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Temple Dravidian the Tea Plantations - 14 days | 13 nights

Highlights of the programme :
  • Madurai and its temple, the true religious city
  • Munnar and the tea plantations of sight
  • The charm of a house-boat on the canals at Alleppey
  • Cochin, its port and Chinese nets

ITINERARY

Day 01 Chennai
Arrive Chennai. Reception at the airport. Transfer and overnight at the hotel.
Day 02 Chennai - Mahabalipuram
Chennai, formerly known as Madras is the capital of the state of Tamil Nadu. Gateway of South India entry, this beautiful garden city formerly consisted of several small villages scattered installed in the middle of rice fields lined with palm trees until it became a trading post. Became one of the first outposts of the British East India Company, it was one of the most important ports in the Bay of Bengal and the object of struggle and conquest between the British and the French. Drive to Mahabalipuram, the City of the Seven Pagodas, located on the Coromandel Coast. Overnight at hotel.
Day 03 Mahabalipuram – Kanchipuram - Mahabalipuram
Morning drive to Kanchipuram, the Golden City of a Thousand Temples was the capital of the Pallava dynasty of the 6th to the 9th century, and under their rule, the city became the center of the Renaissance of Hinduism in the south . Visit in another Kailasanath the temple, a perfect example of Dravidian style view Perumal temple Varadharaj not accessible to non-Hindus. Sri Ekambareshwara temple with its huge lobby with a thousand pillars covered with sculptures, a real city with its merchants and pilgrims. Then, visit a factory saris and discovery of a silk weaving workshop, the city is famous for its brightly colored saris for over four hundred years. Back to Mahabalipuram. Overnight at hotel.
Day 04 Mahabalipuram
Mahabalipuram was there two thousand years, a seaport known Roman merchants, Arabic and Greek. This is where the Pallava established their maritime capital that flourished until about Siam, China or Fiji. Visit the site consisting of temples, a huge mural in relief, the Descent of the Ganges, and caves carved high relief, the whole being a masterpiece of the time. Then the famous Shore Temple erected on the sand by the ocean and bathed by the waves of the Bay of Bengal. Then all five Rathas, small monolithic temples who were given the form of a procession of floats dedicated to the princes of the dynasty. These monuments are listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Overnight at hotel.
Day 05 Mahabalipuram - Pondichéry
Pondicherry bridgehead commercial interests of France in India is full of surprises. The city has an atmosphere and a unique charm quite different from the rest of India. There is a sense of calm in the city. Visit the White City, the well-French accents still keeps the atmosphere of the old colonial trading, then stroll to the Tamil market and the Promenade. Then visit the Sri Aurobindo Ashram, philosopher and poet who founded in 1926 with a French community that bears his name, now a meditation center. This ashram is very dynamic and very involved in everyday life. Overnight at hotel.
Jour 06 Pondichéry - Chidambaram - Kumbakonam - Tanjore
TanjoreA 60 km from Pondicherry, visit the ancient religious city of Chidambaram surrounded by several walls, a fine example of Dravidian architecture. On to Kumbakonam, ancient capital of the Chola Empire from 1025 and for about 250 years. Nearby, Darasuram Airavateshvara temple and its remarkably preserved. Magnificent example of the perfection attained in architecture and sculpture at that time. Stroll through the village and meet the artisans whose specialty is labor lost wax bronze and visit a workshop. Finally, drive to Tanjore, often called the Attic rice from India, located in the fertile valley of the Kaveri. Overnight at hotel.
Day 07 Tanjore - Trichy
