Rail - 08
Further down the South, India is incredible with a horde of exquisite beaches, rock-cut shrines, mystical wildlife and a startling view. Away from the hustles-bustles of the city crowd, South India welcomes tourists with lush greenery and crystal blue water. The motherland of Idlis and Dhosas, has its own aura studded with the calmer waves, constant chanting, and enigmatic forests. Immerse yourself in the beauty that the Southern tail of India has to offer, its sheer diversity is one of its kind!
Called as the God’s Own Country, South India is absolutely amazing with its shades of blue and green. On these fourteen days of South India Holiday by Train, you will be abounded with enriching culture, wonderful memories and a life-long experience. The cities, down the South, are imposing with so many tourist destinations each having distinct surprising elements, to boggle your mind. While coursing through the beautiful Rock Temple, amazing Museums, mysterious Forest Reserves, and charming beaches, you will delve deeper into the splendor and grandeur of South India. Initiating the grand trip with Chennai, the commercial center of South India, you will be hoping from Madurai to Periyar to Thiruvananthapuram with a full circle completing back at Chennai, marking the end of your South India Holiday Package by Rail.
Enjoy a boat ride in the Periyar Lake while peeping unique and variety of wildlife
Earlier referred to as Madras, Chennai is the largest commercial and industrial hub of South India. The name derived from Chennaipattanam, used to be an English colony in 1639. It came into prominence when the British defended the place from several French attacks and tagged it as a major naval port. Then, a fishing village is now a bustling city with variedness in crowd. Though, people from different states migrate here for abounding work opportunities, Chennai has preserved its own culture and traditions in the finest way possible. In one side, the city is famous for the prospering film industry – Tollywood, whereas, in the other side, it’s a center for appeasing and dainty Carnatic Music. Overnight is in Chennai so, you have rest of the day for your leisure.
It’s a full day of excursion, so, have a scrumptious breakfast and set off for Mahabalipuram from Chennai. The seaport is renowned for the historical events preserved here, and now, it has been announced as the UNESCO World Heritage Site. As referred by the ancient mariners, it’s the city of Seven Pagodas of which only the Shore temple survives. Built from dressed stones, the twin structure of Shore Temple is worth watching. On reaching the town, you will visit the rock-cut cave temples and mandapams showing depictions from Hindu Mythology. The next stopover will be at the largest bas-relief of the world, Arjuna’s Penance, designed with life-sized carved images on the rock walls.
Kanchipuram, the town of thousand temples, used to be the capital city in the Pallava dynasty. Sightseeing, here, courses through some of the elegant and renowned temples such as the Shiva Temple, Sri Vardaraja Perumal Temple, Sri Kamakshiamman Temple, Ekambareswara temple, Sri Kailasanathar Temple from, built in the 7th and 8th centuries. Also, the town is the shopping paradise offering the world famous Kanchipuram Silk Saris. At the day’s end, you will be taken back to Chennai and the night is for rest recalling the sights from the excursion.
Highlights: Mamallapuram - Visit the Shore Temple, The bas relief Arjuna's Penance, The five chariots, etc. Kanchipuram - Visit Siva temple, Ekambareswara temple, Sri Kailasanathar Temple, Sri Vardaraja Perumal Temple, Sri Kamakshiamman Temple, etc.
Places of interests are yet not over in Chennai, so post freshening up, you will be visiting the amazing Government Museum. Built in 1857, it is one of the oldest museums of the country and has the largest collection spread in forty six galleries divided n sections like Archaeology, Geology, Zoology, and more. Later, you visit the San Thome Basilica, standing elegantly since the 16th century, has been inhabited by both Portuguese and British in the 16th and 19th century, respectively.
The Check out time from the hotel is at 12:00 hours and the train to Madurai is later in the evening, so in the meantime, visit the tranquil Marina Beach and soak in its cool blue waters. Continuing onwards, visit the Flower and Fruit Market and the High Court, resembling the British architecture.
By the right time, you will be disposed in the station for your overnight train to Madurai.
