Colours of South India
14 nights/15 days
Day 1: Arrival in Chennai.
Meet upon arrival and transfer to hotel. Chennai city: visiting, the fort St. George and St. Marry's church-built by the British East India company in 1653 ad. A church within the fort was consecrated in 1680. The high court, built in the indo saracenic Style. The San Thome cathedral - St. Thomas the apostle is said to be buries here. Marina beach - one of the lovliest beaches in the world
Day 2: Chennai/Mahabalipuram/Pondicherry.
Drive to Pondicherry enroute visiting 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. Continue drive to Pondicherry. Its beautiful ride along the southern coast. Enroute you pass through salt making plains also. Also visit Auriville complex, an international community living. The Auriville complex is the brainchild of "the mother". The late French woman devotee of Sri Aurobindo to whom the spiritual authority was passed on after the death of Sri Aurobindo. Continue to Pondicherry and check in hotel. Pm: sightseeing tour of French quarters and it looks as if you are in some French city. Also walk along the sea front boulevard, old Pondicherry flower / vegetable market. Eve: walk around in French colonial area
Day 3: Pondicherry/Tanjore.
After breakfast drive to Tanjore (132kms/3hrs) visiting Kumbakonam and Darsuream temples enroute. Kumbakonam: 38 kms from Thanjavur. Well-known pilgrim centre for both Saivites and Vaishnavites. The temples here are dedicated to Adi Kumbeshwara, Nageshwara, Chakrapani, Ramaswamy and Sarangapani. Darasuram: 5 kms from south of Kumbakonam, has the Airavatesvara temple – the third of the great chola temples after Thanjavur and Gangaikondacholapuram, built during the reign of Rajaraja ii. Continue drive to Tanjore & on arrival check in at hotel. Pm: Tanjore (Thanjavur): Tanjore was the capital of Chola empire from the 10th to 14th century a.d. Built in 1003 a.d. By king Rajaraja. This temple is considered the grandest and finest in India. The majestic tower of the temple rises 216 ft. High over the city. The temple is capped by a monolithic cupola formed by a single granite block weighing 80 tonnes. This enormous Stone is said to have been positioned by moving it along an inclined plane which commenced in a village 6 km. Away - a technique adopted by the pyramid-builders of ancient Egypt.
Day 4: Tanjore/Trichy/Madurai.
Drive to Tanjore/Madurai (210km/05hrs), visiting Trichy en-route. Srirangam: this is a picturesque island ringed by the river Cauvery and its tributary Kollidam, 5 km north of Trichy. Sri Ranganathaswamy temple here is one of the largest Vaishnavite temples in south India. With 21 magnificent towers, the temple is surrounded by seven walls which hold the city itself. Continue drive to Madurai. On arrival check in at hotel. Pm: Meenakshi temple: this is an exquisite example of temples built by the Pandyan rulers. There are as many as 11 majestic towers with the main entrance from the east. There are two shrines, one dedicated to Sundreswarar and the other to his consort Meenakshi. The hall in front of the Sundareswarar shrine is known as Kampathadi Mandapam. The different manifestations of lord Shivaare depicted on the pillars of this hall. The hall of thousand pillars is the most interesting feature. This remarkable Structure was built in the 16th century. The pillars here have a repeated motif of the Stylised dragon. There are musical pillars in one of the outer enclosures. Each pillar sounds a different note when Struck. Inside, apillared portico surrounds he sacred golden lotus tank. According to a legend, this tank was once used to judge the merits of Tamil literary works. Manuscripts of great worth would float on its discerning waters, while those lacking in merit would sink. The temple art gallery is interesting. Eve: witness arti ceremony at Meenakshi temple.
Day 5: Madurai/Munnar.
After breakfast drive Madurai/Munnar up the hills of Western Ghats from Eastern side. The journey is very beautiful but coaches move slowly due up hill drive. (160kms/6hrs). On arrival check -in at hotel. Munnar is a sleepy little hill Station of south India with a nature Still being preserved. It is very green and natural scenic beauty to be enjoyed
Day 6: visit Munnar town and market, visit Tata tea museum if time permits
Day 7: Munnar/Periyar.
