Classical South India Tour Package - 13 Days

Trip Highlights

  • Temples of Tamil Nadu.
  • Boat ride on river to visit wildlife sanctuary in Periyar
  • Visit to the Fort Kochi area.
  • Overnight stay in a modified Kettuvallom (Houseboat).
  • View Kathakali dance show at Kochi

In this tour your will explore two highly visited states of South India Tamil Nadu & Kerala.

Tamil Nadu is to see sculpture at the height of its glory, for there are many temple cities here, some of them sacred as pilgrimage centres. In Tamil Nadu the intermingling of religion and craft is most pronounced as most of the metalwork, handloom and jewellery making traditions drew their patronage and sustenance from the famous temples of the state.

Kerala  located on the Southwest corner of India and cradled in the Western Ghats is a palm-fringed paradise with dazzling silver beaches, green fields, thatched villages and still backwaters. Its colour is green, its mood is festive. In this tour you will visit the wildlife sanctuary in Periyar on a river boat, beautiful backwaters of Kerala and spend an night in a modified Kettuvallom (house boat) on backwaters of Kerala and end you tour in beautiful streets of Fort Cochin area.

Chennai : Fort St. George museum, National museum
Kanchipuram : Temples
Mahabalipuram : Mahabalipuram Temples
Trichy: Fort, Temple
Tanjore : Tanjore Palace, Art Gallery
Madurai : Temple, Palace
Cochin : Dutch Palace, Jewish Synagogue

This is specific itinerary possible but we can adjust it as per your requirements and your travel dates so you can enjoy this tour package more comfortably.

Day 1

On Arrival Chennai, our representative assist you on transfer from airport to hotel

Chennai (Madras) “Gateway to the South” – the capital of Tamil Nadu – where Dravidian culture reached its zenith – a port of the legendary Coromandel coast with a marvelous tradition of music and dance. The golden sandy beaches merge with the breakers of the Bay of Bengal. One of India’s four metropolises, this city of 5 million people has a pronounced colonial heritage dating back to the 17th century, when first the Portuguese and then the British arrived here.

Night stay at hotel.

Day 2

After breakfast proceed for the sightseeing of Chennai. visit to Fort St. George, a British trading post and powerful bastion. We then visit the 16th century Portuguese Cathedral of St. Thomas, in which the remains of the apostle St. Thomas, who is said to have come to India in 52 AD, are buried. We drive past the Madras University built in Indo-Saracenic style, the 5 km long stretch of the Marina Beach, a lovely esplanade by the sea, and the National Museum of Chennai. The highlight of the museum is its world-renowned collection of stone and bronze sculptures.

Night stay at hotel.

Day 3
Chennai - Mahabalipuram via Kanchipuram by road (140 Km: 03 hrs drive)

After breakfast, take a road trip to Mahabalipuram en-route visiting the Kanchipuram temples – “The Golden City” has about 125 shrines, all of them centuries old, dating back to the early Cholas of 200 B.C. It was successively capital of the Cholas, the Pallavas and the Rayas of Vijayanagara. The height of Kanchi’s glory was when it was capital of the far-flung empire of the Pallavas from the 6th to the 8th centuries when Mahabalipuram and Mylapore were its great ports. All that is left are its magnificent temples. Kanchipuram’s other claim to fame is its silk, renowned for more than four centuries. A unique system of weavers makes and sells Kanchi saris which are the richest saris in India and certainly the most sought after.

After visit continue your drive to Mahabalipuram, on arrival check in at hotel.

Mahabalipuram is a beautiful tiny village by the sea in which all else is dwarfed by a dream world of awesome Tamil art, an open-air museum of sculpture in living rock.

Afternoon sightseeing of Mahabalipuram – This UNESCO World Heritage Site is a beach-front, architectural complex of 7th and 8th century rock-cut temples. The site represents the early stage in the structural evolution of South Indian (Dravidian) architecture. The temples here were sculpted and chiseled from stone to create celebrated works, including ‘Five Chariots’ (five temples of varying shapes and styles), ‘Arjuna’s Penance’ (a large relief), the 64-foot-high ‘Descent of the Ganges’ (large-scale narrative sculpture with a complex mythological theme), and the Shore Temple, which has been standing by the sea for 12 centuries.

