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Tamil Nadu – The State of Incredible Temples

  /  Tamil Nadu – The State of Incredible Temples

Tamil Nadu – The State of Incredible Temples

Route: Arrival – Chennai – Mahabalipuram – Pondicherry – Thanjuvar – Trichy – Madurai – Departure

Duration: 09 Nights / 10 Days

City

Attractions
Chennai Valluvar Kottam Temple, Kapaleeshwarar Mylapore Temple, St. George Fort, St. Mary Church, San Thomas Basilica, Victoria Technical Institute.
Mahabalipuram Panch Ratha, Shore Temple, Varaha Caves.
Puducherry / Pondicherry Promenade Beach, Shri Aurobindo Ashram, Sacred Heart Basilica, Puducherry Museum, French War Memorial, Shri Varadaraja Perumal Temple.
Thanjuvar / Tanjore Brihadeeswarar Temple, Shiva Ganga Garden, Vijayanagar Fort.
Trichy Tiruchirapalli Rock Fort, Sri Ranganatha Swamy Temple, Thayumanaswami Temple.
Madurai Gandhi Memorial Museum, Meenakshi Temple, Thirumalai Nayakkar Mahal.

Day 1: Arrival (Chennai)

Arrive by International flight, after traditional Indian style ‘Swagat’ (Wlecome) by our English-Speaking Representative and Transfer to Hotel.  Check-in at hotel.

Chennai (Madras), after taking its name, the beautiful view of the sea starts appearing in the eyes. Chennai, the city of India that seems less appreciated. Chennai is more beautiful than you have thought. Chennai, the capital of Tamil Nadu, is known throughout India for its culture and technology.

Rest day is at leisure to rest

Overnight at Hotel.

Day 2: Chennai

Post breakfast, start your day with private guided city tour of Chennai:

Valluvar Kottam Temple: Built in 1976, Valluvar Kottam Temple is a Chariot Temple style monument dedicated to great Tamil Saint and Poet “Shri Thiruvalluvar” in respect of his creation “Thirukkural” which comprises of 1330 verses about 2000 years ago.

Kapaleeshwarar Mylapore Temple: One of the holy shrine of Hindu Deity “Lord Shiva, this temple was built by mighty Pallava dynasty. The temple gets its name from a legend that Goddess Uma worshiped Lord Shiva in the form of a peacock (Mayil in Tamil). Once demolished by Portuguese in the year 1566, it was rebuilt by the great Vijaynagar kings in around 16th century. Still some fragmentary inscriptions of the old temple can be found in the present Shrine.

St. George Fort: Historically famous as White City, St, George Fort is among the first British Forts in India built in the year 1640. To gain the control of trade in Coromandel Coast region, British East India Company built this beautiful fort city at then Madrasapatnam, later to be known as Madras and then present Chennai.

San Thomas Basilica: A beautiful Roman Catholic Cathedral of St. Thomas, one of the twelve Apostles of Jesus Christ by the Portuguese in 16th century. Rebuilt in Neo- Gothic style in 1896, it is one of the most popular pilgrimage site in Chennai today. It is one of the three churches in the world to be built on the tomb of the Apostles.

St. Mary Church: Built in the year 1680, St. Mary Church is one of the historical monuments in Chennai situated in ST. George Fort. It is considered as the oldest Anglican Church in Asia and also known as “Westminster Abbey of the East”. The church derives its name from its origin in the Annunciation day of Virgin Mary.

Victoria Technical Institute: Established in the year 1889 to commemorate the Golden Jubilee celebrations of Queen Victoria, VTI is the first of its kind. It has been transformed to become the most popular handicraft store in Chennai. Every kind of handicrafts from Tanjore paintings and bronze figures from Kumbakonam to linens, rosewood carvings and brass lamps are available here.

Overnight at Hotel.

Day 3: Chennai – Mahabalipuram (57 Km / 1 ½ Hrs Approx)

Post breakfast, drive to Mahabalipuram, the city of idol art and monuments where the waves perpetuate the music of the stones. Mahabalipuram is located just 57 km from Chennai. There is a place in our country where stones also sing, laugh, tell stories. His stories and songs reflect the ancient culture of India, religiosity and virtuosity.

Check- in at the hotel. Rest day is at leisure.

Overnight at Hotel.

