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Thriving Ancient Tamil Culture

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The Tamil culture comprises of:

  • A classical language whose well-composed literature has been traced to the 300 B.C.E.

  • Exquisite art forms such as Bharatanatyam dance, Theru Koothu, Silambattam, Carnatic Music

  • Mammoth  temple architecture that highlights the science and art of the Pallava, Chola, Pandya era, notably in Mamallapuram, Kanchipuram and Thanjavur

  • Organic Agricultural practices that are recognised as the need today

  • Amazing river management systems that feed the crops, the Kallanai Dam and Veearanam Lake that are ancient engineering marvels.

  • Hard-working  Tamil people who embrace a simple lifestyle in spite of the above mentioned grand    heritage​

Your  local experiences are authentic. You meet unassuming townspeople and villagers who love sharing their space with you – in homes and artistic work areas.

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Tour Dates: 3 - 14 Feb, 2025

The people and landscape vibrant after harvest festival

Itinerary Outline

Duration - 11 nights / 12 days

Chennai

This is an energetic city, with a very modern exterior characterised by large shopping malls, modern metro trains, and booming IT corridor. We enter the by lanes to explore country medicine shops, traditional dance classrooms, barotta shops and other rustic flavours of Tamilnadu. We shop at the street groceries and cook a traditional meal with a family. From Mylapore to Mint street, we discover the changing facets of Chennai.

Mamallapuram

This is where Tamilnadu’s temple building started. The 6th century rock cut temples speak of the genius and hard work of the sculptors. The images on the bas reliefs, the symmetry of the Shore temple, the magic of Krishna’s Butter Ball make us revere this open air stone art gallery.

Pondicherry

This town traded with the Romans in the 2nd century BC. Today it is home to an international township Auroville. Between these two eras Pondicherry drew many notable personalities to its peaceful shores that resulted in a cultural exchange that can be perceived during our local visits. We explore fishing villages, try our hand at pottery, watch salt making and take in the aromas of the local market.

Kumbakonam

When we enter this district, we get nostalgic. It’s as though time stood still in the villages that we drive through. This region is living proof of the great Chola dynasty and their patronage to exquisite arts and crafts. The agricultural lands flourishing around the 2nd century Veeranam Lake give a shout out to the ancient irrigation system. The rock experiments of Mamallapuram are found in a highly evolved stage in the miniatures of Darassuram.  Traditional looms of silk and cotton, bronze furnaces, rich filter coffee, grand temples are a contrast to the refreshingly simple lifestyle of the locals we visit.

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Thanjavur

The Big Temple in Thanjavur speaks not just of grand architecture. It is testimony to the good governance of Raja Raja Chozhan and his reminder to the current generation to thing big and achieve dreams.  The many temples in Tamizhnadu were job-creating entities, community building magnets and a centre for preservation of ancient arts. Our interactions in this town let us understand how all this works even today.

Madurai

The word Madurai evokes the fragrance of jasmine, flavour of ancient Tamizh literature,  the legend of Kannagi’s righteousness and of course the divinity of Meenakshi Sundareswarar. Visits to village homes and meeting with community organisations, our immersion in Tamil culture becomes wholesome in Madurai.

Cherished Experiences
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  • Walking through  Mylapore market, the array of daily use items purchased by the locals are a treat to our five senses. From fresh vegetables, fruits and flowers to medicinal herbs, dance jewellery and hot bajji.

  • That huge rock, fondly called Krishna’s Butter Ball, perched over the centuries on a slopy hill, defying gravity.

  • Fish Auction in a seaside village where a fisherman walks you through the various processes that bring sea food to your table.

  • The spiritual side of casting bronze statues is understood when the sculptor explains the final step of opening the deity’s eyes.

  • Tracing the horse tracks of Chozha kings across Kumbakonam and Thanjavur, through verdant paddy fields, we learn about the excellent irrigation system that has been functioning for more than 1500 years.

  • The fragrance of Tamil language is most strong in Madurai, the seat of Sangam literature. The many facets of this historical city will be the ultimate immersion into Tamil culture

  • Meet local changemakers advocating best practices in earth care

  • You will have opportunities to understand the traditional practices such as family and temple rituals through discussions with the many resource persons you will meet during  visits

You Pay

USD 3850 per person on twin share

Single Supplement USD 1300 

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You get
  • Accommodation for 11 nights in 5 star, 4 star and Heritage hotels.

  • All meals from lunch on Day 1 to Breakfast on Day 12

  • Visits to villages, local experiences

  • Transport by air-conditioned coach

  • One way economy airfare Madurai – Chennai

  • All entrances to places of visit in itinerary

  • Tips & gratuities

  • Services of an experienced Tour Director 

#Terms and conditions apply

In this tour, our services begin in Chennai from the time we pick you up at airport/train or bus station/ any place within Chennai city. We will be with you till our group returns to Chennai airport from Madurai. If you wish to plan visits to other parts of India before or after this tour, we can assist you.

Suggested add-on tours

From Madurai, you can drive across the hills into Kerala and enjoy a hike in Thekkady, cruise in the backwaters of Alleppey and board your international flight from Cochin airport after visiting the many historical sites in Fort Cochin. We will customise this for you based on your interest.

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