Private 11 Days Medieval Tamilnadu and Backwaters of Kerala Tour0
Day 1: Arrive in Chennai
As you land in Chennai airport, our representative will be available to receive you. Board the air conditioned car present to direct you to the booked hotel. Check-in at the hotel and spend rest of the day at leisure in the spacious comfortable rooms or roaming around in the lively Chennai city. Have a pleasant overnight stay.
Day 2: Chennai – Mahabalipuram (80km / 2 hours)
Enjoy complimentary breakfast, then gear up for half day city tour by private air-conditioned car with our expert tour guide. First visit will be to the second oldest museum of India ‘Government Museum complex’ in Egmore, displaying great collections of exquisite artefacts pertaining to archaeology and numismatics. Also, it boasts second largest collection of Roman antiquities after Europe. Then leave for next attraction catching glimpse of resplendent ‘Flower & Fruits Market’ on the way as we drive past it.
Enter ‘Fort Museum’ with a beautifully carved giant marble statue of Lord Cornwallis. The museum has 10 galleries occupying 3-storeyed building. It exhibits terrific collection of artefacts from British period like arms, uniforms of British officers, 64 medals & medallions, Indo-French gallery, coin gallery, portrait gallery, etc. Next, take a walk of joy in the iconic landmark of Chennai ‘Marina Beach’ with 12 km elongated stretch on the coast of Bay of Bengal. Then visit the neo-gothic styled architectural Roman basilica ‘Santhome Basilica’ built by Portuguese explorers on tomb of St. Thomas. See artefacts, postage stamps, stone inscriptions, etc related to life of St Thomas in the museum and a short video in the mini theatre inside the church.
In the afternoon, drive towards ‘Mahabalipuram’ by private car. On arrival, check-in at the hotel followed by overnight stay.
Day 3: Mahabalipuram – Pondicherry (100km / 2 hours)
After breakfast, we will leave for a small rustic town ‘Mahabalipuram’ known to preserve the majestic group of monuments (also UNESCO World Heritage sites) dating back to 7th and 8th century. The coastal town features small cluster of temples carved beautifully out of stone including: 5 rathas (temple in form of chariots), Shore temple, Thirukadalmallai (dedicated to Lord Vishnu) and sculpture museum.
Post visit to Mahaballipuram, you will be taken to Union territory ‘Puducherry’ of India. Check-in at the hotel and enjoy a leisure walk in the local markets of Puducherry. Thereafter, enjoy a pleasant overnight stay at the hotel.
Day 4: Pondicherry – Chidambaram – Thanjavur (180km / 4 hours)
The curiosity remains alive with expedition to French influenced tiny coastal beauty ‘Puducherry’. Start your tour with visit to ‘Aurobindo Ashram’. Aurobindo was an Indian politician who led his life in the process of spiritual awakening. The Ashram sees inflow of spiritual seekers every year. Afterwards we will leave for ‘Tanjore’ with enroute visit to ‘Nataraj Temple’ and ‘Swamimalai Swaminathaswamy Temple’.
‘Nataraja Temple’ is an ornate 10th century temple dedicated to Nataraja (Shiva as Lord of dance) with his silver sculpture in the temple sanctum. It exhibits Dravidian architecture with : gopurams (towers), prakrams (courtyards), artwork with sculptures of gods and goddesses, shrines, sabhas (halls), several water bodies, Tamil and Sanskrit inscriptions, etc.
Later, drive to ‘Swamimalai Swaminathaswamy Temple’ built on an artificial hillock. The staggering features of the temple are: 3 gopurams (gateway towers), 3 precincts, 1.8 metres tall image of Swaminathaswamy (adorned with golden armours, golden crowns and diamond lance), granite image of Swaminathaswamy, etc.
Continue the journey to Thanjavur (former Tanjore) followed by a pleasant overnight stay at the booked hotel.
Day 5: Thanjavur – Trichy – Madurai (200km / 4 hours)
Thanjavur (former Tanjore) is a city in Tamil Nadu state widely famous for one of the largest temple of South India and quintessential Tamil architecture ‘Brihadeesvara Temple’. The temple was built under rule of Chola dynasty and is now listed as World heritage site by UNESCO. Notice the impressive artwork with murals, frescoes, sculptures, massive prakara (corridor), one of the largest Shiva linga and tallest vimana (tower) of South India, shrines of Hindu Gods and Goddesses, etc. Then visit ‘Raja Rajan art gallery’ to see bronze artifacts from 9th-16th century.
Drive towards Madurai via Trichy with en-route visit to ‘Ranganathaswamy Temple’ at Tiruchirappalli (also called Trichy). It is Tamil styled architectural Temple devoted to Ranganatha (a form of Vishnu). Enjoy the impressive features of temple having : 50 shrines, 21 gopurams (towers), 39 pavilions, 9 sacred water pools, Ayiram kaal mandapam (a hall of 1000 pillars), etc.
Resume journey to Madurai; drop at booked hotel and spend some leisure time. In the evening, witness the frolic daily ritual procession of Sundareswar (Lord Shiva) image from his sanctum at ‘Meenakshi Temple’. After the enchanting religious event marked with prayers and traditional musical instruments you will be transferred back to the hotel for overnight stay.
Day 6: Madurai – Periyar (145km / 3½ hours)
Try mouth-watering South Indian dishes at the breakfast buffet and then gear up for a fascinating tour of Madurai. The prominent sites we will visit are -
- Meenakshi Temple is dedicated to Goddess Meenakshi ( a form of Parvati) and her consort Sundareshwar (form of Lord Shiva). The striking features of 14 acres temple are : Ayirakkal (1,000 pillar hall), gilded garbhagriha (sanctum), 14 gopurams (towers), largest shrine of Sundareshwar, etc.
