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Day 01:  EUROPE – CHENNAI

Upon clearing Customs and Immigration, you are met by our representative who will present you with a welcome pack including all necessary documentation and arrange for your transfer to your hotel for check-in.

CHENNAI: - Capital city of Tamilnadu and “Gateway to the South” is many things to many people .One of  India’s four leading metropolises, this city of 70 sq miles( 180 sq.Km.) and million people has been variously described as “ The Queen of the Coromandel”, “The First City of Empire” ,City of Shrines” ‘’City of Tradition and Culture. It is variety that makes Chennai one of the most fascinating cities in India. It was founded only 350 years ago, the first of the cities of Britain’s Age of Empire. But as it grew, it took and port of the Coromandel, and is took within its bounds many an ancient town and port of the Coromandel, and is today curious amalgam of Coromandel – ancient, imperial and Modern.

Overnight at hotel.

Day 02: CHENNAI

Breakfast        : at Hotel.
Morning           : Proceed for sight seeing tour of CHENNAI, visit following monuments / places:

Fort St George -Built in the 1640 A.D., the first bastion of British power of India, the fort has undergone much alteration. The fort is now used by the Tamilnadu Legislative Assembly and the Secretariat office. The 46m high flagstaff at the front is actually a mast salvaged from a 17th century shipwreck.
St Mary's Church – Built in 1678-80, was the first English Church in Chennai, and is the oldest surviving British Church in India. There are reminders in the Church of Clive, who was married here in 1753, and of Elihu Yale, the early Governor of Chennai who later founded the famous American University bearing his name.
The Fort Museum - It has a collection of objects from the tenure of the East India Company in Chennai including letters from Robert Clive.

Rest of the day: free at leisure.

Overnight at hotel.

Day 03: CHENNAI – KANCHIPURAM - MAHABALIPURAM

Breakfast        : at Hotel.
Morning           : Drive to Mahabalipuram (141Kms +- 4h), enroute visit Kanchipuram.

KANCHIPURAM: - Kanchipuram, the city of thousand temples. One of the seven sacred cities of Hindus, it was the capital of the early Cholas as far back as the 2nd century BC. Kanchi was a major seat of Tamil learning as well as an important place of pilgrimage for Buddhists, Jains and Hindus. In Kanchipuram you will see Kailasanatha Temple, Vaikunda Perumal Temple, Kamaskhi Amman Temple, Varatharaja Temple and Ekambareswara Temple.

Continue drive to Mahabalipuram, upon arrival check in at hotel.

MAHABALIPURAM: Earlier known as Mamallapuram may be a modern beach resort in the making, but all else in the tiny village by the sea is dwarfed by a dream world of Tamil art that awes even the uninitiated. Here is open –air museum of sculpture in living rock which has few parallels in the World.

Afternoon        : Sightseeing tour in MAHABALIPURAM, visit following Temples:

F Shore Temple – Standing by the sea, now protected by a wall that hides its façade but saves it from the elements that are fast eroding it, this this twin-spire is pure poetry wealth of sculpture, includes both Shiva and a Vishnu in repose. F Arjuna's Penance - This is a massive bas relief, 27m long and 9m high carved along the curve of the hill just behind the buss stand. It is thought to be one of the largest in the world. It is commonly known as Arjuna's penance. Dominated by the massive elephants, it is a mass of details, with extraordinary lively animals, people and Gods, all gathered together. F The Five Rathas - Also known as the Pancha rathas, after the five Pandya brothers of the Mahabharata, these stand clustered together, about 1km south of the main village. Monolithic temple cars, they are some of the earliest examples of what later becomes one of the main architectural features of southern temples.

Overnight at hotel.

Day 04: MAHABALIPURAM - PONDICHERRY

Breakfast        : at Hotel.
Morning           : Drive to Pondichery (90 Kms +- 02 h), upon arrival check in at hotel.

PONDICHERRY – was the former capital of the French territories in India located on the east coast of South India. Its history was one of constant conflict, first with the Dutch, and then with the British, who attacked the Frech in India whenever there were hostilities between England and France in Europe.

