TOUR FHTOR1602S - South India Pilgrimage Tour

SOUTH INDIA BIG1

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Chennai - Mahabalipuram - Kumarakom - Tadapani - Tanjore - Madurai - Kovalam - Periyar - Kanyakumari

15 Nights / 16 Days


It is impossible not to be astonished by India. Nowhere on Earth does humanity present itself in such a dizzying, creative burst of cultures and religions, races and tongues. Every aspect of the country presents itself on a massive, exaggerated scale, worthy in comparison only to the superlative mountains that overshadow it. Perhaps the only thing more difficult than to be indifferent to India would be to describe or understand India completely. With more than 1 billion citizens, India is the second most populous nation in the world. It is impossible to speak of any one Indian culture, although there are deep cultural continuities that tie its people together. English is the major language of trade and politics, but there are fourteen official languages in all. There are twenty-four languages that are spoken by a million people or more, and countless other dialects. India has seven major religions and many minor ones, six main ethnic groups, and countless holidays. Religion is central to Indian culture, and its practice can be seen in virtually every aspect of life in the country. Hinduism is the dominant faith of India, serving about 80 percent of the population. Ten percent worship Islam, and 5 percent are Sikhs and Christians; the rest are Buddhists, Jains, Bahai, and more


Arrive Chennai by flight [Flight to be advised]. You will met and assisted at the airport by our representative and transfer to the hotel. Our representative will assist you for check-in at the hotel.

Chennai, formerly known as Madras, is the state capital of Tamil Nadu and the gateway to the rich and varied culture of the South Indian peninsula. Originally a cluster of fishing hamlets along the Coromandel Coast, the city developed its cohesive shape under the British. Today it is the South India’s commercial and cultural capital and the fourth largest metropolis in India.

Upon arrival transfer to hotel for check - In

Overnight stay at the hotel

Post breakfast proceed for full day city tour.

Kapaleeshwarar Temple is dedicated to Shiva. The form of Shiva's wife Parvati worshipped at this temple is called Karpagambal (from Tamil, "Goddess of the Wish-Yielding Tree"). The temple was built around the 7th century CE in Dravidian architecture. According to the Puranas, Shakti worshipped Shiva in the form of a peacock, giving the vernacular name Mylai (Mayilai) to the area that developed around the temple - mayil is Tamil for "peacock". Shiva is worshiped as Kapaleeswarar, and is represented by the lingam. His consort Parvati is depicted as Karpagambal. The temple has numerous shrines, with those of Kapaleeswarar and Karpagambal being the most prominent. The temple complex houses many halls. The present masonry structure was built during the Vijayanagar rulers of the Tuluva Dynasty (1491–1570 CE).

The Parthasarathy Temple is an 8th-century Hindu Vaishnavite temple dedicated to the god Krishna. The temple is classified as among the 108 Divya Desams dedicated to Vishnu. The name 'Parthasarathy', in Sanskrit, means the 'charioteer of Arjuna', referring to Krishna's role as a charioteer to Arjuna in the epic Mahabaratha. It was originally built by the Pallavas in the 8th century by king Narasimhavarman I. The temple has five of the incarnations or avatars of Vishnu: Narasimha, Rama, Varadaraja, Ranganathar and Krishna. The temple is one of the oldest structures in Chennai. The gopuram (towers) and mandapas (pillars) are decorated with elaborate carvings, a standard feature of South Indian Temple Architecture.

Fort Saint George, A legacy of the British East India Company, which completed constructing it in 1653, Fort Saint George is now home to the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly and Secretariat. It also contains the grand Saint Mary's Church, which is one of the oldest surviving churches built by the British, and the Fort Museum. The museum displays a range of military memorabilia, relics, paintings, and artifacts from the colonial period.

