A fascinating journey through India's tropical south, do experience the diversity in scenery, architecture, culture and most importantly the people.
Tamil Nadu the most leading feature is the prevalence of Hinduism, which has given rise to a unique style of temple architecture found in this state alone. The most magnificent is the great temple in Madurai. This temple is not only a spectacular architectural feat, but still provides the focus for daily life.
Kerala is a tropical bliss with an idyllic coastline and lush tropical hills. Despite its relative riches, the majority of the population in Kerala life continue with agriculture, tea, coffee and spice plantations and the coir industry, which still provides the basic economic structure of the region.
Tamil Nadu the most leading feature is the prevalence of Hinduism, which has given rise to a unique style of temple architecture found in this state alone. The most magnificent is the great temple in Madurai. This temple is not only a spectacular architectural feat, but still provides the focus for daily life.

Trip Duration - 14 days  |   Grade - Cuisine, Heritage & Cultural Tour   |   Accommodation - 13 nights hotel stay

On arrival at Cochin airport, meet our representative and transfer to hotel. Cochin - the Queen of Arabian Sea, undoubtedly the Commercial hub of Kerala, where ancient civilization gracefully mingles with the modern life. Enjoy the rest of the day at leisure in the streets of the colonial Fort Kochi. Tonight Join Mariamma Jose (President of one of the largest Christian organisation in Cochin) for a Demonstration of Christian Kerala cuisine at her demo kitchen at home, following by a Dinner. This is a great opportunity to share thoughts, culture or simply discuss about the life of a Keralite… Overnight at the hotel. (Dinner)

Breakfast at the hotel. Today you will Experience Real life of Cochin during an Ethnic tour – start with the visit of the famous Chinese Fishing Nets of Cochin. The huge cantilevered Chinese fishing nets that droop towards the waters like over-sized hammocks have become a hallmark that represents Fort Kochi on every postcard... Next visit is at the St. Francis CSI Church, the oldest European church in India built in 1503, where the Portuguese explorer Vasco de Gama was originally buried and the Santa cruz Basilica, one of the finest and imposing churches in India. Then take a tuk tuk– the most popular mode of transport among the localities Go along with your local tour and stop at the Dhobi Khana (laundry station), once throbbing with activity, it is now a picture of slow extinction. Continue through the small streets of Mattanchery, and arrive at the Fruit market on Palace road where locals get a variety of fresh and organic produces at bargains prices. Don’t miss a stop at the Spice Market, where exotic odour of the finest ginger, cloves, cardamom, turmeric and pepper emanate from the spice warehouses lining the street and fills it. Make a pause with a refreshing tea at one of the tea shops where you get the “one meter” tea. There is now an opportunity to interact with a Brahmin Family. The Brahmin are the highest of the four Hindu castes, made up of priests and scholars of Vedic literature and their traditional occupation is to conduct rites at marriages, births, deaths and other auspicious occasions. Then you will be invite to getting squiggly lines drawn on your hands... This ritual called Mehndi arts holds plenty of cultural significance in Indian traditions and is one of the most important pre-wedding ceremonies in their marriages. Later visit the Jewish Synagogue at the heart of what is locally called the Jew Town, and finally the Dutch Palace with its beautiful mural paintings from the 17th century.
Dinner at The Fort Kochi - a renowned Seafood restaurant Described by a famous food critic writer as "one of the most renowned seafood restaurants in India". Here, you pick from an array of king prawns, lobster, squid, mussels, salmon, mackerel, shark and more ; practically straight off Cochin’s famous fishing nets. Overnight at the hotel. (Half-board)

By Midday proceed to the Houseboat for your Backwaters cruise. These boats are a reworked version of kettuvallams of olden times and made out of huge planks of Jack wood, joined with coir from Coconut shells.These original kettuvallams were once used to carry tons of rice and spices. They are today converted into comfortable floating accommodation offering enchanting cruises through the backwaters. Cruise through the palm fringed canals enjoying the beauty of rural village life. You will be offered to accompany the Chef on a visit to the direction a local food market to buy all the ingredients for your sumptuous Kerala meals served on board. The trip continues through a wonderful area of the lush green vegetation of Kerala backwaters. En route enjoy a country canoe ride – there is no better way of taking a closer look at the life and activities on the backwaters. Dinner & overnight on board the Houseboat. (Lunch & Dinner)

