Temple Tour of Tamilnadu




Temple Tour of Tamilnadu 11 Days
Chennai * Kanchipuram * Thiruvannamalai * Trichy * Madurai * Rameshwaram Thanjavur * Pondicherry * Mahabalipuram * Chennai

Welcome to India!! Upon arrival and after you exit from the International Airport, you will be greeted by our local representative and transferred to your hotel. Overnight in the Hotel.

After breakfast, drive (212kms.) to Thiruvannamalai en-route visit Kanchipuram.
Enjoy a half-day tour of Kanchipuram also known as a town of a thousand temples. It is also one of seven sacred cities of India. Next visit Varadharaja Perumal Temple, dedicated to Lord Vishnu, originally built in 1053. It is the third most important of the 108 holy shrines of Vishnu. There is a one hundred Mandapam or hall in the temple, full of sculptures revealing excellent architecture. Visit the Kamakshi Temple, dedicated to Kamakshi, one of the forms of the goddess Parvati, linked with Sankaracharya, one of the greatest Hindu Gurus. Later, visit Kailasanatha Temple with beautiful fine carvings, dedicated to Lord Shiva, constructed by one of the Pallava rulers.
On arrival you will check into your hotel and relax. Later visit the Ashram & Thiruvannamalai temple.
Overnight in the Hotel. B

Morning after breakfast, drive (187kms; 4hrs) to Trichy and on arrival enjoy a half-day tour of Tiruchirappalli (Trichy), situated on the banks of the river Cauvery. The town and its forts were built by the Nayaks of Madurai. Visit the Rock Fort Temple, built on a massive rock. At the very top, is the ancient temple dedicated to Ganapati. Continue your tour with a visit to Srirangam – that has eight shrines of Lord Vishnu. It is also considered the most important of the 108 main Vishnu temples (Divyadesams). The temple complex covers 156 acres of land, and a massive structure with seven concentric walls, and twenty one gopurams or towers. Non-Hindus are not allowed into the innermost sanctum of the temple.
Later check into the Hotel and relax.
Overnight in the Hotel. B

Morning after breakfast drive (132kms.) to Madurai & check into the hotel. Later in the afternoon enjoy a half day city tour of Madurai.
Madurai, the capital of the Pandya Kings, and an important cultural and commercial centre as early as 550 AD is on the banks of River Vaigai,. Here you will visit the 2500 year old Meenakshi Temple, responsible for the economy of the city of Madurai. Next, visit the Gandhi Memorial Museum at the Tamukkam Palace which holds the history and relics of the freedom movement. Proceed to the Palace of Tirumalai Nayak, an Indo-Saracenic building constructed in 1523. Built with the help of an Italian Architect it is a combination of Dravidian, Islamic and European styles. Continue to the Koodal Azhagar Temple, dedicated to Lord Vishnu where 3 separate altars show Vishnu, standing, sitting and reclining statues. In the evening, return to the Meenakshi Temple for the evening prayer ceremony.
Overnight in the Hotel. B

Enjoy your breakfast and then drive (168kms) to Rameshwaram. Arrive, check into the hotel and relax. Later visit Rameshwaram Temple; Hanuman Temple and Agneetirtham.
Overnight in the Hotel. B

Morning after breakfast, drive (237kms) to Thanjavur; check into the hotel and then relax. Evening free.
Overnight in the Hotel. B

Today, enjoy a full-day tour of Thanjavur, also known as the centre of learning and culture. Thanjavur was the royal city of the Cholas, Nayaks and the Marathas, and the original home of Dravidian art and architecture. Visit the Brihadeshwara Temple, also known as the Big Temple; it is the highest honour given to the reign of the Rajaraja Cholas in 1005 AD. The temple has a gigantic lingam cut from a monolithic rock, about 8.7mtrs height. There is a huge Nandi Bull within the inner shrine of the temple… the second largest monolithic Nandi in the country. Next visit Tanjore Palace & Museum, which houses an art gallery, a library, the hall of music, and the audience hall. Here you will find relics of royalty such as: clothes, hunting weapons, headgear and much more. Then visit two great Chola Temples in Thanjavur:the Temple of Gangaikondacholapuram and the Airavatesvara Temple.
Overnight in the Hotel. B

Morning drive (166kms.) to Madurai, arrive and check into the hotel and relax. In the afternoon go on a half-day tour of Pondicherry. The city is referred to by names such as ‘India’s Little France’ and ‘The French Riviera of the East’ as, for about 280 years, it was under French rule. You will still see the French aroma in the colonial mansions, beautiful boulevards & promenades, street names and signboards. Visit the Shri Aurobindo Ashram founded in the year 1926, by Shri Aurobindo, a Yogi from Bengal along with The Mother (Mira Alfassa), French painter and sculptor. Later, visit the Government Museum with sculptures from Pallava, Chola and Vijaynagara Temples. The terracotta figures, amphorae, burial urns, glass beads etc..have been excavated from the surrounding historic environment. Then, drive past the beach boardwalk. In the evening take a French Heritage walk.
The buildings in the French section of Pondicherry are a lasting gift of French history in India. The buildings have elaborate gateway arches, garden courtyards with multicolored bougainvilleas and buildings painted in pleasing colours of lime and peach. The walk for about 2 kms in one and a half hour includes the Hotel de Ville, French War Memorial, Romain Rolland Library, Aayi Mandapam, Lycee Francaise, Raj Niwas, Le Grand Hotel d’ Europe, Ecole Francaise d’ Extreme Orient, Church of Capuchians and parts of the Ashram.
Overnight in the Hotel. B

Morning after breakfast, drive (99kms.) to Mahabalipuram and on arrival proceed for a half-day tour of Mahabalipuram. Mahabalipuram lies on the Coromandel Coast, a well-established seaport between the 7th and 10th centuries. Visit the Panch Rathas or Five Ratha temples dedicated to the five Pandava brothers from the epic Mahabharata. The Dharmaraja Ratha is named after the eldest Pandava, and is the largest one dedicated to Lord Shiva. Visit Arjuna’s Penance, the massive rock sculpture which is 27 meters in length and 9 meters in height that tells the story of Arjuna. Later, visit the Shore Temple … a five-storied structure made out of finely cut granite, and one of the earliest and most important structural temples. UNESCO has listed it among the world heritage sites.
Later check into the hotel and relax.
Overnight in the Hotel. B

After breakfast drive (53kms.) to Chennai. Later proceed on a half-day tour of Chennai. Formerly known as Madras, the city of Chennai is rich in tradition… classical music, architecture, art and dance form an ethnic part of the city’s identity. Visit Fort St George built in the 17th century, with St. Mary’s Church and a museum. St. Mary’s Church is the oldest Anglican Church in India. Visit the Kapeeleshwara Temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva. The Gopuram, or entrance tower, has a profusion of sculptured images depicting stories from Puranic legends. Next, visit the San Thome Cathedral, named after St Thomas, the doubting discipline of Jesus Christ. Later, drive past Marina Beach, the second longest beach in the world.
Overnight in the Hotel. B

Morning after breakfast transfer to the airport and depart Chennai.