Fever of South India Holiday Tour Packages
It is that part of the year when you start preparing for your annual holidays. Winters will be settling in the Northern Plains of India by end November and there is no better place than South India to enjoy the warm weather then.
Your South India travel plan can work like this:
Several holiday tour packages in South India revolve around traveling to the various temple cities down south. Fly down to Chennai from Mumbai or Delhi or take a train from your city. Even though there are several travel websites for train and flight bookings, you may consider the Government of India websites like www.irctc.in also.
Relax in one of the many hotels in Chennai and then plan your short trip to Tirupati, the ancient temple town devoted to Lord Vishnu. Tirupati is one of the most ancient temple towns in India and the temple there is one of the richest. It is said that Lord Vishnu or Tirupati is still repaying his debts to Lord Kuber through the offerings made by the devotees.
The distance of Tirupati from Chennai is 154 kilometres and can be covered in 3.5 hours by car or bus. Many South India travel packages will have details of several travel operators to Tirupati from Chennai.
Return to Chennai from Tirupati in the evening
Next morning, head over to the ancient temple town of Kancheepuram and also the capital of the Pallava dynasty. The distance of Kancheepuram from Chennai is 76 kilometres. Your taxi will take just 1.5 hours to cover this distance. Kancheepuram is famous for its silk sarees so you may pick the right fabrics at the right price.
Mahabalipuram should be the next temple town in your South India Travel Plan and this temple town is a traveller’s delight. This ancient town was once a port and has several temples which are more than 1400 years old. You can head to Mahabalipuram from Kancheepuram.
Return to Chennai the same day and have a full night’s rest. If you have time and sufficient energy then spend some time at Marina or Golden Beach.
Tiruvannamallai – Unique By All Means
Most South India tour packages do not have Tiruvannamallai. This temple town is 112 kilometres from Chennai, roughly 3 hours of drive time. There is an ancient Shiva temple here. Soak in the atmosphere here, wander around and make friends here. After lunch, drive over to Puducherry, one of the most relaxing towns in India. The distance of Puducherry from Tiruvannamallai is 131 kilometres or 4 hours. Check in one of the hotels here and have a hearty South Indian dinner in one of the numerous restaurants here. Do not forget to partake the filter coffee that comes with the dinner. It is one of the best experiences that you will never forget.
Puducherry was one of the very few colonies that the French had in India. It was absorbed in the Indian union in 1954 and since then, is one of the Union Territories of India and is administered by the Central Government of India.
Next morning, drive to the Aurobindo Ashram located 10 kilometres north of Puducherry. Home to one of the most revered saints of India Sri Aurobindo, the Ashram sheds light on his life and ideals. Close by is Auroville, a modern village where you can live with international travellers and learn and share life experiences. Dinner and overnight stay at Puducherry recommended.
Option of Chidambaram
Your South India Travel Plan must also include a short trip to Chidambaram -65 kilometres from Puducherry. This ancient town is famous for the Nataraj temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. The root of the idol of the deity is covered with plates of gold. Lord Shiva is considered the master dancer and you will find sculptures and images of Bharatnatyam on the temple walls.
Have your lunch at Chidambaram and then proceed to Thanjavur which is 104 kilometres away. Capital of the Chola dynasty, this temple town has the Brihadeshwara temple. The spire of the temple rises to 15 metres from the ground. Overnight stay and dinner at Thanjavur preferred.
After having breakfast, drive over to Trichy and visit the Ranganath temple on the banks of The Kaveri River. Ranganath is another name of Lord Vishnu. Dinner and overnight stay at Trichy.
Madurai – A Necessity
Next morning, after breakfast, drive over to Madurai which is 153 kilometres from Trichy. Madurai has Meenakshi temple which was made out of rocks and the palace of King Tirumala. Please stay overnight here and have your dinner.
Your South India Travel Plan would be incomplete without driving to Rameshwaram which is 158 kilometres from Madurai. This place holds a very important position in Indian history and has an ancient temple devoted to Lord Shiva. Overnight stay and dinner at Rameshwaram strongly recommended.
You can finish off your South India Travel itinerary by driving back to Chennai or taking a road trip to Thiruvananthapuram via Kanyakumari. From Thiruvananthapuram, you can take a flight or train back to your home city.