(MADRAS)- KANCHIPURAM MAHABALIPURAM- PONDICHERRY- CHIDAMBARAM > TANJORE
- TRICHY - MADURAI - PERIYAR - KUMARAKOM - ALLEPPY - COCHIN (13 DAYS)
01 : Arrive
Chennai (Madras). Transfer to Hotel. Overnight
– Chennai (or Madras as it was known earlier) is the capital of
Nadu. It is also the third largest metropolis in India. Chennai has
the different face of India - classical, ancient, gentle. Definitely
touched by colonialism but not ravaged by wars and intensely aware
of its roots and traditions. Chennai itself has largely remained a
business city - the automobile industry, International giants
included, has seen advancement in particular in the last few years. Overnight
City tour with visit of Kapaleeswar –
ancient Shiva temple dating back to 1250 AD, the Santhome Cathedral
Church built in 14 and 15 century then drive to Mahabalipuram (60
kms / 01 hrs). Enroute visiting KANCHIPURAM.
Upon arrival check-in at Hotel
little seaside town of Mahabalipuram
(also known as Mamallapuram), an hour's drive from Chennai, has a
beautiful beach spanning 20 kms. The 7th century town is
famous for its rock-hewn temples, sculptures and the world's largest
stone bas-relief. A crocodile farm, snake venom extracting centre,
schools of art and sculpture and a wide choice of resorts along the
beach draw holiday-seekers all round the year. Rest of the day free for independent activity. Overnight
Day 03 MAHABALIPURAM:
After breakfast city tour, Mahabalipuram is a sculptors delight.
Among the noteworthy sites in the vicinity of the town are
Arjuna’s Penance, Krishna Mandapam, Varaha Caves, Five Rathas and
Rest of the day free for independent activity.
04 : MAHABALIPURAM
Drive to Pondicherry (105 kms / 02 hrs). On arrival, check-in at
– During the middle of this century, Europe seemed to have one
obsession and on destination in India. That is why any power worth
its gunpowder set its sights for a piece of that cake. France was
amongst the first to carve a foothold. The French first arrived in
India in 1670 AD. The city presents an unusual combination of
European culture and Indian traditions.
City tour, visiting a former French Colony, presents an unusual
combination of European culture and Indian traditions.
An added attraction is the township of Auroville, an oasis of
peace and enlightenment.
Another hallowed spot is Aurobindo Ashram which draws
devotees from all over the world.
Overnight at Hotel.
05 : PONDICHERRY–Chidambaram-
: Drive to Tanjore enroute visiting Chidambaram [ 200 kms
\ 5 hours drive from Pondicherry]. Chidambaram – Is an
important pilgrim centre and holy place for devotees of SHIVA as the
famous Nataraja Temple is located here.
The Temple covers an area of 40
acres. The top roof of the sanctum sanctorum is covered with gold
plates and strings. The Temple is Closed between – 12.00 PM to
04.00 PM. Upon
arrival at Tanjore, check-in at Hotel
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. Power struggles between these groups were a constant feature of
their early history with one or other gaining the ascendancy at
various times. Rest of the day free for independent activity. Overnight at
06 : TANJORE
Sightseeing tour of TANJORE, now known as
THANJAVUR. Modern Thanjavur is a fertile plain which is
referred to as the ‘ rice bowl’
of Tamil Nadu.
Located on the eastern coast of central Tamil Nadu, it has
the distinction of having been the capital of Cholas – one of the
greatest dynasties of the South.
The Cholas were great temple builders and Thanjavur bears
witness to this being dotted with no fewer than 74 temples – the
most famous of which is the Brahadeeswarar Temple, a World Heritage
Also visit THE PALACE, located near the temple, has huge
corridors and spacious halls.
Drive to Trichy 60 km / 02 hrs. Upon arrival at Trichy, check-in at
– The most famous landmark of this bustling town is the Rock Fort
Temple, a spectacular monument perched on a massive rocky outcrop
which rises abruptly from the plain to tower over the old city. Trichy itself has a long history going back to the centuries before
the Christian era when it was a Chola citadel.
