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SOUTH INDIA TOUR PROGRAM-MARCH 2009 ITINERARY 07th March 2009: Early Morning arrival 0140 Hrs, Traditional Welcome at airport and check into Trident Hotel. After Brunch at 11. 00 am and check out and proceed for Chennai city Tour a t 1200 noon. Visit Chennai Museum and Santhom Cathedral Basilica Evening proceed to covelong and check into Taj Fisherman Cove. Dinner at 8. 00 pm & overnight stay. Chennai: The Gateway to South India, Chennai, located along the Coromandel Coast initially grew around the British settlement of Fort St. George and is today India’s fourth largest metropolis.

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Chennai has retained its traditional Tamil roots while acquiring a modern and cosmopolitan character. Chennai is famous for its sandy beaches, parks and historic landmarks. With a very distinct culture, the people of Chennai have a special interest in music, dance and all other art forms of South India. Capital of the state of Tamil Nadu and with an estimated population of 6. 96 million (2006), Chennai is a commercial and industrial hub. It is also known as the automobile capital of India and is home to a majority of India’s automobile industry.

The 12-kilometre long Marina Beach in Chennai is one of the longest beaches in the world.

Of late, Chennai has grown into a software hub and technological city. It is a city which has embraced both the new and the old with ease. Chennai is spread over an area of 200 square kilometers and still growing. Chennai Museum The Government Museum of Chennai originally belonged to a group of eminent British citizens, known as the Pantheon Committee, who were responsible for improving the social life of the British in Madras. The Main Building has a fine archaeological section representing all the major South Indian periods including Chola, Vijayanagar, Hoysala and Chalukya.

Chennai Government Museum also houses a good ethnology collection. The bronze gallery has a superb collection of Chola art. One of the most impressive is the bronze of Ardhanariswara, the androgynous incarnation of Shiva. Santhome Cathedral Basilica: The place where Santhome Cathedral Basilica stands today, used to be known as Betuma. St. Thomas, one of the twelve apostles, is said to have arrived in the region somewhat in the middle of first century A. D. He initially preached at a place called Little Mount (Chinnamalai in Tamil Nadu) and was put to death at St. Thomas Mount in the year 72 A.

D. Soon after his death a church was built over his burial place and it is this church that after series of renovations stand as Santhome Basilica Cathedral. The cathedral at Santhome was built by the Portuguese between 14th and 15th century A. D. The cathedral has been built in a typical neo Gothic style. The shrines included in the cathedral is a small hand bone and the lance that was used to end the life of the apostle. The 50 meters high building has been constantly renovated. It is the only the second church in the world that has been erected over the burial place of an apostle.

The cathedral holds a 3 feet high statue of Virgin Mary, believed to be imported from Portugal in the year 1543 A. D. The reaching spire is as high as 50 meters and the width of the nave is about 10 metres. The cathedral is provided with stained glass and 14 wood plaques that depict St. Thomas’ encounter with the resurrected Christ The cathedral, which was blessed in 1896 A. D. and raised to the dignity of a basilica by Pope Pius XII, in the year 1956 gathers pilgrims from far off places. 08th March 2009: Morning breakfast at 8. 00 am, depart at 9. 0 am to visit Crocodile Bank, Proceed to Kancheepuram and have Lunch at GRT Kancheepuram at 1. 00 pm and then visit silk weaving Factory. Evening back to hotel & overnight stay The Crocodile Bank in Chennai is the largest crocodile-breeding site in the country. Several species of African and Indian crocodiles and alligators are bred in captivity. This park seeks to spread awareness of the ecological role played by crocodiles in selectively feeding on sick and weak and injured fish. Projects are conducted on the biology and study of crocodiles, turtles and lizards.

Visitors to the Crocodile Park in Chennai can view the various alligator and crocodile species lazing about in the open pools. Be it the Mugger or Marsh variety of crocodiles found in the lowland waters or the Gharials (crocodiles with the longest jaw), the Crocodile bank is home to nearly 7000 inmates. Other species of crocodiles found in the Crocodile Park in Chennai – Morlet’s crocodile from Mexico, American Alligator, Dwarf crocodile from Africa and the Siamese crocodile. Visitors can collect interesting trivia and information about these species. The Crocodile Bank also has a snake farm, where anti-venom is produced.

