Goa and South lndia Tour

Goa & South lndia Tour

Tourism in India

Destination Covered:

Chennai - Mahabalipuram - Tanjore - Madurai - Periyar - Cochin - Goa - Mumbai

Duration:
13 Nights / 14 Days
Tour Category:
Day 01 - 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).

Chennai, one of the four major metropolitan cities of India, is the capital of the southeastern state of Tamilnadu-the exotic state famous for its cutworks in the temples, coconut fringes, and silk saris. The city of Chennai was earlier known as Madras. The city of Chennai was once a village of the fishing community. In 1639, the British took over the place and made it the capital of the British presidency. It used to be the center of conflict for the supremacy of the British and the French.
Afterwards transfer to your hotel for the overnight stay.
Day 02 - Chennai – Mahabalipuram ( Approx 80 Kms/02 Hours )
After breakfast you embark on your sightseeing trip of City which would include the visit to-

Fort St. George: The first bastion of British power in India & built in the year 1640 AD by the British East India Company. Within the Fort we visit St. Mary's Church, built in the year 1680 & oldest Protestant Church in the East. Fort Museum has 10 galleries & displays armory, old uniforms, crockery & silverware, coins, palanquins, paintings, letters, old prints, etc.

San Thome Cathedral: Built in 1504, is said to house the remains of St. Thomas the Apostle, who is believed to have visited Madras (Chennai) sometime during 52 AD.

National Art Gallery, established in the year 1857, is undoubtedly one of the country's finest museums. It has sections devoted to geology, archaeology, anthropology, botany, zoology, sculpture & numismatic.

Government Museum: Has a fine archaeological section representing all the major South Indian periods including Chola, Vijaynagar, Hoysala & Chaulakya. The bronze gallery has a superb collection of Chola art especially the bronze statue of Ardhanareeswara, the androgynous incarnation of Shiva. Its most prized possessions are the relics from 2nd century AD Buddhist site of Amaravathi & the prehistoric antiques of South India. Later you drive to Mahabalipuram.

Mahabalipuram: Town of temples, sand & sea. It is world renowned for its beautiful Shore Temple & other temples. It was once the main port & naval base of the great Pallava kingdom & was later made the capital of this dynasty. Most of the temples here are dedicated to Lord Shiva & Vishnu. These structures were built by three successive Pallava Kings, between 630 A.D & 728 A.D, who developed the Dravidian style of temple architecture within the short span of a hundred years. The monuments are mostly rock-cut & monolithic, constitute the early stages of Dravidian architecture, wherein Buddhist elements of design are prominently visible. It is known especially for its rathas (temples in the form of chariots), mandapas (cave sanctuaries) & giant open-air bas-reliefs & has been classified as UNESCO World Heritage Site. On arrival in Mahabalipuram check in to your hotel. Overnight at hotel.
Day 03 - Mahabalipuram ( Excursion to Kanchipuram ) ( Approx 80 Kms/02 Hours)
After breakfast embark on your tour of Mahablipuram which would include your visit to-

Shore Temple: One of the oldest temples in South India. It belongs to the 8th Century AD. Designed to catch the first rays of the rising sun & to illuminate the waters after dark, the temple ended up with an unusual lay-out.

Arjuna's Penance: World's largest bas-relief. This huge whale-back shaped rock contains figures of gods, demigods, men, beasts, & birds & in fact can be said to represent creation itself.

Rathas, monolithic temples fashioned as chariots. They remain an architectural mystery as each is apparently a faithful reproduction of a structure built of wood. In fact, even the grain of the timber beams & rafters has been simulated in stone. Of the eight Rathas, five have been named for the Pandava brothers, the heroes of the epic Mahabharatha.
Later drive for excursion to Kanchipuram- Kanchipuram: Is one of the seven holy cities in the country. It was a city of learning for both Tamil & Sanskrit, & was believed to be visited by Hsuan Tsang. In ancient times it was called Kachi. Once had over a thousand temples & today there are more than a hundred extant. It is also known for its temples & silk sarees.

Kailasanatha Temple: built in 8th Century AD. It is built in the typical Pallava style, with a pyramidal tower. The temple is famous for exquisite carvings & attracts devotees & tourists alike. Fresco style paintings adorn the inner walls of the temple.

