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A Taste of Kerala With Tamilnadu


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Day 1.      Arrival Chennai
Pickup and drive to Mahabalipuram for overnight stay. This tiny town on the shores of the Coromandel coast is famous for its 7th Century Shore Temples and Arjuna's Penance, a large relief carving on a rock twelve metres high and thirty metres long. There is also a cluster of smaller temples scattered over the main area.

Shore Temple Mahabalipuram
Shore Temple Mahabalipuram

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Day 2.      Mahabalipuram with s/s to Kanchipuram - 125 Kms
Kanchipuram is a temple town and one of the seven sacred cities in India and the temples are dedicated to both Lord Shiva as well as Lord Vishnu. Your visit will include the Sri Ekambaranathar Temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva and one of the largest in the city, the Kamakshi Amman temple, Devarajaswami and the Vaikunta Perumal temple. From the original 1000 temples there are now just over 200 left. There will also be a visit to the silk makers. Kanchipuram is also one of the most important centers for hand woven silk and the favourite choice of Indian brides.

Kanchipuram
Kanchipuram

Day 3.      Mahabalipuram - Pondicherry - 110 Kms
Previously a French State this small Union Territory has some different features to the surrounding area of Tamil Nadu. In the French Quarter there are wide well paved roads with shady sidewalks to explore the remaining French Architecture. In this area is the Aurobindo Ashram, parts of which are open to visitors. The Samadhi of Aurobindo and The Mother are set in an open courtyard in the main Ashram building. In the surrounding streets are various working departments of the Ashram open to visitors.


Pondicherry
Pondicherry

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An afternoon siesta from 1300- 1600 hrs is common with most shops closing at this time. In the evening it is a pleasant activity for the clients is to walk on the foreshore overlooking the ocean. It is possible to arrange short boat trips on the sea front looking for dolphins.

Festivals in Pondicherry during the month of February/March the Masi Magam. On the full moon day of the Tamil month of masi, pilgrims both in the sea deities from 40 temples from the surrounding area are taken in colourful procession for a ceremonial immersion. Fire walking sometime accompanies festival here.

Day 4.      Pondicherry - Chidambaram - Tanjore (180 Kms)
Continue the drive inland to Tanjore, the ancient capital of the Chola kings. Tanjore is famous for its distinctive art style. Whole day to visit Tanjore which is famous for its distinctive art style. Morning visit to the Archaeological Museum which houses sculptures and photographs of the temple prior to restauration and the Thanjavur Palace in the old town. A

Visit to the Brihadishwara Temple and Fort is a must. Built by Raja in 1010 it is one of the few temples in India with a World Heritage listing and dedicated to Nataraja, the dancing Shiva. Two hundred and fifty lingams are enshrined along the outer walls. This temple is open from 6am - 1pm and again from 3pm - 8pm.

Brihadishwara Temple
Brihadishwara Temple

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Day 5.      Tanjore - Trichy (75 Kms)
Trichy was a Chola citadel long before Christianity. Later it became a part of the Vijayanagar dynasty. Its most famous landmark is the Rock Fort Temple. Perched 83 m high on a massive outcrop it dominates the landscape. The climb is stiff but very much worth the effort. Also make a visit to the Sri Ranganathaswamy and Sri Jambukeshwara Temples just 3 km north of the Rock Fort.

Rock Fort Temple Trichy
Rock Fort Temple Trichy

Day 6.      Trichy - Madurai (135 Kms)
After breakfast drive to Madurai and Check in at Hotel for overnight stay. Afternoon at leisure.

Meenakshi Temple Madurai
Meenakshi Temple Madurai

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Day 7.      Madurai
Madurai is famous for the Sri Meenakshi temple complex. The gopurams are covered by a coloured profusion of Hindu gods and goddesses, animals and mythical figures. A visit to Madurai shows the visitor the spiritual side of South Indian culture. The temple complex is a hive of activity from early morning until evening, attracting pilgrims and tourists alike. For 1rupee the resident elephant will place a "tilak" on your forehead with his trunk. Madurai is just a morning's drive from Thekkady. The drive itself is beautiful, taking you over the Nilgiri Hills down on to the plains of Tamil Nadu.

Day 8.      Madurai - Thekkady (125 Kms)
Suggest you leave early for the drive into the state of Kerala and the village of Thekkady. This village is just on the rim of the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary.approx. four hour drive. The drive is through lush green coconut groves, rubber plantations and finally tea plantations.Thekkady is nestled in the Nilgiri Hills at 3000 ft and famous for it's spice plantations and thePeriyar Wildlife Sanctuary. Rest of the day at leisure.

Periyar Wildlife Thekkady
Periyar Wildlife Thekkady

Day 9.      Thekkady
Early morning boat safari over Lake Periyar. Return to your hotel for breakfast. Afternoon visit to a private spice plantation. Wear closed shoes - it feels like a jungle walk. Spices growing here include vanilla, black pepper, cloves, cardamom, nutmeg and mace, surrounded by coconut palms, bananas and jackfruit.

Rejuvenation Massage
Rejuvenation Massage

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Rest of the afternoon at leisure - time to try out an Ayurvedic massage at your hotel. A cooking demo will be given in the evening followed by a cultural programme. Overnight at your hotel.

