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Best of South India

Duration
15 Days
Prices From:
US$ 2,735

Immerse yourself in the many sights, cultures and colours of South India.


This 15-day adventure takes in the diversity and spectacle of India from Chennai to Mumbai.

Start your journey in Chennai, also known as Madras. A stop at the Government Museum helps put some perspective on your discoveries before exploring Georgetown, Britain’s first Indian outpost, the modern downtown core, and the historic eastern section of the city. A more spiritual side of India awaits at your next stop, Kanchipuram, home to beautiful temples and 58 shrines.

Stop overnight in Mahaballipuram, with time to visit the Shore Temple. This city is actually a World Heritage site with some amazing archaeological remains. Going on to Pondicherry, you’ll find even a French influence has worked its way into India. Broad boulevards, bakeries and Mediterranean style houses are common here, but there’s more to the city than its imported culture. This is home to a spiritual community established by Shri Aurobindo, a prominent Indian philosopher and yogi through the first half of the 20th century. You’ll also explore the Gothic Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

A more traditional style of Indian spirituality can be found at the Thilali Natrajah Temple, Dedicated to the Hindu god, Shiva. You’ll visit here on your way to Tanjore, the ‘Rice Bowl of Tamil Nadu.’ Going on to Madurai, visit the Ganapati Temple complex (Bring comfy shoes. The sights here are worth the climb!). Later in the evening, observe a sacred Aarti ceremony at the Meenakshi Temple, then return during the day to see this architectural marvel in detail.

Thekaddy lets you see a very different side of India, one that boasts some of the world’s most colourful wildlife. You have an excellent chance of spotting endangered species here, particularly at dawn. Your onward journey takes you through sleepy villages and rice paddies for a glimpse of everyday India before you reach Cochin, one of the country’s most relaxed ports. A morning tour takes you to the highlights including the Paradesi Synagogue (we told you India’s diversity was endless). In the evening, a Kathakali dance performance will exhilarate you. You’ll even have a chance to see the artists getting ready before the show.

Finally, fly to Mumbai, the modern commercial hub of India and centre of the country’s Bollywood film industry. This is a huge city packed with sites, and an afternoon tour will help you make the most of your time. Even in Mumbai, there is room for tradition. Snap a quick photo of the laundrymen at work at dhobi ghats, then finish your tour at the majestic Gateway of India. A morning cruise out to Elephanta Island is your last planned activity, but you’ll have a full afternoon at leisure to explore the energy and colour of Mumbai.


 

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Duration
15 Days
Prices From:
US$ 2,735

Itinerary View Trip Map

Day 1

Arrive Chennai

Welcome to Chennai (or Madras). You will be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel. Chennai, like Mumbai and Calcutta, is a modern city, founded by the East India Company in 1639.

The remainder of the day is at your leisure.

Duration2 Nights
Accommodation

Lemon Tree Hotel

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    Lemon Tree Hotel



    Lemon Tree Hotel, Chennai, located in the heart of the city, is just a short distance away from the TIDEL Park which houses Cognizant, Tata Consultancy Services and HCL Technologies. Opposite Raj Bhavan, it is also easily accessible from Anna University and Indian Institute of ...

    Lemon Tree Hotel, Chennai, located in the heart of the city, is just a short distance away from the TIDEL Park which houses Cognizant, Tata Consultancy Services and HCL Technologies. Opposite Raj Bhavan, it is also easily accessible from Anna University and Indian Institute of Technology, Chennai. Business and leisure travellers will appreciate the well-appointed guest rooms and suites, spirited and friendly service and a wide range of amenities. The hotel has 108 bright rooms and suites, offers you a wide array of accommodation options at an unbeatable value.

    Facilities

    • Bar(s)
    • Business Centre
    • Gym/Fitness Centre
    • Pool (s)
    • Restaurant(s)

    More Details

Day 2

Chennai Sightseeing

This morning visit the Government Museum (Madras Museum) which is situated at Egmore, one of the busiest areas in Chennai. Founded in 1851, it exhibits various specimens pertaining to zoology, botany, anthropology and geology. This afternoon explore the three main areas of the city: Georgetown, the site of the first British outpost in India; central Chennai, the modern and commercial heart of the metropolis; and the eastern section, with its interesting old quarters and its long straight Marine Drive. Highlights include visits to Fort St George, St Mary's Church, the celebrated Kapaleeshwarar Temple and the Basilica of San Thome.

