Incredible -Temple Tour

OVERVIEW- South India boasts of being home to some extremely beautiful ancient temples of the country. During the Incredible Temple Tour, you visit some of the very well-known temples of the Hindu sect at various destinations of Tamil Nadu. The journey begins with visualizing temples of Trichy, Palani, Rameswaram. Explore Mahabalipuram and Madurai for the world famous temples, Pondicherry for French style architecture. Journey ends with blessing of Tirupati, to the ‘City of 1000 Temples’ Kanchipuram and UNESCO World Heritage Site ‘Mahabalipuram’. 

TRICHY- Tiruchirappalli or 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. Today, this city is a thriving commercial centre in Tamil Nadu. This ancient city is famous for its architectural monuments and culture. 

MADURAI- The temple city of Madurai, poised on the banks of the Vaigai River, stands testimony to the fact that the Sangam age was the golden era of architecture in the history of South India. The history of Madurai goes back over 2400 years, and it is known to be the only city to be continuously inhabited, in the Southern peninsula. Madurai is the third largest city in Tamil Nadu and has been poetically referred to as the Athens of the East and the City of Festivals.

RAMESWARAM- The place is regarded as one of the holiest cities of India as well an integral part of the mythological representations of India. It is an important pilgrimage center of Tamil Nadu. Equally sacred to Vaishnavities and Shaivities, the two main sects of Hinduism,

TANJORE- One of the major cities in Tamil Nadu, Tanjore or Thanjavur is renowned as the ‘Rice Bowl of Tamil Nadu’ and ‘Art Capital of South India’. Historically, Tanjore was the regal city of the Cholas, Nayaks and the Mahrattas. It is also noted for its exquisite handicraft, bronze statue casting, pith temple models, and musical instruments. The temple, fort and palaces have been silent witness to the great culture of India.

PONDICHERRY- The city of Puducherry is the Capital of this Union Territory. It is located on the Coromandel Coast of the Bay of Bengal. There are no hills or forests in this region. Pondicherry offers glimpse of France in India. The unmistakable French connection, the tree lined boulevards, the quaint colonial heritage buildings, the spiritual sceneries, the endless stretches of unspoilt virgin beaches and backwaters and French style architecture makes this a perfect place. 

MAHABALIPURAM- Mahabalipuram also called as Mamallapuram is a famous coastal town and was earlier a sea port founded by a Pallavan King in the 17th century. Today it is a fascinating archeological site and a pleasant sea resort. Mahabalipuram washed by the shores of the Bay of Bengal is noted for its coastline. This golden sandy beach has striking interesting features in an unusual way bounded by the gleam of the sea and rolling hills. 

KANCHIPURAM- It is popularly call the Golden City and is one of the seven most sacred cities of India. Kanchi is also called as the Varanasi of the South and is held in great reverence. Kanchi is also famous for its finest hand woven silk fabrics and saris with delicate zari work. Kanchipuram is considered to be as India's seven sacred cities and the second holiest after Varanasi.

TIRUPATI- Set in the foothills of the Eastern Ghats in Andhra Pradesh, Tirupati is well known for housing one of the oldest pilgrimage sites- Balaji Temple. One of the most ancient and holy cities of the country, Tirupati is one destination which remains flocked with pilgrims all throughout the year.

CHENNAI- Chennai the fifth most populous city in India and the capital of Tamil Nadu. Chennai is situated on the Coromandel Coast of the Bay of Bengal and was initially known as Madras. Chennai is also known as the automobile capital of India and it has the maximum number of automobile industry in India. It is city with a blend of old and new in the right proportion. Chennai is housed with a number of historic landmarks and beaches.

Tour Destination: Trichy – Palani – Madurai – Rameshwaram – Tanjore – Chidambaram – Pondicherry – Mahabalipuram – Kanchipuram – Tirupati – Chennai

Travel Duration: 11 nights/12 days

DAY 1: TRICHY:- Arrive in Trichy (Tiruchirapalli and later transfer to the hotel.  After breakfast, full day city tour of The Ancient Town- Trichy

SIGHT SEEING TRICHY
ROCK FORT TEMPLE - Among the many spectacular sites to visit in Trichy, the Rock Fort Temple is a must visit. The fort is a massive rocky structure built at an altitude of 83 m above sea level. Located on the banks of the river Cauvery, it is Trichy's most famous landmark. 

