Palm Leaf Tour

9 Nights

Discover your destiny on this historic tour of Tamil Nadu's Palm Leaf region. Palm leaf history is more than 5000 years old and it is based on the belief that the past, present and the future lives of all humans were foreseen by Hindu sages in ancient time. The texts are mainly written in Vatteluttu, which is an ancient Tamil script. South India is famous for its traditions and culture. And Palm leaf offers another dimension to it and you will be astonished with the facts connected to your own history.

Day 1: Arrival at Chennai Airport
You will be given a warm welcome by MJ Tours & Travel crew at Chennai Airport and then transferred 60 km to the ancient port city of Mahabalipuram for four nights stay in one of the cities most delightful hotels. Mahabalipuram has been classified as a UNESCO world heritage site. It was ruled by the famous Pallava dynasty (From 3rd century to 9th century) and boasts fine examples of monuments and sculptures and architecture from this period.
Day 2: Mahabalipuram - Thirukkazhukundram
A visit to the Shore Temple in the morning, one of the oldest structural stone structures in South India overlooking the Bay of Bengal. You will also visit the nearby Five Rathas, five chariots with each of them carved out of one single large stone. You will then visit the old lighthouse, which was built to guide ships during the Pallavas era. There will also be an opportunity to visit Krishna Mandapam, a rock cut cave temple dedicated lord Krishna. We will end our journey by visiting Arjuna's Penance, a giant open air bas relief that is dedicated to Arjuna. You will return to the hotel for a lunch and spend rest of the afternoon relaxing on the beach.
Day 3: Chennai
It's worth getting up early - you may be in for a pleasant surprise! You will visit the Palm leaf library in Chennai, 60 km from Mahabalipuram, where a Palmistry astrologer will read your palm history. Palm astrology is commonly known as 'Nadi astrology' and it consists of 16 Kandams (Kandams referring to the chapters). On your return you will stop at the stunning Vedagirishwarar temple, known as the Eagle temple in Thirukkazhukundram.
Day 4: Mahabalipuram
Spend a morning fishing in the bay Bengal with a boat ride on a local fishing boat. Your catch of the day will be cooked for lunch and will be served at a local fisherman's house. In the afternoon you will visit Dakshin Chitra, 25 km from Mahabalipuram, a charming town known for its living tradition of South Indian art. Here you will see different kinds of Tamil houses, arts, crafts and traditions. The drive back to your hotel in Mahabalipuram will allow you to take in the stunning views along the coastal road.
Day 5: Pondicherry
After breakfast we will leave to Pondicherry, 100 km from Mahabalipuram and a union territory that spent many years under French rule. On the way you will make a stop at Auroville, an experimental town founded by the spiritual gurus, Sri Aurobindo and Mira Alfassa who is popularly known as 'The Sweet Mother'. You will lunch at the hotel and in the afternoon you will visit the Sri Aurobindo Ashram, an important meditation center in Pondicherry. You will spend the night in a delightful hotel in Pondicherry.
Day 6: Chidambaram - Vaitheeswaran Koil
An early start and travel to Chidambaram, 60 km from Pondicherry. On the way you will have the opportunity to see the surprise natural beauty of the Mangrove forests. This is the second largest mangrove in the world, and it extends all the way to the Chidambaram Thillai Nataraja temple area. Thillai Nataraja Temple is a Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Shiva located in the town of Chidambaram. The temple is known as the foremost of all temples (Kovil in Tamil) to Saivites (People who follow Shiva god) and has influenced worship, architecture, sculpture and performance art for over two millennia. It was built between 12th and 13th Centuries and the shrine is venerated as Thillai ambalam (literally meaning the open stage of Tillai). The annual chariot festival is held here in the month of April every year. You will have lunch in a bhavan - a local hotel where the local people eat in Chidambaram and then proceed to Vaitheeswaran Koil, 30 minutes away, which is popularly known for its Temple and palm leaf astrology. You will spend 3 nights here.
Day 7: Vaitheeswaran Koil
After breakfast you will visit Vaitheeswaran Temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. Shiva is worshiped as Vaitheeswaran or the 'God of healing' and it is believed that prayers to Vaitheeswaran can cure diseases. It is one of the nine Navagraha (nine planets) temples associated with the planet Mars (Angaraka). After lunch you will visit a Palm Leaf Astrologer, who will read your palm history, these leaves were obtained and possessed by the families of astrologers in Vaitheeswaran temple and was passed down the years from one generation to the other. We will travel back to the hotel for a nights stay.
Day 8: Kumbakonam - Thanjavur
In the morning we will visit the palm leaf astrologer for one last time and have the opportunity to walk around the small villages and meet more local people. In the evening you will participate in the annual festival, Brahmotsavam. Brahmotsvam is the most popular festival celebrated during the Tamil calendar months of Pankuni and Thai (between January and February) and Karthigai festival during November is also celebrated with pomp and glory. You will witness devotees take a holy dip in the temple tank before worshipping Vaitheeswaran. It is a local belief that dissolving jaggery (a traditional sugar) in the waters cures skin diseases. The Tonsure ceremony of shaving children for the first time to promote proper growth is also common practice here.
Day 9: Mahabalipuram
After breakfast you will travel back to Mahabalipuram, 189 km from Vaitheeswaran koil. You will have the chance to rest at your hotel and spend some quiet time on the beach. In the evening you will visit the Seashell museum located in Mahabalipuram, India's first seashell museum which houses 40,000 specimens of rare and beautiful sea shells and fossils. This will be followed by dinner at a popular restaurant in Mahabalipuram.
Day 10: Transfer to Chennai Airport
You travel back to Chennai for your flight to home. We hope that you will have enjoyed your stay.

