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ID: 1197
SOUTH INDIA CULTURAL TOUR WITH BACKWATERS
Offered by Company : ID 2525
Country : India
Destinations : chennai (Tamil Nadu), cochin (Kerala), kanchipuram (Tamil Nadu), madurai (Tamil Nadu), mahabalipuram (Tamil Nadu), periyar (Tamil Nadu), pondicherry (Puducherry), tanjore (Tamil Nadu), trichy (Tamil Nadu)
Duration : 9 – 10 day(s)
Minimum Price : $774 USD ( Per Person)
Maximum Price : $1409 USD ( Per Person)
Type : Private,Customized
Season : All Year Round
Trip Categories : Culture Tour
 
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Dream of seeing the real India then the South India Temple Tour with Backwaters is the trip for you. Not only will you experience the colorful culture, but go back in time as you travel through the countryside rich with palm trees, rice fields and tea plantations. Youll think youve stepped back in a time. Your trip begins in Tamil Nadu which lies at the gulf of Bengal. At the Coromandel Coast, you will visit the world cultural heritage rock temple of Mahabalipuram that is called the cradle of the south Indian art. In Kerala, you experience a romantic trip on a houseboat while floating down the famous Backwaters. And while in Cochin you will be spellbound by the magic of the Indian legends at the Kathakali dance theater.
Detail Information
Day 1 - Arrival Chennai (Madras)

Upon your arrival at the Chennai International airport you will have a reception at the airport and then be transferred to the hotel. Chennai is the capital of State Tamil Nadu and one of the four largest metropolises of India.

Day 2 – Chennai

After breakfast, you will go on a city excursion. Madras is a pulsating metropolis with over 6 million residents. Because many south Indian feature films are shot here, the town is called the Hollywood of India. On the city excursion, you will see the Kapaleshvara temple, which is dedicated to God Shiva and is a good example if the colorful south Indian temple architecture. After that you will visit the Fort St. George which was the trade post during 1639. Youll also visit the 16th century St. Thomas Church. At the National Museum, you will see sculptures out of the Pallava, Pandava and Chola time. Your excursion also includes a visit to the National Art Gallery and Marina Beach. After that you will return to your hotel for dinner and an overnight stay in Chennai.

Day 3 - Chennai - Kanchipuram - Mahabalipuram

After breakfast you will drive about 40 miles to the far temple city, Kanchipuram. It is among the sevens holy cities of India. After each Kanchipuram was the capital of the Pallava, the Chola and the Vijayanagar kings. While the country is dotted with fabulous temples, you will visit the three most important temples in South India: the Kailasanatha-temple, the Vaikunthaperumal temple, as well as the Ekambareshwara temple. Kanchipuram is also very well known for its hand woven silk materials. Youll then drive to Mahabalipuram which is well known for its 7th century Five Rathas. These are the world's largest stone relief. Youll then arrive and be transferred to your hotel. Youll have the rest of the afternoon free to rest on the beach.

Day 4 - Mahabalipuram

After breakfast you will start your tour by visiting the 7th-century Shore temple which is surrounded by lush gardens. In addition youll visit the 7th- century Five Rathas, which are the world's largest stone relief; Bhagirathas Penance, a 1900-square-foot rock block; and rock cut caves from the 6th and 7th centuries. In the evening, you can explore this small town, where you can also see the soap stone workers making designs and sculptures with chisel and hammer. You will stay overnight in Mahabalipuram.

Day 5 - Mahaballipuram - Pondicherry - Tanjore (Thanjavur)

After breakfast, you will drive to Tanjore. En route youll visit Pondicherry, the Sri Aurobindo Ashram and the city Auroville, which covers more than 2000 acres. Today also, you can see the influence of French rule in Pondicherry, because the Frenchmen strongly were represented here until 1954. Many residents still speak French in addition to Tamil. Youll then continue on to Tanjore where youll be transfered to your hotel for an overnight stay.

Day 6 - Tanjore - Trichy (Trichurapalli)

After breakfast youll visit the 9th-century Brihadeshwara Temple. This temple gave Tanjore its name of the Jewel of South India. The templededicated to the God Shivafeatures a 200-foot-high tower shaped like a pyramid. It is crowned by a heavy cupola weighing 88 tons. Youll also visit Raja Rajan Art Gallery which houses bronze statues of the 9th through 16th centuries. Youll continue on to Trichy where youll be transferred to your hotel for refreshment and rest. During the afternoon youll visit the famous Rock Fort Temple that is carved out of rock that is about 300 feet high. Wear your walking shoes because youll have to climb 345 steps to get to the top of the temple. Once there, you will have a wonderful view of the city. Youll also have time to visit Srirangam, home to 21 temple towers on an island in the Kaveri River. The Ranganathasvami temple, dedicated to God Vishnu, is one of the largest temples in South India and is famous for its beautiful sculptures. After that, you will visit the Jambukeshwara temple, dedicated to God Shiva, and one of the oldest and largest in Tamil Nadu with five walls and seven Gopurams (soaring towers).

