A journey into deep and fervent India, India traditions, temples dedicated to Hindu deities, ancient kingdoms and their remains, music and dance dedicated to the gods but also the Christian India of Kerala. We offer you to share many encounters, extraordinary moments of intensity that make a trip to South India a deep, unforgettable experience, one of the strongest in a traveler's life!
Arrival Chennai upon arrival meet and greet by our representative transfer to Mahabalipuram, an hour’s drive from Chennai airport 55 kms situated on the East Coast of Tamil Nadu has pris time beaches, spanning 20 kms, bright Sun & Crisp Sand, Wrapping up untold tales of the 7th Century. Here time stands still; and presents meet the past. A serene town nested amidst the historical stone sculptures and medieval architecture, that stands witness to the rich heritage – Mahabalipuram the finest of historical monuments can be seen at Mamallapuram with splendid specimens of Pallava art, which flourished from about 600-750 AD. Today is a UNESCO world Heritage site. The sculptures are breathtakingly real and artistic. Overnight stay in Mahabalipuram
Today we will see Arjuna’s Penance (Descent of Ganges) – 0.1 km tee face of a huge whale shaped rock has been carved into a vast panel of relief sculptures depicting the mythological story of the river Ganges issuing from its source high in the Himalayas. Another version is that it depicts Arjuna’s Penance to obtain a boon from Lord Shiva. This bas-relief, which is the largest and finest of its kind (27 meters long and 9 meters high), has animals, gods and celestial beings besides fables from the well-known panchatantra, sculptured on it with remarkable realism. Also visit to Krishna Mantapa, Mandapams – Situated within a radius of 1 km of the rock cut examples at Mamallapuram; the Mandapams (shallow halls resembling porticos) are conspicuous for their design and execution, Mahishasuramardhini Cave, Ratha, Shore Temple - 1 km the final phase of Pallava art at Mamallapuram is to be seen in the beautiful shore temple, which is assigned to the late seventh century when Rajasimha was the king. One of the unique features of the temple is the construction of two shrines for Shiva and Vishnu. A structure with two spires, the Shore Temple has been designed basically after the monolithic Dharma raja Ratha but with considerable modifications.
After breakfast country side drive to Pondicherry en route visit to Kanchipuram the “City of seven Pagodas” where we see outcroppings of rock that have been delicately carved into temples and life-sized replicas of elephants, lions and bulls. The carved Penance of Bhaghirata here is the largest bas-relief in the world.
Kanchipuram was one of the main centers of diffusion of Buddhism. You begin the visit of the site to the 7th century temple of Kailashnatha, perfect example of the Dravidian style. Dedicated to Shiva, it is the first monumental temple built in South India. Its surrounding wall is one of the most richly decorated of South India. Then the temple of Ekambareshvara, the holiest of the temples of the city, dominated by its huge gopuram 58 meters high.
Kanchipuram will also tell you the colors of his saris and the art of weaving silk. This craft activity already flourishing at the time of the kings Pallavas is renowned throughout India. Upon arrival at Pondicherry You can hier the Tuk Tukenjoy the colorful market or to stroll at leisure or to enjoy the seasideOvernight stay Pondichery
Pondichery presents an unusual combination of European culture & Indian traditions. An added attraction fair is the township of Auroville, an Oasis of Peace & Enlighten.
After breakfast A day to taste the charms of this city and its contrasts: the "black city" and its templesvery lively dedicated to Ganesh, Shiva or even Durga the goddess of war, its colorful markets. Inthe white city the churches of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, Our Lady of the Angels or OurDame of the Immaculate Conception, A walk in the city in cyclo-pousse, in the discovery of the old French districts. Youpass by the ocher walls of the Alliance française and the French school created in 1826, Finally the consulateGeneral of France which retains its authentic charm of the 18th century.
Visit to Sri Aurobindo Ashramwhose buildings sprawl throughout the town: they also make paper and books, often beautifully bound in silk. The old seafront - Beach Road - makes a lovely morning stroll, there is a museum, several elaborate Catholic churches and 19th century Botanical Gardens planted with around 900 species of plants.
