ASIA PACKAGES: South India Tour  
 
 
DAY 01 ARRIVE MUMBAI (BY FLIGHT)

On arrival at Mumbai airport, you will be met by our representative & transferred to the hotel for check in.
Later proceed for a half day city tour of Mumbai. Visit GATEWAY OF INDIA built in 1924 to commemorate the visit of King George V and Queen Mary to India. Built in the 16thcentury Gujarati style, the monument stood testament to British supremacy. Ironically, it was from here that the last British troops left the country after independence. PRINCE OF WALES MUSEUM like the Gateway of India commemorates the visit of King George V. The building is built in Indo Saracenic style and is surrounded by beautiful Gardens.

Later you will visit Haji Ali, Jehangir Art Gallery, Rajabai Rower, Huhatma Circle, Town Hall & Victoria Terminus. All for a pittance, the most famous of these DHOBI GHATS is at Saat Rasta near Mahalaxmi Station where almost two hundred dhobis and their families work together in what has always been a hereditary occupation. MARINE DRIVE features a bustling waterfront promenade. Marine Drive is built on land reclaimed along the Arabian coast, and runs from Nariman point to the foot of Malabar Hill. Sunsets here are particularly beautiful.
Overnight at the hotel

DAY 02 IN MUMBAI

After breakfast, proceed for a Half day excursion to visit Elephanta Caves. Located nine kilometers by sea from the Gateway of India, are the Elephanta Caves, a place you must include in your excursion itinerary.
 
 
The Elephanta Caves are characterized by rock temples carved out of two hills that emerge from the centre of the island. It is said that the Portuguese named this island after the stone elephant they found here. At Elephanta you can see the cave shrine to Lord Shiva, which belongs to the sixth century, and a massive three-headed sculpture representing Brahma the creator, Vishnu the preserver, and Shiva the destroyer. You can also find the other interesting sculptures here include those that depict the marriage of Shiva and Parvati

Rest of the day is for independent activities. Overnight at the hotel

DAY 03 MUMBAI – COCHIN (BY FLIGHT)

This day you will be transferred to the airport to board flight to Cochin. On arrival, our representative will meet you and further assist in check in at the hotel.

Cochin has one of the finest harbors on the Arabian Sea coast and it has been a port of call for foreign traders for centuries. Peninsula in the west. It is also its main trading center for spices & seafood. The city has three distinctive regions – Ernakulam, the modern region to the East, and the older districts of Mattancherry and Fort Cochin located on a peninsula in the west.

You will spend today walking through the old sections. Our walking tour will take us to; Jew Town, including the PARDESI SYNAGOGUE; THE MATTANCHERRY PALACE, known locally as the Dutch Palace; Fort Cochin, reminiscent of European streets and houses; the CHINESE FISHING NETS on the northern shore of Fort Cochin; and ST FRANCIS CHURCH, near to a typical English village green. The highlight is watching the fishermen working the nets (which operate on a weight system) as the sun is setting.

In the evening proceed to see the traditional dance form of Kerala – KATHAKALI.

Witness India's most spectacular Dance Drama based on stories from Ramayana and Mahabharata. The dancers are elaborately made up with paint and masks, accompanied with drummers and musicians.
Overnight stay at the hotel

DAY 04 COCHIN – MUNNAR (BY SURFACE – 135 KMS / 03 HRS)

In the afternoon depart for Munnar - a haven of peace and tranquility - the idyllic tourist destination in God's own country. Set at an altitude of 6000 ft in Idukki district, Munnar was the favored summer resort of the erstwhile British rulers in the colonial days. Unending expanse of tea plantations - pristine valleys and mountains- exotic species of flora and fauna in its wild sanctuaries and forests - aroma of spice scented cool air. Check in at the hotel on reaching.

Rest of the day is at Leisure. Overnight is at Hotel

DAY 05 IN MUNNAR
 
 
Today you will visit the Tea Gardens /Tea factory at Munnar – one of the largest in India. Also visit Spice, Tea & Coffee plantations.
Afternoon is at leisure. Overnight is at Hotel

DAY 06 MUNNAR – THEKKADY (BY SURFACE – 160 KMS / 03 ½ HRS)

Today, drive to Thekkady, the main entrance to the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary. The flora and fauna of the
Periyar wildlife sanctuary is absolutely thrilling as the sanctuary here is the natural habitat of a wide variety
of animal species. The Periyar Lake is a paradise for the nature lovers. It gives you an opportunity to observe

the wild animals roaming in the jungle. The lake is also a birdwatcher’s delight. The greatest attraction of Periyar Lake, however, is the herds of wild elephants that come down to play in the lake. Moreover, the Sanctuary Watch Tower situated in the forest interior gives you a panoramic view of the park.

Rest of the day is at Leisure. Overnight is at Hotel.