Day 10.      Thekkady - Alleppy (Houseboat) - (175 Kms)
Leave after breakfast for the drive down to the small town of Alleppey. Your overnight stay will be at the house boat which includes all meals. The spectacular beauty of Kerala's backwaters needs no introduction.

Houseboat or Kettuvallam
Houseboat or Kettuvallam

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Traditionally, the houseboat was called Kettuvallam, which means a boat made by tying together pieces of wood. Unbelievable as it may sound, not a single nail is used in the making of a Kettuvallam. Jack wood planks are joined together with coir rope and then coated with black resin made from boiled cashew nut shells. The materials that go into the making are all local and Eco friendly bamboo poles, coconut fiber ropes, bamboo mats, coir carpets etc These traditional country boats were used as the mode of transport in the early times from the isolated interior villages to the towns. But these boat services have been laid off with the developments taken place in the transport services in the recent past. Today these giant 80-foot long crafts have been adapted into luxuriously furnished houseboats. A Kettuvallam usually has one or two bath attached rooms, an open lounge, deck, kitchenette and a crew comprising two oarsmen and a cook. Traditional lanterns are used as lights. Your holiday in this tranquil world is the comfortably furnished houseboats.

Day 11.      Alleppy - Cochin - 75 Kms
A short drive north and you will be in one of Kerala's most fascinating town's right on the Arabian Sea. Upon arrival check in hotel. Rest of the day at leisure.

Day 12.      Cochin
Suggest you make a sightseeing tour. The tour should include a visit to the Jewish Synagogue, the Dutch East India buildings, St Francis Church (Portuguese) Mattancherry Palace and the Santa Cruz Basilica.

Kathakali Dancer
Kathakali Dancer

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Your visit to Cochin would not be complete without a visit to a performance of Kathakali. This 500 year old dance drama is performed by all male dancers, accompanied by music, who play out a story, using their eyes, face muscles, hands and feet. A must is to reach the theatre ahead of time, in order to see the performers putting on their incredible make-up and their magnificent costumes.

Day 13.      Cochin - Onward Destination
Departure to Cochin Airport for your final departure or onward destination.

End of services.........

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We wish you a safe flight......


Extension : A
If you wish to carry on with your tour we can suggest you the following :

Cochin - Kozhikode - Mysore - Sravanabelogola - Hassan - Hospet - Vijayanagar - Bangalore


Day 13.      Cochin - Kozhikode - 190 Kms
After breakfast leave for Kozhikode in the north of Cochin. This is just for an overnight stay to cut the long drive short to Mysore.

Day 14.      Kozhikode (Kerala) - Mysore (Karnataka) - 220 Kms
There are lots of interesting things to do and see. The Mysore Palace has been the home of the Maharajas for generations. go to visit the inside during the day and if you are lucky enough to be in Mysore on Sunday see it from the outside in the evening when it is fully illuminated.

Mysore Palace
Mysore Palace

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Other places of interest are :
» Chamundi Hill - Visit the temples at the top of the hill (ascend with vehicle) and walk down in order to see the huge carving of Nandi (Shiva's vehicle).
» Devaraja Fruit and Vegetable Market. This must be one of the most colourful in India!

Day 15.      Mysore - Sravanabelogola - Hassan (200 Kms)
After breakfast leave for Hassan. Stop on the way to visit shravanabelagola. Your overnight stay will be in Hassan.

Shravanabelagola :
Wedged between two star rocky hills, this legendary pilgrim center and shrine of the Jains. The monolithic statue of Lord Gomateshwara, a Jain saint and an object of worship for centuries, standing atop one of the hills (Indragiri) is 18 meter high and is said to be the tallest monolithic statue in the world

The Gomatheswara  at Shravanabelagola
The Gomatheswara at Shravanabelagola

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The symmetry in stone was created around 983 AD by Chamundaraya, a general and minister of the Ganga King Rachamatta. The Mahamastakabhisheka festival, an elaborate ritual, held here once every 12 years, attracts devotees from all over the World.

Day 16.      in Hassan
Whole day in Hassan. You can also visit Belur & Halebid , which is veru clsoe to Hasan. Return to Hasan for overnight stay.

Chennakeskava Temple
Chennakeskava Temple

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Belur :
Just 34 km from Hassan, Belur is famous for its exquisite temples. Belur is known as Dakshina Varanasi or South Banaras for its temples. The serenity of Belur is attributed to the celebrated temple of Channakeshava, built by the Hoysala King Vishnuvardhana in 117 A. D. to commemorate his conversion from Jainism to Vaishnavism. Hoysala sites still in use - try to visit for the morning or early evening ceremony.

Hoysaleswara Temple Halebid
Hoysaleswara Temple Halebid

Halebid :
Just 16km from Belur, Halebid is famous for its Hoysaleswara Temple, constructed around 1121 and never completed. Still considered one of the best examples of Hoysala art, the outer and inner walls are covered with gods, animals and birds

Day 17.      Hassan - Hospet ( 360 kms)
Leave very early morning it is a long drive today. If you wish stop at Chitradurga on the way to visit Kallina Kote Fort (Palace of Stone). Continue drive to Hospet for overnight stay.

