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South India Tea and Temple

TripCompanion / South India Tea and Temple

South India Tea and Temple

$3260

per person

Reach back into the Dravidian culture and observe the influence of the French, Dutch and English colonialists. There’s much to learn about the South Indian culture on this tour. Excite your taste buds with an interactive kitchen experience with an authentic Chettinad chef.

Enrich your knowledge while enjoying a cup of tea at the Munnar Tea Plantations and Tea Museum. Arrive at Kerala where St Thomas the Apostle introduced Christianity in the 1st century. Stroll by the Arabian Sea front and relax on a Backwaters small boat cruise. You’ll be amazed by how much you can learn from this trip!

13 Days, 12 Nights: Chennai, Mylapore, Pondicherry, Thanjavur, Karaikudi, Madurai, Munnar & Kochi

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ITINERARY AT A GLANCE

Day 1: Meet Up at Chennai

Day 2: Chennai | Mylapore

Day 3: Chennai – Pondicherry (Puducherry) | Mahabalipuram

Day 4: Pondicherry | Pondicherry Tour, Cooking Demonstration

Day 5: Pondicherry – Thanjavur | Silk Weavers’ Colony

Day 6: Thanjavur | Brihadeeswara Temple, Cooking Demonstration

Day 7: Thanjavur – Karaikudi, Trichy

Day 8: Karaikudi – Madurai | Meenakshi Temple

Day 9: Madurai – Munnar

Day 10: Munnar| Tea Plantation, Tea Museum, Kudla Dam, Echo Point

Day 11: Munnar – Kochi | Fort Kochi, Kathakali Dance Performance

Day 12: Kochi | Alleppey Lunch Cruise

Day 13: Depart Kochi

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INCLUSIONS

‣  4-Star Hotel Accommodations (Except 3-Star at Kochi)

‣  Airport Transfers

‣  Daily Breakfast and Selected Meals (See tour plan for details)

‣  Welcome Dinner

‣  English-speaking Local Guide

‣  Entrance Fees to Monuments

‣  Small Boat Cruise on Kerala Backwaters

‣  Cooking Demonstrations with Local Chef

‣  Kathakali Dance Performance

 

1

Meet Up at Chennai (MAA)

Upon arrival at Chennai airport, you'll be met and transferred to your hotel. The remainder of the day is free to relax and enjoy the hotel or explore this capital city of Tamil Nadu state on your own with an optional add-on private car and chauffeur.
2

Chennai | Mylapore

Let’s take the Peacock Trail through Mylapore, a town that predates Chennai by at least 2,000 years and is the religious and cultural epicenter of the Tamil people. Visit the Kapaleeshwarar temple, re-built 300 years ago, which is a fine example of the pure Dravidian style with gopurams and mandapams. The original Kapaleeshwarar (dedicated to Shiva) was demolished in the mid-sixteenth century by the Portuguese. The Portuguese built a colony on the shore and pushed Mylapore inshore where it still stands today.

The Kapaleeshwarar temple is surrounded by jewelers, silk merchants, fruit and vegetable sellers, flower vendors in the bazaars.  You will also find stores selling music and religious memorabilia in this neighborhood.

Marina Beach is 4 miles long along the Bay of Bengal, one of the longest beaches in the world. Near the north of Marina Beach is Fort St George which was the first English fortress in India. The fort also houses St Mary's Church, both the oldest Anglican church and the oldest British building in India.

This evening, enjoy a local dance performance with your welcome dinner.

Breakfast the most important meal of the day. We select fabulous hotels with both local authentic and western breakfast so you are well prepared to enjoy your travel tours.Breakfast   Enjoy local authentic cuisine during your dinner at one of our travel tours. Develop new friendships with other members along the way.  Welcome Dinner
3

Chennai – Pondicherry (Puducherry) | Mahabalipuram, Kanchipuram

Mahabalipuram is a small seaside village and once the main port of the Pallava Dynasty from the 5th to 9th centuries. It has a group of sanctuaries carved out of rock during the 7th and 8th centuries: rathas (temples in the form of chariots), mandapas (cave sanctuaries), giant open-air rock reliefs such as the famous Descent of the Ganges, and the Shore Temple with thousands of sculptures dedicated to the glory of God Shiva. This Group of Monuments at Mahabalipuram has been classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Afterwards you continue by road to Pondicherry .

