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The Temple Run: Tamil Nadu

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days 07 From US$ 1,050
highlights
  • Visit multiple UNESCO World Heritage monuments in Mahabalipuram
  • Visit Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple, the largest temple compound in India
  • Embark on a food tour in Madurai
  • Explore Pondicherry and its French influence
Tamil Nadu is one place in India where the elaborate architecture and brilliant sculptures of its ancient temples leave all its tourists spellbound with their awe-inspiring beauty. No wonder it is known as the Temple City of India. With almost all the temples built during ancient and medieval times, a visit to these sites gives you a deep insight into the brilliant architectural, sculptural and artistic skills of the engineers, architects and artisans of the bygone era.

These temples also showcase the opulent and lavish tastes of the erstwhile royal kings, be it Cholas, Pallavas or Nayakas. Standing tall as the backbone of the Tamil culture, these temples are today, India’s precious jewels adding to its rich history and heritage.

This short trip is a compact yet comprehensive experience of the magnificent temples of Tamil Nadu. With a mix of 4 and 5 star hotels, this seven-day tour is specially designed keeping in mind a comfortable and hassle-free stay. A spacious SUV (Toyota Innova) with chauffeur at your disposal will add to the comfort level. There will be private English-speaking guides to inform you of the the inside stories and history of the wonderful temples.
4 Star Hotel at Four Points by Sheraton Mahabalipuram Resort
Arrive at Chennai in the morning. Transfer to your hotel in Mahabalipuram in a private car from the Chennai airport. The beauty of Chennai is not only due to its magnificent ancient architecture but also because its vast casuarinas forests, silvery sandy beaches and classical handmade crafts combined to form a collective splendor.

After checking in to your hotel at noon, head out for Mahabalipuram sightseeing in the afternoon. Visit the UNESCO World Heritage monuments such as Shore Temple, the most famous monument of the town. It is a structural temple built with blocks of granite, dating from the 8th century CE.

Afterwards visit Pancha Ratha, a set of five different monuments. Each one is called a ratha and is named after the Pandavas and their family. Then head to the Cave Temples located on a hillock.
Meals
  • Dinner
4 Star Hotel at Four Points by Sheraton Mahabalipuram Resort
After breakfast take a day trip to Kanchipuram. The city was a religious center of advanced education for Jainism and Buddhism between the first and the fifth century. Out of the 108 holy temples of the Hindu god Vishnu, 14 are located in Kanchipuram. The city is also well known for its hand-woven silk sarees.

Later, visit Kailasanathar Temple, the oldest structure in the town dedicated to Lord Shiva. This Hindu temple was built during 685-705 CE in the Dravidian architectural style. The low-slung sandstone compound contains a large number of carvings, including many half-animal deities that were popular during the early Dravidian architectural period.

Afterwards, visit Varadharaja Perumal Temple, a Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu. Spread across 23 acres of land, it is not just one temple but a complete temple complex with numerous temples, pillared halls & pavilions. Also head to Ekambareswarar Temple that covers 25 acres of land and is one of the largest in India. Return to Mahabalipuram by evening.
Meals
  • Breakfast & Dinner
5 Star Hotel at Accord Puducherry
After breakfast check out from the hotel and head to Pondicherry. The union territory of Puducherry (formerly Pondicherry) was under the French rule until 1954, and some people here still speak French

Check in to the hotel and head out in the noon for some sightseeing. First visit Arulmigu Manakula Vinayagar Temple, dedicated to the worship of Lord Ganesha. The interiors of the temple are carved with forty incarnations and forms of Lord Ganesha. Then visit the Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, an oriental specimen of Gothic architecture. It contains rare stained-glass panels depicting events from the life of Christ and saints of the Catholic Church.

Later take a heritage walk around the French Town. Relieve the history of the place by simply walking through the streets. End the day at the famous Promenade Beach.
Meals
  • Breakfast
4 Star Hotel at Ideal River View Resort
After breakfast check out from the hotel and head to Thanjavur (or Tanjore), once the capital of the great Chola (Cola) king, Rajaraja I. Head to Thanjavur Royal Palace & Museum, one of the ancient museums in the town that holds ancient items, images, paintings, sculptures. The paintings, sculptures and statues of the Pallava and Chola dynasty enrich the place and make it significant.

