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TripCompanion / India: Great Wonders of the South

India: Great Wonders of the South

$4185

per person

This trip is designed for travelers interested in exploring Southern Indian culture. Feast your eyes on ancient temples of all kinds, from carved rock, rainbow colored stucco to skyscraper temple towers. Reach back in time to the Dravidian culture and observe the later influences of the French, Dutch and English colonialists.

Enrich your knowledge while enjoying a cup of tea at the Munnar Tea Plantations and Tea Museum. Arrive in Kerala where St Thomas the Apostle introduced Christianity in the 1st century. Stroll on the sunny coast of the Arabian Sea and relax on a Backwaters small boat cruise. You’ll be amazed of the diversity of India culture!

13 Days, 12 Nights: Chennai, Mylapore, Pondicherry, Thanjavur, Karaikudi, Madurai, Munnar & Cochin
Customizable Private Tour

WHY YOU’LL LOVE THIS TOUR

‣ This trip starts with many ancient monuments including the skyscraper Meenakshi Temple

‣ Visit the 7th century temples at Mahabalipuram, a UNESCO World Heritage Site

‣ French-Tamil fusion food and Chettinad cuisine cooking demonstrations will excite your taste buds on the Tea and Spices trail

‣ We end our journey in God’s Country, Kerala, surrounded by lush landscape and an unhurried life


HIGHLIGHTS

Meenakshi hindu temple in Madurai, Tamil Nadu, South India. One of the famous landmarks in East India

Ancient Skyscraper Temples

South India built towering multi-story temple towers centuries before other cultures. The grand-daddy of all Dravidian temples, the Meenakshi Amman temple, boasts 12 towers with the tallest at 170 feet.

A Dreamy Landscape

Unlike the hectic tourist epicenters of Jaipur and Delhi, relaxation practically oozes out of Kerala. As your boat glides along the backwaters, watch the farmers work on rice paddy fields, housewives washing laundry while coconut palms wave under a warm breeze.

Kerala Houseboat
Cruise past the rice paddies and coconut groves on the Kerala Backwaters
Munnar Tea Plantation

Lush Green Kerala Mountains

Ascend up to the tea plantations in Munnar hill station originally established by Bristish Raj. With its cooler weather, the fog often wafts over the mountains. The tranquil beauty of nature is punctuated by signs of women plucking buds and leaves from the green tea gardens (tea plantations).

1

Meet Up at Chennai (MAA)

Upon arrival at Chennai airport, you'll be met and transferred to your hotel. The remainder of the day is free to relax and enjoy the hotel or explore this capital city of Tamil Nadu state on your own with an optional add-on private car and chauffeur.
2

Chennai | Mylapore Peacock Trail

Let’s take the Peacock Trail through Mylapore, a town that predates Chennai by at least 2,000 years and is the religious and cultural epicenter of the Tamil people. Visit the Kapaleeshwarar temple, re-built 300 years ago, which is a fine example of the pure Dravidian style with gopurams and mandapams.
Marina Beach is 4 miles long on the Bay of Bengal, one of the longest beaches in the world. Near the north of Marina Beach is Fort St George which was the first English fortress in India. The fort also houses St Mary's Church, both the oldest Anglican church and the oldest British building in India.
This evening, enjoy a local dance performance with your welcome dinner.
Breakfast the most important meal of the day. We select fabulous hotels with both local authentic and western breakfast so you are well prepared to enjoy your travel tours.Breakfast   Enjoy local authentic cuisine during your dinner at one of our travel tours. Develop new friendships with other members along the way.  Welcome Dinner
Shiva temple a tourist attraction

Kapaleeshwarar Temple
Rainbow-colored Kapaleeshwarar Temple on the Peacock Trail.

3

Chennai – Pondicherry (Puducherry) | Mahabalipuram, Kanchipuram

Mahabalipuram is a small seaside village and once the main port of the Pallava Dynasty from the 5th to 9th centuries. The Group of Monuments at Mahabalipuram has been classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site that was carved out of rock during the 7th and 8th centuries.  See the famous Descent of the Ganges, and the Shore Temple with thousands of sculptures dedicated to the glory of God Shiva.
Afterwards you continue by road to Pondicherry
Breakfast the most important meal of the day. We select fabulous hotels with both local authentic and western breakfast so you are well prepared to enjoy your travel tours.Breakfast       Enjoy local authentic cuisine during your dinner at one of our travel tours. Develop new friendships with other members along the way.  Dinner

Mahabalipuram
Famous for hundreds of 7th century rock monuments & temples.

Thousands of 7th and 8th centuries rock sculptures dedicated to the God Shiva

Descent of the Ganges
Enjoy a stroll surrounded by amazing 7th century rock sculptures in Mahabalipuram.

