Day 01 : Europe - Madras (Chennai)
Scheduled flight to Madras.
Day 02 : Chennai
Upon arrival in Madras assistance at airport & transfer to your hotel
Breakfast at hotel. A.M At eisure P.M. Sight Seeing tour of City by car: Visit: Chennai (formerly known as Madras), the largest city in South India and the fourth largest city in the country, is located on what is popularly called the Coromandel Coast of the Bay of Bengal.
Chennai is really a lot more than the Gateway to South India. The varied aspects of traditional South Indian culture exist alongside the lifestyle of a modern city complete with its plush hotels, restaurants offering a range of continental to typical South Indian cuisine, long and un-crowded stretches of beaches, modern shopping malls and cinema halls.
While moving around in the city one cannot overlook the obvious British influence which is so evident in the various cathedrals, buildings in Indo-Saracenic style of architecture. Visit Kapaleeswarar, An ancient Shiva temple, is the biggest temple in Chennai. A masterpiece of Dravidian architecture, there are some fragmentary inscriptions dating back to 1250 AD. The magnificent 37 metre gopuram depicts intricate carvings of old legends.
The Sri Parthasarathy Temple, devoted to Lord Krishna, was originally built by the Pallavas in the 8th century. It houses the five ‘avatars’ of Lord Vishnu, and has a small temple shrine dedicated to Vishnu's consort, Vedavalli Ammai. The Santhome Cathedral named after St. Thomas, was built in the 14th and 15th centuries near the beach. It is a historical and pilgrimage centre.LittleMount Shrine, is the place where St. Thomas is said to have lived and preached in a small cave.St. Thomas Mount, Situated near the Meenambakkam airport, is the place where the apostle is said to have been killed.
Fort St. George, was built in 1640 AD, the first bastion of British power in India. The fort is now used by the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly and the Secretariat office.St. Mary's Church, The oldest Anglican church in the country, was consecrated in 1679.The Fort Museum has a collection of objects from the tenure of the East India Company in Chennai including letters from Robert Clive. There are many contemporary paintings too. Kalakshetra, Devoted to the revival of classical arts, was founded by Rukmini Devi Arundale in 1936. Classical dance, music, traditional textile designs and weaving are taught in natural surroundings. Overnight at your hotel.
Day 03 : Chennai - Kanchipuram - Mahabalipuram
Breakfast. Thereafter, leave by road for Mahabalipuram. En route visit Kanchipuram, ancient capital of the Pallava kings. It is a holy Indian city, dedicated to Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva. The city possesses 124 temples and sanctuaries visited every year by millions of pilgrims.
The most important are Kailashnath, Vaikuntanatha-Perumal, and 'Ekambareswara temples. Mamallapuram After visit continue towards Mahabalipuram (Mamallapuram) which is set in a boulder-strewn landscape.
Famous for its Shore temples that were carved out of rock along the Coromandel Coast in the 7th and 8th centuries it is known especially for its rathas (temples in the form of chariots), mandapas (cave sanctuaries), giant open-air bas-relief such as the famous "Descent of the Ganges" and the temple of Rivage, with thousands of sculptures dedicated to the glory of Siva.
After visit proceed to your hotel. Overnight.
Day 04 : Mahabalipuram - Pondichery
After Breakfast at hotel leave for Pondicherry. Journey time approx 2 Hrs. On arrival proceed to your hotel. Pondicherry, a former French colony, presents an unusual combination of European culture and Indian traditions.
An added attraction is the township of Auroville, an oasis of peace and enlightenment. Another hallowed spot is AurobindoAshram which draws devotees from all over the world.
Day 05 : Pondichery - Tanjore - Trichy (Tiruchirapalli)
After Breakfast at hotel leave for Thanjavur. Journey time approx 3 Hrs. On arrival visit of Brihadishvara Temple. This is the most ambitious of all architectural work undertaken by the Cholas and perhaps the most beautiful example of Chola architecture which has left its mark all over South-east India with its high-pyramidal towers i.e. Gopurams and vimana.
