Arrival. Namaste! We are warmly welcomed the traditional Indian way with hands clapped together at the airport and transferred to our hotel. The remainder of the day is free to relax.
Overnight: Vivanta By Taj President / Trident Nariman Point (2 Nights)
We start our day with a visit to the Gateway of India, Mumbai's most famous monument. Here we embark on our excursion to the Elephanta Caves*, located on an island in the Sea of Oman. The caves contain a collection of rock art linked to the cult of Shiva. Here, Indian art has found one of its most perfect expressions, particularly the huge high reliefs in the main cave. We return to Mumbai by motor launch and visit the Prince of Wales Museum and Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus*, formerly known as Victoria Terminus Station, an outstanding example of Victorian Gothic Revival Architecture in India, blended with themes deriving from Indian traditional architecture. The building, designed by the British Architect F. W. Stevens, became the symbol of Bombay as the ‘Gothic City’ and the major international mercantile port of India. Its remarkable stone dome, turrets, pointed arches and eccentric ground plan are close to traditional Indian palace architecture. Our Next Stop is at Mani Bhawan, where Mahatma Gandhi stayed here during the Freedom Struggle. The house is now converted into a Museum. From here we leave for the Jain Temple and Hanging Gardens, the Zoroastrian Towers of Silence, the bustling Crawford Market and drive past Haji Ali, the tomb of a wealthy Muslim merchant. We end our tour at the Dhobi Ghat, the world's largest outdoor laundry. The word Dhobi Ghat is used all over India to refer to any place where many washers are present. (B, D)
Please note, Elephanta caves remain closed on Monday.
Today we are transferred to airport for our flight to Kochi, formerly known as Cochin. On arrival, we are transferred to our Hotel. Rest of the day is free for personal activities.
Overnight: Trident Hotel (2 Nights) (B, D)
In the morning we explore Kochi, formerly known as Cochin, Kerala’s commercial capital with one of the finest natural harbours in the world. We visit St. Francis Church, the oldest European Church in India. Vasco De Gama was buried here before his remains were taken back to Portugal. Next, we visit the Roman Catholic Santa Cruz Cathedral built by the Portuguese in the 16th century; which is famous for beautiful paintings on its ceiling. We continue to the Jewish Quarter with its Old Synagogue and the Dutch Palace, built by the Portuguese. Later we take a boat cruise to visit Bolghatty Palace and observe the fascinating Chinese fishing nets in action. In the evening we enjoy Kathakali Dance Performance. This dramatized presentation of a play usually based on the Hindu epics of Ramayana, Mahabharata and Puranas, is a unique combination of literature, music, painting, acting and dance. (B, D)
Please Note, Jewish Synagogue remain closed on Friday & Saturday & Dutch Palace remains closed on Friday
After breakfast we drive to Thekkady to check in our hotel. The area is famous for its spice plantations. In the afternoon we will visit a spice plantation, where cardamom, pepper, ginger, turmeric, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, all spice, and tea are grown. We will also see Ayurvedic medicinal plants and will have the opportunity to buy some garden fresh spices. In the evening we return to our hotel for dinner.
Overnight: Poetree Sarovar Portico (2 Nights) (B, D)
Our day starts with a jungle walk at the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary in the early morning, after which we return to our hotel for breakfast. The Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary is one of the world’s most fascinating natural wildlife reserves. Spread across 777 square kilometres it was declared a Tiger Reserve in 1978. In the afternoon we enjoy a boat ride on Lake Periyar to watch animals in their natural habitat by the water's edge. We are likely to see animals like boars, Sambars, wild dogs, Langur monkeys and wild elephants. The sanctuary is also a haven for water birds and we can see plenty of darters, grey herons, egrets and kingfishers. The evening is free to explore the local bazaar in Thekkady and purchase some of the famous spices grown in the area. (B, D)
Today we drive to Alleppey. On arrival in Alleppey we board our traditional houseboat and begin our journey through the picturesque backwaters and small lakes relaxing in the tranquility of Kerala's beautiful scenery. On our journey we come across many boats, canoes and other crafts, as we observe the traditional way of life and activities of the local people.
Overnight: Air-conditioned Deluxe House Boat (B, L, D)
We enjoy breakfast on board, sail to Alleppey and disembark at the Puthenagady Jetty. A comfortable drive gets us to beautiful Kovalam Beach on the Malabar Coast near Trivandrum. We then get to relax by the beach with endless white sands by the blue waters of the Arabian Sea in secluded a coconut grove.
Overnight: Somatheeram Ayurveda Resort (2 Nights) (B, D)
Enjoy 01 Rejuvenation Massage (01 Hour) and free day to relax on the beach. (B, D)
After breakfast we leave for Madurai, visiting Kanyakumari, the “Lands’ End" of India on the way. Kanyakumari is the southernmost tip of peninsular India where the waters of the Bay of Bengal, the Indian Ocean and the Arabian Sea meet. We visit the Temple of Goddess Kumari, the Vivekananda Rock Memorial in the sea where Swami Vivekananda mediated. After lunch we continue our journey to Madurai. On arrival, we check in our Hotel.
