South India Pilgrimage Tours
Places Covered : Chennai – Kanchipuram – Mahabalipuram – Chidambram – Gangekondcholapuram – Tanjore – Trichy – Madurai – Periyar – Kumarakom – Alleppey – Cochin – Kovalam – Chennai
Duration : 14 Nights / 15 Days
Day 1: Chennai
Fly from your country to Chennai, arrive & check in at Radha Park Inn or similar.
Hotel for overnight stay.
Day 2 :Chennai
Breakfast & leave for sightseeing of Chennai, the first British major settlement in India. Visit Kapleshwara temple, St. Thomas Church, Art Gallery, St. George Fort, Marina beach ( 2nd longest beach of the world after California ). Return to Hotel for overnight.
Day 3: Chennai – Kanchipuram – Mahabalipuram ( 130 Km, 05 hours )
Morning leave for Mahabalipuram enroute Kanchipuram, once the Golden city of India to visit Shiv Kanchi and Vishnu Kanchi temples. Continue your drive to Mahabalipuram, arrive & check in at Hotel for overnight stay.
Day 4 :Mahabalipuram
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. Afternoon free to enjoy at sea beach. Overnight at Hotel.
Day 5 :Mahabalipuram – Chidambram – Gangekondcholapuram – Tanjore
Morning leave for Tanjore, your first stop will be at Chidambrum golden Natraja temple. Afterwards drive to Gangekondcholapuram exciting Shiva temple built from 1012-1044 AD by Kind Rajendra I. The speciality 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, arrive and check in at Hotel for overnight stay.
Day 6 :Tanjore – Trichy ( 56 Km, 01.1/2 hours )
Morning sightseeing of Tanjore visiting Brideshwarar Shiva Temple 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 architect of the Chola dynasty. Afterwards visit Raja Rajan art gallery to see bronze statures of 9-16th century. Return back to Hotel and after some rest drive to Trichy, arrive & check in at Hotel. Afternoon visit Srirangam Vishnu temple has 21 gopurmas ( towers ), one of the gopurma is 73 meters highest in India. Afterwards visit Rock Fort 83 meters above the ground having 344 steps to reach on the top to see Vinayaka temple.
Return back to your Hotel for overnight stay.
Day 7 :Trichy – Madurai ( 131 Km, 03 hours )
Morning leave for Madurai, arrive and check in at Hotel Taj Garden Retreat similar. Afternoon visit 16th century Thirumalai Nayak Palace. Afterwards 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.
Return to hotel for overnight stay.
Day 8 : Madurai – Periyar ( 140 Km, 04 hours )
Breakfast at Hotel and leaver for Periyar, arrive and check in at Hotel Spice Village Holiday Resort. 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. Vaskodegama was the first European landed at Malabar coast in 1498 A.D. 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. Afterwards 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.
Return to Hotel for overnight stay.
Day 9 : Periyar – Houseboat Cruise – Kumarakom
After breakfast drive to Kumarakon to board houseboat Cruise to enjoy the cruise in backwaters. This cruise is very exciting and sensational to watch the real traditional Kerlan life who lives on the banks of backwaters. Overnight with full meals at Houseboat cruise.
Day 10 : Houseboat Cruise – Alleppey – Cochin ( 60 Km, 01.1/2 hours )
Houseboat will drop you at Alleppey to board your vehicle & drive to Cochin. Arrive and check in at Hotel Casino or similar, afternoon visit Dutch Palace, Jewish Synagogue, Chinese fishing nets and St. Francis Church, one of the oldest Church built by the Europeans in 1503 A.D.
Late afternoon visit to watch traditional Kerlan Kathakali dances. Overnight at Hotel.
Day 11 to Day 14 :Cochin – Kovalam ( 235 Km, 05 hours )
Morning leave for Kovalam, arrive & check in at Hotel Samudra ( KTDC ) to enjoy at sea beach till day 15.
Day 15 : Kovalam ( Trivandrum ) – Chennai ( By Flight )
Transfer to Trivandrum airport to board flight for Chennai. After little sightseeing & dinner transfer to Chennai International airport to board flight back to your country with pleasant memories of South India.