South India Tours
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Chennai, the capital city of Tamil Nadu, is located at the North east of the state. Apart from being a major district, this metropolis also serves as the gateway of South India. General information about Chennai reveals that of late, the city of Chennai has developed as one of the cosmopolitan cities in India that plays an important part in the cultural, intellectual and historical growth of India.
Representing the Dravidian Civilization, the interesting city of Chennai upholds the music, drama, dance, architecture, arts and crafts and sculpture etc of India. Chennai was mainly the result of the historical accident and the strategic necessity. Symbolizing the rise of the British during the 17th century, in the South of India through the creation and consolidation of the famous East India Company, Chennai was established by the British. The city then acted as the naval base and trading centre for the British. By the end of the 20th century the city had already developed as a major administrative centre.
Chennai besides acting as the cultural and educational hub of South India has also been the cradle of several historic movements. Today it is a leading city in terms of trade and commerce. The Chennai economy has a huge industrial base in technology, cars, manufacturing, hardware and health industry. The revenue and the employment sectors of the city are very advanced.
The story of Madurai is a significant part of the centuries-old Indian history. Each episode of the story tells about the rule of an empire in the city. In the period of 2500 years, Madurai was under the regime of the Pandyas, the Cholas, the Sultanate, the Vijayanagar Empire, the Nayaks, the Carnatic Kingdom, and Chanda Sahib, at different times of its historic evolution. Even, the city served as a British Colony in South India from 1801 till 1947.
Madurai was on the map of global travel before thousands of years when Alexander visited India in the 3rd century BC. History says, Megasthenes, the ambassador of Selucus, had toured Madurai during his travels in India, of which reference is found in his account, “Indika”. According to the Ramayana and the Mahabharata, the Pandya Kings used to rule in Madurai.
According to leading historians, Madurai was a thriving commercial city with trading opportunities. The city was a rich source of gemstones, pearls and spices which attracted overseas traders from Indonesia, China and Rome to hit the shores of India, and trade in those goods.
Madurai City is built around the Meenakshi Amman Temple. The structure of the city is shaped like the form of lotus with the temple in the center and streets in a concentric fashion. Though the construction of Meenakshi Temple was patronized by the Pandya King Kulasekara Pandian, and the rulers of the Vijayanagar Empire in the medieval period, most of the magnificent structures standing tall on the cityscape and enchanting visitors owe their origin to Thirumalai Nayak, who became the King of Madurai in the 16th century AD.
Adi Shankaracharya propagated the idea of Hinduism through Advaita Vedanta and the town of Rameshwaram stands as a testimony of his faith. One of the four pilgrimage places, Char Dham of India, it modestly invites followers of Lord Shiva from everywhere to pay visit at least once in their lifetime to the Jyotirlinga installed in the Ramanathaswamy Temple. Vaishnavites are also not left in their devotion to come to this place which is believed to be associated with Lord Rama, incarnation of Lord Vishnu as well.
Located in Ramanathapuram district, the town is a part of Pamban Island also known as Rameshwaram Island being associated with the legendry temple built in marvelous Dravidian style of architecture. Situated at the very tip of the Indian peninsula, the island is connected with Indian mainland by Pamban Bridge on Pamban Channel in Gulf of Mannar.
A visit to Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh is not considered complete in terms of pilgrimage if not coupled with a trip to Rameshwaram which is said to be the Varanasi of South. Welcome to the charm that devotees come to associated with an abode of God irrespective of the place it belong to.
Coimbatore is a city in the south Indian state of Tamil Nadu. To the northwest is the centuries-old, Dravidian-style Arulmigu Subramaniyaswami Temple, Marudamalai. The colorful and intricately carved Arulmigu Patteeswarar Swamy Temple lies southeast of here. In the center, the Gass Forest Museum has a huge collection of preserved animals and tree trunks. Southeast, birds and butterflies inhabit Singanallur Lake.
Thanjavur, formerly Tanjore, is a city in the south Indian state of Tamil Nadu. Thanjavur is an important center of South Indian religion, art, and architecture. Most of the Great Living Chola Temples, which are UNESCO World Heritage Monuments, are located in and around Thanjavur. The foremost among these, the Brihadeeswara Temple, is located in the centre of the city. Thanjavur is also home to Tanjore painting, a painting style unique to the region.
Thanjavur is the headquarters of the Thanjavur District. The city is an important agricultural centre located in the Cauvery Delta and is known as the “Rice bowl of Tamil Nadu”. Thanjavur is administered by a municipal corporation covering an area of 36.33 km2 (14.03 sq mi) and had a population of 222,943 in 2011. Roadways are the major means of transportation, while the city also has rail connectivity. The nearest airport is Tiruchirapalli International Airport, located 59.6 km (37.0 mi) away from the city. The nearest seaport is Karaikal Port, which is 94 km (58 mi) away from Thanjavur.
The city first rose to prominence during the reign of Mutharaiyar when it served as the capital of the empire. After the fall of Cholas, the city was ruled by various dynasties like Pandyas, Vijayanagar Empire, Madurai Nayaks, Thanjavur Nayaks, Thanjavur Marathas and British Empire. It has been a part of independent India since 1947.
Tiruchirappalli, situated on the banks of the river Cauvery is the fourth largest city in Tamil Nadu. It was a citadel of the early Cholas which later fell to the Pallavas. Trichy is a fine blend of tradition and modernity built around the Rock Fort. Apart from the Fort, there are several Churches, Colleges and Missions dating back to the 1760s. The town and its fort, now in Trichy were built by the Nayaks of Madurai. This city has given great Tamil scholars whose contributions to the Tamil literature have been very significant.
The most famous land mark of this bustling town is the Rockfort Temple, a spectacular monument perched on a massive rocky out crop which rises abruptly from the plain to tower over the old city. It was one of the main centers around which the wars of the Carnatic were fought in the 18th century during the British-French struggle for supremacy in India. The city is a thriving commercial centre in Tamil Nadu and is famous for artificial diamonds, cigars, hand loom cloth, glass bangles and wooden and clay toys.