22N/23D Enchanting South India Tour

temples-at-Halebid

This offbeat tour of South India is an enchanting journey through the amazing forts, palaces and temples of South India. Experience the unique culture and colorful traditions. Explore the past, walk through the spice gardens, ride and elephant and cruise through the famous Kerala backwaters in comfort and style. This extended tour of South India is a must for couples, families and small groups.

Destinations – Bangalore – Hassan – Coorg – Mysore – Wayanad – Calicut – Cochin – Munnar – Madurai – Periyar – Kumarakom – Kovalam

Itinerary

Day 01 – Arrival in Bangalore Airport

Arrive in Bangalore Airport. Following Customs, Immigration formalities and baggage collection, an INDUS TRIPS Airport Representative will meet you outside the Arrival Hall, after which you will transferred to your hotel. Check-in time is 1200 Noon, early check-in would be subject to availability.

Bangalore Airport

Afternoon at leisure.

Overnight at Bangalore

Day 2 Bangalore – Shravanabelagola –  Hassan

After Breakfast at residing hotel proceed to Hassan enroute visit shravanabelagola, a famous Jain pilgrim site.

shravanabelagola

A 17m high monolithic statue of Lord Gomateshwara standing atop the Vindhyagiri hills makes this site world famous later drive to Hassan, the name of the city derives from the name of the goddess Hassanamba. The city was founded by Channa Krishnappa Naik in the eleventh century. The tenth to the thirteenth century, the beauty of Hoysala art could flourish.

Overnight at Hassan

Day 3 Hassan – Belur – Halibedu – Hassan

After Breakfast visit Belur and Halebedu,this day is dedicated to visit major art sites of the Hindus and especially the Hoysala dynasty.

Hoysala Temple at Belur

Located a few kilometres from Hassan, Belur is the first site built by the Hoysala dynasty (eleventh and twelfth centuries), a star.

Hoysala Temple at Belur

The many and admirable reliefs recount battle scenes between the Cholas Vishnuvardhana, neighboring Tamil Nadu.

temples-at-Halebid

A Halebid, Hoysaleshwara temple listed as a jewel in the quality of its sculptures. No detail is overlooked in this breath-taking panorama of the great Hindu monuments.

Overnight at Hassan

Day 04 Hassan – Coorg

After breakfast drive to Coorg, A hedonist’s paradise, Coorg is a dream you’ll never forget. Hills, old-world charm, coffee, amazing food, vivid cultures and warm hospitality – there’s something in the air of Coorg that makes all things beautiful.

Remainder of the day at leisure to relax.

Overnight at Coorg

Day 05 Coorg

After breakfast, visit to the Byalkuppe Tibetan settlements in India

Byalkuppe Tibetan settlements

The town is mainly inhabited by Tibetans, an estimated 7,000 Tibetans live in the settlements; these were established on land leased by the state government to accommodate some of the Tibetan expatriates who came to resettle in India after 1959. Bylakuppe consists of a number of agricultural settlements, colonies are close to each other, and has number of monasteries and temples in all the major Tibetan Buddhist traditions.

Most notable among them are the large educational monastic institution Sera Monastery, the smaller Tashilunpo Monastery (both in the Gelug tradition) and Namdroling Monastery (in the Nyingma tradition). Bylakuppe also has many Buddhist universities for advanced Buddhist practices.

Overnight at Coorg

Day 06 Coorg – Mysore

After the breakfast have a drive to the silk city “Mysore”.

Devaraja Market

In the evening if you feel free have a walk to Devaraja Market to see the eye-catching flowers, colour powders, vegetables, spices, incense oils, well arranged fruit market housed in an old heritage building.

Overnight at Mysore.

Day 07 Mysore

After breakfast, full day Sightseeing of “Mysore” – the heritage city.  In the morning, have a visit to the famous Mysore Maharaja Palace built in Indo Saracenic style with domes, turrets, arches and colonnades.

Mysore Maharaja Palace

This palace is the treasure house of exquisite art, carvings and paintings from all over the World. Then drive to Chamundi Hills to visit the famous Chamundeshwari temple and the Bull temple.

In the evening drive to Srirangapatna – an historic site, the capital city of great Muslim warrior Tipu Sultan.  The main attractions here are Ranganathaswamy temple, Tipu’s summer palace (Daria Dalut Bagh) and Gumbaz.

Palace-of-Tipu-Sultan

Overnight at Mysore.

Day 08 Mysore –Wayanad

After breakfast at residing hotel, proceed to Wayanad (141 kms ; 4.5 hrs ).

Karalad Lake

Wayanad set in the picturesque Western Ghats and mountains at an altitude of about 2000 meters above sea level. Littered with tropical rain forests, dense hills, rolling paddy fields, spice plantations and valleys, Wayanad is a hitherto undiscovered location offering breathtaking views.

Edakal Caves

Evening visit Edakal Caves, the Caves are two natural rock formations believed to have been formed by a large split in a huge rock. The carvings inside are extremely beautiful. A trek up the majestic Ambukuthi Hills is required to reach these caves. The aroma of coffee stays with you the entire way. It is truly a surreal experience as we step into the palms of history.

Overnight at Wayanad

Day 09 Wayanad – Calicut

After breakfast, drive to Calicut (220 Kms/05 Hours) en-route visit Pookode Lake, a scenic fresh water lake surrounded by forest, where you can take a gentle walk around. Upon arrival, check-in at your hotel.  Afternoon, proceed for visit to same famous places like Kappad beach, the place where Vasco da Gama set foot for the first time when he came to India on May 27, 1498. There is a small stone monument at the beach to commemorate that event.

Kappad beach

Pazhassiraja Museum is located on the East Hill. It is run by the State Archeological Department. Ancient mural paintings, antique bronzes, old coins, models of temples, and megalithic structures are on display here.Situated next to Pazhassirajah Museum is an art gallery displaying paintings of Raja Ravi Varma. On this beach are also situated Calicut Town Center, Lions Club, and a lighthouse.

Pazhassiraja Museum

Two crumbling piers, more than hundred years old, stand out into sea at Kozhikode beach. The beach is easily accessible from the city and provides a good view of the setting sun. The place also has a Marine Life Aquarium open whole day. Mananchira, which was the palace tank of King Mana Vikrama, has been now turned into a traditional architectural splendor with carpeted green grass and surrounded by ethnic buildings. The place also has a musical fountain.

mananchira calicut

Overnight at Calicut

Day 10 Calicut – Cochin

After the breakfast, drive to Cochin (190 Kms/04 Hours) Fort Cochin – the mix of culture of Portuguese, Dutch and British.

Jewish-Synagogue-Cochin

In the afternoon have a visit to 16th century Jewish Synagogue and Mattancherry palace also known as Dutch Palace.

Mattancherry Dutch Palace

Have a walk in the Jew Town.

Overnight at Cochin.

Day 11 Cochin

After breakfast, full day sightseeing of Cochin.  First, have a visit to Chinese Fishing nets and fish markets.

Kochi chinese fishnets

Near to this place, have a visit to St.Francis Church, where you can see the tomb of Portuguese sailor Vasco-da-gama, then to Santa Cruz Basilica – a catholic church and Dutch cemetery.

Kathakali-dance

In the evening, attend the traditional dance show of Kerala”Kathakali”.

Overnight at Cochin.

Day 12 Cochin – Munnar

After breakfast, drive to “Munnar”- the meeting point of three rivers. Munnar has beautiful landscapes with a view of natural tea plantations, waterfalls, greeny mountains, the villages on the sloppy areas.

tea gardens munnar

Upon arrival check-in at hotel

Overnight at Munnar

Day 13 Munnar

After Breakfast, visit Eravikulam park – the main inhabitant of the Eravikulam park is Nilgiri Tahr. Now the park has the largest known population of Tahrs existing in the world.

eravikulam national park munnar

Visit Tea museum followed by a tea plantation visit. :- The museum set up at the Nallathanni Estate of Tata Tea in Munnar The Tata Tea Museum diligently portrays the growth of Munnar tea estates, veritably conveyed through some of the displays like the rudimentary tea roller to the modern fully automated tea factory. Visitors to the museum can satiate their curiosity on various stages of tea processing and also learn a thing or two about the production of black tea. Have a visit to the famous Eravikulam National Park and Mattupatty Dam.  Have a walk in the spice markets.

Overnight at Munnar

Day 14 Munnar – Madurai

After breakfast, drive to Madurai (180 Kms/04 Hours) Upon arrival, check-in at your hotel. Afternoon, proceed for sightseeing tour of Madurai.

meenakshi temple madurai

Visit to pilgrimage site Meenakshi Amman Temple, historical monument Tirumalai Nayak Palace being the most prominent. Back to hotel relax for while. Post dinner take you to Meenakshi Temple once again to attend Madurai temple night ceremony.

Bedtime of the God

Overnight at Madurai.

Day 15 Madurai – Periyar

Post a leisure breakfast drive to Periyar and check in at hotel.

Spice Plantation Periyar

Periyar is on 1000 meters above the sea level and is rich in spice growing. 95% pepper in India is produced from here. Vasco de Gama was the first European to land at the Malabar Coast in 1498 A.D. in search of spices. Pepper in those days was exported against the equal weight of gold, so in the beginning of 15th century pepper was called black gold.

Later afternoon visits a Spice Garden to see different varieties of spices such as cardamom, cinnamon, pepper, clove, vanilla, ginger, tea and coffee growing in their natural environment.

Overnight at Periyar

Day 16 Periyar

Morning enjoy Elephant package which is 02-hour activity with Timber dragging, Elephant bath & shower, Elephant feeding, Photo session and command and a short Elephant joy ride.

Afternoon enjoy common boat ride at Periyar Lake which has a unique aquatic ecosystem the numerous little islets in the lake are witness to the intricate inherent interrelationship among the terrestrial aquatic and subterranean life forms. A boat cruise on the Lake is perhaps the best way to watch the wildlife in the reserve.

Overnight at Periyar

Day 17 Periyar – Kumarakom

After breakfast drive to Kumarakom, enjoy the real country side of Kerala with amazing Backwaters, Day at leisure today, relax in nature or enjoy the hotel amenities.

Kumarakom

Overnight in Kumarakom.

