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Exotic Flora and Fauna, Lush Vegetation, Miles of beautiful beaches, the delicate
scent of spices and the sound of Temple Bells all characterise the South of
India. Following the Old European trade routes, this tour takes you from the
cosmopolitan city of Chennai, home to some of the country's oldest British
Monuments to Mahabalipuram, known for its Coromandel coast. Experience the
French colony - Pondichery, on the way you can visit one of India's most famous
temples in Kancheepuram, Tanjore, Trichy & Madurai known for its Musical
Pillars, Stone dancers, Elephant stables, Monuments, Temples, Mosques, Forts,
Feel them. Re-live them. Be touched by their magic. And their mystery. Their splendour and their glory. From the middle of the journey we enter to the historical land of pure bliss that can never base its emerald virginity. Kerala. Her beauty pampers you into an eternal trance. Her exeberate subjects you to a sublime catharsis. Travel through the Western Ghats of Kerala - Munnar & Thekkady, drink from her being and you float through a kaleidoscope of emotions.
From here you travel towards Kumarakom, a picturesque village located on the banks of Vembanadu Lake and from there for a cruise in traditional 'Rice Boat ' through inland backwaters and lagoons of Kerala gives us a true sense of the sheer natural beauty of this magical country. After that we explore the natural shelter bay of Kovalam and from there to the 'Queen of Arabian Sea' - Cochin. Travel towards the cultural capital of Kerala - Shornur and to the old dynasty of Zamorins of Calicut, explore the rich traditions, culture & art.
Our last part of the tour starts from aroma of sandalwood carvings of Mysore and the temple town of Belur & Halebid and then to Garden city -Bangalore.
Route : Chennai (Madras) - Kancheepuram - Mahabalipuram - Pondichery - Tanjore - Trichy - Madurai - Munnar - Thekkady - Kumarakom - Alleppey - Kovalam - Cochin - Shornur - Calicut - Mysore - Hassan - Bangalore.
DAY 01 CHENNAI
Arrive Chennai from your home country. Garland welcome, assistance and transfer to the pre - booked hotel. You are at the southern tip of India in the state of Tamil Nadu, and Chennai - or Madras as it was known earlier - is its capital city. Starting with Chennai as the gateway will put you in touch with a different face of India - classical, ancient, and gentle. Definitely touched by colonialism but not ravaged by wars and intensely aware of its roots and traditions. Afternoon sightseeing of Chennai city, visit the Fort St. George, Fort Museum and the Santhome Cathedral Basilica. O/n Hotel.
DAY 02 CHENNAI TO MAHABALIPURAM
Morning after breakfast drive to Mahabalipuram via Kancheepuram. Visit the Kailasanad Temple and EkambaraNadh Temple. Proceed to Mahabalipuram - The ancient 7th century port famous for its magnificent rock temples & carvings. Check into the hotel. The rest of the day enjoy in the beautiful beach. O/n Hotel.
DAY 03 MAHABALIPURAM
Morning after breakfast we make a short trip to visit the ARJUNA'S PENANCE, is a bas relief sculpted on the face of two enormous adjacent rocks, 29 metres long and seven metres high, the Mandapas - are fairly shallow pillared halls or porticos excavated out of the rocky hillside, THE RATHAS - these mid seventh century monolithic temples were influenced by Buddhist architecture as they resemble the monastery, THE SHORE TEMPLE by the sea is surrounded by gardens designed according to descriptions of the original layout from ancient texts. The temple was built at the end of the seventh century by King Rajasimha, is unusual for its shrines to both Siva and Vishnu. Evening enjoy the beautiful sunset. O/n Hotel.
DAY 04 MAHABALIPURAM TO PONDICHERRY
Morning drive to Pondicherry, (about 134kms/ 03hrs) with its distinct French colonial atmosphere. With well-laid out streets and avenues, the city is amongst the easiest to move around in. The city presents an unusual combination of European culture and the Indian traditions. An added attraction here 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.
Check into the hotel. Afternoon we make a short walk to Auroville - the Aurobindo Nagari and the Aurobindo Ashram. O/n Hotel.
DAY 05 PONDICHERRY TO TANJAVUR
Morning after breakfast drive to Tanjavur - the ancient capital of the great Chola Empire (about 185kms/ 05hrs).Enroute visit Chidambaram, the Nataraj temple dedicated to the dancing God and the temples in Gangaikondacholapuram. Proceed and check into the hotel.
Afternoon visit the magnificent BRIHADISVARA TEMPLE, known as the 'Big Temple'. The main temple has a 62 metres high vimana (the tallest in India), topped by a dome carved from an 80 ton block of granite. We can see an enormous Nandi, carved out of a single block of granite six metres long. O/n Hotel.
DAY 06 TANJAVUR TO TRICHY TO TANJAVUR
Morning we drive to Trichy (about 56kms/ 02hrs), to visit the Rock Fort, Tiruchi's most famed landmark is 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. After that a short drive to Srirangam, the district's most important pilgrim centre is located in an island. Srirangam, surrounded by the waters of river Kaveri 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 Ranganathaswami Temple. There are 21 gopurams, among which the Rajagopuram is the largest in South India. O/n Hotel.
DAY 07 TANJAVUR TO MADURAI
Morning drive to the 6th century built temple town of Madurai (about 150kms/ 04hrs), check into the hotel.
A/n visit the Meenakshi temple - an outstanding example of the 14th century Vijaynagar architecture The temple dedicated to Minakshi, the 'fish-eyed goddess'. The temple's nine towering stucco images of gods, goddesses and animals are superb. Evening once again visit the temple to attend the evening ceremony in the temple. O/n Hotel.
DAY 08 MADURAI TO MUNNAR
Morning after breakfast drive to Munnar (about 120kms/03hrs) - beautiful hill station surrounded by tea estates, some of them the highest in the world.
Arrive and transfer to the hotel amidst tea gardens. Afternoon visit the RAJAMALAI NATIONAL PARK - famous for Nilgiri Thar, the endangered species. Explore the park by foot. The rest of the day stroll over Munnar to see the natural beauties over there. O/n Hotel.
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