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SIC Classical South India

Mahabalipuram, Puducherry, Thanjavur, Madurai, Thekkady, Kumarakom and Kochi

SIC Classical South India

$5000 per person
11 Days / 10 Nights
12+ Age

Uncover the diversity with this fabulous journey around South India. Explore the myths and legends of the sacred temples coupled with the laid back tropical highlights of the region. This fascinating journey cover world heritage town of Mamallapuram. Then on the Journey continues to south India famous temple & best historical sights. After game in the national park of periyar, the best backwater destination-Kumarakom and the tour ends with drive to old city of Cochin.

ACCOMMODATION
DESTINATION
DURATION
BASIS
Ideal Beach Resort Mahabalipuram 2 nights B&B
Hotel Atithi Pondicherry Puducherry 1 night B&B
Hotel Sangam Tanjore Thanjavur 1 night B&B
Heritage Madurai Madurai 2 nights B&B
The Elephant Court Thekkady 1 night B&B
Aveda Resorts and Spa Kumarakom 2 nights B&B
Trident Hotel Cochin Kochi 1 night B&B

Plan

B&B:Bed and Breakfast

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  • Departure/Return Location
    DELHI
  • Included
    Accommodation
    Guide
    Meals
    Transport
  • Not Included
    Flights

Tour Plan

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DAY 1 : MAHABALIPURAM
Welcome to Chennai! On arrival at Chennai International Airport you will be met and assisted by our company executive and transferred to Mamallapuram with its picturesque location on a rocky outcrop between the beach and a lagoon. Mamallapuram is referred to as an ‘open-air museum’. The name Mamallapuram is believed to have been given after the Pallava King Narasimhavarman I, who took on the epithet Maha-malla (great wrestler), as the favourite sport of the Pallavas was wrestling. It has various historic monuments built largely between the 7th and the 9th centuries, and has been classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Overnight in Mahabalipuram
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DAY 2 : MAHABALIPURAM
After breakfast at the hotel enjoy relaxing mornings by the beach at leisure. The spectacular Mahabalipuram beach is shored by the Bay of Bengal with the dreamy rock cut sculptures astonishing to the eyes. The ancient port city of the Pandavas full of activities on the seaside, it still breathes with the Pallava art forms. Overnight in Mahabalipuram Optional Tour Half Day Mamallapuram City Tour:  Visit Arjuna's Penance. Nothing can prepare you for the wonderful bas-reliefs covering two huge boulders. The exquisite detail, dating from the 7th century, depicts the flow of the Ganges down from the Himalayan mountains as well as scenes from Indian daily life. You won't believe that the Five Rathas shrines are carved whole from an outcrop of rock. Each of the five temples is dedicated to heroes from the great epic of the Mahabharata. Spend time admiring the detail of the carvings which include gods, humans and elephants and wonder why the temples are incomplete and were never consecrated. Authentic Lunch at a local restaurant:  South Indian cuisine served in Thalai vazhai ilai which means the top part of a banana leaf. In a clean banana leaf, first in the top a thayir pachadi (curd + vegetable), a varuval (deep fried vegetable), a kootu, a poriyal (vegetables) are offered.
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DAY 3 : PUDUCHERRY
After breakfast depart for Pondicherry attractively set on the Bay of Bengal with delightful unspoiled beaches. This surprising town is a throwback to colonial times when it was a French enclave, but is now richly blended with Tamil culture. Those used to British colonial architecture will enjoy the Gallic imprint with the profusion of Catholic churches and distinctly French buildings and excellent French restaurants. En-route visit Auroville, the French village inspired by the Mother as a place where people can come together, regardless of nationality, belief or colour, to live a meaningful life. Experimental buildings combining Western and Indian elements are located along the narrow rural road shaded by lush greenery. This utopia supports itself through agriculture, handicrafts and alternative technology. Well known for the Shri Aurobindo Ashram that was set up by one of his disciples, a Parisian known as The Mother, in his memory and is one of the most active ashrams in India. Upon arrival check-in to hotel. Rest of the day is at leisure. Overnight in Pondicherry
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DAY 4 : THANJAVUR
Drive to Tanjore a bustling market town in one of the main rice-growing regions of Tamil Nadu, Tanjore was once the capital of the Chola Empire and, although many buildings from that period no longer survive, the town is still full of lovely temples. Upon arrival check-in to the hotel. Rest of the day leisure. Overnight in Tanjore Optional : Visit to Darasuram Temple : En-route you may stop at Dharasuram Temple built in memory of the White elephant; Airavath from the god’s family, the temple’s original name was “Airavatheshwar.”
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DAY 5 : MADURAI
Today after breakfast explore Tanjore; visit Brihadeshvara Temple. This magnificent temple, over 1000 years old and now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, evokes the power of the Chola kings as it towers over the town. Study the detailed inscriptions which depict temple life and the dancers, musicians, potters, goldsmiths and astrologers who lived there. With a history of traditional bronze casting here you will have the opportunity to view the masters at work using the lost-wax method. This method, used to create sacred temple bronzes during the Chola period, is still practiced today and is being passed down through the generations to ensure that bronze casting continues to thrive. Afternoon, continue on to Madurai, a vast, pulsating city, one of the oldest cities in South India, dating back 2500 years, sprawls along the banks of the River Vaigai. Wander through the fun, packed streets which are full of pilgrims, wandering cows, open-air kitchens and colourful bazaars. Arrive in the evening and check in to the hotel. Overnight in Madurai
