Madurai Holidays

Sample Itinerary - REF INDIA 2616

If you like the itinerary below please quote REF INDIA 2616 when enquiring for further details.

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Crawford market architecture

Day 1: Mumbai

Welcome to India! On arrival in Mumbai you will be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel. The rest of the day is free time for you to relax and explore. Mumbai - or Bombay, as it was formerly known - remains India’s city of dreams. Built largely by the British around one of the best-protected natural harbours in the world, Mumbai is India’s strategic economic centre. The city is also home to the country’s prolific Bollywood film industry, which cranks out more feature films than any place in the world. In the Colaba area, be sure to head to the Gateway of India – a former colonial monument built in 1924 to commemorate the visit of King George V and Queen Mary in 1991 and now a popular emblem and hubbub of the city.

Gateway to India

Day 2: Mumbai

Today is a free day in Mumbai to explore at your own pace. Perhaps choose from one of our optional tours as listed on the enhance your holiday page of this quote.

Victoria Terminus

Day 3: Mumbai - Goa

Today is a free morning before you are transferred to the airport for your flight to Goa. On arrival in Goa you will be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel. The rest of the evening is free time.

Day 4: Goa

Today is a full day at your leisure to relax and soak up the sun and Goa's Golden Beaches. Goa is located between the Western Ghats and the Arabian Sea. The Portuguese, who claimed Goa as the seat of the Catholic Church in the East in the 1500s, controlled the area until 1961, when India invaded to liberate. The state’s Portuguese past is most apparent in its plazas, cathedrals and architecture. Goa splits neatly into two districts: North and South Goa. Lively North Goa has the state capital, Panaji and the former capital of Old Goa, with its interesting churches and buildings. There are many beaches along North Goa such as Fort Aguada, Candolim, Calangute and Anjuna, famous for its Wednesday flea market.

Sacred cows on the beach

Day 5: Goa -

Today you will be transferred back to the airport for your flight to Bangalore. On arrival in Bangalore you will be met at the airport and transferred by road to Puttaparthi.

Indian Ladies in the Thar Desert

Day 6:

PUTTAPARTHI Today is a day at your own leisure to explore Puttaparthi.

Day 7: - Tirupati

PUTTAPARTHI Today you will be collected from your hotel and transferred by road to Tirupai. On arrival you will be taken to your hotel for an overnight stop.

Brightly clothed local women

Day 8: Tirupati - Mahabalipuram

We continue our drive this morning to Mahabalipuram. Upon arrival the rest of the afternoon is free time to explore. Mahabalipuram is one of history's intriguing enigmas. The ancient Mamallapuram, as Mahabalipuram was formerly known, was a flourishing port town of the Pallava rulers of south India, who chiseled in stone a fabulous "open-air museum" of sculpture. Experts say that there were seven pagodas or temples on the shores of Mahabalipuram. All but one were pillaged by the rapacious sea, though there is little underwater evidence that suggest they ever existed.

Day 9: Mahabalipuram

Today we take a full day sightseeing tour of Mahabalipuram including a visit to Arjuna's Penance, the Five Rathas, the Mandapams and the Shore temple.

Day 10: Mahabalipuram - Pondicherry

Today we continue our journey to Pondicherry. Settled in the early 18th century by the French, Pondicherry on the Bay of Bengal in the state of Tamil Nadu has a Gallic flavour. Relinquished by the French in 1954, the town became the headquarters of the Union Territory of Pondicherry, administering three other former French enclaves scattered across South India. There is, however, an enduring legacy of the Gallic rule. The first French governor Dupleix designed Pondicherry’s street plan, which still today consists of a central grid encircled by a broad oblong boulevard. Many streets still possess their Gallic names. Streets near the seafront are dotted with rows of houses that wouldn’t look out of place in Montpellier. This evening we visit Auroville and Sri Aurobindo Ashram.

Clock Tower

Day 11: Pondicherry - Chennai

We continue our journey today to Chennai. On arrival in Chennai the afternoon is at your own leisure.

