The Southern Delight

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THE SOUTHERN DELIGHT


Highlights of tour

✔ Explore the ancient temples of South India

✔ Beach visit in Mahabalipuram

✔ Cooking demo and dinner at Chettinad (Karaikudi)

✔ Visit to famous Meenkashi temple in Madurai

✔ Best price guaranteed

Day 1: Arrive Chennai (International Flight)

  • You will arrive today at Chennai International Airport. Following customs, immigration formalities and baggage collection, our representative will meet you as you EXIT the ARRIVAL TERMINAL building after which you would be transferred to your hotel.
  • Rest of the day will be at leisure for independent activities.

Day 2: Chennai – Kanchipuram – Mahabalipuram (2 hours by road)

  • After breakfast at the hotel, you will proceed for a sightseeing tour of Chennai. Your tour will start with the visit to, Fort St. George (Closed on Fridays & Public Holidays), which is presently, is being used by the Tamil Nadu Government. Within the compound is a museum holding many remembrances of the East India Company and the British period. From the British hold of centre, you will proceed to Mylapore. Also visit Kapaleeswarar Temple, honoring Shiva, dates back to the 13th century AD and is the biggest temple in Chennai. You will also drive past the Marina Beach, the second longest in the world, stretching for several miles.
  • Afternoon you will be driven to Mahablipuram enroute visit Kanchipuram (approx.. 140 kms / 03 hours). Kanchipuram is a busy pilgrimage centre, humming with activity around its extraordinary temple precincts.
  • After visiting Kanchipuram, you will be driven to Mahabalipuram. Upon arrival proceed for check-in at hotel and rest of the evening will be free for independent activities.

Day 3: Mahabalipuram

  • Breakfast at the Hotel
  • Later proceed for the sightseeing tour of the city visiting The Shore Temple: Though known as the land of Seven Pagodasm, there is only one remaining today. The five-storied Sore Temple on the sea beach was built by the Pallava King Raja Singha at the end of seventh century in pure Dravidian sculpture. Later also visit Arjuna’s Penance. Conclude the sightseeing with visit to Mandapams/Cave temples: The temples are finely sculptured & carved out in Mahabali.

Day 4: Mahabalipuram – Pondicherry (2 ½ to 3 hours by road)

  • Today post breakfast you will be driven to Pondicherry (105 KMS / 2.5 Hours). Upon arrival check-in at hotel
  • Later after quick wash and change proceed for sightseeing tour of Pondicherry visiting Sri Aurobindo Ashram, located on Rue de la Marine, is the most popular attraction in Pondicherry. The Ashram was founded by Sri Aurobindo Ghose in 1926. Sri Aurobindo, the poet philosopher founded the Ashram to help man reach the zenith of his evolution through spiritual exercises and yoga, combined with physical activity and productive work.

Day 5: Pondicherry – Chidambaram – Thanjavur (4 hours by road)

  • Today post breakfast you will be driven to Thanjavur enroute stopping at Chidambaram (1 ½ hrs drive) for a brief visit. Chidambaram, the capital of the Cholas from AD 907 to 1310. Visit the famous Natarajan Temple in Chidambaram. You can also visit Kumbakonam temples while driving from Chidambaram to Thanjavur.
  • Post visit continue your drive to Thanjavur and on arrival proceed for check-in at your hotel.

Day 6: Thanjavur – Karaikudi (3 to 4 hours by road)

  • Post early breakfast proceed for Thanjavur sightseeing which will start with visit to Brihadeeshwara Temple, built in the 10th century by Raja Chola. It is considered to be artistically the most perfect of Dravida temples. Besides the temple, you will visit the Palace most of which is in ruins housing the Tamil University Museum, the Art Gallery, the Saraswati Mahal Library which houses palm leaf & paper manuscripts.
  • Later you will be driven to Karaikudi (approx.. 160 kms / 4 hours) enroute stopping at Trichy for a brief visit to the Rock Fort, which is a landmark of Trichy. The rock is one of the oldest in the world-approximately 3.800 million years, which makes it as old as the rocks of Greenland and older than the Himalayas. A climb of 434 steps leads to the ancient temple of Ganapati on top and a further climb to a Shiva Temple. You will visit Sri Rangan Temple.
  • On arrival proceed for check-in at your hotel and remainder of the day will be at leisure to explore the local village on your own.

Day 7: Karaikudi – Rameshwaram (3 hours by road)

  • Today you will continue your travel to absolute southern tip to Rameshwaram (approx.. 145 kms / 03 hours). On arrival proceed for check-in at your hotel.

Day 8: Rameshwaram – Madurai (3 to 4 hours by road)

  • Today early in the morning proceed for visit to Sri Ramanathaswamy Temple – this temple situated near the sea on the eastern side of the island is renowned for its magnificent prakaras or corridors with massive sculptured pillars on either side. Pooja (prayer) is performed for an hour early morning daily. The one needs to take bath in 22 theertha kundams with in the temple premises before having darshan.
  • Later you will be driven to Madurai (approx.. 170 kms / 3 ½ hours). On arrival proceed for check-in at your hotel.
  • In the late evening enjoy witnessing the closing ceremony (also called as Ardhajama Pooja) at Meenakshi Temple. Please Note Foreigners (Non Hindus) are not allowed inside the inner sanctum of the temple.

Day 9: Madurai – Chennai (Domestic flight)

  • In the morning proceed for a sightseeing tour of Madurai city – The temple town is unique in that all its temples are living temples and it remains a major religious centre attracting pilgrims the year round. Madurai’s main attraction is the famous Meenakshi temples in the heart of the old town, a riotously baroque example of Dravidian architecture with gopurams (towers) covered from top to bottom with a breathless profusion of multi-colored images of gods, goddesses, animals and mythical figures. Another attraction is the Tirumalai Nayak Palace (1636) restored by Lord Napier, dance drama concerts are performed daily.
  • Later you will be transferred to airport to board the short flight (01 hour) to Chennai.
  • On arrival board the connecting flight for back home or if you have some extra time in hand, you may indulge yourself in coastal cuisine for dinner in Chennai before heading back to home.