South India & Sri Lanka Tour
THE TOUR AT THE GLANCE
This captivating itinerary unveils South India’s rich history and culture, from colourful Fort Cochin to the giant ancient temples of Tamil Nadu, from French-influenced Pondicherry to the seaside village of Mahabalipuram. Discover a fascinating corner of India home to colonial history, traditional villages, Hindu tradition and quaint seaside towns. All blended together; this outstanding eclectic mix will ignite your imagination.
This small island offers travellers a plethora of delights – historical, cultural and natural, all without travelling too far. Immerse yourself in Colombo’s street market or Negombo’s fish market, marvel at the World Heritage-listed ruins of Anuradhapura, climb to the top of the Sigiriya Rock fortress and spot elephants or perhaps leopards on an exhilarating game drive in Yala National Park. The cuisine is delicious and unique, a must for lovers of fresh seafood.
EXPERIENCES AND VISITS IN THIS TOUR JOURNEY
- Visit Chennai’s Fort St George, where Clive of India commenced his glittering career
- Explore the ancient temples of Mahabalipuram, one of India’s largest religious sites.
- Visit traditional silk saree weaving centerin Kanchipuram.
- Enjoy a tour of elegant Pondicherry, a French colonial outpost by Rickshaw ride.
- visit Sri Aurobindo Ashram, which is among the most visited places in Tamilnadu
- Watch craftsmen working away on creating bronze statues in Darasuram
- See the extraordinary World Heritage Site of Tanjore’s Brihadeeswara Temple
- Witness the ceremonies in Sri Meenakshi temple with hundreds of pilgrims and the smell of incense.
- Visit weaver’s colony to learn how the famous Madurai cotton is woven
- Visit Periyar National Park, home of wild Animal and enjoy a spice plantation tour.
- Visit Cochin on the Malabar Coast, settled by the Portuguese, Dutch and finally the British.
- Boat ride on Dutch Canal in Negombo.
- Climb the World Heritage-listed Sigiriya Rock
- Visit the ancient capital of Polonnaruwa &Caves at Dambulla
- The Temple of the Sacred Tooth in Kandy
- Train ride from NanuOya to Ella on observation salon seat.
- Tuk-Tuk ride at Nuwara Eliya&Discover Nuwara Eliya's tea plantations& meet tea pluckers
- Hiking to Adam’s Peak
- Stay inside Yala National Park, the safari capital of Sri Lanka
- Turtle Hatchery at Kosgoda&Capture the dying tradition of Stilt Fishing
- Visit historic Galle& open mask Museum
VIEW FULL ITINERARY
Arrive Chennai, aftercompleting immigration and custom formalities, meet our representative at the arrival gate. After introductions, you will be transferred to the hotel.
Chennai or Madras as it was called before, the 'Cultural Capital of India', is the fourth largest metropolis in the country.Thepresenttownwas founded in 1639, by Sir Francis Day, who arrived with East India Company. The British East India Company established a fort and a trading post at the small fishing village of Chennai. Today, it has emerged as a major industrial and educational center. Chennai with the Bay of Bengal on its side had been major British trading post for years. It has been ruled by various South Indian dynasties, notably the Pallava, the Chola, the Pandya, and Vijaynagara.
Morning: Visit Sri Kapaleeswarar Temple, The temple 'Gopuram'(tower) is characteristic of Dravidian style architecture, dedicated to Lord Shiva. Fort ST. George: (Closed on Friday’s) It was built in 1640 AD, by the British East India Company under the direct supervision of Francis Day and Andrew Cogon. Take walk through the surrounding areas, where you can see Mylapore in all its crowded chaos. The jewellers, silk merchants, fruit and vegetable sellers and the flower vendors in the bazaars provide a colourful backdrop to the temple.
Also visit the National Art Gallery and Museum with a fine collection of ancient paintings.St. Thomas Cathedral Basilica Church is the major pilgrimage centre for Christians in India. San Thome Basilica is one of the only 23 Basilica in India.
Drive to Mahabalipuram. On arrival check in at Hotel.
