CLASSICAL SOUTH INDIA

  • OVERVIEW
  • ITINERARY
  • ACCOMMODATION
  • GALLERY
  • MAP

OVERVIEW

We offer you the best South India Tour Packages and Best South India Holiday Tours. Choose from a wide range of tour packages based on your interests and needs. This 14 days/13 nights tour of Tamil Nadu and Kerala covers Chennai, Mahabalipuram, Pondicherry, Madurai, Thekkady, Kumarakom, Cochin

ITINERARY

Arrive Chennai by international flight. Meeting & assistance on arrival and transfer straight to Mahabalipuram (2 hours drive).

Evening welcome briefing with trip leader over tea/coffee/cookies.
Dinner & overnight stay.

After breakfast visit Mahabalipuram, a beautiful beach destination which consists of a tiny village by the sea in which all else is dwarfed by a dream world of awesome Tamil art, an open air museum of sculpture in living rock. The piece de resistance is Arjuna’s Penance or the Descent of the Ganga, the world’s largest bas-relief, 764 ft. by 288 ft. (27m by 9m). It is a beautiful composition of hundreds of celestial beings, human and animals all hurrying to a natural rock cleft that divides the giant stone. The best known landmark of Mahabalipuram, is the Shore Temple which has stood by the sea for 12 centuries. Its twin spires are pure poetry in granite.
Dinner & overnight stay.

After breakfast drive to Pondicherry via Kanchipuram (4 hours drive) 

Kanchipuram is one of Hinduism''s seven most sacred cities and this "Golden City of a Thousand Temples" dates back to the early Cholas in the second century. Only around 70 temples of the original temple complex are still intact and the most famous is the Kailasanatha Temple built of sandstone in the early seventh century. Kanchipuram is where the famous Kanchipuram (also known as Kanchivaram) silk saris come from. Kanchipuram is also known for two other major textiles – the Angavastram weaves (shoulder cloths) and the Konrad Sari, both typically seen draped on deities in the Temples. The glamour of the Kanchipuram silk sarees in its colour contrasts. Temple borders, checks, stripes and floral "buttas" are traditional designs you will find in a Kanchipuram saree. Visit one of the handloom centers to see skilled weavers weaving sarees out of silk yarns. 

Post sightseeing, continue the drive to Pondicherry.
Upon arrival check in at hotel.
Dinner & overnight stay.

Today sightseeing of Pondicherry.
The former capital of the French territories in India Landmarks include the Raj Niwas, the residence of the Lt. Governor of Pondicherry - a handsome 200-year-old building which faces Government Park (French Place) with its well laid out paths and lawns, a few fountains and a number of sculptures. The Romain Rolland Library has over 60,000 volumes on its shelves. The Pondicherry Museum has an outstanding collection of artifacts relating to all aspects of the French Indian past. Its prize exhibits the bed that Dupleix slept on when he was Governor of Pondicherry. The church of Notre Dame des Anges was built around 1865. It has a rare oil painting of Our Lady of the Assumption, a gift from Napoleon III. Visit Aurobindo Ashram, the best known landmark of Pondicherry. The Ashram, in addition to practicing yoga, also provides scope for practical activity for its followers who come from all over the world. These include construction, farming, shoe-making and laundering. Auroville is an extension of the Aurobindo Ashram. It is a voluntary commune, 6 miles (10 kms) northwest of Pondicherry where around 800 people from 28 nations live. It looks like a city of the future as its architecture is the result of diverse experiments in building materials, techniques and styles.
Dinner & overnight stay.

Today morning drive to Thanjavur. On arrival check in at hotel.

Afternoon sightseeing of Thanjavur.
Post breakfast, leave to visit the Brahadeeswarar temple which is dedicated to Lord Shiva. The great Chola king Raja Raja I built this temple. It is an outstanding example of the Chola architecture. Its unique architectural excellence has made the UNESCO to declare it a World Heritage Monument. The 64.8 meters tall tower over the sanctum is a testimony to the engineering skill of the Cholas. The beautiful Chola Fresco paintings on the inner walls of the temple are no way less than Ajanta paintings. The Palace Just 1 km.away from Brahadeeswarar Temple, is the magnificent palace. This palace is surrounded with huge fort walls. It dates 14th century A.D and was partly built by the Nayaks and partly by Marathas. Even now the royal family of the Marathas resides in this palace. It measures 110 acres in size. It is a grand pile of fascinating building with huge corridors, spacious halls decorated rooms, tall observation towers, beautiful stucco works, wonderful fresco painted walls and ceilings.
Dinner & overnight stay.

Today morning drive to Madurai. On arrival check in at hotel.

Evening visit Meenakshi temple to see the temple closing ceremony in which the idol of Lord Shiva is shifted in temple of Goddess Parvati. Non Hindus are not allowed in sanctum of temple. 
Dinner & overnight stay.

