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Home - Highlights of South India

Highlights of South India

All itineraries featured on this site are suggestive and can be customized to suit your specific travel needs. Contact our travel specialists now for a personalized version.
Durations : 15 Days
Destinations : Chennai - Mahabalipuram - Trichy - Tanjore - Madurai - Thekkady - Kumarokom - Aleppey - Cochin - Mumbai
Southern India Vacation TripDay One Chennai:
Compass Representative will meet and assist you upon your arrival at the Chennai International Airport. Transfer to your hotel. Check in at hotel in Chennai. Overnight will be at Chennai.

Day Two Chennai – Mahabalipuram: By road 60 km / 2 hr
Breakfast will be at the hotel. Proceed for a sightseeing tour of Chennai visiting Museum (Closed on Fridays and holidays). Drive through the flower and fruit market, High Court, Fort Museum, Marina Beach, San Thom Cathedral and Snake Park. Proceed for Mahabalipuram by surface. Overnight will be in Mahabalipuram.
Day Three Mahabalipuram:
Breakfast will be at hotel. Proceed for sight seeing of Mahabalipuram - famous for the seven pagodas. Here, on the seashore is an interesting group of ancient rock hewn temples, which are the examples of Dravidian style of architecture. Enjoy the day at the beach. Overnight will be at the hotel.

Day Four Mahabalipuram – Trichy: By road 240 km / 5 hr
Breakfast will be at hotel. Drive to Trichy a famous temple town in South India. Situated on the banks of river Kaveri, Tiruchirappalli, the fourth largest city in the state was a citadel of the early Cholas, which later fell to the Pallavas. Trichy came to be occupied in turn by the Nayaka of Madurai, the Marathas, the Nawabs of Carnatic, the French and finally the British. But it was under Nayakas of Madurai that Trichy flourished and prospered in tit’s own right and grew to be the city that is today. Trichy is fine blend of tradition and modernity built round the rock fort Apart from the fort there are several Churches, Colleges and Missions dating back to the 1760s. With Excellent infrastructural facilities Trichy will serve as a good base to explore the South of Tamilnadu. Overnight will be in Trichy.
Day Five Trichy – Tanjore – Madurai: By road 240 km / 6 hr
Start sightseeing after breakfast. Visit the ancient temples dedicated to Lord Ganapathi, 434 steps cut out into the rock side and interspersed with shrines, lead to the temple. Visit SRIRANGAM, a massive temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu sprawled on a Island in CAUVERY RIVER which contains within its walls a Bazaar (TRADITIONAL MARKET OF INDIA) as well. Gaze up at the twenty-one magnificent towers of the temple surrounded by seven walls.

In the afternoon drive to Tanjore also known as Thanjavur (The rice bowl of TAMIL NADU). Proceed for sight seeing of Tanjore. Visit the famous Chola Temple of Brihadeeshwara – A WORLD HERITAGE MONUMENT. Its bronze and handicrafts make Tanjore one of the highlights of the tour to South India. The majesty of the palaces and art gallery attached to the temple is really awe-inspiring. It is also famous for the silk. Later leave for Madurai by surface and en route visit Karaikudi (Chettinad). Madurai is over 2500 years old and is the second largest city of Tamil Nadu - Ancient seat of learning. The city is planned in the shape of a lotus. Check into the hotel by noon. Overnight will be at Madurai.

Day Six Madurai:
Breakfast will be at hotel. Visit the famous Madurai Meenakshi temple (dedicated to the consort of Lord Shiva with its towering GOPURAMS) - There are four entrances to this amazing temple complex set in 6 hectares. Beat some of the stone pillars in the complex with any hard object and feel incredible on hearing sweet metal sounds. The total number of pillars in the temple is a staggering one Thousand. Enjoy the sightseeing of this town during the day and later in the evening relax at the hotel. Overnight will be in Madurai.

