Dravidian South India

Duration

13 days

Tour Type

Tourist Attractions

Location

Chennai

Overview

South India has preserved the country's ancient traditions and festivals. Rich in culture, it is the land of intricately carved temples, sunny beaches, lush plantations, exotic wildlife sanctuaries, palm fringed seashores, verdant hills and panoramic backwaters make up the landscape.. The dominant features of south India are the tropical climate less harsh than the northern States, lush green tropical vegetation in the coastal areas and the architecture, culture, languages and lifestyle which had remained essentially Dravidian at the core in spite of repeated exposures to alien influences

Itinerary

Dravidian South India Day 1

Day 1

On arrival at Chennai Airport you will be welcomed by our representative then transfer to the hotel where we are holding the room on ready occupancy basis. Overnight stay in Hotel.

Dravidian South India Day 2

Day 2

Morning Proceed for Sightseeing of Chennai
Today we take a tour of Chennai, visiting Fort St. George, the first bastion of British power in India & built in the year 1640 AD by the British East India Company. Within the Fort we visit St. Mary's Church, built in the year 1680 & oldest Protestant Church in the East. Fort Museum has 10 galleries & displays armoury, old uniforms, crockery & silverware, coins, palanquins, paintings, letters, old prints, etc. San Thome Cathedral, built in 1504, is said to house the remains of St. Thomas the Apostle, who is believed to have visited Madras (Chennai) sometime during 52 AD.
National Art Gallery, established in the year 1857, is undoubtedly one of the country's finest museums. It has sections devoted to geology, archaeology, anthropology, botany, zoology, sculpture & numismatics. Government Museum has a fine archaeological section representing all the major South Indian periods including Chola, Vijaynagar, Hoysala & Chaulakya. The bronze gallery has a superb collection of Chola art especially the bronze statue of Ardhanareeswara, the androgynous incarnation of Shiva. Its most prized possessions are the relics from 2nd century AD Buddhist site of Amaravathi & the prehistoric antiques of South India.
Later drive to Mahabalipuram, town of temples, sand & sea. It is world renowned for its beautiful Shore Temple & other temples. It was once the main port & naval base of the great Pallava kingdom & was later made the capital of this dynasty On arrival check into Hotel for Overnight stay

Dravidian South India Day 3

Day 3

Today take a guided tour of Mahabalipuram, visiting Shore Temple, one of the oldest temples in South India. It belongs to the 8th Century AD. Designed to catch the first rays of the rising sun & to illuminate the waters after dark, the temple ended up with an unusual lay-out.
Arjuna's Penance, world's largest bas-relief. This huge whale-back shaped rock contains figures of gods, demigods, men, beasts, & birds & in fact can be said to represent creation itself. Next visit Rathas, monolithic temples fashioned as chariots. They remain an architectural mystery as each is apparently a faithful reproduction of a structure built of wood. In fact, even the grain of the timber beams & rafters has been simulated in stone. Of the eight Rathas, five have been named for the Pandava brothers, the heroes of the epic Mahabharata.
Later take a day excursion to Kanchipuram, is one of the seven holy cities in the country. It was a city of learning for both Tamil & Sanskrit. In ancient times it was called Kachi. Once had over a thousand temples & today there are more than a hundred extant. It is also known for its temples & silk sarees. Visit Kailasanatha Temple, built in 8th Century AD. It is built in the typical Pallava style, with a pyramidal tower, a pillared hall & vestibule, enclosed by a wall. The temple is famous for exquisite carvings & attracts devotees & tourists alike. There are 58 small shrines situated around the main shrine, as a compound wall. Fresco style paintings adorn the inner walls of the temple. Next visit Ekambaranatha, ancient temple is dedicated to lord Shiva. The 57 metres high Raj Gopuram is one of the tallest towers in South India. The 3000 year old mango tree inside the temple has 4 branches each yielding different variety of mangoes
Before returning to Mahabalipuram visit Kamakshi Amman Temple, built in 12th century AD, as an important Shakthisthalam, known as Parabrahmaroonpini.
Overnight stay at the Hotel.

Dravidian South India Day 4

Day 4

Morning Depart for Trichy
On arrival Check into Hotel. After Relax Sightseeing Tour of Trichy
Trichy was the citadel of the Chola dynasty in the medieval period. In the 18th century it witnessed the Carnatic wars fought between the French and the English. Lord Robert Clive's house is still there to see and so is the Danish Church. The Rock-Fort is the landmark of Trichy. A climb of 434 steps leads to the ancient temple of Ganapati on top and a further climb to a Shiva temple
Overnight stay at the Hotel

Dravidian South India Day 5

Day 5

Morning Depart for Tanjore
On arrival Sightseeing of Tanjore
Tanjore Also Known As The Granary Of South India. The Magnificent Brihdeeswara Temple Has Been Called India's Greatest Temple Built In Dravidian Style During 11th Century. The Gateway Is More Than 200 Ft. High In The Familiar Pyramid Style But Its Crowning Dome Rests On A Single Block Of Granite Weighing 80 Tons. The Temple Is Dedicated To Lord Shiva. Also Visit Saraswati Mahal Library Which Contains A Rare Collection Of Books And Manuscripts On Paper And Palm Leaves
Overnight stay at the Hotel

