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GEMS OF SOUTH INDIA

We Visit

CHENNAI – MAMALLAPURAM – KUMBAKONAM – MADURAI – PERIYAR – COCHIN - ALLEPPEY – KOVALAM – TRIVANDRUM (DEPARTURE)

Duration

14 NIGHTS & 15 DAYS

Uncover the diversity with this fabulous journey around South India. Explore the myths and legends of the sacred temples coupled with the laid back rural highlights. This fascinating journey is for the seasoned traveler to India who will have a chance to experience two extremes of India; one celebrated for its incredible temples and the other for its unspoiled nature and eye-catching beaches.


  • Over View
  • Programe
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  • Accommodation on twin sharing room with daily breakfast at listed hotels or equivalent
  •  One night in House Boat on full board basis
  •  Transportation/Transfers by Air Conditioned Vehicle for entire tour as per itinerary
  •  Service of English speaking local guide at sightseeing spots in Mamallapuram, Tanjore,
  • Madurai, Periyar and Cochin
  •  History walk tour with Lunch in Mamallapuram
  •  1 hour general full body ayurvedic massage at Kovalam hotel
  •  Elephant ride in Periyar
  •  Bullock cart ride in Kumbakkonam
  •  Henna painting for ladies in a local house on Day 3
  •  One set of Indian costume
  •  Photo session wearing south Indian costume
  • Parrot reading (astrology)
  • One hour Yoga class in Mamallapuram on Day 2 & 3
  • One dinner for two pax at Hotel Supreme - Madurai with temple view
  • Bi Cycle Rickshaw tour in Madurai
  • Trekking in Periyar, Plantation tour in Periyar
  • One night in House Boat on full board basis
  • One bottle of water per day per person
  • Kathakali dance performance visit in Cochin
  • Entrance fees to the Monuments
  • Last day farewell dinner at Kovalam
  • All applicable taxes
DAY 01: ARRIVAL CHENNAI TRANSFER TO MAMALLAPURAM (65km / 1.5 h)
Upon arrival our executive will meet you at the airport and transfer to Hotel. Overnight in Mamallapuram.

DAY 02: MAMALLAPURAM (History walk of Mamallapuram)
Morning proceed to sightseeing of Mamallapuram you will visit monuments from 7th century. This trip start at Arjuna's Penance (Bas Relief on the face of a huge rock), later to Five Rathas (architectural prototypes of Dravidian temples which symbolizes equality between man and woman), and end at Shore Temple (temple with 2 shrines, for Shiva and for Vishnu). After sightseeing go for a traditional Indian lunch on a banana. Evening at 5 p.m. one hour Yoga session.
(Overnight in Mamallapuram)

DAY 03: IN MAMALLAPURAM / LEISURE
Morning at leisure. Evening at 5 p.m. one hour Yoga session.
(Overnight in Mamallapuram)
(No vehicle)

DAY 04: MAMALLAPURAM - KUMBAKKONAM (250km / 5.5 h)
Check out from hotel after breakfast and drive to Kumbakonam – a small typical Indian town. Enrotue visit temple at Gangaikonda Cholapuram (famous Shiva temple) with its beautiful high towers full with many small sculptures depicting stories of old epics. Further more you will be taken for a special visit to the Silk Weaving at a near by place (walkable distance). Untouched by regular tourist & no hassle of shop keepers/sellers, this visit will give you glimpse on weaving industry & the hard work behind it. Onward drive to Kumbakonam.
(Overnight in Kumbakonam)

DAY 05: KUMBAKKONAM – TANJORE (Via Velankanni)
Morning after breakfast checkout and drive to Velankanni and later drive to Tanjore. Evening visit - the world famous Brihadishwara temple (houses one of Asia’s biggest Nandi –the bull). The temple built by the Cholas is very special for its architecture. The most exiting is that the temple does not have a shadow falling on ground at any time of day but falls on its own body. Then on visit the Bronze gallery at palace museum. Later return to hotel.
(Overnight in Tanjore)

DAY 06: TANJORE – TRICHY - MADURAI (195 km / 4 h)
Check out from hotel after early breakfast and drive to Trichy – a town situated on the banks of river Cauvery. A Journey of 1.15hrs will bring you to Trichy and on arrival visit the famous “Sriranganathaswami temple” at Srirangam - The most revered of the 108 pilgrimage shrines of Vishnu, and the largest temple complex in all India, it is surrounded by seven concentric walls (the outermost wall having a perimeter of over 3 kilometers) and 21 towers called “Gopuras”. The most attractive among the Gopuras is the one at the entrance with lot of colors and stands one of the tallest amongst many other temple towers in Tamil Nadu. Srirangam enshrines a statue of Vishnu reclining on a great serpent. Then on visit the local market (Gandhi Market) at the main town. Break for lunch at a nice city hotel and onward drive for less than 03hrs to reach the old city of Tamil Nadu – Madurai. On arrival you will check in to hotel. Evening enjoy the dinner at roof top restaurant at Hotel Supreme.
(Overnight at Madurai)

