Spiritual Tamilnadu with Enchanting Kerala
Chennai – Mahabalipuram – Pondicherry – Thanjavur – Chettinad - Madurai – Munnar – Periyar – Backwaters – Allepey – Marari Beach – Kochi
13 Nights/ 14 Days
- Explore the vivid charms of Tamil Nadu and Kerala
- Visit the renowned rock-cut temples of Mahabharata
- Brihadeshwara Temple - a UNESCO World Heritage Site - in Thanjavur
- Visit the thousand years old Meenakshi Amman Temple Of Madurai
- Soak in the views of tea and spice plantations in Munnar
- Enjoy boat ride at the Periyar lake
- Overnight stay in a houseboat at Alleppey backwaters
Day 1: Arrive Chennai
On arrival at Chennai airport, our representative will meet you and transfer you to the hotel. Rest of the day at leisure.Overnight stay at hotel in Chennai.
Chennai is a city built by the English in 1639. Its first name was "Madras" and is located on the eastern Coromandel coastal area of the Bay of Bengal. It is the largest city of Tamil Nadu and was the main seat of power of well-known and powerful dynasties of South India - the Pallavas, the Cholas, the Pandyas and the Vijaynagar kingdom. During Indian Independence in 1947, Chennai was declared to be the capital of Tamil Nadu.
Day 2: Chennai-Mahabalipuram [60 Kms/ 1 Hr 30 Mins]
Drive to Mamallapuram, also known as Mahabalipuram or Mamallapattana, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Mahabalipuram was a bustling harbor and an important port for the Pallavas (a South Indian dynasty that existed from 275 CE to 897 CE). It was named after Mahabali a rude cruel king who was killed by Lord Vishnu. Most of the monuments here dating back to 7th and 9th century, depict various events of Mahabharata (a great Indian epic).
On reaching Mahabalipuram, visit the rock-cut temples constructed during the reign of Narasimhavarman (who ruled South India from 630–668 CE) and Mandapams (pavilion for public rituals) depicting the incidents of the life of legends, Hindu epics and mythology. The city was mostly developed by Narasimhavarman. Visit the Arjuna’s Penance that represents a story from the great Indian epic Mahabharata of how Arjuna, one of the Pandava brothers, performed severe austerities in order to obtain Shiva's weapon (Trishul). The composition of the relief includes scenes of the natural and celestial worlds. A natural cleft populated by Nagas (snakes) separates the two halves of this relief. Also, visit the Shore temple - a UNESCO World Heritage Site - built in the 7th century. This temple depicts the royal taste of Pallava dynasty. Two shrines in the Shore Temple are dedicated to Lord Shiva and the 3rd temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu.
Overnight stay at hotel in Mahabalipuram.
Day 3: Mahabalipuram-Pondicherry [100 Km/2 Hrs]
Drive to Pondicherry, a city ruled by the French till 1954. It has colonial buildings, churches, temples and statues. Pondicherry preserves and offers a well-planned aspect of the colonial atmosphere. Pondicherry has a number of historic buildings and well-preserved monuments. The food, the beaches, the ashrams, the tranquil in the air, the breezy shores makes it a must-visit place for everyone.
On reaching, proceed with Pondicherry sightseeing tour. This city is divided into two neighborhoods - French "White City" and the Indian quarter "Black City". Some streets still have French names. In the French Quarter, see French-style villas and colonial style buildings. Sri Aurobindo Ashram - a spiritual community dedicated to Sri Aurobindo, an Indian philospher, yogi and guru - is a major attraction here. Also, visit Auroville - a universal town where people of all nationalities live together in harmony and peace. Sri Ganesha Temple and Manakula Lord Vinayagar are famous Hindu temples here.
Overnight stay at hotel in Pondicherry.
Day 4: Pondicherry-Thanjavur [210 Km/5-6]
Drive to Thanjavur (Tanjore), the capital of the Chola dynasty (longest ruling dynasty of South India). On reaching, go for Thanjavur sightseeing tour. It is a city famous for Tanjore paintings and the Bharatanatyam classical dance form. It is an important center of religion, art and architecture and most of the Chola temples are present here. Thanjavur is an important center of silk weaving and has a large number of units of silk weaving. It is also famous for its bronze idols and musical instruments such as veena, tambura, violin, etc. Overnight stay at hotel in Thanjavur.
