Your voyage to South India Temples will begin from the colonial port Chennai. Explore the city and advance to visit Kanchipuram the city of thousand temple & Mahabalipuram. Further drive to Pondicherry the French colonial town and visit Aurovil. Continue to visit UNESCO WHS of the Great Living Chola Temples at Gangaikonda Cholapuram, Darasuram & Thanjore. See some largest active temples in India at Trichy and Madurai.
Arrive ChennaiOn arrival at Chennai airport meet with our office executive assistance and transfer to hotel (hotels check in time 1200hr afternoon, early check in subject to room’s availability).Later city tour of Chennai. Visit Fort St. George & Museum - Fort St. George is located on the banks of Bay of Bengal. It was built by the British East India Company in 1640 AD. The fort is believed to be the first establishment of the British in India. It is a military architecture marvel, which was erected as a trading post and later evolved to be the origin of modern Indian Army. Semmozhi Poonga is a beautifully landscaped botanical garden in Chennai which is set up by the horticulture department of the Government of Tamil Nadu. Apart from some common plants and trees, the garden houses some really rare types of plants and medicinal herbs. There is also an artificial pond in the garden and ducks which makes it an enjoyable place for the children as well. Dakshina Chitra - a living-history museum, dedicated to South Indian heritage and culture. Opened to the public on 14 December 1996, the museum was founded and is being managed by the Madras Craft Foundation. Arulmigu Sri Parthasarathy Temple - The Parthasarathy Temple is an 8th-century Hindu Vaishnavite temple dedicated to the Lord Vishnu, located at Thiruvallikeni, Chennai, India. Evening to drive-past/ walk on Marina beach.Overnight at hotel.
Location: Kanchipuram, Mahabalipuram
Chennai - Kanchipuram - Mahabalipuram (120kms/ 3hrs approx)Breakfast at hotel drive to Mahabalipuram via visiting Kanchipuram - the City of Thousand Temples and The Silk City. Visit Kailasanatha temple - 8th century temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. This temple is noted for its architecture and sculptures. There are 58 small shrines situated around the main shrine as compound wall. Sandstone was used in the construction of this temple. Ekambareswarar temple - another ancient temple of the city dedicated to Siva. The 2500-year-old mango tree inside the temple has 4 branches each yields different varieties of mangoes. Varadharaja temple - dedicated to Lord Vishnu, noted for its wonderful sculptures. This is one of the 108 sacred Shri Vaishnavite temples. Vaikundhaperumal temple - dedicated to lord Vishnu, it is also one of the 108 Divyadesams. Kamakshiamman temple - dedicated to Goddess Kamakshi the presiding deity, one of the holy Sakthi worship places in India. It is closely associated with Sri Adi Sankaracharya.Optionally visit Handloom industry - famous for handloom Silk Sarees the main profession of people in Kanchipuram. Continue drive to Mahabalipuram check in at hotel. Later visit Monolithic Temples - locally known as Rathas. They were executed by chiseling out the exterior face of the boulder. Work started from top to bottom. Shore Temple - built with blocks of granitein in 7th century during the rule of King Narsimha-Varman II Rajasimha the temple complex consisting of two Siva temples and a carving of Anantasayana Vishnu. Cave Temples - cut and decorated with panels in the Mamalla style of the Pallava period in the 7th century. Remnants seen in the caves also indicate that they were plastered and painted when built. Krishna's Butterball - a gigantic granite boulder resting on a short incline.Overnight at hotel.
Location: Pondicherry, Villupuram
Mahabalipuram - Pondicherry (100kms/ 2hrs approx)Breakfast at hotel visit temple and monuments at Mahabalipuram. Afternoon drive to Pondicherry check in at hotel.
Later visit Aurovil - an experimental community in southern India. It was founded in 1968 by the spiritual leader Mirra Alfassa as a town where people from all over the world could live in harmony. Its focal point is the Matrimandir, a futuristic, spherical temple covered in gold discs. Auroville Botanical Gardens protects the region’s tropical dry evergreen forest. Auroville Beach is a long sandy stretch with gentle surf. Sri Aurobindo - established in 1926 by Shree Aurobindo and 'The Mother'. Together they explored the possibilities of yoga and meditation as a path to salvation. At the ashram, residents continue to practice their teachings. Pondicherry Museum - an art and history museum especially noted for its collection of fine lost wax bronzes form the period of the Chola Empire. The Museum's collection includes 81 Chola bronze sculptures, ranking as one of the largest collections of Chola bronzes.French Colony - Pondicherry has some of the finest examples of old French culture with a hint of Tamil influence in its visual aesthetics. In this tour, you will catch sight of some of the unique and old infrastructures. Observe and get inspired by the architectural beauty of the French part of the town while enjoying a cup of coffee and some deserts along the way. As part of the package, customise your walk with your guide to cover the visit of French consulate, French Institute, Raj Nivas, Bharati Park (Aayi Monument), Government Square, Beaches, Monuments, Churches, French schools.Evening to relax on the beach.Overnight at hotel.