Vadapalani Andavar Temple is dedicated to Lord Muruga. It was renovated in the 1920s and a Rajagopuram was built during that time. The temple has grown in popularity, which is believed to be in part due to the patronage of cinema stars. Built around 1890, this temple began as a simple thatched shed. Around 7,000 couples marry there each year. Many sannidhis (Deities) are present in the temple courtyards, including Varasiddhi Vinayaka, Chokkanathar, Meenakshi Amman, Kali, Bhairava, Shanmuga with Valli and Devasena. It has a spacious hall used for marriages and religious discourse. It is one of the most-frequented Murugan shrines in Chennai. The entrance to this temple is crowned with a Rajagopuram adorned with several stucco images depicting legends from the Skanda puranam. In front of the temple is the temple tank. The eastern tower rises to a height of 40.8 meters. The 108 bharata natyam dance gestures can be seen on the eastern tower.

Later, drive through the Marina Beach. For a real Indian beach experience, head to Marina beach at sunset and soak up the carnival-like atmosphere. The beach, which is the longest urban beach in India, starts from near Fort Saint George and runs south for 13 kilometers (8.1 miles). It's dotted with numerous statues and monuments, and is a popular hangout place for locals.

Overnight stay at the hotel

Breakfast at the hotel

Post breakfast, check out & drive to Tirupati.

Tirupati is considered one of the holiest Hindu pilgrimage sites because of Tirumala Venkateswara Temple, besides other historical temples, and is referred to as the "Spiritual Capital of Andhra Pradesh".  As per Anthropological Survey of India, the word "Tirupati" is derived from the Tamil words: Tiru ("divine" or "holy") and Pathi ("lord"). Tirupati is sometimes referred to as Lower Tirupati, and nearby Tirumala as Upper Tirupati. According to Varaha Purana, during Treta Yugam, Lord Sri Rama resided here along with Sita Devi and Lakshmana on his return from Lankapuri. The town was an established center of Vaishnavism around the 5th century A.D. during which it was praised by Alvars. The temple rites were formalized by the Vaishnavite saint Ramanujacharya in the 11th century AD. Tirupati survived the Muslim and British invasions. During the Muslim invasion of South India, the deity of Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple, Srirangam was brought to Tirupati for safekeeping.

Arrive Tirupati & check in at hotel.

Later, proceed on to visit Sri Venkateswara Swamy Temple

Sri Venkateswara Swamy Temple is a landmark vaishnavite temple situated in the hill town of Tirumala at Tirupati. The Temple is dedicated to Lord Venkateswara, an incarnation of Vishnu, who is believed to be appeared here to save mankind from trials and troubles of Kali Yuga. Hence the place has also got the name Kaliyuga Vaikuntham and Lord here is referred to as Kaliyuga Prathyaksha Daivam. The temple is also known by other names like Tirumala Temple, Tirupati Temple, Tirupati Balaji Temple. Venkateswara is known by many other names: Balaji, Govinda, and Srinivasa. The Temple is constructed in Dravidian architecture and is believed to be constructed over a period of time starting from 300 AD. The Garbagriha (Sanctum Sanctorum) is called Ananda Nilayam. The preciding deity, Venkateswara, is in standing posture and faces east in Garbha griha. The temple follows Vaikhanasa Agama tradition of worship. The temple is one of the eight Vishnu Swayambhu Kshetras and is listed as 106th and the last earthly Divya Desam. It is the richest temple in the world in terms of donations received and wealth, and the most-visited place of worship in the world. There are several legends associated with the manifestation of the Lord in Tirumala. According to one legend, the temple has a murti (deity) of Lord Venkateswara, which it is believed shall remain here for the entire duration of the present Kali Yuga.

Continue on to visit Sri Govindaraja Swamy & Kanipakam.

