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club travels
enchanting kerala

Colorful South India

Places Covered : CHENNAI (MADRAS)- KANCHIPURAM - MAHABALIPURAM- PONDICHERRY- CHIDAMBARAM - TANJORE - TRICHY - MADURAI - PERIYAR - KUMARAKOM - ALLEPPY - COCHIN
Tour Duration : 12 Nights / 13 Days


Related Tours
South India Temple Tour
South India Pilgrimage Tour
South India Culture Tour
South India Heritage Tour
Southern Highlight Tour
Goa Beach Tour

Detailed Itinary :


Day 1 : CHENNAI :

Arrive Chennai, ransfer to Hotel. Overnight Chennai (Madras).

CHENNAI – Chennai (or Madras as it was known earlier) is the capital of Tamil Nadu. It is also the third largest metropolis in India. Chennai has the different face of India - classical, ancient, gentle. Definitely touched by colonialism but not ravaged by wars and intensely aware of its roots and traditions. Chennai itself has largely remained a business city - the automobile industry, International giants included, has seen advancement in particular in the last few years. Overnight at Hotel

chennai bridge
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Day 2 : CHENNAI – KANCHIPURAM – MAHABALIPURAM :

Morning : City tour with visit of Kapaleeswar – ancient Shiva temple dating back to 1250 AD, the Santhome Cathedral Church built in 14 and 15 century then drive to Mahabalipuram (60 kms / 01 hrs). Enroute visiting KANCHIPURAM. Upon arrival check-in at Hotel

MAHABALIPURAM – The little seaside town of Mahabalipuram (also known as Mamallapuram), an hour's drive from Chennai, has a beautiful beach spanning 20 kms. The 7th century town is famous for its rock-hewn temples, sculptures and the world's largest stone bas-relief. A crocodile farm, snake venom extracting centre, schools of art and sculpture and a wide choice of resorts along the beach draw holiday-seekers all round the year. Rest of the day free for independent activity. Overnight at Hotel

kanchipuram-temple
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Day 3 : MAHABALIPURAM :

Morning : After breakfast city tour, Mahabalipuram is a sculptors delight. Among the noteworthy sites in the vicinity of the town are Arjuna’s Penance, Krishna Mandapam, Varaha Caves, Five Rathas and Shore temples. Rest of the day free for independent activity. Overnight at Hotel.

mahabalipuram-temple
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Day 4 : MAHABALIPURAM – PONDICHERRY :

Morning: Drive to Pondicherry (105 kms / 02 hrs). On arrival, check-in at Hotel.

PONDICHERRY – During the middle of this century, Europe seemed to have one obsession and on destination in India. That is why any power worth its gunpowder set its sights for a piece of that cake. France was amongst the first to carve a foothold. The French first arrived in India in 1670 AD. The city presents an unusual combination of European culture and Indian traditions.

Afternoon : City tour, visiting 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 Aurobindo Ashram which draws devotees from all over the world. Overnight at Hotel.

puducherry
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Day 5 : PONDICHERRY – CHIDAMBARAM - TANJORE :

Morning : Drive to Tanjore enroute visiting Chidambaram [ 200 kms \ 5 hours drive from Pondicherry]. Chidambaram – Is an important pilgrim centre and holy place for devotees of SHIVA as the famous Nataraja Temple is located here. The Temple covers an area of 40 acres. The top roof of the sanctum sanctorum is covered with gold plates and strings. The Temple is Closed between – 12.00 PM to 04.00 PM. Upon arrival at Tanjore, check-in at Hotel

TANJORE : Tanjore was the ancient capital of the Chola Kings whose origins, (like those of the Pallavas, Pandyas and Cheras with whom they shared the tip of the Indian peninsula). go back to the beginning of the Christian era. Power struggles between these groups were a constant feature of their early history with one or other gaining the ascendancy at various times. Rest of the day free for independent activity. Overnight at Hotel.

chidambaram
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Day 6 : TANJORE – TRICHY :

Morning : Sightseeing tour of TANJORE, now known as THANJAVUR. Modern Thanjavur is a fertile plain which is referred to as the ‘ rice bowl’ of Tamil Nadu. Located on the eastern coast of central Tamil Nadu, it has the distinction of having been the capital of Cholas – one of the greatest dynasties of the South. The Cholas were great temple builders and Thanjavur bears witness to this being dotted with no fewer than 74 temples – the most famous of which is the Brahadeeswarar Temple, a World Heritage Monument. Also visit THE PALACE, located near the temple, has huge corridors and spacious halls.

