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Superstar Libra - Destination Chennai
 




 

Arabian Sea Cruises Season: October 2005 to April 2006
Destination Chennai (Relocation cruise optional tours)
 

Chennai, formerly known as Madras, is a city on the east coast of southern India. It is India's fourth largest metropolitan city and sits on the shores of the Bay of Bengal. Known for its cultural heritage, Chennai is a city where the traditional and the modern blend in life everywhere. Take a stroll over the sandy stretch of beach known as the Marina, or visit Fort St.

George, built by the British East India Company. Many of the street names reflect the city’s long association with other cultures such as China Bazaar Road, Armenian Street and Portuguese Church Street. Experience the culture in temples, art galleries or museums. Port Blair in the Andaman Islands, which is located east across the Bay of Bengal is a paradise archipelago, lush and forested, home of some of the most exotic plant-life in the world. The crystal clear waters shimmer with tropical fish, and the islands are famous for their corals and water-sports facilities. North of Chennai, the state of Andhra Pradesh, is rich with archaeological and architectural treasures.

              MAHABALIPURAM & CULTURAL DAKSHINCHITRA

Located at a distance of 58 km from Chennai, Mahabalipuram has everything that makes it a memorable place. Here, you will find old traditions, history and piety. Arjuna's Penance, one of the many open air bas relief is a surface that consists of two large boulders with a fissure in between. In the cleavage, there are a serpent god and a serpent goddess in the act of worship.

There are nearly one hundred figures of Gods, sages’ semi-divine beings, huge elephants and a few other animals. Next, visit the Five Ratha’s – an interesting group of ancient rock temples carved on it. After a hearty meal, head on to Dakshinchitra and view the traditional houses of Tamilnadu and Kerala and enjoy some folk performances, craft and exhibitions.

   SILK WEAVING AT KANCHIPURAM & MAHABALIPURAM HIGHLIGHTS

Experience Kanchipuram – one of the most sacred sites of India and the capital of Pallavas, Cholas and Rajas of Vijaynagar. Kanchipuram is one of India’s most spectacular cities and its many ‘gopurams’ (pyramid-shaped towers that form the gates into Dravidian temples) can be seen from miles away.

The most important is the Kailasanath Temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva, which is one of the earliest temples built in the late 7th century. Thereafter, visit a silk hand-weaving centre before proceeding for lunch. Head on next to Mahabalipuram. Located at a distance of 58 km from Chennai, Mahabalipuram has everything that makes this place memorable. Here, you will find old traditions, history, and piety.

Arjuna's Penance, one of the many open air bas relief is a surface that consists of two large boulders with a fissure in between. In the cleavage, there are a serpent god and a serpent goddess in the act of worship. There are nearly one hundred figures of Gods, sages’ semi-divine beings, huge elephants and a few other animals carved on it. Next, visit the Five Ratha’s – an interesting group of ancient rock temples.

                                    PONDICHERRY

Arrive at Pondicherry and proceed with sightseeing of this quaint town. Pondicherry – a former French colony presents an unusual combination of European culture and Indian traditions. Its history can be traced back to Agastya, the revered sage of the south who built his hermitage here in 1500 BC. It became part of Indian in 1954 but traces of its history as a French colony still remains – evident in its churches, cuisine, grid-patterned streets and colonial buildings. This restored colony exudes a Mediterranean aura, with its chic streets, whitewashed residences, ornamental gardens and Hotel de Ville. Next, visit the Sri Aurobindo Ashram and its offshoot, Auroville, 10km outside town. The ashram, whose spiritual tenets combine yoga and modern science, is one of the most popular and affluent society in India.

                                       CITY TOUR

Stop by at the local museum and gallery before proceeding to the first English church in India and the oldest British building to survive – St. Mary’s church. Thereafter, stopover at Santhome Cathedral. Apostle Thomas lived and preached there until 78 AD where he was martyr. Next, head to Kalapeshwara Temple and spend some time shopping for some local handicraft.

                               MAHABALIPURAM HIGHLIGHTS

Located at a distance of 58 km from Chennai, Mahabalipuram has everything that makes this place memorable. Here, you will find old traditions, history and piety. Arjuna's Penance, one of the many open air bas relief is a surface that consists of two large boulders with a fissure in between. In the cleavage, there are a serpent god and a serpent goddess in the act of worship. There are nearly one hundred figures of Gods, sages' semi-divine beings, huge elephants and a few other animals carved on it. Next, visit the Five Ratha’s – an interesting group of ancient rock temples.

                       KANCHIPURAM & SILK HAND-WEAVING

Experience Kanchipuram – one of the most sacred sites of India and the capital of Pallavas, Cholas and Rajas of Vijaynagar. Kanchipuram is one of India’s most spectacular cities and its many ‘gopurams’ (pyramid-shaped towers that form the gates into Dravidian temples) can be seen from miles away. The most important is the Kailasanath Temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva, which is one of the earliest temples built in the late 7th century. Thereafter, visit a silk hand-weaving centre.

                 
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