Classical South India Group Trip

from $2445
Duration
Duration:
12 Days / 11 Nights
Type
Type:
Group Tour
Run
Run:
Selected Dates departures
Overview

This fascinating India group trip cover world heritage town of Mamallapuram with its picturisque location. Then the Journey continues to south India's famous temples and 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.

Included
  • Assistance of representative on arrival/departure transfers at airport
  • 11 Night’s accommodation on a Twin sharing basis at hotels mentioned above or similar.
  • Program on Half Board basis (Buffet Breakfast & Dinner). Dinner will be provided either at your hotel or at a local restaurant as per program.
  • 4 additional lunches as mentioned in the program.
  • All transfers, excursions and sightseeing tours 
  • Services of English-speaking accompanying guide 
  • 02 bottled water (500 ml each) per person, per day in the vehicle 
  • Road taxes, parking fee, fuel charges, interstate taxes.
  • All currently applicable taxes
  • Country boat cruise in Kumarakom Village
  • Witness climbing a coconut tree for Toddy tapping followed by toddy tasting experience
  • Get tips on fishing during visit of fishing nets
  • Ayurvedic Foot massage (15 minutes)
  • Sunset boat cruise in Kumarakom
  • Live Kathakali dance show performance
  • Live Kalaripayattu traditional martial arts show
  • Boat Safari on Lake Periyar to witness resident wildlife around the lake
  • Night prayer ceremony at Meenakshi temple
  • Cycle-rickshaw ride in Madurai
  • Walking tour of French quarters
  • Participate in Sustainable Tourism in Kumarakom
  • Partake Women Empowerment programme by Theruvoram
  • Malabar cuisine Welcome dinner in Cochin
  • Kerala snacks and chaya (tea) in Kumarakom
  • Traditional Kerala lunch at houseboat
  • Farm-lunch during visit of spice plantation
  • South-Indian Thali meal dinner experience in Madurai.
  • Authentic Chettinad cuisine lunch in Chettinad
  • Traditional Tamil cuisine lunch served on Banana leaf in Mahabalipuram
Excluded
  • International Airfare 
  • India Entry Visa 
  • Personal Expenses 
  • Airport departure tax
  • Meals other than those specified above & Drinks 
  • Entrance fees at the monuments (Supplement quoted separately)
  • International/ Domestic airfare (Supplement quoted separately for domestic flights)
  • Any transportation on day at leisure.
  • Tipping
Itinerary
Expand All

Day 1: Kochi Arrival. you will be met and assisted by our company executive

Arrival in Kochi. Upon arrival at Kochi International Airport you will be met and assisted by our welcome ambassador and transferred to your hotel for check in.

Overnight in Kochi.

Day 2: Kumarakom. Relax by The spectacular Kumarakom views.

After breakfast, we will take you for a tour of Cochin city where you will visit Jewish Synagogue (closed on Fridays afternoon & Saturdays): 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.

Later visit Dutch Palace (closed on Fridays), originally built by the Portuguese. The palace has a fine collection of mural paintings depicting scenes from the Hindu epics Mahabharatha and Ramayana. The palace is located in Mattancherry.

Also visit Dutch Cemetry. See 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. Post your city tour, we will drive you to Kumarakom (85 Kms/ 2 hrs). Arrive Kumarakom and check in at your hotel.


You will be treated with a 15-minutes Ayurvedic foot massage which not only alleviates stress and fatigue, but activates the immune system, eases emotional imbalance, and balances all three bioelements. By nurturing and connecting with your soles, you set a foundation for vibrant health of mind, body and soul. An Ayurveda foot massage (Padabhyanga) has the ability to heal, revitalize and improve circulation in the entire body. Rest of the day at leisure to enjoy scenic backwaters. Dinner and overnight at your hotel.

Meals: Breakfast and Dinner

Day 3: Take you  to experience Sustainable Tourism walk in Kumarakom.

After breakfast, we will take you to experience Sustainable Tourism walk. You will be accompanied by a guide who will familiarize you to the picturesque landscapes and the lush green surroundings of Kumarakom. The program unfolds as below:


You will be taken by a country boat to the Manjira village. Met by Ajeesh who will show you two ways of climbing a coconut tree-the laborious traditional way using a thalappu and the modern way using the latest instruments. Proceed across paddy fields to reach the next stopover-a coconut grove. Taste the famed Kerala beverages, toddy, fresh out of the pot. Watch toddy being nearby, and learn about unique plants and spices. Met by Suresh, a skilled fisherman of manjira, who will teach you some tried-and-true fishing tips using fishing nets. Return to your hotel. Rest of the day at leisure.Dinner and overnight at your hotel.


Meals: Breakfast and Dinner

Day 4: Alappuzha Tour. embark the houseboat.

After breakfast, embark the houseboat. The houseboats are the reworked kettuvallams of olden times. The kettuvallam or ‘boat with knots’- was so called because the entire boat was held together with coir knots only - not even a single nail is used during the construction.