Day 18 Kumarakom – Alleppey Houseboat

After Breakfast at residing hotel drive to Alleppey to Board your Houseboat. The houseboat cruise takes you through the intricate maze of backwaters, mesmerizing and surprising you at every turn with its serene beauty & simple charm.

houseboat-from-Kumarakom-to-Alleppey

Enjoy the countryside of Kerala at its best. Soak your eyes & soul with array of coconut trees & endless paddy fields. You will also get chance to take a small stroll through the villages & interact with the locals. Have a cruise in the backwaters of “Vembanadu” Lake.  Your boat will be stopped at one place around 5 :30 PM and have a dinner in the houseboat (AC will work in night only and authentic Kerala Cuisine will be served)

Overnight on board

Day 19 Alleppey – Kovalam

kovalam kerala

After breakfast drive to Kovalam via Trivandrum, On arrival check-in at hotel and rest of the day at leisure / Overnight at Kovalam

Day 20 Kovalam

After breakfast, day at leisure (No Transportation envisaged)

Kovalam Beach

Overnight at Kovalam

Day 21 Kovalam

After breakfast, day at leisure (No Transportation envisaged)

Overnight at Kovalam

Day 22 Kovalam – Bangalore (by Flight)

Post Breakfast Drop at Trivandrum Airport to catch flight to Bangalore

Upon arrival at Bangalore Airport transfer to Hotel and Check-in

Afternoon, you will proceed for sightseeing tour of Bangalore – you will take a tour to Vidhan Soudha, the Nandi Temple, the Lal Bagh Garden and Iskon Temple. The rich heritage, beautiful gardens, magnificent palaces, broad avenues & sacred temples attracts the visitors.

bull temple bangaloreBangalores-botanical-gardens

Overnight at Bangalore

Day 23 Bangalore Airport Drop

After Breakfast drop at Bangalore Airport to Catch the flight to Home.

End of Tour

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13N/14D Treasures of South India Tour

meenakshi temple madurai

Bordered by sea from the 3 sides, South India attracts tourists with its lakes, beaches, waterfalls, forts, culture, temples, nature, cities and hill stations. This enchanting tour of South India is a cultural extravaganza which promises to deliver rich and unforgettable holiday experiences.

Destinations: Chennai – Mahabalipuram – Pondicherry – Tanjore – Trichy – Madurai – Thekkady – Kumarakom – Cochin – Goa – Mumbai

Itinerary

DAY 01:    ARRRIVE CHENNAI    BY: INT. FLIGHT

On Arrival at the Chennai airport, an INDUS TRIPS representative will receive you and transfer you to the hotel.

Chennai International Airport

Chennai – More than a city, Madras is a potpourri of impressions: a fistful of color, a whiff of jasmine, the rustling of silk. It brings to mind the subtle, intricate variations of classical music, the evocative grace of Bharatanatyam and a spontaneity of bronzed Dravidian faces. Stray images chase one another: bold colour drawn into the pleats of the Kancheepuram sari; a neat, swaying, ebony plait crowned with a spray of flowers; complicated and exuberant sculpture lacing temple walls. The gateway to the south and the capital of the state of Tamil Nadu, Madras or Chennai is a vibrant metropolis and a combination of old world charm and modern day efficiency.

Overnight at the hotel

DAY 02:   CHENNAI – MAHABALIPURAM     BY: SURFACE

Morning after breakfast at the hotel, proceed for sightseeing tour of Chennai visiting fort St. George, the seat of the state government and the legislative assembly. The fort was built in 1652 by the British East India Company. The fort contains the fort museum with its collection of memorabilia of the East India co.

fort st. george chennai

Also see St. Mary`s church the oldest surviving Anglican church in India. Very near to Fort St.George is the Indo Saracenic High Court building, said to be the largest judicial building in the world after the Courts of London.

Opposite the high courts lies the beautiful Marina beach. Proceed on to the Kapaleeswarar temple, a pure dravidian temple and one of the most ancient in Madras. Drive on to the Government museum with its galleries off chola Bronzes

kapaleeswarar temple chennai

Later leave for Mahabalipuram (58 kms / 1.5 hrs) enroute visiting Kanchipuram.

kailasanatha temple kanchipuram

Kanchipuram is the ancient capital of the Pallavas famous as a city of 1000 Temples and still has 124 shrines. The first temple dedicated to Shiva was built in the 7th and 8th century and has paintings on the walls. Temples of Ekambaswara, Kailasanatha, Sri Kamakshi and Varadarajaswamy are of interest. Kanchipuram is also famous for its silks.

On arrival proceed to check in at the hotel.

Overnight at the hotel

DAY 03:    MAHABALIPURAM – PONDICHEERY       BY: SURFACE

After buffet breakfast visit the magnificent rock temples and carvings in Mahabalipuram.

rathasmahabalipuramFive Rathas (chariots), ceremonial chariots, rock-cut monoliths, named after the 5 Pandavas.  The Shore Temple by the sea surrounded by gardens designed according to descriptions of the original layout from ancient times. Built in sandstone in the 7th century. Bhagiratha’s Penance is a bas- relief (27 to 9m) sculptured on the face of two enormous adjacent rocks, depicts, the penance of Arjuna, myraid characters from the Mahabharata, realistic life-size figures of animals, gods and saints watching the descent of the river goddess Ganga to earth.

arjuna's penance mahabalipuram

Later you will be driven from Mahabalipuram – Pondichery (120 kms / 04 – 05 hrs).

On arrival check in at hotel

Pondicherry was a French settlement that comprised Pondy, Yanam, Karaikal, and Mahe. There is a strong influence of French culture on Pondicherry town, especially on it’s architecture, a result of the centuries-old relations this place maintained with France.

pondicherry french colony 1

Afternoon sightseeing tour of Pondicherry visiting :-

Sri Aurobindo Ashram

auroville ashram pondicherry

The ashram was founded in 1920 when Sri Aurobindo reached Pondicherry, a French colony and put in place his ideas of peaceful community. The ashram, for long, was run by his French companion Mirra Alfassa, universally known as the Mother. The ashram houses the samadhi of Sri Aurobindo and the mother and open to everybody for fixed hours every day.

Pondicherry Museum

Situated in the Government Park, the Pondicherry Museum has a very good sculpture gallery and a section of archaeological finds from the Roman settlement at Arikamedu. There is also a French section charting the history of the colony. The objects include the four-poster bed in which Dupleix is believed to have slept. There is also a superb collection of the snail shells from the Pondicherry Region.

Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus

Built in the Gothic style, this massive church is one of the most beautiful churches in Pondicherry.

church of the sacred heart of jesus pondicherry

After visit return back to the hotel.

Overnight at the hotel.

DAY 04:      PONDICHERRY – TRICHY         BY: SURFACE

Buffet breakfast at the hotel drive to Tanjore (180 kms / 06 – 07 hrs) enroute visiting Chidambaram. Continue your drive to Tanjore & upon arrival, check-in at hotel.

The Nataraja Temple Chidambaram

Thanjavur:   was the ancient capital of the Chola kings whose origins, go back to the beginning of the Christian era. Power struggles between these groups were a constant feature of their early history, with one or other gaining the ascendancy at various times. The Cholas’ turn for empire building came between 850 and 1270 AD and, at the height of their power. Probably the greatest chola emperors were Raja who was responsible for building the Brihadishwara Temple (Thanjavur main attraction) and his son Rajendra- I whose navy competed with the Arabs for controls of the Indian Ocean trade routes and who was responsible for bringing Srivijaya under Chola control.

Bridhdiswara-Temple-tanjore

Proceed for sightseeing tour of Tanjore – was 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

Royal Museum Tanjore

Later drive to Trichy (55 kms / 01 hrs)

Tiruchirappalli is situated in center Tamil Nadu, on the banks of the Cauvery river. It is 320 km from Madras and 150 km from Madurai. It was a Chola citadel during the Sangam Age and was also briefly ruled by the Pallavas and the Pandyas. Today, Trichy is a blend of history, a pilgrim center and a thriving commercial city.

Rock Fort Temple

 Proceed for sightseeing 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.

Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple

Later you will visit Island of Srirangam. Tiruchirapalli, called Tiruchi or Trichy in Short, was built by the Nayak rulers of Madurai around a rock fort. Tiruchi is on the banks of the Kaveri river and is famous for the Ranganatha Temple at Srirangam, 10 km away. The Rock fort is the center of the city and is a remarkable structure. About 83 meters high, the fort dominates the landscape. The Uchi pillaiyer Temple dedicated to lord Vinayaka or Ganesha. A total of 344 steps, cut into the rock lead to the temple. There is also the Tyaumanaswami Temple of lord Shiva half way up the hillock. There are also two cave temples in the fort with sculptures dating back to the 6th and 7th centuries. The Sri Jambukeswara Temple, at Tiruvankkaikaval, Srirangam is an island in the Kaveri river, north of Tiruchirapalli. The Ranganathaswami Temple here, built around 13th-14th centuries has 21 towers and stone pillars covered with fine carvings.

Sri-Ranganathaswami-Temple-1

Overnight at hotel

DAY 05:      TRICHY – MADURAI        BY: SURFACE

After buffet breakfast you will be driven to Madurai (130 kms / 04 hrs)

Madurai – Situated on the banks of river Vaigai, Madurai is more than 2,500 years old and has a rich cultural heritage and history. Madurai was an important cultural and commercial centre even as early as 550 AD. Madurai was the capital city for the great Pandya kings.

On arrival proceed to check in at the hotel.

Afternoon you will proceed for the sightseeing tour of Madurai City.

meenakshi temple madurai

Madurai’s main attraction is the famous Meenakshi temple located in the heart of the old town, a riotously baroque example of Dravidian architecture with gopurams (towers) covered from top to bottom with a breathless profusion of multi-colored images of gods, goddesses, animals and mythical figures.   The temple complex is a city within a city and one can spend days exploring its labyrinthine corridors and halls.  

Thirumalai-Nayaka-Palace

Another attraction is the Thirumalai Nayak Palace (1636) restored by Lord Napier, dance drama concerts are performed daily.

Bedtime of the God

In the evening, you will once again proceed to the Meenakshi temple complex 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.

Special note:Non- Hindus are not allowed inside the inner sanctum of the temple.

Overnight at the hotel.

DAY 06:               MADURAI – THEKKADY                           BY: SURFACE

After buffet breakfast you will proceed for Periyar (160 kms / 4.5 hrs).

