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Spiritual Splendors of South India: Temples & Backwaters

0/5
Duration

14 Nights / 15 Days

Tour Type

Specific Tour

Group Size

10 people

Languages

English

Overview

Embark on a captivating journey through the “Spiritual Splendors of South India: Temples & Backwaters” tour, where ancient temples and serene backwaters await. Begin in Chennai, exploring its historic Fort St. George and vibrant Kapaleeshwarar Temple. Venture to Pondicherry, steeped in French colonial charm, and delve into its spiritual side at Auroville and the grandeur of the Matrimandir. Discover Thanjavur’s Brihadeshwara Temple, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and the architectural marvels of Chettinad’s opulent mansions. Navigate through the wildlife-rich Periyar Sanctuary before cruising Kerala’s enchanting backwaters aboard a traditional houseboat in Alleppey. This journey promises a blend of spiritual enrichment, cultural heritage, and natural beauty, making it a truly unforgettable experience.

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 Amount)

Bulk discount adult
# Discount group From adult To adult Value
1 Twin/Double Room Discount (Auto calculated on more than 2people booking) 2 2 $ 958.00

Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive Chennai

Arrive at Chennai airport and meet our representative for transfer to the hotel. Chennai, formerly known as Madras, is a vibrant metropolis blending rich history with modernity. Check-in at the hotel. Rest and free time to relax after your journey. Overnight stay at the hotel in Chennai.

Day 2: Chennai

After breakfast, embark on a city tour starting with Fort St. George & St. Mary’s Church. This historic fort was built in 1640 AD by the British East India Company and the church inside it is one of the oldest Anglican churches in Asia. Visit Kapaleeshwarar Temple, a significant Shiva temple known for its impressive Dravidian architecture and bustling atmosphere. Explore Vadapalani Murugan Temple, a revered pilgrimage site dedicated to Lord Murugan, known for its vibrant festivals and spiritual ambiance. Discover the Government Museum, housing a diverse collection of artifacts including ancient sculptures and paintings by renowned artists like Raja Ravi Varma. Visit Dakshinachitra Museum, offering insights into the traditional arts, crafts, and lifestyles of South India through recreated heritage homes and workshops. Drive past Marina Beach, a bustling urban beach where locals and tourists alike gather to enjoy the sea breeze and panoramic views of the Bay of Bengal. Overnight stay at the hotel in Chennai.

Day 3: Chennai - Pondicherry (160kms)

After breakfast at the hotel in Chennai, embark on a scenic drive to Pondicherry via Mahabalipuram. In Mahabalipuram, explore the UNESCO World Heritage site of Group of Monuments, renowned for its ancient rock-cut architecture and sculptures dating back to the 7th and 8th centuries. Visit the Five Rathas, monolithic rock-cut temples representing different styles of South Indian architecture, named after the Pandava brothers from the epic Mahabharata. Admire Krishna’s Butterball, a colossal natural rock formation balanced precariously on a sloping hillside, attracting visitors with its intriguing physics-defying stance. Explore the Cave Temples, intricately carved rock-cut sanctuaries showcasing intricate bas-reliefs depicting scenes from Hindu mythology and everyday life. Visit the Shore Temple, a magnificent structural complex overlooking the Bay of Bengal, constructed with blocks of granite dedicated to Lord Shiva and Vishnu. Marvel at Arjuna’s Penance, an enormous bas-relief carved on two massive monolithic rock boulders, depicting the descent of the River Ganges and various mythical figures. Continue the journey to Pondicherry, known for its French colonial architecture, serene beaches, and spiritual ambiance. Check-in at the hotel upon arrival. Overnight stay at the hotel in Pondicherry.

Day 4: Pondicherry

After breakfast, visit Auroville, an experimental township promoting unity and sustainable living. Explore the Matrimandir, a spiritual meditation center known for its unique architecture and tranquil ambiance. Visit Pondicherry Museum, showcasing a rich collection of artifacts including bronze sculptures, temple lamps, and historical relics reflecting the region's cultural heritage. Drive through the picturesque French Quarters, characterized by charming colonial-era architecture, vibrant Tamil neighborhoods, and quaint alleys. Enjoy leisure time on the serene beaches of Pondicherry, soaking in the laid-back coastal atmosphere. Overnight stay at the hotel in Pondicherry.

Day 5: Pondicherry - Thanjore (220kms)

Enjoy breakfast and then depart for Thanjavur, stopping en route to visit significant temples. Visit Nataraja Temple in Chidambaram, dedicated to Lord Shiva in his dancing form. This ancient temple is renowned for its architectural grandeur and spiritual significance. Explore Gangaikonda Cholapuram, a UNESCO World Heritage site known for its Chola architecture, including the Brihadisvara Temple and the royal palace complex. Visit Darasuram Temple, an architectural marvel known for its intricate carvings and impressive vimana (tower). Arrive in Thanjavur, check-in at the hotel. Overnight stay at the hotel in Thanjavur.

Day 6: Thanjore

After breakfast, visit Brihadeshwara Temple, an architectural masterpiece and UNESCO World Heritage site. Dedicated to Lord Shiva, it boasts of a towering vimana and intricately carved sculptures depicting mythological tales. Explore Vijayanagar Fort, constructed by the Nayaks and later expanded by the Marathas. Discover its historical significance and architectural features. Visit Thanjavur Art Gallery, housed within the Thanjavur Palace, showcasing a collection of ancient sculptures, bronze artifacts, and rare manuscripts. Take time to explore the rural villages around Thanjavur, experiencing local culture and traditions. Overnight stay at the hotel in Thanjavur.

