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South India Temple Tour
Duration : 19  Nights / 20 Days
Destinations Covered : 
Kochi - Kumarakom - Houseboat - Kovalam - Varkala - Trivandrum - Kovalm - Kanyakumari - Trivandrum

Day 01: Kochi
Arrival at Kochi Airport / Railway station, and transfer you to the hotel / resort. Check in to home stay / hotel. Evening visit to Marine Drive, enjoy the sunset and have stroll on the walk way. Over night back to the  hotel.

 

Day 02: Chennai – Mahabalipuram (58 kms. – 01½ hrs.)
After breakfast drive to Mahabalipuram. Reach & Check-in at the hotel and relax for a while amidst the comforts of your room. Mahabalipuram is globally renowned for the Shore Temples. The main tourist attraction of the town is the Varaha Cave, a small rock-cut mandapam (hall). Heinrich Zimmer, a leading expert on Mahabalipuram has described the famous Pallava doorkeepers' expression outside the cave as of "pious rapture”. Explore the rest of the day at your own leisure.
Overnight stay at the Hotel.

Day 03: Mahabalipuram

Enjoy the sumptuous breakfast. Later proceed for the sightseeing of Mahabalipuram. The major attractions are Arjuna's Penance which is carved in relief on the face of a huge rock. Arjuna's Penance is the mythical story of the river Ganges, issuing from its source, high in the Himalayas. The surface of the rock has detailed carvings showing the most endearing and natural renditions of animals. Mandapams (low rise, rock cut halls), Krishna Mandapam adorn massive rocks near the centre of the village. The beautiful Shore Temple towers over the waves, behind a protective breakwater. Sixteen man-made caves in different stages of completion are also seen. Shore Temples - These beautiful temples, ravaged by wind and sea, were given the World Heritage listing, a few years ago. The two spires of the temples contain a shrine for Lord Vishnu and for Lord Shiva.
Overnight stay at the Hotel.

Day 04: Mahabalipuram - Pondicherry (130 kms. – 03½ hrs.)

After breakfast drive to Pondicherry. Reach & check-in at the hotel and relax relax for a while amidst the comforts of your room. Later proceed to take a ramble. Pondicherry which offers a versatile choice ranging from historic buildings, museums, art galleries, meditation centers, scenic beauty to sun-kissed beaches. The trip to this magnificent destination is never complete without indulging in the culinary delights, indigenous to the region. The cuisines offer a unique blend of the culinary traditions of the Orient and the French. Overnight stay at the Hotel.

Day 05: Pondicherry

Enjoy the sumptuous breakfast. Later proceed for the sightseeing Aaayi Mandappam which is also known as the park Monument, an attractive monument of Pondicherry government park (Bharathi Park). Sri Aurobindo Ashram which exhudes a spiritual aura. Sacred Heart Church which is built by French Missionaries in the 1700’s in a contrasting Neo – Gothic style with its towers. Chunnambar Beach & Backwater the tropical paradise flanked by a quiet flowing creek on one side. Matri Mandir which is not a temple but a place for individual silent concentration. Overnight stay at the Hotel.

Day 06: Pondicherry – Tanjore (180 kms. – 04½ hrs.)

After breakfast drive  to Thanjavur/ Tanjore which is like Rome in Europe or Egypt in Africa. Reach & check-in at the hotel and relax for a while amidst the comforts of your room. The major attractions of Tanjore are Sri Brihadeswara Temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva with its architectural excellence. The Palace is a fascinating building with huge corridors, spacious halls, decorated rooms, having the amazing stucco work with wonderful fresco painted walls & ceilings, underground tunnel and intricate carvings. Art Gallery the place where you can find fabulous collection of bronze icons, stone sculpture and pieces of art. Saraswati Mahal Library is the most remarkable library in India. Royal Museum which displays rare antiques belonging to the Maratha Royal Family.
Overnight stay at the Hotel.

