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Best of South India

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Best of South India



VISITING: CHENNAI - MAHABALIPURAM - KANCHIPURAM- PONDICHERRY - TANJORE - TRICHY - MADURAI - PERIYAR - MUNNAR - COCHIN - ALLEPPEY - TRIVANDRUM

 
DAY 01 / CHENNAI:

Arrive Chennai.

Assistance on arrival and transfer to your hotel. Check-in time is 12 noon.
CHENNAI, one of the metropolitan cities in India, is often called the cultural capital of India for its deep-rooted traditions and long heritage. The city is a true reflection of this country's diversity. Chennai has flourished into a charming and welcoming city, in a time span of just over 350 years. This city encourages all forms of development, both modern technology and the traditional arts and crafts, and embraces a series of paradoxes.

Overnight at your hotel.

DAY 02 / CHENNAI

Morning guided city sightseeing tour of Chennai.

Chennai too has many places for tourist’s interest viz. Fort St. George, High court Building, Marina beach, Theosophical Society, Calluvar Kottam, Mgr Film City and other places of Interest. The Fort stands as a symbol of the British Raj, amid state offices, facing the sea in the east of the city, just south of George Town. It is the first British fort build around1653 by the British East India Company.
Marina Beach-Abutting the Bay of Bengal, Chennai has one of the loveliest beaches. The 4.5 km long beach is the second longest beach in the world. A stroll along the Marina, whether in the morning or evening, refreshes one. The old Saracenic buildings dotting the other side of Kamarajar Salai, a main road along the Marina, would bring back memories of good old British Raj. The Senate House of the University of Madras and the old buildings now housing government offices, such as Ezhilagam and the Director General of Police office. They wear a mystical look in the morning when the Sun rises.
Overnight at your hotel.

DAY 03 / CHENNAI – MAHABALIPURAM BY SURFACE

Morning drive to Mahabalipuram enroute visiting countryside. On arrival transfer to your hotel. Later half day guided city sightseeing tour.
Mahabalipuram -
It’s globally renowned for its shore temples; Mahabalipuram was the second capital of the Pallava kings of Kanchipuram. , this tiny sea - side village of Mahabalipuram, is set in a boulder - strewn landscape. The sculpture, here, is particularly interesting because it shows scenes of day-to- day life, in contrast with the rest of the state of Tamil Nadu, where the carvings generally depict gods and goddesses. Mahabalipuram art can be divided into four categories: open air bas - reliefs, structured temples, man-made caves and rathas ('chariots' carved from single boulders, to resemble temples or chariots used in temple processions). The famous Arjuna's Penance and the Krishna Mandapa, adorn massive rocks near the centre of the village. The beautiful Shore Temple towers over the waves, behind a protective.
Overnight at your hotel.

DAY 04 / MAHABALIPURAM – KANCHIPURAM - PONDICHERRY

Morning guided excursion to Kanchipuram.
Kanchipuram is among the most famous of t he 'temple cities' of Tamil Nadu. Its temples house different Hindu sects. Though today it is only a destination for pilgrims, and a repository of major architectural monuments, in antiquity it occupied a more preeminent place in the history of South India. The city was the political capital of the Pallava rulers during the 7th - 9th Centuries. It remained an important city during the succeeding Chola and Vijayanagara empires. Visiting famous temples: The Kailashnatha temple dedicated to Lord Shiva is the oldest temple of Kanchi. It reflects the freshness and simplicity of the early Dravidian style of temple architecture and was built by the Pallava king Rayasimha. It can also be described as the worthy successor of the rock temples at Mahabalipuram, which were also built by the Pallava rulers.
After visiting Temple visit the silk weaving center.
Later proceed to Pondicherry enroute visiting countryside and transfer to your hotel.
Pondicherry town (now known as 'Puducherry') is the headquarters of the Union Territory of Pondicherry which comprises Pondicherry, Karaikal, Yaman and Mahe - four widely separated towns, the first two enclaves in Tamil Nadu, the other two enclaves in Andhra Pradesh and Kerala respectively, made one by their French connection.
Overnight at your hotel.

