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Home  » Special Interest Tours in India   » South India Temples Tour

Special Interest Tours in India

South India Temples Tour

Duration : 14 Days Tour
Destination : Cochin - Alleppey - Kumarakom - Periyar - Madurai - Karaikudi - Trichy - Tanjore - Pondicherry - Mahabalipuram - Chennai
Day 01 : Arrive Cochin

Meenakshi Temple - MaduraiDay 02 : In Cochin
Cochin - the palmgreen commercial town of Kerala has one of the finest natural harbours in the world. A town with a hoary past, Cochin is the gateway to Kerala.
The Jewish Synagogue - built in 1568 AD contains Grand Scrolls of the Old Testament and the copper plates containing the privileges granted to the Jews by the Cochin rulers. The floor of the synagogue is paved with exquisite Chinese hand painted tiles. The Dutch Palace was built by the Portuguese and presented to the Cochin Raja in 1555 AD. 17th century murals depicting scenes from the Indian epic, the Ramayana, can be seen here. St Francis Church, built originally by the Portuguese in 1510 AD is believed to be the first church built by Europeans in India. Vasco da Gama was originally buried here. The Chinese fishing nets can be seen at the entrance of the harbour. The Chinese through trade contact taught this technique of catching fish . These nets along the back-waters are a fascinating sight.

Day 03 : Cochin/Alleppey - houseboat
Board the houseboat at Alleppey
Sail in the backwaters which takes you through paddy fields,villages where you would see an unhurried pace of life.
Overnight on board the houseboat

Day 04 : Arrive Kumarakom and leave for Madurai enroute lunch at Periyar

Day 05 : In Madurai
Situated on the banks of the Vaigai river, Madurai, the ancient capital of the Pandyan Kings, is a sacred place. Legend has it, that the divine nectar falling from the Lord Shiva's locks gave the town its name.
Visit Tirumal Nayak Palace constructed in the Indo-Saracenic style in 1639 AD. The curved dome, standing without the support of a girder or rafter, is an architectural feat, Pass by the Mariamman Teppakulam - the tank with a mandapam in the center. Visit Tirumangalam ,19 kms from Madurai. Visit the Meenakshi temple - a superb example of Dravidian architecture and sculpture, the focal point around which the city has developed. The temple has two sanctoras, one dedicated to Shiva and the other to Meenakshi. The splendidly carved temple complex, with its immense gopurams towering over the city has colourful stucco images of gods, goddesses and animals and tales from Hindu mythology. See the beautifully carved "Hall of thousand Pillars" which houses the Madurai museum .
Evening: Attend the night Ceremony at the temple. This is a ceremony that takes place every evening at 9 PM, when the temple bronze of Lord Shiva is carried to the bed chamber of Parvati. The procession is accompanied by religious prayer and temple music.

Day 06 : Madurai/Karaikudi (Chettinadu)
Chettinadu or the Land of Nattukkottai Chettiars, is famous for its fortress like homes and temples that are architectural marvels.
Day 07 : In Karaikudi
Day free at this quite village.Evening, visit the temple.

Rock Fort - Trichy Day 08 : Karaikudi/Trichy/Tanjore
Trichy (Thiruchirapalli), an ancient town in the Cauvery delta, was a Chola citadel in 2 BC. The Nayak kings of Madurai built in the present town and the fort.
The magnificent Rock Fort, built on an immense rock formation over 84m high. 437 steps cut into the rock lead up to the Vinayaka temple built at its highest points. The view from the temple is superb. At a lower level along the rock is the Tayumanaswamy temple dedicated to Shiva.
The fascinating temple town of Srirangam is on island in the Cauvery. Seven concentric courtyards encircle the temple and town. Dedicated to the Lord Ranganathaswamy, the temple has 21 magnificent gopurams and is adorned with exquisite sculpture.

Day 09 : In Tanjore
Thanjavur was the capital of he powerful Chola dynasty. Today, it is a little town set amidst the lush rice fields of the Cauvery delta.
Visit the magnificent temple of Brihadeeshwara built about 1000 years ago by Raja Raja Chola. This temple is a living testimony to the sculptural and architectural excellence of the Cholas. Also visit the Thanjavur Palace partly built by the Nayaks in 1550 AD and partly by the Marathas. Visit the Saraswathi Mahal Library which has an extensive collection of over 30,000 manuscripts, palm leaf inscriptions and books.

Day 10 : Tanjore/Pondicherry

Day 11 : In Pondicherry
Walk in the white town. Visit the Aurbindo ashram.

MahabalipuramDay 12 : Pondicherry/Mahabalipuram
Drive to Mahabalipuram via Auroville which is a universal township in the making for a population of more than 50000 people around the world.

Day 13 : In Mahabalipuram
Day free on the beach

Day 14 : Mahabalipuram/Chennai Depart

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