South India Temples

Duration: 06 Nights & 07 Days
Places to see: Chennai – Kanchipuram – Mahabalipuram – Tanjore – Trichy – Madurai –

Day 01: Home – Chennai

Chennai, also known as Madras, is the capital of Tamil Nadu and country’s fourth largest city. Compared to the other major metros of India, it is far less congested and polluted. Chennai was the site of the first settlement of the East India Company. It was founded in 1639, on a piece of land given by the Raja of Chandragiri, the last representative of the Vijayanagar rulers of Hampi. On arrival in Chennai, you will be welcomed by IDMS’s staff and transferred to your hotel. (Rooms will be booked from 1200hrs). Overnight stay at hotel.


Day 02: Chennai – Kanchipuram – Mahabalipuram

Morning drive to Mahabalipuram en route visiting Kanchipuram. Kanchipuram is intricately woven with the glorious reign of the Pallavas, the Cholas and the Rayas of Vijayanagar. Kanchipuram was the capital city of the early Chola kings in the 2nd century BC and a Pallava capital between the 6th and 8th centuries. The kings of Vijayanagar dynasty ruled Kanchipuram from 14th to 17th centuries. The history of Kanchipuram is one of the seven most sacred pilgrim centers for the Hindus. Kanchi has about 126 temples remaining in total and a few more in its outskirts. There are several big temples, notably Ekambaranatha Temple which is one of the five form of abodes of Lord Siva, (it is the earth abode here, other abodes include Chidambaram (Sky), Sri Kalahasti (air), Thiruvanaikoil (water) and Tiruvannamalai (fire)), Kamakshi Amman Temple, Varadharaja Perumal Temple, Kumara Kottam, Kachapeshwarar Temple, Kailasanathar Temple and many more On arrival in Mahabalipuram, check in at the hotel. Mahabalipuram is a tiny sea side village, set in a boulder strewn landscape. Also called, Mamallapuram has a beautiful unspoiled 20 km beach and rock-cut art. The sculpture of this place, is particularly interesting, because it shows scenes of day-to- day life, in contrast to the rest of the state of Tamil Nadu, where carvings generally depict gods and goddesses. Rest the day is free at leisure. Overnight in the hotel.


Day 03: Mahabalipuram – Tanjore

An early departure for Tanjore visiting en route Pondicherry – a former French colony, presents an unusual combination of European culture and Indian traditions. Its history can be traced back to Agastya, the revered sage of the south who built his hermitage here in 1500 BC. It became a part of India in 1954, but traces of its history as a French colony still remain in its churches, cuisine, grid-pattern streets and some colonial buildings. An added attraction is the town of Auroville, an oasis of peace and enlightenment. Later drive continues to Tanjore – The home of Carnatic music, musical instruments, dance and traditional hadicrafts, Tanjore (Thanjavur) is famous for the Brahadeeswarar Temple. The temple constructed more than a thousand years ago by the Chola King Raja Rajan is an architect’s marvel. Overnight stay at hotel.


Day 04: Tanjore – Trichy

Morning drive to Trichy – located on the banks of the Cauvery River, was mentioned by Ptolemy in the 2nd century BC. The town and its fort were built by the Nayakas of Madurai. It was ruled at various times by different dynasties, each of which has left their mark on the town. Today, Trichy is a blend of historical town, pilgrim center and thriving commercial city. It is also India’s largest center manufacturing artificial diamonds. Overnight stay at hotel.


Day 05: Trichy – Madurai

Morning visit the famous 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. This temple complex is a collection of three temples – the Manikka Vinayakar temple at the foot of the hill, the Uchhi Pillayar Koyil at the top of the hill and the Taayumaanavar Koyil (Shivastalam) on the hill. Later drive to Madurai – the second largest city of Tamil Nadu. It was once the seat of Tamil learning and still the place where the Tamil language is spoken in its purest form. The city is planned in the shape of a lotus. Modern Madurai is a burgeoning industrial center, even though the vast stretches of paddy fields, dusty roads and crowded bazaars make it seems like an overgrown village. Modernity has reached the city of Madurai, but not at the cost of its rich tradition and culture. Madurai is also home to a large number of temples that reflect the refined architectural works of yore. There are numerous tourist attractions in Madurai that will fill your trip to Madurai with joy and excitement. Overnight stay at hotel.


Day 06: Madurai

After breakfast same day trip 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. PM – visit the great Meenakshi Temple dedicated to the consort of Lord Shiva with its towering Gopurams. Goddess Meenakshi and Lord Shiva are the main deities of the temple. The temple has 985 beautifully sculptured pillars that form the Thousand Pillar Mandapam Hall. Since ages the temple has been the center of Tamil culture, sponsoring literature, art, music and dance. Also visit Tirumala Nayak Palace, a gracious building built by Thirumalai Nayaakar in 1636. The paintings, carvings and designing of the Mahal show the amazing talents of the nayak kings. A classic example of the Indo-saracenic style, the piece de resistance of this Mahal is its carved dome outsoars without the support of girders or rafters. Overnight in the hotel.


Day 07: Madurai – Chennai

Transfer to the airport for flight to Chennai.


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