South India Rich Temples, Tea Estate and Culture Tour from Chennai
Package price On Request
Product Code : AGORA706
South India Rich Temples, Tea Estate and Culture Tour from Chennai tour will begin in Chennai and include Mahabalipuram, Pondicherry, Chidambaram, Gangaikonda Cholapuram, Darasuram, Thanjavur, Trichy, Chettinad, Madurai, Munnar, Ooty, Mysore, Hassan, Belur & Halebeedu and Bangalore in its itinerary. You will visit active, inactive, small to largest temple complexes, tea estate, historical palace and the royal residences. Also, Joy Ride a Toy Train on Nilgiri Mountain Railway. Private transport, sightseeing with English speaking local guide and entrances to monuments are well included in package price.
Day 1: Arrive Chennai
Arrival transfer to hotel (Standard hotel check in time 12pm, early check in subject to room availability).
Later city tour of Chennai. Visit Fort St. George & St Mary`s Church inside the fort built by the British East India Company in 1640 AD. Kapaleeshwarar Temple a holy shrine of Lord Shiva originally built by the mighty Pallavas and rebuilt in 16th century by the Vijayanagar kings. Vadapalani Murugan Temple one of the most frequented places of worship for Hindus in Chennai. Government Museum built in the Indo-Sarcenic style it houses a rich collection of works of Raja Ravi Varma. Dakshinachitra Museum, one of the living-history museums. Santhome Cathedral a historical and ancient pilgrim centre, which was built during the 14th to the 15th century AD by the then reigning Portuguese. Prakasam Salai an impressive stylish building in Indo-Saracenic style with eminence in red bricks. It has a cluster of old shrines that include Kandaswamy Koil, Tucker's Church, a Wesleyan Chapel and the Anderson's Church. Drive Pass Marina Beach a 13kms long natural urban beach along the Bay of Bengal. Overnight at hotel.
Day 2: Chennai - Mahabalipuram - Pondicherry (150kms)
Breakfast at hotel, drive to Pondicherry enroute, in Mahabalipuram visit Monolithic Temples Five Rathas an excellent examples of the evolution of Dravidian style architecture. Krishnas Butterball a gigantic granite boulder resting on a short incline. 7th century Cave Temples cut and decorated with panels in the Mamalla style. Shore Temple built with blocks of granite in 7th century during the rule of King Narsimha-Varman II Rajasimha the temple complex consisting of two Siva temples and a carving of Anantasayana Vishnu. The Arjuna`s Penance an enormous rock-cut relief, one of the largest in the whole world.
On arrival check in at hotel. Visit Aurovil an experimental community founded in 1968 by the spiritual leader Mirra Alfassa as a town where people from all over the world could live in harmony. Its focal point is the Matrimandir, a futuristic, spherical temple covered in gold discs. Pondicherry Museum it houses a fantastic collection of bronze sculptures of god and goddess, a wide gathering of temple lamps, handicrafts and art. Drive pass or walk through stunning French Quarters, charming mustard streets, colonial villas and vibrant Tamil settlements. Besides a very picturesque view of the lovely alleys and narrow lanes, you can also marvel at the gorgeous architecture of the French colonial settlements which include French consulate, Raj Nivas, Government Square, Churches & French schools. Evening to relax on the beach. Overnight at hotel.
Day 3: Pondicherry - Chidambaram - Gangaikonda Cholapuram - Darasuram - Thanjore (180kms)
Breakfast at hotel, drive to Thanjavur via visiting Nataraja Temple dedicated to the dancing posture of Lord Shiva at Chidambaram. Constructed during the 10th century when Chidambaram used to be the capital of the Chola dynasty, the architecture of temple represents the link between arts and spirituality.
