8 days South India Trip

Embark on an unforgettable journey through India with our curated tours.
Duration

8 days

Max People

15

Min Age

12+

PRIVATE TRIP SOUTH INDIA 2023-2024

Highlights of our tour

  • Boat trip in the lake
  • Experience temples like Chidambaram Natraja, Gagaikundacholapuram, Darasuram, Brihdeshwara, Ranganathaswamy Temple, Srirangam, Trichi Fort, Madurai Meenakshi.
  • Visit spice plantation
  • Houseboats live with full board
  • Kerala Backwaters
  • Mahabalipuram
  • Kathakali dance performance

Tamil Nadu and Kerala are two southern Indian states that offer a wealth of cultural and scenic treasures. A trip to these two states is an unforgettable experience that is rewarded with breathtaking landscapes, unique cultural experiences and delicious culinary specialties.

Tamil Nadu is famous for its ancient temples and monuments that play an important role in Hindu culture. The Meenakshi Amman Temple in Madurai is one of the most famous temples in Tamil Nadu and attracts thousands of visitors every year. Tamil Nadu is also known for its traditional art forms such as Bharatanatyam and Tanjore painting. Kochi city also offers a variety of beaches, parks and museums to explore.

Kerala, on the other hand, is known for its lush tropical landscapes, spice plantations and tea plantations. The backwaters of Kerala are a popular tourist destination. They offer a tranquil boat ride through lush landscapes and villages. The Ayurvedic wellness center in Kerala offers a relaxing and refreshing experience.

The cuisine in both states is unique and offers a variety of dishes based on local spices and ingredients. Tamil Nadu is known for its spicy curries and rice dishes, while Kerala is known for its seafood, coconut and aromatic spices such as cardamom and cinnamon.

A trip to Tamil Nadu and Kerala is an excellent opportunity to get to know the culture, history and nature of India. There are many ways to explore the two states, from a relaxing boat trip through the backwaters of Kerala to a cultural tour of the temple towns of Tamil Nadu. No matter which travel program you choose, it will be unforgettable.

Included/Excluded

  • 08 nights in the hotels mentioned or similar with daily breakfast.
  • For deluxe and luxury we use exclusive air-conditioned car – Toyota Innova
  • Budget 3 star travel offer we use Toyota Etios.
  • Private transfers in an air-conditioned car (as described)
  • All entrance fees as described in the tour program.
  • A local English or German speaking tour guide (where available) will be provided for the sightseeing tours.
  • A visit to the spice plantations.
  • A boat ride on Lake Periyar to admire nature.
  • Attend a Kathakali dance show.
  • A houseboat stay with all meals on the backwaters.
  • Two bottles of mineral water per person per day
  • A contact person in India is available 24 hours a day.
  • All taxes and fees, including parking fees, interstate taxes and so on.
  • International as well as domestic flights and airport fees.
  • Any type of insurance such as trip cancellation costs, travel sickness, luggage or Corona travel protection. Visa fees are not included in the price.
  • Separate camera and video fees during sightseeing (Although most Indian destinations do not charge a separate photo fee.)
  • Excess baggage fees. For domestic flights in India, all airlines except Air India (25 kg) allow a maximum of 15 kg per person plus 7 kg of hand luggage (only one item measuring not more than 55 cm x 35 cm x 25 cm, including laptops or Duty free shopping bags). Extra baggage fees must be paid upon check-in at the airport. The fees for extra baggage are usually 6 euros per kilo. All personal expenses.
  • Tips for local tour guides and drivers are not included in the price.
  • All expenses for personal purposes.
  • lunch and dinner
  • Early/late check-outs in the hotels

Tour Plan

Day 01 Arrive Chennai > Mahabalipuram

Today is the arrival in Chennai / Madras. Welcome at the airport by the company representative or the driver will take you to the hotel where you will spend the night.

Chennai was once a collection of villages surrounded by rice fields. Francis Day and Andrew Cogan, two English traders for the East India Company, established a trading post and factory here. On April 23, 1640, the area was named Fort St. George.
In recent years, Chennai has grown significantly and become one of the largest cities in India. Millions of people from all over India have moved here to find work. Additionally, the city is home to one of the largest Japanese communities in India and has been nicknamed “India's Detroit”.

Day 02 Chennai > Mahabalipuram > Aurovile > Pondicherry (4.15 hour total drive)

Today you will head towards Pondicherry, before leaving the city, do the orientation tour of Chennai.
You will visit  Kapileshwara Temple, St. Thomas Cherry . Take the photo break at the Marina beach. See FORT, government buildings, etc. while driving.

