Destination

India

Duration

11 Days

Price

From $2,198 pp

Imagine absolutely stunning pyramid shaped towers, exquisite gopurams, intricately decorated with sculptures and carvings and dark altars displaying solemn deities. Take in the sound of ringing bells, the depth of cleansing rituals and the strong fragrances of incense sticks in the vibrant temples of India. Mouth watering smells and delicious aromas will envelop you as you wind through the cities of India, making your way in and out of the most holy temples. Explore the intriguing Madurai temple complex and visit the Meenakshi temple, built in the Dravidian style, dedicated to Lord Shiva and his spouse Meenakshi. Witness the reverent prayer ceremony and join in the fascinating procession through the flower garden. Head to Mahabalipuram to admire the incredible UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Shore Temple and Arjuna’s penance, where you will find the world’s largest bas-relief! Passionate guides will accompany you on this fascinating journey as you discover the depths of Hindu spirituality.

Days Activities Accommodations
Day 1
Kochi
  • Airport Transfer (Arrival)
  • Dinner at Fort Kochi
Malabar House - Deluxe Room
Bed and Breakfast
Day 2
Kochi
  • Kochi Full Day Tour
Malabar House - Deluxe Room
Bed and Breakfast
Day 3
Alappuzha - Kumarakom
  • Kochi - Alleppey
  • Alleppey - Kumarakom Houseboat Experience w/Lunch
Coconut Lagoon - Deluxe Pool View
Bed and Breakfast
Day 4
Kumarakom
  • Bird Sanctuary Visit
Coconut Lagoon - Deluxe Pool View
Bed and Breakfast
Day 5
Thekkady - Periyar
  • Kumarakom - Periyar/Thekkady
  • Spice Plantation Visit
Spice Village - Deluxe Villa
Bed and Breakfast
Day 6
Madurai
  • Periyar- Madurai
The Heritage Madurai - Deluxe Club
Bed and Breakfast
Day 7
Madurai
  • Madurai City & Temple Tour
The Heritage Madurai - Deluxe Club
Bed and Breakfast
Day 8
Madurai - Chennai - Mahabalipuram
  • Airport Transfer (Depart)
  • Flight: Madurai - Chennai
  • Airport Transfer (Arrival)
Fisherman's Cove - Superior Charm Room
Bed and Breakfast
Day 9
Mahabalipuram
  • Heritage Temple Tour
Fisherman's Cove - Superior Charm Room
Bed and Breakfast
Day 10
Mahabalipuram
  • Beach Day
Fisherman's Cove - Superior Charm Room
Bed and Breakfast
Day 11
Chennai
  • Airport Transfer (Depart)

Day 1
Kochi

Welcome to Kochi! Upon arrival at the airport, you will be greeted by one of our local Travelous, English-speaking representatives who will be holding a sign with your name printed on it. Private transfer to your hotel and assistance with check-in provided.

The commercial hub of Kerala, the city of Kochi, is where the Portuguese explorer Vasco Da Gama first landed to establish a trading station in 1499. With more than a thousand-year-old recorded history, the past and the present gracefully merge in this heritage city that was the oldest European settlement in India. With what is believed to be finest natural harbor in the world, Kochi has had cultural and trade relations with the outside world for centuries with varied influences leaving their distinctive imprint.

Dinner tonight is arranged at Kochi's best seafood restaurant - Fort Kochi. This award-winning restaurant is located in the Casino Hotel and serves up the freshest delicacies from the Arabian Sea cooked to perfection.

Malabar House - Deluxe Room

Day 2
Kochi

After breakfast, you will embark on an unforgettable sightseeing tour of Kochi and Ernakulam!

First, you will visit the stunning Dutch Palace and the Jewish Synagogue. Observe the mechanism of the Chinese fishing nets nearby, which dot the harbor as you drive along the coastline. The tour takes you to the Fort Kochi area where you can walk through hundred years old historical Dutch and Portuguese buildings. Some parts of this nearly 500-year-old Fort are still amazingly well preserved.

Visit St. Francis Church, originally named after San Antonio and dedicated to him as the Patron Saint of Portugal. St. Francis Church is the first church to have been in the new European influenced tradition.

.

Malabar House - Deluxe Room

Day 3
Alappuzha - Kumarakom

Meet your private driver and assistant at the hotel .They will drive you to Alleppey where you embark on a private backwaters cruise. The drive time between the two cities is about a hour.

