Day 1 Chennai
Upon your arrival at the Chennai International airport you will have a reception at the airport and then be transferred to the hotel. Chennai is the capital of State Tamil Nadu and one of the four largest metropolises of India.
Today, you will go for a half day city excursion. Madras is a pulsating metropolis with over 6 million residents. Today many south Indian feature films are shot here so the city has earned the name “Hollywood of India”. On the city excursion, you will visit the Kapaleshvara temple which is dedicated to God Shiva and is a good example of the colorful south Indian temple architecture. After that, you will visit the fort St.George, a trade post built during 1639. You will also visit the 16th-century St.Thomas Church. At the National museum, you will see sculptures out of the Pallava, Pandava and Chola time. Your excursion will also include a visit to the Marina Beach.An overnight stay in Chennai.
Day 2 Chennai – Tirupathi – Chennai (By road)
After the breakfast, you will drive to Tirupathi- 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. An overnight stay in Chennai.
Day 3 Drive from Chennai to Mamallapooram via Kanchipuram –
After breakfast you will drive to Kanchipuram (76 kms/01.50 hours). It 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 Mamallapooram and transfer to hotel. Afternoon visit the city – built in 7th century, earlier called Mahabalipooram, 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. An overnight stay in Mamallapooram.
Day 4 Drive from Mamallapooram to Pondicherry via Tiruvannamalai
After breakfast you will drive to Tiruvannamallai (112kms/03hours) a pilgrim centre with an ancient temple of Lord Shiva. Continue drive to Pondicherry (131kms/ 3.5hrs), which carries a strong whiff of the French presence in India. This erstwhile 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. An overnight stay in Pondicherry.
Day 5 Pondicherry (By road)
After breakfast you will drive to 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. An overnight stay in Pondicherry.
Day 6 Drive from Pondicherry to Tanjore via Chidambaram
After breakfast you will drive to Chidambaram (65kms/1.5 hours) 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 (104kms /03 hours) enroute visiting the Brass factory at Kumbakonam. Tanjore once the capital of Chola Kings, has the Brahadeswara temple(or the big temple of God).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. An overnight stay in Tanjore.
Day 7 Drive from Tanjore to Trichy (54kms / 02 hours by road )
After breakfast leave for Trichy, short name of Trichurapalli, situated on the banks of Kaveri River is a blend of history and tradition as well as pilgrim center, it is famous for Ranganath temple at Srirangam. Later, you will visit Rock fort and its temple at a height of over 23mts. Also, you will visit Srirangam and Jambukeshwar Temple. An overnight stay in Trichy.
Day 8 Drive from Trichy to Madurai (133kms / 3-4 hours by road)
After breakfast, you will proceed to Madurai and transfer to 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 center. Afternoon, you will visit Meenakshi temple, King Tirumala’s Palace, Great tank and Gandhi museum. An overnight stay in Madurai.
Day 9 Drive from Madurai to Rameshwaram (154kms / 04 hours by road)
After breakfast you will drive to Rameshwaram- 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 Jyotirlingam shrines is also well known for its magnificent corridors and the massive sculptured pillars lining them. Return to Madurai and transfer to hotel. An overnight stay in Madurai.
Day 10 Drive from Madurai to Trivandrum (329 kms / 8-9 hours by road)
After breakfast you will drive to Trivandrum. Upon arrival you will be transferred to hotel. Evening is at leisure. An overnight stay in Trivandrum.
Day 11Drive from Trivandrum to Kanyakumari (87 kms /1-2 hours by road)
After breakfast you will drive to 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 center of India, it is famous for the Amman Temples – a symbol of unity and sanctity – dedicated 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. An overnight stay in Trivandrum.
Day 12 Tivandrum – Departure
After breakfast you will be transferred to the airport for onward journey.