Day 7 - Trichy – Madurai

After breakfast you will drive to Madurai where youll be transferred to your hotel for refreshment and rest. Madurai is home to many: Pilgrims, beggars, business persons, cow vehicles and many awaiting Rickshaw drivers. It is one of the oldest cities of South India and a center for Pilgrimage. The main attraction which lies in the middle of town is the Sri Meenakshi Temple. It was built during the 17th century in the Dravidian style with many Gopurams (soaring temple towers)and features colorful pictures of God, Goddesses, animals and mystical figures. Religious ceremonies take place here from early morning to late night. Pilgrims from all over the world visit here and sometimes up to 10000 persons are at the Temple. One of the largest temple complexes of India, within the Sri Meenakshi Temple is a market. Evenings you can pursue a temple ceremony. Youll also have time to visit the 16th-century Thirumalai Nayak Palace before retiring at your hotel for an overnight stay in Madurai.

Day 8 - Madurai - Periyar (Thekaddy)

After breakfast youll drive to Thekaddy. This trip through the mountains, spice plantations and tea plantations will definitely reenergize your senses. After your arrival, you will be transferred to your hotel for rest and refreshment. In the late afternoon youll enjoy a boat trip in Periyar Wildlife National Park. This park is one of the worlds best places to see elephants in their natural surroundings. Before sunset, youll also be fortunate to see other wild animals visit the bank of Periyar Lake to drink and eat. You can also enjoy a pleasant walk in the markets before returning to your hotel for an overnight stay.

Day 9 - Periyar - Kumarakom (Backwaters) – Cochin

After breakfast you’ll drive to Cochin. On the way you’ll visit a Spice Farm (optional), where you can see various spice plantations such as cardamom, cinnamon, pepper, peppermint, clove, vanilla, ginger, chili, and tea and coffee plants. Then youll continue on to Kovalam where you will enjoy a boat ride in the Backwaters. Along the bank, you will see the traditional life of people living on the banks nestled in coves of coconut and palm trees. After the boat trip, you will continue your drive to Cochin. After your arrival, youll be transferred to your hotel for a short break. That evening you will enjoy a Kathakali Dance Show which depicts 400 years of history and old legends in this breathtaking dance drama. The dancers wear painted fantastic costumes and color their faces with red, green and black inks. Every gesture and movement by every dancer has a special meaning. After the show you will return to your hotel for an overnight stay.

Day 10 - Final Stop: From Cochin to Mumbai/Chennai

For the last day of your South India temple tour with Backawters, visit Cochin, the St. Francis Church, the Mattancherry Palace or Dutch Palace and the Jewish Synagogue, which was built in 1558. After breakfast, you will go on a Cochin expedition. First youll visit the St. Francis Church, built in 1503 by the Portuguese. Then on to the Mattancherry Palace or Dutch Palace built by the Dutch and subsequently on handed over to the local queen. At the harbor, you can view unusual Chinese fishing nets, which marks the visit of Chinese folk in Cochin. Youll also discover the Jewish Synagogue, built in 1558. Around the Synagogue, you can purchase a lot of unique and old products. From here, you can board a flight to Mumbai or Chennai - where you can go to the International airport to fly home or pursue a different travel destination.
Notes
Price Includes:

• 9 nights accommodation in mentioned hotels or similar with daily breakfast.
• Surface Travel by exclusive SUV air-conditioned car. Click here to see the car provided for the tour
• All transfers & sightseeing as per the itinerary by air-conditioned SUV car.
• Boat ride on lake Periyar to visit wildlife
• Visit to kathakali Dance Show
• Motor boat cruise in Backwaters
• Entrance fee to monuments
• Mineral water (1litre) per person per day
• A local English-speaking guide shall be provided for the sightseeing tours.
• Representative for assistance on all arrival and departure transfers.
• All applicable taxes and service charges
• All taxes, driver allowances, parking, fuel charges, interstate taxes, etc.

Price Excludes:

• Any airfare (domestic or international)
• Visa and Travel Insurance
• Any other services not mentioned in the inclusions.
• Our quote is not valid for period other than mentioned above
• Expense of personal nature like tipping, laundry, and telephone/fax calls, alcoholic beverages, camera/video camera fee at monuments, medical expenses, any Insurance, airport departure tax etc.


Notes:

*There will be an obligatory supplement charge on Christmas and New Year Eve.
*Twin - Cost per person on twin sharing basis for minimum two persons traveling.
*All prices are in US Dollars
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