My Dream Trip - South India: From the Bay of Bengal to the Arabian Sea12 days & 11 nights,
Chennai, Puducherry, Thanjavur, Madurai, Thekkady & Kochi
Accompanied by Senior India Destination Manager for India, Seema Prakash, explore the wonders of South India on this unique Dream Trip. Follow the sun as you travel from east to west over the tropical hills of the Western Ghats. Discover the magnificent UNESCO World Heritage Hindu temples of Tamil Nadu, the stately colonial architecture of Chennai, the spice plantations of Kerala, the local art and artists of rural villages, and the savory cuisine of Kochi.
Day 1Arrive Chennai
Upon arrival in Chennai, you will be welcomed by your Cox & Kings representative and escorted to your hotel.The Leela Palace - 2 Nights (B)
Immerse yourself in the fascinating stories of deities and demons, ancient customs and the rituals of daily life on a guided walk through Mylapore, one of the oldest residential neighborhoods of Chennai.
The afternoon is at leisure for independent explorations.
This evening, enjoy a welcome dinner with your fellow travelers.The Leela Palace (B, L, D)
Day 3To Puducherry
En route to Puducherry, explore the open-air cultural museum of Dakshinachitra, learn about the diverse cultures of the people of South India, and discover the magnificent UNESCO World Heritage temples of the capital of the Pallava dynasty: Mahabalipuram.Palais de Mahe - 2 Nights (B)
After a guided morning walk to get acquainted with the historic French and Muslim sections of Puducherry.
Enjoy some leisure time in the afternoon to explore the city on your own.Palais de Mahe (B)
Day 5To Thanjavur
Begin your day with a visit to the astonishing UNESCO World Heritage Airavatesvara Temple, which is dedicated to Shiva and features exquisite stone carvings and ornamental pillars. After lunch, stop at a village to meet local handloom weavers and see some of their beautiful work.Hotel Svatma - 2 Nights (B, L)
Discover the 10th-century Brihadeshwara Temple, which is the grandest architectural achievement of the Chola era and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This afternoon, visit the Tanjore Palace and the superb art collection of the Tamil University Museum.Hotel Svatma (B, L)
Day 7To Madurai
En route to Madurai, stop at Kanadukathan, a Visalam village in Chettinad, to visit a traditional home, explore the Ayyanar shrines and see Athangudi tiles being made.Heritage - 2 Nights (B, L)
Embark on a visit to one of the most important places of Hindu pilgrimage, Sri Meenakshi Temple, a baroque example of Dravidian architecture, filled with gopurams (spires) in a profusion of multi-colored images of gods, goddesses, animals and mythical figures. This evening, witness the sacred aarti ceremony, which consists of music, chanting, song and crowds of spiritual revelers.Heritage (B)
Day 9To Thekkady
Venture into the countryside to the spice growing region around Thekkady where you will explore one of the major spice plantations in Kerala and learn about the cultivation of spices, such as cardamom, turmeric and cinnamon.Spice Village - 1 Night (B)
Day 10To Kochi
Drive through the verdant landscapes of South India on your way to Kochi. Upon arrival, sample some of the local flavors as you dine on authentic Kerala cuisine at the residence of a famous culinary expert.Brunton Boatyard - 2 Nights (B, L)
Unravel the ancient treasures of the quaint harbor town of Kochi. Visit the Portuguese Church of St. Francis and the oldest living synagogue in the world. Continue to Mattancherry Palace, built by the Portuguese for the King of Kochi in exchange for trading rights. Later, savor lunch at a local restaurant.
Enjoy the rest of the day at leisure.Brunton Boatyard (B, L)
Day 12Depart Kochi
Today, you will be escorted to the airport for your onward flight.(B)