- Thirumalai Nayak Palace is a grand 17th century palace built by King Thirumalai of Nayak dynasty. The formidable palace follows Dravidian-Islamic architecture with giant pillars (Height – 82 feet; Width – 19 feet), dancing hall and huge courtyard (measuring 41,979 sq ft) as its major attraction.
In the afternoon, we will leave for expedition to adjoining verdant tropical Indian state, Kerela. Enjoy your ride to ‘Periyar’ in the comfort of air-conditioned car. On arrival, check-in at the hotel and spend an easy-going evening while soaking in the flourishing green tropical environs. Relax with a sound sleep during the quiet overnight stay.
Day 7: Periyar
Another exciting site ‘Periyar National Park and Widlife Sanctuary’ awaits your presence with lots of fun activities and lifetime experiences. It is a huge sanctuary surrounded by Periyar Lake where you will be taken for spotting wildlife from the gladdening boat ride. It ensures a great time to the wildlife lovers and outdoor enthusiasts. Afterwards, get ready for the visit to refreshing plantations along with a 30-minutes elephant ride. The joyride renders you a sweeping view of lush plantations.
Spend rest of the day at leisure followed by overnight stay at the hotel in Periyar.
Day 8: Periyar – Kumarakom (130km / 3½ hours)
After breakfast, hop in the car and leave for backwater tourist attraction ‘Kumarkom’. It is situated behind the largest lake of Kerela, ‘Vembanad Lake’. You will be directed to the hotel booked for your stay. After settling your luggage in the hotel room, you can explore the nearby backwater villages, go on a peaceful walk catching undrodden trails in the forest and enjoy its rich flora and fauna. Later, spend overnight stay at the hotel in Kumarkom.
Day 9: Kumarakom – Alleppey Backwater Cruise
The day will start with visit to Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary home to plenty of migratory and indigenous bird species. The migratory birds are observed to be coming from Himalayas and Sibera. It is a famous site for birding where you can spot : waterfowl, cuckoo, egret, owl, cormorant, moorhen, brahminy kite, etc and some migratory birds including Siberian crane.
Afternoon check-in at the traditional Kerala house boat and enjoy the overnight backwater cruise. All freshly cooked meals are served onboard. Soak in the stimulating nature and silence while floating on unruffled backwaters.
Day 10: Alleppey – Cochin (60km / 1 hour)
Relish the lip smacking breakfast in the houseboat as you watch the energizing sun rays gradually rising. Then check-out from the houseboat drive towards Cochin by air conditioned car. On reaching Cochin, check-in at the hotel and spend rest of the day at leisure.
Enjoy the evening show of classical Kathakali dance by the artists with wide-eyed expressions during the performance. Return to hotel after the entertaining show.
Day 11: Cochin – Departure
After breakfast, check out from the hotel and leave for sightseeing tour of Cochin. Cochin is the financial capital of Kerela and flaunts a surreal mix of Portuguese, Dutch and English architectures. The prominent attractions we will visit are : the Fort Kochi, Mattancherry Palace, Jewish Synagogue, The St. Francis Church, and Chinese Fishing Nets.
After the city tour you will be transferred to the airport to board your onward flight. Your Tamil Nadi and Kerela Backwaters tour will hereby terminate.
- 10 nights accommodation at below mentioned or similar hotels
- Chennai (1N): Radha Regent
- Mahabalipuram (1N): MGM Beach Resort
- Pondicherry (1N): Hotel Atithi
- Tanjore (1N): Ideal River View
- Madurai (1N): Heritage Madurai
- Periyar (2N): Holiday Vista
- Kumarakom (1N): Lakesong Kumarakom
- Vembanad Lake (1N): Ac Deluxe Houseboat
- Cochin (1N): The Dunes Hotel
- Daily breakfast at each hotel
- All meals during the stay at Houseboat
- Land Transportation by Air conditioned car on private basis
- Sightseeing tour at each place with English Speaking Tour Guide
- Entrance fee to all monuments to be visited during the trip
- Boat ride at Lake Periyar
- Kathakali Dance show at Cochin
- All sightseeing and transfers on private basis
- All applicable taxes
- International Air Fare
- Meals other than specified
- Expense arising out of unexpected circumstances like natural calamities, flight cancellation or delay.
- See great collection of currency, Roman antiquities, archeology, portraits, arms, etc in ‘Government Museum & Fort Museum’.
- Saunter on the second longest urban beach of the world ‘Marina Beach’ and take a glimpse at the life of St Thomas in ‘Santhome Basilica’.
- Admire the laudable immaculate artwork in ancient temples - Mahaballipuram, Nataraja Temple and Swamimalai Swaminathaswamy Temple.
- Visit the one of the largest temple of South India and exemplary Tamil architecture ‘Brihadeeswara Temple’.
- Interesting visit to ‘Ranganathaswamy Temple’ in Trichy and ‘Meenakshi Temple’ in Madurai.
- Explore the pristine natural beauty and wildlife during boat ride in Periyar.
- Enjoy birding and backwater cruise in Kumarakom.
- Witness the influence of Portuguese, Dutch and English in the coastal city Cochin.
- 45 days prior commencement of tour, No cancellation charges.
- 44-30 day’s prior commencement of tour, 25% of travel cost.
- 29-15 days prior commencement of tour, 50% of travel cost.
- Less than 15 day’s prior commencement of tour, No Refund.
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