Also visit The Great Living Chola Temples at Gangaikonda Cholapuram Temple built in Tamil style of architecture with a square plan. The temple complex includes Nandi Mandapa, Alankar Mandapa, Maha Mandapa, Mukha Mandapa and Ardha Mandapa. And Darasuram a storehouse of art and architecture with 85 feet high vimana. The front mandapam itself is in the form of a huge chariot drawn by horses. The temple has some exquisite stone carvings. The main deitys consort Periya Nayaki Amman temple is situated adjacent to Airavateshwarar temple.
Arrive Thanjavur check in & overnight at hotel.
Day 4: Thanjavur - Trichy (60kms)
Breakfast at hotel. Visit Brihadeshwara Temple, built in the 10th century it is an outstanding example of Chola architecture and is listed in UNESCO world heritage site. The shrine is a 216 feet structure, the sanctum is dotted with paintings from the Chola and Nayak periods and the statue of Nandi the Bull welcomes at the entrance. Vijayanagar Fort built by Nayaks and partly by Maratha rulers during the early 1550 AD. Thanjavur Art Gallery, located in the Thanjavur Palace has an exquisite collection of ancient sculptures and coins. Saraswathi Mahal Library another section of the Palace where over 30, 000 palm leaf and paper manuscripts are preserved.
Drive to Trichy check in at hotel. Later visit Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple the largest functional temple in the world. The temple complex along with the surrounding area covers a total area of 156 acres, there are 22 gopurams including India`s tallest 72 meters, 13 storey high. Many people have had a hand in its construction, including the Cheras, Pandyas, Cholas, Hoysalas and rulers from Vijayanagar. Rock Fort Temple the 83m high Rock Fort is the only outcrop in the flat land of the city. The rock is one of the oldest in the world-approximately 3800 million years, which makes it as old as the rocks of Greenland and older than the Himalayas. Also visit Jambukeswarar Temple dedicated to Lord Shiva, it houses five concentric walls, and seven gopurams. Overnight at hotel.
Day 5: Trichy - Madurai (140kms)
Breakfast at hotel, drive to Madurai check in at hotel. Visit Meenakshi Temple one of the largest temple complexes in India built between the 16th to 18th centuries. Apart from the estimated 33 million sculptures there, the temple is absolutely absorbing with the endless rounds of ceremonies, prostration of countless devotees and glittering market stalls. Thirumalai Nayakar Palace built in 1636 AD by King Thirumalai Nayak, the palace depicts the perfect blend of Dravidian and Rajput styles. Also visit Alagar Koil, Tiruparankundram Murugan Temple & Palamuthirsolai Murugan Temple. Overnight at hotel.
Day 6: Madurai - Munnar (160km)
Breakfast at hotel, Drive to Munnar, check in at hotel. During the British rule in India, Munnar was the summer resort of the Government officials. The natural beauty, calmness and mild cold climate throughout the year make it the favorite tourist places. The tea estates, hills, lakes and forests inside Munnar range expose its beauty. Later tea estate visit and tea testing. Overnight at hotel.
Day 7: Munnar
Breakfast at hotel. Visit Pothamedu which offers an excellent view of the tea, coffee and cardamom plantations in Munnar. Mattupetty dam and its reservoir, a concrete gravity dam built between the hill ranges for water storage for hydroelectric projects. Rajamala a hill station in Eravikulam National Park a natural habitat of the Niligiri tahr 2695 Mts above sea level. Half the world`s population of the rare mountain goat or tahr which is fast becoming extinct, is now found here. Mattupedi Dairy Farm, famous for the Indo-Swiss Farm, a highly specialized dairy farm which comes under Indo-Swiss Livestock Project. Echo Point, go there and scream as loud as you can and wait for a minute to hear your echo back! Also visit Tea Museum to know more about the century old culture a lively glimpse of how the tea culture flourished across South India. Overnight at hotel.
Day 8: Munnar - Ooty (250kms)
Breakfast at hotel, drive to Ooty check in at hotel. Ooty is all-seasons hill resort and the queen of hill stations at an elevation of 7216 ft above sea-level. Surrounded by trees, central Ooty Lake is a huge artificial expanse of water with beautiful boats. Rest time to explore the colonial city with your driver. Overnight at hotel.