Day 07: Tanjore – Trichy (55 kms - 01½ hrs.)

After breakfast drive to Trichy. The major sight-seeing attractions of Trichy are Rock Fort Temple which crowns a gigantic piece of rock, soaring 83 meters upwards, from the encircling plains. Srirangam (Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple) is among the most venerated temples to Lord Vishnu in South India. Enclosed by seven rectangular walled courtyards, this 13th century temple has 21 gopurams. The Jambukeshwara Temple the temple at Tiruvanaikkaval is dedicated to Shiva, and has five concentric walls, and seven gopurams. The chief deity is the Shiva lingam, which remains almost submerged in water flowing from the subterranean spring. Overnight stay at the Hotel.

Day 08: Trichy - Madurai (130 kms. – 03½ hrs.)

After breakfast driveto Madurai which is called the `Athens of the East' because of the way myth meets life here. Reach & check-in at the hotel and relax for a while amidst the comforts of your room. Madurai is almost synonymous with the famed Meenakshi Temple the nucleus of the temple is older than the Madurai city. The Meenakshi temple complex at Madurai is not only an architectural marvel but also the epitome of Indian culture and civilization. Explore the rest of the day at your own.
Overnight stay at the Hotel.

Day 09: Madurai

Enjoy the sumptuous breakfast. Later proceed to see the other attractions of Madurai. Thirumalai Nayak Palace, the main Palace where the king lived. Vandiyur Mariamman the area of the tank, and the island pavilion with a garden in the center. Thirupparankunram, one of the six houses of Lord Subramanya, the second son of Lord Siva, is located here. Subramanya is said to have married Indra's daughter, Deivanai, on this hill. The rock-cut temple of Subramanya here is thronged with pilgrims on all days of special worship.Overnight stay at the Hotel.

Day 10: Madurai – Kanyakumari (250 kms. – 05½ hrs.)

After breakfast drive to Kanyakumari. Reach & check-in at the hotel and relax for a while amidst the comforts of your room. Kanyakumari an important pilgrim centre of India, is famous for the Amman Temples – a symbol of unity and sanctity – dedicated to the virgin Goddess, Kanyakumari. To its South – East lies the famous Vivekananda Rock Memorial, a blend of all architectural styles of India. Explore the rest of the day at your own leisure. Overnight stay at the Hotel.

Day 11: Kanyakumari

Enjoy the sumptuous breakfast. Later proceed for the sightseeing of Kanyakumari. Mahatma Gandhi Memorial resembling the central India Hindu temples in form, the memorial was so designed that on Mahatma Gandhi's birthday (02nd October), the first rays of the sun fall on the exact place where the ashes were kept. Thiruvalluvar Statue the memorial statue of Thiruvalluvar is in Kanyakumari. Explore the rest of the day at your own leisure. Overnight stay at the Hotel .

Day 12: Kanyakumari – Kovalam (84 kms. – 02 hrs.)

After breakfast drive to Kovalam beach. Kovalam is known as the "Paradise of the South". This dreamland is an evergreen, serene, pleasant climatic and enticing beach destination. Reach & check in at the hotel and relax for a while amidst the comforts of your room. Explore on your own to see how the everlasting sea touches the everlasting sky. Kovalam is the place where one can see the golden sand at the day time & silver sand in the night. With high rock promontory and a calm bay of blue waters, this beach paradise creates a unique aquarelle on moonlight nights. Overnight stay at the Hotel.

Day 13: Kovalam – Trivandrum – Kovalam

After breakfast drive to Trivandrum. Thiruvananthapuram literally means Ananthapuri, "the city of Ananthan", the Thiru (Great/Lord) Ananthan's Puram (City). Ananthan is the serpent Sesha on whom Padmanabhan or Vishnu reclines. The temple of Anantha, the Sri Padmanabhaswamy temple is the most religious icon of the city. Other sightseeing places are Kuthiramalika Palace Museum, the name Kuthiramalika means 'palace of horses' derived from the frieze of 122 wooden horses on the exterior walls. Veli Tourist Village, which has an excellent waterfront park with a wide range of aqua entertainment facilities like fishponds, wading pools and landscaped garden. Shangumugham Beach where one can watch the amazing sunset. Overnight stay at the Hotel.