Breakfast the most important meal of the day. We select fabulous hotels with both local authentic and western breakfast so you are well prepared to enjoy your travel tours.Breakfast
4

Pondicherry (Puducherry) | Pondicherry Tour, Cooking Demonstration

Today you visit a local village to interact with the locals and get an insight into their traditions and daily life.

In 1674, Pondicherry became a French colony. Experience the French colonial atmosphere in Puducherry, visit the French quarter and the famous Sri Aurobindo Ashram (an ashram is akin to a monastery), founded by one of India's greatest philosopher-poets.

Other attractions are the lush Government Park and elegant Gandhi Memorial.
Enjoy your cooking demonstration at the hotel.

Breakfast the most important meal of the day. We select fabulous hotels with both local authentic and western breakfast so you are well prepared to enjoy your travel tours.Breakfast    Enjoy local authentic cuisine during your dinner at one of our travel tours. Develop new friendships with other members along the way.  Dinner
5

Pondicherry – Thanjavur | Silk Weavers’ Colony

Witness the process of traditional weaving at the silk weavers' colony. Tamil Nadu is well known for its hand-woven "Kanchipuram" silk sarees. Embroidered intensely with zari (gold or silver thread), these sarees are large and heavy. These sarees are well known throughout the world for its well-defined weaving patterns and good quality silk. Tanjavur is one of the major silk centres in Tamil Nadu.

Tie and Die: It involves two techniques. The patola or ikat technique involves the dyeing the dye-resistant yarn.

Breakfast the most important meal of the day. We select fabulous hotels with both local authentic and western breakfast so you are well prepared to enjoy your travel tours.Breakfast  
6

Thanjavur | Brihadeeswara Temple, Cooking Demonstration

Thanjavur thrived as the ancient capital of the Chola kingdom, and later of the Marathas and Nayaks.

The great Brihadeeswara (Brahadeeswara) Temple in Dravidian architecture, also known as the Big Temple, was built by Rajaraja Chola I. It is one of the most magnificent pieces of South Indian temple architecture.

To explore more about Chola artifects, visit the Thanjavur Palace, Saraswati Mahal library and the art gallery. The art gallery hosts an excellent collection of Chola bronzes and stone carvings. Enjoy an introduction to the Thanjavur style of paintings.

Enjoy your cooking demonstration at the hotel.
Breakfast the most important meal of the day. We select fabulous hotels with both local authentic and western breakfast so you are well prepared to enjoy your travel tours.Breakfast  Enjoy local authentic cuisine during your dinner at one of our travel tours. Develop new friendships with other members along the way.  Dinner
7

Thanjavur - Karaikudi | Trichy

Drive from Thanjavur to Karaikudi to visit Trichy that was a capital of the early Cholas in the 3rd century BC. It passed through the hands of many rulers including the British. It is famous with the 17th century Rock Fort Temple.
Breakfast the most important meal of the day. We select fabulous hotels with both local authentic and western breakfast so you are well prepared to enjoy your travel tours.Breakfast
8

Karaikudi – Madurai | Meenakshi Temple

Madurai is one of the oldest cities in India, a metropolis that traded with ancient Rome. It’s celebrated Meenakshi Amman Temple is one of India's greatest temples with a dazzling maze-like structure. Meenakshi Temple with its nine gopurams (temple towers) soaring to almost 164 feet above the gateways, is decorated with colorful stucco images of gods, goddesses and animals.  The incredible thousand-pillared hall and the Golden Lotus tank are must-see attractions!

Breakfast the most important meal of the day. We select fabulous hotels with both local authentic and western breakfast so you are well prepared to enjoy your travel tours.Breakfast  
9

Madurai - Munnar

Drive to Munnar, the hill station 6,000 ft above sea level that is the home to many tea plantations. These tea plantations were the British Raj’s solution to Chinese tea monopoly in the 1800s. With its cooler weather, the fog often wafts over the mountains. The tranquil beauty of nature is punctuated by signs of women plucking buds and leaves from the green tea gardens (tea plantations).

