Active Large Temples of South India
Package price per person sharing twin
Product Code : AGORA409
Five days private tour will begin in Madurai, a gateway city with one of the largest active temple complex in India. From here proceed to Rameshwaram a shore city with one of the most secred site of Hindu pilgrimage hosting Jyotirlinga & one of Four Dham. Then Proceed to Thanjavur via visiting Chettinad a region once occupied by wealthy merchants their mansions are now left abandoned. Visit the Great Living Chola Temple in Thanjore then proceed to Trichy home to another active large temple complex complex. You can fly out either from Trichy or from Madurai.
Day 1: Arrive Madurai
On arrival at Madurai airport assistance and transfer to hotel check in.
Later city tour of Madurai. Visit Meenakshi Sundareshwar Temple one of the largest temple complexes in India built between the 16th and 18th centuries. Apart from the estimated 33 million sculptures there, the temple is absolutely absorbing with the endless rounds of ceremonies, prostration of countless devotees and glittering market stalls.
Tiruparankundram Murugan Temple a Hindu temple and one of the Six Abodes of Murugan, built in rock-cut architecture by the Pandyas during the 6th century. Also visit the Tirumal Nayak’s Palace a highly decorative monument. Its enormous roofed arcade supported by 48 foot high stone pillar, still stands. Rest time free & easy to relax. Overnight at hotel.
Day 2: Madurai - Rameshwaram (170kms/ 3hrs approx)
Breakfast at hotel drive to Rameshwaram, check in at hotel. Rameshwaram is an island separated from the mainland by a small strait of water. Rameshwaram is famous for the Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Rama who, it is believed, had descended on its shores and built a bridge across the Palk Strait to reach Lanka in his quest to rescue Sita from Ravana. Additionally, the temple is famous for being one of the 12 Jyotirlingas of Siva. Lord Rama had constructed a Siva linga in order to offer thanks to the Lord after killing Ravana. Hence, the temple is a sacred site for both Shaivites and Vaishnavites. The grandest part of the temple is the 1219 m pillared corridor consisting of 3.6m high granite pillars, richly carved and well proportioned. Built in the 12th century AD, the temple with its awe-inspiring corridors are the longest in India.
Also visit to Adam's Bridge the name given to the chain of reefs, sandbanks and islets that almost connects Sri Lanka with India. According to legend, this is the series of stepping stones used by the monkey army, lead by Hanuman to cross the ocean in a bid to rescue Sita from the clutch of Ravana. Overnight at hotel.
Day 3: Rameshwaram - Chettinad - Thanjore (250kms/ 5hrs approx)
Breakfast at hotel, drive to Thanjore. Enroute visit Chettinad the region is well known for its 19th-century mansions, whose wide courtyards and spacious rooms are embellished with marble and teak. Construction materials, decorative items, and furnishings were mostly imported from East Asian countries and Europe. The marble was brought from Italy, chandeliers and teak from Burma, crockery from Indonesia, crystals from Europe and wall-to-wall mirrors from Belgium. Many of these mansions were built using a type of limestone known as karai.
It is estimated that 11,000 such mansions still remain—about half the number that existed 100 years ago. They were built by men who once traded in everything from salt to gems, with countries like Burma, Malaysia and Singapore. Much of their profits went into building these grand residences, which used to be called natukottai or regional fort. But in the mid-20th century, most Chettiar families moved to cities. Their palatial homes were left in the custody of caretakers, who maintained them for those rare occasions, such as weddings or Pongal, the Tamil harvest festival, when the family came to visit.
Visit few massions open for tourist like Chettinad Mansions, Chettinad Palace and few Chettinad Temples like Vairavan Kovil Temple, Karpaga Vinayakar temple, Kundrakudi Murugan temple, Kottaiyur Sivan temple.
Continue drive to Thanjore check in at hotel. Overnight at hotel.
Day 4: Thanjore - Trichy (60kms/ 1.3hrs approx)
Breakfast at hotel. Visit Brihadeshwara Temple & Fort - built by great Chola king in the 10th century. It is an outstanding example of Chola architecture and is listed in UNESCO world heritage site. Thanjavur Palace & Museum - The palace houses an art gallery, a library and a hall of music. Art Gallery - in the Palace there are a number of granite and bronze statues of the Chola period. Saraswathi Mahal Library - another section of the Palace is the library where over 30,000 palm leaf and paper manuscripts in India and European languages are preserved.
After sightseeing drive to Trichy. Visit Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple - there are 22 gopurams including India’s tallest (72 meters, 13 storey high). Many people have had a hand in its construction, including the Cheras, Pandyas, Cholas, Hoysalas and rulers from Vijayanagar. Rock Fort Temple -The 83m high Rock Fort is the only outcrop in the otherwise flat land of the city. The rock is one of the oldest in the world-approximately 3.800 million years, which makes it as old as the rocks of Greenland and older than the Himalayas. Also visit Tiruvanaikkaval the Jambukeshwara temple, dedicated to Shiva, and it houses five concentric walls, and seven gopurams.
Rest time free and easy to relax. Overnight at hotel.
Day 5: Trichy - Departure (flight)
Breakfast at hotel. As per flight schedule transfer to airport to board flight for onward destination either from Trichy or from Madurai (135kms/ 3hrs approx).
Private airport transfer with assistance of office executive.
4 Night accommodation in selected category hotels or similar.
Daily breakfast at hotels
Deluxe air-conditioned private vehicle with English speaking chauffeur as per tour program.
Monuments entrances of sightseeing mentioned in the itinerary.
English speaking tour guide on sightseeing days (local guide).
Bottled water in car
Applicable GST (government taxes).
Any air fare
Camera charges at monuments
Main Meals, Lunch or dinner unless mentioned
Expenses of personal nature like liquor, laundry, tips, telephone, fax, internet etc.
Or anything not mentioned above.