||18 Nights / 19
||Chennai - Covelong -
Pondicherry - Tanjore - Madurai - Kodaikanal - Munnar - Cochin -
Mararikulam - Chennai - Tellicherry - Coorg - Mysore - Chennai
Day - 1 » Chennai - Covelong
This morning drive to the fishermans cove Hotel at Covelong, just 32
kms from the city. Stop en route at Dakshin Chitra cultural centre dedicated
to the art, architecture and culture of the Southern Indian states. Stay for
3 nights at Fishermans Cove Hotel (luxury sea facing cottage).
Day - 2 & 3 » Covelong
Day - 4 » Covelong - Pondicherry
Drive south to Mahabalipuram noted for the seven monolithic temples, each
carved from a single granite boulder standing on the seashore. In the
village you will see a huge frieze, known as Arjunas Penance, which is
cut on to a flat granite rock face. Continue to Pondicherry the former
french colony; the centre of the town still retains a french atmosphere in
its architecture and planning. Stay at the Hotel De L Orient an 18th
century French colonial house.
Day - 5 » Pondicherry
This mornign drive out of the city of Gingee to see the remarkable 15th
century Vijaynagar fort. Return to Pondicherry and in the afternoon visit
the Aurobindo Ashram founded by a Bengali philosopher in the early 20th
Day - 6 » Pondicherry - Tanjore
Today drive via the temple towns of Chidambaram and Kumbakonam to Tanjore
to stay fortwo nights at the Ideal River Resort which is situated
overlooking the Cauvery river outside of the town.
Day - 7 » Tanjore
This entire area is rich in South Indian temple architecture. Today visit
the great Brihadiswara temple in Tanjore, which is considered to be one of
the most magnificent Chola temples in India. Drive out to Trichy which, is
dominated by the rock Fort Temple. Also visit Srirangam a superbtemple
complex spread over an island in the Cauvery River. The Sri Ranganathaswami
temple dedicated to vishnu is one of the biggest temples in India.
Day - 8 » Tanjore - Madurai
This morning drive to Madurai, which has been a centre of learning, and
pilgrimage for many centuries. Life in this bustling pilgrimage city is
centred on the great Meenakshi Temple,w hich dominates the old city. This
temple with its gopurams (pyramidal gateway towers) is covered with a
profusion of multi coloured images of mystical figures, animals and gods.
Stay overnight at the taj Garden Retreat or Hotel Sangam.
Alternatively, from Tanjore you could visit the region of Chettinad, just
90 kms east of Madurai, and home to the Nattukottai Chettiars, a prosperous
banking community, who ventured overseas to Ceylon, Burma and Indo-China in
the 19th and 20th centuries and amassed great fortunes. This area is noted
for its grand mansions that are an archite ctural delight. We would
recommended a two-night stay at The Bangala a charming 75-year-old Chettinad
Bungalow belonging to the Meyyappa Chettiar family.
Day - 9 » Madurai - Kodaikanal
Today it is a scenic drive up to Kodaikanal,which is one of the most
charming hillstations in South India. Kodaikanal lies on the southern crest
of the Palani Hills, at an altitude of 2100 metres above sea level. Stay two
nights at the Carlton Hotel.
Day - 10 » Kodaikanal
At leisure, Kodaikanal is noted for its scenery and landscaped lakes. Two
of the msot spectacular views in India can be enjoyed from Coakers
walk and pillar Rocks; however, at certain times of year the views can be
restricted by the weather.
Day - 11 » Kodaikanal - Munnar
today for a scenic drive through the hills to Munnar, at 1520 metres above
sea level, in the high ranges of Kerala. Munnar is a genuine hill station
and centre of the Kerala tea industry. It is also close to Anaimudi, at 2695
metres the highest peak in South India. In the town Christ Church with its
memorial plaques to past planters is worth visiting. Stay at Windamere
estate or Siena Village.
Day - 12 » Munnar
Full day exploring Munnar and the surrounding area of Eravikulam National
Day - 13 » Munnar - Cochin
Drive south to the Malabar Coast and to Cochin. Stay at the Brunton
Boatyard Hotel overlooking the sea in Fort Cochin.
Day - 14 » Cochin
This morning visit the synagogue, dutch Palace, st Francis Church and
the spice market. In the afternoon take a harbour cruise to see some of the
nearny islands and the legendary Chinese fishing nets.
Day - 15 » Cochin - Mararikulam
This morning it is a short drive south to end your journey for three nights
at the Marari Beach Resort at Mararikulam. Alternatively, before relaxing at
thebeach, spend a couple of days cruising the backwaters on your own
Day - 16 & 17 » Mararikulam
Day - 18 » Mararikulam - Chennai
Transfer by car to Cochin airport for your return flight to Chennai.
Assistance on arrival end of tour.
Extension Tour to Cochin to Chennai
Day - 14 » Cochin - Tellicherry via Calicut
Today drive to Tellicherry. Stay overnight at Ayisha Manzil a 140 year-old
colonial style bungalow, belonging to the Moosa family, it is situated on a
hollock overlooking the Arabian Sea. The bungalow is simply furnished with
family antiques and consists of six bedrooms all with en-suite bathrooms.
Day - 15 » Tellicherry - Coorg
Morning at leisure. After lunch leave for a scenic drive to coorg, nestling
in the Western Ghats at 800 metres above sea level. The beautiful district
of Coorg, untouched by urban development, offers crisp air, thick tropical
forest, exotic spice and coffee plantations, extensive paddy fields and
diverse flora and bird life. Stay for two nights at the Orange County
Day - 16 » Coorg
This morning take a short forest walk from Orange Country, with a local
guide, to a tribal village. The Kurbas and Eravas tribes live in small
communities in the forests of Coorg. They cultivate the fields and collect
honey and herbs from the forest. In the afternoon visit a local plantation.
Day - 17 » Coorg - Mysore
Morning drive to the palce city of Mysore. Stay two nights at the Lalitha
Mahal palace hotel (new wing).
Day - 18 » Mysore
Explore Mysore and the surrounding area. Places of interest include the
Maharajas palace, the colourful vegetable and flower markets, and
Chamundi Hill noted for its Nandi temple. Outside of Mysore you may wish to
visit the Kesava Temple at Somnathpur.
Day - 19 » Mysore - Chennai
This mornign visit the ruins of Tipu Sultans capital at
Srirangapatna, which is situated just outside of the city. Return to Mysore
to join the Shatabdi Express train for the 7-hour journey to