Classical Tamilnadu

Duration : 7 Days
Destinations Covered :
Chennai – Kanchipuram -  Mahabalipuram – Pondicherry – Tanjore –  Trichy - Madurai
Day 01 Chennai
Arrive Chennai, the gateway of South India.  You will be met by our Tour Manager and transferred to the hotel to relax.
Chennai is an old port that retains a distinct atmosphere that combines Tamil traditions with a long and still visible British legacy. Chennai grew to become a key commercial city of colonial days, generously endowed with striking Indo-Saracenic public buildings. It is the gateway to the sunny south and is the seat of ancient Civilization where one can still enjoy the old world charm. Splendid strains of classical music and India's living traditions are savoured from Chennai.
Half a day sightseeing of Chennai.  Visit Government Museum, Fort St.George, Fort Museum, St Mary’s Church, San Thome Cathedral, Kapaleswara temple, drive past the Marina beach  and a bit of shopping, if you are interested.
Overnight at Chennai.
Day 02 Mahabalipuram
Breakfast at Hotel.
Today you will visit Kanchipuram and Mahabalipuram.
KANCHIPURAM is known as the 'City of 1000 temples' and one of India's Seven Sacred cities. Kanchipuram has magnificent temples of unique architectural beauty bearing eloquent testimony to its glorious Dravidian heritage. You can visit Varadaraja temple noted for its exquisite sculptures and 1000 pillared hall, Ekambareeswarar temple known for its tallest gopuram (towers), Kamakshi Amman Temple- where Goddess Kamakshi is worshipped in the form of a Chakra placed in front of the idol with a golden gopuram in the centre. Kanchipuram is also known for its handloom. Visit the handloom and shop if you please.
After Lunch proceed for a sightseeing of Mahabalipuram, the only surviving shore temple of India.
MAHABALIPURAM also known as Mamallapuram, is situated on the shore of Bay of Bengal is an ancient sea-side town. The art at this place emphasizes robust earthly beauty, imbibed with life. The Pallavas have created many marvellous monuments sculptural panels, caves, monolithic rathas and sculptural temples. Mythological episodes, epic battles, demons, gods, animal all vividly depicted on the wall sculptures and breathtakingly real and artistic. Visit the world's heritage monument the shore temple in Mahabalipuram. Also visit Five Rathas, Arjuna's penance. In the evening explore the sunny beach. Overnight at Mahabalipuram.
Day 03 Pondicherry
Breakfast at Hotel.  Drive to Pondicherry,  the French Town.
Proceed for a sightseeing of Aurobindo Ashram, Government Museum, Chunambar Boat House - where facilities for boating, canoeing are available  The backwaters and luxuriant greenery on both sides of the river provide an idyllic setting for boating.  Visit Auroville envisioned as a Universal Town, where people from different nationalities, faiths and beliefs can live in peace and harmony. Also visit the paper industry (optional). 
Later in the evening relax in the beach.  Beach road in the evening is a refuge from the heat. Beach road has little of architectural interest but oceans of charm.
Overnight at Pondicherry.
Day 04 Tanjore
Drive to Tanjore enroute visit Chidambaram temple and Pichavaram, a mangrove forest (Optional). CHIDAMBARAM is famous for the temple dedicated to Lord Nataraja, the Cosmic Dancer (Lord Shiva). PICHAVARAM 16 kms from Chidambaram is a place of rare scenic beauty with its serene backwaters dotted with dense mangrove forests, which boasts of unique avifauna. It sprawls over 11,000 hectares of backwaters. The numerous channels and creeks are ideal for boating. A fishing enthusiast will find a variety of fin and shell fish in these forests. Check-in to your hotel by noon. Tanjore also known as Thanjavur is often referred as 'The Rice Bowl of Tamilnadu'. Tanjore is famous for its paintings and handicraft viz making of bronze icons, Thanjavur art plates, bell-metal castings, bowls, napkin and powder boxes and artistic in-laying and engraving work of motifs well known as Thanjavur Paintings. It is equally well known for pith - work, ornamental fans, mats and making of musical instruments of jack-wood. It is a flourishing center of handloom silk and cotton sarees. Visit the Big temple a finest example for the Indian sculptural architecture's greatness. This temple is unique to have the tallest tower over the sanctum sanctorum unlike the other temples. It is 216 feet tall. The stupa at the top is made of bronze. The walls of the sanctum are covered with the wall paintings of Chola and Nayak periods, comparable to the famous Ajantha Cave frescoes. Gaurding the inner shrine of the temple is the gigantic statue of Nandi , the Bull. The Nandi is 12 feet tall, 19 1/2 feet long and 8 1/4 feet wide. Also visit the Palace, and the ancient Saraswathi Mahal Library.
Overnight at Tanjore.
Day 05 Trichy

Breakfast at Hotel and drive to Trichy.  It is a fine blend of temples and monuments and one of the largest city.

Visit the Rock fort temple 83 m high and the rock is one of the oldest (3800 million years, which makes it as old as the rocks of F\Greenland and older than the Himalayas).  344 steps hewn out of rock lead to the top where there are inscriptions dating back to 3rd century BC. Atop of the rock is the Uchipillayar temple,  a temple dedicated to Lord Ganesha from where one can enjoy  a panoramic view of Trichy. 

Srirangam is a 600 acre island-town enclose within the seven walls of the gigantic Sri Ranganathaswami temple.  There are 21 gopurams, among which the Rajagopuram is the largest in South India.  Today Srirangam stands as the biggest temple complex in the country.

Overnight at Trichy.

Day 06   Madurai

Breakfast at Hotel and proceed to Madurai - a rich cultural heritage centre.
Full day sightseeing of Madurai.  Visit 1000 pillared Meenakshiamman temple, Tirumalai Nayak’s Palace, Gandhi Museum, Alagarkoil, Koodal azhagar temple.  If interested one can also visit Pazhamudircholai and Thirupparakundram one of the six abodes of Lord Muruga.
In the evening witness the night ceremony at the temple.
Overnight at Madurai.
Day 07  Departure to Chennai or proceed with the Extension Tours
Transfer to the Airport to connect flight to Chennai / Mumbai for onward journey.
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