Day 05: Mahabalipuram / Kanchipuram / PondicherryFollowing a leisurely breakfast we will drive to Pondicherry, Enroute we will Kanchipuram
Kanchipuram is a Hindu Holy City and capital of the Pallava dynasty from the 7th to 9th centuries AD, is renowned for temples and silk, and you will see plenty of both. The temples range in date from the 8th to the 17th century. The latest building was impressive in its size, the height of its gopuram, the intricacy of its carvings and wealth of colour, but, the earliest temples, of golden sandstone, are more aesthetically pleasing, the only colour provided is by a flock of ring-necked parakeets.
Across the road is a workshop where men sit at a loom, weaving fabrics that you will recognize immediately as "Madras cotton". However, Silk-weaving takes place on a grander scale than the cotton-weaving in this town dotted with cottage workshops. You could visit a factory where all the processes of spinning, dyeing and weaving take place. Of special note would be exquisite wedding saris made to order - the silk is heavily interwoven with gold thread. The sari and blouse are woven together so as to ensure a perfect match.
From here we will continue our drive to Pondicherry
Day 06: PondicherryAfter a leisurely breakfast, we will proceed on a tour of the city. More than anything else, the Sri Aurobindo Ashram, where Sri Aurobindo and the Mother lived for the most parts of their lives, is a major attraction of this little city. The Pondicherry Museum is home to some of the most exquisite collections on architecture and sculpture. Pondicherry also has a pleasant beach alongside promenade and historical monuments. Some of the other interesting sites includes the Bharti and Bharthidasan Memorial museums and the Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
The French, Britain's strongest rivals for the control of India, established their foothold here and only relinquished it in 1954. The town still has the feel of a French provincial town, with its librairie, epicerie, imposing Hotel de Ville, memorial to Franco-Indians killed in the Great War, and statue of Joan of Arc. The houses could be anywhere in southern France and bear the familiar white numbers on a blue ground. Street names, too, are shown in white on blue - rue St Louis, rue de la Caserne and so on. During a pleasant afternoon stroll you could hear French spoken frequently.
Day 07: Pondicherry / Chidambram / Darasuran / Kumbakonam / ThanjavurMorning we will drive to Thanjavur enroute we will visit Chidambram, Darasuran, Kumbakonam.
Chidambram is in between two rivers in a 40 acres temple-complex, it is one of the oldest and magnificent temples of the South. Shiva Natrala or the Dancing Shiva stands in his cosmic dance pose in the golden rooted sanctorum. Flanking the temple are 108 sculptured illustrations of Bharat Natya Shashtra. In Akash Lingam hidden by a veil, lies the real secret of Chidambaram. From we continue driving to Darasuram
Day 04: Udaipur / Shahpura (220 Kms)Morning we drive off the beaten track to reach Shahpura Bagh an aristocratic Estate. Set amidst the golden sands of Rajasthan at Shahpura one finds an oasis - A dazzling shimmer of sunshine on water that hovers on the edge of a mirage. Shahpura Bagh has just opened its doors to visitors for the first time. A stay here with the family and the Ruler himself, offers a rare opportunity to experience a royal way of life, preserved in a timeless corner of Rajasthan. Simple in decoration, but grand in proportion, Shahpura
Upon arrival check into hotel Shahpura Bagh situated on the edge of the lakes where man and nature exist in harmony with each other. This was the summer residence of the rulers of Shahpura. The 30-acre estate was granted by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan to Rajadhiraj Suraj Mal, Rana Pratap's grandson in 1630 AD for successful military campaigns against the Marathas and Afghans.
Shahpura Bagh has exquisitely furnished spacious bedroom over 600ft with walls that are coated with limestone. The traditional charm and décor blends delightfully to facilities and services discerning tourists would see - all rooms have world space radios, coffee and tea makers, hair dryers, phone system as well as eco friendly herbal toiletries. The place is still the residence of the descendants erstwhile Royal family and they are your present hosts. They meet you, share stories and put your holiday in perspective. It is their personal touch and their local knowledge that make the stay a memorable fairy tale.
Shahpura Bagh is also a food-lover's heaven. You can take your pick from authentic home cooked Rajasthani food prepared over fire or home-cooked continental and tradition meals, tempered to suit your palate.
Late afternoon, we enjoy jeep safaris to visit the heart of villages where tradition centuries old still permeate life styles. We will witness the rituals & local practices of the people of this town. Gaily attired men and women carry on their chores and one can catch a glimpse of their norms and customs. The smoothened mud floors of the village huts remind one of the simple and traditional living here.
Day 05: Shahpura Today make short trips into farms & villages and forts; these farms are great for bird watching. You will have a great time with simple activities like boating, air gun, target shooting, farm visits as well as having fun with someone like Sat and Jai. They are the host brothers who will escort you around.
You will enjoy your visit to Ram Dwara, the revered ancient temple. Also, the old city palace reveals the integration of Rajput and Mughal traditions in architecture while the geometrical symmetry of the baoli (step wells) inspires a serenity that lingers. The Dhikola Fort stands majestically on a hill, surveying a vast expanse of verdant green and lakes.
In evening we explore the unending shopping options of Shahpura. There are many goods on sale in the marketplace. Suggest get a leather mojari or local footwear, made to your size.
