A flamboyant showcase of Rajasthani architecture and a firm favourite on tourist itineraries as the third corner of India’s ‘Golden ...
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Today 09:30 am pick-up from the Park Hotel and enjoy a half day tour of the city including a vist to St George Fort, built in 1653 and St Mary’s Church, the oldest British church in India. Pick-up and drop-off at The Park Hotel which we have noted that you have booked independently.
Our sightseeing continues as we visit nearby Mylapore, which has the most famous temple in the city - the Kapalishvara. With a 40 metre tower decorated with sculptures and a collection of shrines tended by priests, it is a popular site for devotees and sightseers alike. Pick-up and drop-off at The Park Hotel which we have noted that you have booked independently.
Today we will pick you up from your the Park Hotel. En route to Pondicherry visit Kanchipuram, one of sacred cities in India and the seaside town of Mahabalipuram, famous for its shore temple. In Mahabalipuram, the huge rock-cut sculptures and mandapams (pillared pavilions) date from the 5th to 8th centuries. Drive south to Pondicherry, a former French colony which exudes a Mediterranean aura - whitewashed residences, ornamental gardens and excellent French-Indian restaurants.
A free day for you to relax or explore independently.
Continuing south we arrive at Tanjore, also known as Thanjavur, Tanjore is an ancient fortified town, with a glorious history dating back more than 1500 years. Thanjavur was the ancient capital of the Chola kings whose origins date back to the beginning of Christianity. This afternoon enjoy a city sightseeing tour.
A short drive to Trichy. Our city tour includes the enormous Brihadishwara Temple. Built by Raja Raja in 1010, the World Heritage protected temple has a dome weighing an estimated 80 tonnes which was hauled into place along an earth ramp in a manner similar to that used for the Egyptian pyramids. Trichy has been ravaged by war through the centuries. A lasting legacy is the Rock Fort and its temples. This afternoon enjoy a sightseeing tour of Trichy including the famous Rockfort Temple, a monument perched on a massive rocky out crop which overlooks the old city.
We continue on approx. 3 hours to Chettinadu. A heritage walking tour takes us to look at the exterior of some of their stately buildings.
The journey continues south to Madurai. An important centre for worship and commerce, Madurai has been around since the dawn of civilisation in southern India. Madurai is yours this afternoon. Go immerse yourself. This morning enjoy a sightseeing tour. Highlights include the Sri Meenakshi Temple built in 1560 and the city’s busy bazaars. This evening, you’ll witness a religious ceremony at a local temple.
The journey continues to Periyar which has south India’s most popular wildlife sanctuary and home to sambar wild boar, elephant, bison, antelope, langur and a small tiger population. This evening we visit the Spice Plantations.
Today we transfer you to Allepey to board a traditional Keralan rice boat (air-con between 9pm - 6am) for a journey through the backwaters in and around Allapuzha (Alleppey). The boat will cross shallow, palm-fringed lakes and cruise along peaceful canals where copra and cashews are loaded onto local boats. The on-board cook will prepare locally-inspired food. Relax, read and catch some sun as the boat plies it’s route.
Disembarking at Allapuzha, enjoy a short drive to Kochi (Cochin). The city of Kochi perfectly reflects the eclecticism of Kerala. One can see winding streets with mosques, a 16th century Jewish synagogue and Jewish community with ancient roots and 500 year old Portuguese cottages! Enjoy the remains of the day your way. We have noted that you have booked your own accommodation at the Avenue Regent.
This morning enjoy a sightseeing tour, including a walking tour of Fort Cochin. With the afternoon at leisure, perhaps watch famous Keralan dancers perform. Arrive early so you don’t miss the artists applying their awesome make-up. Pick-up and drop-off Avenue Regent which we have noted that you have booked independently. This evening you can witness the Kathakali Dance show. Pick-up and drop-off at The Avenue Regent which we have noted that you have booked independently.