Breakfast on board, disembark and drive to Alleppey town to join The Preserve Alleppey project, created by the Lions Ladies Club of Alleppey in 2000. Your journey will start with a presentation of the town history and later you will be driving and walking through the Gujarati quarter, the canal banks and an old wholesale market with a local guide.A Kerala lunch will be served in one of the members' homes, which will grant you an opportunity to visit a home, meet with the residents and to learn about local’s ways of life. Check-in your hotel and rest of the day at leisure in your hotel to enjoy resort activities. Overnight at the hotel. (Breakfast & Lunch)

After your breakfast at the hotel, drive up hill to Manjappally Plantation Bungalow. Situated mid way between Alleppy and Kottayam, this 125 year old heritage property is nestled among the rolling plantations of Kanjirapally. Visit the plantations spread around the Bungalow and later on sample the best of authentic Kerala cooking, as made in traditional Syrian Christian homes. Then continue to Thekkady - Periyar Wildlife Reserve. This sanctuary is an established tourist spot and home to elephants, tiger, bison, sambar, wild boar, langur etc. with unending Chains of hills and spice-scented plantations. Arrive and check-in at the hotel. Later, go on a spice plantation tour where you can touch, smell and taste almost all the spices seen worldwide. Due to its location in the lower mountains around 1000 meters above sea level, Periyar is blessed with numerous types of spices. Later enjoy a stroll through the spice Markets of Kumily. Overnight stay at the hotel. (Breakfast & Lunch)

After an early breakfast, go on a full day Bamboo rafting - a community based initiative including the tribal community. This excursion takes the participants into the remote areas of the Periyar National park through a two hour trek and a peaceful and relaxing bamboo rafting. This is a very good opportunity to experience the Flora and Fauna of the region. Rest of the day free to explore the resort activities Overnight at the hotel. (Breakfast & Picnic Lunch)

Proceed on to Rajakkad Estate. En-route stop at Harvest Fresh Farm. After short 15 minute drive down the windward side of Kumily, the farm is located at Lower Camp, in communion with pristine nature yet close to small towns and the famous Periyar Tiger Reserve. A charming Bullock-Cart ride takes the visitor to the organic farm that grows pomegranates as it chief harvest along with papaya, grapes and an apiary that produces the finest honey. Later on proceed onto check-in at Rajakkad Estate bungalow followed by a lunch. This Heritage property, nestled in the lush forests and the coffee estates of the Palani Hills, offer number of activities. Accompanied by an estate guide, walk up the river through rocky gorges; visits the nearby coffee plantations and the surrounding hills with waterfalls, etc... Dinner and overnight at the hotel. (Lunch & Dinner)

After your breakfast, drive down to the plains to the unique area of Tamil Nadu known as Chettinadu. Arrive and check-in at the hotel. Experience every nuance of the Chettiar's lavish lifestyle in a heritage stay that is true to the tradition. Welcome to the Bangala. Every meal here is an elaborate affair running into several courses resembling a typical chettinad wedding feast. With a generous dose of pepper and not chilli, making it spicy but not hot. The spicing is subtle and its secret is the "instinctive hand" of the "Achi",(The host) dumping a handful of this and a pinch of that in the masala leading the taste buds on a journey of intrigue and delight. Overnight at the hotel. (Breakfast)

Breakfast at the hotel. This morning proceed on Heritage tour of the region with a local guide. Explore the the elaborately decorated and unique feature of the Chettinad mansions. Visit the Chettinad Palace, built for the royal Alagappa Chettiar in 1912. Stained glass, teak, tiles, granite and wrought iron work truly makes the Chettinad Palace a work of art. And continue on the visits with some of the surroundings Chettinad Temples. See the local market, see how murukku (a local snack) is made by the families for commercially and also the weaving center. Enjoy a tender coconut offered by your story teller.. Rest of the day free to interact with the host or to do some antiques shopping. Tonight you will have a cooking demonstration and a dinner at the hotel. Overnight at the hotel. (Breakfast & Dinner)

Breakfast at the hotel. Drive to Pondicherry. On arrival check-in at the hotel. Settled by the French in the 18th century, Pondicherry retains a quiet colonial atmosphere with wide shady streets lined with colorful stucco houses. An ongoing French presence in the town means that many local dishes are subtly fused with French ingredients and techniques. Early evening take a stroll through the French boulevard with our Storyteller. Through reminiscence of almost a century old European occupation, walk through the white town (as the French quarters is popularly known as) while our Storyteller relates the history with what you see around. Overnight at the hotel. (Breakfast)