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DAY 6 : MADURAI
After breakfast enjoy your day at leisure or you may take optional cycle rickshaw ride as below. Overnight in Madurai Optional Tour Cycle rickshaw tour of the city:  The Bi-Cycle Rickshaw tour of Madurai offers you a memorable experience. It takes you through the interesting narrow streets & lanes of Madurai showing the typical life of locals. The rickshaw pullers of Madurai became unpopular with the locals, as the locals preferred the more modern mode of transport. The Cycle Rickshaw, the most eco friendly form of transport was fast being phased out and the hundred and twenty rickshaw pullers of Madurai were being deprived of their livelihood as they were unable to buy modern forms of transport like the auto rickshaw/taxi etc. To give these pullers another lease of life we have designed this tour as part of our commitment to promote responsible tourism. By taking this tour you are supporting the rickshaw pullers and at the same time encouraging locals to use rickshaws. By Cycle Rickshaw we visit the Flower, Fruit & Spice Market, stop to admire the Thirumalai Nayak Palace, visit the Gandhi Museum, and small scale industries like vessel and cloth making.
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DAY 7 : THEKKADY
After breakfast, drive to Peiryar, also known as Thekkady, a breathtakingly beautiful sanctuary located nearly 1800 m above sea level in the dense semi and evergreen deciduous forests of Idukki district. Thekkady is a landlocked home for its myriad fauna and flora as well as for the Mannans, Palians and Ooralie tribes who still continue their ancient methods of herding and bee keeping. Afternoon check-in to the hotel. Later enjoy a guided Spice Plantation tour in the area. Renowned for their spice plantations, the Cardamom Hills are the ideal location to explore a garden where spices and other aromatic plants are grown. Learn about their use in the preparation of local cuisine and their medicinal properties. You may also enjoy an optional short ride on an elephant (supplement cost applicable) to get the best view of the stunning scenery. Overnight in Thekkady
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DAY 8 : KUMARAKOM
Early this morning before breakfast enjoy our optional rive safari on Lake Periyar. After breakfast at the hotel depart for Kumarakom a cluster of tiny islands almost impossibly beautiful, surrounded by a labyrinth of tropical waterways. Kumarakom is the jumping off point to join a boat to explore the Kerala backwaters. Overnight in Kumarakom Optional Tour: Take a river safari on Lake Periyar: Rise early for the best chance to spot elephant, deer, wild boar, mongoose and colourful birds on a dawn walk. Your experienced guide will know the best places for game viewing and, if you are extremely lucky, you may even come across elusive leopard and tiger.
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DAY 9 : KUMARAKOM
After breakfast spend your time at leisure at this tranquil resort. Kumarakom is a small town located on the backwater lagoons in the southern state of Kerala. It is famous for it is natural beauty. You may choose to go on fishing, experience a houseboat stay, take an Ayurvedic massage or watch a sunset over Vembanad lake. Overnight in Kumarakom
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DAY 10 : KOCHI
After breakfast, drive to Cochin where European influences are instantly apparent in this charming town picturesquely located on several islands squeezed between the Arabian Sea and the Kerala backwaters. The maritime history of Cochin is reflected in its blend of Dutch, Portuguese and British architecture. Upon arrival spend your day at leisure or join our optional tours. Overnight in Kochi Optional Tour: Half a day Cochin City tour:  Afternoon meander through the old districts of Mattancherry and Fort Cochin where the various European influences are most apparent with merchant houses and old warehouses cramming the waterfront and narrow streets. Take in the St Francis Church, the oldest European church in India, and the highly-decorated Santa Cruz Basilica. Allow time to admire the colourful murals, including depictions of the Ramayana, in the 16th century Dutch Palace. Linger in the colourful, pungent spice markets before moving on to the much-photographed Chinese nets that line the shore of Fort Cochin. Watch Kathakali dance show & dinner at a beautiful restaurant: The epic Ramayana comes to life at a Kathakali performance, traditional Keralan dance, where the characters use larger than life gestures, wear outrageous costumes and dramatic make up. It is another "story play" genre of art, but one distinguished by its elaborately colorful make-up and face masks wearing actor-dancers, who have traditionally been all males. After the dance is over, proceed to the restaurant at Hotel Fort house which is situated just opposite to the dance theatre. This waterfront restaurant offers a pleasant ambience, generated by the fresh sea breeze and the gentle sounds of water lapping against the pier. Seafood dishes - a hallmark of the Kerala Latin Christian cuisine - are among their specialties. Their dishes bear the flavour and diversity of home- cooked food and avoid the overuse of spices
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DAY 11 : END OF ITINERARY
Today you will be transferred to Cochin International Airport for your onward journey.
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