A sweeping tour of the South hitting all the tourist highlights along the way - from the beaches of the Bay of Bengal to the shores of the Arabian Seacoast with hill stations, backwaters, and architectural marvels along the way. A big taste of the south on a small budget.
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Duration: 08 Nights / 09 Days
Route: Chennai -Mamallapuram -Pondicherry -Tanjore -Madurai -Periyar -Alleppey -Cochin
Spend the day sightseeing. By far and away, the most popular tourist attraction is Arjuna's Penance - one of the largest bas relief works of art in existence - carved out of the hillside rock it never fails to impress. Mamallapuram is famous as a pilgrimage town as well as being the seat of stone carving in South India and you'll see evidence of this especially on the way to the Five Rathas. Don't miss the Shore Temple, a rare item as it's the only monument in Mamallapuram
Take a drive down the coast to the former French colony of Pondicherry. Along the way, stop in Auroville and pay a visit to the Matrimandir - an architectural marvel as well as the point from which all things in Auroville radiate - solar-powered, peaceful, welcoming, beautiful surroundings. In Pondicherry, enjoy the rocky beachfront which leads down to the Sri Aurobindo Ashram, a beautiful example of French-influcenced architecture.
Proceed to Tanjore - the rice bowl of Tamil Nadu - which also enjoys the reputation of being the cultural center of Tamil Nadu. Tour the town and see the Brihadishwara Temple (Big Temple) - the most important place to see due to it's marvelous architecture and gardens. Pay a visit to the Palace & Saraswathi Mahal Library which houses ancient Tamil and Sanskrit manuscripts. The Siva Ganga Garden is wonderful little park for family outings - train rides and boat rides are available.
Arrive in Madurai and spend the day touring the city. Don't miss the Meenakshi Temple, the Koodal Alagar Temple, Thiruparankundram, Gandhi Museum, and the Kazimar Big Mosque and Maqbara. Catch the evening Sound and Light Show at the Thirumalai Nayak Palace.
Enjoy a scenic drive through the Western Ghats to Periyar. Visit the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary and Tiger Reserve. Spend the evening exploring nearby Kumily where every spice grown in Kerala is sold - you'll know you've arrived by the aromatic atmosphere.
Enjoy the downhill drive into the backwaters of Alleppey where you'll spend the night. Kick back and relax on the shores of this beautiful backwater slice of paradise.
Drive up to the lovely heritage harbor town of Cochin. In the evening, enjoy a traditional Kathakali Dance overlooking the Cochin Harbor.
Spend the day seeing the sights which may include a visit to the Dutch Palace, Jewish Synagogue, St. Francis Church, Santa Cruz Basilica or a boat tour of the harbor islands.
You will be driven to your point of departure in Cochin.
Extend or Customize Your Tour
We would be happy to assist with additional travel and hotel arrangements. Changes to this tour can be added as an inclusive part of the package.
Rooms are on a twin sharing basis
Daily breakfast included
All hotels are in the Standard range - all modern amenities are provided including attached private bathrooms with hot/cold water.
Note: If you prefer higher standard accommodations we would be happy to make the arrangements.