13 Days |
IOYO - 07
With the help of South India Tour Packages from Chennai, explore the depths of India’s most culturally diverse segment.
The life seems incomplete if you haven’t watched the starry nights staying amid India’s biggest desert – Thar. The entire experience turns incredible if you get a chance to enjoy Ghoomar performance by the Rajasthani Folk dancers.
India is the perfect amalgamation of various colors and tastes, and South India offers you just that. The beauty of South India, beginning from Chennai and going up to Bangalore, is simply blindingly dazzling. The southern part of India is dotted with beautiful beaches, vast flora and fauna, is abundant in greenery and offers a change in tastes from one city to another.
With us, you will visit various major cities, such as Chennai, on your trip, find a way to relax at Kanchipuram, travel to Periyar to visit the beautiful jungles, explore the ancient port of Kochi and find a way to the modern city of Bangalore to finish your trip with us. With our help, we promise you; you will enjoy your holiday in South India.
The first day of your South India Tour Packages from Chennai will begin right after you arrive in Chennai. When you arrive at the airport, one of our representatives will meet up with you. We will then take you to your hotel and help you check in. The rest of the day in Chennai could be spent as per you like, or you could go sightseeing.
Chennai is one of the largest cities in Tamil Nadu and is known to be one of the most influential cities in Southern India. With a large population and Tollywood located in the city, the city is also known as an education hub, commercial as well as industrial hub of Southern India. The name Chennai comes from its former name, Chennai Pattinam, which used to a fishing village in the past. The city came to prominence when the British saved the city from the numerous attacks of the French. Chennai was developed into a major naval port under the British Raj and has continued to grow ever since.
Chennai is famous for its city scape, beaches, authentic South Indian food and beautiful museums that adorn the city.
Next morning we will help you to check out of your hotel and travel to the two of the most historic cities in Southern India, Mahabalipuram and Kanchipuram.Mahabalipuram or Mamallapattana has been declared as UNESCO’s World Heritage site. Known all over the world for its beautiful "Seven Pagodas," out of which only one, The Shore Temple, survives today. The architecture of the Shore Temple is something to marvel at and makes for the perfect destination to view India’s rich history. The depictions on the walls of the Shore Temple come from Indian Epic Poems, Ramayana and Mahabharata. Furthermore, the city was developed as a major port city by the Pallavas. In the various ancient texts, this city has been most often referred to as Sea Mountain for its strong harbors, where many ships were reported to bend their anchors.
From there we will drive to Kanchipuram. To help you relax and find some spontaneous fun we take you to explore the beautiful shopper’s paradise in Kanchipuram. Kanchipuram is also known as Kanchi for short and is a holy city in Tamil Nadu. Considered as a holy pilgrimage, the city has many temples and for its holy sculptures. Furthermore, the city is known for its silk and sarees. Furthermore, the city’s temples including the Bas-Relief that shows Arjuna’sPenance, which has 5 chariots carved out of a single block of rock, are popular sights to see. All the temples in the city have distinguishing architecture and sculptures. The cave temples and mandapams, a pillared corridor for public rituals, carved out of stones or rocks are worth visiting.
Highlights: Mamallapuram - Visit the Shore Temple, The bas relief Arjuna's Penance, The five chariots, etc. Kanchipuram - Visit Siva, Ekambareswara, Sri Kailasanathar, Sri Vardaraja Perumal, Sri Kamakshiamman Temples.
Known as Trichy for short, Tiruchirapalli is an ancient city which used to be a stronghold of the Chola Dynasty. The city is located on the banks of Cauvery River and is the fourth largest city in the state of Tamil Nadu. Once you get there, you will be able to feel the holiness of the holy city. The Citadel in the city that served the Cholas was built by the Nayaks of Madurai.
Furthermore, Trichy had been famous for various scholars who specialized in Tamil and is famous for the Danish Church as well as Rock Fort, a temple complex. Rock Fort’s iconic beauty comes from the accurate number of 434 steps that you will have to climb to get to the main part of the temple. Rock Fort Temple is dedicated to Lord Ganesha and Lord Shiva. Furthermore, this complex has seen many battles between the battles in between the Bijapur and Madurai Nayaks; and between the Marathas and Carnatic forces.
Highlights: Tiruchirapalli - visit the Danish Church and Rock Fort temple complex.
