South India Extensive Tour
Chennai, Kanchipuram, Mahabalipuram, Tiruvannamalai, Pondicherry, Thanjavour, Trichy, Madurai, Rameswaram, Kanyakumari, Trivandram, Kovalam, Alleppey, Kumarakom (House Boat), Cochin, Ooty, Mysore & Bangalore.
::20 nights/21 days
01: Arrive Chennai by flight
Arrive Chennai airport. After clearing your custom & immigrations you shall be met by our representative outside the exit gate of the arrival hall. After meeting/assistance and traditional welcome at airport transfer to hotel. Rest of day on leisure.
Madras, which recently reverted to its historical name Chennai, is the capital of the South Indian State of Tamil Nadu. It is the fourth largest metropolis of India, after New Delhi, Bombay and Calcutta. Chennai is a seaside (and a major port) city where the sea is a rhapsodist blue, hugging the second largest beach in the world. It has many monuments and temples exemplyfying the contributions of the Chola and Pallava Dynasties to the ancient Dravidian civilization. Chennai also has the ancient churches and Cathedrals pointing to British heritage of 150 years.
Overnight stay at hotel.
Day 02: Chennai
Morning breakfast at hotel at 0900 leave for full day city tour of Chennai - The Capital city of Tamilnadu and the main centre of this region.
Fort ST. Geroge
was built in 1640 AD, by the British East India Company under the direct supervision of Francis Day and Andrew Cogon. This place achieved its name from Saint George, the patron saint of England. The fort houses Saint Mary’s Church and fort museum. Saint Mary’s Church the oldest Anglican Church built in 1680 and the tombstones in its courtyard are the oldest British tombstones in India.
its the second longest beach in the world with a strech of 4.5 kms (2.5 miles). This strech is filled with statues of rememberence from our Tamil culture to our great leaders. A walk along the Marina in the evening creates elated feelings. The old buildings on side of Kamarajar Salai, a main road along the Marina, would remind you of the good old British days. People from all over the city gather here in the evenings to cool off and eat crispy “sundal and murukku”!
the memorial for ARINZAR ANNADURAI
- leader of the Dravidian movement, affectionately called Anna. His speech in Tamil has enchanted millions. Adjoining to this memorial lays another for leader Dr. M.G. Ramachandran leader of AIADMK movement, commonly know as Puractchi Thalaivar MGR. Both of them are situated at the northern end of the Marina Beach. Both these leaders are still living in the hearts of Tamil Nadu people.
is located eyond Elliot’s beach, is Kalakshetra or ‘Temple of Art’. It was founded in 1936 by Rukmini Devi Arundale to train, encourage and revive interest in bharatanatyam, which is the classical dance form of the state. This institution is among the finest of its kind in the country and is run on the ancient gurukulam system. Throughout the year Kalakshetra conducts music recital and dance performances in different parts of Chennai. Details about venue and timings can be obtained from the daily newspapers or from the information desk of the Government of India Tourist Office
a massive tall structure situated at south end of the Marina Beach beckons the visitors in the evening and adds glory to the golden sands. All India Radio (AIR) radio broadcast station is located opposite to the light house.
previously known as Pantheon Complex in British period, today houses the Government Museum, Connemara Public Library and the National Art Gallery. The museum contains exhibits ranging from contemporary artifacts to prehistorical findings. Sculptures and bronzes of various periods, sections for zoology, anthropology and geology impress every visitor. Buddhist sculptures found in the Amaravathi section depict the events recorded in the life of the Buddha. Overnight stay at hotel.
Day 03: Chennai/Kanchipuram/Mamallapuram (135 Kms)
Morning breakfast at hotel and at 0900 hrs drive to Mahabalipuram.
Enroute visit Kanchipuram
one of the seven sacred cities of India, is famous for its exquistely woven silk sarees. It is a golden city of thousand temples of which 124 have withstood the ravages of time. This has the capital of the Pallavas. Kanchipuram is the holy city of both Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu and it is for this reason that Kanchipuram is one of the seven holy cities of India and on the pilgrim route. Some have called Kanchipuram the "Varanasi of the South". Though the temples in this city of gods and erstwhile kings date back to the 4th century, the finest temples was constructed in the 6th and 7th centuries. Kanchi was also the seat of learning and Hindus and Buddhist philosophies flourished side by side. The oldest temple, constructed in sandstone by the Pallavas, the Kailashnatha temple dedicated to Lord Shiva.
