SOUTH INDIA CLASSICAL HOLIDAYS TOUR

Tour Plan

Duration : 11 Nights / 12 Days
Places Covered : Madras - Mahabalipuram - Tiruchirapalli - Madurai - Periyar - Backwaters - Kumarakom - Cochin - Bombay

Tour Briefs (daywise tour plan)

Day - 1 : Arrive Madras
Day - 2 : Sightseeing of Mahabalipuram
Day - 3 : Visit Temples of Kanchipuram
Day - 4 : Visit Temples of Tiruchirapalli
Day - 5 : Visit Birhadeswara Temple - Thanjaur
Day - 6 : Visit temples of Madurai
Day - 7 : Enjoy at Hilltop wildlife sanctuary
Day - 8 : Visit backwater of Alleppey
Day - 9 : Drive to Cochin
Day - 10 : Enjoy at backwaters of Cochin
Day - 11 : Sightseeing of Bombay
Day - 12 : Board flight for onward journey

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Day 1 - Arrive Madras

Meeting and assistance upon arrival and transfer to Hotel. This morning we set out to explore the city of madras. Visit the National Art Gallery Fort St. George, St. Mary's Church and the St. Thomas Cathedral and drive along the marina. Walk with our guide though some colourful market areas. Overnight at Hotel.


Day 2 - Madras - Mahabalipuram

After breakfast we drive to Mahabalipuram. Upon arrival in Mahabalipuram we check into our pre booked Hotel. Afternoon city tour of Mahabalipuram, once the principal port of the Pallavas who ruled between the 06th and 09th Centuries AD. "The City of Seven pagodas". Is nothing less than a breathtaking display masterful sculpture carved out of solid rocks of granite, the Shore Temple - a splendid example of early temple construction in the south. Penance of Bhagirata the worlds largest bas - relief also known as "Argon's Penance'.


Day 3 - Mahabalipuram

Depart for a tour of Kanchipuram, city of a thousand temples, Once the capital of Pallava, Kanchipuram still contains no less than 124 shrines. The temples were built mainly by two rulers, Mahendray and Mamalla Narashimha Parman. Typical of their architecture is the Kailasnatha Temple dedicated to Shiva, believed to be 1200 years Old . Other important ones include the 16th Century Ekambasreshwar Temple, Kamakshi Temple, and Vaikunta Perumal. Kanchipuram is the centre of Silk weaving and is famous for its saris and materials. Return to the Hotel, rest of the day is free.


Day 4 - Mahabalipuram - Tiruchirapalli (Trichy)

After an early breakfast we start our journey towards Trichy. Upon arrival in Trichy we check into our pre booked Hotel. Afternoon city tour of Trichy visiting Rock Fort, Sirangam and Jambukeshwar Temples. Trichy's historic associations stretch from chola times to the 18th Century Karnataka Wars, When Britain and France espoused the aspirations of rival princes. Overnight at the hotel.


Day 5 - Tiruchirapalli - Madurai

Depart for Madurai by road enroute visiting Tanjore. Thanjaur was the seat of the Chola Empire from the 10th to the 14th Centuries and it was a Chola King, Rajah Chola who built the greatest of its 74 temples, the Birhadeswara Temple which is more than 200 feet tall in the Dravidian truncated pyramid form, and has a huge lingam in its sanatorium. In the inner shrine of the temple, one sees India's second largest statue of Nandi the bull, the mount of the God Shiva. Arrive Madurai check into hotel and overnight.


Day 6 - Madurai

Madurai's history goes back to six centuries before Christ. The Pandyan rulers made this their capital until the 14th Century and the city flowered with the genius of its writers, builders, poets and academics. Then the Nayaks ruled Madurai from the middle of the 16th Century to 1743. The ten tall Gopurams of the Meenakshi Temple were raised during their dynasty. This is a huge complex of Temples. A thousand - pillored hall and a tank. A full day tour visiting the Meenakshi Temple, Palace of King Triumalay, the great tank, Gandhi Museum and Temple at Alaghat Koli enroute visiting Elephant Rock. Overnight stay at hotel.


Day 7 - Madurai - Periyar

After early morning breakfast we drive to Periyar ( Thekkady). The drive up to this hilltop wildlife sanctuary is one of the most beautiful . Starting with coconut groves at the lower lever you then see rubber, tea and the spice plantation as you gain height. Upon arrival check into your pre booked hotel. In the afternoon take a jeep ride to a nearby spice plantation. Late afternoon take a boat ride on Lake Periyar to look for wild animals drinking or taking a dip in this lake.


Day 8 - Periyar - Backwaters - Kumarakom

Drive to the Kottayam to the jetty point to board the boat for backwater to Alleppey and then continue the drive to Kumarakom. Upon arrival at Kumarakom check into hotel.. The rest of the day relaxing by the pool or taking a sunset cruise on a man - powered nice-boat. You may wish to visit the Ayurvedic centre for a herbal massage. In the Evening attend a demonstration of Kerala cuisine cooking. Overnight at the Hotel.


Day 9 - Kumarakom - Cochin

The morning is spent relaxing and later we drive to Cochin. Upon arrival in Cochin we check into our pre booked hotel. Cochin is one of the most fascinating cities of coastal south India. It is a city with indelible marks of Christian, Islamic, Hindu and Jewish traditions. The true character of the city us to be found in the older part of the Fort Cochin area which remains as it used to be a 1000 years ago. This part of the City reflects an unusual bled of medieval Portuguese, Dutch and English life grafted on to the tropical Malabar coast. A unique feature here is isolated Jewish community, whose origins date back to AD 52. Evening visit to see the Kathakali dance performance. Overnight at the hotel.


Day 10 - Cochin

This morning enjoy the most interesting of cruised anywhere in the world. These are the backwaters of Cochin. At first glance it could be compared to drifting down the Amazon River. Our cruise take us though the heart of the backwaters with views of villages and villagers about their business. It seems as though time has stood still for centuries. Afternoon is spent exploring Cochin. Visit the Dutch Palace, the terminus, Jewish Synagogue , Fort Cochin, St.Francis Church and bazaars. Return to the hotel for overnight.


Day 11 - Cochin - Bombay (by Flight)

Upon arrival in Mumbai (Bombay) you are met and transferred to your pre booked Hotel. This afternoon proceed on a guided tour of the city, which is distinctly tropical. Its weathered Victorian mansions, some still privately owned, and grand public buildings, many beautifully lit at night, stand as lingering reminder of the days of the British Raj, First visit the Gateway of India, hastily created as a symbol of welcome to Queen Mary and King George V of England on their to India in 1911. Next visit the Hanging Gardens, perched at the top of Malabar Hill, which provide lovely views over the Arabian Sea. Overnight at the Hotel.


Day 12 - Leave Bombay

After what will have been a majestic way to see and experience royal India, we bid farewell as we are transferred to the airport for our flight back home.




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