01 :ARRIVE CHENNAI
On arrival meet and assist at the airport and transfer to
Chennai : 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 :
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
After breakfast, leave for Pondicherry. On arrival checkin
at prebooked hotel.
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
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.
DAY 06 : 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.
Arrive Madurai and arrival checkin at prebooked Hotel.
DAY 07 : MADURAI-PERIYAR
After breakfast, visit Madurai – one of the oldest
cities in South India and has been a centre of learning &
pilgrimage for centuries. Visit Madurai’s 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
Afternoon, leave for Periyar (Thekkady). On arrival in Periyar
checkin at prebooked Hotel.
DAY 08 : PERIYAR
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.
DAY 09 : PERIYAR-KUMARAKOM
(OVERNIGHT BACKWATER TRIP TILL ALLEPEY)
After breakfast, leave for Kumarakom in time to board houseboat
for overnight backwater trip from Kumarakom to Allepey.
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.
DAY 10 : ALLEPEY-KOCHI
Arrive Allepey at 1000 hrs and transfer to Kochi. Arrive
Kochi and check in at prebooked Hotel.
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.
DAY 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 Hotel.
Afternoon, city tour of Bangalore - "city of gardens".
Visit, theo Vidhan Sudha – It houses the State’s
Legislature and Secretariat, Nandi Temple – One of the
oldest temple, popularly known as the Bull temple.
DAY 12 : 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 statue.
Arrive Hassan & checkin at prebooked Hotel. Rest of the
DAY 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 Hotel.
DAY 14 : MYSORE
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.
DAY 15 : 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.
DAY 16 :
Transfer to the airport to board flight back home.