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South India

Duration : 11 Nights / 12 Days
Destinations covered : Chennai - Kanchipuram - Mahabalipuram - Pondicherry - Tanjore - Trichy - Madurai - Periyar - Kumarakom - Cochin. For more information, click South India - destinations

Day 01 Abroad - Chennai
Arrive: Chennai
Upon arrival in Chennai - you will be met by our representative and transferred to the hotel.
Overnight at hotel

Day 02 Chennai - Kanchipuram - Mahabalipuram
Morning city tour of Chennai - the sprawling and gracious city on the 'Bay of Bengal' is the fourth largest city in India. Visit the Fort St. George once a strong-hold of the British, San Thome Cathedral, Marina Beach and the beautiful Mylapore temple.

Thereafter drive to Mahabalipuram (58 kms) enroute visit Kanchipuram.

Kanchipuram - known as the Golden City of a Thousand Temples, is one of the oldest towns in India. It is famous for both its temples, many of them remarkably well preserved and for its hand-woven silks. Kanchipuram is one of the seven sacred cities of India and it is the only one associated with both Shiva and Vishnu.

Continue to Mahabalipuram and upon arrival, check-in at hotel.
Overnight at hotel

Day 03 Mahabalipuram
Morning sightseeing tour of Mahabalipuram - is famous for its unique 7th-century Shore Temple, lovely beach and some of the most beautiful rock-cut temples in the world. Situated on the shore of the Bay of Bengal, Mahabalipuram was already a famous seaport in the 1st century AD. This town was a workshop for temple building. Visit the seven pagoda-style shore temples, lashed by the waves of the sea and the seven rathas or temple chariots, a group of monolithic monuments & animal figures carved out of solid rock, the earliest known examples of Dravidian architecture.

Afternoon at leisure for own activities.
Overnight at hotel

Day 04 Mahabalipuram - Pondicherry
Morning drive to Pondicherry (140 kms). Upon arrival, check-in at hotel.

Pondicherry, which was up until the 1950s, a far-flung outpost of the French maritime empire. It is so different from the rest of Tamil Nadu that one feels that one has entered another country!

Afternoon tour of Pondicherry - visit the Eglise De Sacre Coeur De Jesus and Sri Aurobindo Ashram. Later visit township of Auroville or the 'City of Dawn'. Designed by a French architect Roger Arger, it is an entirely new concept in education and urban living.
Overnight at hotel

Day 05 Pondicherry - Tanjore
Morning drive to Tanjore (190 kms). Upon arrival, check-in at hotel.

Morning visit Tanjore - Once the capital of the Chola Empire from the tenth to the fourteenth centuries. A Chola king, Raja Chola, who held the throne from 985 to 1016, built the greatest of the empire's 74 temples, the Brahadeeswarar, with its soaring tower over the inner sanctum. This tower rises more than 62 meters (200 feet). On its dome rests a single block of granite weighing 80 tons.
Overnight at hotel

Day 06 Tanjore - Trichy - Madurai
Morning drive to Madurai (190 kms) enroute visiting Trichy

City tour of Trichy - visit the 'Rock Fort Temple' which rises abruptly to a height of 273 ft. A steep staircase cut into the rock leads upto the Fort. At the first level are the remnants of a huge hall blasted into ruins in 1772. The next storey is the Mathrubhuteshwarer Shrine dedicated to Shiva. Finally at the top of the hill, the 'Uchhi Pillayar Koil' - a Ganesh Temple offering a commanding view of the city.

Continue drive to Madurai and upon arrival check-in at hotel.
Overnight at hotel.

Day 07 Madurai
Morning, visit the Meenakshi temple one of the biggest temple complex in India - it is 46 ft. long by 790 ft broad and was built in the 17th Century. It is a rectangular twin shrine: the southern temple dedicated to Meenakshi (the consort of Shiva) and the other to Shiva. The high point of the Meenakshi temple is Hall of a "Thousand Pillars", built in the 16th C which is as great a work of structural engineering as it is of art.

Afternoon free for own activities.
Overnight at hotel.

Day 08 Madurai - Periyar
Morning drive to Periyar (180 kms). Upon arrival, check-in at hotel.

Periyar - Sprawling across 777 sq. kms. of the Cardamom Hills of the Western Ghats, Thekkady is the home to one of the largest wildlife reserves in India. Alive with exotic flora and vibrant wildlife, it is the perfect getaway tucked away among hills.
Overnight at hotel.

Day 09 Periyar - Kumarakom - Houseboat
Early morning boatcruise on the Lake of the famous Periyar wildlife sanctuary to see wild life. Periyar - an artificial lake or reservoir created by a dam on Periyar River is the heart of the Wildlife Sanctuary where wild elephants, Asiatic Deer, Black Buck and even Tigers come to shores of the lake to drink water.

Thereafter drive to through the winding "Ghats" lined with prosperous tea plantations & then arrive the fascinating countryside of low-lying palms and paddy fields to Kumarakom (150 kms) enroute visit the tea estates.

Kumarakom-is a beautiful backwater village on the shores of the enchanting Vembanad Lake, criss-crossed with meandering waterways and ancient cottages.

Upon arrival board the traditional rice boats - "Kettuvallam" and begin your journey through the picturesque backwaters and small lakes relaxing in the tranquillity of Kerala's beautiful scenery. Experience the way of life and activity of the local people, the one bedroom house with a lounge is exclusively for you, meals will be served with freshly bought produce from the local markets and cooked on board.

You can relax on the sundeck and watch the way of life and activity of the local people, sipping from a tender coconut and enjoying the sheer peace of the surroundings.
Overnight on board

South India - Cochin Day 10 Houseboat - Cochin
After breakfast on board. Disembark at Alleppey and proceed to Cochin (90 km) and check-in at hotel.

In the evening witness the Kathakali dance performance - Kathakali is a unique dance which has a 2000 year old history with more than 100 different 'mudras' or gesture depicting deities, demons, heroes, heroines and kings - each based on episodes from the Mahabharata and Ramayana, the two epic Indian myths.
Overnight at hotel

Day 11 Cochin
Morning sightseeing tour of Cochin or "Kochi"- the palm green, commercial capital of Kerala which has one of the finest natural harbours & is known as the "Queen of the Arabian Sea". From time immemorial, Arabs, Chinese, Dutch, British & Portuguese seafarers followed the sea route to Kochi & left their impression on the town. Modern Kochi is thus a splendid mosaic of these myriad influences. Visit the Dutch Palace, the Jewish Synagogue, the Church of St. Francis & the famous Chinese fishing nets.

Afternoon at leisure for own activities.
Overnight at hotel.

Day 12 Cochin - Abroad
Transfer to the international airport for flight for back home.
Depart: Cochin

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