The Sights of South India Tour starts in Chennai, known to be the centre for many things, such as culture, economy and education. The history of Chennai dates long back to the Pallavas of Kanchi, a megalithic cultural establishment.
Next you will be taken to the ancient city of Kanchipuram, known as one of the seven cities where Hindus can reach final attainment. It is also known for being the religious centre of advance education for Jainism and Buddhism. The city is believed to have been a part of the mythical Dravida Kingdom of the Mahabharatha.
Going to the city of Mahabalipuram, also located in the state of Tamil Nadu, you will experience the group of monuments classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The monuments of Mahabalipuram include rathas temples, mandapas caves, Descent of the Ganges and the Shore Temple, known for its thousands sculptures of Shiva.
On the way you will experience the city of Pondicherry, known for many historic sites. In the mid 1st century and onward, a marketplace named Poduke or Poduca was used as a Roman trading destination. In the 4th century the city became a part of the Pallava Kingdom of Kanchipuram. In Pondicherry you will also find the Thirukaameeswarar Temple, dated to be more than 1000 years old and believed to be built by one of the Chola kings.
You will also be brought to the city of Thanjavur, formerly known as Tanjore, where most of the Great Living Chola Temples are found (also listed as UNESCO World Heritage Monuments) and the city of Trichy (Tiruchirappalli), known for historical monuments such as the Rockfort and the Ranganathaswamy temple at Srirangam.
By the end of the tour you will also have experienced Madurai, Kanyakumari, Kovalam and Thiruvananthapuram, all known for their history and culture dating long back.
The tour ends with visiting the cities of Allepey, Mararikulam and Kochi. Allepey (Alappuzha) known for its backwaters, Mararikulam with its small beaches and Kochi, the Queen of the Arabian Sea will all give you pleasant final days in South India.
Day 1 Arrival in Chennai
St. Mary Church
Start this tour by arriving in Chennai, the gateway of South India. Meet with a representative and transfer to the hotel to relax.
Later enjoy a half day sightseeing tour of Chennai. Visitthe Government Museum, Fort St.George, Fort Museum, St Mary’s Church, San Thome Cathedral, Kapaleswara temple, drive past the Marina beach and a bit of shopping.
Later enjoy a good night's sleep back at the hotel.
Day 2 Chennai to Mahabalipuram
Sea Shore Temple
Enjoy a warm breakfast at the hotel and then drive to Kanchipuram and Mahabalipuram. On the way we will stop to see some important sights. After arriving, check in to the hotel and relax.
In the evening explore the sunny beach and enjoy some free time at own leisure. Later enjoy a good night's rest at the hotel.
Day 3 Travel to Pondicherry
Sri Aurobindo Ashram
Enjoy an energizing breakfast at the hotel and then drive to Pondicherry, the French Town.
On arrival, proceed for a sightseeing of Aurobindo Ashram, Auroville, Paper Industry, Government Museum, Chunambar Boat House - where facilities for boating and canoeing are available.
The backwaters and luxuriant scenery on both sides of the river provide an idyllic setting for boating. Later in the evening relax at the beach that runs along the city. The night is spent at the hotel in Pondicherry.
Day 4 Tanjore awaits
Saraswati Mahal Library
After a filling breakfast at the hotel, drive to Tanjore. On arrival, check in to a hotel and later proceed for sightseeing of the Big Temple, the Palace, and the ancient Saraswathi Mahal Library.
Later enjoy the night and get some sleep back at the hotel.
Day 5 Travelling on to Trichy
Rock Fort Temple
Start this morning by enjoying a tasty breakfast at the hotel, later drive to Trichy. It is a fine blend of temples and monuments and one of the largest city.
Visit the ancient Rock Fort Temple and Srirangam temple.
Check in to a hotel and get a good night's sleep here.
Day 6 Madurai sights
The Meenakshi Amman Temple
Enjoy the morning with a breakfast at the hotel and later proceed to Madurai - a rich cultural heritage centre. Here enjoy a full day sightseeing of Madurai. Visit 1000 pillared Meenakshiamman temple, Tirumalai Nayak’s Palace, Gandhi Museum, Alagarkoil, Koodal Azhagar temple.
If interested one can also visit Pazhamudircholai and Thirupparakundram, one of the six abodes of Lord Muruga.
In the evening witness the night ceremony at the temple. Later head back to the hotel to get a good night's rest.
Day 7 Continue the journey to Kanyakumari
Vivekanand Rock Memorial
Begin the morning with enjoying a breakfast the hotel, then drive to Kanyakumari and check in to a hotel. Known as India's lands end where the three seas - Arabian Sea, Indian Ocean and the Bay of Bengal meet, and hence the confluence is called Thriveni Sangamam. The beach itself is a beautiful sight, with multi-coloured sand and spectacular sunrises and sunsets as the sky and horizon break into a riot of color.
Visit the famous Vivekananda Rock Memorial, the important Gandhi Mandapam and Temple.
In the evening head back to the hotel to get a good sleep.
Day 8 Kovalam journey
Light House Beach
Enjoy a tasty breakfast in the morning and then drive to Kovalam, the international beach resort known for being full of coconut trees and sandy beaches. The leisure options at this beach are plenty and diverse - sunbathing, swimming, herbal body toning massages, special cultural programs, Catamaran cruising and so on.
The day will be spent at own leisure, take this time to relax.
Get a good night's sleep back at the hotel to be prepared for tomorrow's adventure.
Day 9 Important sights and exploration
Sri Padmanabhaswamy Temple
Enjoy this morning with a tasty breakfast, later visit the famous Padmanabhaswamy temple and Suchindram temple - known for its 18 feet high Hanuman statue and musical pillars.
Later proceed for the sightseeing of Trivandrum covering Napier Museum, Chitra Art Gallery and Padmanabhapuram Palace. Enjoy a memorable trip on the fantastic houseboats. Travel through the coconut fringed canals. Relaxing your mind and body as nature envelops you. Here you are a welcome observer of traditional activities of the local people. Watch them sow seeds in the soil and give green grass to their animals alongside the backwaters. Your crew will show you various points of interest along the way and provide you delicious meals on board. Have an out of the world experience with the overnight stay on the houseboat.
Day 10 Mararikulam awaits
Disembark from the houseboat after enjoying a fresh breakfast on board. Proceed to Mararikulam, one of the picturesque fishing villages that dot the lovely coast line of Kerala. This private, shallow beach is fringed with unending lines of coconut palms. Rest of the day is at leisure for own activities and enjoy the facilities of the resort, and get a good night's sleep.
Day 11 Kochi sights
Start this morning with a nice breakfast and after breakfast drive to Kochi and check in to a hotel.
Visit St. Mary's Cathedral, Jewish Synagogue, St. Francis Church Dutch Palace and the famous Chinese fishing nets. Cochin has a history stretching back to the time of King Solomon, when it was known as 'Queen of the Arabian Sea'. Arabian, Phoenician and Chinese traders all stopped here in search of spices, silks and sandalwood.
Marco Polo and Vasco da Gama followed, as did the Dutch East India Company and later the British. Today, Christians, Jews, Muslims and Hindus still live side by side, and Chinese fishing-nets, introduced by merchants from the court of Kublai Khan, continue to haul in fish. The adjoining backwaters make it a popular destination.
Enjoy a good night's sleep at the hotel after this eventful day.
Day 12 Departure day from Kochi
This is the last day of the tour. Start off by enjoying a tasty breakfast at the hotel, after that check out from the hotel and transfer to the airport. Connect for a flight to an onward destination, bringing memories and joy for the rest of the time.
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