Houseboat honeymoon tours south indiaDay Seven Madurai – Thekkady (Periyar): By road 180 km / 4 hr
Breakfast will be at hotel. Proceed to Thekkady. The river Periyar is the longest river in Kerala. This is the only perennial river in South India with clean water. The river occupies an important place in the history of Kerala. In the Sangam age Tamil epics such as Chilapathikaram, ‘Akananuru’, ‘Purananuru’ etc much has been said about this mighty river, formerly known as the ‘Choorni Nadi’ or ‘Thamraparni Nadi’ (Sukasandesam – stanza 66).

A land route existed in the Sangam age from Mussuris (present-day Kodungalloor) to Madurai, which passed near the banks of the river Periyar. The capital of the old Chera Empire presumably existed on the banks of the river Periyar. It is believed that there was a flood in the 4th century AD that severely damaged the areas along the Periyar and the people living there had to escape to safer locations, abandoning their homes and livelihoods. The flood of AD 1341 resulted in the closing of Kodungalloor port and the opening of a new port at Kochi. The huge landslide that began in the high ranges as a result of the heavy downpours sent massive flows of mud and sand which created an Island at the ‘Azhimugham’ of the Periyar which is now known as the Vyppin Islands. Visit spice plantations like cardamom, cinnamon, pepper, coffee, tea estates etc. on cycle. Stop at the local market “KUMILY” and pick up some fragrant spices. Overnight will be spent at Thekkady.
Day Eight Thekkady:
After early breakfast start for the Nature Trek into the forest. In the afternoon, proceed for the boat ride at Periyar. Today you can visit the rare species of plants and animals. Take a jungle walk and enjoy nature. Proceed for an ELEPHANT RIDE (provided elephants are available on this day as they are rounded up in the morning and released in the evening). In the evening relax at resort. Overnight will be in Thekkady.

Day Nine Thekkady – Kumarokom: By Road 175 km in 5 hr
Proceed to Kumarokom after breakfast. Arrive at Kumarokom, after a journey of approx. 5 hours enjoying the beauty of the traditional Keralian houses. The village of Kumarokom is a cluster of little islands on the Vembanad Lake, and this small water world is part of the Kuttanad region. The bird sanctuary here, which is spread across 14 acres, is a favorite haunt of migratory birds and an ornithologist's paradise. Egrets, darters, herons, teal, waterfowl, cuckoo, wild duck and migratory birds like the Siberian stork that live there in flocks are a fascination for visitors. The best way to watch the birds of the Kumarokom sanctuary is a boat trip round the islands.

An enchanting backwater destination, Kumarokom offers visitors many other leisure options. Boating and fishing facilities are available at Kumarokom. An unbelievably beautiful paradise of mangrove forests, emerald green paddy fields and coconut groves interspersed with enchanting waterways and canals adorned with while lilies - this is Kumarokom. Reach and visit the Bird Sanctuary. Check in at Hotel. Spend the night relaxing at Kumarokom.

Day ten Houseboat Cruise:
Breakfast would be at the resort. Enjoy the morning at the resort taking a rejuvenation massage. Board the houseboat in the afternoon for a cruise in the backwaters. Our boat awaits and we begin a thrilling and colorful boat ride through the 'backwaters' to Ambalaphuza, all sitting on the deck to see more! The term 'backwaters' actually refers to the extensive network of rivers, lakes, canals and lagoons that lace the coastal plain interior coastline and stretch from Cochin almost down to Trivandrum. Small canoes, elderly sailboats, coconut-laden barges, tiny skiffs full of school children, Chinese-style Junks and thatch-covered country craft are common sights. Lunch will be served on the boat freshly prepared by the crew. In the evening the boat will anchor by the lush paddy fields and enjoy the tranquility of the water around. Dinner would be laid out in the boat. Spend night on houseboat.

Day Eleven Arrive at Aleppey: Aleppey – Cochin: By Road 60 km in 1 hr
Breakfast will be on the boat. Proceed to Aleppey. Aleppey (Alappuzha) is famous for its boat races, houseboats, coir products, fish and lakes. Alappuzha remains prominent on the tourist trial of Kerala as one of the major centres for backwater boat trips. "Kuttanad" in Alappuzha is one of few places in the world where farming is done below sea level. Kuttanad is a land of lush paddy fields and is called the 'Rice Bowl' of Kerala. Kuttanad stretches for 75 Km sandwiched between the sea and the hills. Disembark from the boat and proceed to Cochin.

