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Taj Mahal Tour with Tamilnadu

DAY 01 : ARRIVE DELHI : Welcome in India. On arrival transfer to hotel. Rest of day is free for personal activities .Overnight at hotel

DAY 02: IN DELHI: Afterbreakfast half day City  city  tour of old Delhi and New delhi .Humayun's Tomb -Built by the wife of Humayun, Haji Begum in the mid 16th century, this red sand stone structure is considered to be the predecessor of Taj Mahal. The structure is one of the best example of Mughal Architecture. Humayun's wife is also buried in the red and white Jantar Mantar - Few minutes walk from Connaught Place is is a strange collection of solomon coloured structures. These were built by Maharaja Jai Singh and is actually an observatory. Though not as large as its compatriot in Jaipur Jantar Mantar at Delhi also an attraction for the tourists. The astonishing part of these observatories is that they can calculate many astronomical movements very accurately. Red Fort - Built in Red Sand stone this imposing fort is 3 kms in perimeter with the height of the wall varying from 18 to 30 meters at places. When the Red fort was being built Yamuna used to flow on its one sides and there were deep moats on the other. Today Yamuna flows almost a kilometer away from the fort and the moats have dried up. In the evening the Delhi Tourism organises a light and sound show which narrates the history of Delhi in context of the Red Fort. The Lahore gate, the main entrance, has some emotions and sentiments attached with the Indian independence as the Tricolour flutters on the top of this gate. On 15th August the Indian Prime minister addresses the nation from here.. The Dewan-i-Am or the place of public hearing had a wall paneled with marble in laid with precious stone which were removed during the mutiny of 1857. The Dewan-i-Khas or the place for special hearing was the area where the emperor used to hold meetings with his ministers. Next to Dewan-i-Khas are the royal baths or the Hammams and Shahi Burj which are closed for public viewing. The white marbled Moti Masjid or the pearl mosque was the private mosque for Aurangzeb. Rashtrapati Bhawan: The prisendent house , overlooking the green lawns around India Gate. This elegant building, is truly worth seeing, for its architectural beauty and historic significance. The beautiful Mughal Gardens of Rashtrapati Bhawan, which are open to the public in spring, are an added attraction. Parliament House: Located in Central Delhi, this elegant building with its wide pillared walkways and large halls, is worth a visit, to see the corridors of power where India's lawmakers and statesmen decide the future of India. Raj Ghat : The memories of Mahatma Gandhi. India Gate: situated on Rajpath, in the center of Delhi, this 42-meter high arch, was designed by Edwin Lutyens, in memory of the Indian soldiers who sacrificed their lives during the first World War. Their names can be seen inscribed on the arch. The Amar Jawan Jyoti, an eternal flame, burns in memory of the unknown soldier, beneath the shelter of the arch, which is surrounded by green lawns, fountains and water bodies - an evergreen picnic zone in the heart of central Delhi.. Birla Mandir Laxmi Narayan Temple: It was built by the industrialist Raja Baldev Birla in 1938. The temple is an important prayer centre and contains idols of several deities. Interestingly, Mahatma Gandhi, who inaugurated the temple, was also a regular visitor to it. Bahai Temple: This aesthetically designed monument, commonly known as the Lotus Temple, because the white marble structure is built to in the shape of a lotus, set amidst, lakes and green lawns. It is a serene house of meditation, within which there are no idols and total silence prevails, so all can meditate in complete peace .Overnight at Hotel :

DAY 03: DELHI/JAIPUR(DRIVE: 260KMD/05HRS) : In morning drive to Jaipur  . On arrival  Jaipur check-in at hotel.  Afternoon visit City Palace , Hawa Mahal & Jantar Mantar . Hawa Mahal is one of the most common and popular tourist attractions in Jaipur. Hawa Mahal was basically used as a veil by the royal women folk to watch the proceedings on the road below. Today it is the one of most visited monuments in Jaipur. The City Palace is another beautiful landmark that was built by  Rajput rulers of Jaipur. The City Palace is a classic example of Mughal and Rajput architecture. A part of the palace today is museum that houses a collection of rare manuscripts, weapons, Mughal carpets and costumes, and Mughal and Rajasthani miniatures. Jantar Mantar makes another wonderful sight to visit. Built in 1718 by Sawai Jai Singh, Jantar Mantar Observatory is one of the five observatories that were built by the king. The observatory was built to study the movement of stars.  . Overnight at hotel :

