Best of Southern India 20 Days
The best South India tours incorporates a visit to Chennai, Kerala, Karnataka, Ooty and Mysore among the few ones. Each tour chiefly involves main Southern India travel destinations, including monuments, beaches, temples, hill stations, wild life, backwaters, ayurveda center and host of other well-liked tourist spots. Golf tours are also the part of south India tour, where you can relish the luxuriant and exotic green golf courses and simply relax. On the other hand, the temple tours present a deep insight in the sacred sanctity of cultural and ancient India. The long stretching, sandy and untainted beaches of South India enable you to experience the water loveliness of India.
Destinations Covered : Chennai - Mahabalipuram - Pondicherry - Tanjore - Trichy - Madurai - Periyar - Kumarakom - Kovalam - Trivandrum - Depart
Day 01: ARRIVAL CHENNAI
Our company Representative will meet and assist you upon your arrival at the Chennai airport. Transfer to your hotel. Check in at hotel in Chennai.
The first British Warehouse came up in 1639 when the British acquired the sandy beach from the local Nayaks on lease. It was called Madraspatinam then. Later by 1654, the Fort St. George was built. Still later the neighboring villages were included in the city which came either as grants or gifts. Triplicane was rented from the Sultan of Golconda in 1676. In 1744 Robert Clive worked as a writer from the Fort, later to become a military man of British Army. The Fort House, which housed the Governor and his council, were added in the 17th Century, the Assembly Hall in 1910 and the Secretariat in 1925.
All the neighboring areas were merged into the city now known as Madras or as Chennai as it is officially known. Until Independence, Madras was the capital of what in British times was called the Madras Presidency, comprising nearly the whole of South India, including the Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam and Kannada speaking areas.
Overnight will be at Hotel.
Day 02: CHENNAI
Proceed for city tour of Chennai in the morning after breakfast.
Santhome Cathedral. Built by Portuguese in the 14th and 15th century, this Cathedral is named after St. Thomas. Historically important, it is one of the pilgrimages for the Christian community.
Fort St. George, one the first few bastions built by the east India company, marks the beginning of Chennai as a modern city. It occupies a place of pride and prominence in Chennai. This bastion achieved its name from St. George, the patron saint of England. The state legislature and the secretariat are located in Fort St. George. It houses the St. Mary's church the oldest Anglican Church in India which was built in 1680 and the tombstones in its courtyard are the oldest British tombstones in India. The Fort Museum, once a building that housed Chennai's first lighthouse, first commercial bank and first 'club', is now a well-kept repository of tangible memories of early Madras.
Kapaleeswarar Temple Dedicated to Lord Shiva, Kapaleeswarar temple has inscriptions from the 13th century A.D. The temple 'Gopuram' (tower) is in the characteristic Dravidian style of architecture. The walls and pillars of temple have very delicate and intricate carvings which depict the scenes from Hindu mythology. Overnight will be at Hotel.
Day 03: CHENNAI - KANCHIPURAM - MAMALLAPOORAN
After breakfast drive to Kanchipuram - is the ancient capital of the Pallavas famous as a city of 1000 Temples and still has 124 shrines. The first temple dedicated to Shiva was built in the 7th and 8th century and has paintings on the walls. Temples of Ekambaswara, Kailasanatha, Sri Kamakshi and Varadarajaswamy are of interest. Kanchipuram is also famous for its silks. Lunch at local restaurant and later drive to Mamallapooram and check in at hotel.
Afternoon visit the city - built in 7th century, earlier called Mahabalipooram, this ancient Pallava port, is today the sight of several antique sculptural marvels. In this ancient seaside town, shrines and huge sculptures cut-out of rocks more than 1200 years back during the reign of Pallava Kings in the region can be seen. The rock carvings depicting mythological episodes - of demons, Gods and animals in battle and others - are truly poems in stone. The only shore temple which remains here is the spectacular two - spired shrine, unique because it houses both Lord Shiva and the Lord Vishnu in its sanctum-sanctorum.
Overnight will be at hotel.
Day 04: MAMALLAPOORAM - TIRUVANNAMALAI - PONDICHERRY
After breakfast drive to Tiruvannamallai a pilgrim centre with an ancient temple of Lord Shiva.
After lunch at local restaurant, proceed to Pondicherry, which carries a strong whiff of the French presence in India. This erstwhile French colony on the east coast of South India merged with the rest of the country in 1954. Legend says that Pondicherry is the place where St. Agasthaya settled down.
Overnight stay will be at the heritage hotel.
Day 05: PONDICHERRY - TANJORE
Drive to visit Aurobindo Ashram which is also known as "the city of dawn". The place is 10 km north of Pondicherry. This ashram promotes Shri Aurbindo's ideas in bringing about a synthesis of Yoga and modern science, so as to unite the spirit and matter. After lunch at local restaurant, drive to Thanjavur enroute visiting the Brass factory at Kumbakonam. Tanjore once the capital of Chola Kings, has the Brahadeswara temple(or the big temple of God).The temple tower rises to a height of 15mts from a square base of 29 mts and then tapers off, making a total of 66mts.
