Tanjavur - Mahabalipuram

Overview

Have you heard of Big Temple! Have you heard of the Pallava dynasty! Have you heard of Chola dynasty!
Well, you must have heard of Aurbindo Ashram at Pondicherry. You must have also heard of Maratha Empire at Tanjavur…..
Here we are, ready to take you to the journey of some known and unknown destinations. In this trail, you will hear some unsung stories of Pallava and Chola dynasties, once happened to be the great and powerful dynasties. They left their mark behind with the grand architecture and tales of their empires.
This circuit covers the art and architecture style of Pallavas and Cholas. We begin this trail with the Pallavas Empire. Since 5th Century Pallava dynasty started emerging in today’s Tamilnadu region. Pallava kings erected some magnificent structures during their reign. Kanchipuram being the capital of Pallava kingdom had been a cultural center of Pallava Kingdom. Kanchipuram displays some magnificent architecture built in the 6th or 7th century. Shiv Kanchi, Vishnu Kanchi temples are two notable temples we would be covering in this tour. Kanchipuram is also well known for native Kanjivaram Saree. A traveler will get to experience the intricate weaving process of Kanjivaram handloom and get a chance to shop for the same.

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Mahabalipuram is located on a small strip of land between the Bay of Bengal and the Great Salt Lake, in the south Indian state of TamilNadu. It also used to be an important port for trading. Its name is derived from Mamallapuram which denotes the title of Pallava king Narsinhavarman I -‘Mamalla’. From rock-cut caves to monolithic temples to constructed temples; a peculiar style of architecture can be observed at Mahabalipuram. The Shore temple and Panchrathas are some of the notable monuments at Mahabalipuram. This city happened to be a sculptor’s workshop then. Still today there are schools of sculptors that exist at Mahabalipuram. Mahabalipuram monuments have been classified as UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE monuments since 1984.

Pondicherry, today named as Puducchery is a well known historical city where French laid their colonies in the medieval age. Yogi Aurobindo chose this beautiful city as his abode and rested here till the end of his life. Auroville is a village created by his disciple Mataji, which is a truly serene and eco-friendly village. With its clean, pristine and beautiful beaches, Pondicherry is a must-visit destination in India.

Chidambaram, a temple dedicated to Nataraja, a dancing form of Shiva is a pilgrimage to all classical dancers. A thousand pillared hallway mesmerizes you when you enter the temple. This is the one we are looking forward to covering in this tour of ours. Tanjavur – It is an important center of South Indian art, religion, and architecture. Most of the great Chola Temples are present in and around Tanjavur. Chola dynasty became a superpower in the Tamilnadu region by the 10th century. They not only ruled on Indian land but they also crossed the ocean and conquered today’s Indonesian Islands. In 1010 AD Raja Chola I built the largest temple of that time –Brihaddishwara or also known as Big Temple.

Tanjavur is also home to the Tanjavur style of painting which is unique to this region. However, the Tanjavur style of paintings seems to have originated in the Maratha court of Tanjavur, as per its geographical indication made by the government of India in 2007-08. Tanjavur an important city then and an important city in the medieval era has seen numerous historical incidences. Tanjavur also holds a historical connection with Shahajiraje and Shivaji Maharaj. Tanjavur had been ruled by the Bhosale Gharana for a long time.

A whole area is declared as a UNESCO world heritage site.

DETAILED ITINERARY

Board an early morning flight to Chennai. Arrive at Chennai airport and immediately leave for Kanchipuram. Enroute visit Kanjivaram Handloom factory. After watching the weaving of beautiful Kanjivaram silk Sarees, enjoy some shopping too and later check into the hotel at Kanchipuram. Fresh n up yourself and fill your tummies with good south Indian breakfast. Then leave for sightseeing. Arrive at the hotel by lunch and then relax.
Get ready for a remaining expedition of Kanchipuram by evening. Spend evening at leisure or shopping. Stay at Kanchipuram.
Chennai -Kanchipuram (Distance : 60 Kms)

Highlights

  • Visit beautiful temples built by Pallava’s
    The temples were built during Pallava’s reign in the 7th century. A typical Dravidian architecture displays all characteristics of the Dravid Architecture style.
  • Visit Kanjivaram Handloom factories.

