16 Days |
IOYO - 57
Explore the cultural heritage of South India with the help of 16-day South India Cultural Tour Packagesonly.
Out of all the places in India, southern India is basically known for its cultural heritage and expansive nature. From mountains dotting the horizon, beautiful beaches to wonderful culinary experience, our 16-day South India Cultural Tourwill help you experience the best of South India.
Starting our trip from Chennai, which was earlier known as Madras, we will help you explore the various cities of Alleppey, Cochin, Madurai, Kodaikanal, and much more. We will help you tour the various culturally diverse cities in South India and will help you find the best experience for your holiday with us.
With our package, we will not only help you explore the cultural heritage of India, but will also walk you through the colorful history of South India.
We will take you to various cities, and help you witness the beauty of India.
During your tour with us, we will also take you to Pondicherry, which used to be a French colony and still remains to be one of the most beautifully constructed cities in India.
When you land in Chennai, one of our representatives will come and pick you up. We start our day from Chennai and take you to Mahabalipuram or Mamallapattana. The city of Mahabalipuram has been declared as UNESCO world heritage site and holds historical significance. The city is also referred to as "Seven Pagodas," out of which only one, Shore Temple, survives today. Furthermore, the city used to be a busy port for the Pallavas,and most of the monuments here represent depictions from the Mahabharata and Ramayana.
In ancient texts, the city is referred to as Sea Mountain and was known as one of the busiest ports in the country, from where people used to travel for trade.
Next day, we begin the day by exploring the city of Mahabalipuram. The city has held great importance as a busy port in the past and is famous for its cave temples as well as the mandapams, which are also carved out of rocks. These ancient temples and mandapams depict scenes from Indian legends, mythological stories and from epic poems written during the time. Most temples in the city were built by Narasimhavarman and Rajasimhavarman. Furthermore, it is said that the city was basically developed by Narasimhavarman.
The biggest attraction of the city is the Bas-Relief, which depicts Arjuna’s Penance. The entire structure, including the chariots, are carved out of rocks. Furthermore, the beautiful twin structure of the Shore Temple is worth visiting as well. The shore temple is known for its beautiful structures,and various types of Bas-relief, out which is one is 100 ft long and 45 ft. high and is carved out of granite.
After we help you tour the city, we will travel to Pondicherry, the beautiful former French Colony.
The beautiful city of Puducherry is often referred to as Pondicherry or Pondy by the locals. The city is famous for its French Colonies and a beautifully laid structure of the city. The beautiful preserves, avenues and much more simply add to the city’s beauty. The city was acquired by the French back in 1674, the remnants of the French can still be found in the city. Furthermore, the city is famous for historic buildings, beautiful churches and various sculptures which can only be found in the city of Pondicherry only. Furthermore, the city has various beaches, where you could relax and enjoy your holiday. Some of the beaches include Auroville Beach, Serenity Beach, Paradise Beach, etc. Our morning in the city will begin by exploring the origins of one of the most knowledgeable saints in Indian history, Saint Agasthya.
Next, we will travel through the city and enjoy the beautiful cityscape. Some of the streets here in Pondy still have their French names. Furthermore, the city is divided into "Ville Blanche" and the Indian quarter "Ville Noire." In the French Quarters, it is easy to find beautiful French-styled villas and bungalows. The Sri Aurobindo Ashram is quite famous. Other than this, the area of Auroville is famous for its ambiance where people of many nationalities live together in harmony. The city also houses many temples out of which, The Lord Ganesha Sri ManakulaVinayagar Temple is the most visited one. Afternoon here is at leisure.
Next morning we will travel from Pondicherry to Thanjavur or Tanjore. Tanjore is one of the most historic cities in the Southern India area and has served as the capital for the Chola Dynasty. The city is famous for its iconic paintings and is known to be the birthplace of Indian Classical dance, Bharatanatyam. Furthermore, the city is also famous for its beautiful temples, of all the most beautiful one is Brihadeeswara Shiva Temple, which was built by King Raja RajaChola in the 11th century AD and has been declared as one of UNESCO's World Heritage Sites. At the top of the temple is the monolithic cupola, which has been carved out of a single granite block and is said to weigh over 80 tons. It is said that the monolithic cupola was taken to the top with the help of a ramp by making use of the technique that the Egyptians had used for building their pyramids.
