Day - 1 - Arrive Chennai
Dutch Palace, Chennai Arrive Chennai, after a traditional 'Swagat'
(Welcome) our representative would assist you at the airport & to our
hotel for check in. Chennai (formerly known as Madras), is known for its
cultural heritage & temple architecture. The region was served as an
important administrative, military, & economic centre dating back to the
1st century. The first Westerners were Portuguese, who arrived in the year
1522 & built a port. It then passed on to the Dutch in 1612. In 1639 the
British East India Company established a fort & trading post & since
then this coastal centre of trade has drawn traffic from all over the world.
Overnight Hotel - Chennai (B)
Day - 2 - Chennai - Mahabalipuram (70 km - 02 hr)
Full day tour - Today we take a tour of Chennai, visiting Fort St. George,
the first bastion of British power in India & built in the year 1640 AD
by the British East India Company. Within the Fort we visit St. Mary's
Church, built in the year 1680 & oldest Protestant Church in the East.
Fort Museum has 10 galleries & displays armory, old uniforms, crockery &
silverware, coins, palanquins, paintings, letters, old prints, etc. San
Thome Cathedral, built in 1504, is said to house the remains of St. Thomas
the Apostle, who is believed to have visited Madras (Chennai) sometime
during 52 AD.
National Art Gallery, established in the year 1857, is undoubtedly one of
the country's finest museums. It has sections devoted to geology,
archaeology, anthropology, botany, zoology, sculpture & numismatics.
Government Museum has a fine archaeological section representing all the
major South Indian periods including Chola, Vijaynagar, Hoysala &
Chaulakya. The bronze gallery has a superb collection of Chola art
especially the bronze statue of Ardhanareeswara, the androgynous incarnation
of Shiva. Its most prized possessions are the relics from 2nd century AD
Buddhist site of Amaravathi & the prehistoric antiques of South India.
Later we drive to Mahabalipuram, town of temples, sand & sea. It is
world renowned for its beautiful Shore Temple & other temples. It was
once the main port & naval base of the great Pallava kingdom & was
later made the capital of this dynasty. Most of the temples here are
dedicated to Lord Shiva & Vishnu. These structures were built by three
successive Pallava Kings, between 630 A.D & 728 A.D, who developed the
Dravidian style of temple architecture within the short span of a hundred
years. The monuments are mostly rock-cut & monolithic, constitute the
early stages of Dravidian architecture, wherein Buddhist elements of design
are prominently visible. It is known especially for its rathas (temples in
the form of chariots), mandapas (cave sanctuaries) & giant open-air
bas-reliefs & has been classified as UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Overnight Hotel - Mahabalipuram (B)
Day - 3 - Mahabalipuram - Excursion to Kanchipuram (70 km - 02 hr)
Shore Temple, MahabalipuramHalf Day Tour - Today we take a guided tour of
Mahabalipuram, visiting Shore Temple, one of the oldest temples in South
India. It belongs to the 8th Century AD. Designed to catch the first rays of
the rising sun & to illuminate the waters after dark, the temple ended
up with an unusual lay-out.
Arjuna's Penance, world's largest bas-relief. This huge whale-back shaped
rock contains figures of gods, demigods, men, beasts, & birds & in
fact can be said to represent creation itself. Next we visit Rathas,
monolithic temples fashioned as chariots. They remain an architectural
mystery as each is apparently a faithful reproduction of a structure built
of wood. In fact, even the grain of the timber beams & rafters has been
simulated in stone. Of the eight Rathas, five have been named for the
Pandava brothers, the heroes of the epic Mahabharata.
Excursion to Kanchipuram - Later we take a day excursion to Kanchipuram, is
one of the seven holy cities in the country. It was a city of learning for
both Tamil & Sanskrit, & was believed to be visited by Hsuan Tsang.
In ancient times it was called Kachi. Once had over a thousand temples &
today there are more than a hundred extant. It is also known for its temples
& silk sarees. We visit Kailasanatha Temple, built in 8th Century AD. It
is built in the typical Pallava style, with a pyramidal tower. The temple is
famous for exquisite carvings & attracts devotees & tourists alike.
Fresco style paintings adorn the inner walls of the temple.
Next we visit Ekambaranatha, ancient temple dedicated to lord Shiva. The 57
metres high Raj Gopuram is one of the tallest towers in South India. The
3000 year old mango tree inside the temple has 4 branches each yielding
different variety of mangoes. Later we also visit Kamakshi Amman, built in
12th century AD, as an important Shakthisthalam, known as
Parabrahmaroonpini. Overnight Hotel - Mahabalipuram (B)
Day - 4 - Mahabalipuram - Tanjore (300 km - 06 hr)
Today we drive to Tanjore, flourished during the rule of the Nayaks &
Mahrattas. It has been the treasure house of art for centuries. It is called
the Rice Bowl of Tamil Nadu. Thanjavur is well-known throughout the world
for its exquisite handicrafts like the Art Plate, pithwork, bronze icons,
Thanjavur paintings & the classical South Indian musical instruments.
Later we visit Brihadeshwara temple, also known as Big Temple, built by
Rajaraja Chola I was completed around 1010 CE. This 10th century CE temple,
one of UNESCO World Heritage Sites, is a brilliant example of the Dravidian
style of temple architecture. The beautiful Chola Fresco paintings on the
inner walls of the temple are no way less than Ajanta paintings. Overnight
Hotel - Tanjore (B)
Day - 5 - Tanjore - Madurai via Trichy (200 km - 04 hr)
Today we leave for Madurai, rich cultural heritage passed for more than
2500 years old & has been an important commercial centre as early as 550
AD. It is the oldest city in Tamil Nadu & was originally known as
Kadambavanam or the forest of Kadamba.
