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South India – Splendors of Dravidians


Chennai - Madurai - Chettinad - Tanjore - Pondicherry - Mahabalipuram


08 Nights / 09 Days

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Chennai to Mahabalipuram, passing through Madurai, Chettinad, Tanjore, and Pondicherry, unfolds a captivating exploration of South India’s rich cultural, historical, and coastal delights. Chennai, the bustling metropolis, sets the stage with its vibrant urban life and cultural scene. Madurai, with its iconic Meenakshi Temple, offers a deep dive into Tamil Nadu’s religious and architectural heritage. Chettinad, known for its opulent mansions and distinctive cuisine, provides a glimpse into the region’s unique culture. Tanjore boasts the Brihadeeswarar Temple, a UNESCO World Heritage site, showcasing Chola architecture’s grandeur. The serene charm of Pondicherry, with its French colonial influence and coastal beauty, provides a relaxing interlude. Finally, Mahabalipuram, a UNESCO site, offers ancient rock-cut temples and scenic beaches, completing a diverse and enriching journey through the cultural and historical treasures of South India.

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    Day 01 : Arrive at Chennai (Madras)

    You are welcomed at the airport by our tour executive and transferred to the hotel where you are assisted with your check in. Early check-in subject to availability. Most flights arrive either in the evening or early morning. We can book your accommodation from previous day to ensure immediate check in.

    Chennai is found mentioned in Lonely Planet’s list of must-visit spots of 2015 and National Geographic’s top 10 food cities list. Roman traders arrived here to buy silk, cotton and spices. Mylapore a part within the city is much older than Chennai and referred by Greek geographer Ptolemy as Milarpha and Marco Polo called it a ‘little town’.

    Afternoon, proceed to explore Chennai city accompanied by local guide. Your tour begins from St. Mary’s Church, built in 1670 – 80; the first English Church in Chennai. Drive to visit.

    Mylapore and visit the Kapaleeshwarar temple, an ancient Shiva temple constructed in pure Dravidian style then visit San Thome Church one of the three basilicas in the world which was built over the tomb of St. Thomas; one of the twelve apostles of Jesus Christ. Visit the Sri Parthasarathy temple dedicated to Lord Krishna, built in 8th century during the reign of the Pallavas. The other attractions include the Natrional Art Gallery and Museum which houses some beautiful temple friezes, the bronze gallery, and archeological sector.

    Day 02 : Chennai – Madurai

    Board the morning flight to Madurai and check into hotel.

    Afternoon, Proceed for a guided city tour of the ancient Madurai; second largest city of Tamil Nadu. Madurai was once the seat of Tamil learning and even today Tamil Language is spoken in its purest form. The city is planned in the shape of a lotus. Modern Madurai is a burgeoning industrial centre, even though the vast stretches of paddy fields, dusty roads and crowded bazaars make it look like an overgrown village. Modernity has reached the city of Madurai, but not at the cost of its rich tradition and culture. Also, visit the Alagar hills and the Tirupara Kundram rock temple. End the day with the “Palli Arai” ceremony at the Meenakshi Temple at 9:00pm

    Day 03 : Madurai – Chettinad

    Enjoy a walking tour through the ancient city of Madurai. Return to hotel for freshens up
    and check out. Proceed on the drive to Chettinad and check into one of the palatial homes.
    Chettinad is famous for its mansions decorated with exquisite word works and mirror finish stone works.

    The word Chetti is derived from Sanskrit meaning wealth. Those who lived in this place were known as Chettiars – traders in salt, spices, and other valuables. Chettinad is famous for its most atomic and spicy cuisine in India. chicken curry, vegetable curry and sea food.
    Evening, take part in the interactive kitchen sessions in traditional Chettiar kitchen and learn the secrets of Chettinad cooking from the member from the Chettiar community. Evening, enjoy Chettinad cuisine served in banana leaf for dinner.
    Day 04 : Chettinad

    Explore the palatial Chettiars homes; most of them are 18th century mansions, where
    one gets to know the type of building materials used in making these building.

    Enjoy a bullock cart ride through the village.

    Balance of the day you are at leisure.

    Day 05 : Chettinad – Tanjore

    Check out of your hotel and proceed to Tanjore.
    Afternoon, proceed to visit the most spectacular of Tanjore Temples, the Brihadishwara, a World Heritage Site. This awe-inspiring Temple Complex is constructed solely of granite, a material so hard that no architect today, with all our current technology, would even dream of building a structure with the incredible detail and mammoth scale of the Brihadishwara. These are just a few of the reasons why this monument is one of India’s most treasured architectural achievements. The crown on the temple is a massive granite monolithic cupola weighing 80tones. Construction commenced in 1003 AD by the great King Rajaraja Chola.

    tea plantation, Munnar
    Day 06 : Tanjore – Pondicherry.

    Check out from your hotel in the morning; you are then driven to Pondicherry. Its history can be traced back to Agastya, the revered sage of South India who built his hermitage here in 1500BC.

    Afternoon, begin your guided tour of Poindicherry, a French colony for nearly 280years and post-independence became a part of India. The culture here presents the fusion of European and Indian. Some percentage of population still speaks French along with Tamil, Malayalam, Telugu, and English. The churches, cuisine, colonial buildings, and the grid patter streets expose the existence of French influence. Continue to visit the most famous landmark, Auroville Ashram, conceived as a tribute to Sri Aurobindo. Auroville is an entirely new concept in education and urban living. The Aurobindo Ashram is known to the world as the Centre of Integral Yoga and was founded by Sri Aurobindo in 1926.

    Day 07 : Pondicherry – Mahabalipuram

    Proceed on the drive to Mahabalipuram and check into your hotel.
    Afternoon, explore the ancient port of Mahabalipuram, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Mahabalipuram was the second capital and seaport of Pallava Kings of Kanchipuram, the first Tamil dynasty after the fall of the Gupta Empire. The whole of Mahabalipuram is a fabulous open-air museum of sculptures in living rock. Monolithic shrines scooped out caverns magnificently sculptured within and the world’s biggest Bas reliefs in rock are truly wondrous examples of the sculptor’s art. The temples of the Rathas, the Penance of Bhagirath, the Shore temple and the eight Mandapams are also located at this beach.

    Day 08 : Mahabalipuram

    Proceed on an excursion to Kanchipuram along with your guide. Kanchipuram is known as the golden city of a thousand temples and is one of the seven sacred cities for Hindus. Its many gopurams (temple domes) can be seen from a long way away. The Ekambaswara, Kailasanatha, Sri Kamakshi and Varadarajaswamy temples attract thousands of devotees daily. Kanchipuram is also famous for its silks.

    Day 09 : Mahabalipuram – Chennai – Onward destination

    You are at leisure in the morning.

    Check out from your hotel by noon. Your vehicle and driver remain with you until you
    are dropped off at airport to commence your late-night flight to onward destination.

    We end our services in Chennai airport.

    Inland travel by air: Chennai – Madurai.

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