ENCHANTING SOUTH INDIA

Trip Facts

Starts FromChennai
Ends inMumbai
Country Visited India
Best Time Nov-Feb
Price (per person) From $2,575
Single supplement $950
Internal airfare (per person) $125*

Tour Overview

Experience the exciting and enchanting South India tour that takes you around historic towns, temples and scenic coastlines. Discover the famous backwaters, where you will stay at a lakeside resort in the village of Kumarakom. Then spend 24 hrs on board a luxury houseboat traversing the tranquil canals of this wonderful area. There are many more to explore around southern region of incredible India.

 

We start our enchanting South India Tour after your arrival at Chennai International Airport followed by next day sightseeing around cultural center of Tamil Nadu, where we visit St. George fort, museum, Kapalesswar Temple and Siva Temple in Mylapore built in Pure Dravidian style. Next, we visit the golden city of thousand temples alofn with Coromandel Coast at Mahabalipuram, which is an UNESCO world heritage site. In the similar way, Pondicherry reflects the French culture and being near to Tamil Nadu, Tamilian culture is also witnessed. Further visit to Aurobindo Ashram, Auroville gives us spiritual insights. Tanjore, is another place where we get excellent opportunity to get blessings from numerous temples, Chidambaram, Kumbakonam, Bhihadeshwara and many more.  We will then, proceed towards Trichy excursion  located at river bank of Cauvery river. In the similar way, we explore the architectural temples, forts, palaces, museums, streets and marvels at Chettinad, Madurai, Periyar, Kumarakom, Alleppy, and Kochi before we get back to Mumbai which concludes our enchanting South India Tour.

 

Join enchanting south India Tour with Himalayan Treasures and Travels during any time of the year. We ensure you will be offered with professional travel services so that you can have the vacation of lifetime. If you need any further information, contact us now. We are always ready to help you.

Private journey | Based on double occupancy | *Airfare subject to change

Day 1: Arrive Chennai

Arrive late evening at Chennai International airport. You will be met by our representative outside the customs gate and escorted to your hotel..

Upon arrival, check-in to your hotel.

Overnight in Chennai.

Day 2: Chennai

This morning enjoy a half day guided tour of Chennai.

Chennai is the cultural centre of South India. Capital of the modern state of Tamil Nadu, it is the fourth largest city in India as well as the heart of the South Indian film industry.

Begin your tour by visiting Fort St. George (closed on Friday). Built around 1653 by the British, it occupies a place of pride and prominence in Chennai. The State Legislature and the Secretariat are located inside this fort. Visit the Fort Museum which hosts a fascinating collection of memorabilia from the days of the British Raj.

The tour ends at Kapaleeswarar Temple, an ancient Siva temple in Mylapore constructed in pure Dravidian style (Please note: Non-Hindus are not allowed inside the temple premises).

Rest of the afternoon will be at leisure.

Overnight in Chennai.

Day 3: Chennai – Kanchipuram - Mahabalipuram

This morning drive to the impressive temple town of Kanchipuram. Known as the Golden City of a Thousand Temples, it is one of the oldest towns in India and is famous for both its temples and hand-woven silks. The prominent temples of Kanchipuram include Ekambareshwar and Kamakshi.

Late afternoon, drive to Mahabalipuram. Cave temples, rock temples, “chariot” temples, and 7th and 8th century reliefs are carved into the golden stone of the Coromandel Coast have made Mahabalipuram an astonishing UNESCO World Heritage Site..

Overnight in Mahabalipuram.

Day 4: Mahabalipuram - Pondicherry

This morning, visit the Mahabalipuram temple complex. A small seaside village, it was once the main port of the Pallava Dynasty between the 5th and 9th centuries. Declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, Mahabalipuram boasts some of India’s most sublime rock-cut art.

Later, drive to Pondicherry. The French ruled this area for 300 years, and today, Pondicherry stands as a living monument of French culture in India. Being a small and quiet enclave of Tamil Nadu, it has imbibed the Tamilian culture.

Upon arrival, check-in to your hotel.

In the afternoon, enjoy a sightseeing tour of Pondicherry. Begin your tour with a visit to Aurobindo Ashram. Although the Ashram is secluded from the world it forms a vibrant center of life in a modern urban setting. Continue to the Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, noted for its Gothic architecture and stained glass panels which depict the entire life of Jesus Christ. Enjoy a walking tour in the old streets. The area retains the French influence with even a few Gallic accents.

Later visit Auroville or the ‘City of Dawn’ which was conceived as a place of research into the ideal of human unity by the Mother, the spiritual collaborator of Sri Aurobindo.

Overnight in Pondicherry.

Day 5: Pondicherry - Tanjore

This morning drive to Tanjore.