Day 14: Kovalam – Kumarakom (176 kms. – 05 hrs.)

After breakfast drive to Kumarakom. Kumarakom is one of the few places in the world where the means for transportation is through boats. Kumarakom is blessed with the Vembanad Lake which has its majestic canals, streams and distributaries along its banks, weave an intricate and enchantingly beautiful web. The major attractions of Kumarakom is the Bird Sanctuary which lies at the edge of the grounds of an old estate where a profusion of all kinds of birds can be observed. Domestic birds such as cuckoo, wild duck, egrets, darters, herons, teal, and water fowl can be seen in abundance here, and the Siberian storks which migrate to this place each year. Overnight stay at the Hotel.

Day 15: Kumarakom – Mararikulam (40 kms. – 01 hr.)

After breakfast drive to Mararikulam the place which is not changed with the passage of time. A typical fishing village with beautiful swaying palm trees, coconut trees and the vast expanse of the sea in a tranquil environment. Mararikulam or Marari would give a completely new experience to a traveler as it offers an unblemished and pristine shoreline, extolled as Kerala’s cleanest sandy beach. Explore the rest of the day at your own leisure on the beach. Overnight stay at the Hotel.

Day 16: Mararikulam

Enjoy the sumptuous breakfast with the new sunrise in Mararikulam. Later explore the beaches by playing with the sun-kissed shimmering sands and take a leisurely walk. The beach is known for nature's bounteous beauty with stunning backwaters, the tranquility of the village and the spectacular sceneries, glistening sands and the everlasting blue water will fill your soul and mind with joy. Overnight stay at the Hotel.

Day 17: Mararikulam – Athirapally (150 kms - 04 hrs.)

After breakfast drive to Athirapally. Reach & check-in at the hotel and relax for a while amidst the comforts of your room. Later proceed to enjoy with the nature’s gifted waterfalls. Athirapally which is within the breathtaking embrace of the deep forests, a rich and diverse flora & fauna abounds. Athirapally Waterfalls are often referred to as the Niagara Falls of India. Behold the spectacular view of the crashing 80 ft waterfalls. Athirapally lying with the wilderness of the Sholayar Range with a breathtaking embrace of the deep forests, a rich and diverse flora & fauna abounds. Overnight stay at the Hotel/Resort.
Sightseeing of Thumpurmuzhi Gardens, Charpa Falls, Vazhachal Forest Gardens & Water Falls. The Vazhachal waterfalls are located very close to the Athirapally Falls and are a part of the Chalakudy river stream.
Optional activities: Enjoy a spot fishing in the river. Pay a visit to the tribal village, trek to the base of the waterfall. Find your way through the Jungle (subject to permission from the forest department)  Overnight stay at the Hotel.

Day 18 : Athirapally – Kochi (78 kms – 02½ hrs.)

After breakfast drive to Kochi. Reach & check-in at the hotel and relax for a while amidst the comforts of your room. Explore the rest of the day at your own leisure. Overnight stay at the Hotel

Day 19: Kochi

Enjoy the sumptuous breakfast. Later, move for a half day city sightseeing tour of Kochi. Kochi which is having the best preserved history of colonial times and the ideal way to bring it alive is to take a walk down memory lane. The major tourist attractions are Chinese Fishing Nets, St. Francis Church, Santa Cruz Basilica, Jewish Synagogue, and Mattancherry Palace/Dutch Palace.
Overnight stay at the Hotel
 

Day 20: Kochi
After Breakfast transfer  to airport / railway station.


     

       
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