Splendour of 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. Imagine being waited upon and served a banquet with fluid grace by an army of turbaned bearers. Imagine being a king for a day. Imagine living in a palace!

Day wise Itinerary:

DAY 01: ARRIVE COCHIN BY: FLIGHT
Arrive Cochin, upon arrival our representative will meet you at hotel and transfer to your hotel.

Kochi or more familiarly Cochin's history is a bright tapestry - many coloured threads woven through centuries together present the fabric of the present. Its involvement with the Portuguese, the Dutch and the British are evident in the architecture of city buildings, the old durbar hall is the spice in the dish! Modern day Kochi may be a busy port and shipping centre but it has many attractions for ordinary tourists. It is spread across islands and promontories in a stunning location between the Arabian Sea and the Backwaters.

On arrival check-in your hotel.
Standard check-in time 1200 hrs
Overnight - Hotel.Meal - Breakfast

Day 02: COCHIN
Today, you will take a city tour of Cochin visiting -

Dutch Palace (Closed on Fridays and Jewish Holidays), also known as Mattancherry Palace built by the Portuguese and presented to the Raja of Cochin in 16th Century AD. It acquired the present name in the 17th century when the Dutch carried out extensions and repairs in the palace.

Jewish Synagogue (Closed on Fridays & Saturdays and Jewish Holidays), Built in late 16th century, the Great Scrolls of the old Testament, the copper plates in which the grants of privilege made by the Cochin rulers were recorded and the exquisite Chinese hand-painted tiles are of interest

Chinese Fishing Nets line the sea-front and exhibit a mechanical method of catching fish by local fishermen in Fort Kochi. Said to have been brought from China by traders of Kubalai Khan's Court, they are used at high tide.

St. Francis Church was originally built by the Portuguese in 15th century and is believed to be the oldest church built by the Europeans in India. It is here the remains of the inveterate traveller, Vasco de Gamma were initially buried and 14 years later, his mortal remains were taken to Portugal.

In the evening, you will visit a local theatre to witness Kathakali Dance Performance.
Overnight - Hotel. Meals - Breakfast

Day 03: COCHIN - KUMARAKOM BY: SURFACE
After breakfast, you will be drive towards Kumarakom (80 Kms/2 hrs).

The state of Kerala is known for its numerous canals and waterways and its verdant forests and mangrove swamps. Set in one of the most idyllic locations in Kerala, Kumarakom is a tiny settlement, nestled in the backwaters of Kerala. An unbelievably beautiful paradise of mangrove forest, emerald green paddy fields and coconut groves interspersed with enchanting waterways and canals adorned with white lilies. Situated on the Vembanad lake, in this small water world you'll come across plenty of traditional country crafts, boats and canoes which will take you into the heart of the scenic lake,

We will arrange your day cruise along with a special visit to local village and you will get an opportunity to interact with villagers. You will get the feel of their day to day life.
Rest of the day is free at leisure at resort.
Overnight - Hotel. Meal-Breakfast

DAY 04: KUMARAKOM - PERIYAR BY: SURFACE
After breakfast today you will drive towards Periyar (120 Kms/ 3 hrs).

Periyar, set in the heart of the Cardamom Hills of Kerala is famous for its Wildlife Sanctuary. As the road winds through mountains, you will descend through a carpet oftea bushes, estates of tall rubber trees and gardens of coffee, cardamom and pepper. Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary is one of the premier reserves of Southern India and home of the wild elephant, the bison, antelopes, langurs and sambar that can be observed from the launches that cruise the lake.

In the afternoon, take Nature tour provided on forest department run boat rides.
Overnight - Hotel. Meal - Breakfast

DAY 05: PERIYAR - TRICHY -TANJORE BY: SURFACE
After breakfast ,you will drive towards Thanjavure also known as Tanjore (297 kms/7 hrs), en-route visiting Trichy. Situated on the banks of the river Kaveri, Trichy was the citadel of the Chola Dynasty. It was occupied for a short while by the Pandya and Pallava Kings. The town itself was developed by the Nayaks of Madurai, who also built the famous Rock Fort. Visit the Golden Rock Fort. The view from the Fort is spectacular. On the southern face are several beautifully carved rock-cut temples of the Pallava era. Half way up to the Vinayaka Temple which adorn the summit, and is reached through a tunnel in the rock, stands the Sri Thayamanaswamy Temple, with its 100 pillar hall and gold covered Vimana. About 3 kms from the Fort is the island of Srirangam on the Kavery River, and its tributary the Kollidam.
On arrival in Thanjavure, check-in to your hotel. Overnight - Hotel. Meal - Breakfast

Day 06: THANJAVUR - KARAIKUDI - MADURAI BY: SURFACE
After breakfast, take a morning tour of Thanjavur.

