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Exciting Southern India Trip

Matri Temple Pondicherry | Matri Mandir Pondicherry
Rock Fort Temple
Swami Vivekananda Rock in Kanyakumari
Thanjavur Maratha Palace in Tanjore, Tamil Nadu

Destination Coverd: Chennai - Mahabalipuram - Pondicherry - Tanjore - Trichy - Madurai - Kanyakumari - Kovalam - Kumarakom - Periyar - Munnar - Kochi

Duration: 13 Nights / 14 Days

Day 1 - Arrive Chennai

Arrive in Chennai. After completing formalities with customs and immigration, you will be received by our representative with Traditional Indian Welcome (with garlands). On arrival transfer to hotel.

Madras is a fascinating city with its ancient temples and unique culture, golden sandy beaches merging with the breakers of the Bay of Bengal and a marvelous tradition of music and dance.
Check In at Hotel. Overnight at Hotel.

Day 2 - Chennai - Kanchipuram - Mahabalipuram

After breakfast embark upon the morning city tour of Chennai.

Sri Kapaleeswarar temple : this ancient siva temple is a delightful introduction to dravidian temple sculpture & architectture.

Fort St. george : the building of the nucleus of this fort in 1640 was the first step towards the founding of chennai and an empire,

The Marina Beach & Aquarium : 3 kms from chennai, stretching two miles, from the coovum river’s mouth, south of the fort, till the northern boundaries of the 16th century portuguese town sam thome, is this magnificient beach drive & promenade.
Afterwards drive to Mahabalipuram enroute kanchipuram :

Kanchipuram: The golden city of a thousand temples. it was the capital of many empires. one of the seven sacred cities of india and once had 1000 temples. now only 200 remain. it is also famed for its hand woven cottons and kanjiwaram silks.on arrival check-in at hotel.
Afternoon visit Mahabalipuram nature and man made architecture come together at mahabalipuram. a seventh century temple, mahabalipuram, is a rock temple carved out of rocks. this singular feature enhances its magnificence manifold. also known as the seven pagodas, the temple has intricate carvings on each rock.
Return back to hotel & overnight stay.

Days 3 - Mahabalipuram - Pondicherry (Approx 140 Kms / 03 Hours)

After breakfast drive to Pondicherry. On arrival check-in at hotel.

Pondicherry : A former french colony, is now a union territory. It also includes the other former french enclaves of karaikkal (tamil nadu), mahe (kerala), and yaman (andhra pradesh). On arrival check-in at hotel.

Afternoon city tour visit :Govt. palace, Raj Niwvas, the official residence of the lt. governor of Pondicherry; botanical garden; beach; ousteri lake (13km on the villupuram road); and french institute.
Overnight at hotel.

Days 4 - Pondicherry - Tanjore (Approx 200 Kms/ 05 Hours)

After breakfast drive to Tanjore enroute visit Chidambaram, Kumbakonam, Gangakondaicholapuram.

Chidambaram : Chidambaram is also known as thillai, since the place was originally a forest of thillai(excecaria agallecha)shrubs. it is an important pilgrim centre and a holy place for saivaites as the famous nataraja temple is located here.

Kumbakonam: nestled along the cauvery rover is noted for its many temples with their colourful semi-erotic sculpture. according to legend, a kumbh (pitcher), that contained the ‘seeds of creation’ was brought here by flood waters.

Gangaikondancholapuram : the brahadeeswarar temple at gangaikondancholapuram was conceived and constructed by the chola king rajendra -i after his victory over the kingdoms in the region of the river ganges. On arrival check-in at hotel.

Tanjore also known as thanjavur was the ancient capital of the chola kings whose origins (like those of the pallavas, pandyas and cheras with whom they shared the tip of the indian peninsula) go back to the beginning of the christian era. Overnight at hotel.

Day 5 - Tanjore - Trichy (Approx 55 Kms / 02 Hours)

After breakfast embark upon the sightseeing of the city and visit :

Brihadisvara Temple & Fort : built by raja raja in 1010, the brihadishwara temple is the crowning glory of chola temple architecture. this superb and fascinating monument is one of only a handful in india with world heritage listing and is worth a couple of visit. constructed from a single piece of granite weighing an estimated 80 tonnes.

