Heritage of South

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Heritage of South

Trip Highlights :- Mumbai | Madurai | Chettinad - Trichy | Tanjore | Pondicherry | Kanchipuram | Mahablipuram | Chennai |

Tour duration : 11 Nights / 12 Days

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Day 01 : Arrive Mumbai

Arrival in Mumbai, traditional welcome by our representative at the airport and you will be given your travel documents and informed about the tour program once your reach hotel. Check-in to your room/s.

Day 02 : In Mumbai

Morning breakfast at hotel. Start your day with an excursion to Elephanta Island an hour away from Mumbai Harbour. Motorboats ferry tourists across to the island from the jetty at the Gateway of India. The boat ride, itself, is interesting as you go past fishing boats, anchored ships, yachts and little islands. The island resembles twin hillocks rising from the sea and the caves are located halfway up the higher of the two. Hewn out of solid rock, the Elephanta Caves date between the 5th and 8th centuries, these caves were designated as World heritage site by UNESCO in 1987. The temple plan is designed in symmetry with the focal points worked out in a geometric Mandala, representing the cosmic field of energy. This complex is a collection of shrines, courtyards, inner cells, grand halls and porticos arranged in the splendid symmetry of Indian rock-cut architecture, and filled with exquisite stone sculptures of Hindu Gods and Goddesses. At the entrance to the caves is the famous Trimurti, the celebrated trinity of Elephanta: there's Lord Brahma the Creator, Lord Vishnu, the preserver and Lord Shiva the Destroyer. Unfortunately, many of the sculptures inside have been damaged by iconoclastic Portuguese rulers who took potshots at Hindu Gods with their rifles. And yet somehow, nothing has disturbed the sublime beauty of this place for centuries.
Return and visit Gateway of India, It is one of the architectural marvel, located on the southern part of Mumbai on the shores of Arabian Sea. It is a combination of the "Indo-Sarcenic" architecture and was built in Yellow Basalt stone in 1924 to celebrate the arrival of King George V and Queen Mary. It was inaugurated by the Viceroy, the Earl of Reading on 4th Dec 1924. The Gateway of India became all the more symbolic when the last British Force left our country on 28th February 1948.
Afterwards, proceed to Prince of Wales Museum, was set up in the early 20th century to commemorate the visit of the then Prince of Wales (King George V) to India. Designed by an eminent architect, George Wittet, the museum is an impressive heritage building of Mumbai. Built in 1905 to 1915, this museum served as a Children's Welfare Centre and a Military Hospital during the First World War. In 1922 however, it was transformed into Prince of Wales Museum. Artifacts from the Indus Valley Civilization and relics from the Gupta and Maurya periods. The rare Sculptures, Miniature Paintings, Decorative Arts, Arms and Armours, Bronze and Textile. Sections on Nepal / Tibet and Far Eastern Art lend the museum a larger perspective.
Visit Jehangir Art Gallery, built in 1952, this mansion was founded by Sir Cowasji Jehangir on being constantly urged by K. K. Hebbarand and Dr. Homi Bhabha. This gallery is a great specimen of Indian Arts and sculpture and is a historic monument related with the renaissance of Indian arts. This gallery is a perfect place for all artists to exhibit their talent under common roof and for the art connoisseurs to take a look at their works. The gallery exhibits famous works by well-known Indian artists. There's plenty of art is displayed outside as well. It is full of artists offering their work for sale and also for commission assignments.
Visit Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, earlier known as Victoria Terminus is an UNESCO World Heritage building. An architectural splendor, it was built in year 1888, after nearly 10 years of construction, as the rail terminus based on the model of St Pancras Station in London and is designed by English architect Frederick William Stevens.
Later drive to the Flora Fountain for a photo stop - This marvellous fountain was built in 1869, in honor of Sir Henry Bartle and Edward Frere. It is situated in the heart of the Mumbai city at a junction of five streets. The fountain has a figure of "Flora", the Roman Goddess of Flowers at the top.
Proceed to visit Dhobi Ghat - The traditional open air laundry of Mumbai, where 200 dhobi families work together and continue to maintain their hereditary occupation.
Return to hotel for overnight stay.

