Please wait
while we are loading the page

Got a questions? +44 2036086417

South India Explorer

  • Departure
  • Chennai every Monday

€1.416 8 Days / 7 Nights

Group

Flight + Mini Bus
Join-In

Check Rates & Availability



Arrive in Chennai.

After you have cleared immigration and customs formalities, you are met outside the arrival hall by our representative, who will be holding a sign with your name. He will escort you to your vehicle and assist with transfer and check-in formalities at your hotel. (Check-in time 1400 hrs)

Chennai - India’s fourth largest city, Chennai is the capital of the state of Tamil Nadu. Chennai was the site of the East India Company’s first settlement founded in 1639 on land given by the Raja of Chandragiri, the last representative of the Vijaynagar rulers of Hampi. The East India Company was an English trading establishment and thus was the forerunner to the British Empire, which, came into political prominence towards the end of the 17th Century. Chennai is a conglomerate of over grown villages, and being a major port, today it is also known as the Gateway to the South.

Overnight Stay:		Beverly Hills
Accommodation: Double Standard
Meal Plan: Breakfast and Dinner

After breakfast proceed for the guided tour of the city followed by an excursion to the group will proceed for guided city tour of Chennai.

Fort St. George (Closed on Friday) was founded in 1644 at the coastal city of Chennai. The construction of the Fort provided the impetus for further settlements and trading activity, in what was originally a no man's land. Thus, it is a feasible contention to say that the city evolved around the fortress. The Fort is a stronghold with six-meter high walls that withstood a number of assaults in the 18th century. It briefly passed into the possession of the French from 1746 to 1749, but was restored to Great Britain under the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle, which ended the War of the Austrian Succession. The Fort now serves as the administrative headquarters for the legislative assembly of Tamil Nadu state and it still houses a garrison of troops in transit to various locations at South India and the Andaman. The Fort Museum contains many relics of the Raj era, including portraits of many of the Governors of Chennai. 

Mahabalipuram, derived from ‘Mamallapuram’ is the prior and colloquial name of a town in Kancheepuram district in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu, now officially called Mamallapuram. It has an average elevation of 12 Metres (39 feet). Mahabalipuram was a 07th century port city of the South Indian dynasty of the Pallavas around 60 km south from the city of Chennai in Tamil Nadu. The name Mamallapuram is believed to have been given after the Pallava king Narasimhavarman-I, who took on the epithet Maha-malla (great wrestler), as the favourite sport of the Pallavas was wrestling. It has various historic monuments built largely between the 07th and the 09th centuries, and has been classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The whole of Mamallapuram is a fabulous open-air museum of sculptures in living rock, Monolithic shrines scooped out caverns magnificently sculpted within and the world’s biggest Bas relief in rock, are truly wondrous examples of the sculptor’s art. 

The Shore Temple (built in 700-728 AD) is so named because it overlooks the shore of the Bay of Bengal. It is a structural temple, built with blocks of granite, dating from the 8th century AD. It was built on a promontory sticking out into the Bay of Bengal. The Shore Temple is a five-storeyed structural Hindu temple rather than rock-cut as are the other monuments at the site. It is the earliest important structural temple in Southern India. Its pyramidal structure is 60 ft high and sits on a 50 Ft. square platform. There is a small temple in front which was the original porch.

Five Rathas or Panch Rathas is an example of monolith Indian rock-cut architecture dating from the late 7th century, located at Mahabalipuram. The Pancha Rathas shrines were carved during the reign of King Mahendravarman I and his son Narasimhavarman I. The purpose of their construction is not known, structures are not completed. Pancha Rathas have been preserved very well thanks to sturdiness of their material - granite and in spite of constant salty winds from the ocean. Each temple is a monolith, carved whole from a rock outcropping of pink granite. The five monolithic shrines are named after the Pandavas (Arjuna, Bhima, Yudhishthira, Nakula and Sahadeva) and Draupadi. Four shrines have pyramidal roofs. The shrines represent diversity of Dravidian architecture of the time and it is likely that their original design traces back to wood constructions.

Descent of the Ganges is monument measuring 96 feet (29 m) long by 43 feet (13 m) high, it is a giant open-air relief carved of the a monolithic rock. The monuments and sanctuaries were built by the Pallava kings in the 7th and 8th centuries. The legend depicted in the relief is the story of the descent of the sacred river Ganges to earth from the heavens led by Bhagiratha. The waters of the Ganges are believed to possess supernatural powers. The descent of the Ganges and Arjuna's Penance are portrayed in stone at the Pallava heritage site.

Drive back to Chennai.