Thereafter continue your drive to Mamallapuram (Mahabalipurm). Upon arrival check in at hotel.
the ancient capital and sea port of Pallava kings is famous for its south Indian temple architecture.But today it is a sleepy village living on its past glory and the tourist traffic. The sculptures and carvings are fascinating. Mahabalipuram is also known as the "city of seven pagodas" for out of solid stone were carved exquisite rock temples. Five of the temples are known as "Rathas" and on their walls the story of Hindu mythology has been lovingly carved out. The most famous of them is group of five rathas. This ratha is dedicated to the five Pandava princes and their consort-wife Draupadi. A group of elephants one of them 5 meters long known as "Arjuna Penance" is the most prominent feature of this sculpture.
Overnight stay at hotel.
Day 04: Mamallapuram
Morning brakfast at 0900 hrs leave for city tour visit the city - built in 7th century, earlier called Mahabalipuram, this ancient Pallava port, is today the sight of several antique sculptural marvels. In this ancient seaside town, shrines and huge sculptures cut-out of rocks more than 1200 years back during the reign of Pallava Kings in the region can be seen. At the mouth of the river Palar, on large granite hall about 1 km in length from north to south is the site of many monuments, like The Descent of Ganges also known as Arjuna’s Penance, this open air sculpture showing the descent of the holy river, Krishna Mandap, The Rathas and the Shore temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. Overnight stay at hotel.
Day 05: Mamallapuram/Tiruvannanmalai/Pondicherry (135 Kms)
Morning breakfast at hotel and at 0900 hrs drive to Pondicherry carries a strong whiff of the French presence in India. Legend says that Pondicherry is the place where St.Agasthaya settled down.
Enroute visit Tiruvannamallai
Spiritual seekers from all over world comes to Tiruvannamalai, an Pilgrimage city filled with living enlightenment gurus . This sacred city is Located 200 kilometer from Chennai. This ancient town has been built around Arunachala hill (annamalai hill), an mountain raising 4000 Meter heavenly from the ground. Tiruvannamalai is famous for sprawling temple arunachala temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. Every full moon day people walk around the annamalai hill and offer special prayers to Arunachala temple called Girivalam. Spiritual gurus Yogi Ramsuratkumar , Ramana Maharshi, Arabindo, Shesathiri Swamigal , Muniyandi swamigal and many more saints and sadhus were living and still living here to bring the divine close to people. Thereafter continue your drive to Pondicherry. Upon arrival check in at hotel.
Pondicherry is a union teritory, which lies within the state of Tamil Nadu.The inherent ambience of Pondicherry, becomes most evident in the oldest part of the town, which flanks the seashore boulevard. The French ruled this territory for 300 years, Pondicherry is a living monument of French Culture in India. The Aurobindo Ashram and 'Auroville' the international township are famous all over the world. Overnight stay at hotel
Day 06: Pondicherry
Morning breakfast at hotel at 0900 hrs leave for city tour of Pondicherry visiting Aurbindo Ashram, the city of dawn, which is 10kms north of Pondicherry. This ashram promotes Aurbindo’s ideas in bringing about a synthesis of Yoga and modern science, so as to unite the spirit and matter. Afternoon, visit Auroville - a unique experiment in international living and in creating a new environment where men and women of all nationalities live together in harmony; Vardaraja Perumal Temple, Vedapureeswarar Temple & Manakula Vinayagar Templewar memorial, Town hall. Overnight stay at hotel.
Day 07: Pondicherry/Thanjavur (170 Kms)
Morning breakfast at hotel at 0900 hrs and drive to Thanjavur.
- is a small town in the state of Tamilnadu in South India. It is a wonderful place to visit. The Bragadeeshwara temple, an archaeological splendour is found in this town. The town is now growing fast and is now getting in touch with technology. Tourists find Thanjavur a very nice place to spend their time.
Upon arrival check in at hotel. Afternoon leave for city tour. Overnight stay at hotel.
Day 08: Thanjavur/Trichy/Madurai (160 Kms)
Morning breakfast at hotel and drive to Madurai.
Enroute visit Trichy or Tiruchirapalli also called as Thillai, which has the famous Nataraja temple with the root of the sanctum-sanctorum covered with golden plates is located in the centre of the town covering an area of 40 acres.
Thereafter countinue your drive to Madurai.