Location: , Ariyalur, Thanjavur
Pondicherry - Chidambaram - Gangai Kondacholapuram - Darasuram - Thanjore (170kms/ 4hrs approx)Breakfast at hotel, drive to Thanjore. En-route visit Chidambaram Nataraja Temple which is dedicated to the Nataraja or the dancing posture of Lord Shiva. This temple is located in the heart of the town and has undergone numerous renovations under the reign of Chola and Pallava kings. In 1213 AD, Aragalur Udaya Iraratevan Ponparappinan rebuilt some of the parts of this temple. The Nataraja Temple is known for its attractive gopurams, carvings, five mandapams and inscriptions. Built during the 10th century by Chola Kings, this temple is known for huge walls, four tall shikharas in four directions and a big Sivagangai tank. The four tall shikharas are decorated with 108 carved dance postures of Natya Shastra.Further drive & visit Gangaikonda Cholapuram Temple - built in Tamil style of architecture with a square plan. The structural elements resemble the big Brihadisvara Temple in Thanjavur. Both include a courtyard entered through multiple gateways and relatively small gopuram (tower). Inside are shrines, most of which are aligned on an east-west axis; a few are perpendicular. The temple complex includes Nandi Mandapa, Alankar Mandapa, Maha Mandapa, Mukha Mandapa and Ardha Mandapa. Some of these were added and restored by Hindu kingdoms after the 14th century or by British India art conservation officials in the 19th century. The temple site has a monolithic representation of Navagrahas, the nine planetary deities.Continue drive & visit Darasuram Temple - a storehouse of art and architecture. The vimana is 85 feet high. The front mandapam itself is in the form of a huge chariot drawn by horses. The temple has some exquisite stone carvings. The main deity's consort Periya Nayaki Amman temple is situated adjacent to Airavateshwarar temple.Continue drive to Thanjore check in at hotel.Overnight at hotel.
Location: Thanjavur, Tiruchirappalli
Thanjore - Trichy (60kms/ 1.5hrs approx)Breakfast at hotel. Visit Brihadeshwara Temple & Fort - built by great Chola king in the 10th century. It is an outstanding example of Chola architecture and is listed in UNESCO world heritage site. On the top of the apex of 63 metres high dome is said to be constructed from a single piece of granite, weighing an estimated 81 tones. Thanjavur Palace & Museum - the palace near the temple is a vast building of masonry built by the Nayakas around 1550 and partly by the Maratha. The palace houses an art gallery, a library and a hall of music. The art gallery occupies the Nayak Durbar Hall. It has a superb collection of Chola bronze statues from the 9th to 12th centuries. The Saraswati mahal Library is next door to the gallery. Art Gallery - in the Palace there are a number of granite and bronze statues of the Chola period. Saraswathi Mahal Library - another section of the Palace is the library where over 30,000 palm leaf and paper manuscripts in India and European languages are preserved.Drive to Trichy check in at hotel. Later visit Rock Fort Temple & Srirangam Temple.Later visit Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple - there are 22 gopurams including India’s tallest (72 meters, 13 storey high). Many people have had a hand in its construction, including the Cheras, Pandyas, Cholas, Hoysalas and rulers from Vijayanagar. Ivory sculptures of Lord Vishnu in various poses and the images of Nayak Kings with consorts donated by Nayak kings who ruled Madurai during the 17th century are available here.Tiruvanaikkaval - the Jambukeshwara temple, here is dedicated to Shiva, and it houses five concentric walls, and seven gopurams. Once an elephant worshipped Lord Shiva under the holy Jambu tree and hence the name Jambukeshwar.Rock Fort Temple: The 83m high Rock Fort is the only outcrop in the otherwise flat land of the city. The rock is one of the oldest in the world-approximately 3.800 million years, which makes it as old as the rocks of Greenland and older than the Himalayas. At the top of the rock is the Uchipillaiyar Koil, a temple dedicated to Lord Vinayaka from where one can enjoy a panoramic view of Tiruchirappalli. A flight of steps leads to the Mathrubutheswarar of Thayumanaswami temple, dedicated to Lord Siva where the lingam is a projection of the rock itself.Overnight at hotel.
Trichy - Madurai (140kms/ 3hrs approx)Breakfast at hotel drive to Madurai heck in at hotel. Later city tour visit the Meenakshi Sundareshwar - one of the largest temple complexes in India built between the 16th and 18th centuries. Apart from the estimated 33 million sculptures there, the temple is absolutely absorbing with the endless rounds of ceremonies, prostration of countless devotees and glittering market stalls. Later visit Tiruparankundram Murugan Temple, Palamuthirsolai Murugan Temple. Also visit the Tirumal Nayak’s Palace; a highly decorative monument. Its enormous roofed arcade supported by 48 – foot high stone pillar, still stands. In the evening visit the famous Meenakshi Sundareshwar Temple to attend the Aarti (Prayers) witnessing interesting rituals and ceremonies.Overnight at hotel.
Madurai - Chennai (flight)Breakfast at hotel. As per flight schedule transfer to airport to board flight for onward destination.
6 Nights accommodation in selected price category hotels.
Deluxe Air-conditioned private vehicle from arrival till departure as per tour program
Garland welcome and assistance on arrival at airport
Monuments entrances & activities charges mentioned in the itinerary
English speaking tour guide on sightseeing days (local guide in each city).
What's Not Included
Expenses of personal nature like liquor, laundry, tips, telephone, fax, internet etc.
Meals other than mentioned in inclusions.
Anything not mentioned in inclusions.
Madurai - Chennai flight fare approx INR 3500 per person.
Book with flexibility
Book with Confidence
Agora Voyages requires a deposit of
to secure a place on this tour, and the final balance is not due till 15 days before departure..
All payments to TourHub are deposited into an externally regulated Trust account.