Backwaters of Kerala
Periyar - Alleppey - Marari
Southern part of India is an identical region with distinct culture, which makes it different from the other parts of the country. Every city of South India has its own different identity, involving intricate architectural wonders of temple, historical ruins, beaches, palm fringed canals and hills that will provide a promising trip to South India. During your south India tour, you must visit the well-known tourist destinations.
Arrive at Chennai International Airport. Please clear immigration and visa formalities, collect your baggage and proceed to the arrival lounge through the green channel. MAGADH TRAVELS executive will wait at the arrival hall with a placard in your name to greet you. Thereafter you will be assisted with a transfer and travel to Mahabalipuram. On arrival check in at the hotel. Stay overnight at hotel in Mahabalipuram.
InterContinental Resort, Mahabalipuram: Blends world-class luxury with a renascent Coromandel style, located within close proximity to the UNESCO World Heritage Site in Mahabalipuram. Stylish hospitality meets contemporary comforts and conveniences in a 21st Century setting – a synchrony that echoes proudly along the many pillared hallways and corridors of the Resort. From the moment you arrive, you'll be pampered by the InterContinental's unobtrusive service and unparalleled amenities.
Morning after breakfast visit of Mahabalipuram. Situated on rocky outcrop amidst the beach and a lagoon, it is famous for its scenic location and the series of majestic Pancha Rathas. The splendor of the place is majorly contributed by the huge casuarinas trees, the silver sandy seaside and the traditional handicrafts. Visitors get surprised and intoxicated with the sumptuousness. Evening walk around the promenade beach. Stay overnight at hotel in Mahabalipuram.
Morning after breakfast travel to Pondicherry, the town is adorned with natural beauties of the Deccan Plateau; on the red soil the dense green trees create marvellous scenery, with trees majority of cashews, palm and neem. This city was ruled by French for about 281 years before independence, and a profound influence of Southern France is still very prominent. The medieval town of the French province, Pondicherry has managed to preserve its French aura, from its delectable restaurants offering French cuisine to streets bearing French names. The grand boulevards make Pondicherry a richly cosmopolitan city. The numerous palm-fringed beaches, splendid backwaters, fabulous tiny fishing villages and hamlets make it a beautiful town. The day is free to take stroll in the street of this beautiful town. Stay overnight at hotel in Pondicherry.
Pale De Mahe, Pondicherry: It is situated at the intersection of two beckoning worlds. One gently murmurs the spirit of Colonial France with its clean streets, neatly plastered bungalows and flower-decked balconies while the other envelops you in its salt and spice-laden air coming off the Coromandel coast of India in great animating gusts. The street signs in Pondicherry are unique and in several languages to aid the global traveler. Its urban character is a standing tribute to diversity. Historic buildings jostle against charming sidewalk cafes, trendy designer wear boutiques stand next to native sari shops and other upmarket commercial addresses share humble space with roadside bangle sellers and temple pilgrims in a bustling bazaar-like environment. It is these rich contrasts and counterpoints that we noticed, studied and infused into the soul of Palais de Mahe, which mirrors the twin faces of this charming seaside city in southern India. The style remains faithful to a historic past, while the experience on offer is a captivating blend of the old and the new making you feel like a traveler in time.
Morning after breakfast excursion to visit the world city of Auroville & it's famous Matri Mandir. Auroville, 'the City of Dawn', is a place that anyone with idealistic leanings will love: an international community dedicated to peace, sustainability and 'divine consciousness', where people from across the globe, ignoring creed, colour and nationality, work together to build a universal, cash-free, nonreligious township.
Matri Mandir "Temple of the Mother" in Sanskrit, this is the geographical and spiritual heart of Auroville. The outside is plated with gold, while the inside houses a space bathed in warm colored light, with white marble and geometric patterns. Following the paths in this space, you're led into the inner chamber, a stark white cylindrical hall centered around a gigantic crystal sphere. Later after visit return back to Pondicherry.
Afternoon visit of Shri Aurobindo Ashram was founded by great Indian philosopher Shri Aurbindo Ghosh. It also houses a library, study room and sales emporium, Botanical Garden, French town Also known as The French Riviera of the East, it mirrors the French influence through its architecture as the city's plan was based on the French grid pattern. Some of the streets still retain their French names. Stay overnight at hotel in Pondicherry.
