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Southern Explorer

Kochi, Kumarakom, Alappuzha, Thekkady, Madurai, Puducherry and Chennai

Southern Explorer

$3000 per person
13 Days / 12 Nights
12+ Age

A fascinating journey through India’s tropical south, do experience the diversity in scenery, architecture, culture and most importantly the people. Visit the two southern states of India – Kerala and Tamil Nadu both with unique cultures and different landscape.





The Malabar House Kochi 1 night HB
The Malabar House Kochi 1 night B&B
Philipkutty’s Farm Kumarakom 2 nights B&B
Alleppey Deluxe Houseboat Alappuzha 1 night FB
Aanavilasam Luxury Plantation House Thekkady 1 night HB
Aanavilasam Luxury Plantation House Thekkady 1 night B&B
Heritage Madurai Madurai 1 night HB
Heritage Madurai Madurai 1 night B&B
Villa Shanti Puducherry 1 night B&B
Villa Shanti Puducherry 1 night HB
Taj Fisherman’s Cove Resort & Spa Chennai 1 night HB



HB:Half Board – Dinner, Bed and Breakfast

B&B:Bed and Breakfast

FB:Full Board – Dinner, Bed, Breakfast and Lunch

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Tour Plan

Upon arrival in Cochin, you will be greeted and escorted by our representative to your hotel. On arrival, transfer to the hotel (rooms will be available from 1400 hrs) Cochin, as it is called now, is till date influenced by medieval Portugal, Holland and England. The city displays a blend of different people and architecture and it is one place where you can see a Jewish synagogue, Portuguese churches, Dutch architecture, Mosques, Hindu temples and Chinese fishing nets all in one day. Rest and relax at the hotel. The guests will buy fish from the local market and after discussion with the local chef the chef will prepare the Fish for them followed by the welcome dinner at  hotel.  Overnight stay at hotel.
After breakfast enjoy the city tour, which includes the visit to the following: Jewish Synagogue: The synagogue, built in 1568, is magnificently decorated by Chinese tiles and Belgian chandeliers. Giant scrolls of the Old Testament can be found here. It is located near the Dutch Palace in Mattancherry. Dutch Palace: The Dutch Palace was originally built by the Portuguese. Later, in 17th century, the Dutch modified it and presented it to the Raja of Kochi. Coronation of many Rajas of Kochi was held here. The palace has a fine collection of mural paintings depicting scenes from the Hindu epics Mahabharatha and Ramayana. The palace is located in Mattancherry. (closed on Fridays) Enjoy tuk -tuk ride: Tuk tuk ride shall be from Mattencherry to Fort Kochi. St. Francis Church: It is the oldest church built by Europeans in India. On his 3rd visit to Kerala, Vasco da Gama, the Portuguese trader who reached India from Europe by sea, fell ill and died in Kochi. He was buried in the St. Francis Church. Later his remains were taken back to Portugal. In spite of that, his burial spot inside the church has been clearly marked out. (closed on Fridays and Saturdays) Chinese Fishing Nets: The Chinese fishing nets (Cheenavala) are distinctly unique to Cochin. It is believed that traders from the court of the Chinese ruler Kublai Khan introduced these nets here. Oddly, these nets are found only in Kochi, outside China! Many fishermen earn their livelihood by fishing using these massive nets. A whole stretch of the coast along Fort Kochi and Vypeen are dotted with these nets. Overnight stay at hotel.
Breakfast is at hotel. Morning is at leisure. Later, drive to Kumarakom. Arrive and check-in at the hotel. Rest of the day free to enjoy the views of the famous Vembanad Lake, with its majestic canals and streams. Enjoy sunset cruise by country boat for all their inhouse guests offered at Philipkutty. Cooking class experience followed by Dinner: Philipkutty farm is famous for their Syrian meals specially the host. She always offer the cooking experience to the guests and for our guests they will offer the exclusive cooking experience. The food is definitely one of the highlights at Philipkuttys farm. The cuisine is mostly local and cooked by the host. Overnight stay in Kumarakom.