Day 03: Mumbai / Madurai (By Flight)

Breakfast and check-out from hotel. Transfer to airport to board flight for Madurai, upon arrival you will be met and transferred to hotel, check in to your room/s. Thirumalai Nayak Mahal (Palace) - built by King Thirumalai Nayak in 1636, one of the Madurai Nayak rulers in 1636 AD in the city of Madurai. This Palace was built with the help of an Italian architect and is an architectural masterpiece, a classic fusion of Dravidian, Islamic and European styles. The original Palace Complex was four times bigger than the present structure. The Palace contains some 248 towering Roman pillars standing 58-ft high, with a diameter of 5 ft. These colossal pillars surround the courtyard and support typical Mughal domes and motifs that decorate the roofs of this astounding complex. Palace is divided into two major parts: Swarga Vilasam (Celestial Pavilion) and Ranga Vilasam (Stage Pavilion). Sound and light show on the life of the Tirumalai Nayak and the story of the Silapathikaram are conduced daily. Return to hotel for overnight stay.

Day 04: In Madurai

Breakfast at hotel. Proceed for the city tour Visit Gandhi Museum and Thiruparankundram Murugan Temple. Return to hotel for days rest.
In evening visit the Meenakshi Temple, dedicated to Goddess Parvati (Meenakshi) and Sundareshwara (Shiva). This shrine was built during the reign of Chadayavarman Sundara Pandyan in the 12th century. The imposing 9-storey tower was built between the 13th & 16th century. During the 200-year reign of Nayakka rulers, many Mandapams (covered structure with pillars) were constructed in the temple premises, like the Hall of Thousand Pillars, Puthu Mandapam, Ashta Sakthi Mnadapam, Vandiyoor Theppakulam, and Nayakkar Mahal. The temple, as it stands today, was built between 12th and 18th century. Meenakshi Temple is the most exquisite example of the Dravidian architecture. It is a master piece and was the center of activity for the promotion of art and culture in Madurai. The temple has huge Gopurams which can be seen from a far off distance.
This gateway contains the twin temples of Goddess Meenakshi and Lord Sundareswarer. These temples are again separately surrounded by four smaller Gopurams. Meenakshi Amman Temple can be entered from any of its five entrances. The eastern entrance is usually preferred, as it opens in front of the Meenakshi Sannadhi (shrine), the reigning deity of the twin-temple. This is the only entrance which does not have a towering Gopuram. Ashta Shakti Mandapam (mandapam hall) is the first attraction on this side of the temple. It was built by Thirumalai Nayakar's wives. This hall was once used to distribute food to the devotees who came from far off places. The pillars in the hall are carved with Lord Siva's Tiruvilayadals (miracles) and the life story of Meenakshi, as the princess of Madurai. There are a number of other halls and towers in the temple which are worth watching for their sculptures, carvings and designs. Each one is different from the other, in one aspect or the other. The 'Mandapam' of the temple consists of 985 pillars. Each pillar is unique. Some of the pillars are music pillars, which produce music when tapped. The special feature of these pillars is that they are carved out of a single granite stone block. The temple also has an art museum. It contains icons, drawings and photographs which date back to the 1200 - year - old history of Indian temple architecture in the south. A lot of information can be extracted on the Hindu pantheon and related legends from this splendid museum. Various kings renovated the temple, leaving a distinct impression of their artistic taste. A number of complex corridors, magnificent sculptures and a heavenly abode suitable for Goddess Meenakshi, include the additions to the temple that were done by different kings. Her image is said to be carved out of a single emerald. According to mythology, the marriage of Meenakshi and Shiva actually took place in Madurai. It is still celebrated every year with great pomp and show.
Also attend the evening ceremony known as 'Bedtime of the God', a colourful procession, in which the image of Shiva is carried accompanied by Musicians, Temple singers and rituals performing Priests from his shrine. En-route Shiva visits the other deities before entering Parvati's (Meenakshi) Temple to sleep with her for the night. This ceremony is worth witnessing.
Note: Temple remains closed from 1200 hrs till 1530 hrs.
Overnight stay at hotel.

