Experience the delectable food, the impressive temples, and the historic architecture of Tamil Nadu with Monograms. Your 7-day Monograms vacation includes private guided sightseeing, a Local Host® in each city, breakfast daily, 1 lunch and 3 dinners, private ground transportation, and superior accommodations.
Your culinary adventure begins right away with a visit to a local banana market and a walking food tour through the old streets of Madurai. The city is known as the “Athens of the East” because of its rich culture and historical architecture, and you’ll immerse yourself in it when you explore iconic Meenakshi Temple and majestic Thirumalai Nayak Palace. In Chettinad, a guided orientation tour introduces you Chettinad architecture, with its 18th century mansions and palatial houses. You’ll also savor the authentic flavors of Chettinad cuisine. In Thanjavur, witness south Indian culture firsthand with a Bharatanatyam dance performance, and visit Brihadeshwara Temple and Maratha Palace.
Continue to Puducherry, a former French settlement located on the Bay of Bengal. Its French heritage is reflected today in the French Quarter where your hotel is located, with its tree-lined streets, chic boutiques, and colonial villas. The next day is dedicated to a full day of guided sightseeing to Auroville, a heritage walking tour, and sunset over Rock Beach. You’ll also indulge in a wine tasting and learn the intricacies of Ayurvedic cooking during a cooking class.
Your Monograms vacation ends in the historic temple town of Mahabalipuram, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You’ll see all the main sights like the Shore Temple, Arjuna’s Penance, and Ganesha Ratha. The afternoon and evening are free to enjoy your beachside boutique resort.
Between the transportation we have arranged, sightseeing we have included, and the hotels we have booked, the only thing left for you to do is pack your bags and enjoy! With all the time and hassles saved and the comfort of knowing you’ll have a Local Host to help you during your vacation, you’ve got one fantastic vacation to Tamil Nadu!
Insider Benefits Included in Your Vacation
Monograms is all about connecting you to your destination with unmatched insider guidance and support to make travel a pleasure. With a local expert in each destination, your Monograms vacation includes local assistance and tips that only a local would know and would help you put your signature on your vacation.
YOUR VACATION INCLUDES
Buffet breakfast (B) daily; 1 lunch: 3 dinners (D)
In Madurai, Thanjavur, Puducherry, Mahabalipuram
SIGHTSEEING & ACTIVITIES
Visit Meenakshi Temple; Visit Thirumalai Nayak Palace; Visit to local banana market; Street food vendor walking tour; Orientation driving tour of Chettinad; Lunch featuring local Chettinad cuisine;
Bharatanatyam dance performance; Visit Brihadeshwara Temple; Visit Maratha Palace; Tour Auroville; Walking tour of Puducherry French Quarter; Sunset on Rock Beach; Wine tasting at local wine retailer; Ayurvedic cooking class with dinner; Tour of Mahabalipuram temples; Visit Sculpture Museum
Private vehicle transfers between cities
ITINERARY AND MEALS
DAY 1 Madurai, India. Welcome to Madurai, often called “Athens of the East” due to its rich cultural and architectural history. Your hotel room is available for mid-afternoon check-in.
DAY 2 Madurai. Your guided tour today starts with a visit to the local banana market, where as many as 16 different banana varieties are sold. Next, explore the iconic Meenakshi Temple, situated on the banks of the ancient Vaigai River. This wonder of south India is home to more than 33,000 sculptures and carvings. Then, see the majestic Thirumalai Nayak Palace. Originally designed as the king’s residence by an Italian architect, the palace complex is known for its stucco work on its arches and domes. Tonight, dive into the rich food culture and old streets of Madurai on a walking culinary tour. (B,D)
DAY 3 Madurai–Chettinad–Thanjavur. Today, travel east to Chettinad, known for its 18th century mansions, palatial houses and of course, the world renowned cuisine. A short orientation tour introduces you to the Chettinad architecture, characterized by its use of large spaces in halls and courtyards. Stop for lunch and savor the authentic tangy flavors of Chettinad cuisine. Then, continue to Thanjavur. Tonight, enjoy a performance of Bharatanatyam dance, one of the oldest dance forms in the world that is integral to South Indian arts and culture. (B,L)
DAY 4 Thanjavur–Puducherry. This morning, visit fascinating Brihadeshwara Temple, intricately carved completely from granite, and Maratha Palace. This temple is more than a thousand years old and is recognized as the pinnacle of Dravidian architecture. It is famous for the brass Nataraja, the dancing form of Lord Shiva. Then travel through the rich and varied countryside to Puducherry. (B,D)
DAY 5 Puducherry. A full day of sightseeing awaits you today. First, visit Auroville, the city of dawn. This experimental township was established as a universal place where men and women of all countries could live in peace and harmony above all nationalities, politics, and religious beliefs. Then, enjoy a heritage walking tour of the French Quarter, followed by a wine tasting. Tonight, watch the sunset over Rock Beach, and for dinner, learn the intricacies of Ayurvedic cooking, focusing on the benefits of locally sourced herbs, roots, and vegetables. (B,D)
DAY 6 Puducherry–Mahabalipuram. Journey to Mahabalipuram, once the main port of the Pallava Kingdom and now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Once there, tour the historical temples and monuments in this town, including Shore Temple, Arjuna’s Penance, and Ganesha Ratha. Also visit the Sculpture Museum. The remainder of the day is free for you to explore further or relax and enjoy the amenities at your beachside boutique resort. (B)
DAY 7 Mahabalipuram–Chennai. Your vacation ends with a transfer to Chennai Airport. Please schedule flights after 11am. (B)
We’ve carefully screened and selected the right hotels at your destination. Hotels included in your vacation package:
Palais de Mahe
Welcomhotel Kences Palm Beach