The Chola kings built the majority of Tanjore's 93 temples. The enormous gopurams of the Brihadeeshwara Temple built in the 10th century by Raja Chola . Fortified walls and a moat surround the temple itself, between the Grand Anicut Canal and the old town. The old town too used to be similarly enclosed, but most of the walls have now disappeared. What remains are winding streets and alleys and the extensive ruins of the Palace of the Nayaks of Madurai. The SarawatiMahal library contains over 40,000 rare books and palm leaf inscriptions.

Later you will continue your drive towards Madurai (132 Kms/ 03 hrs) en-route visiting Karaikudi.

Post lunch visit Karaikudi is known as an ancestral home of Chettiyars. It is famous for its Chettinad Mansion, CECRI (Central Electro Chemical Research Institute), Temples, Old buildings, Gopurakarai saris and Chettinad delicious tasty dishes. Nowadays it is termed as a shooting spot for Tamil and Telugu film industries and as well as a tourist center. Tourists come in large numbers to have to have a view on history of Chettinad buildings. One of the well known country's magazine recently came out with surprising news wherein it was mentioned that Chettinad was one among the top 5 fast growing vacation spots in India. Hence, Karaikudi will provide relaxing and enjoyable time to tourists who will cherish the memories for long.

Upon arrival in Madurai, check-in to your hotel.

Madurai - The temple town is one of India's oldest seats of culture, learning and pilgrimage. Known to have had links with Greece as far back as the 4th Century BC, Madurai became a major centre for writers, builders and academicians by the 14th Century AD. Today, its main attraction is the labyrinthine complex of temples within the Sri Meenakshi Temple, spread over six hectares.The temple contains friezes, stone and brass images, as well as one of the best exhibits of Hindu deities in its 1000-pillared hall. Outside the temple are the Musical Pillars which when tapped, produce the entire scale of 'swaras' or musical notes.

In the evening, you will visit the temple complex to witness the evening prayer ceremony.
Note: Non Hindus are not allowed inside the Inner Sanctum of the temple.
Overnight - Hotel. Meal - Breakfast

Day 07: MADURAI - CHENNAI BY: FLIGHT
Your day begins early today with a visit to the flower market. The markets attract up to 10,000 visitors a day. Loud and quiet negotiations hums as wholesalers examine small bags of jasmine buds, tuberoses and marigolds from farmers who plead their quality. Sold, they are thrown onto huge piles or scooped up into large jute sacks. Over these piles, the temple flower sellers negotiate their purchases while garlands are strung, calculators thumped over and weighing scales heaped with white, purple, orange and yellow blooms.

Later you will be visit to Tkulum (Mariamman) a tank with an island temple in the middle, the museums and the bustling bylanes of the Madurai market.
In time, assisted transfer to airport to board your flight to Chennai.
On arrival, transfer to your hotel.

The East India Company established its presence in southern India on the Bay of Bengal in 1639 with the establishment of Fort St George. The city of Chennai, formerly known as Madras, grew up around the fort area. It now serves as the capital of Tamil Nadu and is the fourth largest city in India, with over six million inhabitants.
Overnight - Hotel. Meal - Breakfast

Day 08: DEPART CHENNAI BY: FLIGHT
After check-out, take a tour of Chennai (formerly Madras), a state renowned for grandiose temple sculpture and architecture of the Chola, Cheran, Pallava and Pandya Dynasties.

The Madras Presidency was also one of the four divisions of British India and offers travelers and enthusiasts an interesting blend of the old and the new, the artistic and the academic, the historic and the scenic. You will visit this sprawling city with its National Art Gallery & Museum, Fort St. George, Marina Beach, San Thome Cathedral and the Kapaleeswarar temple.
In time, our office Representative will transfer you to the International Airport to board your homebound flight.
Meal - Breakfast

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