In the afternoon visit Mahabalipuram -Including visit several cave temples and sculpted reliefs including Five Rathas- are the rock-cut temples and are rated as excellent examples of Pallava art. Krishna Mandapam- a beautifully decorated with the carvings of the various incidents of Krishna's life.Arjuna's Penance- is the world's largest bas-relief measuring 27m x 9m is the pride of Mahabalipuram and the Shore Temple- is one of the oldest temples in South India. It belongs to the 8th Century A.D. and is a good example of the first phase of the structure of temples constructed in the Dravidian style.
Morning: excursion to visit Kanchipuram, the city with a thousand temples and visit of the Kailasanatha Temple, the Ekambareshwaratemple . then visit traditional silk saree weaving center and see how traditional looms are used to transform mulberry threads into gorgeous garments.
Drive back to Mahabalipuram, day at leisure on the beach.
Today, travel by surface to Pondicherry, En-route Auroville: Visit Sri Aurobindo (a renowned spiritual guru) and a French woman, called ‘the Mother’, Sri Aurobindo Ashram is a must-visit for those seeking a spiritual retreat. Retreats here involve different meditation sessions and yoga practices that will transcend you into a state of peace. Also visit Auroville Papers Workshops-Over the years we have explored and experimented with many paper making techniques. offer a workshop of introduction to the ancient art of paper-making.
Arrive Pondicherry and check in at hotel.
In the afternoon you will visit Pondicherry, divided in two parts – the Indian side which is busy and bustling and the European side much clean, quieter and beautiful. Most of the locals speak French even on the streets. Take a cycle rickshaw ride through French town, its colonial buildings and its most popular edifice – Government Museum, Church of Our Lady of the Angels- The Church was built in 1865 by French Missionaries in the Greek Roman architectural style.
Today, travel by surface to Pondicherry, en-route visit Chidambaram’s Nataraja Temple is a famous temple enshrining the Nataraja form (Dancing Posture) of Lord Shiva situated at the heart of the temple town Chidambaram.The cosmic dance depicted as Nataraja Nrutham represents the motion of the Universe sustained by Lord Shiva and visit Airavatesvara Temple in Darasuram dedicated to Lord Shiva. The temple is a World Heritage Monument and was constructed in the 12th century reflecting the rich heritage of art and architecture of Tamil Nadu.
Enroute visit Swamimalai town is dotted with workshops of bronze casters, where one can watch craftsmen working away on creating bronze statues.Arrive Tanjore & check in at hotel.
Today, visit the Brihadeshwara Temple, built in 1009 in granite and registered with UNESCO heritage. Visit the Rajaraja Museum, the Palace Art Gallery and the Sarawati Mahal Library, which contains 40,000 rare books in both European and local languages.
Drive to Madurai, en route visit Trichy visit the Rock Fort Temple and visit the temple of Srirangam, discover the huge temple-city dedicated to Vishnu. Upon arrival check in at hotel.
Madurai is known as Athens of the East, Madurai is a place of great historical and cultural importance. It is the oldest city in Tamil Nadu and Madurai lies on the banks of the River Vaigai. Madurai is one of the liveliest cities in South India and is famous for the awe-inspiring Sri Meenakshi Temple complex, Madurai.
Today, visit the Tirumala Nayak Palace with its beautiful stuccoes. Then, ride the rickshaw to explore and unravel the city’s other traits such as banana and vegetable markets, bamboo bazaar, dhobi ghat, as well as seat of textile and brass industries to watch locals make metal pots on furnace and spinning yarns and stopping at the temple of Meenakshi, the fish-eyed goddess.
The afternoon tour of the weaver’s colony to learn how the famous Madurai cotton is woven, creating some of India’s most beautiful saris and the temple of Tripurakundram, is one of the six main pilgrimage sites for the devotion of the son of Shiva – Lord Murugan.
In the evening, witness the ‘Aarti Ceremony’ at the famous Meenakshi Temple duringwhich an icon of Shiva is delivered by worshippers to the shrine of hiswife to rest for the night.
Today, drive to Periyar, arrive & check in at hotel.
