An Introduction To South India 09 Nights
Package Id | 0000165
Duration : 9 Nights 10 Days
Chennai - Pondicherry - Kumbakonam - Tanjore  - Chettinad - Madurai - Chennai - Out

Highlights Of The Itinerary:

  • Temples of Tamil Nadu

Specially Created For:

  • Cultural Enthusiasts 
Welcome to India.

India is the world’s largest democracy and covers an area of 3,287,263 sq km, stretching from the high Himalayas in the North, to the southern tropical rain forests and flanked by the Arabian Sea in West and The Indian Ocean in the East.   In the shape of a triangle, India's topography is greatly varied in that there are deserts and rain forests, much of its land is comprised of fertile river plains and high plateaus.  A vast subcontinent of over 1.2 billion people ,  and contains more different languages ,religions ,races and cultures than any other country in the world. India offers the traveler a multitude of unique experiences ensuring an unforgettable visit. From the vibrant and bustling markets and extravagant festivals to the serenity of a mountain retreat, India is a destination that will touch your soul.

Day 1

  • Meet and Greet at Chennai International Airport
  • Transfer from Chennai airport to the Hotel
  • Morning at leisure 
  • Afternoon Excursion to Mahabalipuram 
  • 3 Overnight in ITC Grand Chola 

Day 2

  • Morning excursion to Kanchipuram, Afternoon at leisure

Day 3

  • Morning Drive to Pondicherry ( 150 Kms / 2 ½  Hours)
  • On arrival check-in at Hotel
  • Afternoon visit Auroville and Aurobindo Ashram
  • 1 Overnight at Palais de Mahe

Day 4

  • Morning drive to Kumbakonam
  • Enroute visiting Temples of Chidambaram – Gangaikondacholapuram
  • On arrival check-in at Hotel
  • 2 Overnights at Hotel

Day 5

  • Full day proceed on a Temple tour visit Darasuram, Swamimalai and Kumbakonam Temples.

Day 6

  • Morning drive to Chettinad
  • Enroute visiting Tanjore 
  • On arrival check-in at Hotel
  • 2 Overnights at Chidambaram Villa’s

Day 7

  • Morning proceed on tour of Chettinad + visit the local market + witness traditional art of Chettinad Handmade Tiles

Day 8

  • Morning drive to Madurai ( 90 Kms /2 Hours)
  • On arrival visit Meenakshi Temple 
  • Later transfer to Airport and fly to Chennai 
  • On arrival transfer to Hotel located close to the Airport
  • 1 Overnight at Trident

Day 9

  • Morning departure transfer from Hotel to International Airport for flight back home

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive Chennai

  • Upon arrival in Chennai you will be met and transferred to “ITC Grand Chola”.
  • Chennai: Modern Chennai grew out of a small fishing village called Madraspatnam, when the East India Company chose the location for a new settlement way back in 1639. It is the fourth largest metropolis in India. Chennai is an important centre for Carnatic Music and hosts a large cultural event. The city has a vibrant theatre scene and is an important centre for the Bharatanatyam, a classical dance form.
  • ITC Grand Chola: This ornate, palatial tribute to Southern India's greatest empires – the Imperial Cholas – overlooks verdant foliage in the heart of Chennai. It embodies the highest standards in Indian hospitality balanced with elegant restraint in a prime property with a distinct personality.
Note: Room will be blocked from 24th November in order to have room on arrival.

  • Spend three nights at ITC Grand Chola. Accommodation is in ITC ONE with ensuite facilities. Your stay is on bed and breakfast basis.
  • Afternoon proceed on a half day excursion to Mahabalipuram
  • This spectacular site situated on the Bay of Bengal, extends across a boulder strewn landscape and comprises rock-cut caves and monolithic shrines, structural temples and huge bas reliefs that are considered the greatest examples of Pallava art. 
  • The spectacular Shore temple, perched dramatically on a promontory by the sea, has survived the ravages of time and erosion. Built for Vishnu by Mamalla, Narasimha Varman-I the 7th century Pallava king, the two Shiva shrines were added later. 
  • The temple has a low boundary wall, with rows of seated nandis surrounding it.  Inland from the shore temple, in the village centre is the celebrated bas relief of Bhagiratha's Penance. Carved on an immense rock with natural vertical cleft symbolizing the Ganges, the panel depicts in great detail the story of the sacred river's descent from the sky. 
  • On the ridge southwest of Bhagiratha's Penance are cave temples. The Mahishasuramardini Cave Temple has a graceful portrayal of Goddess Durga on her lion mount, subduing the buffalo-headed demon Mahisha. It has been classified as a UNESCO world Heritage Site.  