Day 05: Madurai / Chettinad

Breakfast and check-out from hotel. Drive to Chettinad region, The Chettinad is the total area that makes up the ancestral home of the Nattukottai Chettiyars, a prosperous banking community that was successful in the oversea business market in South and Southeast Asia in the 19th and early 20th centuries. The entire area includes a total of 76 villages of which Karaikudi is the largest. The Chettinad has famous houses that tourists like to explore. These homes were once where the Chettiyars lived. The Chettinad is also famous for its unique, spicy, and very tasty cuisine. Numerous restaurants in the area both small and large regularly draw in crowds with the simple assertion that they serve Chettinad food. Upon arrival check-in at hotel. Afternoon, visit the following places:
Chettinad Museum is a heritage home, bringing alive to its visitors, the Chettinad style of living. This house converted into a museum is a must visit place in Chettinad. You can find here traditional jewellery and clothing, huge copper water vats and grain bins and various other everyday items that trace the Chettiar's (a community of traders) way of life. It also tells you many characteristics of the Chettiars, like they would never eat out. There's an all inclusive kitchen set on display in this museum to prove that point. A visit to this place will surely transport you into a completely new world of tradition combined with opulence.
Chettiar Palace, also known as Chettiar Mansion is located at Kanadukathan in Chettinad region. It is a historic home of the Chettinad Raja, which has been converted into a heritage hotel. This mansion was constructed by S. A. Ramaswamy Chettiar and it took over 10 years from 1902 to complete its construction. The rooms of this mansion are embellished using Burmese teak wood and the furnishings of the palace have been imported from various European and East Asian countries. There is a huge dining hall in this palace that can accommodate around 250 people at a time. The open courtyard of this mansion has beautifully stone-carved pillars that add to the beauty of this heritage home.
Overnight stay at hotel.

Day 06: Chettinad / Tanjore

Breakfast and check-out from hotel. Drive to Tanjore, arrive and check-in at hotel. Tanjore, former capital of the mighty empire of the Chola dynasty, it has a masterpiece of Dravidian architecture.
Proceed for the sightseeing in the city, visit the Great Chola emperor Raja Raja Chola built famous Brahadeshwara Temple. Built by King Raja Rajan from the year 985 AD - 1010 AD. It is also regarded as the Chola dynasty's finest contribution to the Dravidian temple architecture. Listed as a World Heritage site, the temple is visited by a large number of people for the regular worship here. This temple showcases the Indian architectural brilliance. The Brahadeshwara Temple is protected by deep trenches filled with water on two sides and the Grand Anaicut River on the other side. Brahadeshwara temple is a unique one that has 216 feet tall tower over the inner shrine. The Chola and the Nayak periods wall paintings adorn the walls of the sanctum. A gigantic statue of Nandi the Bull is placed at the entrance of the sanctum sanctorum.
Then visit Raja Rajan art gallery to see bronze statues of 9th -16th century.
Srirangam is the foremost of the eight self-manifested shrines (Swayam Vyakta Kshetras) of Lord Vishnu. It is also considered the first, foremost and the most important of the 108 main Vishnu temples (Divyadesams). There are 21 magnificent towers in all prakaras providing a unique sight to any visitor. This temple lies on an islet formed by the twin rivers Cauvery and Coleroon. The temple of Sri Ranganathaswami at Srirangam boasts an historic past of great kingdom and a civilization thousands of years old. The reign of the Pallavas was marked by the creation of a solid religious foundation, for example the encouragement given by the dynasty appears to have contributed to the growth of Aryan institutions in Southern India more particularly in the Carnatic. Cholas reigned for about three hundred years over the Coromandel Coast and the greater part of Eastern Deccan, where they helped an advanced Hindu Culture to flourish.
Return to hotel for overnight stay.

