Madurai Holidays

Sample Itinerary - REF INDIA 2810

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The grand entrance into Delhi's famous Red Fort

Day 1: Chennai

Namaste! Welcome to India and Chennai. We will meet you at the airport and transfer you to your hotel with the rest of the day yours to relax. 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.

India Gate

Day 2: Chennai

This morning you enjoy a half days sightseeing of Chennai. Sightseeing will include the Government Museum, Santhome Cathedral Church, Kapaleshwara Temple and Marina Beach. Today afternoon you have the day at leisure.

Chennai Sadhu

Day 3: Chennai - Pondicherry

This morning we will drive you to Pondicherry. Arrive Pondicherry and we will transfer you to your hotel. A former French colony, Pondicherry exudes a Mediterranean aura - whitewashed residences, ornamental gardens and excellent French-Indian restaurants. Many travellers come to visit the popular Sri Aurobindo Ashram, whose spiritual tenets combine yoga and modern science. Overnight - Palais De Mahe

Clock Tower

Day 4: Pondicherry

Today we enjoy a sightseeing tour of this charming coastal town. Reminders of its colonial days include its Hotel de Ville (town Hall) and local police in red caps along with, of course, its french architecture. Today afternoon you shall be transferred to Tanjore (5 hour drive).

Gandhi Statue

Day 5: Pondicherry - Tanjore

Today you shall be transferred to Tanjore (5 hour drive).

Day 6: Tanjore

Today after breakfast you will go on a half day sightseeing tour of Tanjore. Previously known as Tanjore, Thanjavur in the state of Tamil Nadu 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. Tamil Nadu’s most awesome Chola monument is located in Thanjavur. Built by Raja Raja in 1010, the UNESCO World Heritage Listed Brihadishwara Temple dominates Thanjavur’s skyline.

Local flower seller

Day 7: Tanjore - Madurai

Today after breakfast you will be transferred to Madurai (3.30 hr drive). Enroute you shall visit the city of Trichy. 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.

Gandhi museum

Day 8: Madurai

Madurai is a bustling city jam-packed with rickshawallas, pilgrims and traders and resembling a seemingly continuous bazaar. Today morning enjoy a sightseeing tour. Highlights include the Sri Meenakshi Temple built in 1560, and the city’s busy bazaars, Thirumalai Nayak Palace, Mariamman, and Theppakulam. The rest of the afternoon is free to explore the city further.

Tamil Nadu Cathedral

Day 9: Madurai - Munnar

Today we drive to Munnar, about 4.5 hours. Munnar - a quaint hill station nestled on the verdant slopes of tea plantations, that exudes a rare old world charm and reminds one of the days of the Raj in its elegant splendour. At a height of 1525 metres, Munnar offers breathtaking views of the surrounding hills. The rest of the day is free.

Tea pickers

Day 10: Munnar

Today we visit a local Tea Estate - for which the region is reknowned for! The rest of the day is at leisure.

Rolling plantation

Day 11: Munnar - Periyar NP

Today we take a short drive south to Periyar, South India’s most popular wildlife sanctuary and home to bison, antelopes, sambar, wild boar, birds and even the odd tiger! There is plenty to do in and around Periyar, so we leave the choice to you. Arrive Periyar and we will transfer you to your hotel for the night. Rest of the day is free and at your leisure. Overnight - Niraamaya Retreat

Periyar birds

Day 12: Periyar NP

Today you have the day at leisure. Overnight - Niraamaya Retreat

Elephants

Day 13: Periyar NP - Kumarakom

Today you will be transferred to Kumakoram. Perched sleepily on the eastern banks of the mighty Lake Vembanad in the heartland of Kerala’s famed backwaters, Kumarakom has changed little since the Middle Ages but for it’s string of exotic resorts, making it the perfect point to explore the backwaters. Although right in the thick of a tangle of lush tropical waterways, Kumarakom is technically an island on Lake Vembanad. Overnight - Vivanta by Taj

Sunrise boat trip

Day 14: Kumarakom

Today you have the day at leisure. Overnight - Vivanta by Taj

Local house

Day 15: Kumarakom - Alleppey

This morning we journey by road to Alleppey where you will board a traditional Keralan rice boat 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.

