SOUTH INDIAN TREATS

  • Day 01
    Day 01    Chennai

    Upon arrival at the Chennai International Airport you will be met by our representative and will be transferred to the hotel. Welcome reception. Overnight stay in Chennai.

  • Day 02
    Day 02    Chennai – Mahabalipuram

    After breakfast you will enjoy a half day guided tour around Chennai. We will start by visiting Fort Saint George, where we will stop at the museum that houses interesting artefacts from the British colonization. We will continue exploring Mylapore, one of the oldest neighborhoods of Madras, which has been inhabited since the 16th century when the Portuguese arrived at this city. Following which we will visit the Basilica of Saint Tome, named after the Christian disciple who lived and preached in Chennai in the 1st century. We will also visit the beautiful Kapaleeshwar temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva. This is the biggest temple in the city and its origin dates back the 13th century. You will then be taken to see Marina Beach, the second largest urban beach in the world (about 12 kms long). We will make a break for lunch and drive towards the charming fishing village of Mahabalipuram. Overnight stay in Mahabalipuram.

  • Day 03
    Day 03    Mahabalipuram

    On the third day treat your eyes to the beautiful temples and carvings that here are everywhere in this peaceful town, once a main seaport for the ancient kingdom of Pallava, which was the responsible of all the impressive architecture. We will do a half day guided tour around Mahabalipuram and visit the Five Rathas Temple and the Shore Temple, both of them Unesco World Heritage Sites. You will be free to walk around the town or enjoy the stunning beach for the reminder of the day. Overnight stay in Mahabalipuram.

  • Day 04
    Day 04    Mahabalipuram – Pondicherry

    After breakfast we will drive towards Pondicherry. This former French colony is a great example of mixture between French culture and Indian traditions. In Pondicherry we will do a guided tour around the city, visiting the French Quarter and stopping at the Sri Aurobindo Ashram, which was founded in 1926 by Sri Aurobindo and ‘the Mother’ (founder of the international Auroville community). The ashram is now a place for pilgrims from all over the world as the physical body (samadhi) of this guru and the Mother rest here. We will visit also Auroville to understand how the ideas of the Mother took place and set up this idealistic community where more than 2000 people from many different countries live in harmony working towards a better world, based in peace, sustainable living and “divine consciousness”. Overnight stay in Pondicherry.

  • Day 05
    Day 05    Pondicherry – Tanjore

    After breakfast we will drive to Tanjore, a very important city for its significance in the Dravidian history, and visit the Brihadishwara Temple, Unesco World Heritage Site, to admire the stunning Chola architecture of such place. This temple was built during the 11th century by Rajaraja I.We also will visit the Royal Palace, an interesting example of fine masonry, mixing the styles of the Nayaks and the Marathas. Overnight stay in Tanjore.

  • Day 06
    Day 06    Tanjore – Trichy – Madurai

    After breakfast, we will continue towards Madurai, but we will stop first at the busy city of Trichy. We will do a guided city tour visiting the important Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple, one of the biggest temples in India, with 49 shrines dedicated to Lord Vishnu. We will visit also the Rock Fort Temple where you will have to climb to the top through 400 stonecut steps. After lunch we will drive to Madurai, one of the oldest city in India, just on time to visit the Meenakshi Amman Temple and see the evening ceremonies taken place inside. This temple is a piece of art itself, with many delicate carvings, being the holiest place in all South India and the main attraction of Madurai attracting thousands of pilgrims every day. Overnight stay in Madurai.

  • Day 07
    Day 07    Madurai

    After breakfast we will do a tour around the city and visit the Meenakshi Amman Temple and the Tirumalai Nayak Palace of Dravidian-Islamic style. We will continue our tour visiting the Gandhi Memorial Museum, where you can follow the events of India’s fight for independence. In this museum you will see many artifacts that used to belong to Gandhi, including the blood-stained dhoti that Gandhi was wearing when he was killed. You will have the rest of the evening free to enjoy the buzzing life of Madurai or you can go back to the Meenakshi Temple for the offering pooja after sunset. Overnight stay in Madurai.