DAY 07: MADURAI (Sight seeing)
Morning after breakfast you will go on a sightseeing tour of Madurai by Cycle Rickshaw. The Bi-Cycle Rickshaw tour of Madurai offers you a memorable experience of being in this old city. It takes you to the interesting narrow streets & lanes of Madurai showing the typical life of people in here. The Rickshaw pullers of Madurai were getting very unpopular with the locals, as the locals preferred the more modern mode of transport. The Cycle Rickshaw - the most eco friendly form of transport was fast being phased out, and the hundred and twenty rickshaw pullers of Madurai were being deprived of a lively hood as they were unable to buy the modern forms of transport like the auto rickshaw/taxi etc. To give these pullers another lease of life we at Hi-tours have designed this tour as part of our commitment to promote responsible tourism. By taking this tour you are supporting the rickshaw pullers and at the same time, encouraging the locals to use the rickshaws and all of this is in a very eco friendly way. By Cycle Rickshaw we visit - Meenakshi temple (one of the largest temple complexes in south India), Flower/Fruit & Spice Market, Tirumalai Nayak Palace, Gandhi Museum, Small scale Industry like Vessel making & Cloth making and in the late evening visit to Meenakshi temple for the night ceremony where God Shiva (Meenakshi’s husband) is taken in a palanquin to the bedroom of Meenakshi. This is a daily procession and next day early morning before sunrise God Shiva is brought back to his shrine with in the temple complex. God Shiva here is known as Sundareshwar. The temple has its full name as “Meenakshi Sundareshwar “ temple.
(Overnight in Madurai)

DAY 08: MADURAI - PERIYAR/THEKKADY (170 km / 4 h)
Check out from hotel after breakfast at 08.00am and drive to Periyar (also known as Thekkady). The name Periyar comes after the Dam made here by the English in 1895. A wild life reserve hence is an ideal place to track down wild life such as Elephants, Bison, Deer and numerous other varieties of birds. The landscape here is with very tropical and you will be surrounded by tea, coffee & other spices. On arrival you will check into hotel and at 16.00 hrs leave for a guided plantation tour to the nearby garden where in various species of spices and other aromatic plants are cultivated. The guide explains & clarifies your doubts on this tour. Depending on the day’s opportunity you will also taken to visit a tea factory nearby. Enjoy the elephant ride.
Overnight in Periyar

DAY 09: PERIYAR/THEKKADY
Early morning at 06.00am you go on a Guided Jungle walk at the Periyar tiger reserve/national park. This 03hrs walk (not very hard) is very interesting and gives you the chance to see the wildlife life at a very close distance. If you are lucky you may even spot the rarely sighted leopards & tigers. Return to hotel and rest. OPTIONAL: At 15.30hrs we leave for the most popular boat trip at the National Park - the best way to observe game in wild is by boat. There are many animals to see, including herds of elephants, bison’s and packs of wild boars that roam through the woods and parade along the shores of the lake just before sunrise and sunset. You can also see also different species of apes. The golden langur monkey that lives here is rarely seen in the rest of India. Other animals in Periyar are otters and porcupines. Water turtles can often be seen sunning themselves on the pieces of wood that stick out of the water. Osprey and Cormorants belong to the most important species of birds in this area.
(Overnight in Thekkady)

DAY 10: PERIYAR TO COCHIN (180 km / 4.5h)
Morning checkout from hotel and drive to Cochin. Upon arrival, check into hotel. Visit a local family to enjoy lunch and mingle with the family and after that you will go on a sightseeing tour around Cochin where you will visit the old part of Fort Cochin and Mattancherry. First you will visit the Dutch Palace which was built by the Portuguese and presented to the Cochin King in the 16th century and the St. Francis Church - the oldest European church in India, Santa Cruz Basilica - built by Portuguese in the 16th century, the Dutch Palace, the Jewish Synagogue also built in 16th century, the fishing market and the famous Chinese fishing net - believed having been brought by trader from Kubla Khan's court in China. In the afternoon by 1630 hrs, you will be taken to a place where you can experience wearing the traditional Indian (Kerala) costume. In the evening (5:45) you will visit the popular classical dance-drama of Kerala "Kathakali". This dramatized presentation of a play usually based on the Hindu epics of Ramayana, Mahabharata and Puranas and has a unique combination of literature, music, painting, acting and dance. The great themes are covered righteousness, evil, frailty and courage, poverty and prosperity, war and peace. This dance drama is famous for amazing costumes, very extensive make-up, and explosive body movement and is performed exclusively by male.
(Overnight in Cochin)

DAY 11: COCHIN TO ALLEPPEY [House Boat Cruise: Alleppey Round Trip] (140 km /4 h)
Morning do a henna painting in hand. The lady who will do the painting will visit you at you hotel and will do the beautiful painting. Depart from hotel and drive reach the land of backwaters - Alleppey. In Alleppey you will go for a cruise on the traditional House Boat (Kettu Valam) of Kerala Style which brings you along the narrow, quiet, small villages over 900 km of the labyrinth water world, lined with coconut palms. On the House Boat you will experience the typical food of Kerala, sunbathing on the deck, staying away from the hustle and bustle of daily life. While this trip you can observe the daily activities of the village people, living in the Backwaters area making traditional boats, coconut oil and designing toys with coconut shells.
Overnight on a House Boat.

DAY 12: ALLEPPEY TO KOVALAM (175 km / 3.5h)
Drive to Kovalam, one of the most popular beach destinations in Kerala and check into your hotel. Kovalam consists of three adjacent crescent beaches separated by rocky headlands, of which the southernmost Lighthouse beach is the most famous. The Azure waters and favorable climate make Kovalam a favourite year-round destination for beach lovers. Day at leisure on the beach.
Overnight at Kovalam

DAY 13: IN KOVALAM / LEISURE
Enjoy a rejuvenating Ayurveda general full-body massage.Overnight at Kovalam

DAY 14: IN KOVALAM / LEISURE
Day at Leisure at Kovalam. Enjoy your farewell dinner.
(Overnight in Kovalam)

DAY 15: KOVALAM TO TRIVANDRUM (20 km / 1 h)
Departure transfer to the Trivandrum Airport for onward Journey to your Country.

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