Overnight will be at Tanjore.
Day 06: TANJORE - TRICHY - MADURAI
After breakfast leave for Trichy, short name of Trichurapalli, situated on the banks of Kaveri River is a blend of history and tradition as well as pilgrim centre. It is famous for Ranganath temple at Srirangam.
Proceed towards Madurai. Reach and check in at hotel.
Madurai's Main attraction is the Famous Sri Meenakshi Amman temple a riotously baroque example of Dravidian architecture with Gopurams carved from top to bottom in a breathtaking profusion of multicolored images of Gods. Tamil & Greek documents record the existence of Madurai from the 4th Century B.C.the city was known to the Greeks via Magathenes their ambassador to the court of Chandraguptha Muriya this city was popular in trade especially in spices. It was also the site the Sangam the academy of the Tamil Poets. And Madurai is the centre of all the cities and Madurai is famous for the cotton Sungudi Saris.
Overnight will be at Madurai.
Day 07: MADURAI
After breakfast go for city tour of Madurai.
The ancient city of Madurai, some 2600 years old is laid out in the banks of river Vaigai as a lotus flower with the Meenakshi temple in the centre. After lunch city tour visiting - Meenakshi temple, King Tirumala's Palace, Great Tank and Gandhi museum.
Sri Meenakshi Amman temple: dated back to 2000 Years back and designed in 1560 by Vishwanatha Nayaka and built during the reign of Tirumalai Nayaka. The Temple occupies an area of six hectares. There are 12 temple towers (Gopurams). The outer towers are the landmarks of Madurai. They are:
Vandiyur Mariamman Teppakulam: Vandiyur Mariamman Teppakulam is a huge temple tank about 5 km east of the Meenakshi temple. The mandapam in the centre has an idol of Vigneshwara (Vinayaka). It is said to have been found when the earth was being dug out from here to build the Thirumalai Nayakkar Mahal. So, the place attained sanctity and was converted into a teppakulam (tank). This enormous temple tank is fed by water brought from the Vagai through an ingenious system of underground Channels. King Thirumalai Nayak born in 'Poosa' Star. so in commemorating the birth of the king " Float Festival" is conducted in Tamil Month 'Thai' (Jan/Feb) in the tank in a colourful way, which attracts thousands of tourists.
Gandhi Museum: The Gandhi Memorial Museum is one of the distinct places to be visited in Madurai. This Museum is one of the rare living memorial of "The Father of India". The Museum is set in relaxing grounds and has a clear historical account of India's struggle for Independence.
Thirumalai Nayak Palace: This Palace was built in 1636 by King Thirumalai Nayak with the help of an Italian Architect. The building we see today was the main Palace where the King lived. The original Palace Complex was four times bigger than the present structure. This palace consisted mainly of two parts, namely Swargavilasa and Rangavilasa. In these two parts, there are royal residence, theatre, shrine, apartments, armoury, palanquin place, royal bandstand, quarters, pond and garden. King Thirumalai Nayak celebrated festivals like Sceptre festival, Navarathri, Chithirai festival, Masi festival and the Float festival. He conducted daily dance and music performances in the palace. This palace was destroyed by his grandson Chokkanatha Nayak and the valuables were transferred to other places. During the British rule, in 1822, Lord Napier made several renovation works. Then the palace was utilized to house some officials of the judiciary and district administration. After independence, this palace was declared as a national monument and is now under the care of the Tamilnadu Archaeological Department.
Overnight will be at Madurai.
Day 08: MADURAI - PERIYAR
Proceed for Periyar after breakfast.
The river Periyar is the longest river in Kerala. This is the only perennial river in South India with clean water. The river occupies an important place in the history of Kerala. In the Sangam age Tamil epics such as Chilapathikaram, 'Akananuru', 'Purananuru' etc much has been said about this mighty river, formerly known as the 'Choorni Nadi' or 'Thamraparni Nadi' (Sukasandesam -stanza 66). A land route existed in the Sangam age from Mussuris (present-day Kodungalloor) to Madurai, which passed near the banks of the river Periyar. The capital of the old Chera Empire presumably existed on the banks of the river Periyar. It is believed that there was a flood in the 4th century AD that severely damaged the areas along the Periyar and the people living there had to escape to safer locations, abandoning their homes and livelihoods. The flood of AD 1341 resulted in the closing of Kodungalloor port and the opening of a new port at Kochi. The huge landslide that began in the high ranges as a result of the heavy downpours sent massive flows of mud and sand which created an Island at the 'Azhimugham' of the Periyar which is now known as the Vyppin Islands.
Proceed for enjoying a Boat cruise in Periyar Lake with lunch break. The most enjoyable part of seeing the wildlife is going around the lake in a boat. From the safety of a boat you can witness herds of wild elephants coming down to water and swim. The other prominent fauna to be seen are Tiger, Sambar, Barking deer, Mouse deer, Nilgiri Tahr, Wild Pigs, Wild dogs, Porcupine, Lion-tailed macaque, Malabar Squirrel, Flying Squirrel, Sloth Bear, Gaur and Black Langur (Monkey). Tigers and Leopards seldom come to the lakeside by day.
