South India & Kerala Program
THE TOUR JOURNEY AT A GLANCE
South India is a fascinating mix of some of the most evocative monuments, revered temples, lush forests, golden beaches, and modern metros in the country. The food is spicy, the people are warm, and the climate is tropical. This captivating itinerary unveils South India’s rich history and culture, from colorful Fort Cochin to the giant ancient temples of Tamil Nadu.
From the French Quarter in Pondicherry to Kerala's backwaters, there’s no end to fascinating things to see and do in Southern India. In between visit the seaside village of Mahabalipuram. Discover a fascinating corner of India home to colonial history, Spend the following night in the Tanjore. from where you can visit the Brihadiswara Temple, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. traditional villages, Hindu tradition and quaint seaside towns. All blended; this outstanding eclectic mix will ignite your imagination.
EXPERIENCES AND VISITS IN THIS TOUR JOURNEY
- Visit Chennai’s Fort St George, where Clive of India commenced his glittering career.
- Explore the ancient temples of Mahabalipuram, one of India’s largest religious sites
- Enjoy a tour of elegant Pondicherry, a French colonial outpost until 1954 and distinctly different.
- Marvel at the Architecture of the Big Temple in Tanjore
- Catch a glimpse of Goddess Meenakshi at Meenakshi Temple in Madurai
- Experience the Wildlife excursion at the Periyar National Park through a boat cruise.
- Enjoy Lunch and dinner on Houseboat Cruise.
- Adore the beauty and serenity of backwater and the wonderful experience of a houseboat.
- Visit Cochin on the Malabar Coast, settled by the Portuguese, Dutch and finally the British.
- Explore the history and bygone technique of Fishing in Cochin.
- Enjoy the virtual delights of the Kathakali Dance Show.
- Take sight of sunset from the southernmost tip of the Indian peninsula, famous for the unique sunset due to the assemblage of three oceans bodies.
VIEW FULL ITINERARY
Arrive in Chennai, after completing immigration and custom formalities, meet Our representative at the arrival gate. After introductions, you will be transferred to the hotel.
In the morning you will Visit Chennai City-The gracious capital city of Tamil Nadu is the fourth largest metropolis in India. Visit Sri Kapaleeswarar Temple, The temple 'Gopuram'(tower) is characteristic of Dravidian style architecture, dedicated to Lord Shiva, this temple has some beautiful sculptures, among which the bronze idols of 63 Saivite Saints(Nayanmars) which adorn the outer courtyard are rare specimens. Fort ST. George: (Closed on Friday’s) It was built in 1640 AD, by the British East India Company under the direct supervision of Francis Day and Andrew Cogon. Also, visit the National Art Gallery and Museum with a fine collection of ancient paintings.
Continue to visit Santhome Basilica, one of the three churches in the world which holds the tomb of the Apostles of Jesus Christ.
Later walk in George Town Markets and Bazaars- The congested lanes of George Town are occupied by some fascinating street stalls and markets, including vibrant vegetable, flower, and spice markets.
Today, drive to Mahabalipuram. En-route visit Kanchipuram- the Golden City of a thousand temples and one of the seven sacred cities of India. Visit Vaikuntha Perumal Temple - an important Vishnu temple built by the Pallava King in the 7th century AD, Kailasanatha Temple - built by Rajasimha and his son Mahendra in the 3rdcentury AD and Ekambareswarar Temple - another ancient temple built by the Pallavas. Also, visit the silk weaving cottage industries for the famous Kanchipuram hand-woven silk fabrics.
Then proceed Mahabalipuram Mahabalipuram, was an ancient port once trading with the Romans. Its huge 7th-century temples have been remarkably carved from vast granite monoliths and are now UNESCO World Heritage sites. Visiting the beautiful ancient stone-carved Shore Temple, presiding over the long, flat beach we discover high wall friezes, the relief carving of Arjuna’s Penance, the Ratha rock temples and the Krishna cave temple.
Today, drive to the vibrant seaside town of Pondicherry. A former colony that has retained a unique French-influenced colonial atmosphere, from the charming architecture and churches to its patronage of the arts.
En-route visit Auroville: Matrimandir in Sanskrit means "Mother Temple", which according to Sri Aurobindo, "is what helps the humanity to overcome their limitations to the supramental consciousness’’.
Continue drive to Pondicherry. On arrival, check-in at Hotel.