Thanjavur Palace & Museums : the huge corridors, spacious halls, observation and arsenal towers and shady courtyards of this vast, labyrinthing building were constructed partly by the nayaks of mandurai around 1550 and partly by the marathas.
Afterwards drive to Trichy. On arrival check-in at hotel.

Trichy : Tiruchirappalli now called trichy is situated on the banks of the cauvery river. trichy, the fourth largest city in the state was a citadel of the early cholas which later fell to the pallavas. but the pallavas never really managed to retain control of this strategic city and lost it to the pandyas several times. Afternoon sightseeing of the city where you visit :

Rock Fort : The view from the fort is spectacular. the vinayaka temple at the top is reached by climbing a tunnel in rock. half way up is the sri thayumanaswamy temple, dedicated to lord siva. it has a 100-pillar hall and a vimana covered with gold. On the southern face of the rock are several beautifully carved rock-cut cave temples of the pallava period.

Srirangam : the most important pilgrim center in the district is located in an island just 5kms from trichy. srirangam, surrounded by the waters of the cauvery on one side and its tributary kollidam on the other, is a 600 acre island-town enclosed within the seven walls of the gigantic sri ranganatha temple. Overnight at hotel.

Days 6 - Trichy - Madurai (Approx 150 Kms/ 04 Hours)

After breakfast drive to Madurai: A pilgrimage to south in incomplete without a visit to Madurai. It is the second largest city in Tamilnadu and is elaborated for the Meenakshi temple. Madurai is also one of India's most ancient cities with a history dating back to the 6th century b.c. It was the capital of the pandyan empire till the 14th century a.d. on arrival check-in at hotel. afternoon city tour. Evening visit Meenakshi temple to witness.

Puja ceremony : this in an exquisite example of temples built by the pandyan rulers. there are as many as 11 majestic towers with the main entrance from the east. there are two shrines one dedicated to sundareswarar (siva) and the other to his consort meenakshi. The hall in front of the sundareswara shrines is known as kampathadi mandapam. the different manifestation of lord Siva are depicted on the pillars of this hall. The hall of thousand pillars is the most interesting feature. This remarkable structure was built in the 16th century.

Upon arrival check in to the hotel. Rest of the day free at leisure. Overnight at hotel.

Days 7 - Madurai - Kanyakumari (Approx 250 Kms / 06 Hours)

After breakfast drive to Kanyakumari. On arrival check-in at hotel.
Kanyakumari, also known as cape comorin, is the ‘land's end’ of india. the three seas – the bay of bengal, the indian ocean and the arabian sea meet here and a dip in their confluence is considered holy. it has a great spiritual significance for the hindus. it’s dedicated to goddess devi kanya, a form of parvati, the consort of shiva. kanya kumari is essentially a pilgrimage town. chaitra purnima (tamil for the april full moon) is one of the best times to experience the sunset and moonrise over the ocean simultaneously. Afternoon visit -

Kumari Amman Temple – is the shore temple dedicated to the virgin goddess devi kanniyakumari (parvati), who stands guard over the country. the legend of this temple is as romantic as the place itself. The temple is built at the spot where the goddess is believed to have done penance and waited for her consort lord shiva to come and claim her hand in marriage.

Gandhi Memorial – is raised at the spot where his ashes were kept for public darshan (viewing) before they were immersed in the sea. The memorial resembles an orissan temple and was designed so that on gandhi’s birthday (2nd october), the sun’s rays fall on the place where his ashes were kept.

Vivekananda Memorial – is located on two rocky islands about 400m offshore. Swami Vivekanda meditated here in 1892 before setting out as one of India’s most important religious crusaders. the mandapam (pillared hall) built here in his memory in 1970 reflects architectural styles from all over the country. close to the vivekananda rock is another rock called ‘Sripada Parai’ meaning “the rock that has been blessed by the touch of the feet of the goddess”. both these rocks are fine places from where one can have a view of the land's end of India Vivekanada Puram – is a museum that details the extensive journey across India that was made by the Indian philosopher Swami Vivekananda.
Overnight at hotel.