Demonstrations of venom extraction draw considerable crowd Kanchipuram, the Golden City of a thousand temples, and one of the seven sacred cities of India, is 71 km from Madras. It was, successively, the capital of the Pallavas, the Cholas and the Rayas of Vijayanagar. During the 6th and 7th centuries, some of the best temples in the city were built by the Pallavas. From the 3rd to the 9th century A. D. Kanchi was the capital of the Pallavas who ruled over the territory extending from the river Krishna in the north to the river Kaveri in the south. The Pallavas fortified the city with ramparts, moats, etc. with wide and well laid out roads and fine temples. They were a great maritime power with contacts with far-off China, Siam and Fiji through their chief Port Mamallapuram, the modern Mahabalipuram. The Cholas ruled this town from 10th century to 13th century. Kings of Vijayanagara dynasty ruled from 14th century to 17th century. The temple tower of the Ekamabaranadhar temple, with a height of 192 feet in and the 100-pillar mandabam (building) of the Varadaraja Perumal temple in this town are famous for the architectural techniquesofVijayanagaraDynasty.

Kanchipuram disposes of 108 temples dedicated to Siva and 18 to Vishnu besides scores of other temples, mosques and churches and Adi Shankara Mutt. Today, apart from its temples, this small town is also known for its thriving handloom industry, traditional cotton and silk saris. The silk weavers of Kanchi settled more than 400 years ago and have given it an enviable reputation as the producer of the best silk sarees in the country. Woven from pure mulberry silk, the sarees in dazzling colours are embellished with fine gold thread (zari) and are available in every imaginable design and variety.

Given its illustrious past, it is not surprising that Kanchi was a major seat of Tamil learning as well as an important place of pilgrimage for Buddhists, Jains and Hindus. 09th March 2009: Morning breakfast at 8. 00 am and then by 9. 00 am proceed to visit Dravidan Style culture monuments at Mahabalipuram (58 Kms), the shore temple and the monolithic sculpture of the ancient India. Lunch at GRT Temple Bay at 1. 30 pm and then proceed to Pondichery, (100 Kms). On arrival at Pondicherry, check into Kailash Beach Resort

Mahabalipuram: (also known as Mamallapuram) was a 7th century port city of the South Indian dynasty of the Pallavas around 60 km south from the city of Chennai. It is believed to have been named after the Pallava king Mamalla. It has various historic monuments built largely between the 7th and the 9th century, and has been classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site The Varaha Cave, a small rock-cut mandapam (hall), is a faceted and finished gem with two incarnations of Vishnu-Varaha (boar) and Vamana (dwarf). Particularly noteworthy here are four panels of the famous Pallava doorkeepers.

There is about them a mood of contemplative reverie, a lyrical softness and subtle grace totally at variance with the primordial machismo their role as guards of the gods imposes on them. The Mahisasurmardini Cave (mid-seventh century) has fine bas-reliefs on its panels of enduring beauty. The Dharmaraja Cave, built in the early seventh century, contains three empty shrines. The Somaskanda sculpture radiates peace, power, and wisdom while Lord Vishnu is shown in omniscient repose in a masterpiece of dhwani (the art of suggestion).

On the opposite side is a huge theatrical panel showing, Goddess Durga’s fight with the demon Mahishasura, an episode culled from the celebrated Sanskrit poem Devi Mahatmya. Rathas A group of structures lying at the southern extreme of Mahabalipuram, amidst casuarina trees, are the famous Rathas (chariots). The Pancha Pandava Rathas, as they are called, are five in number. Out of these, four are carved out of a single rock, while the fifth on the west is scooped out of a monolithic rock.

The square Draupadi and Arjuna Rathas, the linear Bhima Ratha, the taller multi-storied Dharamraja Ratha and the apsidal Nakula MahadevaRatha,constitutethecomplex. ShoreTemple The windswept and surf-beaten Shore Temple, the mute tireless sentinel of the shore, is the ultimate expression of Mahabalipuram. A three-in-one abode of God-a Vishnu temple positioned between two Shiva temples, is a visual delight with its precincts abounding in architectural masterpieces. On either side of it the sea spreads, illimitable and infinite.

