15 Days |
Kerala India tour package has been specially crafted by our tour experts so that you can enjoy hassle-free vacations at some of the best tourist destinations in South India. The 15-day tour will take you to major cities of two states, namely Kerala and Tamil Nadu and a union territory of Puducherry. During the tour, you will explore various temples, historical edifices, lakes, nature and wildlife, historic ruins, hills, beaches, etc. In short, the tour will provide you with a glimpse of every aspect of South India.
Since the tour includes tourist destinations of all types, it is well-suited for all types of travellers. In Kerala, you will be able to experience the best of nature and wildlife, while you can relish in the culture and heritage of South India in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry. The destinations that you will cover during the tour are Cochin, Kumarakom, Alleppey, Munnar, and Periyar in Kerala, Madurai, Trichy, Mahabalipuram, and Chennai in Tamil Nadu, and Puducherry. In a nutshell, the tour will be a unique experience for you.
Mahabalipuram – a UNESCO World Heritage Site
Welcome to Kochi, India. You will be greeted and received by our representative who would transfer you to your hotel for check-in. Kochi was earlier known as Cochin and is nicknamed as the Queen of the Arabian Sea. The name of the city comes from Malayalam term “Kochazhi” that actually means small lagoon.
Kochi was put on the world map by Vasco-de-Gama. The Arabs, Portuguese, British, Dutch, all have left their impression on the history of Kochi.Kochi was an important spice trading centre on the west coast of India from the 14th century onward, and maintained a trade network with Arab merchants from the pre-Islamic era.
Kochi is known as the financial, commercial and industrial capital of Kerala. Kochi is the second most important city on the west coast of India, right next to Mumbai. It is the most popular tourist destination for both domestic and international visitors to Kerala and is among the most visited tourist destinations in India.
This afternoon is at leisure. Overnight at hotel in Kochi.
Start off for your morning city tour of Kochi to explore some of the famous places in the city. You will be exploring the Portuguese churches, mosques and temples and also the Jewish synagogues. You will be taken to watch something that is amusing and most widely seen across Kerala – the Chinese style fishing nets. It has a height of 10m and holds a cantilever along with an outstretched net that is suspended in the sea and the other end has a huge stone tied to balance the counterweight. A group of six fishermen does the installation and operation of each fishing nets.
Come back to the hotel visiting these places. This afternoon is at leisure. Overnight stay at hotel in Kochi.
Get driven to Kumarakom right after finishing your breakfast. Kumarakom is a popular tourism destination located near the city of Kottayam and is famous for its backwater tourism. It is set in the backdrop of the Vembanad Lake, the largest lake in the state of Kerala.
Kumarakom is famous for its wide range of flora and fauna. Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary is a noted bird sanctuary where many species of migratory birds visit. The Vembanad Lake, the largest backwater in Kerala, is habitat for many marine and freshwater fish species and it teems with Karimeen shrimp. The bird sanctuary extends over 14 acres and came into existence following preservation efforts from the government. It is a major tourist attraction.
Fruit like banana, mango, jackfruit pineapple, etc. grow here in abundance and the place is a lush green covered with paddy fields and coconut groves.
Spend overnight at the hotel in Kumarakom.
This day, get driven to Alleppey, also named as Alappuzha that gets its name from two words, Ala (broad) and Puzha (river). Alleppey is a town with picturesque canals, backwaters, beaches, and lagoons, it was described as the one of the places known as the "Venice of the East" by Lord Curzon. History traded ancient Greece and Romans even before Christ and also during the middle Ages. Different religions mingled and built their churches, mosques and temples.
It is an experience to explore Kerala backwaters, which are a huge network of large lakes linked by canals and fed by rivers. The backwaters are formed because of the waves and shore currents creating low barrier islands. The backwaters would be explored in a houseboat (known as kettuvallam) which you would board for overnight stay that is by itself a lifetime experience.
These houseboats were first introduced to ferry the grain. The boats are like floating cottages with a sleeping area, toilets, dining area and a sit out on the deck. The food is cooked on board by staff.
Overnight in the houseboat in Alleppey.