Highlights: Chennai – Visit Government Museum, San Thome Basilica etc,
Upon arrival at Madurai, our representatives will be there to greet you and drop in the pre-booked hotel. The city is one among the oldest living cities in the world and possesses resemblance of many historical events spanning since 3rd century BC. It owns the exquisite Meenakshi temple, a nominee in the new ‘Seven Wonders of the World’, standing high with elegant architectural design and carvings. The Gandhi Memorial Museum, housing the blood-stained garment of Mahatma Gandhi worn at the time of assassination, comes under the list of must-visits.
Besides those two spots, the tour entails Tirumala Nayak Palace, Alagar Hills, Tirupara Kundran Rock temple, and Thirumalai Nayak Temple. With salient features and splendid architecture, all the places are worth a sight. And, Madurai being the sweetest city in South India with festivals and celebrations happening all through the year, it’s a place of utmost interest.
Highlights: Madurai - Visit Meenakshi Temple, Tirumala Nayak Palace, Alagar Hills and Tirupara Kundran Rock temple.
Post a breakfast, we will steer you to the Thekkady, Periyar annual sanctuary from Madurai. Famous for its Tiger and Elephant Reserve, the sanctuary is the shelter for countless animals that includes Wild Boar, Bengal Tiger, Sambar Tiger, Leopard, Indian Eloephant, Langur, Monkeys and Wild Dogs. Abundance of birds and variety in plantation enhance the mysticism of the place. While visiting Periyar, a boat ride in the still lake water while watching the peeping wild lives creates some rich memories. If time permits, you may opt for a soft swift trek to the nearby areas. Later in the evening, you have leisure hours for game viewing. The night is at rest in Periyar.
Highlights: Periyar - Boat ride (common boat) on the lake Periyar to watch the wildlife.
Periyar to Thiruvananthapuram en-route lush greeneries varying in shades making the journey absolutely rejuvenating. Crisscrossed by multiple rivers and connected by several lakes, the city is a delightful place for vacation. On reaching Thiruvananthapuram, you have the full day at leisure. Roam across the town and engross in its sheer beauty.
Earlier, the city is referred to as Trivandrum, meaning the ‘City of Lord Ananta’. It has been named so after the deity Sri Padmanabaha, residing in the Padmanabhaswamy Temple. The city shot into global fame, recently, when some of the vaults in the temple have been opened discovering treasure worth billions, making it the richest temples in the world.
After a fulfilling day, you will be transferred back to the hotel for an overnight rest.
As per the South India Holiday Package by Rail, day 7 is for visiting the places of interests in Thiruvananthapuram. Optionally, you take the route to exploring Kanyakumari and Kovalam Beach. Otherwise, visit the nearby Napier Museum, a natural and art museum quite big in fame and size. The museum entails the Sree Chithra Art Gallery and the oldest zoos of India along with an old antique collection of bronze idols, ancient ornaments, temple chariot and many more.
On visiting Kanya Kumari, you reach the Cape Comorin, where the land of India ends and the shades of blue water from Arabian Sea, Bay of Bengal and Indian Ocean congregate. KanyaKumari, also, houses two of the 51 Shakti Peethas, Suchindram Temple and Bhagavathy Temple, making it a holy place for the Hindus. On taking a ferry from the beach, you will reach the Vivekananda Rock, where Swami Vivekananda meditated for three long days. Enjoy the spectacular sunset from there, standing amid the oceans.
Kovalam, haven in the earth’s land, with a groove of coconut trees, is one of the gorgeous beaches in South India. Get your Ayurvedic treatment studded with oil massage and oil bath from one of the beach resorts here for regeneration and recuperation. Also, visit the Lighthouse and a calmer Eve’s Beach, commonly referred as the Hawa Beach. Overnight is in Thiruvananthapuram.
A driveway to Kochi is quite an amazing experience passing amid the numerous villages of Kerala. Once you reach the destination, you have the full day for leisure in the town. Earlier referred to as Cochin, it is the Queen of Arabian Sea. The stunning city is full of lagoons and offers imprints of historical events as left by the Dutch British and Portuguese people.