One of South India's great temple towns, Madurai is synonymous with the celebrated Meenakshi Temple. Situated on the banks of river Vaigai, Madurai has a rich cultural heritage passed on from the great Tamil era more than 2500 years old. Madurai was an important cultural and commercial centre even as early as 550 AD. It was the capital city for the great Pandya kings.
Upon arrival in Madurai check in at hotel. Afternoon leave for city tour of Madurai history goes back to six centuries before Christ. The Pandyan rulers made this their capital until the 14th Century and the city flowered with the genius of its writers, builders, poets and academics. Then the Nayaks ruled Madurai from the middle of the 16th Century to 1743. The ten tall Gopurams of the Meenakshi Temple were raised during their dynasty. visiting - Sri Meenakshi Sundereswarar and Palani temples, King Tirumala’s Palace, Vandiyur Mariamman Tank and Gandhi museum.
Overnight stay at hotel.
Day 09: Madurai/Rameshwaram/Madurai (155 kms one way)
Morning breakfast at hotel and excursion to Rameshwaram.
Rameshwaram an island- of Lord Rama's temple at Tamil Nadu is a terrific destination. Along with being a major pilgrimage for the Hindus, Rameshwaram is a happening holiday spot too.The religious island is spread in an area of 61.8 square kilometers and happens to be in the shape of a conch. The Ramanatha Swamy Temple occupies major area of Rameshwaram. The masterpiece of Dravidian architecture boasts of the largest temple corridor in India. Different rulers built the Ramanatha Swamy Temple over a period of time starting from the 12th century. The temple comprises of twenty-two wells where the taste of the water of each well is different from the other. The waters of the wells are believed to possess medicinal properties. Rameshwaram is where Lord Rama rested and prayed after his triumph over the demon king Ravan. A sacred site for both Vaishnavites and Shaivities, no Hindu pilgrimage is complete without a visit to this holy city. The island of Rameshwaram is one of the most venerable temple towns in India without a visit to which, the pilgrimage of a devout Hindu is not complete.
Therafter return back to Madurai. Overnight stay at hotel.
Day 10: Madurai/Kanyakumari ( 245 kms)
Morning breakfast at hotel and drive to Kanyakumari – is the land’s end of India where the water of the Arabian Sea , the Bay of Bengal and the Indian Ocean meet. An important pilgrim centre of India.
There are no words that can completely describe the beauty of Kanyakumari and it remains one of the most popular tourist destinations of south India. Located in the southernmost point of the Indian mainland, it is a magnificent place of natural beauty where you can see the deep blue waters of the ocean meeting the horizon. This southernmost town of Tamil Nadu is an important attraction for the tourists. Before you set out on a tour, you should have enough information about Kanyakumari that would help you explore the town conveniently.
Upon arrival check in at hotel. Afternoon visit famous Amman Temples – a symbol of unity and sanctity – deidicated to the virgin Goddess , Kanya Kumari. and to its South – East lies the famous Vivekananda Rock Memorial, a blend of all the architectural styles of India.
Overnight stay at hotel.
Day 11: Kanyakumari/Trivandram (100 kms)
Morning breakfast at hotel and at 0900 hrs drive to Trivandram.
the capital of the State of Kerala, is a beautiful seaside city built on seven hills. The city gets its name from the word, Thirua Ananthapuram, meaning the city of Anantha or the abode of the scared Anantha on which Lord Vishnu, the preserver of the Hindu Trinity reclines. The famous Sripadmanabhaswamy Temple dedicated to Vishnu and a landmark in the city was, according to legends, built in stages to house an idol found in a forest by a saint devotee, Vilwamangalam Swamiyar. It has, in many ways, dominated the fortunes of the town, quite apart from contributing its name. In 1750, when it was the capital of Marthanda varma, the most famous king of the Travancore State, the entire state was dedicated to the deity of the temple. From then on, all the rights of the ruler and all his possessions belonged to the deity and were held by the king and his successors as servants of the deity. Upon arrival check in at hotel. Afternoon leave for city tour of Trivandrum.
Not only is the Indo-Saracenic building a work of architectural art but inside is Trivandrum’s finest collection of 12th century Chola bronzes, ancient carvings, intricate musical instruments and a number of other unique and priceless treasures from Kerala’s past. It is located on Museum-Vellaymbalam road.
Shri Padmanabhaswami Temple
Even though Kerala’s oldest temple is off-limits to non-Hindus, visitors can get a close look at the amazing structure right in the centre of Trivandrum. There are some excellent photo opportunities of the seven-story entrance tower and the huge water tank where devotees take ritual dips. The temple is located in the Fort district. Overnight stay at hotel.
