Indian Rhapsody Madras & Orissa


The shade of the banyan tree…the sight and smell of a profusion of orange flowers…the beat of a distant temple drum…the gentle lap of a sparkling blue sea…” Indian Rhapsody” …

Madras, India’s fourth largest city is the starting point for this tour of the East coast.

The state of Tamil Nadu is a bastion of The Hindu religion, art and culture, & the city of Madras, the state capital, is an elegant and impressive city & with a 13 kms. long beach, known as Marina, stretching from the city centre’s George Town to the 16th century San Thome Cathedral, said to contain the remains of St. Thomas, the “Doubting Apostle”, who was martyred here in 78 AD

Hindu Temples, with their awesome ‘gopurams’, or towers, covered with brightly painted relief carving of gods, goddesses & animals are a feature of Tamil Nadu & Madras has its share. From the Kapaleshwara Temple, dedicated to Shiva, to the blue god, Krishna’s Parathasarathy Temple, both built in typical Dravidian style.

Madras is also home of to a song and dance festival between November & January each year, & we offer tours during this time to enable you to visit some of the festival events, should you wish to.   

From Madras, we fly you up the East Indian coast to the state of Orissa and it’s capital Bhubaneswar – the “Temple City of India”, with over 500 temples in various states of preservation, which give this city its name & unmistakable character. This is one of the three points of East India’s own “Triangle”, the others being Puri & Konark, but this triangle has its emphasis on Lake in Old Bhubaneswar was surrounded by more than 7000 temples, but now only 500 remain, with the Lingaraja Temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva being the largest & the seat of the Shivratri Festival to celebrate the New Moon in February/ March each year. With Parsurameswar, Mukteswar, Siddheswar, Kedargauri, Raj Rani & Brahmeswar Temples, all with finely detailed – and sometimes, erotic – carvings & images of Ganesh, Kali & their temple guardians, there is more than enough here for even the most jaded traveller to marvel at.

On the coast, south of the city, lies Puri, one of the holiest cities of India, where the famous 12th century Jagannath Temple, is home of Lord Jagnnath, the Lord of the Universe. En route to Puri we will visit Konark, where the stupendous Temple of the Sun God, built in the shape of a huge chariot, complete with eight – spoked wheels & galloping horses, rises majestically from the golden sand dunes, flanked by the glittering blue waters of the bay.

To enable you to recover your senses after the visual onslaught of all these temples, we have arranged for you to stay at the most comfortable hotels, relaxing on the golden & unspoilt sands of the Bay of Bengal.

DAY 1, Arrive Chennai (Madras) (About 25kms 45mins):
Arrive Chennai International airport in the early morning assistance, garland welcome and straight drive to pre booked hotel. Chennai (formerly known as Madras), is known for its cultural heritage & temple architecture. On arrival check into the hotel.
After lunch, we will go for the sightseeing of the prominent attractions of Chennai like, The Basilica of San Thome, British-built Old Government House, The lighthouse and Marina beach. Return to hotel.
Overnight at hotel.

DAY 2, Chennai to Mahabalipuram (About 60kms 1hr 40mins):
After breakfast, check out hotel and straight drive to Mahabalipuram. The small seaside village of Mahabalipuram was once the main port of the Pallava dynasty from the 5 to 9th centuries. Its exquisite rock cut temples are some of the finest in India and have been declared as World Heritage Site by UNESCO. On arrival check into the hotel. Rest of the day free to relax in pool or explore beach.
Overnight at hotel.

DAY 3, In Mahabalipuram:
After breakfast sightseeing of Mahabalipuram visiting Arjuna’s Penance, The Mandapas, The Rathas, The Shore Temple by the sea is surrounded by gardens designed according to descriptions of the original layout from ancient texts in Mahabalipuram. Afternoon excursion to Dakshinchitara Museum (Closed on Tuesday), an exciting cross cultural living museum of art, architecture, lifestyles, crafts and performing arts of South India. Evening enjoy walking on the beach or pool.
Overnight at hotel.

