Marina BeachUpon arrival you will be welcomed by our representative and transferred to hotel. Chennai - India-s fourth largest city and the capital of the state of Tamil Nadu was the site of the East India company-s first settlement founded in 1639 on land given by the Raja of Chandragiri, the last representative of the Vijaynagar rulers of Hampi. Overnight at Chennai.
Morning tour the -St. Mary-s Church-, built in 1678 - 80, was the first English Church in Chennai. The Saint Thomas Cathedral, built in 1504, then re-built in neo - gothic style in 1893, this Roman Catholic Church is said to house the remains of St. Thomas the Apostle. Also visit the Kapaleeshwarar Temple, an ancient Shiva Temple, constructed in pure Dravidian style. The Sri Parathasarathy Temple, dedicated to Lord Krishna, built in 8th century during the reign of the Pallavas. Other attractions include the National Art Gallery and Museum, which house some beautiful temple friezes, the bronze gallery, archeological section. Drive past the High Court Building, Fort St. George and the famous film studios. Overnight at Chennai.
Day 03: Chennai - Kanchipuram - Mahabalipuram (70 kms)
Today drive you to Mahabalipuram. Enroute tour Kanchipuram - is the golden city of a thousand temples and one of the seven sacred cities of India. Its many gopurams can be seen while approaching the city from a long way off. Today, it is known not only for its temples but also for its handwoven silk fabrics. Visit Ekambareshwar Temple, Kailashnath Temple, Kamakshi Temple, the Vaikunthaperumal Temple, all built in the 7th and 8th centuries Continue your drive and check in. Overnight at Mahabalipuram.
After breakfast visit Mahablipuram - an ancient coastal port, world famous for its shore temple and was the second capital and sea port of the Pallava Kings of Kanchipuram. The whole of Mahabalipuram is a fabulous open-air museum of sculpture in living rock, Monolithic shrines, scooped out caverns magnificently sculpted within and the world-s biggest, bas relief in rock are truly wondrous examples of the sculptor-s art. Vying with this splendour is a beach. The famous temples of the Rathas, the Penance of Bhagirath, the Shore Temple and the eight Mandapams. (Shallow, rock cut halls). Evening is at leisure. Overnight at Mahabalipuram.
Today we drive to Pondicherry - formerly a French colony settled early in the 18th century, it became part of the Indian Union in the early 50-s when the French voluntarily relinquished control. On arrival check in. Later visit the Botanical Gardens, Eglise De Sacre Coeur De Jesus, The Promenade, Government Park, Manakula Vinayagar Temple, Roman Rolland Library, Sri Aurobindo Ashram, French Institute and other museums and art galleries. Evening is at leisure. Overnight at Pondicherry.
After breakfast drive to Tanjore - the capital of the powerful Chola dynasty. Today, it is the little town set amidst the lush green rice fields of the Cauvery delta. Magnificent temples, still bear witness to the splendour of Chola architecture. Enroute visit Nataraj Temple at Chidambaram and also visit the temples at Kumbakonam. Upon arrival check in. Evening is free for leisure. Overnight at Tanjore.
Brahadiswara TempleToday proceed on a guided tour of Tanjore, visiting Brihadeeswara Temple, the palace, Sangeetha Mahal, Saraswati Mahal, Library, Raja Museum, Temple Museum and Schwarz Church. Later drive to Trichy - situated on the banks of the river Cauvery is the fourth largest city in Tamil Nadu. It was a citadel of the early Cholas which later fell to the Pallavas. Here you will visit the Rock Fort, Sri Jambukeshwara Temple, Tiruvannaikaval, Srirangam and other museums and art galleries. Check in late evening. Overnight at Trichy.
After breakfast drive to Madurai - one of the oldest cities in South India, has been the centre of learning and pilgrimage for centuries. Upon arrival check in. Later tour of Madurai - the primary interest is the Meenakshi Temple, where Dravidian temple architecture may be considered to be at its best. Its hall of a thousand pillars is fabulous and is filled with worshippers at all hours of the day. The tour also includes a visit to the Thirumalai Nayak Palace and Thiruparangundram temple. In the evening witness temple ceremony at Shree Meenakshi temple. Overnight at Madurai.