Next morning we travel from Trichy to Madurai enroute Visiting Thanjavur. The city of Thanjavur is also commonly known as Tanjore. This city served as the capital of the Chola Dynasty and is famous for various things. The two most common things the city is famous for, are the paintings of Tanjore are iconic, vibrant and distinguished from the other Persian, Indian and European types of paintings adopted in the country and for the fact that the city is the birthplace of one of the most esteemed classical dances in Indian history, Bharatanatyam.
Although the city has many temples for you to visit and view, the Brihadeeswara Shiva Temple is one of the most popular ones. Not only does this place offer an insight into the religious practices of the Indians, but also helps you witness the creativity of people from the times bygone. The temple’s most iconic feature is the monolithic cupola capping, which is made from a single granite block,of the temple, which is said to weigh about 80 tons in weight. Furthermore, it is said that the cupola was transported to the top by making use of ramps as used by the Egyptians to build the pyramids. The walls of the place are covered with depictions from the Chola and the Nayak Periods.
Other points of interest in the city are Thanjavur Maratha Palace, which was constructed by the rulers of the city, the vast Saraswati Mahal Library, which houses more than 30,000 manuscripts written on palm leaves, all of which are well-preserved and the Raja Raja Chola Art Gallery, which is most famous for its bronze idols from the 9th century to 12th century.
Highlights: Tanjore - visit the Brihadeeswara Shiva Temple, Thanjavur Maratha Palace, Saraswati Mahal Library and the Raja Raja Chola art gallery.
The next day will be all about visiting different attractions in the city of Madurai. The history of Madurai dates back to 3rd century BCE and has been ruled over the years by several dynasties – Pandyas, Cholas, Vijayanagar Empire, Madurai Nayaks,and the Carnatic Kingdom before the British took over. This beautiful city on the banks of Vaigai River is famous for being the home to the revered Meenakshi Temple. The skyline of Madurai is dominated by the 14 colorfulGopurams or gateway towers of the temple.
Meenakshi Temple will be the first destination you will visit. The original cornerstone of this temple is almost 2000 years old – one of the oldest in the country and the sanctum is dedicated to Meenakshi Amman – a form of Parvati and her eternal consort Shiva. Next, you will be visiting ThirumalaiNayak Palace – a 17th-century palatial structure erected for King Thirumalai of Madurai Nayak dynasty. This palace is one of the grandest in South India and displays a fascinating fusion of Dravidian and Rajput architecture.
After this, the next stop is Alagar Hills, at the foot of which is located yet another renowned Dravidian shrine – Azhgar Temple. This one is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and is located in a very picturesque spot, probably surrounded by the remains of an ancient Pandyan fort. The last stop for today is TiruparaKundran Rock Temple. This temple is highly revered, as it is one of the six abodes of Murugan in Tamil Nadu. The temple gets its name from the rock-cut architecture, and this spot is believed to be the one where Lord Muruganslew the demon Surapadman and worshipped his father Lord Shiva here.
Highlights: Madurai - Visit Meenakshi Temple, Tirumala Nayak Palace, Alagar Hills and Tirupara Kundran Rock temple.
On day 6, we will help you drive to one of the greenest parts of South India – Periyar National Park. Located in Thekkady high up the Cardamom Hills, Periyar is famous for being an Elephant and Tiger Reserve. Over here, you can see numerous native wild animals like Bengal Tiger, Indian Elephant, leopard, langur, monkeys, macaques, different types of squirrels, wild boars, sambars and barking deer, all protected under the Reserve. If someone is interested in birdwatching, then they are in for a treat as well. Both endemic and migratory birds are found here in abundance.
You have the whole day to yourself to choose any activity in the National Park. A boat ride in the Periyar Lake is a very good option too. Periyar is surrounded by various plantation estates all around – tea, coffee, spices – and they serve as great trekking destinations over a short distance.
Highlights: Periyar - Boat ride (common boat) on the lake Periyar to watch the wildlife.
From Periyar, we will take you to Kochi the next day. Kochi is probably one of the most historic cities of the whole country, and equally popular as a destination on the Malabar Coast of Kerala – God’s Own Country. On the one hand, Kochi is overflown with the natural beauty of its beaches and lagoons, and on the other hand, the city perfectly reflects a leftover reminiscence of the maritime days. Arab markets, Chinese cantilever nets, Portuguese and Dutch forts – all these are remnants of the old days that Kochi has seen. You have the day to yourself to look around the town, do some shopping or visit a Kathakali Dance Show in the evening, where trained dancers perform with elaborate costumes and masks on. It is one of the classical folk dance forms of India.
