Cultural South India Tour

Day 01 : Chennai

Arrive Madras, the capital of Tamilnadu, the land of festivals. Later transfer to Hotel.
Chennai known as the Gateway of Southern India and also the ‘Queen of the Coromandel’. Chennai, capital of Tamil Nadu and the fourth largest city in India, is a sprawling metropolis and also an important port. Once a fishing village, Chennai was the capital of the Madras presidency during the British era and was converted into the capital of Tamil Nadu in 1969. The East India Company built a fort in Madras, as Chennai was known earlier, in 1639 and developed it as one of the major trading centers in India. Chennai displays a blend of Dravidian and Gothic architecture in its buildings.
Over Night at Hotel

Day 02 :  Madras – Mahabalipuram [60 kms]

After Break fast Chennai Sightseeing
Santhome Cathedral : Built by Portuguese in the 14th and 15th century, this Cathedral is named after St. Thomas. Historically important, it is one of the Fort pilgrimages for the Christian community.
St. George Fort : St. George, one the first few bastions built by the east India company, marks the beginning of Chennai as a modern city this bastion achieved it’s from St. George, the patron saint of England. Now the Fort is converted to Museum .

Kapaleeswarar temple : Dedicated to Lord Shiva, Kapaleeswarar temple has inscriptions from the 13th century A.D. The temple ‘Gopuram’ (tower) is in the characteristic Dravidian style of architecture. The walls and pillars of temple has very delicate and intricate carvings which depict the scenes from Hindu mythology name

Marina Beach : pride of Chennai, is the second longest beach in the world and has a wide sandy foreshore. Situated on the beach, the Anna and MGR samadhis are memorials of the most popular former Chief Ministers of the state.
Kalakshertra : The cultural Institution found by Rukmani Devi Arundale in 1936 and is devoted to the revival of classical arts . Students from many countries learns the arts in the ancient traditional wai od Indian teachings – Gurukulam. Classical dance, music and traditional textile design and weaving are taught in natural surroundings.
Later Drive to Mahabalipuram. Check in to the hotel. Over Night at beach resort

Day 03 : Mahabalipuram – Kanchipuram – Mahabalipuram [175 kms ]

After Break fast, drive to Mahabalipuram
Mahabalipuram : Built in the 7th century, this ancient Pallava port is the site of several antique sculptural marvels. The only remaining shore temple is a spectacular two-spired shrine which is unique in that it buses shrines for Vishnu and Shiva. The Pallavas had perfected the art of sculpting rocks to build temples without using brick, mortar or timber and the five monolith Raths (chariots) stand as the surviving masterpieces of Pallava sculpture.
Arjuna’s penance is the world’s largest bas relief measuring 27m by 9m. This sculptural panel shows animals, Gods and Angels contemplating the descent of the Ganges from it’s source in the Himalayas and also depicts popular fables from the Panchatantra. Besides these, the Mahishamardhini Cave, the Krishna Mandapam and Varsha Mandapam also have beautiful reliefs depicting Vishnu reclining on the coils of seven headed serpent, Krishna as incarnation of Vishnu lifting mount Goverdhana to protect his kinsman from the wrath of Indra respectively.

Later visit of Kanchipuram is a Spectacular Temple city which reflects the Glorious Traditions of South India with its noted temples and thriving Handloom industries. The city is famous for silk weaving. Visit of kanchipuram temple, Visit of Handloom Weaving factory.
Drive Back to Mahabalipuram, Over Night at Hotel

Day 04 : Mahabalipuram – Pondicherry [113 kms]

After Breakfast, drive to pondichery
Pondichery : The old French colony has retrieved its Indian character, but the scent of the French influence in “Pudicheri” as we call now French dream of an Indian empire has taken life but it also rapidly came to an end in Pondicherry. Among the dispersed territories of the territorial Union of Pondicherry, it is in Pondicherry itself that we can discover what has symbolized the French influence in India. That is also what makes this territory unique and especially, the French district. Something quite different from the rest of India. , One can found again in the red kepis of the police officers, french spelling on signboards and traffic signs and some buildings and old stones.
Visit of Beaches, Old churches, Aroville “the sacred banyan tree”
Over night at Hotel

Day 05 : Pondichery – Tanjore [172 kms 4 hrs ]
After Breakfast, Drive to Tanjore via Kumbakonam , Darasuram , Gangaikondacholapuram , Chidambaram temples etc
Chidambaram : One of the important temples of India. The temple complex covers 40 acres and one of the ancient temples of taminadu . The temple’s gopuram carved with 108 classical postures of nataraja (dancing Shiva) and 1000 pillared hall the rajasabha measuring 103 merts long and 58 meters wide , where the pandya and cholas and others celebrated their victories . Also this is one among the temple with dancing Shiva idol . Classical Dance festival is very famous here.