DAY 04 : JAIPUR/AGRA(DRIVE:230KMS/05HRS): In morning drive to Agra. On arrival in Agra Check-in at hotel. Afternoon visit the magnificent Taj Mahal - one of the seven wonders of the world surely the most extravagant expression of love ever created. 20,000 men labored for over 17 years to build this memorial to Shah Jahan's beloved wife. Also visit Red fort - the rusty and majestic red-sandstone fort of Agra stands on the banks of the river Yamuna and the construction was started by Emperor Akbar in 1566. At the Diwan-I-Am(hall of public audience),a colonnaded hall of red-sandstone with a throne alcoveof inlaid marble at the back,the Emperor heard public petitions. At the Diwan-I-Khas(hall of private audience) where marble pavilions with floral inlays lend an ethereal ambience, the Emperor sat on his gem-studded peacock Throne and met foreign ambassadors and rulers of friendly kingdoms Overnight at  HOTEL :

DAY 05: AGRA/DELHI(DRIVE:210KMS/5HRS): In morning drive to Delhi .On arrival Check-in at hotel  :

DAY 06: DELHI/MADRAS (BY AIR): : Transfer  to Delhi airport  to board flight    for Chennai. On arrival Chennai transfer to hptel. Overnight at hotel :  

DAY 07: IN MADRAS: After breakfast City tour of Madras : Fort St. George It is at Kamaraja  road. It is the first British fort  built around 1653  AD by the British East India Company. It has a  20 feet thick wall. The present structure,is a fine example of 17th century British military architecture. The country's tallest flagstaff is here, it’s said  to be over 300 years old. The 24 black Charnockite pillars are those reclaimed by the British in 1762 of the original 32 which once formed the colonade of the present Secretariat building. It remains the symbol of the British Raj. Now it houses the Secretariat and the Legislative Assembly. The best time to visit is on a Sunday. High court Entry - Monday to Saturday from 10 to 5 with guided tour Rs.10. It is situated at  Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose Road, just north of St.George fort. It is an example of Indo Saracenic architecture. It is one of the largest judicial complex in the world. The red sand stone construction, ornamental decorations on the walls and minarets add beauty to this building.  The compound has a pyramid shape tomb which belongs to the only son of  Elihu Yale, who died in infancy. Marina Beach, lining the east of the city is the famous  at Kamarajar Road, 3 Km away from Madras. This is supposed to be the second longest beach in the World and runs to a length of 12 Km. On the beach there is the Anna Park, named after the founder of D.M.K (Dravida Munnetta Kazhakam) Anna Durai and the tomb of M.G. Ramachandran who was a film star and the charismatic Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu. The beach can be ideally visited in the early mornings or in the late evenings when the area becomes a virtual ground; with food stalls and other entertainments..  Sri Kapaleswarar Temple, this temple is situated near Kutchery Road, Mylapore.  This ancient Siva temple is a delightful introduction to Dravidian temple sculpture and architecture. The magnificent 37 meter tall gopuram is one of the main attraction of this temple. Non-Hindus are not allowed to enter the inner courtyard. The outer courtyard has several bronze statues... Overnight in HOTEL

