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Fascinating Kerala Tour

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Day 01: Arrival Cochin Assistance on arrival at the Cochin International airport followed by transfer to the hotel. Upon arrival, check in to the Hotel Holiday Inn - After breakfast morning is free for Relaxation. Later proceed to . .
Country: India
City: Kochi
Duration: 14 Day(s) - 13 Night(s)
Tour Category: Nature Tours
Departure Date: Thu 01 Jan '99
Package Itinerary

Day 01: Arrival Cochin
Assistance on arrival at the Cochin International airport followed by transfer to the hotel.
Upon arrival, check in to the Hotel Holiday Inn -
After breakfast morning is free for Relaxation. Later proceed to visit –
Dutch Palace - Built by the Portuguese in 1557 and presented to Raja Veera Kerala Varma of Kochi, the Palace was renovated in 1663 by the Dutch. The palace with a Bhagavathi temple in the central courtyard is built like the typical Kerala style mansion - the Nalukettu - the home of the aristocracy, nobility and upper classes, with four separate wings opening out to a central courtyard.
The Jewish Synagogue  - The Jewish Synagogue in the port city of Kochi is the oldest synagogue in all the Commonwealth of Nations.  Cochin Jewish community, constructed this synagogue in 1568.
The St. Francis Church - A constituent of the North Kerala Diocese of the Church of South India, the St Francis CSI Church has regular worship service on all Sundays and commemorative days. It is kept open on week days for visitors and tourists.
The Santa Cruz Basilica - The Santa Cruz Cathedral not only happens to be one of the oldest churches in Cochin, but also in the whole of India. It was built by the first Portuguese viceroy, Francesco de Almeida, when he arrived in Kochi way back in 1505. On 3 May that year, during the feast of the "Invention of the Holy Cross", the foundation stone of this church was laid and upon completion, it was christened as Santa Cruz Cathedral.
Drive past the Chinese fishing nets.
After visit return back to the hotel. Overnight at the Hotel Holiday Inn.

Day 02: Cochin / Periyar – Distance 170 kms
After breakfast drive to Periyar.
Upon arrival check in to the Hotel Elephant court
Evening proceed to visit -  
Kadathanadan Kalari Centre - Kalaripayattu-the oldest of martial arts-is a gift to the modern world and known as the mother of all martial arts. legend traces the 3000-year old art form to sage Parasurama-the master of all martial art forms and credited to be the re-claimer of  Kerala from the arabian sea. Kalaripayattu originated in ancient south India. Kung-fu, popularized by the monks of the shaoline temple traces its ancestry to Bodhi Dharma-an Indian Buddhist monk and Kalaripayattu master.
After visit return back to the hotel. 
Overnight at the Hotel Elephant court.

Day 03: Periyar
After breakfast proceed to visit –
Bamboo rafting at lake Periyar - Another splendid entertainment option offered to the nature-lovers who visit Thekkady. This eco friendly program takes the tourists to the thick forests on trek and then to the catchments area of the Periyar Tiger Reserve on a bamboo raft. Starting at 8 am from the boat landing, a mosaic of habitats will be traversed before the party gets into rafts made of bamboos. The bamboo rafting team consists of maximum 10 tourists, 5 guides and one armed guard for protection from the wild animals. During this program the tourists have a panoramic view of the lake and forests and also are provided a rare opportunity of encountering wild animals and birds.
Spice plantation tour. - Gift wrapped in lush green spice plantations, Thekkady is no doubt the heartland of spices. Enjoy the real spice tour through the real spice city of Kerala. One has to spend two hours to understand different types of spice plants available around this area. The trip covers spice plantations such as cardamom, pepper, vanilla, clove, cinnamon , nutmeg, ayurvedic herbs etc. The trip also passes through coffee , tea plantations and tea factory.
After visit return back to the hotel.  Overnight at hotel Elephant court. 

Day 04: Periyar / Alleppey – Distance 165 kms
After breakfast drive to alleppey. Upon arrival check in to the Premier house boat –
Premier House boat - The Houseboats of Kerala are a new addition to the travel and tourism of the state's backwaters. These crafts, measuring up to 120 feet in length, retrieved from the age old cargo vessels of the State.  Once they ruled the backwaters, poled along by one or two men, heavily loaded with rice, coconut and other commodities.  But in the recent times, these big vessels have been replaced by more and modern modes of transport, relegating them to neglect and decay. But like the phoenix it again raises to the attention of the modern world, with a difference – this time the cargo is comfort and rippling relaxation.
Overnight at the houseboat. 

Day 05: Alleppey / Kovalam – Distance 165 kms  
After breakfast drive to Kovalam. Upon arrival, check in to the Hotel Turtle on the beach
Enjoy your day in beach or take Ayurveda treatment.
Overnight at the hotel Turtle on the Beach.

Day 06: Kovalam
After breakfast rest of the day is free for –
Enjoy your day in beach or take Ayurveda treatment.
Overnight at the hotel Turtle on the beach.