Day 4: Mahabalipuram – Pondicherry (96 Km / 2 Hrs Approx.)

Post breakfast, start your day with the private guide sightseeing of Mahabalipuram:

Pancha Ratha Temple: Built in 7th Century by Narasimhavarman I of the Pallava dynasty, the temple is a monolith carved on a single granite stone in the form of five rathas (cariots) dedicated to the Padavas and thei wife Draupadi. Recognised as UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1984, the structure is well known for its architecture, craftwork and design.

Shore Temple: Recognised as UNESCO World Heritage site in 1984, The Shore Temple is a beautiful structure besides the coast of Bay of Bengal built by the Pallava dynasty in 8th century. It is said that the temple is one of the seven temples built which are often called as “Seven Pagodas”. Other temples are submerged in the sea by the time. The structure symbolizes the heights of Pallavas architecture skills and the beautiful example of Dravidian style of architecture dated back to 7 – 8th century. The structure can be defined as the “Poetry in Stone” due to its magnificent designs.

Varaha Caves: Varaha Cave Temple is a UNESCO World Heritage site, built during 7th century under the tutelage of Narasimhavarman I of the Pallava dynasty. It is described as one of the most primitive buildings in Mahabalipuram. It is the fine testimony of Vishwakarma Sthapathis, carved out of a huge piece of granite rock. It took several decades to complete this structure.

Post lunch drive to Pondicherry, official known as Puducherry is the former French colony with the perfect amalgam of traditional Indian culture and French architecture. Often known as The French Riviera of the East”, the union territory has the strong influence of French culture, especially in the old quarters.

Rest day is leisure to rest at your own.

Overnight at Hotel.

Day 5: Pondicherry

Post breakfast, start your day with private guided city tour of Pondicherry:

Sacred Heart Basilica: Built in 19th century, Sacred Heart Basilica is a Gothic style church by the French Missionaries. Situated in the southern boulevard of the city, it is one of the 21 Basilicas in India.

Shri Aurobindo Ashram: Established in 1926 by Shri Aurobindo, one of India’s greatest poet and philosopher. After his death the Ashram was run by his disciple and companion ‘Mirra Alfassa’, later to be known as Mother. The main Ashram building has the ‘Samadhis’ or ‘Mausoleum’ of Shri Aurobindo and the Mother. People visit here to immerse into the spiritual realm. The ashram provides all the basic needs of its members for living a healthy and simple life.

Puducherry Museum: Located on St. Louis Street in the former Law Building, the museum is the home for many rare bronzes and stone sculptures from the Pallavas and Cholas dynasties, which has been obtained from the archaeological site of Arikamedu. Among the main attractions of the museum is the fossilised remains of a prehistoric tree trunk that can be found in the courtyard and the foyer. The museum remain closed on Mondays.

Shri Varadaraja Perumal Temple: One of the oldest temple of Pondicherry built in 10th century by the Cholas. The Temple is dedicated to Hindu Deity “Lord Vishnu”, and a classical example of Dravidian architectural work. The temple is also famous for first rice feeding of children known as Annaprasana.

French War Memorial: Situated on the Goubert Avenue, the French War Memorial is mainly a graveyard to commemorate the brave soldiers who laid down their lives during First World War. It was built in the year 1970 and is one of the major attractions of Pondicherry.

Promenade Beach: Promenade Beach is a rock beach stretch around 1 -2 Km, starts from French War Memorial till Dupleix Park on the Goubert Avenue.

Later, return back to the hotel. Evening is leisure at your own.

Overnight at Hotel.

Day 6: Pondicherry – Thanjuvar (168 Km / 4.5 Hrs Approx.)

Post breakfast, drive to Thanjuvar, formerly known as Tanjore. The city is rich in its heritage and cultural values, the paintings and the art of Tanjavur is rich and amazing. Tanjavur is rich in art and architecture is an important pilgrimage centre of South-Indian religion. It is also known as the “Rice Bowl of Tamil Nadu”. It is the capital city of Cholas, later taken by the Nayaks and Marathas. Thanjuvar was at its heights during Cholas from 10th to 14th century, was a great centre of learning and culture.

Rest day is leisure at your own.

Overnight at Hotel.

