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259 Kms from Kulasekharapatnam
Colombo, the capital city, our first stop, stands out for its tree-lined, clean roads that lead to open parks and ground...
On our last day in Srilanka, we went to the famous Gangaramaya Buddhist temple and Seema malaka temple. Some more shopping we did and then it was time to say bye bye to Srilanka. In evening we took the flight back to Chennai.
We reached Colombo at 12:30 in afternoon and started looking for currency exchange but had hard luck getting it. At last we met a guy who arranged currency and a local sim for us. We took a bus to go to Colombo City. It took almost 1 hour to reach as the airport is 30 kms from the city.Situated on the shores, Colombo is a vibrant and lively city and a walk at Galle Face Green was a great experience, here you can also get good sea-food.
Colombo is so much more than just a passage to the other destinations in Sri Lanka. The city's colonial past reflects in the current architectural build of the city, giving it a vibe distinctly different from the rest of the country. It may feel over-populated, but it is rapidly developing into Sri Lanka's most swanky cosmopolitan. Multiple cafes, art galleries and high-rise modern buildings now adorn Colombo, making it a destination one needs to put on their itinerary. November is actually one of the better months to visit this city as the days are pleasant and the weather is a perfect combination of sunny and windy.Top things to see and do: Visit the National Museum and be greeted by a 9th-century stone Buddha; have a leisurely time at the Viharamahadevi Park; sample great food at the Dutch Hospital, a colonial-era building in the middle of a fort; shop at the Federation of Self Employees Market; spend the evening at the Galle Face Green, a beach-side promenade.Flight cost: Round-trip airfare from New Delhi to Colombo in November starts from ₹13,961.Daily budget: Expect to spend an approximate of ₹3,000 per day, which will include your intracity travel, entertainment and food. Accommodations start as low as ₹1,000 and can go up to ₹15,000 per night.Where to stay: Ramada Colombo; Cinnamon Red Colombo. You can check out more stay options here.
Head back to Colombo, for your flight back home.What to packSri Lanka is unpredictable when it comes to its rainfall. So be sure to pack an umbrella – a sturdy one at that, and some light rain gear. Also, pack sunscreen and insect repellents. Carry good, durable helmets before embarking on the trip.VisaYou can apply for a 30-day visa online, which is valid for a month from the date of arrival, but an extension can be obtained for up to six months. The processing takes up to two days and costs ₹986. You can also get a visa on arrival at the Bandaranaike International Airport, but this will be a relatively long and tedious process. This costs a fee of ₹1,315.
Colombo is so much more than just a passage to the other destinations in Sri Lanka. The city's colonial past reflects in it's current architectural build of the city, giving it a vibe distinctly different from the rest of the country. It may feel over-populated, but it is rapidly developing into Sri Lanka's most swanky cosmopolitan. Multiple cafes, art galleries and high-rise modern buildings now adorn Colombo, making it a destination one needs to put on their itinerary.
5. Get the morning train to Colombo which reach around 10 a.m. Check-in your hotel and go out for sightseeing in Colombo. You can finish it within 4 p.m. Get back to your hotel, take a shower and check-out if you have scheduled your flight on the same day. If you want relax at Galle Face Green (sea beach of Colombo city) in evening, eat sea fish at beach food stalls then you can stay overnight in Colombo, take rest and leave next day for you home.
It's a decent AC Bus. But, it will not move until all passenger seats are full. So, one has to wait for a while. In my case, the bus left within 30 minutes. I reached Colombo Bus stand around 8.25 AM, from there the Colombo fort is just a 10 minutes walk.
124 Kms from Kulasekharapatnam
During my flight, I read in the magazine that Kerala is basically a honeymoon destination, however, before I build an op...
During my flight, I read in the magazine that Kerala is basically a honeymoon destination, however, before I build an opinion, it was proven wrong as Kerala isn't for the newly wedded couples only. Kerala has been the most sought-after destination for the families, the backpackers, solo travelers as well as couples. My craving to crush the land of Kerala was surmounting as soon as I reached the Trivandrum International Airport.The Thiruvananthapuram airport reflects the mood and the nature of the city. Despite managing heavy traffic from the middle-east countries, the airport is compact and yet functional. From the window of my cab, even the city looked the same; knit and well-organized. However, the traffic situation is no different than any other part of India.Usually, Trivandrum is used as a launchpad by the most of travelers towards Kovalam and other cities for their pristine beaches, luxury or medial resorts, and abundance of nature. I had no different plans but I'm to stay at least for four hours in the city before I start my journey towards Kollam. I decided to spend a few more bucks on my cab driver and asked him to go round to the places that should be visited next time at leisure. In strict two hour ride, I covered many architectures that belong to British era and also touched the doorsteps of a few art galleries. I made a promise to myself to visit the Puthenmalika and Sree Padmanabhaswamy temple in detail next time (Not really sure when).
