Journeys to The Himalaya

Gems of the Tropical South .

india
INDIA »

India is a diverse and multi-faceted destination. Our journey there started in our founding year, 1988, and over the years we have built up a wealth of experience.

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nepal
NEPAL »

Nepal is a landlocked country situated in the Himalaya range between the two mighty nations of India and China.

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bhutan
BHUTAN »

For centuries Bhutan - The land of the Thunder Dragon remained closed kingdom to the outside world with no access to foreign travellers.

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tibet
TIBET »

Tibet is arguably one of the most talked about region in the Western, as fascinating are the stories full of mysticism and simply incomparable memories, as have been the politics in the region.

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Destinations : Chennai, Mamallapuram, Pondicherry, Thanjavur, Thekkady ,Kochi

From intricately carved temples to the tranquil backwaters…this trip has everything to convince you South India is a traveler’s Paradise.
A leisure holiday in coastal south is a treasured memory of enchanted hours spent close to nature. Carry with you the memories of hospitable people filled with zest for life.

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE TRIP

  • 7th century Mamallapuram, classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • Auroville, a township devoted to an experiment in human unity.
  • The magnificent mansions of Chettinad.
  • Madurai, a magical city with superb monuments.
  • Houseboat journey along Kerala backwaters.

 View on map

TROPICAL SOUTH

Day 01: Arrive at Chennai .
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Arrive and drive through Chennai city to Mamallapuram (56 kms). Mamallapuram in the 7th century was a port city of the South Indian dynasty of the Pallavas and is believed to have been named after the Pallava king Mamalla. It has various historic monuments built largely between the 7th and 9th centuries and has been classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Day 02: In Mamallapuram .
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Today we visit the important monuments Thirukadalmallai; Varaha Cave Temple – a small rock-cut temple dating back to the 7th century; Pancha Rathas (Five Chariots) – five monolithic pyramidal structures named after the Pandavas (Arjuna, Bhima, Yudhishtra, Nakula and Sahadeva) and Draupadi. An interesting aspect of the rathas is that, despite their sizes they were not built rather each of these was carved from one single large piece of stone.

Day 03: To Pondicherry .
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Drive to Puducherry via Mallapuram – (140 kms) Morning drive to Puducherry, late afternoon visit to Sri Aurobindo Ashram.

Day 04 : Tanjore .
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Drive to Thanjavur (Tanjore) – (180 kms), en route we visit the ancient temples at Chidambaram and Kumbakonam. Afternoon, we visit the famous Brahadeeswara Temple, (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) built by Rajaraja Chola, the first sailor king of India.

Day 05:Tiruchirapalli and Karaikudi .
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After breakfast we leave for Karaikudi (140 kms), visiting en route the Rock Fort and Srirangam temples at Tiruchirapalli . This city, commonly known as Trichy and formerly also pronounced as Trichinopoly (under British rule), is the fourth largest city of the Indian state of Tamil Nadu (after Chennai, Coimbatore, Madurai). It is home to many historic temples, monuments, churches and mosques.

Day 06 : Visit to Karaikudi and the surrounding villages.
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We take a nature walk to visit artisans’ workshops and admire the splendid architecture of the mansions, reflecting the opulence of a bygone era. We learn about the unique art of making Athangudi tiles, manufactured in the nearby village of Athangudi, of sand, water, cement and pigments to form simple but unique patterns.
Day 7 Drive to Madurai (92 kms), the second largest city in Tamil Nadu, after Chennai. Madurai, at over 2,500 years, one of the oldest cities in India, a land so soaked in history that every sculpture in every temple tells a story. A city with marvelous monuments, places of worship and a fine blend of tradition and modernity. In the afternoon: we visit the Thirumalai Nayak Palace and the Sree Meenakshi temple.

Day 07: Periyar National Park.
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We continue our drive to Thekkady (110 kms) Classic South India Thekkady – Periyar National Park is an important tourist attraction in Kerala. It is home to herds of elephants, somber, tigers, gaur, lion-tailed Macaques and Nilgiri Langurs. The Wildlife Sanctuary is spread across 777 sq km (300 sq mi), of which 360 sq km (140 sq mi) is thick evergreen forest. The Wild Life Sanctuary was declared a Tiger Reserve in 1978. Thekkady is considered a heaven of natural spices, such as black pepper, cardamom, cinnamon and cloves. So in the late afternoon we visit a Spice Farm; we will see how tea and spices are produced from the plantation to the factory. We walk through the avenue of Cardamom trees that provides shade to the small pods which grow from the bottom of the plant. We glimpse Cinnamon plants, Rubber trees and Coffee bushes.

Day 08 : Early morning .
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We have an optional boat-ride on Lake Periyar, an incredible way to experience the sanctuary. And then we drive to Kochi. Later this evening, we have the option of visiting a Kathakali Dance Centre, where we can witness the ‘Kathakali’, a special dance form of Kerala, with its origins in the ‘Theyyam’, a ritual tribal dance of North Kerala.

Day 09: Kochi (formerly known as Cochin) is the commercial capital of Kerala..
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The city is one of the principal seaports of the country and is located in the district of Ernakulam. Occupied by the Portuguese in 1503, Kochi was the site of the first European colonial settlement in India. It remained the capital of Portuguese India until 1530, when Goa became the capital. The city was later occupied by the Dutch, the Mysore and the British. Kochi was the first princely state to willingly join the Indian Union, when India gained independence in 1947. Today we will have a guided tour of Kochi city, visiting the Dutch Palace, Jewish Synagogue, St. Francis Church. The tour ends in the Fort Kochi area where you can walk through the historical Dutch and Portuguese buildings.

Day 11: House Boat.
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Transfer to Alappuzha (65 kms) to board Houseboat. Alappuzha town (also known as Alleppey) is considered to be the oldest planned town in this region and the lighthouse built on the coast of the town is the first of its kind along the Arabian coast. A town with picturesque canals, backwaters, beaches, and lagoons, it was described as the “Venice of the East” by Lord Curzon. The Backwaters of Alappuzha are the most popular tourist attraction in Kerala. A houseboat cruise in these backwaters is a delightful experience. We will board our private Deluxe Houseboat to explore the Kerala backwaters. All meals are prepared and served on board.

Day 12 :After breakfast we arrive at Alappuzha jetty, and drive to Kovalam (158 kms) .
Day 13 : Kovalam is an internationally renowned beach with three adjacent crescent beaches.
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It has been a favorite haunt of tourists, especially Europeans, since the 1930s. A massive rocky promontory on the beach has created a beautiful bay of calm waters ideal for sea bathing. Besides the scenic beauty of the place, the numerous beach activities in Kovalam are a major attraction of this beautiful beach on the Arabian Sea. Rest of the day is spent at your leisure for independent activities or an optional trip to Kanyakumari (90 kms – one way).
Day 14 : Transfer to the Trivandrum Airport in time to connect your onward flight.