Day 01 : Arrive Chennai
Arrive Chennai, our representative would assist you at the airport. Transfer to the hotel.
Chennai is known for its cultural heritage & temple architecture. The region was served as an important administrative, military, & economic center dating back to the 1st century. When the Portuguese arrived in 1522, they built a port, the region then passed into the hands of the Dutch, who established themselves near north of the city in 1612. On 22 August 1639, British East India Company was granted land, as a base for a permanent settlement. Overnight at Hotel
Day 02 :Chennai –Mahabalipuram
Morning visit Fort St. George, built in the year 1640 AD by the British East India Company, under the direct supervision of Francis Day & Andrew Cogon. This bastion achieved its name from St. George. Within the fort visit St. Mary’s Church, built in the year 1680 & oldest Protestant Church in the East contains several antiquities,being the oldest British tombstones in India. Several years later, another church was built & his mortal remains were transferred to the new one. Visit Museum, established in 1857, has sections devoted to geology, archaeology, anthropology, botany, zoology, sculpture & numismatics. Its most prized possessions are the relics from 2nd century AD Buddhist site of Amaravathi& the prehistoric antiques of South India.
Later drive to Mahabalipuram, 7th century port city of the South Indian. It is believed to have been named after the Pallava king Mamalla. It has various historic monuments built largely between the 7th & the 9th century, & has been classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The monuments are mostly rock-cut & monolithic, constitute the early stages of Dravidian architecture wherein Buddhist elements of design are prominently visible. Overnight at Hotel
Day 03 :Mahabalipuram – Excursion to Kanchipuram
Morning visit Shore Temple, one of the oldest temples in South India. It belongs to the 8th Century A.D. & is a good example of the first phase of the structure of temples constructed in the Dravidian style. Designed to catch the first rays of the rising sun & to illuminate the waters after dark, the temple ended up with an unusual lay-out.
Arjuna’s Penance, world’s largest bas-relief. This huge whale-back shaped rock contains figures of gods, demigods, men, beasts, & birds. Rathas, monolithic temples fashioned as chariots. They remain an architectural mystery, for each is apparently a faithful reproduction of a structure built of wood. Of the eight Rathas, five have been named for the Pandava brothers, the heroes of the epic Mahabharata.
Later a day excursion to Kanchipuram, which is one of the seven holy cities in the country. Visit Kailasanatha Temple, built in 8th Century AD. It is built in the typical Pallava style, with a pyramidal tower, a pillared hall & vestibule, enclosed by a wall. The temple is famous for exquisite carvings. Ekambaranatha, ancient temple is dedicated to lord Shiva. The 57 metres high Raj Gopuram is one of the tallest towers in South India. The 3000 year old mango tree inside the temple has 4 branches each yielding different variety of mangoes.
Before returning to Mahabalipuram visit Kamakshi Amman Temple, built in 12th century AD, as an important Shakthisthalam, known as Parabrahmaroonpini. Overnight at Hotel
Day 04 :Mahabalipuram – Tanjore
Morning drive to Tanjore, flourished during the rule of the Nayaks&Mahrattas. It has been the treasure house of art for centuries. It is called the Rice Bowl of Tamilnadu. Tanjore is well-known throughout the world for its exquisite handicrafts like the Art Plate, patchwork, bronze icons, Tanjore paintings & the classical South Indian musical instruments.
Visit Brihadeshwara temple, also known as Big Temple, built by RajarajaChola I, is 10th century CE temple, one of UNESCO World Heritage Sites, is a brilliant example of the Dravidian style of temple architecture. Overnight at Hotel.
Day 05 : Tanjore – Madurai via Trichy
Morning leave for Madurai en route visit Trichy, which has very historic temples, monuments & churches. Visit Srirangam Temple, surrounded by the waters of the River Kaveri on one side & its tributary Kollidam on the other is a 600-acre island-town enclosed within the seven walls of the gigantic Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple.
Later visit Rockfort most famed landmark is an 83 m high rock which is the only outcrop in the otherwise flat land of the city. Overnight at Hotel
Day 06 : Madurai
Morning visitMeenakshiSundareshwar, it was first built 2000 years ago & was substantially expanded between the years (1623-55 AD). Initially there was only the Shiva temple. A striking feature of the temple is the astonishing structure known as the Hall of a thousand pillars in the outermost corridor. Overnight at Hotel
Day 07 : Madurai – Periyar
Morning drive to Periyar, an attractive lakeside, it is South India’s most popular Wildlife Sanctuary. Periyar is a place to cruise on the lake & gives an opportunity to see wildlife. It is home to tigers, leopards, elephants, bison, antelopes, sambhar, wild boar, monkey, a wide variety of birds.
Evening game viewing at the sanctuary by boat on Lake Periyar.Overnight at Hotel.
Day 08 :Periyar – Kumarakom
Early Morning at sun rise, a boat ride to view wildlife in the sanctuary on Lake Periyar. After two hours of wildlife viewing back to the hotel for breakfast.
Later drive to Kumarakom, known for backwaters, huge Vembanad Lake & famous Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary. Overnight at Hotel.
Day 09 :Kumarakom – Alleppey (Overnight Houseboat)
Morning visit Kumarakom Bird sanctuary. There are two seasons for birds: between October & February there are cormorants, teals, & other ducks & from February to July there are darters (snake birds), night herons, egrets, & Siberian storks. It also has golden backed woodpecker, crow pheasant, white-breasted water hen, tree pie.
Later board the houseboat, cruise around beautiful backwaters of Kumarakom to Alleppey to observe & experience the daily life of the villagers along the backwaters. Overnight Houseboat
Day 10 :Alleppey – Cochin
Early morning before breakfast, view of the wildlife at the sanctuary on Lake Periyar by boat cruise. After wildlife view get back to the hotel for breakfast.
Later drive to Cochin, a very popular & historical sea trade connection with Middle East, Mediterranean Europe, Dutch& British. It has one of the finest natural harbours on the Arabian coastline. Its cosmopolitan character is reflected in the buildings & structures representing different regions of the world. Rest of day at Leisure.Overnight at Hotel.
Day 11 : Cochin
Morning visit Jew Town, synagogue, built in the year 1568, is magnificently decorated by Chinese tiles & Belgian chandeliers. Giant scrolls of the Old Testament can be found here. Also visit the spice market, where the air is filled with the pungent smell of spices & history that bring the world to its doorstep. Chinese fishing nets, (Cheenavala) are distinctly unique to Cochin. It is believed that traders from the court of the Chinese ruler Kublai Khan introduced these nets here.
In the evening enjoy Kerala’s most popular classical dance, Kathakali. Overnight at Hotel.
Day 12 : Depart Cochin
After breakfast transfer to airport / Train to board for onward destination.