Afternoon        : Enjoy City tour of Pondichery city, visit following places:

Auroville- is an experiment in international living It is a developing town 10 km. from Pondicherry .The Matri Mandir is a center of meditation and an architectural marvel.  An oasis of peace and enlightenment.
Aurobindo Ashram - Forms the nucleus of many activities and trade in Pondicherry .It is a product of Sri Aurobindo’s inspirations and the Mother, Mirra Alfassa’s earnestness. The main Ashram on Rue de la marine houses the buildings where Sir Aurobindo and Mirra Alfassa lived and died.

Overnight at hotel.


Day 05: PONDICHERRY – CHIDAMBARAM – GANGAIKONDACHOLAPURAM - TANJORE

Breakfast        : at Hotel.
Morning           : Drive to Tanjore (195 Kms. +- 4 h.), enroute visit Chidambaram & Gangaikondacholapuram.

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.
Gangaikondacholapuram - The Brahadeeswarar temple at Gangaikondacholapuram was conceived and constructed by the chola King Rajendra - 1 after his victory over the kingdoms bordering the river Ganges. Apart from the huge Nandi, there are some beautiful sculptures including a dancing Ganesha, a lion-headed well and a stunning frieze depicting Rajendra being crowned by Siva and Parvati.

Continue drive to Tanjore, upon arrival check – in at hotel.

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.

Rest of the day free at leisure.

Overnight at hotel.

Day 06: TANJORE - TRICHY 

Breakfast        : at Hotel.
Morning           : Proceed for sightseeing tour of TANJORE, visit following Places: –

Brahadeeswarar Temple – The temple, built by the great Chola king. Raja, in the 10th Century A.D. is an outstanding example of Chola architecture. The tower over the sanctum sanctorum rises perpendicularly to a height of 15 meter from a square base if 2808 metres, and then tapers of making a total height of 64080 metres. The tower is capped by an 813 tonne round monolithic cupola. Some fascinating frescoes, similar to those of Ajanta, This is a World Heritage Monument. F The Palace - located near the temple, has huge corridors and spacious halls. F Art Gallery – The Palace houses an interesting art gallery, which contains several granite and bronze statues of the Chola period.

Later drive to TRICHY (55 Kms. / 01 h), upon arrival Check in at hotel.

TIRUCHIRAPPALLI:  is situated in central Tamil Nadu, on the banks of the Cauvery river.  It was a Chola citadel during the Sangam Age and was also briefly ruled by the Pallavas and the Pandyas.

Afternoon        :  City tour of the Trichy, visit following Places:-

Rock Fort – 300ft. (90m) high, this dominates the landscape. At its summit, alongside a rock which looks from certain angles like a bull with a raised head, is a Ganesha temple, a popular place of worship in spite of the steep climb involved.
Srirangam -   is a temple –town sacred to the god Vishnu,. He is depicted in the sanctum as Ranganatha, in a reclining posture on his five-hooded serpent, Adisesha. Srirangam is one of the holiest temples for devotee of Vishnu.

Overnight at hotel.

Day 07: TRICHY - MADURAI

Breakfast        : at Hotel.
Morning           : Drive to Madurai (130 Kms. +- 3 h.), upon arrival Check in at hotel.

MADURAI: Madurai or the "city of nectar" nestled down near the southern tip of India. This 2,500-year-old city is famous for its Hindu and Tamil cultural attractions. The ancient Kingdom of Maurya on the banks of the Vaigai River is one of India’s most sacred pilgrimage centres. Originally designed in the shape of a lotus motif, the city has since spread into a colourful patchwork of temples, bazaars and narrow roads packed with shops, stalls, pilgrims and cows. A must-see is the impressive multitowered Sri Meenakshi Temple built in 1560.

Afternoon        : Free to explore the local market.

Evening           : Witness Temple ceremony at Meenakshi Temple.

Overnight at hotel.

Day 08: MADURAI - PERIYAR

Breakfast        : at Hotel.
Morning           :  Proceed to visit the following places:

F Sri Meenakshi Temple - This temple is one of the country’s most important tourist land marks & Madurai is synonymous with the Sri Meenakshi Temple, dedicated to Sri Meenakshi, the consort of Lord Shiva. FTirumalai Nayakar Mahal (Palace) – About 1.5 Kms from the Meenakshi Temple, this palace was built in 1636 by the ruler whose name it bears.

