Classical South India

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21
13 Night
Tour Details

Embark on a whirlwind tour of South India’s rich tapestry! Explore Chennai’s heritage, marvel at Mahabalipuram’s shore temples, and wander through Pondicherry’s French boulevards. Discover temple towns like Kanchipuram, Chidambaram, and Kumbakonam, each brimming with cultural and architectural wonders. Be captivated by Thanjavur’s Brihadeshwara Temple and Trichy’s Rockfort complex. Witness Madurai’s vibrant Meenakshi Temple, then unwind amidst the wildlife of Thekkady and Kerala’s serene backwaters. Finally, soak up the sun on pristine beaches before concluding your exploration in Cochin’s historic port.

Departure & Return Location

Chennai International Airport

Cochin International Airport
 
 

Departure Time

Price Includes

  • 12-night accommodation on sharing double/twin room basis with breakfast
  • 01-night accommodation on sharing double/twin room basis onboard houseboat On Full Board Basis
  • Complete transport in AC vehicle with driver
  • Local English speaking tour guide for sightseeing as per program
  • Accompanying guide from 10 pax onwards
  • Tuk Tuk ride in Madurai
  • Kathakali Dance show in Cochin
  • Kalaripayattu Martial Art show in Thekkady
  • Presently applicable taxes

Price Excludes

  • Airfare, insurance or visa fees
  • Meals other than those specified in ‘package costs includes’
  • Entrances to monuments & activities
  • Camera or video fee
  • Personal expenses
  • Tips & gratuities
  • Anything not in package costs includes

Complementaries

  • Warm welcome with fresh flower garlands at New Delhi International Airport
  • 02 water bottles per person per day
Itinerary

Day 1Arrive Chennai

Following a warm reception at the airport with fresh floral garlands by a representative or guide, guests will be transferred to their hotel. The representative will assist with check-in procedures upon your arrival at hotel. (Check-in times differ by hotel, but are typically between 1400 and 1500 hours.)

Sightseeing of Chennai.
Chennai’s sightseeing of major sights include, Fort St. George, citadel built by the British East India Company in Madras (now Chennai), India, later becoming the British capital in south India. The fort, named in honour of Britain’s patron saint, is well preserved by the state of Tamil Nadu. Govt. Museum, Established in 1851, Government Museum of Chennai is popular as the Madras Museum. Factually being the second oldest museum of India (after Kolkata’s Indian Museum), this museum is a treasure in itself! As a rich repository of finest masterpieces of art, archaeology, anthropology, numismatics and much more, the Madras Museum assures to lure one and all. Kapaleeswar Temple, is one of the prominent Shiva temples in India situated in Mylapore, Chennai. Here Lord Shiva is worshipped as Kapaleeswar [self-manifested] and Goddess Shakthi [Uma] as Karpagambal. Marina Beach is an invigorating landmark of Chennai that draws several visitors from across the country. It is the longest natural urban beach of the country and the widest stretch of the beach is 437 m. The whole long stretch of 12 km with turquoise waters makes Marina Beach, the second largest beach of the world and one of the top places to visit in Chennai.

Overnight at the hotel. 

Day 2Chennai - Kanchipuram - Mahabalipuram

Early breakfast at the hotel and drive to Kanchipuram, on arrival, visit local temples & market.

One among the “Pancha Bhoota Stalam” [five Shiva temples each representing five elements of life], Ekambareswarar Temple is one of the most sacred Shiva temples. It represents the element Earth. Shiva is worshipped as Ekambareswarar. The temple is thousands of years old with the current structure being a reconstructed one, around 600 AD by the Pallavas. Southern India is well-known for its cultural heritage, and the Kamakshi Amman Temple represents an important gem from the past. Set in the midst of Kanchipuram, also known as the City of Temples, this place of worship is home to the divine Goddess Kamakshi, who is believed to be an incarnation of Parvati, the Hindu goddess of love, fertility and strength. Kailasanathar Temple is a Shiva Kanchi, which is one among the three Kanchis in Kancheepuram, the other two being the Vishnu Kanchi and the Jain Kanchi. Varadharaja Perumal Temple located in the city of Kanchipuram in Tamil Nadu is dedicated to Lord Vishnu. It is one of the 108 Divya Desams dedicated to Lord Vishnu and is of immense religious importance. Vaikuntha Perumal Temple is the most prominent Vishnu Temple located in Shiva Kanchi. Like Kailasanathar temple this is also a temple extremely popular with the students and scholars of history, art history, and temple architecture.