Sri Govindaraja Swamy is the elder brother of Swamy Venkateswara, who accomplished the ever-magnificent marriage between Venkateswara Swamy and Padmavathi Ammavaru. The Govindaraja Swamy was the caretaker of massive wealth being obtained from king Kubera for conducting the marriage. He efficiently utilized this wealth to conduct one of the most glorious marriages in the history. Hence Govindaraja Swamy is considered to be the god who helps you elevate your wealth and efficiently manage the wealth acquired. Legend says when South India was invaded by Muslims, the presiding Perumal of Chidambaram, Sri Govindaraja Swamy was brought and kept safely in Tirupati. After the situation at Chidambaram returned to normalcy, the vigraham of Lord Govindaraja Swamy was taken back from Tirupati. One day, Sri Ramanuja in his dream had a vision of Lord Govindaraja Swamy, He was advised by Lord to make arrangements for Him to reside in Tirupati. Sri Ramanuja who was already aware about Sri Govindaraja Swamy’s stay in Tirupati during Muslim invasion took the help of the king and went to the place which he saw in his dream. To everyone’s astonishment, they found the vigraham. Sri Ramanuja advised the king to construct a temple for Lord and construct houses for the people doing kainkaryam in the Govindaraja Swamy temple. This temple is a remarkable achievement of the ancient south Indian architecture. It's tall and remarkable seven storied outer Gopuram with 11 kalasas was dated to be constructed around 14-15th century is the huge one in Chittoor district. This Gopuram is enriched with the handwork depicting the scenes from Baghavata, Ramyana and Sri Venketeswara swami's life.

Kanipakam is a very famous pilgrimage, as it is believed that the idol of Lord Ganesha grows in size. The 11th century temple was built by Kullottunga, the famous Chola king. The temple was further developed during 14th century by the kings of Vijayanagar.

Overnight stay at the hotel

Breakfast at the hotel

In time, check out & drive to Mahabalipuram. En route visit Kanchipuram.

Kanchipuram – is the ancient capital of the Pallavas famous as a city of 1000 Temples and still has 124 shrines. The first temple dedicated to Shiva was built in the 7th and 8th century and has paintings on the walls. Temples of Ekambaswara, Kailasanatha, Sri Kamakshi and Varadarajaswamy are of interest. Kanchipuram is also famous for its silks.

Continue on your drive to Mahabalipuram.

Evening is free.

Overnight stay at the hotel

Breakfast at the hotel

Later visit of Mahabalipuram, Shore Temple & Panch Raths.

Shore temple: it is believed that there were seven magnificent temples what are known as the seven pagodas, built near the sea shore. But the lonely survivor is the shore temples. It was originally constructed during the 7th century and later it was Narasimha Varman II, (Rajasimha) completed the skilled work in his rule. This is one of the oldest of the south Indian Temples which were structural temples constructed in the nature Dravidian style. This shore temple has gained popularity and tourists gather here because it has been listed among the world heritage sites of the UNESCO. The temple is full of designs made by carvings.

Panch Rath: The five Rathas is a set of magnificent monolithic rock temples. Panch is a Hindi world which means ‘Five’. These fine rock temples are located in a sandy compound. These five Rathas, DRAUPADI’S RATH, ARJUNA’S RATH, NAKUL – SAHADEV’S RATH, BHIMA RATH, YUDHISTAR’S RATH, THE GANESH RATH.

Overnight stay at the hotel

Breakfast at hotel

In time, check out & drive to Pondicherry.

Pondicherry is a popular destination & is famous for its many colonial buildings, churches, temples, and statues which, combined with the systematic town planning and planned French style avenues, still preserve much of the colonial ambiance. There are a number of old and large churches in Pondicherry, most of which were built in the 18th and 19th centuries. A number of heritage buildings and monuments are present around the Promenade Beach, such as the Dupleix Statue, Gandhi statue, Le Café, French War Memorial, 19th Century Light House are amongst the few to name.

Arrive Pondicherry & Visit Aurobindo Ashram and Auroville.

Auroville (City of Dawn) is an "experimental" township located 8 km north-west of Pondicherry. It is meant to be a universal town where men and women of all countries are able to live in peace and progressive harmony, above all creeds, all politics and all nationalities.

After the sightseeing of Pondicherry, drive to Kumbakonam.

Arrive Kumbakonam & check in at hotel.

Overnight stay at the hotel

Breakfast at hotel

Morning, proceed to visit the Temples of Chidambaram & Gangaikondacholapuram.

