Alluring South India

from $2050
Duration
Duration:
15 Days / 14 Nights
Type
Type:
Private Tour
Run
Run:
Everyday
Overview

This Luxury India Vacation will give you the chance to take the adventure beyond the many stone walls of Cochin, along the backwaters of Kerala and deep into the heart of the South of India. Across the spice plantations of Thekkady and around the streets of the Lotus city of Madurai, there are many secrets just waiting for you to Discover India through our luxury India vacation. 

Included
  • Accommodation at listed hotels in Twin / Double sharing basis
  • 1 Night accommodation in Kochi at listed hotel on bed and Breakfast basis
  • 2 Nights accommodation in Alleppy at listed hotel on bed and Breakfast basis
  • 2 Nights accommodation in Munnar at listed hotel on bed and Breakfast basis
  • 1 Night accommodation in Rajakkad Estate hotel on bed and Breakfast basis
  • 2 Nights accommodation in Madurai at listed hotel on bed and Breakfast basis
  • 2 Nights accommodation in Chettinad at listed hotel on bed and Breakfast basis
  • 2 Nights accommodation in Thanjavur at listed hotel on bed and Breakfast basis
  • 2 Nights accommodation in Puducherry at listed hotel on bed and Breakfast basis
  • Explore French colony in Pondicherry and visit Sri Aurobindo Ashram and universal city Auroville
  • Enjoy Paddle Rickshaw ride in Madurai & explore Meenakshi Temple and Thirumalai Nayak Palace
  • Sightseeing tour to St Francis Church, Mattancherry Palace and Chinese Fishing Nets
  • Visit Eravikulam National Park (closed between Feb and Mar) and Tea Museum in Munnar
  • Discover Thanjavur Maratha Palace and Rock Fort Temple in Tanjore
  • English speaking local guides during sightseeing tour
  • Sightseeing as per the itinerary
  • Transportation by Air-conditioned vehicle.
  • Day cruise back water experience in Alleppy.
  • Experience Authentic Chettinad Cuisine
  • Monuments Entrance fees
  • Taxes
     
Excluded
  • Beverages with meals
  • International and Domestic Airfare
  • International air taxes
  • Entry visa to India
  • Travel insurance
  • Personal spendings
  • Any optional tours
  • Tipping
Itinerary
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Day 1: Kochi Tour

Upon arrival in Cochin, you will be greeted and escorted by Memphis Tours Executive to your hotel.

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.

On arrival, transfer to the hotel (Rooms will be available from 1400 hrs)

Overnight in the hotel

Day 2: Welcome Alappuzha

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.

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.

IMP: It remains closed on Fridays and Saturdays. Timings for the visit: 0900 hrs to 1200 hrs and from 1500 hrs to 1700 hrs.

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.

IMP: It remains closed on Fridays. Timings for the visit: 1000 hrs to 1700 hrs.

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.

Later, drive to Alappuzha. Arrive and check-in.

Overnight at hotel

Day 3: Continuing Alappuzha

Today, experience the discovery day cruise, a condensed backwater experience.

Board the Malabar escapes houseboat discovery at 12 noon from purity and cruise through lake Vembanad. Cruising through rivers and canals, you enter a world only accessible by water. Enjoy the panoramic views and glimpses of life on the water and along the banks, while you are served lunch at the upper deck. Visit Kuttanad with its paddy fields below sea level. Stop at Patharamanal island, a paradise for rare species of flora and fauna. Have a high tea served in the afternoon. Disembark towards sunset at purity.

Overnight at hotel

Day 4: Munnar Arrival

Today drive towards Munnar, at 1600 meters above sea level. Once the summer retreat in the South for British, still maintains its colonial charm and is famous for its tea plantations, most of which are now privately owned. With its lush colors and sparkling waterfalls, one gets the impression of being inside a postcard.

Arrive and check-in at hotel. Remainder of the day at leisure.

Overnight at hotel

Day 5: Proceeding Munnar

After breakfast, visit a Tea plantation and Team Museum (closed on Mondays) and Eravikulam National Park (closed between February to March)

Eravikulam National Park is 15 kms from Munnar and has an area of 97 km². The park is located along the Western Ghats and has the largest viable population of the Nilgiri Tahr ,one of the rare mountain goats which are fast becoming extinct. The sanctuary is playing a major role in preserving these species. The number of Nilgiri Tahrs in the park is estimated to be over 1300.The park also has other animals such as Nilgiri marten, ruddy mongoose, small clawed otter, dusky striped squirrel, Sambar Deer, Golden Jackal, Wild Dog, Indian Porcupine, Funambulus etc. There are many species of birds too such as Nilgiri Wood Pigeon, White Bellied Shortwing, Black-and-orange Flycatcher etc. Tourists are allowed up to the Rajamala part of the sanctuary .This is frequented by both domestic and foreign tourists.

Evening free at leisure.

Overnight at hotel

Day 6 : Head to Palani Hills

Today drive towards Rajakkad Estate. Arrive and check-in at hotel.

