South India

Southern Harmony
Arrive in Chennai. You are met and transferred to the hotel. This afternoon visit Madras Museum. Your focus on this visit will be the Bronze Gallery with its superb collection of 09th to 13th century bronzes.

Start the morning tour with a visit to Kalashetra. Kalashetra literally means holy place of arts. You will visit the school this morning and will be able to watch young students being trained by masters of various arts. Later you will visit Kapleeswarar Temple which is a striking example of Dravidian Architecture.

This evening you will meet a renowned Chef who has published a well acclaimed cookbook and is also a textile historian.

Starting early you will stop at Mamallapuram the open-air museum of Tamil art in living rock which dates back to 7th century. End the morning tour at the Shore Temple.

After lunch you drive two and a half hours to Pondicherry.

Visit Auroville established to continue teachings and beliefs of great Indian Philosopher Sri Aurobindo. You will also stop at Matri Mandir, a meditation centre.

After lunch you will walk through the French Quarters.

After breakfast you drive to Chidambaram the drive taking 1 hour 30 minutes. Visit the Natraja Temple, dedicated to Shiva in his form as Lord of the Cosmic Dance. You will next stop at Darasuram to visit the Airavatesvara Temple built in 1146.

You will arrive at your hotel early evening.

This morning visit the town of Gangaikondacholapuram to visit the Shiva temple. Later explore Kumbakonam, one of the most sacred cities in Tamil Nadu.

After breakfast you drive to Thanjavur to see the Brihadisvara Temple World heritage monument built between 985 and 1012 AD.

After lunch you drive to Karaikuddi. En-route you will stop at Ayyanar temple located in forest which are a mix of craft, myths and rituals.

You will explore the area today and among the sites you will also visit Athangudi. Arrive in Madurai early evening.

Visit the Minakshi Temple. This is a living temple and each shrine has priests performing rituals and you will also see the decorated temple elephant.

Afternoon is at leisure

Departing Madurai you turn to Indian Railways and leave at 07.50am and arrive at Bodhinayakannaur at 10:40am. The drive to Periyar National Park will take 3hrs and you will arrive in time for lunch.

This evening you will take the boat ride on Lake Periyar to view wildlife.

Leaving early you drive down to the plains to the backwaters. You will spend the day on Ketavallums "houseboats". At sunset you disembark and continue to Kumarakom.

The day is at leisure to enjoy the spa.

This morning you visit Manarsala to visit the Nagaraja temple. The evening is at leisure.

You drive to Cochin. Morning visit Mattancherry palace, Jewish Synagogue, ending the tour at the Heritage Zone.

This afternoon return to Delhi. In the evening you will be transferred to the airport for your international flight.