The walls of the temple are covered with the beautiful depictions of Chola and Nayak Dynasties. Furthermore, the city is also famous for its Thanjavur Maratha Palace, which was constructed by the rules of the city, theSaraswatiMahal Library that houses more than 30,000 manuscripts which are written on palm leaves and for the RajaRajaChola art gallery, which is famous for its bronze idols.
The next morning we will drive from Thanjavur to Chettinad. Chettinad is famous for the vast number of villages in the region. Furthermore, with us, you will have the time to visit the various areas of the region,and we help you find the perfect culinary experience as well. We will help you to experience the beauty of the city at best. Another amazing part of the region is that the villages here have an iconic design and Chettinad mansions have this iconic courtyard. Furthermore, the rooms in these spacious mansions are built with teak and marble. Furthermore, the furnishings in the villages were imported from East Asian countries and Europe; and, taken from Burm, Marble was from Italy, crystals from Europe and mirrors from Belgium. Furthermore, the wood and stonework that is used here was inspired by the great European countries.
Other than this, you can also visit Karpaga Vinayakar, Kundrakudi Murugan, Kandanur Sivan and many other types of temples. We will stay here for the night.
Next day, we will drive from Chettinad to Madurai. Madurai is one of the oldest living cities in the country. Furthermore, the city is most famous for temples and vast cultural diversity. Holiest of all holy cities in the country, Madurai’s history dates back to the 3rd century B.C. The name of the city comes from the word, “Madura” which stands for sweetness. The city is famous for various festivals, the most popular being the 10 days Chittirai festival.
You could also visit the Gandhi Memorial Museum, which originally used to be Rani Mangamma's palace. The museum houses the blood-drenched cloth that Mahatma Gandhi that the Father of the nation was wearing when he was assassinated by Nathuram Godse. You could also visit the Meenakshi Temple in the city, which has been nominated for "New Seven Wonders of the World."
Madurai has been known as one of the oldest living cities in the country with its history dating back to the 3rd century BC. The city has a host of temples for you to visit, the most popular being the Meenakshi Temple. Apart from the Meenakshi Temple, you could also visit TirumalaNayak Palace, Alagar Hills and ThiruparanKundram Rock temples in the vicinity of the city. The Meenakshi Temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and his wife Meenakshi and is known as one of the largest complexes in the world. With many intricately designed pillars and halls, the iconic structure is a must visit for you. Witness the musical pillars of the temple and visit the iconic arches and architecture of the ThirumalaiNayak Palace, which was by the king ThirumalaiNayak in 1636.
Next, we will drive to Kodaikanal.
Your day here is free, and you are free to visit any place in Kodaikanal. The city is mostly referred to as "The Gift of the Forest" is known as "Princess of Hill stations." The city is located on the Palani Hills of Western Ghats and is famous for its largest and beautiful Kodaikanal Lake, which is 5 kilometers in circumference. The beauty of this manmade lake can be best enjoyed with the help of boat rides or by hiring bicycles. The city’s abundant natural beauty has been captivating everyone; you could visit the beautiful grasslands, the wonderful gardens and much more. You could find Pear, cypress, eucalyptus and acacia trees, among the waterfalls and streams in the city.
Apart from that, churches of South India, MariammanKovil, Durgai Amman Kovil, Union Church, etc. are worth visiting. Bryant Park in the city is also another place for you to visit. This botanical garden has a variety of flora and fauna, especially roses, that will help you enjoy your time here.
Shembaganur Museum of Natural History is another place that should be one your to-do list. This place has a wide taxidermy of over 500 different species of animals and livesan exotic collection of orchid species. Other points of interest in the city are Green Valley View, which offers a beautiful view of the plains, the Dolphin Nose, which is a 2000 meter chasm, Silver Cascade, which is a cascading waterfall over the Kodaikanal Lake, Pillar rocks, which are a collection of three giant rock pillars that stand 122 meters high and the Bear Shola Falls.
We will stay in the city for the night.
Next day we will drive to Munnar. You will be free to explore the city as per your choice. The name of the city means three rivers, which comes from the rivers Madhurapuzha, Nallathanni, andKundaly rivers, which is located on the Kannan Devan Hills, which used to be a resort popular with the British. Furthermore, the scenic beauty of the city comes from the vast tea plantations in the area. Apart from this, you could even go to visit the highest peak in Munnar, Anamudi. Furthermore, Munnar is surrounded by various different wildlife sanctuaries. Apart from this, you could even marvel at the beauty of the Neelakurinji flower, which blooms in every 12 years and is only found here.