Days 8 - Kanyakumari - Kovalam (Approx 110 Kms / 03 Hours)

After breakfast drive to Kovalam enroute visit Trivandrum for your city tour –

Trivandrum : Is the capital of the state of Kerala, the former name for kerala's capital city, Trivandrum, may be easier to pronounce, but the present official name Thiruvananthapuram, is closer to its mythological origins. ‘thiru-anantha-puram' means the place of the sacred serpent anantha or adisesha on which lord padmanabha (vishnu), the presiding deity of the town, reclines. it is a beautiful seaside city built on seven hills and it still retains some of the ambience characteristic of old kerala – the pagoda-shaped buildings with red tiled roofs and narrow winding lanes. visit

Sri Padmanabhaswamy Temple – Dedicated to Lord Vishnu is an ancient temple that covers an area of 2400 sq. km. it believed to have been rebuilt by marthanda varma in 1733 ad. the temple stands on an elevated part of the city with its lofty eastern tower (gopuram), the main entrance, rising seven storeys (30m) high over gabled roofs and white walls with a curious pagoda effect at its peak.

Puthe Maliga Palace Museum – is housed in the wings of the 200-year-old palace of the maharajas of travancore, located near the padmanabhaswamy temple. notable for its keralan architecture, the palace took almost 5000 workers four years to complete. the museum displays paintings and various priceless collections of the royal family and many of the exhibits reflect the spice trade with china and europe.

Museum Complex – an 80-acre beautifully landscaped park in the north of the city houses a collection of museums and a zoo. the napier museum is housed in a keralan style building dating from 1880 and has an eclectic display of bronzes, temple carts, ivory carvings ancient musical instruments and life size figures of kathakali dancers.
The natural history museum has a rudimentary ethnographic collection as well as an interesting replica of a tharawad, the traditional wooden residence of the nair family.
On arrival check-in at hotel. Overnight at hotel.

Days 9 - Kovalam

Breakfast at hotel.

Kovalam – situated 16km south of Trivandrum, is a sheltered bay endowed with unusual beauty. this internationally renowned beach resort has been a favourite haunt of tourists since the 1930s. This natural bay is a safe sea-pool, free from high waves and surge. kovalam consists of three adjacent crescent beaches. The southernmost, known as the lighthouse beach, is the most popular. the small palm fringed bays separated by rocky headlands, pale sands, gentle surf and lush green lawns compel the visitor to overstay in Kovalam. The surf here is ideal for surf riding and the water invites the visitors to ride the “catamaran” or log with the fisherman or to take a cool swim. There are many ayurvedic treatment centres and resorts in kovalam.
Relax at beach or can do some ayurvedic treatment. Overnight at hotel.

Days 10 - Kovalam - Kumarakom (Approx 250 Kms / 05 Hours)

After breakfast this morning drive to Kumarakom. On arrival check-in at hotel. Drive to kottayam jetty & from here transfer by boat to hotel.

Kumarakom, which is a picturesque drive. Kumarkom is bound by vembanad lake on two sides, the swaying paddy fields on one side and the bird sanctuary on the other. The place is home to a large variety of migratory birds. Day at leisure & overnight at hotel.

Days 11 - Kumarakom - Periyar (Approx 175 Kms / 04 Hours)

After breakfast drive to Periyar .On arrivals check in at hotel.
Morning drive to alleppey jetty to board backwater till chenganacherry jetty & from here drive to periyar.

Periyar : Is South India’s most popular wildlife sanctuary. it covers an area of 777 sq. km with a 26 sq. km artificial lake, created by the british in 1895. the periyar lake was formed by a dam across the periyar river. this tropical forest reserve has all the major birds, animals as well as flora, it is home to bison, antelopes, sambar, wild boar, monkeys, langur and a variety of birds, elephants and of course the tiger. periyar is also known for the best quality indian spices and the whole atmosphere is full with the aroma of high quality spices.

