Splendors of Southern India
Chennai International Airport, India - Cochin Airport, India
Houseboat Backwaters Allepey

Details

13 Days | 12 Nights

Tour Type: Private
Runs: Every Day
Accommodation: 4* Hotels, Houseboat
Minimum Age: 12

Tour Description


Tamil Nadu situated on the Bay of Bengal to the east, Kerala on the Arabian Sea to the west. First come, on the "face" side if you will, the wonders of Dravidian religious architecture (from drâvida, designating the indigenous inhabitants of southern India) in Mahabalipuram and Kanchipuram, with also the French past of Pondicherry and the universal utopia of Auroville. Next, on the "stack" side, the colonial atmosphere of Fort Cochin and the peaceful nature of the Backwaters. A good progression through all that the coastal south offers. Everywhere, a welcoming and open population and living traditions, kitchens where seafood meets the thousand Indian spices, where oriental and western influences play, which we eat with our fingertips. South India goes to the contemporary mix, but accepts it with discernment and, in so doing, it preserves most of its cultural and spiritual heritage.

Highlights

  • Admire the historical attractions from Tamil Nadu to Kerala.
  • Visit the Periyar National Park in the Western Ghats.
  • Do a backwater cruise and stay on a houseboat.
  • Enjoy a Kathkalli Dance Performance.
  • Enjoy a Kathakali dance performance.
  • Explore the historic city of Cochin at the Laccadive Sea.

Tour Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival Chennai - Chennai Tour - Mahabalipuram    

Namaste! Welcome to India. Your Splendors of Southern India Tour begins with a welcome meeting with our representatives at the airport. After a traditional welcome, continue to panoramic city tour of Chennai including Government museum, Fort St. George, St. Mary’s Church and Marina Beach. Later transfer to your hotel in Mahabalipuram. Driving Distance: 60 km / 1.20 hours


4* MGM Beach Resort or similar
4 hours

Day 2: Mahabalipuram Visit - Kanchipuram - Mahabalipuram Hotel    

After breakfast visit the 7th century Shore Temple with its reliefs and some of the most beautiful rock-cut caves in the world. Visit the Krishna, Varaha and Mahishasura Mardhini Mandapas besides the famous stone bas-relief, Arjuna's Penance. In the afternoon you will do the excursion to Kanchipuram to visit the Varadaraja Temple and Shiva Kanchi, surrounding the Ekambareshwar (also spelt as Ekambareshwa) Temple. Back to Mahabalipuram and stay overnight at hotel.


4* MGM Beach Resort or similar
Breakfast
8 hours

Day 3: Mahabalipuram - Pondicherry Visit - Pondicherry Hotel    

In the morning drive to Pondicherry. Pondicherry, a former French colony with classy streets, stylish houses and ornamental gardens, is famous for pleasant weather and easy paced life. Visit the serene atmosphere of Aurobindo Ashram, which was founded by Sri Aurobindo in 1926 and has attained international reputation for its spiritual tenets including yoga and modern science of living. The Botanical Gardens, conceived in 1826, boast a variety of rare and exotic plants from India and abroad, and take a stroll on the beaches of Pondicherry. Stay overnight at hotel. Driving Distance: 100 km / 2 hours


4* Shenbaga or similar
Breakfast
8 hours

Day 4: Pondicherry - Tanjore Visit - Tanjore Hotel    

Pickup from the hotel lobby and drive to Tanjore, an ancient capital of the Chola dynasty. En route visit the Shiva Temple at Gangaikonda Cholapuram, an example of Davidrian style. On arrival at Tanjore, check-in hotel. Afternoon you will visit the Brihadeeshwara Temple and its surrounding temples. Driving Distance:200 km / 4 hours


4* Lakshmi Hotel or similar
Breakfast
7 hours

Day 5: Tanjore Hotel - Trichy - Madurai Hotel    

Morning time after breakfast drive to Madurai. Along the route visit the Sri Rangnath Swami Temple, a reclining form of the Hindu deity Maha Vishnu. It is located in Srirangam, at the city of Trichy. Continue to Madurai, one of the oldest cities of south India. On arrival check-in 4* hotel, remainder of the day at leisure. Driving Distance: 200 km / 4 hours


4* JC Residency or similar
Breakfast
5 hours

Day 6: Madurai Visit - Madurai Hotel    

Take a guided tour of Madurai. Set in a picturesque location, the sightseeing tour includes three prominent monuments: Tirumalai Nayak Mahal Palace, the Vaniyur Mariamman Teppakulam and the architectural masterpiece, the Meenakshi Temple, dedicated to Shiva and Parvati. Do also a memorable rickshaw ride at the streets around the Meenakshi Temple. Stay overnight at hotel.


4* JC Residency or similar
Breakfast
1 hour

Day 7: Madurai - Periyar National Park - Kalaraipayattu Performance    

In the morning after breakfast hit the road to the Periyar National Park, the most famous nature reserve in South India. You have the opportunity to observe wild animals like tigers, elephants, monkeys etc. On arrival check-in your pre booked hotel. Later witness the Kalaraipayattu performance, a local martial art. Driving Distance: 170 km / 3 hours


5* The Elephant Court or similar
Breakfast
4 hours

Day 8: Periyar National Park - Periyar Hotel    

Your day starts with an enjoyable one and a half hours boat ride on the Periyar Lake. You can spot wild animal like elephants, wild boar, Sambar deer, leopard, wild dog and monkeys. Later visit a spice plantation to get to know more about agriculture and nature in this region. Stay overnight at hotel.


