South India - Land of Temples
14 Nights/ 15 Days 
Chennai – Mahabalipuram – Pondicherry – Tanjore – Chetinadu –  Madurai –  Munnar –  Kumarakom – Houseboat  – Cochin
 
Detailed Tour Itinerary

Day 01:

Arrive Chennai

  •  Arrive Chennai

  •  Transfer to the hotel

  •  Overnight at hotel 

 

Your South India travel package begins with an arrival into Chennai, where you will be met at the airport by our representative and transferred to the hotel and assisted with check in formalities. 


Overnight at Hotel.

Day 02:

Chennai – Kancheepuram - Mahabalipuram (Drive: 01 Hrs approx)

  • Breakfast at hotel 

  • Half day City tour of Chennai 

  • Drive to Mahabalipuram 

  • Enroute visit Kanchipuram 

  • Check-in at hotel 

  • Evening free.

  • Overnight at hotel. 

After breakfast you will visit Chennai, Some of the major attractions include Birla Planetarium, Elliot Beach, Anna Zoological Park, Kalakshetra, Valluvar Kottam, Santhome Cathedral, National Art and Government Museum, and the Theosophical Society.  
Afternoon you will drive to Mahabalipuram. EnRouté you will visit Kancheepuram, The most significant temple in Kanchipuram is the Ekambareswarar Temple, dedicated  to none other than Lord Shiva! Shiva is worshipped here as Ekambareswarar, Prithvi Lingam symbolizing earth - one of the five primordial elements (wind, water, earth, fire and space).  Parvati does have her own exclusive temple! In the Kamakshi Amman Temple, the goddess is enshrined as Kamakshi, the seductive goddess of love. The two other temples worthy of attention are dedicated to Vishnu. Vardhamana Perumal is a major Vaishnava shrine in a region over run by Shiva temples. Legend tells us that the shrine to Vishnu commemorates the spot where Brahma performed a yajna to invoke the presence of Vishnu. Bronze idols of Vishnu and his consorts preside over the temple whose architecture features elements from 12th century Chola and 16th century Vijayanagar styles. The other temple dedicated to Vishnu is the Vaikuntha Perumal Temple, nearly as old as the Kailashnatha Temple. Three different idols of Vishnu in standing, sitting and reclining positions are the premier idols of this temple. 
 Mahabalipuram is a world famous heritage site known for its monolith shore temples which dates back to centuries.  
On arrival in Mahabalipuram check-in at hotel.  


Evening at leisure. 
Overnight at Hotel. (Breakfast)

Day 03:

In Mahabalipuram

  • Breakfast at hotel

  • Visit of Mahalbalipuram

  • Check-in at hotel

  • Overnight at hotel

 

After breakfast explore the shore temples of Mahabalipuram and its other attractions. Some of the major attractions include the Pancha Rathas( Five Rathas ) which are named after Pandavas (Yudhishtra, Bhima, Arjuna, Nakula and Sahadeva) as well as Draupadi. Do not miss visiting the Varaha Cave Temple which is a rock-cut temple, Arjuna's penance, descent of Ganges which is an open-air bas relief and the Thirukadalmallai temple which is dedicated to Lord Vishnu. This place has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

 

Evening free to Relax.

 

Overnight at hotel.  (Breakfast)

Day 04:

Mahabalipuram – Pondicherry (Drive: 2 hours approx.)

  • Breakfast at hotel

  • Drive to Pondicherry

  • Check-in at hotel

  • City Tour of Pondicherry

  • Overnight at hotel

 

After breakfast drive to Pondicherry. Upon arrival, check in to the hotel.

Pondicherry, the 18th Century was founded by the French and only in the early 50s, part of the Indian Union. Visit the Sacred Heart Church and a paper factory. The only remnant of the French past the red Kepis and belts of police officers, the great French General Consulate, which determines, together with the Town Hall, the waterfront promenade. One might think that one is here on a French Mediterranean town. Stroll along the promenade.

Afternoon half day city tour of Pondicherry. Places to visit include:  Gingee Fort, Pondicherry Museum.
Also of interest is one of Sri Aurobindo Ashram, which was the Bengali poet and philosopher Sri Aurobindo founded in 1912. He wanted to devote himself to building a world in Pondicherry valid religious synthesis. Today, people from all over the world practice of mental concentration. The ashram consists of several buildings and each is open to the public. The programs for the scientific and cultural activities in compiling the Auroville Society.