Continue drive to Mahabalipuram, on arrival sightseeing of Mahabalipuram. 

The Five Rathas were, astonishingly, all carved from single large rocks. Each of these fine 7th-century temples was dedicated to a Hindu god and is now named after one or more of the Pandavas, the five hero-brothers of the epic Mahabharata, or their common wife, Draupadi. The rathas were hidden in the sand until excavated by the British 200 years ago. Standing like a magnificent fist of rock-cut elegance overlooking the sea, surrounded by gardens and ruined courts, the two-towered Shore Temple symbolises the heights of Pallava architecture and the maritime ambitions of the Pallava kings. Arjuna’s Penance, the crowning masterpiece of Mamallapuram’s stonework, this giant relief carving is one of India’s greatest ancient artworks. Inscribed on two huge, adjacent boulders, the Penance bursts with scenes of Hindu myth and everyday South Indian life.

Overnight at the hotel in Mahabalipuram. 

Day 3Mahabalipuram - Pondicherry

Breakfast at the hotel, leisurely check out and drive to Pondicherry. On arrival, check in and overnight at the hotel. 

Day 4Pondicherry

Breakfast at the hotel. Visit Auroville and the Pondicherry sightseeing. 

Auroville, ‘the City of Dawn’, is a place that anyone with idealistic leanings will find compelling. It’s an international community dedicated to peace, sustainability and ‘divine consciousness’, where people from across the globe, ignoring creed, color and nationality, work together to build a universal, cash-free, nonreligious township. Some 7.5 miles (12km) northwest of Puducherry, Auroville was founded in 1968 by ‘the Mother’, cofounder of Puducherry’s Sri Aurobindo Ashram.

Sightseeing of Pondicheery would include visit of the Sri Manakula Vinayagar Temple, a centuries-old temple dedicated to Ganesh, which contains around 40 skilfully painted friezes & where you might get a head pat by the Temple Elephant. Then walk in the French Quarter of Pondicherry, usually including RUE DUMAS, RUE ROMAIN ROLLAND, RUE SUFFREN and RUE LA BOURDONNAIS.

Overnight at the hotel in Pondicherry. 

Day 5Pondicherry - Chidambaram - Kumbakonam

Breakfast at the hotel, drive to Kumbakonam. En-route visit Chidambaram,

Nataraja Temple-One of the most significant temples in the holy town of Chidambaram, Nataraja Temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva who is worshipped in the form of Nataraja.

Gangaikonda Cholapuram & Darasuram. 

One of the largest temples in India, the Gangaikonda Cholapuram temple has Shiva as the principal deity. The main temple tower stands 55 m tall and the imposing building is covered in rich art and sculptures that adorn the premises in absolute grandeur. It is a part of the trip of the ‘Great Living Chola Temples’ along with the Airavastesvara Temple and Brihadeeswara Temple; also listed among the UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Airavatesvara Temple in Darasuram is deicated to Lord Shiva. A UNESCO world heritage site, it is a part of the popular trio known as the Great Living Chola Temples. Airavatesvara Temple was built by the Chola King Rajaraja Chola II in the 12th century CE. It is amongst the eighteen medieval era Hindu temples in the Kumbakonam area. The shrine displays the Vaishnavism and Shaktism legs of Hinduism, and the traditional Nayanars- the Bhakti saints of Shaivism.

On arrival, check in and overnight at the hotel in Kumbakonam. 

Note: Night in Kumbakonam can also be in Thanjavur, as per hotel category & availability. 

Day 6Kumbakonam - Thanjavur - Trichy - Madurai

Breakfast at the hotel, proceed for sightseeing of Thanjavur.

Thanjavur’s royal palace is a mixed bag of ruin and renovation, superb art and random royal paraphernalia. The mazelike complex was constructed partly by the Nayaks who took over Thanjavur in 1535, and partly by a local Maratha dynasty that ruled from 1676 to 1855. Brihadeeshwar Temple is one of the most beautiful architectural splendors of the country. It is erected amidst the great walls made perhaps in the sixteenth century. Inside the temple, there is a temple tower famous as Vimana among the devotees and tourists. This temple tower has an elevation of 66 meters. Vimana is one of the tallest temple towers on the earth.

Continue your drive to Trichy. On arrival visit Trichy.

Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple, also known as Thiruvaranga Tirupati, is one of the most illustrious Vaishnav temples in the country, dedicated to Ranganatha, a reclining form of Hindu deity, Bhagwan (God or Lord) Vishnu. Situated in an ethereal setting on the island of Srirangam that is bounded by the two rivers of Cauvery and Kollidam (a tributary of Cauvery), this living temple and sacred centre of pilgrimage is counted as the first and foremost among the 108 Divya Desams dedicated to Bhagwan Vishnu. The Rock Fort Temple, Perched on a large rock with a height of 85 meters, the temple was initially built by the Pallavas but the Nayaks made use of its naturally fortified position and designed it as a fort. There are 344 steps carved out of rock lead to the top.

Drive to Madurai. Overnight at the hotel in Madurai.

Day 7Madurai

Breakfast at the hotel. Proceed for sightseeing of Maduai city, enjoy Tuk Tuk ride as well. Evening, visit Meenakshi Temple at the Aarti time. 

Sightseeing of Madurai includes the beautiful Meenakshi temple. The prime attractions in Madurai include King Tirumala’s Palace, Gandhi Museum, and Great Tank.

Enjoy the magnificient Aarti time at the Madurai’s Meenakshi Amman Temple. 

Overnight at the hotel. 

Day 8 Madurai - Thekkady

Early breakfast at the hotel. Drive to Thekkady.  On arrival, visit Spice plantation & Periyar Tiger Reserve on a shared boat. 

The wealth of spices of India, especially Kerala have lured foreigners for centuries. The appetizing flavors and the intoxicating aroma of spices need to be experienced to see the reason for the temptation. Thekkady cultivates spices in their blissful weather and location. Owing to a number of lush green spice plantations, it is undoubtedly the heartland of spices. Enjoy a spice tour in Thekkady, in the Western Ghats, close to Periyar Tiger Reserve.

Proceed for the boat ride at Lake Periyar for wildlife viewing. Herds of Elephants, bisons are common sights here. This reservoir is famous for its water birds which can be observed from close quarters when you go boating on the lake. Periyar Lake is inside a protected area and contributes to the conservation of plants, fowl, fish and wild animals, some of which are rare, endemic and also endangered.

Later, check in to your hotel. Evening, witness the Kalaripayattu Martial Art show in the local theatre.

Kerala’s martial art form, Kalaripayattu, is well-known worldwide. Most of Kerala’s art forms are influenced by Kalaripayattu. In the past kalaris (combat arena or battle field) formed an integral part of the lives of ordinary citizens. Having no gender bias, boys and girls of all ages would be taken to the Kalaris for practice in their early years. The status and sway of Kalaris shifted along with the social climate.

Overnight at the hotel in Thekkady. 

Day 9 Thekkady - Houseboat

Early breakfast and drive to Alleppey. On arrival, embark on your houseboat. Sail through the backwaters in your houseboat. 

Lunch, evening snacks, and dinner are to be served onboard housboat. 

(Note: All houseboat don’t serve alcohol onboard, hence, you can take your own.)

Day 10 Houseboat - Beach Stay

Breakfast onboard houseboat, disembark at 09am and then drive to your beach stay. 

Ovenright at the beach resort. 

Day 11Beach Stay

Breakfast at the resort. Day free for leisure.
Overnight at the beach resort.

Day 12Beach Stay - Cochin

Breakfast at the hotel and drive to Cochin. On arrival, check in and overnight at the hotel. 

Day 13Cochin

Breakfast at the hotel. Start with the tour for Fort Kochi area & Mattanchery. 

Visit Dutch Palace in Mattancherry, also know as Mattancherry Palace, is one of the finest examples of the Kerala style of architecture interspersed with colonial influences. The Jewish Synagogue or Paradesi Synagogue at the heart of what is locally called the Jew Town. The St. Francis Church, the oldest European church in India. The Santa Cruz Basilica originally built in 1557 by the Portuguese. Walk to the Chinese fishing nets which are huge cantilevered fishing nets, believed to have brought to Kochi by Chinese trade.

Free time in Fort Kochi area to walk and relax. Evening enjoy the Kathakali Dance show. 

Witness the world famous Kathakali dance at a local theatre, a traditional art form of Kerala. Kathakali artists wear elaborate, billowing costumes with intricately painted faces, flowing scarves, detailed ornaments, and magnificent crowns. This classical Indian dance performance tells stories of Hindu mythology, especially the two epics, the Ramayana and the Mahabharata through footwork and hand gestures.

Overnight at the hotel in Cochin. 

Day 14Departure

Departure transfer to airport for flight back home or onwards destination. (breakfast subject to time availability)

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