Mahabalipuram Dance Festival - 11N/12D

Cochin - Backwater - Periyar - Madurai- Tanjore - Mahabalipuram - Chennai


Mahabalipuram dance festival is a celebration of classical music and dance of South India (Carnatic Music) held during mid December to mid January in the Mahabalipuram city. It is held in the shore temple complex from 19:00 hrs to 20:00 hrs and each day dance performance are different. Exponents of Bharatanatyam, Kuchipudi, Kathak, Odissi, Mohini Attam and Kathakali perform against this magnificent backdrop of the Pallava rock sculptures. Mamallapuram was once the ancient port of the Pallavas. It now plays host to a vibrant festival of dance. Exponents of Bharata Natyam, Kuchipudi, Kathak and Kathakali perform against the magnificent backdrop of the Pallava rock sculptures.

Arrival Cochin International Airport, Cochin
Languages English, Spanish, German, Italian, French
  • Visit St. Francis Church, Mattancherry Palace or "Dutch Palace" - Cochin
  • Visit Jewish Synagogue, and Kathakali Dance Drama - Cochin
  • Enjoy stay at Houseboat (Kettuvallom)
  • Periyar National Park
  • Visit Meenakshi Temple and witness the night ceremony - Madurai
  • Visit the Thirumalai Nayak Palace - Madurai
  • Visit the Rock Fort temple and Sriranganathaswamy temple - Trichy
  • Sarasvati Palace Museum and visit the famous Brihadeshwara temple - Tanjore
  • Visit the UNESCO approved historical sites -Five Rathas (chariots), Shore Temple,and Bhagiratha's Penance - Mahabalipuram
  • Visit Kapaleshvara Temple, Fort St. George, and St. Thomas Church - Chennai

Tour Map

Tour Itinerary

  • Day 01: Cochin Arrival

    Arrival in Cochin, on arrival in Cochin, you will be Greeted and Escorted by India Holiday Mall Tour Executive to your Hotel. On arrival at hotel check in. (Room will be available from 1400 Noon)

    Cochin or Kochi, as it is called now, is till date influenced by medieval Portugal, Holland and England. The city displays a blend of different people and architecture and it is one place where you can see a Jewish synagogue, Portuguese churches, Dutch architecture, Mosques, Hindu temples and Chinese fishing nets all in one day.

    Overnight at the Hotel

  • Day 02: Cochin

    After breakfast visit St. Francis Church built in 1503 by Portuguese Franciscan friars where Vasco da Gama was buried for 14 years before his remains were transferred to Lisbon. Nearby is the Mattancherry Palace or "Dutch Palace". The central hall on the Ist floor was the coronation hall of the rajas of Kochi. Also visit Jew City with the Jewish Synagogue, constructed in 1568, with hand painted, willow pattern floor tiles brought from Canton in the mid 18th century by a Rabbi, who had trading interest in that city.

    Evening enthrall yourself with a special presentation of the colorfully costumed Kathakali Dance Drama.

    This mask dance form is originally from Kerala and 1500 years old. This classical dance has 24 mudras expressing the nine emotions of serenity, wonder, kindness, love, valour, fear, contempt, loathing and anger. Usually performed by males

    Overnight in the hotel

  • Day 03: Cochin – Backwater

    After breakfast drive to the jetty to board Houseboat (Kettuvallom) on the World famous Backwaters of Kerala.

    "Kettu" literally means to tie up and "Vallom" means " boats". The boats played a major role in the economic development of ancient Kerala, moving cargo and men from the very nook and corner of otherwise unreachable area, cutting across the length and breadth of the land.

    Enjoy your overnight stay in Kettuvallom

  • Day 04: Backwater – Periyar

    After breakfast board down the Jetty and drive to drive to Periyar. Periyar National Park is a unique wildlife sanctuary and is about 780 sq. km centered around an artificial lake fed by the Periyar River.

    On arrival check in at the hotel

    Later enjoy game viewing by boat, which carry you through the jungle along convoluted waterways and afford sightings of elephant, bison, deer and occasionally tiger. There are trees more than 100 years old and over 50m high.

    Overnight in the hotel

  • Day 05: Periyar – Madurai

    After breakfast drive to Madurai.

    Madurai, the cultural capital of Tamilnadu with the Dravidian culture reached its zenith in art, architecture, palaces and temple buildings. Once the capital of powerful Nayaka kings, a bustling city packed with pilgrims, businessmen, bullock carts and legions of rickshaw pullers

    On arrival transfer to the Hotel

    In the evening visit Meenakshi temple to watch the night ceremony, which is a hive of activity, colorfully decorated temple elephant, flower sellers and performances by musicians.

    Christmas Eve Dinner & Overnight in the hotel

  • Day 06: Madurai

    After breakfast visit the city that offers a grand ceremonial tank of water called Mariamma with its temple in the middle.