Day 5: Thanjavur-Trichy [55 Kms/2 Hrs]
After breakfast, check-out from the hotel. Drive to Trichy - a city settled around the Rock Fort. Trichy were built by the Nayaks (1529-1736) of Madurai. It was one of the main centers where the wars of the Carnatic were fought in the 18th century during the British-French struggle for supremacy in India. On reaching, visit the Rock Fort Temple and Srirangam temple, walk through China Bazaar, Grand Bazaar and side streets.Overnight stay at hotel in Trichy.
Day 6: Trichy-Chettinad [85 km/3 Hrs]
In morning, drive to Chettinad. On arrival, check-in at the hotel. Chettinad is rich in cultural heritage, art and architecture and is well known for its houses embellished with marble and Burma teak, wide courtyards and spacious rooms. Legends has it that their usual walls are polished with a paste made of egg white for a smooth texture. Here, visit the huge country houses of Chettiars and Chettinad Museum.
Overnight stay at hotel in Chettinad.
Day 7: Chettinad-Madurai [90 km/2 Hrs]
After breakfast, drive to Madurai. Located on the banks of the River Vaigai, Madurai dates back to more than 2500 years and was an important cultural and commercial center as early as 550 A.D when the Pandvas (mentioned in the great Indian epic Mahabharata) made it their capital. Madurai is a booming modern industrial center, despite of its vast expanses of lush paddy fields. On arrival, visit the Meenakshi temple, Vandiyur Mariamman Teppakulam (a tank situated near the Meenakshi Temple) and Thirumalai Nayak Palace. In evening, return to Meenakshi Temple to witness the Aarti ceremony.
Overnight stay at hotel in Madurai.
Day 8: Madurai-Munnar [160 Km/4 Hrs]
In morning, drive to Munnar meaning three rivers - Madhurapuzha, Nallathanni and Kundaly located on Kannan Devan Hills. It is a beautiful hill station and was one of the preferred vacation spots of the British. Now it is a a popular honeymoon destination in Kerala that offers spectacular views of vast tea plantation hills. Another major attraction here is Anamudi, the highest peak in South India is here. Munnar is surrounded by various wildlife sanctuaries housing the giant squirrel, elephant, gaur, Nilgiri Langur, Sambar, etc. It also boasts the Neelakurinji - a blue flower that blooms once in 12 years.
Overnight stay at hotel in Munnar.
Day 9: Munnar Sightseeing
Day free at leisure or you can visit the Atukkad Cascades - a beautiful waterfall located amidst hills and jungles, Chithirapuram for its tea plantations, Floriculture center - a garden with different species of flowers and medicinal plants or take tour to Tata Tea Museum that shows how tea is processed.
Overnight stay at hotel in Munnar.
Day 10: Munnar-Periyar [145 kms/4 Hrs]
Drive to Periyar, also known as Thekkady. Periyar is famous for its Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary that offers shelter to elephants, tigers and various animals like the Bengal tiger, Indian elephant, wild boar, sambar, tiger, leopard and langur monkeys etc. A boat ride in the Periyar lake offers rare sights of the sanctuary surrounded by tea and coffee plantations.
Overnight stay at hotel in Periyar.
Day 11: Periyar-Kumarakom [130 Kms/4 Hrs]
After breakfast, check-out from the hotel and drive to Kumarakom. On arrival, check in at the hotel. Day free at leisure.
Overnight stay at hotel in Kumarakom.
Day 12: Kumarakom-Alleppey [Housbeoat]
After breakfast, drive to Alleppey. On arrival, board the traditional houseboat. After registering, customers will receive coconut drink as welcome drink. Around 13:30 Hrs, the boat will be anchored near rice paddies for lunch and then resume cruise around 14:30 hrs until 18:00 hrs. In evening, tea/coffee and snacks will be served at 18:00 hrs. The boat will be anchored near village for night stay as cruising is not possible at night since during this time the local fishermen put their nets. Dinner will be served at 20:00 hrs.
Overnight stay in a houseboat at Alleppey.