Southern Splendour

Southern Splendour

13 Days / 12 Nights

A perfect way to discover the magnificent temples of South India, combined with a visit to the wildlife reserve in Periyar and the beautiful backwaters of Kerala. This is an excellent way to explore the lush green landscape with swaying paddy fields and plantations, lakes and canals.


Day 01:

Arrive Chennai

Assistance on arrival at the airport and transfer to your hotel. Overnight stay.

Day 02:

In Chennai

Morning excursion to Mahabalipuram & Kanchipuram. Mahabalipuram – a quiet seaside resort with a unique and glorious 7th century Shore Temple and some of the most beautiful rock-cut caves in the world. Visit the Krishna Varaha and Mahishasura Mardhini Mandapas besides the famous stone bas-relief, Arjuna’s Penance.

Kanchipuram was under the Pallavas from the 6th to 8th century AD & later became the citadel of the Cholas, Vijaya-nagar Kings, the Muslim and the British. It has been a centre of Tamil learning, cultural and religious background for centuries. Kanchipuram has magnificent temples of unique architectural beauty bearing eloquent testimony to its glorious Dravidian heritage. Overnight stay.

Day 03:

Chennai – Pondicherry by road 162 Kms / 04 Hrs Approx

Morning sightseeing tour of Chennai visiting Santhome Cathedral Church, St. Thomas Mount & Fort St. George. Later drive to Pondicerry. Later afternoon city tour of Ponicherry Pondicherry, a former French colony, oozes a Mediterranean aura with classy streets, stylish houses and ornamental gardens & is famous for pleasant weather and easy paced life. Visit the serene atmosphere of Aurobindo Ashram, which was founded by Sri Aurobindo in 1926 and has attained an international reputation for its spiritual tenets including yoga and modern science of living. The Botanical Gardens, conceived in 1826, boasts a variety of rare and exotic plants from India & abroad and take a stroll on the beaches of Pondicherry.Overnight stay.

Day 04:

Pondicherry – Tanjore by road 231 Kms & 06 Hrs Approx

Morning depart by road to Tanjore en route visiting Chidambaram & Kumbakonam. Chidambaram is situated between two rivers in a 40 acre temple complex & here lies the temples of Chidambaram, one of the oldest, most venerated and magnificent temples of South India. Shiva Natraja or the Dancing Shiva stands in his cosmic dance pose in the golden rooted sanctum sanctorum. Flanking the temple are 108 sculptured illustrations of Bharat Natya Shastra. In Akash Lingam hidden by a veil, lies the real secret of Chidambaram..

Kumbakonam is a very important Temple City of South India. Kumbakonam is one of the oldest towns in Tamil Nadu and is famous for its Mahamaham festival. In the 7th Century it was the Capital of Chola Kings. Visit the Kumbeshwaran Temple. Upon arrival check-in at the hotel. Overnight stay.

Day 05:

In Tanjore

Morning sightseeing tour of famous Tanjore city, visiting the beautiful Chola Temple of Brihadeeshwara. The temple is capped by a monolithic cupola made of a single granite block weighing 80 tones, which was taken to the top with the help of a 6 km long ramp, an old technique used by the Egyptians for building the Pyramids. It’s bronzes and handicrafts make Tanjore one of the highlights of a visit to South India. Overnight stay.

Day 06:

Tanjore – Madurai by road 182 Kms / 04 Hrs & 30 Mins Approx

Morning departure by road to Madurai and upon arrival check-in at the hotel. Afternoon sightseeing tour of Madurai city. Visit the great Meenakshi Temple, an excellent example of Dravidian Architecture, dedicated to the consort of Lord Shiva with its towering Gopurams (rising high above the surrounding countryside). Also visit the Tirumala Nayak Palace – a gracious building in the Indo Mughal style, famous for the Stuccowork on its domes and arches. In the evening witness the night ceremony at the Meenakshi Temple. Overnight stay.

Day 07:

Madurai – Periyar by road 137 Kms & 04 Hrs & 30 Mins Approx

Morning depart by road to Periyar crossing over the Tamil Nadu-Kerala border to enter into ‘God’s Own Country’. Upon arrival check-in at the hotel. The Periyar Wild-life Sanctuary offers a fairly good chance of seeing the great Indian tiger in its natural habitat. Afternoon game viewing by boat-ride on the artificial Lake Periyar. Amongst the animals spotted here are wild elephants, which can be seen and photographed at close quarters, wild boar, sambar, teal, leopard, wild dog and lanjur monkeys. Overnight stay.

Day 08:

Periyar – Kumarakom by road 180 Kms / 04 Hrs Approx

Morning after breakfast, depart by road to Kumarakom, en route visiting Valiyapally and Cheriyapally (St. Mary’s Churches), which were built in 1515 and are famous for their Persian cross and Phalavi inscriptions. They also have some exquisite mural paintings on biblical and non-biblical themes. Upon arrival check-in at the hotel. Kumarakom is an unbelievably beautiful paradise of mangrove forests, emerald green paddy fields and coconut groves, interspersed with enchanting waterways and canals adorned with white lilies. Situated on the Vembanad Lake, in this small water world, you will come across plenty of traditional country crafts, boats and canoes. Kumarakom has also a Bird Sanctuary, which is an ornithologist’s paradise, also a favourite haunt of migratory birds like the Siberian stork, egret, darter, heron and teal. Other common varieties like woodpecker, skylark, crane, water hen and parrots can also be spotted here.

Evening take an optional sunset cruise – there can be few better ways to adjust to the pace of backwater life than to spend the waning hours of the afternoon just watching the sun go down. Overnight at the resort.

Day 09:

In Kumarakom

Day free at leisure or get an Ayurvedic Rejuvenation massage at the resort’s Ayurveda Centre. Kerala is the originating place for Ayurveda, which is the ultimate natural way of treating and rejuvenating soul and body. Overnight stay.

Day 10:

Embark on your houseboat

Morning is free to explore the local area or just relax amidst the verdant surroundings. At noon your houseboat will pick you up at the resort and you will embark on a remarkable journey through the coconut-palmed canals. Your houseboat will take care of your every need, cook you delicious Kerala food and show you the places of interest. Overnight stay.

Day 11:

Alleppey – Cochin by road 80 Kms / 02 Hrs Approx

In the morning you will reach Alleppey. After breakfast, you disembark from the houseboat and transfer to Cochin and check in at your hotel. Overnight stay.

Day 12:

In Cochin

This morning, enjoy a tour of the historic city of Cochin. Visit the historic Fort Cochin, also including the enchanting Chinese fishing nets, St. Francis Church, Mattancherry Palace with its well preserved vegetable dye murals and the Jewish Synagogue, still in use today. Afternoon at leisure. Overnight stay.

Day 13:

Depart Cochin

Morning transfer to cochin airport to board flight for onward destination.

Tailoring your trip

The itineraries shown are designed to give you a taste of what is possible and keeping in mind the travel logistics, routes that work out well. We can use this as a basis to plan your trip or can design a completely different itinerary to suit your interest. Prices vary according to selection of accommodation and season.

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