This morning, start your drive to the Alleppey where your very own Kettuvallam (houseboat) awaits your arrival. The houseboat will take you through the famous Kerala backwaters, traversing through paddy fields and villages, into the magnificent Vembanad Lake before reaching your plush backwater resort in Kerala.

The houseboat is fully equipped with a lounge and sun deck, and usually one bedroom with an en-suite bathroom and a kitchen. The three crewmembers are there to look after you every need. A hot lunch and afternoon snacks will be served before your reach your resort for the night. You will be met and assisted with checking in upon arrival at Kumarakom.

Kumarakom is enchantingly beautiful. The blue backwaters and the surface of Vembanad Lake reflect the clear blue sky. Marvel at the amazing shades of green of the vegetation that includes mangroves, coconut palms, and paddy fields cover the verdant countryside. Channels and waterways wind their way through this green paradise. Water lilies and lotuses bloom in the water and birds from the bird sanctuary on Vembanad Lake call as they fly across the clear tropical sky. Enjoy your evening at leisure in this tropical paradise.

Day 4
Kumarakom

After an early breakfast; visit the Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary. Located on the banks of the Vembanad Lake, the bird sanctuary is spread across 14 acres. The Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary, an ornithologist's paradise, is a favorite haunt of migratory birds like the Siberian Stork, egret, darter, heron and teal. The bird sanctuary visit is actually a walk through a forest and the ground may be slushy in places where the water has eroded the paths. Look out for hermit crabs, which abound in the area.

After this early morning sojourn, return to the hotel for the afternoon at leisure.

Day 5
Thekkady - Periyar

Today after breakfast check out your hotel and drive towards Thekkady, known as the spice bag of Karela.This small town is located very close to Periyar Jungle reserve. On this three and half hour drive you can enjoy a beautiful hills ,valleys and plantations. Check in to your hotel and later go for an optional Kathakali show, or explore the colourful town.

In the afternoon , visit an incredible spice plantation where you will learn about how various known and some exotic spices are grown, harvested and exported. You may find that the pepper you buy at home comes from these very fields!

Spice Village - Deluxe Villa

Day 6
Madurai

Today after breakfast you will be met by your private driver who will take you to your next destination Madurai. The drive time is about two hours as you leave behind the state of Kerala and enter into Tamil Nadu. Upon arrival in Madurai check in to your hotel and relax.

Madurai is famous for its temples built by Pandyan and Madurai Nayak kings in the Dravidian style of architecture. It is also one of India's most outstanding Hindu pilgrimage centres.

Enjoy a day at leisure to explore the city at your own pace.

Day 7
Madurai

Spend the day exploring Madurai. The town has developed around the famous Meenakshi temple, built in the Dravidian style, dedicated to Lord Shiva and his spouse Meenakshi. The massive gopurams are profusely decorated with as many as 33 million carvings, including an encyclopedia of dancing poses. The Court of Thousand Pillars, built in 1560, has lovely sculptures. Outside the temple are the Musical Pillars, which produce different 'swaras' or notes when tapped.

The Vasanth Mandapam has life-size statues of the Nayakas of Madurai. The Thirumalai Nayaka Palace, a 10-minute walk from the temple, was built in 1636 in the Indo-Mughal style. The imposing edifice is famous for the stuccowork on its domes and impressive arches. The Sorga Vilasam or the Celestial Pavilion, measuring 75m x 52m, is constructed entirely of brick and mortar without the support of a single rafter or girder. It is a marvel of Indo Saracenic architectural style. Among the other striking features of the palace are the massive white pillars, several of which line the corridor that runs along the courtyard.

Next we visit Gandhi Museum (Closed on Friday) housed in the old Palace of Rani Mangammal. The Gandhi Museum depicts the highlights of the freedom struggle and contains a picture gallery of the Gandhian movement.

This evening, return to the temple to witness the "puja" or Palliyarai ceremony - Palliyarai is a Tamil word used for the Sanctum inHindutemples. It generally means the place for divine resting and is considered very holy by the Hindus. In many traditional Hindu temples, during the finalpooja(prayer) of the day, the goddess is typically escorted to the residing place of her divine husband, and this generally happens around 9 PM.

Day 8
Madurai - Chennai - Mahabalipuram

Transfer in private vehicle with English speaking driver from your hotel to the airport for departure.