En route Trichy - En route we stop at Trichy, which has very historic
temples & monuments. It was an important town in the days of the later
Cholas, Nayaks as well as during the early days of the British East India
Company. We start with Srirangam Temple, surrounded by the waters of the
River Kaveri on one side & its tributary Kollidam on the other. It is a
600-acre island-town enclosed within the seven walls of the gigantic Sri
Later we visit Rockfort most famed landmark is an 83 m high rock which is
the only outcrop in the otherwise flat land of the city. The most amazing
fact about the rock is that it is one of the oldest in the world
approximately 3,800 million years, which makes it as old as the rocks of
Greenland & older than the Himalayas. Overnight Hotel - Madurai (B)
Day - 6 - Madurai - Periyar (136 km - 03 hr)
Meenakshi TempleHalf Day Tour - Today we visit to Meenakshi Sundareshwar,
first built 2000 years ago & was substantially expanded between the
years (1623-55 AD). A striking feature of the temple is the astonishing
structure known as Ayiramkaal mandapam or Hall of a thousand pillars in the
Later we drive to Periyar, Set on an attractive lakeside, it is South
India's most popular Wildlife Sanctuary. It is a place to cruise on the lake
& gives an opportunity to see wildlife. It is home to tigers, leopards,
elephants, bison, antelopes, sambhar, wild boar, monkey, a wide variety of
birds. Next we explore the sanctuary to experience the beauty &
Option Tour - Spice Plantation. Overnight Hotel - Periyar (B)
Day - 7 - Periyar - Cochin (190 km - 04 hr)
At sun rise we take a boat ride to view wildlife in the sanctuary on Lake
Periyar. After two hours of wildlife viewing we get back to the hotel for
Later drive to Cochin always had a very popular & historical sea trade
connection with Middle East, Mediterranean Europe & Dutch. It has one of
the finest natural harbours on the Arabian coastline. Its cosmopolitan
character is reflected in the buildings & structures representing
different regions of the world.
Later we attend Kerala's most popular classical dance performance,
Kathakali by local artist. Overnight Hotel - Cochin (B)
Day - 8 - Cochin
Full Day Tour - Today we take a tour of Cochin, visiting St. Francis'
Church, built in the year 1503 by Portuguese Francisan Friars & known to
be the oldest European church in India. It was restored in the year 1779 by
the protestant Dutch, converted to an Anglican Church by the British in
1795. Vasco da Gama's remains were buried here in 1524 & later moved to
Lisbon, Portugal. We also visit Dutch Palace, originally built by the
Portuguese. Later in 17th century they modified it & presented it to the
Raja (King) of Kochi (Cochin). The Palace has a fine collection of mural
paintings depicting scenes from Hindu epics, Mahabharata & Ramayana.
Later we visit, built in the year 1568, is magnificently decorated by
Chinese tiles & Belgian chandeliers. Giant scrolls of the Old Testament
can be found here. Also visit the spice market, where the air is filled with
the pungent smell of spices & history that brought the world to its
doorstep. Chinese fishing nets, (Cheenavala) are distinctly unique to
Cochin. It is believed that traders from the court of the Chinese ruler
Kublai Khan introduced these nets here. Optional- Boat Cruise. Overnight
Hotel - Cochin (B)
Day - 9 - Cochin - Goa (Flight IC-575 - 1445 hr - 1555 hr)
Today, we take a flight to Goa, once a part of the Mauryan Empire in the
3rd century BC. From 580-750 AD the Chalukyas of Badami had their sway over
Goa. It is also known for its world heritage architecture including the Bom
Jesus Basilica. Goa also has rich flora & fauna, owing to its location
on the Western Ghats range, which are classified as a biodiversity hotspot
rather an absolute paradise on earth. Overnight Hotel - Goa (B)
Day - 10 - Goa
Dona Paula, Goa Day at leisure (OR) Full Day Tour - Today you may take an
Optional tour of Goa, Visiting old Goa Churches; Basilica of Boom Jesus,
built in 16th century dedicated to Infant Jesus is the most popular &
famous of all churches in Goa. The mortal remains of St. Francis Xavier,
kept in a silver casket, are enshrined here. Sri Mangueas Temple, surrounded
by rolling green hills & dedicated to Lord Shiva, is the most important
of all temples in Goa & is located at Priol in Ponda Taluka. Dona Paula,
a village named after Dona Paula de Menezes, the wife of a noble man Antonio
de Souto Maior, who died as a young woman in 1682. Miramar Beach, an urban
beach where the Mandovi River meets the Arabian Sea, a point that offers the
best location to watch enchanting sunsets. Overnight Hotel - Goa (B)
Day 11 & Day 12 - Goa
Day at Leisure, enjoying the golden beaches, luxurious casinos &
flowing spirits in Goa. Overnight Hotel - Goa (B)
Day - 13 - Goa - Mumbai (9W 474 - 1615 hr-1715 hr)
Depart Mumbai - Next Destination.
Package Includes :
Package Does Not Include :
- 12 nights accommodation on twin sharing basis.
- Breakfast as per the itinerary.
- A-C transportation as per the itinerary.
- Local English speaking Guide for the Tour
- Kathkali dance show in Cochin.
- Applicable taxes.
- Any Monument entry fee & camera fee (wherever Applicable)
- Any airfare or airport tax.
- Optional Tours
- Any expense of personal nature such as hard-soft drinks, laundry,
phone-fax calls, tips etc.
- Any other expense not mentioned in the "Package includes".