The name Thekkady, brings to mind images of elephants, unending chains of hills and spice-scented plantations. Moreover, the flora and fauna of the Periyar wildlife sanctuary is absolutely thrilling. The wildlife sanctuary here is the natural habitat of a wide variety of animal species.

wildlife-sanctuary-of-Periyar

The Periyar Lake is a paradise for the nature lovers. It gives you an opportunity to observe the wild animals roaming in the jungle. The greatest attraction of Periyar Lake, however, is the herds of wild elephants that come down to play in the lake. Moreover, the Sanctuary Watch Tower situated in the forest interior gives you a panoramic view of the park.

Periyar

Other attractions of the sanctuary are the Sambhar, Bison, Spotted Deer, Tigers, Leopards, Malabar Flying Squirrels, Stripe necked Mongooses, etc. There are over 260 species of birds here including Nilgiri Wood Pigeons, blue-winged Parakeets, White bellied Tree Pies, laughing Thrushes and Fly Catchers.

On arrival proceed to check in at the hotel.

In the afternoon, proceed to Periyar National Park to view the wildlife by boat. Situated within the confines of the Western Ghats in the southern Indian state of Kerala, PeriyarNational Park and Tiger.

Periyar-Lake-Boat-Ride

Reserve is one of the most captivating wildlife parks in the world. The park has a picturesque lake at the heart of the sanctuary. Herds of elephant and sambar, gaur and wild pigs and wander down to the lakeside and can be observed from the launches that cruise the lake. Periyar also harbours the leopard, wild dog, barking deer and mouse deer.

Return to the hotel after your boat ride.

Overnight at the hotel.

DAY 07:    THEKKADY –  KUMARAKOM BY: SURFACE

After buffet breakfast you will proceed for Kumarakom (180 kms / 4.5 hrs)

On arrival proceed to check in at the hotel. 

Kumarakom-Bird-Sanctuary

Twelve kilometres to the west of Kottayam town lies a small village called Kumarakom. The village is a part of Kuttanad, the wonderland which lies below sea level. The Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary, spread over 14 acres of lush greenery and blue waters, is located on the banks of the Vembanad Lake. The sanctuary is home to local varieties of waterfowl, cuckoo, and water ducks, as well as migrating Siberian storks.

Rest of the day at leisure.

Overnight at the hotel.

DAY 08:   KUMARAKOM – ALLEPPY

After buffet breakfast you will proceed to board your houseboat.

Kettuvallom

Kettuvallams are huge, tapering barges which were traditionally used to cargo rice and other goods across Kerala. It has a portion covered with bamboo and coir serving as kitchen and rest rooms for the crew. These boats are entirely built without the use of nails. Planks of jack wood are woven together with coir ropes and coated with a black resin made from boiled cashew kernels

kettuvallamModern-day Kettuvallams called houseboats, carry finished bedrooms, modern toilets, cosy living rooms, a kitchen and even a balcony where tourists can laze on cushions. Sections of the carved roof of wood and plaited palms open out to provide shade and allow an uninterrupted view. Most of the boats are poled by local oarsmen. Some are powered by engines. Gliding on serene backwaters, visitors can witness an unspoilt Kerala

Overnight on board houseboat

DAY 09:    ALLEPPY – COCHIN

Morning disembark Houseboat and depart for Cochin by surface (90 Kms/2 Hrs).

Spice market Cochin

Cochin (Kochi) is spread across islands and promontories in a stunning location between the Arabian Sea and the Backwaters. The city was founded in 1341 when a flood created a natural safe port, which became the principal harbour for Malabar Coast’s spice trade. Cochin was on the main trade route between Europe and China. The rulers invited people of various religions to settle here, attracting the Jews and the Christians who built places of worship and their own communities.

Afternoon, you will proceed for the sightseeing tour of Cochin.

Jewish-Synagogue-Cochin

You will first proceed to Mattancherry and visit the oldest Jewish Synagogue (Closed on Saturdays & All the Jewish holidays)in India, built in 1568; it was destroyed by the Portuguese and rebuilt by the Dutch a century later.

Mattancherry Dutch Palace

You will also visit The Dutch Palace(Closed on Fridays)- which was built in 1555 and its coronation hall and murals at Ramayana are noteworthy features.

Kochi chinese fishnets

Chinese fishing nets. The cantilevered fishing nets line the entrance to the harbour mouth. Chinese traders are believed to have originally introduced them in the 14th century although, today parts of the nets are known by Portuguese names.

St. Francis ChurchYour next stop will be St. Francis Church, originally named after Santo Antonio 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. Originally a wooden building was replaced by the present stone building. Vasco De Gamma died on the site in 1524 and was originally buried in the cemetery. 14 years later his body was removed to Portugal. The church was renamed St. Francis in 1663.

Kathakali-dance

In the evening, you will be taken to a Kathakali dance centre where you will witness the most elaborate of the dance forms in southern India. Here you will witness the artists readying themselves up with the make up for the final performance.   Kerala owes its transnational fame to this nearly 300 years old classical dance form, which combines facets of ballet, opera, masque and the pantomime. It is said to have evolved from other performing arts like Kootiyattam, Krishnanattam and Kalarippayattu. Kathakali explicates ideas and stories from the Indian epics and Puranas. Presented in the temple precincts after dusk falls Kathakali is heralded by the Kelikottu or the beating of drums in accompaniment of the Chengila (gong).

Overnight at the hotel.

DAY 10:    COCHIN – GOA     BY FLIGHT                       

After buffet breakfast, you will be transferred to Cochin airport to board your flight to Goa via Mumbai/Bangalore.

Goa Beach

Upon arrival in Goa, a representative will meet you and transfer you to your hotel

Overnight at the hotel.

DAY 11:  GOA

After buffet breakfast, you will proceed for sightseeing tour of Goa.

Take a half day tour of Goa, starting from the slopes of Altinho hill for a breath-taking view of Panjim and river Mandovi.

Goa Beach

Drive to Donapaula for a view of India’s largest natural harbour, Marmagoa. Then on to Old Goa, the spiritual heart of Portuguese Goa to visit Basilica of Bom Jesus wherein is enshrined the body of St. Francis Xavier in an ornate silver casket.

se cathedral goa

Also visit St. Cathedral; the biggest Church in the East, St. Catejan built like St Peter’s of Rome, the Church of Lady Rosary and St. Monica.

basilica of bom jesus goa

Return to your hotel after the tour.

Overnight at the hotel.

DAY 12:   GOA

After buffet breakfast, remainder of the day at leisure.

Overnight at the hotel

DAY 13:    GOA – MUMBAI         BY FLIGHT

After buffet breakfast, you will board the flight to Mumbai

Upon arrival, you will proceed for the sightseeing tour of Mumbai city.

Bombay, or Mumbai, is the capital of Maharashtra and the economic powerhouse of India. It’s the fastest moving, most affluent and the most industrialized city in India. Yet, once upon a time, Bombay was nothing more than a group of low-lying, swampy and malarial mud flats presented to the British by its Portuguese occupiers as a wedding gift in 1661.

Dhobi Ghats mumbai

During your tour you will be driven to the Dhobi Ghats for a photo stop, that is a huge open-air laundry, which makes an interesting viewing.

Tower of Silence mumbai

You will be then driven to Malabar Hill (drive past) via the Tower of Silence (drive past) – a round stone construction on which Parsis place their dead to be eaten by the vultures and Hanging Gardens which is built over Bombay’s reservoir.

Marine Drive Mumbai

You will be then driven along Marine Drive, the sea – Front Boulevard. It is also known as the Queen’s Necklace as in the evening, the breeze from the Arabian Sea comes over Marine Drive and as the streetlights on this U-shaped road light up, the view from south Bombay’s skyscrapers or from the exclusive residential area, is that of a Queen’s Necklace. 

Victoria Terminus mumbai

You will than photo-stop at Victoria Terminus which is now known as Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus. This magnificent building was constructed for a period of 10 years. The construction work started in 1878 and was completed in the year 1888. The building was designed by F.W .Stevens, a famous architect of Britain. In 1882, on the occasion of New Year’s Eve this railway station started its operation in Mumbai.

Victoria Terminus is undoubtedly the Raj’s piece de resistance, Complete with carved stone friezes, stained glass windows and flying buttresses.

clock tower mumbaiYou will drive past Rajabai Tower is situated within the premises of the Fort campus of the Mumbai University. It is basically a clock tower that rises to a height of 85 m (280 ft) and houses the University Library. The top of the cupola is ornamented with sixteen statues depicting various Indian castes. The tower has been modelled after the Big Ben Clock Tower of the UK houses of Parliament, situated in London, and was built as per the designs of Sir George Gilbert Scott, an English architect. It was in March 1869 that the foundation stone of the Rajabai Clock Tower of Bombay was laid down.

mumbaiYou next stop will be to Gateway of India –the landmark of Bombay, which, was before the advent of air travel, the only gateway to India. It was built to commemorate the visit of King George and Queen Mary to India in 1911.

After sightseeing tour, you will have transferred to Mumbai airport for your final departure.

DAY 14  DEPARTURE MUMBAI  BY: INT FLIGHT

In early hours, you will check-out of your rooms and a INDUS TRIPS representative will meet you and transfer you to International airport to board your flight for back hom.

End of Tour

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10 Days South India Splendors Tour

kapaleeswarar temple chennai

Our South India Splendors Tour from Chennai is an enchanting journey that covers the best destinations in South of India. You will be visiting ancient temples, forts and palaces, beaches,  an elephant farm, visit Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary, a tribal village, spice gardens, stay in a houseboat and cruise through Kerala Backwaters,  watch Kathakali dance and Kalaripayattu – the oldest Martial Art form from South India. This tour is for couples, families, small groups and travel writers, photographers.

Duration:  10 Days / 9 Night

Places:  Chennai > Madurai > Periyar > Kumarakom > Alleppey > Cochin

10 Days South India Splendors Tour from Chennai

Itinerary:

Day 01: Arrive Chennai 

Chennai International Airport

You will arrive at Chennai Airport. Following customs, immigration formalities and baggage collection, our representative will meet you as you exit the arrival terminal after which you would be transferred to your hotel. Check in to your hotel. Stay overnight at hotel.

Day 02: Chennai

Full day sightseeing tour of Chennai. Founded in 1639, Chennai was the site of the first settlement of the East India Company. Sightseeing tour of the city visiting the Museum and Art Gallery ( closed on Friday).