After breakfast check out of the hotel and leave for our next destination in this trail i.e. Mahabalipuram. Check in to the hotel. Fresh n Up and get ready to explore WORLD HERITAGE SITE – Mahabalipuram.
Return to the hotel in the evening and relax. You may buy some stone sculpture as a souvenir for your beautiful home from the school of sculptures itself, ‘Mahabalipuram’.
Stay at Mahabalipuram
Kanchipuram – Mahabalipuram (Distance: 66 Km)

Highlights

  • Visit Shore temple at Mahabalipuram. Built-in the 8th century, the temple stands rock steady on the shore of Bay of Bengal. Even the Tsunami that struck coastline in the year 2004 could not destroy the temple. A WORLD HERITAGE SITE is a remarkable piece of a monument.
  • Have a glance at the evolution of architectural styles at Mahabalipuram. Visit Gangavataran, Panchratha, KrishnaMandap, VarahMandap, Krishna’s butterball, and such magnificent monuments in the vicinity.

Today, we have some travelling. Hence have a full breakfast. After breakfast check out of the hotel and leave for Gangaikonda cholapuram. Hereafter we will be witnessing grand temples constructed by Cholas.
After having a mesmerizing sight of Gangaikonda cholapuram, proceed for Tanjavur. Enroute visit another great temple of Cholas - Darasuram (Kumbhakonam).
stay at Tanjavur
Mahabalipuram –Gangaikondacholapuram Distance: 197 Kms
Gangaikondacholapuram –Darasuram Distance: 38 Kms
Darasuram – Tanjavur Distance: 35 Kms

Highlights

  • Visit Brihaddishwar Temple at Gangaikondcholapuram.
    This temple built by Rajendra Chola I, is named after Brihaddishwar Temple at Tanjavur. Some unique sculptures can be observed on the walls of this temple. Hence it is specifically included in our itinerary. It’s a WORLD HERITAGE SITE declared by UNESCO and is a part of three Great Living Chola Temples.
  • Visit Airavateshwar Temple at Darasuram, Kumbhakonam
    Airavateshwar Temple at Darasuram is another temple of the Chola temple trio and is a WORLD HERITAGE SITE. This beautifully constructed temple is one masterpiece.

After breakfast, get ready for the trail of Tanjavur. We will begin our trail with Tanjavur Maratha Palace and Saraswati Mahal Library and learn the medieval history of Tanjavur.
Take a short break for lunch.
And finally, the cherry on top of the cake would be grand Brihaddishwar Temple.
Arrive at the hotel by evening and relax
Stay at Tanjavur.

Highlights

  • Visit Tanjavur Palace
    The palace was originally constructed by Nayakas from Tamilnadu. Later acquired by Marathas. It served as the official residence of the Bhosale family of Tanjavur.
  • Visit Saraswati Mahal Library
    Saraswati Mahal Library also is known as Sarfoji Library is one of the medieval libraries in the world and has a collection of rare palm-leaf manuscripts, maps, books and paintings on all aspects of art, culture, and literature.
  • Experience the grandeur of Brihaddishwar Temple
    Temple was built by Raja Raja Chola I in 1010 C.E. It was the largest temple existed then and still one of the largest temples now. Dedicated to Lord Shiva, this temple is the grandest temple in South India even today and hence called as ‘Dakshin Meru’. ( A holy and big mountain mentioned in Puranas ). Its magnificence is truly jaw-dropping

After breakfast, proceed for Puduchery(Pondicherry). Enroute, visit Chidambaram Temple. Arrive at Puduchery(Pondicherry) and check in to the hotel. Relax in the afternoon. Get ready with fresh tea/coffee in the evening and visit Aurobindo Ashram, Vinayaka Temple, Roam around old French colonies and relish your taste buds with authentic French cuisine.
Spend an evening at beach.
Stay at Pondicherry.
Thanjavur – Chidambaram Distance: 116Kms
Chidambaram – Puduchery Distance: 64Kms