Thillai Natarajah Temple or Chidambaram temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. The temple is known as the foremost of all temples (Kovil) to Saivites and has influenced worship, architecture, sculpture and performance art for over two millennium. The deity that presides here is Thillai Koothan (Thillai Nataraja - Shiva, The Lord of Dance). Chidambaram is the birthplace of the sculpture and bronze image representation of Lord Shiva as the cosmic dancer, a Tamilian concept and motif in Chola art that has since become notable as a symbol of Hinduism. The shrine is the only Shiva temple to have its main deity represented in this anthropomorphic form, as the supreme being who performs all cosmic activities. The consort deity here is Sivakami Amman (form of Amman - mother goddess and female energy). Two other forms of Lord Shiva are represented close to this in the vimana (inner sanctum) of the temple - as a crystallized lingam - the most common representation of Lord Shiva in temples, and as the ether space classical element, represented with empty space and a garland of fifty one hanging golden vilvam leaves (Aegle marmelos). Lord Shiva is captured in pose as Nataraja performing the Ananda Tandava ("Dance of Delight") in the golden hall of the shrine Pon Ambalam. The sculptures of Chidambaram inspired the postures of Bharatha Natyam. The Chidambaram complex is admired for its five famous halls (ambalam or sabhai), several grand smaller shrines to the Hindu deities Ganesh, Murugan, Vishnu and Sivakami Amman which contain Pandyan and Nayak architectural styles, and for its endowment from many water tanks, one of which links it to the Thillai Kali temple.

Gangaikonda Cholapuram was built during medieval india and was erected as the capital of the Cholas by Rajendra Chola I, the son and successor of Rajaraja Chola, the great Chola who conquered a large area in South India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Sumatra, Kadaram (Kedah in Malaysia), Cambodia and others at the beginning of the 11th century A.D. It occupies an important place in the history of India. As the capital of the Cholas from about 1025 A.D. for about 250 years, the city controlled the affairs of entire southern India, from the Tungabhadra in the north to Ceylon in the south and other south east Asian countries. The temple was founded in the year 1020 and it took approximately nine years to fully complete the construction work. Gangaikonda Cholapuram Temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva, one of the Hindu Trinity of Gods. The person who can be credited with the erection of this temple is King Rajendra Chozhan, son of Raja Raja Chozhan. Rajendra built this temple to recreate his father's achievement, the Brihadeeswarar Temple of Thanjavur.

Later afternoon, visit Darasuram.

Airavatesvara Temple is a Hindu temple of Dravidian architecture located in the town of Darasuram. This temple, built by Rajaraja Chola II in the 12th century CE is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Airavatesvara temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. Shiva is here known as Airavateshvara, because he was worshipped at this temple by Airavata, the white elephant of the king of the gods, Indra. Legend has it that Airavata, while suffering from a change of color curse from Sage Durvasa, had its colors restored by bathing in the sacred waters of this temple. This legend is commemorated by an image of Airavata with Indra seated in an inner shrine. The temple and the presiding deity derive its name from this incident. It is said that the King of Death, Yama also worshipped Shiva here. Tradition has it Yama, who was suffering under a Rishi's curse to form a burning sensation all over the body, was cured by the presiding deity Airavatesvarar. Yama took bath in the sacred tank and got rid of the burning sensation. Since then the tank has been known as Yamateertham.

Overnight stay at the hotel

 

Post breakfast check out from the hotel & drive to Tanjore.

 

Thanjavur, formerly Tanjore, 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.

 

On arrival check in at hotel.

 

Later visit Brihadeeswara Temple at Tanjore.

Brihadeshwara Temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva & is an important example of Tamil architecture achieved during the Chola dynasty. It is one of the largest temples in India and one of India's most prized architectural sites. Built by emperor Raja Raja Chola I and completed in 1010 AD. The temple is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site known as the "Great Living Chola Temples".

Return to Hotel.

Overnight stay at the hotel

After an early breakfast, check out & drive to Madurai. En route visit of Trichy.