Flower & Fruit Market Chennai

Drive through the Flower & Fruit Market; visit the Fort St. George (closed on Friday), which once served as the very first bastion of the East India Company. Within the Fort complex, is also the oldest Anglican Church in India, St Mary’s Church, built in 1678-1680.

fort st. george chennai

Drive along the Marina Beach, one of the longest beaches in the world.

kapaleeswarar temple chennaiAlso visit Kapaleeswarar Temple   (temple remain closed from 1230 -1600 hours) & San Thome Cathedral, which is said to contain the remains of St. Thomas the Apostle (Doubting Thomas) and drive past the Marina Beach.

marina beach chennai

Stay overnight at hotel.

Day 03: Chennai – Madurai (Flight) 

Breakfast at hotel. In -time transfer to airport to connect  flight to Madurai.

Arrive Madurai – Meeting and assistance on arrival at airport and transfer to hotel.

Thirumalai-Nayaka-PalaceAfternoon city tour visit the Thirumalai Nayak Palace and magnificent Shree Meenakshi temple – an excellent example of Dravidian architecture.

meenakshi temple madurai

Evening witness aarti ceremony at Meenakshi Temple. Stay overnight at hotel.

Day 04: Madurai – Periyar (Surface Drive) 

Drive to Thekkady. Arrive Periyar and check-in at hotel.

Elephant Camp periyar

Afternoon proceed for Elephant Camp – Elephant ride, bathing, washing, feeding, commanding and timber dragging.

Day 05: Periyar 

Early morning proceed for the boat ride in the Park for wildlife viewing.

wildlife-sanctuary-of-Periyar

Return for the breakfast at hotel. In the afternoon enjoy jeep safari to Ottakathalemedu Cross hills (approx 1500 meters above sea level).

Spice Plantation PeriyarDrive through cardamom coffee, pepper plantation to chellarcovil mettu  (1200 meters high from sea level). A small walk though the area (Black Tea/ cardamom tea & local snack served on the hill). En-route visiting the spice plantations cardamom, pepper, coffee, cinnamon, vanilla  and different spices.

tribal village periyarVisit Tribal village during the Jeep Safari.  Stay overnight at hotel/ resort.

Day 06: Periyar – Kumarakom (Surface Drive)

After breakfast, proceed to Kumarakom – the spectacular and inviting backwater destination. Arrive at Kumarakom by noon. Check-in to your hotel.

KumarakomThe rest of the day is at leisure to explore the beauty of the natural surrounding and serenity of the beaches. Stay overnight at hotel.

Day 07: Kumarakom – Alleppey (HouseBoat)

Breakfast at Hotel. By noon board Houseboat from resort jetty.

houseboat-from-Kumarakom-to-Alleppey

Lunch on board, cruise through the canals, witness the  serenity of the surroundings and the local lifestyle. Dinner on board.

Day 08: Alleppey – Cochin (Surface Drive) 

Awake early to experience a magical backwater morning. Breakfast on board Houseboat.

Disembark Houseboat (around 0930 hours) at Alleppey, where you will be met and transferred to Cochin, a short drive away. Upon arrival check in at the hotel. Afternoon is free for individual activities.

Kochi chinese fishnets

Cochin is a fascinating blend of medieval Portugal, Holland, an English country village and the local tropical Malabar culture. Here you see the India’s oldest church, old fashioned Chinese fishing nets, a classical Indian dance performance and five hundred year old Portuguese houses as you tour Cochin, a quiet seaside city in Kerala found here. Kathakali-dance

Evening witness Kathakali Dance performance in regular theater. Stay overnight at hotel.

Day 09: Cochin 

Mattancherry Dutch PalacePost breakfast proceed for a sightseeing tour of Cochin visiting the Dutch Palace (closed on Fridays), Jewish Synagogue (closed on Fridays and Saturdays).

Jewish-Synagogue-Cochin

Also visit the cantilevered Chinese fishing nets, St. Francis Church where Vasco da Gama was originally buried, and the Santa Cruz Church with its pastel colored interior and carved wooden panels.

St. Francis Church

Also witness the traditional martial of South India – Kalaripayattu.  Kalaripayattu is the oldest martial art form of Kerala in South India, is formed by the combination of two words Kalari means school, gymnasium and Payattu means to fight or exercise. This unique martial art form is said to be more than 2000 years old.

kalaripayattu danceStay overnight at hotel.

Day 10: Cochin 

In-time transfer from hotel to airport to board onward flight.

End of Tour

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13 Days Glimpses of South India Tour

Nandi at Nataraja Temple

Our Glimpses of South India Tour from Chennai is an enchanting journey through the best of destinations in South India. Visit ancient temples, wildlife sanctuaries, spice hardens, hill stations, backwaters and stay in a house boat. This enchanting tour is best for families and small groups.

Duration:  13 Days / 12 Nights

Places:  Chennai > KanchiPuram > Dakshinchitra > Mahabalipuram > Pondicherry > Chidambaram > Thanjore > Trichy > Madurai > Periyar > Alleppey > Kovalam > Cochin

13 Days Glimpses of South India Tour from Chennai

Itinerary:

DAY 1 – ARRIVE CHENNAI

Welcome to India – a country where hospitality is a way of life; to a culture steeped in tradition, a land where history lives in music and dance.

Chennai International AirportYou will be received at the airport in a traditional manner and transfer to the hotel for overnight stay.

DAY 2 – CHENNAI, KANCHIPURAM, DAKSHINCHITRA,  MAHABALIPURAM 

Morning after breakfast you will proceed to Mahabalipuram.

kailasanatha temple kanchipuram

En route visit the city of Kanchipuram covering Kailasanatha Temple (Dedicated to Siva, Kailasanatha is one of the earliest temples. It was built by the Pallava king, Rayasimha, in the late 7th century, though its front was added later by his son, King Varman III. It is the only temple at Kanchi which isn’t cluttered with the more recent additions of the Cholas and Vijayanagar rulers, and so reflects the freshness and simplicity of early Dravidian architecture) and The Sri Ekambarnathar Temple (It is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is one of the largest temples in Kanchipuram, covering nine hectares. Its 59 m high gopuram and massive outer stone wall were constructed in 1509 by Krishna Devaraja of the Vijayananagar Empire, though construction was originally started by the Pallavas and the temple was later extended by the Cholas. Inside are five separates enclosures and a 1000- pillared hall. The temple’s name is said to be a modified form of Eka Amra Nathar — the Lord of the Mango tree. and in one of the enclosure is a very old mango tree with four branches representing the four Vedas. The fruit of each of the four branches is said to have a different taste, and a plaque nearby claims that the tree is 3500 years old).

dakshinachitra chennai

Post lunch drive down to Dakshinachitra (Roughly translated in this context, means ‘Picture of South India’. It is a depiction of the way of life prevalent in South India. A trip down Dakshinachitra takes you back to traditional home architecture from Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Karnataka. Started with the objective to revive, preserve and promote the arts and crafts of South India, it also serves as heritage education for visitors from outside South India and also for children who have never had the opportunity to experience their culture).

Arrive Mahabalipuram in the evening and check-in at your hotel for overnight stay.

DAY 3  MAHABALIPURAM, PONDICHERRY

Morning after breakfast you will proceed for a sightseeing of Mahabalipuram.

arjuna's penance mahabalipuramPay a visit to Arjuna’s Penance (Carved in relief on the face of a huge rock, Arjuna’s Penance is the mythical story of the River Ganges issuing from its source high in the Himalaya . The panel depicts animals, deities and other semi-divine creatures, fable from the Panchatantra, and Arjuna doing a penance to obtain a boon from Siva.

Shore Temple

The Shore Temple (This beautiful and romantic temple, ravaged by wind and sea, represents the final phase of Pallavas art and was built in the late 7th century during the reign of Rajasimha. It is believed that at one point in time there were seven such temples, six of them were victims to the natural elements of erosion. This temple has three shrines; one dedicated to Lord Vishnu and the other two to Lord Shiva. The frothy waves form a striking backdrop to the temple, protected by rows of rock-carved bulls. The most unique feature of the temple is that it houses shrines to both Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu), Krishna Mandapam (There are eight mandapams ( shallow, rock-cut halls ) scattered over the main hill, two of which have been left unfinished. they are mainly of interest for their internal figure sculptures.

krishna mandapam mahabalipuram

One of the earliest rock-cut temples is the Krishna Mandapam. It features carvings of a pastoral scene showing Krishna lifting up the Govardhana mountain to protect his kinsfolk from the wrath of Indra.

rathasmahabalipuramOn the hill rests a dangerously balanced boulder named Krishna’s Butterball after his legendary affinity for fresh butter) and Five Rathas (These are the architectural prototypes of all Dravidian temples, demonstrating the imposing gopurams and vimanas, multi pillared halls and sculptured walls which dominate the landscape of Tamil Nadu).

Post sightseeing drive down to  Pondicherry (Pondicherry was a French colony at one time but in 1954 it was restored to India by the French. Neat & charming, Pondicherry has a beautiful beach & a refreshing sea).

pondicherry french colony 1

Arrive and check-in at your hotel.

Afternoon to explore Pondicherry. On the eastern side of Indian peninsula, Pondicherry is a seaside resort. But at the same time it differs very much from a typical beach resort. Tourist attractions in Pondicherry lie in its ambience. Old French style buildings, churches and museums, tree-lined boulevards along the seashore would remind you of a bygone era.

pondicherry french colony The laidback township, pristine beach and the palm trees swaying in breeze bring a slice of serenity. The only sound you can hear is the waves crashing against the rocks and the chirping of the birds.

auroville ashram pondicherryBut to cap it all, the Auroville Ashram is the biggest of all tourist attractions in Pondicherry. Just because of it, the destination of Pondicherry exudes a spiritual aura. For the weary soul, this is an ideal retreat. Any evening head for the Ashram, meditate, soothe the battered psyche.

DAY 4  PONDICHERRY, CHIDAMBARAM, THANJORE 

Morning after breakfast visit Pondicherry.

aurobindo ashramThe places of attraction are Sri Aurobindo Ashram (Where Sri Aurobindo and the Mother lived for the most parts of their lives, attracts tourists to this little city), The Pondicherry Museum (Is home to some of the most exquisite collections on architecture and sculpture). Another interesting site in Pondicherry could be the Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Pondicherry also has a pleasant beach alongside promenade and historical monuments.

church of the sacred heart of jesus pondicherry

Post sightseeing dirve down to Thanjore.

