Day 01     Arrive Chennai
On arrival at Chennai before noon, you will be met and transferred to your hotel. Evening visit Sri Parthasarathy temple-one of the Divya Desom temple, Kapaleswarar temple- ancient 7th century temple where Lord Muruga was believed to have received his spear "Sakthi Vel" from Goddess Shakthi to quell the Sura and Vada Palani Murugan temple where the standing posture of Lord Muruga resembles the Palani temple in every way. Overnight at Chennai.
Day 02     Chennai-Tirutani-Kanchipuram
After early breakfast drive to Subramaniya Swami Temple at Tirutani - One of the six Aarupadai Veedu, where Lord Muruga stayed after quelling Padamasura and the temple where Lord Siva, Lord Vishnu, Arjuna and Lord Rama is believed to have worshipped Lord Muruga. Later we drive to Kanchipuram (50 Kms, 1 1/2 Hrs ). On arrival, we visit Kalilasanathar temple famous for its sculptures, Ekambaraeshwarar temple- A Pancha Booda Stalam, where lord Shiva is worshipped in his element as Land, Kamakshi Amman temple-famous for its golden tower over the sanctum, golden chariot and depictions of Adi Sankaracharya's life and the Varadraja Perumal Temple-famous for its amazing paintings, sculptures and 100 pillar halls. Overnight at Kanchipuram.(B)
Day 03     Kanchipuram-Golden Temple Vellore- Tiruvannamalai-Pondichery
After breakfast we drive to Vellore ( 75 kms, 2 Hrs) where we visit the Vellore Mahalakshmi temple, commonly called as Golden temple. Later we drive onward to (85 Kms, 2 Hrs) Thiruvannamalai, where we visit the famous Annamalayar temple- A pancha Booda Stalam, where Lord Shiva is worshipped in his element as fire. The hill behind the temple itself is believed to be a Lingam, where Lord Shiva is believed to have appeared as a column of fire and hence "Giri Valam" is very famous in this temple. Late in the evening we drive to Pondicherry. Overnight at Pondicherry.(B)
Day 04     Pondicherry- Chidambaram- Darasuram-Kumbakonam
After early breakfast we visit world famous Sri Aurobindo ashram and Manakula Vinayakar temple before we drive to Chidambaram. At Chidambaram, we visit Thillai Nataraja Temple- A Pancha Booda Stalam, where Lord Shiva is worshiped in his element as Sky. One of the Padal Petra Stalam, the temple is famously associated with Lord Nataraja- Shiva in his Ananad Thandava Pose (Cosmic dance of Bliss). We also visit Sri Govindaraja Perumal shrine here, which is one of the Divya desom temple. Later we visit Airavatheshwara Temple at Darasuram which is the store house of ancient art and architecture and a UNESCO site. Overnight at Kumbakonam. (B)
Day 05     Kumbakonam
After early breakfast the day is free. You can visit Swami Malai-One of the six abodes of Lord Muruga where he is believed to have thought the meaning of Pranav mantra OM to Lord Shiva. Adi Kumbaeshwara temple- which is associated with Mahamaham festival and believed to be the very first temple made by the lord himself mixing the nectar of immortality with sand, Kasi Viswanathar temple - where nine rivers are believed to have prayed to Lord Shiva to wash away the sins of their bathers. The lingam which is believed to be prayed by Lord Rama is here in this temple and it is believed to grow in size with time. Ramaswamy temple, famous for its pictorial depiction to Ramayana. You can also visit the Sarangapani temple, adjacent Someswara Temple and Nageswaraswamy temple- known for its architectural marvel which allows sunlight into the sanctum only during the Tamil month Chitirai. (April-May period). (Kumbakonam is also famous for it's navagraha temples circuit and visit to all these temples will come with an an extra cost on transport. Inform us during enquiry). Overnight at Kumbakonam. (B)
Day 06     Kumbakonam-Tanjore-Trichirapally.
After breakfast drive to Tanjore to visit Tanjore Brahadeswara temple (commonly called as Big Temple) which is an outstanding architectural marvel where you can wonder at the engineering skills that existed before 1000 years and later we drive to Trichy. In Trichy we visit Sri Ranganatha Swamy Temple at Sri rangam- A Divya Desom temple and the most famous Vaishnava temple in South India. We also visit Jambukeswarar Temple at Tiruvanaikaval- A Pancha Booda Stalam, where Lord Shiva is worshipped in his element as water and the place where Goddess Parvati is beleived to have done her penance as Sri Akilandeswari after building a Lingam out of water.
