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Unique Cultural and Culinary Experience of Tamil Nadu (Set Departure Group Tour)
Unique Cultural and Culinary Experience of Tamil Nadu (Set Departure Group Tour)

Important notes:
- Price based on a group of 6 - 9 persons
- Entrances fees to the monuments: £39 pp
- Price for a group of 2 persons (£1539)
- Price for a group of 10 - 14 persons (£1399)


Highlights: Chennai - Pondicherry - Cheittand - Kumbakonam - Madurai


Alternate travel dates: 6 Apr/ 20 Apr/ 4 May/ 18 May/ 8 Jun/ 22 Jun/ 13 Jul/ 17 Aug/ 14 Sep/ 5 Oct/ 19 Oct/ 16 Nov/ 7 Dec/ 18 Jan 21/ 1 Feb 21/ 22 Feb 21/ 15 Mar 21/ 29 Mar 21


Hotels:
Chennai - Trident Hotel
Pondicherry - Maison Perumal Hotel
Cheittand - Visalam Hotel
Kumbakonam - Mantra Koodam Hotel
Madurai - Gateway Pasumalai Hotel


Itinerary:


Day 1: Chennai
Upon arrival at Chennai airport welcome, meet and assist by our representative and transfer to Hotel – 1400 hrs: Standard check-in time. Chennai lies in the heart of the city. Located in the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu, Chennai, formerly known as Madras, is the lively cultural capital of the region. Chennai is India's fourth-largest city, a bustling epicenter filled with stunning Hindu temples, theaters, beaches, cultural landmarks, and museums.
- Upon arrival at Chennai, check-in at the hotel.
- Rest of the day at leisure and overnight stay at the hotel.


Day 2: Chennai
- Morning you will enjoy a sightseeing tour of Chennai.


Fort St. George:
The construction of this fort started as early as 1650. It was often attacked by Indian and French forces yet it continued to expand. Today, the old buildings in Fort St. George house the Tamil Nadu Secretariat, the legislative assembly and St. Mary’s church.


Mylapore:
One of the most important localities of Madras is Mylapore, where the famous Kapaleswara temple, the tank, market area, and old Brahmin residential houses are situated. Mylapore is a unified complex and is best viewed as such.


Marina Beach:
The marina, almost 13 km long, is a wide sandy stretch, with a drive along with it, fringed with palms and casuarinas.


San Thome Cathedral:
It is associated with the apostle, St Thomas. It is believed that he was martyred on what is called St. Thomas’. It is believed that he was martyred on what is called St. Thomas’ Mount and his remains were enshrined in this church.


- Overnight stay at the hotel.


Day 3: Chennai to Pondicherry by surface (Approx. 180 Kms, 4 Hrs)
After breakfast check out from Hotel and drive from Chennai to Pondicherry is a quiet little town on the southern coast. The quaint colonial heritage buildings, the spiritual scene, the endless stretches of unspoiled virgin beaches, The Union Territory of Puducherry comprises of four coastal regions – Puducherry, Karaikal, Mahe, and Yanam.
Visiting the coastal temple town boasts of fourteen cave temples and nine monolithic rathas (chariot shaped shrines), three stone temples and four sculptured rock panels.
Upon arrival at Pondicherry, check-in at Hotel
Rest of the day at leisure and Overnight stay at Hotel


Day 4: Pondicherry
- After breakfast visit Auroville and Aurobindo Ashram.


Auroville:
It is a unique experiment in international living and in creating a new environment where men and women of all nationalities live together in harmony.


Aurobindo Ashram:
It is the city of dawn, which is 10 km north of Pondicherry. This ashram promotes Aurbindo's ideas in bringing about a synthesis of Yoga and modern science, so as to unite the spirit and matter.


- Overnight stay at the hotel.


Day 5: Pondicherry to Kumbakonam by surface (Approx. 150 Kms, 3 Hrs)
- After breakfast check out from hotel and drive from Pondicherry to Kumbakonam. Visit Chidambaram and Gangaikondacholapuram on the way.