THAYUMANASWAMY TEMPLE- Halfway to the fort lies the Thayumanaswamy Temple, also known as the Rock Fort Temple. The temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva is an important pilgrimage site of the Hindus. This beautifully carved rock-cut cave temple of the Pallava period has a 100-pillar hall and a Vimana covered with gold. 

SRI RANGANATHASWAMI TEMPLE- 7 km from Trichy, Srirangam is said to be the abode of Lord Sri Ranganatha, the reclining form of Lord Vishnu. The temple of Ranganatha is said to be the largest in India.

JAMBUKESHWARAR TEMPLE - Just 2 km from Srirangam, this beautiful Shiva temple overshadows the larger Ranganathaswami temple due to its excellent architectural design. It is named after the elephant believed to have worshipped Lord Shiva here.

Overnight at hotel.

DAY 2: TRICHY – PALANI – TRICHY:- After breakfast, drive to Palani, to visit the famous Murugan Temple. 

PALANI MURUGAN TEMPLE- The Palani Dhandayuthapani Temple, one of the six abodes of Lord Muruga is located in the Palani Hills, Dindigul, about 150 kms from Trcihy. In Palani the lord wears a loin and has a staff in his grasp. This is at the highest point on the hill, and is at around 500 ft. There are a few places of worship and terthams that are seen encompassing the slope. One of these is the renowned holy place called Aavinakudi. Legend has it that the temple is over 2000 years of age. 

Later drive back to Trichy. Evening free for leisure

Overnight at hotel.

DAY 3: TRICHY – MADURAI:- After breakfast, start your drive towards another ancient town- Madurai. Transfer to hotel. After freshen up full day city tour of the Athens of the East- Madurai

SIGHT SEEING MADURAI
SRI MEENAKSHI TEMPLE- A historic Hindu temple, Meenakshi Amman Temple, is situated on the bank of Vaigai River. The enormous temple is dedicated to Parvati, who is also known as Meenakshi, and her consort, Shiva. This temple is among the most famous temples of India which is known throughout the world for its outstanding and impressive architectural beauty. 

VAIGAI DAM- Built across the Vaigai River, the Vaigai Dam is located around 70 km from Madurai. The Vaigai dam is a lifeline for the people of Madurai, Theni and Dindgul. 

THIRUMALAI NAYAK PALACE- This Palace was built with the help of an Italian Architect and is a classic fusion of Dravidian, Islamic and European styles. Thirumalai Nayak's Palace at Madurai was considered to be one of the wonders of the South.

KOODAL ALAGAR TEMPLE- Dedicated to Vishnu, Koodal Alagar Temple is located in the heart of the city. The temple is an ancient Temple and very close to the famous Meenakshi Aman Temple.

THIRUPARANKUNDRAM TEMPLE- Dedicated to Murugan or Karthikeya, Thiruparankundram temple is located on a hillock approximately 8 km from the city. The temple is one of the six abodes of Murugan and is a pilgrimage site for devotees.

KALLAZHAGAR TEMPLE- One of the 108 sacred Divyadesam pilgrimage sites dedicated to the god Vishnu, the Kallazhagar temple is mentioned in the Divya Prabandha of the Azhwar saints. The temple is surrounded by granite walls, with a seven-story Gopuram rising above in the style of Dravidian architecture.

Overnight at hotel.

DAY 4: MADURAI – RAMESWARAM:- Today morning, drive to Rameswaram, to visit the famous temple. 

RAMESWARAM TEMPLE- Ramanathaswamy Temple is an important pilgrimage site for the followers of Hinduism. It is believed that a visit to this temple washes away one's sins and brings salvation (moksha). Located on an island off the Sethu coast of Rameshwaram, Ramanathaswamy Mandir can be reached via Pamban Bridge across the sea. Being situated in Rameswaram, the shrine is popularly known as Rameshwaram Temple. 