Afternoon : Drive to Trichy 60 km / 02 hrs. Upon arrival at Trichy, check-in at Hotel

TRICHY (Tiruchirappalli) : The most famous landmark of this bustling town is the Rock Fort Temple, a spectacular monument perched on a massive rocky outcrop which rises abruptly from the plain to tower over the old city. Trichy itself has a long history going back to the centuries before the Christian era when it was a Chola citadel. Rest of the day free for Independent activity. Overnight at Hotel.

tanjore-temple
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Day 7 : TRICHY :

Morning : Proceed to full day city tour. Visiting ROCK FORT TEMPLE – The temple tops an 83m high outcrop. This smooth rock was first hewn by the Pallavas who cut small cave temples into the southern face, but it was the Nayaks who made use of its naturally fortified position. SRI RANGANATHASWAMY TEMPLE (Srirangam) – This superb temple complex about three km from the Rock Fort, is surrounded by seven concentric walls with 21 gopurams and is probably the largest in India. SRI JAMBUKESHWARA TEMPLE – This temple is dedicated to Shiva and has five concentric walls and seven gopurams. It’s built around a Shiva lingam partly submerged in water that comes from a spring in the sanctum sanctorum. Non-Hindus are not allowed in this part of the temple. ST. JOHN’S CHURCH – Built in 1812, this Church has louverd side doors which can be opened to turn the Church into an airy pavilion. Overnight at Hotel

trichy-rockfort
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Day 8 : TANJORE –MADURAI :

Morning : Drive to Madurai 130 km / 04 hrs. Upon arrival, check-in at Hotel

MADURAI – Situated on the banks of Vaigai River & is the second largest city in Tamil Nadu. It is more than 2500 years old and is an important cultural and commercial centre. Madurai, once the seat of Tamil learning and still the place where Tamil language is spoken in its purest form is an ancient fifty planned in the shape of a lotus. Rest of the day free for Independent activity. Overnight at Hotel.

madurai-sculpture
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Day 9 : MADURAI :

Morning : City tour to Madurai visiting SRI MEENAKSHI TEMPLE – The main city area revolves around Meenakshi Temple, with its baroque example of Dravidian architecture and the four tall gopurams (pillars) with multicolored gods, goddesses, demons and deities. The 1,000 pillared hall has stone figures carved on the pillars, some of which sound like metal when hit with an object. The metal stone or musical pillar, although made of stone, produces sounds of different metals. Temple timings : 05.00 AM to 12.00 PM & 04.00 PM – 09.00 PM. TIRUPARANKUNDRAM TEMPLE – The rock-cut temple, eight km south of town, is one of the abodes of Sundareshwara. ALAGARKOLI TEMPLE – Also known as Azhagar Koil is 21 km north of Madurai. A hilltop Vaishnavaite temple. During the festival of Chithirai, a gold icon is carried in procession from this temple to Madurai. And some other places in Madurai. like Vishnu Temple, Madanogopal Temple and Water tank. Rest of the day free for Independent activity. Overnight in Hotel.

madurai-temple
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Day 10 : MADURAI – PERIYAR :

Morning : Drive to Periyar – approx 180 kms \ 5 hours drive – on arrival check – in at Hotel.

PERIYAR – Periyar Sanctuary was the earliest sanctuary to be set up in 1934. The sanctuary extends to 777 sq. kms and forms part of the High mountain Ranges, the Western Ghats. Wild Life can be seen while cruising on Periyar lake in a motorboat. Amongst the animals are wild elephants that can be seen and photographed at close quarters, wild boar, sambar, tiger, leopard wild dog and langur monkeys. Rest of the day free for Independent activity. Overnight at Hotel

periyar-spice-village
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Day 11 : PERIYAR – KUMARAKOM :

Early morning cruise over Lake Periyar by Motor boat to witness wildlife.

Morning : Drive to Kumarakom 140 kms / approx 04 hrs. Upon arrival at Kumarakom, check-in at Hotel

KUMARAKOM – On the bank of Vembanad Lake, an ideal place for backwater cruises. The Kumarakom bird sanctuary sprawls over 14 acres. Afternoon : Free at leisure. Overnight at Hotel

periyar-lake
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Day 12 : KUMARAKOM ~ ALLEPPY – COCHIN :

Morning : Cruise on scenic back water by motor boat upto Alleppy. Upon arrival at Alleppy, drive to Cochin, 60 Kms / approx 02 hrs. Upon arrival at Cochin, check-in at Hotel.

COCHIN – One of the finest natural harbours on the Arabian Sea coast, Cochin, also known as Kochi, 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. A city of peninsulas and islands, today it is Kerala’s commercial hub.

Afternoon : Free at leisure Overnight at Hotel.

kumarakom-houseboat
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Day 13 : COCHIN :

Morning : Proceed to full day city tour. Visiting ST. FRANCIS CHURCH – India’s oldest European built church was constructed in 1503 by Portuguese Franciscan friars who accompanied the expedition led by Pedro Alvarez Cabral. SANTA CRUZ BASILICA – This large, impressive church dates from 1902, and has a fantastical pastel-coloured interior. MATTANCHEERY – Built by the Portuguese in 1555, Mattancherry Palace was presented to the Raja of cochin, Veera Kerala Varma (1537-61), as a gesture of goodwill.

Evening : Enjoy cruise over Cochin Harbour to witness sunset. CHINESE FISHING NETS – Strung out along the tip of Fort Cochin, these fixed, cantilevered fishing nets were introduced by traders from the court of Kublai Khan. Option : Visit to Kathakali Dance show. Overnight at Hotel. Departure to Cochin Airport and take flight for his destination.

cochin-seaspot

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