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Welcome to Chennai! You will be met by a representative at the airport and transferred to your hotel where you will have the afternoon to relax and settle in. Overnight at Vivanta By Taj - Connemara
This morning after breakfast we take a morning half day tour of the city taking in the sights of the Santhome Cathedral Church, the Kapaleshwara Temple, Marina Beach and the Government Museum, the second oldest museum in India! This afternoon we travel by road from Chennai to Mahabalipuram. Is is said that the Pallaca King Narasimhavarman adopted the nick name Maha-malla, meaning great wrestler, due to his love of the sport of wrestling. The City was then named in honor of this. THe city is scattered with various historic monuments built between the 7th and the 9th centuries and today is UNESCO protected. After arrival the rest of the day is yours free to explore. Overnight the Raddisson Resort Temple Bay.
This morning we take a half day city tour taking in the sights of the Shore Temple, Arjuna's Penance and the Five Rathas. We continue the afternoon touring with a half day visit to Kanchirapuram, famous for its beautiful silk sareers. Our Touring includes the many temples of the area including the Ekambareshwar Temple, Kailashanath, Kamakshi and the Brihadisvara Temple. We also explore the traditional art of silk weaving. Overnight the Raddisson Resort Temple Bay.
This morning we continue onto the to city of Pondicherry. After checking in at our hotel we explore the city of Pondicherry taking in sights such as the Pondicherry beach, the Sacred Heart Church, Aurobindo Ashram (time permitting) and the French Colony. This evening is at your leisure.
Today we keep moving from Pondicherry to 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. After check in the rest of the day is free to explore the rich culture.
Spend the morning on a sightseeing tour of Tanjore before 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.
Take a morning sightseeing tour of Trichy before 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. A bustling city jam-packed with rickshawallas, pilgrims and traders and resembling a seemingly continuous bazaar crammed to the gunnels with shops, markets and lodgings for tourists and pilgrims, Madurai is yours this afternoon. Go immerse yourself.
This morning we take a half day city tour taking in the Thirumalai Nayak Palace, Mariamman Theppakulam, Meenakshi Temple, the local Bazaar and a Taylor Market. This afternoon the car and driver are at your disposal for independent activities.
Today we travel 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. Kumily, close to the sanctuary and where you’ll stay, is a pretty town dotted with small spice and handicraft shops. This afternoon take a public boat ride to Periyar National Park to view the wildlife of the area.
Today we keep moving on to Alleppey. On arrival we embark on an overnight house boat cruise to enjoy the backwaters of Alleppey. We enjoy both lunch and dinner on board as we relax and take in the sights.
After breakfast on board we disembark and continue our journey to Kochi where we enjoy and evening Kathakali dance performance.
On our last day of sightseeing we take in the old City of Kochi with visits to the Parsi Synagogue, Dutch Palace, St Francis’ Church. The rest of the afternoon is yours free to explore and take in the last of India.
Today after breakfast our tour concludes with a onward departure transfer to the airport.
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