travel packages to india


Kerala Sanke Boat Race Festival 2012

Duration : Kerala Snake Boat Race : 2012 : 05-13 August
Destinations Covered : Chennai-Mahabalipuram-Madurai-Periyar-Kumarakom-Houseboat-Backwaters-Alleppey- Snake Boat race-Cochin

The Nehru Trophy snake boat race is the most exciting race of the year. This race is held in memory of India's first (late) Prime Minister, Jawahar Lal Nehru. A snake boat (or chundan vallam) is a long traditional canoe style boat used by the people of the Kuttanadu region, in south India's state of Kerala. The boats vary in size and are 100 to 120 feet long, and hold around 100 rowers. The race is held on the backwaters of Alleppey on 2nd Saturday of August every year. The natives from different village bring their boats to participate in this race.  The winning team is awarded with cash prize and The Nehru Trophy.

05 Aug. – Arrive Chennai
Arrive Chennai by international flight.
Assistance on arrival and transfer to the hotel.
Overnight at the hotel.

06 Aug. – Chennai
Morning sightseeing tour.
Chennai, the capital city of Tamil Nadu, popularly regarded as the ‘Gateway to the South’ represents a culture that is distinctly different from that of northern India.  The places of interest are Fort St. George built in 1653 during British reign in India, - now houses the Secretariat and Legislative Assembly of Tamil Nadu; St. Mary’s Church, the oldest Anglican Church in India; Sri Parthasarathy Temple built by Pallavas in the 8th century AD; Kapaliswara Temple, Mylapore also an eighth century Pallava Temple dedicated to Lord Shiva; San Thomas Cathedral Basilica rebuilt in 1606 as a cathedral and in 1896 it was made a basilica; and Theosophical Society, Thousand Light Mosque, Govt. Museum and Kamraj Memorial.

Afternoon visit Mahabalipuram.
Mahabalipuram, lies on the east coast of India, south of Chennai. Also known as Mamallapuram it was ancient port of Pallavas. The Pallavas dynasty during their rule have created many marvellous monuments with sculptural panels, caves, Monolithic Rathas and Temples. The most famous Krishna Mandapam, has a big bas relief, notable for its realistic representation. The world’s largest bas relief measuring 27m x 9m, whale back shaped rock contains figures of gods, demi-gods, men, beasts, birds and representation of the entire creation. Shore Temple, one of the oldest in south dating back to 8th century AD is a fine example of the first phase of structural temples constructed in Dravidian style.  The Five Rathas, a group of five monolithic temples, each created in different style are noteworthy

Overnight at the hotel.

07 Aug. – Chennai-Madurai flight : 0840-0940 hours
Transfer to airport for flight to Madurai.
On arrival, transfer to the hotel.
Afternoon sightseeing tour of Madurai
Madurai is believed to be more than 2500 years old and is known for the  magnificent ‘The Meenakshi-Sundareswara Temple’.  It was substantially expanded during the regime of Thirumalai Nayak between 1623-55 AD. Covering an area of 65000 sq Meter, the temple has 12 gopurams, four of the tallest stand at the outer walls of the temple.  The 48.8 m high southern gopuram is the most spectacular and have over 1500 sculptures. The 1000 pillars hall with ornate, bold sculptures called Ayiramkaal Mandapm is unique in architecture.  From all angles, the pillars appear to be in straight line. In the Ashta Shakti Mandapam inside the Meenakshi temple, the sculpted pillars tell the story of the beautiful princess of Madurai and her marriage to Lord Shiva. Thirumalai Nayak Palace built in 1635 is another marvel in architecture.  Built of brick and mortal without use of girder, its dome with stuccowork and arches are impressive

Overnight at the hotel.

08 Aug. – Madurai-Periyar drive, 160 km
Morning drive to Periyar and on arrival, check-in at the hotel.
Periyar, spread over an area of 777 sq km, this sanctuary has about 35 tigers and leopards.  However, sighting a tiger in Periyar is a fortune for one out of thousand.  The park encompasses a 26 sq km artificial lake and is the home of sambars, wild boars, elephants and antelopes which can be occasionally seen on the banks of the river during a boat cruise.  Periyar, otherwise, blessed by Nature has enormous tea, coffee, pepper and cardamom plantations and is lush green.

Afternoon boat cruise on Lake Periyar to view wildlife.
Overnight at the hotel.

09 Aug. – Periyar-Kumarakom, 136 km (via Kottayam)
Morning drive to Kumrakom and embark on Kerala Houseboat “Kettuvalam”.
Cruise thru enchanting waters of Vemband Lake, enjoy the panoramic views and the glimpses of Kerala rural life.  Stop by the Pathiramanal Island and visit 400 years old wood house, known as Chavara Bhavan where the blessed Kuriakose Elias Chavara was born.
Visit R and C Block where paddy is cultivated below the sea level.
Anchor at 1800 hours for night stay on Houseboat.

10 Aug. Arrive Alleppey
After breakfast, cruise through the Punnamada Lake, the venue of the famous Nehru Trophy Snake Boat Race.  Finish cruise at Alleppey Jetty at 0930 hours. 

Transfer by car to backwater resort in Alleppey.
Rest of the day free.
Overnight at the hotel.

11 Aug. Alleppey
Overnight at the hotel.

12 Aug. Alleppey– Cochin drive, 56 km
Morning drive to Cochin.
On arrival, check-in at the hotel.

Afternoon sightseeing tour of Cochin.
Cochin (Kochi) referred to as gateway to Kerala is commercial centre of the state. From time immemorial, travelers and traders from Arab, Portugal, China, United Kingdom and The Netherlands have visited this soil. A seaside city, it has a fine natural harbour. Cochin is most famous for Mattanchery Palace, St. Francis Church, Wellington Island, Bolghatty Island, Chinese Fishing nets and Jewish Synagogue.

13 Aug. Cochin-departure
Transfer to airport for onward flight.


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