A classic itinerary that covers the best destinations that Tamil Nadu and Kerala have to offer. This tour is highly recommended for those who are visiting these south Indian states for the first time! A tour that is able to package all the features of South India that form its essence.
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Arrive Chennai – Mahabalipuram (60 Km / 2 hrs)
Upon arrival at Chennai airport, meet and assistance by our office representative, followed by transfer to the small seaside town of Mahabalipuram, the port for the Pallava kings in the 5th to 8th centuries. Check-in at Taj Fishermans Cove. Rest of the day free. Overnight stay.
Breakfast at the hotel. Along the shore lies a stunning series of temples and sculptures, carved from the living rock 1,200 years ago. Unlike many Hindu temples, the rocks show scenes of everyday life. Visit the stunning Shore temple set at the edge of the waves features an altar to the god Siva that is lit by the rising and setting sun. Go explore the Rock cut caves. Mahabalipuram has become a centre for stone carvers, and hundreds ply their trade in the streets and alleys of the old town. Overnight stay at Hotel.
Mahabalipuram-Pondicherry (100 Km / 2.5 hrs)
After breakfast Check-out from your hotel and drive to Pondicherry. On arrival check-in at your hotel Palais de Mahe. Pondicherry was colonised by the French in the 18th century, retains a quiet colonial atmosphere with wide shady streets lined with colourful stucco houses. An ongoing French presence in the town means that many local dishes are subtly fused with French ingredients and techniques Overnight stay at Hotel.
Morning after your breakfast take a visit to Auroville and understand the unique community living here based on universal harmony. You will be taken through the visitor’s centre and a few of the Auroville Units which innovatively works on paper, textile, bamboo and stones among others. Enjoy Lunch (included in package) at Solar kitchen - the community Kitchen for the inmates. See the Matri Mandir (the meditation centre) from outside. Early evening take a stroll through the French boulevard with our Storyteller. Through reminiscence of almost a century old European occupation, walk through the white town (as the French quarters is popularly known as) while our Storyteller relates the history with what you see around. Suggest visiting Baker's Street, a bakery run by a French man who sells the most delicious cheese baguettes, Rest of the day free to visit the eclectic range of restaurants, ranging from traditional vegetarian to fusion 'Pondicherry cuisine». Overnight at the hotel.
Pondicherry – Kumbakonam - Tanjore (170 Km / 4.5hrs)
Breakfast at the hotel. Later drive to another unique region of Tamil Nadu. Follow to Darasuram where you will be invited to meet the adjacent colony of silk weaver and discover the art of the Saree weaving, made out from their traditional wood machinery and tracing few generations. Stop at Kumbakonam for Lunch (included in package). Drive through Swamimalai and observe the art of making Bronze idols by Stapathis (sculptors) as per the traditional Sastras prevailed from the Chola period. Finally drive to Tanjore, former capital of the mighty Chola Empire. Later in the evening go explore the Bhrideshware temple, world heritage site. This architectural masterpiece was built by King Rajaraja I in the 11th century to celebrate a military victory. The walls of the complex are adorned by beautiful belonging to the Chola and Nayak period. Overnight stay.
Tanjore – Chettinad (100kms /2.5hrs)
After breakfast go to visit The Saraswati Mahal Library with its traditional ornate paintings, known as Tanjore paintings, back from the 16th century. The Art Gallery with its rich collection of 250 Chola Bronze statues and 150 stone statues dating from the 9th to 12th century. Drive through the plains to the unique area of Tamil Nadu known as Chettinadu. It finds itself in the UNESCO nomination for sites of historic and cultural value. Check in on arrival Enjoy the stay at the Heritage hotel. Enjoy an interactive cooking demo on the Spicy, but not Hot, Chettinadu Cuisine, followed by Dinner (Included in package). Overnight stay at hotel.
After your breakfast. Proceed for a Heritage tour to explore the elaborately decorated and unique feature of the Chettinad mansions. Visit the Chettinad Palace, built for the royal Alagappa Chettiar in 1912. Stained glass, teak, tiles, granite and wrought iron work truly makes the Chettinad Palace a work of art. Go around the village to see some of the centers making local snack called Murukku and also a small scale weaving centre. Later visit a tile factory at Athangudi. Athangudi tiles are basically cement tiles like mosaic, but unlike the machine pressed and produced mosaics, they are handmade over glass surfaces. Early evening drive to village outskirts to see the Ayyanar temple (horse temple). A place where rows of grinning and colourful terra cotta horses greet you once you enter the temple complex. Ayyanar is an ancient and regional expression of the Hindu God Shiva. These smiling horses are offerings from villagers - thanks giving for a prayer fulfilled. Overnight stay at the hotel. Overnight stay at hotel.
Morning after breakfast proceeds to Madurai. Madurai is over 2500 years old and is the second largest city of Tamil Nadu. Ancient seat of learning, the city is planned in the shape of a lotus. On route enjoy the unique opportunity to make a stop at the Madurai’s flower market, which is one of the biggest in the southern region, and transacts as much as 10 tonnes of flowers in a day. On arrival check in at your Hotel .Afternoon proceed on a sightseeing tour of Madurai. .. Visit the famous Madurai Meenakshi Temple. There are four entrances to this amazing temple complex set in six hectares. It is known as musical pillars. The total number of pillars in the temple is a staggering one thousand. Also visit Thirumalai Nayak palace. Overnight stay at hotel.
