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Temples of South India Tours

Duration9 Days

Destinations - Chennai, Mahabalipuram, Pondicherry, Trichy, Madurai

Day 01: - Arrive Chennai, India

Arrive at Chennai International Airport.

Chennai or Madras as it was known as is the capital of Tamilnadu. It is a teeming, sprawling, bustling industrial metro established on the site of a fishing village in 1639 as a first British settlement in India by the English merchant, Francis Day. Later, The East India Company developed Chennai as one of the major trading centres in India. Chennai has a blend of Dravidian and Gothic architecture in its buildings. The city might have grown but it has never lost its traditional grace and charm. The Tamil society might have incorporated English culture but the Dravidian roots are as strong as ever. Here many interesting churches still remain from the first British settlement in India. This coastal city has a beautiful promenade and a string of waterfront Indo-Saracenic buildings.

On your arrival at Chennai International airport, you will be met by our representative, who will arrange for your transfer to your chosen hotel, and also hand you over the detailed itinerary for your South India tour and answer any questions that you may have. No activity is scheduled today, since most International flights arrive into India, late evening, or close to midnight only. Overnight in Chenai.

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Day 02: - Chennai

This morning you are collected from your hotel for a half day tour of Chennai.

This tour includes a visit to The Santhome Cathedral Church, the St. Thomas Mount, the Little Mount Shrine, the Fort St George , St. Mary’s Church, and the Fort Museum.

St Thomas Mount - is the place where the apostle is said to have been killed.

Little Mount Shrine - St. Thomas is believed to have lived in Little Mount Shrine (a tiny cave) when he came to India around 58 A.D. Known locally as Chinnamalai, the cave is entered via the Portuguese Church that was built in 1551.

Fort St George -built in the 1640 A.D., the first bastion of British power of India, the fort has undergone much alteration. The fort is now used by the Tamilnadu Legislative Assembly and the Secretariat office. The 46m high flagstaff at the front is actually a mast salvaged from a 17th century shipwreck.

St Mary's Church – built in 1678-80, was the first English Church in Chennai, and is the oldest surviving British Church in India. There are reminders in the Church of Clive, who was married here in 1753, and of Elihu Yale, the early Governor of Chennai who later founded the famous American University bearing his name.

The Fort Museum - It has a collection of objects from the tenure of the East India Company in Chennai including letters from Robert Clive.

Rest of the day at leisure to explore the city on your own. Overnight at hotel.

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Day 03: - Chennai - Mahabalipuram

This morning you drive to Mahabalipuram (60 kms/1½ hrs.).

Mahabalipuram- Mahabalipuram, bordering the Bay of Bengal, located just an hour’s drive South of Chennai, is famous for it’s beach and it’s temples that date back to several centuries ago. The Mahabalipuram ruins, date back to the seventh century and consist of a cave temple, a shore temple, and the famous rock-carved temple chariots and bas-reliefs, regarded by many as sculptural marvels.

Mahabalipuram , is one of the Indian towns that was devastated by the recent Tsunami waves in December 2004 , but in true Indian style , the city’s inhabitants showed tremendous grit and courage and had the city back to normal very quickly.

Upon arrival check-in to the hotel. Rest of the day at leisure to explore the city on your own or perhaps just relax on the beach. Overnight at hotel.

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Day 04: - Mahabalipuram - Pondicherry

This morning you drive to Pondicherry (95-kms/02 hrs.).

Pondicherry - Pondicherry or Puducherry as it is now called, was a French colony till 1954, where after, it became one of the Union Territories of India. Pondicherry is a beautiful sea side town bordering the Bay of Bengal, with a trace of French culture that is still omnipresent. Aside from it’s charming atmosphere, excellent sea views , atmospheric restaurants and bars , another major attraction of Pondicherry is the Sri Aurobindo Ashram.

Upon arrival in Pondicherry, check-in to your hotel. Afternoon you will be collected from your hotel for a sightseeing tour Pondicherry.

This tour includes visits to the Sri Aurobindo Ashram, which is now one of Pondicherry’s major attractions, the Aurobindo Hand made paper factory and the Pondicherry Musuem.

Evening at leisure. Overnight at hotel.