Dravidian South India Day 6

Day 6

Proceed for Madurai on the way visit Karaikiudi
Karaikudi is known as an ancestral home of Chettiyars Known For Their Business Accuman, Beautifully Ornated Havelis And Of Course Famous Chetinad Cusine It is 80 kilometers away from Madurai. It is famous for its Chettinad Mansion, CECRI (Central Electro Chemical Research Institute), and Temples, Old buildings, Gopura karai saris and Chettinad delicious tasty dishes. The Chettiars were a prosperous banking community who ventured overseas to do business in South and Southeast Asia in the 19th and early 20th centuries.
On arrival Madurai check into Hotel for Overnight stay

Dravidian South India Day 7

Day 7

The ‘Temple City’ was the capital of the Pandya Kingdom but it was during the reign of the Nayaks (10th to the 18th Century) that the magnificent Meenakshi Temple, and other buildings were constructed. Visit the Meenakshi Temple, believed to have 33 million sculptures. The four corner gopurams are the most striking. The Meenakshi Nayakkar Mandapam hall has 110 Pillars and a lamp holder with 1,008 lamps which are lit on festive occasions. Visit the Palace of Thirumalai Nayak, the most famous king of the Nayak dynasty. It has a great audience hall, a three sided pavilion and a courtyard. Some of the original apartments still remain and there is a museum in one of the halls. Yet another Nayakar legacy is the Mariammam Teppakulam, a tank was fed from the waters of the river Vaigai, north of the city.
Evening attend the Night Ceremony at the Meenakshi Temple.
The Evening “Aarti” is a must see for the visitors. The concert of Goddess Durga-Shiva is brought to her chamber in procession This Procession goes around the temple and has various short ceremonies at different shrines, before the final prayer at the entrance of her chamber.
The entirfe procession takes about 45 minutes. (Open from 0500/1300 Hrs & 1600/2230 Hrs)
Overnight stay at the Hotel.

Dravidian South India Day 8

Day 8

Early Morning Visit the Meenakshi Temple.
Proceed for Periyar
On arrival check into Hotel
Evening Boat Ride on Lake Periyar.
Periyar is a game sanctuary spread overt 777 Sq kms in the Thekkady district. Game & water fowl viewing is best done from the boat. You can spot elephants and bison when they come to the edge for a drink. Spotted deer and Sambhar also abound. You can have the unique experience of viewing wildlife at close quarters from the safety of a boat on the lake. Enjoy the sights and sounds of this wonderful sanctuary
Overnight stay at the Hotel

Dravidian South India Day 9

Day 9

Morning drive to Kumarakom. The village of Kumarakom is a cluster of little islands. A picturesque, clean village, Kumarakom is a tiny hamlet on the banks of a lagoon formed by the Vembanad lake. Check in to your resort where calm, emerald backwaters reflect hundreds of thousands of gently swaying palms where the primary attraction however, is its lazy ambience. Enjoy the sunset cruise in the evening.
Overnight stay

Dravidian South India Day 10

Day 10

Today visit the bird sanctuary of Kumarakom and explore a whole new world of feathered species. For an inquisitive bird watcher it is an ideal place that echoes with the chirping of birds including a variety of migratory birds. Take a walk around the sanctuary while experiencing the sights and sounds of these birds. Kumarakom offers visitors many other leisure options. Either you are free at leisure, or enjoy the backwaters with paddleboats, canoe and Kayaks at the lagoon
Overnight stay

Dravidian South India Day 11

Day 11

Day on your own for Leisure activities
Overnight stay

Dravidian South India Day 12

Day 12

Morning: Cruise the narrow Canals of the backwaters in 2 motor boats. Kumarakom to Alleppey.
The cruise beginning in Kumarakom at 08.00 Hrs will take you through some small canals, where you get to see actual village life. The cruise ends at 11.30 Hrs at Alleppey, where you board the coachfor your drive back to Kochi.
Arrive Kochi at 1300 Hrs
Half Day City Sightseeing
Visit a Jewish Synagogue-open 10.00 to 12.00 hrs & 15.00 to 17.00 Hrs. (Closed on Saturdays and Jewish holidays) in Jew Town and Fort Cochin area. Legend dates Jewish trade with Kerala from the times of King Solomon. There are a couple of streets of picture-postcard houses out of another age, in 17th century Dutch and traditional Kerala styles.
Visit St Francis Church-open frm 09.00 to 13.00 hrs & 14.30 to 17.30 hrs. (Closed for visitors on Sundays from 08.00 to 11.00 Hrs) the Oldest European Church in India. It has several antiquities including wealth of records. These include a palm-leaf title deed the local Raja gave the Portuguese in 1503. See the Chinese Fishing Nets, unique to this part of Kerala and living symbols of centuries –old Chinese influence on this coast.
Overnight stay at the Hotel

Dravidian South India Day 13

Day 13

Transfer to Airport for Onward Flight

Included/Excluded

Flight
Breakfast
Lunch
Dinner
Hotel stay
Transport
Cruise

Travel Styles

Nature & Adventure

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