4

Pondicherry (Puducherry) | Pondicherry City Tour, Cooking Demonstration

Today you visit a local village to observe their traditions and daily life.
In 1674, Pondicherry became a French colony. Experience the French colonial atmosphere in Puducherry, visit the French quarter and the famous Sri Aurobindo Ashram (an ashram is akin to a monastery), founded by one of India's greatest philosopher-poets. Other attractions are the lush Government Park and elegant Gandhi Memorial.
Enjoy a French-Tamil cuisine cooking demonstration at your hotel. Think French seafood with sauces infused with mild Indian spices.
Breakfast the most important meal of the day. We select fabulous hotels with both local authentic and western breakfast so you are well prepared to enjoy your travel tours.Breakfast    Enjoy local authentic cuisine during your dinner at one of our travel tours. Develop new friendships with other members along the way.  Dinner

Crispy Dosa (Rice Pancake)
Served with coconut & sambar chutney.

5

Pondicherry – Thanjavur | Silk Weavers’ Colony

Visit Tanjavur which is a major silk center and watch traditional weaving at the silk weavers' colony. Some of the silk saree is embroidered with gold and silver thread.
See Indian Tie & Dye techniques from 5000 years ago.
Breakfast the most important meal of the day. We select fabulous hotels with both local authentic and western breakfast so you are well prepared to enjoy your travel tours.Breakfast      Enjoy local authentic cuisine during your dinner at one of our travel tours. Develop new friendships with other members along the way.  Dinner

South Indian Weaver
Weaving with a traditional loom.

6

Thanjavur | Brihadeeswara Temple, Cooking Demonstration

Thanjavur thrived as the ancient capital of the Chola kingdom.
The great Brihadeeswara (Brahadeeswara) Temple in Dravidian architecture is one of the most magnificent South Indian temple architecture.
To explore more about Chola artifects, visit the Thanjavur Palace, Saraswati Mahal library and the art gallery. The art gallery hosts an excellent collection of Chola bronzes and stone carvings. Enjoy an introduction to the Thanjavur style of paintings.
Enjoy your Chettinad cooking demonstration with a wide range of spices at the hotel.
Breakfast the most important meal of the day. We select fabulous hotels with both local authentic and western breakfast so you are well prepared to enjoy your travel tours.Breakfast     Enjoy local authentic cuisine during your dinner at one of our travel tours. Develop new friendships with other members along the way.  Dinner

Brihadishvara Temple
Magnificent 11th century Hindu Temple in Thanjavur.

Spice Market
Buying fresh nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves and other locally grown spices.

7

Thanjavur - Karaikudi | Trichy City Tour

Drive from Thanjavur to Karaikudi to visit Trichy that was a capital of the early Cholas in the 3rd century BC. It has passed through the hands of many rulers including the British. It is known for the famous 17th century Rock Fort Temple.
Breakfast the most important meal of the day. We select fabulous hotels with both local authentic and western breakfast so you are well prepared to enjoy your travel tours.Breakfast      Enjoy local authentic cuisine during your dinner at one of our travel tours. Develop new friendships with other members along the way.  Dinner
8

Karaikudi – Madurai | Meenakshi Temple

Madurai is one of the oldest cities in India, a metropolis that traded with ancient Rome. It’s celebrated Meenakshi Amman Temple is one of India's greatest temples with a dazzling maze-like structure. Meenakshi Temple with its nine gopurams (temple towers) soaring to almost 164 feet above the gateways, is decorated with colorful stucco images of gods, goddesses and animals.  The incredible thousand-pillared hall and the Golden Lotus tank are must-see attractions!
Breakfast the most important meal of the day. We select fabulous hotels with both local authentic and western breakfast so you are well prepared to enjoy your travel tours.Breakfast    Enjoy local authentic cuisine during your dinner at one of our travel tours. Develop new friendships with other members along the way.  Dinner
Temple with colorful stucco images of gods, goddesses and animals

Meenakshi Temple
Decorated with colorful stucco images of gods, goddesses and animals.

Meenakshi hindu temple in Madurai, Tamil Nadu, South India. One of the famous landmarks in East India

The Temple City of Madurai
The temple towers of Meenakshi Temple soar to the sky.

Historic Hindu Temple
See the thousands of colorful statues of Meenakshi Temple up close.

9

Madurai - Munnar

Drive to Munnar, the hill station 6,000 ft above sea level that is the home to many tea plantations. These tea plantations were the British Raj’s solution to Chinese tea monopoly in the 1800s. With its cooler weather, the fog often wafts over the mountains. The tranquil beauty of nature is punctuated by signs of women plucking buds and leaves from the green tea gardens (tea plantations).
Breakfast the most important meal of the day. We select fabulous hotels with both local authentic and western breakfast so you are well prepared to enjoy your travel tours.Breakfast     Enjoy local authentic cuisine during your dinner at one of our travel tours. Develop new friendships with other members along the way.  Dinner  
10

Munnar | Tea Plantation, Tea Museum, Kudla Dam, Echo Point

You stroll through a working tea plantation. Depending on the time of the year, you may be able to see the colorful tea pluckers at work and visit the factory to observe the Tea making process - crush, tear, curl. Then visit the interesting Kannan Devan Tea Museum with machines, photographs, classic bungalow furniture and office equipment of the Colonial era.
Other attractions are Kudla Dam, Echo Point and a gentle hike through the lush landscape.
Breakfast the most important meal of the day. We select fabulous hotels with both local authentic and western breakfast so you are well prepared to enjoy your travel tours.Breakfast    Enjoy local authentic cuisine during your dinner at one of our travel tours. Develop new friendships with other members along the way.  Dinner

Tea Leaf Pluckers
Pluckers among the tea plants.