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Day 05: - Pondicherry - Trichy

This morning you drive to Trichy (255 kms/05 hrs.) enroute visiting Tanjore – Famous as a “Rice bowl of Tamil Nadu”, Thanjavur was the royal city of the Chola Empire which ruled from 850 to 1270. It is the home of Carnatic music, musical instruments, dance and traditional hadicrafts. It is famous for the Brahadeeswarar Temple, built by the greatest of the Chola emperors. It is also regarded as the Chola dynasty's finest contribution to the Dravidian temple architecture. Listed as a World Heritage site, the temple is visited by a large number of people for regular worship.

Later continue your drive to Trichy.

Trichy–The temple town of Trichy, has a history that goes back to the period before Christ, when it was a citadel of the Chola Kings, and later of the Pallava dynasty. Trichy is also said to be one of the main centresaround which the Carnatic wars involving the British and the French were fought. The city is now an important commercial centre , and a manufacturing and trading base for artificial diamonds, cigars, handloom cloth, glass bangles and wooden and clay toys. The famous Rock Fort Temple, and the Sri Ranganathswamy temple are the main landmarks of Trichy now.

Upon arrival check-in to the hotel. Rest of the day at leisure. Overnight at hotel.

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Day 06: - Trichy

This morning you are collected from your hotel for a half day tour of Trichy.

This tour includes a visit to Rock Fort Temple -which stands on a 84 m high rock in the centre of the town. In the eighteenth century, the British fought and defeated the French at Trichy for possession of the fort. Cave-shrines and temples are built on the rock - look out for the Hall of a Thousand Pillars and the shrine of Shiva. At the top we can relax and enjoy the panoramic views of Trichy. Our next stop is the enormous Ranganathswamy Temple. Dedicated to the Hindu god Vishnu, the temple was known as a theological seat of learning as far back as the 11th century and as a sacred site it dates back two thousand years. As it is today, the temple comprises of a series of walled courts with 21 towers – the tallest of which reaches up 72 meters. It is a busy place with street sellers offering sweets, garlands and holy images to worshippers and tourists alike.

Afternoon at leisure. Overnight at hotel.

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Day 07: - Trichy – Madurai

This morning you drive to Madurai (200-kms/05 hrs).

Madurai - Madurai or the "city of nectar" is a city with a history dating back almost 2500 years, and is now famous for the impressive multi towered Meenakshi Temple, that dates back to 1560 A.D.Menakshi Temple, a vast complex of chambers is renowned as the finest example of Dravidian architecture in southern India.

Upon arrival check-in to the hotel. Rest of the day at leisure. Overnight at hotel.

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Day 08: - Madurai

This morning you are collected from your hotel for a half-day tour of Madurai.

This tour includes a visit to the great Meenakshi Temple -a splendid example of Dravidian architecture. The present temple was designed in 1560 by VishwanathaNayak and subsequently built during the reign of TirumalaiNayak. There are four entrances to the temple with an area of six hectares. Each of its 12 towers has the height of 45 to 50 meters. Later, visit the TirumalaNayak Palace - A gracious building in the Indo saracenic style, famous for the Stucco work on its domes & arches. Also visit the Alagar Hills and TiruparaKundran Rock temple.

Evening witness Temple ceremony at Meenakshi Temple. Overnight at hotel.

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Day 09: - Madurai – Chennai

This morning you will be met by our representative and escorted from your hotel to the airport intime to connect with the flight for Chennai.

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Package Rates

All prices are per person and in US Dollars -


Category of Hotels

Valid from 16th April’2015 till 30th Sep’2015

Valid from 01st Oct’2015 till 15th Apr’2016

 
Superior USD 836 USD 855 Book Now
Deluxe USD 945 USD 1131 Book Now
Domestic Airfare USD 102 USD 102  

Note – * Small supplements may apply for travel between 20th December'2015 and 05th January'2016 and during the month of February'2016.

Cities Superior Deluxe
Chennai The Park Vivanta by Taj Connemara
Mahabalipuram Radisson Temple Bay Vivanta by Taj Fisherman’s Cove
Pondicherry De La’Orient Maison Perumal
Trichy Jenneys’ Residency Sangam
Madurai GRT Regency The Gateway

Inclusions:-

#   Accommodation on twin sharing bed and breakfast basis at the selected category of hotels.
#   All arrival-departure transfers and land transportation exactly as per the itinerary using an aircon Car.
# Sightseeing tours along with an English Speaking Guide and including entrance fee to monuments as mentioned above in the Itinerary. 

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