The afternoon here is free for you to visit various places near Munnar. Atukkad Waterfalls is yet another place for you to visit, which is located amidst jungles and waterfalls. Chithirapuram is yet another place for you to visit to view tea plantations. Floriculture Centre is yet another place for you to visit, it has many species of plants and herbal plants, you could take a short elephant ride at Elephant Arrival Spot or visit the Top Station for a breath-taking view of the Western Ghats. Furthermore, the Tata Tea Museum is yet another place for you to visit.
Alappuzha or Alleppey is a treat for everyone. The city of Alleppey is known for its intricate canal system and beautiful backwaters. Rightfully known as the Venice of East, the city’s intricate water traveling system and houseboats are a sight to see. Drenched in greenery and beautiful waters, Alleppey offers a relaxing time. When here, you could even witness the Nehru Trophy Boat Race held on the Punnamada Lake, which is held on the second Saturday of August each year. The paddy fields in Kuttanad, where rice is cultivated below sea level has given Alleppey the name of Rice Bowl of Kerala.
The backwaters in the area are created because of the currents of the sea and the shore currents. Spending some time in a houseboat here could be the best way to enjoy the beauty of Alleppey. We will stay here for the night.
Formerly known as Cochin, the city of Kochi holds historical significance as it used to be an important trade route. Usually referred to as the Queen of the Arabian Sea, this area was known for its spice trades and a network of trading routes to different cities in the world. The city’s name comes from the word Kochazhi, which means small lagoon. Put on the map by Vasco da-Gama, Portuguese, Arabs and the British have left an enduring mark on the city.
The wonderful city of Kochi is loaded with many fun things to do. You could start your day here with a visit to the various churches, temples, and mosques in the city along with the Jewish synagogue. Furthermore, you could observe the Chinese way of fishing, which is quite popular in this area.
Afternoon in this city is free for you to visit wherever you want. Apart from the mainstream places, you can also visit Marine Drive, Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Kochi International Marina, Cherai Beach, Hill Palace, and many other attractions.
Next day we will drive from Kochi to Mararikulam. The day in Mararikulam is going to be free for relaxation. The village is known for its beaches and has a host of beaches for you to enjoy your trip here. Of all the beaches, the most important and popular beach here is Marari Beach or Mararikulam beach. This place is one of the most beautiful beach destinations in India and was rated among the hammock beaches by National Geographic survey. You could even try out some fun things in the beach village to turn your trip into a South India Adventure Tour.
Your 14th day with us in Mararikulam is free for you to spend as you like. You could either relax at the beautiful beaches here, or you could travel to the nearby places. Cherthala, which is only 12 kilometers away, has many religious spots and temples. The two most famous temples here are Karthyayani Devi temple and the Muttathu Thirumala Devaswam temple.
Karthyayani Devi temple is a large complex which has been dedicated to Lord Shiva, Lord Vishnu, andAyyappa and Kshethrapalakan. There are many roosters on the premises, which are offerings from the devotees who come to visit. The Muttathu Thirumala Devaswom temple is famous for its sculptures and is dedicated to the deities, Saligrama and Sri Venkatachalapathy Moorthy with Bhoo Devi and Sree Devi.
SreeMutharammanKovil temple is dedicated to Goddess Mutharamma and Annapoorneswary. The annual festival in March at the Kandamangalam Sri Rajarajeshwari temple attracts many tourists and viewers.
You have yet another day in the beach village, Mararikulam. Today you could go sightseeing or spend your time relaxing at a beach of your choice. Today you could visit the Saint Augustine Church, which is one of the oldest Latin churches in the city and is located in Aroor. While in Aroor, you could also visit the Karthyayani Temple and the Vattakkeril Temple.
Apart from this, you could also visit St. Andrues Basilica church in Arthunkal, and Devi Temple and the Christian church at Thycattusserry. You could also take a short trip to Kandamangalam Rajarajeshwari Temple in Kadakkarappally or the Kandakarana temple and VyatharaTrimurthi in Andhakaranazhy temple, which are dedicated to Shiva, Vishnu and Brahma temple.
Next day, we end our 16-day South India Cultural Tour Packages by driving back to Kochi, from where you will catch your flights for your onward or return journey. We hope you enjoyed your trip with one of the most tourist friendly travel companies, Services International private limited. We wish to see again to explore some other parts of India.