Sample the rich heritage of South India and see the arts of Chennai (Madras) and Mahabalipuram, visit a dance school and see the enormous stone temples in Madurai, Tanjore and Trichy. Drive through the lush tea/spice hills on to the peaceful backwaters of Kerala. Experience the Jewish Heritage in Cochin. Visit the palace of Mysore and the modern city of Bangalore.
14 DAYS SANDALWOOD AND SPICES WITH KERALA - SOUTH INDIA
ESCORTED WITH MINIMUM 10 AND MAXIMUM 16 PASSENGERS. LOCALY HOSTED IF LESS THAN 10 OR MAKE IT A WORLDVIEW 'PRIVATELY GUIDED' TOUR
Featuring: Chennai, Trichy, Tanjore, Chettinad, Madurai, Periyar, Backwaters-Kumarakom, Cochin, Bangalore, Mysore.
Sample the rich heritage of South India and see the arts of Chennai (Madras) and Mahabalipuram, visit a dance school and see the enormous stone temples in Madurai, Tanjore and Trichy. Drive through the lush tea/spice hills on to the peaceful backwaters of Kerala. Experience the Jewish Heritage in Cochin. Visit the palace of Mysore and the modern city of Bangalore. Tour extension available to SRI LANKA- The resplendent isle, Sri Lanka, is a land of happy discoveries. A tropical paradise with a rich history and natural beauty. See the ancient Anuradhapura, Pollonaruwa, Sigiriya and the amazing Dambulla cave paintings and also the hills of Kandy. Tour Extensions are available to the Maldives.
Day 1 ARRIVE CHENNAI Late night arrive into Southern India's largest city, Chennai (Madras) gateway to the sunny South. TAJ COROMANDEL
Day 2 CHENNAI (B) Tour includes visits to St. Thomas Cathedral which houses the grave of St.Thomas the Apostle and the Bronze Museum. Later a 37-mile drive to Mahabalipuram - the 'city of the seven pagodas'. See the breathtaking display of the pagodas, chiseled out of boulders in the form of temple chariots. The masterpiece is the 'Penance of Bhagirath' the world's largest bas-relief in stone.
Day 3 CHENNAI - TRICHY- TANJORE (B) Fly to Trichy. Tour the Srirangam temple, one of the largest and most interesting temple complexes in India. Continue drive to Tanjore (Thanjavur), home of the Chola rulers, the greatest temple builders in the south with rich heritage of Carnatic music, musical instruments, dance and traditional handicrafts.
Day 4 TANJORE (B) Tour of Tanjore. The Brihadeeswara Temple built by Raja Chola is said to have been the tallest monument in ancient India, rising to a height of 241-ft in pyramidal form. It is rightly said of the Cholas that they conceived like giants and finished like jewelers.
Day 5 TANJORE - MADURAI (B) Drive to Madurai visiting en route Chettinad villages near Karaikudi. Madurai city is planned out in the shape of a lotus with the famous Meenakshi temple in the center.
Day 6 MADURAI (B) Tour of Meenakshi Temple and Madurai city. It is one of the biggest temple complexes in India. The five pagodas that surround the temple are known for their intricate stucco work and the 156-ft high southern gopuram is the tallest. Thirumalai Mahal Palace is constructed in Indo-Saracenic style. In the evening attend special temple prayer ceremonies.
Day 7 MADURAI - PERIYAR (B) An interesting drive through the scenic countryside to Periyar Reserve Park. A dam constructed on a river led to the submersion of a large forest area and the formation of a lake. The park contains elephants, tiger, sambar, barking deer, lion-tailed macaque and a rich bird life. Enjoy a cruise on Lake Periyar on a forest department run boat and visit a spice plantation. SPICE VILLAGE
PERIYAR - KUMARAKOM (B)
Drive to the famous Kerala water canals in Kumarakom. The complex network of lagoons, lakes, rivers and canals form the basis of a distinct regional life-style and traveling by boat is the best way to view it. The boats cross shallow, palm-fringed lakes studded with Chinese fishing nets along narrow, shady canals where coir (coconut fiber), coconut and cashews are loaded on to boats. TAJ KUMARAKOM RESORT
Day 9 KUMARAKOM (B) Enjoy a three-hour cruise on the Backwaters. Optional: Experience a night on the traditional rice-house boat (Kettuvallam)
Day 10 KUMARAKOM - COCHIN (B) Drive to Cochin. The Cochin harbor has been trading spices with the rest of the world for over 2000 years. In the evening witness a colorful Kathakali dance performance. TAJ MALABAR
Day 11 COCHIN (B) Tour of Cochin includes visit to the Jewish Synagogue, one of the oldest in India, Jewish town and the Dutch Palace, well known for its mural paintings. See the picturesque Chinese fishing nets in operation at the entrance of the Kochi Harbor; Chinese traders first brought them back from Kublai Khan's court.
Day 12 COCHIN - BANGALORE - MYSORE (B) Fly to Bangalore, capital of Karnataka State. This well-planned city is home to India's main Information Technology hub, aircraft, telephone industries and is popularly known as the 'Silicon Valley' of India. Tour Bangalore and continue drive to Mysore, visiting en route the beautiful temple at Somnathpur. RADISSON BLU
Day 13 MYSORE (BD) As the principal residence of a former royal family, Mysore Palace offers a profusion of exquisite domes, arches and an extraordinary collection of art. On Chamundi Hill see the temple of Chamundeswari and nearby, see the Nandi bull, a 16-ft high sculpture carved out of a single rock. Visit the summer palace of Tipu Sultan at Srirangapatnam.
Day 14 MYSORE - BANGALORE - HOMEBOUND (B) Drive to Bangalore airport for your homebound flight.
TOUR ENDS. HAPPY LANDINGS!
LAND TOUR PRICES INCLUDE: First Class train tickets for any train travel 13 nights hotel accommodations at the mentioned or similar hotels, American Breakfast daily and mentioned meals, Sight-seeing tours with local English speaking guides including entrance fee, India expert Tour Director (minimum 10 passengers) or locally hosted with minimum 2, Round trip transfers and Baggage handling Service charges and hotel taxes
LAND TOUR PRICES DO NOT INCLUDE: International and Internal airfare, any passport and visa fee, any airport taxes, any camera fee at the monuments, any meals except those mentioned, any transportation except those mentioned, tips to room boys, laundry charges, telephone calls or any other charges of personal nature. Nor does it include any end of the trip gratuity to our India expert Tour Director (suggested tipping is $10 per person per day).
'PRIVATELY GUIDED'- TRAVEL ANY DAY This tour can be customized to travel any day as a 'privately guided' tour with locally hosted ground arrangements for two or more guests traveling together.
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