Day 7: Thanjuvar

Post breakfast, start your day with private city tour of Thanjuvar:

Brihadeeswarar Temple: Built by Raja Raja Chola I in 10th century, Brihadeeswarar Temple is an outstanding example of Dravidian architecture flourished under the Cholas. The temple is dedicated to the Hindu Deity “Lord Shiva”. The temple is now the part of UNESCO World Heritage Sites and is among the largest temples in India. There is a big statue of “Nandi” Bull carved on a single rock welcomes every devotees visiting the temple.

Vijayanagar Fort: The enchanting, majestic and glorious fort was built by the Nayak ruler Vijay Raghava and later was completed by the Marathas during early 1550 AD. The fort houses the Tanjore Palace, Sangeetha Mahal, Serfoji’s Saraswati Mahal Library and Shiva Ganga Garden. Numerous part of the fort is in ruin now, and few parts opens for tourists today. The fort is known for its beautiful architecture that includes the beautiful carvings and engravings.

Shiva Ganga Garden: The Garden is located in the Vijayanagar Fort itself, and is one of the main attractions in Thanjuvar. It features a large square tank which was built by the Nayak ruler in 16th century to provide water to the palace.

Later drive back to hotel. Rest of the day is leisure to Relax.

Overnight at Hotel.

Day 8: Thanjuvar – Madurai, En – Route Trichy (194 Km / 4 Hrs Approx.)

Post breakfast start early to visit Trichy; an ancient city in Tamil Nadu once being the capital city of mighty Chola dynasty. This is the fourth largest city of the state. After Cholas, it has been ruled by various dynasties and clan like Pallavas, Pandiyas, Nayaks, Marathas, Carnatic Nawabs, French and finally British.

Once reach continue with the private guided tour of Trichy:

Tiruchirapalli Rock Fort: The historical fortified temple complex built by Pallavas initially, but later completed by the Nayaks with a height of 85 Mtrs. There are 437 steps cut into the rock to reach the temple.

Sri Ranganatha Swamy Temple: Situated in Srirangam town near Trichy, the temple is the largest functional temple in the world. Dedicated to Ranganatha, a reclining form of Lord Vishnu, the temple has 49 separate shrines of the lord. Surrounde by River Cauvery and River Kollidam, it has 21 gopuram surrounding the complex along with an ornate gateway shows the beauty of Dravidian architecture.

Post lunch, continue driving to Madurai, the energetic and ancient town situated on Vaigai River in Tamil Nadu south India. Also known as cultural capital of Tamil Nadu. It’s famous for its temple and architecture built by kings, and also for outstanding pilgrimage Centre. Madurai is an India’s most magnificent Hindu Pilgrimage Centre.

Rest day is at leisure at your own.

Overnight at Hotel.

Day 9: Madurai

Post breakfast start your day with private guided tour of Madurai:

Meenakshi Amman Temple: One of the oldest and largest temples of India, Meenakshi Temple is dedicated to Godess Meenakshi (incarnation of Godess Parvati) and Lord Sundareswara (incarnation of Lord Shiva). The temple is situated at the heart of the city and said to be their wedding place. The temple is a magnificent example of Dravidian architecture with Shilpa Shastra style. The most astonishing feature of the temple is Ayiramkaal mandapam or the Hall of a thousand pillars in the outermost corridor.

Koodal Azhagar Temple: Situated at the heart of the city, quite close to Meenakshi Amman Temple, Koodal Azhagar Temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu. It is said to be one of the 108 Divyadeshams (shrines of Lord Vishnu mentioned in works of Tamil saints).

Gandhi Memorial Museum: Established in 1959, the museum is a tribute to Mahatma Gandhi as a remembrance to his efforts and tribute to the nation and its independence. It is one of the five great Gandhi Museum in the nation, depicts the life and struggles of Mahatma Gandhi for the nation’s freedom.

Thirumalai Nayakkar Mahal: Built in 1636 by King Thirumalai, the palace is the perfect depiction of the amalgam of Dravidian style with the Islamic architectural style. The palace was the residence of then King Thirumalai Nayak, and was designed by an Italian architecture. Now most of the part of the palace has been distorted. The light and sound show is one of the most attractive feature of the tour.

Later, drive back to the hotel.

Overnight at Hotel.

Day 10: Departure

Post breakfast, transfer to Madurai airport for onward journey taking back home, the wonderful experience of “Tamil Nadu – The State of Incredible Temples” Tour.

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