Company representative will receive you at the airport and transfer you to the hotel.
Reach and relax at the hotel. Overnight stay will be at hotel.
Day 02 - Chennai - Mahabalipuram
By Road in 2.5 hrs
Breakfast will be at the resort.
The first British Warehouse came up in 1639 when the British acquired the sandy beach from the local Nayaks on lease. It was called Madraspatinam then. Later by 1654, the Fort St. George was built. Still later the neighboring villages were included in the city which came either as grants or gifts. Triplicane was rented from the Sultan of Golconda in 1676. In 1744 Robert Clive worked as a writer from the Fort, later to become a military man of British Army. The Fort House, which housed the Governor and his council, were added in the 17th Century, the Assembly Hall in 1910 and the Secretariat in 1925.
All the neighboring areas were merged into the city now known as Madras or as Chennai as it is officially known. Until Independence, Madras was the capital of what in British times was called the Madras Presidency, comprising nearly the whole of South India, including the Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam and Kannada speaking areas.
Proceed for a half - day sightseeing tour of
Santhome Cathedral: Built by Portuguese in the 14th and 15th century, this Cathedral is named after St. Thomas. Historically important, it is one of the pilgrimages for the Christian community.
Fort St. George: It is one the first few bastions built by the east India company, marks the beginning of Chennai as a modern city. It occupies a place of pride and prominence in Chennai. This bastion achieved its name from St. George, the patron saint of England. The state legislature and the secretariat are located in Fort St. George. It houses the St. Mary's church the oldest Anglican Church in India which was built in 1680 and the tombstones in its courtyard are the oldest British tombstones in India. The Fort Museum, once a building that housed Chennai's first lighthouse, first commercial bank and first 'club', is now a well-kept repository of tangible memories of early Madras.
Kapaleeswarar Temple: Dedicated to Lord Shiva, Kapaleeswarar temple has inscriptions from the 13th century A.D. The temple 'Gopuram' (tower) is in the characteristic Dravidian style of architecture. The walls and pillars of temple have very delicate and intricate carvings which depict the scenes from Hindu mythology.
Later Proceed to Mahabalipuram. Reach and check into the hotel.
A few miles south of Chennai, at Mahabalipuram, on the sandy shores of the Bay of Bengal, a beautiful group of rock-cut monuments evokes the past. This ancient seaport was once the main harbor and naval base of the great Pallava Empire and is today the site of an enchanting seaside assemblage of temples and shrines. It was well known in the 1st century known to Greek traders, and was the Pallava's second city. Though their power waned nearly 1200 years ago, they left a breathtaking legacy in four distinct kinds of sculpture, rathas (temple chariots), bas-relief sculptural panels, rock-cut caves, and free standing temples.
Seventh-century carvings of the Pallava dynasty include a series of freestanding boulders carved to resemble small temples and animals. Rock - cut caves and a masterful stone bas-relief are nearby. The 'Penance of Arjuna' relief, cut on two huge rocks, shows scores of figures of deities, people and animals including, according to one interpretation, the emaciated figure of Arjuna, the great warrior of the Mahabharata, standing on one leg and doing penance, praying to Lord Shiva for the strength to destroy his enemies. Sadhus of today perform this exact act of sacrificial devotion. On the adjacent beach stands one of South India's oldest temples, the Shore Temple, its foundations washed for twelve centuries by the frothy sea.
Overnight will be at Mahabalipuram.
Day 03 - Mahabalipuram
After breakfast, proceed for the full the city sightseeing which will include a visit to
CAVES: There are nine rock-cut temples. The Mahishasuramardhini cave, depicting the goddess fighting a demon on one side and Lord Vishnu's cosmic sleep on the other, is a particularly remarkable one.
KRISHNA MANDAPAM: A bas-relief, notable for its realistic representation. The panel relates to one of the stories of Lord Krishna.
ARJUNA'S PENANCE: This is the world's largest bas relief measuring 27m X 9m. This huge whale-backed rock contains figures of gods, demigods, men, beasts, birds and almost all of the entire creation. And, this is easily the pride of Mamallapuram.
THE FIVE RATHAS: There are the five monolithic temples, each created in a different style. They are also known as the Pancha Pandava Rathas - and four out of the five rathas are supposed to have been carved out of a single rock.
THE SHORE TEMPLE: This is one of the oldest temples. Unique about this temple is the fact that it houses shrines for both Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu. This belongs to the early 8th century AD and it is a classic example of the first phase of structural temples constructed in pure Dravidian style.
Evening will be at leisure.
Overnight will be at Mahabalipuram.
Day 04 - Mahabalipuram - Dakshinachitra - Chennai
By road in 1.5 hrs
Chennai - Madurai:
By Flight (early evening)
Breakfast will be at hotel. Proceed to Chennai en-route visit Dakshinachitra.
