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The Southern India Escape - 15 Days

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Rohini Vachher Your Travel Specialist

Titlyy Travels

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The Southern India Escape - 15 Days

The trip begins with the visit to the famous temples of Tamil Nadu having elaborated carvings & architectural styles and a French colonial town. After visiting temples & world heritage sites in Tamil Nadu, its time to visit the state of Kerala, also known as God's own country.Kerala is famed for its natural beauty - its backwaters interlinked with lakes & rivers.It is long coastline facing the Arabian sea on west, lush green hills, dense jungles etc.

DAY 1

Arrive Chennai

You will be received by our representative at the Chennai airport and transfer to your hotel.The first British Warehouse came up in 1639 when the British acquired the sandy beach from the local Nayakas on a lease. It was called Madraspatinam then. Later by 1654, the Fort St. George was built. Still, later the neighboring villages were included in the city which came either as grants or gifts. Triplicane was rented from the Sultan of Golconda in 1676. In 1744 Robert Clive worked as a writer from the Fort, later to become a military man of British Army. The Fort House, which housed the Governor and his council, was added in the 17th Century, the Assembly Hall in 1910 and the Secretariat in 1925. All the neighboring areas were merged into the city now known as Madras or as Chennai as it is officially known. Until Independence, Madras was the capital of what in British times was called the Madras Presidency, comprising nearly the whole of South India, including the Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam and Kannada speaking areas. Depending on the flight timings, proceed for sightseeing tour of Chennai. Read more

Overnight will be at Chennai
DAY 2

Chennai – Mahabalipuram

Breakfast at the hotel. Drive to Mahabalipuram visiting Dakshinachitra & Kanchipuram enroute. Dakshinachitra is a center for the living traditions of art, folk performing arts, craft and architecture of India with an emphasis on the traditions of South India. DakshinaChitra is a project of the Madras Craft Foundation (MCF), a non-profit organization. DakshinaChitra opened to the public in December 1996. DakshinaChitra started with an effort to bring the hidden wealth of South India to light – to set up an institution to celebrate the myriad cultures of the numerous people of Southern India. In an era when the old and the traditional are vulnerable and challenged, this nucleus of an idea triggered a cultural journey. Kanchipuram - is the ancient capital of the Pallavas famous as a city of 1000 Temples and still has 124 shrines. The first temple dedicated to Shiva was built in the 7th and 8th century and has paintings on the walls. Temples of Ekambaswara, Kailasanatha, Sri Kamakshi and Varadarajaswamy are of interest. Kanchipuram is also famous for its silks. Continue the drive to Mahabalipuram. Reach and check into the hotel. A few miles south of Chennai, at Mahabalipuram, on the sandy shores of the Bay of Bengal, a beautiful group of rock-cut monuments evokes the past. This ancient seaport was once the main harbor and naval base of the great Pallava Empire and is today the site of an enchanting seaside assemblage of temples and shrines. It was well known in the 1st century known to Greek traders and was the Pallava’s second city. Though their power waned nearly 1200 years ago, they left a breathtaking legacy in four distinct kinds of sculpture, Rathas (temple chariots), bas-relief sculptural panels, rock-cut caves, and free standing temples. Seventh-century carvings of the Pallava dynasty include a series of freestanding boulders carved to resemble small temples and animals. Rock – cut caves and a masterful stone bas-relief are nearby. The 'Penance of Arjuna' relief, cut on two huge rocks, shows scores of figures of deities, people and animals including, according to one interpretation, the emaciated figure of Arjuna, the great warrior of the Mahabharata, standing on one leg and doing penance, praying to Lord Shiva for the strength to destroy his enemies. Sadhus of today perform this exact act of sacrificial devotion. On the adjacent beach stands one of South India's oldest temples, the Shore Temple, its foundations washed for twelve centuries by the frothy sea. Read more