Day 2: Chennai

  • Morning proceed on sightseeing tour of Kanchipuram.
  • Kanchipuram, one of the seven sacred cities of India and centre for the production of Kanjeevaram silk. It was successively the capital of the Pallavas, the Cholas and the Rayas of Vijayanagar. During the 6th and 7th centuries some of the best temples in the city were built by the Pallavas.  The city was also a great seat of learning. Sri Sankaracharya, Appar, Siruthonder and the great Buddhist Bhikku, Bodhidharma, lived and worked here.  
  • You would also have time for shopping Silk Sarees. Afternoon at leisure for independent activities. 

Day 3: Chennai – Pondicherry

  • Morning drive to Pondicherry enroute visiting Auroville. (150 Kms / 2 ½ Hours).
  • Auroville: - is a universal township in the making for a population of up to 50,000 people from around the world. The concept of Auroville - an ideal township devoted to an experiment in human unity - came to the Mother as early as the 1930s. In the mid 1960s the Sri Aurobindo Society in Pondicherry proposed to Her that such a township should be started. She gave her blessings. The concept was then put before the Govt. of India, who gave their backing and took it to the General Assembly of UNESCO. In 1966 UNESCO passed a unanimous resolution commending it as a project of importance to the future of humanity, thereby giving their full encouragement.
  • On arrival in Pondicherry, check-in at Hotel .Evening visit Aurobindo Ashram.
  • The ashram lends Pondicherry a spiritual feel; it is the place where the great Indian philosopher Aurobindo Ghosh lived and died. Set up in 1926 by Sri Aurobindo. Aurobindo’s philosophy is derived in a combination of yoga and modern science. Aurobindo Ashram is instrumental in giving Pondicherry the title of a spiritual town. It is also the place where Saint Aurobindo’s disciple and companion Mirra Alfassa from Paris, who later came to be known as The Mother, lived and died.
  • Spend One night at Palais de Mahe. Accommodation is in Standard Room with ensuite facilities. Your stay is on bed and breakfast basis.

Day 4: Pondicherry - Kumbakonam

  • Morning drive to Kumbakonam (165 Kms / 3 ½ Hours) enroute visiting Temples at Chidambaram & Gangaikonda Cholapuram Temple. 
  • Chidambaram Temple is a Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. Chidambaram Temple is one of the five holiest Shiva temples, each representing one of the five natural elements; 
  • The temple complex spread over 50 acres in the heart of the city. It is an ancient and historic temple dedicated to Lord Shiva Nataraja and Lord Govindaraja Perumal, one of the few temples where both the Shaivite and Vaishnavite deities are enshrined in one place. 
  • Gangaikonda Cholapuram Temple: The name may sound long, but it literally means "The Town of the Chola's who conquered the Ganges". It was the capital of the Chola's when they flourished and their empire stretched from the Bengal to Ceylon. 
  • The Chola emperor Rajendra I (1012-1044) built this Gangaikonda Cholapuram temple dedicated to Lord Shiva with an imposing gopuram that can be seen miles around.
  • On arrival at Kumbakonam, check-in at Hotel.
  • Spend Two nights at Mantra. Accommodation is in Mantra Illam with ensuite facilities. Your stay is on bed and breakfast basis.

Day 5: Kumbakonam

  • Morning start your Temple tour with the visit to Darasuram Temple.
  • Darasuram: Airavateeswara temple was constructed by the Chola ruler Raja Raja Chola II in the 12th century(1160-1162 A.D). This temple is one of the finest examples of Dravidian. The gopuram of this temple is 85ft high and has exquisite architecture, sculptures and paintings.
  • The main deity of the Temple is known as Airavateeswara means Airavatham is an Elephant in white colour), vahana of the king of gods, Indira. Airavatham cursed by sage Durvasa to change white to black. While suffering Airavatha came to this temple for worship, after worship the Airavatha turns to it white colour and got the cure for the curse. 
  • Nageswaran temple:  Nageswaran temple is about 2 kms from Kumbakonam. Also known as "Koothandavar kovil".Chola dynasty constructed this temple during 12th century. This temple stands as a great marvel of Chola's architecture, building technology. The design and orientation are structured in such a way that it allows the sun rays inside the temple only during the month of Chithirai. The Karuvarai of Nageswaran temple has similarity with that of Sarangapani temple,as it is made in the form of a chariot. The temple consists of two Gopurams in the eastern and western directions.
  • Kashivshwanath Temple: The Main deity Kashi Vishwanath resides in the temple with the Goddess Vishalakshi Amman. The navakanniyar in this temple are the 9 holy rivers. It is believed that the mahamaham function is closely associated with the 9 presiding deities namely Ganga, Yamuna, Narmada, Saraswati, Kaveri, Godavari, Tungabhadra, Krishna and Sarayu.
  • Sarangapani Temple : Sarangapani Temple is considered one among three major shrines of Lord Vishnu and it was renovated during the period of Nayaka Kingdom of 16th century. Sarangapani Temple consists of only one holy tank, known as Porthamarai Kulam. The Karuvarai and Vimana are made with 12 Sculptured columns shaped like a Chariot.

