DAY 01: Puducherry: (One Night)
The pilgrimage tour will begin from Mamallapuram and drive towards Puducherry which was the colonial head quarters of the French. The town has been very much influenced by the French in its architecture and the life style of the people. Another key attraction is the Sri Aurobindo Ashram which was founded during the year 1926. This ashram is in peace with itself and has Museum with interesting, well-displayed exhibits ranging from French furniture to the history of bed making. Further the market in Nehru Street is quite interesting for a small shopping or for those who are willing to learn about the Indian market. Another attraction to this town is the New Society called the Auroville. The overnight stay would be arranged in a clean and moderate hotel.
DAY 02: Vaitheeswaran Koil: (One Night)
Upon completion of the breakfast, drive towards the village of Vaitheeswaran Koil. It is located in a small village and the temple is home to the planet Mars. An ancient temple with a strong belief among the locals who believe that the Temple cures them of their ailments and the name translates into temple of the healer. The palm reading is also famous here. Palm reading is an ancient form of astrology. Overnight stay in a hotel near the temple.
DAY 03: Kumbakonam:(One Night)
Checkout from the hotel at 07:00am and drive to visit the temples at Thiruvengadu (Mercury), Keezhperumpallam (Kethu) and Thirunallaru (Saturn). Once the temple tour is completed in the day, you can visit the famous beach port of Poompuhar wherein you can relax on the white sand beach.
After relaxing in the beach for sometime, visit the famous temple at Thirukadayoor known for its famous 60th Birth day celebration of the elders called Sadhapishekam. This is a ceremony performed by the children for their parents .On the sixtieth birthday of the head of the family (the father) all the children perform a wedding for their parents wishing to god to bless their parents with a long and healthy life. This event is a major occasion here and marriages conducted here are standing examples of the close family ties in India.
Later leave for the temple town of Kumbakonam for overnight stay. You stay at a moderate hotel, close to the colorful temple of SARANGAPANI.
DAY 04:Tanjore (One Night)
Continue the visit to the temple at Thirunageshwaram (the raghu temple) early morning itself. Then visit the Sooryanayanar temple (the sun temple), Kanchanur temple (Venus) prior to visiting the Temple of Jupiter at Alangudi. Proceed with the lunch at Swamimalai.
After lunch, visit the temple at Thingaloor (the moon) situated amidst the lush green paddy fields which is a treat to the eyes. A good photo stop. From here go to Tanjore also known as the city of Chola Citadel for overnight stay.
DAY 05: Tanjore
Proceed with a Half day sight seeing of Tanjore. The Afternoon could be spent at leisure. Over night stay would be arranged at Tanjore itself. Tanjore was the ancient capital of the Chola Kings between the 10th and 14th century and became a centre of learning and culture. This place is also known as the rice bowl of Tamilnadu state. The place is also well known for its exquisite handicrafts and South Indian musical Instruments.
Sri Brihadeshwara Temple: Built by the great chola king Raja Raja in the 10th century AD, this temple stands as an outstanding example of the Chola Architecture. This is a shiva temple and here shiva is in the form of linga. The most exciting point of view is that the shadow of the temple does not fall on the ground during any time of the day instead falls on its own body. There is a Nandhi (Nandhi is considered as the Bull and is also known as the carrier of Shiva) statue at the entrance of the main temple, which is one among the biggest Nandhi in Asia. The monolithic granite dome here weighs 81 tonnes and there was a slope made for six kilometer to take this monolithic block to the height of 63mtrs. This temple remains open from 6.00hrs to 12.00hrs and again from evening 16.00hrs to 20.30hrs. You can enter at the main shrine in this temple.
The Raja Raja Palace / Museum:
The palace here is a vast building of masonry built partly by the Nayak Kings and partly by the Marathas (Muslim kings). Currently a majority part of the palace is under the Government control. A smaller portion of the palace is still used by the King’s family. One part of the palace under government is converted in to an Art Gallery that features a number of bronze and granite statues of the Chola period. The art gallery is opened from 9.00hrs to 13.00hrs and again from 15.00hrs to 18.00hrs. Another part of the palace is the Library where you can find more than 30,000 palm leaf and paper manuscripts in Indian and European languages. The library remains open from 09.00hrs to 13.00hrs and again from 14.00hrs to 17.00hrs.
(Wednesday is holiday).
DAY 06 :Trichy: (One Night)
Situated on the banks of river Cauvery, Trichy also known as Thiruchirapalli is one of the major cities of Tamilnadu. The Rock fort temple here commonly known as Uchipillaiyar Temple consists of a Ganesh shrine on the top of the rock and a Shiva shrine at the bottom. The Nayak King of Madurai was behind the creation of this fort and one will have to climb 432 steps cut through the rock to reach this fort. While on top, you will have an elegant view of the complete city and the river Cauvery. The Srirangam Temple is considered as an important worship place for Lord Vishnu. The main shrine consists of a statue of Vishnu that lays on a five-headed serpent. The whole town is encompassed within the walls of the temple and it consists of one of the biggest towers (called gopuras) in Asia.
DAY 07 :Madurai (Drop)
Madurai as the name signifies is also known as the Nectar city of Tamilnadu. It is the oldest city in Tamilnadu. The shape of the city is that of a lotus and was created by the pandya king Kulashekara. At this stage, the city did not had any name and once Lord Shiva blessed the people living in this city by showering nectar (also known by the name MADHU) on the city. Then onwards this city got its name as MADHURAPURI which is now called as Madurai. The Meenakshi Amman Temple is the major attraction of this city. The temple is mainly dedicated to Goddess Meenakshi and also to Lord Shiva also known as Sundareshwar. The Thousand Pillar Hall with in the temple campus showcases the skill of the Artisans during the Dravidian period. The temple art museum is also located here.