Morning after breakfast travel to Tanjore. En-route visit to famous Natraja temple in Chidambaram is a Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Shiva located in the heart of the temple town of Chidambaram. The temple complex spread over 50 acres in the heart of the city. It is an ancient and historic temple dedicated to Lord Shiva Nataraja and Lord Govindaraja Perumal, one of the few temples where both the Shaivite and Vaishnavite deities are enshrined in one place. After visit continue to Tanjore. On arrival check-in at hotel.
Visit the Airavateshwara Temple and Tanjore Royal Palace. The palace near the temple is a vast building of masonry built partly by the Nayaks around 1550 AD and partly by the Marathas. Two of the Palace towers, the armoury and observation towers, are visible from all parts of the city. Stay overnight at hotel in Tanjore.
Svatma, Tanjore: Svatma is a unique hotel in one of Tamil Nadu's most remarkable ancient cities - Thanjavur - which immerses its guests into traditional Tamil culture. As soon as you step through Svatma's doors, you can expect to be warmly welcomed by the proud Tamil owners who are experts classical Indian dance, and have an in-depth knowledge and passion for architecture and the classical arts, which all immediately shine through in the way they have restored their hotel. Originally a 100 year old family residence, the main heritage building has been lovingly and painstakingly refurbished to its former glory, while the new build has been crafted in the same style as the original building. The 38 rooms and suites are all influenced by Tamilian building styles and materials, where fresh cream-washed walls compliment the polished wooden floors, as well as the wooden pillars and beams that piece the building together. There are seven heritage rooms in the old wing with verandas and twenty-seven millennium rooms in the new wing with contemporary décor. Each traditionally furnished room is generously sized, and comes with an en-suite bathroom, so they are ideal for couples and small families, as well as solo travellers. The hotel is also home to a small boutique shop, a library and a particularly beautiful pool.
Morning after breakfast visit Brihadeeswara Temple or the Big Temple of God, built by the great Chola King Raja Raja (985 -1012) is an example of the magnificent achievements of the Cholas in the field of temple architecture. The tower over the inner sanctum sanctorum rises perpendicularly to a height of 15mts from a square of 28.8 mts and then tapers to make a total height of 64.8mts. An 81.3 tone monolithic stone slab adorned with winged niches on four sides caps the tower. Later after visit travel to Madurai. On arrival check-in at hotel. Stay overnight at hotel in Madurai.
Heritage Madurai, Madurai: Rings with historic charm that echoes in every hallway and every room. Lounge by the Olympic-sized temple tank pool, or luxuriate in a plunge pool in your own private villa. Dine under a 200 years old banyan tree, serenaded by bird calls while enjoying the perfect meal prepared by your own personal chef, perfectly tempered to your particular taste buds. Take a leisurely 'historic' walk through the corridors where every stone has a story to tell. There is more to Heritage Madurai.
Early morning visit flower market, later after breakfast at hotel visit Meenakshi Temple (The Meenakshi Amman temple) is the city's most important landmark. It is one of the five Sabhas [divine dance stages]. Apart from the face of Pilgrim and Education center, Madurai is a modern Commercial and industrial city. It is also famous for its trade mark Chungudi cotton sarees, color dyeing, motifs, Handicrafts, Brassware. Wooden Toys of Madurai is the favorite of the Young and Old as well. Visit the Gandhi Memorial museum & Thirumalai Nayakkar Mahal. It was built by King Thirumalai Nayakar and it is 1 ½ km from the temple. This Palace is a classic fusion of Dravidian and Islamic architecture. Stucco work on the domes and arches are very attractive. It faced huge damages during the days of its existence. Lord Napier, the then Governor of Madras, had partially restored the palace in 1866-72. After independence, Thirumalai Nayakar Mahal was declared as a national monument and is now under the protection of the Tamil Nadu Archaeological Department. Evening enjoy walking tour of old Madurai. Stay overnight at hotel in Madurai.
Morning after breakfast travel to Periyar. Periyar with its cool chimes and agreeable greenery has a wide zone for travellers to chill out. This pride destination in southern India is boosted with serene surroundings and startling sights and the reason to visit Periyar are for its wildlife scene. Periyar National Park is set high in the mountains and sprawls over the Western Ghats. This National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary is a protected area located on the Kerala-Tamil Nadu border and here, you can feel the presence of serenity and excitement amidst the wilderness. On arrival check-in at hotel. Stay overnight at hotel in Periyar.
