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Discover the magic South India as you hop between the temple towns of Mahabalipuram, Thanjavur, Trichy and Madurai, then relax at Kovalam, one of the top beaches in Kerala.
On arrival in Chennai Airport, transfer to Mahabalipuram by private vehicle.
Overnight at the hotel.
|Chennai → Mahabalipuram||50 km||1h|
Today we will enjoy of a tour to the temple beaches of Mahabalipuram.
Our visit starts with a spot at the UNESCO-listed Shore Temple and the Five Rathas temple complex, one of the finest examples of monolithic rock-cut architecture which features some of the most detailed stonework in South India.
Known as "India's stone-carving capital", Mahabalipuram is home of India's most skilled artists who have inherited the craft from hundreds of generations. You will have the rest of the afternoon at leisure to wander the workshops and sculpture galleries of the town.
After breakfast, drive to Kanchipuram. This is one of the seven sacred cities of India, with temples featuring spectacular gopurams which can be seen from miles away. Temples to visit include Varadaraja Perumal Temple, Kailasanatha Temple and Ekambareshwara Temple.
In the afternoon we will return to Mahabalipuram, rest of the day at leisure.
|Mahabalipuram → Kanchipuram||26 km||45min|
We will continue our Tamil Nadu temple tour in the city of Thanjavur with an important stop in Chidambaram.
This city will give us a first glimpse of classic dravidian temple architecture, famous for its immense gopuram towers covered with thousands of sculptures of Hindu gods and goddesses that mark the entrance gates to the temple. Soak in the atmosphere of Chidambaram's masterpiece, the 10th-century Nataraja Temple, one of the five holy temples of the god Shiva.
We will then continue our way to Thanjavur. Upon arrival, check in at the hotel.
|Mahabalipuram → Chidambaram||160 km||3h|
|Chidambaram → Thanjavur||125 km||2h 30min|
This day we will enjoy of a city tour in Thanjavur focusing on the majestic Brihadeeshwara Temple, inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Admire one of the major highlights in Tamil Nadu as you explore the shrines and halls of this massive orange-hued temple, then drive to the city of Trichy, another of the most iconic temple towns in South India.
We will visit the most revered temples of Trichy on a city tour, starting with the Rock Fort Temple which stands on the peak of a small slope. After taking in the panoramic views from the top, we will tour the massive Sri Ranganataswamy Temple, a "city within a city" that encompasses 50 shrines, 21 gopuram towers and 39 pavilions.
Then we will continue to the quaint town of Chettinad, a former merchant enclave famous for its opulent mansions.
|Thanjavur → Trichy||57 km||1h 20min|
|Trichy → Chettinad||84 km||3h|
Today we will have a half-day tour of Chettinad to learn of its rich history, which has been recognized as a Living Heritage by the UNESCO.
Our tour will take us exploring the flamboyant residences of the Chettiar, powerful merchants who built great fortunes in the 19th and early 20th centuries. These mansions feature a fascinating fusion of Art Deco, Victorian and Indian architecture, frequently using a sophisticated variety of materials, from Burmese teak and Japanese tiles to European ironwork and Venice glass.
We will close our tour with a visit to the Chettinad Museum, which houses an exceptional collection of jewels, clothing and other artifacts of the former aristocracy of the city.
Evening at leisure to explore to the local market (with car and driver).
After breakfast, drive to Madurai, situated on the banks of Vaigai River. Dating back to the 3rd century BC, Madurai is one of the oldest city in South India and the former capital of the Pandya kingdom. Moreover, it is home to South India's most impressive temple, the Meenakshi Amman Temple.
Rest of the day at leisure.
|Chettinad → Madurai||93 km||2h|
Today we will explore the temple city of Madurai, whose impressive Meenakshi Temple is one of the undisputed highlights of any trip in South India. Built in the 14th century, Meenakshi Temple is the quintessential Tamil temple in all its glory. It is known for its monumental courtyards and elaborate gopurams, draped by a thousand sculptures of multi-armed gods in bright colors. Explore this masterpiece of dravidian architecture as you mingle with pilgrims who come to worship the sacred effigy of the goddess Meenakshi, then walk along its massive corridors flanked by stone pillars and charming market stalls.
Our tour continues with visits to Teppakulam Temple and Nayak Palace before returning to Meenakshi Temple in the evening, to witness the ceremony of darshan and the nighlty processions of brahmin priests carrying an image of Shiva.
Today we will leave the mystic towns of Tamil Nadu and drive to the picture-perfect beaches of Kovalam in the neighboring state of Kerala.
Rest of the day at leisure.
|Madurai → Kovlam||300 km||5h|
After breakfast, day at leisure to enjoy the beaches of Kovalam.
Spend the next few days relaxing at the jungle-draped beaches of Kovalam. Sunbathe on the golden sands of Hawa beach, admire sunsets at the scenic Lighthouse Beach or enjoy an Ayurveda massage back in your resort.
(Transportation and activities throughout these days are not included).
After breakfast, transfer to Trivandrum Airport to connect with your flight back home.
|Prices per person||2 pax|
|16 Apr 2018 - 30 Sep 2018||$1780||$1612|
|1 Oct 2018 - 15 Apr 2019||$2139||$1963|
We had a great trip, thank you all for the attention to detail. We had a small group that you took great care to assure our experience was 5* and first rate. The entire journey was a vibrant assault to the senses throughout. We will definitely recommend your services to our friends and fellow travelers.
Everything has been excellent. It is one of our best trips. If we come back we will be with you.
Everything was excellent. The staff was professional. It was an amazing experience. The level of details was exceptional. I will ""with pleasure"" be a reference. Thank you for creating a memorable experience. I will be back.
It was a first class experience, truly exceptional service, always great. The tour briefing was thorough and very helpful. Staff was very professional, efficient and courteous. Thanks for arranging Glutton free meals for us.