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South India Tropical Discovery South India Tropical Discovery South India Tropical Discovery South India Tropical Discovery South India Tropical Discovery South India Tropical Discovery

South India Tropical Discovery

$1670
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Route : Chennai - Mahabalipuram - Pondicherry - Chidambaram - Kumbakonam - Thanjavur - Tanjore - Madurai - Munnar - Kumarakom - Mararikulam - Kochi -

Our comprehensive tour of the two southernmost states of India – Tamil Nadu and Kerala will be etched in your memory – long after its over. Serenade the waters of the Coromandel Coast, which have inspired many a heroic tale and poem or explore the historic cities of Chennai and Mahabalipuram, the latter also a World Heritage Site famed for its rock cut temples and exquisite carvings. Soak in the charms of Pondicherry with its distinct French colonial atmosphere and awaken your spiritual soul by visits to Auroville and Sri Aurobindo Ashram. Marvel at the fascinating temples of Dravidian India whose sculptors tell you their story through lavish stone sculptures – the highlight of ancient Chola architecture. You end your stay in this historic state with a visit to Madurai – one of the oldest cities of India. Here you have time to visit its vibrant bazaars and popular spice markets. Your intoxicating journey continues into God’s Own Country – Kerala! Catch a much-needed cup of tea in South India’s largest tea growing region –Munnar and relax in the serene backwaters. Feel the warmth of the sun on a rice barge that takes you through tiny villages that thrive amidst tall coconut trees, tropical lagoons and lakes. Dance with the waves on the beaches of the picturesque Malabar coast and leave your footprints in the sands of time. Savor some delectable Malabar cuisine and let your taste buds flirt with the spices the region is famous for. Finally, stroll amongst the charming residences of Cochin and delightful little streets of Jew Town, with its fragrant spice warehouses, and remarkable synagogue. And what better way to end this wonderful journey than by watching the mesmerizing Kathakali dancers as they enthrall you with their magnificent dance-dramas!

Highlights :

– Experience the ancient city of Chennai which was once the center of prehistoric civilization.
– Explore the monuments including churches and forts built by the British East India Company.
– Visit the rock-cut temples of Mahabalipuram which are UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
– Arrive Pondicherry and witness the French colonial atmosphere with a touch of spirituality.
– Immerse in the tranquility of spirituality of Auroville the City of Dawn, an experimental neighborhood founded for people of all origins and persuasions to live in peace and harmony.
– Explore Thanjavur, earlier known as Tanjore, the capital of Chola Empire from 10th to 14th century and visit Kumbakonam, a city known as Cambridge of South India.
– Visit the alive and bustling temple of Meenakshi, located in the heart of Madurai.
– Stroll in the Western Ghats of Munnar to wind up through the rapidly changing vegetation, cardamom and tea plantation.
– Take a 45 minutes’ trek, passing through the pleasant tea gardens with backdrop of rolling hills.
– Drive to the beautiful Alleppey, famous for backwaters, washed by the silvery waves of Arabian Sea and spend some incredible moments in the houseboat.
– Visit the fishing village, Maraikulam, owing vast sandy beaches and swaying palms.
– Drive to Kochi, also known as Queen of the Arabian Sea, the finest natural harbor in the world.
– Visit Mattancherry Palace (Dutch Palace), old trading area of Jew Town and witness Kathakali dance.
15 Days
06+ Age
  • Destination
  • Arrival
    Chennai
  • Arrival Time
    Midnight or Late night
  • Final Departure
    Kochi
  • Dress Code
    Casual, comfortable, Light and Casual Kochi

Tour Itinerary : - South India Tropical Discovery

1

Day 1: Arrive Chennai

Arrive at Chennai International airport. After completing the immigration and customs, proceed towards the arrival area. Meeting and assistance on arrival with a traditional welcome of garlanding and transfer to the hotel (the room being held from 1400 hrs).
Earlier known as Madras, Chennai is the capital of Tamil Nadu state and serves as the gateway to the sunny South. The city is also known for being a center of prehistoric civilization which was rich in heritage with impressive architecture, sculpture and fine arts. This site has stood firm against all modern advancements and development to a certain degree. Even today, one can still feel the old-world charm which appeals immediately to the visitors.
Overnight in Chennai
2

