Beautiful South India

Overview

India.a country which will enchant you with her beauty and diversity, delight you with her colorful pageantry, enrich you with her culture, stun you with her modernity, embrace you with her warmth, and overwhelm you with her hospitality.a land where the ancient and the contemporary exist side by side, where thousands of brilliant images fill the soul with wonder and where quaint and startling contradictions juxtapose to lend an extraordinary vitality, texture and poetry to life.

India - the ancient land of mystery, palaces and kings, romance and intrigue, nobility and grandeur. A land steeped in a tradition of services and privileges to royalty. A land which has the largest Tiger population in the world.

Imagine yourself transported back a couple of centuries. Imagine waking up to find yourself in a royal, canopied bed with the soft gauze of sunshine filtering in through exquisitely filigreed windows. Imagine padding across to the windows to find peacocks mincing across the lawns.

Day wise Itinerary

Day 01: ARRIVE COCHIN
On your arrival in Kochi, after baggage collection, our representative will meet you as you EXIT the ARRIVALS TERMINAL building after which you would be transferred to your Hotel.
Upon arrival at the hotel, you will be accorded with a Traditional Welcome. Welcoming guest is an age-old tradition. 'AtithiDevobhava' - treat your guest as if he were God. Indian hospitality can be savored immediately as one arrives at the hotel.

On arrival you will check in at the Hotel. (Standard check-in time 1200 hrs).

Later visit Cochin City. You will first proceed to Mattancherry, where you will visit the oldest Jewish Synagogue in India, built in 1568; it was destroyed by the Portuguese and rebuilt by the Dutch a century later. From Jewish Synagogue you will visit Chinese fishing nets. The cantilevered fishing nets line the entrance to the harbor mouth. From the Chinese fishing nets you will visit St. Francis Church, originally named after SantoAntonio and dedicated to him as the Patron Saint of Portugal, St. Francis Church is the first church to have been in the new European influenced tradition. You will also be visiting The Dutch Palace at Mattancherry, which was built in 1555 and its coronation hall and murals at Ramayana are noteworthy features.

In the evening, you will be taken to a Kathakali dance center where you will witness the most elaborate of the dance forms in southern India.

Overnight at the hotel

Day 02: COCHIN - GURUVAYOOR By : Surface
Breakfast at the hotel
Later proceed fordrive to Guruvayoor (105 Kms / 2hrs drive).

On arrival proceed for chcek in hotel.
In Guruvayoor, clients can visit the GuruvayoorTemple from outside (Non Hindus are not allowed inside the Temple). Near to the temple there is an Elephant Yard.
Here almost 40-50 tamed elephants are kept. These elephants belong to the Temple and all are offered by deities.

Overnight at the hotel

Day 03: GURUVAYOOR - CALICUT By : Surface
Breakfast at the hotel
Later proceed for drive to Calicut (125 Kms / 3hrs drive).

Later enjoy sightseeing tour of Calicut visiting Kappad. Kappadis the place where Vasco da Gama set foot for the first time when he came to India on May 27, 1498.
Continue onto Beypore, one of the prominent ports and fishing harbours of ancient Kerala, was an important trade and maritime centreBeypore was much sought after by merchants from Western Asia for its ship building industry.

Overnight at the hotel

Day - 04 CALICUT - MYSORE By : Surface
Breakfast at the hotel.
Later proceed for drive to Mysore(215 Kms / 5hrs drive).
On arrival proceed for chcek in hotel.

Later proceed for sightseeing tour of Mysore. Your infatuation with Mysore begins with the Maharaja's Palace - it is popularly known as MysorePalace. It is a veritable treasure trove of exquisite carvings and works of art from the world over. Proceed to the Rajendra Art Gallery has some remarkable selections of paintings by Raja Ravi Verma, Nicholas Roerich and traditional paintings in the Mysore style.

Overnight at the hotel

Day 05: MYSORE
After breakfast at the hotel proceed for excursion to Belur and Halebid.

The Channakeshava temple at Belurwhich was built by the famous Hoysala ruler Vishnuvardhana in 1117 A.D. is dedicated to Lord Vishnu. After visit continues drive to Halebid and visit The Hoysaleshwara Temple at Halebidis one of the finest specimens of Hoysala creativity. Also notable is the imposing HoysaleswaraTemple dedicated to Lord Shiva.

Return to your hotel after the sightseeing tour.
Overnight at the hotel

Day 06: MYSORE - CHENNAI BY:TRAIN
After buffet breakfast morning is at leisure.

In time our representative will meet you at hotel and transfer to railway station to board train (2008/Shatabdi Express @ 1415/2125 hrs) for Chennai. This train operates daily except Tuesday.

Meet upon arrival in Chennai and transfer to hotel.
Upon arrival proceed to check in at your room.
Overnight at the hotel

Day 07: CHENNAI - MAHABALIPURAM BY: Surface
Breakfast at the hotel

Later, proceed for a city tour to Chennai. You will start your city tour with the visit of British outpost in India - Fort St. George and the commercial center, George Town. Visit the Fort house and the museum. From the British hold of center you will proceed to Mylapore, inhabited in the 16th century by the Portuguese, visit the San Thome Church. Continue to visit the Kapalesswarar temple - the biggest temple in Chennai.