Day 12: Trivandram/Kovalam/Trivandrum (15 kms one way)
Morning breakfast at hotel and at 0900 hrs leave for excurison of Kovalam.
Today Kovalam has become one of the most popular beach hangouts in India. Kovalam means a grove of coconut trees and truly the coconut trees along the beaches gives it a ravishing look. The palm-fringed bays in secluded coconut groves, promise a relaxed stay. The boundless blue waters of the Arabian Sea and miles of white sands washed away by the surf at the feet of the stalwart palms and the rocky promontories, makes this beach paradise. This marvellous beach is a tourist's dream come true.
Thereafter return back to Trivandrum. Overnight stay at hotel.
Day 13: Trivandrum/Alleppey (160 kms)....................Alleppey/Kumarakom – House Boat stay
Morning breakfast at hotel and at 0800 hrs leave for Alleppey - embankment point for the Houseboat. Upon arrival boarding to House Boat and sail through many canals and waterways up to Kumarakom. It is once a life time experience to have such a romantic and beautiful experience. House Boat passing through the Backwaters of Kerala and sail through many canals and waterways The journey will pass through the following areas Alleppey, Vattakkayal, Chambakulum, Ambalapuzha, Karumadi, Kayakulum, Kumarakom. Overnight on the House Boat. (Lunch + Dinner and Breakfast in Included).
The most memorable way to experience the true magic of the waterways and lagoons of the backwaters is to sail at your own pace - through jungles of palm and fruit trees, past green paddy fields and waterside villages - by a beautifully crafted traditional old rice barge or kettuvallam. Many of these have been converted to provide comfortable houseboat accommodation. Each has one or two bedroom, bathroom, sitting room and sun-deck, with a crew to look after you and serve delicious local Keratin fare during a leisurely one or two-night cruise. These house boats are known for their unique design and use of local materials like bamboo poles, coconut finer ropes, bamboo mats, carpets etc. They are a fabulous way to explore the fascinating beauties of the Kerala backwaters.
Day 14: Kumarakom/Cochin 80 Kms)
Morning breakfast at House boat and at 1200 hrs leave for Cochin. Upon arrival check in at hotel.
Cochin is a city of history and colour. Founded in 1341, it was one of the key stops on the ancient spice route from China to Rome. Straddling both the Arabian Sea and the famous backwaters, its islands and promontories offer a fascinating spectacle. The Portuguese, Dutch and British have all left their mark on local architecture and culture, while influxes of Jewish and Arab settlers have added another intriguing dimension. Here you can see India's first European church - and a 16th century synagogue! A major Kerala gateway, Cochin makes an ideal starting point or finale for your tour: from here you can travel easily into the hills, travel the backwaters or head north to Calicut. Evening free for leisure. Overnight stay at hotel.
Day 15: Cochin
Morning breakfast at hotel and at 0900 hrs leave for city tour of Cochin "Queen of Arabian Sea" and "Venice of the East" .
About 4km from Parur,this place houses the oldest synagogue in Kerala. There is also a Jesuit Church and ruins of a Jesuit College . One can also walk to the Hindu Temple overlooking river Periyar, a 16th-century mosque, as well as burial grounds.
Chinese Fishing Nets
The Chinese fishing nets that line the sea-front and exhibit a mechanical method of catching fish by local fishermen in Fort Kochi are said to have been brought from by traders of Kubalai Khans Court, many years ago and are still used today at high tide.
Numerous stories attest to the early history of this 10th century temple, where tormented devotees found solace in the diety, Bhagavathi. Today it remains one of the most popular pilgrim sites in Kerala, devotees still flock here seeking liberation from torment. Sometimes they dance themselves into a frenzy in their battle between the demons and the deities. The Goddess at Chottanikkara is revered here in three forms; she is Saraswathi (goddess of learning) in the morning, Bhagavathi (divine mother)at noon and Durga (fierce and destructive ) in the evening.
Coonan Kurishu Shrine
Located in the heart of the busy Mattancherry is the Coonan Kurishu Shrine which was the venue for about 25,000 Syrian Christians who, in 1653, assembled at the ancient cross in Mattancherry and tied long ropes to it. Pulling the ropes they took a solemn oath that they would never obey the Latin Archbishops or be under the Jesuits.
