SOUTH INDIAN TEMPLE TOUR
Places to Stay : Chennai, Kanchipuram, Mahabalipuram,
Pondicherry, Tanjavur, Trichy, Rameshwaram, Kanyakumari,
Trivandrum, Cochin, Thrissur. 16 Days
Season to Stay: Around
Day 01: Chennai:
Arrive Chennai - the gateway to southern India, established in 1639 by
the East India Company, is one of the oldest cities of the country.
Assistance and transfer to hotel. After lunch at hotel, half day
sightseeing tour, visiting Gandhi Memorial , Kala Kshetra, Mylapore
temple and Marine beach. Overnight stay at hotel.
Day 02: Chenna Excursion - Tirupathi, ( 154 kms - 3.5 hours)
After early breakfast, proceed to Tirupathi. Lunch at local restaurant
Tirupathi is a temple town known for the famous ancient temple
of Lord Venkateswara (Lord of seven hills or Balaji, as he is
affectionately known) on the top of the 860mts high Tirumala Hills.
The temple of Lord Venkateswara is not only believed to be amongst the
oldest temples in the country, but also the richest of them all,
legend has it that Lord Venkateswara borrowed money from the divine
treasure Kubera for his wedding expenses. He is still paying back this
debt which is why the pilgrims donate generously to the temple funds.
In the evening return to Chennai . Overnight stay at hotel.
Day 03 : Chennai - Kanchipuram /
Mahabalipuram (76 kms - 2
After breakfast drive to Kanchipuram - is the ancient capital of
the Pallavas famous as a city of 1000 Temples and still has 124
shrines. The first temple dedicated to Shiva was built in the 7th and
8th century and has paintings on the walls. Temples of Ekambaswara,
Kailasanatha, Sri Kamakshi and Varadarajaswamy are of interest .
Kanchipuram is also famous for its silks.
Later drive to Mamallapooram
and check in at hotel. Overnight stay at Hotel.
Day 04 : Mahabalipuram (76 kms - 2 hrs)
After breakfast visit the city - built in 7th century, earlier
Mahabalipuram, this ancient Pallava port, is today 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
which remains here is the spectacular two - spired shrine,
unique because it houses both Lord Shiva and the Lord Vishnu in its
sanctum - sanctorum. Overnight stay at the hotel.
Day 05: Mamallapooram - Tiruvannamalal - Pondicherry (243 kms -
After breakfast drive to Tiruvannamallai - a pilgrim centre 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 St . Agasthaya settled down. Check in at the hotel.
Overnight stay at the hotel.
Day 06: Pondicherry:
After breakfast drive to to visit Aurbindo Ashram, the city of dawn,
which is 10kms north of Pondicherry. This ashram promotes Aurbindo'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 stay at hotel.
Day 07: Pondicherry - Chidambaram - Tanjore (170 kms -4.5 hrs)
After breakfast drive to Chidambaram also called as Thillai, which has
the famous Natraja temple with the root of the sanctum -
sanctorum covered with golden plates is located in the centre of the
town covering an area of 40 acres. In the temple, postures from the
Bharatnatayam form of dance are depicted in sculpture. Natraja is Lord
Shiva as a cosmic dancer. After lunch, drive to Thanjavur enroute
visiting the Brass factory at Kumbakonam. Tanjore once the capital of
Chola Kings, has the Bragadeswara 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. Check in at the
hotel. Overnight stay at hotel.
Day 08: Tanjore - Trichy (54 kms - 2 hrs):
After breakfast leave for Trichy, short name of Trichurapalli,
situated on the banks of Kaveri River is a blend of history and
tradition as well as pilgrim centre, it is famous for Ranganath temple
at Srirangam. Check in at Hotel. After lunch city tour visiting Rock
fort and its temple at a height of over 23mts. Also visit Srirangam
and Jambukeshwar Temple, Overnight stay at hotel.
Day 09: Trichy - Madurai (133 kms - 3.5 hrs)
After breakfast proceed to Madurai and checkin at hotel. The ancient
city of Madurai, some 2600 years old is laid out in the banks of river
Vaigal as a lotus with the Meenakshi Temple in the centre. After
launch city tour visiting - Meenakashi temple, King Tirumala's Palace,
Great Tank and Gandhi museum. Overnight stay at Hotel.
Day 10: Madurai Excursion to Rameshwaram - Madurai
After breakfast proceed to Rameshwaram - the most sacred temple town
of India is an island hallowed by the epic Ramayana, where Lord Rama
is said to have visited before going into battle of Srilanka. 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. Lunch at local restaurant . Return to Madurai for
dinner. Overnight stay at hotel.
Day 11: Madurai
(285 kms- 7 hrs):
Early morning after breakfast drive to Kanyakumari and check in at
hotel. 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 centre of India, it is famous for the Amman Temples
- a symbol of unity and sanctity -dedicated to the virgin Goddess,
Kanyakumari. To its South - East lies the famous Vivekananda Rock
memorial, a blend of all the architectural styles of India. Evening
enjoy the beautiful sun set. Overnight at hotel in Kanyakumari.
Day 12 :Kanyakumari - Trivandrum
- Kovalam (120 kms- 3 hrs):
After viewing morning sunrise proceed to Kovalam. Enroute a sight
seeing of Thiruvananthapuram covering Museum complex, Padmanabha
Swamy Temple, Science & Technology museum, Veli tourist village,
Aakulam Boat Club, Shangmugham Beach, Later check -in at hotel in
Kovalam. Over Night stay at Kovalam.
Day 13: Kovalam:
Full day at leisure. Overnight stay at Kovalam.
Day 14: Kovalam - Cochin (200 kms - 5hrs):
After breakfast proceed to cochin. Evening visit Ernakulam Lord Shiva
Temple and famous Devi Temple Chottanikkara. Overnight at Cochin.
Day 15: Cochin - Trichur (90 kms -2.50 hrs) :
After morning breakfast proceed to Guruvayoor Krishna Temple enroute
Kalady Sree Sankara Math and pilgrim centre such as Kodungalloor
Devi Temple. Triprayar Hanuman Temple and Trichur Vadakunnatha Temple.
Overnight at Trichur.
Day 16: Departure Trichur - Cochin(80 km -2 hrs):
Depart as per schedule to the Airport/ Railway Station at Cochin to
connect onto your flight