Spice Village, Periyar: Spice village for us is a work of nature as much as it is a lofty expression of the imagination. We conceived the resort as a village and approached its building the way you would a village - with local materials, native artisans, mountain spirit and traditional wisdom in its creation. Though traditional in its conception, this is a 'village' that offers you all the comforts of a city minus the noise, pollution and other urban ills that you can do without. Our interaction with the ecology of these hills is symbiotic, influenced by the native people of these parts who have lived in harmony with their surroundings for generations. They taught us about self-sustaining systems and also steward our organic gardens that put fresh vegetables, fruits and spices on your tables every day.
Early morning enjoys the shared boat ride at Periyar lake, clubbed inside the Periyar Tiger Reserve. Two-hour boating trips at the artificial lake formed near the Periyar Wildlife sanctuary. One can see herds of elephants grazing near the edges of the shoreline. Deer, sambar, gaur and wild boars can be seen flocking around the place at regular intervals. A majority of the wildlife activity in the area can be viewed during the summer months of March and April. Darters, egrets and kingfishers can be seen flocking around the withered trees that rise out of the lake.
After visit return back to hotel for breakfast. Later in the afternoon enjoy the Spice Plantation Tour. The winding pathways among the plantations, the thing that strikes you first is the lingering aroma in the air. The scent may be of cloves, nutmeg, pepper, cinnamon or cardamom and sometimes a fragrance that combines the scents of two or more spices. The geographical and climatic peculiarities of Kumily such as the cool climate and its elevation from the sea level make it ideal for spice cultivation. Stay overnight at hotel in Periyar.
Morning after breakfast travel to travel to Alleppey or Alappuzha, is often referred to as the Venice of the East by travelers, and rightly so. It is the hub of Kerala's backwaters, home to a vast network of waterways and more than a thousand houseboats. On arrival board your houseboat to explore the backwaters of Kerala. Kerala Houseboat Cruising along the backwaters of Kerala is an unforgettable experience. If you have not experienced it, here is a golden opportunity to do it at a fraction of its original cost. You could get in any House Boat of your liking, saunter down the cool placid waters of our world-famous backwaters, have a merry time and get back home either the same day or after spending a night as well out floating around. Overnight stay on Houseboat.
Spice Coast Cruise, Alleppey: We took these old boats, called Kettuvalloms, and went to work on them as would a craftsman. With some imaginative tweaks to these vessels, we converted them into stately floating homes to cruise the placid waters of the vast and captivating Vembanad lake. Made from natural materials, these spice boats are powered with solar energy and vegetable oils to reduce their impact upon the lake. The crew of these boats are simple fisherfolk, men who know these waters from their early years. However, they do more than just pilot these behemoths, alternating between navigating the waterways, preparing meals for the guests onboard and generally keeping things 'shipshape'. Their smiling faces speak of a culture that is famed for its accommodating and amiable ways. This is indeed spontaneous hospitality, or what we term 'hospitality from the heart', a common CGH Earth feature.
Morning after breakfast de-board from houseboat and travel to Marari. Marari originates from 'Mararikulum', a local fishing village on the Arabian Sea coast. Marari Beach is a perfect location to enjoy the sandy beaches & sun. This beach in Kerala is eternal with coconut palm trees and golden sands. Rest of the day at your leisure. Stay overnight at hotel in Marari.
Marari Beach Resort, Mararikulam: Hidden away between two fishing villages on a beautiful golden beach, this 30-acre resort with successfully combines a warm, rustic feel with modern comforts.
Scattered throughout the tropical coconut grove are 62 deceptively modest thatch-roof villas, which are spacious and comfortable with open-air bathrooms. Effort has been made to use local materials wherever possible and both the architecture and interiors have been designed with an authentic Keralan aesthetic in mind, echoed in the eco-friendly wooden structures and soothing neutral colour palate. We highly recommend the garden pool villas for those seeking privacy and tranquillity.
Morning after breakfast day at your leisure. Stay overnight at hotel in Marari.
Morning after breakfast day at your leisure. Stay overnight at hotel in Marari.
Morning after breakfast in time transfer to Cochin airport to board your schedule flight to back home.
Periyar - Alleppey - Marari
Hyderabad - Hampi - Bangalore - Mysore - Coorg - Calicut - Cochin
Cochin - Munnar - Periyar - Alleppey - Kovalam
Mahabalipuram - Pondicherry - Tanjore - Madurai - Periyar - Alleppey - Marari - Cochin
Madurai - Chettinad - Kumbakonam - Pondicherry - Mahabalipuram - Andaman
Bangalore – Chikkamagaluru – Coorg – Ooty – Munnar – Periyar – Alleppey – Cochin