On arrival check-in at hotel.
Evening boat ride at Lake Periyar to view wildlife - wildlife can be seen in its natural habitat by cruising on the lake in motorboats. Two-hour boat trips on the lake are the usual way of touring the sanctuary. Elephant rides inside the park are also popular. The best time to visit the sanctuary is from September to May, although the hot season February to March may be less comfortable, it offers more opportunities for wildlife sightings because with other water resources drying up, the animals are forced to the lakeside. there are many picnic spots around the sanctuary that are approachable by either motor launch or bridge path in the forest, some of which are manakkavala (10km), periyar dam (12kms), arubi creek (16kms), crusoe island (19km) and pavarasu (19kms).
Overnight at hotel.

Days 12 - Periyar - Munnar (Approx 165 Kms / 04 Hours)

After breakfast drive to Munnar:

Munnar : Situated at an altitude of 1,524m and set amid dramatic mountain scenery in what was once known as the high range of travancore, the hill town of munnar is the commercial centre of some of the world’s highest tea growing estates. it has a cool bracing climate exuding an old-world charm and the atmosphere is fragrant with extensive tea and cardamom plantations. the enchanting high ranges, craggy peaks, lakes and streams and the crisp mountain air makes it an ideal retreat. the highest peak of south india, anaimudi or the elephant's head peak (2,695m) is only a short distance from here and munnar serves as a good base for treks to the peak. munnar offers good opportunities for bird watchers as the green slopes of munnar and the dense shola forests in the folds of the hills offer varied, protected, habitats for feathered species.

On arrival check-in at hotel. Rest of the day free at leisure. Overnight at hotel.

Days 13 - Munnar - Kochi (Approx 130 Kms / 03 Hours)

After breakfast drive to Kochi. On arrival check-in at hotel.

Kochi- is one of India's most interesting cities. it is endowed with a natural harbor and is claimed to be the "venice of the orient" and the "queen of the arabian sea". it has a maritime history that began in the remote past. arabs, chinese, dutch, british & portuguese followed the sea routes to cochin. it is one of the few places in world where one can see a jewish synagogue, portuguese churches, dutch architecture, mosques, temples and chinese fishing nets - all in one city. Cochin consists of mainland ernakulam, the island of wellingdon, bolgatty and gundu, fort cochin and mattanchery on the southern peninsula and vypeen island north of fort cochin.
Afternoon city tour visit -

Bolgatty Island: it is the most beautiful of the islands forming cochin. it also has a golf course.

Dutch Palace, Mattanchery: built by the portuguese in 1557 AD, and presented to the cochin raja, veer kerala varma, as a gesture of goodwill. In the coronation hall, there is a display of dresses and palanquins used by the rulers of cochin. The palace houses one of the finest groups of traditional indian murals, depicting scenes from the ramayana and other epics.

Fort Cochin: Cochin is a busy port round the year. One can always see merchant ships anchored in the sea off fort Cochin awaiting berth. A familiar sight here is a fisherman using nets with Chinese contraptions. These nets can be found at the entrance to the harbor along the backwaters.

Jewish synagogue: this synagogue was built in 1567 ad the Jewish community in cochin has its roots going back to st. thomas the apostle's voyage to India in 52 AD. They first came to settle down in cranganore, north of Cochin.

St. Francis Church: This protestant church built originally by the Portuguese in 1510 ad. Is said to be the first church built by Europeans in India. Vasco da Gama, the first European to reach India by sailing around Africa, died in Cochin in 1524 ad his body was buried in this church. His gravestone is still there, although his remains were taken back to Portugal in 1538 ad. Evening kathakali dance show.
Overnight at hotel.

Days 14 - Kochi - Mumbai

After breakfast free till departure. Departure transfer to airport to connect the flight for Mumbai . On arrival in Mumbai, you are received at the domestic airport and are transferred to International airport to connect your flight back home.

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