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Welcome to India and the start of your incredible adventure with On the Go Tours! Upon your arrival at Chennai's international airport you will be met by our local team and transferred to your hotel for check in. Our rep will go over the finer details of your itinerary. Remainder of the day at leisure.
After breakfast enjoy a city tour of Chennai, the capital of Tamil Nadu and gateway to South India. Today we will visit the National Art Gallery and Museum with its fine collection of ancient paintings, Fort St. George, St. Mary's Church, Marina Beach (the second longest in the world), San Thome Cathedral and Mylapore Shiva Temple.
Departing Chennai today we drive to Mahabalipuram. Also known as the second pagodas, the principal attraction of this town are wonderful monolithic monuments and stone sculptures. Hotel check in and remainder of the day at leisure.
In Mahabalipuram today visit Kadumbadi village. During this 2 hour tour, witness rural India with a trip into the heart of the country. Take a breath of fresh air as you drive away from the hustle and bustle of the city into the villages with open fields and coconut groves. Discover the untamed and fascinating beauty of rural India as the guide takes you to experience the village life from the closest point. Within this tour, get to know the villagers' lifestyle and a chance to capture them in your photographs for a lifetime memory.
After breakfast we visit the Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary, a 30-hectare (74-acre) protected area located in the Kancheepuram District with more than 40,000 birds (including 26 rare species) from various parts of the world that visit the sanctuary during the migratory season every year. Continue to Pondicherry, formerly a French Colony settled early in the 18th century. Overnight at the Le Pondy Hotel.
The main attraction here in Pondicherry is the Aurobindo Ashram which was founded by Sri Aurobindo in 1926. The ashram is the one of the most popular in India with westerners and is also one of the most affluent. Visit Pondicherry museum and sculpture gallery with an outstanding collection of artifacts. Today you'll also get the chance to enjoy a rickshaw ride through the city, travelling like the locals! Overnight at the Le Pondy Hotel.
Aftet breakfast we visit Chidambaram, a town and municipality in the Cuddalore. The town is believed to be of significant antiquity and has been ruled, at different times, by the Medieval Cholas, Later Cholas, Later Pandyas, Vijayanagar Empire, Marathas and the British. The town is known for the Thillai Nataraja Temple and the annual chariot festival held in the month of April. We continue to Tharangambadi, a panchayat town (the oldest system of local government in the Indian subcontinent) near the mouth of a distributary of the Kaveri River. Here's where we will spend the night. Overnight at the Bungalow on the Beach.
This morning we drive to Karaikudi, a town which derives its name from the thorny plant Karai referred in ancient literature as Kareekudi, which in modern times became Karaikudi. Hotel check in and remainder of the day at leisure. Overnight at The Bangala Hotel.
The town is believed to have been formed during the 1800s and the oldest structure in the town is the Koppudaiya Nayagi Amman Temple. Mahatma Gandhi delivered two speeches in Karaikudi in 1927 whilst Bharathiyar, a freedom fighter and poet visited Karaikudi in 1919 to participate in a function organized by the Hindu Madhabhimana Sangam. Post independence, the town registered significant growth in the industrial sector. Enjoy a guided city sightseeing tour today. Overnight at The Bangala Hotel.
Departing this morning we transfer to Madurai, the administrative headquarters of Madurai District in the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu. It is the third largest city in Tamil Nadu. Located on the banks of River Vaigai, it has been a major settlement for two millennia and is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. Hotel check in with the remainder of the day at leisure. Overnight at the Heritage Hotel.
One of the oldest cities in South India, Madurai is famous for its 1000 pillared Meenakshi Temple. You can also take to the special religious night ceremony held in the temple. Another key attraction of this town is Thirumalai Nayak’s palace and the Gandhi Museum. Enjoy guided visits to these places today plus an auto rickshaw ride through the city. Overnight at the Heritage Hotel.
After breakfast and check out from the hotel we drive to Athoor, a village in the Dindigul district of India between Dindigul and Bathalagundua about 3 km West of Sempatti. It is one of the legislative assemblies of Tamil Nadu. Rice cultivation is the major occupation. Overnight at the Cardamon House Hotel.
Today we leave Tamil Nadu behind and head into the lush state of Kerala to the Periyar National Park.
Periyar has one of the world’s most fascinating natural wildlife reserves and one of the best game sanctuaries in India. Today enjoy boating on the lake Periyar and explore the sanctuary at its best. Later visit the spice plantations to see how spices such as cardamom, cinnamon, pepper, coffee and tea are produced. You can also shop at the local market and visit the Gavi region of Periyar.
Today you'll head to the hill town retreat of Munnar, where you'll see beautifully manicured tea estates and cardamom plantations. Relax and sample some of the local teas and take in breathtaking views of the surrounding hills.
