South India Delight
Day 01: Abroad – Chennai (by air)
On arrival in Chennai, you will be met by our representative at airport and transfer to hotel (Hotel Check in time would be 1400Hrs on this day).
Chennai, formerly known as Madras, is the capital city of Tamil Nadu and one of the foremost tourist destinations of South India. Popularly regarded as the “Gateway to the South” and the fourth largest metropolis in India, it is a gracious city that has a clear skyline, long sandy beaches, parks and historic landmarks which make it a convenient entry point or base to start your tour of South India. Overnight at the hotel
Day 02: Chennai – Kanchipuram (76 Kms / 1.5 Hrs)
Kanchipuram – Mahabalipuram (70 Kms 1.5 Hrs)
After breakfast proceed for guided city tour visiting Mylapore temple, Kapleshwar temple, Fort St. George Museum, St. Mary’s Church and the Marina beach. Afternoon leave Chennai for Mahabalipuram en-route visit Kanchipuram. Ancient Kanchipuram, the city of thousand temples, is one of the seven most sacred pilgrim centres for the Hindus. There are now about 126 temples in Kanchipuram and few more at outskirts. Continue drive up to Mahabalipuram. On arrival, transfer to hotel. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 03: Mahabalipuram
After breakfast, proceed for guided city tour visiting the fascinating rock carvings and temples for which city is famous, including Arjuna’s Penance, the world’s largest bas-relief, beautifully carved from solid granite. Nearby is the Shore Temple that has stood for twelve centuries with its twin granite spires soaring upward. Visit a local sculpture studio to see how the stone is carved. Return to hotel. Rest of the day at leisure.Overnight at the hotel.
Day 04: Mahabalipuram – Pondicherry (120 Kms / 03 Hrs)
Morning leave Mahabalipuram for Pondicherry and on arrival check in at the hotel. Afternoon, proceed to one time French colony and home to a famous Ashram, the coastal centre of Pondicherry. Today the town retains much of its French flavour where southern India meets the south of France. Proced to city tours visiting, French coastal settlements, Raj Niwas, The Romain Rolland Library, Pondicherry Musuem(Closed on Monday), The holy heart of Jesus Church and The Institute if Indian History and Aurobindo. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 05: Pondicherry – Tanjore (230Kms/06Hrs)
Morning leave Pondicherry for Tanjore scenically one of the most enchanting districts in the state – Thanjavur lies to the east of Trichy and has the reputation as the Rice Bowl of Tamil Nadu.On arrival check in at the hotel.Afternoon proceed for excursion to one of the best temples in South India, the Brahadeeshwarar temple or the Big Temple built by the greatest Chola emperor “Raja Chola”, is the dynasty’s finest contribution to Dravidan temple architecture and the SaraswathiMahal Library where Over 30,000 Indian and European manuscripts written on palm leaf and paper are preserved.
Day 06: Tanjore – Trichy (60 Kms / 01 Hrs)
Trichy – Madurai (160 Kms / 04 Hrs)
Morning leave Tanjore for Madurai en-route visit Trichy is a fine blend of tradition and modernity built around the Rock Fort. Apart from the fort, there are several churches colleges and missions dating back to the 1760s visiting, Rock fort and ShriRangam temple. Continue drive to Madurai Known as the “Athens of the East” and on arrival check in at the hotel. Overnight at the hotel
Day 07: Madurai
After breakfast proceed to local flower and vegetables markets followed by the visit to the weaver’s colony.Afternoon visit the Meenakshi Temple (one of the largest temple complexes in south India). In evening visit Meenakshi Temple for the Prayer ceremony during which the god Shiva is lead to the bedroom of his wife.
Overnight at the hotel.
Day 08: Madurai – Periyar (160 Kms / 04-05 Hrs)
After breakfast check-out from hotel and drive to highlands of Periyar (Thekkady). From 1895, the British maintained the area as a wildlife preserve and there are still opportunities to find elephants, bison, deer, numerous varieties of birds. The rugged landscape is very tropical and well suited to tea, coffee & spices.
On arrival, transfer to hotel.Later in the afternoon, visit to Spice Garden where you will get knowledge of various and most popular spices grown in the region.Overnight at the hotel.
Day 09: Periyar
Early morning proceed for guided jungle walk in the reserve to enjoy the flora and fauna. This is the best way to observe game in the wild, including herds of elephants, bison and wild boar that roam by the lake just before sunset. Overnight at thehotel.
Day 10: Periyar – Alleppey (100 Kms / 03 Hrs)
After breakfast check-out and leave for Allapuzha (Alleppey). On arrival board private House Boat and begin leisurely cruise through the Backwaters, full of canals, rivers and lakes. Relax on deck or in private lounge, experiencing life on the water – sailing, fishing, swimming, washing, cooking and more. Canoes with huge sails slowly make their way between villages, selling vegetables, fish and other household goods. Between the waterways are extensive rice fields and coconut palms.Overnight on board.
Day 11: Alleppey – Cochin (60 Kms / 1.5 Hrs)
After breakfast disembark private House Boat and proceed by road to Cochin and on arrival check in at the hotel. Rest of the day at leisure for independent activities.Overnight at the hotel.
Day 12: Cochin
Kochi is the green commercial capital of Kerala with one of the finest natural harbours in the world. From here, ships set sail for foreign ports with pepper, seafood, rubber and coir. From times immemorial, Arabs, Chinese, Dutch, British and Portuguese seafarers followed the sea route to Cochin and left their impressions on the town. The harbour is the nucleus around which Cochin has grown to become the Queen of the Arabian Sea. Morning proceed for guided city tour visiting, Mattancherry Palace (built in 1555 and renovated by the Dutch in 1663, it contains 17th century murals of the Ramayana) and St. Francis Church, the oldest in India and the famous Chinese fishing nets (introduced by a trader from Kubla Khan’s China). Stroll through the old Jewish Quarter and visit the old Synagogue (Jews have lived here since the time of King Solomon).In the evening proceed to enjoy the classical dance show “Kathakali Dance”, based on the Hindu epics, highlighted by the amazing costumes & make-up.
Overnight at hotel.
Day 13: Cochin – Abroad (by air)
Depending on your flight timings, you will be picked up from the hotel by our representative and transfer to airport to connect your back home/ onward flight.