Day 01 : Arrive Chennai
Chennai, the fourth largest city in India, located on the warm shores of the
Bay of Bengal. Modern Chennai traces its orgins to 1639 AD, when the British
East India company was first awarded ? trading post and commenced building
Fort St. George, near the sleepy fishing village of Madraspatnam. The rest
of your day is at leisure to relax.
Day 02 : Chennai
Tour Chennai, featuring historic as well as contemporary places of
interest, such as Victoria Art Gallery, Bronze Gallery and Madras Museum.
Continue your drive though Egmore to Georgetwon stopping at Fort St. George,
housing the State Parliament. Located within the ramparts of the fort is St
mary's Church, the oldest Anglican church in Asia, consecrated in 1680 AD.
The fort museum features relics of the raj. Drive along marina Beach,
visiting San Thome Cathedral, yourfinal top is colour Kapaleeswarar Temple,
devoted to Lord Shiva, where you have an opportunity to mingle with the
devotees and observe the various rituals of Hinduism. The afternoon is at
leisure. This evening witness a spectacular Bharatnatyam performance.
Day 03 : Kanchipuram And Mahabalipuram Excursion
Kachipuram, one of the seven sacred cities of India, served as a capital
for several dynasties, most prominent among them being the Pallavas and the
Cholas, responsible for making it the most spectacular temple city of India.
Visit three of the best temples - Kailasanatha & Ekambareshwara,
dedicated to Lord Shiva, and Vaikuntaperumal dedicated to Lord Vishnu.
Kanchipuram is also renouned for its silk, a traditional cottage industry
art that has been handed down over the centuries from one genration to the
next. Continue on to the ancient Pallavan par! of Mamallapuram for lunch at
a seaside resort. Later visit the seventh century rock heven mouments. The
shore temple, the only surviving one of seven, is a unique example of a
temple built of rock quarried elsewhere are carried to shore.
Day 04 : Chennai / Trichy
After a morning at leisure a short flight brings you to Tiruchirapalli,
better known as Trichy. Trichy has a long and checkered history predating
Christianity. Several dynasties including the Cholas, Pallavas and the
Pandyas reigned over this city in the agriculturally rich basin of the
Cauvery river, also known for thei patronage of art and architecture, who
eventually ruled over Trichy during the 16th centure, are responsible for
most of what is left standing today.
Day 05 : Trichy
Visit the Srirangam Temple complex today. Located on an island in the
Cauvery River, its is among the largest in India, covering an area of over
600 acres. The temple is surrounded by seven concentric walls and has
twenty-one gopurams or temple towers, one of which is covered in gold. Sri
Jambukeshwora Temple, located across from Srirangam, is dedicated to Lord
Shiva and has five concentric walls and seven gopurams, Rock Fort Temple.
The views from the summit are spectacular. The afternoon is at your leisure.
Day 06 : Trichy / Tanjore / Madurai
Drive to Tanjore, the ancient capital of the Chola kings, whose patronage
and philanthropy rendered Tanjore a veritable haven for-artists, musicians
and craftsmen. The dome on the apex of the central tower, 206 feet tall, is
a single piece of granite weighing an estimated 81 tons, which was put in
place using a ramp 3 miles long, similar to the technique used in building
the Pyramids of Egypt. Later drive to Madurai.
Day 07 : Madurai
Madurai is a bustling city packed with pilgrims, businessmen, bullock carts
and legions of rickshaw wallahs. It is southern India's oldest centre of
pilgrimage and learning. Visit Shree Meenakashi Temple, a riotously baroque
exmple of Dravidian architecture. Thirumalai Noyak Palace, built in 1636 in
Indi-Saracenic style, and the Gandhi Museum, containing memorabilia of the
father of the nation. Continue to Mariamman Teppakkulom Tank. Built in 1646,
the tank is fed by underground channels from the Varigai river.
Day 08 : Madurai / Thekkady
Your exploration of South India continues as your drive to Thekkady,
located on the Tamil Nadu / Kerala Border. This unique wildlife sanctuary is
about 300 square miles and centered around an artificial lake fed by the
Periyar river. Game viewing this afternoon is onboard boats which carry you
along convoluted waterways and afford sightings of elephant, bison, deer and
occasionally, tiger. All manner of flora and fauna flourish in this tropical
habitat, making it one of the premiere reserves of southern India.
Day 09 : Thekkady/ Kumarakom
on a game viewing boat cruise this morning, before continuing on to
Kumarakom. The state of Kerala, is known for its numerous canals and
waterways. Kumarakom is a tiny settlement, nestled in the bockwaters of
Kerala and evokes images of Kashmir, This part of Kerala offers a variety of
therapeutic massages, which are both relaxing and healing and are indigenous
lo this region.
Day 10 : Kumarakom
Take a boot ride on the Vembanand lake to the Kumarakom bird sanctuary.
Apart of the forest was submerged in the lake, offering an irresistable
habitat to both migratory as well as local birds. Water fowl, commorants,
egrets and teals are seen in abundance. The afternoon is at leisure. Those
interested in fishing can take advantage of the rich waters or a relaxing
massage is also a tempting option.
Day 11 : Kumarakom / Trivandrum (Kovalam)
Drive to Changanacheri this morning an boat to experience the rich culture
and active life-styles that has evolved over the centuries in and around ihe
backwaters and waterways that thread this region. Continue on to Trivandrum,
Kerala's capital city and principal seaport. Known as the "city of the
sacred snake". Thrivandrum is a city built over seven luxuriously
forested hills. A low skyline and red tiled roofs lend a distinct character
and ambiance to this most unusual capital city. Check into your beach hotel.
Day 12. Trivandrum (Kovalam)
The Trivandrum Museum is housed in an attractive building featuring a
collection of bronzes, historical and contemporary ornaments, temple carts,
ivory carvings and life-size figures of Kathakali dancers in full regalia.
The day is free to enjoy palm fringed Kovalam beach, one of the best of
Day 13 : Trivandurm / Mumbai
Morning at leisure. Later fly to Mumbai and connect with your international