Duration: 12 Nights / 13 Days
Places Covered: Chennai - Trivandrum - Cochin - Periyar - Madurai - Kanchipuram - Mahabalipuram - Chennai
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.
Day 01: Arrival in Chennai
Transfer to hotel Le Meridien (near the airport)
Day 02: Madras - Trivandrum
Transfer to Somatheeram Ayurvedic Resort
Day 03: Ayurvedic Beach Resort
Relax and enjoy the facilities at the resort including private beach, yoga, massage, nature walks, classical music and dance programs on open-air stage, visits to local traditional village.
Day 04: Backwaters of Kerala
From the resort drive to the pier to board a private rice boat (70 kms/2 hrs drive) and then cruise through the narrow canals and wide lakes enjoying the scenic natural beauty -- coconut trees, rice patties, small villages.Meals and overnight on houseboats.
Day 05: Backwaters - Cochin
Morning relax on houseboat, after lunch drive to Cochin 65 Kms/ 1 1/12 hrs.), transfer to hotel. Taj Mallabar Hotel, overlooking the harbor, sea facing rooms.
Day 06: Cochin
Full day sighseeing: palaces, museums. Enjoy a Kathakali dance performance at Cochin Cultural Center, arriving by 5 pm to watch the make-up. Dinner at traditional Kerala restaurant. Taj Mallabar Hotel
Day 07: Periyar
Periyar Wild life Sanctuary Home to bison, antelopes, sambars, wild boars, monkeys, langurs, a wide variety of birds, and some 750 elephants. Game viewing by private motor-boat in the evening, (the best time to see wild life). Hotel Taj Garden Retreat
Day 08: Periyar - Madurai
Relax at Periyar in the morning. In afternoon, drive to Madurai (135 kms./ 4hrs. drive), "The Temple City of India."Evening relaxed overview of the city, independent strolling. Hotel Taj Garden Retreat in Madurai, cottages.
Day 09: Madurai
Full day sighseeing: Sri Meenakshi Temple, Tirumalai Nayak Palace, Tiruparankundram (rock-cut)Temple, Alagarkoil Temple Evening fly Madurai-Madras dep 19:40 arr 20:30 arr. OR 20:40 dep.-21:30 arr. Hotel Taj Garden Retreat
Day 10: Madras
Full day sightseeing of Madras: Kapaleeshwarar Temple, San Thome Cathedral, Sri Parthasarathy Temple, Fort St. George, the Marina. Hotel Taj Coromandel, superior room
Day 11: Drive to Kanchipuram
Visit temples of Kanchipuram enroute to Mahabalipuram. Kailasanatha Temple, Vaikunta Perumal Temple, Sri Ekambaranathar Temple, Kamakshi Amman Temple, Devarajaswami Temple. On arrival in Mahabalipuram transfer to Hotel Fishermanos Cove.
Day 12: Mahabalipuram
Morning relax; afternoon sightseeing: Five Rathas, Shore Temple, Arjunaos Penance, Mandapams, Krishna Mandapam.
Day 13: Madras
Relax in the morning. Late afternoon drive back to Madras (80kms./2hrs. drive). Transfer to international airport for flight home.