of the day free for Independent activity. Overnight at Hotel
Day 07 : TRICHY :
: Proceed to full day city tour. Visiting ROCK FORT
TEMPLE – The temple tops an 83m high outcrop. This smooth rock was
first hewn by the Pallavas who cut small cave temples into the
southern face, but it was the Nayaks who made use of its naturally
fortified position. SRI RANGANATHASWAMY TEMPLE (Srirangam) – This
superb temple complex about three km from the Rock Fort, is
surrounded by seven concentric walls with 21 gopurams and is
probably the largest in India. SRI JAMBUKESHWARA TEMPLE – This
temple is dedicated to Shiva and has five concentric walls and seven
gopurams. It’s built around a Shiva lingam partly submerged in
water that comes from a spring in the sanctum sanctorum. Non-Hindus
are not allowed in this part of the temple. ST. JOHN’S CHURCH –
Built in 1812, this Church has louverd side doors which can be
opened to turn the Church into an airy pavilion. Overnight at
to Madurai 130 km / 04 hrs. Upon arrival, check-in at Hotel
– Situated on the
banks of Vaigai River & is the second largest city in Tamil
Nadu. It is more than
2500 years old and is an important
cultural and commercial centre.
Madurai, once the seat of Tamil learning and still the place
where Tamil language is spoken in its purest form is an ancient fifty
planned in the shape of a lotus. Rest of the day free for
Independent activity. Overnight at Hotel.
09 : MADURAI
: City tour to Madurai visiting SRI MEENAKSHI TEMPLE – The
main city area revolves around Meenakshi Temple, with its baroque
example of Dravidian architecture and the four tall gopurams
(pillars) with multicolored gods, goddesses, demons and deities.
The 1,000 pillared hall has stone figures carved on the pillars,
some of which sound like metal when hit with an object. The metal
stone or musical pillar, although made of stone, produces sounds of
different metals. Temple timings
: 05.00 AM to 12.00 PM & 04.00 PM – 09.00 PM.
TIRUPARANKUNDRAM TEMPLE – The rock-cut temple, eight km south of
town, is one of the abodes of Sundareshwara. ALAGARKOLI TEMPLE –
Also known as Azhagar Koil is 21 km north of Madurai. A hilltop
Vaishnavaite temple. During the festival of Chithirai, a gold
icon is carried in procession from this temple to Madurai. And some
other places in Madurai. like Vishnu Temple, Madanogopal Temple and
Water tank. Rest of the day free for
Overnight in Hotel
Drive to Periyar
– approx 180 kms \ 5 hours drive – on arrival check –
in at Hotel.
Periyar Sanctuary was the earliest
sanctuary to be set up in 1934.
extends to 777 sq. kms and forms part of the High mountain Ranges,
the Western Ghats. Wild
Life can be seen while cruising on Periyar lake in a motorboat.
Amongst the animals are wild elephants that can be seen and
photographed at close quarters, wild boar, sambar, tiger, leopard
wild dog and langur monkeys. Rest of the day free for Independent activity.
11 : PERIYAR
Early morning cruise over Lake
Periyar by Motor boat to witness wildlife.
Morning : Drive to Kumarakom 140 kms
/ approx 04 hrs. Upon arrival at Kumarakom, check-in at Hotel
– On the bank of Vembanad
Lake, an ideal place for backwater cruises. The Kumarakom bird
sanctuary sprawls over 14 acres. Afternoon
: Free at leisure. Overnight at Hotel
12 : KUMARAKOM
: Cruise on scenic back water by motor boat upto Alleppy.
Upon arrival at Alleppy, drive to Cochin, 60 Kms / approx 02 hrs.
Upon arrival at Cochin, check-in at Hotel.
One of the finest natural harbours on the Arabian Sea coast, Cochin,
also known as Kochi, has been a port of call for foreign traders
from early times. Its cosmopolitan character is reflected in the
buildings and structures representing different regions of the
world. A city of peninsulas and islands, today it is Kerala’s
commercial hub. Afternoon
: Free at leisure Overnight
Morning : Proceed
to full day city tour. Visiting ST. FRANCIS CHURCH – India’s
oldest European built church was constructed in 1503 by Portuguese
Franciscan friars who accompanied the expedition led by Pedro
Alvarez Cabral. SANTA CRUZ BASILICA – This large, impressive
church dates from 1902, and has a fantastical pastel-coloured
interior. MATTANCHEERY – Built by the Portuguese in 1555,
Mattancherry Palace was presented to the Raja of cochin, Veera
Kerala Varma (1537-61), as a gesture of goodwill.
Evening : Enjoy
cruise over Cochin Harbour to witness sunset. CHINESE FISHING NETS
– Strung out along the tip of Fort Cochin, these fixed,
cantilevered fishing nets were introduced by traders from the court
of Kublai Khan. Option : Visit
to Kathakali Dance show. Overnight at Hotel.
Departure to Cochin Airport and take
flight for his destination.