Stunning South India

 

 

Stunning South India 13 Days
Chennai * Mahabalipuram * Pondicherry * Thanjavur Madurai * Thekkaddy * Alleppy * Cochin

CHENNAI

Welcome to India!! Upon arrival and after you exit from the International Airport, you will be greeted by our local representative and transferred to your hotel.
Overnight at the Hotel
Chennai- formerly known as Madras, is rich in traditional classical music, architecture, art and dance.

CHENNAI

Enjoy your breakfast and then take a tour of Chennai. Visit Fort St George, built in the 17th century. Visit St. Mary’s Church, the oldest Anglican Church in India. Visit the Kapeeleshwara Temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva. The Gopuram, or entrance tower, has a profusion of sculptured images depicting stories from Puranic Legends. Drive to Mahabalipuram (56kms.)
Overnight at the hotel.

MAHABALIPURAM/ PONDICHERRY

Drive to the railway station and board the train to Sawai Madhopur, the “Tiger City” of eastern Rajasthan. Originally called the Frontier Mail, this historic passage is among India’s oldest train routes. On arrival we transfer to Dev Vilas, where we spend the next four nights. After a quick lunch we head towards the much awaited destination- Ranthambore National Park for an introductory visit. One of India’s largest and most renowned nature reserves, Ranthambore is famed for its population of approachable tigers. Our explorations take place on early morning and afternoon game drives. In the middle of the day, there’s time to relax at the hotel, enjoy the refreshment of the swimming pool, and visit the Ranthambore Foundation’s School of Art, established in partnership with nearby villages, which supports a women’s craft cooperative.

PONDICHERRY

After breakfast take a trip to the Pondicherry local market, where you will witness people selling flowers, vegetables, fruits, fish etc.
Afternoon take a city tour of Pondicherry. Visit the Shri Aurobindo Ashram. This world-renowned ashram was founded in the year 1926, by Shri Aurobindo, a revolutionary turned Yogi from Bengal along with The Mother (Mira Alfassa), a French painter and sculptor. Later, visit the Government Museum, which houses sculptures from Pallava, Chola and Vijaynagara temples and drive past the beach promenade.
Overnight at the Hotel

PONDICHERRY/CHETTINAD

After your breakfast drive to Cehttinad (185 kms.) On arrival check into the hotel.
Overnight at the Hotel

CHETTINAD/THANJAVUR

After breakfast drive to Thanjavur (72kms.) On arrival check into the hotel. Thanjavur is the focal point of Tamil learning and culture. Thanjavur was the royal city of the Cholas, Nayaks and the Marathas, and the original home of Dravidian art and architecture.
During the afternoon sightseeing in Thanjavur, visit the Brihadeshwara Temple of Chola dynasty. The temple has gigantic lingam cut from a monolithic rock, about 8.7m high. There is a huge Nandi Bull within the inner shrine of the temple, also the second largest monolithic Nandi in the country. Continue your tour with a visit to Tanjore Palace & Museum, which houses an art gallery, a library, the hall of music, and the audience hall. On display here are relics of royalty – clothes, hunting weapons, headgear and much more. The other two great Chola Temples in Thanjavur are the Temple of Gangaikondacholapuram and the Airavatesvara Temple.
Overnight at the Hotel.

THANJAVUR/MADURAI

Morning after breakfast drive to Maduari (189 kms.). On arrival check in at the hotel. Madurai, situated on the banks of river Vaigai, Madurai was the capital of the Pandya Kings, and an important cultural and commercial center as early as 550 AD.
In Maduari, visit the Meenakshi Temple. The complex houses 14 magnificent Gopurams or towers, including two golden Gopurams for the main deities. Also visit Gandhi Memorial Museum at the Tamukkam Palace. The museum houses the history and relics of the freedom movement. Continue to the Koodal Azhagar Temple, one of the 108 temples dedicated to Lord Vishnu. Three separate altars feature three figures of Vishnu, in standing, sitting and reclining postures.
Overnight at the Hotel.

MADURAI/THEKKADDY

Morning after breakfast check out and drive to Thekkaddy (139 kms.) On arrival check-in at the hotel. Afternoon visit the Periyar Wild Life Sanctuary. It is one of India’s most fascinating natural wildlife sanctuaries, where one can watch wildlife at close range. The vegetation, flora & fauna and birds are uniquely rich & varied and do not bear semblance to any other wildlife sanctuaries in the world. Even a casual visitor to this place will not fail to observe the special ecological pattern. The very sound of the name conjures up images of elephants, unending chains of hill & spice scented plantations. The sanctuary is one of the best in the country for watching & photographing wild life. Notable among the inhabitants are the tigers, majestic Asiatic wild elephants & distinctive Nilgiri Langur.
Evening go for a “Kalaripayattu” show, the martial art of Kerala known as the mother of all martial art. Return back to the Hotel.
Overnight at the Hotel.

THEKKADDY/MUNNAR

Morning after breakfast check out and drive to Munnar (85 kms.) On arrival check in at the Hotel. Evening relax.
Overnight at the Hotel.

MUNNAR

Breakfast followed by a full day city day sightseeing tour of Munnar. In the morning, visit the Eravikulam National Park, the Tea Museum in the Nallathanni Estate of Tata Tea, which showcases some of the exquisite and interesting aspects of the genesis and growth of tea plantations in Munnar. This Tea Museum houses curios, photographs and machinery. Also visit Mattupetty, located about 13 km from Munnar. Mattupetty is known for its dam and the beautiful lake, which offers pleasurable boat rides. Later visit the Kundala Tea Plantations and the Kundala Lake. The lake is the most photographed part of Kundala. Take a stroll in the tea estate, and enjoy the refreshing mountain breeze. Here you can view the entire process of tea-making, right from the plucking of tea leaves to their processing.
Overnight at the Hotel.

MUNNAR/ALLEPPY

Morning after check out and drive to Alleppy (157kms.) On arrival transfer to Jetty point to board the Houseboat. Enjoy a houseboat cruise through Alleppey, “Venice of the East” which has a large network of canals that meander through the town and surrounding villages… the Snake Boat Race held every year in August in the backwaters is a major attraction. The Kerala Backwaters are a vital waterway for the transport of goods, people and their produce, and are often the only link between isolated villages and crowded towns.
Overnight on the Houseboat.

ALLEPPY/KOCHI (COCHIN)

Morning after breakfast on the Houseboat, disembark and drive to Kochi (57 kms.) Arrive and check-in at the hotel.
Afternoon enjoy a half-day tour of Kochi (colonial name Cochin.) Kochi is a vibrant city, also referred to as the Gateway to Kerala. The ruler of Kochi allowed the Portuguese to construct a fort next to the waterfront here. Thus, emerged Fort Kochi. Also called Fort Emmanuel, Portuguese planned their livelihood around the church with and its settlements. St. Francis Church, the first church of the colonial era is where Vasco-Da-Gama’s body was buried before being taken to Portugal. You’ll also come across Dutch Cemetery, Santa Cruz Basilica. Evening also enjoy the classical Dance show Kathakali.
Overnight at the Hotel.

KOCHIN

Morning breakfast at the hotel. Later in time transfer to the airport to connect your flight to your onward destination.