Wednesday, 9 May 2012

SOUTH INDIA TEMPLE TOUR


South India Temple Tour

Shore TempleDestinations Covered: Chennai (Madras) -Tirupathi- Kanchipuram – Mamallapooram - Tiruvannamalai - Pondicherry - Chidambaram - Tanjore - Trichy - Madurai - Rameswaram-Trivandrum -Kanyakumari-Trivandrum
Duration: 11 Nights / 12 Days

Day 01 Chennai (Madras)
Upon your arrival at Chennai airport, you will be given a warm welcome by our representative, who will escort you to a hotel for check in and relax. In the afternoon after having lunch, you will go out for a sightseeing tour, covering Gandhi Memorial, Kala Kshetra, Mylapore temple and Marine beach. Thereafter, you will retreat to the hotel for a delicious dinner and overnight stay.

Day 02 Chennai (Madras)/Tirupathi (154kms/3.5hrs)
After breakfast, you will check out of the hotel and leave for Tirupathi (this temple is believed to be the oldest as well as the richest temple in the country), to visit the famous temple of Lord Venkateshwara, located at the top of the Tirumala Hills. After having lunch at a local restaurant in Tirupathi, you will return to the hotel in the evening for a relishing dinner and night stay.

Day 03 Chennai (Madras)/Kanchipuram/Mamallapooram
Next morning after having breakfast, you will check out of the hotel and will be then driven to Kanchipuram (the ancient capital of the Pallavas), which is around 76 km away from Chennai and takes around 1.5 hrs to reach there. This city was famous for its 1000 temples (Sri Kamakshi being the most renowned one), many among which are still functional. The city is today well known for the quality silk it produces.

After having lunch at a local restaurant, you will return to the hotel to relax and then, you will visit Mamallapooram (previously known as Mahabalipooram) in the afternoon. This city, which was a port during the Pallava period, has some of the most fine-looking rock cut temples in South India. The famous Shore Temple is only one of its kinds, because Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu are housed in the same sanctum sanctorum. You will return to the hotel for dinner and then retire for the night.

Day 04: Mamallapooram/Tiruvannamalai/Pondicherry
Next morning after having breakfast, you will check out of the hotel and will be driven to Tiruvannamallai (is an important pilgrim center that has an old temple of Lord Shiva) which is 112 km and a 3 hrs drive from Chennai. After having lunch at a local restaurant, you would be driven to Pondicherry, after covering around 131 km of distance that takes around 3.5 hours. A French colony before its independence, Pondicherry has a strong French influence till now. After the visit, you will check in to a hotel for a delicious dinner and night stay.

Day 05 Pondicherry
The next morning after breakfast, you will visit Aurobindo Ashram, (which is 10 km away and in the north of Pondicherry). You will return to the hotel to have lunch. After having lunch, you will move out to visit Auroville (place where people from different countries live together in harmony. You will return to the hotel for a delicious dinner and night stay.

Day 06 Pondicherry/Chidambaram/Tanjore
Next morning after breakfast, you will check out of the hotel. From there, you would be driven for a 1.5- hour drive to Chidambaram, which is 65 km away from Pondicherry, for a visit to the famous Nataraja Temple. Lord Shiva in this temple is portrayed as the cosmic dancer – Nataraja and the roof of the sanctum sanctorum is gold plated. After having lunch at a local restaurant, you will be driven to Tanjavur (once the capital of the Chola dynasty) or Tanjore which is at a distance of 104 km and a 3 hours drive from Chidambaram. You can visit a Brass factory at Kumbakonam, on the way. Tanjore is famous for the Brahadeswara Temple. You will check in to a hotel to have dinner and overnight stay.

Day 07 Tanjore/Trichy (54kms/2hrs)
After having breakfast, you will check out of the hotel and leave for Trichurapalli or Trichy (famous for the Ranganath temple at Srirangam), located on the banks of the River Kaveri. You will check in to a hotel, after your arrival. In the afternoon after having lunch, you will visit the Rock Fort Temple, Srirangam and Jambukeshwar Temple. You will return to the hotel for dinner for overnight stay.

Day 08 Trichy/Madurai (133kms/3.5hrs)
Next morning after breakfast, you will check out of the hotel and leave for Madurai. On arrival at Madurai (famous for the Meenakshi temple), you will check in to a hotel. You will visit the Meenakshi temple, King Tirumala's Palace, Great Tank and Gandhi museum, after lunch. You will return to the hotel for a tasty dinner and overnight stay.

Day 09 Madurai/Rameshwaram (154kms/4hrs)
After breakfast, you will move to Rameshwaram (actually an island), which is the most sacred temple town in India. According to mythology, Lord Rama along with Sita is said to have offered prayer to Lord Shiva (a sand Lingam made by Sita on this island), after defeating Ravana. You will also visit the Ramanatha Swamy Temple, which is also located here. You will be driven back to Madurai for dinner and night stay at the hotel, after having lunch at the local restaurant.

Day 10 Madurai/Trivandrum (329kms/8.5hrs)
After breakfast, you will check out of the hotel and leave for Trivandrum (the capital city of Kerala), which is 329 km away from Madurai. On your arrival at Trivandrum, you will check in to a hotel, which will be followed by lunch. You can spend rest of the time at leisure.

Day 11 Trivandrum/Kanyakumari (87kms/2hrs)
After having breakfast, you will travel to Kanyakumari (which is the land's end of India) is 87 Km away from Trivandrum. An important pilgrim center, Kanya Kumari is famous for its Amman Temples dedicated to the Virgin Goddess - Kanya Kumari. You will also visit the Vivekananda Rock Memorial. You will have lunch at a local restaurant and after watching the sun set over the sea, you will return to Trivandrum for dinner and retire for the night.

Day 12 Departure
You will check out of the hotel after having breakfast. You will be driven to the airport to board the flight for onward journey.

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