Full day tour of Mahabalipuram & Kanchipuram (Checkout from the hotel at 1200 hrs). Kanchipuram (64 kms from Chennai) is the ancient capital of the Pallavas famous as a city of 1000 Temples and still has 124 shrines. The first temple dedicated to Shiva was built in the 7th and 8th century and has paintings on the walls. Temples of Ekambaswara, Kailasanatha, Sri Kamakshi and Varadarajaswamy are of interest. Kanchipuram is also famous for its silks. The city of Mahabalipuram is famous for the seven pagodas. Here on the seashore is an interesting group of ancient rock hewn temples which are the examples of Dravidian style of Architecture. Evening transfer to rail-station for Trichy night train. Night on board.
Morning arrive Trichy and transfer to hotel. Afternoon tour of Trichy. Trichy was the citadel of the Chola dynasty in the medieval period. In the 18th century it witnessed the Carnatic wars fought between the French and the English. Lord Robert Clive's house is still there to see and so is the Danish Church. The Rock-Fort is the landmark of Trichy. A climb of 434 steps leads to the ancient temple of Ganapati on top and a further climb to a Shiva temple. Overnight Trichy.
Morning drive to Madurai visiting Tanjore enroute. At Tanjore, the beautiful Chola Temple of Brihadeshwara is capped by a monolithic cupola made of a single granite block weighing 80 tons which was taken to the top with the help of a 6 km long ramp, an old technique used by the Egyptians for building pyramids. Its bronzes and handicrafts make Tanjore one of the highlights of a visit to South India. Overnight Madurai.
Morning visit the great Meenakshi Temple dedicated to the consort of Lord Shiva with its towering gopurams (rising high above the surrounding country side). Later, visit the Tirumala Nayak Palace - A gracious building in the Indo saracenic style, famous for the Stucco work on its domes & arches. Also visit the Alagar Hills and Tirupara Kundran Rock temple. Afternoon free. Overnight Madurai.
Morning drive to Periyar National Park. Free time for game viewing. Set up in 1934,it extends to 777 square kms & forms part of the high mountain ranges, the Western Ghats. Wild life can be seen while cruising on Periyar Lake in a motor boat. Amongst the animals which can be seen are elephants, wild boar, sambar, tiger, leopard, wild dog, langur monkeys, etc. Overnight Periyar.
Morning tour of Cochin. Cochin is the natural harbour created by the famed underwater Malabar mud-banks whose quality ensures that the rougher the seas are outside the calmer the waters are within the Harbour. Vasco-de-Gama placed it on the world map. It has a Jewish synagogue , Portuguese churches, mosques & Hindu temples. Watch the Chinese Fishing Nets. Afternoon free. Overnight Cochin.
Full day excursion to Belur and Halebid. The Chenna Kesava temple of Belur built 900 years ago is an exquisite example of Hoysala art. Halebid's 12th century Hoysaleswara and Kedareswara temples are master pieces of Hindu art. On the return, if time permits, visit Sravanbelgola. At Sravanbelgola, hewn out of a single rock and visible from a distance of 25 kms is the statue of Lord Gomteshwara which is bathed with milk and honey once every 12 years. Overnight Mysore.
Morning visit the palace of the Maharaja built in 1911 - 1912. The palace is of harmonious syntheses of the Hindu and saracenic styles of architecture with archways, domes, turrets, colonnades and sculptures which are magnificent. Visit the Art Gallery; drive upto Chamundi hill to see Chamundeshwari Temple and a panoramic view of Mysore. On the way back, see the Nandi Bull. Afternoon free. Overnight Mysore.
Departure Morning transfer to airport for return flight.
Monument Entry Fee
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