The Nataraja Temple Chidambaram

En route visit Chidambaram covering The Nataraja Temple (Located in centre of the town, it is one of the most ancient temples of Tamil Nadu. The top roof of the sanctrum is covered with gold plates and strings. The presiding deity of the temple is representative of air, one of the five elements of the universe, and is known as ‘Akasa Lingam’. There is a shrine known as Chitrakootam dedicated to lord Govindarajan adjacent to the Nataraja shrine.

There are five halls in the temples – Nritha Sabha is the Hall of Immortal Dance. This sabha has fifty pillars depicting dancing figures. Here, the stone pulsates with rhythm and life. Deva sabha is the hall of festivals and meeting place of the administrators. The Raja sabha is the 1000 pillars-hall measuring 103 meters and 58 meters wide where the Pandya, the Cholas and others celebrated their victories) and The Kali Temple.

Arrive Thanjavur in the afternoon and check-in at the hotel for overnight stay.

DAY 5   THANJORE, TRICHY, MADURAI 

Morning after breakfast you will proceed for a tour of Tanjore City.

Bridhdiswara-Temple-tanjore

Pay a visit to The Brihadeeswara Temple (The Brihadeeswara Temple is the main attraction of Tanjore. The massive temple built by Rajaraja Chola reflects the Cholas’ contribution to the development of arts in this area. It is also regarded as the Chola dynasty’s finest contribution to the Dravidian temple architecture. Listed as a World Heritage site, the temple is visited by a large number of people for the regular worship here. The temple is characterized by its unique structure.

tanjoreUnlike the usual South Indian temples, the Brihadeeswara temple has a soaring vimana and a stunted gopuram. It was constructed from a single piece of granite weighing an estimated 80 tonnes and the dome was hauled into place along a 4-km earthwork ramp in a manner similar to the Egyptian pyramids. A huge Nandi, about 6 m long and 3.7 m high, faces the inner sanctum. The statue of Nandi was created from a single rock piece and weighs 25 tonnes. It is in fact one of the largest statues of Nandi bulls in India) and The Palace (The Palace of Tanjore also makes an important tourist destination.

The Palace of Tanjore

The royal Palace near the massive Brihadeeswara temple is characterized by its vast corridors, large halls, shady courtyards and observation and arsenal towers. Built by the Nayaks in the mid-16th century, the Palace was completed by the Marathas. The Durbar Hall of the palace still retains the grandeur of the bygone era. The palace also functions as a Royal Museum housing a diverse collection of royal remnants, compilations of the early 19th century, the king’s slippers, head dresses and hunting tools).

Royal Museum Tanjore

Post sightseeing drive down to Madurai while visiting Trichy en route.

Rock Fort Temple

Pay a visit to The spectacular Rock Fort Temple (The landmark of the city, is on the shores of the Kaveri. It is perched on a massive rocky outcrop at an altitude of 83 m above sea level.

The Thayumanaswamy Temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva (the destroyer in the Hindu trinity), is situated halfway to the top. It has a 100-pillar hall and a Vimana covered with gold. On the southern face of the rock are several beautifully carved rock-cut cave temples of the Pallava period)

The Jambukeshwara Temple

The Jambukeshwara Temple (Dedicated to Lord Shiva, is situated just 2 km east of Srirangam and houses five concentric walls and seven gopurams. Legend has it that an elephant once worshiped the Lord under the holy Jambu tree, and hence the name Jambukeshwara. The principal deity is the Shiva lingam, almost submerged in water, which flows from the subterranean spring in the sanctum.

Arrive Madurai in the afternoon and check-in at the hotel for overnight stay.

DAY 6  MADURAI 

Morning after breakfast, we will take you for a city tour of Madurai covering Meenakshi Temple (This temple is the city’s main attraction.

meenakshi temple madurai 1

This temple is nearly 2000 years old placed in the heart of the old town – a splendid example of Dravidian architecture. The present temple was designed in 1560 by Vishwanatha Nayak and subsequently built during the reign of Tirumalai Nayak. There are four entrances to the temple with an area of six hectares. Each of its 12 towers has the height of 45 to 50 meters. The Potrama Raikulam or the Golden Lotus Tank is the place where the Tamil literacy society, called Sangam used to meet to decide the merits of the work presented to them.

Meenakshi TempleThe temple museum has 985 richly carved pillars and each one surpasses the other in beauty) and Tirumalay Nayak Mahal (This Indo-Saracenic building was constructed in 1523 and was originally four times large are today).

Also enjoy a rickshaw ride during your sightseeing. Evening witness aarti ceremony at Meenakshi Temple and then back to hotel for overnight stay.

DAY 7 – MADURAI , PERIYAR

Morning after breakfast proceed to Periyar. Upon arrival, check-in at the hotel.

wildlife-sanctuary-of-Periyar

Afternoon proceed for a boat ride in Periyar National Park (Thekkady – The very sound of the name conjures up images of elephants, unending chains of hill and spice scented plantations. Here, in the crisp, cool air of the Western Ghats you will experience the most enchanting holiday. With the animals of the wild and the simple mountain people.

tribal village periyarIn the Periyar forest of Thekkady is one of the finest wildlife reserves in India, and spread across the entire district are picturesque plantations and hill towns that hold great opportunities for treks and mountain walks.

PeriyarNotable among the denizens of Periyar are the tigers, the majestic Asiatic wild elephants and the distinctive Nilgiri langur with an all black body and white face. Other creatures include wild boar, wild dog, bison, bear and leopards. Amongst the avifauna, the most profuse are herons, egrets, darters, kingfishers and the great Malabar grey hornbill.

Boat Ride in Lake PeriyarA cruise through the waters of Periyar lake around which the wild -life sanctuary is situated, offers a soul – stirring pleasant experience).

Evening back to the hotel for overnight stay.

DAY 8 – PERIYAR

Morning after breakfast drive down to Allepey – a town in Alappuzha Dirstrict full of picturesque canals, backwaters, beaches, and lagoons..

kuttanad alleppey

Kuttanad, the rice bowl of Kerala with the unending stretch of paddy fields, small streams and canals with lush green coconut palms , was well known even from the early periods of the Sangam age. History says Alappuzha had trade relations with ancient Greece and Rome in B.C and in the Middle Ages, as well as with other parts of India.

houseboat-from-Kumarakom-to-Alleppey

Upon arrival, take your House Boat for an Overnight Round Cruise of Allepey (The sweeping network of canals honey-combing the town of Alleppey (Alappuzha) has earned for the place its sobriquet – “The Venice of the East”. Small, low-slung country boats are the taxis of this waterland.

All India Tour Packages

DAY 9 – ALLEPPEY, KOVALAM

Morning after breakfast drive to Kovalam

kovalam kerala

Day at leisure.

Overnight at the Hotel.

DAY 10 and 11 – KOVALAM

Day at leisure. Relax by the beach or go for a full day excursion to Kanyakumari.

Kanyakumari kerala

Overnight at the Hotel.

DAY12 – KOVALAM, COCHIN

Morning after breakfast drive to Cochin. On arrival check in at the Hotel.

Kathakali-dance

Later in the evening, enjoy a performance of the highly ritualized “Kathakali” dance which tells stories from the ancient Hindu epics – Ramayana and Mahabarata. Performances begin with the application of elaborate makeup which is based in traditional Ayurvedic principles.

Overnight at the Hotel.

DAY13 – COCHIN, DEPART

St. Francis ChurchMorning  a guided tour of the city covering St. Francis Church (St. Francis Church was originally named as Santo Antonio. It is the first church to have been built in the new European influenced style and tradition. The original wooden building of 1510 was soon replaced by the present building around 1546.

St. Francis ChurchVasco da Gama died here in 1524 and was originally buried in the church, fourteen years later his body was removed back to Portugal. The church has an impressive facade. Inside the chancel is separated from the nave by a plain arch. The use of the arch is in sharp contrast to traditional Indian use of flat overlapping slabs or corbelling, a bit like Trinity Church, Bangalore.

Mattancherry Dutch PalaceThe Mattancherry Palace or “Dutch Palace” (Also known as Dutch Palace, the Mattancherry palace with its medieval charm is situated at Palace Road, Mattancherry, 10km from Ernakulam city, Kochi, Kerala. Built by the Portuguese and presented to the Raja of Kochi Veera Kerala Varma (1537-65) in 1555 AD, it took on its present popular name ‘Dutch Palace’ after 1663, when the Dutch carried out some extensions and renovations in the palace)

Kochi chinese fishnets

Chinese Fishing Nets

Jewish-Synagogue-Cochin

You also see the Jew City with the Jewish Synagogue, constructed in 1568, with hand-painted, willow-pattern floor tiles brought from Canton in the mid-18th century by a Rabbi, who had trading interest in that city.

Evening at leisure.

In time, transfer to the airport to board the flight for onward destination.

End of Tour

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9 Days Scenic Kerala Tour

Elephant Camp periyar

Kerala, situated on the tropical Malabar Coast of southwestern India, is the most popular tourist destinations in India. Named as one of the ten paradises of the world by National Geographic Traveler, Kerala is famous especially for its ecotourism initiatives and beautiful backwaters. Our Scenic Kerala Tour from Cochin is a travel extravaganza which covers the best destinations in Kerala and gives to you a rich memorable holiday experience. It is a tour for couples, families and small groups. Come discover God’s own country!

Duration:  9 Days / 8 Nights

Places:  Cochin > Munnar > Periyar > Kumarakom > Alleppey > Kovalam > Trivandrum

9 Days Scenic Kerala Tour from Cochin

Itinerary:

Day 1- Cochin 

You will arrive at Cochin International Airport. Following customs, immigration formalities and baggage collection, our representative will meet you as you exit the Arrival terminal building after which you would be transferred to your hotel. Upon arrival, check-in at the hotel.

Cochin-International-Airport

Kochi (colonial name Cochin) is a vibrant city situated on the south-west coast of the Indian peninsula in the breathtakingly scenic and prosperous state of Kerala, hailed as ‘God’s Own Country’. Its strategic importance over the centuries is underlined by the sobriquet Queen of the Arabian Sea. Informally, Cochin is also referred to as the Gateway to Kerala.

Kochi chinese fishnets

Later sightseeing tour of Cochin. Sightseeing includes the visit of Cochin: Dutch Palace, Jewish Synagogue (Closed on Friday), St Francis Church, Chinese fishing nets Evening Kathakali dance performance.

