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Best of South India

TIND25: 7 Days Chennai - Covelong - Pondicherry - Tanjore - Trichy - Madurai
  • Itinerary
Day 1 Arrive in Chennai - Covelong
Your memorable India exploration will start when your flight lands at Madras International Airport. Our guide will pick you up and transfer you to Covelong. Check in at the hotel and a traditional Indian Welcome Ceremony is offered at the meantime. Rest at the hotel to come over the jet lag and prepare for the upcoming journey tomorrow. 
Day 2 Covelong
Your exploration will begin with the visit to Kanchipuram and Mahabalipuram (Mamallapuram). Kanchipuram is a southern city of India. As one of the seven holy places of Hinduism, it still attracts thousands of people from all over the world to pilgrimage. There are over 1000 temples dotted in the city, among which the Saivaite Temple and Ekambareswarar Temple are the most famous ones. They have been the cradles of Indian culture and arts since ancient times. The handmade silk is the most popular and you will have a chance to visit a local home of the weavers to see how they produce the saris. Then we will come to the small town, Mahabalipuram. The architectures in the town were constructed along the Coromandel Coast by Pallava Kings between 7th and 8th century. You will see a temple of chariot style, a huge outdoor rilievo named the "Origin of Ganges" and another shore temple. There are thousands of shops selling sculptures around the street, where you can select gifts for your family or friends.
Day 3 Covelong - Pondicherry
In the morning, we will transfer you to the time-honored coastal city-Pondicherry (Puducherry). It is located about 200 kilometers away from Chennai. Since it had been a French colony, the architectural style here was greatly influenced by French culture. You are scheduled to visit the Botanical Garden, Eglise De Sacre Coeur De Jesus and Sri Aurobindo Ashram, the most famous attraction in Pondicherry. It is a quiet place and the main building in it is the residence of Aurobindo and the mother. For the rest of day, you will take your time to visit the township of Auroville (also named the village of dawn), a utopian autonomous village established by Europeans in the 1960s.
Day 4 Pondicherry - Tanjore
Private transfer will take you to Tanjore (Thanjavur) and check in at the hotel upon arrival. You will spend the whole afternoon exploring this city. Since 9th century AD, Tanjore was well-known for being the capital of Chola Empire and has become the most prosperous at the peak of the empire. There are many Hindu temples around the city and the most famous one is the Shiva Temple. The central-located pagoda in it is the most magnificent one among other architectures in Hindu temples and it reflects the superb building technology in south India at that time. You will find many inscriptions of the past dynasties in the temple and they are the precious materials to study the history of south India.
Day 5 Tanjore - Trichy - Madurai
Continue your journey to Madurai and visit Trichy (Tiruchirappalli) on the way. When you visit Trichy, Rock Fort Temple is one of the must see. This temple is not very big but located on a hillock that requires a lot of walking to reach there. Scenery on the way is beautiful and the stunning view from the top will never let you down. After that, proceed to Madurai and check into a hotel on arrival. As a holy land of Hinduism, Madurai is noted for the imposing temples and fancy carving art. After a short break at the hotel, we will take rickshaws to visit the Sri Meenakshi Temple in the evening. Built between 16th to 17th centuries, the temple is sacred to the Hindu god Shiva and Meenakshi and a huge lotus pool for believers to bathe is available in the center of the temple. Hindus believe that make prayer in Meenakshi Temple is as holy as bathing in River Ganges. You will take part in a night ceremony in the temple at around 21:00.
Day 6 Madurai
Today, you will go on exploring the Meenakshi Temple and then visit the Thirumalai Nayak, a palace of Indian Moslems. It was constructed in 1636 and most of the parts have been damaged, but you can still see its beauty through the remained garden, wall and the ballroom. The old pictures displayed in Gandhi Museum in the palace tell you a real history of India. If you are interested, you may enjoy the Light and Sound Show which presents a story of Thirumalai's life.
Day 7 Departure from Madurai
Check out of the hotel after breakfast. You will be transferred to the airport according to your onward flight schedule. A pleasant journey to you!
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