DAY 05 / PONDICHERRY

Morning guided city sightseeing tour of Pondicherry visiting Government Place with the Raj Nivas at one end, is an old-fashioned tree-lined square from which the residential lanes of the town radiate. You can walk down these roads, still named in French, and admire the pretty colonial cottages and shops.
 Aurobindo Ashram is the soul of Pondicherry. It was founded by the great spiritual leader Sri Aurobindo Ghose in 1926 and now houses his samadhi as well as that of The Mother, his main disciple. The ashram attracts thousands of visitors of all nationalities.

Pondicherry Museum is housed in a century-old building and has an impressive collection of artifacts, ranging from the Chola and Pallava period to the French colonial days.

Church of Sacred Heart of Jesus is an impressive 18th century church near the station.

Botanical Gardens in the old town were established by the French in 1826 and display the formal European garden design. You can see 1,500 types of shrubs and trees from all over the world here.

Overnight at your hotel.

DAY 06 / PONDICHERRY – TANJORE

Morning drive to Tanjore enroute visiting countryside. On arrival transfer to your hotel.

Afternoon guided half day city sightseeing tour visiting Thanjavur palace, Art Gallery, Hall of museum ,Schwartz church etc.
 Tanjore was the capital of the Chola Kings, this small town of Thanjavur is famous today for its beautifully architecture temples and the amazing bronze works it creates. It is centre for the classical arts like dance and music.
Overnight at your hotel.

DAY 07 / TANJORE – TRICHY

Morning visit Brihadeeswara temple and later proceed to Trichy enroute visiting countryside. On arrival transfer to your hotel.
Trichy or Tiruchi or Tiruchirappalli, situated on the banks of the river Cauvery lies in the south Indian state of Tamil Nadu. Trichy has a rich cultural heritage. A bustling commercial centre, Trichy is renowned for its khadi industries, diamonds, cigars, handloom cloth and glass bangles. Trichy is a city known for its educational institutions, industries, and temples.

Overnight at your hotel.

DAY 08 / TRICHY – MADURAI

Morning guided city sightseeing tour visiting Srirangam temple and Rock   fort temple.
Rock Fort Temple : The Rock Fort temple complex in Trichy is a collection of three temples - the Manikka Vinayakar temple at the foot of the hill, the Uchhi Pillayar Koyil at the top of the hill and the Taayumaanavar Koyil (Shivastalam) on the hill. This Shivastalam is a rock cut temple on a hill and is the most remarkable landmark in Tiruchirappalli that can be approached by a flight of steps en-route to the famous Ucchi Pillayar temple.

Sri Ranganathaswami Temple : At Srirangam Situated 7km from Trichy is Srirangam, the abode of the Supreme Lord, Sri Ranganatha, the reclining form of Lord Vishnu..
Afternoon drive to Madurai enroute visiting countryside and transfer to your hotel.
Madurai - The Temple City : Madurai is the second largest city of the state of Tamil Nadu. It is famous for its temples, especially for the celebrated Meenakshi Temple. Situated on the banks of river Vaigai, it derives its name from the divine nectar (Madhu) that was showered from the locks of Lord Shiva according to a popular legend. The city has a rich cultural heritage which it has inherited from the great Tamil era, which is more than 2500 years old. Once the capital of the great Pandya kings, Madurai was an important cultural and commercial center even as early as 550 AD.
Overnight at your hotel.

DAY 09 / MADURAI – PERIYAR

Morning half day guided city sightseeing tour visiting famous Meenakshi temple and huge Dravidian civilization temple complex.
The Meenakshi temple complex at Madurai is a city temple. It has eminent and exquisitely carved towers enveloping the temple, dedicated to Goddess Meenakashi in Madurai. Considered as the south gateway, the Meenakshi temple consists of the twin temples of God Shiva and Goddess Meenakshi, each one as high as about nine storeys
The Meenakshi temple has majestic stonewalls and towers rising out of the swarming streets of the city center. The image of Goddess Meenakshi is said to be carved out of a single emerald. This exotic temple was renovated by various kings, adding coiled corridors and larger-than-life sculptures. According to the legend of this temple the marriage of the goddess Meenakshi to Shiva actually took place in Madurai and is still celebrated every summer with great enthusiasm and gaiety.
Later proceed to Periyar enroute visiting countryside and transfer to your hotel.
Overnight at your hotel.