Meal Plan Breakfast
Day 3

Chennai to Kanchipuram to Mahaballipuram

Today begins with a drive to Kanchipuram, (or "Kanchi") one of the ancient pilgrim centers of south India, famous for its magnificent temples. Here you will visit the Sri Ekambaranathar temple, a sacred site of worship and the Kailasanath temple, the oldest in Kanchipuram home to 58 shrines. Afterwards, travel down the Coromandel Coast to India's seaport town: Mamallapura. The city's astonishing ancient monuments include the famous Shore Temple

Meal Plan Breakfast
Duration1 Night
Accommodation

Chariot Beach Resort

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    Chariot Beach Resort



    Chariot Beach Resort is located at an elevation that offers an unmatched panoramic view of the spectacular beach and bay. This is an ideal place to stay wither in the area for business or for pleasure. The resort is elegantly landscaped featuring sea facing spacious ...

    Chariot Beach Resort is located at an elevation that offers an unmatched panoramic view of the spectacular beach and bay. This is an ideal place to stay wither in the area for business or for pleasure. The resort is elegantly landscaped featuring sea facing spacious rooms and cottages.

    Facilities

    • Bar(s)
    • Business Centre
    • Concierge
    • Conference Facilities
    • Games Room
    • Gym/Fitness Centre
    • Internet Access
    • Pool (s)
    • Reception (24 hrs)
    • Restaurant(s)
    • Room Service
    • Watersport Activities

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Day 4

Mahaballipuram to Pondicherry

Explore the stunning archaeological remains of the World-Heritage city of Mamallapuram. Begin with the "Piece de Resistance," Arjuna's Penance, the world's largest bas-relief at 88 feet long and 30 feet high. It is one of the great masterpieces of Indian art.

Continue to the Shore Temple, which dates back to the 8th century. It is considered the earliest stone temple in south India. The Pancha Pandava rathas are a remarkable group of monoliths: five separate freestanding sculptures.

Afterwards, continue on to Pondicherry, stopping en route at the experimental township of Auroville. The vision of Auroville is to be a "universal town where men and women of all countries are able to live in peace and progressive harmony above all creeds, all politics and all nationalities." This town was founded in 1968 under the guidance of Mirra Alfassa, a Paris-born painter and musician. The development of this utopia is still in progress. Arrive into the seaside French town of Pondicherry. The city has a long and interesting history of trade and war. There is a strong French influence in the city, especially in the old quarters, Rues and Boulevards lined with Mediterranean style houses and bakeries, although the city remains very much Indian. The blend of French colonial and Indian cultures here is very unique in south India. Pondicherry is also where parts of Ang Lee's film, the "Life of Pi" was filmed.

Meal Plan Breakfast
Duration2 Nights
Accommodation

Le Dupleix

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    Le Dupleix


    Located in the heart of French Pondicherry, Hotel Le Dupleix Pondicherry is modernized and offers both luxury and comfort. The hotel is mere footsteps away from the beach, the Sri Aurobindo Ashram and central shopping areas. The hotel offers 14 guestrooms, all of which exude ...

    Located in the heart of French Pondicherry, Hotel Le Dupleix Pondicherry is modernized and offers both luxury and comfort. The hotel is mere footsteps away from the beach, the Sri Aurobindo Ashram and central shopping areas.

    The hotel offers 14 guestrooms, all of which exude an atmosphere of total peace and harmony. Hotel Le Dupleix Pondicherry is an ideal place for travellers seeking charm, comfort and convenience in Pondicherry.

    Facilities

    • Ironing Board
    • Currency Exchange
    • Lounge Bar
    • Medical Services
    • Meeting Rooms Available
    • Restaurant
    • Tour Desk

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Day 5

Pondicherry

Today Pondicherry has become an important destination for spiritual seekers as well as tourists. Thousands of visitors from all over the world come to Shri Aurobindo Ashram, a spiritual community established by Shri Aurobindo, an Indian freedom fighter, philosopher and yogi of the 20th century. He made Pondicherry his home from 1910-1950. His vision and ideals continue to draw people from all over the world. Visit this famous Ashram and then continue on to The Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Constructed in Gothic style, it is a highly revered religious destination and one of the most attractive churches in the city. Within the church you will see glass pictures of 28 saints who were related to the devotion of Sacred Heart of Jesus.

Visit the Pondicherry Museum which houses a superb collection of sculptures and archaeological remains from the Arikamedu Roman settlement. Explore the French quarters of the town. The French ruled this territory for 300 years, and today, it stands as a living monument of the French culture in India.