Ekambaranatha: Ancient temple dedicated to lord Shiva. The 57 metres high Raj Gopuram is one of the tallest towers in South India. The 3000 year old mango tree inside the temple has 4 branches each yielding different variety of mangoes. Later we also visit Kamakshi Amman, built in 12th century AD, as an important Shakthisthalam, known as Parabrahmaroonpini.
Return back to the hotel. Overnight at hotel.
Day 04 - Mahabalipuram – Tanjore (Approx 300 Kms/06 Hours )
After breakfast drive to Tanjore. On arrival check in at the hotel.

Tanjore: Thanjavur (also known as Tanjore) is the royal city of the Cholas and Nayaks. Thanjavur derives its name from Tanjan-an asura (giant), who according to local legend devastated the neighbourhood and was killed by Sri Anandavalli Amman and Vishnu. Sri Neelamegapperumal Tanjan's last request that the city might be named after him was granted. Chola, Chera and Pandya kings were ruling Tamizhagam even before Mahabharat period. Chola kingdom was leading and patronizing literature, art, science and religion than the other two kingdoms. The capital city of Chola was always changing. Thiruvarur was the capital during Manuneethi Cholan. Uraiyur, Pazhaiyarai, Thanjavur and Gangaikonda Cholapuram used to be the capitals of Chola Kingdom. It has been believed from the Epics that many Chola kings were ruling from Thanjavur even before Karikala Cholan. Afterwards embark on your sightseeing trip of-

Brihadeshwara temple, also known as Big Temple, built by Rajaraja Chola I was completed around 1010 CE. This 10th century CE temple, one of UNESCO World Heritage Sites, is a brilliant example of the Dravidian style of temple architecture. The beautiful Chola Fresco paintings on the inner walls of the temple are no way less than Ajanta paintings. Return to the hotel. Overnight at hotel.
Day 05 - Tanjore – Madurai Via Trichy ( Approx 200 Kms/05 Hours )
After breakfast drive to Madurai . Enroure visit Trichy-

Trichy, which has very historic temples & monuments. It was an important town in the days of the later Cholas, Nayaks as well as during the early days of the British East India Company.

Srirangam Temple, surrounded by the waters of the River Kaveri on one side & its tributary Kollidam on the other. It is a 600-acre island-town enclosed within the seven walls of the gigantic Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple.

Rockfort: The most famed landmark is an 83 m high rock which is the only outcrop in the otherwise flat land of the city. The most amazing fact about the rock is that it is one of the oldest in the world approximately 3,800 million years, which makes it as old as the rocks of Greenland & older than the Himalayas. Later continue the drive to Madurai On arrival check in to the hotel.

Madurai: Is one of the oldest cities of India, with a history dating all the way back to the Sangam period of the pre Christian era. The glory of Madurai returned in a diminished form in the earlier part of this millennium; it later on came under the rule of the Vijayanagar kingdom after its ransack by the ravaging armies of Delhi (Malik Kafur). During the 16th and 18th centuries, Madurai was ruled by the Nayak Emperors, the foremost of whom was Tirumalai Nayakar. The Sangam period poet Nakkeerar is associated with some of the Tiruvilayaadal episodes of Sundareswarar - that are enacted as a part of temple festival traditions even today. Overnight at hotel.
Day 06 - Madurai - Periyar ( Approx 140 Kms/04 Hours)
After breakfast you embark on the sightseeing of

Meenakshi Sundareshwar, first built 2000 years ago & was substantially expanded between the years (1623-55 AD). A striking feature of the temple is the astonishing structure known as Ayiramkaal mandapam or Hall of a thousand pillars in the outermost corridor. Afterwards you continue the drive to Periyar. On arrival check in to the hotel.