DakshinaChitra is an exciting cross cultural living museum of art, architecture, lifestyles, crafts and performing arts of South India.
Reach Madurai. Meet and assist at the airport and transfer to the hotel.
One of South India's great temple towns, Madurai is synonymous with the celebrated Meenakshi Temple. Situated on the banks of river Vaigai, Madurai has a rich cultural heritage passed on from the great Tamil era more than 2500 years old. Madurai was an important cultural and commercial centre even as early as 550 AD. Madurai was the Capital city for the great Pandyas kings. Tamil & Greek documents record the existence of Madurai from the 4th Century BC. The city was known to the Greeks through Magathenes who was their ambassador to the court of Chandraguptha Mauriya. This city was popular in trade especially in spices. It was also the site the Sangam the academy of the Tamil Poets. And Madurai is the centre of all the cities and Madurai is famous for the cotton Sungudi Saris.
Madurai's Main attraction is the Famous Sri Meenakshi Amman temple a riotously baroque example of Dravidian architecture with Gopurams carved from top to bottom in a breathtaking profusion of multicolored images of Gods. Sri Meenakshi Amman temple dates back to 2000 Years back and designed in 1560 by Vishwanatha Nayaka and built during the reign of Tirumalai Nayaka. The Temple occupies an area of six hectares. There are 12 temple towers (Gopurams). The outer towers are the landmarks of Madurai. The enormous temple complex is dedicated to Shiva, known here as Sundareshvara and his consort Parvati or Meenakshi. Kulasekara Pandyas, but the entire credit built the original temple for making the temple as splendid as it is today goes to the Nayaks. The Nayaks ruled Madurai from the 16th to the 18th century and left a majestic imprint of their rule in the Meenakshi - Sundareswarar Temple. The temple complex is within a high-walled enclosure, at the core of which is the two sanctums for Meenakshi and Sundareswarar, surrounded by a number of smaller shrines and grand pillared halls. The impressive GOPURAMS (towers) rise from solid granite bases, and are covered with stucco figures of deities, mythical animals and monsters painted in vivid colors.
Evening will be at leisure.
Overnight will be at Madurai.
Day 05 - Madurai
After breakfast, enjoy the sightseeing of the temple town.
Thousand Pillar Museum: Located inside the temple and has a variety of collections.
Gandhi Museum: The Gandhi Memorial Museum is one of the distinct places to be visited in Madurai. This Museum is one of the rare living memorials of "The Father of India". The Museum is set in relaxing grounds and has a clear historical account of India's struggle for Independence.
The Vishnu Temple: There is a Vishnu Shrine called Kudal Algar (Kudal is the former names this town) and it is said that Lord Vishnu came down to this place to give away Meenakshi to God Sundareshwara. The vimana or the tower of the god in the temple is of a very fine workmanship and is known as the Ashtanga Vimana. The Marriage of the Meenakshi is to have been celebrated on the day of Panguni Uttram generally occurring on the Full moon day of the month of Panguni (March - April). And is a very important Event in this place.
Thirumalai Nayak Palace: This Palace was built in 1636 by King Thirumalai Nayak with the help of an Italian Architect. The building we see today was the main Palace where the King lived. The original Palace Complex was four times bigger than the present structure. This palace consisted mainly of two parts, namely Swargavilasa and Rangavilasa. In these two parts, there are royal residence, theatre, shrine, apartments, armoury, palanquin place, royal bandstand, quarters, pond and garden. King Thirumalai Nayak celebrated festivals like Sceptre festival, Navarathri, Chithirai festival, Masi festival and the Float festival. He conducted daily dance and music performances in the palace. This palace was destroyed by his grandson Chokkanatha Nayak and the valuables were transferred to other places. During the British rule, in 1822, Lord Napier made several renovation works. Then the palace was utilized to house some officials of the judiciary and district administration. After independence, this palace was declared as a national monument and is now under the care of the Tamilnadu Archaeological Department.
Vandiyur Mariamman Teppakulam: Vandiyur Mariamman Teppakulam is a huge temple tank about 5 km east of the Meenakshi temple. The mandapam in the centre has an idol of Vigneshwara (Vinayaka). According to the Vedic History when the earth was being dug out from here to build the Thirumalai Nayakkar Mahal. So, the place attained sanctity and was converted into a teppakulam (tank). This enormous temple tank is fed by water brought from the Vagai through an ingenious system of underground Channels. King Thirumalai Nayak born in 'Poosa' Star so in commemorating the birth of the king "Float Festival" is conducted in Tamil Month 'Thai' (Jan/Feb) in the tank in a colorful way, which attracts thousands of tourists.
Evening enjoy the SOUND & LIGHT SHOW.
Overnight will be at Madurai.
Day 06 - Madurai - Chennai - Cochin
After the breakfast proceed to the airport for the flight to Cochin via Chennai.
