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Dravidian Heritage

15 Days / 14 Nights (Tour Code: PC-644)
South India, stretching south of the Vindhya Mountain ranges down to the coastal areas surrounded by the Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea, covers a vast swathe of the Deccan plateau. The states in this region are Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka, all four of which have their own languages, slightly differing from each other, but vastly different from the language and culture of the Indian heartland in the North and West. South India has two major claims to being a tourist attraction. Thousands of miles of pristine coastline and sandy beaches, dotted with sea side resorts and the ancient Hindu heritage architecture, temples and remnants of the Indus valley civilization. Boat trips on the backwater canals and protected wetlands, not to mention the health spas and Ayurveda clinics, make for a rejuvenating vacation, and most tourists leave Kerala in much better shape, mentally and physically, than when they came in.

Day 1: Chennai - Covelong

Meeting assistance on arrival at Chennai Airport and drive to Covelong. Check-in at Hotel.

Day 2: Covelong

After breakfast, day excursion to visit Kanchipuram and Mahabalipuram Kanchipuram, the Golden City of a thousand temples, and one of the seven sacred cities of India, is 70 km from Madras. It was, successively, the capital of the Pallavas, the Cholas, and the Rayas of Vijayanagar. Today, it is known not only for its temples, but also for its hand-woven silk fabrics. Lunch at Restaurant in Kanchipuram. Mahabalipuram, An ancient coastal port South of Madras, here you will see many sculptures and temples of typical South India architectural designs. Caves, There are nine rock cut temples. The Mahishasuramardhini cave, depicting the goddess fighting a demon on one side and Lord Vishnus cosmic sleep on the other, is a particularly remarkable one. Arjunas Penance, <a class="PIInfosoft-placeName" onclick="openAttractionDescriptionPopup('en', 'ADY','MBM','IND','India');" data-target="#PopUp5" href="javascript:void(0)" data-toggle="modal">The Five Rathas</a> which belongs to belongs to the early 8th century AD and it is a classic example of the first phase of structural temples constructed in pure Dravidian style. Dinner and overnight at Hotel.

Day 3: Covelong - Kanchipuram

After breakfast, drive to Pondicherry, on arrival check in at VILLA SHANTI. Afternoon visit Pondicherry City and Auroville : <a class="PIInfosoft-placeName" onclick="openAttractionDescriptionPopup('en', 'AAP','PNY','IND','India');" data-target="#PopUp5" href="javascript:void(0)" data-toggle="modal">Sri Aurobindo Ashram</a> - see the marble Samadhi where Sri Aurobindos and the Mothers remains are kept. Ecole Francaise d Extreme Orient and The French Institute. Sacred Heart Church : There are several large churches and cathedrals around the town, including the striking brown and white sacred Heart Church on South Boulevard. Nearby are the peaceful, extensive Botanical Gardens, opened in 1740. Bharathi and Bharathidasan Memorial Museums : The houses of two great Tamil poets have been converted into the museums. Overnight at Hotel.

Day 4: Kanchipuram - Mamallapuram

After breakfast, drive to Swamimalai, en-route visiting Chidambaram: Chidambaram is one of the most ancient and most celebrated beautiful temples of shrines in India. It is of great religious as well as historic and cultural significance. Chidambaram is associated with Nataraja, or Shiva in his Ananda Tandava pose (the Cosmic Dance of bliss) in the cosmic golden hall and the hall of consciousness (Chit Sabha). After visit continue your drive to Swamimalai, on arrival check in at Hotel Indeco Swamimalai. Afternoon visit Swamimalai : Swamimalai temple is placed near Kumbakonam. The place is famous for its shrine of Subramanian placed on a hillock. It is considered as fourth of the six sacred places of Lord Subramanian. One of the kings Varaguna Pandya is supposed to have halted in Swami Malai on his way for a pilgrimage and installed Lord Sundareswar (Siva) and Meenakshi (Devi) here. Some of the features of the temple include the sixty steps that have to be ascended to reach the hill and the presence of Indira's white elephant in front t of the Subramanian. Overnight at Hotel.

Day 5: Mamallapuram - Covelong

After breakfast, drive to Madurai, enroute visiting Tanjore and Trichy- <a class="PIInfosoft-placeName" onclick="openAttractionDescriptionPopup('en', 'ASH','TRZ','IND','India');" data-target="#PopUp5" href="javascript:void(0)" data-toggle="modal">Srirangam</a>. Tanjore, also called Thanjavur, is a famous temple town, located at 55 kilometers from Trichy. 10th century Brihadeshwara Temple- The Temple has been included in the UNESCOs list of World Heritage Monuments. Lunch at Hotel Or Restaurant in Trichy Trichy Situated on the banks of river Cauvery, Rock Fort, which is situated in the center of the city on top of an 83 m high rock, housing the famous Vinayakar Temple. The Sri Ranganathaswami Temple, considered as the largest temple complex in the country, is another most important tourist attraction of Trichy. <a class="PIInfosoft-placeName" onclick="openAttractionDescriptionPopup('en', 'ASH','TRZ','IND','India');" data-target="#PopUp5" href="javascript:void(0)" data-toggle="modal">Srirangam</a> (Sri Rangam) is located 2 km north of Trichy. The main deity is Lord Ranganatha, or Lord Vishnu, reclining on Sesa Naga. After visit drive to Madurai, on arrival check in at Heritage Madurai. Overnight at Hotel.