Overnight at the hotel

Overnight Stay:		Beverly Hills
Accommodation: Double Standard
Meal Plan: Breakfast and Dinner

Breakfast is at the hotel.

Today you will be transferred to the airport for your flight to Madurai.

Flight  AI-671         

Departs Chennai 12:20 PM 

Arrives Madurai 1:20 PM 

Madurai is an animated city packed with pilgrims, vendors, business people, bullock carts and legions of under employed rickshaw pullers. It is one of the Southern India’s oldest cities and has been a center of learning and pilgrimage for centuries.

Upon arrival, you will be met and transferred to your hotel.

Post dinner, visit Meenakshi Temple for “Palliarai ceremony”. This is actually a daily ritual where when the image of Lord Shiva is ceremoniously carried in an ornate palanquin to the bedchamber of his beloved wife Meenakshi, the Fish-eyed Goddess. 

Overnight at the hotel

Overnight Stay:		Germanus
Accommodation: Double Standard Room
Meal Plan: Breakfast and Dinner

Breakfast is at the hotel.

Sightseeing of the city will start from visiting Thirumalai Nayakkar Mahal. Thirumalai Nayak Palace is a 17th-century palace erected in 1636 AD by King Thirumalai Nayak, a king of Madurai's Nayaka dynasty who ruled Madurai from 1623–59, in the city of Madurai, India. This Palace is a classic fusion of Dravidian, Islamic styles. The building, which can be seen today, was the main Palace where the king lived. The original Palace Complex was four times bigger than the present structure. In its heyday, Tirumalai Nayak Palace at Madurai was considered to be one of the wonders of the South.

Visit Meenakshi Temple. It is a historic Hindu temple located in the southern banks of river Vaigai in the temple city of Madurai. It is dedicated to Goddess Parvati who is known as Meenakshi and her consort, Shiva, named here as Sundareswarar. The temple forms the heart and lifeline of the 2500 year old city of Madurai. The complex houses 14 gateway towers called gopurams, ranging from 45-50m in height, the tallest being the southern tower, 51.9 Meters (170 ft) high, and two golden sculptured vimana, the shrine over sanctum of the main deities. There is an estimated 33,000 sculptures in the temple and it was in the list of top 30 nominees of the "New Seven Wonders of the World". 

Drive to Thekkady. The very sound of the word Thekkady conjures up images of elephants, unending chains of hills and spice-scented plantations. In the Periyar forest of Thekkady is one of the finest  wildlife reserves in India and spread across the entire district are picturesque plantations and hill towns that hold great opportunities for treks and mountain walks.

On arrival, check in at your hotel.  

Overnight at the hotel

Overnight Stay:		Pepper County
Accommodation: Double Standard
Meal Plan: Breakfast and Dinner

Breakfast is at the hotel.

Drive out to the hills at the edge of the Periyar National Park, where many spice gardens are located. Dwelling at a height of 800 to 1000 meters, these dense forests preserve some of the world's most exotic flavours, amidst bright green palm groves and patches where mangoes, nutmeg and cardamom flourish, interspersed with coffee plantations and clusters of black pepper plants grown at home by the villagers residing by the road. You will see stretches of cardamom, black pepper, cinnamon and clove vegetations dotting the landscape. 

Kerala’s spices are famous for their distinct taste and flavour. Mostly used as condiments that flavour food, some spices are used for seasoning and garnishing purposes, others are used for medicinal and cosmetic purposes. Some of the popular spices of Kerala that envelop the green Kerala hills in an everlasting fragrant cloud are ginger, bay leaves, curry leaves, turmeric, thyme, oregano, mint, rosemary, basil and sage.

Post trail to spice plantation, drive to Kumarakom.

The village of Kumarakom is a cluster of little islands on the Vembanad Lake, and is part of the Kuttanad region. An enchanting backwater destination, Kumarakom is a perfect leisure getaway. Here you can see how people have adapted their lives to the waterways and winding canals.

On arrival, check-in to your hotel. 

Overnight at the hotel

Overnight Stay:		World Backwater
Accommodation: Double Standard
Meal Plan: Breakfast and Dinner

Breakfast is at the hotel.

Enjoy a leisurely breakfast at the hotel. 

Later today, board your house-boat to enjoy a day cruise on the backwaters, going through a network of canals with a backdrop of villages and coconut trees on the shores. Enjoy a traditional Kerala lunch on-board prepared by the talented staff. 

Return to Kumarakom in the late afternoon.

Overnight at the hotel

Overnight Stay:		World Backwater
Accommodation: Double Standard
Meal Plan: Breakfast and Dinner

After breakfast at the hotel drive to Cochin.