Have your breakfast and start off for your way towards Munnar by road. Munnar is a town and hill station located in the Idukki district of the southwestern Indian state of Kerala. Munnar is situated at around 1,600 metres (5,200 ft) above mean sea level, in the Western Ghats mountain range. Munnar is also called the "Kashmir of South India" and is a popular honeymoon destination. The name Munnar is believed to mean "three rivers", referring to its location at the confluence of the Mudhirapuzha, Nallathanni and Kundaly rivers.
Munnar is a treat to eyes for the travelers especially for the vast tea plantations in this area. Anamudi is the highest peak in South India which is located here. Munnar has an exotic flora and fauna and is surrounded by different wildlife sanctuaries that preserve animals like the grizzled giant squirrel, elephant, gaur, Nilgirilangur, Sambar, etc.
Another strikingly beautiful sight to behold in Munnar is the blooming Neelakurinji – the blue flowers that bloom once in 12 years. The sight of lush green valleys swarmed with these little flowers is a beauty indeed which the honeymoon couples would adore to watch.
The afternoon is at leisure. Spend overnight at hotel in Munnar.
Gear up for the day because you are going to explore the pristine beauty of Munnar and its nearby places. Nestled 2 km away from Munnar amidst beautiful hills and lush green jungles, is the Atukkad Waterfalls. This pristine waterfall makes for romantic escapades and an adventurous spot amid hills and jungles. Up next to visit is Chithirapuram which is specially known for its tea plantations and beautiful green stretch of tea estates. Floriculture Centre in Munnar, which is also known as Munnar Rose Garden is a beautiful garden with hundreds of rare varieties of flowers and herbal plants. With large tea plantations in the background, this is place is definitely worth a visit for everyone who witness the beauty of the flowers.
Next spot is the Top Station in Munnar. Located around 32 km away from Munnar, Top Station is the highest point (1700m) in Munnar, on the Munnar-Kodaikkanal road. The place falls on the Kerala-Tamil Nadu border. Here you can enjoy the panoramic view of Western Ghats and the valley of Theni district of Tamil Nadu.
You will be taken for a trip to the Tata Tea Museum which was established in 2005 by Tata Tea. The museum set up at the Nallathanni Estate of Tata Tea ensures that the legacy of those, who worked hard to ensure the tea plantations survived this long, is recognized publicly.
The entire town of Munnar is ornamented with numerous waterfalls and animal sanctuaries that are left to be explored.
Spend overnight at Munnar.
This day, after the breakfast, you will be driven to Periyar Animal Sanctuary. Periyar, with its cool chimes and agreeable greenery, has a wide zone for travelers to chill out. This pride destination in southern India is boosted with serene surroundings and startling sights and the reason to visit Periyar is mainly for its wildlife scene.
On that note, you will be driven to Periyar Animal Sanctuary which is set high in the mountains and sprawls over the Western Ghats. This National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary is a protected area located on the Kerala-Tamil Nadu border and here, you can feel the presence of serenity and excitement amidst the wilderness.
Periyar is famous as an Elephant and Tiger Reserve and shelters various animals like Bengal Tiger, Indian elephant, wild boar, sambar, tiger, leopard, wild dog, langur, monkeys, etc. You can also spot a number of birds and plants. The Park is surrounded by various plantation regions for coffee, tea, etc. and a visit to these plantations is a worth.
A boat ride in the Periyar Lake in the evening would give you enough chance to spot and photograph different animals. You could be delighted to spot a herd of elephants or a family of deer near the lake that come frequently to drink water. You may be able to spot herds of Gaur, Sambar and wild boars in the grasslands adjacent to the shores. A variety of avian fauna such as darters, egrets and kingfishers can be seen resting on dead tree trunks that stick out over the lake. During your boat ride, you may also watch the antics of the Indian Otter.
Overnight stay at Periyar.
After having breakfast, get driven to Madurai, one of the major cities of Tamil Nadu. Madurai is one of the oldest living cities in the world and the recorded history dates back to 3rd century BC.Madurai is popularly called Thoonga Nagaram meaning the city that never sleeps, on account of the active night life.
The city attracts a large number of tourists from within the country and abroad. There are several festivals that are celebrated in Madurai every year including Meenakshi Tirukkalyanam, and the Car Festival. The annual 10-day Meenakshi Tirukalyanam festival, also called Chittirai festival, attracts one million visitors.
