11 Days |
A warm welcome awaits you for this customized itinerary that highlights the southern half of the country. The southern delights covering the magnetic province of Tamil Nadu bringing a rich kaleidoscope of culture and art. Beginning from Chennai, Tamil Nadu has a bounty of temples, art and culture from complicated rock carvings, dazzling architecture, classical music and celebrations making this state the social capital of India. Ending the tour in Madurai with its serene sanctuaries, lavish paddy fields, intriguing hill stations, rambling estates, captivating artistic expressions, alluring cuisines and sky is the limit from there. Tamil Nadu is always welcoming its people making your visit unique through their warmth and less like a foreigner in a strange land. Begin your tour through South India with the exploration of Chennai by not missing a visit to the fishing villages and the excellent shorelines of Mahabalipuram. Then go on to discover Pondicherry, the former French province in India, which has still saved its unique appeal. Visit the Chettinad visit the fallen empire, with its fort, palace and temples before travelling to Tanjore while discovering the beautiful and holy city of Madurai and its temples. This package tour of Tamil Nadu furnishes you with a chance to improve your knowledge of vast heritage through a panoramic display of sights in Tamil Nadu.
On your arrival at the Chennai international airport, you will be received by the representative who would further assist and transfer you to your booked hotel. Rest of the day at leisure, relax and recover from jetlag. Stay overnight at the hotel in Chennai.
Today, after breakfast, take a sightseeing tour of Chennai. It is a place, which is worth exploring around by visiting its museums and temples, savoring deliciously authentic South Indian delicacies or taking a sunset saunter along Marina Beach. The people of Chennai are infectiously enthusiastic about their home town. Chennai is mix of both, the new layer of cosmopolitan glamour comprising of luxe hotels, sparkling boutiques, quirky cafes but the best of Chennai remains its old soul. You can start your trip by visiting St. Thomas Cathedral, Fort Museum, Snake Park, Marina Beach and Kapaleshwar temple. In the evening you can continue your tour by visiting Kalakshetra Cultural Village to witness the traditional dance of Tamilnadu Bharatnatyam. Overnight stay at the hotel in Chennai.
In the morning, after having a filling breakfast, you can depart Chennai for Mahabalipuram which is an UNESCO World Heritage Site. En route you can stop at Kanchipuram which is considered one of the seven most sacred places of India to have a visit at the various ancient and sacred temples the place has. You can visit the Kailasanathar Temple, Vaikunta Perumal Temple, Varadaraja Perumal Temple, Ulagalanda Perumal Temple, Ekambareswarar Temple and Ashtabuja Perumal Temple. On your arrival, check in to the hotel. Rejuvenate yourself for a fun-filled day tomorrow. Overnight stay at the hotel in Mahabalipuram.
Today you can start a daylong guided tour of Mamallapuram by visiting the Caves temple which is located on the hillock of the town, overlooking the Coromandel Coast of the Bay of Bengal in Kanchipuram District. This temple is cut and decorated with panels in the Mamalla style of the Pallava period in the 7th century. The history of Mahabalipuram is an intriguing one. Although its ancient history remains unclear, numismatics, temples and other sources of historical evidence suggest that it was a place of significance even before the temples were built. Mahabalipuram was also known as the “land of the Seven Pagodas”. You can continue your visit to this historic land by visiting the Krishna Mandapam, Five Rathas, Shore temple and Arjuna's Penance which is the perfect place to witness the ancient Pallava architecture in South India. Stay overnight at hotel in Mahabalipuram.
This morning after breakfast, start your drive to Pondicherry. It is a place which still carries a strong flavor of the French presence in India. Pondicherry is also called the French Colony. Unmistakable and charming distinct European feel of Pondicherry makes for an excellent outing. Your drive to Pondicherry will be a tiring one. One your arrival ay Pondicherry, check-in to your hotel and rejuvenate yourself for an interesting day the next day. Stay overnight at hotel in Pondicherry.
Today, you can start exploring Pondicherry by visiting the Aurobindo Ashram which is the major tourist attraction of Pondicherry. Sri Aurobindo Ghose, a noted freedom fighter, philosopher and poet founded this Ashram in 1926. The ashram draws devotees from all over the world. You can continue your sightseeing journey by visiting the Auroville, which is a township that starkly stands out from the surrounding traditional Indian villages and farm. When in Auroville, you can go to the visitor centre and if interested shop around for paper crafts, ceramics and wood work. Get a view of Matrimandir, an archeological marvel and spiritual heart of Auroville. In the evening enjoy a heritage walk through the seafront promenade, white mustard buildings, neo-classical governor’s residence and white town. Do not miss on having French food. You can also visit the temples, Botanical Garden and the Museum. Later in the day, walk around the French quarter and explore. Stay overnight at hotel in Pondicherry.
This morning, drive to North East of Tamil Nadu and visit the Chettinad region. On your arrival, check-in to your hotel and fresh-up. You can start by visiting the rich palace of Chettinad at Kanadukathan. You can also visit the imposing fortress of Tirumayam and the temple of Sri Gokarneshwara at Pudukkottai. You can also visit the Ranganathanswamy temple, which is the largest functioning Hind temple in the world. It is spread in an area of 160 acres. This reclining Vishnu shrine has 21 towers and 50 shrines. The temple also has a hall featuring thousands of pillars sculpted of riders on horses. When in Chittinad you will get to hear a lot of interesting stories of how naatukottaichettiars built their townships and mansions. You can visit the mansions of Chettinad and relive the ancient glory. Chettinad with its beautiful mansions is certainly one of the highlight points of this best of Tamil Nadu package trip. Overnight at the hotel in Chittinad.
After a lovely breakfast at your hotel, begin your journey to Tanjore. En-route you can visit Chidambram, Gangaikondaicholapuram and Kumbakanom temples. Continue drive to Tanjore for an overnight stay at hotel in Tanjore.
This morning after breakfast, start your journey to visit the royal city. Tanjore was the city of the Cholas, Nayaks and the Mahrattas. The several tourist attractions in Tanjore which show the glorious history of the place. You can start by visiting the Brihadeeswarar Temple which is also called the Big Temple and is one of the best temples in South India. This temple was built in 10th century AD. You can also visit the Tanjore Palace, Museum, Sivaganga Tank which is renowned for its sweet water, this tank is situated near the palace. Continue by visiting the Rajarajan Mani Mandapam which was built during the 8th World Tamil Conference. You can also visit the Mariamman Temple, which is a temple dedicated to Goddess Mariamman. You can also visit the nearby Naageswaran Temple, Airavatheeswar Temple, or go for excursions to the picturesque Orattanad and Manora. Overnight stay at hotel in Tanjore.
This morning you travel to one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world, Madurai. After a relaxed breakfast, start your journey towards Madurai. Post your arrival you can start with sightseeing of Madurai by visiting the Meenakshi temple which is in the heart of the old town and the Tirumalai Nayak Palace where dance concerts are performed daily. Your afternoon is set free for you to enjoy or relax at the hotel. In the evening you can attend night ceremony at Sri Meenakshi Temple. Overnight at the hotel in Madurai.
Today morning, after breakfast, pack and head towards the Chennai airport to board the flight back home after an experiential package trip to South India.
End of best of Tamil Nadu package trip