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South India Temple & Spice Tour South India Temple & Spice Tour South India Temple & Spice Tour 3

South India Temple & Spice Tour

₹52250 /pax
14 days tour
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South India Temple & Spice Tour

Day wise Itinerary
Day 01: Arrival Chennai

Arrive Chennai, after a traditional 'Swagat' (Welcome) our representative would assist you at the airport & to our hotel for check in.

Chennai is known for its cultural heritage & temple architecture. The region was served as an important administrative, military, & economic centre dating back to the 1st century. When the Portuguese arrived in 1522, they built a port, the region then passed into the hands of the Dutch, who established themselves near north of the city in 1612. On 22 August 1639, British East India Company was granted land, as a base for a permanent settlement.

Overnight Hotel Chennai (Breakfast)



Day 02: Chennai Mahabalipuram (70 km - 02 hr)

Today we take a tour of Chennai, touching Fort St. George, built in the year 1640 AD by the British East India Company, under the direct supervision of Francis Day & Andrew Cogon. This bastion achieved its name from St. George. Within the fort we visit St. Mary's Church, built in the year 1680 & oldest Protestant Church in the East contains several antiquities, not the least being the oldest British tombstones in India. Fort Museum, with 10 rooms displaying the old uniforms, coins, padlocks, old prints & palanquins. Santhome Cathedral derives its name from St. Thomas, the apostle of Christ who is believed to have visited Madras sometime during 52 AD. He was killed on St. Thomas Mount just in 78 AD & was interned in Santhome beach, where church was built.

Several years later, another church was built & his mortal remains were transferred to the new one. Museums, established in 1857, it is undoubtedly one of the country's finest museums. It has sections devoted to geology, archaeology, anthropology, botany, zoology, sculpture & numismatics. Its most prized possessions are the relics from 2nd century AD Buddhist site of Amaravathi & the prehistoric antiques of South India.

Later drive to Mahabalipuram, 7th century port city of the South Indian. It is believed to have been named after the Pallava king Mamalla. It has various historic monuments built largely between the 7th & the 9th century, & has been classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The monuments are mostly rock-cut & monolithic, constitute the early stages of Dravidian architecture wherein Buddhist elements of design are prominently visible.

Overnight Hotel Mahabalipuram (Breakfast)



Day 03: Mahabalipuram Excursion to Kanchipuram (65 km - 1 hr)

Today, we take a guided tour of Mahabalipuram, visiting Shore Temple, one of the oldest temples in South India. It belongs to the 8th Century A.D. & is a good example of the first phase of the structure of temples constructed in the Dravidian style. Designed to catch the first rays of the rising sun & to illuminate the waters after dark, the temple ended up with an unusual lay-out.

Arjuna's Penance, world's largest bas-relief. This huge whale-back shaped rock contains figures of gods, demigods, men, beasts, & birds & in fact, can be said to represent creation itself. Next we visit Rathas, monolithic temples fashioned as chariots. They remain an architectural mystery, for each is apparently a faithful reproduction of a structure built of wood. In fact, even the grain of the timber beams & rafters has been simulated in stone. Of the eight Rathas, five have been named for the Pandava brothers, the heroes of the epic Mahabharata.

Later we take a day excursion to Kanchipuram, is one of the seven holy cities in the country. It was a city of learning for both Tamil & Sanskrit, & was believed to be visited by Hsuan Tsang. In ancient times it was called Kachi. Once had over a thousand temples & today there are more than a hundred extant. It is also known for its temples & silk sarees. We visit Kailasanatha Temple, built in 8th Century AD. It is built in the typical Pallava style, with a pyramidal tower, a pillared hall & vestibule, enclosed by a wall. The temple is famous for exquisite carvings & attracts devotees & tourists alike. There are 58 small shrines situated around the main shrine, as a compound wall. Fresco style paintings adorn the inner walls of the temple. Next we visit Ekambaranatha, ancient temple is dedicated to lord Shiva. The 57 metres high Raj Gopuram is one of the tallest towers in South India. The 3000 year old mango tree inside the temple has 4 branches each yielding different variety of mangoes.

Before returning to Mahabalipuram we visit Kamakshi Amman Temple, built in 12th century AD, as an important Shakthisthalam, known as Parabrahmaroonpini. The main deity is seated on Brahma, Vishnu, Rudra, Eswara & Sadasiva.

