Chennai formerly known as Madras is the capital city of Tamil Nadu state and is the fourth largest metro city in India. The city grew up around the English settlement of Fort Saint George and gradually absorbed the surrounding towns and villages. However, despite the strong British influence, Chennai has retained its traditional Tamil Hindu culture and effectively blended it with the foreign influence. The city is widely spread in about 180 Sq. Kms. It is a major trade center, being well linked by road, rail and air to important cities besides being a sea port. Compared to the other major metros of India, it is far less congested and polluted.
Chennai, is a journey into timeless India, a kaleidoscope of moods. rich in the treasures of history, from temples and shrines to forts and palaces, the landscape of the past lives easily with the present. Chennai is the fourth largest city in India and the capital of Tamil Nadu. Retaining much of its traditional charm, this 350 year old city is the gateway to the south, providing many a fascinating vignette of southern heritage.
Location : Chennai / Mahabalipuram / Pondicherry / Thanjavur / Madurai
Duration : 7 Night 8 Days - Chennai (2N) - Mahabalipuram (1N) - Pondicherry (1N) - Thanjavur (1N) - Madurai (2N)
Day 1 Chennai: Arrive Chennai. You will be met, assisted and transferred to your hotel. Overnight in Chennai.
Day 2 Chennai: Proceed for a full-day tour of Chennai. Visit Fort St George. built in the 17th century, this fort houses 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. Visit the Government Museum, featuring sections including archeology, zoology, botany, anthropology etc. Later, drive past Marina Beach, the second longest beach in the world. Overnight in Chennai.
Day 3 Mahabalipuram: Drive to Mahabalipuram (65 kms / 1.30 hrs approx), enroute visiting Kanchipuram. Visit the Ekambaranathar Temple, where Shiva is worshiped as Prithvi (earth), one of the five basic elements of the physical world. Proceed to the Vaishnavite Vaikunta Perumal temple, with its famous battle scenes depicting Pallava valor. Also visit the Varadharaja Perumal Temple, dedicated to Lord Vishnu. Visit the Kamakshi Temple, dedicated to Kamakshi, one of the forms of the goddess Parvati. Evening visit of the Kailasanatha Temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva. Arrive Mahabalipuram and check in to your hotel. Overnight in Mahabalipuram.
Day 4 Pondicherry: Proceed for a half-day tour of Mahabalipuram. Visit the Panch Rathas or Five Ratha temples. of the nine monolithic rock-cut temples found in Mahabalipuram, the most important are these, dedicated to the five Pandava brothers from the epic Mahabharata. Visit Arjuna’s Penance, the massive rock cut bas relief sculpture. 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. Afternoon, drive to Pondicherry (90 Kms / 2 hrs approx.) Arrive Pondicherry and check in to your hotel. Overnight in Pondicherry.
Day 5 Thanjavur: Proceed for a half-day tour of Pondicherry. Visit the Shri Aurobindo Ashram. This world-renowned ashram was founded in the year 1926, by Shri Aurobindo, along with The Mother (Mira Alfassa). Later, visit the Government Museum… this multipurpose museum houses sculptures from Pallava, Chola and Vijaynagara temples. Thereafter, drive past the beach promenade. Drive to Thanjavur (210 kms / 3.5 hrs approx), enroute visiting Gangaikondacholapuram and Airavateshwar Temples, both important Chola period structures. Arrive Thanjavur and check in to your hotel. Overnight in Thanjavur.
Day 6 Madurai: Drive to Madurai (140 kms / 2.5 Hrs approx), enroute visiting Trichy. The town and its fort were built by the Nayaks of Madurai. Visit the Rock Fort Temple, a spectacular monument perched on a massive rocky out crop which rises abruptly from the plain to tower over the old city. At the very top is the ancient temple dedicated to Ganapati. Arrive Madurai and check in to your hotel. Overnight in Madurai.
Day 7 Madurai: Proceed for a full-day tour of Madurai. Visit the Meenakshi Temple- the heart and lifeline of the 2500 year old city of Madurai. The complex houses 14 magnificent Gopurams or towers, including two golden Gopurams for the main deities. Next, visit the Gandhi Memorial Museum at the Tamukkam Palace. Proceed to the Palace of Tirumalai Nayak, an Indo-Saracenic building constructed in 1523. Continue to the Koodal Azhagar Temple, one of the 108 temples dedicated to Lord Vishnu. In the evening, re-visit the Meenakshi Temple to witness the evening prayer ceremony at the temple. Overnight in Madurai.
Day 8 Onwards: Proceed to the airport to board the flight for your onward destination.
Visit Chennai , Mahabalipuram , Pondicherry , Thanjavur , Madurai
PACKAGE WITH HOTEL + CAR
Package Inclusive : Accommodation in well appointed rooms../Transport services as per itinerary by air-conditioned car. (1-2 pax - Indigo or similar, 3-4 pax - Toyota Innova)./Assistance, toll, taxes.Package Valid till Sept 2014.
Hotel Included in the Package.