Periyar: Set on an attractive lakeside, it is South India's most popular Wildlife Sanctuary. It is a place to cruise on the lake & gives an opportunity to see wildlife. It is home to tigers, leopards, elephants, bison, antelopes, sambhar, wild boar, monkey, a wide variety of birds. Afterwards you explore the Periyar wildlife Sanctuary-

Periyar Sanctuary: The Periyar wildlife sanctuary an ideal destination for wildlife enthusiasts, Periyar is reputed as one of the most popular wildlife sanctuary in India. Visit Periyar and have a time of your life in a park that is a haven to a number of wild and feathered species. Also known as Thekkady Wildlife Sanctuary, it provides a perfect atmosphere for watching wild animals in their natural habitat. Return back to the hotel. Overnight at hotel.
Day 07 - In Periyar
Enjoy your breakfast at hotel. Rest of the day free at leisure. Overnight at Hotel.
Day 08 - Periyar – Cochin ( Approx 200 Kms /05 Hrs)
At sun rise take a boat ride to view wildlife in the sanctuary on Lake Periyar. After two hours of wildlife viewing we get back to the hotel for breakfast. Afterwards you drive to Cochin. Upon your arrival check in to the hotel.

Cochin: Over the centuries , the princely state of Kochi came under numerous empires. The original local rulers were dominated by the Portugese, Dutch , British and even the Zamorin of Kozhikode (Calicut). Around 1530 AD , under the Portugese, Kochi grew into a prosperous town. The ruler of Kochi gave the Portugese, permission to build a fort at Kochi called 'Manuel Kotta' - which is the first European fort in Kochi. Rest of the day free at leisure. Overnight at Hotel.
Day 09 - In Cochin
After breakfast you embark on your full day tour of the city with would include your visit to-

St. Francis' Church, built in the year 1503 by Portuguese Francisan Friars & known to be the oldest European church in India. It was restored in the year 1779 by the protestant Dutch, converted to an Anglican Church by the British in 1795. Vasco da Gama's remains were buried here in 1524 & later moved to Lisbon, Portugal.

Dutch Palace, originally built by the Portuguese. Later in 17th century they modified it & presented it to the Raja (King) of Kochi (Cochin). The Palace has a fine collection of mural paintings depicting scenes from Hindu epics, Mahabharata & Ramayana.

Jew Town, synagogue, built in the year 1568, is magnificently decorated by Chinese tiles & Belgian chandeliers. Giant scrolls of the Old Testament can be found here-

Spice market, where the air is filled with the pungent smell of spices & history that brought the world to its doorstep.

Chinese fishing nets, (Cheenavala) are distinctly unique to Cochin. It is believed that traders from the court of the Chinese ruler Kublai Khan introduced these nets here. Afterwards you return to the hotel. Overnight at Hotel.
Day 10 - Cochin – Goa
After breakfast, free till your departure transfer to the airport to connect your flight for Goa. Upon your arrival in Goa you are received at the airport and are transferred to the Hotel. On arrival check in to the hotel.

Goa: A small enclave on the West Coast of India is one of the best holiday destinations in the World. Famous for its long stretch of beaches dotted with shacks, it is a favourite destination for the European tourists who flock to Goa during the winter months. Rest of the day free at leisure or for own activities. Overnight at hotel.
Day 11 - In Goa
After breakfast you embark on your full day tour of Goa which would include your visit to-

Goa Churches; Basilica of Boom Jesus, built in 16th century dedicated to Infant Jesus is the most popular & famous of all churches in Goa. The mortal remains of St. Francis Xavier, kept in a silver casket, are enshrined here.

Sri Mangueas Temple, surrounded by rolling green hills & dedicated to Lord Shiva, is the most important of all temples in Goa & is located at Priol in Ponda Taluka.

Dona Paula, a village named after Dona Paula de Menezes, the wife of a noble man Antonio de Souto Maior, who died as a young woman in 1682.

Miramar Beach, an urban beach where the Mandovi River meets the Arabian Sea, a point that offers the best location to watch enchanting sunsets Afterwards return back to hotel. Overnight at hotel.
Day 12 - In Goa
After breakfast, full day free at leisure. enjoying the golden beaches, luxurious casinos & flowing spirits in Goa. Overnight at Hotel.
Day 13 - In Goa
After breakfast, full day free at leisure. enjoying the golden beaches, luxurious casinos & flowing spirits in Goa.
Overnight at Hotel.
Day 14 - Goa – Mumbai
After breakfast, free till departure transfer to Airport to connect your flight for Mumbai. Upon arrival met at the arrival hall and are provided departure transfer to the International airport to connect your flight back.
 
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