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Classical South India - 15 Days

Day 1: Chennai

On arrival you will be met by TBi representative at airport and transferred to hotel.

Chennai, formerly known as Madras, is the capital city of Tamil Nadu and one of the foremost tourist destinations of South India. Popularly regarded as the ‘Gateway to the South’.

Overnight at the hotel.

Day 2: Chennai

After breakfast, proceed for guided tour of Mylapore Temple, Fort St. George Museum, St. Mary’s Church and Bronze Gallery at National Museum.

Overnight at the hotel.

Day 3: Chennai / Kanchipuram (76 Kms/1 ½ Hrs) Kanchipuram / Mahabalipuram (71 Kms/1 ½ Hrs)

After breakfast, leave for Kanchipuram.

Ancient Kanchipuram, the city of thousand temples, is one of the seven most sacred pilgrim destinations for Hindus as well centre for famous silk looms (Kanjeevaram Sarees). Continue to Mahabalipuram.

On arrival, proceed to the hotel.

Overnight at the hotel.

Day 4: Mahabalipuram / Pondicherry (138 Kms/3 Hrs)

After breakfast, proceed for guided tour of the fascinating rock carvings and temples for which city is famous, including Arjuna’s Penance, the world’s largest bas-relief, beautifully carved from solid granite. Visit the Shore Temple that has stood for twelve centuries with its twin granite spires soaring upward.

Later drive to Pondicherry. On arrival, proceed to the hotel.

Pondicherry is a former French colony. The city has strong French influence specially in the Old Quarter along the Promenade.

Overnight at the hotel.

Day 5: Pondicherry / Tanjore (230 Kms/6 Hrs)

After breakfast, visit Aurobindo Ashram- The Ashram is a spiritual community. The ashram grew out of a small community of disciples who had gathered around Sri Aurobindo after he settled in Pondicherry. Also visit Ganesha Temple and handmade paper factory.

Afternoon, drive to Tanjore. Scenically one of the most enchanting districts in the state - lies to the east of Trichy and has the reputation as the Rice Bowl of Tamil Nadu.

On arrival, proceed to hotel.

Overnight at the hotel.

Day 6: Tanjore

After breakfast, proceed for excursion to one of the best temples in South India, the Brahadeeshwarar temple or the Big Temple built by the greatest Chola emperor ‘Raja Chola’, is the dynasty’s finest contribution to Dravidan temple architecture.

Overnight at the hotel.

Day 7: Tanjore / Trichy (60 Kms/1 Hrs) Trichy / Madurai (150 Kms/3 Hrs)

After breakfast, drive to Madurai enroute visiting Tirchy. Trichy is a fine blend of tradition and modernity built around the Rock Fort and Shri Rangam Temple. Continue to drive to Madurai.

On arrival proceed to hotel.

Overnight at the hotel.

Day 8: Madurai

After breakfast, visit famous Meenakshi Devi Temple, thereafter visit local market around Temple complex. Afternoon at leisure.

Overnight at the hotel.

Day 9: Madurai / Periyar (Thekkady) (145 Kms/3 ½ Hrs)

After breakfast, drive to the highlands of Periyar (Thekkady). From 1895, the British maintained the area as a wildlife preserve and there are still opportunities to find elephants, bison, deer, and varieties of birds. The rugged landscape is very tropical and well suited to tea, coffee & spices.

On arrival, proceed to hotel.

Overnight at the hotel.

Day 10: Periyar (Thekkady)

After an early breakfast, enjoy a leisurely guided jungle walk in the reserve to admire the flora and fauna. Visit the Spice Garden where you can learn about various spices which are grown in this region and are commonly used all over the country.

Later in the afternoon take an optional boat ride on the man-made lake - the best way to observe game in the wild, including herds of elephants, bison and wild boar that roam by the lake just before sunset..

Overnight at the hotel.

Day 11: Periyar (Thekkady )/Alleppey

After breakfast, drive to Alleppey. On arrival, board your private House Boat and cruise on the Backwaters - full of canals, rivers and lakes. Relax on deck or in private lounge to observe the locals going about their daily chores - sailing, fishing, swimming, washing, cooking and more. Between the waterways are extensive paddy field and coconut palms. Enjoy Kerala cuisine cooked on houseboat.

Overnight at the houseboat.

Day 12: Alleppey/Kumarakom (30 Kms/1 Hrs)

After breakfast, disembark your House Boat and proceed to Kumarakom by road. Rest of day free for independent activities.

Overnight at the hotel.

Day 13: Kumarakom / Cochin(Distance/Driving time: 80Kms/2 Hrs)

Cochin is one of the finest natural harbours in the world. From here, ships set sail for foreign ports with pepper, seafood, rubber and coir. From times immemorial, Arabs, Chinese, Dutch, British and Portuguese seafarers followed the sea route to Cochin and left their impressions on the town. The harbour is the nucleus around which Cochin has grown to become the ‘Queen of the Arabian Sea’.

On arrival proceed to hotel.

Overnight at the hotel.

Day 14: Cochin

After breakfast, proceed for guided tour of Mattancherry Palace (built in 1555 and renovated by the Dutch in 1663, it contains 17th century murals of the Ramayana), Stroll through the old Jewish Quarter and visit the old Synagogue (Jews have lived here since the time of King Solomon).

Drive to Fort Kochi and visit St. Francis Church, the oldest in India and the famous Chinese fishing nets (introduced by a trader from Kubla Khan’s China).

Overnight at the hotel.

Day 15: Cochin

After breakfast, transfer to airport for your onward flight.

Tour Highlights

Chennai: Mylapore Temple, Fort St. George Museum, St. Mary’s Church, Bronze Gallery at National Museum
Mahabalipuram: Shore Temples, Arjuna’s Penance
Kanchipuram: Ekambareswarar Temple, Silk Loom
Pondicherry: Aurobindo Ashram and handmade paper factory
Thanjore: Brahadeeshwarar temple
Trichy: Rock fort and Shri Rangam Temple
Madurai: Meenakshi Temple, local market
Periyar (Thekkady): Jungle Walk, Spice Garden & Wildlife sightseeing
Alleppey: House Boat - experiencing local life on Backwaters
Cochin: Mattancherry Palace, Jewish Synagogue, St. Francis Church, Chinese Fishing Net

Monument closing days:
Chennai: Fort St. George Museum and National Museum - Friday
Cochin: Mattancherry Palace: Fridays, Jewish Synagogue: Fridays, Saturdays and Jewish holidays.

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