South India/Sri Lanka Tour

January 21 - February 5, 2017

Chennai: Visit the St Thomas Shrine                                                                                       Mahabalipuram : Carved temples and pagoda                                                                                   Kanchipuram:  Temples devoted to Shiva                                                                                     Pondicherry: Enjoy the beach, French cuisine, meditate at Maithiri Mandir in Auroville  

Trichy: Rock Fort, ancient temple of Ganapati                                                              Madurai:  Meenakshi Temple dedicated to Lord Shiva

 

Day 1 - 2: 21 JAN : SUNDAY : LEAVE  SAN FRANCISCO SFO               22 JAN :  MONDAY: - ARRIVE CHENNAI                                     You'll Be met at the airport by Jivat and escorted to hotel.   Overnight/meals at Hyatt Regency Hotel

Day 3 : 23th JAN : TUESDAY : Chennai - Kanchipuram - Mahabalipuram

Drive to 1.5 hrs. to Kanchipuram, city of 124 Hindu shrines, the first of which was built in the 7th century.  Visit Shreenivas Silk House. Taj Vivanta Hotel

Day 4 : 24th JAN : WEDNESDAY : Mahabalipuram  

Mahabalipuram is one of the most exciting and memorable destinations with rich tradition history, piety and western annals. It is one of the popular tourist places known for great architecture much visible in its rock carvings and monolithic sculpture The architecture of the temples is inspired by the Pallava Art and were built during the period 830 - 1100 AD.  Famous for its seven pagodas.  On shore of Indian Ocean, see a group of exquisite ancient rock hewn temples, examples of  Dravidian architecture.      Taj Vivanta Hotel

Day 5 : 25th Jan: Thursday : Pondicherry           This is Republic Day in India - similar to our 4th of July  Full of celebrations!

This city was acquired by the French in 1674 and has colonial buildings, churches, temples, and statues.  There are wide avenues giving it a unique ambiance. 

Visit the town of Auroville where more than 2,500 families from all over the world have made their homes. Meditate at the Maithiri Mandir and shop at the handmade craft store. Visit the Aurobindo Ashram, Church of Sacred Heart of Jesus, Eglise De Notre Dame Des Anges and Paradise Beach.

                                         Mantrimandir in Auroville, Pondicherry

                                         Mantrimandir in Auroville, Pondicherry

Stay at The Promenade Hotel

Day 6:  26th Jan:  Friday: Pondicherry - Tanjore - Trichy

In Tanjore, visit the Chola Temple of Brihadeeshara capped by an 80 ton granite block. Overnight/meals Sangam Hotel

 Day 7 : 27th Jan : Saturday : Trichy - Madurai

Trichy was the citadel of the Chola dynasty in the medieval period.  In the 18th century,  the Carnaic wars were fought between the French and the English.  Lord Robert Clive's house open.  The Rock Fort is the most famous landmark of Trichy.  A climb of 434 steps leads to an ancient temple and even higher, to a Shiva temple.  Heritage Hotel overnight/meals

 Day 8 : 28th Jan : Sunday :  Madurai

Morning visit to Great Meenakshi Temple.  This towering colorful edifice dedicated to the consort of Lord Shiva.  Later see the Tirumala Nayak Palace and Tirupara Kundran Rock Temple.  Afternoon free for shopping.  Overnight  Heritage Hotel

Day 9:  29th Jan : Monday:  Madurai - Colombo

Fly from Madurai to Sri Lanka.  You will be met at the airport and escorted to your hotel.  Negombo Jetwing Beach Hotel

                                               Lion's Rock Sri Lanka

                                               Lion's Rock Sri Lanka

   The Island of Sri Lanka, formerly Ceylon

   The Island of Sri Lanka, formerly Ceylon

Day 10 : 30th JAN : TUESDAY - NEGOMBO/PINNAWALA/SIGIRIYA

In the morning, drive to Pinnawala to visit the Elephant OrphanageGet up close and personal with an elephant during morning feeding an river bathing.  After lunch, proceed to Sigiriya (4.5 hrs travel time) and visit a local family for a coconut break.    Sigiriya Jungles Hotel

2017 elephant

Day 11 : 31st JAN : WEDNESDAY - Sigiriya/anuradhapura/Sigiriya

After breakfast, head north of Anuradhapura, an ancient city first settled 900 B.C.  This evocative site contains archaeological and architectural wonders, which are still used in religious ceremonies.  Then drive to nearby Mihintale, with a temple thought to be the birthplace of Sri Lankan Buddhism.  Back to Sigiriya Jungle Hotel for overnight.

Day 12 : 1st FEB : THURSDAY - Sigiriya / Matale / Kandy

Start the day with a visit to Sigiriya Rock Fortress (the Lion's Rock) a UNESCO heritage site, 660 feet high in the jungle.  By staircase we can climb to the top and have an amazing view of Sri Lanka. Visit Spice Garden in Matale and get a free head massage. Suisse Hotel

DAY 13 : 2nd FEB : FRIDAY - Kandy / Peradenlya / Nuwara Eliya

Mackwoods Tea Plantation, Botanical Gardens and Ramoda Waterfalls. 

In Kandy, appreciate a traditional Rangahala Cultural Dance.  Then walk to Sacred Temple of the Tooth Relic - Sri Lanka's most sacred Buddhist shrine.  Next we visit the restored 18th Century Dutch home of Jacques Soulie, of the Perdeniya University.      Blackpool Hotel

Day 14 : 3rd FEB : SATURDAY - Nurwara Eliya / Colombo

Visit Gem Museum and Lapidary.  See cutting of Ceylon Blue Sapphire.  Visit Royal Botanical Gardens which have 300+ varieties of orchids, spices, medicinal plants and palm trees.  Visit Colombo Lighthouse, and the prison cell of the last Sri Lankan king.  Taj Samudra Hotel

Day 15 : 4th Feb : SUNDAY - Kandy/Colombo

Last day at leisure. Sri Lankan Independence Day. Enjoy the celebrations.  Overnight at Taj Samudra Hotel

day 16 : 5th Feb : monday                               Fly home to USA! Arrive same Day!

  • Accommodation  in carefully selected boutique hotels.
  • Meals (breakfast and dinner)  
  • 2 bottles of water daily
  • Transportation by air conditioned coaches inclusive of all taxes/parking fee and toll taxes.
  • Services of expert guides during sightseeing tours
  • Entrances to Monuments
  • Flights within India
  • All applicable taxes
  • Flight from Maduri to Colombo
  •  Tour Price  does not include:

  • Lunch, tips and expenses of personal nature like phone calls, laundry, internet charges, liquor etc
  • Medical/trip Insurance. 
  • Indian/Sri Lankan visa fees

Itinerary or hotels can change due to unexpected obstacles or opportunities.