In the afternoon take a Boat ride on Lake Periyar-Boating on the Periyar Lake enables visitors to have a close look at the wildlife that inhabits the surrounding forests. Groups of elephant, wild boar, bison and sambar can be seen moving along the banks skirting the forest and water birds, perched on tree stumps with their wings spread, present a delightful sight while boating.
Then visit to the Spice Plantation will refresh your senses and make you feel a part of nature. This walk through the spice plantation along with the information on various spices and their medicinal value is an experience in its own.
Today, travel by surface to Cochin, arrive & check in at hotel.
In the afternoon you will vVisit Dutch Palace and the old Portuguese and Dutch houses. St. Francis Church built in 1502 by the Portuguese is one of the oldest European church in India. Also visit the Jewish Synagogue, built in 1568.
In the evening, presentation of Kathakali, costumed drama, sung and danced, whosethemes are drawnfrom the great Indian epics.
Morning: Heritage walk of Old Cochin Area, take a walk through the old town of Fort Cochin visiting the old spice market & the Jew Township. Later stop at the beach, lined with picturesque Chinese fishing nets.
Later in time transfer to airport to board flight for Colombo
Colombo-the capital of Sri Lanka. Meetwith the local guide or Representative and transfer to Negombo, &arrive and check in at hotel.
Later visit (Subject to flight timing) Fishing village, thousands of fisherman who actively take part in fishing on a daily basis, dried & preserved using indigenous technologies. Dutch Canal Boat Ride, It is used to serve as a supply to the Dutch administration along with the Old Churches and fishing villages during the Dutch rule and. Walk to the local market .
Today, travel by surface to Dambulla, en route visit Anuradhapura. The greatest city in Sri Lankan history, packed with monuments from over a thousand years of the island’s past. Visit the ancient capital of the Kingdom in the 4th century: Anuradhapura. Abandoned in the 10th century, this city was rediscovered in 1817. Visit temples, stupas, palaces and The sacred Sri Maha Bodhi
Drive to Dambulla, arrive enroute visit Mihintale is where Buddhism was first introduced to Sri Lanka. Mihintale is regarded as the cradle of Buddhism in Sri Lanka. The rock is riddled with shrines and rock dwellings. A grand stairway of 1,840 steps made out of granite slabs 15'' wide leads to the summit from where one could get a splendid view of the surrounding countryside. Upon arrival check in at hotel.
Optional: Lecture by a Buddhist monk on religion and can be arranged here.
Today, excursion to Polonnaruwa & visit another “World Heritage Site”, the Capital of Sri Lanka from 11th - 13th Centuries. Lankatilake, Tivanka and Thuparama are the most beautiful and largest Image Houses and Tivanka has the best example of frescoes of the Polonnaruwa period. RankothVehera and Kirivehera are well preserved large stupas, and Gal Vihare - a rock shrine, has four Buddha statues. The Parakrama Samudra is on the western side of the city. The Royal Palace, Audience Hall and other buildings in the inner city were enclosed by another tall wall.
Afternoon climb the famous Sigiriya Rock Fortress - a “World Heritage Site” and the 5th Century “Fortress in the Sky” which is perhaps the most fantastic single wonder of the Island. It is also known as Lion Rock because of the huge lion that used to stand at the entrance to the Palace on the summit of the 600-foot high rock. The Water Gardens, Fountain Garden, summerhouse, Boulder Gardens and the Caves within the enclosed area should not be missed.
Today, drive to Kandy, en route visiting the Dambulla Rock temple situated in a cave and view the painted walls and ceilings comprising of over 150 images of the Buddha.
En route visit Spice and Herbal garden in Matale, to see many different types of spices Sri Lanka is famous for. Matale spice gardens are among the best on the island. You will be introduced to different spices and shown how some of these spices are grown and processed. A processing and training unit has been set up in the area and farmers are grouped in a cooperative to ensure fair prices and you will also be able to purchase spices.
Option:Enjoy the full flavors of Sri Lankan spices over lunch followd by an Ayurveda massage based on natural products from the garden.