Madurai – Thekkady (140 Km / 4 hrs)
Breakfast at the hotel. Check out and drive to Thekkady, through the green mountains of the Nilgiris - rubber, tea and cardamom plantations will follow. Arrive and check in at your hotel. Go on a Spice Plantation tour - stroll around with your local guide seeing and learning more about spices. Owing to the weather Periyar is home for almost all spices seen around the world. Enjoy the awesome views of the mountains around. Back to Hotel & overnight stay.
After an early breakfast, go on a full day Bamboo rafting - a community based initiative including the tribal community. This excursion takes the participants into the remote areas of the Periyar National park through a 2hrs trek and a peaceful and relaxing bamboo rafting. This is a very good opportunity to experience the Flora and Fauna of the region. Picnic lunch will be provided during the tour. Later the day drive back to hotel for overnight stay. Optional - Dinner at 50 Mile Resturant at Spice Village. All ingredients of your meal is gathered from a radius of 50 mile! Overnight stay.
Periyar – Kumarakom (140 Km / 4 hrs)
After your breakfast at the hotel, drive down hills to Kumarakom. This town slumbers on the banks of the famous Vembanad Lake, with its majestic canals, streams and distributaries along its banks, weave an intricate and enchantingly beautiful web. The bird sanctuary close by is an ornithologist's paradise and a favourite haunt of migratory birds. Check-in at your hotel. Rest of the afternoon free to explore the Resort and its activities. Village Walks, Country Canoe ride, sunset cruise or a rejuvenating Ayurveda Massage (Payable Locally), to name a few. Overnight at your hotel.
Kumarakom – Alleppy Houseboat (45 Km / 1 hrs)
Breakfast at the hotel. By Mid day drive to Alleppey to board your Private Houseboat for an enchanting cruise through the Backwaters. These boats are a reworked version of kettuvallams of olden times -once used to carry tons of rice and spices, today are converted into comfortable floating accommodation. Cruise through the palm fringed canals enjoying the beauty of rural village life. A sumptuous Keralan Meal is served on board. The trip continues through a wonderful area of the lush green vegetation of Kerala backwaters. Tea and Local snacks are served. Dinner and Overnight stay on Board (All meals are included today)
Alleppy - Cochin (65 Km / 2 hrs)
Wake up to the tunes of Birds, Breakfast on Board, Cruise further, Disembark and Proceed to Cochin. Cochin - the Queen of Arabian Sea, undoubtedly the Commercial hub of Kerala, where ancient civilization gracefully mingles with the modern life. On arrival visit the Jewish Synagogue at the heart of what is locally called the Jew Town, and finally the Dutch Palace with its beautiful mural paintings from the 17th century. Continue through the small streets of Mattanchery, and arrive at the Fruit market on Palace road where locals get a variety of fresh and organic produces at bargains prices. Don’t miss a stop at the Spice Market, where exotic odour of the finest ginger, cloves, cardamom, turmeric and pepper emanate from the spice warehouses lining the street and fills it. Make a pause at one of the tea shops –to experience the “one meter” Tea. Enjoy Lunch at a Cafe Restaurant (included in package). Then take a tuk tuk– the most popular mode of transport among the localities Go along with your local tour and stop at the Dhobi Khana (laundry station), once throbbing with activity, it is now a picture of slow extinction. During a walking tour later, visit of the famous Chinese Fishing Nets of Cochin. The huge cantilevered Chinese fishing nets that droop towards the waters like over-sized hammocks, have become a hallmark that represents Fort Kochi on every postcard... Next visit is at the St. Francis CSI Church, the oldest European church in India built in 1503, where the Portuguese explorer Vasco de Gama was originally buried and the Santa Cruz Basilica, one of the finest and imposing churches in India. Check in at the hotel Rest of the day free to explore the Colonial Town. Overnight stay.
After breakfast transfer to the Kochi International airport to connect your flight back home.
|Tour Start Date||Tour End Date||Availability|
|Supplements||Price / person|
|Single room supplement||₹76,800.00|
|Date Start||Date End||Discount|
Transportation as per itinerary by chauffeur driven air conditioned vehicles
Guided Ethnic tour in Cochin with Cafe Lunch
Local English Speaking Guides for the sightseeing of Mahabalipuram, Kumbakonam, Tanjore, Madurai and Thekkady.
Breakfast at all places and other meals s specified in the Itinerary.
Assistance on arrival and departure
Services of a Storyteller in Pondichery
Guided Visit to Auroville with Lunch at Community Kitchen
Entrance charges at the monuments as covered in the Itinerary
All currently applicable taxes
Lunch at Kumbakonam
Bamboo Rafting in Periyar
Accommodation on twin sharing basis at all hotels mentioned or similar
Overnight cruising by Private House boat on Full Board
Any other items not covered under inclusions
International/Domestic flight charges and Visa/Insurance charges, if any
Expenses of personal nature such as porterage, laundry, telephones, tipping etc.
|Location||Hotel||Nights||Meal plan / Room type|
|Mahabalipuram||Taj Fishermans Cove||2||Breakfast Only|
|Pondicherry||Palais De Mahe||2||Breakfast and Lunch|
|Tanjore||Svatma||1||Breakfast and Lunch|
|Chettinad||The Visalam||2||Breakfast and Dinner|
|Madurai||Taj Gateway||1||Breakfast Only|
|Thekkady||Spice Village||2||Breakfast Only|
|Kumarakom||Coconut Lagoon||1||Breakfast Only|
|Alleppey||Marvel Cruise||1||All Meals|
|Kochi||Brunton Boatyard||1||Breakfast and Lunch|