Day 07: Tanjore / Trichy / Tanjore (57 Kms: One way)

Breakfast at the hotel, later in the morning visit Trichy (Tiruchirappalli). Visit the following places of interest. Rock Fort - This temple is 83m height and this is the oldest rock in the world dating around 3.800 million years. This makes it earlier than the Himalayas. The rise of it is a thrill and is an actual attraction with the temple at the pinnacle. 344 steps lead to the peak of the temple. This fort was significant as it contributed the British Empire to lay its foundations in India. The Uchipillaiyar Koil is at the peak of the rock and is completely dedicated to Lord Vinayaka. A tank is sited at the rock fort foot. During the float festivals this tank is flocked by people. Robert Clive lived adjacent to the tank. The rock fort is believed to be 2 billion years old and materials such as quartz and feldspar used in manufacturing glass and ceramic are found in this formation of the rock.
Sri Rangam Ranga Nathar Temple This is the districts significant pilgrim centre. Srirangam is encircled by the Cauveri River and by Kollidam, a tributary on both the sides. This temple dates back to the 14th century and numerous rulers have contributed in the temple construction such as Cheras, Cholas, Pandyas and Hoysalas. The southern side gopuram is the largest measuring 73m and was completed in 1987. This temple is devoted to Lord Vishnu. The entire place is fascinating with bazaars. You have to fetch a ticket to have a panoramic view of the entire temple. Festivals such as Vaikunda Ekadasi fall in the middle of December and is celebrated with grandeur. There is a temple museum having many historic valuables.
St. Joesph's Church is one of the oldest churches in India. This beautiful church is located near Teppakulam in the heart of the town. The famous Maingaurd Gate that witnessed many historical events during the colonial rule is located nearby. St. Joesph's Church was built by Schwartz in 1792 with the support of British garrison officer's funding. British used St. Joseph's Church for spreading Christianity. St. Joesph's college and high school is located within the campus of St. Joesph's Church. St. Joesph's college is a world famous educational institution and has produced many distinguished personalities including former Presidents of India R. Venkataraman and A.P.J. Abdul Kalam.
Return to Tanjore for overnight stay.

Day 08: Tanjore / Gangaikonda Cholapuram / Pondicherry (165 Kms)