  • Day 08
    Day 08    Madurai – Thekkady (Periyar)

    After breakfast we will leave Tamil Nadu behind and head towards Kerala, specifically to Thekkady, the most important city around the Periyar National Park and famous for being the region of the spices of Kerala. We will drive through green mountains and stunning landscapes and you will understand why Kerala is called ‘God’s Own Country’. In the evening you will be able to enjoy a show of kalaripayattu, a Keralan type of martial art originated in this state around the 12th century AD. Overnight stay in Thekkady.

  • Day 09
    Day 09    Thekkady

    After breakfast, you will have the opportunity of visiting South India’s most popular wildlife sanctuary: Periyar, where elephants, tigers, sambars, wild boars and bisons live. Here you will enjoy a boat ride trip around Periyar Lake, an artificial lake created in the 19th century by the British. We will follow our adventure with a walk around the spices plantations, where you will learn about coffee, tea and cardamom processing among others. Overnight stay in Thekkady.

  • Day 10
    Day 10    Thekkady – Kumarakom

    After breakfast we will drive to Kumarakom, on the shore of Vembanad Lake, Kerala’s largest lake. This peaceful backwater village is a heaven for the soul where you will enjoy an unforgettable stay on a houseboat surrounded by rice paddy fields and water canals. You will be able to relax and delight yourself with a cruise on the boat around the backwaters and visit the Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary full of many domestic and migratory birds. If you like watersports you will have the opportunity of practicing wind sailing or water skiing on your free time. Overnight stay in Kumarakom on a houseboat.

  • Day 11
    Day 11    Kumarakom – Alleppey

    After a delicious Keralan breakfast on the boathouse, you will immerse yourself with the scenic surroundings while we travel to Alleppey through the magical backwaters. You will enjoy a cruise from where you can observe and experience the life of the villages around. Once in Alleppey or Alappuzha, the Venice of the East, you will have the free evening to explore this beautiful town and hub of the Keralan backwaters. Overnight stay in Alleppey.

  • Day 12
    Day 12    Alleppey – Marari

    After breakfast we will go on an adventure into the real life of the villages around Alleppey. We will sail these exotic canals on a traditional rice boat and explore the local villages to watch coir-making, toddy (palm beer) tapping, boat building, etc. You will have also the opportunity of having an exquisite traditional meal with a local family and learn more about the life of the fishermen and farmers of the backwaters. Following this exceptional experience, we will drive to Marari, just 14 kms away from Alleppey,where we will enjoy a peaceful beach stay. Overnight stay in Marari.

  • Day 13
    Day 13    Marari

    Free day to enjoy this popular and peaceful beach resort, relax and try an ayurvedic massage. Overnight stay in Marari.

  • Day 14
    Day 14    Marari – Cochin

    After a relaxing day by the beach, we will drive to Cochin, the capital of Kerala. This serene city is a mix of cultures between western and eastern: you will see Chinese nets, a Jewish synagogue, Portuguese houses, Dutch remains, British ruins, ancient mosques, among others. It is a spectacular place to be at and enjoy the blend between European and Keralan traditions. We will do a half day guided tour and explore Fort Cochin. We will visit the Dutch or Mattancherry Palace, built by the Portuguese in the 16th century AD. We will continue walking around the Jewish Quarter and visit the Paradesi Synagogue from the 16th century which floor of hand painted Chinese tiles is of extraordinary beauty. We will also visit St Francis Church, the oldest European built church in India that dates the 16th century as well. The remains of the explorer Vasco da Gama were resting here before they were taken to Lisbon, but his tomb is still in the church. We will end the tour at the gigantic Chinese fishing nets by the northeastern shore of the fort, where we will see how these nets are still working and supply with fresh seafood that you can buy and order to cook and eat on the spot. Finally we will see a unforgettable Katakhali show to end this beautiful tour around South India. Overnight stay in Cochin.

  • Day 15
    Day 15    Cochin

    You will enjoy free time in Cochin and we will finish our services with a little farewell gift from Dhyanam India Tours.

Can you feel the sea brize on your face? Can you see the stunning nature that is everywhere around you? Can you hear the poojas from the temples? Then you are in South India, a paradise among travellers where you can discover a new different country. Here life goes slow, western influences still prevail in many of the cities and everything is surrounded by lush green landscapes and peaceful hidden treasures. We invite you to join us in this journey of relaxation and beauty to enjoy yourself and let your senses absorb the energy of this part of India.

