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Tamil Nadu & Kerala
Our Tours & Stays
 Tamil Nadu & Kerala 12 Days / 11 Nights
Chennai - Mahabalipuram - Auroville - Pondichery - Chidambaram - Thanjavur - Trichy - Madurai - Periyar - Backwaters - Kochi
Walking first on the east coast, facing the Gulf of Bengal, the route then passes through the stations of lush altitudes bordering Tamil Nadu and Kerala to the sea of Oman and its fabulous ecological sanctuary on the West Coast . A dive in the most beautiful Hindu temples of Tamil Nadu Thanjavur and Madurai as alternating with steps on the cultural legacy of the former European colonies such Pondicherry in early course and Cochin last. Charming accommodation, relaxation, swimming, well being with massage, abundant vistas in upland forests, spice plantations and wildlife reserves, away from the hubbub of the cities ... A final step in Kerala enchanting, the backwaters with a ride 24 hours in lagoons, over the water, on a houseboat before ending the tour in Cochin, unforgettable city built by Vasco da Gama in 1502 ... Many stories and references that our English speaking guide will be kind enough to share throughout the trip.
Days 1 & 2: Arrive Chennai (Madras) - Mahabalipuram [60 Km - road 1:30]
Reception at the airport and transfer to the hotel in Mahabalipuram. Mahabalipuram Visit the archaeological site on the coast of Coromandel. This site is dotted with large granite rocks which were carved in the seventh and eighth century shaped temples and Mandapa forming an amazing eclectic dedicated to Shiva, Vishnu, Krishna and Mahabharata hero. Visit the village of granite sculptors, rock art of the seventh and eighth centuries. Opportunity bathing in the sea. Nights at the hotel. Possibility of massages on site.
Days 3 & 4: Mahabalipuram - Pondicherry [100 Km - 2 H drive]
On the way to Pondicherry, Auroville stop, the 'City of Dawn' utopian city with an international vocation created by 'Mother', a disciple of the spiritual philosopher Sri Aurobindo. Arrival in Pondicherry, a former French colony of India.
Stay two nights at the Orient (charming heritage hotel) in the historic district of Pondicherry still today named 'White City'. The plan of the city vaguely reminiscent of our great coastal cities. Discovery of the churches, the place and the governor's palace, colonial buildings such as public works, the home of the soldier, the French high school and the Sri Aurobindo Ashram, the Goubert market and the waterfront unveiling the Gulf Bengal.
Introduction to Creole culture of Vietnamese influences Pondicherry, Tamil and French interspersed relaxing break, shopping and gourmet menus. Overnight in a colonial mansion.
Day 5: Pondicherry - Thanjavur [210 Km - 4 / road 5H]
In the morning, drive to Thanjavur, the ancient capital of the Chola dynasty in the late ninth century. The city has more than 75 temples, the most famous is the Brihadeshvara Shiva-Rudra around 1000. Temple a World Heritage Site by Unesco.
En route, stop at Chidambaram to visit his great temple dedicated to Shiva Nataraja 'dancing Shiva', a masterpiece of Dravidian architecture. Then transfer to Thanjavur. Overnight at hotel that consists of small cottages very "cozy" installed in an extraordinary garden with a large swimming pool and massage center.
Days 6 and 7: Thanjavur - Trichy (50 km / 1h30) - Madurai (140km / approx 2:15)
Departure to Tiruchirappalli, more familiarly known as Tiruchi or TRICHY. Arrival and visit the Temple of Srirangam whose entries do go back to the tenth century. Many dynasties were involved in its construction, including the Chera, the Pandya, the Cholas, the Hoysala, Vijayanagar and Nayak. Continue with a visit to the Rock Temple. Trichy or "the city of the sacred rock" which probably owes its name to the rock that dominates it. This remarkable site was a fortress of the time of the Cholas. With the Madurai Nayak it developed from the fifteenth century. The bravest can meanwhile be taken, from the sacred pool Teppa Kulam, the rise of the Rock Temple. It then accesses an impressive strategic position where a fortress was rebuilt in the sixteenth century by the Nayak of Madurai before being rebuilt by the English in the eighteenth century.
We must remove their shoes at the foot of the long staircase of 443 steps, interspersed with bearings, up to the summit where stands a temple in honor of Ganesha. When climbing are successively discovered the Mandapam thousand columns, the mandapa of a Hundred Columns and especially two rock sanctuaries with superb sculptures. At the top appears the Ganesh Temple, where we discover an exceptional view of the city.