Day 9: Ooty
Breakfast at hotel. Enjoy the town and visit the well-maintained botanical gardens, which have over 1,000 varieties of plants, shrubs and trees. Also take a ride on the famous Nilgiri Mountain Railway that winds its way down through spectacular scenery and breathtaking views to the nearby town of Coonoor. It was established in the early 19th century by the British now a UNESCO World Heritage site. Boat ride in Ooty Lake. Overnight at hotel.
Day 10: Ooty - Mysore (150kms)
Breakfast at hotel, drive to Mysore check in at hotel.
Later city tour visit Mysore Palace built in the 1912 for the 24th Ruler of the Wodeyar Dynasty and is counted amongst one of the biggest palaces in the country. Chamundi Hills, site of the Chamundeswari Temple, one among the 18 Maha Shakti Peethas located on the eastern edge at the height of 1000ft. The temple also has statues of Nandi Bull and Mahishasura the demon. City Palace which was re-built by Henry Irwin during 1897 in an indo-saracenic style. The palace contains astonishing wall paintings, authentic stained glass work and ornamented doors. St. Philomena`s Church the second tallest church of Asia built in Neo-Gothic style of architecture. Jaganmohan Palace that housed the royals before the construction of The Mysore palace, this structure displays various paintings of the past kings of Mysore and is one of the oldest buildings in the city. Overnight at hotel.
Day 11: Mysore - Somanathapura - Srirangapatna - Shravanbela Gola - Hassan (135kms)
Breakfast at hotel, drive to Hassan via visiting Somanathapura, Chennakesava Temple an exemplary monument of Hoysala architecture consecrated in 1258 CE, a Vaishnav Hindu Temple dedicated to might and beauty of Lord Krishna. The Chennakesava temple is one of the 1500 Temples built by the Hoysala Empire kings in different parts of their kingdom, and is said to be the climax development in Hoysala temple style and yet is unique in many other ways.
Next stop visit Ranganathaswamy Temple a 10th century beautifully carved temple complex located in Srirangapatna. The temple has an imposing tower over the entrance gate and two large concentric rectangular enclosures around its perimeter. 3rd stop visit Shravanabelagola one of the most important Jain pilgrim centers. Visit Vindhyagiri Hill where a 17m high naked Lord Bahubali (Gommateshwara) the world tallest monolithic statue, is placed. And Chandragiri Hill which is also a seat of several ancient Jain centers, much older than Gommateshwara statue. (30 minuts tough walk to reach the temple).
Arrive Hassan, check in & Overnight at hotel.
Day 12: Hassan - Belur - Halebeedu - Bangalore (250kms)
Breakfast at hotel. Excursion to visit Belur, once the capital of the Hoysala Empire is known for its exquisite temples. Celebrated temple of Chennakeshava built by the Hoysala King Vishnuvardhana in 1117 AD, is one of the finest examples of Hoysala architecture. Everything is carved in black stone looking like metal. Kappe Chennigaraya Temple is another majestic 12th CE temple built next to a pond. The stone architecture has splendid carvings and bas-relief work. Temple complex include two ornate pillars, one of the Garuda built during the Vijaynagar period and one with a lamp built during the Hoysala period. Lakshmi temple, Sowmyanayaki temple & Ranganayaki temple are other temple in same complex.
Next proceed to visit Halebedu the Hoysaleswara Temple built in 12th CE surrounded by ponds, mantapas and lakes. It is well known for the sculptures and architecture of Hoysala period standing on platform like a casket, richly endowed with most finely detailed scroll work in stone. The walls of the temple are covered with an endless variety of gods and goddesses. Other temple in Halebedu are Kadareswara Temple, Lakshmi Narasimha Temple, Ishvara Temple, Koravangala Temple, Lakshmi Devi temple & Hulikere Pond. Also visit the Jain bastics.