The compound wall of this temple is lined with charming sculptures of Nandi the bull while the figure of Vishnu is present in the sanctum sanctorum. Pondichery: (also known as Puducherry) The coastal town of Pondichery with a French ambience is known for its serene atmosphere. Legend associates ancient Puducherry with great Hindu sage Agastya. Sri Aurobindo Ashram and the nearby Auroville International Township lend a unique spiritual flavour to the city. The city nurtured two great Tamil revolutionary poets, Sri SubramaniBharathiandSriBharatidasan. Total population is 0. 8 million with very high literacy and total area of 492 square km.

Puducherry is 160km down south from Chennai well connected by bus through East Coast Road. To reach Puducherry by Rail, one has to travel for 3 hours from Chennai to Villupuram and change over to meter gauge train for the last lap of about one hour. 10th March 2009: Breakfast at 8. 00 am and then by 9. 00 am Visit the Sri Aurobindo’s Ashram (a Meditation center) & Puducherry Museum and then proceed to Le club- The French Restaurant for lunch. Back to hotel, evening visit Auroville (8 Kms) (an international city with inhabitants from all over the world) and optional visit the Mata Mandir Meditation centre (only y evening tourists are allowed) and overnight stay at Kailash Beach Resort Pondicherry The coastal town of Pondichery: (also known as Puducherry) is known for its serene atmosphere. The city nurtured two great Tamil revolutionary poets, Sri SubramaniBharathiand and Sri Bharatidasan. Pondicherry has a rich French cultural heritage, having been the capital of the French colonies in India since the 17th century. Pondicherry, Karaikal, Yanam and mahe were transferred to the Indian union in 1954.

This French legacy is visible in the well-Planned town, neatly laid roads, wide and vibrant beaches, beautiful promenades, architecturally imposing churches and public buildings and the statues of Joan of Ark and Joseph Francois colonies in India from 1742-54. A staggering number of 55 languages are spokenhere. Among the notable French personalities who left their indelible mark on Pondicherry,fournamesstandout. The fourth french personality who made an impact on Modern day Pondicherry was ‘The Mother’, a paris-born painter musician and Sri Aurobindo’s close companion from 1920 until his death in 1950.

She was responsible for developing the Ashram as it is today Pondicherry has been seat of learning and Vedic culture since ancient times and was also the home of the great Hindu sage Agastya. Pondicherry mystic spirit found a great resurrection in the twentieth century with the establishment of Aurobindo Ashram. Auroville Located 10 kms north of Pondicherry town, Auroville is envisioned as a universal town, where people from different nationalities, faiths and beliefs, can live in peace and harmony.

The construction of this ‘universal town’ was started in 1968 under the guidance of the mother, a paris-born painter-musician who become sri Aurobindo’s disciple and close companion from 1924 till his death in 1950. The development of this Utopia is still in progress. Several countries have offered to set up permanent pavilions, reflecting the culture and ethos of their countries. Shri Aurobindo Ashram Shri Aurobindo, the great seer, poet and prophet of the twentieth century, made Pondicherry his home from 1910 till his death in 1950.

His vision and ideals continue to draw People from all over the world. · Pondicherry Museum On display are the findings of Arikamedu , the chola bronzes and sculptures, glimpses Of French heritage, specimens of modern and traditional handicraft, paintings, armoires, carvings and many other things of historical interest. 11th March 2009: Morning after breakfast at 9. 00 am proceed to Thanjavur (170 Kms) enroute visit the temple at Gangaikondacholapuram built in 1220 AD. Lunch at Paradise Resort at Kumbakonam around 2. 00 pm Arrive Thanjavur and check in and overnight stay at Ideal River View Resort

Tanjore is the “Rice bowl of Tamil Nadu” and famous for the Brahadeeswara Temple. The temple was constructed more than thousand years ago by the King Rajarajan, is an architect’s marvel. It is a flourishing centre for bronze sculpture and painting. Thanjavur was the royal city of the Cholas, Nayaks and the Mahrattas. Thanjavur was at height of its glory during Rajaraja Cholan. The Big Temple and the other famous temples in the district are known all over the world. Thanjavur was the cultural capital of the country in 1790. 2th March 2009: Morning after breakfast proceed to visit velankanni church and after lunch reach Nagapattanam by 1300 hrs visit rotary projects and then back to Nagapattanam, meeting with Nagapattanam Rotary club. Evening back to Tanjore, back to hotel & overnight stay at Ideal River View Nagapattanam: The Tsunami shattered the lives of hundreds of fisher families along the coast of India. Not only did many of their loved ones perish in the floods, but when the waters finally receded, their simple fishing boats lay in splintered wreckages along the waterfront and their only means of earning a livelihood had vanished before their eyes.