Night stay at hotel.

Day 4
Mahabalipuram - Pondicherry by road (95 Km: 1.5 hrs drive)

After breakfast, take a road trip to Pondicherry, on arrival check-in at the hotel

Pondicherry is a quiet, elegant escape from the hustle of nearby Chennai. This historic town on the south-eastern coast of India is a mélange of diverse cultures. There is the unmistakable touch of the French: tree-lined boulevards, quaint colonial heritage buildings all hark back to the history of the town as a French colony. The nearby Auroville and Aurobindo Ashram are magnets for spiritual seekers from around the world.

Afternoon Visit Aurobindo Ashram, founded in 1920 as the residence of the great saint and revolutionary Aurobindo and his spiritual companion, The Mother, a Paris-born painter and musician named Mira Richard. Aurobindo preached his concept of a peaceful community from this ashram. Today, members of the ashram run farms, libraries, gardens and small-scale industries including a printing press.

Night stay at hotel.

Day 5
Pondicherry - Tanjore via Trichy by surface (260 Km: 04 hrs drive)

After breakfast take a road trip to Tanjore via Trichy.

Trichy is a historical town and for a period it was the capital of the Chola rulers. Visit the Rock Fort, 300 ft. (90 m) high, which dominates the landscape. At its summit is a Ganesha Temple, a popular place of worship in spite of the steep climb involved – 434 steps. There is a 100-pillar mandapam which was used for music concerts and religious discourses. A fine view of the city can be had from the fort. Then visit the island of Srirangam across the River Kaveri – 3 miles (5 km) away. The temple here is practically a town in itself with several residential streets within its 1 sq. mile together with a number of shopping streets. Its annual winter festival attracts thousands of devotees. The visitor can wander around freely in most parts of the temple.

After visit continue drive to Tanjore, on arrival check-in at the hotel

Thanjavur, formerly known as Tanjore, is also called the rice bowl of Tamil Nadu. Thanjavur is an important center of South Indian religion, art, and architecture. Most of the Great Living Chola Temples, which are UNESCO World Heritage Monuments, are located in and around Thanjavur. The foremost among these, the Brihadeeswara Temple, is located in the centre of the city. Thanjavur is also home to Tanjore painting, a painting style unique to the region. The city first rose to prominence during the reign of Mutharaiyar when it served as the capital of the empire. After the fall of Cholas, the city was ruled by various dynasties like Pandyas, Vijayanagar Empire, Madurai Nayaks, Thanjavur Nayaks, Thanjavur Marathas and British Empire.

Night stay at hotel.

Day 6

After breakfast, Full day sightseeing of Tanjore city- visit the famous 11th century Brihadeeshwara Temple. This UNESCO-recognized temple is one of India’s most prized architectural sites. The pyramidal temple, covered in vibrant sculptures, stands 216 feet high. The entire complex that surrounds the main temple, including several subsidiary shrines and pillared hallways is a bustling town in itself. The town is known for its immense contributions to the South Indian classical music tradition called ‘Carnatic’ and a unique painting style. Then visit The Palace and the remains of the fort that surround it can still be seen. Members of the former royal family of Thanjavur still occupy some apartments in the inner recesses but the Palace is now mainly used as an art gallery.

Nifght stay at hotel.

Day 7
Tanjore - Madurai by road (175 Km: 04 hrs drive)

After Breakfast, take a road trip to Madurai, on arrival check-in at the hotel

Madurai – The `Temple City’ was the capital of the Pandya kingdom but it was during the reign of the Nayaks (10th to the 18th century) that the magnificent Meenakshi Temple and other buildings were constructed. Chennai is be the capital of Tamil Nadu, but Madurai claims its soul. Madurai is Tamil-born and Tamil-rooted, one of the oldest cities in India, a metropolis that traded with ancient Rome and was a great capital long before Chennai.

Afternoon city tour of Madurai visitingthe Thirumalai Nayaka Palace and Meenakshi Devi Temple (Non-Hindus are not allowed inside the main premises).