Overnight at Mahabalipuram
DAY 3

In Mahabalipuram

After breakfast, proceed for the city sightseeing. CAVES: There are nine rock-cut temples. The Mahishasuramardhini cave, depicting the goddess fighting a demon on one side and Lord Vishnu's cosmic sleep on the other, is a particularly remarkable one. KRISHNA MANDAPAM: A bas-relief, notable for its realistic representation. The panel relates to one of the stories of Lord Krishna. ARJUNA’S PENANCE: This is the world's largest bas relief measuring 27m X 9m. This huge whale-backed rock contains figures of gods, demigods, men, beasts, birds and almost all of the entire creation. And, this is easily the pride of Mamallapooram. THE FIVE RATHAS: There are the five monolithic temples, each created in a different style. They are also known as the Pancha Pandava Rathas – and four out of the five Rathas are supposed to have been carved out of a single rock. THE SHORE TEMPLE: This is one of the oldest temples. Unique about this temple is the fact that it houses shrines for both Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu. This belongs to the early 8th century AD and it is a classic example of the first phase of structural temples constructed in pure Dravidian style. Also, visit CROCODILE FARM: Various pits in this center have thousands of crocodiles and alligators of different species from around the world. There is also a Tribal society, which runs a snake venom extraction center. The evening is free to enjoy the beach. Read more

Overnight at Mahabalipuram
DAY 4

Mahabalipuram to Pondicherry

Proceed to Pondicherry. Reach and check into the hotel. French dreams of an Indian Empire began and ended in Pondicherry. But in the scattered territories of the Union Territory of Pondicherry there remains what little there is left of the French influence in India and that makes the territory, especially its headquarters, Pondicherry, unique, something quite different from the rest of India. The Union Territory of Pondicherry comprises of 4 coastal regions of Pondicherry, Karaikal, Mahe and Yanam. Pondicherry is on the east coast about 162 km south of Chennai (Madras) located on the Coromandel Coast of the Bay of Bengal. This erstwhile French colony on the east coast of South India merged with the rest of the country in 1954. Legend says that Pondicherry is the place where St. Agasthaya settled down. Enjoy the walk around the promenade in the evening and watch the colorful culture (a lot of French influence). Read more

Overnight at Pondicherry
DAY 5

Pondicherry to Tanjore

Morning enjoy sightseeing of Pondicherry. Start your visit from Auroville (City of Dawn) and Aurobindo Ashram that promotes the ideas to bring about a synthesis of yoga and modern science. Sri Aurobindo Ashram: The Sri Aurobindo Ashram is a well known and wealthy ashram in India, with devotees from India and all over the world flocking to it for spiritual salvation. Its spiritual tenets represent a synthesis of yoga and modern science. The Ashram was founded in 1926 by Sri Aurobindo Ghose, an Indian freedom fighter, poet, philosopher, and yogi. Today, it has become an important destination for spiritual seekers as well as tourists. Thousands of visitors from all over the world come to the ashram. French Quarter: Take a walk through the French Quarter of Pondicherry to soak up the French flavors and feel the city's leisurely approach to life when strolling past charming colonial architecture & street side cafes, you may also take a bicycle if you prefer. Auroville (City of Dawn): Auroville is a universal community in India, situated near the Pondicherry city. The city has been built to house a population of up to 50,000 people from around the world. The main motto of all the people living in the Auroville city, near Pondicherry, is to convert life into 'Supramental Consciousness'. It is also known by the name of Sri Aurobindo Ashram and is devoted towards 'unity of mankind'. Auroville intends to become such a city that will serve as a model for the cities of the future, cities where people will strive towards a harmonious future.There are always things to do in Auroville like Yoga, Tai-Chi, Watsu, different kinds of alternative healing and courses. The variety is wider during the visitors' season (December to March), such as attending the classical Indian dance performances of young virtuosos organized by Auroville Cultural Exchange. There are a plethora of social/economic/environmental/agricultural projects going on regularly. Many of them welcome tourists, and many tourists welcome the opportunity to spend a week or more volunteering to get a much more intimate look at what goes inside Auroville. Sadhana Forest and Cinema Paradiso are also welcomed by tourist. Later travel towards Tanjore en route visit Gangai Cholapuram and Darasuram. Reach Tanjore and transfer to the hotel. Read more

