Incredible Southern India

India
  • Code: IND-STH-001

    Incredible Southern India

    Summary

    14 Day Tour Programme

    A 14 Day Tour programme that can be arranged as an exclusive tour for your travel party and covers two of Southern India's most significant states - Kerala and Tamil Nadu. Incredible Southern India explores both the natural beauty of the country and its rich cultural heritage. Your journey starts in commercial capital of Kerala - Cochin, and finishes in the cultural capital of sourthern India - Chennai.

    During your journey through Kerala you will experience both tranquility and the natural beauty of the landscapes that this wonderful state offers as you pass through tea estates, spice plantations and beautiful beaches. You have the opportunity to unwind your mind and body by experiencing the widely available Ayurvedic therapies.

    During your tour of Tamil Nadu you will visit some of the oldest Hindu temples of the Dravidian culture as well as the shore temples of the former French Colony of Mahabalipuram.

    Throughout the tour you will experience the mouthwatering range of food available in both Kerala and Tamil Nadu.

    The tour highlights include:

    - (Total 29 Meals)13 Breakfasts, 13 Dinners & 3 Lunches as per the itinerary

    - All entrance fees to visited historic sites

    - The services of an English speaking guide ( for parties of 1-5 people you are provided with local guides and for parties of six and above a tour escort throughout)

    - A harbour cruise in Cochin

    - A Kathakali dance show in Cochin

    - A visit to the famous Jewish Synagogue in Cochin

    - Guided tour of a spice plantation in Cochin

    - Guided jungle walk at Thekkday National Park

    - Boat ride at Thekkady National Park

    - Overnight in a private air conditioned deluxe houseboat with onboard personal chef

    - Visit to the beautiful beach of Kovalam

    - (Optional) Experience Ayurvedic Massage therapies available at your resort in Kovalam.

    - Visit to the southerly tip of mainland India, Cape Cameorin popularly known as Kanyakumari

    - Visit to the famous Meenakshi Temple in Madurai

    - Entrance to the exquisite Temples of Tanjore

    - Experience the culture in Pondicherry the only place in India where French is still popular

    - Visit the world Heritage site shore temples of Mahabalipuram

    Day 01 - Arrive in Cochin

    You are greeted with a warm traditional welcome and transferred to your hotel. Following your arrival the remaining day is personal leisure time.

    Overnight: Casino Hotel (2 Nights)

    Incredible Southern India

    Day 02 - Cochin

    Your morning tour of Cochin, the commercial capital of Kerala, starts with a visit to the oldest European Church in India - the St. Francis church. This church held the bones of Vasco De Gama before his remains were taken back to Portugal. From here you are taken to the Santa Cruz cathedral built by the Portuguese in the 16th century which is famous for its beautiful ceiling painting.

    Later you are taken to the Jewish Quarter to visit its famous synagogue, and the Dutch palace built by the Portuguese and later given to the Raja of Cochin. A boat cruise takes you to the Bolghatty Palace to see the fascinating Chinese fishing nets in action.

    In the evening you enjoy a Kathakali dance performance. This is a creative interpretation of a play, usually based on the Hindu epics of Ramayana, Mahabharata and Puranas, and employs a unique combination of literature, music, painting, acting and dance.

    Incredible Southern India

    Day 03 - Cochin - Thekkady (Drive: 195 km / 5 hrs)

    After breakfast at your hotel, you are driven to Thekkady, where you check-in at your hotel before exploring the area.

    Thekkady is home to the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary which covers 777 sq km and is notable for its diversity of wildlife and beautiful scenery.

    After lunch at your hotel, you are taken to visit a spice plantation, where you can see some of the locally produced spices being prepared - these include cardamom, pepper, ginger, turmeric, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and tea.

    You are returned to your hotel for dinner and overnight stay at the Thekkady Wild Corridor (dinner and breakfast)

    Incredible Southern India

    Day 04 - Thekkady

    You day starts with a jungle walk at the Periyar Wild life sanctuary before returning to your hotel for breakfast. In the afternoon you are taken on a boat cruise across Lake Periyar where you will see the amazing local wildlife visiting the banks of the lake. Visitors typically see a range of wildlife including wild boars, sambars, langur monkeys, wild elephants. Local birds include darter, grey heron, egret and kingfisher.

    The evening is free personal time to explore the local bazaars in Thekkday where you will be able to purchase locally grown spices.

    You are returned to your hotel for dinner and overnight stay at the Thekkady Wild Corridor (dinner and breakfast)

    Incredible Southern India

    Day 05 - Thekkady - Kumarakom (drive 150 km / 3.5 hrs)

    Kumarakom is an unbelievably beautiful paradise of mangrove forests, emerald green paddy fields and coconut groves, interspersed with enchanting waterways and canals that are adorned with white lilies.

    On your arrival in Kumarakom, you board a traditional houseboat (Kettuvallam) and begin your journey through the picturesque backwaters and small lakes of the Vembanad Lake. You are able to relax in the tranquility of Kerala's beautiful scenery and sample the local way of life.

    Your lunch, dinner and overnight stay is spent on your well appointed houseboat.

    Incredible Southern India

    Day 06 Alleppey - Kovalam: (drive: 175 km / 4 hrs)

    Your day starts with breakfast on board your Kettuvallam before sailing to Alleppey and disembarking at Puthenagady Jetty.