After 45 hours of gruelling train journey, we, four wanderlusts came to the capital city of God's Own Country. Our hotel was clearly visible by it's large glowing billboard from the platform. Hotel Highland could make a headline for it's brilliant Restaurant. Their overall service was also decent.
Sightseeing- Zoo, Planetarium, Padmanabhaswamy Temple.Shopping City- Sarees, ChipsChecked in a hotel in eveningHotel Name- Jumayira Residency, Trivandrum. ( Rs.4000/- for 2 a.c. rooms.)Day 7 Kovalam
From Varkala, we took a bus to Trivandrum, our next destination. The capital of Kerala, its one the crowded cities in Kerala, situated on the west coast of India, and is bounded by Laccadive Sea to its west and the Western Ghats to its east. Like any other city, Trivandrum also has innumerable restaurants, which didn't fail to excite a foodie like me. Hotel Rehmaniya serves delicious beef, mutton and appam. Sneak into Hotel ZamZam for Malabari-style biriyani, and Hotel South Park for Onasadya, a typical Kerala recipe that will make your taste-buds go crazy!
Next morning we went to the main beech for breakfast and after strolling a bit on the beech we packed our bags for the next destination, Kolvalam. We reached Trivandrum by afternoon and checked in a hotel there. Then we headed to Kovalam which just 15 kms from there. Again quiet a descent beech by Indian standards but it was heavy crowded and we could not find any patch where we could just be alone. So we destined ourselves to enjoy the crowd. The sunset was quiet beautiful the best of all was yet to come.Day 7:- Trivandrum to Kanyakumari
On the D-day , we reached Trivandrum in the evening. The weather gods were happy and it was drizzling that time. We took a taxi from the airport itself and set course to Varkala. It took us almost 2 hrs to reach the place. Our guest house was located 5 minute off the main road. The location was perfect for a peaceful stay.It was a traditionally kerala house with a wide backyard, coconut trees, garden in front and so colorfully painted. I was just in love with the location of guest house and the ambience.The settings of the rooms were equally bright. One room with yellow ambience and other with blue.Equipped with mosquito nets and WiFi. Attached bathroom with hot water facility was also available.Pretty decent rooms. Ayurvedic consultation and treatment is also available.
The next day I woke up early at 5.00 am to get the view of sunrise at beach. I went along the rock path, which was already occupied by some people. The sight was really beautiful. We can be able to see the sun coming out slowly to spread the brightness.
Finally the day came when my most memorable trip had to end and boy! it was tough to leave such a beautiful state behind. The pizza night, station incident, the backwaters and the fresh aroma of the spice plantations, such were the memories of my trip.A Yahoo! answer to the question “Why is Kerala called God’s own country” turned up this: “Nestled between the pristine waters of the Arabian sea on the west and the lush Western Ghat mountains on the east, its intense network of rivers and lagoons, thick forests, exotic wildlife, tranquil stretches of emerald backwaters and a long shoreline of serene beaches make it a traveler’s paradise.”
Eravikulam National Park
232 Kms from Kulasekharapatnam
Best time to visit - April,May,June,September,October,November
This national park is the breathtaking home of a plethora of precious flora and fauna, and lies along the Western Ghats....
215 Kms from Kulasekharapatnam
Best time to visit - April,May,June,August,September
Translating to 'the gift of the forest' in the native language of Tamil Nadu and originally home to the Palaiyar tribal ...
ഞങ്ങളുടെ ആദ്യത്തെ മലയാളം വീഡിയോ#tripjodi #travel
This is the vlog that we made for our Kodaikanal Trip. If you would like to read about all the details please do refer to the trip that I had published in my other post.Thankyou for visiting , hope this video gives you a good understanding of Kodaikanal and help you plan your trip better.Have a great day :)
Day 2 - Kodaikanal, What a love place, very beautiful, I stared riding at 7, got up late again. anyway reached kodaikanal around 3 pm, Got a decent hotel, took my camera and went for exploring kodaikanal. Climate is always chill at kodai (No Fan in rooms). Many places to see in kodaikanal. Pillar rock Pine forest Devil's kitchen Dolphin nose (Trek)All places are open for limited time. Till 4.30-5Pm so make sure you start early to cover all the places. In evening you can spend a very beautiful time near the lake. You can hire cycle and many fun games are available around the lake.