Also visit Batik Factory - where you can see the manufacture of beautiful Batik prints. These shops contain a wide variety of Batik items.Arrive Kandy & check in at hotel.
Afternoon visit the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic (Sri DaladaMaligawa) is a highlight in Kandy, Observing the people praying, making small gifts of flowers, lighting a candle for their wishes to become true… The temple itself is very well preserved and offers so many artistic details for curious eyes.
Take your tie and study all the pictures on the walls and the symmetrical details. It is impressive.Helga’s Foll, it is worth a trip if you’re into surrealist modern arts. It is actually a hotel run by a Dutch lady named Helga de Silva, who grew up in Hollywood in the 50s. But you can visit it also as non-guest.
Then visit the authentic market is Kandy's oldest market square and sells a wide range of items ranging from local fruits and vegetables to handicrafts and souvenirs to high quality textiles and leather goods. Visit Arts and Crafts Center, gem museum where you will learn about the gem industry & see a mock-up of a gem pit where you get the hang of traditional gem mining,
Evening witness a Cultural show featuring various dance types of Sri Lanka
Optional: Early morning at 7.00 a.mYoga & Meditation Session.The Yoga is 1 ½ hour per session.
Then go to the Temple of the Tooth (Sri DaladaMaligawa)to attend morning “Pooja” ceremony.
After breakfast, travel by surface to Nuwara Eliya, en route visit Peradeniya Botanical Gardens Royal Botanical Gardens - 147 acres in extent: started in 1374 as a pleasure garden of the King’s of Kandy. There are more than 5000 species of tree and plants. Some and endemic as well as flora from the tropical world. Spice garden and Orchid House are popular with Tourists. Thereafter Leave to Nuwara EliyaEn route visiting Tea Plantation & Tea Factory
Experience an authentic tea plucking experience with the estate workers and enjoy a guided visit to Tea Factory where the best tea in the world is produced. You may also have a chance of tasting pure cup of Ceylon Tea at the Factory.where you will meet some tea pluckersand get to know about their lives and you will learn how to pick out the best tea leaves and pluck tea from the natives who have been doing it for many generations.
On the way visit the breathtaking beautiful waterfalls makes Nuwara Eliya one of the most beautiful town in the world. Nuwara Eliya also has one of the finest 18 hole golf courses in South Asia. You can visit the Strawberry Farms & pick some strawberries.Arrive & check in at hotel.
You can take a nice evening walk around the Gregory Lake. Visit the beautiful club house and British colonial style bungalows.
Note, Sunday Tea pluckers on Leave
Today, drive to NanuOya Railway station to board train to Ella (Train No1126 0930 / 1325 Hrs).
Upon arrival meet and transfer to check in at hotel.
Afternoon: visit the sacred Adams Peak (Sri Pada –where the foot print of Lord Buddha is preserved) regarding the similarity between the two mountains.
Therefore the mountain was called as Little Adams Peak. “Punchi Sri Pada” is another name for this peak. It is 1141 m in height. Little Adam’s Peak attracts many travelers who come to Sri Lanka. Gradually with an easy hike up to the mountain of Little Adams Peak you can consummation a worth panoramic view. You have to walk through lush green tea plantations, waterfalls and paddy fields while enjoying the sceneries. (Approx. 3kms) & (Approx. 2½ hrs. to visit)
• Little Adam’s peak is Ella’s best known tourist attraction
• Resembles Adam's Peak
• Half an hour climbs to the top of the peak (Approx. 1141m)
• Breathtaking views of an endless valley, tea plantations and waterfalls.
Today, drive to Yala National park.En-route visit famous Ella gap and enjoy the most beautiful sceneries in the Sri Lanka highlands.
Yala National Park offers the greatest diversity of animal and birdlife in the country. The habitats found in the park are wide-ranging, from freshwater lakes to beaches, rocky outcrops to green plains and jungle.
Participate in afternoon jeep safari at Yala National Park- Park is approximately 1,259 sq. kms in extent and is the largest national park in Sri Lanka. It is located in the south eastern corner of the island and it has the added bonus of a scenic ocean frontage. The park is the home for wild elephants, wild boars, wild buffaloes, leopards, bears, deer and crocodiles. Large flocks of migratory and indigenous birds are also found here.
