South Temple and Beach Tours (Make Customise Tours)
Tour Route: Chennai-Kanchipuram-Mahabalipuram-Tiruvannamallai-Pondicherry-Chidambaram-Tanjore-Trichy-Madurai-Kovalam-Trivandrum-Varkala-Alleppey-Periyar-Cochin
Duration: 16 days
Day 01 - Arrive Chennai By Flight
On arrival at Chennai, after clearing immigration and customs, step into the receiving area where you will be met and assisted by Grand Travel Planner representative and transferred to the hotel for a Check-in.
Rest of the day at leisure
Day 02 - Chennai (Madras)
After breakfast, city sightseeing tour. Madras is a thriving seaport that did business with the Phoenicians and Babylonians 2000 years ago. The remembered history of Madras goes back to the 4th Century. The Dravidian dynasties of the Pallavas, the Cholas and the Pandyas left their mark on its culture and architecture. Visit the temple of Lord Kapaleeswara, St. Thomas Church and St. Fort George Museum, the Government Museum and its Bronze Gallery, the High Court, Marina Beach, the Snake Park and the flower and fruit market.
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Day 03 - Chennai (Madras)-Kanchipuram-Mahabalipuram By Road (58kms/2hrs)
After breakfast, drive To Mahabalipuram & en route visit Kanchipuram.
Kanchipuram (64 kms from Chennai (Madras)) is the ancient capital of the Pallavas famous as a city of 1000 Temples and still has 124 shrines. The first temple dedicated to Shiva was built in the 7th and 8th century & has paintings on the walls. Temples of Ekambaswara, Kailasanatha, Sri Kamakshi and Varadarajaswamy are of interest. Kanchipuram is also famous for its silks.
The city of Mahabalipuram is famous for the seven pagodas. Here on the seashore is an interesting group of ancient rock hewn temples which are the examples of Dravidian style of Architecture.
Day 04 -Mahabalipuram
After breakfast, full day in sightseeing the attractions in Mahabalipuram which include Varaha Cave, Arjuna's Penance, Mahishamardini Cave, Shore Temple and Sculpture Museum.
Day 05 -Mahabalipuram-Tiruvannamallai-Pondicherry By Road
After breakfast drive to Tiruvannamallai (112kms/03hrs)- a pilgrim centre with an ancient temple of Lord Shiva.
Later, proceed to Pondicherry (131kms/ 3.5hrs), which carries a strong whiff of the French presence in India. This erstwhile French colony on the east coast of South India merged with the rest of the country in 1954. Legend says that Pondicherry is the place where St.Agasthaya settled down.
Day 06 - Pondicherry-Chidambaram-Tanjore By Road(187kms/4hrs)
After breakfast, visit Aurbindo Ashram, the city of dawn, which is 10kms north of Pondicherry. This ashram promotes Aurbindo's ideas in bringing about a synthesis of Yoga and modern science, so as to unite the spirit and matter. Later visit Auroville - a unique experiment in international living and in creating a new environment where men and women of all nationalities live together in harmony
Afternoon, drive to Tanjore & en route visit Chidambaram & visit the famous dancing Shiva temple, the Nataraja Temple complex. It has four gopurams or tall pyramidal archways with beautifully sculpted Hindu icons, and is filled with breathtaking examples of Chola artistry. Upon arrival at Tanjore, check in into the hotel.
Day 07 - Tanjore-Trichy By Road (60Kms/1.5hrs)
After breakfast, tour of Tanjore, a UNESCO World Heritage site. It is a fascinating and superb monument with 250 linga, and the names of dancers, musicians and poets inscribed on the walls. The inner sanctum houses a 4m high lingam while above it is a 13 story tower reaching 66m up into the sky. The palace complex is a beautifully kept labyrinth of halls, corridors and courtyards housing the Royal Palace Museum.
Afternoon, drive to Trichy & transfer to the hotel.