Rotary gave these people the right to a new future, to go back to fishing the seas as their forefathers have done for thousands of years, give them the chance to live again… 13th March 2009: Breakfast at hotel and at 9. 00 am depart to visit Brihadeshwara temple, a typical South Indian architecture from the 11th century, the saraswati mahal Library etc Afternoon Lunch ( Packed Lunch will be provided) , Evening at 4. 00 pm proceed to Madurai (158 Kms) and check into Taj Garden Retreat and overnight stay. Madurai One of South India’s great temple towns, Madurai is synonymous with the celebrated Meenakshi Temple.

Situated on the banks of river Vaigai, Madurai has a rich cultural heritage passed on from the great Tamil era more than 2500 years old. Madurai was an important cultural and commercial centre even as early as 550 AD. It was the capital city for the great Pandya kings. The Pandyan King Kulasekarar built a great temple and created a lotus shaped city around the temple. On the day the city was to be named, as Lord shiva blessed the land and its people, divine nectar (Madhu) was showered on the city from his matted locks.

This city was henceforth known as Madhurapuri. Madurai is famous for Jasmine Flowers. BRIHADEESWARA TEMPLE The Brihadeeswara Temple is the main attraction of Tanjore. The massive temple built by Rajaraja Chola in the 10th century AD, reflects the Cholas’ contribution to the development of arts in this area. It is also regarded as the Chola dynasty’s finest contribution to the Dravidian temple architecture. The temple is characterized by its unique structure. Unlike the usual South Indian temples, the Brihadeeswara temple has a soaring vimana and a stunted gopuram.

It was constructed from a single piece of granite weighing an estimated 80 tones and the dome was hauled into place along a 4-km earthwork ramp in a manner similar to the Egyptian pyramids. Guarding the inner shrine of the temple, is the gigantic statue of Nandi, the Bull, while the walls of the sanctum are covered, with the wall paintings of Chola and Nayak periods, comparable to the famous Ajanta cave frescoes. The statue of Nandi was created from a single rock piece and weighs 25 tonnes. It is one of the largest statues of Nandi bulls in India. THE PALACE

The royal Palace near the massive Brihadeeswara temple is characterized by its vast corridors, large halls, shady courtyards and observation and arsenal towers. Built by the Nayaks in the mid-16th century, the Palace was completed by the Marathas. The Durbar Hall of the palace still retains the grandeur of the bygone era. The palace also functions as a Royal Museum housing a diverse collection of royal remnants, compilations of the early 19th century, the king’s slippers, head dresses and hunting tools. The palace is home to a library, an art gallery and a museum. The Royal museum has a display of items from the past rulers.

The royal memorabilia includes royal clothing, headgears and hunting weapons. The two Durbar halls, where the rulers held public meetings, are in good shape. ART GALLERY The Art Gallery has a rich collection of 250 Chola Bronze statues and 150 stone statues dating from the 9th to 12th century. These statues belong to the many groups namely the Bhairava, Umasahita Shiva, Kali and the Rama Lakshmana Art Gallery SARASWATI MAHAL LIBRARY Located just by the side of the art gallery, the Saraswati Mahal Library has a huge collection of about 30,000 palm leaf and paper manuscripts in Indian and European languages.

It also has some Tamil works including treatises on medicine, and commentaries on works from the Sangam period. It was built during 1700 AD. You can visit the nearby museum that houses some interesting exhibits like the entire range of the Ramayana written on palm leaf. 14th March 2009: Morning breakfast at 8. 00 am and leave to visit Madurai Meenakshi Temple and then lunch at Hotel Fortune Pandyan at 1. 30 pm &Evening proceed to Thirumala Nayayk Mahal for a dramatic Sound and light show after the Show return to hotel. Dinner and overnight stay Madurai’s history dates back to over 2000 years ago, when it was the capital of the Pandyan kings.