Flight from Madurai to Chennai. Duration is 1 hour.

Welcome to Chennai. Transfer in private vehicle with English speaking assistant and driver from the Airport to your hotel in Mahabalipuram. Duration is approximately 1 hour.

Fisherman's Cove - Superior Charm Room

Day 9
Mahabalipuram

In the morning, visit the incredible UNESCO World Heritage Sites of the shore temple and Arjuna's penance, the world's largest bas-relief. On the surface of the rock are carvings of the most natural renditions of elephants and animals.

The temples of Mamallapuram, portraying events described in the Mahabharata (Hindu Epic), were built largely during the reigns of Narasimhavarmanand and his successor Rajasimhavarman and showcase the movement from rock-cut architecture to structural building. Though it is no longer a port, Mamallapuram has retained its fame in stone, thanks to the great contribution of Pallava artisans. It is among the most outstanding examples of Dravidian art and architecture and a jewel in the crown of Tamil Nadu.

Arjuna's Penance or the descent of the Ganges:The world's largest bas-relief measuring 27m x 9m is the pride of Mamallapuram. This huge whale-back shaped rock contains figures of gods, demigods, men, beasts, and birds and in fact, can be said to represent creation itself.

The Shore Temple: This is one of the oldest temples in South India. It belongs to the 8th Century A.D. and is a good example of the first phase of the structure of temples constructed in the Dravidian style. The huge boulder near the Ganesha Ratha is popularly known as Krishna's butterball. It rests precariously on a narrow rock base. It is believed that several Pallava kings have attempted to move the stone, but legend is that neither the kings nor their elephants could shift the boulder even by an inch.

Fisherman's Cove - Superior Charm Room

Day 10
Mahabalipuram

Today, you will have a day at leisure to relax on the beautiful sandy beaches of Mahabalipuram.

OPTIONAL: You could take a day trip to Kanchipuram, which was the former capital of the Pallavas and Cholas who reigned between the 7th and 13th centuries. One of the seven holiest cities of India, it is well planned, with broad streets designed to accommodate the large processions that take place throughout the year in celebration of festivals dedicated to the many and various Hindu deities.

Fisherman's Cove - Superior Charm Room

 

Day 11
Chennai

Unfortunately, we say goodbye to you today. Transfer in private vehicle with full assistance to Chennai Airport for your flight home. Keep the memories alive and we hope to see you in India again soon. Stay Travelous!

India is the world's seventh-largest country. It has more than one billion inhabitants that are divided into two thousand ethnic groups and speak over 200 different languages. Given its size and population, India has an endless variety of cultures, landscapes, monuments and places to explore. Be it the ancient ruins, fascinating religious structures, exotic cities or diverse topography, there is an vast collection of tourist attractions that will never cease to awe and fascinate the visitor.

Malabar House

The Malabar House is in the heart of historical Fort Cochin, opposite St. Francis Church and 3 minutes walk to the Chinese fishing nets. It is ideally located for sightseeing, shopping and backwater cruises. More than a highly designed heritage hotel; It is an art hotel, home of a carefully curated collection, highlighting Kerala's composite culture as a passage between east and west.

These stylish rooms, located on the ground floor, also feature distinctive antiques and artwork, central air-conditioning, cable TV, telephone, mini bar, coffee maker, wire-free internet and safe deposit lockers.

Coconut Lagoon

There are so many facets to the Coconut Lagoon experience: the heritage of the old fuedal villages of Malabar, the vast frolic of the Vembanad lake, the shimmering waters of the canals that criss-cross the property, the flavour bursts of Kerala home-style cooking. Together, they are a celebration of harmony, life and natural beauty that touches every sense and takes you into a world still unsullied by modern ways.

Spice Village

Spice Village is the essence of a mountain tribal village, re-imagined for the modern independent traveller. A tribute to ancient ways of life. And to one man's patience and passion. Curling around a misty ridge 2,000ft high in the Periyar vastness, we found a ranger's home, with fruit trees, rare herbs and a profusion of flowering plants. And here, we set out to build a resort. A village, produced whole, using mountain spirit and tribal wisdom as building material. Of course, the comforts of a modern hotel exist, but they never intrude. Modern plumbing, comfortable beds and hot showers find their place, but in a setting stripped down to its natural essence. Hewn stone replaces shag carpets. Birdsong takes the place of television. Air-conditioning? Unnecessary anyway in the fine mountain climate and what would it do but mask the heady scents of spice wafting through the air?