Today, drive to Galle, En roue visitKataragama is been treated as a sacred village devoted for religiousactivities and visit Kataragama Temple &The entire temple complexwasdeclared a holy place.
Continue drive to Galle, En route visit Ahangama Village - A unique attraction in Sri Lanka is the sight of the stilt fishermen. Arrive Galle & check in at hotel.
Afternoon visit : Old Galle a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Galle Fort itself is still a living monument with a bustling community within the great ramparts, massive bastions, pepper pot towers, while narrow streets display its Dutch heritage with beckoning pillared verandas and fretwork facades. Walking around is best so you can peep through frangipani filled courtyards at houses, galleries or shops selling antiques, spices, pictures, nouveau-boule and hand-woven sarongs. Boutique hotels in Galle incongruously cheek by jowl with postage-stamp size cafes, so you are never far from a perfect sun-downer.Ariyapala mask workshop and museum in Ambalangoda – Mask makers on the island.
Today, transfer by surface to Colombo,En-route visit Turtle Hatchery at Kosgoda “Kosgoda is famous for its turtle hatchery- operated by the Wild Life Protection Society of Sri Lanka. It was established in 1981 to protect Sri Lanka's turtles from extinction.
Arrival Colombo& take a drive through the city taking you to the busy commercial areas as well as the tree-lined residential, Cinnamon Gardens. Visit Fort, the former British administrative center and military garrison, Sea Street - the Goldsmith’s quarters in the heart of Pettah, the Bazaar area, where is also a Hindu Temple with elaborate stone carvings and the Dutch Church of Wolfendhal dating back to 1749. Also visit the BMICH, see the replica of Avukana Buddha and Independence Square.
Shopping- visit Mlesna exquisite tea boutique, cashew nut shop, ready made garments and all sorts at Majestic City. Visit the Lanka Ceramics Centre, a place where you can buy “NORITAKE SET” or other ceramic items, visit the ‘ODEL SHOP’ at Lipton Place. Visit ’BAREFOOT’, ’HOUSE OF FASHION’ and 'BEVERLY STREET' – 24 hours shopping arcade (garments only) at Kollupitya.
Thereafter transfer to Airport to connect the departure flight.
WHAT YOU WILL RECEIVE IN YOUR TOUR COST
- Accommodation for total 14 nights on twin / Double sharing room on bed & Breakfast
- Accommodation for total 16 nights sharing Double room on full board (Breakfast + Lunch + Dinner) basis + Our meals starts from the Dinner on day 03 till the breakfast of last day.
- Transfers, sightseeing/excursions as per the program by air-conditioned vehicle as per program
- English speaking local guide during the sightseeing in India and Sri Lanka.
- All entrances as described in the program
- Cycle rickshaw ride in Pondicherry and Madurai.
- Enjoy boat ride on Periyar Lake
- Visit Spice Plantation in Periyar
- Evening Watch Kathakali Dance Performance in Cochin
- The train journey from Nanu Oya to Ella
- Kandy dance show in Kandy
- Visit the tea factory and the spice garden in Nuwara Eliya
- Tuk Tuk Ride in Kandy
- Shared 4 x 4 jeep Safari in Yala National Park
- Two 500 ml bottle of water per day per person
- All presently applicable taxes
TOUR COST WILL NOT INCLUDE FOLLOWING EXPENSES
- International / Domestic Airfare
- Sri Lanka Visa
- Any new admission fees / taxes / fuel surcharges/ Visa fees
- Meals not mentioned
- Travel and medical insurance.
- All personal expenses such as beverages, laundry, trip cancellation and personal insurance, gratuities, excess baggage fees
- Early check-in/late check-out (except as noted)
- Camera/video fees at monuments
- Evacuation charges, damage of any nature.
- Communication costs
- Any additional expenses due to unforeseen problems like natural disaster, war or strikes, cancellation or misconnection of flights or last-minute change of timings etc.
- Any other service, which has not been specified as "included".
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