 

Overnight at Hotel. (Breakfast)

Day 05:

Pondicherry – Chidambaram – Kumbakonam – Tanjore (Drive: 4 hours approx.)

  • Breakfast at hotel

  • Drive to Tanjore

  • En route visit Chidambaram and Kumbakonam

  • Check-in at hotel.

  • Overnight at hotel

 

After breakfast check out from hotel & drive to Thanjavur.  En route, visit of Chidambaram and Kumbakonam.

Chidambaram is an important destination for followers of the Hindu god Shiva and exponent of the fearsome, frenzied Tandav Nritya or the dance of destruction, At the centre of the town is the large Natraj Temple complex dedicated to Shiva as the divine dancer or Natraj, the foremost of all dancers.

Kumbakonam, a picturesque temple town located in Tanjavur District of Tamil Nadu, is known for its age old temples including famous Kumbeswarar and Sarangapani temples. Kumbakonam literally means the place of pot (Kumbam). This beautiful town is naturally set between the rivers Cauvery and Arasalar. This city was the capital of the historically important Chola dynasty ruled the region during the medieval period.

After visit 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,

 

Overnight at Hotel. (Breakfast)

Day 06:

Tanjore – Chetinadu (Drive: 3 hours approx.)

  • Breakfast at hotel

  • Visit of Tanjore

  • Drive to Karaikudi

  • Check-in at hotel.

  • Overnight at hotel

After breakfast, visits of Thanjavur, Places to visit include Brihadeeswarar temple, Palace, Schwartz church.

Brahadeeswara temple built by the great chola king, Rajaraja Cholan, during the 11th century. The Brahadeeswara Temple, also known as the Big Temple, is one of UNESCO World Heritage Sites, completed in 1010 AD and dedicated to Lord Shiva. The temple entrance has an imposing gateway on the east, on either sides of which stand two small shrines dedicated to Ganapathi and Murugan and further through there is another Gopuram 90 feet high. This way leads into an outer court.

 

Afternoon check out from the hotel and start your drive to Chetinadu. Upon arrival, check in to the hotel.

 

Evening free to relax.

 

Overnight at Hotel. (Breakfast)

Day 07:

Chetinadu - Madurai (Drive: 2 hours approx.)

  • Breakfast at hotel

  • Visit Chetinadu village

  • Check-out from hotel

  • Drive to Madurai

  • Check-in at hotel

  • Overnight at hotel

 

After Breakfast visit Chettinad, Chettinad is rich in cultural heritage, art and architecture, and is well known for its houses, embellished with marble and Burma teak, wide courtyards, spacious rooms, and for its 18th century mansions. Local legend has it that their walls used to be polished with a paste made out of egg whites to give a smooth texture. After breakfast sightseeing of Chettinad. Places to visit include The huge country homes of the Chettiars, Chettinad museum.

Afternoon drive to Madurai, it is situated on the banks of Vaigai River. This city is more than 2500 years old and was and important cultural and commercial centre even as early as 550 A. D. when the Pandvas made it their capital. Modern Madurai is a burgeoning industrial centre even though the vast stretches of lush paddy fields.

 

Upon arrival check-in at hotel.

 

Evening free.

 

Overnight at hotel.

Day 08:

In Madurai

  • Breakfast at hotel

  • Visit Madurai.

  • Evening visit of Sri Meenakshi Temple.

  • Overnight at hotel

 

After breakfast city tour of Madurai. Places to visit include Meenakshi temple, Thirumalai Nayak Palace, Teppakulam.

 

Meenakshi Amman Temple is the holy temple of hindus located in the city of Madurai in southern India. It is a vast temple of Lord Shiva and Goddess parvati. It is the best temple in which both God and Goddess are worshipped together. It is the life line of the country, especially southern India as Lord shiva is the highly worshiped god of the country. It has its foundation way back in the 2500 AD.

 

According to the mythology, Lord shiva visited Madurai to marry Parvati and it has been the sacred abode of Goddess Parvarti since her birth. The wonderful architecture of the place is amongst the seven wonders of the world and the construction is highly minute with great art piece incorporated the walls and pillars of the temple.