Meal Plan Breakfast
Day 6

Pondicherry To Tanjore

Today proceed to Tanjore (Thanjavur) stopping en route at the Thillai Natrajah Temple. This is a Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Shiva located in Chidambaram. Also see Gangaikonda Cholapuram and visit its temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. It was built in commemoration of the victory over the kingdom. A large tank was built at this site and filled with water brought from the sacred River Ganga in north India. Continue through the historic town of Kumbakonam to Darusaram to see Airavatesvara Temple. This temple is a storehouse of art and architecture and has some exquisite stone carvings. Arrive into Tanjore, known as the "Rice bowl of Tamil Nadu". Tanjore was once the cultural capital of the country in 1790 and gained prominence during the period of Chola Kings, who made it their capital.

Meal Plan Breakfast
Duration2 Nights
Accommodation

Tanjore Hi

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    Tanjore Hi


    Situated in Thanjavur, Tanjore Hi Heritage Boutique Hotel is the perfect place to experience Thanjavur and its surroundings. The hotel is close to the city center and provides accessibility to important town facilities. With its convenient location, the hotel offers easy access to the city's ...

    Situated in Thanjavur, Tanjore Hi Heritage Boutique Hotel is the perfect place to experience Thanjavur and its surroundings. The hotel is close to the city center and provides accessibility to important town facilities. With its convenient location, the hotel offers easy access to the city's must-see destinations.

    The hotel offers 15 rooms which are individually designed in a contemporary style with a high level of comfort.

    Facilities

    • Bar
    • Internet Access
    • Restaurant
    • Room Service

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Day 7

Tanjore Sightseeing

Visit the Brihadeeswarar Temple, considered one of the greatest glories of Indian architecture! Constructed completely out of granite, it reflects the power of its creator, Raja Raja Chola I. The temple is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site "Great Living Chola Temples". Your exploration of the town includes a visit to the Thanjavur Palace and Museum with a collection of royal memorabilia as well as the Art Gallery. Also visit the Library, which houses over 30,000 leaf and paper manuscripts in Indian and European languages.

Meal Plan Breakfast
Day 8

Thanjavur to Trichy to Madurai

This morning depart for Madurai, stopping en route at Trichy. Here you will see the awe-inspiring Ganapati Temple which stands at 83m tall and is perched atop a rock. The temple complex is actually a collection of three temples: the Manikka Vinayaka temple at the foot of the hill, the Uchhi Pillayar Kovil, a Ganesh Temple at the top of the hill and the Taayumaanava Kovil, a Shiva Temple on the hill. You will need to climb up 437 stone steps to reach the temple. Also see the illustrious Sri Rangam Ranga Natha Temple, which lies on an island in the Cauvery River.

Continue on to Madurai, among the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. Madurai was the capital city of ancient Southern civilization and its heritage goes back 2500 years.

You will be dropped off at your hotel and later this evening, you will be picked up to witness the sacred Aarti ceremony at the Meenakshi Temple, performed at 9:15PM each night.

Meal Plan Breakfast
Duration1 Night
Accommodation

Heritage Madurai

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    Heritage Madurai



    Hertitance Madurai is a "resort in the city" built on 17 acres of lush green gardens, landscaped to make one forget their presence in the heart of this bustling metropolis. The hotel will cater to the ardent pilgrims and the demanding corporate clientele who visit ...

    Hertitance Madurai is a "resort in the city" built on 17 acres of lush green gardens, landscaped to make one forget their presence in the heart of this bustling metropolis. The hotel will cater to the ardent pilgrims and the demanding corporate clientele who visit Madurai to take part in the numerous temple festivals and the many events that the city plays host to.

    Facilities

    • Bar(s)
    • Bellman/Porters
    • Business Centre
    • Currency Exchange
    • Daycare/Babysitting Service
    • Internet Access
    • Laundry/Dry Cleaning Service
    • Medical Services
    • Parking (Valet)
    • Pool (s)
    • Reception (24 hrs)
    • Restaurant(s)
    • Room Service