Happy journey!

Approx. / 9 nights *
Excluding international flights
Per person2 Persons4 Persons6 Persons
during low season
during peak travel season

The single room supplement is:

* Above quoted rate is Per Person. Applies to peak holiday season for 4 travelers (1st October through 31st March)

If you are traveling solo then please contact us.

Quotation is subject to change according to availability, exchange rates and government tax rise. All the rates mentioned are based on current best available rate and can be modified at the moment of the booking.

Package Includes:

    Package does not include:

    • The Flight tickets
    • Any international airfare and airport tax
    • Visa Charges
    • Lunch and Dinner unless stated otherwise
    • Any personal, medical and evacuation insurance
    • Drinks and personal expenses
    • Tips

    Extra costs

    • Depending on your arrival and departure time you may have to pay for the additional nights stay.

    The Covid-19 Health Crisis in South India?

    As of 11/01/2023
    All the restrictions related to this health crisis have been completely lifted. Travelers wishing to come to India are no longer required to undergo a PCR test or present a vaccination status. No health measures are currently affecting the daily life of Indians. Last August, mass media once again attempted to instill fear with the Nipah virus, of which less than ten cases were diagnosed in Kerala, in Kozhikode (Calicut). However, absolutely no specific measures were taken regarding it.

    When to Visit South India?

    Do you want to enjoy the Indian sun without suffering from the heat, with few or no rainy days? It's in the winter that you should come, more precisely between mid-December and mid-March.

    The climate in South India is predominantly tropical, both dry and humid. Humid in the west — the states of Goa, Karnataka, and Kerala — and dry in the east, meaning in Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. The so-called humid period is characterized by more significant rainfall. The humidity level in South India is very high, and the periods of intense heat — from March to September, with May and June being the hottest months — can be challenging to endure, unless, of course, you seek refuge in mountainous areas.

    When to Visit Tamil Nadu?

    As mentioned above, ideally between mid-December and mid-March. The monsoon usually arrives at the end of October, and the rains become regular and abundant until at least the end of November. In recent years, heavy rains have extended until early January, causing numerous floods in the North of Tamil Nadu, particularly in Chennai. Conversely, if the monsoon is absent, the rains concentrate in the first half of November. During the months of July and August and until the end of September, temperatures are high, with more rainy days in August.

    When to Visit Kerala?

    Plan your trip between early December and late March, the most pleasant period. Considered as the garden of India, with its lush nature, Kerala experiences more significant precipitation than Tamil Nadu. There are two monsoon periods: the first starting in June and ending in September — with the heaviest rainfall observed in July and June — and a second monsoon in October, with the return of some heavy showers that taper off in November.

    Internet in India?

    The vast majority of hotels offer Wi-Fi. However, it is not uncommon for it not to work for various reasons! It is better to have your own access! If you have a smartphone and wish to communicate and navigate via the internet during your stay, we recommend buying a SIM card upon arrival at the airport, where this purchase is particularly facilitated for foreigners. The 30-day internet (data) package costs around 3 euros. In addition, your driver will share his own internet connection during your various journeys. Remember to inquire with your phone operator to obtain a possible unlocking code in order to substitute your French chip with the one we will provide you.