Duration : 12 Nights / 13 Days Places Covered : Chennai - Kanchipuram - Mahabalipuram - Chennai - Trichy - Tanjore - Madurai - Thekkady - Kumarakom - Trivandrum (Kovalam)
South of the Indian peninsula, the eastern Coromandel coast along the Bay of Bengal has retained the beauty and purity of the ancient Dravidian culture which has been hardly touched by the Aryan invasions of the North. Temples of Tamil Nadu were the fulcrum of society. The art forms that have their origin in religious worship, continue to colour daily life. The Malabar coast along the Arabian Sea is a tropical paradise of undulating palms and sandy beaches, hill resorts, spectacular temples, backwater cruises and friendly people. Day 01 : Arrive Chennai (Previously known as Madras) Arrive Chennai, the fourth largest city in India, located on the warm shores of the Bay of Bengal. Modern Chennai traces its origins to 1639 AD, when the British East India Company was first awarded a trading post and commenced building Fort St. George, near the sleepy fishing village of Madras Patnam. The rest of your day is at leisure to relax. Day 02 : Chennai Tour Chennai, featuring historic as well as contemporary places of interest, such as Victoria Art Gallery, Bronze Gallery and Madras Museum Day 03 : Chennai - Kanchipuram and Mahabalipuram Excursion Full day Excursion to Kanchipuram and Mahabalipuram. Kanchipuram (58 kms), one of the seven secred cities of India, served as a capital for several dynasties, most prominent among them being the Pallavas and the Cholas, responsible for making the most spectacular temple city of India Day 04 : Chennai - Trichy After a morning at leisure a short flight brings you to Tiruchirapalli, better known as Trichy. Trichy has a long and checkered history predating Christianity. Several dynasties including the Cholas, Pallavas and the Pandyas reigned over this city in the agriculturally rich basin of the Cauvery river Day 05 : Trichy Visit the Srirangam temple complex today. Located on an island in the Cauvery River, it is among the largest in India, covering an area of over 600 acres. The temple is surrounded by seven concentric walls and has twenty-one gopurams or temple towers, one of which is covered in gold Day 06 : Trichy - Tanjore - Madurai Drive to Tanjore (55 kms/1 hr) the ancient capital of the Chola kings, whose patronage and philanthropy rendered Tanjore a veritable haven for artists, musician and craftsmen. The dome on the apex of the central tower, 206 feet tall, Day 07 : Madurai Madurai is a bustling city packed with pilgrims, buisnessmen, bullock carts and legions of rickshaw wallahs. It is southern India's oldest center of pilgrimage and learning. Day 08 : Madurai - Thekkady (Periyar) Your exploration of South India continues as your drive to Thekkady (140 kms/31/2 hrs) located on the Tamil Nadu / Kerala border. This unique wildlife sanctuary is about 300 square miles and centered around an artificial lake fed by the Periyar river Day 09 : Thekkady - Kumarakom Venture on a game viewing boat cruise this morning, before continuing on to Kumarakom. The state of Kerala, is known for its numerous canals and waterways. Day 10 : Kumarakom Take a boat ride on the Vembanand Lake to the Kumarakom bird sanctuary. A part of the forest was submerged in the lake, offering an irresistible habitat to both migratory as well as local birds Day 11 : Kumarakom - Trivandrum (Kovalam) Drive to Trivandrum (170 kms / 4 hrs), Kerala's capital city and principal seaport. Known as the "city of the sacred snake". Thrivandrum is a city built over seven luxuriously forested hills. Day 12 : Trivandrum (Kovalam) Day 13 : Trivandrum Out Morning at leisure. Later fly to onward destination with your international flight. (hotel checkout at 12:00 hrs).
Rajasthan International Folk Festival (RIFF) The Rajasthan International folk festival (RIFF) is India's first annual folk festival which celebrates the traditional Folk Music and Arts. The festival is organized to offer an open platform to all the musicians and folk artist from India and around the world. More than 250 musicians and art performers from Rajasthan, India and Overseas get together and celebrate the traditional folk music and art heritage, creating innovative collaborations with an exciting fusion of International and Indian Folk Music accompanied by exciting performances. The RIFF Jodhpur organizes a series of programs, concerts and events based in and around Mehrangarh Fort. The festival is timed to harmonize with the brightest full moon of the year in northern India which is called 'Sharad Purnima'. During this festival the Mehrangarh Fort is decorated beautifully. Set against the backdrop of the Mehrangarh Fort, the Rajasthan International Folk Festival in Jodhpur comprises of impressive performances by some of the greatest musical maestros from local Rajasthan communities and across the world. The festivities showcase sensational star acts each night. The festival will also feature events like a Rajasthani night, a Jazz night, Traditional and Gypsy dance forms, early morning Ragas, etc. Interactive daytime sessions for visitors, school children and families are also organized.
17th October (Saturday) - Arrive Delhi Meeting and assistance on arrival transfer to hotel. Overnight stay at hotel.
18th October (Sunday) - In Delhi Morning after breakfast proceed for a combined tour of Old and New Delhi. First stop is the Red Fort built by Emperor Shah Jehan. Next visit the great mosque - Jama Masjid. Then walk around the lanes of quaint Chandni Chowk. Drive on to see the Mahatma Gandhi memorial at Rajghat. Later explore the Qutab Minar- built in 1191 AD. Close by is the famed 2000 year old Iron Pillar. Continue to Mughal Emperor Homerun’s Tomb. A drive through Delhi's tree - lined avenues takes you to India Gate - a memorial to the Unknown Soldier, the Rashtrapati Bhawan (residence of the President of India). Overnight stay at hotel.
19th October (Monday) - Delhi / Agra by surface 204 Kms / 4 hrs approx Morning after breakfast proceed for Agra via Sikandra - the mausoleum of Akbar. Akbar himself started construction of this beautiful monument. This structure has a perfect blending of Hindu, Christian, Islamic, Buddhist, Jain themes. On arrival check in at hotel. Afternoon visit Agra Fort, the red sand stone building nearly one kilometer long imposing building, possess the Halls of Public and Private Audience and the Tomb of Itmad-ud Daullah. Overnight stay at hotel.
20th October (Tuesday) - Agra / Jaipur by surface 235 Kms / 5 hrs approx Early morning take a breathtaking view of Taj Mahal. It was built in 1630 by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his wife Mumtaz Mahal. After breakfast proceed for Jaipur enroute visiting Fatehpur Sikri, the old Mughal capital (40 kilometers) from Agra. This magnificent fortified city was built by Emperor Akbar in 1569 and became the capital of Mughal India for 15 years. On arrival check in at hotel. Overnight stay at hotel.
21st October (Wednesday) - In Jaipur Morning after breakfast proceed for excursion to Amber Fort on elephant back. The fort was completed in 1592 by Raja Man Singh and is a true example of Rajput architecture. 22nd October (Thursday) – Jaipur / Jodhpur by surface 320 Kms / 6.5 hrs approx