Chennai Sadhu

Day 12: Chennai

The fourth largest city in India and capital of Tamil Nadu State, Chennai has a history spanning 2000 years. During this time, Chennai has played host to missionaries, seafarers, spice traders and cloth merchants. The 16th century saw the arrival of the Portuguese, then the Dutch. In 1639, the British East India Company established a settlement in Madraspatnam. Fort St George was built over a period of 15 years, and was completed in 1653. We tour Fort St George and Museum, Government Museum, Parthasarathy Temple, The Santhome Cathedral and the snake Park.

Chennai street

Day 13: Chennai - Madurai

Today we board the Vagai Express train to Madurai. (AC Chair Car) On arrival you will be collected from the train station and transferred to your hotel. The rest of the evening is yours free to explore.

Local flower seller

Day 14: Madurai

A colourful, vibrant city packed with pilgrims, vendors, sacred cows, rickshaws, shops and markets, Madurai in the state of Tamil Nadu is one of South India’s oldest cities. Tamil and Greek documents record its existence as early as the 4th century BC. A succession of power struggles and invasions ensued, with the British East India Company finally gaining power over Madurai. Today, its appealingly small size makes it easy to explore and its main attraction - the Sri Meenakshi Temple is a real draw. Gopurams cover the temple from top to bottom and there is a breathtakingly colourful profusion of gods, goddesses, beasts and mythical images. We tour the Meenakshi Temple, Nayak Palace, Temple Museum, Alagarkoli Temple, Vaniyur Mariamman Teppakulam.

Gandhi museum

Day 15: Madurai - Thekkady

Today we continue by road to Thekkady. Thekkady is a very appealing town in the state of Kerala in India's south. Thekkady is enchanting as the road winds through tranquill countryside, rich plantations & thick jungles. The sanctuary, 60 km from Idukki, 190 km from Cochin and 114 km away from Kottayam is open throughout the year , but the best season for a visit is from September to March. The sanctuary is centered around the large (24 sq km) artificial lake formed by a dam across the Periyar river. It is one of the famous holiday destinations in India. Thekkady consists of elephants, thick jungle, hills and spice scented plantations.

Day 16: Thekkady

Today we take a tour to the Spice Plantations of Thekkady before returning to our hotel for a free evening.

Day 17: Thekkady - Munnar

Today we continue on from Thekkady to Munnar by road. Munnar in South India offers breathtaking views of the surrounding hills carpeted with verdant tea plantations. Exuding old world charm, the combination of lofty peaks, manicured tea estates and the cool mountain air makes Munnar an ideal retreat.

Tea pickers

Day 18: Munnar

Today we tour the Munnar Spice Plantation and take a trip to the Tea Factory. The evening is at your leisure.

Rolling plantation

Day 19: Munnar - Kochi

Today we continue by road to Cochin. On arrival we will visit the Dutch Palace and the Edapally Museum. The city of Kochi perfectly reflects the eclecticism of the state of Kerala. Here in historical Kochi, one can see winding streets with mosques, a 16th century Jewish synagogue, 500-year old Portuguese cottages, old churches and a palace built by the Portuguese and later renovated by in the Flemish style by the Dutch. Long famed in the history books, Kochi (formerly known as Cochin) offered refuge to Jews more than 2,500 years ago. The Portuguese founded the first European colony in Kochi in the 16th century. The Dutch quickly followed and eventually, the British. The cosmopolitan mix of cultures makes the city fascinating.

Kathakali Dancer

Day 20: Kochi - Alleppey

Today we continue to Alleppey where we board our house Boat to cruise the backwaters.

Alleppey sunset

Day 21: Alleppey

We continue our cruise of the back waters today and spend a second night aboard.

Jewish Market

Day 22: Alleppey - Bangalore

Today we return to Kochi where we are transferred to the airport for our flight to Bangalore. On arrival in Bangalore we Visit Nityagram dance Villiage, Tipu's Palace and Vidhan Sabha. Capital of the state of Karnataka, Bangalore is a thriving, progressive and liberal city dubbed the ‘Silicon Valley’ or ‘IT’ capital of India. Many trade fairs and exhibitions are held in the city, throughout the year, where the latest in information technology is displayed.

Bull Temple

Day 23: Bangalore

Today our arrangements end.

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last updated - 12 Jul 2014 9:08 PM

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