Heritage South India
Duration : 17 Days
Destinations Covered : Mahabalipuram – Swamimalai – Karaikudi – Madurai – Kovalam – Houseboat – Kochi – Thrissur (Trichur) – Kadavu – Wayanad – Mahe – Kozhikode
South India is rich in its heritage. ”The diversity of India is tremendous and lies on the surface and anyone can see it,” wrote Nehru. Celebrate this diversity with Heritage South India tour that will showcase the best of South India and take you to the journey of the past and shows you how rich is India’s heritage and culture.
Day 01 Arrive Mahabalipuram
Arrive Chennai, the gateway of India. On arrival transfer to Mahabalipuram. Day free to relax.
Day 02 Mahabalipuram
Full day excursion to Kanchipuram and Mahabalipuram.
Day 03 Swamimalai
After breakfast drive to Swamimalai enroute visit Chidambaram, Gangaikondacholapuram, Darasuram and Kumbakonam. Later observe how the traditional crafts such as bronze statue making and pottery are done. Evening Cultural programme. Overnight at Swamimalai Tourism in south India,south India travel agents,south Indian tour operator Heritage Resort.
Day 04 Trichy Srirangam
Visit the Big temple, one of the heritage monument, Palace and Bronze museum. After Lunch drive to Trichy. Visit Rock fort temple and Srirangam. Overnight at Trichy.
Day 05 Karaikudi
Drive to Karaikudi, home to the Nattukottai Chettiars, a properous banking community, who ventured overseas to Ceylon, Burma and Indo-China in the 19th and 20th centuries and amassed great fortunes. Stay at The Bangala a charming 75 year old Chettinad Bungalow belonging to the Meyyappa Chettiar family that has been sensitively restored into a delightful heritage guesthouse.
Explore the area of Chettinad visiting some of the grand mansions that are an architectural delight. The Chettiars are renowned for their warmth and hospitality and they celebrate many local festivals throughout the year, but the days following the Pongal festival (after the 13th January) when cattle are adorned with garlands and their horns painted in bright colours is a very special time to visit Chettinad.
Overnight at “THE BANGALA” an Heritage House.
Day 06 Madurai
Drive to Madurai and check into Taj Garden Retreat. Afternoon visit 1000 pillared Meenakshi temple, Tirumalai Nayak Palace and Gandhi Museum. Overnight at Taj.
Day 07 Madurai
After breakfast proceed to Rameshwaram, the most sacred temple town of India. It is an island hallowed by the epic Ramayana, where Lord Rama is said to have visited before going into battle of Srilanka. Legend says that Lord Rama sent Hanuman to Mount Kailash to bring a Lingam for worship when he set foot after defeating Ravana. As Hanuman did not return when the auspicious hour was approaching, Sita made a sand Lingam so that worship could be performed in time, which is where the present day Ramanatha Swamy Temple stands close to sea on the eastern side of the island. One of the twelve Jyotirlingam shrines is also well known, for its magnificent corridors and the massive sculptured pillars lining them. Lunch at local restaurant. Return to Madurai for dinner and Overnight stay at hotel.
Day 08 Kovalam
Drive to Kovalam en route visiting Padmanabapuram Teak Palace, the only Teak palace in India. Visit enroute Haripad Subramanian Snake Temples which house 500 snake statues. Overnight at Chowra Beach near Kovalam at Travancore Heritage.
Day 09 Kovalam
Optional exursion to Suchindram and back. Relax at the Beach. Overnight at Travancore Heritage.
Day 10 Houseboat
Morning drive to Thottapally and check into your traditional Kettuvallam Houseboat. Travel through the lush green backwaters of Kerala observing the traditional lifestyle of the Keralites. You will see Temples, fishing, people tending their crops and coconut plantations as you drift through the canals. A unique and totally relaxing experience and your crew will serve delicious keralean food on board. Overnight on board the houseboat.
Day 11 Kochi
After breakfast drive to Kochi. Visit the Jewish synagogue, Dutch Palace, St Francis’ Church and the spice market. In the afternoon take a harbour cruise to see some of the nearby islands and the legendary Chinese fishing nets. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 12 Thrissur
After breakfast drive to Cheruthuruthi to visit Kathakali and Mohiniattam dance centre. Visit Local potters and weavers. Overnight at the Cheruthuruthi River Retreat a heritage hotel.
Day 13 Wayanad
Drive to Wyanad. Check into Vythiri Resort surrounded by lush green rainforests. This eco-friendly resort provides the visitors with ample opportunities for bird watching, trekking and an elephant ride at the nearby Muthanga Sanctuary. Overnight stay at Vythiri Resort.
Day 14 Wayanad
Visit the nearby tribal village, tribal museum. After lunch take a 4-km trek to an awe-inspiring ancient cave, providing an insight to the rich Indian civilization. Overnight stay in Vythiri Resort.
Day 15 Mahe
Drive to Mahe. On arrival transfer to Ayisha Manzil, a heritage bungalow located on the Arabian Sea. In the afternoon visit to the fort and mosque. Overnight stay at the bungalow.
Day 16 Mahe
Visit the Kerala Traditional Dance centre to witness ‘Thayum’ and ‘Kalari Pati’. Overnight stay at the bungalow.
Day 17 Departure
Transfer to Kozhikode Airport to connect flight to Mumbai.