Incredible Water Sports Destination - Package Tours
Incredible Water Sports DestinationDuration : 9 Days / 8 Nights Destination Covered : Cochin - Aggatti - Bangaram
Day 01: Arrival / Cochin
Mid morning arrival. Meeting and assistance upon arrival and check into The Brunton Boatyard - a Casino Group of Hotel in Cochin is situated right at the Fort Kochi, build on the old Portuguese architecture, Situated at the Harbour mouth overlooking the busy ship channel all rooms boast of a magnificent view of the sea and the Delta. There is never a dull moment out there for boats of every size and colour constantly ply these waters not forgetting the mammoth Ocean liners which silently glide past just outside the window. The hotel has its own private jetty, which doubles up as a 'café'. Over looking the pool garden and the sea, The History Restaurant a unique gastronomic exploration of Kerala's famous port and its rich past, the Terrace Grill adjacent to the History restaurant opens for Dinne, The Armoury offers a breath-taking view of the Delta. Serving mini meals light snacks and tall drinks is open right through the day and a major part of the night.
Kathakali Dance: A special treat awaits us this evening as we proceed to witness the strength and vigor of Kathakali dance drama, as it enacts episodes from great Indian epics. The extremely stylized gestures, the elaborate make-up, the masks and the splendid costumes of these all-male dancers, recreates an incomparable sense of pageantry.
Day 06: Kumarakom / Purnagram - The Holistic Health VillageFollowing breakfast, a short ride brings us to Purunagram, Holistic Village, where we check into a River Facing Cottage. Situated on the banks of Kerala's most sacred river Purna (Periyar), Purnagram provides an Ashram atmosphere, which is enhanced by a natural healing enviornment. Purnagram is a Complete Holistic Health Village where authentic and tradional Ayurveda and Yoga are offered.
While Ayurveda remains it's prime speciality, Purnagram also offers Complementary Therapies like Yoga & Meditation, Reiki and Pranic Healing.
Yoga and Meditation are fundamental to the Indian System of Holistic Healing. The activities at Purnagram have been conceived as a way of life and extend far beyond the conventional concepts of Yoga and Meditation.
In Purnagram, there are learned and experienced instructors offering Yoga and Spiritual classes in an Asram atmosphere. There is exclusive facility for practicing Yoga in eco - friendly Classes. The rooms and Cottages incorporate traditional Kerala Architecture that blend with nature.
The presence of Lord Dhanwanthary Temple in the campus of Purnagram is yet another attraction to all visiting Purnagram.
Apart from the Yoga Lessons, the guests can also expect classes on Meditation, Healing etc... during their stay in Purnagram. The place has received a GREEN LEAF CERTIFICATE from Govt of Kerala for providing high quality Ayurvedic Treatments and accommodation.
Day 07 - 11: Purnagram - The Holistic Health Village Days at leisure to undertake Ayurvedic treatment, Yoga & Meditation
Day 12: Purnagram / Cochin / Departure Transfer to the Cochin airport to connect your onward flight back home.
Day 01: Arrival / CochinMid morning arrival. Meeting and assistance upon arrival in Bangalore & transfer to the airport to connect your flight to Cochin
Whilst the room keys and check-in is organized, our representative would introduce the tour to you and hand over the documents to you.
Welcome to India, or as we say 'atithi devo bhava' (the guest is an incarnation of God). Thank you for giving us the opportunity to serve you!
Day 02: CochinAfter a leisurely breakfast, we proceed on a guided tour of the City. The true character of the city is to be found in the older parts of the Fort Cochin area. It more or less exists as it used to be a 1000 years back, when it was first built. The roads have not been widened because the old haggard buildings, through patchwork repairs over the centuries, still stand on the edges. This part of the city reflects an unusual blend of medieval Portugal, Dutch and English country life grafted on to the tropical Malabar Coast. The fishing community of Cochin is also very interesting. They ancient cantilevered fishing nets called Chinese Fishing Nets. The net is fixed to a pole on the shore. While fishing, the entire net is lowered by a primitive fulcrum mechanism using long bamboo poles. By the same mechanism the pole is lifted along with the catch. We will explore the sights of Photographic as well as cultural interest. We would also visit the 16th century Mattancherry Palace, also known as the Dutch Palace since the Dutch substantially renovated the palace in the 17th century. The double storied quadrangular building surrounds a courtyard containing a Hindu temple. The Central Hall on the first floor was the coronation hall of the Rajas of Cochin; on display are their dresses, turbans and palanquins. The most important feature of this palace, however, is the astonishing murals in the bedchambers and other rooms, which depict scenes from the Ramayana and other religious legends. These murals are undoubtedly some of the most beautiful and extensive anywhere to be seen in India. The unique feature here is the unexpected and isolated Jewish community, whose origins date back to AD 52. They are self-contained and have there own Synagogue.
The area around the Synagogue, known, as 'Jew Town' is one of the main centres of spice trade. Scores of small firms huddle together in old dilapidated buildings and the air is filled with the aroma of ginger, cardamom, cumin, turmeric and cloves. The area is very busy. The potters are loading gunny bags of spices on to carts, which keep running up and down the narrow lanes. We would visit Jew Town, in the Mattancherry section and a short walk from the ferry, is one street long. Jews used to occupy virtually all the houses on Jew Town Road, where they sold fruits, vegetables and spices or worked as oil pressers or carpenters. The spice markets are still located on the narrow street.