Mahabalipuram Holidays

Sample Itinerary - REF INDIA 2921

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Kathakali Dancer

Days 1-2: Kochi

Welcome to Kochi. On arrival you will be met by our representative and transferred to your hotel. We have arranged early check in so you may enjoy the facilities on arrival. Wake up fresh and travel by road from Kochi to Athirapally. On arrival you will be take to your accommodation and the rest of the day is yours free to relax and explore.

Jewish Market

Day 3: Athirapally

Today is another free day to explore Athirapally.

Day 4: Athirapally - Kochi

Today we travel by road back to Kochi. This evening we enjoy a cooking class where we learn about the preparation of Indian Cuisine, and of course taste it!

Day 5: Kochi

This morning enjoy a sightseeing tourof old Kochi taking in the Synagogue and the Butch Palace.This afternoon , perhaps watch famous Keralan dancers perform. Arrive early so you don’t miss the artists applying their awesome make-up

Sunset at Fort Kochi

Day 6: Kochi - Alleppey

Today we continue our journey by road approximately 2 hours to Alleppey. Upon arrival in Alleppy you will embark on your houseboat for the evening to enjoy the back waters.

Chinese nets at sunset

Day 7: Alleppey - Kumarakom

Today after enjoying breakfast on board you will be transferred to Kumarakom. On arrival you have free time for your own activities and enjoy the amazing property!

Alleppey sunset

Day 8: Kumarakom

Today is a free day at your own leisure.

Sunrise boat trip

Day 9: Kumarakom - Thekkady

We continue our travel today 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 afternoon is free time.

Day 10: Thekkady

Today we take a tour to a spice plantation in Thekkady. Thekkady is considered a heaven for natural spices such as black pepper, cardamom, cinnamon and clove. The evening is at your leisure.

Day 11: Thekkady - Munnar

Today we travel from Thekkady to Munnar. Set amidst dramatic mountain scenery, the hill town of Munnar in the state of Kerala lies at an altitude of 1524 metres, essentially the commercial centre of some of the world’s highest tea-growing estates. It’s easy to see why Scottish planters who first developed this hidden valley in the 1900s felt so at home here.

Tea pickers

Day 12: Munnar

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. This morning we explore Tea plantations and the museum.

Rolling plantation

Day 13: Munnar - Madurai

We travel today to 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.

Local flower seller

Day 14: Madurai

This morning we tour Madurai. We take a city tour which will include the Thiurumalai Mayak Palace, Mariamman Theppakulam, Meenakshi Temple, the local bazaar and the Taylor market. The afternoon we have free time to explore before returning to the Meenakshi temple in the evening to see the Aarti ceremony.

Gandhi museum

Day 15: Madurai - Trichy

Today we venture on to Trichy. Located in the state of Tamil Nadu, the history of Trichy, now less simply known as Tiruchirappalli goes back to before the Christian era when it was an important Chola citadel. During the 1st millennium AD, both the Pallavas and Pandyas exerted power many times before the Cholas regained power in the 10th century. The Nayaks of Madurai built the town and its most famous landmark, the Rock Fort Temple. Later in the 18th century, the town witnessed a power struggle between the British Raj and the French as they battled for supremacy. A lasting legacy of the ravages of war over the centuries is the Rock Fort and its temples.

Trichy Rock Fort

Day 16: Trichy - Tanjore

This morning we tour Trichy taking in sights such as Srirangam, the famous Rock Fort and Sri Jambukeshwara Temple. This afternoon we travel to Tanjore. on arrival the afternoon is free time.

Tanjore street

Day 17: Tanjore

Today we tour Tanjore- 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. The dome at the top of the apex of the approximately 63-m high temple is allegedly a single piece of granite weighing an estimated 80 tonnes, which was hauled into place along an earth ramp in a manner similar to that used for the construction of the Pyramids of Giza.

Temple carving

Day 18: Tanjore - Pondicherry

Today we travel 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.

Clock Tower

Day 19: Pondicherry

Today we take in the best of Pondicherry including the French Colony, Pondicherry Beach, the Sacred Heart Church and Aurobindo Ashram( closed from 1200hrs to 1600hrs) This evening is at your leisure.

Gandhi Statue

Day 20: Pondicherry - Mahabalipuram

Today we travel to Mahabalipuram. 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 21: Mahabalipuram

Today we take guided tour of Mahabalipuram and Kanchipuram. The temple town of Kanchipuram in the state of Tamil Nadu is one of seven sacred cities in India. Of the original 1000 temples, a staggering 200 are left. By the 3rd century AD, Kanchipuram was reputedly a sophisticated city with diverse cultures, arts, languages and social infrastructure, making it one of the oldest cities in south India. Today, Kanchipuram is not only an important temple city and pilgrimage site but also an important centre of commerce and famed for its beautiful hand-woven silk.

Day 22: Mahabalipuram

Today is a free day to enjoy time at your own leisure.

Day 23: Mahabalipuram - Chennai

We say goodbye to Mahabalipuram and travel on to 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

Chennai Sadhu

Day 24: Chennai

After breakfast we enjoy a city tour of Chennai including the Fort St George, St Mary's Church and the markets. Fort St George was built over a period of 15 years, and was completed in 1653. An area known as George Town mushroomed in the area of Fort St George. Fort St George houses the fascinating Fort Museum. The museum displays a host of memorabilia from both the British and French East India Companies, coupled with the Raj and Muslim administrations. Also at the fort is St Mary’s church. Built between 1678-80, it was the first English church in Madras, and is also the oldest surviving church in India. Our last evening in India is free time.

Chennai street

Day 25: Chennai

Today we say goodbye to India with a departure transfer to the airport.

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last updated - 29 Jan 2015 3:13 PM