India - South India - Tamil Nadu - Your tailor-made trip

13 days - from 1390€

Day 1

Welcome to India!
"Vanakkam", your driver greets you at the airport, welcoming you in Tamil. You get to know each other on the way to your hotel in the city of Mahābalipuram . This village, an ancient port of the Pallavas dynasty dating from the 7th century, is famous for the many temples it houses but also for its beautiful beach. Depending on your arrival time, drop your things at your hotel and go for a walk on the beach and enjoy the sea air that invigorates you after your long flight. In the evening, why not let yourself be transported by the spicy dishes of Tamil cuisine? Your South India tour begins now!
Day 2

Remains of the Pallavas dynasty
Wake up early to admire the famous set of temples on the shore unveiling themselves little by little at sunrise. Such huge sandcastles rise on the beautiful beach of Mahäbalipuram. Observe the thousands of sculptures dedicated to Shiva's glory then, walk to the gigantic bas-relief of the "Ganges Descent". Note the precision of the Indian sculptors of that time. Then you continue with a visit of the famous Fives Rathas , five chariot-shaped temples in procession, each carved from a single rock of granite. In the afternoon, you will set out for Pondicherry, a former French colonial town with a unique atmosphere and charm. Night at the hotel
Day 3

The White City
Today is dedicated to the discovery of Pondicherry, a former French counter. You begin your visit by discovering the city and its history before strolling on the seafront or continuing to explore the center in which you discover more and more French street names.Take a walk between the white city and the Tamil neighborhood, separated by a narrow canal that marks the border; a great way to discover the city. You are charmed by this mixed city. At the end of the day, why not take a stroll on the Promenade which borders the sea, a real place of life for the inhabitants of Pondicherry, a city that is sure to enchant you. Night at the hotel.
Day 4

The famous temples of the Chola dynasty
Today, discover the magnificent temples erected by the kings of the Chola dynasty between the 10th and 12th century, classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Discover the gopurams of the Chidambaram temple , a great tower typical of South India and true jewels of Chola art. It is in this temple that Bharatanatyam , the famous dance of Tamil Nadu, was born, which resembles the cosmic dance of Shiva. Then, marvel at the thousands of statues in honor of Shiva at the millennial temple of Gangaikondacholapuram whose tranquility and stillness are very relaxing. You visit the temple of Darasuram and its many carved columns and check-in at your hotel on the banks of Kaveri river in Tanjore.
Day 5

Window on the Indian countryside and forgotten palaces
This morning, visit one of the largest temples in the region: the Brihadishvara Temple, a masterpiece of religious architecture in the Dravidian style. After lunch, you are delighted to take the road between rice fields and green fields towards Chettinad. Along the way, you observe many small palaces characteristic of this region. They are more or less well-maintained and serve mostly as movie sets or venues for wedding receptions. Once in Chettinad, visit Thirumayam Fortress and Sri Gokarneshwara Temple. And why not take a walk in the village, to discover the sumptuous forgotten palaces of the Chettiars, a rich Tamil shopping community. Night at the hotel.
Day 6

The Tamil cultural capital
You leave early in the morning to reach Madurai, a holy city and a major Hindu pilgrimage site believed to be blessed by Shiva. You will certainly meet more than one sadhu, recognizable by their painted faces. These people have broken all social ties in order to devote their lives to the spiritual quest. You visit the Thirumalai Nayak Palace, then experience the serenity of Sri Meenakshi Temple, one of the most vibrant temples in South India . In the evening, surrounded by the tunes of the Nagaswaram, an Indian instrument used in the temples, you attend a symbolic procession by the priests of Shiva.
Day 7

The calm of the tea plantations
This morning, enjoy a last Idli Vada, a delicious Tamil breakfast, known for its health benefits, made from fermented flour from chickpeas and rice. You leave Tamil Nadu to make your way to Kerala. Look out the window, you are surrounded by the Western ghats, the green mountains of South India ! The road is winding but fantastic. Take a breath of fresh air and stroll through the heart of the tea plantations, a refreshing calm after the fervor of Indian cities. Overnight in Munnar.
Day 8