Breakfast at hotel. Morning Yoga session at the Philikutty farm. Day is at lesiure for enjoying the serenity of farm. Optional:  Select any one AM Excursion to Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary: Visit the nearby bird sanctuary where many species of birds, including darts, curlews, kites, Brahminy Marsh Harries, Teals and several varieties of herons perch. An empty place for bird lovers. Sustainable village experience: The village of Kumarakam is a cluster of little islands on the Vembanad Lake, and this small water world is part of the Kuttanad region. It included the glimpse of local village life and hands on experince on their daily activities. *Note - Private boat will be provided for excursion to Kumarakom town to explore the above optionals. PM Enjoy Ayurveda / Spa treatments to Ayurveda centre nearby:- Ayurveda, pronounced "eye-yer-vay-duh" is the art of healthy living that allows you to create harmony in everyday life by applying self-knowledge and self-care. The word comes from Sanskrit and literally means "Science of Life'  Inherent in Ayurvedic principles is the concept that you are able to take charge of your own life and healing. Overnight stay in Kumarakom.
Breakfast is at hotel. Later drive towards alleppey. Upon arrival board the houseboat and enjoy the fish curry lunch on board while crusing through the backwaters. Dinner and overnight stay on Houseboat.
After breakfast, drive to Periyar. Periyar National Park is situated in the hills of the Western Ghats. The centre piece of Periyar National park is the 5,500-hectare Periyar lake formed by the construction of a dam on the Periyar river in 1895.The dam submerged low-lying forest whose dead tree trunks still jut out of the waters. Along the fringes of the lake are marshy areas with tall grasslands. This is one of the richest habitats of large mammals, as it provides both excellent cover and nourishment in the form of succulent shoots and grasses. Here it is possible to see large herds of Indian Elephant with relative ease as well as Nilgiri Langur near Aranya Niwas and the Lion tail Macaque in higher areas. On arrival in Periyar, transfer to hotel. Enjoy a visit of a spice plantation farm followed by Lunch where you will feel attracted not only by the aroma of spices such as cinnamon, cardamom, pepper and nutmeg, but also get to know how to grow, harvest and processed before reaching supermarkets. Dinner at hotel. Overnight stay at hotel.
Breakfast at the hotel Day free at leisure . Visit the workshop of Kalaripayatu (An Indian form of martial art) -Kalaripayattu the martial art form of Kerala is regarded as the oldest and most scientific of its kind in the world. Training in combat is given at the Kalari (training school). The principles of Kalari education stipulate that training in martial art begins with an oil massage of the body which goes on until the body is agile and supple. Optional Experiences: Select any one AM   Nature walk in Periyar National Park - Just a gentle walk about its 35 acres is an education in botany.Bird watching and fishing enthusiasts will find new experiences to take home. You can get the assistance Naturalists in explaining about the flora and fauna of the region. Bamboo rafting: A dawn to afternoon range hiking and rafting programme through some of the richest forest tracts of Periyar Tiger Reserve., a mosaic of habitats will be traversed before the party gets into rafts made of bamboos. By rafting you will get a panoramic view of forest-clad hills. Animals like elephant, gaur and sambar are sighted keeping close to the edges of the lake. PM Boat ride in Lake Periyar witnessing the wilderness of Periyar National Park. On a fine day one can see variety of beautiful birds and animals like tigers, elephants, wild boar, deer variety of bird species. Overnight stay at hotel.
Breakfast is at hotel. Morning proceed towards Madurai - Legend says that once Lord Shiva appeared in the dream of King Kulasekhara Pandya. The King was amazed to see drops of nectar or madhu falling down on the Earth from Lord Shiva's matted hair. The "madhu" was so sweet that the place where it fell came to be known as Madhurapuri, which in course of time became "Madurai." Madurai is also called the Athens of the East. It is a place of great historical and cultural importance. It is the oldest city in Tamil Nadu and lies on the banks of the River Vaigai.  On arrival in Madurai, transfer to hotel and check in. In the evening, visit the Meenakshi Temple to attend the evening ceremony known as 'Bedtime of the God'. A colourful procession, in which the image of Shiva is carried accompanied by musicians, temple singers and priests from his shrine. Enroute Shiva visits the other deities before entering Parvati's (Meenakshi) temple to sleep with her for the night. This ceremony is worth witnessing. Dinner at hotel. Overnight stay at hotel.
