South India Tour - Temple tour of South India

12 Nights and 13 Days Temple tour of South India. Chennai ~ Kanchipuram ~ Mamallapooram ~Pondicherry ~ Chidambaram ~ Tanjore ~ Trichy ~ Madurai ~ Trivandrum

Day 01 ~ Chennai
Arrive Chennai - the gateway to southern India, meet and assist by Avocet Travel representative at the airport and transfer to your hotel. Later in the afternoon half day sightseeing tour, visiting Gandhi Memorial, Museum, Mylapore Kabaleeswarar Temple and Marine beach. Overnight in Chennai.

Day 02 ~ Chennai - Tirupathi - Chennai
After breakfast, proceed to Tirupathi- a temple town known for the famous ancient temple of Lord Venkateswara The Lord of seven hills, on the top of the 860mts high Tirumala hills. The temple of Lord Venkateswara is not only believed to be amongst the oldest temples in the country, but also the richest of them all. Legend has it that Lord Venkateswara borrowed money from the divine treasurer Kubera for his wedding expenses. He is still paying back this debt which is why the pilgrims donate generously to the temple funds. In the evening return to Chennai. Overnight in Chennai.

Day 03 ~ Chennai - Kanchipuram - Mahabalipuram
After breakfast drive to Kanchipuram about one and half hour drive - is the ancient capital of the Pallavas famous as a city of 1000 Temples and still has 124 shrines. The first temple dedicated to Shiva was built in the 7th and 8th century and has paintings on the walls. Temples of Ekambaswara , Kailasanatha, Sri Kamakshi and Varadarajaswamy are of interest. Kanchipuram is also famous for its silks. Later drive to Mahabalipuram, On arrival check in to your hotel. Afternoon visit the city - built in 7th century, earlier called Mahabalipuram also called as MAMALLAPURAM, this ancient Pallava port, is today the sight of several antique sculptural marvels. In this ancient seaside town , shrines and huge sculptures cut-out of rocks more than 1200 years back during the reign of Pallava Kings in the region can be seen. The rock carvings depicting mythological episodes - of demons, Gods and animals in battle and others - are truly poems in stone. The only shore temple which remains here is the spectacular two - spired shrine, unique because it houses both Lord Shiva and the Lord Vishnu in its sanctum-sanctorum. Overnight in Mahabalipuram.

Day 04 ~ Mahabalipuram - Tiruvannamalai - Pondicherry
After breakfast drive to Tiruvannamallai about 3 hrs drive a pilgrim centre with an ancient temple of Lord Shiva. Continue drive to Pondicherry another 3.5 hrs drive, which carries a strong whiff of the French presence in India. This French colony on the east coast of South India merged with the rest of the country in 1954. Legend says that Pondicherry is the place where St.Agasthaya settled down. Overnight in Pondicherry.

Day 05 ~ Pondicherry
After breakfast sight seeing tour of Pondy, visit Aurbindo Ashram, the city of dawn, which is 10kms north of Pondicherry. This ashram promotes Aurbindo's ideas in bringing about a synthesis of Yoga and modern science, so as to unite the spirit and matter. After lunch at hotel, visit Auroville - a unique experiment in international living and in creating a new environment where men and women of all nationalities live together in harmony. Overnight at Pondicherry.

Day 06 ~ Pondicherry - Chidambaram - Tanjore
After breakfast, proceed to Chidambaram about 1.5 hrs drive also called as Thillai, which has the famous Nataraja Temple with the root of the sanctum-sanctorum covered with golden plates is located in the centre of the town covering an area of 40 acres. In this temple, postures from the Bharatnatayam form of dance are depicted in sculpture. Natraja is Lord Shiva as a cosmic dancer. Later drive to Thanjavur about 03 hrs drive enroute visiting the Brass factory at Kumbakonam. Arrive Tanjore, once the capital of Chola Kings, has the Brahadeswara temple,. The temple tower rises to a height of 15mts from a square base of 29 mts and then tapers off, making a total of 66mts. Overnight in Tanjore.

Day 07 ~ Tanjore - Trichy
After breakfast drive to Trichy, short name of Trichurapalli, situated on the banks of River Kaveri, is a blend of history and tradition as well as pilgrim centre, it is famous for Ranganath Temple at Srirangam. Later city tour of Trichy visit Rock Fort and its temple at a height of over 23mts. Also visit Srirangam and Jambukeshwar Temple. Overnight in Trichy.

Day 08 ~ Trichy - Madurai
After breakfast proceed to Madurai which is about 3.5 hrs drive on arrival check in to your hotel. The ancient city of Madurai, some 2600 years old is laid out in the banks of river Vaigai as a lotus flower with the Meenakshi Temple in the centre. Afternoon city tour visiting - Meenakshi Temple, King Tirumala's Palace, Great tank and Gandhi museum. Overnight in Madurai.

Day 09 ~ Madurai - Rameshwaram
After breakfast proceed to Rameshwaram about 4 hrs drive from Madurai, - the most sacred Temple town of India is an island hallowed by the epic Ramayana, where Lord Rama is said to have visited before going into battle of Srilanka. Legend has it that Lord Rama sent Hanuman to Mount Kailash to bring a Lingam for worship when he set foot after defeating Ravana. As Hanuman did not return when the auspicious hour was approaching, Sita made a sand Lingam so that worship could be performed in time, which is where the present day Ramanatha Swamy Temple stands close to sea on the eastern side of the island. One of the twelve Jyotilingam shrines is also well known for its magnificent corridors and the massive sculptured pillars lining them. Return to Madurai and transfer to hotel. Overnight in Madurai.

Day 10 ~ Madurai - Trivandrum
After breakfast drive to Trivandrum its about 08 hrs drive, on arrival check into your hotel. Evening at leisure. Overnight in Trivandrum.

Day 11 ~ Trivandrum - Kanyakumari
After breakfast proceed for Kanyakumari - the land's end of India where the water of the Arabian Sea , the Bay of Bengal and the Indian Ocean meet. An important pilgrim centre of India, it is famous for the Amman Temples - a symbol of unity and sanctity - deidicated to the virgin Goddess , Kanya Kumari. To its South - East lies the famous Vivekananda Rock Memorial, a blend of all the architectural styles of India. Evening enjoy the beautiful sun set and later return to Trivandrum. Overnight Stay in Trivandrum.

Day 12 ~ Tivandrum
After breakfast, proceed for a sightseeing tour of Trivandrum - gateway to one of the most beautiful in Kerela. The city presides over one of the most scenic states, stretching along the southern coast of the country, with the backwaters of the Arabian sea reaching deep into the veredant countryside, Kerela affords a fascinating experience. You will be visiting The ancient temple of Sri Padmanabhaswamy is one of the major attractions in the city of Trivandrum.And the Napier Museum was built in 1880 and shows a harmonious blending of Kerala, Mughal, Chinese and Italian architectural styles. Sri Chitra Art Gallery has a good collection Tanjore, Mughal, and Rajput schools of art. Overnight stay in Trivandrum.

Day 13 ~ On ward destination
After breakfast, your are free later transfer to Trivandrum Airport for your flight back home with sweet memories.


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