Overnight: Heritage Madurai (2 Nights) (B, L, D)
Today we explore Madurai, the second largest city in Tamil Nadu. The city revolves around the Meenakshi Amman Temple, a structure in the Dravidian style of architecture. The complex houses 14 gopurams (gateway towers) ranging from 45-50m in height, the tallest being the southern tower, 51.9 metres (170 ft) high, and two golden sculptured shrines over sanctum of the main deities. The temple is a significant symbol for the Tamil people, and has been mentioned since antiquity in Tamil literature, though the present structure was built from 1623 to 1655. There are an estimated 33,000 sculptures in the temple and amongst the highlights are the Hall of a Thousand Pillars, the Tirumalai Nayaka Temple and the Temple Art Museum.
In the evening we enjoy night closing ceremony of the Temple. (B, D)
After breakfast we drive to Thanjavur and check in at our hotel. Thanjavur is popularly known as Tanjore. In the afternoon we explore the Brihadisvara Temple, one of the Great Living Chola Temples*. The temple, set in spacious grounds, has several pillared halls and shrines. Inscriptions record the names of dancers, musicians and poets a reminder of the significance of this area to the development of the arts in the 11th century. We end our tour of Tanjore with a visit to the Tanjore Palace & Museum, which has an eclectic collection of regal memorabilia most of it dating from the early 19th century. Overnight: Hotel Sangam (01 Night) (B, D)
After breakfast we drive to Pondicherry. This former French Colonial city in Tamil Nadu didn’t come under Indian rule until 1954. Pondicherry, otherwise known as Puducherry means a “New Hamlet” and is located on the Coromandal Coast. Its main attraction is actually outside of town: the ashram at Auroville, built by followers of Sri Aurobindo, a philosopher-prophet born in 1870, famous for his Integral Yoga and philosophical literary works. In the International Town where people from all over the world reside, we will find the Matrimandir, the famous monument built by the Auroville Society representing a lotus flower. Today we will also visit the 400-year old Manakula Vinayagar Temple, which has several frescos telling the life story of a half human and half animal lord.
Overnight: The Promenade (01 Night) (B, D)
After breakfast we drive to Mahabalipuram. On arrival we visit the Group of Monuments at Mahabalipuram*. This group of sanctuaries, founded by the Pallava kings, was carved out of rock along the Coromandel Coast in the 7th and 8th centuries. It is known especially for its rathas (temples in the form of chariots), mandapas (cave sanctuaries), giant open-air reliefs such as the famous 'Descent of the Ganges', and the temple of Rivage, with thousands of sculptures to the glory of Shiva. After that we continue our journey to Chennai. On arrival we check in our Hotel. Rest of the day is free to relax.
Overnight: Hyatt Regency Chennai (2 Nights) (B, D)
We tour Chennai, visiting the National Art Gallery & Museum, which contains some of the best collections of bronzes in the country including the famous icon of Natraja. We continue to India's oldest surviving British church, St. Mary's Church, built in 1680. We end our tour with a visit to People’s Park and the beautiful Marina Beach and the clock towers. (B, D)
Please Note: Museum remains closed on Friday and National holidays
Today is free for shopping and other personal activities. Hotel Check out time is 12:00 Noon. In the evening we enjoy our farewell dinner. After a memorable journey through incredible India, we are transferred to the airport for our departure home or to our next exciting destination. (B, D)
|Start Date||End Date||Twin Share||Single
- Accommodation on twin share basis in the mentioned hotels for 15 Nights as per the itinerary.
- (Total 32 Meals) 15 Breakfasts, 15 Dinners & 2 Lunches as per the itinerary
- All sightseeing and transfers by Air- conditioned transportation
- Entrance fee at the monuments of visit
- Services of English Speaking guide for sightseeing (Local guide at each city for 1-5 Pax and tour escort throughout the tour for 6 pax and above)
- Harbor Cruise in Cochin (Common Boat)
- Kathakali Dance performance -Cochin
- Boat Ride at Lake Periyar –Thekkady
- Guided Jungle Walking Tour -Thekkady
- Airfare in Economy Class from Mumbai to Cochin
- 01 Rejuvenation Massages at Somatheeram Ayurveda Resort – Kovalam
- All presently applicable taxes.
Accommodation (5 star standard)
- Mumbai: The LaLiT Mumbai
- Cochin: Xandari Harbour (5* HERITAGE)
- Periyar: Abad Green Forest (4* STD)
- Alleppey: Premium Houseboat
- Kovalam: Somatheeram Ayurveda Resort
- Madurai: Heritage Madurai
- Tanjore: Sangam Hotel
- Pondicherry: Promenade Pondicherry
- Chennai: Radisson Blu Hotel GRT Chennai