DAY 4, Mahabalipuram – Kanchipuram – Chennai (About 165kms 5hrs):
After breakfast check out hotel and drive to Kanchipuram for sightseeing. Kanchipuram considered as one of the seven holiest places of India visit famous temples like Ekambaswara Temple, Kailasanatha Temple, Sri Kamakshi Temple and Varadarajaswamy Temple.
After Kanchipuram sightseeing continue drive to Chennai and check-in hotel.
Overnight at hotel.

DAY 5, Drive to Chennai then fly to Bhubaneshwar:
After breakfast, half day will be devoted to the exploration of famous tourist sites of Chennai like The Kapaleeshwar Temple, St. George and the ever interesting National Art Gallery.
Evening transfer to Chennai airport fly to Bhubaneswar. On arrival at the Bhubaneswar airport, meet our representative to get assisted to pre booked hotel. Check-in at the hotel and relax.
Overnight at hotel.

DAY 6, Bhubaneshwar:
Today after breakfast drive to city for a sightseeing tour. Cover the major tourist attractions of Bhubaneswar. Start with Rajarani temple, Mukteswar temple, Lingaraj temple and the Parashurameshvara Temple. The exquisitely carved temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. Intricate carvings of elephant and horse processions, floral motifs and human figures adorn the temple interiors. Next, visit the Orissa State Museum and the Museum of Tribal Arts and Artifacts. Both museums feature a great collection of Dress, ornaments, weapons, household implements and musical instruments used by the tribal of Orissa. Return to hotel.
Overnight at hotel.

DAY 7, Bhubaneswar – Lalitgiri – Ratnagiri – Udaygiri – Bhubaneswar
After early breakfast, drive for an excursion to Lalitgiri. This ancient scenic village is a holy destination for a large number of Buddhist devotees. Visit the Chaitya hills where several Buddhist stupas can be found on this hillside. Do not miss the brilliant piece of Buddhist architecture found atop the Pushpagiri hill. Next, drive to Udaygiri and Ratnagiri sites. These sites which are also enriched with Buddhist monuments and ancient sculptures. In the evening, return to the hotel in Bhubaneswar for a sumptuous dinner and overnight stay.
Overnight at hotel.

DAY 8, Bhubaneswar – Konark – Puri (About 120kms 3hrs 30mins):
Start the day with breakfast, after which you can leave for Puri. Stop en-route at Konark to visit the famous Sun temple. The marvellous temple is a testimony of the fine art of sculptures. Though ravaged, the temple is a charming site to spend time at.
Later, resume your drive. Stop at Pipli, where Applique an age-old craft of Orissa is practiced. Witness the art of applique, where brightly colored fabrics are stitched over another base fabric in beautiful patterns. Shop for souvenirs.
Re-start your drive to Puri. On arrival, check-in hotel. Relax for the day. In the evening leave for a leisurely walk on the Puri beach.
Overnight at hotel.

DAY 9, In Puri:
After breakfast start the day visit of Jagannath Temple. The Jagannath Puri Temple is one of the Chardham destinations in India. The holy pilgrimage site is visited by crowds from all over the world throughout the year. The temple walls are embellished with exquisite carvings depicting the life of Lord Krishna. Later in the day go for a sightseeing tour. Cover the major tourist attractions like Swargadwar land, Sakshi Gopal temple and the Gundicha temple. In the evening, get to the Puri beach for a sunset stroll. There are numerous stalls lined up around the beach. Look for street food, handicrafts and other delights.
Overnight at hotel.

DAY 10,Puri to Bhubaneshwar (About 70kms 1hr 45mins):
After breakfast leave for Bhubaneshwar, en-route we will visit the villages for Raghurajpur and Dhauli. Further continue drive to Bhubaneshwar. Check-in hotel
Overnight at hotel.

DAY 11, Fly Bhubaneshwar – Chennai (Madras):
Evening drive to Bhubaneshwar airport fly to Chennai. Arrive Chennai International airport, our assistance will take you pre booked hotel.
Overnight at hotel.

DAY 12, Chennai visits – Departure transfer to Airport (About 25kms 45mins):
Today evening visit Chennai local area also enjoy classical drama dance Bharatanatyam followed by traditional vegetarian South Indian Thali dinner on Banana leaf.
Late night transfer to Chennai international airport to catch flight back to home.