Day 6: Kumbakonam – Tanjore – Chetinad

  • Morning drive to Chettinad (188 Kms / 4 Hours) enroute visiting Temple at Tanjore. 
  • Brihadeswara Temple at Tanjore:  Thanjavur emerged as the stronghold of Tamil culture in the eleventh century, with Chola King Raja Raja I at the helm. The Cholas built more than 70 temples in Thanjavur, with the most outstanding one being the Brihadeswara Temple. Its importance is acknowledged by the fact that it's now a UNESCO World Heritage site. The temple, which turned 1,000 years old in 2010, is a symbol of the unrivalled power and might of the Cholas. 
  • It's also one of the oldest temples dedicated to Lord Shvia in India. Constructed solely out of granite, the temple's Dravidian architecture is imposing and precise. Its dome rises to over 60 meters, and the passage around the sanctum is adorned with Chola frescoe. 
  • After visit continue your drive to Chettinad.  
  • Chettinad is well known for its Chettinad Cuisine & Mansions. On arrival check-in at Chidambaram villa’s 
  • Spend Two nights at Chidambaram Villa’s. Accommodation is in Deluxe Room with ensuite facilities. Your stay is on bed and breakfast basis

Day 7: Chetinad 

  • Morning proceed  on a tour of Chettinad Mansion and visit the local Market
  • Chettinad, a once powerful business community located in the heart of Tamil Nadu. More than 100 years ago it was a region consisting of 96 villages filled with huge country homes of the Nattukottai Chettiars, a community considered to be the pioneers of modern banking. Their palatial mansions were stuffed with imported period furniture, chandeliers, curios and paintings from around the world. 
  • Later you will be taken to see the art of making tiles of Chettinad, these tiles is a traditional activity at Chettinad. The raw materials used for making these tiles are the local soil, cement, baby jelly and synthetic oxides. It is unique and supreme, as it comes in a variety of colors and patterns made by a distinctive process of making tiles.
  • Remainder of the day at leisure for independent activities. 

Day 8: Chetinad – Madurai - Chennai

  • Morning drive to Madurai (90 Kms / 02 Hours). 
  • Madurai: is home to the most impressive and important temple in south India --the Meenakshi Temple. The ancient southern Indian city of Madurai that has earned the sobriquet, 'Athens of the East', is a place of great historical importance. Said to be the oldest city in South India. Madurai stands on the banks of the sacred river Vaigai, eternalized in Lord Shiva's exploits in the 'Halasya Purana'
  • On arrival visit Meenakshi Temples 
  • Meenakshi Temple: Meenakshi at Madurai, popularly known as the Meenakshi Temple, was built during the reign of Chadayavarman Sundara Pandyan in the 12th century. The imposing 9-storey tower was built between the 13th and 16th century. During the 200-year reign of Nayakka rulers, many Mandapams (covered structure with pillars) were constructed in the temple premises, like the Hall of Thousand Pillars, Puthu Mandapam, Ashta Sakthi Mnadapam, Vandiyoor Theppakulam, and Nayakkar Mahal. The temple, as it stands today, was built between 12th and 18th century. After visiting the Temple, visit one of the largest Tailor Market of South India, located close to Meenakshi Temple.
  • Later transfer to Madurai Airport in time to board flight to Chennai 
  • On arrival in Chennai, transfer to Hotel located close to the Airport 
  • Spend One night at Trident. Accommodation is in Deluxe Room with ensuite facilities.Your stay is on bed and breakfast basis

Day 9: Depart Chennai

  • Morning departure transfer from Hotel to Chennai Airport in time to board your flight back home.
Inclusion

  • Meet and greet on arrival and on departure at the International Airport
  • Accommodation at all hotels as per the meal plan mentioned above
  • All transfers, sightseeing and overland trips by 01 Air-conditioned Toyota Innova
  • Service of an accompanying English Speaking guide.
  • Entrance fee 
  • Travel Journal 
  • Mineral water during sightseeing and overland trip
  • All current taxes as on date.

