SOUTH INDIA: KERALA & TAMIL NADU
Tour to South India to explore the two states “Tamil Nadu and Kerala” that are remnants of the golden age. During your trip to south India you will discover its ancient Dravidian culture and temples of Tamil Nadu of the Cholas Dynasty. Further visit to Kerala spice garden with specialist (naturalist), Cruise in Periyar Lake to observe the wild life and natural beauty, smoothness of cruise in Kerala back water canals thatched by coconut grove and spotted by authentic villages. There are also many churches and mosques that witnessed invaders of the past. Visit of Cochin, a former Portuguese colony where past is still present. The tour ends up by relaxing at the beach of Kerala at your own rhythm.
Day 01: Arrive Madras /Chennai to Mahabalipuram
Day 02: Mahabalipuram – Kanchipuram — Mahabalipuram
Day 03: Mahabalipuram to Pondicherry, 110 kms.
Day 04: Pondicherry-Chidambaram Tanjore (238 kms)
Day 05: Tanjore – Trichy – Chettinad (140 km)
Day 06: Chettinad -Madurai (90 km)
Day 07: Madurai – Thekkady- Periyar 140 kms. 5 hours
Day 08: Periyar wild life and spice gardens
Day 09: Periyar – Kumarakom 140 kms. 3-4 hours. Back water
Day 10: Kumarakom / Alleppey- houseboat
Day 11: Cochin – Mararikulam (45 kms.)
Day 12/13: Mararikulam
Day 14: Mararikulam – Kochi and onward flight
Day 1: Arrive Madras /Chennai to Mahabalipuram
Arrive at Madras/ Chennai in the morning. Reception at airport and get transferred to Mahabalipuram via a scenic coastal road. On arrival, check in at hotel. visit Mahabalipuram. It was the second capital and seaport of the Pallava kings of Kanchipuram the first Tamil dynasty of any real consequence to emerge after the fall of the Gupta Empire. Temples to visit include…
Day 2 : Mahabalipuram – Kanchipuram — Mahabalipuram
After breakfast, drive to Kanchipuram. Kanchipuram is very famous for its Silk Sarees. This is one of the seven sacred cities of India. Its temples are spectacular and the gopums can be seen from miles away. Temples to visit include…
Late afternoon return back to Mahabalipuram. Overnight at Hotel.
Day 3: Mahabalipuram to Pondicherry, 110 kms.
After breakfast, checkout from hotel and drive to Pondicherry. Upon arrival, check in to the hotel. After having quick wash and change places to visit include:-
Day 4: Pondicherry-Chidambaram to Tanjore (238 kms)
After breakfast drive to Thanjavur.
• En route, visit of Chidambaram.
Then continue drive to Thanjavur. Though the history Thanjavur dates back to the Sangam age, it was between the 10th and 14th centuries that Thanjavur reached its zenith becoming the centre of Tamil learning and culture. Modern Thanjavur is a fertile plain which is often referred to as the “rice bowl” of Tamil Nadu. Upon arrival, check in to the hotel. After quick wash and change have visits, places to visit include
Day 5: Tanjore – Trichy – Chettinad (140 km)
After breakfast drive to Madurai. En-route have visit of Trichy. Trichy has always been a seat of power in south India and it bears the scars of wars fought to control it. Places to visit include
Day 6: Chettinad -Madurai (90 km)
Today we bid a bye to the journey we came for. We’ll drive back the same way and will stop at Nako for the night halt and rest.
Day 7: Madurai – Thekaddy- Periyar 140 kms. 5 hours
After breakfast, check out from hotel & drive to Periyar.Spectacular road traversing several towns of Tamil Nadu to the hills of Western Ghats till the village of Thekkady .On arrival check in at hotel.
• Rest of day is free for individual leisure activities.
Spice Plantation Tour- Spices have always been an important part of life in Kerala. Spices also play an important role in the Kerala cuisine, non-Ayurvedic medicine and cosmetics. Periyar is, due to its location in the lower mountains around 1000 meters above sea level, blessed with numerous types of spices. Consequently, the spice plantation tour is in one of the most important activities outside the reserve that a visitor can engage in. It is an opportunity to see why the Kerala cuisine is so different from most of the other Indian cuisines. The tour gives you a chance to enjoy cardamom, pepper, clove, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla and many other varieties of spices and medicinal plants
Overnight at the hotel.