Breakfast and check-out from hotel. In the morning drive to Pondicherry. En-route visit Gangaikonda Cholapuram (71 Kms) Temples, an architectural work of genius. In the early 11th century, the temple got built by Rajendra Chola, who was the son and successor of Rajaraja Chola. Gangaikonda Cholapuram is regarded as the reproduction of Brihadisvara Temple that was built by Rajaraja Chola, father of Rajendra Chola. Gangai Konda Cholapuram was erected to outshine the temple made by the father. The temple is renowned for having the biggest Shivalingam in the Southern part of India. The sanctum sanctorum embraces the 4 mt high lingam (phallic form) of Lord Shiva. To provide a private worship area for the royal family, the sanctum is encircled with two walls. The stately entrance of the sanctum is adorned by the beautiful image of Goddess Saraswati. The influence of Chalukyas is also reflected from the icons of 'Suryapita' (Sun worship) and 'Navagrahs' (Nine planets). The meticulous accounts of the Cholas are inscribed on the copper plates and temple walls. Preferred place of crowned heads, the exotic structure took approximately nine years to complete. Gangaikondacholapuram has been plundered for several times, but the architectural and sculptural wealth remained alive. A tribute to the architects and artisans, who created this spectacular testament. Architecture - The architecture of the temple boasts of a 9 storey Vimanam that extends to the height of 185 ft. Facing the east direction, Gangai Konda Cholapuram embraces incredible sculptures and carvings. Not less than 54.86 mt in height, the temple structure follows the style of Brihadisvara Temple. The architecture is a portrayal of complex carvings on the hard granite stones, irrespective of the simple style of Cholas. Mind-blowing sculptures adorn the walls and ceilings of Gangaikondacholapuram. The creativity of sculptors is reflected in the figures of dancing Nataraja and peaceful Saraswati. However, the sculptures erected here are as artistic as found in any other temples of Cholas. The most interesting are of Shiva-Parvati, Ardhanareshwar (the man-woman manifestation of Lord Shiva) and Ganesha. The colossal shrine also addresses several significant bronzes of the Chola age.
Then visit Kumbakonam, where Ramaswamy Temple was constructed during the period of Nayakars kingdom. Dheeshatar under the guidance of the King, constructed the temple with devotion. The temple is beautiful for its beauty and artistic nature. Inside the temple premises Ramayana episode is painted in the wall in 219 paintings very beautiful and realistic.
Later visit Darasuram, Airavateeshwarar Temple is a replica of Tanjore Big temple but smaller in size. Darasuram temple was constructed by Rajaraja Chola II in the 12th century. This temple is a store house of art work. One can see magnificent work of art and the finely chiseled work on each and every stone, carved to perfection. Even the steps leading to the temple has a story to tell. The ceiling of the temple has exquisite carvings. The main mandapam of this temple is in the form of a chariot drawn by horses. This temple is a protected under UNESCO World Heritage monuments. The presiding deity here is Airavateeswara (Siva) and His consort is Periyanayaki.
Later drive to Pondicherry, on arrival check-in at hotel for overnight stay.

Day 09: Pondicherry / Mahabalipuram (99 Kms)

Breakfast and check-out from hotel. Proceed for the city tour. A dive into history fragrant and nostalgic old French colony. The stylish French War Memorial, located in the renowned Goubert Avenue, is a monument for those soldiers who lost their lives in the First World War. Annual commemoration is celebrated every year on 14th July; during the period the memorial gets illuminated beautifully. It is really a pleasant experience here, where the new generation pays their respect to those served the society and country. We, as the visitors, owe to visit this place and offer our tributes.
Sri Aurobindo Ashram, founded in 1920, is the residence where the Sri Aurobindo and revered Mother Mirra Richard, popularly known as Maa, spent the most part of their life. This place attracts many thousands of people each year. This is the saddle of peace; Aurobindo preached his ideas of a peaceful community from this ashram. The ashram is comprised of many buildings and the inmates are a diversified community of around 1,200 members with 400 students of the Centre of Education. This ashram has different departments to maintain the basic needs of its members. Members engage in various activities in farms, libraries, gardens, and small-scale industries like printing press. The ashram draws lots of respect as the Samadhi place of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother.
Auroville A real example of community living and gradually flourishing, it is conceived as a 'Universal Town'. This is a place where people with different nationalities, beliefs and culture live in harmony. This amazing city of community living was started in 1968 by the Maa, renowned disciple of Shri Aurobindo, and now the development is going on. The main feature of this city is that many countries constructed permanent pavilions, which reflects the customs, beliefs and culture of their countries. Really a Universal town, the populations speaks different kinds of language, nearly 50 languages are spoken here. A major draw here is Matrimandir, a modern architectural marvel, with a globe as high as 30 meters and have lotus-shaped foundation urn.
The Church of the Sacred Heart Of Jesus, constructed in Gothic style, is a highly revered religious destination in Pondicherry. Lot of visitors and believers are thronging to this church to offer prayers. One can be blessed by seeing the wonderful stained glass windows highlighting the life of Jesus. Every year this church witness growing rush with thousands of devotees from different place visiting this place. This gigantic church is one of the most attractive churches in Pondicherry.
After the tour drive to Mahabalipuram, arrive and check-in at hotel for overnight stay.

