We will start our journey with Mumbai as starting destination. The country’s financial capital has many points of interest.
We’ll go for the excursion to elephant caves by boat cruise. Return Mumbai by noon and further see the Gateway of India, Chowpatty Beach, Dhobhi Ghat, and Marine Drive. We’ll make a night stay in Mumbai.
Morning flight from Mumbai to Aurangabad. Start the day visiting interesting sites. Buddhists Monks & local craftsman began excavating, sculpting & painting in Ajanta in 2nd century BC. These 28 caves are a testimony to the devotion of Buddhists & their skilled craftsmen as well. These caves are vertically excavated. Although the caves are very attractive it is the art of the caves which is more interesting. The artistry of colors & paintings is unique which can’t be seen anywhere else.
On this day, we’ll check out from the Hotel will proceed for the half day trip to Ellora. 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 this tour, we take a flight to Mumbai from Aurangabad airport.
Throughout this day we’ll travel to Cochin. In the evening, we’ll be hosted by the famous Keralan chef and their family in a home. We’ll have a delicious dinner & then we’ll drive back to our hotel.
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 its 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 towards our stay at houseboat. Enjoying in houseboat will give you a thrilling experience. We’ll take you to Backwaters at Allepey.
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.
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. Now it's time to drive towards Madurai.
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 Rokfort 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.
From Mahabalipuram we’ll go to Kanchipuram. Here we’ll see Ekambareshvara Temple, Kailasanatha Temple, Varadharaja Perumal Temple and then we’ll come back to Mahabalipuram.
From Mahabalipuram, we’ll go to Chennai where we’ll see Kapaleeshwar Temple, Shirdi Sai Baba Temple, Thirumalai Thirupathi Devasthanam, and Sri Parthasarathy Temple etc. In time transfer to airport for onward flight to home.
This is the last day of our trip and on this day we’ll depart from Chennai.