Drive to Mahabalipuram visiting Kanchipuram enroute.
Kanchipuram (64 kms from Madras) 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. Overnight Mahabalipuram.
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. Later drive to Tiruvanamalai. Overnight Tiruvanamalai.
Tiruvannamalai is one of the panchabhootasthalas representing the fire element. The other cities are Chidambaram, Sri Kalahasti, Thiruvanaikoil and Kanchipuram representing sky, air water and earth respectively. Places of interest are Sri Seshadri Swamigal Ashram, Sathanur Dam with beautiful parks, a zoo and a crocodile farm. Known to Hindus as the “Temple of the Eternal Sunrise”, the enormous Arunachaleshvara Temple, built over a period of almost a thousand years incorporates several distinct styles and consists of three courtyards with gateways topped by tapering gopuras. Later drive to Yercaud. Overnight Yercaud.
Yercaud is located in the Shevaroy Hills, about 4,500 ft above sea level. Famous for its scenic beauty and natural charm, the place is know for exotic flowers like sunflower, roses and dahlias. On the way to Yercaud, you will be seeing the coffee plantations and orange groves. The attractions of Yercaud are - the Big Lake for boating and Anna Park. Lady's Seat and Pagoda Point offers you a spectacular views. Shevaroy temple dedicated to local deity Servaran is situated atop Shevaroy Hills. Later drive to Trichy. Overnight Trichy.
Morning 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. Later drive to Thanjavur. Overnight Thanjavur.
Morning city tour. The beautiful Chola Temple of Brihadeeshwara 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. Later drive to Madurai. Overnight Madurai.
Morning tour of Madurai. 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. Later drive to Munnar. Overnight Munnar.
Munnar is breathtakingly beautiful and a haven of peace and tranquility. This is a idyllic tourist destination in God's own country. Set at an altitude of 6000 ft in Idukki district, Munnar was the favored summer resort of the erstwhile British rulers in the colonial Days. Munnar has un-ending expanse of tea plantations - pristine valleys and mountains- exotic species of flora and fauna in its wild sanctuaries and forests - aroma of spice scented cool air. Overnight Munnar.
Morning drive to Alleppey. Overnight Alleppey.
The coastal town of Alleppey on the Arabian Sea is the Venice of the East, for the numerous canals that meander through the town. Bathing in the backwaters on the Vemband Lake is refreshing. This town holds a thrilling event of snake-boat race every year in August. It is also known for its cashew nuts, coir trade, rice, pepper crops & coconuts. Embark on a rice boat and overnight on board.
Drive to Cochin. Overnight Cochin.
Morning city tour. 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 and Hindu temples. Watch the Chinese Fishing Nets. Overnight Cochin.
Drive to Calicut. Calicut was a major center of trade between Kerala and the outside world. The city of Calicut came into existence in the 13th century. The name Calicut is derived from 'calico,' the fine variety of hand-woven cotton cloth said to have originated from this place.The outer world came to know about India in 1498 when the Portuguese sailor Vasco da Gama came to Calicut and obtained permission to carry out trade from here. Places of interest are - Kappad where Vasco da Gama set foot in India, Pazhassirajah Museum, an art gallery displaying paintings of Raja Ravi Varma, Dolphin's Point, the Science Planetarium and Mananchira with a musical fountain. Overnight Calcut.
Morning drive to Mysore. Later city tour. Visit; the palace of the Maharaja built in 1911-12. The palace is of harmonious syntheses of the hindu and saracenic styles of architecture with archways, domes, turrets, colonnades ands culptures 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. Overnight Mysore.
Morning drive to Bangalore. Afternoon city tour. In this Garden City - visit the Lal Bagh with a variety of old trees, fountains, lotus pools, terraces & an assortment of tropical and sub- tropical herbs. Also see the Maharaja's Palace & Government Buildings. Overnight Bangalore.