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South India Pilgrimage Tour
Thirumalai Nayak Palace at Madurai Kathakali Dance of Kerala
Destinations Covered: Chennai - Kanchipuram - Mahabalipuram - Chidambaram - Gangaikondacholapuram - Tanjore - Trichy - Madurai - Periyar - Kumarakom - Alleppey - Cochin - Kovalam - Chennai
Duration: 14 Nights / 15 Days

Day 1: Arrive Chennai
Meeting and assistance on arrival at airport & transfer to hotel. On arrival, check in at the hotel. Overnight at the hotel.

Day 2: Chennai
Morning sightseeing of Chennai, the first British major settlement in India. Visit Kapleshwara temple, St. Thomas Church, Art Gallery, St. George Fort, Marina beach (2nd longest beach of the world after California). Overnight at the hotel.

Day 3: Chennai - Kanchipuram - Mahabalipuram (By Surface - 130 Km, 05 hours)
Morning leave for Mahabalipuram en route Kanchipuram, once the Golden city of India to visit Shiv Kanchi and Vishnu Kanchi temples. Continue drive to Mahabalipuram, arrive & check in at hotel. Overnight at the hotel.

Day 4: Mahabalipuram
Morning visit 6-8th century Pallava rock cut caves, Panch Ratha temple, 7th century shore temple where both Vishnu & Shiva are enshrined under one roof and soap stone workers in the market who designs and made sculptures by chisel & hammer. This is very special to see. Afternoon free to enjoy at sea beach. Overnight at the hotel.

Day 5: Mahabalipuram - Chidambaram - Gangaikondacholapuram Tanjore (By Surface)
Morning leave for Tanjore, your first stop will be at Chidambaram golden Natraja temple. Afterwards drive to Gangaikondacholapuram exciting Shiva temple built from 1012-1044 AD by Kind Rajendra I. The specialty of the temple and 1000 years engineering is the rays of sun falls on Nandi (bull) and it reflects and give light to the Shiva Lingam since sun rise to sun set. Your next stop will be at Kumbakonam water tank, it is believed that after every 12years 9 scared holy rivers including holy Ganges are meeting here. During those days thousands of pilgrims dip into the tank to wash their sins. Next stop at 13th century Shiva temple at Darasuram. On arrival in Tanjore, check in at the hotel. Overnight at the hotel.

Day 6: Tanjore - Trichy (By Surface - 56 Km, 01.1/2 hours)
Morning sightseeing of Tanjore visiting Brideshwarar Shiva Temple was built by King Raja Rajan from the year 985 - 1010 AD. As usual South Indian temples have big Gopurmas (towers) but this temple is parameter shaped, 65 meters high from the ground. This is one of the superb temple architects of the Chola dynasty. Afterwards visit Raja Rajan art gallery to see bronze statures of 9-16th century. On arrival, check in at the hotel.

Afternoon visit Srirangam Vishnu temple has 21 gopurmas (towers); one of the gopurma is 73 meters highest in India. Afterwards visit Rock Fort 83 meters above the ground having 344 steps to reach on the top to see Vinayaka temple. Overnight at the hotel.

Day 7: Trichy - Madurai (By Surface - 131 Km, 03 hours)
Morning drive to Madurai. On arrival, check in at hotel. Afternoon visit 16th century Tirumalai Nayak Palace. Later visit the biggest Meenakshi temple, the temple has two main shrines one is dedicated to goddess Parvathi (Meenakshi) and another to Sunereshwara (Shiva). The doms of both the shrines are covered with heavy gold plates. You can also see 1000 pillars hall built in 16th century by Nayakas by pure granite stones. Overnight at the hotel.

Day 8: Madurai - Periyar (By Surface - 140 Km, 04 hours)
Morning drive to Periyar. On arrival, check in at hotel. Afternoon a special visit to the spices Garden to watch different varieties of spice plantations such as cardamom, cinnamon, peeper, clove, vanilla, ginger, tea and coffee plantations etc. Periyar is on 1000 meters above sea level and is rich in spice growing. 95% pepper in India is produced from here. Vaskodegama was the first European landed at Malabar Coast in 1498 A.D. in search of spices. Those days pepper was exported against the equal weight of gold, so in the beginning of 15th century pepper was called black gold. Afterwards visit Periyar Tiger Reserve by boat to watch different varieties of animals such as tiger, panther, leopard, and bison spotted deer, barking deer, wild boar, groups of wild Elephants and many birds. Overnight at the hotel.

Day 9: Periyar - Houseboat Cruise Kumarakom (By Surface / Cruise)
Morning drive to Kumarakom to embark houseboat Cruise to enjoy the cruise in backwaters. This cruise is very exciting and sensational to watch the real traditional Kerala life that lives on the banks of backwaters. Overnight with meals on Houseboat cruise.

Day 10: Houseboat Cruise - Alleppey - Cochin (By Surface - 60 Km, 01.1/2 hours)
Disembark houseboat at Alleppey & drive to Cochin. On arrival, check in at the hotel. Afternoon city tour of Cochin visiting Dutch Palace, Jewish Synagogue, Chinese fishing nets and St. Francis Church, one of the oldest Church built by the Europeans in 1503 A.D. Late afternoon visit to a local theatre to witness Kathakali dance. Overnight at the hotel.

Day 11: Cochin Kovalam (By Surface 235 Kms, 05 Hrs)
Morning drive to Kovalam. On arrival, check in at hotel. Rest of the day at leisure. Overnight at the hotel.

Day 12: Kovalam
Full day free for independent activities. Overnight at the hotel.

Day 13: Kovalam
Full day free for independent activities. Overnight at the hotel.

Day 14: Kovalam
Full day free for independent activities. Overnight at the hotel.

Day 15: Kovalam (Trivandrum) / Chennai (By Flight)
Transfer from hotel to Trivandrum airport to connect flight for Chennai. On arrival, transfer to International airport to connect flight for onward destination.

 
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Package Pilgrimage Tours - South India Pilgrimage Tour
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