Arrive Chennai met with and transfer to Hotel. Chennai, the capital city, popularly considered as the Gateway to the South represents a culture that is distinctly different from that of northern India.
Today we would take you for sightseeing tour of Chennai. The places of interest are Kalakshetra – it is also known as Temple of art is located outside the Elliots beach established in 1936 by Rukmini Devi Arundale to train, encourage and revive nterest in Bharatanatyam which is the classical dance form of the state. Fort St. George – constructed in 1640 AD, by the British East India Company – now houses the Secretariat and Legislative Assembly of Tamil Nadu. St. Marys Church – the oldest Anglican Church in India. Sri Parthasarathy Temple – devoted to Lord Krishna was originally built by the Pallavas in the 8th century AD. Kapaleswarar Temple – located in Mylapore is yet another 8th Century Pallava Temple. The temple Gopuram (tower) is in the characteristic Dravidian style of architecture. It is devoted to Lord Shiva. San Thome Cathedral Basilica – rebuilt in 1606 as a cathedral and in 1896 it was made a basilica; and Theosophical Society – the world headquarters of the Theosophical Society formed to encourage the study of comparative religion philosophy and science.
Drive Kanchipuram situated 76 kms away from Chennai. The little Temple Town of Kanchipuram, or Kanchi, as it is popularly recognized for one of the seven holy cities of the Hindus. It remained the capital of Pallavas from 6th to the 8th centuries.They built numerous temples here. So your trip would include all the major temples to be visited in the city. Visit Kamakshi Temple devoted to Goddess Kamakshi. It has four colourful gopuras and the main chamber has a gold–plated roof. The Kailasanatha Temple is devoted to Lord Shiva. It is the oldest temple constructed by Pallava ruler. This temple is encircled by 58 smaller shrines, each with splendid carvings of the various images of Shiva. The Great Ekambaresh vara Temple, constructed initially by the pallavas, has a 16–pillared mandapa in front of it, was added later by the Vijayanagar Kings.This temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva, is one of the largest & ancient temples. The Vaikuntha Perumal temple is one of the 18 temples dedicated to Vishnu, erected by Varman II. This exceptional structure has three main chambers, built one on top of the other. Each of them enshrines an image of Vishnu in a different form – standing, sitting and reclining. The Varadaraja Temple is the towns main Vishnu temple. The chief deity in the form of Vishnu is known as varadaraja. It is believed that the temple stands on the site where Brahma performed a Yagna (Sacrifice) to invoke Vishnus presence.
Mahabalipuram – worldwide renowned for its shore temples, it was the second capital of the Pallava kings of Kanchipuram.It is located 58 kilometres from Chennai on the Bay of Bengal. Later we would take you for trip to following places – Caves – There are nine rock cut cave temples. The Mahishasuramardhini cave, contrasting the goddess fighting an evil spirit on one side, and Lord Vishnus cosmic sleep on the other, is an amazing sight to view. Krishna Mandapam – This cave features carvings of a rural scene, presenting Lord Krishna lifting up the Govardhana Mountain, to protect his people from the rage of Indra, the God of Rain. Five Rathas – These rock–cut temples are rated as excellent examples of Pallava art. Fashioned in unusual styles, the five Rathas are named after the Pandava Brothers & Draupadi – the heroes of Mahabharata epic. Arjunas Penance – This huge whale–back shaped rock contains figures of gods, demigods, men, beasts, and birds and in fact, can be said to represent creation itself. It also illustrates Arjuna – one of the Pandava brothers and a skilled archer, is standing on one leg, doing penance to obtain a boon from Lord Shiva. The Shore Temple – This is one of the ancient temples in South India. They were built in 8th Century A.D. and is an excellent example of the first phase of the structure of temples constructed in the Dravidian style. The two spires of the temples contain a shrine for Lord Vishnu and for Lord Shiva.
Morning departure transfer from Railway station to board the Train for Bangalore. On arrival met with and transfer to Hotel.
Today we leave for a tour of Bangalore city. The highlights of this tour are Vidhan Soudha – constructed in the year 1954. The structural design of the building is based on the neo Dravidian style and it currently houses the Legislative Assembly of the state Government & Karnataka secretariat. Nandi Temple – Another Dravidian architecture – The temple is dedicated to Nandi – a sacred bull which is the vahana – carrier of Lord Shiva. Lalbagh Gardens – The name itself suggests that it is paradise of red roses & other species of plants. Bangalore Palace – Built in the year 1887, the architecture of the palace is based on the Tudor style. Covering an area of about 800 acres, the palace gives a look of the Windsor Palace of England.Also visit Visweswaraiah Industrial & Technological Museum & Ulsoor Lake.
Morning depart by surface to Mysore reroute visit Srirangapattnnam. It features eighteenth century Summer Palace of Tipu Sultan constructed in the Indo–Saracenic style is built mainly of teakwood. Museum displaying Tipus trivia, the Gumbaz, which is the mausoleum of Tipu Sultan and his father Hyder Ali . Also visit Jamia Masjid with its slender minarets octagonal in shape add to the grandeur of the entire structure. Also visit Ranganathaswamy Temple which has the idol of Lord Vishnu as Ranganatha reclining on the serpent Ade Shesha. Arrive and check in to Hotel. Evening visit Brindavan Gardens – Observe the exuberant attractiveness of Brindavan Gardens. It is famous for terrace gardens with Musical Fountains which gets transformed into a dreamland by night with swirling waters, colorful lights and harmonious music.
