Chennai has either the cosmopolitan, prosperous air of Mumbai (Bombay), the optimistic buzz of Bengaluru (Bangalore) or the historical drama of Delhi. It’s muggy, polluted, hot as hell and difficult to get around. Traditional tourist attractions are few. Even the movie stars are, as one Chennaiker put it, ‘not that hot’.
But the locals are a little friendlier than average here, the streets a little wider and, in spite of its booming IT, business-outsourcing and auto industries, the pace much slower than in most Indian cities half its size. Chennai is so modest you wouldn’t even know it’s an economic powerhouse, much less a queen of showbiz: India’s fourth-largest city is also it’s most humble.
About Port Blair
The green, ramshackle capital sprawls around a harbour on the east coast of South Andaman and is the administrative nerve centre of the islands. There’s plenty to see in town relating to the islands’ colonial past plus a couple of interesting museums, and as this is the only place to change money, reliably access the internet and book (and wait for) onward transport, most travelers will spend at least a couple of days here. If you want to experience the more natural beauty of the Andaman’s – above and below the water – book a ferry and move on to Havelock or one of the other islands.
There are many North Indian and South Indian Outlets in Port Blair. I liked food at Dream Palace at Haddo, Driftwood and Lighthouse restaurants. One may explore food at Lodges near Delanipur and near City Bus stand for taste and budget suiting your pocket. Port Blair itself has unique history associated with it. The Cellular Jail , which speaks of the cruelty of British rulers to Indian Prisoners is the most visited place.
I feel proud to be Indian after visiting Cellular Jail. The north bay islands (Ross Island, North Bay and Viper Islands) are worth seeing. The sea and beach experience including swimming, snorkeling at North bay Island beach is really enjoyable. The sea life, beautiful sea fish which have black and yellow, purple, parrot and many other colors and different kinds of corals in shallow sea are unique life time experience.
Famous for the awe-inspiring Sri Meenakshi Temple complex, Madurai is an animated city packed with pilgrims, beggars, business-people, bullock carts and underemployed rickshaw drivers. It’s one of South India’s oldest cities and has been a centre of learning and pilgrimage for centuries. A textile centre from way back, the city was also the setting for Mahatma Gandhi’s decision, in 1921, to wear nothing but khadi (homespun cloth), and tailors’ shops are everywhere in town.
Madurai’s landmark temple in the heart of the old town is a riotously baroque example of Dravidian architecture with gopurams covered from top to bottom in a breathtaking profusion of multicoloured images of gods, goddesses, animals and mythical figures. The temple seethes with activity from dawn to dusk, its many shrines attracting pilgrims and tourists from all over the world; 10, 000 visitors may come here on any one day.
Approached through a surreal landscape of wind farms, Kanyakumari is the ‘Land’s End’ of the Indian subcontinent, where the Bay of Bengal meets the Indian Ocean and the Arabian Sea. Chaitrapurnima (Tamil for the April full-moon day) is the time to experience simultaneous sunset and moonrise over the ocean.
Kanyakumari has great spiritual significance for Hindus, and is dedicated to the goddess Devi Kanya, an incarnation of Parvati. Pilgrims come here to visit the temple and bathe in the sacred waters. Although wildly overdeveloped, the town and fishing beaches still manage a certain relaxed charm and there’s enough to keep you occupied for a day or so.
Rameswaram is one of the most significant pilgrimage centres in South India for both Shaivites and Vaishnavaites. It was here that Rama (an incarnation of Vishnu and hero of the Ramayana) offered thanks to Shiva. At the town’s core is the Ramanathaswamy Temple, one of the most important temples in India, and here you’ll see a representation of India in miniature, with pilgrims including everyone from urbane sophisticates to colourfully clad Rajasthani tribespeople.
Rameswaram is on an island in the Gulf of Mannar, and is connected to the mainland at Mandapam by one of India’s great engineering wonders, the Indira Gandhi bridge, which was opened in 1988. The town was once an important ferry port linking India and Sri Lanka, but the service ceased when things got ugly in Sri Lanka. At the time of writing it shows no signs of resuming, though regular boatloads of Tamil refugees do manage to make the crossing.
The frenzied beachfront development, bloated prices and indefatigable souvenir-sellers of Kovalam are almost worth putting up with for its lovely slice of sand and perfectly swaying palms. Permanently tattooed on European charter-group itineraries, these days there is little room left for the budgeteers that pioneered India’s tourism industry.
Nevertheless, Kovalam clings to some remnants of charm, particularly once you step off the main-beach drag into the rice paddies and palm groves that stretch far inland. It can be a good place to kick back for a few days, particularly during quieter times.
The unpretentious capital of Kerala, Trivandrum (many people still call it by this colonial name, understandably) rests upon seven low hills. You only have to walk a few metres off the fume-filled racetrack that passes for a main road to appreciate its gentler side, where much of old Kerala’s ambience remains intact. Pagoda-shaped buildings with red-tiled roofs line the narrow, winding lanes, and life slows exponentially the further you walk.
For most visitors it’s just a gateway to the golden-sand resorts of nearby Kovalam and Varkala, but there are some great attractions in and around town for visitors with time to wander off the traveller trail.