Its origin and name emerge from a misty and lovely legend. In a forest near a lotus pond, Indra, King of Gods, Worshipped Lord Siva as a Swayambu Lingam. At this hallowed spot, the Pandyan monarch Kulasekhara built a great temple and clearing the forest, he created a lotus- shaped city around the temple. On the day the city was to be named, Lord Siva appeared at the ceremony. As he blessed the land and its people, divine nectar (Mathuram) was showered on the city from his matted locks. The city was thenceforth known as Madhurapuri. It is referred to in the Ramayana and Kautily’s Arthashastra.

Megasthenes (302 BC), Pliny (77AD) and Ptolemy (140 AD) wrote of “Madura, the kingdom of the Pandian”. In the 10th century AD, Madurai was captured by the Chola emperors. It remained in their hands, until the Pandyans regained their independence in the 12th century, only to lose it to the Muslim invaders under Malik Kafur, a general in the service of the Delhi Sultanate. Malik Kafur’s dynasty was overthrown by the Hindu Vijaynagar kings of Hampi. After the fall of Vijayanagar, in 1565, the Nayaks ruled Madurai until 1781 AD. During the rule of the Nayaks, the bulk of the Meenakshi temple was built.

Madurai also became the cultural centre of the Tamil people. Madurai passed on to the East India Company in 1781, and in 1840, the Company razed the fort which had previously surrounded the city, and filled in the moat. Four streets, the Veli streets, which were constructed on top of the fill, till today, define the limits of the old city. The Meenakshi Sundareswarar Temple or Meenakshi Amman Temple The temple has a stunning architecture and was a frontrunner in the selection for the modern seven wonders of the world for its architectural importance.

The complex houses 12 magnificent gopurams or towers that are elaborately sculptured and painted. The present structure is believed to have been built only recently in the early 17th century. The history of the original structure is not properly known, but Tamil literature speaks about the temple for the last couple of millennia. The temple was believed to have been sacked by the infamous Muslim invader Malik Kafur in 1310, and all the ancient elements were destroyed. The initiative to rebuild the structure was taken by Arya Natha Mudaliyar , the Prime Minister of the first Nayak of Madurai (1559-1600 A.

D. ), the founder of ‘Poligar System’. Then came the most valuable contributions of Thirumalai Nayak circa 1623 to 1659. He took considerable interest in erecting the Vasantha Mandapa of the temple complex. The inner sanctum sanctorum is more than 3500 years old, and the outer walls and external construction are about 1500-2000 years old. The complex is in around 45 acres and the temple is a massive structure measuring 254 by 237 meters. The temple is surrounded by 12 towers, the tallest of which, the famous Southern tower, rises to over 170 ft high.

The Shiva shrine lies at the centre of the complex, suggesting that the ritual dominance of the goddess developed later. The Shiva shrine also consists of an unusual sculpture of the Hindu god Nataraja. 15th March 2009: After Breakfast around 9. 00 am proceed to Thekkady (140 Kms) into Elephant Court Resort and proceed to visit the famous Malabar spices including Pepper, Ginger, Cardamom, Elaichi, Cumin seeds etc. Thekkady is in the midst of Tropical Rain forests and evening return to hotel watch cultural show, Dinner and overnight stay.

Thekkady 🙁 Also Known as Periyar)-An internationally reputed tourist centre situated in the Western Ghats is the only place in India where you get the opportunity to see wild elephants from a short distance. Thekkady, recently named as Periyar Tiger Reserve in the year 1978, is well known for its rich natural resource and beauty. It constitutes the beautiful spice lands on one part and thick evergreen forests on the other part. Periyar Tiger Reserve is one of the world’s most fascinating wild life sanctuaries, noted for its geomorphology, wild life and beautiful land- scapes .

