South India Temple Tour

The South Indian style of temple architecture is called the Dravida Style of Temple Architecture. The Vimana and the Gopurams characterise this style of architecture. As with all our India holidays, this is a private tour with your personal driver/guide and can be amended in any way to incorporate your specific interests.

Best time for this holiday: Oct to March

Touring style: Profesional English speaking guide and driver, private basis. 

 Guide Price: £720 per person (based on 2 adults sharing a room).

Air-conditioned private vehicle, English speaking driver/guide and additional local guides in each city.

Standard hotel accommodation including breakfast.

Entrance fees to monuments.

Not Included - International flights.

The guide price is subject to availability, fluctuations in the exchange rate and travel dates. Please call us for an individual quote.

South India Temple Tour at a glance
  • Day 1: Arrive in Chennai
  • Day 2: Chennai to Mahabalipuram
  • Day 3: Mahabalipuram
  • Day 4: Mahabalipuram to Pondicherry
  • Day 5: Pondicherry to Chidambaram
  • Day 6: Chidambaram to Tanjore
  • Day 7 Tanjore to Trichy to Madurai
  • Day 8: Madurai
  • Day 9: Departure or extend your stay to Kerala
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Day 1: Arrive in Chennai

Meet and greet upon arrival for a transfer to your hotel. 

Proceed for a sightseeing tour of Chennai. Visit Sri Parthasarathy Temple, Fort St. George, St. Mary’s Church and San Thome Cathedral,  In the evening, participate in the evening puja at Kapeleeswar Temple.

Distance and journey times: 

Chennai Airport to Chennai city: 17 km, 50 mins

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Day 2: Chennai to Mahabalipuram

After breakfast, drive to Mahabalipuram. En route, visit Kanchipuram, one of the 7 sacred cities of Hinduism. The Chola capital during the 2nd century, Kanchipuram today is an important place where people come to gain knowledge about Jainism, Hinduism and Buddhism. Visit the city’s popular temples such as Kamakshi Amman temple & Ekambareswarar temple. Also visit the silk weavers of the city, residing here for the past four centuries. Thereafter, continue towards Mahabalipuram.

Overnight at the hotel.

Distance and journey times: 60 km, 1 hr

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Day 3: Mahabalipuram

Mahabalipuram is famous for its unique 7th-century Shore Temples, lovely beach and some of the most beautiful rock-cut temples in the world. Situated on the shore of the Bay of Bengal, Mahabalipuram was already a famous seaport in the 1st century AD. This town was a workshop for temple building. Visit the seven pagoda-style shore temples, lashed by the waves of the sea and the Five Rathas or temple chariots, a group of monolithic monuments & animal figures carved out of solid rock, the earliest known examples of Dravidian architecture. Also visit Arjunas Penance, Krishnan’s Butter Ball. Overnight at hotel

Overnight in Mahabalipuram.

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Day 4: Mahabalipuram to Pondicherry

After breakfast, drive to Pondicherry. Endowed with a strategic location; awe-inspiring natural beauty and undeniably its French past and cultural heritage make Pondicherry a major tourist destination. Upon arrival, check into your hotel. Later proceed to visit Auroville is an experimental township which is situated in the Villupuram district of Tamil Nadu. Some part of this is also located in Puducherry. It was made with the purpose of human harmony. Roger Anger built this place so that men and women from any part of the world could come here and live peacefully.

Overnight at the hotel.

Distance and journey times: 95 km, 2 hrs

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Day 5: Pondicherry to Chidambaram

After breakfast, proceed for sightseeing of Pondicherry, covering the French & Indian Quarter, Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and Sri Aurobindo Ashram.

Drive to Chidambaram. This quaint town of Tamil Nadu is known as the seat of Lord Nataraja, the  Cosmic Dancer. Here, you visit Chidambaram Temple, which is spread in around 40 acres of land. Also called the Thillai Nataraja temple, it has a distinct feature of 5 sabhas. Time your visit to arrive for the Natyanjali Dance Festival - a platform for established and internationally reputed classical dancers as well as amateur dancers. The motive behind organizing the dance festival on such a grand scale is to promote and spread the message of ‘unity in diversity. The universal language of music is spread through the different forms of Indian classical dances. All regional, political and social barriers are overcome and every individual becomes a part of the single whole. This umbrella feeling is one of the most important aims of the Natyanjali Dance Festivals, Tamil Nadu. Performed at the ‘prakara’ of the temple in Chidambaram, the audience travels from different parts of the country and the globe. The five-day celebration of the forms of Indian classical dance is set under the golden roof of Chidambaram’s temple.