Kerala Backwaters South IndiaThe eventful history of this city began when a major flood in AD 1341 threw open the estuary at Kochi, till then a land locked region, turning it into one of the finest natural harbors in the world. Kochi thus became a haven for seafaring visitors from all over the world and became the first European town-ship in India when the Portuguese settled here in the 15th century.

The Dutch wrested Fort Kochi from the Portuguese in AD 1663 and later in the last phase of the colonial saga, the British took over, the town in 1795. During 1660's, Fort Kochi peaked in stature as a prime commercial centre and its fame spread far and wide - variously as a rich trade centre, a major military base, a vibrant cultural hub, a great ship building centre, a centre for Christianity and so on. Today, centuries later, the city is home to nearly thirteen communities. In the early evening proceed for a private harbor cruise. Enjoy watching the dolphins, the fishing island and the Bolghatty Palace. Cruise till the mouth of the sea and enjoy the sunset. Overnight will be at Cochin.

Day Twelve Cochin:
Breakfast will be at hotel. Proceed to Cochin. Proceed for a sightseeing tour of FORT COCHIN in the afternoon. A few interesting sites included in the tour are the Chinese fishing nets along the Vasco Da Gama Square, Santa CruzBasilica, St. Francis Church, VOC Gate, Bastion Bungalow, Jewish Synagogue, Mattancherry Palace, etc. Learn the operation of the interesting Chinese fishing nets erected on teak wood and bamboo poles which 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. Enjoy the KATHAKALI DANCE PRESENTATION in the evening. This will be the best way to end your tour of South India.

Day Thirteen Cochin – Mumbai: By Air Flight No : IC 596 Airlines : INDIAN AIRLINES Aircraft : AIRBUS 300 Departure : 0935 Arrival : 1115
Breakfast will be at hotel. Transfer to the airport for flight to Mumbai. Reach and transfer to hotel. For the rest of the day you’ll be taking a sightseeing tour of Mumbai which has a very distinct and appealing culture of its own. The places covered will be MAHALAKSHMI TEMPLE, HANGING GARDEN, TOWER OF SILENCE, CHOWPATTY AND PRINCE OF WALES MUSEUM. Overnight will be in Mumbai. Backwater Destinations In South IndiaDay Fourteen Mumbai:
Breakfast will be in the hotel. Spend the day in last minute shopping and relaxing at the beautiful and famous hotel. Overnight will be in Mumbai.

Day Fifteen Mumbai – Home:
We will meet you at very early morning. Transfer in time to the airport for flight back home with sweet memories of India very early in the morning.




THE TOUR INCLUDES:
• ACCOMMODATION AT SUGGESTED HOTELS,
• SIGHTSEEING TOURS AS MENTIONED IN THE ITINERARY,
• AIR-CONDITIONED SUV WITH DRIVER AT DISPOSAL,
• ENGLISH SPEAKING GUIDE FOR ALL CITY TOURS,
• MEET AND ASSIST SERVICES ON ARRIVAL / DEPARTURE,
• DAILY BUFFET BREAKFAST,
• ALL APPLICABLE TAXES AND SERVICE CHARGES,
• BOAT RIDE AT THEKKADY,
• OVERNIGHT HOUSEBOAT CRUISE WITH ALL MEALS,
• JUNGLE WALK AND PLANTATION TOUR AT PERIYAR,
• SUNSET HARBOUR CRUISE AT COCHIN,
• KATHAKALI DANCE PRESENTATION IN COCHIN,
• ALL MEET AND ASSIST SERVICES,
• AIR-CONDITIONED CAR TRANSFERS AT MUMBAI AND
• ALL PARKING WITH ROAD TAXES AND DRIVER ALLOWANCES.



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