On the Road Temple and Spices

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  • On the Road Temple and Spices

Duration: 20 day | 19 nights

Location: Chennai - Mahabalipuram - Kanchipuram - Pondichery - Chidambaram - Kumbakonam - Darasuram - Tanjore - Trichy - Chettinad - Madurai - Periyar - Allepey - Cochin - Coonoor - Ooty - Mysore - Hassan - Bangalore

Highlights of the programme :
  • The great Dravidian temples of Tamil Nadu
  • The plantations of tea, coffee and spices of Kerala
  • Cochin, its port and Chinese nets
  • Halebid and BelurKarnataka lost kingdoms

Arrival at Chennai International AirportWelcome on arrival and transfer to the hotel. Overnight at hotel.

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 postBecame 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 CoastOvernight at hotel.

Morning drive to Kanchipuramthe 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 templea 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 MahabalipuramOvernight at hotel.

Mahabalipuram was there two thousand years, a seaport known Roman merchants, Arabic and GreekThis is where the Pallava established their maritime capital that flourished until about Siam, China or Fiji. Visit the site consisting of templesa huge mural in reliefthe 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.

Pondicherry bridgehead commercial interests of France in India is full of surprisesThe 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 Citythe well-French accents still keeps the atmosphere of the old colonial tradingthen 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 centerThis ashram is very dynamic and very involved in everyday life. Overnight at hotel.

A 60 km from Pondicherry, visit the ancient religious city of Chidambaram surrounded by several wallsa fine example of Dravidian architectureOn to Kumbakonamancient capital of the Chola Empire from 1025 and for about 250 years. Nearby, Darasuram Airavateshvara temple and its remarkably preservedMagnificent 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 KaveriOvernight at hotel.

Tanjore played an important role in the political history of this region for over a thousand years and was the capital of three dynastiesthe CholasNayak and the MarathaVisit this city with many temples including the temple Brihadeswarathe 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 rock that dominates it. Several temples were built at the top. On the island of Sri Rangamvisit the Sanctuary of Ranganatha Swami, true religious city. Overnight at hotel.

Continue to the bucolic Chettinad region, renowned for its craftsmanship, the quality of its food and the nostalgic luxury of its palacesThe area was inhabited by a community of very wealthy merchants and bankers late 19thearly 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 regionOvernight at hotel.

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 architectureit is a huge religious complex of more than 2400  where the sacred and the profane mingle closelyOvernight at hotel.

A beautiful forest road that winds through the heart of the hills leading to the Periyar National ParkPeriyar Wildlife Sanctuary. Located in the heart of the Nilgiri, the panorama offers beautiful landscapes covered with tea plantations, coffee and spices. In the afternoonexploration of the reserve: boat ride on the lake, an artificial lake of 26 km² absolutely gorgeous to observe the dense and varied faunaThen, visit a spice garden and a pineapple plantationOvernight at hotel.

In the morning, continuing the exploration of the park by a ride on an elephantThen, in the afternoon, drive to the tea processing plant in Connemara to visit the plantations and the factory. This is an excellent opportunity to understand the different stages and different process from the fresh leaf to the finished product ready for export through drying and fermentation. Overnight at hotel.

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 coconutAlleppey invites a timeless Dayney through its backwatersThis idyllic network of rivers and canals make this region one of the most picturesque of rural IndiaAlong the palm-fringed shores, one can observe the lacustrine life and people go about their various occupationsGetting on a houseboat for a leisurely cruise on these channels. Overnight on houseboat.

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 centerIt was a prosperous stop on the Silk Road and Spice and still knows very active today in addition to being an important naval baseIt 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 showspectacular combination of costume drama, dance and singing. Overnight at hotel.

Departure to Coonoor by a beautiful road to changing landscapes as you go up in altitude, the city located at 1800 meters. On arrival, visit the Sim botanical park covers 12 hectares. Developed from 1874, it is said that this park, divided into eight different business lines, contain more than a thousand varieties of plants, flowers and trees. Overnight at hotel.

Morning transfer to Coonoor railway station and boarding the Toy Train, this typical train to Ooty located 19 kms. Traveling at an average speed of 15 km / h, the ride through the beautiful and varied landscapes dotted with tunnels and bridges. Ooty is an attractive resort founded by the British with the surrounding hills are covered with eucalyptus forestsplantations of tea and coffeeIt is a haven of cool when the heat wave plaguing the plains and in the city. Visit the picturesque Botanical Garden and the Rose Garden, the largest rose garden in India. Walk through town and around the lake, a major tourist attraction in the city. Overnight at hotel.

