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Temple Towns
City of temples, Madurai.

hile virtually every city or town of India may justifiably be described as temple towns, most of those in this tour owe their existence to their temples of extraordinary magnificence and importance, hence the name ‘Temple towns’. Places like Bhubaneshwar and Aurangabad have temples of unbelievable architecture as reminders of a very rich classical era. The city of Madurai pulsates every bit with endless rituals of its mammoth Meenakshi Sundereshwar Temple. And those at Konark, Mammallapuram, Thanjavur and Karnataka should firmly leave you spell bound due to their sheer magnificence, mammoth conceptualization and unsurpassed artistry. Even an unsuggestive name like Goa has beautiful old temples hidden in dense rain forests.

  • Day 01: Kolkata: Arrive at Kolkata and Check in. Later in the evening, visit its buzzing bazaars or its many famous art centers. 
     
  • Day 02: Kolkata: Early in the morning, take a walking tour of Maidan area to watch Kolkata waking up- jogging, aerobics, yoga sessions, meditation, chats, trams, horse rides at race course, etc. against the historic backdrop of buildings like the Victoria Memorial. During the day, take a sightseeing tour of the city that includes visits to Victoria Memorial museum, Indian Museum, BBD Bagh buildings, Haora Bridge, Belur Math and St.Paul’s Cathedral. Evening free for last day’s shopping.Jagannath Temple,one of the most popular temples in India.
     
  • Day 03: Bhubaneshwar: Fly to Bhubaneshwar, the city of temples. In a guided sightseeing tour visit some of the finest temples of Classical Hindu age. Visit the Parsurameshvara Temple, Muktesvara temple, Rajarani temple, Lingaraj temple and many others around the Bindu Sagar tank.
      
  • Day 04: Bhubaneshwar: Take a daylong sightseeing trip to Konark Sun temple visiting Udaygiri caves on the route. Also visit the outskirts of Lord Jagannath Temple at Puri- a scene of undying Hindu faith and festivities. Return back to Bhubaneshwar by the evening. 
     
  • Day 05: Mahabalipuram: Fly to Chennai and further transfer by car to Mamallapuram. Day free to relax in your beach side resort.Mahabalipuram.
     
  • Day 06: Mahabalipuram: Mahabalipuram (Mamallapuram) is famous for it’s  shore temples and other monuments which are in a form of epic recreated on stone. Morning walk over the seashore and explore the temples on own.
     
  • Day 07: Thanjavur: Driving down to fertile rice growing plains of Cauvery reach Tiruchirapally. Nearby visit the enormous Srirangam temple and then continue to the Chola citadel of Tanjore. Visit the World heritage Brihadishvara temple- simply unparalleled!
     
  • Day 08: Madurai: Reach Madurai. Day to be spent completely at leisure or to soak in the unique Dravidian cultural atmosphere of this ancient temple city. 
     
  • Day 09: Madurai: Visit the Thirumal Nayaka Palace and the Dravidian masterpiece Meenakshi Sundereshwar temple which makes the city of Madurai so famous and pulsate with festivities. In the evening board the overnight express train to Bangalore.
     
  • Day 10: Bangalore: Arrive at BaIntricate sculptures in the temples of south.ngalore in the morning. At Bangalore visit Cubbon Park, Lal Baug and intersting public buildings within Cubbon Park. Excursion to Nrityagram- a center for learning of Indian classical dances set up by noted Odissi dancer Protima Bedi.
     
  • Day 11: Hassan: Drive to Hassan visiting Sravanabelagola on the way which is famous for the tallest monolithic statue in the World (of Lord Gomateshvara)! Reach Hassan and check in. 
     
  • Day 12: Hassan: During the day visit two most outstanding sites for Hoysala style temples namely Halebid and Belur. Visit some of the most beautiful temples of Hoysala kingdom notably the Hoysaleshwar temple and Kedareshwara temple at Halebid and Channekeshava temple at Belur. These temples have some of the most intricate and unbelievable carvings found anywhere in Hindu temples.Ruins of Vijaynagar kingdom.
     
  • Day 13: Hampi:  After a long drive through central Karnataka reach Hampi and check in. Evening at leisure.
     
  • Day 14: Hampi: In the morning take a walking tour of the Hampi bazaar and temples. Hampi has extraordinary remnants of once great city Vijayanagara. The sheer size and majestic appearance of this historical site is amazing! Cross the picturesque Tungabhadra River on a primitively designed corracle- a very different experience!
     
  • Day 15: Badami: Reach the little town of Badami after a beautiful drive through countryside. Badami was once the capital of Chalukyan empire and today it boasts some of the most beautiful rock cut temples of that period. Also visit the Virupaksha temple at Pattadakal (Extraordinary for its sculptures, a World Heritage site) and a few remarkable temples at Aihole. 
     Sun, Sand, Fun 'n' frolic at a lively Goa beach.
  • Day 16: Goa: Drive to Goa and check in. Day completely at leisure.
     
  • Day 17: Goa: Sightseeing tour of Old Goa and Panjim for beautiful churches, cathedrals and Mangesh Temple. Mandovi River cruise. 
     
  • Day 18: Goa: Day completely at discretion in the tropical paradise known as Goa.
     
  • Day 19: Mumbai: Fly back to Mumbai. After checking in, day kept at discretion to indulge in last day’s shopping or to enjoy the pulsating nightlife of Bombay.
     
  • Day 20: Departure: Day free till the time of departure. At appropriate time, transfer to airport to catch the flight back home.

    Tour ends 

Aurangabad Extension

  • Day 19: Aurangabad: From Goa fly to Mumbai and further to Aurangabad. After checking in keep the evening at your discretion.Bibi ka Maqbara, Wife's tomb.
     
  • Day 20: Aurangabad: Excursion to Ajanta caves site, a scenic gorge having a series of caves. The caves have ancient sculptures and some of the most stunning murals of Buddhist era. Also visit Daulatabad fort and Bibi ka Maqbara at Aurangabad.
     
  • Day 21: Bombay: Visit the Ellora caves that are famed for their extraordinary sculptures. Noteworthy is the unbelievably sculptured Kailasnath Temple. Reach Bombay in the evening by flight with the option of using rest of the evening enjoying the pulsating nightlife of Bombay.
     
  • Day 22: Departure: Day free till the time of departure. At appropriate time, transfer to airport to catch the flight back home. 

    Tour ends. 
Proposed Hotels:
     Kolkata   Taj Bengal 
     Bhubaneshwar   Trident Hilton 
     Chennai   Green Park 
     Thanjavur   Ideal River View Resort 
     Madurai   Sangam 
     Mysore   Southern Star 
     Hassan   Hoysala Village 
     Hampi   Boulders Resort 
     Badami   Badami Court 
     Aurangabad   Taj Residency 
     Mumbai   Sahara Star 
 
Tour Price per person:
     Basic cost   US$ 4,713  
     Optional Aurangabad Extn.   US$ 894 

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