01 : ARRIVE CHENNAI
arrival meet and assist at the airport and transfer to prebooked Hotel.
: At the southern tip of India in the state of Tamil Nadu, Chennai or
Madras as it was known
earlier is its capital city of the state of Tamil
Nadu. It is also the third largest metropolis in India. Chennai as
the gateway will put you in touch with a different face of India classical,
ancient, gentle. Definitely touched by colonialism but not ravaged by
wars & intensely aware of its roots & traditions.
DAY 02 : CHENNAI-MAHABALIPURAM
After breakfast, half day city tour of Chennai visiting Museum to see
the art and bronze gallery (Closed on public holidays). Drive through
the Flower & Fruit Market, High Court, Fort Museum, Marina Beach,
San Thome cathedral.
Afternoon, leave for Mahabalipuram. Enroute visit Kanchipuram
- (64 km from Madras) ancient capital of the Pallavas, famous as a city
of 1000 temples that still has 124 shrines. The first temple dedicated
to Shiva was built in the 7th & 8th century & has painting on
the walls. Templs of Ekambaswara, Kailasnatha, Sri Kamakshi & Vardarajaewamy
are of interest. Kanchipuram is also famous for its silk.
On arrival in Mahabalipuram
checkin at your prebooked hotel.
DAY 03 : MAHABALIPURAM
After breakfast, visit Mahabalipuram , which was the main port of the
Pallava dynasty & has exquisite Rock-cut monuments, monolithic structures
& Bas-reliefs. It is also a beach resort. Visit a very interesting
creation enroute Dakshin Chitra , a museum that preserves actual houses
of different communities & village craftsmen from the four southern
states of Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh
, Karnataka & Kerala.
Afternoon, free to relax on the beach.
DAY 04 : MAHABALIPURAM-PONDICHERRY (DRIVE)
After breakfast, leave for Pondicherry.
On arrival checkin at prebooked
Afternoon, sightseeing of Pondicherry
which was formerly a French Colony. Settled early in the 18th century
Pondicherry became part of the Indian Union in the early 50s when the
French voluntarily relinquished control. The main attraction here is the
Aurobindo Ashram which was founded by Sri Aurobindo in 1926. The ashram
is one of the most popular in India with westerners, and is also one of
the most affluent. Also to be visited is the Pondicherry Museum which
has a well displayed variety of exhibits ranging from French furniture
to this history of bead making.
DAY 05 : PONDICHERRY - TANJORE (DRIVE)
After breakfast, leave for Tanjore. On arrival checkin at hotel.
Afternoon, visit Tanjore
(Thanjavur) which was the ancient capital of Chola kings. Visit
the Brihadishwara temple which was built by Raja Raja and is termed as
the crowning glory of Chola temple architecture. This temple is one of
the monuments in India with World Heritage listing. Also visit the Thanjavur
Palace which was contructed in 1550 and has huge corridors, spacious halls,
observation and arsenal towers.
TANJORE - TRICHY - SRIRANGAM - MADURAI (DRIVE)
After breakfast, leave for Madurai. Enroute visit the Rock Fort Temple
in Trichy (Tiruchirapalli)
and the Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple at Srirangam - This superb temple complex
is surrounded by seven concentric walls with 21 gopurams and is probably
the largest in India. Most of it dates back from 14th to 17th centuries.
The largest gopuram was completed as recently as 1987, and now measures
an astouning 73 metres. After visiting Srirangam, continue drive to Madurai.
Madurai and arrival checkin
After breakfast, visit Madurai one of the oldest cities in South India
and has been a centre of learning & pilgrimage for centuries. Visit
Maduraiís main attraction Sri Meenakshi temple which attracts thousands
of pilgrims from all over India. The temple is named after the daughter
of a Pandyan King. Designed in 1560 by Vishwanatha Nayak, the present
temple was substantially built during the reign of Tirumalai Nayak (1623-55
AD), but its history goes back 2000 years to the time when Madurai was
the capital of Pandya Kings.