Day 7: Thanjore - Trichy - Chettinad (145kms)

Enjoy breakfast and drive to Chettinad via Trichy. Visit Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple in Trichy, one of the largest functioning temples in the world dedicated to Lord Vishnu. Admire its impressive architecture and towering gopurams (gateway towers). Explore Rock Fort Temple, an ancient fort complex perched on a rock that dates back millions of years. Visit its temples dedicated to Lord Ganesha and Thayumanavar. Visit Jambukeswarar Temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva and known for its unique five concentric walls and numerous gopurams. Arrive in Chettinad, check-in at the hotel. Overnight stay at the hotel in Chettinad.

Day 8: Chettinad - Madurai (90kms)

After breakfast, explore the unique architecture and heritage of Chettinad, known for its opulent mansions and cultural richness. Learn about the region's history of trade and influence on local culture. Drive to Madurai in the afternoon. Check-in at the hotel upon arrival. Overnight stay at the hotel in Madurai.

Day 9: Madurai - Thekkady (160kms)

Enjoy breakfast and visit Meenakshi Amman Temple, a sprawling temple complex renowned for its intricate Dravidian architecture and vibrant cultural scene. Explore Thirumalai Nayakkar Palace, a blend of Dravidian and Rajput architectural styles, known for its grandeur and historical significance. Visit Alagar Koil, Tiruparankundram Murugan Temple, and Palamuthirsolai Murugan Temple, each offering unique insights into Hindu mythology and religious practices. Drive to Thekkady in the afternoon, known for its lush forests and wildlife sanctuaries. Check-in at the hotel upon arrival. Overnight stay at the hotel in Thekkady.

Day 10: Thekkady

After breakfast, embark on a boat safari in Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary, home to a variety of wildlife including elephants, tigers, and rare bird species. Take a guided tour of a spice plantation, learning about the cultivation of spices like cardamom, cinnamon, and pepper. Visit the local market to purchase aromatic spices and souvenirs. Enjoy leisure time in the evening. Overnight stay at the hotel in Thekkady.

Day 11: Thekkady - Alleppey (140kms)

Enjoy breakfast and transfer to Alleppey boat jetty to board a traditional houseboat. Cruise through the serene backwaters of Kerala, passing by lush paddy fields, quaint villages, and coconut groves. Marvel at the unique ecosystem where farming is done below sea level, and observe local life along the waterways. Experience a mesmerizing sunset from the sun deck of the houseboat. Overnight stay on the houseboat in Alleppey.

Day 12: Alleppey - Marari Beach (20kms)

Enjoy breakfast on the houseboat before disembarking. Transfer to Marari Beach, known for its pristine shoreline and tranquil ambiance. Check-in at the beach resort and relax for the day. Overnight stay at the beach resort in Marari.

Day 13: Marari Beach

Day free to relax on the beach, unwind, and enjoy the natural beauty of Marari. Overnight stay at the beach resort in Marari.

Day 14: Marari Beach

Another day at leisure to enjoy the laid-back atmosphere of Marari Beach. Optional activities include exploring nearby villages or participating in local cultural experiences. Overnight stay at the beach resort in Marari.

Day 15: Marari Beach- Cochin/ Departure (Flight)

After breakfast, drive to Cochin. Embark on a guided city tour of Fort Cochin, visiting historic sites such as St. Francis Church, the oldest European church in India, and the iconic Chinese fishing nets along Fort Kochi Beach. Explore the Jewish Synagogue, adorned with Belgian chandeliers and Portuguese tiles, and the Mattancherry Dutch Palace showcasing Kerala's royal heritage. Transfer to Cochin airport for your onward flight, concluding your South India adventure.

Included/Excluded

  • Assistance on arrival at airport.
  • 14 Nights' accommodation in 4-star hotels.
  • Daily breakfast and meal as per day plane.
  • 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.
  • Monuments 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

What is the standard of the hotels on this tour?

4 Star below mentioned hotels or similar
Chennai - The Raintree/ Accord Metropolitan
Pondicherry - Le Pondy/ The Windflower Resort & Spa
Thanjavur -Sangam Hotels/ Ideal River View Resort
Chettinad - Chidambara Vilas/ Chettinadu Mansion
Madurai - GRT Regency/ Fortune Pandiyan Hotel
Thekkady - The Elephant Court/ Cardamom County
Alleppey - Preminum Houseboat
Mararikulam - Abad Turtle Beach Resort/ Marari Sands Beach Resort

How many person will be in the group ?

There could be upto 10 people in the group.

Does this tour include airport pick ?

Yes, you can arrive on any flight and private airport transfer will be provided.

How do travelers meet the group ?

On first day of sightseeing all group member will assemble in hotel lobby and there will be first introduction with group member.

What category of hotel accommodation will be provided ?

4star below mention or similar hotels accommodation is included in the tour.
Hotels used or similar for 10 nights accommodation

Hotels used or similar for 14 nights accommodation

Chennai x 2 night
4* - The Raintree/ Accord Metropolitan

Pondicherry x 2 night
4* - Le Pondy/ The Windflower Resort & Spa

Thnjore x 2 night
4* - Sangam Hotels/ Ideal River View Resort

Chettinad x 1 night
4*- Chidambara Vilas/ Chettinadu Mansion

Madurai x 1 night
4* - GRT Regency/ Fortune Pandiyan Hotel

Thekkady x 2 night
4* - The Elephant Court/ Cardamom County

Alleppey x 1 night
4* - Premium Houseboat (Abad Premium Houseboats/ Rainbow Premium Houseboats)

Mararikulam x 3 nights
4* - Abad Turtle Beach Resort/ Marari Sands Beach Resort

Can travelers upgrade the accommodation to 5-star hotels?

Yes, travelers can upgrade the accommodation to 5-star hotels by paying the supplement. Please send inquiry for same from the booking page to get the price quote.

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