Tour Highlights

  • Guided tour around Chennai
  • Boat ride on Periyar Lake
  • Overnight stay on a boat house in Kerala backwaters
  • Kathakali show in Cochin

ITINERARY

  • Day 01 : Chennai

    Upon arrival at the Chennai International Airport you will be met by our representative and will be transferred to the hotel. Welcome reception. Overnight stay in Chennai.

  • Day 02 : Chennai – Mahabalipuram

    After breakfast you will enjoy a half day guided tour around Chennai. We will start by visiting Fort Saint George, where we will stop at the museum that houses interesting artefacts from the British colonization. We will continue exploring Mylapore, one of the oldest neighborhoods of Madras, which has been inhabited since the 16th century when the Portuguese arrived at this city. Following which we will visit the Basilica of Saint Tome, named after the Christian disciple who lived and preached in Chennai in the 1st century. We will also visit the beautiful Kapaleeshwar temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva. This is the biggest temple in the city and its origin dates back the 13th century. You will then be taken to see Marina Beach, the second largest urban beach in the world (about 12 kms long). We will make a break for lunch and drive towards the charming fishing village of Mahabalipuram. Overnight stay in Mahabalipuram.

  • Day 03 : Mahabalipuram

    On the third day treat your eyes to the beautiful temples and carvings that here are everywhere in this peaceful town, once a main seaport for the ancient kingdom of Pallava, which was the responsible of all the impressive architecture. We will do a half day guided tour around Mahabalipuram and visit the Five Rathas Temple and the Shore Temple, both of them Unesco World Heritage Sites. You will be free to walk around the town or enjoy the stunning beach for the reminder of the day. Overnight stay in Mahabalipuram.

  • Day 04 : Mahabalipuram – Pondicherry

    After breakfast we will drive towards Pondicherry. This former French colony is a great example of mixture between French culture and Indian traditions. In Pondicherry we will do a guided tour around the city, visiting the French Quarter and stopping at the Sri Aurobindo Ashram, which was founded in 1926 by Sri Aurobindo and ‘the Mother’ (founder of the international Auroville community). The ashram is now a place for pilgrims from all over the world as the physical body (samadhi) of this guru and the Mother rest here. We will visit also Auroville to understand how the ideas of the Mother took place and set up this idealistic community where more than 2000 people from many different countries live in harmony working towards a better world, based in peace, sustainable living and “divine consciousness”. Overnight stay in Pondicherry.

  • Day 05 : Pondicherry – Tanjore

    After breakfast we will drive to Tanjore, a very important city for its significance in the Dravidian history, and visit the Brihadishwara Temple, Unesco World Heritage Site, to admire the stunning Chola architecture of such place. This temple was built during the 11th century by Rajaraja I.We also will visit the Royal Palace, an interesting example of fine masonry, mixing the styles of the Nayaks and the Marathas. Overnight stay in Tanjore.

  • Day 06 : Tanjore – Trichy – Madurai

    After breakfast, we will continue towards Madurai, but we will stop first at the busy city of Trichy. We will do a guided city tour visiting the important Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple, one of the biggest temples in India, with 49 shrines dedicated to Lord Vishnu. We will visit also the Rock Fort Temple where you will have to climb to the top through 400 stonecut steps. After lunch we will drive to Madurai, one of the oldest city in India, just on time to visit the Meenakshi Amman Temple and see the evening ceremonies taken place inside. This temple is a piece of art itself, with many delicate carvings, being the holiest place in all South India and the main attraction of Madurai attracting thousands of pilgrims every day. Overnight stay in Madurai.

  • Day 07 : Madurai

    After breakfast we will do a tour around the city and visit the Meenakshi Amman Temple and the Tirumalai Nayak Palace of Dravidian-Islamic style. We will continue our tour visiting the Gandhi Memorial Museum, where you can follow the events of India’s fight for independence. In this museum you will see many artifacts that used to belong to Gandhi, including the blood-stained dhoti that Gandhi was wearing when he was killed. You will have the rest of the evening free to enjoy the buzzing life of Madurai or you can go back to the Meenakshi Temple for the offering pooja after sunset. Overnight stay in Madurai.