DAY 07 IN THEKKADY

After breakfast proceed to visit Periyar wildlife sanctuary & start your way in an idyllic by proceeding for a boat ride on Lake Periyar. Periyar is part of the Project Tiger campaign and animals inhabiting the area include elephant, deer, pig, tiger, leopard, bison, monkeys and Malabar squirrel.
 
 
Rest of the day is at Leisure. Overnight is at Hotel.

DAY 08 PERIYAR – KUMARAKOM (BY SURFACE – 185 KMS / 05 HRS)

After breakfast drive to Kumarakom and stay in your backwater resort, next to the Vembanad Lake with its majestic canals, streams and distributaries along its banks weaves an intricate and beautiful web. This area is a winter home for many migratory birds and species include the darter, little cormorant, night heron, golden-backed woodpecker, white-breasted water hen and many more wonderful birds. Rest of the day is at leisure which can be spent walking and exploring the surrounding area or indulging yourself with the various spa facilities available in your resort.

Overnight is at your backwater resort.

DAY 09 KUMARAKOM – KOVALAM (BY SURFACE – 180 KMS / 04 HRS)

This morning after breakfast, drive to Kovalam. Kovalam is a charming fishing village situated on the coast of the Arabian sea, a golden strip of sand, laced with palm trees, this internationally acclaimed, lush, tropical beach is often referred to as “ the paradise of the south’. With high rock promontory and a calm bay of blue waters, this beach paradise creates a unique aquarelle on moonlit nights.

Check in at the hotel followed by overnight stay.

DAY 10 IN KOVALAM

This day is free to relax on the beach. Overnight stay at the hotel

DAY 11 KOVALAM – KANYAKUMARI ( BY SURFACE – 55 KMS / 01 ½ HRS)

This morning proceed to Kanyakumari-India's land's end' the southernmost tip of the mainland.

Kanyakumari once known as "The Granary of Travancore" lies at the southwestern part of Indian peninsula. It was in Travancore for a long time and then merged with Tamil Nadu in 1956 under the State Linguistic Reorganization Act. Kanyakumari is a place at the confluence of the Indian ocean, the Bay of Bengal and the Arabian sea. The multicoloured sand is an unique feature of the beach here.

On reaching visit SWAMI VIVEKANANDA ROCK MEMORIAL, the grand memorial to the great Indian Philosopher Swami Vivekananda is on one of the twin rocks jutting out from the sea about 200 meters offshore. There is a Dhyana Mandapam where one can sit in a serene atmosphere and meditate. Ferry services are available to reach the memorial. Also visit GANDHI MEMORIAL, the striking memorial has been built on the spot where the urn containing Mahatma's ashes was kept for public viewing before immersion. It resembles an Orissan temple and was designed so that on Gandhiji's birthday (2nd October), the suns rays fall on the place where his ashes were kept.

Later finally visit KUMARI AMMAN TEMPLE, picturesquely situated overlooking the shore, this temple and the nearby Ghat attract tourist from all over the world. According to a legend, Devi did penance here to secure Lord Siva's hand in marriage. When she was unsuccessful, she vowed to remain a virgin (Kanya). The Diamond nose-ring of this deity is famous for its sparkling splendor which is supposed to be visible even from the sea.

Overnight stay is at the hotel.

DAY 1 2 KANYAKUMARI – MADURAI (BY SURFACE – 235 KMS / 05 ½ HRS)

After breakfast, drive to Madurai. On reaching check in at the hotel followed by overnight stay

DAY 1 3 IN MADURAI

Madurai - as per the legend was formed from the drops of nectar which fell from Siva’s locks here. The centre of attraction is the famous Meenakshi temple dedicated to Siva’s consort. Its nine towering gopurams stand out with their colourful stucco images of gods, goddesses and animals. Inside the temple, the 1000 pillared hall has exquisetly carved columns from the lives of Siva and Parvati and there is a cluster of 5 musical pillars carved out of a single rock each of which produce different musical note when tapped.

This morning proceed for a city tour visiting Meenaskhi Temple Dedicated to the consort of Lord Shiva with its towersing Gopurams, rising high above the surrounding township. Later visit the Tirumala Nayak Palace - a gracious biulding in the Indo-Saracenic style, famous for the stucco wrok on uts domes and arches. Also visit the Algar Hills and Tirupara Kundran Rock Temple.

Evening enjoy closing ceremony of the temple.

DAY 14 MADURAI – TANJORE (BY SURFACE – 158 KMS / 03 ½ HRS)
 
 
After breakfast drive to Tanjore. The Chola kings built the majority of Tanjore's (also known as Thanjavur) 93 temples. The enormous gopurams of the Brihadeeshwara Temple bulit in the 10th century by Raja Chola dominate Tanjore. The temple itself, between the Grand Anicut Canal and the old town, is surrounded by fortified walls and a moat. The old town, too, used to be similarly enclosed, but most of the walls have now disappeared. What remains are winding streets and alleys and the extensive ruins of the Palace of the Nayaks of Madurai. The Raja Museum and the Art gallery is a house of large collection of Chola sculptures in bronze and granite. The Sarawati Mahal library contains over 40,000 rare books and palm leaf inscriptions.