Exclusion

  • Any International/Domestic Airfare / Airport taxes
  • Any change in tax structure resulting from the hike in published tariff.
  • Items of personal nature like tips , laundry, phone calls etc
  • Any video / still camera fee to the monuments and places of visit 
  • Any other item not explicitly mentioned under price includes.
  • Any Insurance

Terms & Conditions

  • Prices are subject to change as per change in Government / Hotel / Airline policy without prior notice.
  • Rates include only those items specified in your itinerary. 
  • Please note, the names of hotels mentioned in our proposal only indicate that our rates have been based on usage of these hotels. It is not to be construed that accommodation is confirmed at these hotels until and unless we convey the confirmations to you on receipt of your acceptance. However in the event of any of the above mentioned hotels not becoming available at the time of initiating the reservations, we shall book alternate accommodation at a similar or next best available hotel and shall pass on the difference of rates (supplement/reduction whatever applicable) to you.
  • Hotel Check-In 1400 hours, Check-out time 1200 NOON
  • In case on any currency fluctuations or amendment in local Government taxes, or any fuel hike, we reserve the right to adjust the tour price accordingly. The due increase or decrease will be communicated accordingly.
  • Until such time as confirmation of services is received from Dook Travels this is a Quotation only and is subject to availability as no reservations have been made.
  • The rates quoted are subject to change without prior warning, should there be any increases in Park Fees, Fuel, Sales Tax or VAT, third party services, or any other circumstances beyond our control in the regions featured in this quote/booking.
  • All guests must take out comprehensive travel insurance covering them for personal effects, personal accident, medical and emergency travel expenses, cancellation and curtailment.
  • In order to comply with international insurance requirements all airline tickets must clearly show the passenger’s title, surname, name and initial (as indicated in their passport).  As this applies to both scheduled and charter flights we would be grateful if you could provide us with this information at the time of confirmation. Your internal flights have been organized by us. While we take the maximum care to ensure a safe and comfortable journey for you Dook Travels is not responsible for the fitness of the carriers or the safety standards of the carrier company.
  • In order to comply with International Insurance requirements Dook Travels can only reserve seats, be it on a provisional or confirmed basis, on both domestic/scheduled or charter flights.
  • Please note that airfares may increase between time of booking, time of payment and the ticket being issued. Any costs incurred due to amendments will not be borne by Dook Travels.
  • Dook Travels cannot be held responsible should airlines discontinue flights on certain routings or change scheduled timetables, resulting in missed connections etc. Should an amendment in a routing or itinerary be necessary we will re-quote you accordingly
  • Dietary Requirements: All dietary requirements can be catered for. When making your reservation, please advice us of any specific dietary requirements that you may have and these will be communicated through to the respective establishment.
  • Gratuities: Tipping is at your discretion. However management of the establishment will be able to assist with guidelines.

Payment & Cancellation Policy

1. 25% Non-refundable advance payment to be remitted within 15 days on receiving confirmation for the hotels booked.

2. 75% of the balance payment to be remitted 60 days prior to arrival into India except for the periods of Pushkar/Christmas & New Year & February where 75% advance is required 100 days prior to arrival into India.

Booking made within 45 days of arrival - 100% payment at the time of booking (within 72 hours) (non refundable)
Booking made more than 45 days prior to arrival - 25% payment at the time of booking (within 7 days ) and balance 75%  , 60 to 100 days prior to arrival
Cancellation 60 days or more prior to arrival - No cancellation/ retention charge, except for cancellation fee on air tickets/ train tickets or deposits made for Game drives in National Parks.
Cancellation within 45 days of arrival - Retention of full deposit levied as cancellation charge

Dook Travels reserves the right to cancel all services booked should full payment not be received 60 days prior to arrival date.


Should it be a last minute booking, Dook Travels will allow for 3 days from time of confirmation until payment (100%) reaches us before Dook Travels will cancel any services booked. The amount is NON – REFUNDABLE.

Visa Requirements

  • As for all international travel, the visitor to India is required to be in possession of a valid passport and visa. Travellers from all countries need a visa. Enquire about this from the Indian diplomatic Representatives abroad
  • Boarding or immigration can be denied if there is a mismatch of passport details mentioned on the visa letter issued by the Government of India and the passport presented at these checks.
  • The passport has to be valid for a minimum of 6 months AFTER the departure date from India and atleast 2 (two) clear pages available in the passport for immigration stamping.

 


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