Chennai – Mahabalipuram – Kanchipuram – Pondicherry – Thanjavur – Trichy – Madurai
7 Days/6 Nights

Tour Information

The Tourism Department has launched this marketing campaign in 2003-04. This campaign phrase has become very popular and has given consistency and theme to the advertisement efforts of the Department. It has established a strong brand image for tourism in Tamil Nadu. While “Enchanting Tamil Nadu” encapsulates the rich and varied tourism wealth of Tamil Nadu, the phrase “Experience Yourself” strikes a chord with the tourists in India and abroad. The design of the advertisement campaign represents heritage, history, culture, spirituality and peace, which forms the core strength of tourism in Tamil Nadu.

  • The Tourism Department has launched this marketing campaign in 2003-04. This campaign phrase has become very popular and has given consistency and theme to the advertisement efforts of the Department. It has established a strong brand image for tourism in Tamil Nadu. While “Enchanting Tamil Nadu” encapsulates the rich and varied tourism wealth of Tamil Nadu, the phrase “Experience Yourself” strikes a chord with the tourists in India and abroad. The design of the advertisement campaign represents heritage, history, culture, spirituality and peace, which forms the core strength of tourism in Tamil Nadu.

  • Destinations Information

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Day 01 : Chennai arrival

You will be met and assisted on arrival airport/railway station by a Travel House representative, reach and check into the hotel. The Gateway to the South, Chennai (formerly Madras) is located in Tamil Nadu. Chennai is the most vibrant and enchanting of the cities of South India and is endowed with exquisite beauty and natural charisma, calling for exploration.

Proceed for half-day sightseeing tour of Chennai and visit:
  • The Marina Beach – Extending over a stretch of 14.5 km, it is the second longest beach in Asia. This beach appears like a festive ground on weekend evenings.
  • Fort St. George – another major landmark of Chennai. The British East India Company built it in 1653. It has a museum that houses a fine collection of British and French antiques and other memorabilia.
  • Parthasarthy Temple – One of the oldest temples of this region, dedicated to Lord Krishna echoes with divine grace. Built in the 8th century BC by the Pallavas, the temple was remodelled in the 16th century by the Vijayanagar kings.
  • Kapaleeswar Temple – This grand old temple of Chennai is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is evidence of the architectural skills of the Dravidian clan of the 13th century. Non-Hindus are not allowed to enter the sanctum of the temple.
  • Santhome Cathedral – Built during the 14th -15th century, is another splendid place worth visiting.
  • Overnight will be at the hotel
Day 02 : Chennai – Mahabalipuram (60 kms/01 hr 30 min)
    Morning drive to Mahabalipuram, the virtuous city of Mahabalipuram (also Mamallapuram) is situated just 60 km off Chennai on the Bay of Bengal coast in the south Indian state of Tamil Nadu. Reach and check into the hotel and in the afternoon proceed for a sightseeing tour to visit:
  • Five Rathas – There are five monolithic temples, each created in a different style. They are also known as Pancha Pandava Rathas, and four of the Rathas are supposed to have been carved out of a single rock formation.
  • The Shore Temple – This is one of the oldest temples in South India. It belongs to the 8th Century AD and is a good example of the first phase of structural temples constructed in Dravidian style.
  • Overnight will be at the hotel.
Day 03 : Mahabalipuram – Pondicherry (145 kms/03 hrs

Morning drive to Pondicherry en-route visit Kanchipuram. The city of a Thousand Temples, this is one of the most sacred pilgrimage centres for Hindus. There now remain 126 temples in Kanchi and a few more in the outskirts. This city was under the control of the Cholas as far back as the 2nd Century BC and a Pallava capital between the 6th and 8th centuries.
  • Sakkiswarar Temple – Built by the Cholas, this temple is located near the Kamakshi Amman Temple.
  • Vaikuntha Perumal Temple – An important Vishnu temple built by the Pallava King, Nandivarman Pallavamalla, in the 7th century AD. Numerous inscriptions are found in the temple, relating to the wars between the Pallavas and the Chalukyas.
  • Kailasanatha Temple – Built by Rajasimha and his son Mahendra III, in the 8th century A.D.
  • Ekambareswarar Temple – Another ancient temple, renovated by the Pallavas, the Cholas and the Vijayanagar kings. The 57 metre high Rajagopuram, is one of the tallest towers in South India.
  • Kamakshi Amman Temple – This is one of the three holy places of Shakti worship in India. The other two are in Madurai and Varanasi.

  • Afternoon continue drive to Pondicherry, reach and check into the hotel. More than anything else, the Sri Aurobindo Ashram, where Sri Aurobindo and the Mother lived for the most parts of their lives, attracts tourists to this little city. The Pondicherry Museum is home to some of the most exquisite collections on architecture and sculpture. Some of the other interesting sites include the Bharti and Bharthidasan Memorial Museums and the Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Overnight will be at the hotel.
Day 04 : Pondicherry

Morning proceed for sightseeing tour of Pondicherry to visit:

