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South India by Rail
Kovalam Beach, Kerala, India Sriranganathaswamy Vishnu Temple
Destinations Covered: Chennai (Madras) - Madurai - Periyar - Trivandrum - Kovalam – Kanya Kumari - Cochin - Bangalore – Mysore.
Duration: 14 Nights / 15 Days

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

Day 2: Chennai
After breakfast, full day tour of Mahabalipuram & Kanchipuram. Kanchipuram (64 kms from Chennai) is the ancient capital of the Pallavas famous as a city of 1000 Temples and still has 124 shrines. The first temple dedicated to Shiva was built in the 7th and 8th century and has paintings on the walls. Temples of Ekambaswara, Kailasnatha, Sri Kamakshi and Vardarajaewamy are of interest. Kanchipuram is also famous for its silks. The city of Mahabalipuram is famous for the seven pagodas. Here on the seashore is an interesting group of ancient rock hewn temples which are the examples of Dravidian style of Architecture. Overnight at the hotel.

Day 3: Departure Chennai (By Train)
After breakfast, city tour of Chennai. Visit the Museum to see the Art and Bronze Gallery. Drive through the Flower and Fruit market, High court, Fort museum, Marina Beach, Kapleshwara Temple, Cathedral, and Snake Park. Late evening transfer to railway station to board Train # 2637 Pandyan Express leaving at 21:30 for Madurai. Overnight onboard the train.

Day 4: Arrive Madurai
Morning arrive Madurai 06:15 hrs. Meeting and assistance on arrival at railway station and transfer to hotel. Morning visit the great Meenakshi Temple dedicated to the consort of Lord Shiva. Later, visit the Tirumalai Nayak Palace - A gracious building in the Indo saracenic style, famous for the Stucco work on its domes & arches. Also visit the Alagar Hills and Tirupara Kundran Rock temple. Overnight at the hotel.

Day 5: Madurai – Periyar (Thekkady) (By Surface)
After breakfast, drive to Periyar National Park (137 kms / 4 hrs). It extends to 777 square kms & forms part of the high mountain ranges, the Western Ghats. On arrival, check in at the hotel. Wild life can be seen while cruising on Periyar Lake in a motor boat. Elephants, wild boar, sambar, tiger, leopard, wild dog, langur monkeys, etc. can be seen easily. Overnight at the hotel.

Day 6: Periyar
Morning optional visit the National park again. Afternoon visit spice plantations. Overnight at the hotel.

Day 7: Periyar - Trivandrum – Kovalam (By Surface)
After breakfast, drive to Kovalam (185 kms / 4 hrs) viewing the scenic beauty en-route. Kerala is lush green and is full of lakes and water. En-route visit Trivandrum, the major attractions are - Padmanabhaswamy Temple, Kuthiramalika Palace, Srichithra Art Gallery, and Napier Museum. On arrival, check in at the hotel. Overnight at the hotel.

Day 8: Kovalam – Kanya Kumari – Kovalam (By Surface)
Full day excursion to Kanya Kumari (66 kms / 1 1/2 hrs drive). En-route visit Padmanabhapuram Palace. Visit Kanya Kumari Temple, Gandhi Memorial, and Vivekananda Memorial in Kanya Kumari. Evening watch spectacular sunset from Beach. Later drive back to Kovalam. Overnight at the hotel.

Day 9: Kovalam
Full day free to relax on the beach. Overnight at the hotel.

Day 10: Kovalam - Trivandrum = Cochin (By Train)
Morning transfer to Trivandrum Railway Station to connect Train # 2076 Jan Shatabdi Express dep. 06:15 hrs arrive Cochin at 09:55 hrs. Leave for full day, city tour of Cochin. Main attractions are Jewish synagogue, Portuguese Churches, mosques and Hindu temples. Watch the Chinese Fishing Nets. Evening transfer to railway station to connect Train # 6525 Kanya Kumari - Bangalore Express dep. 17:55 Hrs. for overnight journey to Bangalore. Overnight onboard the train.

Day 11: Arrive Bangalore
Morning arrive Bangalore at 06:55 hrs. Meeting and assistance at railway station and transfer to hotel. Afternoon tour of Bangalore city, visit the Lal Bagh with a variety of old trees, fountains, lotus pools, terraces & an assortment of tropical and sub-tropical herbs. Also see the Maharaja's Palace & Government Buildings. Overnight at the hotel.

Day 12: Bangalore – Srirangapatnam - Mysore (By Surface)
Morning drive to Mysore (142 kms / 3 hrs) en-route visiting Srirangapatnam. On arrival, check in at the hotel. Afternoon free for leisure or to explore the city by own. Overnight at the hotel.

Day 13: Mysore
Morning visit the palace of the Maharaja built in 1911 - 1912. The palace is of harmonious syntheses of the Hindu and saracenic styles of architecture with archways, domes, turrets, colonnades and sculptures which are magnificent. Visit the Art Gallery; drive up to Chamundi hill to see Chamundeswari Temple and a panoramic view of Mysore. On the way back, see the Nandi Bull. Afternoon visit St. Philomena’s Church and Brindavan Gardens. Overnight at the hotel.

Day 14: Mysore = Chennai (By Train)
Morning free for leisure. Afternoon transfer to railway station to catch Train # 2008 Shatabdi Express dep. 14:20 hrs. Arrive Chennai at 21:25 Hrs. On arrival, transfer to hotel. Overnight at the hotel.

Day 15: Departure Chennai
In time transfer from hotel to International airport to connect flight for onward destination / home.

 
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