Presently, it’s a popular trade post for spices exported to different parts of the world. After Mumbai, it is noted as the second most important city in the west coast of India. In the evening, you may enjoy a performance by tradition Kathakali dancers. Post a sumptuous dinner; take rest for the night in Kochi.
During the city tour of Kochi, you will visit the renowned spots of Kochi that entails the Portuguese churches, temples and mosques along with the Jewish synagogue. Engrossed with the architectural beauty of these places, you will move forward to watch the Chinese style fishing nets which are mostly seen in Kerala.
You checkout time from the hotel is at 1200 hrs. So, you have time for leisure strolling across the city in the afternoon. Optionally, you can set off for the popular destinations like the Kochi Fort, Hill Palace, Marine Drive, Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Kochi International Marina, Cherai Beach, and other tourist friendly places.
Later, in the evening, our representatives transfer you to the concerned rail station for your overnight train to Bangalore.
Highlights: Kochi - Visi the Portuguese churches, mosques, temples and a Jewish synagogue.
Upon arrival in Bengaluru, earlier known as Bangalore, our representatives will be there to dispose at your hotel. The Silicon Valley of India, currently, is one of the top preferred entrepreneurial locations in the world. The story goes back to the 12th century, when a king lost his way and accidentally, met a poor woman who offered him boiled beans. The king with utmost gratification, named the place "benda-kaal-uru" meaning the town of boiled beans.
After enjoying the delicious and healthy South Indian cuisine in your lunch, you will set off for a tour across the city. The famous tourist spots in Bengaluru are Lal Bagh, Maharaja's Palace, and various temples standing loftily across the city. The "Garden City of India" also owns some o the beautiful and picturesque gardens for its tourists. Overnight is in Bengaluru.
Highlights: Bengaluru - Visit the Lal Bagh, Maharaja's Palace, Temples, etc.
On day 11, we drive you to Mysore, the city of palaces. It served as the capital city of the Mysore Princely Kingdom, for a long time, nearly from the 14th century to 1947. From there, the earlier name Mysooru emerged, which later changed to Mysore. Ruled by the Wadiyars, for most of the time, the city has seen extreme cultural metamorphosis. The Wadiyars are known to be great patrons of art and culture which escalated the cultural growth of the city, for which Mysore is called the Cultural capital of Karnataka. Rich in customs and traditions, the city celebrates countless festivals all through the year, but Dussehra marks the distinction. Inhabitants adorn the Mysore city with much grandeur and embellish every corner of the city. After a hectic trip for the whole day, the overnight is in Mysore.
Today, a city tour will initiate from the Mysore Palace, built in 1911-1912 by Maharaja of Mysore. The palace is an elegant one with beautiful artistry visible in every section presenting a harmonious synthesis of the Hindu. Designed with Saracenic style of architecture, it embraces domes, turrets, archways, colonnades, sculptures. Leaving the palace with complete astonishment, you will continue onwards with the art gallery followed by Chamundeswari Temple on top of the Chamundi Hill. From the top, you can witness a beautiful panoramic view of the Mysore city.
On your way back, we take you for a quick visit to the Nandi bull. The afternoon is at your leisure, so optionally, you can set off for Krishnarajasagar dam and the Brindavan Gardens, in the evening. The city is the hub of world-famous Mysore Silk, so don’t miss out with the local market. It’s an overnight stay in the city; arrangements are our responsibility.
Highlights: Mysore - Visit the Mysore palace, art gallery, Chamundi hill, Nandi bull, etc.
It’s time to bid goodbye to this beautiful city and leave for Chennai, completing a full circle in your trip. Checkout time from the hotel is at 12:00 hours, so, you have spare time to stroll across the city. Later, in the evening, we will transfer you to the rail station for boarding the train to Chennai. Upon arrival at your destination, our representatives safely dispose you at the hotel, where you will be taking rest for the night.
Today, you will be transferred to the airport in our comfy arrangements for boarding your connecting flight to home. Here comes the end of your South India Holiday by Train from Chennai