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South India Cultural Tours
Duration    :  10 Nights / 11 Days
Places Covered: Chennai, Mahabalipuram, Pondicherry, Tanjore, Trichy, Madurai, Periyar, Kumarakom, Alleppey & Cochin

Overview: We present you a South Indian tour, that promises to enchant you with all its scenic beauty, rich heritage, prized culture, all put together just for you, packed in a 11 day trip. Enjoy the perfect blend of temples and churches, wildlife sanctuaries and spiritual places, taking you far away from homeland to one of the most exotic place, with its mystical art and radiant culture, brightening up your soul. Visit the best places of South India, that are filled with rich history and architecture that is absent in the present day like the likes of, National Art Gallery Museum, Kanchipuram- the second holiest place in India, a city of 1000 temples, the only surviving shore temple, Matri Mandir- the hall of meditation, Tanjore- the hub of rich heritage and arts and crafts, the 1000 pillared temple- Meenakshiamman Temple,etc. All in all, a trip that is personalized as per your desires, that gets you the best of South India, like never before.

Day 01: Arrival Chennai
On arrival you will be met and transferred to hotel. AM: Relax at the comfort of the room. PM: Proceed for the sightseeing of Chennai, "the gateway of South India" & visit National Art Gallery and Museum (closed on Fridays) which has a selection of ancient paintings of almost all schools as well as section devoted to modern art, Fort St. George, St. Mary's Church, Drive along Marina Beach (the second longest in the world), San Thome Cathedral, Mylapore Shiva Temple and shopping. Overnight at hotel.

Day 02: Chennai- Mahabalipuram – Enroute Kanchipuram (138 kms/3.5 hours)
After breakfast drive to Mahabalipuram enroute visiting Kanchipuram, the city of 1000 temples. It is considered as the second holiest city in India next to Varanasi. Visit Vaikuntaperumal temple, Ekambareeswarar and Varadarajar temple. Kanchipuram is famous for its exquisite silk sarees. Visit the handloom and shop if you please. Drive to Mahabalipuram, the only surviving shore temple. It boasts of some of India's most sublime rock cut art comprising of Arjuna's Penance - the largest open-air bass-relief, Five Rathas, structured temples, man-made caves and chariots. On arrival hotel check in & overnight stay.

Day 03: Mahabalipuram- Pondicherry (100 kms/2 hours)
Post breakfast drive to Pondicherry, once a French settlement and now home to the Aurobindo Ashram - It spiritual tenets represent a synthesis of yoga and modern science and Auroville or the City of Dawn, an international settlement where community living is the focus of life. The sphere shaped Matri Mandir a hall of meditation is the splendid centre of Auroville. Visit Pondicherry Museum which has an outstanding collection of artifacts. The sculpture gallery is a treasure house of Pallava and Chola art. Evening Relax at the beach, which runs along the city. Overnight at Hotel.

Day 04: Pondicherry-Tanjore (175 kms/3.5 hrs)
Breakfast at Hotel. Drive to Tanjore- rich in its architecture, exquisite handicrafts, paintings, bronzes and South Indian Musical instruments. Visit the magnificent Brahadeeswara temple, where the shade of the tower (gopuram or vimanam) will not fall on the ground. The second largest monolithic sculpture, Nandi (Bull) can be found in the portal of the shrine. The Royal palace complex houses in important library and museums, including a superb collection of Chola bronzes. Overnight at Hotel.

Day 05: Tanjore- Trichy (60 kms/1.5 hours)
Breakfast at hotel. Drive to Trichy- the citadel of the Chola dynasty in the medieval period. In the 18th century it witnessed the Carnatic wars fought between the French and the English. Lord Robert Clive's house is still there to see and so is the Danish Church. The Rock-Fort is the landmark of Trichy. A climb of 434 steps leads to the ancient temple of Ganapati on top and a further climb to a Shiva temple Visit Srirangam temple and RockFort temple. Overnight at Hotel.

Day 06: Trichy-Madurai (136 kms/3 hours)
After breakfast drive to Madurai, known for 1000-pillared Meenakshiamman temple. Visit Meenakshi temple, famous for its Court of Thousand Pillars, built in 1560 A.D and visit to the temple to witness the famous night ceremony when the Temple bronze of Lord Siva is carried to the bed chamber of Goddess Parvathy to the accompaniment of religious prayers and music. Also visit Thirumalai Nayak's Palace and Gandhi Museum. Overnight at hotel.

Day 07: Madurai- Periyar (168 kms/4 hours)
After breakfast drive to Periyar. You will be taken to one of the best game sanctuaries in India - Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary. Your journey to Thekkady is through breathtaking, winding, dense rubber & spice plantation trees; do not forget your camera. On arrival hotel check in & there after proceed for a boat ride on the spending Lake Periyar is the best way to experience the sanctuary. Visit the Spice plantations like cardamom, cinnamon, pepper, coffee and tea estates. On your way back to hotel, you can shop at the local market and pick up some fragrant spices. Overnight at Hotel.

Day 08: Periyar-Kumarakom (117 kms/3 hours)
After breakfast proceed to Kumarakom. On arrival hotel check in. A cruise on the Vembanad Lake, gently rocked by the waves rippling to the rhythm of the swaying coconut palms on the distant banks could be truly exhilarating. Stay in the backwater resort and enjoy your day in swimming or a massage that would do wonders on your body. The splash of water slapping softly on the banks provides a soothing background music. Visit Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary. The breathtaking view of the lake during the dawn and dusk and the glimpse of the formation of birds flapping in and out of the bird sanctuary can be seen from any spot of the island. Overnight at Hotel/resort.

Day 09:Kumarakom- Allepey (32 kms/1 hr)
After witnessing the sunrise & breakfast at Hotel, drive to Allepey. This is the heart of backwaters and it is naturally known for its snake boat racing events. Spending an overnight at the resort is an ideal getaway from the madding crowds of everyday life. For those in search of peace and tranquility, this is a refreshing interlude. Day free to relax at backwater resort or proceed for a backwater cruise HOUSEBOAT (Optional).

Day 10: Alleppey- Kochi (55 kms/1.5 hours)
After breakfast drive to Kochi. On arrival hotel check in. Later proceed for sightseeing of Dutch Palace - the oldest Synagogue of the British commonwealth, The Jewish Synagogue - the oldest in India with features like great scrolls of the old testament, Hebrew inscriptions on stone slabs, gold and silver crowns, blue willow patterned floor tiles in which each tile is unique, St. Francis Church - India's oldest European church, Bolghatty Palace, Hill Palace Museum and Bird Sanctuary. Spend around Kochi city shopping for handicrafts, antiques and other traditional goods. Witness the traditional Kathakali Dance Show in the evening. Overnight at Hotel.

Day 11: Kochi (Departure)
After breakfast free time till check out & on time you will be transferred to Airport for further flight.