South India Ancient Temple Tour
Day 01: Arrive Chennai
On arrival to Chennai you will be met by Indian Horizons representative and transfer to the hotel. Overnight at Chennai
Day 02: In Chennai
Morning after breakfast proceed for half-day sightseeing tour visiting Gandhi Memorial, Kalakshetra, Mylapore temple and Marine beach. Overnight at Chennai
Day 03: Chennai-Tirupati-Chennai
Morning after breakfast, proceed for a full day excursion to Tirupati famous for the ancient temple of Lord Venkateswara. Overnight at Chennai.
Day 04: Chennai-Kanchipuram - Mamallapooram
Morning after breakfast drive to Mamallapooram enroute visit Kanchipuram the ancient capital of the Pallavas famous as a city of 1000 Temples and still has 124 shrines. On arrival check-into the hotel. Afternoon visit 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. The rock carvings depicting mythological episodes - of demons, Gods and animals in battle and others - are truly poems in stone. The only shore temple that remains here is the spectacular two-spired shrine, unique because it houses both Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu in its sanctum sanctorum. Overnight at Mamallapuram.
Day 05: Mamallapooram - Tiruvannamalai - Pondicherry
Morning after breakfast drive to Pondicherry. Enroute visit to Tiruvannamallai a pilgrim center with an ancient temple of Lord Shiva. After lunch proceed to Pondicherry, which carries a strong whiff of the French presence in India. This erstwhile French colony on the east coast of South India merged with the rest of the country in 1954. Legend says that Pondicherry is the place where Sage Agasthaya settled down. Overnight at Pondicherry
Day 06: In Pondicherry
After breakfast drive to visit Aurobindo Ashram, the city of dawn, which is 10 kms north of Pondicherry. This ashram promotes Aurobindo's ideas in bringing about a synthesis of Yoga and modern science, so as to unite the spirit and matter. After lunch at hotel, 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. Overnight at Pondicherry
Day 07: Pondicherry - Chidambaram - Tanjore
After breakfast drive to Chidambaram(65kms/1.5hrs) also called as Thillai, which has the famous Nataraja temple. The roof of the sanctum-sanctorum covered with golden plates is located in the center of the town covering an area of 40 acres. In this temple, postures from the Bharatnatayam form of dance are depicted in sculpture. Nataraja is Lord Shiva as a cosmic dancer. After lunch at local restaurant, drive to Thanjavur (104kms/03hrs) enroute visiting the Brass factory at Kumbakonam. Tanjore once the capital of the Chola Kings, has the Brahadeswara temple (or the big temple of God). The temple tower rises to a height of 15mts from a square base of 29 mts and then tapers off, making a total of 66mts. Overnight at Tanjore
Day 08: Tanjore - Trichy
After breakfast leave for Trichy, (Trichurapalli) situated on the banks of the Kaveri River. It is a blend of history and tradition as well as a pilgrim center, famous for the Ranganath temple at Srirangam. Check in at the hotel. After lunch take a city tour visiting Rock fort and its temple at a height of over 23mts. Also visit Srirangam and Jambukeshwar Temple. Overnight at Trichy.
Day 09: Trichy - Madurai
After breakfast proceed to Madurai and check in at hotel. The ancient city of Madurai, some 2600 years old is laid out in the banks of river Vaigai as a lotus flower with the Meenakshi temple in the center. After lunch take a city tour visiting - Meenakshi temple, King Tirumala's Palace, Great tank and Gandhi museum. Overnight at Madurai.
Day 10: In Madurai
After breakfast proceed to Rameshwaram - the most sacred temple town of India is an island hallowed by the epic Ramayana. Lord Rama is said to have visited Rameshwaram before going into battle with Lanka. Legend has it that Lord Rama sent Hanuman to Mount Kailash to bring a Lingam for worship when he set foot after defeating Ravana. As Hanuman did not return when the auspicious hour was approaching, Sita made a sand Lingam so that worship could be performed in time, which is where the present day Ramanatha Swamy Temple stands close to sea on the eastern side of the island. One of the twelve Jyotirlingam shrines is also well known for its magnificent corridors and the massive sculptured pillars lining them. Overnight at Trivandrum.
Day 11: Madurai - Trivandrum
After breakfast drive to Trivandrum and check in at hotel. Overnight at Trivandrum
Day 12: In Trivandrum
After breakfast proceed for Kanyakumari - is the land's end of India where the water of the Arabian Sea, the Bay of Bengal and the Indian Ocean meet. An important pilgrim center of India, it is famous for the Amman Temples - a symbol of unity and sanctity - dedicated to the virgin Goddess, Kanya Kumari. To its South-East lies the famous Vivekananda Rock Memorial, a blend of all the architectural styles of India. Lunch at local restaurant. Evening enjoy the beautiful sunset and later return to Trivandrum. Overnight at Trivandrum.
Day 13: Trivandrum - Flight Back Home
Morning after breakfast transfer to the airport to connect flight for onward journey.