Afternoon, leave for Periyar (Thekkady). On arrival in Periyar
checkin at prebooked
DAY 08 :
Afternoon, boat ride on the Lake Periyar where one can have a unique experience
of viewing wildlife at close quarters from the safety of a boat on the
lake. The greatest attraction of Periyar, however are the herds of wild
elephants that come down to play in the lake.
After lunch, proceed for a spice plantation visit where one can see the
cultivation of a whole range of spices like pepper, cardamom, cloves,
turmeric, vanilla, all spice cinnamon etc. This is followed by a visit
to spice shops which are found in the small town of Kumily just 01 km
from the hotels.
PERIYAR-KUMARAKOM (OVERNIGHT BACKWATER TRIP TILL ALLEPEY)
After breakfast, leave for Kumarakom in time to board houseboat for overnight
backwater trip from Kumarakom
1300 hrs - Commence an overnight houseboat cruise, which gives one a fascinating
insight into the life of a Keralan Backwater Village. As the boat glides
along the backwaters one can see the daily life in the backwater villages.
On the narrow strips of land, fisherman fishing, children swimming and
playing in the water, women doing their daily chores, mobile shops in
tiny canoes, the cultivation of paddy and it's harvesting (during harvest
season), huge country barges ferrying the coconuts, rice, coir etc.
Note : The cruise commences at 1300 hrs with lunch served onboard and
continues till dusk. At dusk the boat will anchor in a wide waterway or
lake for the night. (The backwaters close to boat traffic at dusk as the
fisherman lay their nets in the backwaters. Other boats are not allowed
to ply in the backwaters after dusk.) On the following day the cruise
commences again after breakfast and you will be dropped back at Allepey
at 1000 hrs.
Arrive Allepey at 1000 hrs and transfer to Kochi. Arrive Kochi and check
in at prebooked
Afternoon, visit Cochin the city of lagoons. Visit the St. Francis Church, India's oldest European
Church was contructed in 1503 by Portuguese; Chinese Fishing Nets, strung
out along the top of Fort Cochin; Mattancherry Palace or The Dutch Palace,
built by Portugese in 1557, this palace was presented to the Raja of Cochin,
Veera Kerala Verma. The palace's alternative name, the Dutch Palace, resulted
from substantial renovations by the Dutch after 1663.
11 : COCHIN
- BANGALORE (BY FLIGHT, DN 220, 0730-0845 HRS)
Early morning, transfer to the airport to board flight for Bangalore.
Arrive Bangalore and
transfer to prebooked
Afternoon, city tour of Bangalore - "city of gardens". Visit,
theo Vidhan Sudha It houses the Stateís Legislature and Secretariat,
Nandi Temple One of the oldest temple, popularly known as the Bull temple.
BANGALORE - HASSAN (DRIVE)
After breakfast, leave for Hassan, enroute visiting Sravanabelagola, one
of the oldest and most important Jain pilgrimage centres in India, and
the site of the 17m high statue of Gomateshvara, said to the world's tallest
monolithic statue an important Jain religious centre a colossal Gomateshwara
Hassan & checkin at
Rest of the day, free.
13 : HASSAN - MYSORE (DRIVE)
After breakfast, excursion to Hoysala Temples of Halebid & Belur.
Visit the Hoysaleswara Temple at Halebid which is the most outstanding
example if Hoysala art. At Belur, visit the Channekeshava temple is the
only one at the three Hoysala sites still in daily use.
Afternoon, leave for Mysore. On arrival in Mysore
checkin at prebooked
After breakfast, visit the magnificent city on the foothills of Mount
Chamundi. Visit the Mysore Palace, also known as the Amba Vilas Palace,
this palace was the seat of the Maharajas of Mysore. Burnt down in 1897,
the present one was completed in 1912, at a cost of Rs. 4.2 million; Chamundi
Hill - overlooking Mysore from 1062m summit of the hill is the Sri Chamuneswari
temple and the Brindavan Gardens.
Afternoon, excursion to Srirangapatnam.
MYSORE-CHENNAI (TRAIN, SHATABDI EXPRESS, 1420-2130 HRS)
Morning, free. In the afternoon, transfer to the railway station to board
train for Chennai. Arrive Chennai
and transfer to prebooked hotel.
Transfer to the airport to board flight back home.