    Visit the Thirumalai Nayak Palace, a palace in Indo Saracenic style built in 1636, with huge domes and 240 columns rising to 12 m, a beautiful garden and an attached museum. The celestial Pavilion an arcaded octagonal structure is curiously constructed in brick and mortar without any supporting rafters.

    Also visit the famous Meenakshi Temple that is an outstanding example of Vijaynagar temple architecture. Meenakshi, the fish eyed goddess and the consort of Shiva has a temple to the South and Sundareswarar (Shiva) a temple to the west, One of the biggest temples of India, its nine "Gopuram" Temple towers (23 30m) have wonderful stucco images of gods, goddesses and animals from the Hindu mythology.

    Overnight in the hotel

  • Day 07: Madurai – Trichy – Tanjore

    After breakfast drive to Tanjore

    En-route visit Trichy / Tiruchirapalli whose skyline is dominated by the Rock Fort temple. The temple can be reached by a steep flight of steps cut into a tunnel through the rock.

    On arrival visit Sri Rangam, the superb temple complex spread over an island in the Cauvery River. Later drive Tanjore. On arrival transfer to then hotel and check in.

    Tanjore, once an old capital of the mighty Chola kings, nowadays, Thanjavur is famous for its mighty Shiva temples, its Chola bronzes in the Sarasvati Palace Museum and furthermore it is One of the most famous centres of pilgrimage for the Christians, as Thanjavur is only some kilometres away from Vailankanni. Our Lady of Good Health, popularly called "Our Lady of Vailankanni" is in the small town of Vailankanni (with 5,000 residents) located on the shores of the Bay of Bengal.

    Overnight in the hotel

  • Day 08: Tanjore – Mahabalipuram

    After breakfast visit the famous Brihadeshwara temple at Tanjore constructed by the Chola Rajendra I in the 10th Cent. The temple is considered to be the culmination of the classic architecture in South India.
    Later drive to Mahabalipuram

    Mahabalipuram, the second capital of the Pallava kings of Kanchipuram. This tiny sea side village of Mahabalipuram, is set in a boulder strewn landscape. The sculpture, here, is Particularly interesting because it shows scenes of day to day life, in contrast with the rest of the state of Tamil Nadu, where the carvings generally depict gods and goddesses On arrival transfer to the Hotel,

    On arrival transfer to the Hotel, Overnight in the Hotel

  • Day 09: Mahabalipuram

    After breakfast visit the historical sites of the sea side resort of Mahabalipuram: "City of Seven Pagodas". The ancient Pallava port of Mamallapuram and its 7th century rock hewn monuments, magnificent rock temples and carvings transport you to the yesteryears. Visit the Five Rathas (chariots) ceremonial chariots, rock cut monoliths, named after the 5 Pandavas heroes of the Mahabharata epic and Draupadi their wife.

    Next proceed to the Shore Temple by the sea surrounded by gardens designed according to descriptions of the original layout from ancient times. Built in sandstone in the 7th century

    Evening witness Mahabalipuram Dance Festival

    Overnight in the hotel

  • Day 10: Mahabalipuram

    Morning visit Bhagiratha's Penance which is a bas relief (27m X 9m) sculptured on the face of two enormous adjacent rocks. It depicts the penance of Arjuna alongwith myraid characters from the Mahabharata, realistic life size figures of animals, gods and saints watching the descent of the river goddess Ganga to Earth.

    Evening witness Mahabalipuram Dance Festival

    Overnight in the Hotel

  • Day 11: Mahabalipuram – Chennai

    After breakfast drive to Chennai. Formerly Madras, it is the capital of Tamil Nadu state. The city traces its origin to 1639 when Francis Day a trader with the British East India Company, built a trading post Fort St. George, near the village of Madraspatnam. Today Chennai is the fourth largest city of India with a population of 9 million people, also called as "Hollywood of India" it is the center for making South Indian films. On arrival check in at the hotel

    Later enjoy a tour of Chennai. Visit Kapaleshvara Temple in Mylapore, dedicated to God Shiva and offers a good example of South Indian colourful temple architecture.

    Fort St. George a British trading post and powerful bastion and entrance to South India, the 16th century Portuguese old Cathedral of St. Thomas Church in which the remnants of St. Thomas is buried who came to India in 52 AD.

    Pass by the University built in Indo sarscenic style, as well as 5 km long Marina Beach, a lovely esplanade by the sea, and National Museum with sculptures from Pallava, Pandava and Chola time which houses archaeology, art, exceptionally beautiful bronzes statues, with exhibits of stone and iron age.

    Overnight in the Hotel.

  • Day 12: Chennai Departure

    In time transfer to the International Airport to board the flight for onwards journey

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