Afternoon        : Drive to Periyar (180 kms +- 5 h), upon arrival check – in at hotel.

PERIYAR – This Wildlife sanctuary is in the Thekkady District.  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 which can be seen and photographed at close quarters, wild boar, sambar, tiger, langur monkeys.

Overnight at hotel.

Day 09: PERIYAR - KUMARAKOM

Breakfast        : at Hotel.
Morning           : Enjoy BOAT CRUISE at LAKE PERIYAR to witness wildlife.

Afternoon        : Drive to Kumarakom (115kms +- 3 h), upon arrival check – in at hotel.

KUMARAKOM: - On the shores of the tranquil Vembanad lake, 15 km from Kottayam, lies Kumarakom a little picturesque town in the state of Kerala. The little village of Kumarakom consists of cluster of little islands on the Vembanad Lake, and is part of the Kuttanad region. Formerly an old rubber plantation, Kumarakom has now grown up as a bird sanctuary.

Rest of the day: free at leisure.

Overnight at hotel.

Day 10: KUMARAKOM – KOTTAYAM – ALLEPPEY - COCHIN

Breakfast        : at Hotel.
Morning           : Drive to Kottayam (20 kms +- 30 m).

Upon arrival Board on MOTOR BOAT then start cruise over KERALA BACKWATERS towards ALLEPPEY.

Back-Water Cruise: One of the unique attractions of Kerala, a chain of canals extending about 1500 kms  with a network of 44 rivers, lagoons and lakes.  Most of it is naturally formed.

Afternoon        : Arrive in ALLEPPEY. Check – out from Motor Boat. Meeting & assistance upon arrival Alleppey Boat Jetty, then drive to Cochin (58 kms +- 1.30 hrs), upon arrival Check in at hotel.

 

COCHIN - one of the finest natural harbors 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.

Evening (18h – 20h)      : proceed to COCHIN CULTURE CENTRE (A\C Theatre) to witness KATHAKALI Dance Show.
Kathakali - A famous classical dance from Kerala, known for its elaborate make up, grand costumes and intricate eye and hand movements.

Return back to hotel.

Overnight at hotel.

Day 11: COCHIN

Breakfast        : at Hotel.
Morning           : Proceed for sight seeing tour of Cochin, visit following:

Dutch Palace (Mattancheri Palace) – The Dutch Palace built by Portuguese in 1555 A.D and handed over to Raja Kerala Varma of Kochi. The palace was renamed as Mattancheri Palace in 1663.
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.

Afternoon        : Free at leisure.

Evening : Cruising by BOAT around the islands through the BACKWATERS extending to the south and the east from the sea and skirting the COCHIN HARBOUR.

Overnight at hotel.

Day 12: COCHIN – BANGALORE - MYSORE

Breakfast        : at Hotel.
Morning           : Met by our representative and escorted from your Hotel to the Cochin airport in time for your flight no. 9W 3512 to Bangalore.

08h30   Depart from Cochin.
09h45   Arrive in Bangalore.

Meet assistance on arrival in Bangalore airport & then proceed for City tour of (The Garden City of India).

BANGALORE - Bangalore, also called the Silicon Valley of India, is the principal administrative, cultural, commercial and industrial centre of the state of Karnataka. Bangalore enjoys a pleasant and equable climate throughout the year. Tree-lined streets and abundant greenery made it the 'Garden City' of India. Bangalore is one of Asia's fastest growing cities and now reputed for its booming software industry. Bangalore has seen a major technology boom and is now home to more than 250 high-tech companies

During your city tour of Bangalore (The Garden City of India) you will see the following places \ monuments:

The Bull Temple - This temple, built by Kempe Gowda, houses the magnificent stone statue of the sacred bull, Nandi. It stands over 15 feet tall and is over 20 feet long. In Nov/Dec every year, when the groundnuts have been harvested, a groundnut fair is held near the temple. The first groundnuts are offered by the farmers to the sacred bull.
Lal Bagh - These 240-acre gardens contain the largest collection of rare tropical and sub-tropical plants with many awesome century-old trees. Fountains, terraces, lotus pools, rose gardens and a deer park surround the magnificent glass house built in 1840, on the lines of London's Crystal Palace.
Vidhana Soudha - Bangalore’s most majestic looking landmark, with a total plinth area of over 5, 00,000 sq. ft is built in a neo-Dravidian style. It houses the Secretariat, the State legislature and several other Government offices.