After breakfast, enjoy the city tour of Madurai, which includes the visit to the following: Meenakshi Temple: This temple is nearly 2000 years old placed in the heart of the old town - a splendid example of Dravidian architecture. The present temple was designed in 1560 by Vishwanatha Nayak and subsequently built during the reign of Tirumalai Nayak. There are four entrances to the temple with an area of six hectares. Each of its 12 towers has the height of 45 to 50 meters. The Potrama Raikulam or the Golden Lotus Tank is the place where the Tamil literacy society, called Sangam used to meet to decide the merits of the work presented to them. The temple museum has 985 richly carved pillars and each one surpasses the other in beauty. IMP: Meenakshi Temple remains closed from 1200 hrs till 1530 hrs. Enjoy paddle rickshaw ride in Madurai. Optional experience: PM Tirumalai Nayak Mahal: This Indo-Saracenic building was constructed in 1523 and was originally four times large are today. Sound and light show on the life of the Tirumalai Nayak and the story of the Silapathikaram are conduced daily. Gandhi Museum - The building that houses the Gandhi Memorial Museum, Madurai is the historic Tamukkam Palace belonging to Rani Mangammal of Nayak Dynasty built about 1670 A.D Walking tour of the old city: Starting at the nayakar mahal, the trail leads you through the streets of the old city filled with shops selling spices, herbs, traditional medicine and brass antiques. Reaching the elephant road we turn our eyes skyward to behold the massive pillars that served as elephant tether posts. The narrow road is noisy and filled with activity, the people barely realizing that their work alongside history. Overnight stay at hotel.
Today drive towards Pondicherry. En-route visit Darasuram - This temple is a storehouse of art and architecture. The vimana is 85 feet high. The front mandapam itself is in the form of a huge chariot drawn by horses. The temple has some exquisite stone carvings. The main deity's consort Periya Nayaki Amman temple is situated adjacent to Airavateshwarar temple. The Great Living Chola Temples. (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) at Thanjavur, Gangaikonda Cholapuram and Darasuram were built by the Cholas between the 10th and 12th centuries CE and have a lot of similarities. Enroute Banana leaf lunch at local restaurant GangaiKonda Cholpuram -  Gangaikonda Cholapuram was built during medieval India and was erected as the capital of the Cholas by Rajendra Chola I, the son and successor of Rajaraja Chola, the great Chola who conquered a large area in South India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Sumatra, Kadaram (Kedah in Malaysia), Cambodia and others at the beginning of the 11th century A.D. It occupies an important place in the history of India. As the capital of the Cholas from about 1025 A.D. for about 250 years, the city controlled the affairs of entire southern India, from the Tungabhadra in the north to Ceylon in the south and other south east Asian countries. As of 2014, the ancient city exists as a small forlorn village in the Ariyalur district of Tamil Nadu, India. The great temple of Brihadeeswarar Temple at this place is next only to the Brihadisvara temple at Thanjavur in its monumental nature and surpasses it in sculptural quality. Arrive Pondicherry and check-in at hotel. Overnight stay at hotel.
After breakfast enjoy the city tour which includes the visit to the following: Sri Aurobindo Aashram -  The foundation of Sri Aurobindo Ashram in Pondicherry is credited to Sri Aurobindo way back in November 1926. Initially the Ashram comprised of only 24 disciples. The Sri Aurobindo Ashram in Pondicherry has come a long way from its initial days of inception. It now features among the major places of tourist interest in Pondicherry. Auroville -  Located about 10 Kms north of Pondicherry, Auroville is described as "the City of Tomorrow". Auroville was envisioned as a Universal Town, where people from different nationalities, faiths and beliefs could live in peace and harmony in Auroville attractions. Walking tour to French quarters:- Pondicherry is so much more than just a pretty town by the sea. Discover this little piece of France left behind in India. Seeped in culture and heritage, every building, every corner tells a story. Enjoy dinner at hotel. Overnight stay at hotel.
Breakfast is at hotel. Morning is at leisure Later transfer to Chennai. On arrival check in  at hotel. Farewell Dinner at hotel. Overnight stay at hotel
Breakfast is at hotel. In time you will be transferred to airport to board flight for your onward destination.

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