Later visit Sri Jambukeswara Temple, Rock Fort Temple, Rangathaswamy Temple and Viralimalai Sanctuary
Day 08 - Trichy-Madurai By Road (142kms/4hrs drive)
Morning drive to Madurai. Madurai-one of south India's most ancient city, on the banks of the River Vaigai, has been an important center of workship and commerce for as long as there has been civilization in South India - indeed, it has long been described as "the Athens of the East". The Meenakshi Temple in the heart of the old town is the supreme attraction here. A rightfully flamboyant example of Dravidian architecture it has gopurams covered from top to bottom with vibrant images of deities, animals and mythical figures.
Afternoon, take a sightseeing of Madurai visiting the Meenakshi Temple, Tirumalai Nayak Palace, Gandhi Museum, Government Museum, Koodal Alagar Temple and Vandiyur Mariamman Teepakulam
Day 09 - Madurai-Kovalam By Road (260kms/5-6hrs drive)
After breakfast drive to Kovalam & transfer to the hotel.
Rest of the day leisure at beach.
Day 10 - Kovalam-Trivandrum-Kovalam By Road (15kms/30mins)
After breakfast, full day excursion to Trivandrum. Visit tour including the Padmabha Swamy Temple, Kuthiramalika Palace Museum and the Napier Museum. Drive back to Kovalam & transfer to the hotel.
Rest of the day Leisure at Beach.
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Day 11 - Kovalam
Day Leisure at Beach.
Day 12 Kovalam-Varkala-Alleppey By Road (150kms/4hrs)
After breakfast, drive to Alleppey & en route visit Varkala.
Visit the 800-year old Janardhana temple, dedicated to Ayyappan and Hanuman, atop the hill has brought a sobriquet for the region, Southern Kasi (Benares). Afternoon enjoy the quite beautiful Papanasam beach & Varkala Tunnel or'Varkala Turuthu’. The tunnel is 924 ft long and was constructed by T Mahadeva Rao of Travancore. It took 13 long years in all to complete (1867-1880) it. It was built for easier and faster transport of goods for business.
Later continue drive to Alleppey & Check in at the houseboat. Enjoy the magic of backwaters by going on a Houseboat cruise across the backwaters. Spend the next 22 hours in your floating villa, get a glimpse of the village life at close quarters; a unique and unforgettable experience. Enjoy the sunset & Sunrise at Houseboat .
Day 13 Alleppey-Periyar By Road (155kms/4hrs)
After breakfast, drive to Periyar nestled in spice and rubber plantations. Known to be Kerala's pride and testimony to nature's splendor, Periyar has a lot to offer in terms of wildlife. Periyar is famous for its rare habitat of birds and animals and is one of the most popular destination for nature lovers. Check in to your resort and get ready for your trip to cardamom hills where you could have a closer look at the spice plantations.
The Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary is one of the places where the chances are pretty high that you will spot an elephant in the wild at close quarters and from the safe confines of a boat.
Later visit Periyar Wildlife Sactuary.
Boat Ride & elephant Ride in Periyar!!!!
Day 14 Periyar
Day at leisure.
Day 15 Periyar-Cochin By Road (195kms/6-7hrs)
After breakfast, proceed to Cochin & transfer to the hotel.
Rest of the day at leisure.
Evening Enjoy the Kathakali Dance Show!!!
Day 16 Cochin Departure By Flight
Cochin - With its wealth of historical associations and beautiful setting on a cluster of islands and narrow peninsulas, Cochin or Kochi, reflects the eclecticism of Kerala perfectly. Traders from the West came to Kerala as far back as the 3rd century B.C. and took back with them spices, ivory and teak. Much later, in the 15th century, the Portuguese, Dutch, French and British came to this region in the guise of merchants, some to stay on as colonial rulers.
Full day city tour of Cochin.
Morning sightseeing visiting Fort Cochin, Jewish Synagouge, Dutch Palace, St. Francis Church, Jew Town, Chinese fishing nets etc.
Evening, transfer to the airport to board your flight for Mumbai.
Depart for Mumbai at 1605hrs by Go air Flight 9W 404.
Arrive Mumbai at 1755hrs & transfer to the International Airport to board your flight
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