After sightseeing drive to Bangalore check in & Overnight at hotel.
Day 13: Bangalore - Departure (flight)
Breakfast at hotel. Visit Lal Bagh Garden which houses over 1800 species of flora including rare and enchanting collection of tropical plants, trees and herbs. Cubbon Park a landmark area located within the heart of the city. The Bangalore Fort a living testimony of the notorious struggle of the Mysore Empire against the mighty Britishers. Tippu`s Summer Palace the magnificent accommodation of the valiant ruler of Mysore Tipu Sultan. Bangalore Palace an epitome of great architecture and beauty a mixture of Tudor & Scottish Gothic architecture. The Bull Temple one of the oldest temples in the city. ISKCON Temple known for its activities of engagement involving ardent devotees of Lord Krishna. Also drive pass Cubbon Park, the Government buildings, Vidhana Soudha & the Secretariat.
Later transfer to airport to board flight for onward destination.
Assistance on arrival at airport.
12 Nights' accommodation in selected price category hotels.
Meal as per day plan (B- Breakfast, L- Lunch, D- Dinner)
Private air-conditioned deluxe car for airport transfer, sightseeing and excursion as per program.
English speaking tour guide on sightseeing days (local guide in each city), as per program.
Monument entrances and activities charges mentioned in the itinerary.
Bottled drinking water in car.
Hotels used or similar for 14 nights accommodation
Chennai x 2 night
3* - Raj Park/ MGM East Woods
4* - The Raintree/ Accord Metropolitan
5* - ITC Grand Chola/ The Leela Palace
Pondicherry x 1 night
3* - Shenbaga Hotel/ Annamalai International
4* - Le Pondy/ The Windflower Resort & Spa
5* - Palais De Mahe/ La Villa
Thanjavur x 1 night
3* - Grand Gardenia/ Oriental Towers
4* - Sangam Hotels/ Ideal River View Resort
5* - Svatma
Trichy x 1 night
3* - Red Fox Hotel/ Grand Gardenia
4* & 5* - Sangam Hotels/ Ideal River View Resort
Madurai x 1 night
3* - Astoria by Sparsa/ Madurai’s Residency
4* - GRT Regency/ Fortune Pandiyan Hotel
5* - Heritage Madurai/ The Gateway Hotel Pasumalai
Munnar x 2 nights
3* - Fort Munnar/ Abad Copper Castle
4* - Nature Zone Jungle Resort/ Fragrant Nature Munnar
5* - Chandys Windy Woods/ Tea County
Ooty x 2 nights
3* - Monarch Hotel/ Hotel Darshan
4* - Fortune Resort Sullivan Court/ Sinclairs Retreat
5* - Savoy - IHCL SeleQtions/ Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel
Mysore x 1 night
3* - Southern Star/Sandesh The Prince
4* - Fortune Park JP Palace/ Grand Mercure
5* - Royal Orchid Brindavan Garden/The Windflower Resort & Spa
Hassan x 1 night
3* - Candy Southern Star/ Pavanputra Resort & Spa
4* & 5* - Hosyala Village Resort/ The Ashok
Bangalore x 1 night
3* - Ramada/ The Rialto
4* - Fortune Select JP Cosmos/ Lemon Tree Premier Ulsoor Lake
5* - ITC Gardenia, a Luxury Collection/ ITC Windsor a Luxury Collection
Vellore x 1 night
3* - Hotel Khanna Fiesta/ POPPYS Anukula Residency
4* & 5* - Regency Sameera Vellore by GRT Hotels/ Fortune Park
Any flight tickets.
Camera charges at monuments.
Meals other than mentioned in day plan.
Expenses of personal nature like liquor, laundry, tips, telephone, fax, internet etc.
Gratuities & optional activities.
Anything not mentioned in inclusions.