Alleppey sunset

Day 16: Alleppey - Kochi

After breakfast, you'll disembark from the houseboat and be transferred to your hotel in Kochi. This afternoon, enjoy a sightseeing tour of the town including the Synagogue, Dutch Palace and St Francis' Church. In the evening you will be treated to a traditional Kathkali dance performance.

Kathakali Dancer

Day 17: Kochi

Today you have the day at leisure. 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.

Jewish Market

Day 18: Kochi - Delhi

You will be met at the hotel by our representative and driver to transfer you to the airport by a private vehicle for your departure to Delhi by flight 6E 516. Expected time of departure 07:05 hours. Arrive Delhi by 6E 516 from Kochi at 10:10 hours. You will be met by our representative and driver on arrival and transferred by a private vehicle to your hotel.

The lofty Red Fort in Delhi

Day 19: Delhi - Shimla

Our representative and driver will meet you at your hotel to transfer you by private vehicle to the Railway Station in time for your departure from Delhi by Train No 12011 [1st AC car Class] to Kalka - Train departs at 07:40 hours. Arrive Kalka Railway Station at 1145 hours and independently connect to the Toy Train to Shimla departing at 1210 hours (Train No 52455 [Chair Car] . Arrive into Shimla at 17:20. You are required to disembark from the train with your luggage and wait at the platform. You will be met by our Representative at the platform and then transferred by a private vehicle to your hotel.

Raj Ghat

Day 20: Shimla

Today you have the day at leisure. The largest and most famous of the British hill stations, Shimla is the capital of the state of Himachal Pradesh and remains today a popular resort. Set in the foothills of the Himalayas along a crescent-shaped ridge at an altitude of 2159m, it afforded a resort-like atmosphere for the British, so much so that it became the ‘summer capital’ of British India in 1864.

Anarkanda

Day 21: Shimla - Delhi

Today you will be transferred to Kalka train station. upon arriving at the Kalka train station where you shall board train No 12012 (1st AC Class) to Delhi, train departs at 17.45 hours. Arrive into Delhi at 21:55. You are required to disembark from the train with your luggage and wait at the platform. You will be met by our representative at the platform and then transferred by a private vehicle to your hotel.

Day 22: Delhi - Kolkata

Today you will be transferred to the airport where you will board a flight to Kolkata 6E201, expected time of departure 12.10 hours. Arrive Kolkata by 6E 201 from Delhi at 14:15 hours. You will be met by our representative and driver on arrival and transferred by a private vehicle to your hotel.

Durga idol

Day 23: Kolkata

Kolkata is an amazing example of East meets West. Enjoy a morning sightseeing tour which includes the Flower Market, Howrah Bridge, Indian Museum, St John Chruch.

Jain Temple

Day 24: Kolkata

Day at Leisure.

Kolkata street

Day 25: Kolkata - Darjeeling

You will be met at the hotel by our representative and driver to transfer you to the airport by a private vehicle for your departure to Bagdogra by flight 9W 7081. Expected time of departure 10:35 hours. Arrive Bagdogra by 9W 7081 from Kolkata at 11:40 hours. You will be met by our representative and driver on arrival and transferred by a private vehicle to your hotel in Darjeeling.

The toy train

Day 26: Darjeeling

Enjoy a drive to Tiger Hill to catch sunrise over the snowy peaks of Kanchenjunga - the world’s third highest mountain. This afternoon go on a city sightseeing tour and a visit to a tea estate.

Darjeeling tea plantation

Days 27-28: Darjeeling

Today and tomorrow you have at leisure. Sitting at a spectacular altitude of nearly 2200m with a backdrop consisting of mighty snow-clad Himalayan peaks and surrounded by verdant tea plantations, the scenic hill-station of Darjeeling in the state of West Bengal offers pleasant respite from India’s oppressive summer heat. Indeed, Darjeeling has been a popular hill station since the British established it as an R & R centre for their troops in the mid 19th century. Draw cards include a number of Buddhist monasteries including Ghoom, tea plantations, faded relics from the Raj, colourful markets and trekking possibilities in the surrounding area.

Tea pickers

Day 29: Darjeeling

Today we bid you farewell and transfer you to Bagdora for your onward flight home.

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last updated - 22 Jul 2014 12:09 PM

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