Gangaikondacholapuram : The temple is built by Rajendra chola is almost similar to the big temple of Tanjore
Darasuram : The temple dedicated to lord Shiva was built by rajendra chola
Kumbakonam : There are four famous temples here dedicated to sarangapani , kumbeswar Nageswara and Brahma . There Mahamaham festival celebrated here once in 12 years is very famous .

Tanjore : was once the capital of the Cholas, a dynasty of temple builders who ruled south India between 10 century and 14 century. The pallavas , the pandyas , the nayaks and Marathas have their monuments of history here . The tanjore have maintains the glorious chola culture.

Sri Brahadeeswara Temple : This massive temple was built by great chola king rajaraja I in the 10 century AD. The tower over the inner sanctum sanctorum rises perpendicularly to height of 15 meters.

Tanjore Palace : The palace near the temple is a vast building of masonry built partly by nayaks around 1550 AD .and partly by Marathas .It is grand pile of buildings with huge corridors spacious halls. Two of the palace towers the armory and the observation towers are visible from all parts of the city, The place also houses the sangeeth mahal . a perfect music hall . It is striking example of the engineering skills of the ancient builders.

Check in to the hotel Over night at hotel

Day 06 : Tanjore – Trichy [85 kms 1 hrs 30 minutes]
Trichy or trichinapally is situated on the bank of river cavery. The city was a chola citadel from sangam age the pandyas, pallavas held sway over this region for short periods. The Nayaks of madurai built the town and the historic rock fort which played a vital role in carnatic wars in 18 century. On arrival Check in to the hotel later visit of Trichy

Srirangam : surrounded by the waters of river Kaveri on one side and its tributary kollidan on the other, is a 600 acre island-town enclosed within the seven walls of the gigantic Sri Ranganathaswami Temple. There are 21 gopurams, among which the Rajagopuram is the largest in South India. The remaining 20 gopurams were built between the 14th and 17th centuries. Originally, there was just a small shrine where the temple is today, but it was added on to and expanded by the Cholas, Cheras, Pandyas, Hoysalas, the Vijayanagar Kings and Nayaks of Madurai and today Srirangam stands as the biggest temple complex in the country.

Rock Fort temple tops on a 83m high outcrop. This temple was built by the Pallavas as a small cave temple, but the Nayaks made use of its naturally fortified Position. It is a stiff climb, up the 437 steps cut into the stone to the top but well worth the view. Non-Hindus are not allowed into the Vinayaka Temple at the summit and at the bigger Sri Thayumanaswamy Temple dedicated to Siva, halfway up.

Ranganathar : This superb temple complex at Srirangam, about three kms from the Rock Fort is surrounded by seven concentric walls with 21 gopurams and is probably the largest in India. Most of it dates from the 14th to 17th centuries, and many people have had a hand in its construction, including the Cheras, Pandyas, Cholas, Hoysalas and rulers from Vijayanagar. An annual Car Festival is held here in January during which a decorated wooden chariot is pulled through the streets between various walls. In mid-December, the Vaikunda Ekadasi, or Paradise Festival will be celebrated in the Vishnu Temple.
Over Night at Hotel

Day 07 : Trichy – Madurai [163 kms 4 hrs ]
After break fast , Drive to Madurai
Madurai : More than 2500 years old ancient city, situated on the banks of the river Vaigai Madurai is believed to have been built by the Pandyan King Kulasekara. Legend has it that drops of Maduram (nectar) fell from Lord Shiva’s locks when he came to bless its people for constructing a temple for him. Madurai’s history can be divided into four periods, beginning over 2000 years ago, when it was the capital of the Pandyan Kings. Apart from a brief period it fell to the Cholas, Madurai remain with Pandyan till the decline of the empire. The 200year old reign of the Natakas marked the golden era when art, architecture and learning scaled new heights. On Arrival Check in to the hotel.
After Noon visit Tirumalai Nayak MahalThis Indo-Saracenic building was constructed in 1523 and was originally four times large are today. Sound and light show on the life of the Tirumalai Nayak and the story of the Silapathikaram are conduced daily.

Vaniyur Mariamman Teppakulam : This enormous temple tank is fed by water from the Vaigai river. The tank has a mandapam at the center enshrining Lord Vigneshwara. A colorful float festival is held in this tank every year.
Meenakshi Temple : This temple is the city’s main attraction. This temple is nearly 2000 years old placed in the heart of the old town – a splendid example of Dravidian architecture. The present temple was designed in 1560 by Vishwanatha Nayak and subsequently built during the reign of Tirumalai Nayak. There are four entrances to the temple with an area of six hectares. Each of its 12 towers has the height of 45 to 50 meters. Visit of 1000 pillar Mandapan (hall). Each pillar got different sculpture; this is one of the best examples for Dravidian style of architecture.
Over Night at Hotel

Day 08 : Madurai – Periyar [150 kms 3 hrs 30 minutes]
After Break fast, drive to periyar. One of the hill stations produces large quantity of spices, like pepper, cardamom etc
Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary – one of the well maintained wild life sanctuaries of South India. Situated on the banks of an artificial lake formed with the construction of an irrigation dam the sanctuary is spread out over an area of 777 sq kms. Now Declared as a tiger reserve, this sanctuary is the best place to see the wild elephants, bison’s, wild dogs, deer’s, water birds and occasionally tiger
After Noon Visit of Spice plantations. Watch the trading at one of the spice shop.