Relax in the evening. Overnight will be at hotel in Periyar.
Day 09: PERIYAR - KUMARAKOM
Breakfast will be at resort.
In the morning proceed for a SPICE PLANTATION visit. This will be an interesting tour at one of the family farm houses. Proceed to the SPICE MARKET to have a look at the finished products.
Proceed towards Kumarakom enjoying the beauty of the traditional Kerala houses. You will also pass through rolling tea gardens and rubber plantations. Stop at a tea factory to see the tea - making process.
Reach Kumarakom and check in at hotel. An enchanting backwater destination, Kumarakom offers visitors many other leisure options.
An unbelievably beautiful paradise of mangrove forests, emerald green paddy fields and coconut groves interspersed with enchanting waterways and canals adorned with while lilies - this is Kumarakom.
Check into a traditional houseboat of Kerala Style and go on a leisurely backwater cruise along the lake on a thatched houseboat.
The backwaters act as a vital waterway for the transport of goods, people and their produce are often the only link between isolated villages and crowded towns. In Kerala, the total expanse of backwater stretches over 1500 km, with a network of 44 rivers, lagoons and lakes from north to south. Alleppey which forms the main part of this network has the peculiar geographical feature of having the water in level with the land. This gives the advantage of getting a closer look at the village life on shore while on a backwater ride.
Talk to the crew and sip your tea while enjoying the backwaters and seeing life pass by. The meals and refreshments will be served on the boat.
Overnight will be at Houseboat.
Day 10: ALLEPPEY - KOVALAM
Cruise through the villages after breakfast.
Disembark the boat at Alleppey.
Drive to kovalam by road, on arrival transfer to resort, and relax,
Arrive at Trivandrum, from where Kerala Yoga and Ayurvedic Tour start. Our friendly local representative will cordially receive you at the Trivandrum Airport / Railway Station and then drives you to Kovalam, a picturesque beach and a must visit in tours to Kerala, India. Upon arrival, check in at Ayurvedic Resort for an overnight stay.
Day 11: KOVALAM
Wake up early morning and get ready for Yoga and Meditation sessions at the resort conducted by our professional expert. The session is followed by breakfast. Later, reinvigorate your energies with specialized traditional Ayurvedic massages that are a vital part of all Kerala Ayurveda tour packages. Afternoon is free to spend at leisure and spend the night at the resort.
Day 12: KOVALAM
Today morning, there would be another session on Yoga and Meditation at the resort after which, you have your breakfast and enjoy Ayurvedic massage that helps recharge your senses. Proceed for a sightseeing tour of Trivandrum at noon and return to Kovalam resort in the evening for night stay.
Day 13: KOVALAM
You have another day to enjoy the tour package for Yoga and Ayurveda in Kerala. Start with Yoga and Meditation sessions early in the morning. Continue with specialized Ayurvedic massages after breakfast. Rest of the day at leisure and in the evening, we take you on an exciting boat cruise along the serene Thiruvallam backwaters. Later visit a traditional Kerala home and experience warm hospitality and the colorful culture of Kerala. Return to the resort for night stay.
Day 14: KOVALAM
After Yoga and Meditation sessions in the morning, take your breakfast and get ready to recharge your energy with traditional Ayurvedic massages. Later in the evening, proceed to Kalari Health and Body Care Center that is a must visit during Kerala Yoga and Ayurvedic Tour. Night stay at the resort.
Day 15: KOVALAM
Let's go of yourself with relaxing Yoga and Meditation sessions in the morning. Later, avail Ayurvedic rejuvenation massages after breakfast that are a part of all Kerala Ayurveda tour packages. Evening excursion to Kanyakumari and enjoy watching the beautiful sunset. Retire to the resort for the night.
Day 16: KOVALAM
On day 07 of the tour package for Yoga and Ayurveda in Kerala, you start the day with refreshing Yoga and Meditation classes. After breakfast, professional masseurs help relax your mind, body and soul with traditional Kerala Ayurvedic massages. Spend the remaining day as you wish and stay another night at the resort.
Day 17: KOVALAM
Finish Yoga and Meditation class in the morning and avail Ayurvedic rejuvenation massages after breakfast. After lunch, move to Trivandrum City / Balaramapuram - world-renowned place for original handloom textile materials. Finish local shopping and Overnight stay at Resort.
Day 18: KOVALAM
After early morning Yoga and Meditation sessions, halt for breakfast after which yoga class,, Remaining day at leisure and night stay at the Ayurvedic resort in Kovalam,
Day 19: KOVALAM
Today is the last day of Kerala Yoga and Ayurvedic Tour itinerary. After early morning Yoga and Meditation sessions, halt for breakfast after which, Ayurvedic massages are given. Remaining day at leisure and night stay at the Ayurvedic resort in Kovalam,
Day 20: KOVALAM - TRIVANDRUM - DEPART
Morning after leisurely breakfast at hotel proceeds by road Trivandrum, on arrival transfer to airport to catch flight for onward destination with sweet memories of tour to India,