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Private Cultural Tour: Day Trip to Mahabalipuram and Dakshinachitra from Chennai

star-4.511 Reviews
|
Chennai (Madras), India
Safety measures
icon8 hours  (Approx.)
Hotel pickup offered
Mobile ticket
Good for avoiding crowds
Safety measures
icon8 hours  (Approx.)
Hotel pickup offered
Mobile ticket
Good for avoiding crowds

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Safety measures
icon8 hours  (Approx.)
Hotel pickup offered
Mobile ticket
Good for avoiding crowds

Overview

Enjoy a private cultural tour from Channai to Mahabalipuram and Dakshinachitra that showcases traditional South Indian culture, architecture and religion. Join your expert guide in comfortable air-conditioned transport as you make your way to a Dravidian (South Indian) village. See local artisans at work and gain insight into customs and traditions before wandering the halls of its small but impressive museum. Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant before making a stop at the UNESCO World Heritage-listed city of Mahabalipuram. Experience the splendor of impressive rock-cut sculptures and decorated temples that offer up striking examples of Dravidian architecture. Transport to and from hotel is also included in this daylong tour with expert local guide from Chennai.
  • Private cultural tour of Mahabalipuram and Dakshinachitra from Chennai
  • See traditional customs first-hand at the preserved Dravidian village of Dakshinachitra
  • Browse local workshops and see artisans crafting pottery, weaving silk and making baskets
  • Enjoy an authentic Indian lunch
  • Visit UNESCO World Heritage-listed Mahabalipuram to explore its rock-cut cave temples and structures
  • Transport by private air-conditioned vehicle and hotel pickup and drop-off included
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Local English-speaking guide
Lunch
Hotel pickup and drop-off
Transport by air-conditioned vehicle
Gratuities
  • Hotel Southern Comfort , Hotel Southern Comfort, No.5, Old Station Road GST Main Road, Meenambakkam, Chennai (Madras) 600027 India
  • OYO 4189 Rose Flower Service Apartment , 25 OYO 4189 Rose Flower Service Apartment Vembuliamman Koil Street Pazhavanthangal, Chennai (Madras) 600114 India
  • Radisson Blu Hotel GRT Chennai , Radisson Blu Hotel GRT Chennai, 531 G S T Road St. Thomas Mount, Chennai (Madras) 600016 India
  • Trident, Chennai , Trident, Chennai, 1/24 G.S.T Road, Chennai (Madras) 600027 India
  • Royal Stay , Royal Stay, AKS Shelters, No 11 A, Kamaraj Street, Parameshwaran Nagar, Sholinganallur, Chennai (Madras) 600119 India
  • Please arrive 5 minutes before your selected start time for pickup. Your operator can coordinate exact time and location.

    Returns to original departure point
    Meet your guide during pickup from your Chennai hotel and travel 18 miles (29 km) in air-conditioned comfort to the village of Dakshinachitra. Gain a unique perspective of the traditional Dravidian way of life as you explore this quaint location whose name means ‘A Picture of the South’.

    Wander through traditional Indian homes, visit the open-air museum and learn about local crafts and customs of a visit to one of the workshops. Kids will enjoy the traditional theater performances, and watching artisans at work creating baskets, pottery, weaving silk and crafting handmade puppets.

    Travel in comfort 14.5 miles (23.3 km) to what is now called Mamallapuram. The UNESCO World Heritage-listed city is home to rock-cut statues that date back as far as the 7th century. Recognized as some of the oldest examples of Dravidian architecture, these well-preserved artifacts were built in honor of Hindu gods.

    Follow your guide into several unique cave temples where you will find sculpted reliefs of Arjuna Dhabas, Krishna Butterball and Five Rathas. Gain a deeper understanding of Buddhist influence and the historical significance of these sites.

    Keep hunger at bay with a traditional Indian lunch between stops and travel with your guide back to your Chennai hotel at the end of your full-day sightseeing tour.
    Itinerary
    Stop At:  
    Monuments at Mahabalipuram
    The Group of Monuments at Mahabalipuram is a collection of 7th- and 8th-century CE religious monuments of Mahabalipuram and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
    Duration: 4 hours 
    Admission Ticket Included
    Stop At:  
    Shore Temple
    The Shore Temple is a complex of temples and shrines that overlooks the shore of the Bay of Bengal and is located in Mahabalipuram. It is a structural temple, built with blocks of granite, dating from the 8th century AD.
    Duration: 1 hour 
    Admission Ticket Included
    Stop At:  
    Arjuna's Penance
    Believed to be the world's largest structure of its kind, inscribed on two monolithic boulders, the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Arjuna's Penance (tapas) is a bas-relief, measuring to 43 ft height and 100 ft length. It has over 100 sculptures of gods, birds, beasts and saints. The relic depicts a scene from the epic Mahabharata, where Arjuna is praying hard and performing penance to Lord Shiva to ask him for his powerful and divine bow. It is said that Arjuna needed this bow in the battle of Mahabharata to defeat the Kauravas. Another legend gives the site the name of descent of the Ganges, as it is believed to be the spot where king Bhagiratha performed penance and prayed to Lord Shiva, standing on one leg, to let River Ganges descend from heaven so he could gain salvation for his ancestors.
    Duration: 1 hour 
    Admission Ticket Included
    Stop At:  
    Krishna Mandapam
    Krishna Mandapa was carved out in 700AD, depicting the story of Lord Krishna.
    Duration: 30 minutes
    Admission Ticket Included
    Pass By:  
    Krishna's Butter Ball
    his immense boulder, about 16 ft high, is one of the prominent tourist sites in Mamallapuram. Defying gravity, the boulder is balanced precariously on a narrow base. It is symbolic of Lord Krishna's love for butter. According to legend, the boulder is a representation of the amount of butter that Lord Krishna used to steal and eat. An old wives' tale additionally tells that lots of kings under the Pallava dynasty with their army and elephants tried to move the boulder but it would not budge an inch.
    • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
    • A moderate amount of walking is involved; comfortable walking shoes are recommended
    • Please advise any specific dietary requirements at time of booking
    • This is a private tour/activity. Only your group will participate
    • OPERATED BY Apollo Voyages
    You can cancel up to 24 hours in advance of the experience for a full refund.
    • For a full refund, you must cancel at least 24 hours before the experience’s start time.
    • If you cancel less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time, the amount you paid will not be refunded.
    • Any changes made less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time will not be accepted.
    • Cut-off times are based on the experience’s local time.