Day 6: Covelong

After breakfast, visit Madurai City : Visit Palace of Nayak Tirumalai ,<a class="PIInfosoft-placeName" onclick="openAttractionDescriptionPopup('en', 'ADO','MDU','IND','India');" data-target="#PopUp5" href="javascript:void(0)" data-toggle="modal">Gandhi Museum</a> and Koodal Azhaar Temple, Among the most ancient temples in Madurai Koodal Azhagar temple stands high. It is dedicated to Lord Vishnu. You could see him in various postures sitting, standing, reclining one over the other. Apart from that there are intricate woodcarvings, one of them depicting Lord Ramas coronation. Afternoon visit Meenakshi Temple : One of the most important places of Hindu pilgrimage, the Meenakshi - Sundareswarar temple is located at the heart of the city and is the hub of the religious and cultural life of the city. Thousands of Pilgrims visit the Meenakshi Temple every day. The soaring high gopurams of the temple stand as landmarks of the city. Evening witness puja ceremony at Shree Meenakshi Temple. Overnight at Hotel.

Day 7: Covelong - Puducherry

After breakfast, drive to Periyar, on arrival check in at Hotel. Afternoon proceed to Nature Walk and <a class="PIInfosoft-placeName" onclick="openAttractionDescriptionPopup('en', 'SPI','THK','IND','India');" data-target="#PopUp5" href="javascript:void(0)" data-toggle="modal">Spice Plantation</a> at Periyar: Different nature trails traversing diverse habitats form the trekking routes, This is an interpretive programme offering excellent opportunity to watch birds, butterflies and other wildlife. The trails often pass through evergreen and moist deciduous forests interspersed with marshy grasslands. The Nature walk is the right programme to feel nature, hear her whispers and smell her flowers. Born and brought up right in the lap of forests, the guides are well familiar with the forest life. The guest will be taken through selected nature trails. The program is also ideal for bird enthusiasts as it starts early morning and Evening. Overnight at Hotel.

Day 8: Puducherry

After breakfast, drive to Alleppey , on arrival Lunch at Alleppey After lunch board on Backwater Cruise from Alleppey to Alleppey: The site Kerala Backwaters offers to take you on an exciting backwater cruise to Kumarakom in Kerala. Backwater cruises on the traditional Kerala kettuvalloms on the glittering Kerala backwaters. Kumarakom was a traditional Kerala fishing village that was later developed into the perfect holiday destination. In fact a lot of tourists visit this perfectly picturesque region with its natural greenery and relaxed atmosphere. In fact when you are on a leisure cruise on one of these backwaters you come in close contact with the way of life in the rice bowl of Kerala, India i.e. the Kuttanad region. De-board at Kumarakom and drive to Cochin , on arrival check in at Hotel. Overnight at Hotel.

Day 9: Puducherry - Chidambaram

After breakfast, visit Cochin: - Also known as "Queen of Arabian Sea" due to its natural harbour being one of the finest. The <a class="PIInfosoft-placeName" onclick="openAttractionDescriptionPopup('en', 'AG9','COK','IND','India');" data-target="#PopUp5" href="javascript:void(0)" data-toggle="modal">Chinese Fishing Nets</a>, synagogue, <a class="PIInfosoft-placeName" onclick="openAttractionDescriptionPopup('en', 'AH9','COK','IND','India');" data-target="#PopUp5" href="javascript:void(0)" data-toggle="modal">Dutch Palace</a>, Portuguese architecture and British influences, all blending harmoniously with the basic Kerala heritage testify that the rulers of Cochin traded goods as well as knowledge with the visitors from Far off lands. <a class="PIInfosoft-placeName" onclick="openAttractionDescriptionPopup('en', 'AN9','COK','IND','India');" data-target="#PopUp5" href="javascript:void(0)" data-toggle="modal">St. Francis Church</a> is the oldest church built by European in India. The <a class="PIInfosoft-placeName" onclick="openAttractionDescriptionPopup('en', 'AH9','COK','IND','India');" data-target="#PopUp5" href="javascript:void(0)" data-toggle="modal">Dutch Palace</a> was originally built by the Portugese in 17th century. The Dutch modified it and presented to the Raj of Kochi. Evening witness Kathakali Dance Show : As its name implies is a story play. This is a form of Dance drama is over 400 years old. Dancers in enormous skirts, glittering crowns and painted faces enact ancient legends. A performance seen by the light of tall brass lamps is an unforgettable experience. Overnight at Hotel.