Enjoy a full day of sightseeing visiting to Anayirankal, a famous picnic spot known for its sprawling tea plantations and boating. A trip on the splendid reservoir is an unforgettable experience. The Anayirankal Dam is surrounded by the Tata Tea Plantation and evergreen forests. We'll also stop at Pothamedu, which offers an excellent view of the tea, coffee and cardamom plantations in Munnar.
Day at leisure for you to enjoy Munnar at your leisure.
Today you will be driven to Alleppey to 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 its route. Check in Alleppey Jetty by 12 Noon. Start cruising through Punnamada Lake, venue of the famous Nehru Trophy Boat Race, anchor for lunch. After lunch start cruising through Vembanad Lake to visit Pathira Manal island and visit Thaneermukam salt barrier. After visiting Chinese fishing net, anchor for the night at Thaneermukam kayal.
After breakfast cruise through Vichoor Kayal to reach Kumarakam and the Kumarakam Bird Sanctuary. After lunch cruise through R.Block and C.Block, visiting the local paddy fields where paddy is cultivated below sea level. Enjoy a village walk to see how the locals live. Anchor for the night in Vembanad Lake.
After breakfast we begin cruising through Vembanad Lake to reach Chavara Bhavan where stands 500 year-old wooden houses of the blessed Kuriakose. Here enjoy visits to the local market and enjoy a village walk to see toddy taping. Anchor at Munnatummugham.
Cruising through Champakulam today we stop to visit the 500 year old Church with mural paintings, visit the snake boat and take a walk to a local temple walk. We also visit Karumadaikuttan, an 18th century Buddha Statue and enjoy some time at Thottapally Beach. Anchor for the night at Kanchipadam.
After breakfast, you'll disembark from the houseboat and be transferred to your hotel in Kochi. Kochi , also known as Cochin, is a major port city on the west coast of India by the Arabian Sea. Hotel check in and the remainder of the day at leisure. Overnight at the 08th Bastion Hotel.
Today enjoy a leisurely walk through Fort Cochin with plenty of opportunities to photograph the Chinese fishing nets positioned along the sea shore. After a rest in the afternoon we will take you to see a Kathakali dance performance the tradtional dance is dated back 400 Years. Overnight at the 08th Bastion Hotel.
This commercial city, also called “The Queen of the Arabian Sea” is famous for its exquisite designer Gold Jewelry. The Indian Navy, the Port and the Airport share the largely man-made Willingdon Island. The touring today includes the visit to Dutch Palace built by the Portuguese for a local King in 1555 A.D. The famous Jew Street, a cul-de-sac leading to the beautiful Parsi Synagogue built in 1568. A walking tour of Fort Cochin will take you through the streets still graced with traces of Portuguese, Dutch & British colonial architecture, including a few old trading factories, the only ones still standing anywhere in the world. Later enjoy a harbour cruise. Overnight at the 08th Bastion Hotel.
Day at leisure to independently explore Kochi. Overnight at the 08th Bastion Hotel.
Departing Kochi this morning we head to Palakkad. Palakkad is the seventh most populous town in Kerala and lies near the Palghat Gap, a pass or natural depression through the Western Ghatsranges, and connects Kerala to the plains of the state of Tamil Nadu to the east. Hotel check in with the remainder of the day at leisure. Overnight at the KPM Regency Hotel.
Today our journey continues to Ooty. Udhagamandalam (Ooty), the "Queen of hill stations" is the capital of Nilgiri district. Ooty is situated deep within the Nilagiri hills (which can be literally translated as The Blue Mountains). It is unknown whether this name arises from the blue smoky haze given off by the eucalyptus trees that cover the area or from the kurunji flower, which blooms every twelve years giving the slopes a bluish tinge. Hotel check in and remainder of the day at leisure.
A full day excursion is in store today taking in the best of Ooty and Coonoor. We'll visit the Botanical Gardens, Ooty Lake and Dodabetta peak offering you panoramic views of the Nilgiri Mountains in Ooty. Coonoor is a popular hill resort where you can opt for a toy train tour to enjoy the scenic surroundings.
Departing Ooty today head to Mudumalai. The Mudumalai National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary, also a declared Tiger Reserve, lies on the northwestern side of the Nilgiri Hills. It shares its boundaries with the states of Karnataka and Kerala. The sanctuary is divided into 5 ranges – Masinagudi, Thepakadu, Mudumalai, Kargudi and Nellakota. Over the next two days enjoy time exploring the national park. Overnight at the Cicada Bandipur Resort.
Departing Mudumalai this morning we drive to Mettupalayam, which sits on the foothills of the Nilgiri mountains. It is known as the Vegetable market of South India, as the Nilgiri area around Mettupalayam is a rich agricultural region and the local people rely heavily on the market.
This morning we drive to Coimbatore Airport for your flight to Chennai (SG 282, 1110/1215) where upon your arrival you will be met and transferred to your hotel with the remainder of the afternoon at leisure for you to independently explore.
Today marks the end of your epic adventure with On the Go Tours. After breakfast and hotel check out you will be transferred to the international airport for your onward departure flight. End of services.
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