Reach Cochin. Meet and assist at the airport and get transferred to the hotel.
The eventful history of this city began when a major flood in AD 1341 threw open the estuary at Kochi, till then a land locked region, turning it into one of the finest natural harbors in the world. Kochi thus became a haven for seafaring visitors from all over the world and became the first European town-ship in India when the Portuguese settled here in the 15th century.
Evening enjoy the Kathakali dance presentation.
Overnight stay will be at hotel.
Day 07 - Cochin
Breakfast will be at hotel.
Proceed for a sightseeing tour of FORT COCHIN. A few interesting sites included in the tour are the Chinese fishing nets along the Vasco Da Gama Square, Santa Cruz Basilica, St. Francis Church, VOC Gate, Bastion Bungalow, Jewish Synagogue, Mattancherry Palace, etc. Learn the operation of the interesting Chinese fishing nets erected on teak wood and bamboo poles which work on the principle of balance. Records say they were first set up here between AD 1350 and 1450. Vasco Da Gama Square, the narrow promenade that parallels the beach, is the best place to watch the nets being lowered and pulled out of the sea.
After wash and change, proceed for the half day sightseeing of
Old Cochin area - this is one of the oldest Jewish communities in the world. The Jewish community traces its history to nearly 2000 years ago. In 1948 the community numbered 2500 and today there are fewer that 30 people. The community is still centered round JEWTOWN where you will visit its crown Jewel, the Paradesi Synagogue. Built in 1568 and reconstructed after a Portugese bombardment in 1662, the synagogue is distinguished by its tile roof and bell tower. The small synagogue is also known for its hand-painted, willow-patterned, blue and white Chinese floor tiles, and the many brass and crystal lamps that hang from the ceiling. Later visit the interesting International Pepper Exchange, also located in Jewtown.
Chinese Fishing nets: The Chinese fishing nets erected on teak wood and bamboo poles work on the principle of balance. Records say they were first set up here between AD 1350 and 1450. Vasco Da Gama Square, the narrow promenade that parallels the beach, is the best place to watch the nets being lowered and pulled out of the sea. Learn the operation of the interesting Chinese fishing nets erected on teak wood and bamboo poles which work on the principle of balance.
The other important places are the Vasco Da Gama Square, Santa Cruz Basilica, St. Francis Church, VOC Gate, Bastion Bungalow, Mattancherry Palace, etc. Records say they were first set up here between AD 1350 and 1450.
Cochin - Kumarokom:
By Road in 01 hr
Proceed towards Kumarakom enjoying the beauty of the traditional Kerala houses. You will also pass through rolling tea gardens and rubber plantations. Stop at a tea factory to see the tea - making process.
Reach Kumarokom. Enjoy a visit to the BIRD PARK.
Check into a traditional houseboat of Kerala Style and go on a leisurely backwater cruise along the lake on a thatched houseboat.
The backwaters act as a vital waterway for the transport of goods, people and their produce are often the only link between isolated villages and crowded towns. In Kerala, the total expanse of backwater stretches over 1500 km, with a network of 44 rivers, lagoons and lakes from north to south. Alleppey which forms the main part of this network has the peculiar geographical feature of having the water in level with the land. This gives the advantage of getting a closer look at the village life on shore while on a backwater ride.
Talk to the crew and sip your tea while enjoying the backwaters and seeing life pass by. The meals and refreshments will be served on the boat.
Overnight will be at Houseboat.
Day 08 - Alleppey to Mararikulam (Marari)
By Road in 40 min
Breakfast will be in the houseboat.
Disembark from houseboat and you will be transferred to Mararikulam (Marai) - a fishing village, where life still goes on much as it did a hundred years ago, with the men going out to sea each day to earn a living bringing in the daily catch.
Completely new to the holidaymaker, Marari offers endless miles of superb sand beaches backed by swaying palms, virgin territory, where you can experience the local charm and tradition at it's best. It is here where the tranquility, the stunning scenery and the feeling of being transported back in time, makes it a fantastic and memorable experience. Your accommodation for the next three nights will be at "Marari Beach Resort", which is one of the best seaside resorts in South India. It's the right place to explore the sea from its closest safe proximity.
Overnight will be at Marari Beach Resort.
Day 09 - Marari
Breakfast will be at resort.
Leisure day at "Marari Beach Resort" to explore on you own. There are many activities like: village walk, bird watching, local temple visit, spend time with fisherman on the beach when they get the fishing nets out early morning and bi-cycle ride to name a few. You can also experience the traditional "Kerala Ayuveda" and some yoga during these days in Marari.
Overnight will be at Marari Beach Resort.
Day 10 - Departure to Cochin airport
By road in 2.5 hrs
Relax at the beaches after the breakfast. Enjoy some Ayurvedic massages.
Later proceed to the international airport for flight home with the sweet memories of the tour
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