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Temple, Tamil Nadu

Mystical Temples of the South

Bite-sized trip

  • Itinerary:
    Madurai - Tanjore - Pondicherry - Mamallapuram - Chennai
  • Duration:
    6 days / 5 nights (flexible)
  • Price:
    from £ 565.- per person (excluding flights)
Nowhere else in India can you see so many impressive temples than in the southern state of Tamil Nadu. It’s a region rich in tradition and spiritualism, attracting devotees and pilgrims from across the country. Soak up the spiritual atmosphere of India’s sizzling south on this six-day journey from Madurai to Chennai.
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Day 1 – Arrival in Madurai

This morning, you’ll travel to the bustling city of Madurai where you will spend two nights in a centrally located hotel. With 2,500 years of history, it is undoubtedly the most spectacular temple town in Tamil Nadu. The rest of your day is free to explore independently. Madurai is known as a city of temples, but it also has a great variety of regional food.

If you want to treat your taste buds, this evening we can arrange a food tour with a local guide who will take you to a selection of eateries that only the locals know about. Ask your travel specialist for more details.

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Day 2 – Madurai temple tour

A visit to the Meenakshi Temple is not to be missed. This iconic temple is renowned for its Dravidian architecture and considered to be one of the most beautiful and colourful temples in south India south India. It is such a vast historic temple that we think having a guide is essential. Dedicated to Goddess Meenakshi and Lord Sundareswarar, this architectural wonder features towering gopurams, sacred halls, and impressive sculptures. Immerse yourself in the spiritual ambiance and witness rituals as you stroll through the complex.

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Day 3 – Madurai to Tanjore

Today, you’ll travel from Madurai to Tanjore. You can choose to travel via Trichy and visit the huge Srirangam Temple – a must for fans of Hindu culture. Or you can travel through the Chettinadu region, which is known for its cuisine and magnificent houses.

On arrival in Tanjore it’s time to visit the Brihadeeswarar Temple: one of the state’s most important temples and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. With an expert local guide you will soak up the spiritualism, marvel at the intricately carved sculptures and learn about the rich history dating back to the Chola dynasty. Pilgrims crowd to the central shrine and witnessing their intense devotion is a magical and memorable experience.

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Day 4 – Tanjore to Pondicherry

Time for something completely different! The next destination on your Tamil Nadu journey is Pondicherry. This attractive city was ruled by the French until 1954 and has a distinctly French feel, with its wide, tree-lined boulevards, European churches and colourful colonial houses. The bakeries are stacked with delicious croissants! It’s an oasis of calm after the hectic cities and lively temples.

Your time here is your own. It’s an easy city to stroll around, popping into the boutique shops and stopping for a coffee and sweet treat in one of the many cafés. There’s a vibrant Ganesh temple that welcomes visitors or you can join in a meditation session at the Sri Aurobindo Ashram. We have only included one night in Pondicherry but it’s well worth adding an extra night to slow down the pace of your trip and have time to see all the local sites.

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Day 5 – Pondicherry to Mamallapuram

From Pondicherry, continue north to the friendly coastal town of Mamallapuram, for some R&R. The sea isn’t ideal for swimming, so we’ve selected a hotel with a nice pool. Mamallapuram is well-known for its UNESCO-listed rock-cut cave temples and impressive stone carvings. The Shore Temple, located directly on the beach, is one of the oldest in India. The temples are quite different to the large complexes you’ve seen en-route and well worth visiting. If you’re feeling active we can arrange for a temple tour by bicycle.

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Day 6 – Mamallapuram to Chennai

Take a final dip in the hotel pool before departing to Chennai, where you’ll either begin your journey home or continue your India adventure.

By the way … If you would rather start your India trip in Chennai, it’s possible to do this itinerary in the reverse order, and travel south to Madurai. Speak to one of our India specialists for more details.

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Accommodation

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Mystical Temples of the South

For this bite-sized trip we offer the following options

Grande Bay, Mamallapuram
Grande Bay, Mamallapuram
Option
1

Upgrade to our In Style accommodation

  • Price:
    from £ 794.- per person (excluding flights)
  • Included:
    In Style accommodation, excursions, transport and meals as described above

For this bite-sized trip we have an alternative option available for your accommodation. Our In Style version is something a bit more special or unique but still with lots of local flavour! If you would like to upgrade your accommodation for this bite-sized trip, select our In Style option below.

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This bite-sized trip combines well with

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Charming Cochin

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