On Day 8, you will be going around the town of Kochi and visit some of the best destinations. The Mattancherry Palace, simply known as the Portuguese Palace was built by the Portuguese explorers in 1555 to have a stronghold here. It was later renovated by the Dutch. Next stop will be the Paradesi Jewish Synagogue, which is the oldest running synagogue in the Commonwealth. Built in 1567, it still caters to the Jewish community in and around Kochi. The architecture here is worth cherishing.
Fort Kochi beach and the Chinese cantilever nets come next. These nets were used by Chinese fishermen long time back, and are still operated by the fishermen community. If you want to see the mechanism in action, visit early in the morning or in the afternoon. Other destinations will be Cherai Beach, known for calm seas, lots of shells and dolphin sighting. You can include Hill Palace, Kochi Fort and Kochi International Marina in the itinerary as well.
Highlights: Kochi - Visit the Portuguese churches, mosques, temples and a Jewish synagogue.
The next day will go mostly in commute. You will be flying from Kochi to Bangalore and then driven to Mysore directly. Mysore is a very beautiful city, studded with many palaces from medieval to modern era. It was the capital of one of the greatest southern empires, the kingdom of Mysore from 1399 to 1947. Mysore is thus called the City of Palace. It was mostly ruled by the Wadiyars, to whom belonged the grand Mysore Palace. If you have time in the evening, you can visit the Mysore Palace and Gardens, and see it light up beautifully as darkness falls. Mysore was also ruled by Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan for a while, two great warriors in the fight against the British.
On day 10 of your South India Tour Packages from Chennai, you will be driven to Belur and Halebid for a day trip. The drive is a long one, but in the end, the reward will be satisfying. Belur was the royal capital of the Hoysala Empire, and still upholds some of the finest architectural works from that era. Chennakesava Temple is the primary attraction here, which was built by King Vishnuvardhana to mark his victory over the Chola dynasty in the 12th century. The scriptures and sculptures on the walls and pillars of this temple are so fantastically elaborate that it took 103 years to complete its construction.
Halebid will be the next stop, which is the old capital of the Hoysala Empire. It is also called Dwarasamudra, named after the big lake situated here, in front of the Hoysaleshwara and Kedareshwara temples. There is a museum in the temple complex, which displays historical artifacts and stories about Halebid.
Your return to Mysore will be via Sravanabelgolacity so that you can visit the Gommateshwara Bahubali stature here. It can actually be viewed from a distance, so you can see it enroute. Once in every 12 years, this statue is worshipped at a large scale, bathed with milk and honey. This ritual attracts a lot of devotees from around the world.
Highlights: Visit Belur, Halebid and Sravanbelgola.
The next day, you will be visiting the famous attractions of Mysore. The sightseeing tour will take you to Mysore Palace once again, but this time you can see the insides instead of only the lighting show. The architecture is a perfect mixture of Hindu, Islamic and Saracenic styles, and is full of beautiful domes, archways, corridors,and turrets. Completed in 1911-12, this has been the royal residence of the Wadiyar dynasty ever since and was the seat of Mysore Kingdom before the Indian Independence. Do not forget to visit the gallery of the palace.
Next stop will be Chamundi Hill, where is located the Chamundeshwari Temple dedicated to the fierce feminine form of Shakti – Goddess Chamunda. Other than the sacred sanctum, there are multiple statues of Nandi Bull here, as well as a Shiva Temple. The temple was originally built atop the Chamundi Hills by the Hoysala rulers in the 12thcentury but was later renovated by the Vijayanagar kings. A thousand steps leading up to the temple at the hill’s summit was added later as a ritual to complete before visiting.
Highlights: Mysore - Visit the Mysore palace, art gallery, Chamundi hill, Nandi bull, etc.
Next day, you will be arriving back at Chennai from Mysore via train. Upon arrival in Chennai, you will be transferred to your designated hotel for overnight stay. You can spend the evening looking around Chennai and shopping if you want.
On the last day of your South India Tour Packages from Chennai, you will be catching your flight back home from Chennai Airport. You will be driven to the airport on time to board your respective flight.