5* The Elephant Court or similar
Breakfast
4 hours

Day 9: Periyar National Park - Kumarakom Hotel    

Today we drive to Kumarakom. Situated on the Vembanad Lake, in this small water world, you will come across plenty of traditional country crafts, boats and canoes. Kumarakom has also a Bird Sanctuary, which is ornithologist's paradise, with favorite haunt of migratory birds like the Siberian stork, egret, darter, heron and teal. On arrival, check-in hotel. Rest of the day at leisure or you can go for Ayurvedic massage at the resort. Driving Distance: 80 km / 2 hours


4* Abad Whispering Palm Resort
Breakfast
2 hours

Day 10: Kumarakom - Alleppey - Overnight Houseboat    

Morning post breakfast, drive towards Alleppey for memorable backwater experience. Alleppey is famous for its boat races, houseboats, coir products, fish and lakes. On arrival, check into a Houseboat. You will have lunch, dinner and breakfast here. A ride on the houseboat is a fabulous way to explore the fascinating beauty of the backwaters. Lunch will be served on the boat freshly prepared by the crew. In the evening the boat will anchor by the lush paddy fields and enjoy the tranquility of the water around. Dinner would be laid out in the boat. Overnight at houseboat. Driving Distance: 40 km / 1 hour


Houseboat
Breakfast & Lunch & Dinner
8 hours

Day 11: Alleppey - Cochin Kathakali Dance Performance - Cochin Hotel    

In the morning transfer towards Cochin. It is a diverse and colorful port city, spreading over 4-5 islands and peninsulas. The main town of Ernakulum is on the mainland. All the islands are connected by a ferryboat network and therein lay the charm of an exploratory two days here. On arrival, check-in hotel. Evening you can enjoy the famous Kathkalli Dance performance. Driving Distance: 60 km / 1.20 hours


4* Amritara The Poovth Heritage
Breakfast
3 hours

Day 12: Cochin Visit - Cochin Hotel    

Today enjoy full day sightseeing tour of Cochin including some of the famous places of Cochin such as the St. Francis Church, the Synagogue, Bolghatty Palace, Chinese fishing nets and Sant Cruz Basilica Church. We come back to the hotel in the evening.


4* Amritara The Poovth Heritage
Breakfast
8 hours

Day 13: Cochin Hotel - Cochin Airport    

Depending on departure time you will be transferred to the international airport of Cochin to board the flight back to your home with a bunch of sweet memories. 


Breakfast
40 mins

Inclusions


  • Meet & greet at airport upon arrival.
  • Boat ride in Periyar National Park.
  • Bicycle ride in Pondicherry.
  • Rickshaw ride in Madurai.
  • Entrance fees to mentioned sites.
  • English speaking city guides day 2-4, day 6 and day 12.
  • Private transportation in a/c vehicle with English speaking driver.
  • 1 airport transfer upon departure.
  • 1 airport transfer upon arrival.
  • 2 nights at hotel with breakfast in Cochin.
  • 1 night at houseboat on full boat bases in Allepey.
  • 1 night at hotel with breakfast in Kumarakom.
  • 2 nights at hotel with breakfast in Periyar National Park.
  • 2 nights at hotel with breakfast in Madurai.
  • 1 night at hotel with breakfast in Tanjore.
  • 1 night at hotel with breakfast in Pondicherry.
  • 2 nights at hotel with breakfast in Mahabalipuram.
  • Kathakali Dance Performance in Cochin.

Exclusions


  •  Airfare. 
  •  Entry visa India.  
  •  Meals and beverage not stated.  
  •  Travel insurance. 
  •  Tips, portage and personal expenses.  

Practical Info


• Rates are not valid in the period 20 Dec 2021 to 10 Jan 2022 and can be provided up in request.
• Check-in time at hotels starts from 14:00, latest check-out time is 12:00 noon.
• Rates are based on the hotels mentioned in this proposal, subject to availability upon booking.
• Rates are communicated subject to the rates known to date (subject to increase in government taxes and entry to monuments without notice).
• We are not responsible for any delay, change or other in the itinerary due to weather conditions, political or local strikes, flight cancellations or unforeseen circumstances. Additional expenses will be billed.
• Our staff is trained to follow hygiene and safety potocols. 

How to Book this Tour


- After booking the tour with us online, one of our consultants will get in touch within 24 hours. We inform you when all services are confirmed. You need to pay then a 50% deposit by credit card or by bank transfer. The full payment is due latest 30 days before tour start.
- Cancellations need to be sent in written form. Charges are as follows:
• 500 Rupees (around 7 $USD) per person for cancellations made at least 60 days before departure.
• 10% of the total trip price for cancellations made between 35 to 60 days before departure.
• 50% of the total price of the trip for cancellations made 25 to 34 days before departure.
• 75% of the total price of the trip for cancellations made between 16 to 24 days before departure.
• 100% of the total price of the trip for cancellations made less than 15 days before departure.
- For refunds we do not cover transaction fees charged by credit card companies and banks.
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