Day 09 : Periyar
Early morning boating at Lake Periyar, after breakfast, short trek through the periyar forest, Option for the elephant ride. Over night at hotel.

Day 10 : Periyar – Cochin 150 kms 3 hrs 30 minutes
From periyar you will be reaching cochin today. Cochin is one of the most interesting towns in South India. A trading port since Roman times, it was on the main trade route between Europe and China. Fort Cochin occupies the South promontory on the seaward side of the Bay. Cochin is also known as the commercial capital of kerala.
Day Relax at Cochin.
Evening: watch of kathakali dance in one of the theatre. Kathakali is one of the traditional dance forms of kerala. In early days the dance was performed at the temples on festival occasions. The artist will put the costume with natural colors and masks. The stories are expresses with guesters .Most of the stories are from the Mahabharata & Ramayana.
Over Night at Hotel

Day 11 : Cochin Sightseeing.
After break fast, guided tour of Cochin
Fort Kochi: A leisurely walk through the city is the best way to discover historic Fort Kochi. An obscure fishing village that became the first European township In India, Kochi has an eventful and colourful history. The town was shaped by the cultural influences of the Dutch and later the British. The result of these cultural influences are seen in the many examples of Indo-European architecture.

Chinese fishing nets: These huge cantilevered fishing nets are the legacy of one of the first visitors to the Malabar Coast. Erected here between 1350 and 1450 ad by Traders from the court of Kublai Khan, these nets are set up on teak wood and bamboo poles. The best place to watch the nets being lowered into the sea and the catch being brought in, is the Vasco da Gama square, a narrow promenade that runs along the beach.

St. Francis Church: Built in 1503 by Portuguese Franciscan Friars, this is India’s oldest European Church. This was initially built of timber and later reconstructed in stone. It was restored in 1779 by the Protestant Dutch and converted to an Anglican church by the British in 1795. Vasco da Gama was buried here in 1524 before his remains were moved to Lisbon, Portugal.
Mattancherry Palace (Dutch Palace) : Built by the Portuguese in 1557 and presented to Raja Veera Kerala Varma of Kochi, the palace was renovated in 1663 by the Dutch. On display here are beautiful murals depicting scenes from the epics, Ramayana and Mahabharata, and some of the Puranic Hindu legends. The palace also houses Dutch maps of old Kochi, royal palanquins and the coronation robes of former maharajas of Kochi.

Synagogue: Constructed in 1568, this is the oldest synagogue in the commonwealth. Destroyed in a shelling during the Portuguese raid in 1662, it was rebuilt two years later by the Dutch.
Over Night at Hotel.

Day 12 : Cochin : Departure
Later evening check out from the hotel and transfer to the Cochin airport.

Tour Package Cost:

Price Per Person 2 paying Pax (Indica / Indigo): Rs.30800
Price Per Person 4 paying Pax (Tavera): Rs.24800/
Price Per Person 6 paying Pax (Tavera): Rs.22500

Hotels Used:

Chennai :Hotel Shelter
Mahabalipuram : Mahabs
Pondicherry : Du Parc
Tanjore : Star Residency
Trichy : Hotel Remyas
Madurai : Madurai Residency
Thekkady : Periyar Meadows
Cochin : The Renai Cochin

Package inclusive
  • Accommodation as per the details given above / Similar
  • Daily buffet breakfast in all hotels .
  • Arrival/departure transfer and all land transfers by Air conditioned Car
  • Pickup from Chennai Airport/Railway Station
  • Drop at cochin Airport/Railway Station
  • All sight seeing, land transfer & inter hotel transfer
  • Multilingual driver with professional sight seeing assistance
  • All must seeing spots in all destinations will be covered
  • Driver bata/toll/parking/road tax/fuel charge
  • Check in Check out 12.00 noon at all hotels

Package Cost Excludes
  • Air Fare/Train Fare
  • Any additional meals other than mentioned in the ‘inclusive’ coloumn
  • Any item not specifically mentioned in “Inclusions” column
  • Items of personal nature like porterage, tips, laundry, telephone calls etc.
  • Optional Activities mentioned in the itinerary

Note: 3.1% Service tax Extra
  • The above mentioned rate is not applicable from 15th December to 15th January.
  • The above (if) mentioned hotels are subject to availability.