In morning after your breakfast take a visit to Auroville and understand the unique community living here based on universal harmony. You will be taken through the visitors center and a few of the auroville units which innovatively works on paper, textile, bamboo and stones among others. Enjoy Lunch at Solar kitchen - the community Kitchen for the inmates. See the Matri mandir (the meditation centre) from outside. Rest of the day free to visit the eclectic range of restaurants, ranging from traditional vegetarian to fusion "Pondicherry cuisine". Don't forget to visit Baker's Street, a bakery run by a French man who sells the most delicious cheese baguettes, quiches and freshly baked bread, as well as éclairs and fruit tarts. Overnight at the hotel. (Breakfast & Lunch)

Breakfast at the hotel. Your next stop is the small seaside town of Mahabalipuram, the port for the Pallava kings in the 5th to 8th centuries. Along the shore lies a stunning series of temples and sculptures, carved from the living rock 1,200 years ago. Unlike many Hindu temples, the rocks show scenes of everyday life. Check-in in your hotel and later in the afternoon visit the stunning Shore temple set at the edge of the waves features an altar to the god Siva that is lit by the rising and setting sun. Later on explore the Rock cut caves. Mahabalipuram has become a centre for stone carvers, and hundreds ply their trade in the streets and alleys of the old town. You may opt for a dinner at one of the beachside restaurants. Overnight at the hotel. (Breakfast)

Enjoy a day at leisure at your Beach resort. Overnight at the hotel. (Breakfast)

Breakfast at the hotel. Check-out and transfer to Chennai International airport to connect your flight back home. En route an orientation tour of Chennai IF TIME PERMITS. (Breakfast)


Suggested Day Excursions


Day 2 - Muziris Local Tour / Muziris Cultural Tour / Vintage Ride / A day in the Backwater / Muziris on a Boat

Day 4 - Muse of Aymanam / Birding in Kumarakom / Bicycle in Kumarakom / Catch a Fish like a Local

Day 5 - Thekkady Bull cart Ride at Harvest Farm / BAMBOO RAFTING HALF DAY / Spice Plantation in a Jeep / Cooking demo + Dinner with a Kerala Family

Day 6 - Thekkady Day with the Mannan / Spice Plantation by Jeep / Fishing in Thekkady / Cooking demo + Dinner with a Kerala Family

Day 10 - Food Tour Pondicherry / Pondy Stories

Hotel Envisaged
Dates Destinations Deluxe Superior
Day 01 Cochin Eighth Bastion Killians
Day 02 Cochin Eighth Bastion Killians
Day 03 Backwaters House boat House boat
Day 04 Alleppey Purity Citrus
Day 05 Thekkady Spice Village Green woods
Day 06 Thekkady Spice Village Green woods
Day 07 Dindigul Rajakkad estate Rajakkad estate
Day 08 Chettianad Bungala Chettinad Bungala Chettinad
Day 09 Chettianad Bungala Chettinad Bungala Chettinad
Day 10 Pondicherry Palaie de Mahe Maison Perumal
Day 11 Pondicherry Palaie de Mahe Maison Perumal
Day 12 Mahabalipuram Radisson Blu Ideal Beach Resort
Validity: 01st October to 19th December 2016 and 11th January to 31st March 2017
Supplements apply for the period from 20th December 2016 to 10th January 2017

TOUR INCLUDES
  • Accommodation on twin sharing basis at all places mentioned or similar
  • Breakfast at all places except at Rajakkad Estate where all meals are provided
  • Transportation by air conditioned chauffeur driven medium car as per Itinerary.
  • Guided Ethnic tour of Cochin
  • Interactive Cooking with Mrs. Mariamma Jose followed by Dinner
  • Dinner at Fortkochi sea food restaurant
  • Overnight cruise by House boat on Full board with Country Canoe ride
  • Alleppy preservation tour accompanied by a Lady with lunch
  • Lunch at the Rani’s Estate Bungalow en route Periyar
  • Plantation tour & Full day Bamboo rafting at Periyar
  • Bullock cart ride at Harvest fresh farm
  • Guided Heritage Tour of Chettinadu
  • Cooking Demo followed by Dinner at the Bangalow
  • Heritage Walk of Pondicherry accompanied by our story teller
  • Visit to Auroville accompanied by an Aurovillian with Lunch at “Solar Kitchen”
  • Guided Half day sightseeing of Mahabalipuram
  • Assistance on arrival and departure.
  • All currently applicable taxes
TOUR EXCLUDES
  • Any items not covered under inclusions
  • Any expenses of personal nature such as Tips, Porte rage, extras at hotels
  • Any flights. Insurance, Visa Charges