Jewish-Synagogue-Cochin

Mattancherry Dutch Palace

Kathakali-dance

Overnight stay at hotel in Cochin

Day 2 – In Cochin – Munnar (140 kms/4 Hours) 

Drive from Cochin-Munnar.

tea gardens munnar

Munnar – is breathtakingly beautiful – a haven of peace and tranquility – the idyllic tourist destination in God’s own country. Set at an altitude of 6000 ft in Idukki district, Munnar was the favored summer resort of the erstwhile British rulers in the colonial days. Unending expanse of tea plantations – pristine valleys and mountains- exotic species of flora and fauna in its wild sanctuaries and forests – aroma of spice scented cool air – yes! Munnar has all these and more. It’s the place you would love to visit.

Upon arrival in Munnar check-in at hotel. Rest of the day is at leisure to explore the city on your own

Overnight stay in Munnar

Day 3 – In Munnar 

The day is at leisure to explore the city on your own.

Optional possible visit’s: Tea Museum, Eravilkulum National Park

eravikulam national park munnar
eravikulam national park munnar
echo point munnar
echo point munnar

Overnight stay at hotel in Munnar

Day 4 – Munnar – Periyar (50 kms/Approx. 1 Hours 20 mins) 

Drive from Munnar to Periyar.

wildlife-sanctuary-of-Periyar

The drive to Periyar is enchanting as the road winds through tranquil countryside, rich plantations & thick jungles. Thekkady (Idukki district) is the location of the Periyar National Park, which is an important tourist attraction in the Kerala. The Periyar Wildlife sanctuary is spread across 777 km² (300 sq. miles), of which 360 km (139 sq. miles) is thick evergreen forest. This Wild Life Sanctuary was declared a Tiger Reserve in 1978. The splendid artificial lake formed by the Mullaperiyar Dam across the Periyar River adds to the charm of the park.

PeriyarThe greatest attraction of Periyar is the herds of wild elephants that come down to play in the lake. Thekkady is also considered a heaven for natural spices such as black pepper, cardamom, cinnamon and clove.Upon arrival in Periyar check-in at hotel.

Spice Plantation Periyar

Evening boat ride at Lake Periyar for Game Viewing.

Periyar-Lake-Boat-Ride

Overnight stay at hotel in Periyar.

Day 5 – Periyar – Kumarakom (117 kms/2 Hours 30 mins) 

Drive from Periyar to Kumarakom.

Upon arrival in Kumarakom check-in at hotel.

The village of Kumarakom is a cluster of little islands on the Vembanadu Lake in Kerala. It is home to a wide variety of flora and fauna and is noted for its bird sanctuary where many species of migratory birds visit.

Kumarakom-Bird-Sanctuary

The Vembanad Lake, the largest backwater in Kerala, is also habitat for many marine and freshwater fish species and it teems with Karimeen, Shrimp and Prawns. It is a major tourist attraction.The gorgeous green of the fringed palms ripple in the blue waters and blend into wavelets. The people on the banks of Vembanadu Lake are generally peace-loving and follow a neat and healthy lifestyle. Their dressing is immaculate, usually spotless whites. The food mainly consists of rice and fish. Fish is a very important item in their menu for lunch and dinner.

Kumarakom

Day 6 – Kumarakom – Alleppey (33 kms/Approx 40 mins) 

Drive from Kumarakom to Alleppey.

Kettuvallom

Kettuvallams, the stitched boats provide the best way to experience the colorful backwaters of Kerala. The wood commonly used to make Kettuvallams is ‘Anhili’, which is found in abundance in central Travancore area. Large planks are tied together using hand made coir ropes and beaten coconut fibers. kettuvallamThis gives the Kettuvallams enough strength to withstand heavy waves in the sea. Kettuvallams are built entirely without the use of nails. It requires great skill and adroitness to construct these giant boats by tying huge planks of jack wood together. The boats are applied with fish oil and cashew nut oil and left to cure for days. With careful maintenance, they last for generations.

Upon arrival embark the Houseboat.

Overnight stay in Houseboat.

Day 7 – Alleppey – Kovalam (175 kms/Approx. 4 Hours) 

Drive from Alleppey to Kovalam

kovalam keralaKovalam offers an excellent diversity with Kovalam beach to suit all desires and occasions. Three curve shaped beaches, alienated by stony outcroppings, from the major attraction of this coastal resort. Backed by precipitously mounting headlands and covered by fertile coconut palms, the beaches, especially the southernmost part of lighthouse beach.

Upon arrival in Kovalam check-in at hotel. Rest of the day is at leisure to enjoy the beach on your own.

Overnight stay at hotel in Kovalam.

Day 8 – In Kovalam 

Day free to relax by the beach.. else you have option of full day excursion to Kanyakumari.

Kanyakumari kerala

Overnight stay at hotel in Kovalam.

Day 9 – Kovalam – Trivandrum (17 kms/Approx 20 mins)/Onward 

Today on time drive to Trivandrum airport to connect the flight for Onward journey

End of Tour

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13 Days Mumbai and Karnataka Tour

Jami Masjid Bijapur

Karnataka is in southwest India with Arabian Sea coastlines. Our Mumbai and Karnataka Tour is for those who like history and mystery. On this tour you will visit caves, ancient temples, stunning palaces, formidable forts and spend some time at Goa – the world’s favorite beach destination! This beautiful tour is for photographers, writers and deep thinkers.

Duration:  13 Days / 12 Nights

Places:  Mumbai > Bangalore > Srirangapatnam > Mysore > Chikmagalur > Hospet > Bijapur > Badami > Goa > Mumbai

Itinerary:

Day 01: Mumbai 

Arrive Mumbai – Meeting & assistance on arrival at Airport.

mumbai chhatrapati shivaji international airport

Transfer to hotel. Stay overnight at hotel

Day 02: Mumbai 

Breakfast at hotel is followed with the sightseeing tour of Mumbai.

Elephanta Caves

Visit Elephanta Caves (closed on Monday) – The Elephanta Caves are characterized by rock temples carved out of two hills that emerge from the centre of the island. It is said that the Portuguese named this island after the stone elephant they found here. At Elephanta you can see the cave shrine to Lord Shiva, which belongs to the sixth century, and a massive three-headed sculpture representing Brahma the creator, Vishnu the preserver, and Shiva the destroyer.

Prince of Wales Museum

Afternoon visit Prince of Wales Museum (Closed on Monday), Mani Bhawan, Choppati and Dhobi Ghat( washermen point). Prince of Wales museum has a priceless collection of art, sculpture, china and other antics carefully preserved. This Mid-Victorian Gothic style building with beautiful gardens surrounding it was built in 1904. Stay overnight at hotel.

Day 03: Mumbai –Bangalore (Flight)

After breakfast check out of the hotel. In time transfer to airport to connect flight to Bangalore.

Bangalores-botanical-gardens

On arrival at Bangalore, transfer to your hotel. Afternoon proceed for Bangalore city sightseeing –  Beautiful gardens to serene lake to magnificent palaces, the city offers a wide variety to its visitors.

Palace-of-Tipu-Sultan

Visit Tipu Sultan’s Palace – Tipu Sultan Palace was initially built by Kempe Gowda, the founder of Bangalore. The fort was later extended by Tipu Sultan, the Emperor of Mysore. Situated near the City Market, the fort dates back to the year 1537.

bull temple bangalore

Also visit Bull Temple, Lalbagh – Hyder Ali, the Emperor of Mysore laid the foundation of the Lal Bagh Botanical Gardens in the 18th century. The gardens were later completed by his son, Tipu Sultan. Vidhana Soudha is the seat of the state legislature of Karnataka and is one of the most impressive buildings in Bangalore. Stay overnight at hotel.

Day 04:  Bangalore – Srirangapatnam – Mysore (Surface Drive)

After Early breakfast, drive to Mysore en-route visit Srirangapatnam, the city established by King Hyder Ali and his son Tipu Sultan.

Sri-Ranganathaswami-Temple-1

Visit Sri Ranganathaswami temple. Srirangam is the foremost of the eight self-manifested shrines (Swayam Vyakta Kshetras) of Lord Vishnu . It is also considered the first, foremost and the most important of the 108 main Vishnu temples (Divyadesams). This temple is also known as Thiruvaranga Tirupati, Periyakoil, Bhoologa Vaikundam, Bhogamandabam. This temple lies on an islet formed by the twin rivers Cauvery and Coleroon. After visit continue drive to Mysore. Stay overnight at hotel.

Day 05: Mysore

After breakfast at hotel drive for excursion to Somnathpur.

Somnathpur temples

Somnathpur’s temples adhere to the typical Hoysala style of architecture, where the temple is designed as a mini cosmos with scenes carved on the walls including Gods, Goddesses, dancing girls, musicians, gurus and all kinds of animals including elephants, lions, cows and monkeys. Its unique design and perfect symmetry are ignored amidst the farms and agricultural lands of surrounding villages.

Afternoon visit Mysore city – Mysore Palace and Chamundi hills and the local market. Stay overnight at hotel.

Day 06: Mysore – Chikmagalur (Surface Drive)

After Breakfast drive to Chikmagalur en-route visit 12th Century Hoysala Temple at Belur and Halebid (museum closed on Fridays).

Hoysala Temple at Belur

The small towns of Belur and Halebid in Karnataka are home to some of the most unique temples in South India.

Hoysala Temple at Belur

These temples are known for their unique detailed carvings and sculptures. The Hoysala temple artists were extremely skilled craftsmen, and the Hoysala temples are famous for their incredibly detailed decorations and their unique soapstone sculptures.

temples-at-Halebid

Stay overnight at hotel.

Day 07 : Chikmagalur – Hospet (Surface Drive)             

Post Breakfast check out of the hotel and drive to Hospet. Arrive at Hospet and check-in at hotel.

Hospet

Hospet is 12 km from the World Heritage site consisting of the ruins of the medieval city of Vijayanagara, former capital of the Vijayanagara Empire.  Stay overnight at hotel.

Day 08: Hospet – Hampi – Hospet (Surface Drive)

Breakfast at hotel. Check out of the hotel and drive to Hospet.

HampiFull day excursion to Vijayanagar ruins at Hampi. Hampi is situated on the banks of the Tungabhadra river. Hampi is also the World Heritage Site.

On arrival check in and stay overnight at hotel.

Day 09: Hospet – Bijapur (Surface Drive)

After breakfast drive to Bijapur.

