Duration: 7 Nights/8 Days

Places: Chennai → Mammalapuram → Pondicherry → Tanjore → Karaikudi → Madurai → Kanyakumari → Trivandrum

Day 1: Chennai

The fourth largest city in India, Chennai is the seat of culture and learning in South India. It is also India’s third largest commercial and industrial centre, as well as the automobile capital of India. Situated on the Coromandel Coast of the Bay of Bengal, it is a city famous for its beaches, historical monuments and its rich cultural heritage. It is home to one of the world’s longest beaches, the 12 km long Marina Beach. Chennai, formerly known as “Madras”, has a rich and historical past to explore.

Day 2: Mamallapuram

Mahabalipuram or Mamallapuram, an important World Heritage site, was an ancient port city on the Coromandel coast built by the Pallava Dynasty in the 7th century. It was named after the cruel demon king Mahabali, who was slayed by Goddess Durga. It is known for its beautiful historical monuments that were built mostly during the Pallava Dynasty in the form of rock cut caves and temples. Its beautiful and un-spoilt beaches stretching for miles and lined by groves of casurinas is another great attraction. The Group of Monuments at Mahabalipuram has been classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site

Day 3: Pondicherry

Pondicherry was under the French rule for nearly 281 years. It still has its French flavor with its grand colonial mansions, beautiful boulevards, placid promenades, French street signs, buildings and public places.

Auroville, founded in 1968, is an International township located 6 kms from Pondicherry. It was conceived as a utopian paradise by the Mother, the spiritual successor of Sri Aurobindo. The idea was to build a futuristic city where people of goodwill would live together in peace and harmony. The Matrimandir (Temple of the Mother) is situated at the centre of Auroville.

Day 4: Tanjore

Thanjavur or Tanjore, is well-known throughout the world for being the home of the Brahadeeswara temple. The temple is enclosed in two courts, surmounted by a lofty tower and includes the exquisitely decorated shrine of Subrahmanya. Among the other historic buildings is the Vijayanagar fort, which contains a palace that was expanded by the Maratha king with an armoury, a Bell Tower and the Saraswathi Mahal Library, which contains over 30,000 Indian and European manuscripts written on palm leaf and paper.

Day 5: Karaikudi

Situated in the Sivaganga district of Tamil Nadu between Trichy and Rameshwaram, Karaikudi is the biggest city in Chettinad and is famous for its Ganesha temple, saris, distinctive cuisine and majestic mansions. Comprising about 72 villages of which many of them were once the homes of wealthy merchant families known as the Chettiars, today, it is an area of mostly deserted splendid mansions. The place derives its name from the famous plant “Karai” which abounds in the area.

Day 6: Madurai

Madurai was the capital city of the Pandya kings of South India and has functioned as an important commercial center as early as 550 AD. The Meenakshi-Sundareswarar temple, which stands today as one of India’s cultural and architectural landmarks, was originally built by the early Pandya King Kulasekara. The ancient city of Madurai was supposed to be laid out in a lotus-like formation. Legend has it that on the day the city was to be named, Lord Shiva blessed the land and its people while divine nectar showered on the city from his matted locks. The city hence came to be known as “Madhurapuri” meaning “The City of Divine Nectar”.

Day 7: Kanyakumari

The coast town of Kanyakumari (Cape Comorin) lies at the southernmost tip of India where the Arabian Sea, Bay of Bengal and the Indian Ocean meet. It has been an important centre for art, religion and trade for centuries. Flanked by hills and paddy fields on one side and the ocean on the other, Kanyakumari is the ‘Land’s End’ of India. Beautiful beaches with multi-coloured sands, spectacular sunrises and sunsets, and ancient temples with a rich architectural heritage make this coastal town a popular tourism destination.

Day 8: Trivandrum

Transfer to Trivandrum and proceed to onward destination.

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