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South India Splendour Tour
Duration : 12days & 11nights
Cities Covered : Chennai - Kanchipuram - Mahabalipuram - Pondicherry - Tanjore - Tricht - Tanjore - Periyar - Alleppy - Cochin

Day 01 chennai

Arrival Chennai at the international airport. Assistance on arrival and transfer to the hotel. Overnight at the hotel.


Day 02 chennai – kanchipuram - mahabalipuram

After breakfast orientation tour of the city. Morning visit the Fort St George, a fine example of the 17th century British military architecture, was built in 1666. The State Legislative Hall has fine woodwork and black and white stone paving. You can also see the old barracks and officers quarters including Lord Clive’s house. St Mary’s Church was built between 1678-80 by Streynsham Master in solid masonry to a simple plan of three aisles with semi-circular cannon-proof roofs and 1.3m thick walls. This is the first English church of India and the oldest British building to survive, it was nearly entirely rebuilt in 1759 after being severely damaged in a siege. The fort also contains a Museum, which includes prints, documents, paintings, sculpture etc.

Later visit the Kapaleeshwara Temple dedicated to Lord Shiva followed by visit to Government Museum and Art Gallery.
In the afternoon proceed to Mahbalipuram. En-route visit Kanchipuram. Kanchipuram, one of Hindu’s seven most sacred cities also known as the ‘golden city of a thousand temples’ dates from the early Cholas in the 2nd century. Visit the Ekambaresvara Temple dedicated to Lord Shiva, has 5 enclosures and a thousand-pillared Hall’. The other temples are the Kailashnatha, the most beautiful of the town temples was built by sand stone in the 7th century. On arrival check in at the hotel. Overnight at the hotel.


Day 03 mahabalipuram – pondicherry

Morning sightseeing of Mahabalipuram, one of south India’s most visited historic sites. The expanding village with its sandy beach, is a popular place. Mahabalipuram’s real claim to fame rests on its history and magnificent rock temples and carvings. Visit Bhagiratha’s Penance, is a bas-relief sculpted on the face of two enormous adjacent rocks, 29m long and 7 m high. It shows realistic life size figures of animals, gods and saints watching the descent of the river from the Himalayas. The Rathas are the mid-seventh century monolithic temples, 1.5 km south of the Old Lighthouse were influenced by the Buddhist architecture as they resemble the Vihara(Monastery) and chaitya temple hall. Later visit the Shore Temple, by the sea is surrounded by gardens. The world heritage site is immensely popular. King Rajasimha built this by the end of 7th century, it is unusual for its shrines to both Shiva and Vishnu. In the afternoon drive to Pondicherry. On arrival check in at the hotel. Overnight at the hotel.


Day 04 chennai – pondicherry

Pondicherry still enjoys a hint of its French colonial atmosphere in the grid pattern streets, distinctive police uniform and the occasional colonial building. Yet despite its invigorating seafront and relaxing atmosphere the town is visited above all for the Sri Aurobindo Ashram. Morning visit Sri Aurobindo Ashram and Pondicherry Museum has a good sculpture gallery and a section of archaeological finds from the Roman settlement at Arikamedu. Rest of the day at leisure. Overnight at the hotel.


Day 05 pondicherry

In the morning visit Sri Aurobindo Ashram and the Pondicherry Museum which has a good sculpture gallery and a section of archaeological finds from the Roman settlement at Arikamedu. Rest of the day at leisure. Overnight at the hotel.


Day 06 pondicherry – tanjore

After breakfast drive to Tanjore. Assistance on arrival and transfer to the hotel. Afternoon visit Bridheshwara Temple, a world heritage site is one of the great monuments of South India. Also known as the ‘Big temple’, is the achievement of the Chola King Rajaraja I. The magnificent temple has 62 m vimana (tallest in India), topped by a dome carved from an 80 ton block of granite, which needed a 6.5 km ramp to raise it to the top. Later visit Rajaraja Museum and Nayak Darbar Hall art Gallery which has a large and an excellent collection of Chola bronzes and granite pieces. Overnight at the hotel.