It was constructed in about 1000 A.D. under the reign of the most important Chola king, Rajaraja (985-1014), with a surprising audacity in proportions and an admirable attention to detail. Continue towards TIRUCHIRAPALLI . Tiruchirapalli, familiarly known as Tiruchi or Trichy, the city of sacred rocks was probably so- named because of the rocky peak which dominates the city.
This remarkable place was a fortress in the time of the Cholas, but it was with the Nayaks of Madurai that it developed after the XV th century. On arrival proceed to your hotel. Overnight.
Day 06 : Trichy (Tiruchirapalli) - Madurai
Breakfast at hotel. A.M. Visit of Srirangam. Srirangam, the abode of the Supreme Lord, Sri Ranganatha, the reclining form of Lord Vishnu, is situated in an island surrounded by the revered river Cauvery, near Tiruchirappalli.
Lush green mango groves, banana gardens, Coconut groves add color to the island. Srirangam is the foremost among the eight shrines of Lord Vishnu. It is one of the most important among the 108 pilgrim centres in the whole of India. The shrine is a glorious spiritual and cultural heritage and is held in great reverence by all Hindus, particularly the vaishnavites. The entire complex is an architectural marvel.
It draws a lot of devotees from all parts of the world. The ‘Rajagopuram’ is 236 feet high with 13 tiers and is the tallest temple tower in Asia. Visit also of Rock Temple.
After visit leave by air-conditioned car for Madurai. Journey time approx. 3 hrs & 30 mn. On arrival proceed to your hotel. Overnight.
Day 07 : Madurai
Breakfast at hotel. A.M. Visit of Meenakshi Temple: Madurai is synonymous with the Sri Meenakshi Temple, dedicated to Sri Meenakshi, the consort of Lord Shiva. The temple complex, the main attraction at Madurai, is one of the biggest in India.
The five gopurams that surround the temple are known for stucco work, and the 48.8 metrehigh southern gopuram is the tallest. Legend has it that when the last Tamil Sangam (Academy) met here, literary works were thrown into the temple tank. Those that floated were deemed to be outstanding literature.
It is believed that the Kadasma tree under which Lord Shiva meditated was the only one that covered this area, and exquisite sculptures are to be found throughout the complex.
The hall of thousand pillars is a museum of icons, photographs and illustrations. P.M. At leisure (Car at your disposal). Overnight.
Day 08 : Madurai - Periyar
After breakfast at hotel leave for Periyar by road. Journey time approx 4 hrs. On arrival proceed to your hotel. P.M Boat ride on the lake in the Periyar National Park , rich in different species of animals like elephants , gaurs , savage bulls, wild boar , monkeys.
The lake and its immediate surroundings also form an important ornithological reserve. Overnight at your hotel.
Day 09 : Periyar / Cochin
After Breakfast at hotel leave by road for Kottayam. Journey time approx 3 hrs. On arrival embark on boat for a cruise along the fascinating backwaters till Allepey. On arrival in Allepey transfer to your car and proceed to Cochin.
On arrival proceed to your hotel.
In the evening watch the Kathakali performance by a traditional dance troupe from Kerala. Overnight.
Day 10 : Cochin
Breakfast at hotel. During the day sightseeing tour of Cochin by car. One of the finest natural harbours on the Arabian sea coast, Kochi, earlier known as Cochin, has been a port of call for foreign traders from early times. Its cosmopolitan character is reflected in the buildings and structures representing different regions of the world. Dutch Palace, built by the Portuguese and presented to the Raja of Kochi in 1555, it was renovated by the Dutch during their short lived regime here.
Jewish Synagogue, Built in 1568, the building was destroyed by the Portuguese in 1662 and rebuilt by the Dutch two years later. Scrolls of the Old Testament and copper plates inscribed in Hebrew script are preserved here. St. Francis Church, The oldest Protestant church built by the Portuguese in 1510.
Vasco da Gama, who died in 1524, was buried here. Santa Cruz Basilica, This Roman Catholic Church has beautiful paintings on the ceiling. Dutch Cemetery, Near St. Francis Church and entrance to the beach. Chinese Fishing Nets, At the entrance of Kochi Harbour, the nets are a fascinating sight, one which can be seen all along the backwaters of Kerala. Overnight at your hotel.
Day 11 : Cochin - Europe
Breakfast at hotel and transfer to airport Flight for to Europe.