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Southern Splendor: Temples & Backwaters Tour from Chennai to Cochin

0/5
Duration

9 Nights / 10 Days

Tour Type

Daily Tour

Group Size

10 people

Languages

English

Overview

Embark on a captivating journey through South India with our “Southern Splendor: Temples & Backwaters Tour from Chennai to Cochin.” Discover the ancient marvels of Chola temples in Mahabalipuram and Thanjavur, where intricate carvings and towering vimanas await. Traverse through the historic corridors of Pondicherry’s French colonial charm before venturing into Chettinad’s opulent mansions and spicy cuisine. Experience the spiritual pulse of Madurai with its majestic Meenakshi Amman Temple and delve into the lush tea estates of Munnar. Glide through Alleppey’s serene backwaters aboard a traditional houseboat, culminating in the cultural mosaic of Cochin’s Portuguese, Dutch, and Jewish heritage. This tour promises a blend of cultural immersion and natural beauty, offering an unforgettable glimpse into South India’s diverse tapestry.

Highlights

  • This is a private tour/activity only for your group.
  • Enhanced cleaning/ traveler safety.
  • In-depth cultural experience.
  • Flexible sightseeing & stopover.
  • Most travelers can participate.

Bulk discount (by Percent)

Bulk discount adult
# Discount group From adult To adult Value
1 Discount on 2-person group 2 2 %
2 Discount on 3-person group 3 3 %
3 Discount on 4-person group 4 4 %
4 Discount on 5-person group 5 5 %
5 Discount on 6-person group 6 6 %
6 Discount on 7-person group 7 7 %
7 Discount on 8-person group 8 8 %

Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive Chennai

Arrive in Chennai and transfer to your hotel. Rest and refresh after your journey. In the afternoon, visit: Fort St. George: Explore the oldest English fortress in India, housing St. Mary's Church and the Fort Museum with colonial artifacts. Kapaleeshwarar Temple: Experience Dravidian architecture and the bustling atmosphere of this ancient Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. Marina Beach: Enjoy a leisurely stroll along India's longest urban beach, offering panoramic views of the Bay of Bengal at sunset.

Day 2: Chennai - Mahabalipuram (120kms)

Depart Chennai after breakfast for Kanchipuram, known as the "City of Thousand Temples": Visit Kailasanathar Temple: Marvel at the oldest temple in Kanchipuram, dedicated to Lord Shiva, renowned for its intricate architecture and sculptures. Explore Ekambareswarar Temple: Dedicated to Lord Shiva, known for its impressive thousand-pillared hall and sacred mango tree. Optionally, visit Kanchi Kudil: Experience traditional South Indian architecture and lifestyle at this heritage house museum. Continue to Mahabalipuram in the afternoon: Visit Shore Temple: Explore this UNESCO World Heritage site, dedicated to Lord Shiva, offering stunning views of the Bay of Bengal. Discover Pancha Rathas (Five Rathas): Marvel at the monolithic rock-cut temples sculpted in the shape of chariots, each dedicated to different deities. Explore Arjuna's Penance: Admire the massive rock relief carving depicting scenes from Hindu mythology and daily life.

Day 3: Mahabalipuram - Pondicherry (120kms)

Travel to Pondicherry after breakfast, known for its French colonial architecture and tranquil beaches. Visit Auroville: Explore the Matrimandir, a golden sphere symbolizing human unity and spiritual significance. Explore the French Quarter (Ville Blanche): Stroll through quaint streets lined with colonial buildings, boutiques, and cafes. Relax at Promenade Beach, a popular spot for morning walks and enjoying the serene coastline.

Day 4: Pondicherry - Thanjavur (180kms)

Depart for Thanjavur after breakfast, with enroute visits to: Chidambaram: Explore the Nataraja Temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva as the cosmic dancer, known for its splendid architecture and spiritual significance. Gangaikondacholapuram: Visit the Gangaikonda Cholapuram Temple, built by the Chola King Rajendra I, featuring intricately carved sculptures and a massive lingam. Darasuram: Discover the Airavatesvara Temple, a UNESCO World Heritage site known for its exquisite carvings depicting mythological scenes and intricate architecture. Continue your journey to Thanjavur.