DAY 10 / PERIYAR – MUNNAR

Morning visit the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary & also enjoy the Boat Ride on Lake Periyar, situated on the Periyar lake in  the hills of Western ghats and is the finest sanctuary for viewing and photgraphing Indian Wild Elephants. You can have the opportunity to see  the Sambar, Barking deer, Wild Boars, Tigers, Panthers, Wild Goars,  Spotted Deer, Leopard. Periyar Wildlife Park in Kerala is one of the most captivating wildlife parks not only in India but in the world. In 1895, the British undertook water resource management plans for the area and started work on a dam and an artificial lake under the auspices of Col.
Later drive to Munnar enroute visiting countryside and transfer to your hotel.
Munnar lies in Idukki district, at the confluence of three mountain rivers. It is pronounced “Moon-aar”, meaning ‘three rivers’ in Malayalam. The rivers; Mudrapuzha, Nallathanni and Kundala meet in the center of the town. The place is encircled by wooded hills of the Annamalai Ranges, with the towering bulk of Anamudi, which is peninsular India’s highest peak, at 2695 m.
Overnight at your hotel.

DAY 11 / MUNNAR – COCHIN

Morning drive to Cochin enroute visiting countryside and transfer to your hotel.
Cochin - 'Queen of the Arabian' Sea is the commercial capital of Kerala. Cochin has one of the finest natural harbors in the world. Cochin was once the major center of commerce and trade with the British, Arabs, Chinese, Portuguese, Dutch etc.

Afternoon guided city sightseeing tour of Cochin visiting the Dutch Palace, St. Cruz Cathedral, the church of San Francisco, the Bolghatty Islands. The imprints of its colorful past can be seen in the people and monuments of Cochin, even today.  Visits to the Jewish Synagogue, the Dutch Palace, St. Francis’ Church and the Chinese fishing nets are interesting
Overnight at your hotel.

DAY 12 / COCHIN – ALLEPPEY

Morning drive to Alleppey enroute visiting countryside and on arrival transfer to your House Boat.
Alleppey is also known for its spectacular snake - boat races held on the second Saturday of August, every year. This competition - the Nehru boat race takes its name from India's first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, who inaugurated in 1952. It is excitement all around as snake - boats, each manned by over a hundred oarsmen, cut through the waters like wind. The event is a tremendous success with tourists and the local population alike.
Overnight on House Boat (B, L, D).

DAY 13 / ALLEPPEY – TRIVANDRUM

Morning drive to Trivandrum enroute visiting countryside. Later guided city sightseeing tour.
Trivandrum, now called Thiruvananthapuram, is the capital of Kerala, the 'God's own country.' Located at the southwestern tip of India, the city is bordered by the Arabian Sea on the west and Tamil Nadu on the east. The place is home to some of the most enchanting picnic spots, a long shoreline, with internationally renowned beaches, historic monuments, backwater stretches and a rich cultural heritage. All these go a long way in making this place a much sought-after-tourist destination.
Kovalam Beach, Padmanabha Swamy Temple, Kuthiramalika Palace Museum, the Napier Museum, Sree Chitbra Art Gallery are some of the famous tourist attractions here.

Overnight at your hotel.

DAY 14 / TRIVANDRUM – CAPE COMORIN – TRIVANDRUM

Morning guided excursion to Cape Comorin (87 kms)

Kanyakumari or the Cape Comorin, the southern most tip of peninsular India is sprawled over an area of 1672 sq. km, occupying 1.29% of the total extent of Tamil Nadu. This exquisite land is encircled by majestic hills along with swaying coconut trees and paddy fields. There are also a few elevated patches of red cliffs and some free flowing valleys presenting an eye-pleasing scene. One can also see plains between the mountainous terrain and the sea - coast, with Temples and Churches standing proudly. Truly, a beautiful way to mark the end of the land of marvelous India.

On arrival visit Kanyakumari Temple, Gandhi Memorial and Vivekananda Rock Memorial.
Overnight at your hotel.

DAY 15 / TRIVANDRUM OUT

Morning transfer to airport in time to board flight for onward destination. Check-out time is 12 noon.

Monuments Fees- are subject to change(Per Person)

Trivandrum                                                  = USD 3
Kanyakumari                                              = USD 3
Mahabalipuram                                          =USD 7
Kanchipuram                                              = USD 3



Bon Voyage

Note: all the above arrangements are subject to change due to unforeseen circumstances.