South India Ancient Temples Tour


14 Nights 15 Days


Destinations : Chennai - Kahcipuram - Mahaballipuram - Chidambram - Gangekondcholapuram - Tanjore - Trichy - Madurai - Periyar - Alleppey - Cochin - Kovalam

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Day 1: Chennai

Welcome to India, You will be received by Premium India Tour representative at international airport and assisted to your hotel. In the Hotel you will have a brief description of your tour and the representative will hand over your documents regarding the tour, Overnight in Hotel.

Day 2: Chennai

Breakfast at Hotel, later sightseeing tour. Chennai, the capital city, popularly regarded as the 'Gateway to the South' represents a culture that is distinctly different from that of northern India. The places of interest are Kalakshetra, a school of art and music that encourages exponents of Bharatnatyam, Carnatic music, traditional weaving and designing; Fort St. George built in 1653 during British reign in India, - now houses the Secretariat and Legislative Assembly of Tamil Nadu; St. Mary's Church, the oldest Anglican Church in India with its premises; Sri Parthasarathy Temple built by Pallavas in the 8th century AD; Kapaliswara Temple, Mylapore also an eighth century Pallava Temple dedicated to Lord Shiva; San Thomas Cathedral Basilica rebuilt in 1606 as a cathedral and in 1896 it was made a basilica; and Theosophical Society - the world headquarters of the Theosophical Society formed to encourage the study of comparative religion philosophy and science. Rest of the time at leisure.

Day 3: Chennai - Kahcipuram - Mahaballipuram ( 130 Km, 05 hours )

Morning drive to Kanchipuram the city of thousand temples lies. One of the seven sacred cities of Hindus, it was the capital of the early Cholas as far back as the 2nd century BC. Kanchi was a major seat of Tamil learning as well as an important place of pilgrimage for Buddhists, Jains and Hindus. Apart from temples, the city is also famous for its silk weavers, settled here some 400 years ago and have given it an enviable reputation. Later proceed to Mahablipuram. Mamallapuram (Mahabalipuram), the ancient port of Pallavas. The pallavas have created many marvelous monuments with sculptural panels, caves, Monolithic Rathas and Temples. Krishna Mandapam, has a big bas relief, notable for its realistic representation. The world's largest bas relief measuring 27m x 9m, whale back shaped rock contains figures of gods, demi-gods, men .beasts, birds and representation of the entire creation. Shore Temple, one of the oldest in south dating back to 8th century AD is a good example of the first phase of structural temples constructed in Dravidian style. The Five Rathas, a group of five monolithic temples, each created in different style. On arrival check in hotel. Overnight at hotel.

Day 4: Mahaballipuram

After a relaxed breakfast in the morning, visit 6-8th century Pallave rock cut caves, Panch Ratha temple, 7th century shore temple where both Vishnu & Shiva are enshrined under one roof and soap stone workers in the market who designs and made sculptures by chisel & hammer. This is very special to see. In the afternoon you are free enjoy at sea beach. Overnight stay at Hotel.

Day 5: Mahaballipuram - Chidambram - Gangekondcholapuram - Tanjore

This morning proceed to leave for Tanjore, your first stop will be at Chidambrum golden Natraja temple. Later drive to Gangekondcholapuram exciting Shiva temple built from 1012-1044 AD by Kind Rajendra I. The specialty of the temple and 1000 years engineering is the rays of sun falls on Nandi (bull) and it reflects and give light to the Shiva Lingam since sun rise to sun set. Your next stop will be at Kumbakonam water tank, it is believed that after every 12years 9 scared holy rivers including holy Ganges are meeting here. During those days thousands of pilgrims dip into the tank to wash their sins. Next stop at 13th century Shiva temple at Darasuram. Finally reach to Tanjore. On arrival check in hotel. Rest of the time at leisure. Overnight at Hotel.

Day 6: Tanjore - Trichy ( 56 Km, 01.1/2 hours )

Morning breakfast. Morning sightseeing tour of Tanjore. Visit Brideshwarar Shiva Temple, that was built by King Raja Rajan from the year 985 - 1010 AD. As usual South Indian temples have big Gopurmas ( towers ) but this temple is parameter shaped, 65 meters high from the ground. This is one of the superb temple architects of the Chola dynasty. Later visit Raja Rajan art gallery to see bronze statures of 9-16th century. Come back to the Hotel and after some rest drive to Trichy. Upon arrival, Travel Horizon India Representatives will assist you to transfer to the hotel. In the afternoon, visit Srirangam Vishnu temple. This temple has 21 gopurmas ( towers ), one of the gopurma is 73 meters highest in India. After that visit Rock Fort 83 meters above the ground having 344 steps to reach on the top to see Vinayaka temple. Come back to your Hotel for dinner and overnight stay.