The three lakh tourists visited in 2002 highlights its importance in world tourism map. Situated in the Idukki district of Kerala forms parts of the high ranges on the Western Ghats. In the north central part is the famous Periyar Lake, a vast reservoir of water created by a dam in the Periyar River. The reserve covers hills and verdant forests extending over an area of 777 sq. km. 16th March 2009: Morning breakfast at the hotel and then depart to Alleppey (140kms, 1hr 30 mins), which is the heart of the backwaters. Backwaters form the heart of Kerala. Board the house boat by 12 noon. Lunch at 1. 0 am Each houseboat will have two or three bath attached bedrooms. Each boat will have a crew of three members. The most enchanting sight of the houseboat is to see the villages in the authentic rural setting living their normal life. The view of the backwaters is breath taking. Traditional Kerala food will be served on board the boat. The boat will be anchored at 5. 30 PM and will move only the next day morning after breakfast. The air-condition in the bedroom will be switched on only in the night and will be switched of in the morning. Dinner be provided in the houseboat itself. Overnight stay at Houseboat (Premium Houseboat).

Alleppey, an exceptional coastal township. It’s nearness to the Arabian Sea has given Alleppey a special place in the maritime history of Kerala. Alleppey has often been referred to as the Venice of the East by travelers from around the world. The beach of Alleppey, which is also called Alappuzha, has a 140 year old pier which extends up to the sea. In the stormiest of nights, this sea shore has provided a safe anchor to sailors from time immemorial. Embark at Alleppey finishing point jetty A leisure cruise in a southerly direction to Pallathuruthy river, Pukaitha river, Pullangady till Champakulam.

Visit The Champakulam church, which is more than 200 years old and one of the 7 churches established by St. Thomas. and the famous snake boat – the Champakulam Chundan. This is an unique opportunity to leisurely explore the beauty and tranquility of the Kerala backwaters. The backwaters are a net work of lakes, coconut shaded canals and estuaries – tiled and thatched cottages bright with hibiscus dot the embankments. Witness local life with children swimming and playing in the water, women attending to their daily chores and men fishing from their canoes. En-route, you can stop at Nedumudy to visit the local market.

Houseboat: Traditionally, the houseboat was called kettuvallom, which means a boat made by tying together pieces of wood. Incredible may sound, not a single nail is used in the making of a kettuvallom. Jack wood planks are joined together with coir rope and then coated with black resin made from boiled cashew nut shells. Today, these giant 80-foot long crafts have been adapted into luxuriously furnished houseboats. A kettuvallom usually has one, two or three bath attached bedrooms, an open lounge, deck, kitchenette and a crew comprising oarsmen, a cook and guide 7th March 2009: After breakfast proceed to Cochin (85 Kms) on arrival at Cochin Check in to Taj Malabar and then have lunch. Evening at 4. 00 pm city sight seeing through the backwaters of Cochin. Enjoy the skyline of the city and the scenic islands surrounding the backwaters. After half an hour journey by boat you reach the historic town of Mattancherry which has 1000 years if live history where you can still see the mute monuments as witness of their glorious past. You will be dropped at Ernakulam and then proceed for Dinner at Grand hotel around 8. 00 pm Visit the historic Jewish Synogogue.

The synagogue is surrounded by dozens of antique shops which sell souvineers and antiques. You however must happily bargain. Later proceed to The Chinese fishing nets at the harbour mouth. This is a technology that came in from China about 700 years ago. Even today they use the same technology to catch the fish and is a treat to watch the fishermen operate. Plenty of photo opportunities Nearby the St. Francis Church with a history of 500 years. The remains of Vasco Da Gama was buried. Vasco was the first European Sea farer to venture into Asia and changed the course of world history.

After lunch we will take you through the outskirts of the city ( 20 kilometers) to Kerala History Museum where you will see a light and sound show (One hour) depicting the history of the citivilisation of the state of Kerala. An art gallery with the finest collections in the same campus is an added attraction. At the end of it back to the hotel. Option of shopping in the Indian Bazaar (Broadway) for souvenirs. Dinner and overnight stay at Hotel. Cochin (Kochi): Famed for its natural harbour, one of the finest in the world, Cochin has earned the sobriquet “Queen of the Arabian Sea” Cochin is ne of India’s most interesting cities. Here you can see the oldest church in India. The ancient temples, churches and synagogues in this district are of special interest to the archaeologists and historians. From time immemorial, Arabs, Chinese, Dutch, British and Portuguese seafarers followed the sea route to Cochin and left their impressions on the town. A Jewish community with roots going back to 1000AD, a 16th Century Synagogue, and a palace built by the Portuguese and given to the Raja of Cochin which was later renovated by the Dutch are part of Cochin. Cochin port is one of the largest in India.