Then visit the temple complex, which has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO and includes a beautifully located coastal temple and the “Five Rathas”. 

Mahabalipuram was a major center of maritime trade with Southeast Asia during the heyday of the Pallava dynasty between the 5th and 8th centuries. Numerous impressive temples were built during this time, many of which have been very well preserved to this day.

The  Five Rathas , five monolithic mock temples and three animal figures (elephant, lion and bull), have been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1984 and are known worldwide. The rock relief Arjuna's Penance, which describes the Hindu myth  of the descent of the Ganges  , is the largest rock relief in the world and attracts many visitors. The coastal temple (SHORE TEMPLE) , dedicated to the god Shiva  , one of the oldest stone temples in the south of the subcontinent, is the landmark of Mahabalipuram and impresses with its size and majestic appearance.
It was the first phase of stone carving in India.
From there you have a view of Bengaal Bay. The coast was previously called the Koremandala Coast. It was a port city and there were many traders from Arabia, China and South Asian countries there.

Then head to the direction of former French colonies. On the way you will visit Auroville. Auroville is a spiritual community and experimental city in southern India, founded in 1968 by Mirra Alfassa and Sri Aurobindo. It is known for its vision of unity, diversity and sustainability. Auroville is famous for its unique architecture, the Matrimandir, cultural diversity, sustainable initiatives and social commitment. It is a place where people from different backgrounds live in peace and harmony and work together towards a sustainable and spiritual way of life.

Then drive to Pondicherry, where you visit the famous Sri Aurobindo Ashram , the spiritual center of the followers of Aurobindo and Mirra Alfassa. Then you should go to Promenade Street, where you can notice the French influences on many buildings. 

Day 03 Pondicherry > Chidambaram > Gangaikundacholapuram > Darasuram > Tanjore

An hour from Pondicherry, you can take a boat ride to the Pichavaram mangroves on the way. It is the second largest mangrove forest in the world.

Then head towards Chidambaram Temple(Natraja).

Chidambaram Temple , also known as Nataraja Temple, is a famous Hindu temple in the city of Chidambaram in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. The temple is dedicated to the god Shiva and is often considered the spiritual center for Bharatanatyam, a classical Indian dance form.

The Chidambaram Temple has a long history dating back to the 9th century and has been expanded and remodeled by various royal dynasties over the centuries. The temple is known for its impressive architecture, especially its magnificent gopuram, which forms the main entrance to the temple and is decorated with colorful sculptures and carvings.

The main altar of the temple is dedicated to the dance of Shiva, known as Nataraja. A golden statue of Nataraja is venerated at the center of the temple and attracts pilgrims and visitors from all over the world. The temple is also known for its ritual dances and musical performances that take place in the temple building during various religious festivals and ceremonies.

Another notable feature of the Chidambaram Temple is the sacred hall theater known as Kanaka Sabha, which is known for its exquisite architecture and intricate paintings on the walls.

The Chidambaram Temple is not only an important spiritual place but also a significant cultural heritage of Tamil Nadu. It attracts visitors with its rich history, impressive architecture, cultural performances and spiritual significance.

Then head towards former capital of Chola,  Gangaikunda Cholapuram .

Gangaikonda Cholapuram is a historical place in Tamil Nadu, South India, known for its temple dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva. The Gangaikonda Cholapuram temple was built in the 11th century by King Rajendra Chola I, one of the great rulers of the Chola dynasty. It was built as a symbol of power and glory of the Chola dynasty.

Gangaikonda Cholapuram Temple is known for its magnificent architecture and detailed sculptures. The temple complex consists of a main temple with a gigantic Shiva lingam, various shrines and pillared halls. The highlight of the temple is the large Nandi monument, which depicts the bull-riding attendant of Shiva and is considered one of the largest Nandi statues in India.

Gangaikonda Cholapuram Temple is also known for its artistic depiction of episodes from Hindu mythology and history on the walls and gopurams (gate towers) of the temple. The detailed sculptures depict scenes from the Ramayana, Mahabharata and other Hindu eras.

A UNESCO World Heritage Site and a significant cultural heritage, the Gangaikonda Cholapuram Temple is a popular destination for tourists and pilgrims. The place also offers insights into the history, culture and architecture of the Chola dynasty, which once played a major role in South Indian history.

Then drive to Darasuram, where you will visit a Cholas temple.

