Duration : 11 Nights / 12 Days
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Arrive Chennai and drive directly to Mahabalipuram. Overnight Mahabalipuram
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. Later drive to Pondicherry. Overnight Pondicherry.
The capital of French India before independence, Pondicherry traces its origin to Saint Agasthya, the revered sage of the south & excavations near-by reveal that a Roman settlement existed here 2000 years ago. It was the theatre of many a battle between the British. Later drive to Thanjavur. Overnight Thanjavur.
Afterbreak fast, Drive to Chettinad. Check in listed hotel. Chettinad is famous for its tourist attractions -the traditional palaces and mansions that will help one to understand the simple, yet classy life of the wealthy Chettiar community. Some of the interesting tourist attractions in Chettinad are the museums-the Kamban Mani Mandapam and the Kaviarsar Kannadhasan Mani Mandapam, both built in honor of late poet-laureates. The latter has a museum with an amazing collection of artefacts -traditional jewellery, clothing, huge copper vats and grain bins. Visit to Devakottai , where the streets of Devakottai afford one the pleasure of walking through a typical Chettiar lane lined with old mansions, the most famous being Periya Minor's Veedu. The Meenakshi Sundareswarar Temple in Devakottai is famous for the 108 statues of Vinayakar. Overnight stay at Chettinad.
The beautiful Chola Temple of Brihadeeshwara is capped by a monolithic cupola made of a single granite block weighing 80 tons which was taken to the top with the help of a 6 km long ramp, an old technique used by the Egyptians for building pyramids. Its bronzes and handicrafts make Tanjore one of the highlights of a visit to South India. Later drive to Trichy. Overnight Trichy.
Morning city tour. Trichy was the citadel of the Chola dynasty in the medieval period. In the 18th century it witnessed the Carnatic wars fought between the French and the English. Lord Robert Clive's house is still there to see and so is the Danish Church. The Rock-Fort is the landmark of Trichy. A climb of 434 steps leads to the ancient temple of Ganapati on top and a further climb to a Shiva temple. Later drive to Madurai. Overnight Madurai.
Morning city tour. Visit the great Meenakshi Temple dedicated to the consort of Lord Shiva with its towering gopurams (rising high above the surrounding country side). Later, visit the Tirumala 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 Madurai.
Morning drive to Periyar. The earliest sanctuary to be set up in 1934, it extends to 777 square kms & forms part of the high mountain ranges, the Western Ghats. Wild life can be seen while cruising on Periyar Lake in a motor boat. Amongst the animals which can be seen are elephants, wild boar, sambar, tiger, leopard, wild dog, langur monkeys, etc. Overnight Periyar.
Drive to Alleppey. Embark a rice houseboat. The coastal town of Alleppey on the Arabian Sea is the Venice of the East, for the numerous canals that meander through the town. Bathing in the backwaters on the Vemband Lake is refreshing. This town holds a thrilling event of snake-boat race every year in August. It is also known for its cashew nuts, coir trade, rice, pepper crops & coconuts. Night on board.
Drive to Cochin. Overnight Cochin.
Morning city tour. Cochin is the natural harbour created by the famed underwater Malabar mud-banks whose quality ensures that the rougher the seas are outside the calmer the waters are within the Harbour. Vasco-de-Gama placed it on the world map. It has a Jewish synagogue, Portuguese churches, mosques and Hindu temples. Watch the Chinese Fishing Nets. Overnight Cochin.
Take a transfer to the railway station/ airport for your onward journey.