Southern India Tour Itinerary
This is the India one dreams of, or finds in a Kipling novel; the beauty of South Indian temples seemingly lost amongst the pilgrims, dense jungles and the sleepy tropics of coastal Kerala. Why more do not go south is a good question, but those who are drawn see India in a provocative light.
Day 1 – Depart USA for South India
Day 2 – Transit Europe or Asia
Day 3 – Arrive at Chennai (formerly Madras). Afternoon sightseeing of Madras, the main city of South India with unique seaside architecture. While easier going then the other big cities of India, it is a bustling region of commerce.
Day 4 – Visit Kachipuram, one of India’s most famed pilgrimage sites and temple town. Drive to Mahabalipuram (2Hours). The temples and structures of this area are some of the oldest mentioned in Hindu mythology.
Day 5 – Sightseeing in Mahabalipuram covering Shore temple, Arjuna Penance etc.
Day 6 – Drive to Pondicherry (3 Hours/110 Km). Pondicherry is an old French Colony with Paris style design and a charming flavor. After noon visit the Raj Nivas, Sree Aurobindo Ashram (one of the world’s most famed Ashrams and meditation centers) and the local beach.
Day 7 – Drive to Tanjore via sightseeing of Darasuram, Gangaikondacholapuram, Kumbakonam for 2 Nights.
Day 8 – Sightseeing of the masterpiece Temple of Tanjore Sri Brahadeeswara . Visit Palace, Art Gallery, Saraswathy Mahal Library..
Day 9 – Drive to Trichy ( 2 Hours/55 Km) and check into hotel. Afternoon visit Rock Fort Temple & Sri Ramgam Temple. These are extremely lively markets and temple towns filled with shoppers and pilgrims
Day 10 – Drive to Madurai (3.5 Hours/130 Km) and check in to Hotel Royal Court for 2 Nights. Afternoon free. Evening: Witness the Temple ceremony. Madurai is the epitome of a temple town with markets, food pigrism and tourists from all over India in the fray.
Day 11 – Sightseeing of Madurai covering Meenakshi Temple, Temple Museum, Thirumalai Nayakar Mahal, Gandhi Musuem. Evening Light and sound show at Thirumalai Nayakar Palace.
Day 12 – Drive to Thekkady . On arrival check in to Hotel Shalimar Spice Garden for Overnight stay. Afternoon boat ride at Lake Periyar.
Day 13 – Early morning trekking for 3 hours in the Sanctuary. Back to hotel for breakfast. Afternoon drive to Kumarakom (4 Hours/140 Km) for one night stay.Day 14 – Noon check into House Boat stay for 1 night followed with all meals on board. The boat picks up the team and proceed to Alleppey and the narrow canals. Traditional Kerala meals both vegetarian and non-vegetarian will be served on the boat. After 18:00 the boat is parked in the water. There are stops in between to see the villages, churches, temples etc.
Day 15 – Check out from House Boat and drive to Cochin (1.5 Hours/65 Km) On arrival check in to Fort Heritage on the old part of Cochin and stay in Cochin for 2 Nights. Evening sunset cruise by private boat.
Day 16 – Full day relaxation and sightseeing. Visit Dutch Palace, Jewish Synagogue, St.Francis Church and Chinese Fishing nets. Evening Kathakali Dance show for 2 Hr from 17:45, followed with make up, discussion and the dance.
Day 17 – Drive to Varkala: Known in Malayam (local language) as Papa Nashini (Sin Destroyer). Varkala’s beautiful white-sand beach, Papanasam Beach, has long been associated with ancestor worship. Devotees come here after praying at the Janardhan Swamy temple (said to be more then 2000 years-old) to bring ashes of departed relatives for a final rest. Unlike many temples in Kerala, non-Hindus are welcome. A small government hospital at its north end, was set up to benefit from three natural springs, and take advantage of the sea air, said to boost the health of asthma sufferers.
Day 18 – After breakfast depart on three hour drive to Somatheeram. After breakfast a three hour drive takes you to the Somatheeram Beach resort, which is 21km from Trivandrum. Somatheeram- The Tropical Garden of Eden spreads in an area of 15 acres, sloping down to the sandy beach stretching to the tranquil, turquoise sea changing colour and mood momentarily as the white clouds sail pass over it. Somatheeram is also perfect hideaway, far from mass tourism. Its accommodations are widely scattered down the contoured hills amongst the verdant coconut groves and other naturally preserved plants. Constructed of wood and sporting antique, carved doors and pillars, each building is a unique piece of architecture. Overnight at Hotel Somatheeram Beach Resort.
Day 19 – Somatheeram Beach Resort: Resort has an exclusive Ayurveda centre, where several rejuvenative therapies based on the vedic science Ayurveda (5000 years-old traditional indigenous body toning practice ) are possible. Ayurvedic treatment with herbal preparations directed towards strentheing the immune system, preventing and curing diseases without any side effects. Centre is also known for its reputed Yoga centre where Yoga and mediation can be learned and practiced under the guidance of a Yoga Guru. Overnight at Hotel Somatheeram Beach Resort.
Day 20 – Transfer to Trivandrum airport to board onward flight. (Overnight in Chennai or depart home , depending on flights)
Day 21 – Arrive USA
Travelers note: Each day we will try to have some free time so one is not always on guided tour. While we often eat meals together, they will not be pre-arranged which will allow us the flexibility to eat at local establishments or at more preferred hours. Hotels are subject to change.Return to Top of Page