Main Conference Itinerary

17TH NOVEMBER 2019

Arrive Chennai

Arrive Chennai International airport and transfer to the hotel by air-conditioned coach.

Traditional welcome with aarti-tikka, garlanding and welcome drink (non-alcoholic) on arrival at the hotel.

Lunch at the hotel.

Mid afternoon, hop onto an Indian tuk tuk and explore the city.

Later take the Peacock Trail, an enjoyable walk through Mylapore that comes with a bundle of stories – stories of local life, of Gods and demons, of ancient customs and symbolism, and of Mylapore and Madras.

Overnight at Hotel Leela Palace

18TH NOVEMBER 2019

Chennai–Madurai

Breakfast at the hotel and then transfer to Chennai airport for flight for Madurai.

Transfer to the hotel by air-conditioned coaches. Traditional welcome with aarti-tikka and welcome drink (non-alcoholic) on arrival at the hotel. Check-in followed by lunch at the hotel.

In the afternoon visit the Gandhi Museum, displaying the original blood stained garments of Mahatma Gandhi when he was assassinated and walk through the flower market.

The Gandhi Museum of Madurai was established in the loving memory of the Mahatma Gandhi, the Father of the Nation. It holds great historical importance and was set up by the Gandhi Memorial Trust after the assassination of Bapu in 1948. The museum has been set up in the Palace of Rani Mangammal 2 of Nayak Dynasty. The palace was donated by the Tamil Nadu Government to the trust in 1955, to commemorate the contribution of Gandhi to India.

Dinner at the hotel.

Overnight at Hotel Heritage

19TH NOVEMBER 2019

Madurai

Breakfast at the hotel.

Morning lecture from 0830-1030,

Later proceed to visit the Government Health Centre with an interaction with faculty. Lunch at the hotel.

In the afternoon explore the city and visit Tirumalanayak Palace and visit Meenakshi Temple (a World heritage site). Meenakshi Amman Temple is one of the most popular attractions of Madurai in Tamil Nadu.

Placed on the southern banks of River Vaigai in temple city of Madurai, this temple is also known as Meenakshi Amman Kovil and MeenakshiSundareswarar Temple. It is dedicated to Goddess Meenakshi or Parvati, the consort of Lord Shiva, who here is known as Sundareswarar.

The temple also featured in the list of 30 nominees for the ‘New Seven Wonders of the World’. A prominent landmark of Madurai, this temple is one of the most-visited ones in the state.

Dinner at the hotel.

Overnight at Hotel Heritage

20TH NOVEMBER 2019

Madurai–Tanjore

Breakfast at the hotel.

Check out and drive to Tanjore en-route visiting Trichy.

Visit Rock Fort Temple, the most famous landmark of Trichy (135 Kms/ 3 hrs). Enjoy the sightseeing of Trichy's most famed landmark, the Rock Fort temple. The temple complex is a collection of three temples - the Manikka Vinayakar temple at the foot of the hill, the Uchhi Pillayar Koyil at the top of the hill and the Taayumaanavar Koyil (Shivastalam) on the hill. The temple is built on a rock that is 83 metres tall and is one of the oldest in the world - approximately 3,800 million years. There are 437 steep steps to reach the temple.

Lunch at hotel in Tanjore.

Evening lecture from 1630-1830.

Dinner at the hotel.

Overnight at Hotel Svatma

21ST NOVEMBER 2019

Tanjore

Breakfast at the hotel.

Morning visit to Sri Brihadeeshwara Temple, the world’s first complete granite structure built by the great Chola King, Raja Raja I in the 10th century AD. Continue on a visit to the Tanjore Palace and Museum. The Palace, adjacent to the temple is a vast structure of outstanding architecture built partly by the Nayaks and partly by the Marathas around 1550 AD. Get a chance to see the process of Veena instrument making.

Brihadeshwara Temple, built by the great Chola king, Raja Raja I in the 10th century AD, this temple is the grandest architectural achievement of the Chola era and a World Heritage Site.

Continue on a tour of the Tanjore Palace which is a series of large and rambling buildings of fine masonry, built partly by the Nayaks and partly by the Marathas around 1550 AD.

