Mumbai - Cochin - Alleppey - Thekkady - Periyar - Madurai - Trichy - Tanjore - Pondicherry - Kanchipuram - Mahabalipuram - Chennai
South-West coastal tip to South-East coast of India covering the states of Kerala & Tamil Nadu with insight into backwaters to the architecturally rich temples.
Day 1 Arrive Mumbai
Traditional welcome on arrival at Mumbai international airport by Travel Pals India executive with fresh marigold flower garlands and then transferred by air-conditioned exclusive car to hotel for overnight stay. Mumbai - India's commercial capital, industrial powerhouse, busiest port, fashion capital, home to "Bollywood" (India's Hollywood), world's biggest textile market - the list goes on and on. On arrival met & transfer to hotel.
Day 2 Mumbai
Full day a guided city sightseeing of Mumbai city city tour visiting Gateway of India - an architectural marvel that scores over other buildings in Mumbai. Having advantages of both location and architectural construction, it shines every morning with morning sun of Mumbai. Further an excursion by ferry from Gateway to Elephanta caves - have been carved out of rock and have also been given the recognition of a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Known in ancient times as Gharapuri, the present name Elephanta, was given by 17th century Portuguese explorers, after seeing a monolithic basalt sculpture of an elephant found here near the entrance. They decided to take it home but ended up dropping it into the sea because their chains were not strong enough. On your return back to the city, visit the Crawford Market - an architectural marvel in Mumbai and a shopper's paradise, the Afghan Church in Colaba - Its a tribute to a Soldier died in a Afghan Sindh war, an old Monument and Mumbai heritage made of beautiful art works on glass and Some lovely Sculptures and the Prince of Wales Museum - is one of the best-known Museums of the Country. This magnificent heritage building, situated on the famous 'Crescent Site' on the way to the Gateway of India, is a landmark of south Mumbai. Architecturally it is an exquisite example of the Indo-Saracenic style, popular in India during the early part of this century and Dhaubi Ghat.
Day 3 Mumbai - Cochin (by air)
Relaxed breakfast at hotel followed by transfer to Bangalore airport to board flight for Cochin. Met on arrival and transfer to hotel for check in. Evening sunset Harbour cruise in a motor boat on Vembanad Lake. Overnight at hotel.
Cochin - set along the spice coast of Malabar, offers a bewitching combination of gorgeous beaches, tranquil backwaters, historic monuments, Palaces, and dramatic landscapes.
Day 4 Cochin
Breakfast at hotel followed by a guided tour of the Cochin and visit the famous Mattancherry Palace (Dutch Palace), St. Francis Church and the Jewish Synagogue. Also see the giant Chinese Fishing Nets being lowered on the famous Vasco Da Gama Square, offering a spectacular view to its visitors. Cultural Afternoon: This evening enjoy a cultural dance performance of Kathakali, (popular and spectacular dance-drama forms of India)
Day 5 Cochin - Alleppey
After breakfast transfer to jetty point to embark on the 'Kettuvalloms' - a traditional rice boat of Kerala, which gives a romantic way to explore the unique web of lagoons, lakes, canals & rivers. Lunch and dinner on board. Overnight at houseboat.
Day 6 Alleppey - Thekkady (Periyar) (138 Kms / 3.5 hrs)
Breakfast at houseboat. Then drop at Alleppey jetty point then proceed for drive to Periyar Wildlife Reserve in Thekkady district of east Kerala. Set on an attractive lakeside, Periyar is the home to herds of Wild Tuskers, Bison and Spotted Deer and the park is a Bird Lover's delight and you can spot species of birds like cormorants, kingfishers, darters and the great Malabar hornbill among 200 other species. A number of reptiles like snakes and monitor lizards are also found here. On arrival transfer to hotel for check in. Early evening visit to spice plantation where one can see the cultivation of a whole range of spices like, pepper, cardamom, cloves, turmeric, vanilla, all spice cinnamon etc. this followed by a visit to the spice shops large & small which are found in the small town of Kumily.