Day 10: Chidambaram - Swamimalai

After early breakfast, drive to Calicut, en-route visiting Guryvayoor Temple - Devoted to Lord Krishna, and thus also known as the Sri Krishna Temple, the temple dates back to the 16th century and owes its creation and name to Guru (the preceptor of gods) and Vayu (the god of winds). The Guryvayoor Temple is also known as Dwaraka of the South because it is believed that Vasudev and Devaki at Dwaraka, Gujarat, worshiped the Sri Krishna idol. The rectangular shrine with exquisite and detailed murals on the walls is host to a number of Hindu marriages and important family ceremonies. Though a Hindu-only temple, Guryvayoor Temple is open to all castes owing to the rebellion by the lower castes that wanted to have a right to enter the temple premises without any interference or questioning. (NON HINDUS ARE NOT ALLOWED INSIDE THE TEMPLE) After visit drive to Calicut, on arrival check in at Hotel.

Overnight at Hotel.

Day 11: Swamimalai

After early breakfast, drive to Mysore, The drive past from picturesque mountains and country side will keep you refreshed while travelling. Upon arrival check in at Hotel. Afternoon free for independent activities. Overnight at Hotel.

Day 12: Swamimalai - Thanjavur

After breakfast, morning excursion to visit Srirangapatanam: The imposing Srirangapatnam Fort was built in 1454 and is one of the islands most prominent sights. Surrounded by a double wall, and partly encircled by a moat, the citadel features turreted parapets, dungeons, guardrooms, the grand Mysore and Elephant entrance gates and a bridge, which is still in use. Afternoon visit Mysore: Mysore Palace, built in Indo - Saracen style is one of the largest and most brilliant palaces in India. St. Philomenas church: Built as a miniature reproduction of the Cologne Cathedral in 1930s, this is the largest church in Southern India. Devaraj Market - Mysores landmark, over a century-old Devaraja Market. The market is the most popular attraction among tourists. The much-photographed piles of colors used for decorating idols, the banana halls, the wonderful array of vegetables and above all the flowers make it one of Indias most attractive markets. Overnight at Hotel.

Day 13: Thanjavur - Tiruchirappalli

After breakfast, drive to Hassan, on arrival check in at Hotel.

Afternoon excursion to visit <a class="PIInfosoft-placeName" onclick="openAttractionDescriptionPopup('en', 'AGZ','MYQ','IND','India');" data-target="#PopUp5" href="javascript:void(0)" data-toggle="modal">Belur</a> and Halebid (70 Kms around) <a class="PIInfosoft-placeName" onclick="openAttractionDescriptionPopup('en', 'AGZ','MYQ','IND','India');" data-target="#PopUp5" href="javascript:void(0)" data-toggle="modal">Belur</a>: 30 km from Hassan, <a class="PIInfosoft-placeName" onclick="openAttractionDescriptionPopup('en', 'AGZ','MYQ','IND','India');" data-target="#PopUp5" href="javascript:void(0)" data-toggle="modal">Belur</a> is a tourist attraction with its exquisite temples. Located on the banks of river Yagachi, the Chennakeswara Temple is one of the finest examples of Hoysala architecture. The interior of the temple is even better and contains many exquisite panels and richly carved pillars. Halebid: 14km from <a class="PIInfosoft-placeName" onclick="openAttractionDescriptionPopup('en', 'AGZ','MYQ','IND','India');" data-target="#PopUp5" href="javascript:void(0)" data-toggle="modal">Belur</a> and 39km from Hassan, the Hoysaleswara Temple of Halebidu is a wealth of sculptural details. The walls of the temple are covered with an endless variety of gods, goddesses, animals, birds and dancing girls giving importance to the minutest details. Yet no two facets of the temple are the same. Two massive monolithic bulls guard the temple. Despite 86 years of hard work, the temple is not completed. Overnight at Hotel.

Day 14: Tiruchirappalli - Madurai

After early breakfast, drive to Bangalore, en-route visiting Shravanbelagola. , in Karnataka, is the oldest and most important pilgrimage center for Jains. Here is the site of the huge 17m high naked statue of Bahubali (Gomateswara), said to be the world's tallest monolithic statue. The colossal monolithic statue is 58 ft high, naked, with 26 ft wide shoulders, 10-ft of its feet. AD. After visit drive to Bangalore, on arrival check in at Hotel Regallis Afternoon, orientation tour of Bangalore City has a number of tourist places. The Vidhan Soudha or the State Secretariat, The <a class="PIInfosoft-placeName" onclick="openAttractionDescriptionPopup('en', 'A0D','BLR','IND','India');" data-target="#PopUp5" href="javascript:void(0)" data-toggle="modal">Government Museum</a> of Bangalore (one of Indias oldest museums Closed on Monday) and the Visvesvaraya Technological and Industrial Museum are important museums within the city. The 18th-century Tipu Sultans Fort and <a class="PIInfosoft-placeName" onclick="openAttractionDescriptionPopup('en', 'A0H','BLR','IND','India');" data-target="#PopUp5" href="javascript:void(0)" data-toggle="modal">Bangalore Palace</a> is other important places of interest to the traveler. The 16th-century, Dravidian-styled temple dedicated to Nandi the Bull is an important place of worship. Overnight at Hotel.sravana

Day 15: Madurai

Early morning in time transfer to international airport for flight back home.

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