Day 07 tanjore - trichy - tanjore

After breakfast excursion to Trichy. En-route visits Srirangam, the Ranganathasvami Temple, one of the largest in India and dedicated to Lord Vishnu. The festival Vaikunta Ekadashi associated with the temple in December/ January draws pilgrims from all over India. Seven concentric walled courtyards, with magnificent gateways and several shrines surround Temple. Trichy stands at the head of the fertile Kavery delta. Visit the Rock Fort, which stands, on an 84 m high rock. The Vinayaka Temple is at the highest point from where you can get marvelous views. Later visit the Government Museum, which has a display of sculpture, art, archaeology, handicrafts, numismatics, geology and science. Evening drive back to Tanjore.

Overnight at the hotel.


Day 08 tanjore - madurai

After breakfast drive to Madurai. Assistance on arrival and transfer to the hotel. Afternoon visit the Meenakshi temple. It is an outstanding example of Vijaynagar temple architecture. Minakshi the fish-eyed goddess and the consort of Shiva, has a temple to the south, and Sundareshwara (Shiva) a temple to the west. Since she is the presiding deity the daily ceremonies are first performed in her shrine. The temples 9 towering gopurams stand out with their colorful stucco images of gods, goddesses and animals. In the evening see the Aarti ceremony, i.e. the prayers being offered to the goddess at the Meenakshi temple.

Overnight at the hotel.


Day 09 madurai - periyar

After breakfast drive to Periyar. The foothills of the Ghats are intensively cultivated with cash crops, notably rubber, tea, coffee, cardamom and pepper, while the valley bottoms are given over to paddy. Set on an attractive Periyar lakeside, significant wildlife sightings in Thekkadi are uncommon, but the beautiful setting attracts over 300,000 visitors a year. Assistance on arrival and transfer to the hotel. Afternoon enjoy a boat ride in Lake Periyar. The sanctuary is in a beautiful setting and was designated a part of Project Tiger. The sanctuary is better known for Elephants, Bison, Sambar, Wild Boar and barking Deer. In addition to this there are over 112 species of butterfly, smaller animals. Evening visit the spice gardens.

Overnight at the hotel.


Day 10 periyar - alleppey

After breakfast drive to Kottayam. It is surrounded with some of the most beautiful scenery in the state with hills to its east and backwaters to the west. Board on the Backwater boat for 3-4 hrs up till Alleppey. The network of rivers, streams, lagoons, canals and tanks that occupies the alluvial plain between the Indian Ocean and the Western Ghats runs the length along the coast to form Backwaters. It gives an almost uniquely quiet view of Kerala village life, impossible to get simply from the road. Waterside activities of coir making, toddy tapping, fishing, rice growing along the palm-lined banks are very interesting. Along the backwaters, traditional punted boats or motorized ferries provide one of the most delightful tours in India. The typical journey from Kottayam to Alleppey lasts over 3-4 hours.

Assistance on arrival and transfer to the hotel. Alleppey has a large network of canals passing through the town and is a major centre for backwater cruises and the venue for the spectacular snake boat races. It is the headquarters of the Kerala’s coir industry with some very old warehouses on the canal bank. It is also important for cashew nut processing. Evening free.

Overnight at the hotel.


Day 11 alleppey - cochin

After breakfast drive to Cochin, one of South India’s most interesting towns, still largely comprises low rise, picturesque buildings. Rich in history, despite rapid recent growth it retains a relaxed, quiet atmosphere once the majority of day-visitors leave. Narrow spits of land and coconut covered islands just out into the wide, and almost enclosed, bay whose neck is lined with the famous Chinese fishing nets. Assistance on arrival and transfer to the hotel. Evening view the live performance of Kathakali Dance in a local theatre. Overnight at the hotel.


Day 12 cochin

After breakfast sightseeing tour of the city. Morning visit Mattancherry Palace, which was built by the Portuguese as a gift for the Raja of Cochin in exchange for trading rights. Later visit the Jewish Synagogue, St Francis Church and Chinese fishing Nets. Later transfer to the international airport to connect flight for onward journey.


Note:
• Fully customize package.
• Tour itinerary can change as per the client requirement.


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