 

Thirumalai Nayak Mahal was constructed way back in the 17th century. Several buildings and temples had been constructed by him in the region and they have been splendid piece of construction. It was constructed by kings of muslim dynasty which covered several regions of coimbatore, Madurai districts and other few places in southern Tamil Nadu. It is a great piece of art and all of the sculptures are encarved in the Madurai style.

 

Teppakulam tank about 5 kms east of the Meenakshi temple. The mandapam in the centre has an idol of Vigneshwara (Vinayaka). This tank was said to have been dug by Tirumala Nayaka. It is the biggest tank of its kind in Tamil Nadu and one of the most imposing sights of Madurai when it is full of water.The vinayaka idol was found when the earth was being dug out from here to build the Thirumalai Nayakkar Mahal. So, the place attained sanctity and was converted into a teppakulam (tank).

 

At late evening, attend the evening ceremony at Meenakshi temple.

 

Overnight at Hotel. (Breakfast)

Day 09:

Madurai – Munnar (Drive: 4 hours approx.)

  • Breakfast at hotel

  • Drive to Munnar

  • Check-in at hotel

  • Day at Leisure 

  • Overnight at hotel

 

After Breakfast at the hotel drive to Munnar.  Upon arrival, Check into the hotel.

 

Munnar is a magnificent hill station in the Western Ghats at about 5000 feet above sea level. This is one of the best hill stations in Kerala and is the major centre of Kerala's tea industry. Munnar means three rivers and the town is located at the confluence of 3 mountain streams - Muthirapuzha, Nallathanni and Kundala. These 3 stream confluence at the heart of the town and meet all the water requirements of the settlers and visitors. Munnar has lakes, forests and several tea estates. Anaimudi, the highest peak in South India (2695 m/8883 ft.) is nearby. Munnar was the British Government's Summer Resort in the South and it has been the favorite summer resort of the European sellers for centuries.

 

Day at Leisure to enjoy the plantations.

 

Overnight at Hotel. (Breakfast)

Day 10:

In Munnar

  • Breakfast at hotel

  • City Tour of Munnar

  • Overnight at hotel

 

Today you will visit the local tea estates and museum with your guide.

 

Tata Tea Museum –that houses photographs and machinery, each depicting a turning point that contributed to the flourishing tea industry. Some of the items on display include the original tea roller, the 'Rotorvane,' dating back to 1905; the 'Pelton Wheel' used in the power generation plant that existed in the 1920s. Thereafter proceed to Mattupetty which is an artificial lake built by a small hydroelectric project and Echo Point.

 

Return back to the hotel for an overnight stay.

 

Overnight at Hotel. (Breakfast)

Day 11:

Munnar – Kumarakom (Drive: 4 hours approx.)

  • Breakfast at hotel

  • Drive to Kumarakom

  • Check-in at hotel.

  • Day at Leisure

  • Overnight at hotel

 

After leisurely breakfast, check out from the hotel and start your drive to Kumarakom.

 

Kumarakom: The enchanting backwater destination of Kumarakom is a small village that is a cluster of little islands on the Vembanad Lake in Kerela. Kumarkom strengthens Kerala’s reputation for being God’s own country with its unbelievably beautiful mangrove forests, coconut groves and emerald green paddy fields interspersed with enchanting waterways and canals adorned with while lillies. It is part of the Kuttanad region, and the bird sanctuary here spread across 14 acres of any ornithologist's paradise. This enchanting backwater destination offers visitors many leisure options. From wandering into the depths of its wildlife sanctuary to cruising down the back waters and fishing, Kumarkom is perfect for a lazy and laid back holiday. The best way to watch the birds of the Kumarakom sanctuary is a boat trip round the islands, as hundreds of swaying verdant coconut palms lining the rivers lean to brush the tops of your heads. Kumarkom is an example of nature at her bountiful best in the fragrant flowers, the riot of multi coloured birds, the surrounding greenery and the clear waters.

 

On arrival in Kumarakom, check in at the hotel. Spend rest of the day enjoying the resort’s facilities & Backwaters.  

 

Overnight at Hotel. (Breakfast)

Day 12:

Kumarakom – Alleppey (Houseboat)

  • Breakfast at hotel

  • Board the house-boat

  • Meals & Overnight on board Houseboat.