DAY  08 : MADRAS/KANCHIPURAM /MAHABAIPURAM  : In morning drive to Kanchipuram . Kanchipuram is among the most famous of the 'temple cities' of Tamil Nadu. Its temples house different Hindu sects. Though today it is only a destination for pilgrims, and a repository of major architectural monuments, in antiquity it occupied a more preeminent place in the history of South India. The city was the political capital of the Pallava rulers during the 7th - 9th centuries. It remained an important city during the succeeding Chola and Vijayanagara empires. MAMALLAMPURM ( DRIVE: 120KM/03HRS) : After visiting Kanchipuram drive  to Mamallapuram. On  arrival checkin at hotel .It’s globally renown for its shore temples, Mahabalipuram was the second capital of the Pallava kings of Kanchipuram. , this tiny sea - side village of Mahabalipuram, is set in a boulder - strewn landscape. Tourists are drawn to this place by its miles of unspoiled beach and rock-cut art. The sculpture, here, is particularly interesting because it shows scenes of day-to- day life, in contrast with the rest of the state of Tamil Nadu, where the carvings generally depict gods and goddesses. Mahabalipuram art can be divided into four categories : open air bas - reliefs, structured temples, man-made caves and rathas ('chariots' carved from single boulders, to resemble temples or chariots used in temple processions). The famous Arjuna's Penance and the Krishna Mandapa, adorn massive rocks near the centre of the village. The beautiful Shore Temple towers over the waves, behind a protective. Arjuna's PenanceCarved in relief on the face of a huge rock, Arjuna's Penance is the mythical story of the river Ganges, issuing from its source, high in the Himalayas. The surface of the rock has detailed carvings showing the most endearing and natural renditions of animals. It also shows deities, and other semi-divine creatures and fables from the Panchtantra. Arjuna, one of the Pandava brothers and a consummate archer, is shown standing on one leg, doing penance to obtain a boon from Lord Shiva. It is said that Arjuna had made a journey to a bank on the river Ganges to do penance, in the hope that Shiva would part with his favourite weapon, the pashupatashastra, a magic staff or arrow. Mandapams (low rise, rockcut halls)In all there are eight mandapams scattered over the main hill, two of which have been left unfinished. Krishna MandapamThis is one of the earliest rock-cut temples. It features carvings of a pastoral scene, showing Lord Krishna lifting up the Govardhana mountain, to protect his people from the wrath of Indra, the God of Rain. Rathas These are architectural prototypes of all Dravidian temples, showcasing the imposing gopurams and vimanas, multi-pillared halls and sculptured walls, which dominate the landscape of Tamil Nadu. The rathas are named after the Pandavas, the heroes of the Mahabharata epic. Although they are widely known as "Five Rathas", there are actually eight of them. Overnight  AT HOTEL  :  

DAY  09: MAHABALIPURAM/PONDICHERY( DRIVE :210KMS/04 HRS) : In morning drive to Pondicherry .On arrival chec-kin at hotel .Overnight at hotel Afternoon visit Auroville ;located 10 kms north of Pondicherry town, Auroville is envisioned as a universal town, where people from different nationalities, faiths and beliefs, can live in peace and harmony. The construction of this 'universal town' was started in 1968 under the guidance of the mother, a paries- Born painter-musician who become sri Aurobindo's disciple and close companion from 1924 till his death in 1950. The development of this Utopia is still in progress. Several countries have offered to set up permanent pavilions, reflecting the culture and ethos of their countries. The French HeritageShri Aurobindo Ashram Shri Aurobindo, the great seer, poet and prophet of the twentieth century, made Pondicherry his home from 1910 till his death in 1950. His vision and ideals continue to draw People from all over the world. Pondicherry MuseumOn display are the findings of Arikamedu , the chola bronzes and sculptures, glimpses Of French heritage, specimens of modern and traditional handicraft, paintings, armoires, carvings and many other things of historical interest. Botanical Garden : Established by C.S perrotet in 1826, it preserves a large Varity of exotic species of plants from all over India and abroad. Villaiayanur :Sri Gokilambal Thirukameswarar tamale, architecturally the finest in Pondicherry, is located 9.5 kms away. During may- June, a ten - day annual festival (Brahmothsavam) is held here which attracts hundreds of devotees. The temple car rising to a height of 15.25 meters is profusely decorated, pulled out from its usual position and taken on a procession around the town. It is an awe - inspiring sight. Mansion of Ananda Rangapillai Built in 1773, this mansion is a fine specimen of indo - French architecture. Ananda Rangapillai was the courtier of Joseph francois dupleix , the governor.. Eglise de Sacre Coeur De Jesus : Dedicated to the sacred heart of Jesus, this church is noted for its Gothic architecture and stained glass planes, which depict the entire life of Jesus Christ..  Overnight in hotel. :AN

DAY  10 : PONDICHERY/TRICHY ( Drive: 200 kms/04hrs): In morning drive to Trichy .On arrival chekin at hotel. Trichy also known as Tiruchirapalli 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.Overnight in  Hotel.