In the afternoon you will visit Pondicherry, divided into two parts – the Indian side which is busy and bustling and the European side much clean, quieter and beautiful. Most of the locals speak French even on the streets. Take a cycle rickshaw ride through French town, its colonial buildings and its most popular edifice – Government Museum, Church of Our Lady of the Angels.
Today, drive to Tanjore. En-route visit Chidambaram for the famous Nataraja temple & Airavatesvara Temple in Darasuramdedicated to Lord Shiva. The temple is a World Heritage Monument and was constructed by Raja raja II in the 12th century reflecting the rich heritage of art and architecture of Tamil Nadu.
Arrival Tanjore and check-in at Hotel
In the morning you will visit Tanjore City, the famous UNESCO World Heritage site of the Brihadeshvara Temple or Bull Temple – home to India’s largest lingam
Drive to Madurai. En-route visit Trichy -the ancient capital of the Chola Empire - Srirangam Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple (it has the tallest temple tower in Asia). Visit Rock Fort Temple and its temples at a height of over 23mts.
Arrival Madurai and check-in at Hotel
Early Morning visit to the flower market, South India's largest fresh flower trading center, bustling with activity and filled with seasonal flowers. Back to the hotel for breakfast.
In the morning you will visit Madurai City- Madurai is over 2500 years old and is the second-largest city of Tamil Nadu – an ancient seat of learning. The city is planned in the shape of a lotus. Visit the Palace of Nayak Tirumalai depicting the influence of Mughal art and traditional Hindu art and Thiruparankundram, one of the abodes of Lord Subramanya where you will find Shiva and Vishnu facing each other, which is rare in Hindu temples.
Evening: visit the Meenakshi temple and witness the Aarti ceremony at the beautiful Meenakshi temple
Today, drive to Periyar, arrive and check-in at Hotel.
In the afternoon you will Boat ride on Lake Periyar-Boating on the Periyar Lake enables visitors to have a close look at the wildlife that inhabits the surrounding forests. Groups of elephant, wild boar, bison and sambar can be seen moving along the banks skirting the forest and water birds, perched on tree stumps with their wings spread, present a delightful sight while boating.
Today, drive to Alleppey, upon arrival board on House Boat and enjoy the cruise through the enchanting backwaters, sailing and passing through one of the few areas in the world where farming is done below sea level. The boat will pass through picturesque stretches of the backwaters and moor up for an overnight in Veabanadu Lake.
De-board at Alleppey and drive to Cochin. Arrive and check-in at Hotel.
In the afternoon you will start with a heritage walk past traders’ mansions and the colorful waterfront. Visit the spice trading streets, Visit Dutch Palace, old Portuguese and Dutch houses. St. Francis Church, built in 1502 by the Portuguese is one of the oldest European churches in India, Jewish Synagogue, was built in 1568. Giant scrolls of the Old Testament can be found here.
In the evening witness, the Kathakali dance show- The dancers are elaborately made up with paint and masks, accompanied by drummers and musicians.
Jewish Synagogue closed on every Friday and Saturday.
Later in time transfer to Cochin airport to board flight back journey.
WHAT YOU WILL RECEIVE IN YOUR TOUR COST
- Accommodation for a total of 10 nights on sharing twin / double room on bed & breakfast basis.
- All Meals on Houseboat at Alleppey.
- Transfers, sightseeing/excursions as per the program by air-conditioned Tempo Traveller.
- English-speaking local guide as per program.
- All entrance fees to the monuments as mentioned in the program.
- Cycle rickshaw ride in Pondicherry and Madurai.
- Enjoy a boat ride on Periyar Lake.
- Evening Watch Kathakali Dance Performance in Cochin.
- Company representative for assistance on all arrival and departure transfers.
- All presently applicable taxes including the GST charges levied recently by the Government.
- Two bottles of mineral water each day during sightseeing.
TOUR COST WILL NOT INCLUDE FOLLOWING EXPENSES
- International Airfare
- Any new admission fees / taxes / fuel surcharges/Visa fees
- Meals not mentioned
- All personal expenses such as beverages, laundry, trip cancellation and personal insurance, gratuities, excess baggage fees
- Early check-in/late check-out (except as noted)
- Camera/video fees at monuments
- Communication costs
- Any additional expenses due to unforeseen problems like a natural disaster, war or strikes, cancellation or
- misconnection of flights or a last-minute change of timings etc.
- Any other items not specified
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