Day 2: Chennai

This morning after leisurely breakfast, we set off to explore the city of Chennai. The highlights of the visits are – Fort St. George Museum, Saint George’s Cathedral, St. Andrews Kirk and San Thome Church.
Madras was made an early seat of power in India by the British East India Company and started constructing Fort St George in 1650. At present, the fort building serves as the Government Secretariat of Tamil Nadu Government as well as the Legislative Assembly.
St Mary’s Church was consecrated in 1680 which is the earliest building built by the British in India; the building was also the first Anglican Church in the east.
Fort St George Museum houses some interesting crafts and items which belong to the early days of the colonial era and East India Company. These items include weapons, coins, books, pictures, etc. St Andrew’s Kirk (which resembles London’s St Martin-in-the-Fields) and St George’s Cathedral are two beautiful churches which still hold Sunday services on a regular basis.
There is an Ice Factory located in Marina Beach which was constructed in 1842. The factory was made for storing ice which was imported from America. Later, the factory was used as home for the widows. San Thome Church is linked with Apostle St Thomas. Legend has it that the Apostle was martyred on St Thomas’ Mount. This church enshrines his remains.
Overnight in Chennai
3

Day 3: Chennai – Mahabalipuram 70 km/about 2 hrs

This morning after a leisurely breakfast drive to Mahabalipuram- the small seaside village of Mahabalipuram was once the main port of the Pallava Dynasty from the 5th to 9th centuries. The village has India’s some of the finest rock-cut temples which are known for their incredible carvings. UNESCO has declared these temples as a World Heritage Site.
We stop en route for the visit of the Dakshina Chitra Museum (closed on Tuesday).
Later in the afternoon, we explore the small village of Mahabalipuram - visiting Arjuna’s Penance, The Mandapas, The Ratha. The Shore Temple which is located by the seaside is encircled by gardens which were designed as per the descriptions of original layout which are mentioned in the ancient texts in Mahabalipuram.
Overnight in Mahabalipuram
4

Day 4: Mahabalipuram – Pondicherry (120 km/about 3 hrs)

This morning after a leisurely breakfast drive to Pondicherry with its distinct French colonial atmosphere is a beautiful settlement with a strong spiritual element.
On arrival, check into the hotel. This afternoon is at leisure.
Overnight in Pondicherry
5

Day 5: Pondicherry

This morning after leisurely breakfast, we set out to explore the town of Pondicherry - the French ruled this territory for 300 years and today it remains as a living monument of the French culture in India located on the Coromandel Coast of the Bay of Bengal.
We visit Auroville (City of Dawn), an experimental neighbourhood founded by Ms. Mirra Richards also known as ‘Mother.’ Auroville was created as a universal town where men and women of all persuasions and origins are meant to live in peace and harmony above all creeds, politics and nationalities.
Also visit the Sri Aurobindo Ashram founded by Sri Aurobindo, a Bengal revolutionary and philosopher who struggled bitterly for freedom against the British Empire.
Overnight in Pondicherry
6