The boat is made of planks of jack-wood joined together with coir. This is then coated with a caustic black resin made from boiled cashew kernels. You will enjoy traditional Kerala lunch comprising tapioca – a local favourite. Continue sailing on the backwater. The Kerala backwaters are a network of lagoons and lakes lying parallel to the Arabian Sea coast (known as the Malabar Coast), as well as interconnected canals, rivers, and inlets, a labyrinthine system formed by more than 900 kilometres (560 mi) of waterways.

In the midst of this landscape there are a number of towns and cities, which serve as the starting and end points of backwater cruises. Dinner & Overnight on board the houseboat.


Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 5: Welcome Kathakali and the

Breakfast on your houseboat. Later you will disembark the houseboat and partake Women Empowerment programme by Theruvoram The main occupation of rural women at this area concentrates mainly on agriculture; Aqua culture (fish production), Horticulture (Fruits production), PisciCulture (fish farming), Sylvi culture (Cultivation of fodder crops), poultry as well as dairy farm, but they are unaware of the new innovative technologies available before them to develop their agricultural skills.

We will drive you to Periyar (110 km/ 3 hrs), 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. Upon arrival, proceed to Spice Plantation farm for a lip-smacking lunch hosted by the farm-owner. Post lunch, you will visit a spice plantation. You will see varieties of spices indigenously grown here.

The spice plantation in Thekkady is one of the major spice plantations in Kerala. Later check in at your hotel. In the evening witness live Kathakali dance performance. Kathakali literally meaning "story dance" is the pantomimic dance drama, the dancing and the acting being blended together into an inseparable form.

It is a combination of facial expressions and body movements, which brings out the thought and emotion of the character. Also witness the Kalaripayattu - the oldest martial arts which originated as a style in Kerala during the 13th Century AD. Dinner and overnight in Thekkady.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 6: Welcome to Madurai, drive you to Madurai.

Early morning take a Boat ride in Periyar National park . Periyar is South India’s most popular wildlife sanctuary, encompassing an area of 777 sq. km. Set on the attractive man-made Periyar Lake, it attracts over 300,000 visitors a year. Though the sanctuary was made a part of Project Tiger in 1973, it is better known for its elephants. See the wildlife around the lake as you cruise along its banks. Apart from elephants, bison, sambar, wild boar, langur, otter and flying squirrel are common. There are also 246 species of birds and 112 species of butterfly. Return to your hotel. Breakfast at your hotel.


Later we will drive you to Madurai (190 km/ 5 hrs)- 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, check in at the hotel.

In the evening, enjoy a cycle-rickshaw ride to reach the Meenakshi temple. This is one of the most common means of Public transport in this town. At the temple, you will attend the evening prayer 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. En-route Shiva visits the other deities before entering Parvati's (Meenakshi) temple to sleep with her for the night. This ceremony is worth witnessing. Dinner and Overnight in Madurai.

Meals: Breakfast and Dinner

Day 7: proceeded to Madurai a splendid example of Dravidian architecture.

Breakfast at your hotel. You will visit Meenakshi Temple; this time you will listen to the story, architecture and history of this 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 height of 45 to 50 meters.

The Potrama Raikulam or the Golden Lotus Tank is the place where the Tamil literary 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.

Note: Meenakshi Temple remains closed from 1200 hrs till 1530 hrs. Later, visit Thirumalai Nayak Palace: This Indo-Saracenic building was constructed in 1523 and was originally four times larger as today. An artistic blend of Dravidian and Islamic styles, Thirumalai Nayak Palace is a place worth admiring and exploring. The interiors of this palace mesmerizes everyone with its intricate paintings and sculpting. Paintings on the roof of the palace are worth noticing.

Afternoon is at leisure for your independent activities. In the evening, we will take you to a local restaurant to taste a South Indian Thali Dinner. "Virundhu '' refers to the core elements of Tamil cuisine offered to the guests on special occasions such as festivals and marriage ceremonies. Rice staples, tomato rice, dal, sambar, rasam, poriyal and kootu are added with butter or curd to prepare pachadi. Dry and fresh fruits or vegetables are also used to prepare traditional cuisine. Overnight in Madurai.


Meals: Breakfast and Dinner

Day 8: Head to Thanjavur. We will drive you to Thanjavur (Tanjore).

Breakfast at your hotel. Morning at leisure. Late morning, we will drive you to Thanjavur (Tanjore) (190 kms/ 4 hrs drive approx) enroute stop in Chettinad. Chettinad, the homeland of the Nattukottai Chettiars. The Chettiars were a prosperous banking community. Their legacies are the fascinating houses of Chettinad they built with simple materials. Visit The Chettinadu Mansion, spread over a sprawling 80,000 square feet in area.

The Heritage of the Mansion has been carefully protected. Enjoy the unique and famous Chettinad lunch consisting of mostly flavoured spices, rather than chilly spices. A variety of rice is also used. These spices and rice were chosen by Chettiars to suit their travel plans as they travelled throughout Southeast Asia for their business purposes. Chettinadu Chicken, mutton kolambu, kola urundai, kuli paniyaram, vella paniyaram, kandarappam, kavanarisi etc. are some of the popular Chettinad dishes.

