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14 nights / 15 days
Chennai - Kanchipuram - Mahabalipuram - Puducherry - Tanjore - Trichy - Madurai - Thekkady - Cochin - Alleppey - Kovalam
Day 1 : Arrive Chennai
Traditional welcome on arrival at Chennai international airport by Travel Pals executive and transfer to the hotel by air-conditioned exclusive car for overnight stay.
Chennai - India's fourth largest city, and the capital city of the state of Tamil Nadu. It is a journey into timeless India, a kaleidoscope of moods, rich in the treasures of history, from temples and shrines to forts and beaches, the landscape of the past lives easily with the present. Retaining much of its traditional charm, this 350 year old city is the gateway to the south, providing many a fascinating vignette of southern heritage. Formerly known as Madras.
Day 2 : Chennai
After a relaxed breakfast in the hotel. Meet your pre-appointed guide for a city tour visiting Fort St. George, St. Mary' Church, the Basilica of Saint Thomas, Sri Parathasarathy temple, the famous Marina Beach - world's second longest beach.
Day 3 : Chennai - Kanchipuram - Mahabalipuram (145 kms / 4 hrs)
Breakfast at hotel and followed by a drive south-west (80 kms) to Kanchipuram which is famous for it's hand woven silk sarees, a 6-9 yard long fabric draped around women's body. A traditional attire of the women of Indian-subcontinent. Not to miss the spiritual popularity in form of the architecturally rich Hindu temple Ekambareswarar dedicated to Lord Shiva. The presiding deity is revered in the 7th century with it's complex spread in 25 acres, one of the largest in India.
Continue further to Mahabalipuram and check in resort.
Day 4 : Mahabalipuram
We have a leisurely breakfast followed by a guided visit to the Mahabalipuram group of temples that are a UNESCO World Heritage Site including Shore Temple, Rock Cut caves, Arjuna’s Penance, Krishna’s Butter Ball etc built by the Pallava Dynasty in 7th & 8th Century.
Enjoy your evening on the quaint beaches of Mahabalipuram with an overnight.
Day 5 : Mahabalipuram - Puducherry (96 kms / 1.5 hrs)
This morning we drive further west on the marine drive with lovely views of the Bay of Bengal (north eastern part of Indian Ocean) to Puducherry (erst. Pondicherry). The Portuguese have been here. So have the Dutch, The Danes, The English And the French. By 18th century this tiny fishing village had turned into a grand port city. The French first set foot here in 1670 and left a part of them when their undisturbed rule finished in 1954. Not much has changed since. The history has become punctuated.
Enjoy the little French quaint town with your guide walking through the Promenade, the Old Lighthouse, Aoruville, Sri Aurobindo Ashram. If you like riding a bike then, this will be your excellent chance to explore the little town at your own pace!
Day 6 : Puducherry - Tanjore (190 kms / 4.5 hrs)
Tanjore is one of the greenest and enchanting districts and is the Rice Bowl of the state. Thanjavur as it's known in local Tamil language.
Day 7 : Tanjore - Trichy - Madurai (190 kms / 4.5 hrs)
Day 8 : Madurai
Day 9 : Madurai - Thekkady (140 kms / 3.5 hrs)
Proceed for a drive to Periyar Wildlife Reserve in Thekkady district of east Kerala. Set on an attractive lakeside, Periyar is the home to herds of Wild Tuskers, Bison and Spotted Deer and the park is a Bird Lover's delight and you can spot species of birds like cormorants, kingfishers, darters and the great Malabar hornbill among 200 other species. A number of reptiles like snakes and monitor lizards are also found here. On arrival transfer to hotel for check in. Early evening visit to spice plantation where one can see the cultivation of a whole range of spices like, pepper, cardamom, cloves, turmeric, vanilla, all spice cinnamon etc. this followed by a visit to the spice shops large & small which are found in the small town of Kumily.
Day 10 : Thekkady
Day 11 : Thekkady - Cochin (155 kms / 4.5 hrs)
Cochin has long been eulogized in tourist literature as the ‘Queen of the Arabian Sea’. Its location between the blue waters of the Arabian Sea and Kerala’s emerald backwaters, its rich medley of Indian and foreign architecture, it’s truly unusual sights like the Chinese Fishing Nets and its quaint quiet localities like the Jewish Quarters demand the attention of all who travel to Kerala.
Set on a cluster of islands and a peninsula, Cochin (now Kochi) is a blend of medieval Portugal, Holland and an English country village. Cochin remained incomplete in terms of success till the arrival of the Portuguese. Hub of spice trading that lured the west. It is believed that the Cochin district came into existence in the year 1102 AD after the break up of the Khulasekhara Empire.
Day 12 : Cochin
Breakfast at hotel followed by a guided tour of the Cochin and visit the famous Mattancherry Palace (Dutch Palace), St. Francis Church and the Jewish Synagogue. A relaxxing walk across the backwater of Vembanad lake. Witness the giant Chinese Fishing Nets being lowered on the famous Vasco Da Gama Square, offering a spectacular view to its visitors. Not to miss the local fish market where you will experience the quickest auctioning ever of the freshest catch.
Day 13 : Cochin - Alleppey (By Road - 60 Kms / 2 hours)
After breakfast we drive south on the marine drive enjoying the unending views of the Arabian Sea to a small town of Alleppey in the Allapuzha district. Embark on the 'Kettuvalloms' - a traditional rice boat of Kerala, which gives a romantic way to explore the unique web of lagoons, lakes, canals & rivers. A backwater cruise allows you to see the scenic manmade islands and beautiful sights of coconut fringed backwaters and paddy fields. Lunch, dinner and overnight in houseboat.
met with Travel Pals executive and transfer to XXXXXX international airport to board flight for onward destination with sweet memories of your India trip..
You may like to extend your visit by a night in Delhi before your flight. Also, ask us for our various extension programmes to choose from.
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