Day 07: Kovalam / Kanyakumari – Distance 52 kms, driving time 01 hrs 30 mins
After breakfast drive to Kanyakumari.
Kanyakumari is located in the Tamil Nadu state of India. It is the southernmost tip of India and the Indian subcontinent, and is surrounded by the seas of three sides, the Arabian sea on the east, the Indian ocean ahead and the Bay of Bengal on the west. Upon arrival check in to the Hotel Singaar international.
Later proceed to visit sightseeing of Kanyakumari. Places included in the sightseeing are–
Vivekananda Rock Memorial - Towards the end of 1892, after three years of wandering across the length and breadth of India, a young monk found himself at Kanyakumari, the southernmost point of the country. To quell the questions raging in his mind, he leapt into the sea and swam across shark-infested waters to reach a holy rock in mid-sea—the very last bit of Indian land.On the rock, he meditated, taking in the whole of India as it were, from that vantage point. At the end of three days and nights, the monk found enlightenment on his life’s mission: to arouse the nation from its dismal slumber of a thousand years of slavery and rediscover its past glory.
Thus was born on that rock, Swami Vivekananda—the spiritual teacher, prophet and patriot-monk of modern India. The rock became doubly blessed. To honour Swami Vivekananda’s vision, the idea to construct a memorial on that particular rock was mooted on the eve of his birth centenary in 1962. 
Kanyakumari temple - Devi Kanya Kumari, is Shree Bhagavathy in the form of an adolescent girl child. Devi is also known as Shree Baala Bhadra or Shree Baala. She is popularly known as "Bhagavathy" (Durga) or "Devi". The Bhagavathy Temple is located in Cape Kanya Kumari in Tamil Nadu, the southern tip of main land India.
After visit return back to the hotel.
Overnight at the hotel Singaar International. 

Day 08: Kanyakumari / Madurai – Distance 250 kms, driving time 03 hrs 40 mins
After breakfast drive to Madurai.
Madurai is situated on the banks of Vaigai River. This city is more than 2500 years old and was an important cultural and commercial center even as early as 550 A. D. when the Pandvas made it their capital. Modern Madurai is a burgeoning industrial center even though the vast stretches of lush paddy fields. Upon arrival check in to the hotel Sangam
Rest of the day is free for leisure / at late evening, attend the evening ceremony at Meenakshi temple.
Overnight at hotel Sangam.

Day 09: Madurai
After breakfast proceed for sightseeing of Madurai. Places included in the sightseeing are  –
Meenakshi temple- Meenakshi temple is a historic Hindu temple located in the southern bank of river Vaigai. It is dedicated to Parvati who is known as Meenakshi and her consort, Shiva, named here as Sundareswarar. The temple forms the heart and lifeline of the 2500 year old cit of Madurai.
Thirumalai nayak Palace -Tthis palace was built in 1636 by the ruler whose name it bears. The imposing edifice is famous for the “Stuccowork” on its domes and impressive arches. The Sorgavilasam (Celestial Pavilion), measuring 75m x 52m, constructed entirely of brick and mortar without the support of a single rafter or girder, is a marvel of indo-Saracenic architectural style
Teppakulam - Vandiyur Mariamman Teppakulam is situated at a distance of about 5 km from the Meenakshi Amman Temple. The area of the tank, and the island pavilion with a garden in the center, is approximately equal to the area of Meenakshi Temple. It is one of the largest temple tanks in South India and gets water supply from the Vaigai River. There is a Vinayakar temple situated right in the middle of the tank, which is dedicated to Lord Vigneshwara, the Elephant-faced God.
After visit return back to the hotel.
Overnight at the hotel Sangam. 

Day 10: Madurai / Thanjavur / Trichy – Distance 140 Kms, Driving time 01 hrs 30 mins
After breakfast drive to Tanjour.
Though the history Tanjore dates back to the Sangam age, it was between the 10th and 14th centuries that Thanjavur reached its zenith becoming the centre of Tamil learning and culture. Modern Thanjavur is a fertile plain which is often referred to as the "rice bowl" of Tamil Nadu.
Upon arrival at Thanjavur proceed to visit the below places -
Brihadeeshwara temple - The Brahadeewarar temple,  is dedicated to Lord Siva. It was built by the great Chola King Raja Raja 1 (985 -1012 A.D). it is an outstanding exmple of Chola architecture. Recognizing its unique architectural excellence, UNESCO has declared it a World Heritage Monument.
Palace - Just 1 km away from the Brahadeeswarar Temple is a magnificent palace, surrounded by huge fort walls. Dating back to the 14th century A.D., it was built partly by the Nayaks and partly by the Marathas. The Maratha royal family resides in this palace. It is a fascinating building with huge corridors, spacious halls, decorated rooms, tall observation towers, beautiful stucco works, wonderful fresco painted walls and ceilings, an underground tunnel and intricate carvings.
Schwartz church - The 18th-century Christ Church or Schwartz Church a legacy of Tanjore colonial past, stands to the east of the Shivanganga Tank. This church was founded by the Danish missionary, Reverend Frederik Christian Schwartz, in 1779. When he died in 1798, the enlightened Maratha ruler, Serfoji II, donated a striking marble tablet, made by John Flaxman and this has been placed at the western end of the church.
After visit commence drive to Trichy. Upon arrival check in to the Hotel  Sangam.
Overnight at the hotel Sangam. 