Kochi (colonial name Cochin) is a vibrant city situated on the south-west coast of the Indian peninsula in the breathtakingly scenic and prosperous state of Kerala, hailed as 'God's Own Country'. Its strategic importance over the centuries is underlined by the sobriquet Queen of the Arabian Sea. Informally, Cochin is also referred to as the Gateway to Kerala.

Upon arrival at Kochi proceed for city tour. Visit Dutch Palace (Closed on Friday) also known as Mattancherry Palace. It was built by the Portuguese and presented to the Raja of Kochi in 1555 AD. It acquired the present name after 1663 when the Dutch carried out extensions and repairs in the palace. At no time did the Portuguese or Dutch stay here. Its interiors are decorated with murals from the Ramayana and there are some lively displays of royal costumes and palanquins. Then visit Jewish Synagogue (Closed on Friday & Saturday) built in 1568 AD. The Great Scrolls of the Old Testament, the copper plates in which the grants of privilege made by the Cochin rulers were recorded and the exquisite Chinese hand-painted tiles are of interest here. [Closed on Friday & Saturdays] You will also visit St. Francis Church in Fort Kochi. The Protestant church was originally built by the Portuguese in 1510 AD and is believed to be the oldest church built by the Europeans in India. It is here the remains of the inveterate traveller, Vasco-da-Gama were initially buried and 14 years later, his mortal remains were taken to Portugal. Santa Cruz Baslica Church is also worth visiting. Some beautiful paintings can be seen here, followed by the Spice Market.

After lunch (on direct payment) witness the Chinese fishing net methodology of catching fish. The Chinese fishing nets line the sea-front and exhibit a mechanical method of catching fish by local fishermen in Fort Kochi is what you will see on your way while returning to your hotel. 

In the evening, enjoy an hour of the famous Kathakali dance performance. Kathakali is the classical dance-drama of Kerala, South India, which dates from the 17th century and is rooted in Hindu mythology. Kathakali is a unique combination of literature, music, painting, acting and dance.

Overnight at the hotel

Overnight Stay:		Travancore Court
Accommodation: Double Standard
Meal Plan: Breakfast and Dinner

Breakfast is at the hotel.

Today in time you will be transferred to the airport for your flight back to home.

END OF OUR SERVICES

Meal Plan:		Breakfast
Activities Included: Transfer to the Airport

From To Periods Cancellation Policies Price
28-07-2015 04-08-2015
8 Days / 7 Nights

Minimum participants:2
€ 1416 /pax
04-08-2015 11-08-2015
8 Days / 7 Nights

Minimum participants:2
€ 1416 /pax
11-08-2015 18-08-2015
8 Days / 7 Nights

Minimum participants:2
€ 1416 /pax
18-08-2015 25-08-2015
8 Days / 7 Nights

Minimum participants:2
€ 1416 /pax
25-08-2015 01-09-2015
8 Days / 7 Nights

Minimum participants:2
€ 1416 /pax
01-09-2015 08-09-2015
8 Days / 7 Nights

Minimum participants:2
€ 1416 /pax
08-09-2015 15-09-2015
8 Days / 7 Nights

Minimum participants:2
€ 1416 /pax
15-09-2015 22-09-2015
8 Days / 7 Nights

Minimum participants:2
€ 1416 /pax
22-09-2015 29-09-2015
8 Days / 7 Nights

Minimum participants:2
€ 1416 /pax
05-10-2015 12-10-2015
8 Days / 7 Nights

Minimum participants:2
€ 1011 /pax
12-10-2015 19-10-2015
8 Days / 7 Nights

Minimum participants:2
€ 1011 /pax
19-10-2015 26-10-2015
8 Days / 7 Nights

Minimum participants:2
€ 1011 /pax
26-10-2015 02-11-2015
8 Days / 7 Nights

Minimum participants:2
€ 1011 /pax
02-11-2015 09-11-2015
8 Days / 7 Nights

Minimum participants:2
€ 1011 /pax
09-11-2015 16-11-2015
8 Days / 7 Nights

Minimum participants:2
€ 1011 /pax

 


 



Video




Description

Experience the Natural Beauty, Ancient Culture and Adventure of South India.

Start with a few days of total relaxation at the exclusive Somaltheeram/Manaltheeram Ayurvedic Resort--situated at one of the finest beaches of India, amidst coconut plantations, in the state of Kerala.

Next, sail the backwaters of Kerala on traditional rice boats. After an overnight on the boat, enjoy cultural activities in the port town of Cochin--well-known for their Kathakali Dance performances.

Wildlife viewing at Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary and exploring the "temple towns" of Tamil Nadu.



South India Explorer



Cancellation Policies