Explore Tamil Nadu



DAY 01 - ARRIVE CHENNAI


Arrive Chennai international airport

Meeting and assistance at the airport

Transfer by car to your hotel

Check in at the hotel

Time to relax after your international fight

At around 1400 hrs set out to explore the city of Chennai

Visit Government Bronze museum (closed on Fridays) where you can see some very interesting and rate bronze statue collections and some very rare and interesting sculptures at the Amaravathi Gallery.

Drive along the old part of Chennai

Walk through George Town and explore how British developed this once small fishing Hamlet to become the first modern city of India

Drive to Fort St. George. Walk through the fort and visit St. Mary's church - the first Anglican Church in India

Driver through Marina beach and on the other side you will find excellent colonial building built on Indo sacranic style and learn the history of why all colonial building in India are built on this style of architecture

Visit St. Thomas Cathedral

Walk along the market near Kapaleeshwara temple

Return to your hotel in Chennai

It would be a great option to have dinner at Rain tree restaurant at the Taj Connemara hotel to give you the introduction to South Indian cuisine

Overnight at the hotel in Chennai



DAY 02 - CHENNAI / KANCHEEPURAM / MAHABALIPURAM


Breakfast at the hotel

In the morning - leave early at around 0730 hrs to Kancheepuram

The early start is planned to facilitate you on skipping the morning traffic

After two hours drive on the express high way, you will arrive at Kancheepuram

Visit Varadaraja Perumal temple and Ekambareshwar temple

You will then visit a silk weaving shop - The silk of Kancheepuram are said to be the heaviest silk and the most expensive. This silk is used for weaving sarees

Suggest this day lunch at a very famous authentic south India vegetarian restaurant serving south India thali

Visit Kailasanathar temple

Drive towards Mahabalipuram

During the end of the day visit Tiruparankundram - just before Mahabalipuram

You can climb up the hill to have a view of the sunset and the villages below

Arrive Mahabalipuram and check in at the hotel

You have an option of having the dinner at your hotel in Mahabalipuram or walk through the main streets and have an sea food dinner at one of many small restaurants

Overnight at the hotel or the resort in Mahabalipuram



DAY 03 - MAHABALIPURAM


Breakfast at the hotel

In the morning visit Arjuna Penance - this monument is best visited in the morning when the sun is still on the east - the monument is east facing and hence it would be very pleasant if visited at around 0900 hrs

Visit Krishna butter ball and then climb behind the rock and walk along the rock to the light house. Climb down from the light house and visit Five Rathas

Return to the hotel - you can relax on the beach

In the evening visit Shore temple and then walk along the main market - you can see the sculptors at work

Dinner at the hotel or at the main street where there are many sea food restaurants

Overnight at the hotel or the resort in Mahabalipuram



DAY 04 - MAHABALIPURAM / PONDICHERRY


Breakfast at the hotel

In the morning spend time at the hotel or walk along the main street in Mahabalipuram

Drive to Auroville

Lunch on arrival at one of the many restaurants

Later visit Matri mandir - You will not be able to get inside Matri Mandir into the meditation chambers but you can view a short programme on Matri Mandir and visit the dome from the garden.

Proceed to Pondicherry

Check in at the hotel

In the evening walk around the beach promenade

Overnight at the hotel in Pondicherry



DAY 05 - PONDICHERRY / CHIDAMBARAM / KUMBAKONAM


Breakfast at the hotel

Early morning departure to Chidambaram. Leave around 0730 hrs

Visit Natraja temple at Chidambaram. In this temple you can see the different dance poses of Siva and also paintings on the ceilings. It is an excellent temple

Later leave for Gangaikondacholapuram. You will visit the architecture of the temple from the lawns

Leave for Kumbakonam

Check in at the hotel and relax

In the evening you will visit Sarangapani temple, the market and the surroundings

Overnight at the hotel in Kumbakonam



DAY 06 - KUMBAKONAM / TANJORE


Breakfast at the hotel

In the morning leave for Tanjore

On the way visit Darasuram - an excellent example of Dravidian style temple

Later visit Bronze statue making place in Swamimalai

Drive to Tanjore

On arrival check in at the hotel

You will start the tour of Tanjore with a visit to the Palace museum and then visit Brihadeeshwara temple during sunset

Overnight at the hotel in Tanjore



DAY 07 - TANJORE / CHETTINADU


Breakfast at the hotel

In the morning visit Brihadeeshwara temple, this time in detail to see the architectural marvel of this more than 1000 years old temple

Drive to Chettinadu

Chettinadu is sleepy little town with more that 1000 palatial house with more or less same architecture and some of the houses are detailed with ivory, Belgium glasses, teaks, rose wood and not to the forget the unique tile floorings only available in this region. As most of the houses are locked and guests are not permitted inside the house, we will visit two or three houses now turned to a hotel

First you will visit Chidambaram villa which is a hotel now but the house is a very grand house. You will have lunch at this place and then move on to Kanadukathan village where you will stay in another mansion turned into a hotel

In the evening you will explore this sleepy little village and also visit a village temple

Overnight at the hotel in Chettinadu



DAY 08 - CHETTINADU / RAMESHWARAM


Breakfast at the hotel

In the morning proceed to Rameshwaram - approx 04 hours drive

Arrive Rameshwaram and check in at the hotel

In the afternoon explore the activities of the pilgrims - Rameshwaram is considered to be one of the most holiest places for Hindus - the other is Varanasi

Overnight at the hotel in Rameshwaram



DAY 09 - RAMESHWARAM / MADURAI


Early morning drive to Danshkodi by 4x4 jeep. The eastern tip of India and from where Srilanka is only 16 miles or so. Legends say that Lord Rama built a bridge from this point to Ceylon to retrieve his kidnapped wife. Some claim that there is a bridge underneath the sea even now

Return to Rameshwaram.

After breakfast checkout and proceed to Madurai

Arrive Madurai and check in at the hotel

Rest of the evening free

Overnight at the hotel in Madurai



DAY 10 - MADURAI / CHENNAI


Breakfast at the hotel

In the morning visit Meenakshi Amman temple and Palace of Tirumalai Nayak

After breakfast checkout and proceed to Madurai

Transfer to Madurai airport in time to connect your flight to Chennai for final departure.