Gol Gumbaz Bijapur

Afternoon visit Gol Gumbaz-  The most important attraction in Bijapur. Gol Gumbaz is an architectural wonder and the largest dome in the world. The dome dominates miles of area by its sheer size and it is difficult to suppress the urge to see the dome once you are there. Ibrahim Roza – The tomb of the illustrious Adil Shahi Sultan Ibrahim II (1580-1627). The tomb is built to perfection and is an example of unstinting technical care and skilled artistry without any equals.

Jami Masjid Bijapur

Jama Masjid – Built in 1686, during the rule of Adil Shah I, the Jami Masjid of Bijapur is a stately structure that is sober and massive.

Gagan Mahal Bijapur

Gagan Mahal -was built by Adil Shah I (1561) as a part of the palace-cum-audience hall. Saat Manzil or the seven-storey tower near the Gagan Mahal is now mostly in ruins.

Bijapur Castle

Bijapur Castle – The 16th-century Bijaipur Castle was built by Rao Shakti Singh, the younger brother of Maharana Pratap Singh in the 16th century.  Stay overnight at hotel.

Day 10: Bijapur – Badami (Surface Drive) 

Post breakfast drive to Badami. Check in at your hotel.

Ceiling carvings of Durga temple, Aihole

Afternoon visit to Aihole and Pattadakal – The ancient temple cities of state Karnataka. Both towns were the capitals of the Chalukya Empire.

Pattadakal

Pattadakal showcases some of the rare specimen of temple art forms of ancient India depicting a marvelous blend of North and South Indian architectural. Virupaksha temple is considered the masterpiece. The group of monuments in Pattadakal were nominated in 1987 by UNESCO for its world cultural heritage list. Stay overnight at hotel.

Day 11: Badami– Goa (Surface Drive) 

Post breakfast drive to Goa. Check in to hotel. Day at leisure.

Goa Beach

Stay overnight at hotel

Day 12: Goa

Breakfast at hotel is followed with the sightseeing tour of Goa.

Visit the famous Churches of Old Goa and Temples followed with the free time to relax at the beaches.

basilica of bom jesus goa

The sight seeing tour starts with the visit to Basilica of Bom Jesus – The sacred relics of the patron saint of Goa St. Francis Xavier are kept here. The basilica is one the world heritage monuments and of the seven heritage monuments in Goa.

se cathedral goa

Visit to Se Cathedral – This is the largest cathedral in Asia. The Se cathedral has five bells out of which one is the famous Golden Bell which is one the largest in the world.

fort aguada goa

Visit to Fort Aguada – The fort was one of the most important places in Goa and the most crucial of all forts in Goa. Stay overnight at hotel.

Day 13 : Goa – Mumbai (Flight) 

Breakfast at hotel, morning at leisure in hotel.

Afternoon check out of the hotel and in time transfer to airport to connect flight to Mumbai. On arrival Mumbai transfer to International Airport to connect onward flight.

End of Tour

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7 Days Cochin Periyar Kumarakom Alleppey Tour

houseboat-from-Kumarakom-to-Alleppey

Cochin is a city in southwest India’s coastal Kerala state. It has been a port since 1341, when a flood carved out its harbor and opened it to Arab, Chinese and European merchants. Sites reflecting those influences include Fort Kochi, a settlement with tiled colonial bungalows and diverse houses of worship. Cantilevered Chinese fishing nets, typical of Kochi, have been in use for centuries. This Tour covers Periyar, Kumarakom and Alleppey – the most beautiful destinations in Kerala – God’s own country!

Duration:  7 Days / 6 Nights

Places:  Cochin > Periyar > Kumarakom > Alleppey > Cochin

7 Days Cochin Periyar Kumarakom Alleppey Tour

Itinerary:

Day 01 – Arrive Cochin

Upon arrival in Cochin new name Kochi you will be met and transferred to hotel.

Cochin-International-Airport

Afternoon free to relax or to do your own activities

Overnight:  hotel in Cochin

Day 02 – Cochin

At 0900 hrs you will be taken for morning city tour of Cochin visiting Jewish Synagogue, Chinese Fishing Net & Mattanchery Dutch Palace, St. Francis Church.

Kochi chinese fishnets

Jewish-Synagogue-Cochin

Mattancherry Dutch Palace

Afternoon free to relax

Overnight :  Hotel in Cochin

Day 03 – Cochin / Periyar (195 kms, 5 hours drive)

At 0845 hrs you will be driven from Cochin to Periyar (a few miles away from civilization, there is a place, the abode of many rare animals, birds and plants in the western ghats in Kerala, the land of green magic) and checkin at hotel.

wildlife-sanctuary-of-Periyar

Rest of the day free to relax.

Overnight :  hotel in Periyar

Day 04  – Periyar 

At 0630 hrs, you will be taken for a Boatride (public boat sharing with other passengers) to view wildlife on the bank of Periyar Lake.

Boat Ride in Lake Periyar

At 1130 hrs you will taken for spice plantation tour.

Spice Plantation Periyar

Rest of the day at leisure

Overnight :  Hotel in Periyar

Day 05 – Periyar / Kumarakom (135 kms, 3 hours drive)

At 0945 hrs you will be driven from Periyar to Kumarakom – a cluster of little islands on the Vembanad Lake and checkin at hotel.

Kumarakom

Rest of the day free to relax.

Overnight :  Hotel in Kumarakom

Day 06 – Kumarakom / Alleppey (20 kms, 30 minutes drive)

 At 1130 hrs you will be driven from Kumarakom to Alleppey Jetty Point (when someone steps aboard a Kettuvallam, they step back into history, for these “moving masterpiece” have been plying the inland waterways of southwest India for untold centuries) and checkin at house boat.

houseboat-from-Kumarakom-to-Alleppey

Your houseboat will move slowly thru’ narrow canals & backwater where you will see paddy fields, temples, churches, coconut palm trees, island etc.

Kumarakom-House-Boat-1

Overnight :  Houseboat in Alleppey

Day 07 – Alleppey/ Cochin (90 kms, 2 hrs drive)

At 1000 hrs your houseboat will reach Jetty point and then driven from Alleppey to Cochin Airport.

End of Tour

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11 Days Highlights of South India Tour

meenakshi temple madurai

Unique history, ancient temples, enchanting traditions, dance forms, delightful cuisine, beautiful beaches and architectural wonders have made South India one of the most popular tourist destinations in India.

Our Highlights of South India Tour from Cochin is an enchanting journey where you will meet tribals of South India, walk through spice gardens, enjoy a boat ride through backwaters, visit an Elephant Camp , discover an ancient civilization, an alternate way of life, stunning temples, old monoliths and also watch Kathakali dance performance. This tour is great for couples, families and small groups.

Duration:  11 days / 10 Nights

Places:  Cochin > Madurai > Tanjore > Trichy > Mahabalipuram > Chennai

11 Days Highlights of South India Tour from Cochin

Itinerary:

DAY 01:  ARRIVE COCHIN 

Arrive Cochin. Cochin has been variously hailed as Queen of the Arabian Sea, Venice of Orient, etc. Some choose to call it simply a museum city for its rich past and colorful present.

Cochin-International-Airport-1024x433

On arrival, transfer to the hotel (Rooms will be available from 1200 hrs)

Overnight at the hotel

DAY 02:  COCHIN       

Today enjoy the city tour, which includes the visit to the following:

St. Francis ChurchSt. Francis Church: 

It is the oldest church built by Europeans in India. On his 3rd visit to Kerala, Vasco da Gama, the Portuguese trader who reached India from Europe by sea, fell ill and died in Kochi. He was buried in the St. Francis Church. Later his remains were taken back to Portugal. In spite of that, his burial spot inside the church has been clearly marked out.

Jewish-Synagogue-CochinJewish Synagogue: 

The synagogue, built in 1568, is magnificently decorated by Chinese tiles and Belgian chandeliers. Giant scrolls of the Old Testament can be found here. It is located near the Dutch Palace in Mattancherry.

Mattancherry Dutch Palace

Note: It remains closed on Fridays and Saturdays. Timings for the visit: 0900 hrs to 1200 hrs and from 1500 hrs to 1700 hrs.

Dutch Palace: 

The Dutch Palace was originally built by the Portuguese. Later, in 17th century, the Dutch modified it and presented it to the Raja of Kochi.

Mattancherry Dutch PalaceCoronation of many Rajas of Kochi were held here. The palace has a fine collection of mural paintings depicting scenes from the Hindu epics Mahabharatha and Ramayana. The palace is located in Mattancherry.

Note: It remains closed on Fridays. Timings for the visit: 1000 hrs to 1700 hrs.

Chinese Fishing Nets:

The Chinese fishing nets (Cheenavala) are distinctly unique to Cochin. It is believed that traders from the court of the Chinese ruler Kublai Khan introduced these nets here. Oddly, these nets are found only in Kochi, outside China! Many fishermen earn their livelihood by fishing using these massive nets. A whole stretch of the coast along Fort Kochi and Vypeen are dotted with these nets.

Kochi chinese fishnets

 

In the evening enthrall yourself with a special presentation of the colorfully costumed Kathakali Dance Drama in a local theater. Kathakali is a traditional dance form of Kerala and the impressive facial expressions, hand gestures and dance moves will leave one spellbound.

Kathakali-dance

Overnight at the hotel

DAY 03: COCHIN – BACKWATERS (65 Kms /01 hr 30 min)           

After breakfast,drive to the jetty to board House-boat (Kettuvallom) on the World famous Backwaters of Kerala.

Kettuvallom

“Kettu” literally means to tie up and “Vallom” means ” boats”. The boats played a major role in the economic development of ancient Kerala, moving cargo and men from the very nook and corner of otherwise unreachable area, cutting across the length and breadth of the land.

Overnight on Houseboat

DAY 04:  BACKWATERS – PERIYAR

After breakfast on the rice boat (Kettuvallom) get down at jetty and drive to Periyar. On arrival in Periyar, transfer to hotel.

tribal village periyar

Later drive to a tribal village. This will be a very nice and interesting 01 hour visit whereby the clients will be able to observe the lifestyle of the Tribals from close quarters.

Elephant Camp periyar

After the visit, drive to an Elephant Camp where we will organize elephant bathing and elephant feeding. We will also organize a 30 min Elephant ride. After visiting Elephant Camp, visit a Spice Plantation.

Spice Plantation Periyar Spice Plantation Periyar

You will walk through the aromatic spice gardens where the air is laden with the fragrance of nature’s bounty. Spices can be defined as “aromatic substances of vegetable origin, used for Flavoring food or as a preservative.” Many spices are also known to have medicinal value, for instance turmeric is a known anti-oxidant and curry leaf can control and prevent diabetes.

