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‘Chennai December’ festival & golden triangle

‘Chennai December’ festival & golden triangle

€1200 per person

A cultural trip for Indian music lovers and heritage aficionados

This 7-day trip combines a visit of Chennai’s main centres of interest interspersed with classical Indian music concerts in the ‘sabhas’(venues) of the city as well as the visit of Kanchipuram, the golden city of the Pallavas kings, and Mahabalipuram, a World Heritage Site known for its splendid frescoes and temples carved into the rock.


Located on the coast of Coromandel, in southeastern India, Chennai (formerly Madras) is the state capital of Tamil Nadu. It is a major economic hub in India, but also an important artistic centre which is expressed in particular at the December Season Festival, or ‘Maargazhi Music and Dance Festival’ which takes place every year from December to early January and which is described as one of the biggest cultural events in the world.

This festival, created in 1927, showcases Carnatic music (classical music from South India) and Indian classical dance. More than a thousand concerts are held there and almost as many artists perform there, eminent or rising stars.

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Day 1

Arrival in Chennai

Vanakam!. We warmly welcome you at the Chennai airport and drive you to your hotel located in the heart of the city, close to the concert venues (sabhas). Rest well, get some energy for the week ahead. Overnight in Chennai.
Day 2

Chennai tour & classical music concerts

We start this first day dedicated to Chennai by visiting its most famous temples: Kapaliswarar, Thiruverkadu Karumari and Kalikambal. In the afternoon, we carry on the visit of the city with the Mount St. Thomas and Santhome Cathedral. Mount St. Thomas is the presumed place of martyrdom and death of the Apostle St. Thomas, it is a high place of pilgrimage assiduously frequented by the Christians of India. A small church built in the 16th century - erected at the very place where the Apostle St. Thomas was murdered - houses a cross called 'St. Thomas' which is the oldest known. In the evening, you will attend a concert of classical music in one of the sabhas. Overnight in Chennai.
Day 3

Chennai - Kanchipuram - Mahabalipuram

Departure for Mahabalipuram, a seaside resort classified Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO for its spectacular temples and frescoes carved into the rock. On the way, we make a small detour to visit the four largest temples of Kanchipuram, the golden city of Tamil Nadu. We arrive in Mahabalipuram in late afternoon just on time for a nice swim in the sea or in the swimming pool of the hotel. Overnight in Mahabalipuram.
Day 4

Mahabalipuram, splendour of the Pallavas kings

This day is dedicated to the visit of the splendid monuments of Mahabalipuram, which begins with the 'penance of Arjuna', a beautiful fresco also known as 'the descent of the Ganges'. Then we will discover the various temples all around, not to forget the Pancha Pandava Rathas, the 'five chariots' and the temple of the shore, one of the first monuments built on the site of Mahabalipuram, precursor of the later dravidian architecture. Overnight in Mahabalipuram.
Day 5

Mahabalipuram - Chennai

We return to Chennai to continue the visite of the city and to enjoy the classical music festival. We will first visit the Armenian Church of Chennai, one of the oldest Christian churches in India (1712). The Armenians settled in Chennai for the trade of silk, spices and precious stones. The area of ​​Chennai where the Armenian community was established is still called 'Armenian Street'. We will then visit the "thousand lights" mosque, which covers an area of 1 hectare; it is one of the largest mosques in India. It is said that once, 1000 fires were lit to illuminate the prayer room, hence its name. At the end of the day, we will attend a classical music concert in one of the sabhas. overnight in Chennai.
Day 6

Visit of Chennai & Concert

For our last day in Chennai, we will visit the Valluvar Kottam built in memory of Thiruvalluvar, poet and Saint Tamil, who wrote about 2000 years ago the 'Thirukkura', a famous philosophical work. The memorial is a 39-meter-high replica of the Thiruvarur Temple Tank in southern Tamil Nadu. A life-sized statue of Thiruvalluvar has been installed in the tank. We will end the visit of Chennai with the Egmore Museum, the governmental museum of Chennai built in 1851 in an Indo-Saracenic style. It is the second oldest museum in India after that of Kolkata (Calcutta). It is particularly rich in archaeological and numismatic collections. It also has the largest collection of Roman antiquities outside Europe. In the evening, we will attend a concert of classical music in one of the sabhas. Overnight in Chennai.
Day 7

One last concert before the departure

In the morning, we will attend a last concert before leaving. End of this cultural trip. Looking forward to meeting you again! Vanakam!
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