Colour of South India Tour
Duration: 11 Nights / 12 Days
Places Covered: Chennai – Mahabalipuram – Pondicherry – Chettinad – Madurai – Periyar (Thekkady) – Houseboat – Cochin (Kochi)
Price: On Request
South India tour has always been one of the favorite destinations among the travellers because of its vast diversity including the adventure, cultural, leisure and historical presence it offers. The colour of South India tour will cover places like Chennai, Pondicherry, Kochi, Periyar and Madurai, etc., and will bring the best of collections from rolling landscape to journey towards the village life, temples, Ghats and houseboats in India, tea & coffee plantiaon, making this trip a truly memorable one.
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Mahabalipuram, also known as Mamallapuram, is a town in Kancheepuram district in Tamil Nadu. The crowning masterpiece of Mamallapuram's stonework is one of India's greatest ancient art works.
Nearest Airport: Chennai Airport
Languages Spoken: Tamil, English
STD Code: 044
Best Time to Visit: October - March
Arrival Chennai: Vanakkam and welcome to Chennai! On arrival you will be personally met by our representative and transferred to your hotel. Formerly Madras, the city is the gateway to the rich and varied culture of South India. On arrival at hotel you are most welcome a floral garland and a red ‘tikka' applied on the forehead. Overnight at hotel.
Chennai Sightseeing: After leisure breakfast explore the heart of Georgetown and discover its markets and laneways during a walking tour, discover colonial Madras through the buildings the British left behind, or visit a local Indian market and discover the stars of Indian cuisine, the spices, during a cooking lesson, uncover fascinating stories hidden behind some common beliefs and practices in Southern India. Discover the history of the Basilica of San Thome built by the Portuguese on your tour before wandering along India's largest urban beach, The Marina. Overnight at hotel.
Chennai – Mahabalipuram - Puducherry (180 Km): After an early breakfast drive to Pondicherry en route visit Mamallapuram and explore the spectacular World Heritage site Shore Temples, perched dramatically on a promontory by the sea. Continue to the pretty seaside town of Puducherry (Pondicherry), the former capital of the French territories in India. Steeped in history, this quaint town charms with its cathedrals, French style villas and tree lined boulevards. Overnight at hotel.
Puducherry: Breakfast at hotel, later proceed to heritage walking tour, stroll past charming colonial architecture, street side cafés and visit the Aurobindo Ashram. Journey to Auroville (City of Dawn), and discover why this universal town was established. See the Matrimandir, a metallic sphere covered in gold, in the centre of town where silence is maintained.
Puducherry – Chettinad (280 Km): An early breakfast & proceed to long day drive to Chettinad, the trip takes you through the ‘rice bowl' of Tamil Nadu to Tanjore (Thanjavur). Discover the monumental Brihadishvara Temple the World Heritage site. Continue further to Chettinad, on arrival check in hotel, a wonderfully restored mansion in the small village of Karaikudi.
Chettinad: Breakfast at hotel, later explore the colonial small town, through the narrow streets to witness the charm and faded elegance of colonial bungalows and merchant houses. Visit a pottery village and watch the unique and colourful tiles being made by hand and enjoy a demonstration of weaving at the small weaving centre in town. Rest of the time leisure.
Chettinad – Madurai (95 Km): Morning, after breakfast leaving the journey to Madurai, one of South India's greatest temple towns and important pilgrim site. This evening take the opportunity to absorb the rituals and celebration during the evening puja ceremony inside the Meenakshi Temple. Overnight at hotel.
Madurai – Periyar (Thekkady) 140 Km: Morning visit Meenakshi Temple, one of South India's biggest pilgrimage sites. This Hindu temple, the heart of this 2,500 year old city, is estimated to house more than 30,000 sculptures inside. Later journey through the Western Ghats to Periyar Tiger Reserve in Kerala. On arrival check in hotel, rest of the time visit Spice Garden and spice market.
Periyar Tiger Reserve: Very early in the morning take a boat cruise on Periyar Lake, observe the wildlife including wild elephants as they come to drink and appreciate why this state is called ‘God's own country'. Periyar is the best-known wildlife sanctuary in Southern India and one of India's oldest. Drive back to hotel, after breakfast join our guide to commence Jungle walk, you will see macaque monkeys, rare hornbills and other wildlife, visit a tribal hamlet and explore a unique heritage museum providing an insight into the culture of the local people. Evening witness the ancient martial art form Kalaripayattu, which includes strikes, kicks and weaponry and is believed to be one of the oldest fighting systems in existence. Overnight at hotel.
Periyar (Thekkady) – Houseboat (Kerala Backwaters) 130 Km: After an early breakfast travel across the Western Ghats to Kumarakom, access point to the famed Kerala backwaters. On arrival at Kumarakom embark in the Houseboat & take the opportunity to cruise through small villages meanwhile you will take the delicious lunch and stay overnight on board a houseboat.
Houseboat – Kochi: Enjoy your morning cruise along the famed palm-fringed backwaters and navigate the network of waterways which weave through villages set amidst lush vegetation. Later, disembark from the houseboat and travel to Kochi, better known as Cochin, an important trading centre for spices. On arrival check in hotel. Evening watch a Kathakali performance, a highly evolved classical form of dance, drama and music that is more than 400 years old. Observe the process as the performers prepare for their performance.
Kochi: After breakfast visit the monument inside the. Discover the influence of the Dutch, Portuguese, British, Arab and Chinese during your tour of Fort Kochi. Visit Jew Town and the Jewish synagogue, the oldest in India, Dutch Palace, Basilica and Chinese fishing net. After farewell dinner transfer to international airport to board onward flight.