Mumbai – the financial capital of India, Upon arrival at Mumbai Airport, meet with our representative & transfer to hotel.
After breakfast meets with Our Guide for the Half Day sightseeing. Crawford Market: It is a busy, crowded fruit and vegetable market giving a true insight into the commercial aspect of Mumbai city….The place is also known for the activity and birthplace of the famous English author, Rudyard Kipling whose house is now converted into JJ School of Arts and the market area has a lot of bas-reliefs works done by his father and a fancy fountain designed by him. Prince of Wales Museum: Built in the honor of King George V to India when he was the Prince of Wales in 1905. It is built in Indo – Saracenic style and it has a large central hall with a massive dome. It’s one of India Richest collection of paintings, sculpture and historical exhibits. Dhobi Ghat: It’s the place where you have every day almost all the washer men’s of Bombay get together to clean their laundry and that too manually. They wash it and then put all these laundries to dry in sun. A very colorful and busy place. On this day we'll go to visit Prince-of-Wales Museum. This museum has the best art, paintings, and archeological exhibits. After this, we’ll move to see famous Dhobi Ghat. We’ll drive up to Malabar Hills & then will continue to see. We’ll drive around Horniman Circle & visit Town Hall. We’ll visit the signature landmark and “Gateway of India” & we then come back to the Hotel.
After checking out from the Hotel we’ll head to the airport where we’ll catch the first flight to the Aurangabad. Upon reaching our facilitators will receive you. A full day guided excursion to Ajanta caves. They were crafted by Buddhists Monks in the 2nd Century. After exploring the Ajanta caves completely we’ll go to the hotel & take rest.
We’ll start in the morning and will see a guided tour of the Ellora. There are some 34 caves in Ellora and any one of them is considered as a significant attraction in any part of the world. We’ll also see the Kailash Temple which is a Masterpiece. On the way back we’ll stay at Daulatabad Fort. After sightseeing, we’ll come back to the Hotel.
After an early morning check-out, we’ll drive to the airport. Then we’ll take the morning flight to Mumbai & connect the flight to Cochin. Then we check-in to the hotel. In the evening, you will be picked up for a local theater to get an experience of Kathakali dance performance. After the dance performance.
We start our guided tour of Cochin whose culture has been shaped by various European Influences. Our tour begins from Jewish Synagogue. We also go to Jew Street and see it antique stores and peddlers. After this we’ll go to St. Francis church. We then go ahead and see the Chinese fishing nets. After this, we’ll take a short tour of Fort Kochi & we’ll then be driven to Fort Kochi. We’ll then drive back to the hotel.
We’ll check out from the Hotel and then move to backwaters. Here you’ll experience many fresh water canals, rivulets & lakes. Just relax and have a great time. You will be served the delicious Kerela cuisine. You can also take small excursions to small rural communities. The houseboats or Kettuvalloms are a major attraction of the city. They were once the main way of transportation but with changing times they have become a major tourist attraction. We’ll take a ride to the Houseboat.
Breakfast at the boat. Later transfer by road to Periyar National Park. The park is located on a plot of 777 sq. Km animals that could catch tigers, leopards, elephants, deer, flying squirrels, mongooses, mink, and a variety of birds. Afternoon visit by boat on Lake Periyar.
After the breakfast, drive to an Elephant Camp where we will organize elephant bathing and elephant feeding. We will also organize a 30 min Elephant ride. After visiting Elephant Camp, visit a Spice Plantation. You will walk through the aromatic spice gardens where the air is laden with the fragrance of nature's bounty. Spices can be defined as “aromatic substances of vegetable origin, used for Flavoring food or as a preservative." Many spices are also known to have medicinal value, for instance turmeric is a known anti-oxidant and curry leaf can control and prevent diabetes. The spice plantations of Kerala are fascinating farms to wander in, for different sections of each plantation are dedicated to different spices. Apart from spices traditionally grown in India such as pepper, cinnamon, ginger and cardamom farmers in Kerala have taken to growing spices that are used worldwide. Some of the spices cultivated in spice plantations are vanilla, oregano, rosemary, thyme, basil, mint, bay leaf and sage.
From Periyar, we’ll drive to Madurai. In the evening, visit the Meenakshi Temple to attend the evening ceremony known as 'Bedtime of the God'. A colourful procession, in which the image of Shiva is carried accompanied by musicians, temple singers and priests from his shrine. Enroute Shiva visits the other deities before entering Parvati's (Meenakshi) temple to sleep with her for the night. This ceremony is worth witnessing.
After breakfast, enjoy the city tour of Madurai, which includes the visit to the following: Meenakshi Temple - This temple is nearly 2000 years old placed in the heart of the old town - a splendid example of Dravidian architecture. The present temple was designed in 1560 by Vishwanatha Nayak and subsequently built during the reign of Tirumalai Nayak. There are four entrances to the temple with an area of six hectares. Each of its 12 towers has the height of 45 to 50 meters. The Potrama Raikulam or the Golden Lotus Tank is the place where the Tamil literacy society, called Sangam used to meet to decide the merits of the work presented to them. The temple museum has 985 richly carved pillars and each one surpasses the other in beauty. IMP: Meenakshi Temple remains closed from 1200 hrs till 1530 hrs. Tirumalai Nayak Mahal - This Indo-Saracenic building was constructed in 1523 and was originally four times large are today. Sound and light show on the life of the Tirumalai Nayak and the story of the Silapathikaram are conducted daily.
After check-out from Hotel, we’ll drive to Chettinad and see the Chettinad mansion. It is famous for its opulence of materials & the remarkable design. After it, we’ll break for Lunch. Post-Lunch: In this session, we’ll have traditional lunch in Chettinad cuisine in which the lunch is served on the Banana leaf. We’ll travel to Karikudi which is the capital of Chettinad region. After strolling around the region we’ll go ahead and see the handloom weaving plant.
We check out from the Hotel & proceed to Tanjore. Here we’ll see Brihadeeshwara Temple, Gangikonda Cholapuram. We’ll see few other sites and will break for lunch. After this, we’ll move to Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple in Trichy and then we’ll go ahead and see Rockfort Temple & Jambukeshwarar Temple. We’ll then drive to Mahabalipuram. There we’ll see Arjuna’s Penance, Thirukadalmallai and, other places.
Throughout this day, we’ll see the various places in Mahabalipuram. Well, go to Cave Temple, Shore Temple, Pancha Rathas, the massive bas-relief Descent of Ganges, and the eight Mandapams. We’ll break for lunch after it. Post-Lunch: We’ll mingle with the local fishing community & see the colorful boats. We’ll see the fishing nets, the fishes caught by them and their processes.
We’ll see the rest of the sites and then we’ll go to Chennai. In Chennai, we’ll see Kapaleeshwar Temple, Shirdi Sai Baba Temple, Thirumalai Thirupathi Devasthanam, and Sri Parthasarathy Temple. We’ll break for Lunch. In time transfer to airport to board onward flight to home.