Breakfast the most important meal of the day. We select fabulous hotels with both local authentic and western breakfast so you are well prepared to enjoy your travel tours.Breakfast  
10

Munnar | Tea Plantation, Tea Museum, Kudla Dam, Echo Point

You stroll through a working tea plantation. Depending on the time of the year, you may be able to see the colorful tea pluckers at work and visit the factory to observe the Tea making process - crush, tear, curl. Then visit the interesting Kannan Devan Tea Museum with machines, photographs, classic bungalow furniture and office equipment of the Colonial era.

Other attractions are Kudla Dam, Echo Point and a gentle hike through the lush landscape.

Breakfast the most important meal of the day. We select fabulous hotels with both local authentic and western breakfast so you are well prepared to enjoy your travel tours.Breakfast   Have fun on one of our travel tours with everything include lunches that are prepared and convenient for you. We take the stress away from our guests and allow your more time to really enjoy themselves.   Lunch    Enjoy local authentic cuisine during your dinner at one of our travel tours. Develop new friendships with other members along the way.  Dinner  
11

Munnar - Kochi | Fort Kochi, Kathakali Dance Performance

We drive to Kochi today. Serene Kochi is a melting pot of medieval Portuguese and Dutch heritage mixed with an English village grafted onto the tropical Malabar Coast. You will visit the historical towns of Fort Cochin and Mattancherry, the spice markets, antique shopping market, synagogue and the famous Chinese fishing nets.

Enjoy a performance of famous Kathakali dancing demonstrating an ancient ritual that plays an important role in Kerala's cultural life. The plays are based on the three major Hindu epics, acted out with elaborate hand gestures, facial expressions and beautiful choreographed movements.
Breakfast the most important meal of the day. We select fabulous hotels with both local authentic and western breakfast so you are well prepared to enjoy your travel tours.Breakfast   Enjoy local authentic cuisine during your dinner at one of our travel tours. Develop new friendships with other members along the way.  Dinner  
12

Kochi | Alleppey Lunch Cruise

Alleppey is in the hub of Kerala's backwaters, home to a vast network of waterways and more than a thousand houseboats. Take a small boat (shikara) cruise to explore the unique water world of villages, shikaras (traditional motorized small boats), toddy shops and houseboats surrounded by great paddy fields.

Then back to Kochi.

Breakfast the most important meal of the day. We select fabulous hotels with both local authentic and western breakfast so you are well prepared to enjoy your travel tours.Breakfast  Have fun on one of our travel tours with everything include lunches that are prepared and convenient for you. We take the stress away from our guests and allow your more time to really enjoy themselves.   Lunch
13

Depart Kochi (COK)

The tour comes to an end after breakfast. Hotel check-out and transfer to the departure airport.

Breakfast the most important meal of the day. We select fabulous hotels with both local authentic and western breakfast so you are well prepared to enjoy your travel tours.Breakfast

Tour Location

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Dates & Pricing 

  Private Tour: Daily departure.  
2 Persons * 3 Persons ** 4 Persons * 6 Persons *
Apr 1 to Sep 30, 2018 $3,260 $2,720 $2,635 $2,390
Oct 1 to Dec 19, 2018 $3,920 $3,385 $3,300 $3,055
Jan 11 to Mar 31, 2019 $4,200 $3,665 $3,580 $3,335
  • * Price per person in US dollars, double occupancy.
  • ** Price per person in US dollars, triple occupancy.
  • Solo traveler or larger groups, call for price.
  • Prices include all currently applicable taxes.

Booking Your Flight

We can find the best flights and airfares for your tour.
Buying your own air tickets? No problem.

Exclusions

  • ‣ International Air Fares To And From India
  • ‣ Travel Insurance
  • ‣ Medical Expenses
  • ‣ Visa Fee For India
  • ‣ Gratuities
  • ‣ Laundry Service
  • ‣ Personal Expenses and Telephone Calls
  • ‣ Professional camera/video camera fees at monuments
  • ‣ All other services which are not mentioned in the inclusions

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Hotel Information

Destination Hotel Rating
Chennai Lemon Tree ★★★★
Pondicherry Palais De Mahe ★★★★
Thanjavur Sangam ★★★★
Karaikudi Visalam ★★★★
Madurai GRT Regency ★★★★
Abad Cooper Castle Abad Cooper Castle ★★★★
Kochi Casino Hotel ★★★
Hotels mentioned are subject to availability at the time of reservation.