    Learn more about cancellations.

    The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
    Q:
    What is the policy on face masks and attendee health during Private Cultural Tour: Day Trip to Mahabalipuram and Dakshinachitra from Chennai?
    A:The policies on face masks and attendee health are:

    • Face masks required for travelers in public areas
    • Face masks required for guides in public areas
    See all safety measures taken by Private Cultural Tour: Day Trip to Mahabalipuram and Dakshinachitra from Chennai.
    Q:
    What is the policy on sanitization during Private Cultural Tour: Day Trip to Mahabalipuram and Dakshinachitra from Chennai?
    A:The policy on sanitization is:

    • Transportation vehicles regularly sanitized
    See all safety measures taken by Private Cultural Tour: Day Trip to Mahabalipuram and Dakshinachitra from Chennai.
    Q:
    What is the social distancing policy during Private Cultural Tour: Day Trip to Mahabalipuram and Dakshinachitra from Chennai?
    A:The policy on social distancing is:

    • Social distancing enforced throughout experience
    See all safety measures taken by Private Cultural Tour: Day Trip to Mahabalipuram and Dakshinachitra from Chennai.

    Traveler Photos

    Reviews

    4.5
    star-4.5
    11 Reviews
    1 star
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    Reviews by Viator travelers

    Showing 1-10 of 11 reviews
    star-5
    We only had one day to tour in the...
    agru
    , Feb 2018
    We only had one day to tour in the Chennai area and my husband and I are glad we chose this tour as opposed to one keeping us in the overly-busy city. Our guide, Brenda, was knowledgeable, informative, and friendly, and at no time did we feel rushed. Mahabalipuram is a wonderful series of temple sites with a lot to see and great stories to go along with the incredible carvings. Lunch was at a fabulous privately-owned restaurant where we had Thalis and the usually-wonderful Indian tea. We even got to speak a bit with the owner, finding out his daughter was getting married shortly. After lunch, Dakshinachitra was an interesting look into the culture and history of Southern India. While there, Brenda introduced us to the coconut woman who financed her children's college educations by selling coconuts to the tourists. She continues to do so because she told us she enjoys meeting people from all over.
    star-3
    The places were nice but the guide...
    Haleemah B
    , Aug 2017
    The places were nice but the guide was in hurry and wasn't explaining much. We were running around after him!! I have to ask him for information about the things we sow! I wish I had more time at the heritage village!!
    star-4
    Enjoyed the tour although a little...
    Lorraine S
    , Jan 2017
    Enjoyed the tour although a little shorter than advertised. Our guide was knowledgible and driver was good. Lunch was included and our guide made an effort to find a menu to suit our needs. Thought it was a little expensive at 125 USD plus tips.
    star-5
    Our guide was very knowledgeable...
    janice
    , Dec 2016
    Our guide was very knowledgeable with a warm, friendly and caring manner. Highly recommend this tour. It is a must do while in Chennai.
    star-5
    Guides were prompt, professional and...
    Curtis W
    , May 2016
    Guides were prompt, professional and spoke very good English. Very knowledgeable and flexible around stopping at sights on the way to and from the temples.
    star-5
    Guide was super friendly and very...
    Coleen N G
    , Jan 2015
    Guide was super friendly and very knowledgeable. Especially good if you don't have much time in Chennai, but want to get a taste of something other than the city itself. We are glad we did it.
    star-3
    This was very interesting to see, a...
    Ryan
    , Nov 2014
    This was very interesting to see, a couple+ hours out of town with good photo ops.
    star-5
    I enjoyed the visit a lot and...
    SANA A
    , Jan 2014
    I enjoyed the visit a lot and specially that the guide was so expert and he gave me lots of information about the place. It was a well organised journey to that must see place.
    star-5
    Very nice en compete tour! Very nice...
    Peter R
    , Dec 2013
    Very nice en compete tour! Very nice and friendly guide! Nice restaurant, no problems, thank you!
    star-2
    The tour guide was exceptional but...
    ESTHER V
    , Dec 2013
    The tour guide was exceptional but the back end service was appalling. First , they did not contact me to reconfirm my tour although i had sent them an email to reconfirm my tour. In their reply to my email they said someone from their Chennai office will contact me and I waited until one day before tour and still no contact. I had to call Delhi long distance to confirm my tour. Slack service . The only positive was that the guide they gave us was outstanding.

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