Kumbakonam:
It is known as the 'temple town” due to the prevalence of a number of temples.


Chidambaram:
The town is known for the Thillai Nataraja Temple, and the annual chariot festival.


Gangaikondacholapuram:
This temple is an architectural and engineering marvel because the shadow of the main tower never falls on the ground throughout the year.


- Upon arrival at Kumbakonam, check-in at the hotel.
- Overnight stay at the hotel.


Day 6: Kumbakonam to Chettinad by surface (Approx. 140 Kms, 3 Hrs)
- Today after breakfast drive to Chettinad.
- Upon arrival at Chettinad, check-in at the hotel.
- Afternoon go for a walking tour through the village lanes covering Old Mansions, Markets & temples.
- Overnight stay at the hotel.


Day 7: Chettinad
- Guided tour of the Mansion, with interaction with the family.
- Enjoy the cooking demonstrations.
- You can also enjoy any one activity of your choice: Sari & Dothi draping session, Rangoli drawing session, or Flower Knotting session.
- Overnight stay at the hotel.


Day 8: Chettinad to Madurai by surface (Approx. 260 Kms, 6 Hrs)
- After breakfast check out from Hotel and drive from Chettinad to Madurai.


Madurai:
The city of Madurai was planned and laid out on the pattern of a lotus flower, with the famous Meenakshi Temple in the center. Legend has it, that a drop of nectar (Mathuram) from Lord Shiva’s looks feel here. So, the city came to be known as Madurai- the city of nectar.


- Upon arrival at Madurai, check-in at the hotel.
- The rest of the day at leisure and overnight say at the hotel.


Day 9: Madurai
- Today after breakfast enjoy a city tour of Madurai visiting Meenakshi Temple, Teppakkulam Tank, and Tirumala Nayak Palace.


Meenakshi Temple:
17th century Meenakshi Temple, in the heart of old town, is dedicated to Shiva and his consort Meenakshi. It is an excellent example of Dravidian architecture. The high point of the temple is the hall of a "Thousand Pillars" and just outside this hall are the famous musical pillars. Here the iconography makes much use of the lotus, which in Indian symbolism is a representation of the female sex and an emblem of bliss and abode of gods.


The Teppakkulam Tank:
This tank, 5 km cast of the old city, covers an area almost equal to that of the Meenakshi Temple and is the site of the popular Teppam Festival. for most of the year, however, it is empty save for local kids playing cricket in it. The tank was built by Tirumalai Nayak in 1646 and is connected to the Vaigai River by underground channels.


The Tirumala Nayak Palace:
The palace building constructed in the Indo-Saracenic style is considered to be an architectural feat. Built-in the 17th Century, the palace has a number of pillars and 15 domes. The beautiful arches are unique in their ornamental workmanship. The sound and light show conducted here depicts the story of Silappathikaram and the life of Tirumala Nayak.


- Overnight stay at the hotel.


Day 10: Madurai to Chennai by train
- Transfer from Hotel to Madurai railway station in time to board the train for Chennai.
- 14:35 Hrs: Arrive at the Chennai railway station.
- Upon arrival at the Chennai railway station transfer to the hotel.
- Rest of the day at leisure and overnight stay at the hotel.


Day 11: Depart Chennai
- Breakfast at the hotel.
- 12:00 Noon standard check out time.
- Transfer from hotel to Chennai airport in time to board flight for onward journey.



Offer Includes

  • 10 nights accommodation on Bed & Breakfast basis
  • All transfers, sightseeing & excursion as mentioned in itinerary by air-conditioned car
  • Services of local English speaking guide
  • Representative for Assistance on all Arrival and Departure Transfers
  • Cooking demonstration at Chettinad
  • Walking tour at Chettinad

Meal Plans

  • Bed & Breakfast