 

After leisurely breakfast, board your private house boat for an overnight stay.

House Boat - A highlight of any holiday in Kerala is a night spent onboard a houseboat, or a rice barge. These converted rice barges or "Kettuvallams" sail along shallow, palm-fringed lakes and narrow canals where coconut and cashew is loaded onto dugouts. You pass villages built on narrow spits of land, stopping to visit local markets, or to marvel at craftsmen engaged in centuries-old boat-making tradition. The boats offer one or two cabins with a small sitting room and a crew of 2 staff and a chef. The food is authentic Kerala cuisine, purchased fresh along the way. For most of the journey, the boat is poled, sailing only between dawn and dusk. Although the accommodation on board is basic, this is an unforgettable experience.

 

Meals and overnight on board Houseboat. (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner)

Day 13:

Alleppey – Cochin (Drive: 3 hours approx.)

  • Breakfast on board the house-boat

  • Disembark the houseboat and drive to Kovalam

  • Arrive Cochin

  • Transfer to the hotel

  • Day at Leisure

  • Overnight at hotel

 

After breakfast, disembark the houseboat in Alleppey and drive to Cochin.

 

Rest of the day at Leisure.

 

Cochin: - Cochin means harbour and even before the building of Ancient Rome, spices, silks, ivory and sandalwood were traded here. Cochin proudly boasts a rich cultural heritage, but is also one of the most fast-paced and modern cities in India. It is also one of the finest natural harbours of the world and a major Indian port. It is its charm and a relatively good infrastructure that make it the ideal gateway to the state. This has been the case since 1341, the year nature carved out Cochin's harbor with a massive flood. As a result, Cochin became the first port of call for Arabs and came to be known as the "Queen of the Arabian Sea." This city offers visitors Forts, palaces, museums, old churches, cool backwaters; palm fringed lagoons, beaches and the practicality of a contemporary metro.

 

Overnight at Hotel. (Breakfast)

Day 14:

In Cochin

  • Breakfast at hotel

  • Full day City tour of Cochin

  • Evening enjoy the Kathakali dances

Overnight at hotel

 

After breakfast, you will be picked up from your hotel and taken for a guided sightseeing tour of Cochin.  Tour includes visits to the following places of interest:

Dutch Palace (Mattancherry Palace): The Mattancherry Palace was built by the Portuguese in 1557 and presented to the Maharaja of Cochin, Veera Kerala Varma (1537-61), as a gesture of goodwill. It was substantially renovated by the Dutch after 1663, hence it’s other name, the 'Dutch Palace'. The most important feature of this palace, however are the astonishing murals in the bedchambers and other rooms, which depict scenes from the Ramayana, Mahabharata and Puranic legends connected with Shiva, Vishnu, Krishna, Kumara and Durga. These murals are undoubtedly some of the most beautiful and extensive to be seen anywhere in India.

The Jewish synagogue- The synagogue, magnificently decorated by Chinese tiles and Belgian chandeliers, was built in 1568. Giant scrolls of the Old Testament can be found here. It is located near the Dutch Palace.

 

 St Francis church - It is the oldest church built by European in India. On his 3rd visit to Kerala, Vasco da Gama, the Portugese trader who reached India from Europe by sea, fell ill and died in Kochi. He was buried in the St. Francis Church. Later his remains were taken back to Portugal. In spite of that the exact place where he was buried has been marked out inside the church.

Cochin Harbor: Cochin harbor terminus where the Chinese fishing nets present a wonderful sight. The Chinese fishing nets found here are the only ones of its kind in India. It is believed that traders from the court of the Chinese ruler Kublai Khan introduced these nets here.

Later in the evening you will be picked up and taken to a Kathakali dance performance at a local theatre. Kathakali is a traditional dance form, depicting Indian epics (Ramayana and Mahabharata). The dancers are dressed in very colorful and elaborate costumes. Their faces are painted to depict various characters of these epics. This dance has a lot of facial expressions and brisk, yet articulate body movements.

 

Overnight at Hotel. (Breakfast)

Day 15:

Cochin Departure Depart

Early Morning you will be transfer to airport to board the flight to next destination and Your tour ends with sweet memories of India.

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