Trichy: Trichy, also called as Tiruchirappalli, was once a part of the Chola kingdom & is famous for its number of exquisitely sculpted temples and fortresses. Most of the temples, including the Rockfort temples, the Ranganathaswamy Temple at Srirangam, the Jambukeswarar Temple at Thiruvanaikkaval & others were built in the Dravidian style of architecture. The Ranganathaswamy Temple and Jambukeswarar Temple are often counted among the best examples of this style. The rock-cut cave temples of the Rockfort is listed as monuments of national importance by the Archaeological Survey of India.

On arrival in Trichy proceed to visit of Srirangam & Rock Fort.

The Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple or Thiruvarangam is dedicated to Ranganatha, a reclining form of Hindu deity, Vishnu located in Srirangam. Constructed in the Dravidian style of architecture, this temple is glorified in the Thiviya Pirabandham, the early medieval Tamil literature canon of the Alvar saints from the 6th to 9th century AD and is counted among the 108 Divya Desams dedicated to Vishnu. The temple follows Thenkalai tradition of worship. It is one of the most illustrious Vaishnava temples in South India rich in legend and history. Its location, on an island in Cauvery river, has rendered it vulnerable to natural disasters as well as the rampaging of invading armies – Muslim and European – which repeatedly commandeered the site for military encampment. The main entrance, known as the Rajagopuram (the royal temple tower), rises from the base area of around 13 cents (around 5720 sq ft) and goes up to 237 feet (72 m), moving up in eleven progressively smaller tiers.

Rockfort is a historic fortification and temple complex built on an ancient rock. It is located in the city of Tiruchirappalli, Tamil Nadu, India. It is constructed on an 83 meters (272 ft) high rock that may date to over one billion years ago. There are two Hindu temples inside, the Ucchi Pillayar Temple and the Thayumanaswami Temple. Other local attractions include the famous Pallava-era Ganesha temple and the Madurai Nayak-era fort. The fort complex has witnessed fierce battles between the Madurai Nayakas and Adil Shahi dynasty of Bijapur, Carnatic region and Maratha Imperial forces. The fort played an important part during the Carnatic Wars, helping lay the foundations of the British Empire in India. The Rockfort is the most prominent landmark of the city.

Continue on to Madurai.

Madurai located on the banks of River Vaigai, has been a major settlement for two millennia and is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. The recorded history of the city goes back to the 3rd century BC, being mentioned by Megasthenes, the Greek ambassador to India, and Kautilya, a minister of the Mauryan emperor. The city is believed to be of significant antiquity and has been ruled, at different times, by kingdoms and the British. The city has a number of historical monuments, with the Meenakshi Amman Temple and Tirumalai Nayak Palace being the most prominent.

Later proceed on to visit of Meenakshi temple & Mariamman Teppakulam.

Meenakshi Temple is a historic Hindu temple. It is dedicated to Parvati, known as Meenakshi, and her consort, Shiva, here named Sundareswarar. The temple forms the heart and lifeline of the 2,500 year old city of Madurai and is a significant symbol for the Tamil people, mentioned since antiquity in Tamil literature though the present structure was built between 1623 and 1655 CE. It houses 14 gopurams (gateway towers), ranging from 45–50m in height. The tallest is the southern tower, 51.9 meters (170 ft) high and two golden sculptured vimanas, the shrines over the garbhagrihas (sanctums) of the main deities. There are an estimated 33,000 sculptures in the temple. It was on the list of top 30 nominees for the "New Seven Wonders of the World".

Evening we proceed for the Night ceremony at Meenakshi temple.

Overnight stay at the hotel

After an early breakfast, proceed on to a day excursion to Rameshwaram.

Rameswaram, also known as Ramesvaram is located on Pamban Island separated from mainland India by the Pamban channel and is about 50 kilometers from Mannar Island, Sri Lanka. It is situated in the Gulf of Mannar, at the very tip of the Indian peninsula. Pamban Island, also known as Rameswaram Island, is connected to mainland India by the Pamban Bridge. Together with Varanasi, it is considered to be one of the holiest places in India to Hindus, and part of the Char Dham pilgrimage. Rameswaram is the closest point to reach Sri Lanka and geological evidence suggests that the Rama Sethu was a former land connection between India and Sri Lanka. According to Hindu mythology, this is the place from where the Hindu god Rama built a bridge, across the sea to Lanka to rescue his wife Sita from her abductor Ravana. The Ramanathaswamy Temple dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva is located at the center of the town and is closely associated with Rama. The temple along with the town is considered a holy pilgrimage site for both Shaivites and Vaishnavites.