Tanjore played an important role in the political history of this region for over a thousand years and was the capital of three dynasties: the Cholas, Nayak and the Maratha. Visit this city with many temples including the temple Brihadeswara, the flagship of the city. Then, towards Trichy built on a hillside overlooking the plain. Tiruchirapalli Trichy is colloquially known as the fourth largest city in Tamil Nadu. The city of Rock probably owes its name to the rocky peak that dominates and it owes its existence. Several temples were built at the top. On the island of Sri Rangam, visit the Sanctuary of Ranganatha Swami, true religious city. Overnight at hotel.
Day 08 Trichy - Chettinad
PeriyarContinue to the bucolic Chettinad region, renowned for its craftsmanship, the quality of its food and the nostalgic luxury of its palaces. The area was inhabited by a community of very wealthy merchants and bankers late 19th, early 20th century. Their fortunes made it possible to finance the construction of sumptuous Baroque houses and very unique with the use of noble materials such as Burmese teak and marble from Italy. The craft tradition is still very much alive in this region and can be visited workshops in wood, silver or a factory of earthenware and tiles, specialty of the region. Overnight at hotel.
Day 09 Chettinad - Madurai
Morning stroll through the streets of Chettinad then depart for Madurai, Tamil bubbling cultural capital of the country and one of the centers of Hinduism. Explore the city and visit the gigantic Meenakshi temple, a place of pilgrimage like a medieval fortress. Considered one of the largest temples of Dravidian architecture, it is a huge religious complex of more than 2400 where the sacred and the profane mingle closely. Overnight at hotel.
Day 10 Madurai - Munnar
After a long and winding road through beautiful landscapes, arrived in the resort of Munnar. This small mountain resort located 1,600 meters above sea level was a popular holiday resort by the English at the time of the British Raj. The town lies in the valley of teas and landscapes are gorgeous. Visit a tea plantation and tea museum tracing the history of this famous drink since 1880. It is the first museum of its kind in India, opened by the Tata company, which includes a true heritage of the origins and the evolution of the plantations. Overnight at hotel.
Day 11 Munnar - Periyar
A beautiful forest road that winds through the heart of the hills leading to the Periyar National Park, Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary. Located in the heart of the Nilgiri, the panorama offers beautiful landscapes covered with tea plantations, coffee and spices. In the afternoon, exploration of the reserve: boat ride on the lake, an artificial lake of 26 km² absolutely gorgeous to observe the dense and varied fauna, ride on an elephant. Then, visit a spice garden and a pineapple plantation. Overnight at hotel.
Day 12 Periyar - Allepey
Drive to Alleppey between the rubber plantations. Alleppey is a nice little town on the great Vembanad lake and one of its main craft activities is the exploitation and processing of coir fiber from the bark of the coconut. Alleppey invites a timeless Dayney through its backwaters. This idyllic network of rivers and canals make this region one of the most picturesque of rural India. Along the palm-fringed shores, one can observe the lacustrine life and people go about their various occupations. Getting on a houseboat for a leisurely cruise on these channels. Overnight on houseboat.
Day 13 Allepey - Cochin
Disembark and drive to Cochin along the coast of Malabar and the Arabian Sea. Since ancient times, the port city of Kochi is known to be an important commercial center. It was a prosperous stop on the Silk Road and Spice and still knows very active today in addition to being an important naval base. It is at Cochin, former first Portuguese and Dutch counter that Vasco da Gama made a stop in 1498 and died with the title of Viceroy of Portuguese India. Explore the old town with the church of St Francis, the first Christian church built in India, the former colonial quarter Mattanchery with its synagogue, the Dutch Palace and the traditional district of spice warehouses. In the evening, representation of a Kathakali dance show, spectacular combination of costume drama, dance and singing. Overnight at hotel.
Day 14 Cochin
Transfer to Cochin airport for the return flight.

