From Chennai to Mahabalipuram
Arrive Chennai Airport. You will be met on arrival and immediate transfer to coastal town of Mahabalipuram (55 km , 1.5 hrs)
This UNESCO World Heritage site showcase the magnificent line of ancient stone carvings that both impress and intrigue. The Shore temple stands out with its brilliant Pallava architecture and masterful carvings. With its historical monuments, architectural stories, mysterious caves, cycling tours and beaches and delicious seafood, the place packs in the punch of a must see destination.
Overnight at MahabalipuramTest Content
Mahabalipuram –Kancheepuram -Mahabalipuram
Morning proceed for a visit to Kancheepuram (55 km, 1.25 hrs)
The City of Thousand Temples is one of the seven sacred cities and considered as the second holiest place in India. The great Buddhist Vhikku Bodhidharma lived and worked here. Kancheepuram is also famous for its hand-wooven silk fabrics.
You will experience a thali lunch on banana leaves at a local restauarant.
Later drive back to Mahabalipuram .Visit Shore Temple and other stone Carvings and rock-cut temples.
Over night at MahabalipuramTest Content
From Mahabalipuram to Pondicherry
Morning , drive to Pondicherry (110 km , 02 hrs)
Now called Puducherry , this “French Riviera of the East” is known for its large boulevards, brightly painted houses with high compound walls laden with bougainvillea, clean, well-laid streets with French name plates, colonial buildings, gothic churches, classic heritage monuments, pristine beaches, serene backwaters, expansive gardens and of course delicious authentic French cuisine.
Afternoon visit the town of Auroville, an oasis of peace and enlightenment.
This evening you will climb on a cycle rikshaw to stroll around the tamil street of Pondicherry.
Over night at Pondicherry.Test Content
From Pondicherry to Tanjore via Chidambaram
Morning drive to Chidambaram (70 km , 1.25 hrs)
Between two rivers in a 40-acre temple-complex, lay the temples of Chidambaram, one of the oldest, most venerated and magnificent temples of South India. Shiva Nataraja or the Dancing Shiva stands in his cosmic dance pose in the golden rooted sanctum sanctorum. The temple is engraved with 108 sculptured illustrations of Bharat Natya Shastra. In Akash Lingam hidden by a veil, lies the real secret of Chidambaram.
Later drive to Tanjore (115 km, 3 hrs)
The city was once the great capital of the Chola Empire. Visit the most spectacular of Tanjore temples, the Brihadishwara capped by a monolithic cupola made of a single granite rock weighing 80 tons. The temple itself is decorated with carved panels depicting mythological events. The temple is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site "Great Living Chola Temples".
Overnight at TanjoreTest Content
From Tanjore to Chettinad
Morning drive to Chettinad (90 km , 02 hrs)
Enroute visit the Ayyanar Temple.
This temple doesn’t fit the traditional model of what tourists come to expect.
One can be in sight of more than 1000 terracotta horses which line the drive. The horses are offerings to the Ayyanar. In South India, particularly Tamil Nadu, the Hindu village god Ayyanar is a popularly worshiped deity. He is known as the protector of rural villages and interestingly, the priests are usually non-Brahmins.
Chettinad Nowhere in Tamilnadu you will find such huge mansions and houses and that will help one to understand the classy life of the wealthy Chettiar community. Chettinad cuisine is perhaps the most renowned fare in the Tamil Nadu repertoire. It uses a variety of spices and the dishes are made with fresh ground masalas. Many of the villages are now semi-deserted but they retain a charm and distinctive style that repays a visit.
Afternoon visit Athangudy Tiles - Athangudi tiles are named after the village of manufacture in Chettinadu and come in myriad colors and patterns. The designs and colors used in Athangudi Tiles are traditionally still those of a bygone era. However, off late new designs and patters are being incorporated. The tiles are hand- made in a slow process. Its a enriching experience to visit the local tile makers while in the area.
Overnight at Chettinad.Test Content
From Chettinad to Madurai
Morning drive to Madurai (90 km , 02 hrs)
Over 2500 years old, Madurai is the second largest city of Tamil Nadu. A metropolis that traded with ancient Rome and was a great capital long before Chennai was even dreamt of. Tourists - Indian and foreign, usually come here to see the Meenakshi Amman Temple, a labyrinthine structure ranking among the greatest temples of India. The temple forms the heart and lifeline of the city of Madurai and is a significant symbol for the Tamil people, mentioned since antiquity in Tamil literature. Though most of the present structure was built between 1623 and 1655 CE , It is said that the temple was originally built in the 6th century BC, dedicated to the deity Meenakshi, an avatar of Goddess Parvati, and her consort Sundareswarar, Lord Shiva.
Visit the TiruparaKundram rock temple and Tirumalanayak palace.
At 21 00 Hrs. Witness the “Palli Arai” ceremony at the Meenakshi Temple. The ritual would include a procession by the deities around the inner corridors of the temple with great pomp and music. At the end of the pooja , the goddess Parvati is typically escorted to the residing place of her divine husband, Lord Shiva.
Over night at Madurai.Test Content
From Madurai to Periyar
Morning , drive to Periyar (150 km , 3.5 hrs )
Periyar is South India’s most popular wildlife sanctuary, encompassing an area of 777 sq km. Set on the attractive man-made Periyar Lake; it attracts over 300,000 visitors a year. Though the sanctuary was made a part of Project Tiger in 1973, it is better known for its elephants.