Morning: Sightseeing of Madurai visiting Great Meenakshi Temple dedicated to the consort of Lord Shiva with its towering Gopurams, rising high above the surrounding township. Later visit the Thirumalai Nayakkar Mahal - a gracious building in the Indo-Saracenic style, famous for the stucco work on its domes and arches. Early risers can also have the opportunity to visit the local flower market which is at its peak in the morning hours. 

Afternoon excursion to a Potters Village near Madurai. Walk through the streets of village where the entire population is involved in making Navratri Kollu dolls and paper mache dolls. Interact with the potters, their families and if interested try your hands on the potters wheel to shape the toy of your choice. 
Dinner & overnight stay.

After breakfast drive to Thekkady. The journey takes you through undulating hills, rubber & tea plantations, fields & countryside. On arrival check in at your hotel. 

Evening participate in a cooking demo/class wherein the chef from hotel will share the secrets of traditional Kerala cuisine. The influence of spices, which are grown all across the state, is quite visible in Kerala food.
Dinner & overnight stay.

This morning you will visit the vast Periyar National Park by boat, a wildlife sanctuary with a picturesque lake. A herd of elephants or a wandering family of deer are common sights near the lake. You may be able to spot herds of Gaur, Sambar and wild boars in the grasslands adjacent to the shores. A variety of avian fauna such as darters, egrets and kingfishers can be seen resting on dead tree trunks that stick out over the lake. During your boat ride, there is also a high probability of observing the antics of the Smooth Indian Otter. 

In the afternoon visit a Spice Garden to see cardamom, cinnamon, pepper, clove, vanilla, nutmeg, coffee and other plants growing their natural habitat. Periyar, at an altitude of 1000 meters above sea level, has an ideal climate for spice growing. Vasco de Gama was the first European to land at the Malabar coast in 1498 in search of spices. In those days, pepper was known as Black Gold because it was exported against an equal weight of gold.
Dinner & overnight stay.

This morning you will be transferred to Kumarakom to board deluxe traditional, thatch roofed ‘Kettuvallum’ or houseboat for an overnight cruise on the magical backwaters of Kerala. 

The houseboat sails through the vast expanse of Vembanad lake and also through narrow canals to show you the local life from a close quarter. Take a walk through paddy fields, small village markets & interact with locals. The houseboat sails during the day and is anchored for lunch & in the evening around sunset till next day morning.
Dinner & overnight on board.

Following breakfast you will disembark and transfer to your backwater resort in Kumarakom.

Reminder of the day is at leisure to relax and enjoy the tranquil waters of Vembanad lake. You can walk along the backwaters, take a rejuvenating massage in the spa, walk through the local market or simply relax by the pool.
Dinner & overnight stay.

Today morning leave for Cochin. On arrival check in at hotel.
Dinner & overnight stay.

Today morning Heritage walk of Fort Kochi. This is the best way to explore the local life & culture. Kochi Heritage walking tour through the old streets of Fort Kochi. This is the ideal way to discover a historic town brimming with tales of myriad seafaring visitors who came here to trade. ''Walking through Fort Kochi'' is a tour organized as part of the conservation and development initiatives taken up by the Corporation of Kochi. The eventful history of this city began when a major flood in AD 1341 threw open the estuary at Kochi, which was till then a landlocked region, turning it into one of the finest natural harbours in the world. Kochi thus became a haven for seafaring visitors from all over the world and became the first European township in India when the Portuguese settled here in the 15th century. The walk also include visits to St. Francis Church, the Santa Cruz Basilica and Chinese Fishing Nets.

Afterrnoon visit Jewish Synagogue & Dutch Palace in Mattancherry island.
The Jewish synagogue was built in 1568, almost 1500 years after the beginning of the Jewish connection with Kerala. It was built on the land, adjacent to the Mattancherry Palace, given by the erstwhile king of Cochin. The Dutch Palace, also known as Mattancherry Palace) is a two-storeyed structure, built in traditional Kerala naalukettu (quadrangular) model with four separate wings opening 


into a central courtyard. While the central courtyard houses a temple of the royal deity Pazhayannur Bhagavathi, the two other temples situated on either side of the palace are dedicated to Lord Krishna and Lord Shiva.

Evening Evening witness Kathakali dance performance. Enjoy India''s most spectacular Dance Drama based on stories from Ramayana and Mahabharata. The dancers are elaborately made up with paint and masks, accompanied with drummers and musicians.
Dinner & overnight stay.

Today transfer to airport to board the return flight back home.

ACCOMMODATION

Hotel Name Place Image
Radisson Blue Temple Bay Deluxe Mahabalipuram
Palais de Mahe Standard Pondicherry
Svatma Deluxe Thanjavur
Heritage Madurai Luxury Madurai
Spice Village Deluxe Thekkady
House Boat Deluxe Kumarakom
Coconut Lagoon Executive Kumarakom
Eighth Bastion Deluxe Cochin

GALLERY

MAP

14Days /13Nights