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Home   »   South India Tours   »   Incredible South India

Incredible South India
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Incredible South India A country with as rich a history as India is bound to retain much evidence of its past and for the avid collector of memorabilia there is no better place to go to root out such gems. This tour is designed to introduce collectors of antiques to a world of interesting bygones and interesting items. This mainly escorted tour will take you to a variety of little visited places where you will want to spend time searching through dusty shelves and dark corners to locate those special items and indulge in friendly bargaining with the shop owners to achieve that special price everyone is so keen on. Who knows, there might even prove to be a way to pass any extra special bargains on to friends and so contribute to the cost of the tour.

TOUR PROGRAM

Day 01 : Arrive Chennai
Incredible South India Meeting and assistance on arrival and transfer and hotel. Later visit the Victoria Technical Institute and a number of antique shops Fort St. George, originally a British trading post and powerful bastion and entrance to South India. The National Museum is housed here and contains sculptures from the Pallava, Pandava and Chola dynasties including art and exceptionally beautiful bronzes statues, together with exhibits from the stone and iron ages. Overnight stay at hotel.

Day 02 : Chennai-Mahabalipuram
Morning after breakfast proceed for Mahabalipuram via Kanchipuram which was the ancient capital of the Pallavas and famous as a city of 1000 temples of which 124 remain. The earliest temple, dedicated to Shiva, was built in the 7th and 8th centuries and still contains wall paintings. There will also be a visit to a Silk Weaving Centre where the ancient processes can be seen and the resultant product purchased. The journey to Mahabalipuram will then resume and after checking in to your hotel, the rest of the day will be free to relax. Overnight stay at hotel.

Day 03 : In Mahabalipuram
After a leisurely breakfast there will be a sightseeing tour of the fascinating town of Mahabalipuram famous for its Shore Temple and being the centre of the local stone carving industry. The Shore Temple with its intricate carvings is one of the oldest of the South Indian temples constructed in the Dravidian style and is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Returning to your hotel in the afternoon, the rest of the day is free. Overnight stay at hotel.
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Day 04 : Mahabalipuram- Puducherry
Morning after breakfast proceed for Puducherry. Once a French colony, Puducherry still retains a very strong French flavour which can be seen in its buildings and tasted in the food. On arrival you will be checked in to your hotel and after time to relax, in the afternoon there will be a chance to seek out some of the places in the town where antiques can be found. Overnight stay at hotel.

Incredible South IndiaDay 05 : In Puducherry
After a leisurely breakfast there will be a chance to explore Puducherry which is best done on foot during the early morning and late afternoon to appreciate the unique atmosphere of the attractive town. There will also be a chance to revisit any places where antiques were found but time was needed to decide whether purchases should be made. The day should end with a visit to the beach to watch the sun set, perhaps with a cocktail in your hand. Overnight stay at hotel.

Day 06 : Puducherry-Tanjore
Morning after breakfast proceed for Tanjore via Swamimalai which is a centre of bronze icon making. These beautiful, if rustic, items can be purchased and would make a welcome addition to any antique shop which also sells native art. Tanjore which was once the capital of the Chola dynasty and still retains a number of impressive temples built during the 10th and 11th centuries. Overnight stay at hotel.

Day 07 : In Tanjore
Morning after breakfast there will be a chance to visit some of the sites of Tanjore and also to relax before continuing with your tour. Overnight stay at hotel.
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Day 08 : Tanjore-Karakudi
Morning after breakfast proceed for Karakudi, chief town of the Chettinad region of Tamil Nadu. Chettinad is an area often missed out by tourists which is a pity because it offers some of the most interesting and unique buildings and architecture to be found in the whole of India. It is also home to the highest number of antique shops and warehouses in India. On arrival you will check in to your hotel and after lunch and time to freshen up and relax, there will be a visit to the 'antique' street and an opportunity to buy any number of interesting articles. Overnight stay at hotel.

Day 09 : In Karakudi
Morning after breakfast there will be a visit to some of the mansions for which the area is synonymous. Today the mansions are only rarely lived in permanently by those who built them but some have family members still residing there and they are willing to allow visitors to look round at the faded glories of the interior decoration. You will return to your hotel for lunch and later go to the antique street for a last chance to purchase some more curiosities or collectibles. Overnight stay at hotel.

Day 10 : In Karakudi
Incredible South India Morning after breakfast the whole day will be free for you to decide whether it will be for time to relax or maybe retrace some of your steps of the last two days. Overnight stay at hotel.

Day 11 : Karakudi-Cochin
Morning after breakfast there will be a short drive to Madurai and a brief tour of the city including the famous Meenakshi Temple before being dropped at Madurai airport for your flight to Cochin via Chennai. You will be met on arrival at Kochi airport and transferred to your hotel. Overnight stay at hotel.

Day 12 : In Cochin
Morning after breakfast there will be a sightseeing tour of Fort Cochin. Places visited will include the Dutch Palace, the Jewish Synagogue (closed on Fridays & Saturdays); St. Francis Church and the Santa Cruz Basilica. Also seen will be the unique and still-in-use "Chinese Fishing Nets" which were introduced by Chinese traders in the 14th century. The tour ends with a walk through the 500 year old Fort area with its well preserved Dutch and Portuguese buildings. In the evening there will be a visit to a Kathakali Dance Performance. Rooted in Hindu mythology, Kathakali is a unique combination of literature, music, painting, acting, dance and drama and is performed by dancers wearing elaborate masks and costumes. Overnight stay at hotel.

Day 13 : In Cochin
Morning after a leisurely breakfast the whole day is free for you to explore the numerous shops in the Fort area where antiques of all descriptions can be haggled over. Overnight stay at hotel.

Day 14 : In Cochin
Morning after breakfast the day is once again free for you to relax, do more antique hunting or perhaps arrange, with the help of our local representative, a day cruise on a houseboat through the famous Keralan backwaters. Overnight stay at hotel.

Day 15 : Depart Cochin
After breakfast and at an appropriate time, you will be transferred to the airport to board flight for your onward destination.


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