From Coast to Culture: Exploring the Riches of South India

Explore South India's Heritage Gems and Natural Treasures"

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Exploring South India: From Temples to Backwaters

Explore the diverse landscapes and rich heritage of South India, from serene Pondicherry to majestic Thanjavur temples. Dive into spirituality at Sri Aurobindo Ashram, marvel at architectural wonders in Kumbakonam, and experience cultural gems in Madurai. Cruise Kerala's backwaters and savor Cochin's blend of history and tradition. Join us for an unforgettable journey through South India's treasures.

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Day by Day

On a captivating journey through South India, from the serene shores of Pondicherry to the historic temples of Kumbakonam. Explore the cultural tapestry of Tiruchirappalli and Chettinad's architectural marvels. Discover the ancient wonders of Madurai before delving into the wilderness of Periyar National Park. Cruise Kerala's backwaters and immerse yourself in the rich history of Cochin. Experience the essence of South India on this unforgettable adventure.

Day 01: Chennai to Pondicherry (Hotel: Le Pondy)

Begin your journey with a drive from Chennai to Pondicherry after breakfast. Pondicherry, derived from the Tamil word Puducheri meaning 'the new settlement,' sits perfectly on the Coromandel shoreline. This Union Territory was under French rule for over three centuries, making it a living testament to French culture in India. The influence of French culture is evident in Pondicherry's architecture and ambiance.

Upon arrival in Pondicherry, transfer to your hotel. Later in the afternoon, embark on a sightseeing tour of Pondicherry, including visits to:

  • Sri Aurobindo Ashram: Founded by Sri Aurobindo in November 1926, the ashram has evolved into a major tourist attraction in Pondicherry. It offers various charitable services to the area, including free medical amenities and a publishing house.
    Auroville: Located about 10 kilometers north of Pondicherry, Auroville is known as "the City of Tomorrow." It was envisioned as a universal town where people from different nationalities, faiths, and beliefs could live in harmony. Dinner and overnight stay at the hotel.

Day 02: Pondicherry to Kumbakonam (Hotel: Mantra)

After breakfast, drive to Kumbakonam via Darasuram. Darasuram boasts the Airavateshvara Temple, a sculptor's dream in stone, showcasing musical pillars and a mandapam in the shape of a chariot. The temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva, exemplifies 12th-century Chola architecture.

Kumbakonam, known as the "Temple Town" of South India, is one of the oldest towns in Tamil Nadu. Famous for its Mahamaham festival celebrated once every 12 years, Kumbakonam is nestled amidst the Cauvery and Arasalar rivers. Upon arrival in Kumbakonam, transfer to your hotel. Dinner and overnight stay at the hotel.

Day 03: Kumbakonam to Tiruchirappalli

After breakfast, drive to Tiruchirappalli via Thanjavur. Thanjavur, also known as Tanjore, was the capital city of one of the greatest empires of the south during the Chola period. It is renowned for its temples, art, and educational institutions.

Enjoy a visit to Thanjavur, including:

  • Brihadeswara Temple & Fort: Built by the great Chola king in the 10th century, this temple is an outstanding example of Chola architecture and is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
    Thanjavur Palace & Museum: Explore the vast palace building constructed by the Nayakas and Marathas, housing an art gallery and the Saraswati Mahal Library.

Upon arrival in Tiruchirappalli, transfer to your hotel. Dinner and overnight stay at the hotel.

Day 04: Tiruchirappalli to Chettinad

Explore Tiruchirappalli, including:

  •  Rock Fort Temple: Climb the 437 steps to the top of the rock, where you'll find temples dedicated to Lord Vinayaka and Sri Thayumanaswamy.

After the visit, drive to Chettinad, known for its rich cultural heritage, culinary delicacies, and unique architecture. Upon arrival, transfer to your hotel.

Later in the afternoon, enjoy sightseeing in Chettinad, including visits to Tirumayam Fort, nearby temples like Kunakudi, Nemam, and Pillayarpetti, as well as a shopping trip to Karaikudi. Dinner and overnight stay at the hotel.

Day 05: Chettinad to Madurai

After breakfast, drive to Madurai. Madurai, also known as the Temple City, is famous for its temples, monuments, and ancient cultural wonders.

Upon arrival in Madurai, visit:

  • Tirumalai Nayak Mahal: Explore the palace built by Thirumalai Nayak, showcasing a blend of Indian and European architectural styles.
    Meenakshi Temple: Visit this nearly 2000-year-old temple, a splendid example of Dravidian architecture.
    In the evening, witness the colorful evening ceremony at Meenakshi Temple. Dinner and overnight stay at the hotel.

Day 06: Madurai to Periyar

After breakfast, drive to Periyar National Park, situated in the hills of the Western Ghats. Enjoy a boat ride in Periyar Tiger Reserve, offering scenic beauty and diverse wildlife.

Later, embark on a spice plantation tour, gaining insights into the cultivation and processing of spices. Dinner and overnight stay at the hotel.

Day 07: Periyar (Boat ride and Wildlife Sanctuary)

Early morning, enjoy a boat ride in Periyar Tiger Reserve, followed by a visit to Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary. Explore the rich biodiversity and wildlife of the sanctuary.

Later in the afternoon, continue the spice plantation tour, learning about various spices and their cultivation methods. Dinner and overnight stay at the hotel.

Day 08: Periyar to Backwaters

After breakfast, drive to the backwaters, with a visit to an elephant camp en route, where you can witness elephant bathing and feeding.

Explore the scenic backwaters of Kerala on a houseboat cruise. Dinner and overnight stay on the houseboat.

Day 09: Backwaters to Cochin

After breakfast, drive to Cochin, known as the 'Queen of the Arabian Sea.' Explore Cochin's attractions, including Chinese fishing nets, the Jewish Synagogue, and St. Francis Church.

In the evening, witness a Kathakali dance performance, showcasing episodes from great Indian epics. Dinner and overnight stay at the hotel.

Day 10: Departure from Cochin

After breakfast, transfer to Cochin airport for your onward journey. (Check-out time is 12:00 PM)

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