Visit the Top Station
Today, you will discover the Top Station, one of the tea roasting factories of the region where you will learn about all the stages of tea production, from harvest to tasting. Stroll among the high peaks of South India, amid the tea plantations and places left untouched and enjoy the breathtaking view of Tamil Nadu from here.
Day 9

The spice region
Today, you wander through the various tea and spice plantations, lakes and eucalyptus forests, where small hamlets are hidden in the heart of the mountain of the Western Ghats. You visit one of the region's spice gardens, known around the world. Between cinnamon, pepper, cardamom, pepper, vanilla and star anise, all your senses are awake. Discover the secrets of making the famous Indian Masala that perfumes most Indian dishes. These spices also have many benefits, which make up a large part of Ayurvedic medicine. Fill up on spices for you and your loved ones and set out for Thekkady, a village on the outskirts of the Periyar Nature Reserve.
Day 10

Periyar Nature Reserve
Early in the morning, you set out to explore the Periyar Nature Reserve. The park, whose altitude varies between 900 and 1800 meters, is home to a remarkable range of fauna, such as buffaloes, antelopes, elephants and many birds. You sail by boat on a lake in the reserve from where you can contemplate this preserved nature which amazes you. Night at the hotel.
Day 11

Relaxing day on the Backwaters
This morning, leave the setting of the Western Ghats for the backwaters of Kerala, an immense network of lagoons and canals lined with lush nature and small authentic villages. There is no better way to enjoy your surroundings than to board a houseboat, a traditional floating house, whose crew are ready to welcome you. You will be delighted with this day of tranquility on the calm waters of this little tropical Venice. An ideal way to observe the life of its inhabitants at different times of the day, both on the water and in the ancient houses of teak, mahogany and rosewood lcoated on the shores. Night on a houseboat.
Day 12

The cultural and historical capital of Kerala
After a good night's sleep, you disembark your houseboat in the morning and meet your driver who will take you to Kochi. This city is a true example of cultural diversity due to the different peoples who colonized the city throughout history and all the communities and religions that live there today. Stroll through the alleys of Fort Kochi, the historic heart of the city. Discover the oldest church in the country, a 16th century synagogue, the Portuguese or "Dutch" palace, and mosques that line the roads. In the evening, attend a Kathakali performance, at a dance theater showcasing Kerala traditions. Night at the hotel.
Day 13

Indian smiles in your suitcases
Enjoy a morning stroll along the harbor and admire the "Chinese squares", a type of traditional fishing net. Observe the merchants who sell their fish in many small stalls. Depending on the schedule of your return flight, why not try a traditional Ayurvedic massage that is said to help rebalance the body. Enjoy one last chicken curry and sip a last Chai Masala , a blend of tea and spices accompanied by a cloud of milk. Then, your driver and your guide will take you to the airport, your head full of memories of incredible moments. Our services are coming to an end. All our team at Shanti Travel wishe you a safe flight home and hope to welcome you again soon in Asia.

Travel conditions

  • Transfers and land transport by private vehicle with English-speaking driver
  • Accommodation in comfort category hotel in Double / Twin Room.
  • Meals: only breakfasts, except on the Houseboat (full board).
  • Guided trek to Top Station in Munnar.
  • Guided tour of Spice gardens in Thekkady.
  • Boating trip in Periyar Lake.
  • The Kathakali show in Kochi.
  • International flights.
  • International airport taxes.
  • All lunches and dinners except on the Houseboat.
  • Visa fees - valid for 90 days - 80 USD.
  • Assistance-repatriation insurance.
  • Drinks and personal expenses.
  • Tips.
  • Anything that is not listed in the "price includes" section.
Garance Travel Expert India - South India - Tamil Nadu This South India tour provides a fascinating discovery of Southern India in all its diversity. From Tamil Nadu to Kerala, you will visit majestic Hindu temples, colonial cities, idyllic beaches, hilltop stations and tropical backwaters.. Perfect for nature lovers and adventurers!
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