Today we would take you for the tour of Mysore which would include Mysore Palace – It is one of the magnificent sights to be visited in Mysore. Completely built in 1912 in Indo–Saracenic style with domes, towers, arches and row of pillars, the Palace is a treasure house of wonderful carvings. It is a mixture of Hindu and Muslim architectural styles and was designed by an English architect Henry Irwin. Shri Ramachamarajendra Art Gallery – positioned in the Jagmohan Palace, the art gallery has a precious collection of Tanjore paintings and pictures of the royal family by Raja Ravi Verma. Chamundi Hills & Temple – Mysore is situated at the foothills of Chamundi Hills. Chamundeshwari Temple is located on top of the hills which is a famous landmark. There is a statue of Mahishasura located near to the temple, a demon killed by the goddess Chamundeshwari. St. Philomenas Church – A beautiful Cathedral decorated with beautiful stained glass windows portraying scenes from the birth of Christ, the Last Supper, the Crucifixion, the Resurrection and the Ascension of Christ.
Drive by surface to Ooty – also known as the Queen of Hills is South India. Arrive and check–in to hotel.
After breakfast full day at leisure to enjoy on your own. Over night stay at hotel.
After refreshment breakfast proceed for a full day sightseeing of Ooty, which would include Botanical Garden – Located almost within the city limit, Ooty is a must visit place of Ooty. Government Botanical Garden is home to few of the rarest species of plants, brought here from all corners of the world. Doddabetta Peak – It is situated at a height of 2623 meters above sea level and also the highest peak of Nilgiris hills. Later also visit Ooty Lake – It is an artificial lake is a famous picnic spot. You can enjoy boating on this beautiful lake (Optional). Evening back to hotel & over night stay.
After breakfast check out from the hotel & drive towards Cochin. Arrive and check in to hotel. Later we will take you for a sight seeing of Cochin The Dutch palace at Mattancherry is located at 10 kms from Ernakulam is well–known for its medieval charm. It houses a gallery of interesting paintings and murals, thus signifying the rich customs of the Hindus through art. The Chinese Fishernets were introduced by Chinese traders are used for a very unique and unusual method of fishing. Jewish Synagogue – located at the Jew Street was built in 1568. It is also rated as the oldest synagogue among all commonwealth nations. St. Frances Church – first European church here the body of late Vasco Da Gama was originally buried.
Today you will drive to Periyar (4 hrs.). Arrival and check into hotel. Today you will drive to Periyar. Arrival and check into hotel. Visit Spice Plantations where you can touch, smell and taste almost all the spices grown here like – pepper, cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, vanilla, and nutmeg. Located by the side of the river Periyar. The Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary is the major attraction of Thekkady. Spread over an area of about 777 sq km with about 360 sq. km of which is thick evergreen forest. The sanctuary is natural treasure dwelling of some of the rare species of flora, fauna & wild animals like tigers, elephants, sambars, gaurs, lion tailed macaques and Nilgiri langurs. Enjoy the boat ride at Periyar Lake from where you can have the unique experience of watching animals in their natural environment.
Today you will take drive to Kumarakom, upon arrival check into the backwater resort. Kumarakom – Backwaters are one of the exclusive attractions of Kerala, a chain of canals stretching to about 1500 k.m, along with a network of 44 rivers, lagoons and lakes. Most of it is naturally formed.
Take an evening boat cruise on the Kumarakom backwaters which itself is an incredibly different experience and sail towards the Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary – is located on the banks of the Vembanad Lake. The bird sanctuary is stretched over 14 acres of land. It is also recognized as the ornithologists paradise, the Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary is one of the most desired hub of migratory birds. Every year, over 60 species of migratory birds gather here in large numbers. The prominent species include the Siberian stork, Egret, Darter, Heron, Teal, Waterfowl, Cuckoo, Owls.
Today en board the traditionally decorated houseboats, you will start an over night backwater cruise which will end on next day morning at Alleppey.
Today drive to Kovalam, on arrival check into hotel and after that enjoy day in the sand. Kovalam is a natural bay ideal for swimming, surfing. One can swim in the shallow blue water and have a sunbath in the exotic tropical sun which can adorn you with a good suntan. You can also pamper yourself with Ayurveda & Spa treatments available at the hotels. (optional).
After refreshing yourself at the beaches, next morning you will go to Kanyakumari – Cape Camorin which is positioned 87 km away from Thiruvananthapuram. Kanyakumari is the Lands End of India. Here, the Bay of Bengal meets the Indian Ocean and the Arabian Sea. Also Visit: Padmanabhapuram Palace is recognized for its scheduling and military architecture and continued to be the center of power till 1790, when the capital was moved to Thiruvananthapuram. The main lure of the Padmanabhapuram Palace are its sheer artistic beauty, wall paintings, innovative designs and time tested wooden carvings. The Kumari Amman or the Kanyakumari Temple – This temple is devoted to a manifestation of Parvati, the virgin goddess who performed reparation to acquire Lord Shivas hand in marriage. Beautifully placed overlooking the shore. When she was unsuccessful, she promised to remain a virgin (kanya). Vivekananda Memorial – There are two rocks rising out of the ocean, situated southeast of the Kumari Amman temple. One among these is Sri Padaparai, where the footprints of the virgin goddess are believed to be imprinted on this rock. It is said that Swami Vivekananda sat in deep meditation here and therefore theVivekananda Rock Memorial was built in 1970. In the evening drive back to Kovalam
After breakfast, full day relax on the beach. Evening back to hotel & overnight stay.
Morning city tour of Trivandrum, A must on every tourist itinerary, the Padmanabhaswami Temple the huge structure has an amazing 100 feet high Gopuram, the main temple tower. The temple is devoted to Lord Vishnu. This temple has an idol 18 feet long which is decorated with gold and precious stones. Within its hallowed limits, the main pavilion amaze with its 400 beautifully carved pillars of granite. Later transfer to Trivandrum airport to connect flight to home country. TOUR ENDS-