En route visit the 9th century Shiva Temple at Chidambaram. Chidambaram is one of the most ancient and celebrated shrines in India. Also visit Gangaikondacholapuram and Darsuram Temples at Kumbakonam, famous for their Chola architectural style.

Arrive in Tanjore by late afternoon and check-in to your hotel.

Located on the eastern coast of central Tamil Nadu, Tanjore has the distinction of having been the capital of the Cholas, one of the greatest dynasties of the South. Tanjore bears witness to this, being dotted with no fewer than 74 temples, the most famous of which is the Brihadeshwara temple, a World Heritage monument.

Overnight in Tanjore.

Day 6: Tanjore - Trichy - Tanjore

This morning, enjoy a sightseeing tour of Tanjore.

Visit the Sri Brihadeshwara Temple built by the great Chola king, Raja Raja I in the 10th century. This World Heritage temple is an outstanding example of Chola architecture. Continue to Tanjore Palace, a vast structure built partly by the Nayaks and partly by the Marathas around 1550 AD.

In the afternoon, enjoy an excursion to Trichy. Trichy is a blend of history, a pilgrim site and a thriving commercial city. Situated on the banks of the Cauvery River, it was a Chola citadel during the Sangam Age and was also briefly ruled by the Pallavas and the Pandyas. Visit Trichy’s main attraction, the Rock Fort Temple. The fort is the centre of the city and is a remarkable structure that dominates the landscape.

Continue to Srirangam, famous for the Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple which is one of the largest temple complexes in India.

Return to Tanjore in the evening.

Overnight in Tanjore.

Day 7: Tanjore - Chettinad

This morning drive to Chettinad, famous for its fortress-like homes and temples that are architectural marvels. Arrive in Chettinad and check-in at your hotel.

Later in the afternoon enjoy an orientation tour of the city. Visit Chettinadu Mansion a 100-year-old architectural marvel situated in a quaint little village called Kanadukathan. Following your mansion tour, visit the Antiques Street.

Overnight in Chettinad.

Day 8: Chettinad - Madurai

This morning drive to Madurai.Tucked snugly into the banks of the sacred Vaigai River, Madurai is the oldest city in Tamil Nadu and is a destination for thousands of pilgrims.

Upon arrival, check-in to your hotel.

This afternoon your tour begins with a visit to the beautiful Meenakshi Temple dedicated to Lord Siva and Goddess Meenakshi. Its enormous domes covered with brightly coloured statues dominate the landscape and are visible from all over Madurai.

Continue to the Palace of Tirumalai Nayak, an Indo-Saracenic building constructed in 1523. There is no other building in Madurai which can better illustrate the architectural style of the Nayaks.

In the evening, revisit the Meenakshi Temple to witness the evening prayer ceremony.

Overnight in Madurai.

Day 9: Madurai - Periyar

This morning drive to Periyar. One of the world’s most fascinating natural wildlife reserves, Periyar National Park is spread across 777 sq km. It was declared a tiger reserve in 1978 and attracts visitors from all over the world. The splendid artificial lake formed by the Mullaperiyar dam across the Periyar River adds to the charm of the park. This is the only sanctuary in India where you can have the unique experience of viewing wildlife at close quarters from the safety of a boat on the lake. The greatest attraction of Periyar is the herds of wild elephants.

Arrive in Periyar by afternoon and check-in at your hotel.

In the afternoon enjoy a boat ride on Lake Periyar. Cruise around taking in the cool surroundings and the panorama. The lake spreads around tropical jungles where one can see wild elephants, Indian gaur, monkeys, spotted deer, barking deer, wild boar and birds of myriad varieties.

Overnight in Periyar.

Day 10: Periyar - Kumarakom

This morning drive to Kumarakom, an enchanting backwater destination located on the picturesque Vembanad Lake. The blue backwaters and the surface of the lake reflect the azure sky, contrasting with the amazing shades of green of the mangroves, coconut palms and paddy fields that cover the verdant countryside.

Arrive in Kumarakom and check-in at your hotel. Rest of the day will be at leisure (No Car / Guide)

Overnight in Kumarakom.

Day 11: Kumarakom

Day will be spent at leisure. You will have the option to enjoy Ayurvedic/spa therapies or choose from different activities available at the hotel.

Ayurveda, pronounced ‘eye-yer-vay-duh’, is the art of healthy living that enables you to create harmony in your daily life by applying self-knowledge and self-care. The word comes from the Sanskrit language and literally means the Science of Life. It is an ancient art of healing that has been practiced continuously throughout Kerala for over 5,000 years. Ayurveda is probably the oldest authentically recorded healing science in existence today and includes yoga philosophy and integration of the body mind and consciousness.

