13 Night / 14 DaysChennai – Mahabalipuram – Pondicherry – Tanjore – Chettinadu – Madurai – Periyar – Munnar – Kumarakom Houseboat – Marari Beach - Kochi
Day 01 - Arrive Chennai
Meeting & Greeting on arrival and transfer you to Chennai hotel.
Chennai:- The cultural capital of India and capital of Tamil Nadu State, is one of the oldest cities in the country. It still preserves the very best of Indian culture and traditions and provides a deep insight into the Dravidian traditions and society. The city was founded in 1639 by Sir Francis Day who arrived with East India Company. It was also a major centre of Cholas and Pallavas.
Day 02 - Chennai to Mahabalipuram – 1 hr drive
After the breakfast transfer you to Mahabalipuram hotel.
Mahabalipuram is famous for its Shore temple, a relic of Pallava art, the temple is a world Heritage site. The 7th century town is famous for its rock-hewn temples, sculptures and the world's largest stone bas-relief. The five-storied Shore Temple on the beach side was built by the Pallava King Raja Singha at the end of seventh century in pure Dravidian sculpture. This temple was the last work of Pallava dynasty. Visit the "Five Rathas", a group of monolithic monuments and animal figures carved out of solid rock, almost like an artist's experiment in variety of form. Mamallapuram is a sculptors delight. Among the noteworthy sites in the vicinity of the town are Arjuna's Penance, Krishna Mandapam, Varaha Mandapam, and Mahishasurmardhini Caves.
Day 03 - Mahabalipuram to Pondicherry – 2.15 hrs drive
After the breakfast transfer you to Pondicherry hotel.
Visit includes, Sri Aurobindo Ashram-: founded by Sri Aurobindo in 1926 is one of the most affluent. Its spiritual tenets are based on a synthesis of Yoga and modern science. After Aurobindo’s death, spiritual authority passed to one of his devotees, a French woman known as ‘The Mother’ who died in 1973. Auroville:-The brainchild of ‘The Mother’ was meant to be an experiment in international living where men and women could live in peace and progressive harmony with each other above all creeds, politics and nationalities.
Day 04 - Pondicherry to Thanjavur – 4.30 hrs drive
After the breakfast transfer you to Thanjavur hotel.
Day 05 - Thanjavur – Chettinadu – Madurai (4.30 hrs drive)
After the breakfast transfer you to Madurai hotel, enroute visit of Chettinadu.
Day 06 - MaduraiMorning visit of Madurai Meenakshi Temple & Thirumalai Nayaka Palace
Madurai is synonymous with the Sri Meenakshi temple, dedicated to Sri Meenakshi, the consort of Lord Shiva. The temple complex is one of the biggest in India. It has gopurams covered from top to bottom with a breathless profusion of multi-coloured images of gods, goddesses, animals and mythical figures. The temple seethes with activities from dawn till dusk and its many shrines attract pilgrims from all over India.
Day 07 - Madurai to Periyar - 4.30 hrs drive
After the breakfast transfer you to Periyar hotel.
Periyar Tiger Reserve, 777 sq km. in area is set in a rich, mixed deciduous forest, interspersed with open areas of tall grass. Periyar has a splendid artificial lake dotted with snags of dead wood, which provide a perch for water birds; darter, grey heron, egret and kingfisher. It is one of the finest habitats for the Asiatic elephant. These enormous mammals swim in the waters and streams and usually they can be observed during the boat ride. Periyar also holds, apart from Tiger, leopards, sambar, wild dog, barking deer, the lion tailed macaque, the Nilgiri langur. The forest harbours a variety of woodland birds.
Day 08 - Periyar to Munnar - 3.30 hrs drive
After the breakfast transfer you to Munnar hotel.
Day 09 - Munnar
Today you can visit around Munnar.
Munnar (1520 m) – is a abode of environmental purity situated at the confluence of three mountain streams, Mudrapuzha, Nallathanni and Kundala. A major centre of Kerala’s tea industry is a genuine hill station and nature lover’s paradise. It is surrounded by about 30 tea estates, among the highest in the world. There are enchanting high ranges, lakes and streams and beautiful view of low-lying clouds and the mist filled valleys. It has many interesting walks. Your visit includes:- Eravikulam National Park, Madupetty Dam & Lake, Echo Point, Swiss Farm Project (Entry to Swiss project is now banned, you can watch it only from outside while you drive to Echo point). The drive around Munnar is itself a sightseeing tour, which gives you one of the finest and breathtaking views of the Tea Estates.
Day 10 - Munnar to Kumarakom Houseboat - 5 hrs drive
After the breakfast transfer you to Kumarakom Houseboat.
Vembanad lake which is the largest fresh water lake in Asia, visit R-Block & C-Block (where paddy is cultivated much below the sea level), Pathiramanal Island and also enjoy the panoramic views and the glimpses of the Kerala backwater village life along the banks. Kumarakom is a beautiful village stocked with divine mangroves and coconut groves, lush green paddy fields. Kumarakom bird sanctuary is home to migratory birds. Many luxury Resorts can be seen on the bank of Vembanad Lake at Kumarakom.
Lunch break stop 1300 to 1400 hrs. Continue cruising.
Houseboat will anchor in the evening and will not move during the night. You can also get a chance to go out and walk along the riverside or villages.
Day 11 - Houseboat to Marari Beach – 45 minutes drive
Morning tea/coffee and enjoy a sumptuous breakfast while the boat starts cruising.
Day 12 - Marari Beach
Day free at the beach or optional ayurveda massage.
Day 13 - Marari Beach to Cochin – 1.30 hrs drive
After the breakfast transfer you to Cochin
Kochi - the palm green commercial town of Kerala has one of the finest natural harbours in the world. A town with a hoary past, Cochin is the gateway to Kerala. The Jewish Synagogue – built in 1568 AD contains Grand Scrolls of the Old Testament and the copper plates containing the privileges granted to the Jews by the Cochin rulers. The floor of the synagogue is paved with exquisite Chinese hand painted tiles. The Dutch Palace was built by the Portuguese and presented to the Cochin Raja in 1555 AD. 17th century murals depicting scenes from the Indian epic, the Ramayana can be seen here. St. Francis Church, built originally by the Portuguese in 1510 AD is believed to be the first church built by Europeans in India. Vasco da Gama was originally buried here. The Chinese fishing nets can be seen at the entrance of the harbour. The Chinese through trade contact taught this technique of catching fish.
Day 14 - Cochin airport drop
Transfer you to Cochin airport.
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