South India Odyssey
THE TOUR AT THE GLANCE
This two-week journey will take you on an epic odyssey through two of the most fascinating states of southern India. You'll be enchanted by the French flavors of Pondicherry and the grand temple complex at Madurai in Tamil Nadu, the lush natural world of Periyar and the traditional culture of the backwaters of Kerala. Discover why this laid-back part of the country is a traveler favorite. This diverse and comprehensive trip across the cultural and historical landscapes of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala encompasses some of the country’s most authentic cultural experiences and offers a very different experience from that of the north. Tamil culture first-hand and enjoy the stunning beauty of the Western Ghats and the Malabar Coast. We will also visit the historic splendours of Madurai, Mysore and Cochin, and explore the majestic landscapes of the Backwaters in Kerala.
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
- Enjoy a bullock cart ride around the village in Chettinadu
- Catch a glimpse of Goddess Meenakshi at Meenakshi Temple in Madurai
- Experience the Wildlife excursion at the Periyar National Park through boat cruise.
- Discover the different colonial influences on the coastal towns of Pondicherry and Kochi
- Take a sight of sunset from the southernmost tip of the Indian peninsula, famous for the unique sunset due to the assemblage of three oceans bodies.
- Stroll the French Quarter of Pondicherry, a distinctly different pocket of India
- Relax on the beach in Varkala and soak in the sun
- Explore the backwaters and visit historic Fort Cochin
- 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 Kathakali Dance Show.
VIEW FULL ITINERARY
Arrive 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 KapaleeswararTemple, 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 coutyard 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 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 cottageindustries 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 Tiruvannamalai, on arrival check in at Hotel
In the afternoon you will visit Tiruvannamalai is a mountain temple town, dedicated Lord Shiva worshipped Tiruvannamalai Annamalaiyar Temple in the fire Incarnation as Arunachaleswar. Ramana maharishi’s Asharm located at the base of the mountain & this is an Ideal place for the travellers who have spiritual interest.
Today, drive to the vibrant seaside town of Pondicherry. On arrival, check in at Hotel
In the afternoon you will visit Pondicherry, divided in 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.. A former colony that has retained a unique French-influenced colonial atmosphere, from the charming architecture and churches to its patronage of the arts. Then 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’’.
Today, drive to Tanjore. En-routevisit Chidambaram for the famous Nataraja temple & Airavatesvara Temple in Darasuram dedicated 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 Chettinad. 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 and check in at Hotel
Today, dedicated visit around chettinadu and karaikkudi traditional villages, this region was once the homeland of the Nattukottai Chettiars, a prosperous banking and business community who left their stamp on the region in the form of a number of substantial mansions that still dot the landscape. We pay a visit to some of these 18th century palaces today; sumptuous creations in Italian marble and Burmese teak that were inspired by the grand houses of Europe. We also take time to explore a little of the traditional industry of the area, stopping to visit some Chettinadu cotton hand-looms and take a tour of the Aathangudi tile factory, whose beautiful designs and colours still hark back to a bygone age. enjoy a bullock cart ride around the village,
Today, drive to Madurai, on arrival check in at Hotel,
In the afternoon 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 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
Early Morning visit to the flower market, South India's largest fresh flower trading centre, bustling with activity and filled with seasonal flowers. Back to hotel for breakfast. Then 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 Varkala, arrive and check in at Hotel.
Kerala apparently has it all, as you move from the mountains to the beaches. Varkala is located in the south of Kerala and is famous for its wide beach, its incredible cliffs overlooking the Indian Ocean and for being one of the places where Ayurveda, a form of traditional Indian medicine, was born.
You'll get three luxurious days to hang out at the beach. You can swim in the warm waters of the Arabian Sea, watch splendid sunsets from dramatic clifftop cafes, eat fresh fish, and have a wellness break that includes Yoga and Ayurveda. Your hotel is located 200 meters from the beach and near the cliffs of Varkala.
Today, drive to Cochin. Arrive and check in at Hotel.
In the afternoon you will start with a heritage walk past traders’ mansions and the colourful 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 church 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 with drummers and musicians.
Note, Jewish Synagogue on every Fridays and Saturdays.
Later in time transfer to Cochin airport to board flight back journey
WHAT YOU WILL RECEIVE IN YOUR TOUR COST
- Accommodation for total 14 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 vehicle
- 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 bullock Cart ride in the villages at Chettinadu
- Enjoy 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 natural disaster, war or strikes, cancellation or
- misconnection of flights or last-minute change of timings etc.
- Any other items not specified
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- Plot no 36, Mohit Nagar, Sector 15 (Near NSIT) Dwarka, New Delhi -110078