Overnight will be at Tanjore
DAY 6

In Tanjore

After breakfast, enjoy excursion trip to Trichy. Visit Trichy for Rock Fort Temple and Srirangam. Rock Fort Temple: The most famous landmark of Trichy is the Rock Fort temple which is 83m tall, perched on a huge rocky out crop. The temple complex is composed of two parts - a Shiva temple (Thayumanaswamy) carved in the middle of the rock and a Ganesh temple at the top portion of the rock. The Ganesh temple is much smaller with an access through steep steps carved on the rock and provides a stunning view of Trichy, Srirangam and the rivers Kaveri and Kollidam. The Rock fort Hillock is said to be 230 crore years old. Due to its ancient and impressive architecture created by the Pallavas, the temple is maintained by the Archaeological department of India. It will take 1 - 2 hours to visit this place. Srirangam Ranganatha Swamy Temple: It is an important pilgrimage center and an exclusive Vaishnavite landmark. Srirangam looks like an island surrounded by river Cauvery and Kollidam on its either side. It is situated at a distance of 7 km from Trichy Railway station. This temple’s fame stands for its Rajagopuram, which is the highest tower in south India. Return to Tanjore for the night. Read more

Overnight will be at Tanjore
DAY 7

Tanjore to Madurai

Morning enjoys leisurely breakfast at the hotel. After breakfast drive towards Madurai.One of South India's great temple towns, Madurai is synonymous with the celebrated Meenakshi Temple. Situated on the banks of river Vaigai, Madurai has a rich cultural heritage passed on from the great Tamil era more than 2500 years old. Madurai was an important cultural and commercial center even as early as 550 AD. Madurai was the Capital city for the great Pandya kings. Tamil & Greek documents record the existence of Madurai from the 4th Century BC. The city was known to the Greeks through Magathenes who was their ambassador to the court of Chandragupta Maurya. This city was popular in trade, especially in spices. It was also the site the Sangam the Academy of the Tamil Poets. And Madurai is the center of all the cities and Madurai is famous for the cotton Sungudi Saris. Reach Madurai and transferred to your Hotel. In the evening witness the Aarti Ceremony infamous Meenakshi Temple in Madurai. Read more

Overnight will be at Madurai
DAY 8

In Madurai

Today morning visit the flower market. Return to the hotel and enjoy the breakfast. Later proceed for the sightseeing of Madurai: Meenakshi Amman Temple: This is one of the famous temples in South India, which is dedicated to Goddess Meenakshi and Lord Shiva. Main goddess is Lord Meenakshi. The temple is located in the centre of the city. Most impressive of the temple is its 12 Towers. This temple has five entrances, four entrances were built according to the direction like East, west, North and South and name as East Tower, West Tower, North Tower and South Tower and it is famous for Golden Lotus tank also. In this temple various festivals are celebrated continuously around the year. All the temple towers are decorated with paintings with arts and architecture. Thousand pillars hall is located inside the temple itself. (Architecture of the temple is amazing & one must see this remarkable temple in his/her lifetime). - During festival season, all the temple towers and water tank will be illuminated with colorful lights. Thirumalai Nayak palace: King Thirumalai Nayak, who was one of the Nayak rulers, built this palace. The building, which we see now, was the main palace where the King Nayak lived. Still, his throne is kept in the palace for exhibition. The palace was divided into two parts, one is called Swarga Vilasam and another one is called Ranga Vilasam. The specialty of the palace: The style of the architecture and the designing of the palace is the combination of all Dravidian, Islamic and European styles. Huge circular pillars surround the Courtyard of the palace. Every evening, sound and light show is conducted as well with stories depicting Nayak’s life history and about his rule. Gandhi Museum: This museum was built to honor our Father of nation, Gandhi JI. It gives a detailed history about his freedom struggle. We shall see many pictures of Freedom struggle and Gandhian thoughts. The pictures exhibits based on Indian political leaders, peace movements and some of the collections of world events. We shall also witness some of the things, which were used by Gandhi JI. Thiruparankundram Temple: This temple is the first one, among the six abodes of Lord Murugan (Karthikeya). This temple was built by carving the hills. Lord Muruga marries goddess Deivayanai, who is the daughter of Indra (King of the Heaven). One more specialty of this temple is the idols of Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu both faces each other in the main shrine that is rare thing in Hindu temples. The vehicle of Murugan is the peacock and his weapon is Vel (Javelin). Read more

