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

star-4.511 Reviews
Chennai (Madras), India

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Free Cancellation
up to 24 hours in advance
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icon8 hours  (Approx.)
Hotel pickup offered
Mobile ticket
Good for avoiding crowds


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
Hotel pickup and drop-off
Transport by air-conditioned vehicle

Departure Point

Traveler pickup is offered
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.
  • 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

For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience. Learn more about cancellations.

The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
What is the maximum group size during Private Cultural Tour: Day Trip to Mahabalipuram and Dakshinachitra from Chennai?
This activity will have a maximum of 9 travelers.

See all safety measures taken by Private Cultural Tour: Day Trip to Mahabalipuram and Dakshinachitra from Chennai.

Traveler Photos


11 Reviews
1 star

Reviews by Viator travelers

Showing 1-10 of 11 reviews
We only had one day to tour in the...
, 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.
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!!
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.
Our guide was very knowledgeable...
, 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.
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.
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.
This was very interesting to see, a...
, Nov 2014
This was very interesting to see, a couple+ hours out of town with good photo ops.
I enjoyed the visit a lot and...
, 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.
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!
The tour guide was exceptional but...
, 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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