such as the Agnitheertham, Dhanushkodi, and Gandhamadhana Parvatham.
Day 08 :
After breakfast, drive to Trivandrum (also known as Thiruvananthapuram) and check in at your hotel. Trivandrum is the capital city of Kerala and is known for its cultural and historical significance. Begin your half-day city tour by visiting the famous Ananthapadmanabha Swamy Temple, one of the most important temples in Kerala dedicated to Lord Vishnu. The temple is known for its intricate architecture and is a must-visit for its spiritual significance.
Next, visit the Chitralaya Art Gallery, which houses a collection of paintings and artworks by renowned Indian artists. The gallery is located in a beautiful heritage building and offers a glimpse into the rich cultural heritage of Kerala.
In the evening, return to your hotel and enjoy a comfortable overnight stay. You can explore the local markets and indulge in some shopping for souvenirs and traditional handicrafts. Trivandrum is known for its beautiful silk sarees, aromatic spices, and handicrafts made of coconut shells, wood, and brass.
Alternatively, if you're interested in nature and wildlife, you can visit the nearby Neyyar Wildlife Sanctuary, which is home to a variety of flora and fauna. The sanctuary offers nature trails, wildlife safaris, and trekking options for nature enthusiasts. You can also visit the nearby Kovalam Beach, one of the most popular beaches in Kerala, known for its pristine beaches and beautiful sunsets.
Overall, Trivandrum is a great destination to explore the rich cultural heritage and natural beauty of Kerala and offers something for everyone.
Day 09 :
After breakfast, you will begin your journey to Kanyakumari, the southernmost tip of India. This coastal town is known for its beautiful beaches, stunning sunsets, and religious significance. On the way, you can enjoy the scenic beauty of the countryside and the coastal landscape.
Upon arrival in Kanyakumari, you can visit the famous Amman Temples, which are dedicated to the virgin Goddess Kanya Kumari. These temples are an important pilgrimage site for Hindus and are believed to be a symbol of unity and sanctity. The surrounding area is full of shops selling souvenirs, handicrafts, and religious items.
Next, head to the Vivekananda Rock Memorial, which is a popular tourist attraction located in the middle of the sea. The memorial was built in the honor of Swami Vivekananda, who is said to have meditated here in 1892. The rock memorial is a beautiful blend of different architectural styles from all over India, and it offers a panoramic view of the surrounding sea and coastline.
After exploring the Vivekananda Rock Memorial, you can enjoy a delicious lunch at a local restaurant. In the evening, you can witness the stunning sunset over the Arabian Sea from the beach. The colorful sky and the sound of the waves crashing against the shore create a serene and peaceful atmosphere.
Later in the evening, you can return to Trivandrum for the overnight stay at the hotel. Trivandrum, the capital city of Kerala, is known for its rich history, culture, and natural beauty. You can explore the city and visit attractions like the Ananthapadmanabha Swamy Temple and the Chitralaya Art Gallery, which showcases some of the finest works of art from South India.
Day 10 :
After breakfast transfer to airport to board domestic flight to connect international flight for onward Destination.