After visit proceed for drive (approx. 60 Kms/1.5 hrs) to Mahabalipuram.
Upon arrival, you will proceed for your check-in at your hotel.
Overnight at the hotel

Day 08: MAHABALIPURAM - KANCHIPURAM - PONDICHERRY
Breakfast at the hotel

Later proceed for city tour visiting The ShoreTemple: Though known as the land of Seven Pagodas, there is only one remaining today. Arjuna's Penance- This skilfully carved rock of 29X7 metre is the largest vas - relief sculpture in the world. Mandapams/Cave temples: The temples are finely sculptured & carved out in Mahabali. KrishnaTemple is the oldest temple.

After sightseeing proceed for drive to Pondicherry (110Kms / 2.5hrs drive)enroute visiting Kanchipuram. Kanchipuram, the ancient capital of the Pallavas. It is known as the city of 1000 temples that still has 124 shrines. The first temple dedicated to Lord Shiva was built here in the 7th & 8th century A.D. and has paintings on its walls. The Temples of Ekambaswara, Kailasanath, Sri Kamakshi and Varadarajaswamy are of interest. Kanchipuram is also famous for its silks.

Upon arrival, you will proceed for your check-in at your hotel.
Overnight at the hotel.

Day 09: PONDICHERRY - CHIDAMBARAM - TANJORE
After buffet breakfast at the hotel proceed for sightseeing tour of Pondicherry.

Visit Sri Aurobindo Ashram - the final resting Place of Sri Aurobindo, a saint-cum-yogi who synthesized yoga and modern science. Move on to the Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, noted for its Gothic architecture and stained glass panels, which depict the entire life of Jesus Christ. Visit the PondicherryMuseum where on display are findings of Arikamedu, the Chola bronzes and sculptures, glimpses of French heritage, specimens of modern and traditional handicraft, paintings, armouries, carvings and many other things of historical interest.

After visit continues drive (approx. 180 Kms/4 Hrs) to Tanjoreenroute visiting Chidambaram, the capital of the Cholas from AD 907 to 1310; It is of great religious as well as historic and cultural significance. Chidambaram is associated with Nataraja or Shiva in his AnandaTandava pose (the Cosmic Dance of bliss) in the cosmic golden hall and the hall of consciousness (Chit Sabha).

After your visit, continue your drive to Tanjore and upon arrival, proceed for check-in at your hotel.
Overnight at the hotel

Day 10: THANJORE- TRICHY-CHETTINAD - THANJORE
After buffet breakfast at the hotel, you will proceed for city tour of Tanjore. Tanjore was the royal city of the Cholas, Nayaks and the Mahrattas, proceed for visit to BrihadeswaraTempleand BigTemple.

Later proceed for excursion to Trichy. Upon arrival proceed to visit the Rock Fort, which is a landmark of Trichy. The rock is one of the oldest in the world-approximately 3.800 million years, which makes it as old as the rocks of Greenland and older than the Himalayas. You will visit SriRanganTemple.

After visit drive back to Tanjore.
Overnight at the hotel.

Day 11: TANJORE- MADURAI
After breakfast at the hotel proceed for drive to Madurai (180Kms / 4hrs)enroute visiting Chettinad. Chettinadis rich in cultural heritage, art and architecture, and is well known for its houses, embellished with marble and Burma teak, wide courtyards, spacious rooms, and for its 18th century mansions.

After lunch at Bangla (A heritage Home) continue drive to Madurai.
Upon arrival proceed for check-in at the Hotel.

In the evening, you will proceed to the Meenakshi temple complex on cycle-rickshaws to witness the evening aarti ceremony in which Lord Shiva is carried in a palanquin accompanied by musicians, temple singers and priests to the temple of his consort Parvati to spend the night.

Note: Foreigners (Non Hindus) are not allowed inside the Inner Sanctum of the temple.
Overnight at the hotel

Day 12: MADURAI - PERIYAR
After buffet breakfast at the hotel, proceed for a sightseeing tour of Madurai City - apart from Meenakshi Temple, another attraction is the Tirumalai Palace (1636) restored by Lord Napier, dance drama concerts are performed daily.

Later you will be driven (approx. 150 Kms/4 hrs) from Madurai to Thekkady, which is also known as Thekkady.
Upon arrival, proceed for check-in at your hotel.
Overnight at the hotel

Day 13: PERIYAR - KUMARAKOM
After buffet breakfast at the hotel, proceed for guided nature walk in the nearby Spice Plantation Areas.
Later drive (125 Kms / 3 hrs) toKumarakom, which is located on the shores of the enchanting VembanadLake.
Enroute enjoy lunch at Kanjirappaly Plantation Bungalow, a Syrian Catholic Home.
Upon arrival in Kumarakom, proceed for check-in at your hotel.
Rest of the afternoon is free to unwind.
Overnight at the hotel

Day 14: KUMARAKOM - HOUSEBOAT
Breakfast at the hotel
After breakfast chcek in hotel and embark houseboat and sails through famous backwaters of Kerela.
Lunch / dinner and overnight at the houseboat.

Day 15: HOUSEBOAT-KOCHI
After breakfast disembark houseboat and drive (approx. 60 Kms/1.5 hrs) to Kochi. On arrival in Cochin you will check in at the hotel.
Rest of the day is free.
Overnight at the hotel

Day 16: COCHIN - ABORAD
After buffet breakfast, ourrepresentative will meet you in hotel lobby to transfer to the airport in time to board flight for onward destination:
Standard check-out time 1200 hrs.

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