Overnight will be at Madurai
DAY 9

Madurai to Periyar

The morning after breakfast, start your drive towards Periyar. Four hours drive southwards over rolling hills and coffee plantations to the PERIYAR WILDLIFE SANCTUARY, one of the major wildlife reserves in India. Indian elephants, wild boars, lion-tailed monkeys, ibex, tigers, leopards and sloth bears are on the list. The park surrounds a large, many-fingered lake and a dawn or dusk foray on one of the boats will be a thrilling experience. It is from the lake rather than vehicles that the wildlife is viewed. The Sanctuary is rich in bird life. Great hornbills, kites, darters, herons, egrets, owls and kingfishers are in abundance. Surrounding the reserve are many small spice plantations and we spend an absorbing afternoon searching for pepper, cardamom, turmeric, cloves, nutmeg, ginger, cinnamon and betel. Afternoon visit spice plantations like cardamom, cinnamon, pepper, coffee, tea estates etc. on your way back to the hotel, you could stop at the local market and pick up some fragrant spices. Reach Periyar and transfer to your hotel. In the evening, enjoy a trek to Periyar National Park. Read more

Overnight will be at Periyar
DAY 10

Periyar to Alleppey

Morning enjoy a boat ride to see wildlife in natural habitat.take a cruise on the picturesque Periyar Lake at the heart of the Periyar Tiger Reserve. Periyar Lake: It is a picturesque lake at the heart of the sanctuary. Formed with the building of a dam in 1895, this reservoir meanders around the contours of the wooded hills, providing a permanent source of water for the local wildlife. The hour boat trips around the lake are the main way to tour the sanctuary. You might see deer, boar and birdlife. Later travel to Alleppey embark on your houseboat and start an enchanting cruise along the reputed backwater of Kerala; just relax and lay back while you navigate slowly through the tranquil waterways. It is a wonderful opportunity to discover Kerala’s rural lifestyle. You’ll see that Kerala is known for its cashew nuts, coir trade, rice, pepper crops & coconuts. Your chef on a houseboat will prepare delicious Kerala specialties on board. Alleppey: The coastal town of Alleppey on the Arabian Sea is the Venice of the East, for the numerous canals that meander through the town. Bathing in the backwaters on the Vembanad Lake is refreshing. This town holds a thrilling event of the snake-boat race every year in August. It is also known for its cashew nuts, coir trade, rice, pepper crops and coconuts. Houseboat: One of the most tranquil and relaxing things you can do in Kerala is taking a trip in a houseboat along the palm-fringed Kerala canals. Embark on your houseboat and start an enchanting cruise along the backwater; just relax and lay back while navigating slowly through the tranquil waterway is a wonderful opportunity to discover the true Kerala’s rural lifestyle. Kerala is also known for its cashew nuts, coir trade, rice, pepper crops & coconuts. Your chef in houseboat will prepare you delicious Kerala specialties on board. Kerala Backwaters: The Kerala backwaters are a chain of brackish lagoons and lakes lying parallel to the Arabian Sea coast (known as the Malabar Coast) of Kerala state in southern India. The backwaters were formed by the action of waves and shore currents creating low barrier islands across the mouths of the many rivers flowing down from the Western Ghats range.There are many unique species of aquatic life including crabs, frogs and mudskippers, water birds such as terns, kingfishers, darters and cormorants, and animals such as otters and turtles live in and alongside the backwaters. Palm trees, pandanus shrubs, various leafy plants and bushes grow alongside the backwaters, providing a green hue to the surrounding landscape.Cruising by houseboat over there will make you feel wonderful. Vembanad Lake: It is the longest lake in India, and the largest lake in the state of Kerala.The view is beautiful, the calm helps refreshing - Go for a ride on the lake and you will capture the classic pictures of Kerala, coconut trees bending into the back waters, houseboats floating around majestically and fishermen busy in their chores it. Read more

Overnight at Alleppey
DAY 11

Alleppey to Marari

Morning your houseboat cruise will disembark in Alleppey and later proceed for a drive to Marari. Located a short distance from Alleppey, this sleepy little village, also called Mararikulam, is an idyllic location for a vacation. Arrive and check-in to an independent villa at the Marari Beach. Marari Beach is a perfect place for those seeking to loosen the stress of the city life and experience a completely new place. After lunch in the restaurant, it’s time to relax. Read more

Overnight will be at Marari
DAY 12

In Marari

Morning enjoy leisurely breakfast at the hotel. Day is at leisure to enjoy and relax near the beach

