Beautiful South - 14 days
Chennai, Pondicherry and Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary. Kochi, colonial hill stations and a rice boat cruise on the Keralan backwaters. An action packed fortnight in the Southern Indian states of Tamil Nadu and Kerala, that simply has it all!
Chennai - Pondicherry. En route to Pondicherry visit Kanchipuram, one of sacred cities in India and the seaside town of Mahabalipuram, famous for its shore temple. The city is also famous for handwoven silk. In Mahabalipuram, the huge rock-cut sculptures and mandapams (pillared pavilions) date from the 5th to 8th centuries.
Drive south to Pondicherry, a former French colony which exudes a Mediterranean aura - whitewashed residences, ornamental gardens and excellent French-Indian restaurants. Many travellers come to visit the popular Sri Aurobindo Ashram, whose spiritual tenets combine yoga and modern science.
Overnight: Pondicherry | Breakfast
Pondicherry - Tanjore. Start the day with a sightseeing tour of Pondicherry which includes the enormous Brihadishwara Temple before continuing south. Arrive at Tanjore, also known as Thanjavur, Tanjore is an ancient fortified town, with a glorious history dating back
more than 1500 years. Thanjavur was the ancient capital
of the Chola kings whose origins date back to the beginning
Overnight: Thanjavur | Breakfast
Tanjore - Trichy. Spend the morning on a sightseeing tour of Tanjore before a short drive to Trichy. Our city tour includes the enormous
Brihadishwara Temple. Built by Raja Raja in 1010, the
World Heritage protected temple has a dome weighing an
estimated 80 tonnes which was hauled into place
along an earth ramp in a manner similar to
that used for the Egyptian pyramids. Trichy has been ravaged by war through the centuries. A lasting legacy is the Rock Fort and its temples.
Overnight: Trichy | Breakfast
Trichy - Madurai. Take a morning sightseeing tour of Trichy before the journey continues south to Madurai. An important centre for
worship and commerce, Madurai has been around since
the dawn of civilisation in southern India. A bustling
city jam-packed with rickshawallas, pilgrims and traders
and resembling a seemingly continuous bazaar crammed
to the gunnels with shops, markets and lodgings for
tourists and pilgrims, Madurai is yours this afternoon.
Go immerse yourself. This evening, you’ll witness a
religious ceremony at a local temple. On the morning of
day 6, enjoy a sightseeing tour. Highlights include the
Sri Meenakshi Temple built in 1560 and the city’s busy
bazaars. The afternoon is then free for you to further
explore the city.
Overnight: Madurai | Breakfast x 2
Madurai - Periyar. The journey continues to Periyar which has south India’s most popular wildlife sanctuary and home to sambar, wild boar, elephant, bison, antelope, langur and a small tiger population. Kumily, close to the sanctuary and where you’ll stay, is a pretty town dotted with small spice and handicraft shops.
Overnight: Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary | Breakfast
Periyar- Kumarakom. Continue to Kumarakom. Perched sleepily amongst a tangle of lush tropical waterways known as the Keralan backwaters, Kumarakom is technically an island on Lake Vembanad. An ideal place to relax and be at one with natural surroundings, you’ll enjoy two nights here. Check out the wonderful bird sanctuary.
Overnight: Kumarakom | Breakfast x 2
This morning, you’ll board a traditional Keralan rice boat for a journey through the backwaters in and around Allapuzha (Alleppey). The boat will cross shallow, palm-fringed lakes and cruise along peaceful canals where copra and cashews are loaded onto local boats. The on-board cook will prepare locally-inspired food. Relax, read and catch some sun as the boat plies it’s route.
Overnight: Rice Boat | Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Backwaters - Kochi. Disembarking at Allapuzha, enjoy a short drive to Kochi (Cochin). The city of Kochi perfectly reflects the eclecticism of Kerala. One can see winding streets with mosques, a 16th century Jewish synagogue and Jewish community with ancient roots and 500 year old Portuguese cottages! Enjoy the remains of the day your way.
Overnight: Kochi | Breakfast
Hotel check-out and included onward transfer to airport.
Extend your stay with a relaxing spa break!
Kerala Ayurvedic Break - 8 days
The perfect end to an action packed holiday! Relax your spirit, body and mind on an ayurvedic break in beautiful Kerala. Indulge yourself with spa treatments and massages, unwind with yoga and soak up the sun on the white sandy beaches.
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