Day 10: Mahabalipuram / Kanchipuram / Mahabalipuram (66 Kms: One way)

Early breakfast at hotel, drive to visit Kanchipuram is one of the seven holy cities of India. It was the capital of the great Dravidian kingdoms (of Pallava's & Chola's) Known as the city of 1000 temples, it does not account still less than 125. It attracts many pilgrims and tourists. The two great sects of Hinduism, Shaivism and Vishnuism are equally represented.
Visit the three that exemplify this sacred town-Kailasantha and Ekambareshwara, dedicated to Lord Shiva, and Vaikuntaperumal dedicated to Lord Vishnu. The most significant - Ekambareswarar Temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva, Lord Shiva is worshipped here as Ekambareswarar, Prithvi Lingam symbolizing earth - one of the five primordial elements (wind, water, earth, fire and space). The shrine's antiquity precedes 600AD, long before the temple complex was built. In fact, it was first mentioned in the lyrics of Tamil poets of the 2nd century. Kanchipuram's Pallava rulers (6th-8th centuries) pulled down the original structure and built a new temple in its place. Later dynasties like the Cholas added more structural elements; consequently it is one of the most impressive temples in South India. The temple as we see it today was built in 1509 by Krishnadeva Raya, the greatest king of the Vijayanagara Empire. The Raja Gopuram, all of 172 ft. leads into the pillared mandapam, which assimilates within it previously built shrines. The sanctum housing the presiding deity, the Prithvi Lingam is surrounded by a covered walkway or corridor.
The grand old man of Kanchipuram's innumerable temples is the Kailashnatha Temple, dedicated to Shiva. A fine example of early Dravidian architecture, its simplicity and lack of ornamentation is refreshingly elegant. Construction work on the temple began towards the last quarter of the 7th century, under the Pallava king Rayasimha. The original four storey tower and octagonal shikhara complex was enriched with the addition of elaborately sculpted gopurams under Pallava kings who followed Rayasimha I and II.Highlights of the temple include the exquisitely detailed murals depicting scenes from the lives of Shiva and Parvati, including a dance competition between the two. A number of smaller shrines within the temple complex are dedicated to Shiva, Parvati and their sons Ganesha and Murugan.
Goddess Parvati does have her own exclusive temple! In the Kamakshi Amman Temple, the goddess is enshrined as Kamakshi, the seductive goddess of love.
The two other temples worthy of attention are dedicated to Vishnu. Vardhamana Perumal is a major Vaishnava shrine in a region over run by Shiva temples. Legend tells us that the shrine to Vishnu commemorates the spot where Brahma performed a yajna to invoke the presence of Vishnu. Bronze idols of Vishnu and his consorts preside over the temple whose architecture features elements from 12th century Chola and 16th century Vijayanagar styles.
The other temple dedicated to Vishnu is the Vaikuntha Perumal Temple, this temple is one of the nine Hindu dedicated to Lord Vishnu and one of the 108 Divya Desams or Vishnu temples. Vaikunta Perumal Temple was built around 674 – 800 AD during the Pallava rule supposedly by the Pallava king Nandivarman II which was later modified by the Chola kings and the Vijaynagar rulers. It being nearly as old as the Kailashnatha Temple. Three different idols of Vishnu in standing, sitting and reclining positions are the premier idols of this temple. The temple's covered walkway just inside the outer perimeter is the precursor of the more famous 1000 pillar mandapams at Madurai and Rameswaram.
Return to Mahabalipuram, and visit the Shore Temple, tradition has it that there once stood seven temples along the shore line in this area. Today, the only one that is there is the Shore Temple. It was built during the 7th century by the artisan Rajasimha under the rule of Narasimha Varman II. It is one of the oldest temples that can be found in South India that is built in the Dravidian style. It has lately increased in popularity because it is now listed as one of the world heritage sites of the UNESCO. Numerous carvings can be found throughout the temple. Three separate buildings make up the temple. Two are Shiva temples that fast east and west. The third is a Vishnu temple
Return to hotel for overnight stay.

