South India Cultural Tour

South India Cultural Tour

Tourism in India

Destination Covered:

Chennai - Mahabalipuram - Pondichery - Trichy - Madurai - Periyar - Cochin - Bangalore - Mysore

Duration:
11 Nights / 12 Days
Tour Category:
Day 01 - Arrive Chennai & Transfer to Mahabalipuram (55 Kms, 01 Hr)
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 02 - Mahabalipuram
After breakfast this morning, visit-

Mahabalipuram which was the main port of the Pallava dynasty & has exquisite rock-cut monuments, monolithic structures & Bas-reliefs. Thereafter visit-

Museum, Dakshin Chitra that preserves actual houses of different communities & village craftsmen from the four southern states of Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka & Kerala.
By noon make an excursion to-

Kanchipuram (about 26 kms), the 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. Temples of Ekambaswara, Kailasnatha, Sri Kamakshi & Vardarajaewamy are of interest. Kanchipuram is also famous for its silk.
Return back to hotel. Overnight at hotel.
Day 03 - Mahabalipuram-Pondicherry (140 Kms, 03 Hrs)
After breakfast this morning drive to-

Pondicherry, a charming coastal town that was formerly a French colony and still got few touches of French culture. Upon arrival check-in at hotel. Afternoon visit the-

French Tamil quarter and the world famous-

Sri Aurobindo Ashram a spiritual center founded on modern science and yoga. Also visit the world-famous.

Auroville International Community: This is an experiment in international living where people live in peace and progressive harmony above all creeds, politics and nationalities. Overnight at hotel.
Day 04 - Pondicherry-Trichy (240 Kms, 05 Hrs)
Morning after breakfast drive to Trichy, visiting Tanjore enroute.

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. At Tanjore, we explore the Chola architecture with the-

Bridhdiswara Temple built in 1010. With a dome carved from a single piece of granite weight over 80 tonnes, this magnificent temple is now a World Heritage Monument. Along the way also visit the temple of Airavatesvara at Darasuram whose decorative friezes portray mythological stories.

Continue your drive to Trichy and upon arrival check-in at hotel. Overnight at hotel.
Day 05 - Trichy - Madurai (150 kms, 03 Hrs)
After Breakfast this morning visit Trichy & its’ spectacular temple architecture at-

Srirangam. Set on an island in the Cauvery River within seven concentric walled Courtyards, the Sri Ranganathaswami Temple is one of the largest complexes in India. Afterwards continue drive to Madurai. Upon arrival check-in at the hotel.

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. Afternoon visit-

Madurai, one of the oldest cities in South India and has been a centre of learning & pilgrimage for centuries.

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 Kings. Overnight at hotel
Day 06 - Madurai-Periyar (140 Kms, 03 Hrs)
Morning after breakfast drive to Periyar (Thekkady) famous for elephants, tigers and spices. Upon arrival check-in at hotel.
Afternoon motor boat cruise in the Periyar wildlife lake, 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. Overnight at hotel
Day 07 - Periyar-Kumarakom backwaters (200 Kms, 05 Hrs)
Morning visit to the spice plantations like cardamom, cinnamon, pepper, coffee, tea estates etc. and on your way to Kumarakom jetty you could stop at the local market to pick up some fragrant spices.

At Kumarakom Jetty we embark on a traditionally thatched houseboat of Kerala Style and go on a leisurely backwater cruise along the lake. The houseboat with all modern comforts lets you discover the countryside at your own pace. You will have lunch, dinner and breakfast in the Houseboat. A ride on the houseboat is a fabulous way to explore the fascinating beauty of the backwaters. Overnight at Houseboat.
Day 08 - Alleppey Jetty - Cochin (70 Kms, 01½ hrs)
Morning we arrive at Alleppey jetty at 1000 hrs and after breakfast disembark the houseboat to drive to our next destination Kochi. Upon arrival check-in at the hotel. Rest of the day is at leisure. Overnight at hotel
Day 09 - In Cochin
Morning after breakfast,visit Cochin the city of lagoons. Visit the-

St. Francis Church- India's oldest European Church, was constructed in 1503 by Portuguese; Chinese Fishing Nets, strung out along the top of Fort Cochin; Mattancherry Palace or The Dutch Palace built by Portuguese 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.
In the evening, you visit the Kalari Center where you will get to witness and observe the very skillful and amazing Kalaripayattu. This is a famous martial art of Kerala. Overnight at hotel
Day 10 - Cochin - Bangalore (Flight)- Transfer to Mysore (134 Kms, 03 Hrs)
Morning, transfer to the airport to board flight for Bangalore. As you arrive you will be met, assisted and transferred to Mysore. Enroute visit-

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 be the world's tallest monolithic statue and important Jain religious centre.

Continue drive to Mysore. On arrival check-in at the hotel. Overnight at hotel
Day 11 - 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; Also visit-

Chamundi Hill - overlooking Mysore from 1062m summit of the hill is the Sri Chamuneswari temple and the Brindavan Gardens. Afternoon, make an excursion to-

Srirangapatnam an island town encircled by river Cauvery. The temple of Lord Sriranganatha is said to have been built by the Chieftain Thirumalaiah in 894 AD. This was once the capital of Hyder Ali & his son Tippu Sultan, "The Tiger of Mysore". In the 18th century, Marathas attacked Srirangapatna & forced heavy payments. Hyder drew back the Marathas & saved the Kingdom. In 1799 Tippu fought a fierce Battle (Battle of Mysore) against the British & fell bravely defending his capital. Srirangapatna remains in a ruined state recalling the Battles fought & the past glory. Overnight at hotel
Day 12 - Mysore - Bangalore Airport
After this morning drive straight to Bangalore airport. On arrival in Bangalore transfer to Airport to connect your flight back home.
 
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