TEMPLE & SPICE TOUR
(9 NIGHTS / 10 DAYS)
DAY 1: Delhi – Chennai (Morning flight)
Arrival 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.
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 armoury, old uniforms, crockery & silverware, coins, palanquins, paintings, letters, old prints, etc. Santhome 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. Kapileshwar Temple, located in Mylapore, the arresting architecture of the Kapileshwar temple is of the Dravidian style. The temple is devoted to Lord Shiva.
Overnight Hotel – Chennai
DAY 2: Chennai – kanchipuram – Mahabalipuram (140 Km / 4 hr)
Today we take early drive down to Kanchipuram, one of the seven holy cities in the country. It was a city of learning for both Tamil & Sanskrit and was believed to be visited by Hsuan Tsang. In ancient times it was called Kachi. Once upon a time it had over 1,000 temples, but today there are around a hundred left. It is also known for its silk sarees. We visit Kailasanatha Temple , built in 8th Century AD. It is built in the typical Pallava style, with a pyramidal tower, a pillared hall & vestibule, enclosed by a wall. The temple is famous for exquisite carvings & attracts devotees & tourists alike. There are 58 small shrines situated around the main shrine, as a compound wall. Fresco style paintings adorn the inner walls of the temple. Next we visit Ekambaranatha, ancient temple is 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.
We visit Kamakshi Amman Temple, built in 12th century AD, as an important Shakthisthalam, known as Parabrahmaroonpini. The main deity is seated on Brahma, Vishnu, Rudra, Eswara & Sadasiva.
Late afternoon drive to Mahabalipuram.
Mahabalipuram 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 form of chariots), mandapas (cave sanctuaries) & giant open-air bas-reliefs & has been classified as UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Overnight Hotel – Mahabalipuram .
DAY 3: In mahabalipuram
Today, we take a guided tour of Mahabalipuram, visiting Shore Temple, one of the oldest temples in South India. It belongs to the 7th Century AD & is a good example of the first phase of the structure of temples constructed in the Dravidian style. 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 is the world’s largest bas-relief. This huge whale-back shaped rock contains figures of gods, demigods, men, beasts, birds. Next we visit Rathas, monolithic temples fashioned as chariots. They remain an architectural mystery, for 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.
Overnight Hotel – Mahabalipuram
DAY 4: Mahabalipuram – Tanjore (300 Km / 6 hr)
Today after the Kanchipuram is over, 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. In the later half of the day, 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
DAY 5: Tanjote – Madurai via Trichy (180 Km / 4 hr)
Today 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.
Later 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 Tamilnadu & 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 & churches. 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 and its tributaries. Kollidam is a 600-acre island-town enclosed within the 7 walls of the gigantic Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple. There are not less than 21 Gopuram here in this temple, one of which is the tallest in South India.
Later we visit Rock fort. The most famed landmark is an 83m 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
DAY 6: In Madurai
Today we visit to Meenakshi Sundareshwar was first built 2000 years ago & was substantially expanded between the years (1623-55 AD). Initially there was only the Shiva temple. A striking feature of the temple is the astonishing structure known as Ayiramkaal mandapam or the Hall of a thousand pillars in the outermost corridor.
Overnight Hotel – Madurai (B)
DAY 7: Madurai – Periyar (150 km / 3.5 hr)
Following an early breakfast, check-out from the hotel and drive to Thekkady; on arrival check-in into hotel. Afternoon you will be taken for a local sightseeing tour of Thekkady. The Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary, spread over 777 sq. km. including 360 sq. km of dense evergreen forest tract, is one of the most fascinating wildlife reserves in Kerala. Declared a Tiger Reserve in 1978, the sanctuary is noted for its geomorphology, abundance of wildlife and abounding scenic beauty. Optional activities including – Boating at Periyar Lake, Spice Plantation visit, Bamboo Rafting, Trekking and Elephant Ride, We arrange Kathakali show on Evening. Return for an overnight stay at the hotel.
Overnight Hotel – Periyar
DAY 8: Periyar – Kumarakom (140 km / 3.5 hr)
After early breakfast check out from the hotel and drive to Kumarakom (170 km – 5 hours drive) on arrival check into the hotel. After breakfast proceed for local sightseeing in and around Kumarakom – a tiny backwater hamlet perched on the western banks of the Vembanadu Lake. The stretch of backwater is spread over 900 sq. km. The hamlet clings to tradition and the local population prefers to live adhering to their old ways. Choose a canoe, motor boat or a houseboat and devour the beauty of this backwater paradise at its best.
Overnight Hotel – Kumarakom
DAY 9: Kumarakom – Alleppey (Overnight Houseboat)
Early morning around 6.00 AM proceed for bird sanctuary visit. After breakfast check out from the hotel and drive to Kumarakom Jetty – Check in to House boat , Enjoy the day with a backwater cruise on the Vembanad Lake .This is a quaint town flanked by the Arabian Sea in the west and has a vast network of lakes, lagoons and freshwater rivers criss-crossing it. Alleppey is an important backwater destination attracting several thousand foreign tourists every year and is also famous for its boat races, beaches, marine products and coir industry.
Overnight stay is on the Houseboat.
DAY 10: Alleppey – Kochin (60 km / 1.5 hr)
Today you will disembark at Alleppey and drive to Cochin , a very popular & historical sea trade connection with Middle East, Mediterranean Europe, Dutch & British. 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.
Check out from the houseboat drive to Cochin on arrival check-in to hotel. Afternoon local sightseeing Cochin – the “Queen of Arabian Sea”, this is one of the finest natural harbors in the World and was one of the major centers for commerce and trade with British, Chinese, Portugese, Dutch, etc. Sightseeing attractions in Cochin include Dutch Palace, Jewish Synagogue, Jewish Street, St. Francis Church and Chinese Fishing Nets.
Overnight Hotel – Cochin
DAY 11: Depart Kochin
Evening dropped at the Cochin International airport for your flight back for Hyderabad, feeling contented about the wonderful memories this vacation has gifted you with!
We thank you for your patronage & look forward to serve you.
|Tour Cost||Standard Package Cost
|Deluxe Package Cost
|Single Person Cost||119000||130000|
|Twin Sharing Per Person Cost||60000||65500|
- Airport pick-up transfer by A/C car
- 09 Nights’ accommodation as per itinerary.
• Daily Breakfast as per the itinerary
- All meals in house boat.
- A/C transportation as per the itinerary
• Local English speaking Guide for the Tour
- Kathakali dance show & Elephant Ride in Thekkady
• Boat safari in Periyar
- Govt service tax
Package does not include:
- Any air fare & airport tax, if applicable
- Monument charges / National Park Entrance fee / Any Safari charges
- Any expense of personal nature such as hard/soft drinks, laundry, phone/fax calls, tips etc.
• Any other expense not mentioned in the Packages includes