South India Tour
Day 1: Arrival Chennai and transfer to your hotel. Later on the day start the tour with visiting the San Thome Mount Church where St. Thomas preach about Christianity in India. Overnight in Chennai.
Day 2: Chennai - Kanchipuram. A 2 hours drive will bring you to the pilgrimage city of Kanchipuram. The city has many beautiful temple architecture and it flourished during the regime of many rules of South India like Pallavas, Cholas, Pandyas and others. You can see Kailashanathar Temple, the famous Ekambareshwar temple, Varadharaja temple of Lord Vishnu and many more. In some of the temples foreigners will not be allowed to enter the main temple or to visit till main Sanctum. By staying at Kanchipuram you will be able to see some evening rituals in temples. Overnight at Kanchipuram.
Day3: Kanchipuram - Mahabalipuram. Drive from Kanchipuram to Mahabalipuram, the ancient city developed as seaport by Pallavas. On the way to Mahabalipuram you can also visit Crocodile Park, where there are many species of Crocodiles and can also see few species of snakes. Check-in on arrival In Mahabalipuram. Later on day start your tour of Mahabalipuram by visiting Arjuna's Penance, also known as Bhagiratha Penance and descent of Ganges. It is 25 meters long and 12 meters high masterpiece on a huge rock. This sculptures are known as Bas Reliefs and this monument is perceived as one of best in its class. Nearby you can also find a huge rock ball and some caves with excellent sculptures and work on the rock. Further proceed to see Mahablipuram seacoast from the old lighthouse. The coastlines looks beautiful and stretch few kilometers. Not far from there you can visit Pancha Rathas, chariots of Gods. In the evening visit Shore Temple of 7th AD.
Day 4: Mahabalipuram - Tiruvannamalai - Pondicherry. After breakfast drive from Mahabalipuram to Tiruvannamalai (161 KM south-east of Mahabalipuram). The place is famous for Arunachaleshwar or Annamalaiyar temple and hills surrounding the temple which have divine power. Annamalaiyar temple is one of the Five temples dedicated to Shiva by five natural elements and represent manifestation of Fire. During the Krithika Deepam (festival of lights) lots of pilgrims travel to Tiruvannamalai. Later on visit Sri Ramana Maharshisri Ashram adjacent to temple. The Ashram is visited by many foreigners looking to have peaceful time meditating and knowing about self. The Ashram has a library and meditation hall. Drive to Pondicherry. On arrival checkin at hotel and overnight.
Day 5: Pondicherry. Morning start your tour by visiting the Ganesha temple and Sri Aurobindo Ashram. There is a museum in the vicinity having lot of collections from around the world (closed on Monday). In the afternoon you can have lunch at one of the famous restaurant in Pondicherry - Rendezvous Cafe and Restaurant. In the evening drive to Auroville. It is located in a green and well maintained area and looks like a modern village. It has a meditation hall in the shape of a golden ball. People from all over the world are residing here and it includes almost all countries. On arrival you will be shown a small video about Auroville, afterward you can go till the meditation hall by walking. There are souvenir shops which sell the in-house products made in Auroville. Return to hotel and overnight.
Day 6: Pondicherry - Chidambaram - Kumbakonam. Drive from Pondicherry to Chidambaram. On the way see the Lord Nataraja temple in Chidambaram dedicated to Shiva. The morning prayer can be offered in the temple on request and Puja (Prayers) in traditional Hindu way can be organized with Brahmins enchanting the hymn and offering the prayers for you. Depart from Chidambaram to Kumbakonam. Overnight in Kumbakonam
Day 7: Kumbakonam. Visit few of the Navagraha Temples in Kumbakonam and Kumbheshwar temple in Kumbakonam city. Navagraha temples are dedicated to seven celestial bodies and two mythical planets in Hindu religion Rahu and Ketu. It is believed that these nine planets (Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Saturn and Jupiter) govern each human being based on their positioning at the time of birth. People in India have strong faith on their influence over them and offer prayers to them in order to give the positive energy to them and remove obstacles from their life. You can visit few of the Navagraha temples and offer the prayer as per your desire. Overnight in Kumbakonam.
Day 8: Kumbakonam - Thanjavur - Madurai. Drive from Kumbakonam to Thanjavur. One of the biggest Brihadeshwar Temple an Unesco site is located in Thanjavur. It was built by Chola's ruler Rajaraja-I in 1010 CE. The Colas empire once ruled over many regions of South India and Sri Lanka. The Kalasha structure at the top is made out of single piece of stone. In the front of temple there is a huge structure of Nandi (divine creature of Lord Shiva). Drive from Thanjavur to Madurai. In the evening visit Minakshi Temple and colorful streets near the temple. Minakhsi Amman temple is dedicated to Goddess Parvati. The temple is surrounded by beautiful gopurams (gates) brilliantly illuminating in the night. The tallest Gopuram in the South is 170 ft high. Overnight at Madurai.
Day 9: Madurai - Rameshwaram. Drive from Madurai to Rameshwaram where Lord Sri Rama performed Navagraha Puja before crossing the sea to reach Lanka in order to rescue his consort. Visit Ramanathaswamy temple dedicated to Lord Shiva and also associated with Lord Rama. It is also one of 12 Jyothirlinga temples, worshiped as pillar of light. Rameshwaram is one of four pilgrimage site Char Dham for Hindus. Inside the temple you can see beautiful corridors and sculptures. Overnight in Rameshwaram.
Day 10: Rameshwaram - Kanyakumari. In the morning you can take a holy bath at the shore of Rameshwaram. Ramasetu which is also known as Adam's Bridge was built here 5 thousand years back and its remains can be found under the sea at present. Rameshwaram is also the closed point of connection between India and Sri Lanka. Afterward visit Gandamadana Parvatham where Rama's footprint can be seen and later-on visit Dhanushkodi Temple before driving to Kanyakumari. Overnight in Kanyakumari.
Day 11: Kanyakumari - Kovalam. Morning wake-up early morning to see the sunrise on the confluence of three oceans - Arabian, Indian and Bay of Bengal. You can watch the people enjoying the early dip in the confluence and walking around the temples 3 times. Return to your hotel and breakfast. After breakfast checkout from hotel and drive to the Jetty from where you can take the boat till Vivekanand Rock Islands, where he spent considerable time meditating. Afternoon drive from Kanyakumar to Kovalam (2 hours). Arrive and checkin at hotel. Evening get a splash of Arabian Sea on the Lighthouse Beach Kovalam. The beach has a fantastic area to swim and sunbeds can be rented on hourly basis. You will have many seafood restaurants providing the fresh cuisines of different tastes. Perfect place to dine out with most of restaurants having Seaview. Overnight at Kovalam.
Day 12: Kovalam. Just located nearby the capital of Kerala Trivandrum, Kovalam offers a fantastic stay on the beaches of Kerala. There are three famous beaches in Kovalam - Lighthouse Beach, Samudra Beach and Hawah Beach. Many of the famous Ayurveda resorts like Bethsaida, Dr. Franklin, Somatheeram, Manaltheeram are based in Kovalam and you can choose to stay at Kovalam in these resorts and enjoy the Rejuvenation or other Ayurveda packages at the end of tour. The black sandy beach of Lighthouse area with many restaurants and boats are one of the good place to spend your holidays. Also overnights can be booked in Houseboats.
Day 13: Kovalam. Departure transfer to Trivandrum International airport for your onward flight. Tourists can add to stay in any of the Ayurveda hotels at the end of the tour.