Arrive Rameshwaram & visit Ramanathaswamy Temple

Ramanathaswamy Temple is a Hindu temple dedicated to god Shiva located on Rameswaram island. It is also one of the twelve Jyothirlinga temples, where Shiva is worshipped in the form of a Jyotirlingam (pillar of light). It is one of the 274 Paadal Petra Sthalams, where the three of the most revered Nayanars (Saivite saints), Appar, Sundarar and Tirugnana Sambandar, have glorified the temple with their songs. The temple was expanded during the 12th century by Pandya Dynasty, and its principal shrines sanctum was renovated by Jeyaveera Cinkaiariyan and his successor Gunaveera Cinkaiariyan of the Jaffna kingdom. The temple has the longest corridor among all Hindu temples in India. It is considered a holy pilgrimage site for Shaivites, Vaishnavites and Smarthas. According to the Ramayana, Rama, the seventh incarnation of god Vishnu, is believed to have prayed to Shiva here to absolve sin of killing a Brahmana, committed during his war against the demon king Ravana in Sri Lanka. Rama wanted to have the largest lingam to worship Shiva. He directed Hanuman, the monkey lieutenant in his army, to bring the lingam from Himalayas. Since it took longer to bring the lingam, Sita, the wife of Rama, built a small lingam out of the sand available in the sea shore, which is believed to be the lingam in the sanctum.

Continue on to visit Agnitheertham.

Agnitheertham: The sandy shores of Rameswaram are one of the most holy places for the Hindu pilgrims. The Agnitheertham, are a collection of 22 such spots at the shores which the pilgrims bath in. According to Hindu mythology Lord Ram took a bath at the shores to absolve him from the sin of the killings in the war against Ravana. The faith among pilgrims is that child-less couples bathing in this Tirtham and offering prayers to Lord Shiva at the temple would be blessed with children. New moon days and Full moon days are considered to be the most auspicious bathing days here.

Culminate your tour by visiting The Five-faced Hanuman Temple.

The Five-faced Hanuman Temple: The temple is famous for its unique incarnation of the mighty monkey god Lord Hanuman. The image of the deity has five faces namely Lord Hanuman, Lord Adivaraha, Lord Narasimha, Lord Hayagriva and Lord Garuda. The idol is carved from a large senthooram stone from which vermilion is derived. The ancient idols of Lord Ram, Sita and Lakshamana that were brought during a cyclone from Dhanushkodi are also placed here. The floating stone, used to build the Sethu Bandanamor the bridge between India and Lanka can be found in this temple.

In time, return to Madurai.

Overnight stay at the hotel

Post breakfast check out from the hotel & drive to Periyar.

Periyar is often called the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary or Thekkady. It is located high in the Cardamom Hills and Pandalam Hills. The National Park is a protected area & is notable as an elephant reserve and a tiger reserve. The park is made up of tropical evergreen and moist deciduous forests, grasslands, stands of eucalyptus, and lake and river ecosystems. It is also famous for its Flora & Fauna. There are 35 species of mammals recorded in the park, including many threatened species & is an important tiger and elephant reserve.

Arrive in Periyar & check in at hotel.

Later in the afternoon, proceed on for a Nature Walk & Spice Plantation visit.

Overnight stay at the hotel

Early in the morning, proceed for Boat Ride in Periyar National Park.

Return to Hotel for Breakfast.

Later in the morning, drive to Kovalam.

Kovalam is located around 16 km from Thiruvananthapuram is a beach town by the Arabian Sea. Kovalam means a grove of coconut trees and true to its name the village offers an endless sight of coconut trees. Kovalam has three beaches which are most popular & are separated by rocky outcroppings in its 17 km coastline, the three together form the famous crescent of the Kovalam beach.