The city has a number of historical monuments, with the Meenakshi Amman Temple (enlisted as a nominee of the "New Seven Wonders of the World") and Tirumalai Nayak Palace being the most prominent.The palace of Rani Mangamma has been renovated to Gandhi Memorial Museum that houses the blood-stained garment worn by Mahatma Gandhi when he was assassinated by Nathuram Godse.
The Eco Park, situated in Tallakulam, features fountains and lighting in trees using optical fibers. Rajaji children's park, situated between the Gandhi museum and the Tamukkam grounds, has a visitor average of 5000 per day during holidays and 2000–3000 on working days. Madurai also has Theme Park, Athisayam.
This afternoon is at leisure. Overnight stay in Madurai.
Have your breakfast and get ready for the morning tour of Madurai that includes Meenakshi Temple, Thirumalai Nayak Palace, Alagar Hills and Tirupparamkunram Rock temple.
Meenakshi Amman Temple is a historic and one of the oldest Hindu temples and is one of the most prominent landmarks of the city. It is dedicated to Meenakshi and her consort, Sundareswarar. The complex houses 14 gopurams (gateway towers) ranging from 45–50 metres (148–164 ft) in height, the tallest being the southern tower, 51.9 metres (170 ft) high. The temple was built 2000 years ago and was expanded by ThirumalaiNayak. This is a temple of Lord Siva and his wife Meenakshi. The temple has a Hall of Thousand Pillars with every pillar showing life like features. The outermost corridors have musical pillars of stones which when tapped, produce different musical notes.
Up next is Thirumalai Nayak Palace which was built in 1636 by the king Thirumalai Nayak. The main attraction of this palace is its domes and arches which portrays a blend of Dravidian and Islamic styles. The interior is richly decorated whilst the exterior is treated in a more austere style. Many parts of this palace were pulled down and what remains now is the enclosed court known as the Svarga Vilasam, a vast hall with arcades about 12 m high. Thirumalai Nayak Palace is famous for its giant pillars with height of 82 feet and width of 19 feet.
Alagar Koyil is a village located in a hill in Madurai district and the history and living of the place is centered around Kallazhagar Temple. Constructed in the Dravidian style of architecture, the temple is glorified in the Divya Prabandha, the early medieval Tamil canon of the Azhwar saints from the 6th–9th centuries AD. It is one of the 108 Divyadesam dedicated to Vishnu, who is worshipped as Kallazhagar and his consort Lakshmi as Thirumamagal.
Tirupparamkunram Rock temple is a Hindu temple and one of the Six Abodes of Murugan, located at Tirupparankunram. The temple is built rock-cut architecture dating back to the Pandya period of 6th century and the life sized sculptures in the mandapas of the Nayaka period during the 16th century. In the main shrine, apart from Muruga, deities of Shiva, Vishnu, Vinayaka and Durga are housed. The temple follows Shaivite tradition of worship.
Overnight stay in Madurai.
This day, you will be transferred to Tiruchirapalli, referred to as Trichy, which is located at the banks of Cauvery River and is the fourth largest city of Tamil Nadu. This city was the fortess for the Cholas and was developed by the Nayaks of Madurai. The city is famous for the scholars of Tamil. The holiness of the city is reflected in every celebration that occurs with great grandeur and pomp.
The afternoon tour begins with the visit of the Danish Church and Rock Fort. Tiruchirappalli Rockfort is a historic fortification and temple complex constructed on an 83 metres (272 ft) high rock. There are two Hindu temples inside, the Ucchi Pillayar Temple, Rockfort and the Thayumanaswami Temple, Rockfort. Other local tourist attractions include the famous Pallava-era Ganesha temple and the Madurai Nayak-era fort.
The fierce battles between the Madurai Nayakas and Adil Shahi dynasty of Bijapur, Carnatic region and Maratha Imperial forces occurred inside the fort complex. The fort also plays an important part during the Carnatic Wars helping lay the foundations of the British Empire in India.
Overnight at Trichy.
Right after breakfast, start your journey off to Pondicherry, a beautiful city with a colonial influence. It was formed out of four exclaves of former French India, namely Pondichery, Karikal, Mahe and Yanam. Puducherry is one of the most popular tourist spots for national and international tourists.