Later in afternoon we go to Rockfort to visit Thaymanuva Swamy temple -where lord Shiva is believed to have helped his devotee to deliver a baby and Uchi Pillyar Kovil where Lord Ganesha is believed to have escaped after playing a trick on King Vibhasha to erect the idol of Lord Ranganatha in Sri Rangam. We also visit Uthamar Koil- A small and tiny temple which houses the three trinities Brahma, Shiva and Vishnu and it is the place where Lord Shiva is relieved of his curse after quelling Brahma's head- which is the skeleton in Shiva's hand. Time permitting you can visit Tirupparaithurai temple - where Lord Shiva in his clash with Thrugavana hermits killed the tiger, created by the hermits to kill him, and wore it's skin as his dress, took their Trishul as his weapon, their snakes as his ornaments and took their baby deer in his left hand . (B)
Later we drive to Madurai. Overnight in Madurai. (B)
Day 07     Trichy-Madurai
After leisurely breakfat we drive onward to Palani- One of Aarupadaiveedu temple where Lord Muruga is beleived to have lived after the fight with his parents over the divine fruit. After the Palani temple visit we return to Madurai. You have some free time to discover Madurai- the temple city which has a history of over 2500 years and place which is believed to have ruled by Goddess Parvati herself, in her avatar as Meenakshi. Overnight in Madurai.(B)
Day 08     Madurai temples
After breakfast we visit Lord Sundara Rajar temple (Vishnu) also known as Azhakar Kovil and Pazhamudir Cholai- Subramaniya temple- One of the six abodes of Lord Muruga where he is beleived to have played Hot Fruit or Cool Fruit trick with Avvaiyar, a famous Tamil poet. It is also widely believed that this Muruga temple was originally at Azhakar Kovil but got relocated during the rule of Thirumalai Naiker rule in Madurai. Back in Madurai we go on a excursion to the ancient Subramaniya temple at Thiruparamkundram-A cave temple which is one of the six abodes of Lord Muruga.
Afternoon we visit Sri Meenakshi Amman Temple (which also houses Sundara Eswarar shrine) which is world famous for its architectural and spiritual magnificence. Enjoy the beauty of various gopurams which has thousands of stone figures of animals, gods and demons, halls with various sculptures and various shrines dedicated to different deities. Later you can witness the temple ceremony. May be late in the evening you can go out for dinner and check-out local delicacies. Overnight in Madurai.(B)
Day 09     Madurai Rameswaram Madurai
After breakfast we go a day excursion to Ramanathaswamy temple at Rameswaram where Lord Rama is believed to have prayed to Lord Shiva to absolve him from the sin of killing Ravana, a Brahmin. As Hanuman got delayed to bring a lingam from Himalayas for Rama's prayer, Sita is believed to have created a lingam out of sand and it s believed that this lingam is what is there inside the sanctum. The temple is also famous for its holy tirtas which is essential part of any pilgrimage to Rameswaram. Late evening return back to Madurai. Overnight in Madurai.(B)
Day 10     Madurai Thirunelveli Kanyakumari
After breakfast we drive to Thirunevlei to visit Nellaiappar temple one of the largest temple in South India, famous for its musical pillars and other sculptural marvels. After visiting this paadal petra stalam, we continue our journey to Kanyakumari where we visit the 3000 year old Kumari Bhagavathy Amman temple, where godess is believed to remove the rigidity of the mind. Later watch the sunset at India's southern tip. Overnight at Kanyakumari. (B)
Day 11     Kanyakumari-Suchindram-Trivandrum
Watch the beautiful sunrise from the nearby beach. Later after breakfast visit Suchindram temple where the main deity is Stanumalayan which is the single form of Vishnu, Shiva and Brahma . The temple is famous for it's musical pillars and othet sculptural excellence. Legend is that, Lord Indira who got his curse purified here, is supposed to visit this temple everyday to perform ardhasama pooja . Later we drive onward to Kovalam near Trivandrum. Afternoon we visit Sri Padmanabha Swamy temple (Men to be in Dhotis and Ladies in Sarees ) and its temple museum. Overnight at Kovalam. (B)
Day 12     Trivandrum Departure
Early morning visit Padamanabhswamy temple Trivandrum if you have not done earlier. After breakfast visit the Attukal Bhagavathy amman temple whose Goddess is a living divinity to millons of devotees. Later you will be transferred to Trivandrum airport or railway station for your return journey. We sincerely believe that you carry back lots of belssings from the God along with ever lasting memories. (B)
Tour Joining Instructions
To take part in this tour you arrive at Chennai airport (MAA) or Chennai Railway Station (MAS) before noon. If you arrive very late you may have to miss out some temples on day 01.
On last day, you depart from Trivandrum airport. As you are scheduled to visit couple of temples please make sure your flight is after 1500 Hrs.
Though there are no special dress code in Tamilnadu temples it is very important that you are dressed appropritaley while visiting holy places. Avoid shorts, skirts and similar type of exposing dresses. Kanyakumari men will have to remove shirt while entering. At Trivandrum Padmanabhaswamy temples ladies will have to be in sarees and men will have to be in dhoties.
Normal temple timings in Tamilnadu is from 0430 Hrs to 1130 Hrs and from 1600 Hrs till 2030 Hrs. This timings and the crowds at temple may change depending visiting day and month. Hence we may have to start early from your hotel to follow the above program and reach back to the starting point in time. Generally be preapred for the early morning drive outs and late evening return. The road condition in Tamilnadu is generaly good and highways are lovely.
Trip Ideas from our Trip Makers
To make the above a perfect South India Temple tour you can consider few of the temples from the list of Kollam Temple, Mannarsala Temple, Ambalapuzha Krishna Temples, Etumanoor Shiva Temple, vaikom Shiva Temple, Chotanikara Bhagvathy Temple, Kodungaloor Bhaghvathy Temple and Guruvayoor Krishna Temple. This can be done only if you have two or three nights extra with you. If this extension is taken then you need to fly out of Kochi after 1700 Hrs