After Darshan, evening free for leisure.

Overnight at hotel.

DAY 5: RAMESWARAM – TANJORE:- After breakfast, start your drive towards Tanjore. After freshen up, visit

SIGHT SEEING TANJORE
BRIHADEESWARAR TEMPLE- Also called the Big Temple, this is one of the best temples in South India. This temple was built by the greatest Chola emperor Raja I in 10th century AD.

THE ROYAL PALACE- This vast building of masonry is near the Big Temple. It has an Art Gallery comprising of many granite and bronze statues of the Chola period, and the ancient Hall of Music. SIVAGANAGA TANK- Renowned for its sweet water, this tank is situated near the palace.

RAJARAJAN MANI MANDAPAM- Built during the 8th World Tamil Conference, this mandapam has a small garden with children's play materials.

MARIAMMAN TEMPLE (PUNNAI NALLUR)- This famous temple, located 6 km from Tanjore, is dedicated to Goddess Mariamman.

Overnight at hotel.

DAY 6: TANJORE – CHIDAMBARAM:- After breakfast, drive to Chidambaram (Thillai). Transfer to hotel. Later visit

NATARAJA TEMPLE- 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. 

Evening free for own leisure activities

Overnight at the hotel.

DAY 7: CHIDAMBARAM – PONDICHERRY (PUDUCHERRY):- Next morning drive towards Pondicherry. Transfer to hotel.  Later full day city tour of the Pondicherry

SIGHT SEEING PONDICHERRY
SRI AUROBINDO ASHRAM- This was founded in 1920 by Sri Aurobindo when Pondicherry was a French colony with the aim of putting in place his ideas of a peaceful community. 

PONDICHERRY MUSEUM- The Pondicherry Museum situated in the Government Park has a fine sculpture gallery and a section for archaeological findings dating back to the Roman settlement at Arikamedu.

ARIKAMEDU- The Arikamedu archeological excavation site, which is around 7 km from Pondicherry, gives you a glimpse of ancient Roman trading in this part of the world.

AUROVILLE- This beautiful dome is synonymous with Auroville, and represents its very essence with a quiet hall for meditation. The dome is covered on the outside by golden discs that reflect the sun, giving it a surreal radiance.

PROMENADE BEACH- This lovely beach with a 1.5-km-long promenade, within a biking range from the heart of the city is one of the most delightful places in Pondicherry for a stroll, a sunbath or a swim.

PARADISE BEACH- A beautiful coastline, with the sun out most of the year. The beach is accessible only through a boat ride. The backwaters at Chunnambar along the Cuddalore Main road will guarantee you a pleasure ride - be it on one of those larger ferries or a jet ski.

CHURCH OF THE SACRED HEART OF JESUS - This massive church built in the Gothic style, is one of the most beautiful in Pondicherry.

In the evening take a leisurely walk to the local market of Pondicherry.

Overnight at hotel.

DAY 8: PONDICHERRY – MAHABALIPURAM:- Today, continue your drive towards Mahabalipuram. Straight transfer to hotel.  After freshen up at the hotel, visit Mahabalipuram viewing

SIGHT SEEING MAHABALIPURAM
SHORE TEMPLE- The oldest structure in the area, build c. 700 AD, this temple has been here for more than 1400 years. A Shiva lingam is enshrined in the central building and the site can get very crowded on weekends.

FIVE RATHAS- This site contains five Rathas, literally chariots, dating from the 7th century. The sculptures are complemented by some enormous stone animals, including a large elephant.

THIRUKADALMALLAI- This temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu. It was also built by Pallava King in order to safeguard the sculptures from the ocean. 

SCULPTURE MUESEUM- East Raja Street has hundreds of sculptures in stone, wood etc. The following structures like Arjuna's Penance, Krishna's Butterball, Mahishamardini Cave. Varaha Cave having four impressive carvings of Vishnu, Gajalakshmi, Trivikrama and Durga are all carved straight out of rock in the central hillside area, so you can travel between them on foot. 

