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11 Days Itinerary - Jewels of South India

TOUR NAME: Jewels of South India
TOUR DAYS: 10 Nights/11 Tour Programme
- One night on House Boat on full board basis.
- Kathakali dance performance at Cochin.
- Bi Cycle Rickshaw tour at Madurai.
- Elephant ride in Periyar.
Kumbakonam 02 Paradise Resort Starling Swamimalai Sterling Swamimalai
Madurai 02 Madurai Residency GRT Regency Heritance
Periyar 02 Silver Crest Wilder Nest Shalimar Spice Garden
Alleppey 01 House boat - AC House boat - AC House boat - AC
Cochin 01 Gama Heritage Abad atrium Tea Bangalow
     *If above listed hotels are not available we will provide similar hotel.
PRICES AND DATES : send query or call for more information.
Upon arrival in Chennai, our Executive will meet you at the Airport followed by transfer from Airport to Hotel. (Overnight stay in Mamallapuram).
After breakfast depart for the sightseeing of Mamallapuram covering The Arjuna`s Penance (Bass Relief) and onward visiting monuments of Five rathas (symbolises equality of men & women) & the famous Shore temple. Apart from the monuments we also visit to a Sculpture studio. After Sightseeing, you will enjoy & experience the traditional lunch of South Indian special's served on Banana leaf. Evening leisure on the beach. (Overnight stay in Mamallapuram)
Checking out from hotel after breakfast at 07.30am we drive to Kumbakonam - a small typical Indian town. Enroute visit Dharasuram temple (built in memory of the White elephant - AIRAVATH from the gods family), the temple has its original name as "Airavatheshwar temple". Further more you will be taken for a special visit to the Silk Weaving at a near by place (walk able distance). Untouched by regular tourist & no hassle of shop keepers/sellers, this visit will give you glimpse on weaving industry & the hard work behind it. Onward drive to Kumbakonam. (Overnight stay in Kumbakonam).
Morning after breakfast proceed to visit Tanjore - the world famous Brahadeshwara temple (houses one of Asia's biggest Nandi -the bull). The temple built by the cholas is very special for its architecture. The most exiting is that the temple does not have a shadow falling on ground at any time of day but falls on its own body. Then on visit the Bronze gallery at palace museum. Depending on Your interest we also take you on a special visit to the near by village to experience the art of Statue making & Glass painting. You can watch people at work clarify all your doubt related. You also have the possibility of trying it out practically at the work spot in the village. Later return to hotel. (Overnight stay in Kumbakonam).
Check out from hotel after early breakfast at 07.30am and drive to Trichy - a town situated on the banks of river Cauvery. A Journey of 1.15hrs will bring you to Trichy and on arrival visit the famous " Sriranganathaswami temple" at Srirangam - The most revered of the 108 pilgrimage shrines of Vishnu, and the largest temple complex in all India, it is surrounded by seven concentric walls (the outermost wall having a perimeter of over 3 kilometers) and 21 towers called "Gopurams". The most attractive among the Gopuras is the one at the entrance with lot of colors and stands one of the tallest amongst many other temple towers in Tamilnadu. Srirangam enshrines a statue of Vishnu reclining on a great serpent. Then on visit the local market (Gandhi Market) at the main town and onward drive for less than 03hrs to reach the old city of Tamilnadu - Madurai. On arrival check in to hotel and in the evening visit to Meenakshi temple for the night ceremony where God Shiva (Meenakshi`s husband) is taken in a palanquin to the bedroom of Meenakshi. This is a daily procession and next day early morning before sunrise God Shiva is brought back to his shrine with in the temple complex. God Shiva here is known as Sundareshwar. The temple has its full name as " Meenakshi Sundareshwar " temple. (Overnight stay in Madurai)
DAY 6: MADURAI / Cycle Rickshaw tour
Morning after breakfast sight seeing tour of Madurai by Cycle Rickshaw. The Bi-Cycle Rickshaw tour of Madurai offers you a memorable experience of being in this old city. It takes you to the interesting narrow streets & lanes of Madurai showing the typical life of people in here. The Rickshaw pullers of Madurai were getting very unpopular with the locals, as the locals preferred the more modern mode of transport. The Cycle Rickshaw - the most eco friendly form of transport was fast being phased out, and the hundred and twenty rickshaw pullers of Madurai were being deprived of a lively hood as they were unable to buy the modern forms of transport like the auto rickshaw/taxi etc. To give these pullers another lease of life we at Hi-tours have designed this tour as part of our commitment to promote responsible tourism. By taking this tour you are supporting the rickshaw pullers and at the same time, encouraging the locals to use the rickshaws and all of this in a very eco friendly way. By Cycle Rickshaw we visit - Meenakshi temple (one of the largest temple complexes in south India), Flower/Fruit & Spice Market, Tirumalai Nayak Palace, Gandhi Museum, Small scale Industry like Vessel making & Cloth making. (Overnight stay in Madurai).
Check out from hotel after breakfast at 08.00am and drive to Periyar (also known as Thekkady). The name Periyar comes after the Dam made here by the English in 1895. A wild life reserve hence is an ideal place to track down wild life such as Elephants, Bison, Deer and numerous other varieties of birds. The landscape here is with very tropical and you will be surrounded by tea, coffee & other spices. On arrival check on to hotel and at 16.00hrs leave for a guided plantation tour to the nearby garden where in various species of spices and other aromatic plants are cultivated. The guide explains & clarifies your doubts on this tour. Followed by Elephant ride for 20 Minutes. Depending on the day's opportunity you will also taken to visit a tea factory nearby. (Overnight stay in Thekkady).