Day one : We reached there early morning from Chennai and my friends from Bengaluru. We have already booked our homestay "Cherry Hills Kodaikanal" and they have arranged a pick up vehicle for us as well as for sight seeing. It was a lovely place with all the arrangements. We decided to visit the major tourist places on day one and keep our two days in hand for further exploration. We visited- Kodaikanal lake - Little crowded place but must visit for cycling around the lake.- Coaker's walk - In the city its the most peaceful and scenic place where you can sit and relax for long.- Guna cave or The Devil's Kitchen - Pine forest- Lake view pointP.S. Your cab driver will guide you across all these places.Day Two : Vattakanal :Stoner's paradise- Vattakanal is a place of serene beauty just situated a few kilometers away from kodaikanal. You can see clouds forming from the cottages which are made on hills and trip on it. You can find lot of hippies chilling there. You can find peace across the valley.- Altaf's Cafe -They specialize in middle-eastern cuisine and we decided to have breakfast there. The food was good and so the view from cafe.- Dolphin's Nose - You need to trek few kilometers to reach this point, its a normal trek with least difficulties. The view is amazing from there.- Vattakanal falls- Its a small fall to chill around.Later as advised by our cab driver we went for the forest tour and our ultimate destination was Berijam Lake. The place was quiet and is perfect if you are planning for some snacks beside lake. The way was beautiful with few view points in between.*Pro tip- Never carry alcohol or any other thing while going to vattakanal from kodaikanal. There is a checkpost where police may take your liquor or magic mushrooms if you have them.*Pro hack- if you are carrying any such stuff please do tell you cab driver(only if you trust him) he might help in smuggling.Day Three : ManavannurWe started early in the morning to visit the beautiful Manavannur. We were greeted by first showers of the season which made our trip awesome. This place is bit far from Kodaikanal so best is to start early. If you are lucky enough you can find wild Bison and other animals on the way.- Poombarai Village - this place comes on the way to Manavannur. It is known for it's colorful houses which gives a mesmerising view from the top.- Manavannur - This is a small village which has lush green sceneries and grasslands around. We had a coracle ride in small lake surrounded by hills. Though the ride is small but it's worth. You will be spell bound by the greenery and the beauty of the place. It's a perfect location to relax and chill with friends.
As part of the Winter Ride I'd been on last December, we rode to several (cold) locations everyday. Our first ride had been from Bangalore to Kodaikanal. From Kodaikanal, we had set our sights on getting to Kolukkumalai.Kolukkumalai, near Idukki, is famous for being the world's highest tea plantation. The tea plantation is about 7100 ft above sea level, and the view from the top of those mountains was something I didn't want to miss. It was less than 150 km from Kodaikanal and the guys who were serious about testing their bike riding skills were looking forward to a challenge that waited for them at Kolukkumalai.
When we reached our stay in Kodai, it was nearly 7 PM. And it was freezing cold. My fingers had become numb even through the riding gloves and I felt the cold hugging my legs and body. We stayed in a homestay arranged by my friends for all of us. They had dormitory style beds and because it was winter, the floor was as cold as the black night sky.I rushed inside after unpacking my bags and jumped straight into bed. Not only did I wrap my blanket around me, but my friend's shawl, a neighbouring bed's rug, and my bed's rug. Only then did I fall asleep.
After reaching down we straight away went for dinner in Punjabi Dhaba which is a place I would not recommend to any one visiting Kodaikanal as the food they served was not of good quality and also the taste was not up to the expectation, after which a little market exploration and then back to our hotel room.
219 Kms from Kulasekharapatnam
Best time to visit - February,March,April,May,August,September,October,December
Kerala’s Idukki district is home to the beautiful hill-station of Munnar. An erstwhile summer resort to the British, t...
