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Summary of South India Tour
South India is a region of colorful and vivid contrasts. Combining the best attractions of Tamil Nadu with that of Kerala and traveling by surface and riverboat, our journey explores the glorious temple complexes of southern India and meanders through the lush backwaters and hill stations to Cochin. The two states, divided by a ridge of hills, have rich diversity of life and are quite different in their cultural heritages.
The tour covers Chennai - the capital of Tamil Nadu with its rich past, Mahabalipuram- with some of the finest rock carvings and sculptures in the world, Thanjavur - the rice bowl of Tamil Nadu and the also the home of classical music and dance, Tiruchirappalli (Trichy)- with the city’s famous landmark, Rock Fort, Madurai - situated in the banks of the river Vaigai and is one of the India’s most ancient cities with history dating back to 6th century, Kanyakumari- where the Indian Ocean, Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal meet, Kovalum- famous for the internationally renowned beach and the Ayurvedic massage.
Then we experience an unforgettable overnight backwater cruise from Quilon to Alleppey, which is a district of immense natural beauty, referred to as Venice of the East and also the home to diverse animal and bird life. Moving to the hill station of Munnar, 1600 m above sea level, once the summer resort of the erstwhile British Government in South India, we explore the Eravikulam National Park. The tour ends in Cochin which has a wealth of historical associations with its’ setting on a cluster of islands and narrow peninsulas.
Complete Daywise Itinerary
Day 01: Chennai - Mahabalipuram
Arrive in Chennai. Visit Chennai City, the capital of Tamil Nadu and drive to Mahabalipuram (Mamallapuram) (58 Kms/ 1.5 hrs).
Day 02: Mahabalipuram
Full day tour in Mahabalipuram, which includes Shore Temple which is architectural wonder created between 600- 750 AD, Arjuna’s Penance, one of the world’s largest and finest relief carving constituting a rich and engrossing tale of Hindu mythology and the Ganesh Rathas.
Day 03: Mahabalipuram- Chidambaram- Thanjavur (Tanjore)
Drive to Thanjavur (247 Kms/5-6 hrs) visiting the famous Lord Natraja’s (dancing Shiva) Temple in Chidambaram. The 1000 pillared hall in the temple Book Your Tourcomplex is considered a divine sight.
Day 04: Thanjavur
Full day tour in Thanjavur. Visit Brihadishwara Temple - a world heritage monument built in the 10th century, the palace, museum, Dharasuram and Swami Malai temples.
Day 05: Thanjavur - Tiruchirappalli (Trichy) - Madurai
Drive to Madurai (182 Kms/ 4-5 hrs) via the historic town Tiruchirappalli (Trichy) visiting the city’s famous landmark, Rock Fort and the Temple situated on 83 m high rock and the island of Srirangam Temple. Trichy is described as Rome of the east.
Day 06: Madurai
Madurai is one of the India’s Maduraimost ancient cities situated in the banks of the river Vaigai and it was a seat of Tamil learning and the last of the Tamil Sangams or Academics that flourished here nearly 2000 years ago. Visit Meenakshi Temple, spread over six hectares with four entrances, a fantasy of twelve gopuram towers over 40-50 m and covered with garishly painted images. The thousand-pillared Mandapam of the temple has beautifully sculptured pillars. Also visit Tirumalai Nayak Palace and the museum. Evening we visit Madurai market.
Day 07: Madurai - Cape Comorin (Kanyakumari) - Kovalam
Drive to Kovalaum visiting Kanyakumari en route (325 Kms/ 7-8 hrs). In Kanyakumari, visit the Vivekananda memorial located over two rocky Book Your Tourislands about 400m offshore.
Day 08: Kovalam
Day at leisure by this beautiful tropical beach. We have the possibility of optional Ayurvedic massages and to see the Kathakali dance performances.
Day 09: Kovalam - Qulion (Kollam) - Alleppey
Drive to Quilon (88 Kms/ 2 hrs) to board the houseboat for an overnight backwater cruise to Alleppey. With the Arabian Sea in the West and a vast network of lakes, lagoons and fresh water rivers criss-crossing it, Alleppey is a place of immense natural beauty offering a rich diversity of animal and bird life.
Day 10: Alleppey - Munnar
Drive to Munnar (192 Kms/ 4-5 hrs), the hill station set amid dramatic mountain scenery and delightful surroundings.
Day 11: Munnar
MunnarThe hill town of Munnar (1524 m) is the commercial centre of world’s highest tea growing estates. In the morning, visit Eravikulam National Park (16 Km from Munnar), which is the home of the rare Nilgiri Tahr (a type of mountain goat). Afternoon we drive to Top Station on Kerala’s border with Tamil Nadu and walk around the hill station, famous for its tea plantations.
Day 12: Munnar - Cochin
Drive to Cochin (130 Kms/ 4 hrs) visiting elephant training camp at Kodanadu, located on the south bank of Periyar river.
Day 13: Cochin
Sightseeing in Cochin, which includes the visit to Mattancherry Palace, St. Francis Church, Jewish Synagogue, Chinese Fishing nets, Fort Cochin. Evening watch the world famous Kathakali dance performance or enjoy optional Kerala body massage.
Day 14: Cochin - Departure
Transfer to the airport to connect outbound flight.
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