Day 5: Thanjavur - Chettinad (140kms)

After breakfast, visit the Brihadeeswarar Temple, marvel at its massive vimana (tower) and intricate sculptures depicting Hindu deities and mythological scenes. Explore the Thanjavur Maratha Palace, featuring the Saraswathi Mahal Library with a vast collection of ancient manuscripts and art pieces. Discover the Schwartz Church, a serene colonial-era church known for its elegant architecture and stained glass windows. Travel to Chettinad, renowned for its opulent heritage mansions and distinctive cuisine. Visit the Chettinad Palace, an exquisite example of Chettiar architecture adorned with intricate woodwork and antique furnishings. Explore local markets known for their vibrant atmosphere and shop for Chettinad spices, textiles, and handicrafts. Enjoy a traditional Chettinad lunch, known for its spicy flavors and unique blend of aromatic spices.

Day 6: Chettinad - Madurai (90kms)

Depart for Madurai after breakfast, known as the "Athens of the East" for its rich cultural heritage and ancient temples. Visit the Meenakshi Amman Temple, a significant Hindu temple dedicated to Goddess Meenakshi and Lord Sundareswarar, renowned for its towering gopurams (gateway towers). Explore the Thirumalai Nayakkar Palace, an architectural marvel blending Dravidian and Islamic styles, featuring grand halls adorned with intricate stucco work and paintings. Visit the Gandhi Memorial Museum, housing exhibits and artifacts related to Mahatma Gandhi's life and India's freedom struggle.

Day 7: Madurai - Munnar (160kms)

Travel to Munnar after breakfast, nestled in the Western Ghats and renowned for its picturesque tea estates and cool climate. Visit a tea plantation and learn about the tea-making process from cultivation to processing. Explore Mattupetty Dam, offering panoramic views of the surrounding hills and an opportunity for boating amidst serene waters. Visit the Echo Point, known for its natural echo phenomenon amidst the lush greenery.

Day 8: Munnar - Alleppey (165kms)

Depart for Alleppey after breakfast, known as the Venice of the East for its tranquil backwaters and houseboat cruises. Enjoy a relaxing houseboat cruise through Kerala's backwaters, passing by scenic landscapes, paddy fields, and quaint villages. Experience the local lifestyle and enjoy delicious Kerala cuisine prepared onboard. Optionally, visit the Ambalapuzha Sree Krishna Temple known for its architectural beauty and famous sweet delicacy called 'Palpayasam'.

Day 9: Alleppey - Cochin (60kms)

Travel to Cochin after breakfast, a historic port city with a diverse cultural heritage influenced by Portuguese, Dutch, and British settlers. Explore Fort Kochi, featuring colonial-era buildings, art galleries, and the iconic Chinese Fishing Nets. Visit Mattancherry Palace (Dutch Palace), known for its Kerala murals depicting Hindu temple art and royal artifacts. Discover the Jewish Synagogue, adorned with Belgian chandeliers and hand-painted Chinese tiles, reflecting the vibrant history of Cochin's Jewish community.

Day 10: Cochin - Departure

Depending on your departure time, enjoy leisure time for last-minute shopping or sightseeing before transferring to the airport for your onward journey.

Included/Excluded

  • Assistance on arrival at airport.
  • 9 Nights' accommodation in 4-star hotels.
  • Daily breakfast and meal as per day plan.
  • Private air-conditioned deluxe car for airport transfer, sightseeing and excursion as per program.
  • English speaking tour guide on sightseeing days (local guide in each city), as per program.
  • Monument entrances and activities charges mentioned in the itinerary.
  • Bottled drinking water in car.
  • Government taxes.
  • Any flight tickets.
  • Camera charges at monuments.
  • Expenses of personal nature like liquor, laundry, tips, telephone, fax, internet etc.
  • Gratuities & optional activities.
  • Anything not mentioned in inclusions.

Tour's Location

FAQs

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