Day 2- In the 1st half of the day, we covered Top station, Echo Point, Photo point, Mattupetty Dam, Rose Garden. Our driver suggested us to cover Top station first as normally people start with the lower places first and then proceed ahead to top station, we did the opposite to avoid the crowd and he was right, when we were coming back from the Top station, there were many people going there. We bought home made chocolate too. Again, Munnar to top station, the views are amazing, really beautiful.
God’s own country, Kerala, is famous all across the world. Owing to the presence of the tea gardens and hilly climate, Munnar can be called ‘the Darjeeling of Kerala’. Though it lacks the Kanchenjunga peak, it makes up for that with its coffee plantation. There is something for everyone in Munnar, whether it is kids or honeymooners. Located 1600 metres above sea level in Idukki district of Kerala,Munnar is also home to exotic and threatened animals.If you have just two days at your disposal, then follow this ‘tried and tested itinerary’ to explore Munnar in 48 hours flat!Day 1
Day 4-5: MunnarThe place that I personally was looking forward to visit! We all have seen the beauty of this place in so many movies, heard about it from so many people, and I was so happy when I finally reached there. It met all the expectations that I had from it. Do nothing in Munnar and you still will fall in love with the place. Tea gardens, Tea museum, waterfall, view points, long walks and just enjoying the beauty of the place is all what we did in Munnar. The air there is so refreshing and cool that it makes you feel happy high.
Next day we made our way to Munnar. It was a long drive and we visited a couple of spice plantations on the way. Our room had a nice view of the tea plantations and the hills. In the evening we went to see acts of Kathakali dance and Kalaripayattu(Martial art form).
5:00 AM - Woke up at a hotel at MUNNAR , Kerela .5:30 AM - Bathed fresh clothes on gone for breakfast .6:30 AM - Breakfast DONE , Safety Gears on everyone going to get on their motorcycle and ride off .7:00 AM - One of Motorcycle Thunderbird 350 did not perform very well we were fortunate enough to throw it in a garage nearby with a caretaker and left for IDUKKI , Kerela . around 40 Kms away .
224 Kms from Kulasekharapatnam
Best time to visit - January,February,August,October,November,December
This seventh largest city of Kerala is popular for its houseboat cruises along the Kerala backwaters. Alappuzha is bed...
The biggest regret, if I want to count, I couldn't cruise the backwaters of Kerala enough except boat riding. Kollam to Alappuzha is about 80km through the backwater cruising, which takes around 6 to 7 hours journey at the expense of Rs 600(Not at all costly) Instead, due to time constraints, I had to choose a car. The road is no different than that of Trivandrum to Kollam. The same backwater channels; looking even more gorgeous through the thick layers of trees, green fields, and plantations. The only thing that changes is the places to visit. I did not miss Vembanad, Marari beach, Krishnapuram Palace, and few other places before extending my journey to Kochi the same day. (You forgot my friend's wedding? I did not)The distance between Alappuzha and Kochi isn't much, just about 50 km. Instead of spending a day in Alappuzha, I straightaway went to Kochi, where my friend was waiting for me. The reason being I was so allured to spending a day and a night with my friend in a houseboat that I did not worry about me being exhausted after two days of continuous journey and a little rest.
Day 6: Alleppey BackwatersAnother thing that I was excited about Kerala vacation was the HOUSEBOATS. We had taken a day cruise (better option) for Alleppey houseboat and I must say that the backwaters are truly a beauty. You can just get lost in your own world amongst backwaters and enjoy the serenity that it gives. We had a great time on the houseboat and happily ended the trip to beautiful state!Kerala has taught me to "Slow down and look at the beauty around!" It's so beautiful and serene out here that you will definitely come back with great memories and enthralled by its picturesque beauty!
After 24hour journey in sabar express from hyderabad i reached ernakulam (district in kerala). Then from ernakulam i caught a train to allepey. There are many passenger trains from ernakula to trivendrum in which alleppey is one if the stops. I totally suggest you to take this train to feel more like a local. In the evning i went hostel 'artpackers.life' which was amaazing and near to all the main attractions. In the evening just went for a stroll in alleppey beach.
Leave early morning for Alleppey/Kumarakom. Check in to your houseboat and just relax. Around sunset, you can go kayaking or canoining through the narrow backwaters of Kerala dotted with palm trees on both sides. I learnt a lot about Kerala and their lifestyle at Alleppey and you can read this article to know how life is in Kerala.Day 7:
We got up, freshened up and walked out for breakfast. When you're in kerala, never miss Kerala parota and Kerala style chicken curry and most importantly tea.We had our breakfast in a small restaurant.The destination is Alleppy. Which is 58 kms from Kochi.
