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SOUTHERN INDIA TOURS

Duration : 18 Days / 17 Nights
Places Covered : Chennai-Madurai-Alleppey-Periyar-Kochi-Coonoor-Mysore-Chennai-Kanchipuram -Chennai

Day 1/ Arrive Chennai
Arrive Chennai. Meet assist at the airport and transfer to hotel. Evening at leisure. Night stay in Chennai.

Day 2/ Sightseeing Chennai
Morning after breakfast proceed for city sightseeing. The sublime view of the fourth largest city of India unrolls pomp to visitors. The cosmopolitan capital of Tamil Nadu is a mélange of colours, moods, cultures and religious fervour. Night stay in Chennai.

Day 3/ Chennai - Madurai
Morning after breakfast transfer to railway station to leave for Madurai. Meet assist at railway station and transfer to hotel. Evening at leisure. Night stay in Madurai.

Day 4/ Sightseeing Madurai
Morning proceed for city sightseeing. Situated on the banks of the Vaigai River, Madurai is the ancient capital of the Pandya Kings. Today, it is an important business center. The crowning glory of Madurai is the Meenakshi Sundareshwara Temple Complex, which is dedicated to Goddess Meenakshi, her consort Lord Sundareshwara, and her celestial brother, Lord Vishnu. The Meenakshi Temple has a thousand-pillared hall. In the evening, listen to the distinctive temple music at Thiruppa Rakundram. Night stay in Madurai.

Day 5/ Madurai, Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary
Morning travel to Periyar, best known for its 800 sq. km wildlife sanctuary. The Periyar Lake lies at the heart of the sanctuary. Take an elephant ride around this lake to see tigers, deer, wild dogs, lion-tailed macaque, Malabar squirrel and sloth bears. The lake attracts all kinds of water birds. In the vicinity are lofty observation towers, and a medieval palace, now a hotel. A quick lunch at Thekkady and back to Periyar crowns the day. Night stay in Periyar.

Day 6/ Periyar, Alleppey Rice Barge (House - Boat)
Early morning view by boat before leaving by car to the rice barges—originally cargo boats but now refurbished as comfortable live-in houses on boat. Two men using tall bamboo poles push the barge through the water and they notch up a speed of 18-20 km/day. Facilities on the boat include lounge + dining area, double bed with mosquito net, bathroom with WC and wash basin. Pretty, thatched awnings let in the breeze, while lanterns provided at night create a magical ambience.

Day 7 & 8/ The Fascinating Backwaters of Kerala
From Alleppey to Thottapally Village, on own house-boat, through a unique network of lakes, coconut shaded canals and estuaries, offers an exhilarating experience. This is the best way to experience the tranquility of Kerala and reach the wonderful coastline of Kochi, a splendid cluster of islands.

Day 8,9,10/ Sightseeing Kochi
One of the largest ports of India, Kochi is a cluster of islands and narrow peninsulas. Here you can see the oldest church in India, congested Portuguese-built colonies, Chinese fishing nets, an ancient “white Jewish” community who settled here 1000 years ago, a fabulous 16th century synagogue, a palace which contains the most beautiful murals, and the oldest European fort in India. Night stay in Kochi.

Day 11/ Coonoor
Morning drive to the hill-station of Coonoor, which, along with Udhagamandalam (popularly called Ooty), is called the Twin of the Nilgiris. Rest of the day in leisure. Night stay in Coonoor.

Day 12/ Sightseeing, Ooty & Coonoor
Morning proceed for city sightseeing. Gorgeous hill-top views, endless walks and cool, cool weather throughout the year make the 12th day rejuvenating for the mind and body. The waterfalls are simply amazing and there is a mini-gauge railway train too. Night stay in Coonoor.

Day 13, 14 & 15/ Mysore
Morning drive north to Mysore. The city got its name from Mahishasura, the buffalo headed demon king. Chamundeswari, an incarnation of Parvati, consort of Lord Shiva, killed the demon. It is also the capital of sandalwood, musk and rosewood. Night stay in Mysore.

Day 16/ Mysore - Chennai
Morning transfer to railway station and entrain to Chennai. On arrival meet assist and transfer to hotel. Night stay in Chennai.

Day 17/ Excursions – Mammalapuram - Kanchipuram
Morning excursion to Mammalapuram. It is a retreat amidst natural beauty. The monuments are hewn out of solid rock, though ravaged by the sea and the wind. The Shore Temple is one of the oldest in South India. Early rock-cut temples excavated from the hillside have large carved panels depicting scenes from the Mahabharata and the Goddess Durga killing the buffalo-headed demon. A Crocodile Farm nearby is quite interesting. 71km south of Chennai, Kancheepuram is called the land of a thousand temples.The Ekambareswara Temple, a Shiva shrine, depicts the Lord as Prithvi or Earth. The temple is famous for its 1000-pillared hall, which is a huge ornamental chain carved out of a single piece of stone. Other famous temples are the Sri Kamakshi Amman Temple dedicated to Goddess Parvati, Sri Vaikuntha Perumal Temple, Kailashnathar Temple and the Devarajaswamy Temple built on an elephant shaped rock. Night stay in Kanchipuram.

Day 18/ Chennai Departure
Morning leave for Chennai. Arrive & transfer to hotel. Spend the day in shopping the rare art and artefacts of south India. Later transfer to airport for onward destination

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