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Home >> South India >> Tamilnadu - Kerala Tours >> Best of South India (Tour Code : STKK 07)

Best of South India - 11 Nights/12 Days

Destinations Covered: Chennai - Kanchipuram - Mahabalipuram - Pondicherry - Chidambaram - Tanjore - Trichy - Madurai - Periyar -Munnar - Alleppy - Cochin - Ooty - Mysore - Hassan - Bangalore
DAY 01 : Arrive Madras
Met and assist at the airport. Garlanding and transfer to your hotel. On arrival at Hotel traditional welcome. Overnight hotel.
DAY 02 : Madras

The gateway to the sunny south, the capital of Tamil Nadu is also the seat of an ancient civilization, with a rich heritage of fine arts, sculpture and architecture. The city of Madras extends over an area of nearly 80 sq. kms has a population of about two million and is the third largest city of India. It has withstood the pressure of modernization to some extent and even today retains an old world charm, which has an instant appeal for the visitor.


Post breakfast sightseeing of Madras includes visiting the National Art Gallery and Museum, (closed on Fridays), Fort St. Mary’s Church, a drive along the Marina Beach, visit to the St. Thomas Cathedral, Dinner & Overnight at Hotel.

DAY 03 : Madras - Kanchipuram - Mahabalipuram

After breakfast departs for Kanchipuram. KANCHIPURAM: The “Golden City” 76 kms (47 miles) southwest of Madras, has a long history. It was a capital of successive dynasties of Hindu rulers. Huen Tsang, the Chinese traveler, who visited it in the 7th century A.D., has left an account of his sojourn there. Buddhism, Jainism and later Hinduism contended for supremacy in the ancient city for centuries. It is remarkable for its temples and shrines. There is a group of Jain temples of Tiruparuttipuram dating from the 9th to the 16th century A. D. Even older are the two great temples of Shiva and Vishnu, namely the Kailasnath and the Vaikunthanatha Perumal temples, built by the Pallav Kings. The latter is noted for its lofty towers with fine porches.


Post lunch visit MAHABALIPURAM: Also known as the seven pagodas, Mahabalipuram is a pleasant seaside resort, 85 kms from Madras. Today the principal attraction of the place to the tourist lies in the wonderful monolithic monuments and stone sculptures of the ancient Pallava dynasty of kings who ruled much of the territory now known as Tamil Nadu, from the 16th century A.D. these kings laid the foundations of Dravidian architecture in India and at Mahabalipuram, today, the earliest of these remarkable monuments are to be seen, all hewn out of rocks.

 

The Pallava monuments are spread over a wide area, some bordering on sea, and it is advisable to see them before the midday heart. The important monuments to be seen are the five Rathas, the bas-relief on a huge rock popularly known as Arjuna’s Penance, the Mahisasura Mandapam, the Krishna Mandapam and the Shore Temple. Dinner & Overnight at Mahabalipuram.

DAY 04 : Mahabalipuram - Pondicherry
In the morning drive to Pondicherry, a charming Indian town with a few enduring pockets of French culture and an ashram. Upon arrival, check into the hotel. Visit the Aurobindo Ashram. Also visit Auroville, on the outskirts of Pondicherry. It is a unique city conceptualized by The Mother. Spread over 20 kms, it was designed by a French architect and opened in 1968.Today it has over a thousand citizens from all parts of the world staying together. Pondicherry is famous for its natural healing therapies, perfumes, cotton clothes, hand made paper and other artifacts. Stay overnight at the hotel.
DAY 05 : Pondicherry - Chidambaram - Tanjore
After breakfast drive to Tanjore visiting Chidambaram enroute. Tanjore or Thanjavur as it was earlier called, was the capital of the Chola Empire from the 10th century to the 14thcentury A.D. Later it became part of the Vijaynagar Kingdom, then passed into the hands of the Marathas and later still went to the British. For ages it has been the chief political, literary and religious center of the south. The celebrated temple of Brishadeshwara built by the Chola King, raja the great, during the 11th century, is its major attraction. The Saraswati Mahal Library, dating from the time of the Marathas, contains a rare collection books and manuscripts on paper and palm leaves. Evening visit the temples. Overnight at hotel.
DAY 06 : Tanjore - Trichy
In the morning, drive to Trichy. Upon arrival check into the hotel. Afternoon city tour. Visit the Rock Fort Temple, which is perched on a rocky outcrop 83 mts high above the plains and offers spectacular views of the countryside. Also visit the Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple in Srirangam. Dedicated to Vishnu, the enormous temple was built in the 17th century and has 21 gopurams exhibiting a profusion of multicolored gods. Stay overnight at the hotel.
DAY 07 : Trichy – Madurai
In the morning, drive to Madurai, one of oldest cities in the south and a center of learning and pilgrimage. Upon arrival, check into the hotel. In the afternoon visit the Meenakshi Temple, dedicated to the Goddess Meenakshi, consort of Lord Shiva. Four of the twelve gopurams (towers), decorated with colorful stucco images of gods, goddesses and animals, loom above the city. Also visit the Thirumalai Nayak Palace built by the Nayaks in the Indo-Saracenic style in 1636. Stay overnight at the hotel.
DAY 08 : Madurai - Periyar
After breakfast, drive to Periyar. Check into your hotel. Post lunch boat safari of the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary. This Tiger reserve has grasslands and tropical evergreen type forests with thick under wood and herbs. There is a wide range of animals from migrating elephants to sambar, deer, wild boar, giant squirrels, nilgiri languor and the tiger, Panther and wild dogs. Evening at leisure to explore the surrounding vines and the flora and fauna. Overnight Periyar.
DAY 09 : Periyar - Alleppey
After breakfast drive to Alleppy. Enroute Visit Spice Garden. Met and assist at Alleppy Jetty and transfer to the Backwater resort by boat. Evening at leisure. Overnight Backwater resort.
DAY 10 : Alleppy - Cochin
Alleppy, also known as the “Venice of the east”. Enjoy a Backwater cruise past lush green paddy fields, coconut and banana groves. Later transfer to Cochin. Post Lunch sightseeing of Cochin. One of the finest natural harbours on the Arabian Sea coast of India, Cochin has been a port of call for foreign traders from very early times. Post lunch tour of Dutch Palace, Jewish Synagogue and Chinese fishing nets. Evening enjoy the kathakali dance show. Overnight Cochin.
DAY 11 : Cochin - Trivandrum

After breakfast, drive to Trivadrum. Arrive by lunch.Formerly known as Trivandrum, Thiruvanthapuram is gateway to one of the most beautiful states in – Kerala. The climate is pleasant all the year round, though June – November could be very wet. Thiruvanthapuram opens the gates to a world of beaches, mountains,backwaters, wildlife sanctuaries and islands.

 

The city of Thirivanthapuram presides over one of the most scenic states, stretching along the southern coast of the country, with the backwaters of the Arabian sea reaching deep into the verdant countryside, Kerala affords a fascinating experience. The city once formed a part of the Kingdom of Travancore, which had its capital at Padmanabhapuram ( now in Tamil Nadu ). Most of that royal heritage of fine buildings and palaces now houses the state secretariat and other offices. But the beauty of the city is still intact, in the wide open avenues, parks, gardens, cultural institutions and undulating countryside. Evening at Leisure. Overnight Trivandrum.

DAY 12 : Trivadrum – Departure
After breakfast at the hotel, city tour of Trivadrum visiting Padhmanabhan Palace and Temple. Later farewell dinner at a local restaurant and transfer to the airport in time to connect flight for Europe.



chennai

kanchipuram

mahabalipuram

pondicherry tours

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trichy

periyar

alleppey

cochin