Drive to Periyar (140kmr/04 hrs), on arrival check-in at hotel. Pm: spice plantation visit is a 1½ hrs program. Kerala history is closely linked with its commerce, which in turn was wholly dependent until recent times on its spice trade. Pepper Still remains the king of Kerala spices. Over 12 varieties of spices including ginger, garlic, cardamom, vanilla, pepper, cinnamon, coffee, tea, clove etc is cultivated. Visit of spice plantations definitely be an exciting program for everyone. Late afternoon: boat ride in lake Periyar to Periyar wildlife sanctury - 80 kms from Kottayam, surrounds the Periyar lake formed by a dam across the Periyar river. This tropical forest reserve has all the major birds, animals as well as flora which a nature lover would like to see. A variety of wildlife, from elephants, bison, leopards and tigers to monkeys may be seen, either from lodges or viewing huts or from a launch cruising down the lake which meanders through the jungle-covered hills that surround it.
Day 8: Periyar/Cochin.
Drive to Cochin (160kmr/05 hrs), enroute backwater cruise for 02 hours. Backwater cruise: the motor-launch cruise on the enchanting backwaters through the coconut groves and quite lagoons is an exciting tour driving thru narrow canals and see the locals bathing washing and doing other daily chores of life. On arrival check-in at hotel.
Day 9: Cochin:
visit to the Cochin harbour terminus, Mattancheery Dutch palace, Jewish synagogue, Jew town, fort Cochin Area-St. Francis church, Chinese fishing nets. Also at ernakulam, the public gardens, colleges, high court building and broadway shopping centre. Pm: free for shopping (with coach)
Day 10: Cochin:
Drive to Guruvayur. On arrival check-in at hotel. Visit Guruvayur temple from outside. Also visit elephant camp at Putanarkote near Guruvayur temple. Here almost 65 elephants are bred in captivity who is used in temple festivals.
Day 11: Guruvayur.
Drive to Wayanad (190kms/05hrs) this road goes along the coastal shore, landing of Vasco de Gama & is beautiful drive up the western Ghats. On arrival check-in at hotel. Visit Edakal caves: the rather Striking representation of an ancient warrior chieftain is a part of a rich array of Neolithic rock art inscribed on the walls of Eddakal caves are one of the most important sites of PrehiStoric human settlement in southern Asia. One can also visit many waterfalls in the hills of Waynad in the southern Ghats. Visit tribal museum and enjoy the rain forest and nature at its best
Day 12: Waynad/Mysore.
After breakfast drive to Mysore (150 kms/04 hrs 30 mins). On arrival check in at hotel.
Pm: sightseeing tour of Mysore visiting, maharaja’s palace; the art gallery, housed in the Jagan Mohan palace, has a collection of absorbing paintings; Chamundi Hill, is the Chamundeswari temple at an altitude of 3,489 ft; central food technological research institute; government silk factory .
Day 13: Mysore/ Bangalore.
Drive to Bangalore (150kmr/04 hrs). On arrival check-in at hotel. Pm: Bangalore city: the capital of Karnataka State & India’s Silicon Valley is a former, British garrison town with its wide avenues, classical bungalows and gothic churches. Sometime in local mall for shopping and then transfer to railway Station for train to Bangalore.
Day 14: Bangalore. Day free for shopping (no vehicle)
Day 15: Bangalore/Mauritius. Transfer to airport to connect flight to Mauritius
The above package includes:
14 nights’ accommodation sharing twin with breakfast only
All tour & sightseeing by coach
English speaking guide
Spice plantation tour in Periyar
Boat ride in Periyar lake
Backwater cruise in Allepy
Present govt. Taxes
The above package excludes:
Entrance fees, items of personal nature such as laundry, telephone calls, drinks, tips at the restaurant, hotels, porterage, visa fee & tips.