Continue to Thanjavur & check-in at your hotel. Rest for a while. Later in the evening, we will take you to 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. Dinner and Overnight in Thanjavur.


Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 9: Welcome to Pondicherry. Spend the day at leisure. Overnight in Pondicherry

Breakfast at your hotel. We will drive you to Pondicherry (170 km/04 hours) 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. Upon arrival, visit 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. End the day with the walking tour of French quarters. Walk along the beach and through the French quarter of the town.

You will walk through quaint boulevards, past charming facades of houses built in the French style. Pass some of the most prominent landmarks and historical buildings of Pondicherry. Later check in at your hotel. Dinner and Overnight in Pondicherry.

Meals: Breakfast and Dinner

Day 10: Mahabalipuram Tour. the French village

Post breakfast, you will drive to Mahabalipuram (96 kms/ 2hrs), 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.

Later, continue to Mahabalipuram and 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. Check in at your hotel. Dinner and Overnight in Mahabalipuram.


Meals: Breakfast and Dinner

Day 11: Mahabalipuram again, Enjoy Authentic Tamil lunch on Banana Leaf

Breakfast at your hotel. We take you to Shore temple (UNESCO World Heritage site built in 700–728 AD) standing like a magnificent fist of rock-cut elegance overlooking the sea, surrounded by gardens and ruined courts, the two-towered Shore Temple symbolises the heights of Pallava architecture and the maritime ambitions of the Pallava kings.

Its small size belies its excellent proportion and the supreme quality of the carvings, many now eroded into vaguely Impressionist embellishments. Built under Narasimhavarman II in the 8th century, it's the earliest significant free-standing stone temple in Tamil Nadu.

Enjoy Authentic Tamil lunch on Banana Leaf at a local restaurant. In banana leaf meals, white rice (or parboiled rice in authentic South Indian restaurants) is served on a banana leaf with an assortment of vegetables, pickles, appalam and other regional condiments (usually sour, salty or spicy). The banana leaf acts as a disposable plate and it in itself is not consumed.

Rest of the day at leisure. You may stroll by the sea-beach. The Mahabalipuram beach is a perfect place to relax and give yourself a break. The scintillating beach has golden sand all along the stretch surrounded by rising hills and the sparkling sea. Dinner and overnight in Mahabalipuram.


Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 12: Final Departure

Breakfast at your hotel. Our representative will transfer you to Chennai airport (45 kms/ 1 hr) to connect your onward flight.

Prices
  • Note: These prices are valid only for minimum 2 Persons
Prices

Tour price currency is set to USD but you can pay in Euro or British pound. The prices quoted per person per tour and prices are always updated to ensure you receive the best possible price. Prices are valid all the year, except during Christmas 2019 and New Year 2020.

Children Policy

- 0 - 4.99 Free of Charge

- 5 - 10 pay 25% of tour price

- 11 - 11.99 pay 50% of tour price

- 12+ pay full tour price as per adult person

Note: If the tour package includes flights, trains, jungle safari, private monument, an extra supplement will be applicable to the child.

Payment Policy

We are offering you to pay a low down payment of just 10% to keep your place on the tour including hotel room, cruise cabin, domestic flight ticket, and other travel-related services. The remaining balance can be paid only two days prior to your arrival date or in cash upon arrival at the destination to your tour guide. This will give you the chance to book your tour with no risk or any loss.

Tour Cancellation Policy

You may cancel your booking at any time prior to commencement of the tour by notifying us in writing. The cancellation charges shall be as follows:

  • If you cancel before 45 days of tour commencement date, there will be no cancellation fees, except components which require per booking (train, flight and safaris).
  • If you cancel on or before 44-30 days of tour commencement date, 25% of the entire tour price will be charged.
  • If you cancel on or before 29-15 days of tour commencement date, 50% of the entire tour price will be charged.
  • Less than 14 Days before arrival 100% cancellation will be applicable.
Changes By You

If you request any changes to your travel arrangements once we have confirmed a booking, all out of pocket charges, including charges imposed by our suppliers, will be payable by you. If after the commencement of your tour you request any changes to your travel arrangements, we will do our best to implement them, but we cannot guarantee that it will be possible. In the event of such change(s) being made, you will be liable for any cancellation charges that may be levied for the previously booked service and for any costs incurred by us and our suppliers in attempting to secure any revised arrangements. Any name changes must be provided to us in writing and are subject to any airline/ train fees or penalties.

Passports & Visa Fees

All Passengers are responsible for securing proper documentation prior to joining the tour. Passports are required; in addition, travelers are advised to check with local consulates for full details regarding Visa requirements. Please note securing a valid visa for entry is sole responsibility of the traveler.

Flexible cancellation policy

Memphis Tours offers a very flexible cancelation policy in case the government or the airline issues a travel warning from/to your departure country and destination. In the event that this happens, we will be refunding you the amount paid in full. Here at Memphis Tours we prioritize your well-being and safety above anything else and aim that our cancellation policy reflect that.

Plan Now & Travel Later