Mystical Temples of the South

6-Day Temples in Mamallapuram & Madurai Tour | South India

Prices from £415 pp

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View day-by-day

Duration6 days / 5 nights (flexible)

LocationMadurai - Trichy - Tanjore - Pondicherry - Mamallapuram

Call us 01273 322398


Travel from rainbow temples to traditional french bakeries and windswept mystical beaches in Tamil Nadu. Soak up the spiritual atmosphere of India’s sizzling south, where the locals are friendly and the food is fiery. Watch sunset prayer ceremonies, visit authentic ashrams and dodge holy cows. Tamil Nadu is a sacred, steamy state. Drenched in devotion and peppered with pastel-coloured temples, it is rich in ancient culture. The cuisine is hotter than the weather, so prepare your tastebuds for a blast. Over six days, you’ll travel from Madurai to Chennai, stopping in several eye-opening places along the way and getting into the spirit of the south.

What's included

  • Accommodation – price based on 2 people sharing
  • Breakfast
  • Transport
  • Excursions (including a rickshaw ride in Madurai)

Create your own holiday itinerary 1. Add at least 3 chosen trips to your travel plan 2. Send it our way 3. Our travel specialists will get planning and send you a quote

Location map

Your day-by-day itinerary

Arrival in Madurai

This morning, you’ll travel to Madurai, where you’ll stay in a simple but comfortable hotel with an excellent restaurant. Mind what you order though, the curries here are some of the hottest in the country! At dusk, you can head up to the hotel roof terrace for amazing views across the city and the Meenakshi temple complex.

Arrival in Madurai

Madurai - Rickshaw Ride

You’ll start the morning bright and early with a pick up at your hotel by cycle Rickshaw for a unique view of the city. You’ll visit the Tirumalai Nayak Palace, the Ghandi Museum and the temple lake. Travelling by rickshaw will help you get your bearings for when you explore on your own. The afternoon is your own. Madurai dates back over 2500 years and the entire city is sprinkled with beautiful temples. The Meenakshi Temple has four towers each intricately decorated with thousands of coloured figures. If you knock on them, they each produce a different sound.

Madurai - Rickshaw Ride

Madurai - Trichy - Tanjore

Today, you’ll travel from Madurai to Tanjore, stopping off at temple of Trichy, surrounded by little stalls and people selling small offerings. The main temple itself is a more like a city than a temple complex, with a tower made of pure gold. Instead of the brightly coloured temples you’ll see elsewhere, Tanjore’s holy places are made of sober sandstone. Slip into the crowd of pilgrims cramming to get to the altar and you’ll experience a real sense of devotion. After your visit of the temple, you’ll head to your hotel in Tanjore.

Madurai - Trichy - Tanjore

Tanjore - Pondicherry

Pondicherry is a little slice of France with an Indian topping, with French street names, croissants lining bakery shelves and colonial houses with elegant balconies. After Tanjore, it’s like stepping into a completely different world. The French District in Pondicherry has a distinctly French feel with its shops, wide boulevards, European churches and green parks. The best beaches are north of the city.

Tanjore - Pondicherry

Pondicherry to Mamallapuram

From Pondicherry, you’ll continue north to Mamallapuram, a friendly coastal village where you can take it slow and soak up the sunshine. Mamallapuram is a quiet place and throughout the village, you’ll can see several workshops where craftsmen create the most amazing sculptures. You’ll stay in a simple beach resort with a lovely pool.

Pondicherry to Mamallapuram

Mamallapuram to Chennai

The countryside around Mamallapuram village is dotted with temples many of which are hidden in caves and mainly by the wandering goats. The temple directly on the beach (Shore Temple) is one of the oldest temples in India. It’s decorated with many Nandi bulls – Shiva’s chosen mode of transport.

The next day, your trip comes to end and you can take a final dip in the hotel pool. From Mamallapuram, you’ll drive on to Chennai, where you’ll either begin your journey home or continue your India adventure.

Sun breaking through the clouds on the beach in Tamil Nadu in India
David on a rickshaw

Speak to our India specialist, David

“After three unforgettable trips, I can’t wait to plan my next India holiday- there’s always somewhere new and exciting to explore! For me, nothing beats the delicious food and the colourful festivals.”

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