Overnight Hotel Mahabalipuram (Breakfast)



Day 04: Mahabalipuram - Pondicherry via Auroville (100 Km - 02hrs)

Today we drive to Auroville near Pondicherry. The community of Auroville consists of Indian & International residents who aim to develop a harmonious environment through the implementation of the teachings Sri Aurobindo & The Mother. Upon arrival visit Matri Mandir which was designed to be the spiritual & physical centre of Auroville (Temple is opened between 1530-1630 hr). Further drive to Pondicherry, the land of Sri Aurobindo Ashram, the serene world of distinct spiritual vibration & thus renowned as Sacred Land. Upon arrival check-in hotel.

Overnight Hotel - Pondicherry (Breakfast)



Day 05: Pondicherry - Tanjore (300 km - 06 hr)

Today we drive to Tanjore, flourished during the rule of the Nayaks & Mahrattas. It has been the treasure house of art for centuries. It is called the Rice Bowl of Tamil Nadu. Thanjavur is well-known throughout the world for its exquisite handicrafts like the Art Plate, pithwork, bronze icons, Thanjavur paintings & the classical South Indian musical instruments.

Later we visit Brihadeshwara temple, also known as Big Temple, built by Rajaraja Chola I was completed around 1010 CE. This 10th century CE temple, one of UNESCO World Heritage Sites, is a brilliant example of the Dravidian style of temple architecture. The beautiful Chola Fresco paintings on the inner walls of the temple are no way less than Ajanta paintings.

Overnight Hotel Tanjore (Breakfast)



Day 06: Tanjore - Madurai via Trichy (200 km - 04 hr)

Today we leave for Madurai, rich cultural heritage passed for more than 2500 years old & has been an important commercial centre as early as 550 AD. It is the oldest city in Tamil Nadu & was originally known as Kadambavanam or the forest of Kadamba.

En route Trichy

En route we stop at Trichy, which has very historic temples, monuments & churches. It was an important town in the days of the later Cholas, Nayaks as well as during the early days of the British East India Company. We start with Srirangam Temple, surrounded by the waters of the River Kaveri on one side & its tributary Kollidam on the other is a 600-acre island-town enclosed within the seven walls of the gigantic Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple. There are not less than 21 Gopuram here in this temple, one of which is the tallest in South India.

Later we visit Rockfort most famed landmark is an 83 m high rock which is the only outcrop in the otherwise flat land of the city. The most amazing fact about the rock is that it is one of the oldest in the world approximately 3,800 million years, which makes it as old as the rocks of Greenland & older than the Himalayas.

Overnight Hotel Madurai (Breakfast)



Day 07: Madurai

Today we visit to Meenakshi Sundareshwar was first built 2000 years ago & was substantially expanded between the years (1623-55 AD). Initially there was only the Shiva temple. A striking feature of the temple is the astonishing structure known as Ayiramkaal mandapam or the Hall of a thousand pillars in the outermost corridor.

Overnight Hotel Madurai (Breakfast)



Day 08: Madurai - Periyar (136 km - 3 hr)

Today we drive to Periyar, Set on an attractive lakeside, it is South India's most popular Wildlife Sanctuary. Periyar is a place to cruise on the lake & gives an opportunity to see wildlife. It is home to tigers, leopards, elephants, bison, antelopes, sambhar, wild boar, monkey, a wide variety of birds.

Afternoon Spice Plantation tour.

Overnight Hotel Periyar (Breakfast)



Day 09: Periyar Cochin (165 Km / 4 hours)

Morning Elephant Ride and later we drive to Cochin always had a very popular & historical sea trade connection with Middle East, Mediterranean Europe, Dutch & British. It has one of the finest natural harbours on the Arabian coastline. Its cosmopolitan character is reflected in the buildings & structures representing different regions of the world. It is one of the few places in the world where one can see a Jewish synagogue, Portuguese churches, architecture, mosques, temples & Chinese fishing nets, all in one city. A city of peninsulas & islands, today it is Kerala's commercial hub.

Evening witness Kerala's most popular traditional classical dance Kathakali.