Early morning at 06.00am you go on a Guided Jungle walk at the Periyar tiger reserve/national park. This 03hrs walk (not very hard) is very interesting and gives you the chance to see the wildlife life at a very close distance. If you are lucky you may even spot the rarely sighted leopards & tigers. Afternoon OPTIONAL tour (Boat ride tickets will cost additional). BOAT RIDE at the National Park - the best way to observe game in wild is by boat. There are many animals to see, including herds of elephants, bison's and packs of wild boars that roam through the woods and parade along the shores of the lake just before sunrise and sunset. You can also see also different species of apes. The golden langur monkey that lives here is rarely seen in the rest of India. Other animals in Periyar are otters and porcupines. Water turtles can often be seen sunning themselves on the pieces of wood that stick out of the water. Osprey and Cormorants belong to the most important species of birds in this area. (Overnight at hotel in Thekkady).
[House Boat Cruise: Alleppey Round Trip]
Depart from hotel at 08.00am and we drive down hill through the beautiful landscape of tea gardens to reach the land of backwaters - Alleppey. On arrival check in to a private House Boat at 12.00noon that is waiting to take you on a tour through the backwaters, a splendid area full of canals, lakes and coves. You can sunbathe on the deck or observe the landscape from the protection of the cabin. The population's whole life takes place here on the water. The people sail, fish, swim and bathe here. They do their washing and their washing up. They are so adapted to the water that you can see people talking for an hour, while they are up to their necks in water. Canoes with huge sails still transport people and you can find vegetable sellers, fisherman and other household materials being brought door to door by small wooden boats. This whole area is surrounded with coconut palms and, lush green Rice fields. The major cropping here is of coconut and it is said that the name for this place KERALA was from the old name of coconut as KERA. This trip enables you to learn/ know more on life of people who are dependent on backwaters. (Overnight onboard House Boat).
DAY 10: ALLEPPEY TO COCHIN (65km / 1.5h)
Disembark from Houseboat at 10.00am and drive to Cochin - a cosmopolitan city in the federal state of Kerala. An hour's drive from here will reach you to Cochin. On arrival sight seeing tour of Cochin visiting - The St. Francis Church, the oldest European Church in India, The Santa Cruz Basilica originally built in 1557 by the Portuguese. After sightseeing in here check in to hotel around 14.30hrs. Evening at 16.30hrs visit the Chinese fishing nets - huge cantilevered fishing nets believed to have brought to Kochi by Chinese traders. Onward at 17.30pm we visit to the famous dance drama of Kerala, the "Kathakali". This dance can be characterized by grotesque gesticulations, amazing costumes and very extensive make-up. The stories are mostly taken from the epics Mahabharatha and Ramayana. Evenings by the Chinese fishing area are very lively with the daily fish market in here. All the live catch from time to time comes to sale. If you are a person who likes to eat fish, then you can buy very fresh fish from here and ask the nearby restaurant to cook the same for you. (Overnight stay in Cochin)
Jewish synagogue & Dutch palace are closed on Friday & Saturday
Check out from hotel according to flight timing and the tour ends today with a departure transfer to Cochin airport.
- Accommodation on twin sharing room with daily breakfast at listed hotels or equivalent.
- Transportation/Transfers by Air Conditioned Car for entire tour as per itinerary.
- Service of English speaking local tourist guide at sightseeing spots at places Mamallapuram, Tanjore, Madurai, Periyar and Cochin only.
- Traditional Lunch In Mamallapuram
- Bi Cycle Rickshaw tour at Madurai
- Trekking In Periyar
- Plantation tour in Periyar
- Entrances fees to the sightseeing spots.
- Elephant ride in Periyar.
- One night stay in House Boat on full board basis
- Kathakali dance performance visit at Cochin
- Last day farewell dinner at residing hotel in Cochin
- All applicable taxes.
- Meals at hotels except those listed in above inclusions.
- Camera fee and tips
- Additional expense which may arise due to strikes and natural calamities etc... Situation beyond control of our company
- All things of personal nature like laundry, telephone etc.
- Inland & international flight ticket any And all other than those listed in above inclusions.
- Additional compulsory Christmas and New Year eve supplements will be applicable
You may cancel your booking at any time prior to commencement of the tour by notifying us in writing, which must be signed by the person that signed the Reservation Form. If you cancel on or before 30 days before the first day of the tour, we will retain your deposit to cover our costs. In addition, if the cancellation notification is received less than 30 days prior to the first day of the tour, additional cancellation charges shall be as follows:
Amount of Cancellation Charges:
45-30 Days before the first day of the tour - 50%
29-15 Days before the first day of the tour - 75%
Less than 14 Days before arrival 100%
(Cancellation conditions for Maldives may differ)
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, plus an amendment fee of $50.00 per revision per booking. 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 fees or penalties.
If you are happy with the arrangements outlined within this itinerary and would like to book, please forward your completed booking form and the deposit. If you would like to revise the itinerary, feel free to contact us and we can prepare another version which will hopefully match your requirements. The deposit is 25% of the total cost, plus any applicable insurance premiums and can be paid by cheque, bank transfer or credit / debit card.
Please note, we do not charge a credit card fee on deposits, however, a credit card fee is charged on the balance of the price of your current trip or if full payment is made. Credit card fees are detailed within the enclosed information booklet. Please note we charge a credit card fee due to the high fees charged to tour operators by the credit card companies. We have chosen to make this transparent rather than including it within the trip price. You may therefore wish to pay the balance by bank transfer, debit card or personal cheque.
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