In the evening you can sit back and relax on the sandy beach or can enjoy Boat rides in the Bay of Bengal with life guards, fishing trips to the sea & Turtle walk at the sea shore. 

Overnight at hotel.

DAY 9: MAHABALIPURAM - KANCHIPURAM:- In the morning after breakfast, start driving towards the City of Thousand Temples- Kanchipuram

SIGHT SEEING KANCHIPURAM
KAMAKSHI AMMAN TEMPLE- This is an ancient temple in the city of Kanchipuram. Dedicated to Goddess Kamakshi, this shrine is believed to have been built by the Pallavas. Kamakshi resides here in a seated position as opposed to a standing one, which is unique to this temple.

VARADARAJA TEMPLE- The marvelous Varadaraja Temple was built during the 10th century by the Vijayanagar kings. There is a big outer wall that covers or as the locals say, protects this fine temple.

KAILASANATHA TEMPLE- It was constructed in the 8th century and has a beautiful panel depicting 'Lord Shiva and Parvati' during a dance. The Ardhanareeswarar is one of the best sculptural wonder.

EKAMBARANATHA TEMPLE- It is the largest temple in Kanchipuram. This temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva, and was built by the Pallavas. This temple has 1000 lingas which are all carved out of one solitary stone. Also, there are one thousand pillared halls found within the temple. 

KACHAPESHWARAR TEMPLE- In this temple Lord Shiva can be seen being worshipped by Lord Vishnu in the form of a tortoise. 

In the afternoon also visit the market to buy some silk sarees that are world famous. 

Overnight at hotel.

DAY 10: KANCHIPURAM - TIRUPATI:- In the morning after breakfast, start driving towards the Land of Temples- Tirupati. Transfer to hotel. After freshen up

SIGHT SEEING TIRUPATI
VENKATESWARA TEMPLE- The most famous temple with historical importance is Sri Venkateswara Temple on the seventh peak of Tirumala Hill. The massive temple covers an area of 2.2 acres of land. The temple is located on the south of Swami Pushkarini River. People who follow a particular faith feel at peace when they are here. It is considered most divine. It is the second most frequented shrine all over the world, the first being Vatican. It is also the richest temple in the world.

KAPILA THEERTHAM- This is a famous Saivite Temple and Theertham, located at Tirupati in the Chittoor District of Andhra Pradesh, India. The idol is believed to be installed by Kapila Muni and hence Lord Siva here is referred to as Kapileswara.

TALAKONA WATERFALL- It is the highest waterfall in Andhra Pradesh falls from a height of 270 feet. The location of the waterfalls is 30km into the forest. From the base, a trekking for nearly two kilometers will take you to the waterfalls. The views here are spectacular. The right time to visit the place would be during rainy season. The water is awesomely clear and cold. 

Overnight at hotel.

DAY 11: TIRUPATI - CHENNAI:- Next morning drive towards Chennai. Enroute visit Srikalahasti

SRIKALAHASTI- Srikalahasti is situated on the banks of Swarnamukhi River. It is one of the most famous destinations sought by pilgrims. Shiva Linga is worshipped here as Vayu Linga. Vayu means air. Air is one of the five elements of the Universe, the others being water, earth, fire and space. An oil lamp in the sanctum constantly flickers while other lamps remain motionless.

Continue your drive to Chennai. Transfer to hotel. Evening free for leisure.

Overnight at hotel. 

DAY 12: CHENNAI:- After breakfast, full day city tour of The Capital City of Tamil Nadu- Chennai

SIGHT SEEING CHENNAI
FORT ST.GEORGE- It was built in 1640 AD, by the British East India Company under the direct supervision of Francis Day and Andrew Cogon. The flag staff at Fort St. George is still the tallest in India. South of the Fort is the War Memorial, built in 1939 in memory of the warriors who sacrificed their lives during the First World War. 

KAPELESHWAR TEMPLE- Located in Mylapore, this temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is one of the oldest temples in the city. It is not clear as to who built the temple. Going by the songs by Nayanmars, it is believed that Kapaleshwar Temple was built during the 7th century by Pallava Kings.