Day 6: Pondicherry – Chidambaram – Kumbakonam – Thanjavur 200 km/about 6 hrs

This morning after early breakfast, we proceed to Thanjavur - Earlier known as Tanjore, the city from 10th to 14th centuries enjoyed the status of being capital of Chola Empire.
We stop en route to visit the fascinating temples of Chidambaram, GangaiKonda Cholapuram and Kumbakonam. Dedicated to Lord Shiva, Chidambaram Temple is amongst the most visited Hindu temples, located in the heart of Chidambaram. Talking about its history, the temple has undergone several renovations – the one, in particular, is the renovation carried out during the Pallava/Chola dynasty in ancient as well as pre-medieval periods.
After the visit, we proceed to our next (drive for an hour) to the ancient town of Gangai Konda Cholapuram. This was the capital of the Cholas until their fall in the 13th century. The Gangai Konda Cholapuram Temple was built in the 11th century in Chola architecture style adorned with stone sculptures which include Ganesha in dancing form and much more.
Later, we visit the town of Kumbakonam, referred to as the Cambridge of South India. Kumbakonam is famous for the temples which are rich in intricate carvings, panchaloha idols, splendid brass wares including lamps and silks. This town is named after Lord Aaadhi Kumbeshwarar. Kumbakonam and Kancheepuram are known as silk producers. One will find temples in every street, locality and road.
After the visit, we continue the drive to Thanjavur
Overnight in Thanjavur
7

Day 7: Tanjore

This morning, after a leisurely breakfast, visit the Brihadeshwara Temple, a UNESCO World Heritage Site also called the ‘Big Temple.’ The main shrine of this temple is Lord Brihadeeswarar (Shiva). The Shiva Linga of Brihadeeswara is probably the grandest in existence. An architectural wonder of the world, the massive Nandi statue (Shiva’s bull) weighs 25 tons and is the second-largest Nandi in India. Also, visit the palace, the construction of which was started around 1550AD by Nayakas and was later completed by Marathas.
Overnight in Thanjavur
8

Day 8: Tanjore - Madurai

This morning after leisurely breakfast drive to Madurai - among the oldest cities of India, Madurai dates back to the Sangam Period of the pre-Christian era which is known as the golden era of Tamil literature in which this city was known to be the seat of Tamil academy of learning.
Later in the afternoon, enjoy time to wander and explore Madurai’s extensive and vibrant bazaar, a bustling produce, spice and textile market with a fascinating array of emporiums, Thirumalai Nayak Palace, Gandhi Museum, vegetable and fruit market.
In the evening, witness the “puja” (religious ceremony) when the idol of Lord Shiva is reverently carried to the bed chamber of the Goddess Meenakshi.
Overnight in Madurai
9

Day 9: Madurai - Munnar 160 km/about 5hrs

This morning, after early breakfast, we set out to visit the alive and bustling temple of Meenakshi (fish-eyed goddess), which is situated in the heart of Madurai.
After the visit, drive up into the Western Ghats, to the hill-station of Munnar and wind up through the rapidly changing vegetation of thick wood, Cardamom plantations and tea gardens. The views are stunning from this hill station.
Late afternoon visit Tea making factory & museum (Closed on Monday).
Overnight in Munnar
10

Day 10: In Munnar

This morning after leisurely breakfast transfer by Jeep around 3kms to the base of our day walking – start at 1420mts. Initially, the trek passes through the tea gardens with backdrop of rolling hills, after about 45min on trek we gradually climb a hill for glorious views and continue our trek through the grasslands and patches of Shola forest, continue the trek on ridge offering great views of the Anamudi highest peak in South India and Idukki Dam.
Our hot lunch will be ready at a good scenic spot.
After lunch, we trek through various plantations. Bird lovers will have a great time spotting endemic birdlife of this region, the final walk for about an hour will again be through tea plantation, we finish the trek and drive back to the hotel. The rest of the day is at leisure to relax.
Overnight in Munnar
11

Day 11: Munnar – Kumarakom (150 km/about 5 hrs)

This morning, after leisurely breakfast, we set out to drive to Kumarakom – a small village set in the backdrop of the Vembanad Lake.
The rest of the day is at leisure.
Overnight in Kumarakom
12