Puducherry was acquired by the French in 1674 and has colonial buildings, churches, temples, and statues. The systematic well planned French style avenues, preserves and gives a look of the colonial ambiance. Puducherry has a number of well preserved heritage buildings and monuments. Promenade Beach, Paradise Beach, Auroville Beach and Serenity Beach are the well known beaches of Puducherry.The city is divided into the French Quarters "Ville Blanche" and the Indian quarter "Ville Noire".
Sri Aurobindo Ashram, the globally popular spiritual ashram is located here. Devotees and seekers from India and all over the world flock here for spiritual salvation. Its spiritual tenets represent a synthesis of yoga and modern science. The Ashram was founded in 1926 by Sri Aurobindo Ghose, an Indian freedom fighter, poet, philosopher, and yogi.
Auroville (City of Dawn) is an experimental township which was founded in 1968 by Mirra Alfassa, the spiritual collaborator of Sri Aurobindo. Auroville is meant to be a universal town where men and women of all countries are able to live in peace and progressive harmony, above all creeds, all politics and all nationalities. The purpose of Auroville is to realize human unity.
Sri Manakula Vinayagar Temple is a Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Ganesha and is a popular pilgrimage site and tourist destination in Puducherry. The temple is of considerable antiquity and predates French occupation of the territory.
Overnight in Puducherry.
This day, you will be taken to Mahabalipuram, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The group of monuments here is a collection of 7th- and 8th-century CE religious monuments. The site has 400 ancient monuments and Hindu temples, including one of the largest open-air rock reliefs in the world: the Descent of the Ganges or Arjuna's Penance. The group contains several categories of monuments - ratha temples with monolithic processional chariots, mandapa viharas (cave temples) with narratives from the Mahabharata and Shaivic, Shakti and Vaishna inscriptions in a number of Indian languages and scripts, rock reliefs (particularly bas-reliefs), stone-cut temples, and archaeological excavations dated to the 6th century and earlier.
The monuments were built during the Pallava dynasty. Known as the Seven Pagodas in many colonial-era publications, the site is restored after 1960 and has been managed by the Archaeological Survey of India.
This afternoon is at leisure. Spend overnight in Mahabalipuram.
The morning tour of Mahabalipuram is all about historic, cultural as well as adventurous exploration. The monuments, cave temples and mandapams are all a fusion of religion, culture and legend relating to the Hindu religious pantheon. They are expressions through rock or inside boulders, on a grand scale, integrating nature and sculpture. The site has about forty monuments, in varying degrees of completion, categorized into five groups – Rathas (chariot-shaped temples), Mandapas (cave temples), Rock reliefs, Structural temples and Excavations.
There are ten major rathas, ten mandapas, two rock bas-reliefs and three structural temples. The monumental plan is based on a square and circle, or stacked squares (producing a rectangle). The reliefs, sculptures and architecture incorporate Shaivism, Vaishnavism and Shaktism, with each monument dedicated to a deity or a character in Hindu mythology. The monuments are a source of many 7th- and 8th-century Sanskrit inscriptions, providing insight into medieval South Indian history, culture, government and religion.
The afternoon is at leisure. Spend overnight at hotel in Mahabalipuram.
You will be driven to Chennai this day and on the way, you will visit Mamallapuram and Kanchipuram. Mamallapuram was one of two major port cities by the 7th century within the Pallava kingdom. Along with economic prosperity, it became a center of a group of battle monuments carved out of rock.
Kanchipuram was the ancient capital of the Pallavas and had 1000 temples. Historically, Kanchipuram was a centre of education and was known as the ghatikasthanam, or "place of learning".The city was also a religious centre of advanced education for Jainism and Buddhism between the 1stand 5thcenturies.
The sightseeing of Kanchipuram includes some of the popular temples like Siva temple from the 7th century, Ekambareswara temple, Sri Kailasanathar Temple from the 8th century, the Sri VardarajaPerumal Temple, the Sri Kamakshiamman Temple, etc. Kanchipuram is a shopper’s paradise for its world famous Kanchipuram silk and sarees.
Chennai is the capital of Tamil Nadu and is the largest industrial and commercial center of South India and also an important center for Carnatic music. The city is also famous for the Tamil movies and known as Kollywood. Chennai came into prominence because of the British who defended the town against several attacks from the French and converted it to a major naval port.
You will be dropped to Chennai airport to board your flight.