Day 8: Periyar wild life and spice gardens
Optional: Nature Walk
Night in Thekkady
Day 9: Periyar – Kumarakom 140 kms. 3 hours. Back water
After breakfast, drive to Kumarakom. Upon arrival, check into the hotel.
Evening Sunset Cruise on sharing basis on the Vembandu Lake for 01 hour. Cruise along the Vembanadu Lake & through the narrow canals that cress-cross the typical Kerala Village, rich with green paddy fields and verdant coconut trees and is a thrilling experience. The cruise on the motorboat takes you to small islets tucked away amidst those waters where you get glimpses of village at the best of its serenity and innocence. Watch the sun set as we cruise along Vembanadu Lake in rustling coconut groves abound, an experience to carry back with lasting memories.
Overnight stay at the hotel.
Day 10: Kumarakom – Alleppey – Kochi 64kms
After breakfast, drive to Alleppey jetty point. Board the houseboat from Jetty point.
• A 03-04 hour Back-Water Cruise with Lunch on Board.
After having day cruise, drop at Alleppey Jetty point and then drive to Cochin. On arrival, check into hotel. Cochin is situated between Oman’s sea and many small islands. Night in Cochin.
• Evening is free to explore the city.
Optional: In the evening see a Kathkali dance drama which is a must while in Cochin.
Overnight stay at the hotel.
Day 11: Cochin – Mararikulam (45 kms.)
After breakfast, visit Cochin. Places to visit include
• Dutch Palace at Mattancherry. (Friday Closed)
• The Jewish Synagogue at the heart of what is locally called the Jew Town. (Friday & Saturday Holiday)
• The St. Francis Church, the oldest European church in India.
• The Santa Cruz Basilica originally built in 1557 by the Portuguese.
• Drive past the Chinese fishing nets which are huge cantilevered nets believed to have been brought to Kochi by Chinese traders.
Later drive towards Mararikulam. Check in at the hotel. Later, get free time to enjoy at the beach,
Night stay will be in the hotel.
Day 12 – 13: Mararikulam
Rest of the day is free to relax at the beach (without car and driver)
Day 14: Mararikulam – Cochin – and onward flight
Complete transportation by Aircon MUV (Multi Utility Vehicle), Aircon Tempo Traveller, Aircon Mini Coach & Large Coach as per the case including all sector drives, all airport / hotel transfers, all sightseeing as per the program.
Vehicle for all intercity transfers, sightseeing and en-route visits as indicated in detailed program from day 01 Arrival Chennai airport till drop at Mararikulam hotel on day 11 and again pickup from Mararikulam hotel on day 14 till drop at Cochin airport on day 14 is included.
Day-cruise houseboat with Lunch is included.
Life straw water filter bottle will be provided.
Third party liability Insurance is included.
Lunch in the restaurant
English speaking guide
Any expenses of personal nature such as drinks, laundry, telephone calls etc.
Any tips to hotel staff, local guides, drivers etc.,
Any meals apart from the ones mentioned above.
ANY EXPENSES CAUSED BY REASONS BEYOND OUR CONTROL SUCH AS TRAIN – FLIGHT DELAYS / CANCELLATION / RESCHEDULING, ETC AND ANY OTHER SITUATIONS RELATED TO ROAD BLOCKS, ACCIDENTS, MEDICAL EVACUATION AND NATURAL CALAMITIES
Any video / camera fees
Any expenses apart from the ones above.
Region: Tamil Nadu - Kerala
Duration: 14 Days
Activity: Cultural Tours
Season: Oct to March
Grade: * (Easy)
Ancients temples (Gupuram) of Tamil Nadu
Rock carved temples of Mahabalipuram,
Aurovindo ashram at Pondicherry
Bronze museum of Tanjore
Wild life sanctuary of Periyar and spice gardens
Kerala back water cruise
Synagogue of Cochin and Kathakali performance
Stroll in the villages and meet the hospitable peoples Relax on the Kerala beach