  • Day 08 : Madurai – Thekkady (Periyar)

    After breakfast we will leave Tamil Nadu behind and head towards Kerala, specifically to Thekkady, the most important city around the Periyar National Park and famous for being the region of the spices of Kerala. We will drive through green mountains and stunning landscapes and you will understand why Kerala is called ‘God’s Own Country’. In the evening you will be able to enjoy a show of kalaripayattu, a Keralan type of martial art originated in this state around the 12th century AD. Overnight stay in Thekkady.

  • Day 09 : Thekkady

    After breakfast, you will have the opportunity of visiting South India’s most popular wildlife sanctuary: Periyar, where elephants, tigers, sambars, wild boars and bisons live. Here you will enjoy a boat ride trip around Periyar Lake, an artificial lake created in the 19th century by the British. We will follow our adventure with a walk around the spices plantations, where you will learn about coffee, tea and cardamom processing among others. Overnight stay in Thekkady.

  • Day 10 : Thekkady – Kumarakom

    After breakfast we will drive to Kumarakom, on the shore of Vembanad Lake, Kerala’s largest lake. This peaceful backwater village is a heaven for the soul where you will enjoy an unforgettable stay on a houseboat surrounded by rice paddy fields and water canals. You will be able to relax and delight yourself with a cruise on the boat around the backwaters and visit the Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary full of many domestic and migratory birds. If you like watersports you will have the opportunity of practicing wind sailing or water skiing on your free time. Overnight stay in Kumarakom on a houseboat.

  • Day 11 : Kumarakom – Alleppey

    After a delicious Keralan breakfast on the boathouse, you will immerse yourself with the scenic surroundings while we travel to Alleppey through the magical backwaters. You will enjoy a cruise from where you can observe and experience the life of the villages around. Once in Alleppey or Alappuzha, the Venice of the East, you will have the free evening to explore this beautiful town and hub of the Keralan backwaters. Overnight stay in Alleppey.

  • Day 12 : Alleppey – Marari

    After breakfast we will go on an adventure into the real life of the villages around Alleppey. We will sail these exotic canals on a traditional rice boat and explore the local villages to watch coir-making, toddy (palm beer) tapping, boat building, etc. You will have also the opportunity of having an exquisite traditional meal with a local family and learn more about the life of the fishermen and farmers of the backwaters. Following this exceptional experience, we will drive to Marari, just 14 kms away from Alleppey,where we will enjoy a peaceful beach stay. Overnight stay in Marari.

  • Day 13 : Marari

    Free day to enjoy this popular and peaceful beach resort, relax and try an ayurvedic massage. Overnight stay in Marari.

  • Day 14 : Marari – Cochin

    After a relaxing day by the beach, we will drive to Cochin, the capital of Kerala. This serene city is a mix of cultures between western and eastern: you will see Chinese nets, a Jewish synagogue, Portuguese houses, Dutch remains, British ruins, ancient mosques, among others. It is a spectacular place to be at and enjoy the blend between European and Keralan traditions. We will do a half day guided tour and explore Fort Cochin. We will visit the Dutch or Mattancherry Palace, built by the Portuguese in the 16th century AD. We will continue walking around the Jewish Quarter and visit the Paradesi Synagogue from the 16th century which floor of hand painted Chinese tiles is of extraordinary beauty. We will also visit St Francis Church, the oldest European built church in India that dates the 16th century as well. The remains of the explorer Vasco da Gama were resting here before they were taken to Lisbon, but his tomb is still in the church. We will end the tour at the gigantic Chinese fishing nets by the northeastern shore of the fort, where we will see how these nets are still working and supply with fresh seafood that you can buy and order to cook and eat on the spot. Finally we will see a unforgettable Katakhali show to end this beautiful tour around South India. Overnight stay in Cochin.

  • Day 15 : Cochin

    You will enjoy free time in Cochin and we will finish our services with a little farewell gift from Dhyanam India Tours.

Dhyanam Tours
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