Day 11: Mahabalipuram / Chennai (50 Kms)

Breakfast and check-out from hotel. Before driving to Chennai, visit the important sites in Mahabalipuram.
Visit Arjuna's Penance is a famous rock sculpture that portrays a story out of India lore. It is carved onto the back side of a whale shaped rock. The sculpture measures 9 mt high and 27 mt long. Arjuna is the great hero of the great epic Mahabharata, and the name of the sculpture comes from his story. There is some controversy however as to whether the story portrayed is actually the story of Arjuna or if it is the story of Bhagiratha who is an ancestor to Lord Rama. Numerous gods and demigods as well as animals and people are all carved on the sculpture. The talent that it took to create such a sculpture is obvious and deserves respect.
Mandapams There are eight mandapams (shallow, rock-cut halls) scattered over the main hill, two of which have been left unfinished. They are mainly of interest for their internal figure sculptures. One of the earliest rock-cut temples is the Krishna Mandapam. It features carvings of a pastoral scene showing Krishna lifting up the Govardhana Mountain to protect his kinsfolk from the wrath of Indra. On the hill rests a dangerously balanced boulder named Krishna's Butterball after his legendary affinity for fresh butter.
The Five Rathas, also known as Panch Rathas, is a set of rock temples. They are excellent examples of the evolution of Dravidian style architecture. These temples are built in the same shape as pagodas, and greatly resemble Buddhist shrines and monasteries. The rathas are associated with the great epic Mahabharata. The first ratha that is located right by the entrance gate is Draupadi's Ratha. It is shaped like a hut and is dedicated to the goddess Durga. Next comes Arjuna's Rath. This one has a small portico and carved pillar stones and is dedicated to Lord Shiva. There are no carvings inside this temple, but many are on the outside. Directly in front of Arjuna's Rath is the Nakula – Sahadev Rath. This ratha has some huge elephant sculptures included that are a huge draw for the Five Rathas. It is dedicated to the God of Rain, Lord Indra. The Bhima Rath is huge. It measures 42 ft in length, 24ft in width, and 25ft in height. The pillars there do contain lion carvings even though the ratha as a whole is incomplete. The largest of the Five Rathas is the Dharamraja Yudhistar's Rath. This rath is also dedicated to Lord Shiva and is a great example of later built South India temples.
Arrive in Chennai and check-in at hotel.
Remaining day at leisure for independent activities. Overnight in hotel.

