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. Overnight stay at hotel.
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 Ekambareshvara 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.Later proceed to Mahablipuram. On arrival check into hotel.
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.
Today you will take drive to Pondicherry, on arrival check into hotel. Rest of the day is free for you.Later enjoy the city tour of Pondicherrys main sights are Sri Aurobindo Ashram – established in 1926 by Sri Aurobindo after whose death the religious authority passed to one of his follower, a French woman known as the Mother. In the courtyard are the Samadhi of Aurobindo and The Mother where their mortal remains have been enshrined. Auroville – located at 10 km from Pondicherry. Its original deed aimed at creating a city of the future where people from all over the world with different religions could live and work together in a spiritual environment. Beach – where you can enjoy swimming & sun bathing.
Drive to Tanjore visiting enroute Chidambram.Visit The Nataraja Temple – is located in the heart of Chidambaram town and cover an area of 40 acres. The roof of the chamber is covered with gold plates. This is the temple of the Cosmic Dancer, where the presiding divinity is called Nataraja. It has 56 pillars in the hall portraying 108 gestures of Bharat Natyam, the classical dance of Tamilnadu. On arrival, check–in at the hotel. Aternoon visit Tanjore. Visit Sri Brihadeswara Temple – It was constructed by the great Chola King in 10th century AD. It is brilliant example of Chola architecture. The Palace – It is a huge building of stonework built partly by the Nayaks around 1550 AD and later completed by the Marathas. Art Gallery – It is positioned in the Thanjavur Palace only. It has some of the most magnificent and precious Granite and Bronze statues of Chola period.
Today you will take drive to Madurai enroute visiting Trichy. Enjoy sightseeing tour of Trichy: Sri Rangnathaswamy Temple – The Temple at Srirangam is positioned 6 kilometers from the city center Trichy. The temple is built on an island in the middle of the Kaveri River and devoted to Lord Vishnu. It is also the largest temple in the world. The Rock Fort – situated on the banks of the Kaveri River is an 84 m high rock which is one of the oldest in the world. The temple that is located 300 feet above the sea level is devoted to Lord Shiva. The extremely huge temple has a 100–pillar hall and a Vimana covered with gold. Later drive Madurai. Reach & check in to the hotel. Overnight stay at the hotel.
Today you will take excursion to Rameshwaram temple. The Ramanathaswamy Temple – is considered as one of the holy shrines of Hindus in India. Positioned close to the sea on the eastern side of the island, this temple is famous for its 1200 gigantic granite column. The 54 metre tall gopuram (gate–tower), 1220 metres of superb corridors and the colorful columns decorate and render fame to the temple.
Leave for Coimbatore by road. On arrival check–in at the hotel.
Drive by surface to Ooty – also known as the Queen of Hills is South India. Arrive and check–in to hotel. Later we would take you for tour of the city which would include Botanical Garden – Located almost within the city limit of 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.
Drive to Nagarhole. Nagarhole Wildlife Sanctuary as the name says it is a home to many varieties of snakes. It was constructed in 1955 and later renamed as the Rajiv Gandhi National Park. This is considered one of Indias best national parks. It has an imposing population of elephants and bison. With anonymous species of animals you will find over 200 species of birds. The diverse varieties of animals found here include four horned antelope, sloth bear, flying fox, panther, gaur, pangolin, Jungle cat, wild dogs. Civet, hare and others. The reptiles at the Nagarhole Wildlife sanctuary include Cobras, Crocodiles, pythons and other lizards. Among the birds here, there are dove, bulbul. Hornbill, eagle, crested hawk, be eater, common babbler etc.
In the morning go on a Coracle Ride on Kabini river. The Coracle is a round native boat. In the afternoon go on a wildlife tour in the National park in jeeps / vans.
Drive Mysore. On arrival check in at the hotel. Later 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 ornamented with beautiful stained glass windows portraying scenes from the birth of Christ, the Last meal the Crucifixion, the rebirth and the Ascension of Christ.
Morning visit Somnathpur Temple that is located at 45 km from Mysore. It was constructed in 1268 AD and is identified for its Hoysala architecture. The temple is seated on a star shaped base, set on a star shaped platform and guarded at intervals by miniature elephants. The temple wall depicts scenes from Ramayana, Mahabharta and Bhagvata. Afternoon at leisure. Overnight at the hotel.
On arrival, check–in at the hotel. Afternoon visit of Belur and Halebid.Belur Temple took over 103 years to build and is a typical example of the Hoysala style of architecture. It is overflowing with intricate carvings. Scenes from the epics, elephants in battle and sensuous dancers come alive in stone. Later visit Halebid Temple – 16 km east of Belur and 27 km from Hassan, The Hoysaleswara Temple dating back to 12th century, is surprising for its wealth of sculptural detail. The temple walls are covered with an eternal variety of gods and goddesses, animals, birds and dancing girls. And no two sides of the temple are the same. This wonderful temple is devoted to Lord Shiva has 02 huge Nandi Bulls at the entrance. This temple was never completed despite 86 years of labor. Later drive towards Hassan. Reach & check into the hotel.
Drive to Bangalore visiting enroute Shravanbelgola. It is believed to be the world tallest monolithic statue rises 17 metre high of Bahubali (Gomateshvara). The statue was constructed in 981 AD by the sculptor Aristanmi and is most sacred to the Jain Community. Arrive Bangalore, city sightseeing tour. 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. Later transfer to Airport or Railway station for onward journey to home. TOUR ENDS-