In the evening head out for a pooja ceremony at The Brihadeeshwara Temple. A UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the largest South Indian temples, it is exemplary of the great heights achieved in the field of architecture by the Chola rulers. The temple is one of the most visited tourist attractions in Tamil Nadu as well.
Reach to the hotel by late evening.
Meals
  • Breakfast & Dinner
5 Star Hotel at Heritage Madurai
After breakfast check out from the hotel and head to Madurai. On the way take a short trip to Tiruchirapalli and visit Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu. The temple occupies an area of 155 acres with 81 shrines, 21 towers and 39 pavilions. This temple is the largest temple compound in India and one of the largest religious complexes in the world.

After the temple visit continue towards Chettinad, a village well known for its handmade terracotta tiles. The Chettinad region is well known for its 19th-century mansions, whose wide courtyards and spacious rooms are embellished with marble and teak.

Reach Madurai by evening. Check-in to your hotel.
Meals
  • Breakfast
5 Star Hotel at Heritage Madurai
Today, explore Madurai. Start with a visit to the Madurai Flower Market, one of the biggest in Tamil Nadu that transacts as much as 10 tons of flowers each day. Then head to the renowned Meenakshi Amman Temple. The temple forms the heart of the 2,500-year-old city of Madurai. It is one of the oldest and most important temples in India. It is believed that Lord Shiva married Parvati at the site of the temple. It was also nominated as one of the wonders of the world.

Afterwards visit Gandhi Museum, a memorial museum which was built in 1959 for Mahatma Gandhi. It is one of the five great Gandhi Museums in the country that depict the life of India’s Father of the Nation.

In the evening, enjoy a food tour that takes you through the bustling Madurai street food scene. Go to several popular local food stalls and savor delectable South Indian flavors. Later, head out for a pooja ceremony at Meenakshi temple.
Meals
  • Breakfast
All the good things come to an end. Bid farewell to Tamil Nadu with the memories of amazing fun-filled still fresh in your mind.

After breakfast check out from the hotel and transfer to Madurai Airport. The private car will drop you at airport to catch your return flight home.
Meals
  • Breakfast
what’s included
  • 06 nights’ accommodation on double sharing basis as per the itinerary
  • 6 breakfasts & 3 dinners as per the itinerary
  • Entry tickets for all monuments mentioned in the itinerary
  • A professional English-speaking guides
  • Transfers & sightseeing on a private AC SUV (Toyota Innova or similar) with driver (all tolls, fuel charges, parking charges & driver allowances included)
  • 24x7 customer support throughout the trip
what's excluded
  • Flights
  • Meals (unless specified)
  • Tips & gratuities
  • Anything not mentioned in the 'What's Included' section of the itinerary
Tour details
Availability Available Daily
Booking Type Instant Booking  
Duration 7 days
Tour Type Private Tour
Age Requirement 3 +
guiding method Live guide/instructor
Guide Language English
Meeting/Start Point Pick-up at your hotel or location in Chennai, India
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Payment

A deposit of 20% is required when booking this tour. The remaining balance will be charged 45 days prior departure. For any bookings within 45 days of departure, the full tour amount will be charged upon booking.

Travel Insurance

We advise to take out Travel Insurance to cover for any unforeseen circumstances. Bookmundi recommends World Nomads' travel insurance.

Other Practical InformationPlease dress conservatively while visiting temples or religious places. A dress code is required to enter places of worship. No shorts or sleeveless tops allowed. Knees and shoulders must be covered for both men and women. You may risk refused entry if you fail to comply with these dress requirements.
Cancellation20% Deposit payable upfront. Remaining balance payable 45 days prior to trip departure. Free cancellation up to 45 days prior departure, but the 20% deposit paid is non-refundable. No refund applicable within 45 days of departure.
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