Day 7 Periyar
Early morning boat ride on the Periyar Lake (Seat in boat basis) where one can have a unique experience of viewing wildlife at close quarters from the safety of a boat on the lake. The greatest attraction of Periyar, are the herds of wild elephants that come down to play in the lake. Return to the resort for breakfast. Later nature walk / trekking tour inside the Periyar Wildlife Reserve with naturalist. Rest of the day free o options from the many activities conducted by the Periyar Tiger Reserve: Jungle Patrol, Bamboo Rafting, Border Hiking or a Bullock cart ride exploring rural Kerala. Evening visit Kalaripayattu - The Orient's treasure trove, a gift to the modern world and the mother of all martial arts.
Day 8 Periyar - Madurai (139 Kms / 3.5 hrs)
Morning drive for Madurai & check in hotel. Afternoon a guided sightseeing of ancient temple town of Madurai visiting renowned Meenakshi temple and visit the temple which dominates the city skyline by its towering gopurams, Koodal Azhagar Temple - The temple is situated in the city of Azhaghar, the beautiful city of southern India. It is the temple of lord Vishnu with great monument of lord Vishnu encarved in front of the temple. Koodal is the second name for the city of Madurai and Koodal temple indicates the temple of Madurai as suggested by its name. It is one of the oldest temples in southern India and is one of the 108 temples of lord Vishnu constructed all over India. End the evening with a visit to the Tirumalai Naik Palace, built in the Indo-Saracenic style of architecture. The Palace authorities also conduct a Sound and Light show, which add to the significance of the palace (optional).
Day 9 Madurai - Trichy - Tanjore (Thanjavur) (188 Kms / 4 hrs)
This morning you will be driven to Tanjore, enroute guided visit of Trichy and see the Rockfort temple and Srirangam Temple. Further proceed for Tanjore, the former city of Danish settlement from 1624 to 1825. On arrival transfer to hotel for check in. Evening free to explore the city or free at leisure.
Day 10 Tanjore - Pondicherry
Breakfast at hotel followed by a guided tour of Tanjore and visit Brahadeeswara Temple, built in the 10th century AD and an outstanding example of the Chola (dynasty) architecture. Later visit the Palace built by the Nayaks and renovated by the Maratha dynasty. It dates back to the 1550s and houses an art gallery, a hall of music and the Schwartz Church. Further drive to Pondicherry. On arrival check in hotel. Evening free to walk bustling market streets. Overnight stay at hotel.
Day 11 Pondicherry - Kanchipuram - Mahabalipuram (195 Kms/ 4 hrs)
After breakfast visit the Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Auroville Ashram and the museum. Later driven to Kanchipuram, the erstwhile capital of the Pallavas and Cholas. Visit its numerous temples dedicated to various gods and goddesses. It is also home of weavers of the famed Kanchipuram silks. Evening further driven to Mahabalipuram (Mamallapuram), a World Heritage Site and check into the beach resort. Mahabalipuram too was part of the Pallavas dynasty and exhibits some of the most outstanding examples of the Dravidian style of art and architecture.
Day 12 Mahabalipuram
Today you will have a full day guided tour of Arjuna's Penance, the rock cut caves, the Krishna Mandapam, the famous rathas and the Shore Temple.
Day 13 Mahabalipuram - Chennai (60 Kms / 1.5 hrs)
Enjoy breakfast at resort. Later driven to Chennai, enroute visit Dakshinchitra, a unique heritage village offering an insight in to the lifestyle of diverse people of South India. Arrive Chennai and check in hotel. Evening free at leisure or explore the city on own. Chennai - India's fourth largest city, Chennai is the capital of the state of Tamil Nadu. It is a journey into timeless India, a kaleidoscope of moods, rich in the treasures of history, from temples and shrines to forts and palaces, the landscape of the past lives easily with the present. Retaining much of its traditional charm, this 350 year old city is the gateway to the south, providing many a fascinating vignette of southern heritage.
Day 14 Chennai
After breakfast at hotel proceed for a guided visit to Fort St. George, War memorial, St. Mary's Church, the Basilica of Saint Thomas, believed to have been built by St. Thomas, Snake Park, ending on the Marina beach - world's second longest beach.
Day 15 Chennai - Onward destination
Breakfast at hotel. Later met & greet by Travel Pals executive and transfer to Chennai international airport to connect your flight for onward journey with the sweet memories of Sunny South India tour. Check-in for international flights commences 3 hours prior to flight departure time for economy class and 2 hrs prior for business/first class.
Bon Voyage !