Later afternoon , proceed for a spice plantation visit with a naturalist to obtain first hand information on various spices like Cardamom, Pepper , Cinnamon , Clove and Nutmeg.
Evening witness Kalaripayattu performance (Martial Arts) at a local theatre
Over night at Periyar.Test Content
Half day Bamboo Rafting (0930 hrs-1430 hrs)
Starting from the boat landing, a mosaic of habitats will be traversed before the party gets into rafts made of bamboos.The forests are rich in bird life and arboreal animals like giant squirrel and Nilgiri langur. Rafting lasts for about three hours and one gets a panoramic view of forest-clad hills reflected on the lake. Animals like elephant, gaur and sambar are sighted keeping close to the edges of the lake.The team hitchhikes back to the boat landing by about 1230 pm. An armed guard and 4 guides will accompany a maximum of 10 tourists. Tea, snacks and packed lunch will be served en route. This package is an excellent programme for semi-serious nature lovers to feel the beauty of Nature.
Rest of the day at leisure.
Overnight at PeriyarTest Content
From Periyar to Kumarakom
After breakfast , drive to Kumarakom (125 km , 3.5 hrs)
Kumarakom , The legendary backwaters of Kumarakom have brought visitors from far and wide to its shores. An unbelievably beautiful paradise of mangrove forests, emerald green paddy fields and coconut groves interspersed with enchanting waterways and canals adorned with white lilies. Situated on the Vembanad Lake, in this small water world you'll come across plenty of traditional country crafts, boats and canoes which will take you into the heart of the scenic lake.
Overnight at Kumarakom.Test Content
From Kumarakom to House Boat
At 1100 hrs , you will drive to the village of Pallathuruthy . On arrival board the house boat for an overnight cruise around the backwaters of Alleppey.
HOUSEBOATS, popularly known as “Kettuvalam” is converted from a traditional rice barge. Exploring backwaters in a houseboat is the best way to experience the Kerala’s beauty through the palm-fringed backwaters – a chain of lakes, canals and lagoons. .The islands and paddy farms on the either side are separated by lagoons, brooks and small gushing streams.
Lunch , Dinner and overnight on board House boatTest Content
From House Boat to Cochin
At 0900 hrs , You will disembark House boat at Alleppey and drive to Cochin (65 kms, 1.5 hrs)
Cochin (Kochi) is spread across islands and promontories in a stunning location between the Arabian Sea and the Backwaters. The city was founded in 1341 when a flood created a natural safe port, which became the principal harbour for Malabar Coast’s spice trade. Cochin was on the main trade route between Europe and China. The rulers invited people of various religions to settle here, attracting the Jews and the Christians who built places of worship and their own communities.
This evening you will visit the house of Mr Oscar and wife and be their guests. You will get first hand information on Kerala cuisine when the hostess offers you a cooking demonstration. Dinner with the family.Test Content
In the morning you will proceed with your guide for a walking tour of Fort Cochin to visit The St Francis Church, the oldest European Church in India ,where Vasco de Gama the first European traveller to India was originally buried here. Also visit the Chinese fishing nets believed to be brought to Kochi by the Chinese Traders.. After Fort cochin , take an Autorikshaw ride (commonly known as Tuk Tuk) to Mattancherry (10 minutes)Dutch Palace at Mattancherry is renowned for its wall murals depicting scenes from the Ramayana. The Jewish Synagogue (Friday and Saturday closed) at the heart of what is locally called the Jew Town. A walk through the jew street is a pleasing experience
Afternoon , free at leisure.
Overnight at CochinTest Content
Departure from Cochin
In time transfer to Cochin Airport (01 hr) to connect flight back home.Test Content
|Day 1:||From Chennai to Mahabalipuram||Radisson BLU Temple bay/Ideal beach resort|
|Day 2:||Visit Kancheepuram||Radisson BLU Temple bay/Ideal beach resort|
|Day 3:||From Mahabalipuram to Pondicherry||Palais de mahe / Mansion Calve|
|Day 4:||From Pondicherry to Tanjore||Tanjore Hi / Ideal river view|
|Day 5:||From Tanjore to Chettinad||Visalam / The Bangala|
|Day 6:||From Chettinad to Madurai||Heritage Madurai / GRT Regency|
|Day 7:||From Madurai to Periyar||Spice Village / Hills & Hues|
|Day 8:||At Periyar – activities||Spice Village/Hills & Hues|
|Day 9:||From Periyar to Kumarakom||Coconut Lagoon / Aveda Kumarakom|
|Day 10:||From Kumarakom to House boat||Spice Coast cruise/Deluxe|
|Day 11:||From House boat to Cochin||Eighth Bastion / Spice Fort|
|Day 12:||Explore Cochin||Eighth Bastion / Spice Fort|
|Day 13:||Departure from Cochin|
- Hotel accommodation bed & breakfast basis except Thalasserry , House boat and Calicut on full board
- Transfers, sightseeing by an air conditioned vehicle
- Meeting and assistance on arrivals and departures
- Entrance fees to all monuments as per program
- Private & exclusive sightseeing tours & Train Tickets , activities as per program with services of an English speaking local guide
- 24 hour emergency contact
- International flights
- Personal expenses
- Any meals other than that mentioned in the program.
- Camera/video fees at various monuments
- Tips and gratuities