    More Details

Day 9

Madurai To Thekaddy

This morning return to the Meenakshi Temple. This historic Hindu temple is dedicated to Parvati (known as Meenakshi) and her consort, Shiva (Sundareswarar). The temple forms the heart and lifeline of Madurai. It is a significant symbol for the Tamil people, and has been mentioned since antiquity in Tamil literature. There are an estimated 33,000 sculptures in the temple, and it in the list of top nominees of the "New Seven Wonders of the World". Continue to Thirumalai Nayak Palace, built in 1636 by King Thirumalai Nayak. It is a classic fusion of Dravidian, Islamic and European styles. The building we see today was the main Palace where the King lived. North East of Madurai stands a celebrated Vishnu Temple on a hill amidst panoramic surroundings. The shrine is known as Alagarkoil and the hill as Solaimalai. The temple also contains some beautiful carvings. Afterwards, drive to Thekaddy - the heart of 'God's own country' and home to India's largest wildlife sanctuary. Upon arrival, visit a Spice Plantation. Spices have always been an important part of life in Kerala. Here the masters of Ayurveda discovered the use of spices for medicinal purposes. Spices also play an important role in the Kerala cuisine, non-ayurvedic medicine and cosmetics.

Meal Plan Breakfast
Duration1 Night
Accommodation

Shalimar Spice Garden

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    Shalimar Spice Garden


    Built on a verdant land unscathed by modernization, the Shalimar Spice Garden is a perfect blend of European and Indian living without diluting the rich heritage of Kerala. The resort borders the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary, making it a great place for your holiday. Shalimar is ...

    Built on a verdant land unscathed by modernization, the Shalimar Spice Garden is a perfect blend of European and Indian living without diluting the rich heritage of Kerala. The resort borders the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary, making it a great place for your holiday. Shalimar is the perfect place to be, for you to get closer to nature. The pace of life here is so easy and peaceful that even the birds and the butterflies do not seem to be in a hurry. The lush foliage of the coffee, cardamom and other spices plants surround the cottages.

    Facilities

    • Restaurant(s)
    • Spa
    • Swimming Pool

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Day 10

Thekaddy To Alleppey

Thekkady is a paradise on earth for nature lovers and its bountiful flora and fauna make it the ultimate reservoir for many endangered species. Embark on a 2 to 3-hour nature walk with your guide to witness the magic of this area and the birds who live here. Later you will be driven to Alleppey to board your private houseboat and cruise the backwaters of Kerala. Upon arrival, enjoy lunch on board as you pass the serene landscape. Take time to enjoy the journey and appreciate the picturesque rural life of the people working with water buffaloes from their longboats. The canals are bordered by sleepy villages, rice paddies, and palms. Dinner and overnight on board.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Duration1 Night
Day 11

Alleppey To Cochin

After breakfast on board, disembark your houseboat and drive to Cochin. A trading port since at least the Roman times, Cochin was on the main route between Europe and China. With a relaxed seaport lifestyle, it has changed little over the centuries.

The remainder of the day is at your leisure.

Meal Plan Breakfast
Duration2 Nights
Accommodation

Radisson Blu Hotel Cochin

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    Radisson Blu Hotel Cochin



    Ancient fantasy meets modern decadence at Radisson Blu Hotel Cochin, located in the heart of Ernakulum city, the cosmopolitan commercial capital of Kerala, India. Surrounded by the finest natural beaches and the bustling Kerala natural harbour, this hotel is only steps away from the city's ...

    Ancient fantasy meets modern decadence at Radisson Blu Hotel Cochin, located in the heart of Ernakulum city, the cosmopolitan commercial capital of Kerala, India. Surrounded by the finest natural beaches and the bustling Kerala natural harbour, this hotel is only steps away from the city's shopping, eclectic restaurants and fabulous attractions. Bringing elegant accommodation to the tranquil backwaters of Kerala, this boutique hotel reflects a lifestyle philosophy embodying the essence of karma and relaxation. The lavishly appointed guestrooms feature a serene and tranquil atmosphere created with a gentle shower of the mystical blue, almost like floating on a cloud. Enjoy an exotic dining experience with zesty Indian and international flavours at the in-house restaurants.