On arrival check in at hotel.

Evening is free.

Overnight stay at the hotel

Breakfast at the hotel

Morning, proceed for a Day excursion to Kanyakumari.

En-route visit Padmanabhapuram Palace.

Padmanabhapuram Palace is located at Padmanabhapuram Fort & is the former capital city of the erstwhile Hindu kingdom of Travancore. The palace complex is inside an old granite fortress around four kilometers long. The palace is located at the foot of the Veli Hills, which form a part of the Western Ghats. The river Valli flows nearby.

Continue on to Kanyakumari.

Kanyakumari also was formerly known as Cape Comorin. The name comes from the temple, Devi Kanya Kumari Temple in the region. It is the southernmost tip of peninsular India. Kanya kumari town is the southern tip of the Cardamom Hills, an extension of the Western Ghats range. Ptolemy's geography describes commercial relations between western India and Alexandria, the chief eastern emporium of the Roman Empire. He identified Kanyakumari (Cape of Comorin) along with the Gulf of Mannar as a center for pearl fishery. He also identifies Korkai, a place to the east of Kanyakumari, as an emporium of pearl trade. Kanyakumari has been a great center for art and religion for centuries. It was also an area of great trade and commerce. It was ruled by the Cholas, the Cheras, the Pandyas and the Nayaks. The architectural beauty of the temples in the area are the works of these rulers. Later Kanyakumari became part of the Venad kingdom with its capital at Quilon. The king of Venad, Anizham Thirunal Marthanda Varma, established Travancore by extending his domain further north up to Azhva, during his reign from 1729 to 1758. By this, the present Kanyakumari District came to be known as Southern Travancore. In 1741, Maharaja Marthanda Varma defeated the Dutch East India Company at the famous Battle of Colachel.

On arrival, proceed on to visit Vivekananda Rock Memorial.

Vivekananda Rock Memorial stands on one of two rocks located about 500 meters east off mainland of Vavathurai, India's southernmost tip. It was built in 1970 in honor of Swami Vivekananda who is said to have attained enlightenment on the rock. According to local legends, it was on this rock that Goddess Kumari performed austerity. A meditation hall (Dhyana Mandapam) is also attached to the memorial for visitors to meditate. The design of the mandapa incorporates different styles of temple architecture from all over India. It houses a statue of Vivekananda.

Continue on to visit The Devi Kanya Kumari Temple.

Devi Kanya Kumari Temple has Shree Bhagavathy in the form of an adolescent girl child. Devi is also known as Shree Baala Bhadra or Shree Baala. She is popularly known as "Bhagavathy" (Durga or Parvati) "Devi". The Bhagavathy Temple is located in Cape Kanya Kumari in Tamil Nadu; the southern tip of main land India, there by located on the confluence of the Bay of Bengal, the Arabian Sea, and the Indian Ocean. She is also known by several other names, including Kanya Devi and Devi Kumari. She is also worshiped as Shree Bhadrakali by devotees. Sage Parashurama is said to have performed the consecration of the temple. The Goddess is believed to be the one who removes the rigidity of our mind, devotees usually feel the tears in their eyes or even inside their mind when they pray to the goddess in devotion and contemplation. The worship of Devi Kanya Kumari dates back to the Vedic times. She has been mentioned in Ramayana, Mahabharata, and the Sangam works Manimekalai, Puranaanooru and Nārāyaṇa (Mahanarayaṇa) Upanishad, a Vaishnava Upanishad in the Taittiriya Samhita of Krishna Yajur Veda. As directed by his Guru Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, Swami Vivekananda, came here to seek Devi's blessing in December 1892, as devi is the goddess of Sanyasa. It is in this location he decided to embark on the Missionary Work to a higher level of action rather than being passive like the usual Sanyasis'.

Overnight stay at the hotel

Breakfast at hotel.

Morning is free to relax at beach.

Later proceed to Trivandrum for shopping.

Overnight stay at the hotel

Breakfast at the hotel

In time transfer to Trivandrum International Airport for your flight back home

!!! Tour Ends!!!

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