Overnight will be at Marari
DAY 13

Marari to Cochin

Morning enjoys leisurely breakfast at the hotel. Drive to Cochin and rest of the day is at leisure. Cochin is a diverse and colorful port/city, spreading over 4-5 islands and peninsulas. The main town of Ernakulam is on the mainland. All the islands are connected by a ferry boat network and therein lay the charm of an exploratory two days here. Around the headland of Fort Cochin, a phalanx of cantilevered Chinese fishing boats dips into the sea at high tide. In its back streets, there is an aroma of ginger, cardamom, and other spices, piled high in every nook and cranny. Read more

Overnight will be at Cochin
DAY 14

In Cochin

Breakfast will be at the hotel. Later proceed for the sightseeing and visit the following places. Chinese fishing nets: The Chinese fishing nets erected on teak wood and bamboo poles work on the principle of balance. Records say they were first set up here between AD 1350 and 1450. Vasco Da Gama Square, the narrow promenade that parallels the beach, is the best place to watch the nets being lowered and pulled out of the sea. JEWISH SYNAGOGUE: The Jewish community traces its history to nearly 2000 years ago. In 1948 the community numbered 2500 and today there are fewer than 30 people. The community is still centered around JEWTOWN where you will visit its crown Jewel, the Paradesi Synagogue. Built in 1568 and reconstructed after a Portuguese bombardment in 1662, the synagogue is distinguished by its tile roof and bell tower. The small synagogue is also known for its hand-painted, willow-patterned, blue and white Chinese floor tiles, and the many brass and crystal lamps that hang from the ceiling. Later visit the interesting International Pepper Exchange, also located in Jew town. In the evening enjoy the story telling art of Kathakali. Read more

Overnight will be at Cochin
DAY 15

Cochin Departure

Breakfast at the hotel. As per your flight timings; you will be transferred to the airport to take the flight back home with sweet memories of the tour.

TOUR ENDS !!!

ACCOMMODATIONS

Day in trip
Location
Hotel
Day 1
Location Chennai
Day 2
Location Mahabalipuram
Day 4
Location Pondicherry
Day 5
Location Tanjore
Day 7
Location Madurai
Day 9
Location Thekkady
Hotel Tree Top
Day 10
Location Alleppey
Hotel Houseboat
Day 11
Location Marari
Day 13
Location Cochin
Hotel Spice Fort
Day in trip
Location
Hotel
Day 1
Location Chennai
Hotel Grt Grand
Day 2
Location Mahabalipuram
Day 4
Location Pondicherry
Hotel Le Pondy
Day 5
Location Tanjore
Day 7
Location Madurai
Day 9
Location Periyar
Day 10
Location Alleppey
Hotel Houseboat
Day 11
Location Marari
Day 13
Location Cochin
Day in trip
Location
Hotel
Day 1
Location Chennai
Hotel Leela Palace
Day 2
Location Mahabalipuram
Day 4
Location Pondicherry
Day 5
Location Tanjore
Hotel Hotel Parisutham
Day 7
Location Madurai
Day 9
Location Thekkady
Day 10
Location Alleppey
Hotel Houseboat
Day 11
Location Marari
Day 13
Location Cochin

TRIP PACKAGE

Package includes

  • Transfers and ground transports (private vehicle with and English speaking driver)
  • Flights and/or trains as mentioned in the program
  • Accommodation: twin/double room in standard hotels
  • Breakfast

Package excludes

  • Any International Airfare / Airport taxes
  • Lunches and Dinner are not included unless mentioned
  • Entrance fees for temples, monuments and museums mentioned in the program
  • Tips to guides, restaurants, and hotel lobby.
  • Items of personal nature like tips, laundry, phone calls etc
  • Visa charges are not the part of the tour package
  • Repatriation fees, should they be required
  • Optional activities
  • Any others expenses

More information

  • These rates are valid for travel till September'2017

REVIEWS

2 Reviews

Patricia Espinosa, India

Amazing experience in Sri Lanka, Titlyy took care of important details that made our holiday unique!!! Would really recommend their services ! Thank you

Sumit Singh Bajaj, India

I have recommended Titlyy to one of my known and the services were superb. The information provided was accurate and the itinerary was well planned. Kudos to team Titlyy and i will highly recommend my other folks to go approach you when it comes to comfortable and hassle free travel.

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