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Southern India Highlights - 11 Days / 10 Nights

This journey through Tamil Nadu and Kerala introduces you to a rich mix of culture and scenery. Marvel at the cliff-side carvings of Mamallapuram, walk through India's biggest temple complex in Trichy, see the fabulous Chola Bronzes in Tanjore and visit many diverse crafts centres and markets. In Kerala's lush landscapes learn about its plantations and spice gardens before seeing the wildlife of the Periyar Tiger Reserve while on foot, on elephant back and by boat. Relax on a private houseboat, exploring the tranquil backwaters and canals around Alleppy, then finish the tour in historic Cochin, founded by the Portuguese in the early 16th Century.

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Itinerary

Click on the map to enlarge

Days 1 & 2 Chennai - Mamallapuram

On arrival we meet and transfer you to the coastal town of Mamallapuram with the balance of the day at leisure. Next day we visit the famous bas-relief carvings, monuments and the Shore Temple followed by a traditional lunch at a local restaurant. Afterwards tour the temples at Kanchipuram and enjoy amazing shopping opportunities. Accommodation at Hotel Radisson Blu Temple Bay, or similar (2 nights)
Accommodation: Hotel Radisson Blu Temple Bay
Included Meals: 2B,1L

Days 3 & 4 Kumbakkonam

En route to Kumbakonam we visit the Dharasuram Temple and a silk weaving centre. Next day in Tanjore, we visit its temples, the Bronze Gallery and watch statue making and glass painting. Accommodation at Hotel Paradise Resort, or similar (2 nights)
Accommodation: Paradise Resort
Included Meals: B

Days 5 & 6 Madurai

Today's drive to Madurai stops in Trichy to visit its revered Sriranganathaswami Temple and a local market. On arrival in Madurai, we attend the night ceremonies at the Meenakshi Temple. The following day we tour the city by cycle rickshaw, stopping again at Meenakshi Temple, a flower and spice market, a palace, and the Gandhi Museum. Accommodation at Hotel Heritage Madurai, or similar (2 nights)
Accommodation: Heritage Madurai
Included Meals: B

Days 7 & 8 Periyar

Our drive today takes us through past many tea, coffee and spice plantations before arriving at the wildlife reserve where we tour of a plantation and spice garden and then ride an elephant. Early the next morning we have a guided (3 hr) walk in the reserve looking for elephants, sambar, gaur, macaques and langur. Following a wildlife-watching cruise on the dam, the balance of the afternoon is free. An optional (additional cost) Ayurvedic massage is available. Accommodation at Elephant Court Hotel, or similar (2 nights)
Accommodation: The Elephant Court
Included Meals: B

Day 9 Alleppey/Backwaters

After a scenic morning drive we arrive in Alleppey and board a houseboat for a cruise through the backwaters where village life along the canals and lakes unfolds at a leisurely pace. Overnight on board Premium houseboat
Accommodation: Premium Houseboat
Included Meals: BLD

Day 10 Cochin

After breakfast we disembark and drive to Cochin for a city tour to see the first Synagogue and the oldest Christian church in India, and the 16th century Dutch Palace. Later we watch the Chinese fishing nets being used before attending a Kathakali dance drama. Overnight at Hotel Vivanta by Taj Malabar, or similar
Accommodation: Vivanta by Taj Coral Reef Maldives
Included Meals: B

Day 11 Depart Cochin

We transfer you to the airport for your homebound flight.


Dates & Pricing

Travel Dates Per Person Sharing Twin
(from)
Single Room Supplement
(from)
Local Fee

Price varies by season. Contact us with your specific travel date.


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Accommodations


Hotel Radisson Blu Temple Bay

Paradise Resort

Heritage Madurai

The Elephant Court

Premium Houseboat

Vivanta by Taj Coral Reef Maldives

Included

- meet & greet on arrival
- round-trip airport transfers
- accommodation as described (or similar)
- ground transportation
- sightseeing as indicated inclusive of entrance
- meals as described by BLD
- local taxes & service charges
- services of professional English-speaking guides

Not Included

- international & domestic airfares (to include or not)
- departure taxes
- most lunches
- optional excursions
- gratuities
- items of a personal nature
- entry visa fee
- travel insurance



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