  • Sri Aurobindo Ashram – The ashram was founded in 1920 when Sri Aurobindo reached Pondicherry, a French colony, and put in place his ideas of a peaceful community. His French companion Mirra Alfassa, universally known as the Mother, ran the ashram for a long time.
  • Pondicherry Museum – Situated in the Government Park, the Pondicherry Museum has a good sculpture gallery and a section of archaeological finds from the Roman settlement at Arikamedu. There is also a French section charting the history of the colony. The objects include a four-poster bed in which Dupleix is believed to have slept.
  • Promenade – A lovely sea front easily accessible from the city centre with a 1.5-km-long promenade, is the most delightful part of the city. A stroll, sunbath, or a swim enhances the quality of the experience.
  • Bharthi and Bharthidasan Memorial Museum – Bharti Museum is located at Eswaran Koil Street, the place where the legendary Tamil poet, Bharthi lived after arriving here in 1908 in search of refuge. The Bharthidasan Memorial Museum is situated at Perumal Koil Street where Kanakasubburatnam, a disciple of Bharthi, lived.
  • Afternoon proceeds for excursion tour of Auroville, the ‘city of dawn’:

  • Auroville – Situated just across the border in the state of Tamil Nadu, Auroville, about 10 km from Pondicherry, is a unique experience in itself. The place, also known as 'City of Dawn,' was founded in 1968 as a tribute to Sri Aurobindo. It boasts of a lush green cover
  • place is spread over 50 sq. km and has a population of over 900. Overnight will be at the hotel.

 

Day 05 : Pondicherry – Thanjavur (160 kms/03 hrs)
    Morning drive to Thanjavur, reach and check into the hotel. Thanjavur is 55 km east of Tiruchirappalli. It lies in the highly fertile delta of the Cauvery River and was the capital of the Cholas during their supremacy. Afternoon proceeds for sightseeing tour to visit:
  • Sri Bragadeeswarar Temple – Built by the great Chola King, Rajaraja I in the 10th century AD, it is an outstanding example of Chola architecture.
  • The Palace – The Palace near the temple is a vast building of masonry built partly by the Nayaks around 1550 AD and partly by the Marathas.
  • Art Gallery – In the Palace there are a number of granite and bronze statues of the Chola period.
  • Saraswathi Mahal Library – In another section of the Palace is a library where over 30,000 palm leaves and paper manuscripts in Indian and European languages are preserved.
  • • Schwartz Church – The 18th century Schwartz Church or Christ Church is a legacy of Tanjore’s colonial past, standing to the east of the Shivaganga Tank. A Danish missionary, Reverend Frederik Christian Schwartz constructed this church in 1779. When he died, the enlightened Maratha ruler, Serfoji II, donated a striking marble tablet to the church
Overnight will be at the hotel.

 

Day 06 : Thanjavur – Madurai (200 kms/05 hrs)
    Morning drive to Madurai, en-route visit Trichy, The most famous landmark of this bustling town is the Rock Fort Temple, a spectacular monument perched on a massive rocky outcrop, which rises abruptly from the plains to tower over the old city. The Pallavas, Pandyas and Cholas chose this city for their feudal wars. The city is known for its temple architecture.
  • The Rock Fort – Looms 272ft above the city on the banks of the River Cauvery. The sheer abruptness of its rise is a thrill in itself, but the actual centre of attraction is not the fort, of which very little remains, but the temple at the summit. 344 steps hewn out of rock lead to the top where there are inscriptions dating back to the 3rd century B.C. Hardly anything remains of the ramparts but the Main Guard Gate is still intact.
  • The Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple – This temple is on Sri Rangam Island, in the middle of the Cauvery River and was built by various dynasties including the Cheras, Pandyas, Cholas, Hoysalas and the kings of the Vijayanagar Empire between the 13th and 18th centuries.
  • Sri Jambukeswara Temple – This temple is situated about 2.5 km east of the Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple. It has an interior with a large central court, an excellent example of the Dravidian architecture of the Seventeenth Century.
  • Continue drive to Madurai, reach and check into the hotel. Madurai or the ‘city of nectar’ is the oldest and second largest city of Tamil Nadu. This city is located on the Vaigai River and was the capital of Pandyan rulers till the 14th century. Madurai is an animated city, packed with pilgrims, beggars, businesspeople, bullock carts and legions of underemployed rickshaw-wallahs. Dating to about 2500 years back in time, it is one of southern India's oldest cities, and has been a centre of learning and pilgrimage for centuries.

    Overnight will be at the hotel.

 

Day 07 : Madurai – Onward Destination
    After breakfast proceed for half day sightseeing tour of Madurai:
  • Meenakshi Temple – The Meenakshi temple, as we know it today, covers a vast area and is an eclectic mix of architectural styles, improved upon by different dynasties such as the Vijayanagara and Nayaka rulers.
  • Vandiyur Mariamman Teppakulam - This is a huge temple tank about 5 km east of the Meenakshi temple. The Mandapam in the centre has an idol of Vigneshwara (Vinayaka).
  • Thirumalai Nayak Mahal – There is no other building in Madurai, which better illustrates the architectural style of the Nayaks. The palace of Tirumalai Nayak is about 1 km away from the temple. This Indo-Saracenic building was constructed in 1523 and was originally four times as large as it is today. This palace consisted mainly of two parts, namely Swargavilasa and Rangavilasa which house the royal residence, theatre, shrine, staff apartments, armoury, palanquin place, royal bandstand, pond and gardens.
  • The Gandhi Museum – The Gandhi Memorial Museum is one of the distinct places to be visited in Madurai. This museum is one of the rare living memorials to ‘The Father of the Nation’ and has an elaborate historical account of India's struggle for independence.
  • Annamalai and Nagamalai – Annamalai and Nagamalai are two striking rock formations, and home to ascetics of the Jain and Hindu faiths. There are inaccessible caves with Tamil Brahmi inscriptions on rock beds, which were chiselled out as residential quarters for the sages.

    Late afternoon departure transfer will be at the airport/railway station to board the flight/train for onward destination.