Hospet Temple
Hospet Temple

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Chitradurga :
Chitradurga is an administrative district of Karnataka state in southern India. Chitradurga gets its name from Chitrakaldurga, an umbrella-shaped lofty hill found there.

Tradition dates Chitradurga District to the period of the Ramayana and Mahabharata. The whole district lies in the valley of the Vedavati River, with the Tungabhadra River flowing in the northwest. During the British times it was named Chitaldurg. It Also popularly known as Chitradurg. The district was practically ruled by all the well known dynasties that ruled Karnataka.

Chitradurga features bold rock hills and picturesque valleys, huge towering boulders in unimaginable shapes. It is known as the "stone fortress" (Kallina Kote). The landscape looks much like a mischievous giant's playground, with boulders thrown around, forming silhouettes against the sky.

Obavvana Kindi (The crack), Chitradurga Fort
Obavvana Kindi (The crack), Chitradurga Fort

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The Fort
The place is renowned for its Kallina Kote which was built in parts by the Palegar Nayakas, Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan. It comprises of a series of seven enclosure walls in Kannada. Eighteen ancient temples can be found inside the fort. This seemingly impregnable fort has 19 gateways, 38 posterior entrances, a palace, a mosque, granaries, oil pits, four secret entrances and water tanks.

Day 18.      Hospet - Vijaynagar - Hospet
Hospet is known as the gateway to Hampi. Located at a distance of 340 km from Bangalore and 13 km from Hampi, the site of the medieval Vijayanagar Empire. The once-powerful Vijayanagar Empire was compared to Rome by the Portuguese traveler Paes.

Major Tourist attractions near Hospet are Chitradurga and holy town of Harihara, situated on the banks of the Tungabhadra River. The pilgrims believe that the dip in the river here will cleanse them of the sins because of an association between Lord Vishnu and the Tungabhadra River.

Pilgrims bathing
Pilgrims bathing

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However, the main importance of Hospet lies in its proximity to Hampi, a world Heritage site. Hampi is the village close to the ruins of Vijayanagar, once the Capital of the largest Hindu empires in South India history covering the period from 1336 to 1565. It has some of the most fascinating ruins and temples in all of India. Be sure to visit accompanied by a guide as the area is not overly safe especially at dawn and at dusk.

Virupaksha Temple
Virupaksha Temple

Main sites to visit are Hampi Bazaar, Virupaksha Temple, Hemakuta Hill, Vittala Temple, Sule Bazaar and the Achyutaraya Temple. Further on is the Royal Centre, housing the Lotus Mahal palace which was the centre of the Zenana (women's quarters) and the elephant stables

The other major attraction near Hospet is the Tungabhadra Dam built on the Tungabhadra River. Just around the dam is a very beautiful garden developed in Japanese style.

Day 19.      Hospet - Bangalore - 6 hrs drive
Leave Hospet in time to take your flight to next destination. From Bangalore all the international flights are taking off.


Book A Taste of Kerala with Tamilnadu

Extension : B
If you wish to carry on with your tour we can suggest you the following :

Hospet - Hubli - Goa - Mumbai


Day 19.      Hospet - Hubli (120 kms)
After breakfast leave for Hubli. The twin cities of Hubli - Dharwad are located at the east of the famous Western Ghats and is surrounded by hills and lakes.

Hubli :
Hubli is a major city of this district and is a famous industrial town. This historic town was known as Raya Hubli and also as Elaya Puravada Halli during the ancient times. This city metamorphosed into an important commercial centre for trade in cotton and iron during the reign of the Vijaynagara empire. The city is noted for its handloom textile units and has many cotton ginning and processing mills. The district has some of the important monuments like the beautiful temples, churches, mosques, and monasteries that are worth a visit. Not to be missed are the delicious Pedas, the specialty of the district.

Hubli

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Dharward :
The word "Dharwad" means a place of rest in a long travel or a small habitation. For centuries, Dharwad acted as a gateway between Malenaadu(western mountains) and Bayalu seeme (plains) and it became a resting place for the travelers. Another theory is, during VijayaNagara rule of Dharwad, there was a ruler by name "Dharav" (1403 AD) and Dharwad got its name from him. There are some inscriptions that refer to Dharwad as KampaNa Sthana.

The inscriptions found near Durga Devi temple, in Narendra( a village near by) and RLS high school date back to 12th century and have references to Dharwad. This proves that Dharwad existed in 12th century and it is now at least 900 years old!!!!..

Day 20.      Hubli - Goa ( 250 Kms )
After breakfast leave for Goa. Upon arrival check in at your hotel. Res of the day free.

Goa Beach
Goa Beach

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Day.      21, 22 & 23 In Goa
Day at leisure.

Day 24.      Goa - Mumbai
Leave for airport in time to take your flight to Mumbai. You will be met upon arrival and will take you to a hotel for your short stay.

Day 25.      Mumbai - Onward Destination
Depending on your flight your driver will take you to the aitport for your onward destination.

End of services.....

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We wish you a safe flight......

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