With a Sound-of-Music-in-India backdrop of rolling mountain scenery, craggy peaks, manicured tea estates and crisp mountain air, Munnar really hits the spot after the sticky heat of the lowlands. Once known as the High Range of Travancore, today Munnar is the commercial centre of some of the world’s highest tea-growing estates.
But don’t be fooled by the noisy and grubby namesake town of the region; the real attractions lie in the surrounding hills.
A slice of Venice in the heart of Kerala, Alleppey is a mix of shady streets set around a grid of canals spilling into the vast watery highways of the region. The most popular place to organize a foray into the backwaters, this is the base for most of the houseboat-action in Kerala (and even more houseboat agents), and home to the famous Nehru Trophy Snake Boat Race.
It’s worth stopping in Alleppey to soak in some tropical village life before making a beeline for the backwaters.
Return Airfares & Airport Taxes.
Meet & Assist at the Airport.
Return Airport transfers.
Accommodation, Daily Breakfast & Dinner at all the destination
All Transfer & Sightseeing on Private Basis(A/C INDICA)
Arrival & Departure Transfers.
Full Day Tour & Sightseeing on all days (as per the Program).
DELHI – CHENNAI
Meet & greet by our representative at Chennai Airport. Transfer to the hotel. Lunch at the hotel.
After lunch Proceed for half day sightseeing.. Dinner at the hotel. Overnight stay at the Hotel. Overnight stay at the Hotel.
After Breakfast, you will Proceed for Tirupati Drashan .In the evening, back to the Hotel.Dinner at the Hotel. Overnight stay at the Hotel.
CHENNAI - PORT BLAIR
Meet & greet by our representative at Port Blair Airport. Transfer to the Hotel. Lunch at the Hotel.After lunch Proceed for half day sightseeing. In the evening, attend the enthralling Sound and Light Show at Cellular Jail - where the heroic saga of the Indian freedom struggle is brought alive.Dinner at the hotel.Overnight stay at the Hotel.
After breakfasts at the hotel, proceed for full day sightseeing.(Transfer to Havelock Island, Early morning departure by inter-island ferry to Havelock Island and Evening back to Hotel. Dinner at the Hotel. Overnight stay at the Hotel.
PORTBLAIR – CHENNAI – MADURAI
Arrive Madurai. Assistance on arrival and transfer to Hotel.After noon sightseeing of Madurai to visit the Meenakshi Temple, Tirumalai Nayak Palace & Museum, Mariamman Teppakulam. Overnight stay at the Hotel. (Optional ) Evening around 2030 Hours witness Aarti at the Meenakshi Temple, then back to the hotel.Dinner at the Hotel.Overnight stay at the hotel.
MADURAI - RAMESWARAM 170 KMS/4 HOURS After breakfast drive to Rameswaram. Upon arrival check into Hotel.Afternoon to visit the Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple, Pillars, Pampan Bridge. Evening back to the Hotel.Dinner at the Hotel.Overnight stay at the hotel. DAY 07
RAMESWARAM-KANYAKUMARI 320 KMS/7 HOURS Morning after breakfast drive to Kanyakumari. Upon arrival check into Hotel. Evening witness the sun set at meeting point of three seas. Evening back to the hotel.Dinner at the Hotel.Overnight stay at the Hotel. DAY 08
KANYAKUMARI-KOVALAM 90 KMS/2 HOURS Morning after breakfast drive to Kovalam, enroute to visit Padmanabhapuram Palace, Suchendram Temple.Upon arrival check into Beach Resort. Rest of the day enjoy the beach by yourself. Dinner at the Hotel.Overnight stay at the hotel. DAY 9
KOVALAM Morning after breakfast sightseeing of Trivandrum City to visit the Napier Museum, Puthenmalika, Sri Padmanabhaswamy Temple, Chalai Bazaar. Return back to Kovalam. Evening back to the hotel.Dinner at the Hotel.Overnight stay at the hotel.
KOVALAM /ALLEPPEY 171 KMS/4 HOURS – HOUSEBOAT Morning after breakfast drive to Alleppey. Upon arrival embark the Private Rice Barge (Houseboat).Traditional Kerala Lunch on board. Boat Cruise starts from Alleppey Boat Jetty, Sports Authority of India Rowing Complex, Punnamada Lake, Marthandam, Kuppapuram, C-Block Kayal, H-Block Kayal, R-Block Kayal, Pally Kayal, Pathiramanal, Konchu Mada, Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary, Kavanattinkara, boat will move through the water front portion of almost all luxury resorts Whispering Palms, Backwater Ripples, The Zuri Resort, Lake Song, Coconut Lagoon. Night Halt at Pally Kayal.
KUMARAKOM-MUNNAR 212 KMS/5 HOURS Morning after breakfast disembark the Houseboat around 0900 Hours and drive to Munnar, the Queen of Hills. Upon arrival check into Hotel.Evening is free for self leisure.Dinner at the Hotel.
Overnight stay at the hotel.
MUNNAR Morning after breakfast full day sight seeing of Munnar to visit the Mattupetty Damn, Kundala Dam, Echo Point, Tea Gardens, Tea MuseumEvening back to the Hotel.Dinner at the Hotel.Overnight stay at the hotel.
After breakfast drive to Cochin, check in hotel, half days s/s, overnight in hotel.
COCHIN - DELHI
After breakfast drive to Cochin airport to board your flight towards home destination with the wonderful memories to cherish