Day 7: Trichy - Madurai (131 Km, 03 hours)

After morning breakfast in the morning, leave for Madurai. In the afternoon visit 16th century Thirumalai Nayak Palace. After that visit biggest Meenakshi temple, the temple has two main shrines one is dedicated to goddess Parvati ( Meenakshi ) and another to Sunereshwara ( Shiva ). The doms of both the shrines are covered with heavy gold plates. You can also see 1000 pillars hall built in 16th century by Nayakas by pure granite stones. Rest of the time is free to enjoy by your own. Overnight at Hotel.

Day 8: Madurai - Periyar ( 140 Km, 04 hours )

After morning breakfast at Hotel, leave for Periyar. Upon arrival at Periyar check in your hotel, Afternoon a special visit to the spices Garden to watch different varieties of spice plantations such as cardamom, cinnamon, peeper, clove, vanilla, ginger, tea and coffee plantations etc. Periyar is on 1000 meters above sea level and is rich in spice growing. 95% pepper in India is produced from here. Vasco de Gama was the first European landed at Malabar Coast in 1498 AD in search of spices. Those days pepper was exported against the equal weight of gold, so in the beginning of 15th century pepper was called black gold. Later visit Periyar Tiger Reserve by boat to watch different varieties of animals such as tiger, panther, leopard, bison spotted deer, barking deer, wild boar, groups of wild elephants and many birds. Overnight at Hotel.

Days 09: Periyar - Houseboat Cruise

After morning breakfast in the morning, drive to Kumarakom to board houseboat Cruise. "Kettuvallam", the traditional Kerala House Boat. Embark on a cruise on the scenic backwaters towards Alleppey. The still lagoon will welcome you with palm trees lining on the shore. Watching the daily activity of the villagers will enrich your curiosity. The Chinese Fishing Nets set in the shore, and fishermen gliding slowly on the water, bunch of ducks swimming nearby the bank, birds chirping in the sky - all together presents a very pleasant picturesque worth to mesmerize you. You will stick to the deck watching the splendid scenery of backwater and taking sun bath. As you take your lunch, you will reach at Punnamada lake. This is the place where every year world famous boat race is organised. Cruising through the Vembanad lake will unfold a very panoramic view of the backwater full of peace and tranquility. In the evening, you will visit the paddy fields. It will give you better insight of the village life of Kerala as you will have opportunity to interact with the local villagers and will know well their daily activities. Overnight at Houseboat

Day 10: Houseboat Cruise - Alleppey - Cochin ( 60 Km, 01.1/2 hours )

In the morning hours disembark at Alleppey, from where you will be driven to Cochin, On arrival check in your hotel and later in the day enjoy sightseeing tour of Cochin. Cochin was originally settled by the Portuguese and boasts a natural harbor with lagoons, canals, and fishing hamlets. One of the three biggest ports on India's west coast, it is also an industrially developed area, with the coir industry of special importance (coir is a coarse fiber made from the husk of coconuts). Today you'll visit the Cochin Harbor Terminus; the Dutch Palace in Mattancherry, originally built by the Portuguese; Jewish Synagogue and Jew Town (the synagogue houses scrolls of the Old Testament); Fort Cochin area; St. Francis Church, the oldest European-built church in India (and where the Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama was first interred); and see a stretch of the coastline dotted with massive Chinese fishing nets (cheenavala), believed to have been introduced by traders from the court of Kublai Khan (this is the only place they are found outside of China). In the evening you will attend a performance of the Kathakali, an elaborate Indian dance-drama. Overnight at hotel.

Day 11 to 14 : Cochin - Kovalam ( 235 Km, 05 hours )

After hassle-free breakfast in the morning, leave for Kovalam where you will stay till Day 15. Kovalam beach is known as the "Paradise of the South". Kovalam is just 16 kms away from Trivandrum, Kerala's capital city. Kovalam is an evergreen and pleasant climatic beach resort. With high rock promontory and a calm bay of blue waters, this beach paradise creates a unique aquarelle on moonlit nights. Kovalam was brought to the public eye by the Maharaja of Travancore. Over the past three decades, the place has been well developed, and now figures prominently on the world tourism map. The warm and clean atmosphere by the coconut trees and the white sand bed are perfect for relaxing holidays, as the sea breeze gently plays with the waves. Overnight at Hotel.

Day 15 : Kovalam ( Trivandrum) – Departure

After morning breakfast in the morning, you will be transferred to Trivandrum airport to board flight back to home.