On Day 3 leave for Alleppey, which is known as Venice of the East because of its vast backwater stretches. It’s advisable to book a houseboat here, as the backwaters are extensive & one can enjoy their time on a luxurious houseboat while cruising down the mesmerising backwaters.
Made forA getaway holiday for family, friends and couples, and a refreshing option for enlightened corporate meetings. The place is kid friendly and is a definite foodie paradise for Keralam cuisine.
Houseboats of AlappuzhaAlappuzha, better known as the Venice of the East, is well established for its endless backwaters. It is heavenly to sail through these waters with nature playing hide and seek with you. And what better way than a houseboat to blend with the atmosphere? When visiting Marari beach, a ride or rather an overnight stay in one of the houseboats has to be on your agenda. They provide homely and authentic Kerala delicacies. How about a tasty meal in the traditional way, spread out on plantain leaves? Don’t complain about your fingers getting messy, though.
292 Kms from Kulasekharapatnam
Best time to visit - January,February,March,October,November,December
Thanjavur is more of a pilgrim centre than a tourist destination. It is also popularly known as the Rice Bowl of Tamil N...
Thanjavur is considered by many as the centre of art, architecture and religion of South India. It was the capital of the mighty Chola Empire for four centuries. It later fell under the Marathas and Nayaks. They too left a mark on its architecture that is regarded as the finest in South India.
On day four you stop at Thanjavur. Locally known as Thanjavur, this city is a prominent centre of South Indian religion, art and architecture. This is the centre of the most remarkable civilisation of Dravidian history, the Chola empire. After sightseeing in Thanjavur, we leave for Trichy. Trichy or locally known as Tiruchirappalli, is a city with a strong character and long history. It is pretty much the geographical centre of the state of Tamil Nadu. It's a huge city that mixes up culture, religion and business and one can only experience it by actually being there.Sights covered: Brihadeshwara Temple, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Maratha Palace, Sri Rangam Temple in Trichy (India's largest temple complex dedicated to Lord Vishnu).Meals: Breakfast and dinner on board. Lunch at a riverside luxury resort enroute Trichy from Thanjavur.Timings: Brihadeshwara Temple at 10am, Maratha Palace at 11.30am, Sri Rangam Temple at 4pm.
Points to look out for: the grand structure, Gopuram, spatial organization, South Indian Dravida style of architecture, sculptures, intricate detailing, construction techniques.3. KhajurahoKhajuraho group of temples are a famous cluster of Hindu and Jain temples located in Indian district of Madhya Pradesh about 175 km south east from Jhansi. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is known for its grand temples, North Indian Nagada style architectural symbolism and erotic sculptures. Most of the temples are dated back to 950 -1050 A.D and were made by the Chandella dynasty.Important temples in the clusters are Kandariya Mahadeva temple, Lakshmana Temple, Chausath Yogini Temple among the Hinduism and Parshwanatha Temple, Adinath jain temple among Jainism. Vaishnav and Shaiva sect of Hinduism was predominant.
I had no prior travel arrangements, planned to use local transport for entire trip. My first destination was Tanjore. I started late night Wednesday night around 11 pm. Boarded bus to Salem, from there I might get bus to Tanjor. I reached Salem and found some SETC bus to Tanjore. But I was not interested so I boarded ordinary bus to Trichy, frequency is every min. From Trichy there are buses frequently to Tajore. I boarded a private bus and it cost 23rs. Just found BHEL and Sastra Univ are on the highways. I have reached Tanjore around 6 AM. It just stopped raining and climate was pleasantly cool.I haven't booked any accommodation in Tanjore. Found a stay for 300rs just behind the old bus stand. Just relaxed a bit and went to Tanjore Temple. One of the ancient temple of Chola's period. Spent almost three hours inside the temple exploring architecture and praying. It was quit interesting to see people from all over world visit the temple. After a small walk around the streets and vacated the room. I left for Trichy where I had booked my accommodation for the day.
The erstwhile capital of the great Chola dynasty, Thanjavur aka Tanjore is truly the embodiment of South Indian art, architecutre, culture and heritage. Located in the Cauvery basin of Tamil Nadu the town is also known as the "rice bowl" of the state. Synonomous with the world renowned Tanjore paintings, splendid temples with stunning Chola architecture and the Tanjore or Saraswati veena, Tanjore is a city where the rich legacy of the past is evident even today.
