Traditional welcome on arrival at the Chennai international airport and transfer to the hotel for overnight stay.
Relaxed breakfast at hotel, followed by a guided visit to Fort St. George, War memorial, St. Mary's Church, the Basilica of Saint Thomas, believed to have been built by St. Thomas, the apostle, Snake Park ending the day on Marina Beach. Overnight at hotel.
After breakfast, drive to Kanchipuram (1 hr.) the erstwhile capital of the Pallavas and Cholas. Visit the temples dedicated to various gods and goddesses. Also visit the shopping area, as it is also home of weavers of the famed Kanchipuram silks. Lunch at Kanchipuram. Evening drive to Mahabalipuram (Mamallapuram), a world heritage site and check in hotel for overnight stay
Breakfast at hotel. Guided sightseeing tour of Mahabalipuram, which, too was part of the Pallavas dynasty and exhibits some of the most outstanding examples of the Dravidian style of art and architecture. Experience the Arjuna's Penance, the rock cut caves, the Krishna Mandapam, the famous rathas and the Shore Temple. Evening free for leisure. Overnight at hotel.
After breakfast at hotel drive to Pondicherry and enjoy this quaint French town. On arriving at Pondicherry transfer to hotel for wash 'n' change. Afternoon, a guided sightseeing tour visiting Auroville and Aurobindo Ashram. Overnight at hotel.
Breakfast at hotel. Drive to Tanjore (Thanjavur): the former city of Danish settlement from 1624 to 1825. Commonly known amongst the Danish language as "Tranquebar". The town of Tanjore is surrounded by lush green rice fields and winding rivers with coconut and banana orchards. Afternoon, guided visit to the Brahadeeswarar temple built by King Raja Cholan between 985 & 1014 AD which is an architectural marvel. Overnight at hotel.
After breakfast, visit the palace, which also houses an art gallery, a library, a hall of music and the Schwartz Church. By noon drive to Trichy (Tiruchirappalli). After lunch in a restaurant, guided visit to the Rockfort and Srirangam Temple. Proceed for Madurai and on arrival check-in hotel. Enjoy the sound and light show at Tirumalai Nayak Palace. Overnight at hotel.
Breakfast followed by a guided city tour visiting the Meenakshi temple built in the Dravidian style and Teppa Kulu, a tank with an island temple. Afternoon driven to Trivandrum, on arriving transfer to hotel for overnight stay.
After breakfast, day free at leisure to enjoy the sandy beach and sunshine. Overnight at resort.
Breakfast at hotel. Then, transfer to Trivandrum (International) airport to board flight at 1130 hrs for Colombo. On arriving at 1230 hrs, met & received and transfer to hotel for wash 'n' change. Afternoon a guided city tour of Colombo, like many capital cities in developing countries is fast changing its face. Almost overnight, skyscrapers arise from where old buildings once stood. Yet in some parts, the old world charm is retained. For example, there is a 100-year-old clock tower and several British built colonial buildings. Other places of interest are the Pettah bazaar-where one can shop for bargain, a Hindu and a Buddhist temple, residential areas where you find the stately homes of the affluent, the Colombo museum, the Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall (BMICH)-an outright gift to Sri Lanka from the People's Republic of China, the new Parliament and the Dutch Museum.
After breakfast drive to Anuradhapura, it was the first capital and undoubtedly the grandest city of the ancient Sri Lanka. It is the home of two world heritage sites. Many places of historical and archaeological interest could be visited. Sri Maha Bodhi (Sacred Bo Tree) was brought as a sapling of the tree under which Prince Siddhartha attained to enlightenment and it is over 2,200 years old and is the oldest historically documented tree in the world. At Brazen Palace (2nd century B.C), the 1600 stone columns you see are all that is left of a magnificent multi-storied residence for monks. Ruwanweliseya (2nd century B.C) is the most famous of all the Dagobas. It originally depicted the perfect â€˜bubble shapeâ€ that modern restoration has not been able to accurately reproduce. â€˜Samadhi' â€“the Buddha statue (4th century AD0 is one of the most famous statues, depicting the Buddha in a state of 'Samadhi' or deep meditation. Isurumuniya Rock Temple (3rd century B.C0 is well known for its rock carvings. Overnight stay at Hotel.
Breakfast at hotel. Then, transfer to Dambulla. Dambulla rock temple has been built by King Walagambahu in the 1st century B.C. and it is a world heritage site. Also, it is the most impressive of Sri Lanka's cave temples. The complex of five caves with over 2000sq. meters of painted walls and ceilings is the largest area of paintings found in the world. It contains over 150 images of the Buddha of which the largest is the colossal figure of the Buddha carved out of rock and spanning 14 meters. Transfer from Dambulla to Sigiriya. Overnight stay at hotel.
Breakfast at hotel. Then, climb the 5th century Sigiriya rock fortress, which is a world heritage site, built by King Kashyapa (477-495 AD). The â€˜Lion Rock' is a citadel of unusual beauty rising 200 meters from the scrub jungle. The rock was the innermost stronghold of the 70 hectare fortified town. A moat, rampart, and extensive gardens including the renowned water gardens ring the base of the rock. Visit the world-renowned frescoes of the â€˜Heavenly Maidens' of Sigiriya, which are in a sheltered pocket of the rock approached by a spiral stairway. These frescoes are painted in earth pigments on plaster. Overnight stay at hotel.
Breakfast at hotel. Transfer from Sigiriya to Nuwara Eliya, because of its invigorating mountain climate and scenery, is Sri Lanka's most popular hill resort. Nuwara Eliya is also the heart of Sri Lanka's tea country, producing a significant share of the world's best tea. Sri Lanka's highest mountain Pidurutalagala (8282 feet) is located here. Nuwara-Eliya also has one of the finest 18 hole golf courses in South Asia. Overnight stay at hotel.
Breakfast at hotel. Visit a tea estate and a tea factory, where the best tea in the world is produced. Here you could observe all about the process of manufacturing tea. You can also see how tea is graded. Taste a cup of pure Ceylon tea in the factory. Transfer from tea plantation to Kandy. Kandy was the last capital of the Sri Lankan kings, which is a world heritage site. The name â€œKandyâ€ conjures visions of splendour and magnificence. Many of the legends, traditions and folklore are still lovingly kept alive. Drive around the Kandy Lake built by the last Sinhala King, Sri Wickrama Rajasinghe in 1798. Visit the Kandy town and Bazaar, the arts and crafts center, a gem museum and a lapidary. Also visit the Temple of the Tooth Relic in Kandy. Thereafter witness a Cultural show. Overnight stay athotel.
Breakfast at hotel. Drive to Pinnawela Elephant Orphanage, established in 1975, commenced with seven orphans. Today some of these orphans enjoy the fortune of seeing their grandchildren born in the same location. The original objective of establishing the orphanage inclined more towards tourism, but is soon became a conservation and educational centre. With the help of local and foreign elephant experts, Pinnawela started a scientific captive-breeding programme for elephants. The free movement of the herd enhanced the chances for respective individuals of both sexes to get together and mate. The success story of Pinnawela has role in this regard, and in 1984, the first baby of Pinnawela was born. The success story of Pinnawela has drawn the attention of scientists from all over the world. A considerable number of books and research articles on Pinnawela have been published in several languages. The members of the Pinnawela herd have articles on Pinnawela have been published in several languages. The member of the Pinnawela herd have been filmed, videoed and photographed thousands of times by professionals. Transfer from Pinnawala to Colombo international airport to board flight for onward destination.
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