The Airavateswara Temple  was built in the 12th century by King Rajaraja II of the Chola Dynasty and is dedicated to the god Shiva. The temple is part of the so-called “Great Living Chola Temples”, a group of temples in Tamil Nadu that have been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. The temple is also  called Darasuram  .

The architecture of Airavateswara Temple is a masterpiece of Dravidian architecture and is known for its delicate stone carvings. The temple complex consists of a main temple with a vimana (dome), a mandapa (pillared hall) and a large courtyard. The walls and pillars of the temple are decorated with ornate sculptures of gods, goddesses, animals and mythological figures.

Particularly notable is the temple's mandapa, known for its 108 dancing Natarajas, the cosmic dance of Shiva. These sculptures are depicted in various poses and gestures and are considered a masterpiece of Indian sculpture art.

Airavateswara Temple is a popular destination for tourists and pilgrims who are fascinated by its cultural significance and architectural beauty. A visit to the temple is an opportunity to experience the magnificent architecture and spiritual atmosphere of this important Hindu temple.

Today, get your own idea of ​​the great evidence of ancient Tamil civilization.

Then drive to Tanjore.

Day 04 Tanjore > Trichy > Madurai

Today you will visit the focus of the tour. Tanjore is marked by the splendor of the Chola rulers. Here you will visit the famous Brihadeshwara Temple (UNESCO). It is considered a landmark of the city.

The Brihadeeswara Temple, also known as the Rajarajeswara Temple , is a Hindu temple. It is one of the most famous temples in India and is considered a masterpiece of Dravidian architecture.

The Brihadeeswara Temple was built in the 11th century by King Rajaraja I of the Chola Dynasty and is dedicated to the god Shiva. It is known for its enormous size and impressive architecture. The temple complex is spread over an area of ​​about 27 hectares and consists of several shrines, halls, courtyards and pillars.

The main temple of Brihadeeswara Temple is the Shiva shrine, which is crowned by a huge dome, also called vimana. The Vimana is more than 60 meters high and is considered one of the largest solid granite domes in the world. The temple is also known for its intricate stone carvings, including sculptures of gods, goddesses, animals and mythological scenes that adorn the temple walls and pillars.

Brihadeeswara Temple is also known for its religious rituals and festivals that take place throughout the year and attract large numbers of devotees. A particularly important day in the temple is Mahashivaratri, a Hindu festival honoring Shiva, which is celebrated with great devotion and splendor at the Brihadeeswara Temple.

The Brihadeeswara Temple is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is considered an outstanding example of Dravidian architecture. It attracts thousands of tourists and pilgrims from all over the world every year who are fascinated by its cultural significance, architectural splendor and spiritual atmosphere. A visit to Brihadeeswara Temple is a unique opportunity to experience the beauty and cultural richness of this important Hindu temple. Perfect symmetries, numerous frescoes and paintings will delight you.

Then drive to Trichy. There are largest active Hindu temples in the world. The  Ranganathaswamy Temple  , or Ranganatha Temple, is a Hindu temple in Srirangam. It is one of the largest temples in India and is considered one of the most important Vaishnava temples of the god Vishnu.

Shri Ranganathaswamy Temple is spread over an area of ​​around 63 hectares and is surrounded by seven concentric ramparts and 21 towers, making it one of the largest temple complexes in the world. The temple is known for its magnificent architecture that features a mix of Dravidian and Indo-Islamic style elements.

The main temple of Shri Ranganathaswamy Temple is dedicated to the god Ranganatha, a form of Vishnu. The main altar of the temple contains a gigantic reclination of the god, called Ranganatha, which is considered one of the largest sculptures of Vishnu in the world. The temple complex also contains numerous shrines to other deities such as Lakshmi, Rama, Krishna and Hanuman.

The Shri Ranganathaswamy Temple is an important site for Hindu pilgrimages and attracts devotees from all over India. The temple is known for its ritual ceremonies, festivals and processions that take place throughout the year and attract thousands of devotees. The temple is also known for its religious significance, cultural significance and architectural beauty and was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1987.

Then visit the Rock Fort before heading to Madurai. Where you spend the two nights.
Day 05 Madurai

Today's destination is the   17th century Thirumalai Nayak Palace and Meenakshi-Amman Temple. 

 The  Meenakshi Amman Temple  is dedicated to Goddess Meenakshi, who is considered to be an incarnation of the Hindu Goddess Parvati, the wife of Lord Shiva. Built over several centuries, the temple is known for its magnificent architecture and detailed carvings depicting Hindu deities, mythical animals and episodes from Hindu legends.