SUGGESTED HOTELS

You will find below our selection of hotels for this trip. The choice of the type of accommodation is in your hands. You will be able to specify it in your quote.

GRT Grand - Chennai

Very good hotel and also close to the airport . Attentive service, good size and comfortable rooms. In summary, good benefits.

Grande Bay Resort & Spa - Mahabalipuram

New resort hotel offers comfortable rooms and plenty of space. Attentive and helpful staff. Fantastic pool and sandy beach at five minutes walk. A place to dream.

The Orient Hotel - Pondichery

Located in the French Quarter, this old colonial house, renovated in accordance with the atmosphere of the 18th century, offers a relaxing atmosphere. Exposed beams, high ceilings, four-poster beds and a shaded center of the property, very nice for dining courtyard.

Ideal River View Resort - Tanjore

A little away from the city, in a beautiful setting on the banks of the river. Small cozy bungalows with private balconies. Impeccable service. Huge pool in beautiful and well kept gardens, tennis courts and Indian dance performances . An oasis in the countryside away from the noise of the city.

Grand Gardenia - Trichy

Very comfortable and a bit out near the airport. Excellent service with all amenities in a perfect condition. Spacious rooms and staff friendly and courteous.

Saratha Villas - Chettinad

A home Chettiar beautifully restored to large well appointed rooms which are very comfortable. The owners are welcoming. The staff is efficient and discreet.

The Gateway Hotel Pasumalaim - Madurai

Beautiful colonial-style hotel in the countryside on a hill with peacocks and squirrels. Very friendly staff. Large beautifully decorated rooms, very correct restoration. A beautiful pool and lush gardens. Beautiful views of the city below.

Swiss County - Munnar

A small hotel located in an  incredible property in the hills of tea plants. The rooms are large and some offer a mini suite with lounge. Courteous, attentive and caring staff. Fine cuisine.

Spice Village Resort - Periyar

Establishment luxury ecolodge. Bungalows scattered in a garden full of spices. Bright, comfortable, clean and spacious rooms. Attentive and efficient. Nice pool.

Old Harbour Hotel - Cochin

Hotel in the center of Hospet and enjoyable. Very warm welcome. Bedroom and spacious bathroom. Friendly staff. Pool, spa with massage and Ayurvedic treatments, restaurants available.

Suggested Activities

You will find below our suggestion for activities to do throughout your journey. Do not hesitate to contact an advisor Aryavrit Travels for any specific request.

Ayurveda massage

Ayurveda invites us to stay in harmony with nature, in touch with the elements of nature by practicing yoga and meditation which help us to purify and nourish our body and mind. A massage  on the eye  helps to rebalance the body and its functions. Enjoy your visit to the birthplace of Ayurveda to experience a massage in the purest tradition.

Cooking lessons

You fell for tandoori chicken, Kerala fish curry, samosas, the thali, the dal, biryani? Do not leave without having learned to cook these dishes. We offer courses in vegetarian and non-vegetarian cuisine. At the end of the session, you are invited to examine and taste your own the prepared dishes.

Indian dances

Kathak is a pure narrative and dance, traditional Northern India. Bharata natyam is a form of Indian classical dance from southern India. This is one of the oldest Indian dance. Join us for a dance and mingle the group repeating her graceful gestures. A unique imprint of culture and joy.

Film show

Indians like to say that what unites them is a passion for cricket and love of cinema. India is the largest film industry in the world in terms of production and the number of entries. Attend the screening of a film, it's a unique experience and share a moment of jubilation.

Kathakali show

Kathakali is a form of traditional dance and theater sacred native of Kerala. Appeared in the seventeenth century, it showcases stories from the Mahabharata, Ramayana and Puranas, and great epics of Hindu mythology. Kathakali is different from other traditional dances by the complexity of its costumes and extravagant make-up dancers. Show not to be missed!

Local family

What could be more authentic than sharing a moment with a local family? An opportunity to understand the Indianess from very close which is worth reading several books on India. A unique opportunity to  learn about the customs of your hosts, with whom you share a traditional meal. A moment of conviviality, memorable exchanges that will only add magic to your stay.

Vintage car

Experience the charm side with a vintage ride in Rajasthan. These old cars of the maharajahs take you as a prince through the main streets of the cities. A timeless adventure not to be missed.

Bollywood

Nothing like a visit to the studios of Bollywood to understand why so many Indians dream of living the Bollywood dream. An experience not to be missed on your visit to Mumbai to discover the amazing vitality of Indian cinema.

Cricket match

Catch a game of cricket, a sport that is truly thrill the crowds in India. Unknown in France, cricket crystallizes all the passions in the Indian subcontinent, where millions of fans follow live matches of their national team. The best players are idolized as real stars, like Sachin Tendulkar, Kapil Dev considered one of the best cricketers of all time.

Bike ride

We invite you to immerse in unusual: a bike ride on the roads of India, Nepal and Bhutan. Cycling is a way to meet people, a tool to reach out to the population, which allows you to be closer than at the window of an air conditioned car. Let yourself drift along with your meetings, you will appreciate the paths which reserve surprises, all more enjoyable than the other.

Motorcycle ride

Wander through India or Nepal aboard the legendary Royal Enfield. This breakaway motorcycle delight lovers of nature and you will discover the diversity of landscapes.

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