It houses the Tamil University Museum, the Art gallery featuring some of the most magnificent and precious Granite and Bronze statues of the Chola period, the royal museum displaying the royal costumes, cutlery, utensils and weapons and the Saraswati Mahal Library which contains over 40,000 rare books and palm leaf inscriptions.

Lunch at the hotel.

Evening lecture from 1630-1830.

Dinner at the hotel.

Overnight at Hotel Svatma

22nd NOVEMBER 2019

Tanjore–Pondicherry

Breakfast at the hotel.

Check-out and drive up north to Pondicherry - the French Riviera of the east.

En route enjoy a walking tour of the village and stop in/around Kumbakonam. Kumbakonam is just another chaotic Indian junction town, but then you notice the dozens of colourful gopurams pointing skyward from its 18 temples – a reminder that this was once a seat of medieval South Indian power. With another two magnificent World Heritage–listed Chola temples nearby, it's worth an excursion.

Lunch at the hotel.

Evening lecture from 1630-1830.

Dinner at the hotel.

Overnight at Hotel Le Pondy

23rd NOVEMBER 2019

Pondicherry

Breakfast at the hotel.

In the morning, visit Mohanam village - a cultural centre in Auroville. The community centre, established in one of the last traditional houses of the village, offers creative arts classes on the weekends for school going children. It also has a creche/kindergarten, evening tuition, and is actively uncovering remnants of original performing and craft skills in the local villages surrounding the International Community Project of Auroville.

Later visit Aurobindo Ashram. Sri Aurobindo Ashram is not a quiet place of retreat secluded from the world but a vibrant centre of life in a modern urban setting. It consists of an interconnected block of houses, including those in which Sri Aurobindo and the Mother dwelt for most of their lives.

At its centre under a tree-shaded courtyard lies the Samadhi, a white-marble shrine where their bodies are laid to rest. The Ashram provides its members with all they need for a decent and healthy life. Various departments have been organized to look after the basic requirements of food, clothing and shelter, as well as medical care. The Ashram is administered by the Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust.

Lunch at the hotel.

Afternoon walking tour of French connection trails - steeped in culture and heritage, every building, every corner tells a story. Join us on a ramble around the French quarter of the town, soaking in the sights and listening to incredible tales that bring this place to life.

Dinner at the hotel.

Overnight at Hotel Le Pondy

24th NOVEMBER 2019

Pondicherry–Mahabalipuram

Breakfast at the hotel.

Check out and drive to Mahabalipuram.

Enroute visit the Shore temple and five monolithic “rathas” (chariots carved from single processions).

Five Rathas, the five monolithic chariot temples dedicated to Hindu gods, each created in a different style. They are also known as the Pancha Pandava Rathas, and the fort of the rathas are supposed to have been scooped out of a single rock formation. Continue to visit Arjuna's Penance, an enormous relief made on two huge boulders. One of the biggest open-air rock canvases in the world, this bas- relief is 31m long and 9m high. Conclude your tour at the Shore Temple consisting of two Siva temples and a carving of Anantasayana Vishnu. It is a historic monument built largely between the 7th and the 9th century.


Traditional welcome at the hotel with aarti-tikka and welcome drink (non-alcoholic) on arrival.

Lunch at the hotel and the rest of the day at leisure.

Dinner at the hotel.

Overnight at Hotel Taj Fisherman’s Cove

25th NOVEMBER 2019

Mahabalipuram

Breakfast at the hotel.

Optional excursion to Kanchipuram, also known as the Golden City of a Thousand Temples.

Visit Ekambareshwar & Kailashnath Temple and traditional villages to see hand painting and handlooms.

Evening lecture from 1630-1830.

Dinner at the hotel.

Overnight at Hotel Taj Fisherman’s Cove

26th NOVEMBER 2019

Mahabalipuram

Breakfast at the hotel.

Morning lecture from 0830-1030.

Day at leisure to relax.

Evening lecture from 1630-1830.

Farewell gala dinner on hotel lawn with a dance performance & music.

Overnight at Hotel Taj Fisherman’s Cove

27th NOVEMBER 2019

Mahabalipuram–Chennai–Return home

Breakfast at the hotel.

Morning lecture from 0830-1030.

Lunch at the hotel.

Check out at midday and transfer to Chennai International airport for flight back home.

 

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