DAY 03: PONDICHERRY – MAHABALIPURAM- CHENNAI (BREAKFAST)
After early breakfast check out hotel and proceed to Mahabalipuram.
Arrival at Mahabalipuram and proceed to visit FIVE RATHAS, Pancha Rathas (also known as Five Rathas or Pandava Rathas) is a monument complex at Mahabalipuram, on the Coromandel Coast of the Bay of Bengal, in the Kancheepuram district of the state of Tamil Nadu, India. Pancha Rathas is an example of monolithic Indian rock-cut architecture. Dating from the late 7th century, it is attributed to the reign of King Mahendravarman I and his son Narasimhavarman I (630–680 AD; also called Mamalla, or “great warrior”) of the Pallava Kingdom. An innovation of Narasimhavarman, the structures are without any precedent in Indian architecture. The complex is under the auspices of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) and is part of the UNESCO World Heritage site inscribed by UNESCO as Group of Monuments at Mahabalipuram.
ARJUNA’S PENANCE, Descent of the Ganges is a monument at Mamallapuram, on the Coromandel Coast of the Bay of Bengal, in the Kancheepuram district of the state of Tamil Nadu, India. Measuring 96 by 43 feet (29 m × 13 m), it is a giant open-air rock relief carved on two monolithic rock boulders. The legend depicted in the relief is the story of the descent of the sacred river Ganges to earth from the heavens led by Bhagiratha. The waters of the Ganges are believed to possess supernatural powers. The descent of the Ganges and Arjuna’s Penance are portrayed in stone at the Pallava heritage site. The relief is more of a canvas of Indian rock cut sculpture at its best not seen anywhere in India. It is one of the Group of Monuments at Mamallapuram that were designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1984.
KRISHNA MANDAPAM, Mandapa of Krishna or Krishna Mandapam is a monument at Mahabalipuram, on the Coromandel Coast of the Bay of Bengal, in the Kancheepuram district of the state of Tamil Nadu, India. It is part of the Group of Monuments at Mahabalipuram, a UNESCO World Heritage Site inscribed in 1984. It is located on a hillock next to the open rock relief of Descent of the Ganges (Mahabalipuram).
SHORE TEMPLE, The Shore Temple (built in 700–728 AD) is so named because it overlooks the shore of the Bay of Bengal. It is a structural temple, built with blocks of granite, dating from the 8th century AD. At the time of its creation, the site was a busy port during the reign of Narasimhavarman II of the Pallava dynasty. As one of the Group of Monuments at Mahabalipuram, it has been classified as a UNESCOWorld Heritage Site since 1984. It is one of the oldest structural (versus rock-cut) stone temples of South India. Shore temple is a complex of temples and shrines.
Enjoy Beach and later proceed to Chennai. Arrival at Chennai, check in hotel, refresh.
MARINA BEACH, is a natural urban beach in the city of Chennai (Madras), India, along the Bay of Bengal. The beach runs from near Fort St. George in the north to Foreshore Estate in the south, a distance of 6.0 km (3.7 mi), making it the longest natural urban beach in the country and one of the world’s longest beach ranking with 1. The Marina is primarily sandy, unlike the short, rocky formations that make up the Juhu Beach in Mumbai. The average width of the beach is 300 m (980 ft) and the width at the widest stretch is 437 m (1,434 ft). Bathing and swimming at the Marina Beach are legally prohibited because of the dangers, as the undercurrent is very turbulent. It is one of the most crowded beaches in the country and attracts about 30,000 visitors a day during weekdays and 50,000 visitors a day during the weekends and on holidays. During summer months, about 1,50,000 to 2,00,000 people visit the beach daily.
KAPALEESWAR TEMPLE, Kapaleeshwarar Temple is a Hindu temple dedicated to Shiva located in Mylapore, Chennai in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. The form of Shiva’s consort Parvati worshipped at this temple is called Karpagambal is from Tamil, (“Goddess of the Wish-Yielding Tree”). The temple was built around the 7th century CE in Dravidian architecture.
FORT ST. GEORGE, Fort St George (or historically, White Town is the name of the first English (later British) fortress in India, founded in 1644 at the coastal city of Madras, the modern city of Chennai. The construction of the fort provided the impetus for further settlements and trading activity, in what was originally an uninhabited land. Thus, it is a feasible contention to say that the city evolved around the fortress. The fort currently houses the Tamil Nadu legislative assembly and other official buildings. The fort is one of the 163 notified areas (megalithic sites) in the state of Tamil Nadu
MUSEUM, The Government Museum or Madras Museum is a museum of human history and culture located in the neighbourhood of Egmore in Chennai, India. Started in 1851, it is the second oldest museum in India after the Indian Museum in Kolkata. It is particularly rich in archaeological and numismatic collections. It has the largest collection of Roman antiquities outside Europe. Among them, the colossal Museum Theatre is one of the most impressive. The National Art Gallery is also present in the museum premises. Built in Indo-Saracenic style, it houses rare works of artists like Raja Ravi Varma
SANTHOME CHURCH, San Thome Basilica is a Roman Catholic minor basilica in Santhome, in the city of Chennai, India. It was built in the 16th century by Portuguese explorers, over the tomb of Saint Thomas, one of the twelve apostles of Jesus.
APPARSWAMY TEMPLE, Apparswami Temple is a Hindu temple built in honour of Apparswami, a 19th-century Saivite saint. The temple, situated on Royapettah High Road, is built around his tomb over which a shivalinga was set up by his chief devotee Chidambaraswamy
And ST. THOMAS MOUNT, is a small hillock in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India, near the neighbourhood of Guindy and very close to Chennai International Airport.The ancient Syrian Christian community of India trace the origin of their church to St. Thomas the Apostle, believed to have been martyred in St. Thomas Mount. From the 17th century, this part of Chennai was populated predominantly by Anglo-Indians The St. Thomas Garrison Church is at the bottom of St Thomas Mount. St. Thomas Syro Malabar Catholic Church is located east of the shrine at North Silver Street, foot holds of the mountain shrine.
Drive back to hotel. Overnight at Chennai