Check in at the hotel followed by overnight stay

DAY 1 5 TANJORE – PONDICHERRY (BY SURFACE – 180 KMS / 04 HRS)

After breakfast, drive to Pondicherry. Check in at hotel on arrival.

Afternoon proceed for Pondicherry city tour. Pondicherry - Pondicherry, the Union territory of India, has a distinct French ambience to it amidst the surrounding Tamil country. Although, it’s believed to be the site of ancient Vedapuri in 14th century BC, today it is famous for the Sri Aurobindo Ashram, a philospher who developed a system of internal yoga combining the ancient yogic philosophy with his knowledge of modern science. Auroville or the ‘City of Dawn’ was set up as a tribute to him. The town has number of colonial buildings, Catholic churches and temples.

Check in at the hotel on arrival. Overnight is at hotel.

DAY 1 6 PONDICHERRY – MAHABALIPURAM (BY SURFACE – 138 KMS / 03 ½ HRS)

After breakfast, check out of the hotel and drive to Mahabalipuram

Mahabalipuram - The seashore of Mahabalipuram is famous for ancient rock temples examples of Dravidian style of architecture most of them built in early 7th century. Bhagirath’s Penance (descent of the Ganga), also referred as Arjuna’s penance is a bas relief depicts life size figures of animals, gods & saints

watching the descent of Ganga; there are 10 cave temples or mandapas on the hill which are cut out of rock to make shallow halls having monolithic figures and bas relieves depicting various gods and stories from their lives; the Five Rathas are monolithic temples and the Shore temple which has shrines of both Siva and Vishnu. Proceed for a city tour on arrival.
 
 
Post sightseeing, check in at the hotel followed by overnight stay.

DAY 1 7 MAHABALIPURAM – CHENNAI (BY SURFACE – 160 KMS / 04 HRS)

This day after breakfast, visit Kanchipuram.

Llocated around 64 Km from Chennai, Kanchipuram is one of Hinduism's seven most sacred cities. This "Golden city of a Thousand Temples" dates back to the early Cholas in the 7th century A.D. Only around 70 temples of the original 1000 old temple complex are still intact and the most famous of them is the Kailasanatha Temple built with sandstone in the early seventh century A.D. Kanchipuram is famous for its silk weaving and a visit to the nearby villages to see the craftsmen at work on their looms is rewarding experience.

Later continue drive to Chennai, on reaching check in at the hotel followed by overnight stay.

DAY 18 IN CHENNAI

Chennai (Madras) - Origins of Chennai go back to the colonial period. It was established in 1639 as East India Company’s fort and trading post and later it became the political and economic capital of British territory in South India. Thus, it has a very distinct colonial character. Drive past the High Court was built in late 19th century in Indo Saracenic style, through the local markets; visit the Museum which houses one of the world’s finest collections of South Indian bronzes

Half day city tour of Chennai. Rest of the day is at leisure.

Overnight at the hotel

DAY 19 CHENNAI – GOA (BY FLIGHT)


This day you will b transferred to the airport to connect flight to Goa. On arrival in Goa, you will be met and assisted for check in at the hotel.

Rest of the day is at leisure. Overnight stay is at the hotel.

DAY 20 IN GOA

This morning after breakfast proceed for a half day sightseeing of Old Goa. The tour starts from the slopes of Altinho Hill for a breathtaking view of Panjim and river Mondovi. Arrive to Dona Paula for a view of India's largest natural harbour Margoa. Proceed to Old Goa visiting Basilica of Bom Jesus where in is enshrined

the body of St. Francis Xavier in a silver ornate casket. Then to St. Cathedra, the biggest church in the East. St. Cajetan built like St. Peters (Rome), Church of Lady Rosary and St. Monica.

Rest of the day is free for independent activities. Overnight stay is at the hotel.

DAY 21 IN GOA


Day free to relax at the beach & enjoy own activities. Overnight stay is at the hotel.

DAY 22 IN GOA

Day free to relax at the beach & enjoy own activities. Overnight stay is at the hotel.

DAY 23 GOA / MUMBAI (BY FLIGHT)

This day you will be driven to the airport to board your flight for Mumbai. Meet & assist on arrival at the

Mumbai airport & vehicle will be at disposal for last minute shopping.

Overnight stay is at the hotel.

DAY 24 DEPARTURE FROM MUMBAI (BY FLIGHT)


In time you will be transferred to the airport to connect flight for onward destination.


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