The Portuguese Fort is situated on the northern end of Vypeen Island at Pallipuram. You can see the Chinese fishing nets in Fort Cochin. Cochin Airport is 35 kms away from the Railway Station. Chinese Fishing Nets Start your tour at the harbor near Vasco da Gama Square, where you can watch fishermen hoisting their catch from the cantilevered Chinese fishing nets that line the shore. The Chinese fishing nets found here are the only ones of its kind in India. It is believed that traders from the court of the Chinese ruler Kublai Khan introduced these nets here about 700 years ago.

Even today the fishermen use the same technology to catch fish and it is a treat to watch them operate. DutchPalace Originally built by Portuguese in 1557, Mattancherry Palace was gifted to the Raja of Cochin, Vira Keralavarma . It is also known as the Dutch Palace since the dutch renovated it after gaining its control in 1663. The exteriors of the palace are stark with white walls and sloping brown roofs. There is a small temple of the deity Palayannur Bhagwati inside its premises and the interiors have beautiful paintings adorning the walls and ceilings.

The Central Hall on the upper storey has an intricately carved wooden ceiling and was used for the coronation ceremony of the Rajas of Cochin. The ceiling of the Dining Hall has a series of brass cups while the one at the Assembly Hall has breathtaking murals depicting scenes from Hindu mythology. These murals are among the best in India and cover approximately 300 sq ft of wall. It also has a museum showcasing regal memorabilia such as costumes, palanquins, turbans and weaponry from the days of the Cochin rajas. JewishSynagogue Located near the Dutch Palace, the synagogue, was built in 1568.

It is the oldest synagogue in India and was partially destroyed in the war of 1662. Later, the Dutch rebuilt it. The clock tower was added in mid 18th century along with the hand-painted blue willow tiles from China that are more than two hundred years old. None of these tiles are alike. The unique interiors boast of a Belgian chandelier, the great scrolls of the Old Testament and the copper plates that keep the records of the grants of privilege made by the Cochin rulers to the Jewish community in the 4th century. It also has five finely wrought gold and silver crowns on its display that were gifted to the synagogue.

One can hear of the history of the Jews in Kerala from the rabbi who lives here. One can still see Jewish culture and tradition flourishing and hear the use of the Hebrew language in Jew Town around the Mattancherry Synagogue. St. Francis Church Fort Cochin, the oldest European Settlement in India, houses St. Francis Church, which was the first European Church in India. In 1503, Rajah of Cochin gave permission to the Portuguese Alphonso Alburquerque to build a fort at the mouth of the river with a church of wood dedicated to St. Bartholomew.

In 1516, a new church was built to honor St. Antony. When Dutch arrived in 1663, they demolished all the convents and churches of the place and converted them to their Government Church. However, the Church of the Franciscans was spared. On his 3rd visit to Kerala, Vasco da Gama, the Portugese trader who reached India from Europe by sea, fell ill and died in Kochi. He was buried in the St. Francis Church. Later his remains were taken back to Portugal, the exact place where he was buried has been marked out inside the church, making its a very auspicious place for the Christians.

Santa Cruz Basilica The history of Santa Cruz Basilica begins with the arrival of Portuguese missionaries along with the second Portuguese fleet under Pedro Alavarez Cabral on December 24, 1500. The Kochi king Godha Varma I received them very warmly. This caused the Zamorin of Calicut to declare war against Kochi. But the Portuguese army under Commander Francesco de Albuquerque who reached Kochi in 1503 defeated the enemies of the King of Kochi and in return he gave them permission to built a fort in Kochi.

In 1505, Francesco de Almeida the first Portuguese Viceroy got permission from the Kochi Raja to built a church edifice using stones and mortar which was unheard of at that time as the local prejudices were against such a structure for any purpose other than a royal palace or a temple. The foundation stone of the Santa Cruz church was laid on May 3, 1505, the feast day of the ‘Invention of the Holy Cross’, hence the magnificent edifice when completed was named Santa Cruz. In 1558, Pope Paul IV, raised the Santa Cruz church to the status of a Cathedral along with the erection of the Cochin diocese as the second diocese in India.

