South India Culture of Temples and Beaches Tour

 
(Chennai-Pondicherry-Tanjore-Trichy-Madurai-Periyar-Varkala-Alappuzha-Munnar-Cochin-Mumbai)
(18 nights / 19 days)
 
 
Day 01: Arrival Chennai
As you arrive in Chennai airport for the start of the South India Cultural Tour, you will be received by the warmest of welcomes at the airport from where you would be escorted to the pre-booked hotel of your choice by our very own tour representative.
 
Day 02: Chennai 
Chennai is the capital of the south Indian state of Tamil Nadu. The city sprawls over more than 70 sq km and rather than claiming a centre, retains its former regional hubs.There are many historical monuments in and around Chennai that are full of tourists every year. Fort St George is one of them. It is the finest example of India’s British military construction. This building is named after St George, the patron saint of England. It consists of St Mary Church and the Fort Museum. Built in 1892, the High Court complex is Chennai’s main landmark. This red Indo-Saracenic structure is believed to be one of the largest judicial buildings in the world. Located at Trplicane High Road, Shri Parthasarthy Temple is dedicated to Lord Krishna. The Pallava Dynasty built it in the 8th century. It is one of the oldest surviving temples in Chennai. Overnight at hotel
 
Day 03: Chennai - Pondicherry
After breakfast drive to Pondicherry (162 km), enroute visit Kancheepuram and Mahabalipuram. The Union Territory of puducherry (earlier known as Pondicherry) comprises of 4 coastal regions viz. - Pondicherry, Karaikal, Mahe and Yanam. The area of Pondicherry is scattered over three different states in the country – pondicherry, the capital of the UT is in Tamil Nadu, Karaikal region is embedded in the Nagappattinam and Tiruvarur District of Tamil Nadu, Mahe in the west coast of Kerala and Yanam is in Andhra Pradesh.
 
Day 04: Pondicherry 
Afternoon tour of Pondicherry - visiting Botanical garden, Eglise De Sacre Coeur De Jesus, Government Square, Pondicherry Museum, Promenade, Raj Niwas and Sri Aurobindo Ashram. Later visit township of Auroville or the city of Dawn. Designed by a French architect Roger Arger, it is an entirely new concept in education and urban living. Overnight at hotel
 
Day 05: Pondicherry - Tanjore
After breakfast drive to Tanjore (177 kms). Thanjavur in the south Indian state of Tamil Nadu is known as the Rice Bowl of Tamil Nadu. Thanjavur was the cultural capital of the country in 1790.Thanjavur has been the capital of mighty Cholas for centuries. Therefore it is only natural that the city has remained the focal point of cultural movement and activities in the peninsular India. The Cholas have been known as the patrons of magnificent art culture and that is why Tanjore has a lot of attractions to see Sri Brihadeswara Temple,The Palace, Art Gallery,Saraswati Mahal Library,Hall of Music, Royal Museum, Schwartz Church, Sharja Madi, Rajarajan Mani Mandapam, Tholkappiyar Sadukkam, Mariamman Temple. Overnight at hotel
 
Day 06: Tanjore - Trichy - Madurai 
After breakfast drive to Madurai (178 kms) enroute visit Trichy. Madurai is one of the few places in india that are rightfully called the cultural hub. Madurai stands out one such in South India. One of South India’s temple towns, Madurai is synonymous with the famous Meenakshi Temple.Madurai is filled with many tourist spots that attract the people all around the world. There are many artistic temples that speak about the architectural skill of the people in the days. Overnight at hotel.
 
Day 07: Madurai 
Full day visit the Meenakshi temple one of the biggest temple complexes in India - 46 ft. long by 790 ft broad built in the 17th Century. Other places to be visited around and nearby Madurai include Vandiyur Mariamman Teppakulam, Azhagar Kovil, Thirumalai Nayak Palace, Gandhi Museum and Thirupparankundram. Overnight at hotel.
 
Day 08: Madurai - Periyar
Morning drive to Periyar. Upon arrival at Periyar - check into hotel. Periyar, also known as Thekkady is best known for its wildlife, is a must-see for all visitors to Kerala. The Periyar Lake lies at the heart of the sanctuary, which is a veritable paradise for all wildlife lovers. Situated within the boundaries of the Western Ghats in the southern Indian state of Kerala, Periyar National Park and Tiger Reserve is one of the most captivating wildlife parks in the world. Periyar is a park where one can witness playful pachyderms roaming freely with their family and friends, whose population is currently around 800. The population of tigers is also increasing appreciably. The landscape varies from hilly to flat grassland areas at the edges of the lakes. The vegetation is of moist deciduous type. Afternoon boatcruise on the Lake. Overnight at hotel
 
Day 09: Periyar - Varkala 
Morning drive to Varkala (220 km). The 2000 year old Sree Janardana Swamy temple and the Nature Care Centre are the two main attractions here. The silvery stretches of sands along the Arabian Sea offer a tranquil retreat of the beach lovers. The backdrop of rocky cliffs provides a perfect contrast to the lapping waves. Papanasam is one of the prominent beaches in Varkala. Absence of touristy crowd is an important feature in the beaches of Varkala. Upon arrival in Varkala - check into the hotel. Afternoon visit the Portugese church of Anjengo dated to the time of occupation, which maybe the Elanchoros of the geography of Ptomempee (2nd century A.D.). Also visit the English Fort constructed in 1695 A.D. by the English 'East India Company', which play an important role in the war of Mysore in 18th century. Overnight at hotel. 
 
Day 10: Varkala - Alappuzha
Morning drive to to be at Alappuzha in time to witness the famous boat race. Upon arrival to Alappuzha - check into the hotel. Overnight at hotel.
 
Day 11: Alappuzha
Full day at The Snake Boat Race festival "Payippad Boat Race Payippad near Harippad Alappuzha District ". Overnight at hotel.
 
Day 12: Alappuzha 
Full day sightseeing tour around Alappuzha area. Overnight at hotel.
 
Day 13: Alappuzha 
Aranmula Boat Race Aranmula, Pathanamthitta. Overnight at hotel.
 
Day 14: Alappuzha - Munnar 
Morning drive to Munnar (180 km). Upon arrival in Munnar- check in to the hotel. Overnight at hotel.
 
Day 15: Munnar 
Morning, visit Ervikulam National Park. Rest of the day at leisure. Overnight at hotel.
 
Day 16: Munnar - Cochin
Morning drive to Cochin (160 km). Upon arrival in Cochin - check into hotel. Overnight at hotel.
 
Day 17: Cochin 
Morning tour of Cochin or "Kochi"- the palm green, commercial captial of Kerala is known as the "Queen of the Arabian Sea". Afternoon free for a stroll in Jew town. Overnight at hotel.
 
Day 18: Cochin - Mumbai 
Late morning transfer from hotel to Domestic airport to catch a flight to Mumbai. On arrival in Mumbai, you will be met by our representative and transferred to the hotel Rest of the day at leisure. Overnight at hotel. 
 
Day 19: Mumbai-Departure
Morning, one hour boat ride across Mumbai Harbour brings you to the lush green Elephanta Island. Afternoon, City tour of Mumbai - the great port city with its Victorian Gothic buildings from the British Raj Era mingling with the modern. The tour includes Gateway of India overlooking the Harbour, the Towers of Silence, Marine Drive and the Dhobi Ghat, the unique and colourful outdoor 'laundry'. Also visit Mani Bhawan, a small museum dedicated to the life and works of Mahatma Gandhi, and the bustling Crawford Market. Later in late evening transfer to the International airport for your flight back home.

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