Brihadeeshwar temple of this place is very famous temple in south India also a part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site. The one who is fond of history and admire the stone structures, for sure will love this temple.
170 Kms from Kulasekharapatnam
Best time to visit - January,February,September,October,November,December
With an intriguing history, the oldest inhabited city in the world is a delight to discover. Visited by people from all ...
Madurai's air, rail and bus connectivity makes it an ideal place to start Tamil Nadu backpacking trip. It is often referred to as 'the Athens of the East', it boasts some of the best Dravidian temples, an Indo-Saracenic palace and a Romanesque cathedral. And, it is the right place to explore the flavours of Chettinad cuisine.
Travelling in a toy train/Nilgiri mountain train has been on my list for a long time. I was in Madurai for some work along with two of my friends and we had a big weekend off. As I always wanted to go and explore Ooty also known as Udagamandalam sounds crazy isnt it ;), it took me a long time to say this name properly. This was the best time and opportunity to do it with my friends. Ooty was on my list because of its famous tea estates, sprawling grasslands and incredible weather in the south of India.
Madurai is known as the "Athens of the east" purely because of the major attraction of the city, the Meenakshi Temple, the entirety of the city can see its magnificence, just like the pantheon of Athens, hence the name. There is a ruling that no building above the height of nine metres be built around the area.
I am not exactly a big fan of temples but this one definitely took my breath away. The architecture that you can see here is pure bliss and the carvings will leave you spell bound. At the very entrance you will be able to see the tower welcoming you to Meenakshi Temple with a variety of idols carved in stone on the tower. It just makes you wonder, how much time, effort and money was spent to build this marvel. This marvel was built keeping in mind all architectural details. Initially it was designed in the form of a square and owing to this square shape, it has entry gates from all the four directions. There are 14 Gopurams inside the temple, the tallest one being 52 m in length.
But never mind that the beaches were pretty clean even if the water was not also there were small huts on the beach where one can sit and enjoy the view of great Indian ocean. The plan after Rameswaram was to visit the ghost town Dhanushkodi which was cancelled due to lack of time, so just after we were done with our town exploration and lunch we straight away headed towards the railway station from where we boarded a train towards Madurai. After reaching to Madurai we packed our stuff, had our dinner and boarded a bus to Auroville.
After getting into our room we got ready and went to explore Madurai at around 8 P.M., and everything around was so beautiful that one can easily fall in love with the city and the first thing you want to see is Meenakshi Temple. After which we had our dinner at A2B restaurant where one can taste different cuisines but I’ll say it is an average place to eat, there are better places in Madurai that one can find only if you are going to have your dinner before 10 P.M. because after that even the city likes to sleep a bit.
and then at around 1 P.M. we boarded our bus to Madurai. I was shivering when we left Kodaikanal but just after an hour or so I was sweating which was expected after leaving a hill station. After a journey of three hours we reached Madurai, an ancient city filled with wonderful ancient architecture that will make you think “Just how can they make something this huge with so much detailing and with a plethora of colours”, but after reaching there we first searched for a hotel and our search came to an end after almost looking in the hotels of that area for one hour and finally finding a hotel with good facilities and reasonable price “Hotel Padmam” from where one can have a direct view of Meenakshi Temple’s east gate and if you can get up early you can have a perfect view of sunrise as well from its roof top.
The highlight of the trip was the ancient and vibrant city of Madurai. Often referred to as the Temple city or the Athens of East, Madurai claims the soul of Tamil Nadu. It is one of the oldest cities in India, a metropolis that traded with ancient Rome and was a great capital long before Chennai was even dreamed of. People from all over India and abroad come here for the absolutely amazing Meenakshi Amman Temple, a dazzling maze-like structure ranking among India's greatest temples.
Day five you arrive at Madurai. Lovingly called the 'Athens of the east', Madurai is a city, the skyline of which is defined by the 14 colourful gopurams (gateway towers) of Meenakshi Amman Temple, making it a true centre of religion and spirituality.Sights covered: Meenakshi Amman Temple, Thirumalai Nayakar Palace for sound & light show.Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner on board.Timings: Meenakshi Amman Temple at 10am, Thirumalai Nayakar Palace for sound & light show at 6pm.During the afternoon you can either stay and relax on the train or go out to shop.