Afternoon        : Drive to Mysore (140 kms. +- 3h), enroute visit Somnathpur.

Somnathapur - This star - shaped temple has shrines named after Orasanna, Chennakeshava( Considered as the latest and the best preserved instance of Hoysala architecture).

Continue drive to Mysore, upon arrival check in at hotel.

Mysore: - Mysore “city of Palaces” is in the hill country of southwestern India, this region is cooler than the coastal cities - one of the reasons so many maharajahs chose to live here and given 17 palaces to this city. It still retains its old charm and many buildings are adorned with domes, turrets and impressive archways. . Also know as "Sandalwood City", it is a major center for the manufacture of incense. The city is a legacy of the famous warrior king Tipu Sultan, known for his victories over the Imperial British Armies. The city is also known for its silk processing and is a major center for nurturing silkworms.

Overnight at hotel.

Day 13: MYSORE

Breakfast        : at Hotel.
Morning           : Proceed to visit the following places \ monuments:

The Mysore Palace - Built in 1912 in the Indo Saracenic style. , former residence of the Wodeyars, this structure is one of the largest of its kind in India.
Chamundi Hill - Perched atop a hill is a 12th century temple of Chamundershwari. The gigantic 4.8 meter tall monolith of Nandi the sacred vehicle of Lord Shiva is a marvel to watch. Also close to the temple stands a gigantic statue of the demon Mahishasura.

Rest of the day: free at leisure.

Overnight at hotel.

Day 14: MYSORE - SRAVANBELOGOLA - HASSAN

Breakfast        : at Hotel.
Morning           : Drive to Hassan, (90 Kms +- 2 h), enroute visit Sravanabelagola.

Sravanabelogola: Sravanbelogola is a famous Jain pilgrimage with a 17 m high monolith of lord Bahubali standing tall. Belur was once the capital of the Hoysala kings. This legendary pilgrimage and shrine of the Jains since early times is 52 kms from Hassan, 80 kms from Mysore and 150 kms from Bangalore. The 'Mahamastakabhisheka', held once in 12 years, is one of the main attractions of the place, which attracts a large number of devotees.

Continue drive to Hassan (50 Kms +- 1 h), upon arrival check – in at hotel.

Hassan: A quiet and peaceful town, with a variety of accommodations, is a convenient base from which to explore the ruins, sculptures and monuments at the ancient cities of Belur and Halebid.

Afternoon        : Proceed for an excursion to Belur & Halebid.

Belur – Belur was the Hoysala capital prior to Halebid, during the eleventh and twelfth centuries. The Chennakeshava temple is a fine and early example of the Hoysala style. It is one of the three major Hoysala sites still in daily use. Construction begun in 1116 to commemorate the Hoysala’s victory over the Cholas at Talakad and took almost a century to complete. Inside the Temple are hand-lathe turned filigreed pillars.

Helebid – Founded in the early 11th century as Dvarasamudra, this ancient capital of the Hoysala Empire was destroyed by the armies of the Delhi Sultanate in 1311 and 1327. The famous Hoysaleswara temple, which today is the centre of attraction, however survived the destruction. Construction of the Hoysaleswara Temple at Halebid began around 1121 but despite more than 80 years of labour, it was never completed. Nevertheless. It is easily the most outstanding example of Hoysala art. Every inch of the outside walls and much of the interior is covered with an endless variety of Hindu deities, sages, stylized animals and birds and friezes depicting the life of the Hoysala rulers.

Return back to hotel.

Overnight at hotel.

Day 15: HASSAN - BANGALORE

Breakfast        : at Hotel.
Morning           : Continue your excursion to Belur & Halebid.

Afternoon         : Drive to Bangalore, (220 Kms +- 4 h),

Upon arrival in Bangalore, you will be transferred to Bangalore International airport to connect your flight for Europe.

Day 16: BANGALORE - EUROPE

Check – in at Airport.
Depart from New Delhi
TOUR ENDS.

 

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