Welcome to India, your Temple Tour of South India begins with your arrival at Meenambakkam International Airport-Chennai you will be received by our tour representative and transferred to your hotel. As most international arrivals are late in the evening and night this day has been left free to rest and to recoup your energy before you start on your Temple tour of South India.
After breakfast, go for full day sightseeing of Chennai, during the course of which you will cover St.Thomas Mount, Guindy National Park, Snake Park, Birla Planetarium, Besanthnagar Beach, Church and Temples of some importance. Overnight will be stay at a hotel in Chennai.
After breakfast, proceed to Tirupathi. Tirupathi is a temple town known for the famous ancient temple of Lord Venkateswara (Lord of seven hills or Balaji, as he is affectionately known) 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 for dinner and overnight stay at Chennai.
After breakfast drive to Kanchipuram – 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. Lunch at local restaurant and later drive to Mahabalipuram Check in at hotel and overnight stay.
Explore the ancient heritage of Mahabalipuram temples, built in 7th century is today the sight of several antique sculptural marvels. Option for local sightseeing.The beaches of Mahabalipuram is so calm and peaceful.A nice street to walk in the evening with full of local life around.Overnight stay at the hotel.
Mahabalipuram - It is among the most outstanding examples of Dravidian art and architecture. The monuments are floodlit at night and so it is possible to enjoy their beauty even after sunset. Arjuna’s Penance - This skillfully carved rock is the largest bas - relief sculpture in the world. There are nine rock cut cave temples. The Mahishasuramardhini cave, contrasting the goddess fighting a demon on one side, and Lord Vishnu's cosmic sleep on the other, is a particularly remarkable one. Five Rathas -These rock-cut temples are rated as excellent example of Pallava art. Shaped in different styles, the fort of the rathas are supposed to have been scooped out of a single rock formation.
After breakfast check out from hotel,thendrive towards Pondicherry.
Pondicherry : is an amazing destination with a conspicuous disparity of scenic sights and a peaceful environment. The city of Pondicherry prospers on mere traditions and classiness. The destination is not very big and does not cover a total area of more than 492 square kms and it consists of four tiny separate regions naming Pondicherry, Mahe, Karaikal and Yanam. Karaikal and Pondicherry being the largest and are extremely close toTamil Nadu.
It is an ideal destination which takes you away from the chaotic and busy city life. Pondicherry is very popular for an extended coastline, shrines, churches, mosques, lovely monuments and different fairs and festivals. The former French Colony presents an unusual combination of European culture and Indian traditions- Auroville Ashram, located on the outskirts of the city. Arrive at Pondicherry, transfer to hotel, and check in to hotel. Rest of the day free at leisure, Overnight stay at hotel at Pondicherry.
After breakfast check out from hotel. Then visit to VaradarajaPerumal Temple, Vedapureeswarar Temple and ManakulaVinayagar Temple. Afternoon drive down to Thanjavur via Chidambaram.
Thanjavur : District is the Rice Bowl of Tamil Nadu. The Big Temple and the other famous temples in the district are known all over the world. Thanjavur was the cultural capital of the country in 1790. Thanjavur gained prominence during the period of Chola Kings, who made it as their capital. Thereafter, it was ruled by NayaksandMaratta Kings, who nurtured art and culture.
Chidambaram : Chidambaram is an industrial city in eastern part of Tamil Nadu and the taluk headquarters in the Cuddalore district. It is located in 58 km from Pondicherry, 60 km from Karaikal. Chidambaram is also known as Thillai, since the place was originally a forest of the thillai, botanically known as excecariaagallecha shrubs. It is an important pilgrim centre and a holy place for Saivites as the famous Nataraja Temple is located here. The idol of Nataraja is installed in the kanakasabha, the roof of which is covered with gold Plates. The icon is a stunning piece of sculpture that evokes a sense of continuous movement. Arrive at Thanjavur, transfer to hotel, Check in to hotel, Rest of the day free at leisure. Overnight stay at hotel at Thanjavur.
After breakfast, proceed to Rameshwaram - the most sacred temple town of India is an island, which according to the epic Ramayana Lord Rama visited before going into the battle of Sri Lanka. 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 the puja could be performed on time, which is where the present day RamanathaSwamy Temple stands. One of the twelve Jyotirlingam shrines, it is also well known for its magnificent corridors and massive sculptured pillars lining them. Lunch at a local restaurant. Overnight stay in Rameshwaram.
After Breakfast, check out the hotel and drive to Madurai. Arrive Madurai in the afternoon, check in the hotel for rest. Later visit the Meenakshi temple - one of the biggest temple complexes in India. It is an ancient Centre of worship as well as an art gallery of vast proportions. Return to the hotel for a comfortable overnight stay.Overnight stay at hotel.
Transfer to Madurai Airport to board flight to onward destination back to home with sweet memories of South India Pilgrimage Tour of India.