Visit Tea Plantations
Some of the finest tea plantations in India are in the higher regions of Kerala.

11

Munnar - Cochin | Fort Cochin, Kathakali Dance Performance

We drive to Cochin today. Serene Cochin is a melting pot of medieval Portuguese and Dutch heritage mixed with an English village grafted onto the tropical Malabar Coast. You will visit the historical towns of Fort Cochin and Mattancherry, the spice markets, antique shopping market, synagogue and the famous Chinese fishing nets.
Enjoy a performance of famous Kathakali dancing demonstrating an ancient ritual that plays an important role in Kerala's cultural life.
Breakfast the most important meal of the day. We select fabulous hotels with both local authentic and western breakfast so you are well prepared to enjoy your travel tours.Breakfast      Enjoy local authentic cuisine during your dinner at one of our travel tours. Develop new friendships with other members along the way.  Dinner

Chinese Fishing Nets
14th century technology transfer!

Kathakali dancer showcases an intricate and elaborate make up procedure that you should not miss this cultural performance.

Kathakali Dancer
Story telling with intricate gestures, elaborate costumes and striking makeup.

12

Cochin | Alleppey Lunch Cruise

Alleppey is in the hub of Kerala's backwaters, home to a vast network of waterways and more than a thousand houseboats. Take a small boat (shikara) cruise to explore the unique water world of villages, shikaras (traditional motorized small boats), toddy shops and houseboats surrounded by great paddy fields.
Then back to Cochin.
Breakfast the most important meal of the day. We select fabulous hotels with both local authentic and western breakfast so you are well prepared to enjoy your travel tours.Breakfast      Enjoy local authentic cuisine during your dinner at one of our travel tours. Develop new friendships with other members along the way.  Dinner

Kerala Houseboat
Cruise past the rice paddies and coconut groves on the Kerala Backwaters.

Ottu Shavige
South Indian rice noodles with chutney.

13

Depart Cochin (COK)

The tour comes to an end after breakfast. Hotel check-out and transfer to Cochin International Airport (COK) for your flight home.
Breakfast the most important meal of the day. We select fabulous hotels with both local authentic and western breakfast so you are well prepared to enjoy your travel tours.Breakfast
Overview
Hotels
Dates & Prices

Hotel Information

Destination Comfort Class  Premium Class  Luxury Class 
Chennai Call
Pondicherry Call
Thanjavur Call
Karaikudi Call
Madurai Call
Munnar Call
Cochin Call
* Hotels mentioned are subject to availability at the time of reservation.  

Accommodation Classification

  • COMFORT ⭐⭐⭐- 3-Star Hotels or Equivalent Accommodations
  • PREMIUM ⭐⭐⭐⭐- 4-Star Hotels or Equivalent Accommodations
  • LUXURY ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐- 5-Star Hotels or Equivalent Accommodations
 
Overview
Tour Plan
Dates & Prices

Dates & Pricing 

Private Tour, daily departure

Year Tour Date Comfort Class Premium Class Luxury Class 
2020 Jan 10 to April 15 Call $4,545 Call
2020 Apr 16 to Sep 30 Call $4,185 Call
2020 Oct 1 to Dec 10 Call $4,785 Call
2021 Jan 15 to Apr 15 Call $4,785 Call
2021 Apr 1 to Sep 30 Call $4,395 Call
2021 Oct 1 to Dec 19 Call $5,025 Call

Private Tour Price Details

  • ‣ Prices are in USD and are inclusive of all applicable taxes but do not include airfare.
  • ‣ Prices are per person based on double occupancy. Seasonal surcharges and blackout dates may apply during applicable major holidays. Special rates for single travelers or larger groups are available on request - please inquire.
  • ‣ Note that tour prices vary according to season. If your tour straddles two seasons then each portion will be priced according to that season.

Deposit

  • A deposit of $300 per person is required upon booking. Full payment to be made 90 days prior to departure date.

Flight Add-On

  • ‣ We work with all major airlines for the best routes and competitive pricing.
  • ‣ The nearest arrival airport is MAA(Chennai International Airport).
  • ‣ The nearest departure airport is COK(Cochin International Airport).
  • ‣ Contact us for more details and pricing.
 

Inclusions

  • ‣ Airport Transfers, Meet and Greet
  • ‣ Hotel Accommodations
  • ‣ Daily Breakfast and Selected Meals (See tour plan for details)
  • ‣ English-speaking Local Guide
  • ‣ Entrance Fees to Monuments & Attractions per Itinerary

Exclusions

  • ‣ International and Domestic Air Fare
  • ‣ Travel Insurance
  • ‣ Medical Expenses
  • ‣ Visa Fee
  • ‣ Gratuity
  • ‣ Personal Expenses

Overview
Tour Plan
Hotels