20 January 2017
India is famous for its great temples and on this tour of the south of the country, which begins in the amazing city of Chennai, you will visit some of the best. After seeing the sights in Chennai and along the beautiful Bay of Bengal, you travel to visit the temples at Mahabalipuram before heading to see more great architecture at Tanjore. Next stop is Madurai then it's on to see the legendary buildings at Rameshwaram.
On arrival at Chennai you are met by a tour representative and taken to your hotel in the capital city of Tamil Nadu which is situated on the Coromandel Coast of the Bay of Bengal. It has played a very crucial role in the traditional, historical and academic growth of India, representing the different elements of the highest variety of the Dravidian civilization. Chennai is also considered as the cultural hub of South India, which is famous for its affluent heritage in classical dance, music, architecture, sculpture, and crafts. Overnight Chennai.
Today after breakfast at your hotel you have a great day exploring Chennai. Visit Fort St George, St. Mary's Church and a museum before stopping at the impressive Kapeeleshwara Temple. Next stop is San Thome Cathedral, then it's on to the Government State Museum followed by the National Art Gallery. Later drive along Marina Beach, the second longest beach in the world, where you may want to return later to relax and enjoy a swim. Overnight in Chennai.
Today you leave the city for the 50 mile drive to Mahabalipuram - the major seaport of the ancient Pallava kingdom based at Kanchipuram. Here you can wander around the town’s great, World Heritage - listed temples and see the amazing carvings, which are best viewed at sunset. Then there's a treat when you join an excursion to Kancheepuram to see the Ekambaranatha Temple, Vaishnavite Vaikunta Perumal Temple, Varadharaja Perumal Temple, Kamakshi Temple, and Kailasanatha Temple. Overnight Mahabalipuram.
After breakfast this morning you check-out of your hotel then you are taken on a half-day sightseeing trip around Mahabalipuram when you visit Panch Rathas, Arjuna's Penance and the Shore Temple. Later enjoy a relaxing five and a half hour drive through the countryside to Tanjore where you check into your next hotel. The rest of the evening is free for you to go out and explore and possibly try some of the local food at one of the many restaurants.
An early start and an early hotel breakfast this morning as there are lots of things to see and do. Your first stop is at Tanjore where you visit the Brihadeshwara Temple, and the fascinating Tanjore Palace and Museum. Later begin the two hour drive to Trichy stopping on the way at the Rock Fort, Srirangam and Thiruvanaikkaval. You will arrive at your hotel in Madurai in the early evening and you can go out and explore after checking in.
This morning you are taken to visit Rameshwaram - one of the 12 Jyotirlingas in India. Legend says that Ramanatha Swamy Temple, which you have time to explore, stands on the spot where Lord Rama performed worship of a Sand Lingam made by Sita. Return to Madurai by noon and visit Tirumalai Nayak and Koodal Azhagar Temple. Then later you are taken to witness an evening prayer ceremony at Meenakshi Temple. Overnight in Madurai.
Plenty of sights to see today as you make the long six hour drive from Madurai to Kanyakmari. After breakfast there may be time to explore some more of Madurai and its temples before starting the 230 mile journey. On arrival at Kanyakmari you check-in at your hotel and later visit the Vivekananda rock memorial and the Kanyakumari temple. Overnight stay in Kanyakumari where you can again go out and sample the local cuisine.
Leave Kanyakumari after breakfast this moorning and begin the drive to Trivandrum. On arrival here you first check in at your next hotel before being taken to visit the Napier Museum, Art Gallery and Padmanabhaswamy Temple. Trivandrum is an interesting place and the rest of the day and evening is free for you to explore on your own or possibly join an organised excursion before dining in one of the many local restaurants. Overnight in Trivandrum.
Today your temples tour of the south of India comes to an end. After breakfast there may be time for some more sightseeing or last minute shopping for souvenirs before you are picked up from your hotel and driven to the local airport to catch an onward flight or begin your journey back home. This tour makes a great add on to any longer holiday in India and can be easily combined with lots of other tours around this colourful country.
Category B fr £963pp
Category A fr £1039pp
Rates based on twinshare
International flights not included unless otherwise stated