Chennai - Mahabalipuram(1) - Pondicherry(2) - Thanjavur(2) - Chettinadu(1) - Madurai(1)
Day-1 Arrival at Mahabalipuram Arrival to Mahabalipuram. Enroute its possible to visit Crocodile Farm and Dakshinachitra (Craft village). Visit Shore Temple (UNESCO World heritage site) and other heritage sites (Pancha Ratha, Varaha Cave Temple, Tiger Cave, Krishna Mandapam, Balancing rock, Arjuna's Penance, all within 1-2 km radius) in the evening.
Day-2 Mahabalipuram - Pondicherry. Visit to the French Quarters Proceed to Pondicherry (100 kms - 2.5 hours). In the evening enjoy a walk on the french quarters heritage area of Pondicherry and the promenade in the evening. A romantic evening meal at a restaurant serving French, European or Chettinad cuisine could be a good experience.
Day-3 Pondicherry During first half sightseeing options in and around Pondicherry town comprise Aurobindo Ashram, Ashram's handmade paper factory, Varadaraja Perumal Temple, Manakula Vinayagar Koil, Pondicherry Musuem, the Botanical Gardens and the Sacred Heart of Jesus Church. Afternoon visit to Auroville commune (15 kms North of Pondicherry). Matrimandir at the commune is a renowned architectural masterpiece. In the evening visit the Anglo-French Textiles showroom for a bit of shopping. Those looking at a bit of Boating can also head for Chunnambar (8 kms South of Pondicherry).
Day-4 Pondichery - Thanjavur via Chidambaram. Visit UNESCO World heritage site temple Proceed to Thanjavur (175 kms - 4 hrs) via Chidambaram (58 kms). Chidambaram is home to Nataraja Temple (17th century temple renowned for its architectural and religious significance) and a major pilgrim centre. Evening visit Brihadeeswarar Temple at Thanjavur, a Chola Period (9th - 13th century) Temple and a UNESCO World heritage site.
Day-5 In and around Thanjavur or Kumbakonam Temples visit Visit Vijayanagar fort (2 kms from Brahadeeswara Temple), a 16th century fort. Inside the fort is the Tanjore Palace, Sangeetha Mahal, Saraswathi Mahal Library and Art Gallery having a collection of sculptures and paintings OR undertake excursion to Kumbakonam (41 kms) to visit Adi Kumbeswara Temple, Darasuram temple and other temples of Kumbakonam, which not only have architectural significance but also are pilgrim centres on their own.
Day-6 Thanjavur - Chettinadu. Heritage walk and sightseeing Thanjavur to Kanadukathan (100 kms - 2.5 hrs). Kanadukathan is a heritage village of Chettiars of Chettinadu. Heritage walk here is recommended. Guests have options Stay in one of the heritage type hotels and enjoy ethnic cuisine. Guests also visit Thirumayam Fort.
Day-7 Thanjavur - Madurai Proceed to Madurai (95 kms - 2.5 hrs). Visit the Meenakshi Temple complex at Madurai. Given time guests have option to visit Aarupadaiveedu Temples (2 temples within 10 km radius), Gandhi Museum and experiential traveller have option for foodies walk (Optional extra).
Day-8 Departure Depart for onward journey.
Chennai - Located on the Coromandel Coast of the Bay of Bengal, Chennai is a metro city of India and the largest in South India. Chennai is starting point for many itineraries of Taminadu and South India.
Mahabalipuram - Mahabalipuram also known as Mamallapuram is situated 60 km south Chennai on the famous East Coast Road. It has various historic monuments built largely between the 7th and the 9th century, and has been classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Pondicherry - Pondicherry is a popular destination in South India for Inbound guests on the heritage itinerary covering other areas like Mahabalipuram, Chidambaram, Thanjavur, Madurai etc. Pondicherry is a popular weekend getaway ex-Chennai and Bangalore.
Thanjavur - Thanjavur is an important center of South Indian art and architecture. The Brihadeeswara Temple is located in the center of the town, which is UNESCO World Heritage site.
Chettinadu - Karaikudi is known as the base town for the area of Chettinad. Chettinad is well known for its Chettinad cuisine, Mansions, and Temples. The villages around are rich in cultural heritage, art and architecture, and is well known for its 18th century mansions
Madurai - Madurai today is one of the busiest towns in Tamilnadu. The Meenakshi temple is awe-inspiring and is a must visit for any South India itinerary for both Indian as well as Overseas guests