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ODYSSEY THROUGH SANDALWOOD, SPICE & COCONUT COUNTRY (14 Days/13 nights)

 

We are delighted to invite you for an incredible journey to Southern India ! Experience the rich cultural tapestary, wondrous sights and the staggering diversity of this intriguing folklore, native arts, traditional ceremonies and a stunning variety of dress and manners, combine to create an experience unlike any other. Admire the masterpieces of architecture, the temple art, the unique craftsmanship and colourful landscapes. Combining the natural beauty of lush landscapes, engaging colonial hill stations and idyllic backwaters, with some of Southern India’s most culturally and historically important cities, this remarkable journey of discovery ventures into the very heart of a land of unsurpassed splendour, natural wonder and colourful tradition.

 

TOUR HIGHLIGHTS

Explore the World Heritage Mahabalipuram Temples and the art of Chennai.

Visit the enormous complex of Meenakshi temple in Madurai and witness the evening prayer ceremony.

Visit to Spice Garden in Periyar.

Cruise the prestine backwaters of Kerala.

Witness the colourful Kathakali dance performance in Cochin.

Participate in a culinary experience of Chettinad cuisine.

Enjoy a heritage walk in Fort Cochin and the exotic bazaars.

Visit the Jewish Town and the Synagogue in Cochin.

Cochin Harbour Sunset cruise.

 

DAY 1 ARRIVE CHENNAI
Late evening arrive into Southern India’s largest city, Chennai (Madras) gateway to the sunny south. Met upon arrival and transfer to your hotel. Your room is availabe for immediate occupancy.
Overnight stay at the hotel.

DAY 2 CHENNAI
Visit Mahabalipuram also called ‘Mamallapuram’, the city of seven pagodas. Chiseled out of boulders into the form of temple chariots, the pagodas are breathtaking. The masterpiece of this site is the ‘Penance of Bhagirath’ – the world’s largest bas relief in stone. Late afternoon return to our hotel with rest of the day at leisure followed by evening welcome reception dinner.
Overnight stay at the hotel.

DAY 3 FLY CHENNAI / MADURAI (I7-479, 1625/1720HRS)

Our tour of Chennai includes visit to St. Thomas Cathedral, which houses the grave of St. Thomas The Apostle and the Bronze Museum. Drive through the beautiful Marina Breach.
Afternoon fly to Madurai, a city planned in the shape of lotus flower and is famous for Meenakshi Temple. In the evening attend the special temple ceremony at the Meenakshi temple.
Overnight stay at the hotel.

DAY 4 MADURAI

Morning tour of Meenakshi Temple, one of the largest temple complexes in India known for its intricate stucco work, along with the five pagodas that surround it. Also visit Tirumala Nayak Mahal, a palace constructed in the Indo – Saracenic style with its set of 22 musical pillars carved out of single block of granite and they emit musical notes when tapped. Later we drive to Karaikuddi, a village and the homeland of the Nattukotai Chettiars, a prosperous banking community. Their legacy is the amazing mansions built with simple materials. Visit these most spectacular Mansions and enjoy the fabulous local cuisine at The Bangala, a quaint Heritage Hotel, located on the outskirts of Karaikudi, and is gaining fame for its genuine home cooked Chettinad Food. Return to your hotel with rest of the day at leisure.
Overnight stay at the hotel.

DAY 5 MADURAI / PERIYAR (140KMS / 04HRS)

Today our journey takes us through a scenic countryside to Periyar Reserve Park. Elephants, Tigers, Sambars, Barking Deer and many birds make their home in this beautiful park. In the afternoon enjoy a cruise on Lake Periyar.
Overnight stay at the hotel.

DAY 6 PERIYAR

In the morning visit to a spice garden to learn about the various locally grown spices. This region of Tamilnadu bordering Kerala is the most suitable region for growing different spices viz clove, pepper, cinnamon, cardamom, bayleaf, venilla, cocoa and nutmeg etc. Afternoon free for independednt activities or enjoy your resort.
Overnight stay at the hotel.

DAY 7 PERIYAR / KUMARAKOM (140KMS / 04HRS)

Today we travel to the celebrated backwaters of Kerala known as ‘Gods own Country’ comprising one of South India’s most picturesque rural areas. This complex network of lagoons, lakes, rivers and canals form the basis of a distinct regional lifestyle where travelling by boat is the local transport. Children take ferries to school, farmers transport their produce by country boats and newspapers are delivered by skiffs. Life on the backwaters is idyllic and beats to a gentle rythm.Rest of the day will be kept for leisure. Overnight stay at the backwater resort.

DAY 8 KUMARAKOM / ALLEPEY (OVERNIGHT HOUSEBOAT)

Morning commence a private backwater cruise as you board the Premium Air-conditioned Houseboat for a thrilling experience of backwaters in Kerala. These converted rice barges or "Kettuvallams" sail along shallow, palm-fringed lakes and narrow canals where coconut and cashew is loaded onto dugouts. You pass villages built on narrow spits of land, stopping to visit local markets by bullock-cart, or to marvel at craftsmen engaged in centuries-old boat-making tradition. The food is authentic Kerala cuisine, purchased fresh along the way. For most of the journey, the boat is poled, sailing only between dawn and dusk. The whole day is spent on the houseboat exploring the backwaters. On board your crew will prepare a traditional Keralian food. Overnight stay at the Premium Houseboat.

DAY 9 ALLEPEY / COCHIN (60KMS / 02HRS)

Today we drive to Cochin. The Cochin harbour has been trading Spices with the rest of the world for over 2000 years. Enjoy a sunset cruise on the harbours of Cochin. In the evening witness a colourful Kathakali dance performance, the traditional dance show of Kerala in its colorful costumes starting from 1830 hrs till 2000 Hrs narrating stories from the Ramayana through Madras.
Overnight stay at the hotel.

DAY 10 COCHIN

Tour of Cochin includes visit to the Jewish Synagogue (Friday & Saturday Closed), one of the Oldest in India, Jewish Town and the Dutch Palace (Friday Closed), well known for its mural paintings. See the picturesque Chinese fishing in operation at the entrance of Kochi Harbour, Chinese traders first brought them back from Kublai Khan’s court. Take a heritage walk through Fort Cochin and enjoy time to explore the local antique shops and spice bazaars.
Overnight stay at the hotel.

DAY 11 – 14 FLY COCHIN / GOA (9W406, 0830/1300HRS)

Fly to Goa, Variously known as "Pearl of the Orient" and a "Tourist Paradise”. Besides the natural beauty, the fabulous beaches and sunshine, travellers to Goa love the laid-back, peaceful, warm and friendly nature of the Goan people. After all, more than anywhere else on planet earth, this is a place where people really know how to relax. Your stay in Goa will be for 3 nights. Overnight stay at the Beach Resort.

DAY 14 FLY GOA / MUMBAI (9W476, 1340/1440HRS)

Fly to Mumbai, a bustling cosmopolitan city. Transfer to the international airport to Board your homeward flight or connect to your onward destination.

 

 

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