One of the most striking features of the Meenakshi Amman Temple are the gopurams, the monumentally designed entrance towers that surround the temple. There are a total of 14 gopurams in the temple complex, of which the southern main gopuram is the most impressive at a height of over 50 meters. Decorated with a variety of sculptures, reliefs and paintings, the gopurams are true masterpieces of Dravidian architecture.

Inside the temple are several shrines, including the Meenakshi Shrine and the Shiva Shrine, as well as shrines to other Hindu deities. The temple is known for its religious rituals and ceremonies regularly performed by devotees, including prayers, offerings and processions.

Meenakshi Amman Temple also has great cultural significance as it is a center for the promotion of art, music and dance. The temple serves as a venue for various religious and cultural events, including music and dance performances, theater performances and religious festivals such as the Meenakshi Thirukalyanam, which celebrates the marriage of Meenakshi and Shiva.

Meenakshi Amman Temple is not only a religious center but also an important tourist spot. Visitors can admire the fascinating architecture, experience the spiritual atmosphere and explore the rich Hindu culture and history. The temple is also a popular destination for photographers and art lovers who admire the intricate carvings and sculptures.

Rest of the day is free. You can experience the prayer ceremony in the evening by tuk tuks.

Day 06 Madurai > Thekaddy / Periyar

Continue to Periyar today. An animal sanctuary, national park. Within the national park lies the 26 km² large Periyar reservoir and the national park and is close to the Periyar River, which rises in the Western Ghats and flows into the Arabian Sea after 244 km. 

In the afternoon you can take a  boat trip  on the Periyar Lake or  take part in an interpretive trekking program that was established for the protection of sand-wood trees and gives an opportunity to the resident to get the work.

You hike through the jungle for about 4-5 km for about 2.5 hours. You observe various birds, butterflies and other wild animals. It is possible for six people to walk on different paths at the same time and they will be accompanied by a trained tribal guide. It's a program where you can hear the sounds of nature!

You visit nearby spice plantations in a farm. The  spice plantations in Kerala  are fascinating farms to wander as different spices are grown in different sections of each plantation.

Then take the boat trip through the reservoir. During the ride there are many jumps to see the wild elephant, deer, bird species.
Then you can visit a restaurant and taste typical country dishes. 

Day 07 Thekkady > Kumarakom Houseboat > Approx. 4 hours

After breakfast you drive on the winding road to Kumarakom. On the way there are wonderful views of tea-coffee, cocoa and spice plantations.

In Kumarakom you can take a boat trip through the fascinating water landscape of the backwaters, an exotic labyrinth of palm-lined lagoons, rivers and canals.

The air-conditioned boat has everything you need for a pleasant journey and an overnight stay; an air-conditioned bedroom with bath and shower. There is an airy lounge and a small galley. 

( **** Note >>>> * The air conditioning is only turned on between 10 a.m. and 6 a.m. in the morning. * If you have large luggage, then it is better to only take the things with you You only need for one night. E.g. toothpaste, toothbrush, mosquito repellent, medicine, etc. Your luggage can stay safely in your car.)

Lunch, dinner, breakfast and overnight stay in houseboat (called as Kettuvallams).

Day 08 Houseboat > Kochi

Enjoy the morning atmosphere on board and the sunrise in the backwaters. The fishermen come to the water to fish and the villages on the banks come to life with activity. Experience seas of palm trees and paradisiacal silence before you dock your houseboat back in Alleppey.

Then drive to Kochi, where today you can enjoy the charming port city of Kochi in all its facets and walk in the footsteps of its colonial past. You see the Chinese nets where the fishermen catch the fish. Today's program includes the Mattancherry district with the Jewish synagogue, the Dutch Palace and the Franciscan Church.

Day 09 End of the intensive tour of Tamil Nadu and Kerala

Please note that all of our individual India tours are carried out on a private basis. The proposed route from Tamil Nadu to Kerala is simply a suggestion of how our components can be combined into a private tour.

We have deliberately not completely planned every day in order to give you room for optional programs to suit your taste. If you would like further adjustments or additions, please contact us. We will be happy to advise you and put together an individual tour that suits your preferences and budget!

This round trip can be ideally combined with the Golden Triangles trip (Delhi, Jaipur, Agra (Taj Mahal)) in northern India and if you are interested in a beach holiday or Ayurveda treatment, let us know.

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    Alani

    Have a nice day !!!

    Great experiences in one day

    August 4, 2022

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