Chennai, formerly Madras, has the relics of doubting Thomas one of the twelve apostles of Jesus, the Theosophical Society Gardens with the second largest banyan tree in the world, Kalakshetra Arts village and the Kapaleshwar temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. We will also visit the textile town of Kanchipuram, known as one of the seven sacred cities of Hinduism and 'the town of a 1000 temples', where we will visit the world famous silk weavers. A short distance away is the sea side village of Mahabalipuram, the 'city of seven pagodas' and the shore temple, a UNESCO designated world heritage site from the seventh century.
At Tiruvanmalai, we will visit the Ramana Maharishi Ashram and join thousands of local pilgrims in the annual full moon festival of Deepam Girivalam. We will circumambulate the sacred mountain of Arunachala, considered Shiva's lingam of fire. At Pondicherry, the picturesque French colonial town by the ocean, we will visit the ashram of Sri Aurobindo who tried to bring a blend of yoga and modern science. Close by, is the planned transnational utopian community of Auroville inspired by the evolutionary vision of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, the centre of which has the beautiful golden meditation temple, the Matri Mandir. Meetings and discussions will be arranged with teachers and local people to gain further insight into the widsom and local culture. This will be an exceptional chance to see India that few travelers have the opportunity to experience.
Day 1, November 28th: Chennai.
Day 2, November 29th: Chennai - Kanchipuram - Mahabalipuram.
Day 3, November 30th: Mahabalipuram-Tiruvanmalai.
Day 4, December 1st: Tiruvanmalai.
Day 5, December 2nd: Tiruvanmalai - Pondicherry.
Day 6, December 3rd: Pondicherry/Auroville.
Day 7, December 4th: Pondicherry - Chennai.
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