The spice plantations of Kerala are fascinating farms to wander in, for different sections of each plantation are dedicated to different spices. Apart from spices traditionally grown in India such as pepper, cinnamon, ginger and cardamom farmers in Kerala have taken to growing spices that are used worldwide. Some of the spices cultivated in spice plantations are vanilla, oregano, rosemary, thyme, basil, mint, bay leaf and sage.

Overnight at the Hotel

DAY 05:         PERIYAR – MADURAI        (160 Kms /4 hr 30 min)

After breakfast, drive to Madurai. On arrival in Madurai, transfer to hotel and check in

meenakshi temple madurai

In the evening, visit the Meenakshi Temple to attend the evening ceremony known as ‘Bedtime of the God’. A colorful procession, in which the image of Shiva is carried accompanied by musicians, temple singers and priests from his shrine. Enroute Shiva visits the other deities before entering Parvati’s (Meenakshi) temple to sleep with her for the night. This ceremony is worth witnessing.

Bedtime of the God

Overnight at the hotel

DAY 06:  MADURAI    

After breakfast, enjoy the city tour of Madurai, which includes the visit to the following:

Meenakshi Temple:

meenakshi temple madurai 1

This temple is nearly 2000 years old placed in the heart of the old town – a splendid example of Dravidian architecture. The present temple was designed in 1560 by Vishwanatha Nayak and subsequently built during the reign of Tirumalai Nayak.

Meenakshi TempleThere are four entrances to the temple with an area of six hectares. Each of its 12 towers has the height of 45 to 50 meters. The Potrama Raikulam or the Golden Lotus Tank is the place where the Tamil literacy society, called Sangam used to meet to decide the merits of the work presented to them. The temple museum has 985 richly carved pillars and each one surpasses the other in beauty.

Note: Meenakshi Temple remains closed from 1200 hrs till 1530 hrs.

Thirumalai Nayak MahalTirumalai Nayak Mahal:

This Indo-Saracenic building was constructed in 1523 and was originally four times large are today. Sound and light show on the life of the Tirumalai Nayak and the story of the Silapathikaram are conduced daily.

Overnight at the hotel

DAY 07:  MADURAI – TANJORE -TRICHY  ( 130 Kms / 04 hr)

After breakfast, drive to Trichy. Enroute visit Tanjore.

Bridhdiswara-Temple-tanjore-1024x576

Brihadeshwara Temple & Fort:

Built by great Chola king in the 10th century it is an outstanding example of Chola architecture and is listed in world heritage. On the top of the apex of 63 metres high, a dome is said to be constructed from a single piece of granite, weighing an estimated 81 tones. The dome was hauled into place along a 6 km earthwork ramp in a manner similar to the one used by the Egyptian Pyramids. The temple has been the sense of continuous worship for over thousand years. Only Hindus are allowed inside.

Note: Brihadeshwara Temple remains closed from 1200 to 1600 hrs.

Later continue your drive to Trichy. On arrival in Trichy, transfer to hotel.

Overnight at the hotel

DAY 08:  TRICHY – MAHABALIPURAM ( 265 Kms / 06 hrs) 

After breakfast,visit of the following-

Rock Fort TempleRock Fort Temple:

The temple tops an 83m high outcrop. This smooth rock was first hewn by the Pallavas who cut small cave temples into the southern face, but it was the Nayakas who made use of its naturally climb up the 437 steps cut into the stone to the top but well worth it for the views. Non-Hindus are not allowed into the Vinayaka Temple at the summit nor did the bigger Sri Thayumanaswamy Temple dedicate to Siva, halfway up. Occasionally temple priest waive this regulation.

Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple

Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple:

This superb temple complex at Srirangam, about three km from the Rock Fort, is surrounded by seven concentric walls with 21 gopurams and is probably the largest in India. Most of it dates from the 14th to 17th centuries, and many people have had a hand in its construction, including the Cheras, Pandyas, Cholas, Hoysalas and Vijayanagars. The largest gopuram in the first wall on the southern side was completed as recently as 1987 and now measures an astounding 73m.  The temple complex is very well preserved, with excellent carvings throughout and numerous shrines to various gods, though the main temple is dedicated to Vishnu. Even the Muslims are said to have prayed here after the fall of Vijayanagar Empire.

Note: Temples remains closed from 1200 hrs till 1500 hrs.

After the sightseeing, drive to Mahabalipuram. On arrival, transfer to hotel

Overnight at the hotel

DAY 09:  MAHABALIPURAM           

After breakfast, enjoy the sightseeing of Mahabalipuram, which includes the following-

arjuna's penance mahabalipuram

Arjuna’s Penance :

Carved in relief on the face of a huge rock, Arjuna’s Penance is the mythical story of the River Ganges issuing from its source high in the Himalaya . the panel depicts animal animals, deities and other semi-divine creatures, fable from the Panchatantra, and Arjuna doing a penance to obtain a boon from Siva.

Shore Temple

Shore Temple:

This beautiful and romantic temple, ravaged by wind and sea, represents the final phase of Pallavas art and was built in the late 7th century during the reign of Rajasimha. It is believed that at one point in time there were seven such temples, six of them were victims to the natural elements of erosion. This temple has three shrines; one dedicated to Lord Vishnu and the other two to Lord Shiva. The frothy waves form a striking backdrop to the temple, protected by rows of rock-carved bulls. The most unique feature of the temple is that it houses shrines to both Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu.

krishna mandapam mahabalipuram

Mandapams:

There are eight mandapams (shallow, rock-cut halls) scattered over the main hill, two of which have been left unfinished. They are mainly of interest for their internal figure sculptures. One of the earliest rock-cut temples is the Krishna Mandapam. It features carvings of a pastoral scene showing Krishna lifting up the Govardhana Mountain to protect his kinsfolk from the wrath of

Indra. On the hill rests a dangerously balanced boulder named Krishna’s Butterball after his legendary affinity for fresh butter.

rathasmahabalipuramFive Rathas

These are the architectural prototypes of all Dravidian temples, demonstrating the imposing gopurams and Vimanas; multi pillared halls and sculptured walls, which dominate the landscape of Tamil Nadu.

Rest of the day is free to relax on beach.

Overnight at the hotel

DAY 10:  MAHABALIPURAM – CHENNAI (55 Kms /01 hr)    

After breakfast, drive to Chennai. On arrival in Chennai, transfer to the hotel.

Later enjoy the visit to the following:

Santhome Cathedral ChurchThe Santhome Cathedral Church:

The Santhome Cathedral Church built in 1504, then rebuilt in neo-Gothic style in 1893, this Roman Catholic Church near Kapaleeshwarar temple is said to house the remains of St. Thomas the Apostle.

marina beach chennaiMarina Beach:

The stretch of beach known as the Marina extends for 13km. South of the pitiful aquarium is the Ice House, once used to store massive ice blocks transported by ship from North America. It later became the venue from which Vivekananda preached his ascetic philosophy.

kapaleeswarar temple chennaiKapaleeswarar:

Kapaleeswarar, an ancient Shiva temple, is the biggest temple in Chennai. A masterpiece of Dravidian style and displays the architectural elements – gopurams, mandapams and a tank. There are some fragmentary inscriptions dating back to 1250 AD.

fort st. george chennaiFort St. George & Museum:

St. George fort was built by the British East India Company. the fort was built in 1640 AD, under the direct supervision of Francis Day and Andrew Cogon. Today it is used as an office of Tamil Nadu Secretariat and the Legislative Assembly. The fort houses a St. Mary’s Church and fort museum.St. Mary’s Church the oldest Anglican Church in India built in 1680 and the tombstones in its courtyard are the oldest British tombstones in India. This ancient prayer house solemnized the marriages of Robert Clive and Governor Elinu-Yale, who later founded the Yale University in the States.

Overnight at the hotel

DAY 11:  CHENNAI  DEPARTURE

Today you will be transferred to the airport to connect the flight for onward journey.

End of Tour

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6 Days Cochin Munnar Kumarakom Alleppey Tour

tea gardens munnar

Kerala “God’s Own Country” is the perfect introduction to travel in India. Our Cochin Munnar Kumarakom Alleppey Tour is one of the most popular tour plan which covers historic city of Cochin, the beautiful Hill station and Tea Gardens of Munnar and backwaters destinations – Alleppey and Kumarakom. This tour is best for couples, families, small groups and romantics at heart.

Duration:  6 days / 5 nights

Places:  Cochin > Munnar > Kumarakom > Alleppey > Cochin

6 Days Cochin Munnar Kumarakom Alleppey Tour

Itinerary:

Day 01:  Cochin

Arrive Cochin. Airport / Railway Station, transfer to hotel.

Cochin-International-Airport-1024x433

Afternoon city tour of Cochin.

Jewish-Synagogue-Cochin Spice market Cochin Kochi chinese fishnets in twilight Kochi, Kerala. Fort Kochin, K

Evening boat ride by Sagar Rani.

sagar rani boat ride cochin

Overnight Stay at the hotel

Day 02: Cochin –Munnar (130 kms. /4 hrs.)

After breakfast, proceed to Munnar, popular hill stations in Southern India known for its sprawling tea gardens.

tea gardens munnar

Evening at leisure. Overnight Stay at the hotel.

Day 03: Munnar 

After breakfast, drive through the tea estates and visit Mettupatty Dam to enjoy a boat ride, Echo point, Kundala Lake.

echo point munnar

kundala lake munnar

Overnight Stay at the hotel.

Day 04: Munnar – Kumarakom (141 kms. /3.5 hrs.)

After breakfast, proceed to Kumarakom. Afternoon waters cruise at the exotic resort situated on the picturesque Vembanad Lake.

Kumarakom

Overnight Stay at the hotel.

Day 05: Kumarakom – Alleppey (36 kms.)

Post breakfast, drive to Alleppey Check into House Boat. Afternoon Back waters Cruise through the canals & coir villages.

houseboat-from-Kumarakom-to-Alleppey

Overnight Stay at House Boat.

Day 06: Alleppey – Cochin 

Morning disembark at the Alleppey Boat Jetty.

Alleppey Boat Jetty

Transfer to Cochin airport for departure to onward destination.

End of Tour

Get a Quote: Call/Whatsapp: +91 9810954649 or Fill Contact Form