Auroville - or the ‘City of Dawn’ - was conceived as a place of research into the ideal of human unity by the Mother, the spiritual collaborator of Sri Aurobindo. The idea is to build a futuristic city where people of goodwill can live together in peace and progressive harmony, above all creeds, all politics and all nationalities. Auroville came into existence in 1968. Its Charter says, “To live in Auroville one must be a willing servitor of the Divine Consciousness”, and describes it as “belonging to nobody in particular, but to humanity as a whole”; as a place “of constant progress”; and as “a bridge between the past and the future.”Overnight stay Pondichery
After breakfast drive to Thanjavur enroute visit to Gangaikonda, Cholapuram, and Swamimalai. Thanjavur is located on eastern coast of Central Tamil Nadu. This ancient city enjoys the distinction of having been the Capital of the Cholas – One of the greatest Dynasties of the South. This morning visit Darasuram Temple and the Institute of Iconography. Later drive to Thanjavur. Afternoon visit the 9th century Chola Temple of Brahadeshwarar Temple. Overnight stay
This morning disembark at Thanjavur. Enroute Visit to Rock Fort the 83-meter high rock fort is in the center of the Trichy - was a Chola Citadel during the Sangam age & was also briefly ruled by the Pallavas & the Pandyas. Today, Trichy is a blend of history, a pilgrim centre and a thriving commercial city. Its 344 rock-cuts steps take one to the Uchipillayar temple dedicated to Lord Vinayaka. Half way up is the temple of Lord Shiva dedicated to Thayumanaswami Jambukeshwara Temple here has Shiva lingam almost submerged in water
Morning drive to Chettinad upon arrival check in hotel Visalam -An elegant Art Deco mansion which has been carefully converted into a boutique hotel in the heart of this fascinating region it’s as if we found an old lamp, waiting to be burnished and relit. And it illuminates a cultural treasure trove of rare beauty. Afternoon visit to Chettinad Houses Karaikudi, Pallathurathy, Athnagudi and Kothamangalam have the most lavish houses in the Chettinad and cookery demonstration overnight stay in Chettinad
After breakfast drive to Nectar City of Madurai – Meenakshi temple where Dravidian Temple architecture may be seen in its exuberant baroque phase Its hall of thousand pillars is fabulous & is filled with worshippers at all hours of the day, Another terrific photographic opportunity. Also visit the Tirumal Nayak’s Palace which is in a highly decorative monument. Its enormous roofed arcade supported by 48 - foot high stone pillar, still stands also take a round of Madurai city. In the evening return to Meenakshi temple to witness the evening Puja ceremony. Also visit the Tirumal Nayak’s Palace, which is in a highly decorative monument. Its enormous roofed arcade supported by 48 - foot high stone pillar, still stands Overnight stay
We leave Madurai & Drive to a tranquil hill retreat, Along the way we pass through Tea, Cinnamon, Clove & Cardamom plantations –beautiful to see & smell! This evening we visit the nearby Periyar Game Sanctuary; Game viewing here is like no other Safari experience. We simply relax in a Motor Launch & sail along as heards of Elephant & Bison come into view. During the dry season Tigers & Panthers come down to the Lake shore for a drink – be sure to have plenty of film on hand. Short Elephant ride in Periyar. Overnight stay
Lifetime Experience House Boat - the moving master piece, have been plying the inland waterways of southwest India for untold centuries and originally used as cargo rice boats. The fully furnished and palm covered boats (single & double) bedrooms with attached bath, sit out, kitchen and living room made of traditional wood. In each houseboat, there is 3 men staff (crew), comprising a cook and two well trained punters throughout the cruise. Punters stand on each end of the boat for punting and directing the boat. Kerosene-lit lamps along will be available for light and mosquito nets will be provided. Traditional vegetarian and non-vegetarian Kerala cuisine is served. A journey through the backwaters of Kerala which offer one of the world's truly unforgettable experiences, myriad network of silent lagoons, freshwater river, and hyacinth covered canals that wind their way through colorful corridors of forests, palms and fruit trees. A canoe expedition via an intricate network of canals, through backwater villages where daily continues unaltered, as it has for centuries. You will see lush palm groves and stretches of rice fields. Overnight in air condition house boat.
After breakfast, the boat takes you back across Lake Vembanad to Puthenangadi, from where a car takes you to Marari Beach. The village of Maraikulam lies on a forgotten shore, midway up the Malabar Coast, where the Indian Ocean finally decides that it has now become the Arabian Sea.
A beach is a beach is a beach. Until you can seek out its living heart, the culture that calls it home.And so, Marari Beach Resort is a celebration of Kerala's coastal fishing villages. Inspired by this ancient way of life, we sought to capture its essence and create a new experience in sensitive travel for the modern-day visitor
From Marari we drive into the Oasis state of Kerala& on to the Malabar Coats& Kochi (formerly Cochin), one of the India’s most colorful cities. This inter, connected series of Islands & shoreline presents a vivacious blend of Cultures & Religions; Visit to Fort Cochin &St. Frances Church to see the town of Vasco da Gama. We also see the Jewish Synagogue & the Mattancherry “Dutch” Palace. This evening A memorable experience in any journey in Kerala is a Boat Trip along the Palm Fringed Lakes & Backwaters of the Area; we enjoy this extraordinary excursion today. As we sail along the shady canals we see cantilevered Chinese fishing nets. From our launch, we enjoy use of narrow produced – Laden dugouts & the everyday life of families living on narrow spits of land between the waters. Later we attend the performance of the Kathakali, one of India’s most famous Classical dances. Lavish Costumes & Exotic makeup & Masks intensify the beauty of the dancers, intricate moments
Morning Say Goodbye to newly become friends of this fascinating land and transfers to Airport to board the flight for onward destination
Language guide,Major Meals – Lunch, Dinner as per itinerary, Travel Insurance, anything which is not mentioned in inclusions above, Expenses of personal nature like Telephone Calls, Laundry, Porterage, Tips, Alcoholic Beverages, etc