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Temple, backwater & beaches of kerala

Travel to Southern part of India to discover the beautiful temple architecture of Tamil Nadu , travel through a thousand shades of green, indulge in some of the continent’s freshest food and share smiles with the friendly local people in this lush, tropical part of the country. Experience the culture, religion and history of this region capturing some of the amazing temples , exploring small rural towns, quaint fishing villages, pass by rubber plantations and spice plantations.

Travel Route

Chennai – Mammalapuram – Poducherry – Tanjavar – Karaikudi – Madurai – Periyar – Cochin- Kumarakom – Kovalam

  • Local markets and architectural marvel of Tamil Nadu temples
  • With its idyllic lifestyle and contemporary feel, Puducherry is a beautiful seaside town to explore
  • Track footprints in search of wild elephants in the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Ferry-hop between the islands of Fort Kochi to discover palaces, temples and Portuguese architecture at every turn
  • Enjoy the traditional costumes and music of a Kathakali performance
  • Feel the soothing warm sand and rejuvenating waters on the shores of the Arabian Sea at Kovalam

Day 01- Arrive Chennai

Welcome to Chennai, India. On arrival at the airport, you will be transferred to your hotel

Afternoon he chance to walk around India’s fourth largest city and perhaps visit the local marketplaces and temples.

Overnight at hotel

Day 02- Chennai  -Mammalpuram – Poducherry by road (150 kms /4 hrs Approx.)

Today you drive along the scenic East Coast Road to the fishing village of Mamallapuram which is about 56 kms/ 1 ½ hrs drive.  Itis one of the oldest cities in India and is known for its various stone carved monuments and ancient temples. Visit  incredible 8th-century Shore Temple and its mandapams (carved pillars)

Later drive on to the living project of Auroville approx. 1 ½ hrs drive. This intriguing experimental township, founded in 1968, has more than 80 rural settlements some 1,500 residents, around half of whom are foreign nationals.  There is also a cafeteria that serves snacks, meals and desserts and after a tea break  you can drive to Poducherry.

Overnight at hotel

Day 03-Poducherry

Explore the united territories of Puducherry (formerly known as Pondicherry). This town was under French rule until 1954, and the European style of the town extends from beautiful colonial architecture right down to the uniforms of the police.

Take a walking tour to see local temples and if you are lucky to see a temple elephant who blesses all devotees ,  French Quarter and the spiritual community of Sri Aurobindo Ashram. In free time afterwards, perhaps do some shopping, or simply stroll around and enjoy the lovely atmosphere.    Do visit the library and the crafts centre where you can find all natural and handmade products from insence sticks, perfumes , beauty product , candles to Ayurvedic medicines.

Overnight at hotel.

Day 04-Poducherry – Thanjavur by road ( 166 kms / 4 hrs Approx)

Drive to this beautiful city  to see the  World Heritage-listed Brihadeeswarar Temple, an awesome, thousand-year-old Hindu marvel. Dedicated to Shiva, its one of the largest temples in India  It was remade by the Cholas from a collection of villages into a major temple center 1000 years ago. Keep an eye out for the sacred bull carved from a single piece of granite measuring around 5 x 4 metres.

Overnight at hotel.

Day 05-Thanjavur – Karaikudi  by road  (109 kms / 2 hrs Approx.)

Drive to the town of Karaikudi today. Take an orientation walk around the village when you arrive. You will also visit some traditional mansions, whose architecture is sure to impress. Be sure to sample some spicy Chettinad cuisine while you’re here.

You may enjoy a bullock cart ride and walk through the local market to see the tile work , bronze metal work.

Overnight at hotel.

Day 06-Karaikudi – Madurai by road (88 kms / 2 hrs Approx.)

Today you will drive to Madurai  .You  wander through the colourful markets and bazaars.

Afternoon  visit the Sri Meenakshi Temple in the city’s centre followed by an  evening  prayer ceremony.

Overnight at hotel

Day 07- Madurai

Morning visit the flower market and interact with the locals. You might like to attend a private Puja ceremony at a Priest’s house . Visit the Art Museum to see a superb collection of carvings, check out the TirumalaiNayak Palace or simply relax over a cup of the local chai.

Day 08- Madurai  /Periyar  by road (142 kms / 3 ½ hrs Approx.)

Drive through rubber and pineapple plantations to Thekkady and explore the Periyar National Park and Tiger Reserve, perched lakeside in the ranges of the Western Ghats. The sanctuary surrounds a picturesque lake, which was formed as result of a dam that was built in 1895.

Afternoon, take a tour of spice plantation knowing the various Indian spices and its application in cooking and medicinal value.  If you have time , you can attend a demonstration of Indian martial arts (kalaripayattu) at the KadathanadanKalari Centre.

Overnight at hotel.

Day 09-Periyar – Kochi by road (150 kms / 3 ½ hrs Approx.)

In the morning, drive to Kochi , This place is a veritable melting pot of Portuguese, Dutch, Chinese and British influences. If you decide to island-hop, the ferry network is the best way to get around. On arrival, visit the region of Fort Kochi and explore its antique shops and spice bazaars. The Chinese fishing nets lining the coast can be seen in full operation early in the morning. Try your own recipe to grill the fresh fish for your meal near the local shacks near the Chinese fishing net.

Overnight at hotel.

Day 10- Kochi

In the morning, visit the Dutch Palace (Mattancherry Palace), which was built in the 16th century by the Portuguese before the Dutch renovated it.   Walk through the narrow lane to reach the oldest functioning Jewish synagogue in India, the Paradesi Synagogue and now very few Jewish are staying here.

In the evening witness a classic Kathakalidance performance, a dramatic dance that combines storytelling . It will be interesting to see how the artist does the make-up .

Day 11-Kochi  -Kumarakom by road ( 48 kms / 1 hr Approx.)

Discover sleepy town ofKumarakom in the backwaters of Kerala.  Take a short backwaters cruise before heading out on a village walk.Your guide will take you on a walk around the local village and introduce you to members of the community. This is a great chance to meet and talk with the people who live in the backwaters. Strolling under palm trees and weaving in between the rice fields that cover the island, learn about their lifestyles.

Overnight at hotel.

Day 12-Kumarakom–Kovalam by road  (179 kms /4 ½ hrs Approx.)

Drive to Kovalam ,once a quiet coastal village known for its export of fresh fish and coconuts is now one of India’s more popular beach and Ayurveda destination. Explore the old signalling station of Anchuthengu Fort or the 16th-century Koyikkal Palace. Your evening is then free to do as you wish.

Overnight at hotel.

Day 13- InKovalam

Day at leisure.Overnight at hotel.

Day 14- Leave Kovalam

You drive to Trivandrum airport connect flight for onward destination.