Day 12: Kumarakom

This day is at leisure or morning farm visits.
After leisure breakfast drive to Alleppey, or Alappuzha as it is called locally, washed by the silvery waves of the Arabian Sea, a vast network of canals sends out their tendrils into the famed backwaters, a massive system of waterways that connect the region.
You will check into a traditional houseboat at Alappuzha. Houseboats are other means of transportation Your houseboat is equipped with all the modern amenities that you may need in the course of your journey. Lunch will be served in the houseboat, made with fresh ingredients procured during your cruise.
Evening disembark from the houseboat and drive back to your hotel in Kumarakom.
Overnight in Kumarakom
13

Day 13: Kumarakom – Mararikulam (50 km/about 1.5 hrs)

After a leisurely breakfast, drive to Mararikulam which is a local fishing village owing vast sandy beaches and swaying palms. The village is located between the Cochin port city and Alleppey. Life here still is the same which used to be a hundred years ago where the men head to the sea every morning to make a living with the daily catch. The rest of the day is at leisure.
Overnight in Mararikulam
14

Day 14: Mararikulam

The rest of the day is at leisure.
Overnight in Mararikulam
15

Day 15: Mararikulam – Kochi 60 km/about 2 hrs

This morning after breakfast, we drive to Kochi - also called the Queen of the Arabian Sea which is considered to be the world's finest natural harbor. The oldest European settlement in India, the city has been highly influenced by every settlement who left their impressions on the city.
This afternoon, we set out to explore the city which includes the ancient St Francis Church that in its time has served the Portuguese, Dutch and the British communities here, the splendid San Sebastian Cathedral built by the Portuguese, traditional Chinese fishing nets and charming colonial residences shaded by many ancient trees.
Also, the tour includes Mattancherry Palace or Dutch Palace (Closed on Friday), with its Royal Palace built by the Cochin Raja by the Dutch and housing some of the best early mural painting in Kerala and the old trading area of Jew Town (Closed from Friday afternoon and Saturday), with its fragrant spice warehouses, remarkable synagogue with Chinese tiles.
Evening witness Kathakali dance performance, the dramatic dance-drama that tells the much-loved epic stories of gods and goddesses.
Overnight in Kochi
16

Day 16: Departure

This morning or during the day depending on your flight schedule, we drive you to Kochi airport to board your flight back home with some memories of the architectural temple structures and the serene natural beauty of the countryside from the trip to Amazing South India.

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Price, Inclusions and Exclusions

 
Prices per person
01 paying person in a Single Room
USD 3095/-
02 paying persons in a Double Room
USD 1670/-
 

Validity - January till April 2021.

 

Price Inclusions

• Accommodations in one room for 16 days/15 nights
• Meal plan
 ✓ Buffet Breakfast at all cities
• Transport services using Good Conditioned Small Car as follows.
 ✓ Beginning with the pickup from Chennai airport on Day 01 till Drop at Kochi airport on day 16.
• Meet and greet services in Chennai and Kochi only
• Half day guided Trek in Munnar with packed Lunch – GENTLE TREKKING
• Day cruise on board the Houseboat with Lunch on board (around 4 hrs)
• Services of English speaking local guides (different guides in each city) as per the itinerary:
  > Day 02 Full day in Chennai
  > Day 03 Half day in Mahabalipuram
  > Day 05 Full Day in Pondicherry
  > Day 06 Half day guide in Chidambaram and Kumbakonam
  > Day 07 Full day in Tanjore
  > Day 08 Half day in Madurai
  > Day 09 Half day in Munnar
  > Day 10 Half day in Munnar during Trek
  > Day 15 Half day in Kochi
• All currently applicable taxes
 

Price Exclusions

• International airfare for travel (from your home country to the destination and return)
• Visa charges or fees
• Airport taxes
• Camera fees during the visit to the monuments, temples or National Parks
• Tips to driver/guide/naturalist
• Additional meals
• Drinks or mineral water at the hotels or restaurants
Ayurvedic massages or treatments, laundry etc or any other items of personal nature
• Travel, health and cancellation insurance
• Any other expense/changes due to unforeseen circumstances while in India
• Any other thing not mentioned in program or “Price Inclusions”

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