Afterwards when the Dutch conquered Cochin in 1663, they destroyed all Catholic buildings. Only the St. Francis Church and the Cathedral escaped this fate. The Dutch made the cathedral their arms storehouse. Later it fell into the hands of the British who demolished it when they took over Kochi in 1795. One of the decorative granite pillars of the destroyed Cathedral is still kept as a monument at the southeastern corner of the present Basilica premises. About 100 years later, Bishop D. Joao Gomes Ferreira (1887 – 1897) who reached Cochin took initiative to erect the Cathedral and commenced the construction but it was the next bishop, D.

Mateus de Oliveira Xavier (1897 – 1908) who completed the edifice. The cathedral was consecrated on November 19, 1905 by Dom Sebastiao Jose Pereira, Bishop of Damao. Considering its antiquity, artistic dignity and historical importance, Pope John Paul II raised the Cathedral as a Basilica through a special decree in 9th December, 1984. The Church has two lofty spires and a remarkably bright, white-washed exterior and a pastel-colored interior. The interiors of the church are mostly Gothic, with the main altar decorated by the famous Italian painter Br. Moschini S. J. nd his disciple De Gama of Bangalore. The columns decorated with frescoes and murals, the seven large canvas paintings on the passion and death on the Cross, especially the painting of the Last Supper, modelled on the famous painting of Leonardo da Vinci and the beautiful stained glass windows add to the artistic grandeur of the place. The paintings that adorn the ceiling depict scenes from the life of Christ. KoderHouse: This magnificent building constructed by Samuel S. Koder of The Cochin Electric Company in 1808 is a supreme example of the transition from colonial to Indo-European architecture.

Features like verandah seats at the entrance, floor tiles set in a chess board pattern, red colored brick like facade, carved wood furniture and a wooden bridge connecting to a separate structure across the street are all unique to this bungalow. PierceLeslieBungalow: This charming mansion was the office of Pierce Leslie & Co. , coffee merchants, founded in 1862. A representative of the Fort Kochi colonial bungalow, this building reflects Portuguese, Dutch and local influences. Characteristic features are wood panels that form the roof of the ground floor, arched doorways, carved doors and sprawling rooms.

Waterfront verandahs are an added attraction. OldHarbourHouse: This elegant old bungalow built in 1808 is in the possession of Carrit Moran & Co. , renowned tea brokers, who now use it as their residence. The house was once a boat club. 18th March 2009: Morning at 8. 30 am breakfast at hotel and day free to visit Broadway-The typical Indian Bazar & shopping. Lunch at Taj Residency at 1. 00 pm. Afternoon free for shopping and Evening Proceed to Hotel renaissance for Kathkali show and Rotary Meeting. Back to Hotel & overnight stay 19th March 2008: Departure to airport (35 Kms) to connect the flight to Brussels. DISTANCE CHART Particulars |Distance | |Chennai-Kancheepuram |76 Kms | |Chennai -Mahabalipuram |58 Kms | |Mahabalipuram-Pondicherry |100 Kms | |Pondicherry-Gangaikondacholapuram |60 Kms | |Pondicherry-Tanjore |178 Kms | |Tanjore-Madurai |158 Kms | |Madurai-Thekkady |140 Kms | |Thekkady-Alleppey |140 Kms | |Alleppey-Cochin |85 Kms | |Cochin – Airport |50 Kms | Inclusions ? Meet & Assistance on Arrival ? Accommodation on twin sharing basis ? All Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner Buffet style ? Complimentary 01 Bottle of drinking water everyday per person ? A/c Coach ? Toll, Parking charges, Night halt etc ? All local sightseeing ? Cultural & Kathakali Show ? Experienced English speaking guide for the entire trip. ? All entry charges to monuments ? Air fare Brussels-Chennai and Cochin-Mumbai-Brussels ? All Taxes [pic]

Cite this Munnar……

Munnar……. (2018, Mar 06). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/munnar/

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