Located a short distance from St. Francis Church, near the entrance to the beach, this cemetry is supposedly maintained by the CSI, but is very badly kept. It is of historical importance, having many famous persons buried here. Most of the grave stones have been removed, but the few that are here are in fairly good
condition.However because of the overgrowth of plants and shrubs, it takes a bit of real exploring to discover whose grave stone is whose. Evening visit one of the best cultural centre to witness traditional Kathakali dance show and before the show see the artist, doing special make etc. Overnight stay at hotel.
Day 16: Cochin/Ooty (250 Kms)
Morning after breakfast and drive to Ootacamund most popularly known as Ooty. It is mostly referred to as the Queen of the Southern Hills stations. located in the midst of four high hills; Doddabetta, Snowdon, Elk hill and Club Hill. It drives its name from the Niligiri or the Blue Mountains - the name to the Hills by the inhabitants for more than 850 years because of the blue haze of clouds which envelope the hill slopes. Upon arrival check in hotel. Rest of the day at leisure. Overnight stay at hotel.
Day 17: Ooty
Morning breakfast at hotel by city tour of Ooty fvisiting Dodda Betta, Conoor Tea Gardens, Sims Park, Dolphin’s Nose, Lake and Botonical garden and also enjoy the The Verdant hills, the lush green valleys and the pristine natural beauty of the hill resort of Ooty offers the urban tired souls a chance to resume their affair with Nature, to whom they truly belong. The heavenly hill resort like a blushing bride peeks from behind lofty Nilgiri hills. Overnight stay at hotel.
Day 18: Ooty/Mysore (150 Kms)
Morning breakfast at hotel and drive to Mysore wending along through verdant and hilly countryside, where the legendary warrior Tipu Sultan built the island fortress and Summer Palace entirely of wood, with exquisitely painted walls. Upon arrival check in hotel. Afternoon city tour of Mysore. City of 17 Palaces - the Maharaja’s City Palace being one of the largest in the country. include the zoological gardens, the Chamundi Temple, handicraft Centre and 22 kms away - the Brindavan Gardens, which are a sight by day and night. Evening visit to the gardens where there are many illuminated fountains. Overnight stay at hotel.
Day 19: Mysore/Srirangapatnam/Bangalore (135 Kms)
Morning breakfast at hotel and drive to Bangalore. Enroute visit Srirangapatanam. Thereafter continue your drive towards Bangalore. Upon arrival check in at hotel. Rest of day free for your own activities.
– the fifth largest city in India is the capital of Karnataka. The presence of many parks and botanical gardens gave the name of ' Garden city ' to Bangalore. Any tourist can start his tour from Bangalore with its ancient forts, temples, gardens and shopping. Overnight stay at hotel.
Day 20: Bangalore
Morning breakfast at hotel and leave for city tour of Bangalore.
Tipu Sultan Palace
Located in the old city, on Albert Victor Road, the atmospheric palace was built around 1790. Dilapidated though it is today, it evokes vivid memories of the legendary soldier king who bravely repulsed the power-hungry British. The wooden edifice is marked by a profusion of balconies, graceful arches and lofty pillars. Replicating the Daria Daulat Bagh at Srirangapatna, it served as Tipu's summer palace.
Established way back in 1740 by Hyder Ali, it is home to a mango tree planted by the legendary warrior king Tipu Sultan. Housed here are several species of plants imported from London's Kew Gardens by the Raj-era Garden's Superintendent John Cameron in the 1870s. It was he who also commissioned the Glass House here. Every year around August 15, a flower show is held at Lal Bagh attracting gardening enthusiasts from around the city.
An imposing 46m high Bangalore granite monument that resembles the Temple architectural style houses the Legislative Chambers of the state government. The building has 22 departments and 300 rooms, four domes on all its corners and the four-headed lion.
Originally built in mud by Kempe Gowda in 1537, Tippu extended and fortified the fort and is known today for its beautifully carved Islamic-style arches, the well-preserved Ganapathi Temple and beautiful carvings on its exteriors depicting Sri Krishna playing his flute.
Lord Cubbon laid down the 300-acre park in 1864. A perfect place for joggers and nature walkers, it also has red Gothic structures to see such as the State Central Library with its rare treasure of books, architectural style and fluted pillars, the High Court, the Cheshire Dyer Memorial Hall, Ottawa Chatter, Museum, Century Club and the Press Club. Overnight stay at hotel.
Day 21: Bangalore/Onward destination
Morning breakfast at hotel. Intime meeting/assistance at hotel and transfer to airport to board return flight to your onward destination.
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