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Ancient Civilisations of South India

from
£1199/per adult

Overview

Immerse yourself in the ancient Dravidian cultures of India’s Southern regions, witness the magnificent temples rising over the hills of Tamil Nadu, visit Fort St George built by the British, and witness the natural wildlife treasures at Periyar wildlife sanctuary, an essential stop for wildlife lovers.

First stop is Chennai, formerly known as Madras, situated in the Bay of Bengal and the capital of Tamil Nadu and considered to be the cultural centre of southern India. This bustling city was founded in 1639 when the British East India Company were granted rights to build a trading settlement. Enjoy a tour of this city and delve into its colonial past.

We then travel on to visit the ‘Golden City’ of Kanchipuram carved out of rock, this UNESCO World Heritage site represents the glorious past of the Pallava dynasty. Prepare to immerse yourself into the ancient history this site offers. 

Next up we visit the old colonial town of Puducherry (formerly Pondicherry). The Dutch, Portuguese, British and French have all left their mark here, the French influence is still clearly visible. Once the headquarters of the French East India Company this beautiful city has a distinctly French charm and old colonial buildings and Churches are a window into its recent past. Here you will escape the hustle and bustle of India, enjoy the cities inner peace with a visit to its meditation centre. 

In Thanjavur, we will visit the UNESCO World heritage site of Brihadeshwara, a Hindu temple dedicated to Shiva. This is considered to be one of the best examples of Chola architecture in Tamil Nadu and the complex showcases the architecture of this era. 

In Madurai we will visit the great Hindu temple of Meenakshi which showcases more than 30,000 figures within this temple complex.

Moving on from ancient architecture we travel on to Periyar, one of the most famous nature reserves in the country where, with a bit of luck, you will see elephants, a variety of birds and even wild tigers, enjoy a slower pace with a boat ride on the lake and time to relax in this wildlife paradise. In the evening you can enjoy the ancient martial arts show of Kalaripayattu. 

To round things up we end the tour in the coastal town of Kochi, here too you will see a European influence throughout the city.

Whats Included

Exciting excursions to exquisite cultural gems and colonial towns, such as Puducherry and The Nataraja Temple!

  • Return international flights from UK
  • All transfers throughout the tour
  • English speaking guide
  • 2 nights at the Accord Metropolitan Hotel, Chennai
  • 1 night at the Grand Bay Resort, Mahabalipuram
  • 1 night at the Accord Puducherry Hotel, Puducherry
  • 1 night at the Sangham Hotel, Thanjavur
  • 2 nights at the Sangham Hotel, Madurai
  • 1 night at the Greenwoods Periyar, Periyar
  • 2 nights at the Casino Hotel, Kochi
  • Enjoy a city tour of Chennai, former base of the British East India company including Fort St. George and the National Art Gallery.
  • Marvel at the ‘Golden City’ of Kanchipuram which houses over 125 shrines
  • Tour the coastal town of Mahabalipuram, sightseeing includes the Descent of the Ganga, the world’s largest bas-relief. The shore temple is a UNESCO World Heritage sight
  • Tour the former French colonial town of Puducherry, including a visit to Raj Nivas, the residence of the Lt. Governor of Pondicherry and the Aurobindo Ashram.
  • Visit the Ancient temples of Nataraja Temple in Chidambaram and Gangaikonda Cholapuram.
  • Excursion to the historical town of Trichy, including a visit to Rock Fort that dominates the landscape.
  • Sightseeing in the holy city of Madurai including a visit to the Menakshi-Sundareshwara Temple
  • Enjoy an afternoon boat ride on Periyar Lake
  • Enjoy a performance of the local martial art of Kalaripatittu which originated in South India
  • City tour of Kochi including Mattancherry Dutch Palace
  • Breakfast throughout (option to upgrade to half or full board) we can also upgrade you to superior hotels (please see other info)
  • All sightseeing as mentioned in the itinerary including guide and entrance fees.

Highlights

Bask in Southern India’s beauty with glorious sightseeing tours to historic Chennai and picturesque Periyar!

  • Visit numerous UNESCO World Heritage sights  
  • Visit Chennai, the former base of the British East India Company
  • Visit the wildlife paradise of Periyar and enjoy a boat trip on the lake and possibly a glimpse of some elephants and even the elusive Tiger.
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