    Facilities

    • Bar(s)
    • Business Centre
    • Conference Facilities
    • Currency Exchange
    • Daycare/Babysitting Service
    • Gift Shop
    • Gym/Fitness Centre
    • Internet Access
    • Laundry/Dry Cleaning Service
    • Mail and Postal Facilities
    • Medical Services
    • Pool (s)
    • Restaurant(s)
    • Room Service
    • Spa

    More Details

Day 12

Cochin Sightseeing

Today take a morning tour of Cochin visiting the Dutch Palace (also known as Mattancherry), which houses a remarkable series of colourful murals. There is an interesting collection of Dutch maps of old Kochi, coronation robes belonging to the maharajas, royal palanquins, weapons and furniture. Next visit the Paradesi synagogue, a small but charming structure built in 1568 (note: the synagogue is closed on Fridays, Saturdays and all Jewish Holidays and can be viewed from the outside on these days). Spend time exploring the old Jewish Town, a fascinating mix of antique shops, warehouses, spice auction rooms and reflections of a once thriving community. Continue on to St. Francis Church in Fort Cochin. The simply styled building is enhanced by the beautiful floor tiles that line the main aisle. Finish with a stop by the water to see the large, graceful Chinese fishing nets that line the shores of historic Fort Cochin. First introduced by traders from the court of Kublai Khan, these fishing nets are probably the most familiar image associated with Kerala.

Later this evening witness a Kathakali dance performance, one of the oldest theatre forms in the world. This show is very dramatic and is enacted with elaborate masks, costumes and combines dance with dialogue. Arrive before the performance begins to watch the artists getting ready and applying the elaborate makeup.

Meal Plan Breakfast
Day 13

Cochin To Mumbai

This morning fly to Mumbai (included). Mumbai is a sprawling metropolis and the financial capital of India. This afternoon enjoy a tour of Mumbai's most iconic sites. Drive past the University of Mumbai, the Mumbai High Court, and on to the Flora Fountain, also known as 'Hutatma Chowk,' one of India's Heritage structures. Then see the Victoria Terminus, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and historic railway station. You will also visit the Prince of Wales Museum and then drive past the lively Crawford market. Drive down the seaside Marine Drive, and onto the residential area of Mumbai's rich and famous on Malabar Hill. Also on the hill is the Jain Temple. Continue to the Hanging Gardens and onto the unique Towers of Silence. Enjoy a photo stop at the dhobi ghats, an area where you will see traditional laundryman at work. After, visit Mani Bhavan, Gandhi's base between 1917 and 1934. It is now a permanent museum and memorial. Finish the tour at the Gateway of India, a monument erected to commemorate the landing of their Majesties King George V and Queen Mary.

Meal Plan Breakfast
Duration2 Nights
Accommodation

Trident Nariman Point

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    Trident Nariman Point



    The Trident Nariman Point is a modern high rise 4 star hotel located on Marine Drive at Nariman's Point. The hotel, delivers a memorable experience for guests - from excellent amenities to warm and friendly service. The hotel has 555 well-appointed rooms. Be it for ...

    The Trident Nariman Point is a modern high rise 4 star hotel located on Marine Drive at Nariman's Point. The hotel, delivers a memorable experience for guests - from excellent amenities to warm and friendly service. The hotel has 555 well-appointed rooms. Be it for business or leisure, a comfortable and invigorating experience awaits every time you visit Mumbai.

    Facilities

    • Bar(s)
    • Business Centre
    • Concierge
    • Conference Facilities
    • Daycare/Babysitting Service
    • Gym/Fitness Centre
    • Hair/Beauty Salon
    • Laundry/Dry Cleaning Service
    • Parking (Valet)
    • Pool (s)
    • Restaurant(s)
    • Room Service
    • Spa

    More Details

Day 14

Mumbai Sightseeing

This morning proceed to Mumbai's jetty and board a short cruise to the serene Elephanta Island where you will find rock caves dating back to the 5th and 8th centuries. The caves are cut from solid basalt rock and you can see traces of their original painting.

Return back to the city and the afternoon is at your leisure.

Meal Plan Breakfast
Day 15

Depart Mumbai

You will be met and transferred to the airport for your onward flight.

Meal Plan Breakfast

Other Information

DEPARTURES:

Daily.

PRICE INCLUDES:

  • 14 nights accommodations
  • Private touring and transfers with English speaking guide
  • Sightseeing as described
  • Meals as specified on the itinerary
  • Flight from Cochin to Mumbai including taxes

PRICE EXLUDES:

  • Travel insurance
  • International and domestic airfare & airfare taxes unless specified
  • Visa fees if applicable
  • Meals and beverages not mentioned
  • Gratuities
  • Items of a personal nature

TERMS AND CONDITIONS:

Prices are "from" per person based on twin/double share accommodation and for travel in low season. Seasonal surcharges and blackout dates may apply. Limited seat/spaces and all pricing is subject to change and availability. Rates for single or triple travellers are available on request - please inquire.

TB TRAVELWOCHE17SG: BOSI FC 2
25 Sep 2017
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