Of countless temples across Tamil Nadu which are dedicated to Lord Murugan, six are part of an auspicious circuit and are a magnet for thousands of devotees. Together they are known as Arupadai Veedu, that is, the six abodes of Lord Murugan.....
Day 1 - Arrive Trichy - Palani
You’ll be met on arrival at Trichy airport and introduced to your driver (the full name of the city is Tiruchirappalli but the vast majority of people use the shortened version) you will be met and get introduced to your driver who will be with your throughout the trip. Begin the journey by visiting Rock Fort Temple, which is dedicated to Lord Ganesha and Lord Shiva. This temple sits on a rock which towers 83 metres above the city and can be reached by a short and not too strenuous climb. From the top of the temple you’ll get a stunning view of entire Trichy city, then visit Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple, a major pilgrimage destination for Hindus. The temple claims to be the biggest functioning Hindu Temple in the world. Later drive 3 hours or so to Palani. Overnight in Palani.
Day 2 - Palani - Madurai
Start the day by visiting Arulmigu Dhandayuthapaniswamy Temple. Spend some time in this hilltop temple, then drive to Madurai. This is an important commercial centre, but more importantly a pilgrimage centre with numerous significant temples and other places of interest. Situated in the banks of river Vaigai, Madurai has long been a focal point for Dravidian culture. On reaching Madurai, you’ll be free to relax or, if you wish, head into the city to check out some of the amazing market areas here. In the evening, join our local team on a Food Safari to sample some of the city’s best street food and local restaurants. Overnight in Madurai.
Day 3 - Madurai
Today you’ll visit one of the crowning glories of temple architecture not just in India but anywhere in the world- Sri Meenakshi. Built over several centuries beginning with work by the Pandya dynasty during the 7th century CE it boasts 12 impressive gopurams (temples towers) within the complex. A major part of Meenakshi Amman Temple is the thousand-pillared hall with a series of individually carved and decorated columns this is a more recent addition, from around the 16th century CE. Two further Abodes of Murugan are included today- Thiruparankundram and Pazhamudhircholai temples are both a short distance outside of the city. Overnight in Madurai
Day 4 - Madurai - Tiruchendur - Madurai
A full-day excursion to Tiruchendur, a remote spot on the coast around 3 hours’ drive south of Madurai. The temple here is known as the second Arupadai Veedu (abode) of Lord Muruga. Return to Madurai later in the day; overnight in Madurai
Day 5 - Madurai - Tanjore - Kumbakonam
Drive first to Tanjore, a small city in the heart of the Cauvery Delta region which is considered the rice-bowl of Tamil Nadu. Here you can visit Brihadishwara, the finest of all the grand Chola dynasty temples in this area. Universally known as the Big Temple (it’s easy to see why) it is dedicated to Lord Shiva and remains an important place for both pilgrimage and social gathering to this day.
Brihadishwara is one of three temples along the Cauvery River which has UNESCO World Heritage listing (the others are somewhat smaller but equally beautiful and are found at Darasuram and Gangakondacholapuram). On the way to Kumbakonam stop at Swamimalai and visit the 4th abode of Murugan. Overnight in Kumbakonam.
Day 6 - Kumbakonam - Chidambaram - Thiruvannamalai
Depart Kumbakonam and drive to Chidambaram in Hindu lore this is where Shiva performed his cosmic dance, T.andava Nritya. Visit the Natrajar temple built by the Cholas in 9th century CE. Driving time today is around 6 hours to Tiruvannamalai. In the evening visit Annamalaiyar Temple, which sits at the foot of the sacred mountain, Arunachala, which represents Shiva’s descent to Earth as a pillar of fire. Overnight in Tiruvannamalai.
Day 7 - Thiruvannamalai - Kanchipuram - Thiruthani
Morning drive to Kanchipuram, where you’ll visit Ekambareswarar Temple, dedicated to Shiva this temple represents the element earth. Later in the day drive to Thiruthani. Overnight in Thiruthani
Day 8 - Thiruthani - Chennai
Start your day with a visit to Thiruthani Murugan Temple, the 5th abode of Murugan. Thiruthani is said to be the place where the Lord Subramanya married Valli - one of his two consorts. After visiting the temple, drive to Chennai with the afternoon free for a stroll on Marina Beach or time for shopping. Overnight in Chennai
Day 9 - Chennai Depart
Transfer to Chennai airport according to your flight schedule and depart