Splendor of South India 9 Days

Discover the South India by visiting some of the India’s oldest towns, most beautiful medieval temples and backwater cruise in Kerala with the great scenery of lush green and deep blues.

The tour begins with your arrival in  Chennai, a coastal city of South India, and driving to Mahabalipurm , a medieval town against the backdrop of blue ocean, and then to Pondicherry , a former French colony, presents an unusual combination of European culture and Indian traditions. Continue further to Chidambaram and Madhurai , famous for its Meenakshi Temple, one of India's biggest Temples. En-route, you will get to see some of the most beautiful temples and architecture.

Drive to Thekkady and visit the Periyar National Park, the hub of wild elephants. Continue to Cochin and finally to House Boat, which cruises along the serene backwater of Kerala.

  • Day 01 Arrival in Chennai
  • Day 02 Tour of Chennai and later drive to Mahabalipuram
  • Day 03 Overland Mahabalipuram-Pondicherry
  • Day 04 Drive Pondicherry-Tanjore
  • Day 05 Tanjore-Trichy-Madurai
  • Day 06 Madurai-Thekkady (Periyar National Park)
  • Day 07 Drive Thekkady-Cochin
  • Day 08 Drive Cochin-Allepey and House Boat
  • Day 09 House Boat-Cochin- U.S. or an extension

Day 01 Arrival in Chennai

Upon arrival in Chennai, you will be met and transferred to hotel. Rest of the day at leisure, and go through jet lage.

Overnight in Chennai.

Day 02 Tour of Chennai and later drive to Mahabalipuram

MEAL: Breakfast

Morning tour of Chennai, the fourth largest city in India, and the capital of Tamil Nadu. Chennai has grown from the merging of a number of small villages including its former namesake Madraspatnam.  The city sprawls over more than 70 sq km., retains its former regional hubs. The main attractions of Chennai are The Art and Bronze Gallery. (Closed on Fridays and public holidays).

Take a drive through the flowers and fruit market, High Court, Fort Museum, Marina beach and Santhome Cathedral.

Later drive to Mahabalipuram (approx. 2 Hrs.).

Overnight in Mahabalipuram.

Day 03 Overland Mahabalipuram-Pondicherry

MEAL: Breakfast

Tour of Mahabalipuram, which is noted for Shore Temple and rock carvings. The tour includes Arjuna’s Penance, Varaha Mandapam, Krishna Mandapam, the Bhagavatham, The Rathas and the shore Temple.

Later drive to Pondicherry (approx. 2-3 Hrs.). Arrive and check-in to hotel.

Overnight in Pondicherry.

Day 04 Drive Pondicherry-Tanjore

MEAL: Breakfast

Early breakfast, followed by the tour of Pondicherry, the capital of French India before independence. Pondicherry traces its origin from Saint Agasthya, the revered sage of the south and excavation near by reveal that a Roman settlement existed here 2000 years ago. Visit Jawahar Toy Museum, Church of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception and Drowpathiamman Temple.

Drive to Tanjore (approx. 4-hrs.). Arrive and check-in to hotel.

If time permit (or visit next day), visit Tanjore, the beautiful Chola Temple of Brihadeeshwara is capped by a monolithic cupola made of single granite block weighing 80 tons which was taken of the top with the help of a 6km long ramp, an old technique used by Egyptians for building pyramids.

Overnight in Tanjore.

Day 05 Tanjore-Trichy-Madurai

MEAL: Breakfast

Morning drive to Trichy (approx. 1 Hr.) Visit Trichy, citadel of the Chola dynasty in the medieval period. The Rock-Fort is the landmark of Trichy.

Drive further to Madurai (approx. 2 Hrs./135 Kms.). Arrive & check-in to hotel.

Later visit  Meenakshi Temple dedicated to the consort of Lord Shiva with the towering Gopurams (rising high above the surrounding country side). Next is  the Tirumala Nayak Palace, a gracious building in the Indosaracenic style, famous for the Stucco work on its domes and arches.

Meenakshi Temple Timings:

Timings: 0500-1230 Hrs. Morning ceremony: 0530-0615 Hrs.  / Timings: 1600-2200 Hrs. Evening ceremony- 2115-2200 Hrs.

Overnight in Madhurai.

Day 06 Madurai-Thekkady (Periyar National Park)

MEAL: Breakfast

After breakfast, drive to Periyar (approx. 4-5 hrs).  Arrive and check-in to hotel.

Take a boat ride. Visit the earliest sanctuary to be set up in 1934, which extends to 777 square kms. & forms part of the high mountain ranges, the Western Ghats. Wild life can be seen while crushing on Periyar Lake in a motor boat. Here you find mostly the wild elephants. 

Evening is free to walk around, which is known for various Spice and coffee plantations. 

Overnight in Thekkady.

Day 07 Drive Thekkady-Cochin

MEAL: Breakfast

After breakfast,  drive to Cochin (approx. 4-5 Hrs.). Arrive and check-in to hotel.

Tour of old Cochin visiting The Dutch Palace at Mattancherry. The Jewish Synagogue at the heart of what is called the Jew Town. The St. Francis Church, the oldest European church in India. The Santa Cruz Basilica, originally built in 1557 by the Portuguese. The Chinese fishing nets, believed to have brought to Kochi by Chinese traders. 

Evening Kathakali dance show.

Overnight in Cochin.

Day 08 Drive Cochin-Allepey and House Boat

MEAL: Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner

Morning is free.

Drive to Allepey/House Boat (approx. 2-3 Hrs.) Arrive and board houseboat. A private boat cruise along the serene backwaters of Kerela is a highlight of any visit to the South. These converted rice barges or “Kettuvallams” sail along the shallow, palm-fringed lakes and narrow canals. You will pass  through villages built on narrow spits of land, stopping to visit local markets by bullock-cart, or to marvel at the craftsmen engaged in centuries-old boat-making tradition.

The boat offers one or two cabins with a small sitting room and a crew of 2 staff and a chef. The food is authentic Kerela cuisine. For most of the journey, the boat is poled, sailing only between dawn and dusk. A fascinating experience and a unique way to see the traditional way of life in the Kerala backwaters.

Overnight in House Boat.

Day 09 House Boat-Cochin- U.S. or an extension

MEAL: Breakfast

Disembark from House Boat after breakfast and drive to Cochin (3 hours), and fly back to U.S. or an extend your trip to North India or Sri Lanka.

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