Rest of the day at leisure

Overnight at hotel

Day 7: Head to Madurai

Rajakkad is a working estate and farm, growing spices, fruits, vegetables, coffee, pepper with cows, goats and chickens in the farmyard. Guests can enjoy a tour of the farm, with spices and interesting species explained.

After the walking tour, 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.

Overnight at hotel

Day 8: The Rest of Madurai

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.

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.

Later visit the Gandhi Museum.

Overnight at hotel

Day 9: Chettinad Arrival

Today leave for Chettinad. Renowned for its houses that are embellished with marble and teak (a quality of fine and robust wood from Burma). The large and beautifully embellished houses reflect the prosperity of the Nagarathar community that has resided here. Chettinad is also famous for its cuisine. At your arrival, check in at the hotel.

Culinary Experience - The celebrated Chettinad cuisine is one of the spiciest and the most aromatic in India. The fresh ground masalas give it the distinctive integrity in taste. The cuisine that is pre dominantly non vegetarian stretches out into interesting snacks and delectable vegetarian dishes too. At Visalam, one can learn to cook Chettinad cuisine with the Aachi( elderly lady) from the village.

Overnight at hotel

Day 10: Chettinad Tour

Day at leisure to explore the surroundings.

Optional Activities:

Explore Chettinad Architecture: Chettinad is the home to the Chettiars, a prosperous mercantile community. Apart from many other things this place is well known for its fiery cuisine and architecture. Most of the palatial 18th century mansions that one will get to see here were built using materials imported from east Asian countries and Europe about 100 years ago.

Temples of Chettinad: Each of the 73 villages have traditional chola style temples that stand testimony to the spiritual beliefs of local people . Each temple has its own tank called an Oorani and most of the village activities are centered around the temple.

Athangudy Tile Makers: Aathangudy, a village situated about 10 Kms from Visalam is a place famous for its hand made tiles.There are over one hundred small scale tile factories in this village where the entire tile making process is carried out by human hands.

Handloom Cotton Weavers: The famed Chettinad's Cotton sarees and textiles are woven on in small handloom home units across Chettinad. A couple minutes walk away from Visalam is one such handloom unit making the most vibrant Indian textile.

Bullock Cart Ride: You can explore Chettinad's old streets , temples , markets and antique stores from the comfort of a bullock cart ride; taking you back in time to a forgotten era.

Overnight at hotel

Day 11: Thanjavur

Today drive to Tanjore. Arrive and check-in at hotel.

Later enjoy the visit to Tanjore which includes the following:

Brihadeshwara Temple and Fort: it is a breathtaking example of Chola architecture and is listed in world heritage. The temple has been a continous worship sense for over thousand years. Only Hindus are allowed inside.

IMP: Brihadeshwara Temple is closed from 12:00 to 16:00 hrs.

Thanjavur Palace and Museum: The palace near the temple is a vast building of masonry built by the Nayakas around 1550 and partly by the Maratha. There are two towers in the palace that are visible from all parts of the city, the Armoury and the observation tower. The palace is a house to an art gallery, a library and a hall of music.

IMP: Thanjavur Palace remains closed from 1300 to 1500 hrs.

Overnight at hotel.

Day 12: Thanjavur

After breakfast excursion to Trichy.

Enjoy the visit of the following:

Rock Fort Temple: The temple tops an 83m high outcrop. This smooth rock was first hewn by the Pallavas who cut small cave temples into the southern face, but it was the Nayakas who made use of its naturally fortified position. It's a stiff climb up the 437 steps cut into the stone to the top but well worth it for the views.

Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple: This superb temple complex at Srirangam, about three km from the Rock Fort, is surrounded by seven concentric walls with 21 gopurams and is probably the largest in India.

IMP: Temples remains closed from 12:00 hrs till 15:00 hrs.

After the visit drive back to Tanjore.

Overnight at hotel.

Day 13: Welcome Puducherry

Today drive towards Pondicherry. En-route visit:

Darasuram: This temple is a store of art and architecture. The vimana is 85 feet high.

GangaiKonda Cholpuram: It was built during medieval India. It occupies an important place in the history of India.

Arrive Pondicherry and check-in at hotel.

Day 14: The Rest of Puducherry

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.

IMP: Auroville remains closed from 1230 hrs till 1400 hrs.

Overnight at hotel.

Day 15: Final Departure

Today depart for Chennai to return back home.

Prices
  • The Malabar House / Kochi
  • Purity at Lake Vembanad by Malabar Escape / Alappuzha
  • Windermere Estate / Munnar
  • Rajakkad Estate / Palani Hills
  • Heritage Madurai / Madurai
  • CGH Earth Hotel Visalam / Chettinad
  • Svatma / Thanjavur
  • Palais de Mahe / Puducherry

Prices
April - September
$ 2050 Per Person in triple room
$ 2250 Per Person in double room
$ 4200 One Person travelling alone
October - March
$ 2700 Per Person in triple room
$ 2960 Per Person in double room
$ 5600 One Person travelling alone
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