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Independent India – Chennai & Pondicherry

5 Days Independent Touring

Virgin Holidays' view

This 4 night package in Chennai & Pondicherry includes airport transfers and private day tours. You will  need your walking shoes for this one as you will be visiting many Culture and Heritage sites. We offer a number of other Independent India locations that are easy to link together with internal flights. Explore India your way. 

Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive Chennai

Upon arrival in Chennai you will be met and transferred to Pondicherry (3 hours and 30 minutes’ drive) where you will check in to Le Pondy where you’ll spend the next 2 nights. In the late afternoon, enjoy a sightseeing tour of Pondicherry where you’ll visit Aurobindo Ashram - The Ashram is not a quiet place of retreat secluded from the world but a vibrant center of life in a modern urban setting. It consists of an interconnected block of houses, including those in which Sri Aurobindo and the Mother dwelt for most of their lives, also visit Church of sacred heart Jesus. Also walk around the French and Tamil Quarters.

Day 2: Pondicherry

After breakfast visit a local village for an insight into local Tamil culture and rural life. Embark on a half-day adventure into the local life of the Tamil village of Sanjeevinagar and Allankuppam (Near Auroville). Also visit the Mohanam Centre for Culture and Heritage, whose primary objectives are to promote the rich cultural heritage and folk history of the state by bringing the rich arts of Tamil Nadu back to the villages and the world through its courses, programs, activities and performances. Following this sightseeing tour, return back to Le Pondy. The rest of the day is at Leisure.(B)

Day 3: Chennai

After breakfast at leisure, transfer by road to Chennai (3 hours and 30 minutes’ drive). On the way stop off for a visit to Mahabalipuram to see the Five Rathas, the five monolithic chariot temples dedicated to Hindu gods, each created in a different style. They are also known as the Pancha Pandava Rathas, and the fort of the rathas are supposed to have been scooped out of a single rock formation. Also visit Shore Temple consisting of two Shiva temples & carving of Anantasayana Vishnu. It is a historic monument built largely between the 7th & 9th century. Enjoy lunch at a local hotel or restaurant in Mahabalipuram. Arrive back in Chennai and check in to the Crown Plaza Adyar Park. Where you’ll spend the next 2 nights (B,L)

Please Note: Most Temples remain closed from 12:00 to 16:00 hours the timing may vary from temple to temple.

Day 4: Chennai

After breakfast take a sightseeing tour of Chennai. Visit Fort St. George (closed on Fridays), the site of the first British outpost in India and currently used as the state government's secretariat. It houses St. Mary Church (closed on Sundays) and museum. Other highlights include the commercial center, George Town; the Fort house and museum exhibiting a vast collection of portraits, regimental flags, weapons and coins dating back to the British period; Kapaleswarar Temple dedicated to Lord Shiva, containing inscriptions dating back to the 13th century AD, and is a fine specimen of the Dravidian style of architecture; San Thome Cathedral, containing remains of St Thomas the Apostle and National Art Gallery – Bronze Section (closed on Fridays), showcasing an interesting archaeological section and a bronze gallery. The rest of the day is at Leisure. (B)

Day 5: Chennai

After breakfast transfer to Chennai International Airport for your onward travel arrangements. Why not extend to the beaches of Goa, or see the mystical city of Varanasi.(B)

Meals: B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner

 

Dates & prices

Sorry for some reason we are not displaying our prices, please call our call centre for the latest prices and quote Independent India – Chennai & Pondicherry

Tour information

Please click here to download a pdf of the tour itinerary and additional tour notes.

A Private Tour

This is a private itinerary, where you will travel with a driver and be met by local English-speaking tour guides for any included sightseeing.

What to expect and is this tour for me?

A tour in India is an adventure where anything can happen. We recommend you are of a reasonable fitness as touring often involves long walks and uneven surfaces, this tour is not suitable for those who require special assistance.

Time difference

GMT +5 1⁄2 hours (summer) +6 1⁄2 hours (winter)

Tour inclusions

  • Air-conditioned transport throughout
  • Sightseeing as detailed including entrance fees and still camera fees
  • The services of an experienced local guide in each destination
  • Road taxes, parking fees, fuel surcharges, interstate taxes and porterage at airports and train stations

Tour exclusions

  • International flights including all UK and overseas airport taxes and applicable fuel surcharges
  • Flight upgrades and airport transfers in the UK
  • Optional excursions listed as extra cost
  • Insurance
  • Items of a personal nature such as drinks, laundry, tips & gratuities, video camera fees at monuments
  • The required Indian visa
  • Anything not detailed on the itinerary

Dining inclusions

3 breakfasts, 1 lunch

Included activities

  • Tours listed in the itinerary

Accommodation

Occasionally we may need to substitute one or more of the hotels with that of a similar standard.

Journey times

India is a vast country and journey times between destinations can sometimes be long. Journey times are listed in the itinerary and are approximate. India is a vast country with different topography from the North to the South and road condition may vary depending on the region that they are travelling. You may find modern express highways to un- surfaced roads / tracks.

Group size

This is a private tour, you a driver and local English-speaking tour guides for any included sightseeing only.

Language

English is widely spoken in India.

Visa requirements

An Indian visa is required for all British passport holders and MUST be obtained before your arrival in India. You can now apply for an e-Visa at a cost up to $25 USD per person when staying 30 days or less. This can be obtained at https://indianvisaonline.gov.in/visa/tvoa.html. The application must be completed no later than 4 days prior to your arrival in India. Your e-visa will be valid for 60 days from the date of your arrival. You should ensure that your passport is valid for 6 months beyond your departure date from India and have at least two blank pages.

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Your holiday may be affected by travel restrictions or cancellations

We are continually reviewing our flying schedules, taking into account the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) advice against all non-essential travel. Depending on when you are due to travel, your holiday may be affected and we’ll email you to let you know.

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We are prioritising those customers due to travel before 06 October 2020. Log in to Manage my booking where you can message us about your options or you can give us a call. Bear in mind you may have to wait longer than expected. We continue to review this and working to open up these options to more customers. In the meantime check out our FAQs to see if this can help answer any immediate questions.

Please look out for emails from us or visit our dedicated Covid-19 (Coronavirus) page for the latest updates.

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We understand that you may wish to change your holiday plans and we appreciate the need for flexibility. 

We'll be in touch by email letting you know how to register to change your holiday plans. You can also log into Manage my booking to find the details there. 

Please look out for emails from us or visit our dedicated Covid-19 (Coronavirus) page for the latest updates.

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If we haven’t notified you of any changes, your holiday will be going ahead as planned but if you prefer to move your holiday to a later time we can help. Log in to Manage my booking to request a call back to amend your holiday. Please bear in mind we’ll work through requests in departure date order so may take longer than usual for us to get back to you

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Thank you for your patience and understanding


Payments are being prioritised based on when the request was made, working in order from March 2020 onwards. We will always try to process refunds at the earliest opportunity, for requests before August our maximum timeframe is 120 days. As we are steadily reducing the maximum processing time for each new request, for refund requests made in August, we expect the maximum processing time to be 80 days, from the date the refund is requested. For those requesting a refund in September, we expect it to be processed within a maximum of 60 days, and then reduce to 30 days for refunds requested in October, before returning to normal levels.

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