Day 11: Tirchy
Tirchy is situated on the banks of the river Cauvery is the fourth largest city in Tamil Nadu. It was a citadel of the early Cholas which later fell to the Pallavas. Trichy is a fine blend of tradition and modernity built around the Rock Fort. Apart from the Fort, there are several Churches, Colleges and Missions dating back to the 1760s. The town and its fort, now in Trichy were built by the Nayaks of Madurai. This city has given great Tamil scholars whose contributions to the Tamil literature have been very significant.
After breakfast proceed to visit -
Rock Fort temple - Rock Fort, as the rocky outcrop is called, at an age of over 3.8 billion years is as old as the rocks in Greenland and much older than the Himalayas. Begun in 600 CE by kings of the Chola dynasty, the Shiva temple is located in a gargantuan 274-foot-high rock that is visible for miles around. Much of it was built by the Nayak kings in the 16-17th centuries. There are 417 steps to the top and great panoramic views from there.
Srirangam temple - Srirangam is the foremost of the eight self-manifested shrines (Swayam Vyakta Kshetras) of Lord Vishnu . It is also considered the first, foremost and the most important of the 108 main Vishnu temples (Divyadesams). This temple is also known as Thiruvaranga Tirupati, Periyakoil, Bhoologa Vaikundam, Bhogamandabam.
Below the fort, a must is a walk through china bazaar, the big bazaar and down the narrow side streets.
After visit return back to the hotel.
Overnight at the hotel Sangam. 

Day 12: Tirchy / Mahabalipuram – Distance 300 kms, Driving time 05 hrs  
After breakfast drive to Mahabalipuram.
Mahabalipuram was the second capital and seaport of the Pallava kings of Kanchipuram the first Tamil dynasty of any real consequence to emerge after the fall of the Gupta Empire. Upon arrival check in to the Hotel Radisson Blu  
Later proceed to visit the below places  -
Shore Temple - The Shore Temple at Mamallapuram, built during the reign of the Pallava King Rajasimha (c. 700 - 728), is the earliest important structural temple in Southern India. Its three sanctuaries are dedicated to Vishnu and Shiva. Prominent in this photo are the temple walls, topped by large sculptures of Nandi, and its two steep pyramidal towers capped by octagonal domes.
Rath temples- The 'Ratha' cave temples, commonly called the Pancha Pandava ratha (the five chariots of the Pandavas), are a stylistic anomaly marking the point of transition between the earlier tradition of rock-carved cave temples and the later tradition of freestanding stone structures, of the type seen at the nearby Shore Temple. Carved in the 7th century by the Pallava kings, the Ratha temples are an attempt to imitate free-standing stone construction in the living rock, with not unsatisfactory results. The structural detailing of the Ratha temples carefully imitates wooden timber supports, pilasters, beams, and brackets, though of course none are necessary in stone. Because each temple is carved from a single piece of living rock, the Rathas are in a suburb state of preservation and many of their carvings are as fresh today as they were 1,300 years ago.
After visit return back to the hotel.
Overnight at the hotel Radisson Blu. 

Day 13: Mahabalipuram / Chennai – Distance 55 kms, Driving time 01 hrs
After breakfast drive to Chennai.
Chennai is the capital city of the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. Located on the Coromandel Coast off the Bay of Bengal, it is the biggest industrial, commercial center, and a major cultural, economic and educational center in South India. Upon arrival check in to the Hotel The Park.
Later proceed to visit the below places for sightseeing –
Museum - Fort St. George – The Fort St. George Museum was organised and opened to the public from 31st January 1948. The museum began with a small collection of objects of the British Raj donated by the then Madras Presidency Government, the St. Mary's Church authorities, the disbanded army units and others. Over the years many objects were acquired by various means and there are now 3661 registered antiquities in the collection. Best among them (602) are on display in ten galleries.
St. Thomas Cathedral - Relics of St.Thomas The National Shrine of St.Thomas Basilica is built over the tomb of Apostle St.Thomas. St.Thomas one of the twelve Apostles of Jesus Christ came to India in A.D.52, martyred in A.D.72 and was buried here in  Mylapore. 
Kapaleeswarar temple - Kapaleeshwarar Temple is a temple of Shiva located in Mylapore, Chennai in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. The form of Shiva's wife Parvati worshipped at this temple is called Karpagambal . The temple was built around the 7th century CE in Dravidian architecture.
Hotel The Park - This five star hotel in Chennai offers various options International classics to Indian cuisine presented with innovative styling at 601, our 24 hr restaurant, the mood quietly dramatic at Lotus, our Thai specialty. Step away from the mayhem to spend breezy evenings at this Chennai hotel with our sunset cocktails at Aqua, our Mediterranean poolside cafe. Lounge at the Leather bar and then enjoy your night at our pleasure palace Pasha, the nightspot.
Day 14: Chennai / Mumbai (flight) Departure
After breakfast morning is free. Later you will be provided departure transfer to the Chennai airport to connect flight for onwards journey. 

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