COCHIN-ALLEPPEY-KUMARAKOM-THEKKADY-MADURAI-RAMESHWARAM-TRICHY – TANJORE-Chidambaram/PONDICHERRY- MAHABALIPURAM-KANCHIPURAM-MADRAS (CHENNAI)
On arrival at Cochin Airport, meet and transfer to hotel for 02 night stay. Cochin – the ‘Queen of the Arabian Sea has one of the finest natural harbors in the world. The ancient churches, palaces and synagogues in this city are famous. Evening, you go for a motorboat cruise to watch the sunset and the Chinese fishing nets. Overnight stay at Cochin.
After breakfast, go for half-day sightseeing tour of Cochin covering the Dutch Palace (closed on Fridays), which was built by the Portuguese in 1555 and was presented to the Raja of Cochin as a gesture of goodwill. The Jewish Synagogue (closed on Fridays & Saturdays) was originally constructed in 1568, but was destroyed by Portuguese in 1662.Thiswas rebuilt two years later when the Dutch took over Cochin. The St. Francis Church, said to be India’s oldest European-built church was constructed in 1503. Having died in Cochin in 1524, Vasco da Gama was buried here for 14 years before his remains were taken to Lisbon. After noon at leisure. Late evening, drive to the Cultural Centre to enjoy the Kathakali dance show. Overnight stay at Cochin
After breakfast, drive to Alleppey where you will check into a Houseboat at 1200 noon for cruise towards Kumarakom and overnight stay. Alleppey has large networks of canals and is the centre for backwater cruises in our state. During the cruise, you can stop for short walks through the nearby villages, enjoying local life. Meals will be served on board. Stay overnight in Houseboat.
Arrive at Kumarakom around 0930 hrs after a relaxing breakfast on board. Check into the backwater resort for O1 night stay. Rest of the day at leisure for own activities. You can opt for an Ayurvedic Full Body Massage at the resort. Overnight stay at Kumarakom.
Early morning, you can opt to visit the nearby bird sanctuary. After breakfast, drive to Thekkady, the land of unending chains of hills and spice scented plantations. It houses the famous wildlife sanctuary in South India and has also been declared as a Tiger Reserve. On arrival, check into the hotel for 02 nights’ stay. Afternoon, visit the spice plantations and the Kumily town. Overnight stay at Thekkady.
Morning at leisure and is free for own activities. You can soft trek through the forest or go for an elephant ride. Evening, you can enjoy boating through Lake Periyar to watch the wildlife. This is the only sanctuary in India where you can view wildlife at close quarters from the safety of a boat. Overnight stay at Thekkady.
After an early breakfast, drive to Madurai. Known as the temple town of South India, Madurai is the second largest city in Tamil Nadu. On arrival, check into the hotel for 01 night stay. Afternoon, for sightseeing tour of Madurai. Madurai is famous for the Meenakshi Temple, with its towering gopurams and rare sculptures. Other important attractions include Thirumalai Naicker Palace, Koodal Azhagar Temple and the Gandhi Museum. Evening, visit Sri Meenakshi Temple and attend the Pooja ceremony. Over night stay at Madurai.
Depart to Rameshwaram, visit Hanuman Temple (24 ft.) Pamban Bridge, Navpanigriham, Dahanskodi, Kashi Vishwanatha Temple, 24 Kundalas, Ram Paravath, Sita Paravath, Hanuman Paravath, Vishnu Temple and night halt at Madurai.
After an early breakfast, drive to Tanjore-en route visiting Trichy. Morning, visit the magnificent Rock Fort that dominates the city. 437 steps cut out into the rock side and interspersed with shrines, lead to the Vinayaka Temple built at its highest point.
The ascent is climaxed by a magnificent view of the sacred Kaveri River. At a lower level along the rock is the Tayumanaswamy Temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. Later, visit Sriranqam, a massive temple on an island in the Cauvery and dedicated to Lord Ranganathaswamy. The temple has 21 magnificent gopurams and is adorned with exquisite sculptures. Proceed to Tanjore and check into the hotel for 02 nights. Overnight stay at Tanjore.
After breakfast, go for sightseeing tour of Tanjore. Tanjore was once the capital of Chola dynasty, that ruled South India between 10th and 14th centuries. Visit the most spectacular Brihadeeswara Temple, capped by a monolithic cupola made of a single granite rock weighing 80 tonnes. The temple itself is decorated with carved panels depicting mythological events. Later, visit Saraswathi Mahal Library and the Art Gallery with its large collection of chola bronzes. Overnight stay at Tanjore.
Drive to Chidambaram. The temple complex covers an area of 40 acres. It has extensively carved Gopurams, a thousand pillared hall and 5 major halls each used for different celebrations/get together. After lunch proceed on to Pondichery.
Check into the hotel for the night.
Pondichery\ The old French colony has retrieved its Indian character, but the scent of the French influence can be found again in the red kepis of the police officers, French spelling on sign boards and traffic signs and some building and old stones. In the evening , visit Sree Aurobindo Ashram. Overnight stay in the hotel.
After breakfast, drive to Mahabalipuram and check into the hotel for 2 nights.
Mahabalipuram is situated on the shore of Bay of Bengal and was a port of Pallavas. Historically known for its rock cut monuments. The interesting monuments to see are Aruja’s Penance, a bas relief, 27 meters long and 9meter high, Th rock cut mandapams situated within a radius of 1Kms are known for their design and execution. Also interesting are the Rathas(temple chariot) with their Gopurams, multipillared and sculptured walls. Rest of the day is free to relax in the beach. Overnight stay in the hotel.
Morning drive to Kanchipuram, known as the city of Thousand Temples. Visit the interesting temples. Kanchipuran is also famous for its exquisite hand woven silk fabrics.
Drive back to Mahabalipuram. Rest of the day is free. Overnight stay in the hotel.
Check out and drive to Madras the capital of Tamilnadu State. It’s the fourth largest city in India and is a bustling commercial center. Madras can boasts of an interesting flair of South Indian Art, Architecture, dance, music and festivals with rich cultural traditions. Check into the hotel for the night. Afternoon enjoy a short sightseeing tour of Madras city. This includes museum, St Thomas Mount and Marina beach. Overnight stay in the hotel.
Morning at leisure. Later, transfer to Chennai Airport for your flight back home.