Highlights

  • Visit Chidambaram.
    Chidambaram is a holy place and the village is well known for the temple dedicated to Lord Nataraja, a form of Shiva. This is one sacred pilgrimage for all Indian Classical dancers. At least once in a lifetime, every classical dancer would dream of offering dance services at this temple before Natraja. Not only from religious aspects but this temple is also a true mark from its architectural aspect.
  • Visit Aurobindo Ashram at Pondicherry.
    Sri Aurobindo was a great thinker, philosopher, a versatile poet, and a nationalist. In his earlier days, he joined the independence movement against British rule but later he became a spiritual reformer. Born in Kolkata, Yogi Aurobindo spent his later life in Pondicherry. Aurobindo Ashram is a place Yogi Aurobindo was cremated. It’s one holy and tranquil place where you will sense the peace of your life.

Get ready for the trail of tranquil Puduchery. Visit Paradise beach.
Then take a break for lunch and proceed for Auroville. After an excursion of this beautiful city, return to the hotel by evening and relax.
Stay at Pondicherry

Highlights

  • Relax with cool breezes of the sea at Paradise beach and experience the tranquility at Auroville.
    Auroville is an experimental township near Pondicherry. It can be said as a city dedicated to human unity based on the vision of Yogi Aurobindo and Mataji. This is the place where a person of any nationality any religion can live in peace and harmony above all creeds, all politics. One can truly find solace at this place.

After breakfast, start the return journey to Chennai. Board the evening flight at Chennai and arrive home with a bag full of knowledge and memories.
Puduchery – Chennai Distance: 145 Km

INCLUSIONS

  • To and Fro economy class airfare from Pune to Chennai and back to Pune.
  • Local Transport by 2 x 2 AC coach(Depends on group size, seating capacity will be variable)
  • Accommodation in comfortable and convenient hotels on twin sharing.
  • All meals. ( Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Evening Tea- set menu)
  • Entrance fees of all sightseeing.
  • 1-liter water bottle per person per day.
  • Expert charges.

EXCLUSIONS


  • Govt. taxes of 5% over and above the tour cost.
  • Any implementation of new taxes by the government.
  • Cost of insurance.
  • Cost of Pre/Post tour accommodation.
  • Any extra expenses such that porterage, laundry, telephone, shopping, alcoholic beverages, mineral water, items of personal nature and food or drink which is not part of a set menu.
  • Any extra expenses incurred due to illness, accident, hospitalization of an individual.
  • Anything specifically not mentioned in the inclusions.

FEW POINTERS

  • If any sightseeing mentioned is not done due to any unforeseen circumstances then an alternate sightseeing will be done.
  • A traveler may please note that for domestic and international flights, the baggage allowance will be as per respective airline’s baggage policy and weight regulations. Travelers are requested to carry their luggage in accordance with the regulated baggage allowance. Excess baggage will be chargeable and the same is not included in the tour cost. It has to be borne by the traveler.
  • Air tickets issued at special rates are normally NON REFUNDABLE and traveler will need to bear the cancellation charges. If a traveler needs an air booking with the refundable option then he/she will need to bear extra fare specified by airline operator.

PAYMENT POLICY

Tour Cost

Payment

Below package cost ₹ 20, 000 per person

Full payment at the time of booking

Above package cost ₹ 20,000 per person

At the time of booking

40% of the package cost

30 days prior to departure

Remaining 60 % amount

  • Payment can be done via cheque, Demand Draft, NEFT, RTGS, IMPS, Credit Card/ Debit Card or UPI gateway. Cheque/Demand Draft should be drawn in favor of “ANCIENT TRAILS”.
  • In case of payment made by cheque, a booking confirmation will be given subject to cheque clearance.

CANCELLATION POLICY

Cancellation received no. of days prior to departure

Cancellation charges applicable per person

0-10

100%

10-20

50 %

20-30

30 %

30 and above

10%

  • For cancellation procedure, a traveler will need to give an application in writing along with an original receipt of booking.
  • Please note that if air ticket booking is done with NON-REFUNDABLE airfare then cancellation charges to be borne by the customer and the remaining amount will be refunded as per above cancellation policy.