Overnight Hotel - Cochin (Breakfast)



Day 10 : Cochin - Kumarakom (60 kms Approx 1 hrs drive)

Full Day Tour

Today we take a tour of Cochin, visiting St. Francis' Church, built in the year 1503 by Portuguese, Franciscan Friars & known to be the oldest European church in India. It was restored in the year 1779 by the protestant Dutch, converted to an Anglican Church by the British in 1795. Vasco da Gama's remains were buried here in 1524 & later moved to Lisbon, Portugal. We also visit Dutch Palace, originally built by the Portuguese. Later in 17th century they modified it & presented it to the Raja (King) of Kochi (Cochin). The Palace has a fine collection of mural paintings depicting scenes from Hindu epics, Mahabharata & Ramayana.

Later we visit Jew Town, synagogue, built in the year 1568, is magnificently decorated by Chinese tiles & Belgian chandeliers. Giant scrolls of the Old Testament can be found here. Also visit the spice market, where the air is filled with the pungent smell of spices & history that brought the world to its doorstep. 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.

Later we drive to Kumarakom. Kumarakom. It is a cluster of little islands, on the Vembanad Lake in Kerala. Kuttanad, the 'Wonder Land' believed to have been lying below the sea level, sprang out into the marshes when the sea receded later. The land of lakes, canals & paddy fields, Kumarakom transports you to sheer ecstasy. Holiday on the houseboats, traditional Kettuvallam, are an out-of-this-world experience. Furthermore Vembanad Lake is home to several types of marine life exclusively the Karimeen (Pearl Spotted Fish), Chemeen (Prawns) & Konju (Tiger Prawns).

Overnight Hotel Kumarakom (Breakfast)



Day 11: Kumarakom - Alleppey (Houseboat)

Morning we visit Kumarakom Bird sanctuary. There are two seasons for birds: between October & February there are cormorants, teals, & other ducks & from February to July there are darters (snake birds), night herons, egrets, & Siberian storks. It also has golden backed woodpecker, crow pheasant, white-breasted water hen, tree pie etc.

Later we transfer you to Jetty and upon arrival we board the houseboat, locally called Kettuvallam, cruise around beautiful backwaters of Alleppey to Kumarakom to observe & experience the daily life of the villagers along the backwaters.

Overnight Houseboat (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)



Day 12: Arrive Alleppey - Kovalam (180 kms/04 hours)

Today morning we disembark houseboat at Alleppy & we drive to Kovalam, en route visit Trivandrum, the Padmanabha Swami Temple, dedicated to Lord Vishnu is held sacred by the Hindus from antiquity. The temple has a large complex with a huge Gopuram. It has a tank beside it for ritual bathing. Next we visitNapier Museum: This 19th century structure displays a rare collection of archaeological artifacts, bronze idols, ancient ornaments, a temple chariot and ivory carvings. The Indo-Saracenic structure boasts of a natural air-conditioning system that bears testimony to the technological progress of that period. Sri Chitra Art Gallery, an excellent collection of Indian art with examples from early to modern schools. Paintings by Raja Ravi Varma & works from Mughal & Rajput miniature paintings & Tanjore paintings embellished with semi- precious stones are displayed. Also visit the beautiful Horsu Palace.

Resume your drive, reach Kovalam located at the most Southern part of India and famous for it's beaches. There are two main beaches at Kovalam, separated by a high cliff. It is finding a new significance in the light of several Ayurvedic salons, & recuperation & regeneration resorts which provide a slew of Ayurvedic.

Overnight Hotel Kovalam (Breakfast)



Day 13: Kovalam

Day at leisure on the beach.

Overnight Hotel- Kovalam.



Day 14: Kovalam Trivandrum (30 km - 30 Minuts)

Day at leisure, later transfer to Trivandrum Airport to board your flight for on ward destination with memories of India Trip.

Our tour concludes: Caper thanks you for your patronage & look forward serve you again in near future
Tour Package by
21
Trips
4
21 Ratings
132
Months
Reviews
Taukeer ansari
from Mumbai, India
5 ★
Supb exlnt prfct
Heather Scott
from Belfast, United Kingdom
5 ★
Thank you for your help with my tour in India. I had a brilliant holiday.
Stephanie Bell
4 ★
Very good. Sunil was always available by phone and sorted out any issues for us promptly. The arrangements were made as we specified and we certainly couldn't have arranged the trip ourselves.
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