    A scenic drive takes you to the beautiful Kovalam Beach on the Malabar Coast near Trivandrum.

    The palm-fringed bays and secluded coconut groves provide the perfect scenery for a relaxing stay.

    Overnight stay is at the Uday Samudra Beach Hotel (dinner and breakfast).

    Incredible Southern India

    Day 07 Agra - Kovalam

    This is a day for personal time to relax on the beach. (Breakfast, Dinner)

    Overnight stay is at the Uday Samudra Beach Hotel (dinner and breakfast).

    Incredible Southern India

    Day 08 - Kovalam - Kanyakumari - Madurai (Drive 250 km / 7 hrs)

    After breakfast you leave for Madurai, and en-route visit Kanyakumari - the "Lands End" of India.

    Kanyakumari is the southernmost tip of mainland India where the waters of the Bay of Bengal, the Indian Ocean and the Arabian Sea meet. You visit the Temple of the Goddess Kumari.

    After lunch you continue our onward journey to Madurai. On arrival, you check into your hotel.

    Overnight stay is at the Hotel Sangam (dinner, breakfast and lunch).

    Incredible Southern India

    Day 09 - Madurai

    Madurai situated in southern Tamil Nadu is the second largest city in Tamil Nadu and is an important cultural and commercial centre.

    At the heart of the city you will see the Meenakshi Temple, with its baroque example of Dravidian architecture and the four tall gopurams (pillars) displaying multicolored gods, goddesses, demons and deities.

    The city dates back over 2,000 years when it was the capital of the Pandyas. The most interesting feature of the temple is the Hall of a Thousand Pillars - some of which sound like metal when hit with an object.

    Other places of interest include the Tirumalai Nayaka Temple and the Temple Art Museum.

    Overnight stay is at the Hotel Sangam (dinner and breakfast).

    Incredible Southern India

    Day 10 - Madurai - Tanjore (Drive 195 km / 4 hrs)

    In the morning after breakfast you are driven to Thanjavur, popularly known as Tanjore, to visit the famous Brihadishwara Temple and its sprawling palace complex.

    Thanjavur is famous for its distinctive representations of deities - using a combination of raised and painted surfaces. "Krishna" is the most popular deity depicted, and in the Tanjore School his skin is white, rather than the traditional blue-black.

    Tanjore was the ancient capital of the Chola Kings whose origins go back to the beginning of the Christian era. Your afternoon tour of the World Heritage Site of Tanjore includes the Shri Brihadishwara temple built by "Raja-Raja" in 1010, which is the crowning glory of Chola temple architecture. The temple is set in spacious grounds and has several pillared halls and shrines. Inscriptions record the names of dancers, musicians and poets and is a reminder of the significance of this area to the development of the arts.

    You end your tour of Tanjore with a visit to the Tanjore Palace and Museum which has an eclectic collection of regal memorabilia most of it dating from the early 19th century.

    Overnight stay is at the Hotel Sangam (dinner and breakfast).

    Incredible Southern India

    Day 11 - Tanjore - Pondicherry (Drive 150 km / 4 hrs)

    In the morning after breakfast you are driven to Pondicherry on the Coromandel Coast of South India, about 160 kms south of Chennai. Pondicherry traces its origin to Saint Agasthya, the revered sage of the south. It was also the site of many battles between the British and the French, and was the capital of French India before it attained its independence.

    As a small and quiet enclave of Tamil Nadu, Pondicherry offers excellent restaurants and the famous Aurobindo Ashram. The ashram was founded by Sri Aurobindo in 1926 and has become internationally renown.

    Tours of the ashram, the spiritual tenets of which combine yoga and modern science, are popular within India and abroad.

    Overnight stay is at the Hotel Atithi (dinner and breakfast).

    Incredible Southern India

    Day 12 - Pondicherry - Mahabalipuram - Chennai (Drive 160 km / 4-5 hrs)

    After breakfast you are driven to the World Heritage site of Mahabalipuram. This is a group of sanctuaries was carved by the Pallava kings, out of rock along the Coromandel Coast in the 7th and 8th centuries. It is known especially well known for its Rathas (temples in the form of chariots), Mandapas (cave sanctuaries), giant open-air reliefs such as the famous 'Descent of the Ganges', and the temple of Rivage, with thousands of sculptures to the glory of Shiva.

    After lunch, you continue your journey to Chennai where you have personal time following your hotel checkin.

    Overnight stay is at The Pride (dinner and breakfast).

    Incredible Southern India

    Day 13 - Chennai

    Your tour of Chennai starts with The National Art Gallery and Museum. The museum was established in 1857 and contains one of the best collections of bronze statues in the country, including the famous icon of Natraja. You next stop is at St. Mary's Church. Built in 1680, this was first English Church in Chennai and it is India's oldest surviving British church.

    You are then taken to visit to Peoples Park and the beautiful Marina Beach, the second longest beach in the world.

    Overnight stay is at The Pride (dinner and breakfast).

    Incredible Southern India

    Day 14 - Chennai

    This is a day for personal time. An evening farewell dinner is available before you are transferred to the airport.

    Prices

    Please contact us for more information quoting

    code: IND-STH-001

    Price (excluding international flights):

    Two people sharing from £1105 per person



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