Take in the beauty of the classy Deluxe Villas, spacious and airy with bare stone floors and local woodcraft. Tremendous comfort and sheer elegance define these vast accomodations, harmoniously designed with the stunning surrounding nature. No artificial airconditioned spaces here. Just cool, naturally lit rooms and airy private porches. So open a window, and your mind as well. And let your senses be enveloped by the sounds and scents wafting in on the forest air.

Heritage Madurai

Welcome to Heritage - A resort, one hundred years in the making, in the heart of a city that grew from drops of nectar that flowed from the locks of Shiva, as legend would have us believe. Enter the gates of the 17-acre resort, and experience the Madurai of distant past.

Fisherman's Cove

Vivanta by Taj - Fisherman's Cove, Chennai, built on the ramparts of an old Dutch fort, is now riding on a fresh new wave. Yet it remains the charming beach resort that's almost one with the Bay of Bengal. Where fun lovers return for good times. There's a nice new buzz however. In the renewed cottages and villas, the nouvelle restaurants, the high energy bar, and the spa where you'll go Ah! The Chef remains as eager to wow you with specially designed meals. Try mixing biz with fun and see how well wired the resort is.

Superior Charm rooms are located in the main resort building. These stylish rooms have Malaysian wicker wood furniture. All rooms in this category have international direct dial facility, a mini-bar, tea/coffee maker, 24-hour room service, television with satellite programs.

Terms and Conditions

 What's Included:

  • Accommodation, Activities, Transfers, Meals, and Fees as indicated on your itinerary. Local and international traveler assistance during your tour. Specialised and personalised services.

What's not Included:

  • Airfare to/from the Tour start point, including domestic or inter-country connecting flights, unless otherwise stated in itinerary.
  • tips and gratuities
  • items of a personal nature such as incidentals, excess baggage charges
  • airport taxes/entrance fees, port charges, foreign government departure taxes
  • Visas (unless otherwise indicated), Inspection, Customs, Immigration and Naturalization fees Additional fuel surcharges on cruises
  • Travel Insurance including Medical, Lost Baggage and Trip cancellation
  • Optional activities (golf, watersports, etc.)
  • any other activities or items not explicitly advertised as included in the price of a Tour

 

Reservations/Booking and Deposits:  To book a Tour, each Traveler (or leader of a Group of Travelers) must submit:

 

A.     A completed booking form signed electronically by the main Traveler. By submitting the booking form on the payments page, the traveler accepts our full Terms and Conditions.  

B.     A deposit of 30% of the Tour price (minimum $250 per person), is due immediately upon booking.

C.     The full balance of the trip cost is due ninety days (90) before the trip departure date.

D.      If you book your trip with us ninety days (90 days) or less before the departure date, the full cost of the trip is due at that time.

E.       In the instance payment is made by certified check or wire transfer, reservations will only commence once the check is cleared.

F.       Availability of Services and Accommodations cannot be guaranteed until a Tour is booked.  We will exercise our best efforts to book the Services and Accommodations described in the Tour Itinerary, however, in busy seasons and with client bookings made within 90 days of Tour date, we may be forced to offer substitutes.  In this instance we will notify you as soon as possible and try to substitute comparable Services and Accommodations based on availability.

G.      Ticketing & credit card processing for international transport and other select domestic airfare pertaining to a specific country is done by a 3rd party and not included in your total land package price unless otherwise stated.

H.      Cancellations of confirmed bookings 90 days or more prior to departure will receive full refund minus a $250 (per person) administrative fee and any non-refundable paid fees (e.g. non-refundable airfare, cruise or hotel deposits). 60-89 days will be subject to loss of 30% of program price. 30-59 days will be subject to loss of 50% of program price. 29 days or less will be subject to loss of 100% of program price.

For our complete Terms and Conditions: www.travelous.com/travelous-terms-and-conditions-of-sale

 

 

 

All fields are required
Thank you. We will get back to you shortly.

Request this tour



Please provide any details to help us plan your custom intinerary (how many days, activities or sites you're interested in)

IATAN  Trustwave Logo

Copyright © 2018 Travelous – Your Private Tour Architects.
A division of Guided Travel Services Inc.
All Rights Reserved.