Relish cultures that are so uniquely distinct and proudly preserved. Variety of sites from lush fields to pristine beaches to life-size temples. Some of the best cuisines and cultural performances.
South India - larger than life
T his is a comprehensive tour of South India; a part of India exceptionally rich in its own distinct culture, architecture and arts. The tour offers distinctiveness of South India in a way which is deeply involving without getting overboard. The pristine tropical islands of Andamans in the end add a different flavor to this tour
Day 01 Kochi:
Pick up and transfer to a beautiful boutique hotel in Fort Kochi. Day at leisure. Suggested walk in the evening to see the bazaars, old buildings and churches.
Day 02 Kochi:
Day sightseeing at Fort Kochi. Visit the Mattancherry palace, Jewish synagogue, Jew town, old spice markets, St. Francis church, Santa Cruz Basilica and Chinese fishing nets. In the evening watch Kathakali Classical dance performance which is notable for its elaborate makeup procedure. Opt to dine in a specialty seafood restaurant in Fort Kochi.
Day 03 Backwater cruise
Transfer to Alleppey where your fully furnished AC houseboat with private chef and assistant will pick you for a full day and night (All meals included) cruise through varied scenery and landscapes of Vembanad Lake. From school going kids to tax-collectors, you are likely to see people from all walks of life sailing on water in their personal small boats
Day 04 Kumarakom
Drive further and reach Kumarakom- an island on Vembanad Lake with extremely serene and laid-back atmosphere. Stay at Coconut Lagoons- a wonderful resort providing restored tharawads (traditional wood-houses) as idyllic rooms. The place is ideal for learning Kerala’s customs, relishing local cuisines, watching martial art form known as Kalaripayattu and having rejuvenating Ayurvedic massages
Day 05 Kumarakom
Day free to relax and explore around. You may visit coir-making factory, a temple and bathe the elephants at elephant rearing center.
Day 06 Vagamon
Drive towards hills to a picturesque region of tropical plantations. Stay in a house of Syrian Christian family and assimilate yourselves for these two days in local lifestyle. Relish local cuisine
Day 07 Vagamon
This will be your typical day in Kerala- full of relaxation with laidback life, greenery, village scene and cuisine in great combination.
Day 08 Madurai
Drive out of Kerala hills and reach Tamilnadu plains- the Dravidian heartland. Visit theThirumal Nayaka Palace and the Dravidian master- piece Meenakshi Sundereshwar temple which makes the city of Madurai so famous and pulsate with festivities.
Day 09 Chettinad region
Transfer to a region known as Chettinad which has given to India some of the most famous business tycoons, bankers and merchants. The mansions built on elaborate scale with hardly anyone living in them now are great masterpieces to see and experience. Visit a few mansions, market of antiques and traditional tile making workshops. The region is famous for its unique cuisine and you will be served Chettinad style dinner
Day 10 Kumbakonam
Driving down to fertile rice growing plains of Cauvery reach the Chola citadel of Thanjavur. Visit the World heritage Brihadishvara temple- simply unparalleled! Visit the museum to see some Tanjore art masterpieces. Drive further and reach Kumbakonam. Visit Darasuram temple
Day 11 Kumbakonam
Visit another Chola era masterpiece temple at Gangaikondacholapuram. Also visit some actively worshipped giant temples of Kumbakonam. Visit bazaars and also watch demonstration of Chola sculpture using lost wax method.
Day 12 Pondicherry
Drive to erstwhile French colony Pondicherry of beautiful boulevards, gothic structures and quiet beaches. During the day visit Auroville (city of dawn) - the famous center for spiritual learning and meditation named after Guru Sri Aurobindo Ghosh. Pondicherry is also famous for its modern minimalist handicrafts of pottery, paper and wood work.
Day 13 Chennai
Driving through fertile Coromondal coastline, reach Mahabalipuram. Mahabalipuram (Mammalapuram) is famous for its shore temples and other monuments which are in a form of epic recreated on stone. Also visit Kanchipuram- famous for hundreds of temples and its silk-weaving. Reach Chennai and check in.
Day 14 Chennai
Sightseeing trip of the city. Also visit Kalakshetra, the world famous cultural center founded by Rukmini Devi Arundale and Theosophical society. (Theosophical society of India was founded by Dr.Annie Besant).
Day 15 Chennai
Day free to move around in Chennai for the enormous shopping opportunity it offers. You may also visit one of the many famous auditoriums for live performance of Indian classical dances. As an option, you may also use the day for excursion to the wealthiest Hindu temple shrine at Tirupati.
Day 16 Port Blair
Reach Port Blair by flight in the morning and check in. During the day visit Samudrika Marine museum, Anthropological museum and the famous Cellular Jail (British India’s dreaded penal prison for Indian freedom fighters). Sail to Ross island- once seemingly beautiful town of British officers now a deserted scene of crumbling and decaying buildings.
Day 17-20 Havelock Island
Transfer by boat to Havelock Island and stay for next four days in an attractive beach hotel. Days kept at discretion to indulge in relaxation or making use of recreation and adventure related opportunities.
Day 21 Port Blair
Transfer back to Port Blair and check in. Day completely free to relax. You may drive to Wandoor and further sail to Jolly Buoy island (Part of Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park famed for its spectacular marine life and corals).
Day 22 Departure
Take the flight back to Chennai. The tour ends on arrival at Chennai airport.
Tour Price per person: USD 3502 (on twin/double sharing basis)
Months to avoid: April and May
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