Morning drive to the royal city of Mysore, once one of the most prosperous princely statesThe charm of this city lies in its green and especially in his baroque palace that evokes the splendor of the legendary MaharajasBefore arriving in the city, stop at the Chamundi hill overlooking the city to discover the temple of Sri Chamundeshwari erected there 2000 years and dedicated to the patron goddess of the royal familyThen the statue monolith Nandi bull, mythical mount of Shiva, with impressive dimensionsContinue to Mysore. Overnight at hotel.

Visit the magnificent palace of the Maharajah of Mysore, the largest in South India, which was destroyed by fire, was completely rebuilt in an exuberant style of Indo-Saracenic inspiration. Worthy of a fairy tale, the interior is a veritable riot of gilt, marble mosaic ceilings and carved mahoganyThe paintings represent the splendor of the palace of the royal court as it once was under the maharajasAfter a stroll through the city to the classy buildings and wide avenues, foray into the great Devaraja Market, with stalls selling flower garlands sold by the meter and sandalwood. Overnight at hotel.

Departure for Hassan founded in the 11th century including the remarkable architecture of its temples earned him the title of Capital of religious architecture of Karnataka. En route, visit Shravanbelagola an important Jain pilgrimage center and mounted to the sanctuary that houses the colossal statue of Lord Bahubali17m high and carved from a single block of stone. Aged over 1000 years, it is considered as the largest monolith statue in the worldContinue to HassanOvernight at hotel.

Belur Halebid and excursion to two major sites in the Hindu art that deserve our attention. Belonging to the Hoysala dynastyBelur was the first site built on a star-shaped planNumerous reliefs recount battle scenes of the era and the profusion of sculptures represent deities, among the senior ranks and animals. Then, drive to Halebidwhich was the capital of this dynasty and visit the temple of Hoysaleshwara Shiva and ParvatiA jewel with its magnificent sculptures. Back to HassanOvernight at hotel.

Road to Bangalore metropolis and major high technology centerits main activities is the IT outsourcing and aerospace. Bangalore, capital of Karnataka, was one of the seats of the British administration until 1881, when the city was returned to the Maharaja of Mysore. City to classic and elegant buildings, the city is home to two large green areasthe Lal Bagh Botanical Garden with more than 1000 varieties of exotic and tropical plants and Cubbon Park, the green heart of Bangalore, with its 1200 hectares. Walk in the City Market, big market, part, covered, is the flower marketTransfer to Bangalore airport for the return flight.


You will find below our selection of hotels for this trip. Hotels indicative subject to availability. The choice of the class of accommodation to you. 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 airportExcellent 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.

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.

Tea Nest – Coonoor

Beautiful setting in the tea plantations and warm hospitalityProperty a little outside very peaceful.

Sherlock Hotel – Ooty

Comfortable hotel which is close to the hills. Wonderful panoramic view of the tea plantations. Beautiful garden. Staff very nice and helpful. Nice rooms with fireplace.

Park Line – Mysore

Hotel Heritage kind, beautifully situated near the Mysore Palace. This has thirty rooms all decorated in an ethnic style and offering modern facilities.

Hoysala Village Resort – Hassan

Quiet, bungalows with porches enclosed in a beautiful exotic garden. Nice pool and spa. Large rooms with all comforts. The friendly staff is noteworthy. Beautifully furnished common areas and small refined details.


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.

Horseback ride

Expect a complete change: in the saddle on the beautiful Marwari horses with amazing earrings shaped like a crescent moon, discover the breathtaking surroundings and go out to meet the locals. A walk to discover treasures, off the beaten path.

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.


Take a step back to admire the pink city Jaipur, it is possible. Climb aboard the platform of your balloon and fly over the capital of Rajasthan and the impressive Amber Fort which is necessary not far from it. In the early morning light, the emotions are at their peak by the glipse by the history of vastness and beauty which has exisred here for last many centuries.

Polo match

Polo on horseback or elephant, a unique show in Jaipur, Jodhpur or Delhi. Sport in vogue in India, polo on horseback is still today one of the spearheads of the sport in the Indian aristocracy. Polo on elephant back, meanwhile, is not a sport as such. Nevertheless, it attracts large crowds because of the originality of a rapid game with elephants struggling to move on the ground. Very entertaining!

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.

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.

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.

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.


Immerse yourself in the practice of Yoga and meditation which helps you to know your body and mind. An experienced yoga teacher will teach you the various techniques of “pranayama” (breathing), “asanas” (positions) and ‘dhyana’ (meditation). A unique opportunity in the purest tradition.

Henna session

Mehndi usually refers to the art of drawing with henna on the skin. It is an ephemeral equivalent of tattooing. In Rajasthan, mehndi is an fplk art and it is common for women to get as sophisticated as those of newlyweds drawings. Attend a session to decorate your hands with henna and why not take the opportunity to keep track of your visit!

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.

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.