Southern Heritage 14 Days

Southern Heritage 14 Days

 A vibrant history is exposed on our tour of southern India. A quiet backwater cruise and delightful beach side stays balance the full days of cultural discovery in the states of Tamil Nadu and Kerala.


 

Chennai – Kanchipuram – Mahabalipuram – Pondicherry – Swamimalai – Tanjore – Trichy – Karaikudi – Madurai – Kanyakumari – Kovalam – Backwater Cruise – Cochin – Mumbai
 
  • Itinerary

    Day 1 – Arrive Chennai
    Arrive Chennai airport where you will be met by your driver and transferred to your hotel.

    Stay two nights at Quality Inn Sabri.

    Day 2 – Chennai
    Morning at leisure. Your guide will collect you for an afternoon city tour visiting Fort St George which became the first headquarters of the British East India Company. See St Mary’s Church, the bronze section of the Madras Museum, San Thome Cathedral and take a drive along the marina promenade. (B)

    Day 3 – Chennai – Kanchipuram – Mahabalipuram
    Drive to Kanchipuram, a busy pilgrimage centre, humming with activity around its extraordinary temple precincts. Visit some of the Hindu temples then travel on to Mahabalipuram, a beautiful beach resort and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Visit a shore temple with open air carvings, fine bas reliefs and man-made caves.

    Stay one night at Ideal Beach Resort. (B,L)

    Day 4 – Mahabalipuram – Pondicherry
    Travel on to Pondicherry. Commence your guided tour with a visit to the Sri Aurobindo Ashram, a centre for the practice of yoga and meditation, and Ecole Françoise d’Extreme Orient, a school for Sanskrit, Tamil and archaeological studies. The French Catholic influence is evident in a number of churches in Pondicherry, some of which you will visit. Also take a drive along the seaside promenade viewing the many landmark buildings and memorials. Conclude your tour with a visit to the Grand Bazaar.

    Stay one night at Annamalai Hotel. (B)

    Day 5 – Pondicherry – Swamimalai
    The drive to Swamimalai is very scenic with stops at Darasuram to visit the Airavateshwara temple, and Kubakonam which is one of the oldest towns in Tamil Nadu, picturesquely set near two rivers surrounded by rice and sugar cane fields.

    Stay two nights at Sara Regency. (B)

    Day 6 – Trichy and Tanjore Excursion
    Take a day trip to nearby places of interest. In Trichy visit the Rock Fort Temple, dominating the city from atop a most ancient rock. In Srirangam visit the multi-tiered Sri Ranganathaswami Temple, the largest Hindu temple in India, then visit Tanjore another important centre of South Indian religion, art and architecture. (B)

    Day 7 – Swamimalai – Karaikudi – Madurai
    The destination today is Madurai via towns in the Chettinad region featuring palatial heritage homes built for rich traders. Visit the Raja of Chettinad’s Palace and the Chettinad Museum in Karaikudi.

    Stay two nights at ITC Fortune Pandyan. (B,L)

    Day 8 – Madurai
    Madurai has a recorded history dating back to the 6th century BC, has been a seat of learning and is the centre from which the Tamil language developed. It is a lively place with big bazaars, shops, street stalls and shrines. On a city tour visit the Thirumalai Nayak Mahal built in 1523 and the Gandhi Museum, housed in a 300-year-old palace and dedicated to promoting the Mahatma’s teachings. Ride in a cycle rickshaw ride to the bazaar area for some shopping time before visiting the adjacent Meenakshi Temple complex. (B)

    Day 9 – Madurai – Kanyakumari
    Today’s destination is the very southern-most tip of India reached by a very scenic drive with photo stops along the way. Kanyakumari lies on a cape where the Arabian Sea, Indian Ocean and Bay of Bengal meet and is known for its spectacular sunrises and sunsets.

    Stay one night at Singaar International. (B)

    Day 10 – Kanyakumari – Kovalam
    Visit Kanyakumari Temple overlooking the sea then Gandhi Mandapam, a memorial site for Mahatma Gandhi. Take a ferry across to the Vivekananda Memorial atop a rock in the ocean, dedicated to Swami Vivekananda, a great social reformer. In the afternoon drive to Kovalam stopping along the way to visit Suchindram temple and the 14th century Padmanapuram Palace once the seat of Travancore kings. The crescent beaches and calm waters of Kovalam make it a popular holiday spot.

    Stay two nights at Travancore Heritage. (B)

    Day 11 – Kovalam
    Day free for beach side leisure. (B)

    Day 12 – Kovalam – Allepey – Backwater cruise
    Travel to Allepey to board your kettuvalam, a traditional rice barge houseboat, for an overnight cruise on the tranquil, palm-fringed Kerala backwaters. An onboard chef is at your service preparing local cuisine. (B,L,D)

    Day 13 – Kumarakom – Cochin
    Disembark in Kumarakom after breakfast and travel overland to Cochin. Take a tour of the city which has prospered as a busy port and commercial centre trading in spices, coffee and timber. The involvement of the Portuguese, Dutch and British over the years is evident in its architecture. See Fort Kochi, the Chinese fishing nets, St Francis Church and Mattencherry Palace.

    Stay one night at Tea Bungalow. (B)

    Day 14 – Cochin – Depart Mumbai
    Morning transfer to the airport for your flight to Mumbai. Tour the city beginning with Dhobi Ghat, a large outdoor laundry. Drive past the Mahalaxmi Horse Racing Track, Haji Ali Dargah and visit Mani Bhawan, a focal point of Gandhi’s political activities. The views from Malabar Hill and the Hanging Gardens are over picturesque Marine Drive. Drive along this famous seafront boulevard and view other important city landmarks including the Gateway of India. Later proceed to an airport hotel for time to freshen up before your evening flight home. (B)

  • Make a Booking

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  • Tour Prices
    Season Twin Share Single Room
    01 Oct 19 – 15 Apr 20 $2542 $3768
    16 Apr – 30 Sep 20 $2017 $2919
    01 Oct 20 – 15 Apr 21 $2542 $3768

    Prices are per person, in Australian dollars, valid to mid April 2021. Please confirm prices when booking.

  • Price Includes:

    Price Includes:

    • 12 nights in 4 star hotels and resorts
    • 1 night on a houseboat
    • 13 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 1 dinner
    • Economy class flight Cochin-Mumbai, including air taxes and fuel surcharges
    • Transfers, internal transportation, sightseeing and entrance fees

     

    Price Excludes:

    • Visa fees
    • Gratuities

     

    Tour prices and inclusions are based on a minimum of 2 passengers.

    Surcharges apply for travel 20Dec–10Jan and during local holidays and events.

Sikkim Darjeeling

 

Photo Gallery

Southern Heritage 14 Days
 

Highlights

  • French influenced Pondicherry and the Sri Aurobindo Ashram
  • Overnight cruise on a kettuvalam
  • Ancient Madurai
 
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