Visit the Madurai Temple, believed to have 33 million sculptures. The four corner gopurams are the most striking. The Meenakshi Nayakkar mandapam hall has 110 pillars and a lamp holder with 1,008 lamps which are lit on festive occasions. Then visit the Palace of Thirumalai Nayak, the most famous king of the Nayak dynasty. It has a great audience hall, a three-sided pavilion and a courtyard. Some of the original apartments still remain and there is a museum in one of the halls. Yet another Nayakar legacy is the Mariammam Teppakulam, a tank which was fed from the waters of the river Vaigai, north of the city.

Night stay at hotel.

Day 8
Madurai- Periyar by road (170 Km: 04 hrs drive)

After Breakfast, take a road trip to Periyar, on arrival check-in at the hotel

Periyar National Park and Tiger Reserve offers plenty of opportunities for recreation and is considered one of the richest bio-diversity wildlife parks in the world. It is situated within the confines of the Western Ghats. Tourists are captivated by the variety of activities available in the park like boat rides, trekking, angling and much more. Periyar was declared a sanctuary in 1934 and became the only Tiger Project of Kerala in 1978.

Afternoon take boat ride to visit the national park.

Night stay at hotel.

Day 9
Periyar - Kumarakom by surface (120 Km: 03 hrs drive) Breakfast at hotel

This Morning spice plantation tour – Spices have always been an important part of life in Kerala. Here the masters of ayruveda, the science of life, discovered the use of spices for medicinal purposes. Spices also play an important role in the Kerala cuisine, non-ayruvedic medicine and cosmetics. Periyar is, due to its location in the lower mountains around 1000 metres above sea level, blessed with numerous types of spices. Consequently, the spice plantation tour is in one of the most important activities outside the reserve that a visitor can engage in. It is an opportunity to see why the Kerala cuisine is so different from most of the other Indian cuisines. The tour gives you a chance to enjoy cardamom, pepper, clove, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla and many other varieties of spices and medicinal plants.

Afternoon take a road trip to Kumarakom, on arrival check-in at the hotel

The tourist village of Kumarakom lies in the scenic backwater area, on the shore of the pleasant Vembanad lake, 16 km away from Kottayam. Here an old rubber plantation around the lake has been developed into a bird sanctuary. A path goes through the swamp to the main nesting area, while the island in the middle of the lake can be reached by boat.

Rest of the day is at leisure

Enjoy Evening sunset at cruise on backwaters

Night stay at hotel.

Day 10

After breakfast, Dday is at leisure.

Optional: Enjoy half day visit to Philipkutty’s farm and experience Indian cooking class followed by lunch (Cost will be applicable)

Night stay at hotel.

Kumarakom / Allepey – Overnight houseboat cruise

After breakfast, this morning board your houseboat for an overnight cruise. The best way to explore backwaters of Kerala is aboard a traditional wooden houseboat. Allepey with its tranquil, deeply shaded maze of canals and backwaters has rightly been called the Venice of the East.

Lunch and Dinner on board

Night stay at cruise.

Day 11
Allepey / Cochin by road (60 km: 01 hour drive)

After breakfast, de-board your boat & take a road trip to Cochin, on arrival check in at hotel.

Cochin (Kochi) is spread across islands and promontories in a stunning location between the Arabian Sea and the Backwaters. The city was founded in 1341 when a flood created a natural safe port which became the principal harbour for Malabar coast’s spice trade. Cochin was on the main trade route between Europe and China. The rulers invited people of various religions to settle here, attracting the Jews and the Christians who built places of worship and their own communities.

Afternoon day sightseeing of Kochi visiting the Dutch Palace, which has some of India’s most beautiful murals, the Jewish Synagogue in the heart of Jew Town and the cantilevered Chinese fishing nets. See St. Francis Church where Vasco da Gama was originally buried, and the Santa Cruz Church with its pastel coloured interior and carved wooden panels.

Enjopy Evening view Kathakali dance show- Kathakali literally meaning “story dance” is the pantomimic dance drama, the dancing and the acting being blended together into an inseparable form. It is a combination of facial expressions and body movements, which brings out the thought and emotion of the character.

Night stay at hotel.

Day 12

After Breakfast, Morning in time pick up from the hotel and transfer to international airport to connect flight for onward destination.

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    Trip Facts

    • On Request
    • 12 Nights / 13 Days
    • Chennai – Kanchipuram – Trichy – Madurai – Pondicherry – Cochin – Kumarakom – Allepey
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