DAKSHINACHITRA- Located in the heart of Chennai city, DakshinaChitra , or "a picture of the south", as it is meant in English, is a hub of living art traditions , conventional performing arts, crafts and architectural works of the country with due emphasis on South Indian customs and practices. 

PARTHASARTHY TEMPLE- It is located at Triplicane, near the famous Marina beach in Chennai. Spread over an area of 1.5 acres, it was built by the Pallavas in the 8th century. The temple, dedicated to Lord Krishna (Parthasarathy), houses images of the five incarnations of Vishnu. 

RAJIV GHANDHI MEMORIAL- Rajiv Gandhi Memorial is another must visit spot on your tour to Madras. It is located at a distance of about 40 km from the main city. The memorial is precisely situated at Sriperumbudur and is dedicated to the former Prime Minster of India, Raiiv Gandhi.

MARINA BEACH- This is naturally the instant choice for everyone that visits Chennai. This is the second longest beach in the world. The large expanse of silver sand allows for a great walk along the seashore. Sunrise and sun set views are picturesque in this perfect setting. Some of the sports activities possible in Marina Beach include fishing, wind surfing and beach volley ball.

In the evening, catch flight/train towards onward destination.

Distance & Time (Approx)

  1. Trichy – Palani: 175 kms/04 hrs
  2. Trichy – Madurai: 140 kms/02 hrs
  3. Madurai – Rameswaram: 200 kms/05 hrs
  4. Rameswaram – Tanjore: 260 kms/05 hrs
  5. Tanjore – Chidambaram: 120 kms/02 hrs
  6. Chidambaram – Pondicherry: 70 kms/01 hrs
  7. Pondicherry – Mahabalipuram: 100 kms/02 hrs
  8. Mahabalipuram – Kanchipuram: 70 kms/02 hrs
  9. Kanchipuram – Tirupati: 110 kms/02 hrs
  10. Tirupati – Chennai: 150 kms/03 hrs

Trichy at a Glance

  • Population: 846,915
  • Area: 4511 sq km
  • Geo Location: South
  • Average Climate: 19°C - 22°C
  • Best Time to Visit: November - February
  • STD Code: 0431
  • Airport: Tiruchirappalli International Airport

Madurai at a Glance

  • Population: 3,041,038
  • Area: 747 sq km
  • Geo Location: South
  • Average Climate: 18°C - 35°C
  • Best Time to Visit: October - March
  • STD Code: 0452

Rameswaram at a Glance

  • Population: 37,968
  • Area: 53 sq km
  • Geo Location: South
  • Average Climate: 17°C - 35°C
  • Best Time to Visit: Throughout the Year
  • STD Code: 04573

Tanjore at a Glance

  • Population: 222,619
  • Area: 36.33 sq km
  • Geo Location: South
  • Average Climate: 20°C - 30°C
  • Best Time to Visit: October - March
  • STD Code: 04362

Pondicherry at a Glance

  • Population: 973,829
  • Area: 480 sq km
  • Geo Location: South
  • Average Climate: 20°C -40°C
  • Best Time to Visit: October – March

Mahabalipuram at a Glance

  • Population: NA
  • Area: NA
  • Geo Location: South
  • Average Climate: 28°C
  • Best Time to Visit: October - March
  • STD Code: 044

Kanchipuram at a Glance

  • Population: 244,210
  • Area: 11.605 sq km
  • Geo Location: South
  • Average Climate: 33°C
  • Best Time to Visit: October - March
  • STD Code: 044

Tirupati at a Glance

  • Population: 459,985
  • Area: 16 sq km
  • Geo Location: South East
  • Average Climate: 15°C - 35°C
  • Best Time to Visit: October - March
  • STD Code: 0877

Chennai at a Glance

  • Population: 8,551,768
  • Area: 426 sq km
  • Geo Location: South
  • Average Climate: 33°C 
  • Best Time to Visit: November - February
  • STD Code: 044
  • Airport: Chennai International Airport

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