DAY 11  :   TRICHY/MADURAI( Drive 65 Km/01 hrs) : In morning drive to Madurai .Enroute visit to Thanjavour  . The beautiful Chola Temple of Brihadeshwara 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. On arrival checkin at Hotel.IN EVENING  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 and arches. Overnight at  hotel : .

AUGUST 12: MADURAI /PERIYAR  ( DRIVE 140kms/03 KMS/) : In morning drive to  Periyar  .On arrival check-in hotel . Visit Periyar Wild Life Santuary and Boat at Periyar Lake . Overnight at hotel : 

DAY 13 : PERIYAR  /MUNNAR (DRIVE:160KMS/04HRS) : In morning drive to MUNNAR .ON arrival check-in at hotel . There are a number of tourist attractions in the hill station of Munnar. Travellers can have panoramic view of the verdant surroundings and forested hills from Munnar. Walks and hiking around the small town of Munnar offer an exhilarating experience. Travellers can also enjoy walking amongst the numerous tea estates of Munnar and view the entire process of making tea, right from plucking of tealeaves to their processing at the Kundale tea plantation.

Anaimudi (2,695 m), the highest peak in southern India, can be viewed from Munnar.

The Christ Church is an important place to visit in Munnar. Built of stone, it was constructed by the British in 1910. This church of Munnar is known for its stain glass windows.Sprawling tea plantations, picture-book towns, winding lanes and holiday facilities make this a popular resort town. Among the exotic flora found in the forests and grasslands here is the Neelakurinji. This flower that bathes the hills in blue every twelve years, will bloom next in 2006 AD. Overnight at  hotel: 

DAY 14 : MUNNAR/COCHIN(DRIVE:140KMS/04HRS) : In morning drive Cochin  to board House Boat for BACK  WATER  CRUISE .After enjoying Backwater Cruise  transfer to Cochin .On arrival check-in hotel. Overnight at hotel.

DAY 15   : IN COCHIN: Morning city tour of COCHIN, also known as Kochi, is one of the finest backwaters and beach destinations of Kerala, India. Beautifully spread across string of picturesque and lovely islands, lagoons, small rivulets and swaying coconut palm trees, Cochin is one of the most sought after and tourist destinations in Kerala. Fort Cochin: Also known as the 'Old Fort', Fort Cochin is the very first fort built by the Europeans in India. Started by the Dutch and then British, the Fort has many amazing structures. Vasco de Gama, the first European to land on Indian coasts in 1498, died in Fort Cochin on Christmas eve in 1524. The Fort houses a huge Portuguese-style Mansion, the St. Francis Church and the Santa Cruz Basilica among other attractions. Chinese Fishing Nets: They are huge cantilevered fishing nets brought by the Indian traders from the court of Kublai Khan, the famous Mongol Emperor who founded the Yuan Dynasty of China. Erected between 1350 and 1450 AD by traders, these nets are set up on teak wood and bamboo poles. The best place to enjoy the nets being lowered into the sea and its catch is the Vasco de Gama square.Jewish Synagogue: Built in the year 1568, the Jewish Synagogue is probably the oldest synagogue in the commonwealth. The greatest attractions of this synagogue are the amazing 18th century hand painted willow pattern floor tiles imported from China, the copper plates on which the privilege granted by the kings were recorded, a dock tower and Hebrew inscriptions on stone slabs among many others.St. Francis Church: Built by the Portuguese in 1503 AD, it is the first church built by the Europeans in India. Vasco De Gama, the famous Portuguese trader and sailor, was buried here in 1524 before his remains were moved to Lisbon, Portugal in 1538. Overnight at hotel

Day 16  Leave  COCHIN: Transfer to airport to board flight for onwards destination.

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