Day 12: Departure from Chennai

After breakfast and check-out from hotel. In the morning proceed for the sightseeing and visit following places of interest:-
Visit The Fort St. George Museum The fort houses a St. Mary's Church and Fort museum. St. Mary's Church the oldest Anglican Church in India built in 1680 and the tombstones in its courtyard are the oldest British tombstones in India. The museum opened to public from 31st Jan 1948, it began with a small collection of objects of the British Raj donated by the then Madras Presidency Government, the St. Mary's Church authorities, the disbanded army units and others. Over the years many objects were acquired by various means and there are now 3661 registered antiquities in the collection. The antiquities are displayed in ten galleries spread over three floors. An imposing marble statue of Lord Cornwallis (1738-1805) greets the visitors. Arms like Swords, Daggers, Rifles and Pistols, Mortars, Petard, Cannon shots, Breast plates, Helmets, baton, and fragments of shells fired at and in defence of Madras during the freak attacks during the World Wars, besides native weapons like bow and arrow.
The uniforms of various ranks of the British Army, ceremonial dress of Madras Governor's Bodyguards are displayed in the Uniform and Medals Gallery. Various porcelains used as official tableware by the East India Company and similar ware of the Arcot Nawabs are displayed in the Porcelain Gallery. The Indo-French Gallery contains exhibits like fine, decorated Porcelain, Clocks, Stamps and Coins issued by the French in India.
Kapleshwara Temple, one of the sacred shrines in Tamil Nadu is Kapaleeswarar Temple in Mylapore, it is a Siva Temple, and the name of the Lord is Arulmigu Kapaleeswarar. The name of the Goddess is Arulmigu Karpagambal. The notable feature of this structure is the 37-mt tall gopuram, A masterpiece of Dravidian style and displays the architectural elements - gopurams, mandapams and a tank. The view of the temple and the tank is picturesque. As per Hindu mythology, Parvati the consort of Siva performance penance and worshipped Kapaleeswarar in the form of Peacock [Mayil in Tamil] and hence the name of the place Mylapore.
St. Thomas Church, holy ground one which contains the tomb of St. Thomas, one of the twelve Apostles (that is, closest associates) of Jesus Christ. He came to India in the year 52 AD, preached on the West Coast and Chennai (formerly Madras), died in this city in 72 AD, and was buried in Santhome, This Shrine, stands over his tomb. In fact, the Basilica is so constructed that the smaller of its two towers stands exactly over the tomb of St. Thomas. This is also the shrine where the next most famous missionary to India, St. Francis Xavier (whose body is venerated in Goa), spent four months in the year 1545, and used to pray before the statue of "Our Lady of Mylapore". The structure is what is known as "Gothic," like the most famous Cathedrals of Europe (Cologne, in Germany, for instance, or the great Cathedrals of France).
The Thousand Lights Mosque, is one of the largest mosques in the country and a revered place of worship for Muslims. It was built by Nawab Umdat-ul-Umrah in 1810. There is an interesting story behind the name of the mosque. It is said that 1000 lamps needed to be lit in order to illuminate the assembly hall.
Drive past The Ripon Building, seat of the Chennai Corporation (Madras Corporation). It is a fine example of the Indo-Saracenic style of architecture, a combination of Gothic, Ionic and Corinthian. The Ripon Building is an all-white structure commissioned in 1913, One of the main attractions of the building is the Westminster Quarter chiming clock.
Kalakshetra Foundation In Thiruvanmiyur, beyond Elliots Beach is the Kalakshetra Foundation or the Temple of Art. It was established in 1936 after the extraordinary success of Rukmini Devi's first performance of Bharata Natyam at the Theosophical Society, in Adyar, a suburb of Madras, in the South of India. The founding members, Rukmini Devi, her husband George Arundale, and their associates at the Theosophical Society, were deeply committed to Theosophy and an arts academy was an extension of this commitment. The purpose of this center was to train, encourage and revive interest in Bharatanatyam, the classical dance form of Tamil Nadu.
Also visit the Marina Beach popular place for the locales and tourist to spend evening time.
After the tour transfer to international airport to board flight for return journey.


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PACKAGE INCLUSIONS: -

1. Accommodation in Double room in 05 Star or 04 Star category hotels on CP Basis (Room + Breakfast Basis) inclusive of all presently applicable taxes.

2. Welcome Garlanding upon arrival in India at Mumbai airport.

3. All Arrival / Departure transfers from hotel to airport and vice-versa.

4. Monument entrance fees to places of visit as per the itinerary.

5. Boat cruise from Gateway of India to Elephanta caves and vice-versa in Mumbai.

6. Accompanying English speaking Guide.

7. All Transfers, City sightseeing/excursions and long drives as per itinerary using chauffeur driven air-conditioned Car / Mini Van / Coach.

8. Air tickets for sector MUMBAI to MADURAI in economy class.

9. 01 bottle packaged drinking water per person per day.

10. All presently applicable interstate & toll taxes.

PACKAGE EXCLUSIONS: -

1. Return international air tickets from the city of origin.

2. Travel Insurance and Indian Visa.

3. Personal expenses such as: Any Meals other than specified above / Drinks / Laundry bill & Telephone calls at hotel. Tips for Guides & Driver / Camera Fees at the monuments or any other expenses not included in the clause "inclusions".

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