Overnight at the hotel.

Distance and journey times: 75 km 1.30 hrs

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Day 6: Chidambaram to Tanjore

After breakfast check out from the hotel and drive to Tanjore en route visiting Kumbakonam. Adi Kumbeswarar temple is the major one among the Saivaite temples and is located in the centre of Kumbakonam at Big Bazaar Street. Nageswaran Temple otherwise known as "koothandavar Kovil", is located near the old bus stand area and Adithya Cholan of the Chola dynasty constructed this temple during the 12th century. This temple stands as a great marvel of Chola's architecture, building technology and astronomy.

Later continue to Tanjore, which is famous today for its beautiful architecture temples and the amazing bronze works it creates. It is a centre for the classical arts like dance and music. Upon arrival check into the hotel. In the afternoon city tour of Tanjore covering Brihadishwara Temple, Thanjavur Palace & Museum. Overnight at the hotel.

Distance and journey times: 117 km, 3 hrs

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Day 7: Tanjore, Trichy to Madurai

Trichy was one of the most important cities during the Chola reign in the medieval period. In the 18th-Century it stood as a witness to the Carnatic Wars fought between the French and the English. Visit the Srirangam Temple and Rock Fort Temple. The Rock Fort Temple was built on an 83m high rock. Further upwards, a climb of 434 steps leads to the ancient temple of Ganapati.

Continue drive to Madurai - the third-largest city in Tamil Nadu. This amazing city enjoys different names due to different reasons. Most popular names include Temple City, City of Four Junctions, City of Jasmine and City that Never Sleeps.  The architecture of temples built by Pandayan and Madurai Nayak kings are the prominent tourist attractions of Madurai. This religious city is a popular Hindu Pilgrimage. On arrival check-in at the hotel. 

Distance and journey times: 195 km, 5 hrs.

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Day 8: Madurai sightseeing

After breakfast, proceed for sightseeing of Madurai, visiting Meenakshi temple, Nayak Palace and Gandhi Museum. Proceed for a walking tour covering Nayak palace, St.Mary’s Church, Temple Car Street, Spices Market Street, Banana / Vegetable Market. Evening witness the aarti ceremony at Meenakshi temple (non-Hindu faith are not allowed inside the innermost sanctum of the temple).

Overnight at the hotel.

Day 9: Madurai departure or extend your holiday to Kerala

Not quite right? This itinerary is just to give you an idea of what is possible. Need some more inspiration? Please get in touch at 01473 214305 or email sales@eastravel.co.uk We welcome your questions. We're here to help!

Highlights

Chennai: Kapaleeswarar Temple and other religious sites

Time your visit to take in the spectacular 10-day festival dedicated to Lord Shiva at the Kapaleeswarar Temple.(usually March to April)
Admire the temple’s exquisite shrines and towering gopuram of wonderfully coloured figurative art.

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Madurai: Magnificent Temples

Set on a curve of the impressive River Vaigai, this fine former capital of the Pandya kings dates more than 2500 years and is celebrated for its rich cultural heritage, the magnificence of its temples, and the vibrancy of its festivals.

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Mahabalipuram Shore Temples

Located a short transfer by road from Chennai, this charming town looking out over the Bay of Bengal, and dating from the 1st Century is rich in natural beauty and history and celebrated for the range and abundance of its ancient cave art.

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Pondicherry, tree lined streets with colonial mansions

Set beautifully facing the Bay of Bengal in southern Tamil Nadu, this former French-colonial enclave is rich in culture and retains a distinct Gallic charm.

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Thanjavur UNESCO World Heritage listed Brihadeeswarar Temple

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Trichy Rock Fort Temple

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Accommodation

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Madurai, Deluxe Class
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Pondicherry, Boutique
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Tanjore, First Class
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