The day is at leisure (no car / guide)

Overnight in Kumarakom.

Day 12: Kumarakom - Alleppey

Late morning embark on the houseboat from your hotel jetty for a cruise on the backwaters.

The rice boats are traditionally known as kettuvallom which means ‘boat with knots’. The entire boat is held together with coir knots only, not a single nail is used during the construction. Kettuvalloms were formerly used for the transport of goods like rice, spices and coir from the isolated villages of the interior to the towns.

A houseboat cruise on the backwaters is a truly unique experience. You will be awed at the vast expanse of paddy fields that surrounds these beautiful backwaters and the boat will stop at villages giving you an opportunity to glimpse village life in rural Kerala.

Overnight: on Houseboat

Day 13: Alleppey - Kochi

This morning disembark at Alleppey and drive to Kochi.

Kochi, formerly known as Cochin, is a fascinating city on the north Kerala coast and is now one of India’s largest ports and an important naval base.

Arrive in Kochi and check-in at your hotel. In the afternoon, enjoy an orientation tour of Kochi. Begin your exploration with a walking tour that takes you around Fort Kochi, the most historic part of the city. Begin at the church of St Francis, the oldest European-built church in India. Continue to the Jewish Quarter where you visit the historic synagogue (closed on Friday & Saturday), built over 400 years ago. It contains beautiful Belgian glass chandeliers and ispaved with hand painted tiles from China. Also visit the Dutch Palace at Mattancherry (Closed on Friday).  It was built in 1555 and its coronation hall and the murals painted are noteworthy features.

Your next stop will be the Chinese Fishing Nets, cantilevered nets strung out along the tip of the peninsula by local fisherman for catching fish.

In the evening enjoy a Kathakali dance performance at a local theatre. The most spectacular form of dance in India, the origins of Kathakali go back 500 years.

Overnight in Kochi.

Day: 14 Kochi – Mumbai

This morning you will be escorted to the airport by our representative for your flight to Mumbai.

Assistance on arrival at the airport, later you will be transferred to your hotel.

Mumbai (formerly Bombay) is situated on the western coast of India. It is the city of glamour, Bollywood, industry and business. The amalgamation of the West with the traditional Maharashtrian culture makes it one of the most cosmopolitan cities of India.

In the afternoon enjoy a city orientation tour of Mumbai. Begin at the famous Gateway of India. A Mumbai landmark, it was the principal port when visitors came to India by ship. Continue  your tour as you drive past another major landmark of this vibrant city, the VT or Victoria Terminus now known as Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, which was designed in Italian Gothic style by F. W. Stevens. The first train to steam out of Mumbai was in 1853.

Your next stop will be Dhobhi Ghat, a unique outdoor laundry located in Mahalaxmi area. Drive up to Malabar Hill to the lovely Hanging Gardens and the Kamla Nehru Park from where you will get a wonderful view of Mumbai and the Arabian Sea spread out before you. Stop at Mani Bhawan (closed on Monday), a small museum dedicated to the life and works of Mahatma Gandhi and the bustling Crawford Market.

Overnight in Mumbai.

Day 15: Depart Mumbai

Today you will be escorted to Chattrapati Shivaji International airport to board the flight for onward destination.  An Akorn representative will accompany you to the airport.

DayCityHotels
1 & 2ChennaiGRT Chennai
(Deluxe room)
3MahabalipuramIdeal Beach Resort
(Deluxe room)
4PondicherryThe Windflower Resort & Spa
(Studio room)
5 & 6TanjoreHotel Sangam
(Standard room)
7ChettinadChidambara Vilas
(Standard room)
8MaduraiHotel Sangam
(Standard room)
9PeriyarAbad Green Resort
(Jungle Lodge)
10 & 11KumarakomAbad Whispering Palms
(Standard room)
12AlleppeyHouseboat
(Standard room)
13KochiTrident
(Superior room)
14MumbaiFariyas
(Standard room)
  • – 14 nights accommodation in hotel as listed or similar

    – Daily breakfast, except during houseboat stay where all meals (breakfast, lunch & dinner) are included

    – All sightseeing and excursions with English speaking local guide

    – Transfers as per itinerary on private air-conditioned car (Toyota Innova/SUV – up to 2 guests)

    – Complimentary bottled water on board

    – Monument & museum entrance fees

    – Government taxes

  • – International air ticket (we will be happy to book your flights)

    – Expenses of personal nature like beverages, room service, telephone calls, porterage, laundry etc

    – Any meals except mentioned in quote include/program

    – Gratuity to driver/s, guide

    – Visa fee

    – Travel insurance (highly recommended – click here for details)

    – Any other services/items/activities not mentioned in quote include

    – Additional expenses due to events beyond our control i.e. flight delays, natural calamities etc.