Continue to MADURAI. Largest city of Tamil Nadu (Tamil country) considered religious and cultural capital of the Tamil country. MADURAI was the city of Pandya, powerful dynasty who became famous in the Middle Ages, fighting against the neighboring kingdoms (Pallava, Chola, Hoysala and Chalukya) before falling in the early fourteenth century. Installation at the hotel
Day 8: Madurai
City tour: This is the Nayak, masters of the place from the sixteenth century, we must build the jewel of the city. Visit the MEENAKSHI Temple, dedicated to Meenakshi, ancient local deity, bellicose, who had three breasts and fish eyes. Shiva married and the look of the beautiful lit up, his aggressive instincts calmed down and disappeared within its surplus. The sacred set covers six hectares and has 12 towers of 45 to 50 m forming the great temple.
Visit the Gandhi museum, which is a living institution. It aims to help young people in the country to know the "dharma", the duty of a human being, "the Ahinsa" non-violence and "Satyagrah" peaceful resistance, as well as work and the teaching of Gandhi. Continuation with the visit of the gigantic Palace of Nayak Tirumalalai, Indo-Muslim palace, built in 1636.
Free time to stroll in the market. Madurai is famous for its silks and ornate wood carvings.
In the evening, departure by Tuk-Tuk to attend the ceremony of Sunset God Shiva left his temple to gain the sanctuary of the goddess Minakshi. The idol, richly dressed and carried by priests in a palanquin is followed by a fervent crowd ... An amazing street show that will delight you. After the ceremony, return to your hotel.
Day 9: Madurai - Thekaddy (160 KM / approx 2:30)
Departure for THEKKADY, a region rich in cultures vineyards and cane sugar and various spices. In the afternoon, visit a tea plantation and Garden of spices, the 7th in the world. You will be accompanied to the discovery of spices, trees and plants of the region: tea, cardamom, coffee, cloves, ginger, pepper, vanilla and a multitude of local flowers: hibiscus, orchids, callistemon, birds of paradise .. of course depending on the season.
You will attend a show of martial arts: Kalaripayatt. A native of Kerala, the Kalaripayatt be the dean of martial arts. Fist fights, but also with knives and flaming torches. Overnight at hotel.
Day 10: Periyar - Alleppey (House boat) [130 km - 4 / road 5H]
Arrive late morning on the famous canals called 'backwaters' and immediate boarding for a cruise on a 22-hour 'house boat'; bamboo and wooden boats that operate boatmen using long poles that were formerly used for the carriage of goods and trade in the state of Kerala. Extraordinary journey on these channels surrounded by coconut palms, rice fields and dotted with beautiful traditional houses built of teak, mahogany or rosewood ...
Ride day and night on the Evergreen House boat equipped with double rooms with en suite bathroom, a dining room or you will be served typical meals, plus a rest room at the front of the boat. (full board)
Day 11: Alleppey - Kochi [80 km 1:30]
On the Malabar coast along the Arabian Sea, stop for a swim on the beach of Marari beach. Arriving early afternoon at Fort Kochi. This city was founded by Vasco da Gama in 1502 on the site of a village visited by Cabral in 1500. Vasco da Gama died in 1524. Albuquerque where he built a fortress in 1503 and made a Portuguese possession. In 1530, the city became a center of missionary Francis Xavier. The English took the city in 1635 and the Dutch in 1663 and a century later, Tipu Sultan donated to English again. Previously, the city also hosted a Jewish settlement and allowed it to establish a Jewish neighborhood around a synagogue dating from 1568 ...
In short, the city of Kochi is especially rich a vestige of European occupation and this is what we suggest you visit: 'Dutch Palace' built in 1520, Church of St. Francis tomb of Alburquerque, Syriac neighborhood Mulanthuruthu with its thirteenth century church, the oldest of India ... Not to mention the Chinese fishing nets and the constant spectacle of boats entering the lagoon at sunset. Overnight at hotel.
Day 12: Kochi
After breakfast, free day and transfer to the airport according to the departure time. End of our services.
Price of stay: 1290 Euros per person (based on 4 people)
included
The care on arrival at airport Chennai (India), until the departure airport is Kochi in air-conditioned luxury car (Tempo travel) with an English speaking driver and an experienced English speaking guide who will be you 24 / 24h throughout the course to make travel and meet all your specific requirements.
The accommodation in air-conditioned double room in 3 star hotels or heritage class boutique hotels. Most of the proposed hotels have a swimming pool.
Breakfast.
Full board in the houseboat.
The Tickets To Some Monuments.
The shows Kathakkali and kalaripaytu.
Non included
Lunch, dinner, drinks and gratuities.
Rides on the backs of animals (horse, elephant) available to you but not mandatory and massages in the accommodation.
The plane ticket, the tourist visa for India and the mandatory repatriation insurance for travel within the country.
Tours & Stays
18 Days
22 Days / 21 Nights
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