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IndiaHarvest Festival Southern India

  • Off the beaten track
Enchanting India with all its beautiful colors always is in search of an opportunity to shatter its varied colors in the form of festivals is what the fascinating experience is all about during this expedition. Begin your journey with a wholesome Harvest festival lasting for three days and explore the vast expanse of traditions, varied culture and conclude with a majestic and spectacular festival ...

Enchanting India with all its beautiful colors always is in search of an opportunity to shatter its varied colors in the form of festivals is what the fascinating experience is all about during this expedition. Begin your journey with a wholesome Harvest festival lasting for three days and explore the vast expanse of traditions, varied culture and conclude with a majestic and spectacular festival at Sree Parthasarathy temple Adoor.
The peregrination continues by witnessing the glorious and tremendous architecture, saporous traditional food, mesmerizing landscapes, unmatchable and grandeur accommodations at all the destinations, history walks with surprise elements en route are few best raw experience elements spicing up the tour.

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Tour itinerary includes
  • Arts and crafts
    Arts and crafts
  • Local population
    Local population
  • Sightseeing
    Sightseeing
  • Local culture
    Local culture
  • City
    City

Customizable tour itinerary

This tour idea is fully customizable

This itinerary has been crafted by our Local Agency with one idea in mind: to inspire you. Every element can be adapted to your needs and your interests, from duration to accommodation and activities.

Day 1: Welcome to India!

On arrival at Chennai International airport, our 
representative will meet you at the Airport and 
escort you to your hotel in Mamallapuram. 
Mamallapuram alias Mahabalipuram - Seventh and eighth-century reliefs, rock temples, cave temples and "chariot" temples carved into the golden stone of the Coromandel Coast have mad e Mahabalipuram , also called Mamallapuram,an astonishing UNESCO World Heritage Site. The town has a wonderful Shore Temple to Vishnu, built by the grateful merchants, as well as rock temples, over a dozen cave temples, constructed stone temples and some fine bas-reliefs - including the world's largest, the Penance of Arjuna. 

Chennai Airport to Mamallapuram – 1.15 hr
Overnight at MamallapuramMeals included:- Dinner

Visited:
Mahabalipuram
Accommodation
Grande Bay Resort and Spa Mahabalipuram (Mahabalipuram)

Day 2: Espy the intriguing harvest festival

Today morning you will be taken around the
village to explore the Pongal festival. A festival 
that symbolizes the arrival of sun in the southern 
hemisphere, Pongal is celebrated as a harvest 
festival in Tamil Nadu. It is like a thanksgiving to 
God, the cattle, sun and earth. 'Pongal' is derived 
from  the word ‘ponga’  that factually  connotes 
'boil' and therefore Pongal means 'spillover' or 
something that is 'overflowing'.

Relish an experiential traditional lunch on
banana leaf. India has a long-standing tradition 
of serving food on banana leaves. Especially in 
South India, eating food on banana leaf is
considered  quite  healthy  and  auspicious. Most 
people use banana leaf to serve an authentic 
south Indian spread on festivals and family get-
togethers. Banana leaves are loaded with
nutrients we bet you didn't know about. Food 
when  served  on  banana  leaves  gets  enriched 
with several nutrients that we would otherwise 
miss.

After enjoying one such beautiful experience of 
traditional  lunch  you  will  embark  on  a 
spectacular  cycle  ride  through  history  of 
Mamallapuram.  Each  of  the  cave  temples, 
monolithic  chariots,  sculpted  reliefs  and 
structural temples has its own story to tell. The 
7th  Century  town,  which  is  the  oldest  existing 
remains of the Dravidian architecture, will have 
your hearts captured with its quaint beauty and 
timeless stories.

Overnight at Mamallapuram.
Meals included: - Breakfast and Lunch

Visited:
Mahabalipuram
Accommodation
Grande Bay Resort and Spa Mahabalipuram (Mahabalipuram)

Day 3: Drive to French India

After breakfast travel to Pondicherry. On the way to Pondicherry visit the harmonious community of Auroville, inspired by The Mother as a place where people can come together, regardless of nationality, belief or color, to live a meaningful life. After lunch hours you will be taken for Heritage walk to explore this historical town with modern look. Like so many Indian cities, Pondicherry is  particularly spiritual. Well known for the ShriAurobindo Ashram, it was set up by one of his disciples, a Parisian known as The Mother, in his memory and is one of the most active ashrams in India. Then you will explore Gandhi statue, In contrast experience the calmness of the Church of our Lady of the Immaculate Conception, one of the finest French churches in town and the Hindu temple to Ganesh whose walls are embellished with a wonderful series of paintings of Ganesh in various forms.

Note: Today you will see the celebration of Mattu Pongal. In Tamil, the word "Mattu" means bull and this day of Pongal is for celebration of the cattle,particularly bulls that play a vital role by working hard to help the farmers to raise crops on their fields, falls on the following day,

Mamallapuram to Pondicherry – 2 hrs
Overnight at Pondicherry
Meals included: - Breakfast and Dinner

Accommodation
Villa Shanti Villa Shanti (Puducherry)

Day 4: Explore Darasuram temple - Ocean of art

Proceed to Tanjore. A bustling market town in one of the main rice-growing regions of Tamil Nadu, Tanjore was once the capital of the Chola Empireand, although many buildings from that period no longer survive, the town is still full of lovely temples.  On the way visit Darasuram. Darasuram is known for the Airavateswara temple constructed by the Rajaraja Chola II in the 12th century AD. The temple is a recognized UNESCO World Heritage monument. This temple is a storehouse of art and architecture. The vimana is 85 feet high. The front mandapam itself is in the form of a huge chariot drawn by horses. The temple has some exquisite stone carvings. In the same village you can study silk weaving in the local houses.3


Pondicherry to Tanjore – 4 hrs

Meals included: - Breakfast and Dinner

Visited:
PuducherryTanjore
Accommodation
night in Ideal River View (Tanjore)

Day 5: Enjoy the Mindbowling architecture of Tanjore temple

After breakfast drive to Brihadeshwara Temple.
This magnificent temple, over 1000 years old andnow a UNESCO World Heritage Site, evokes thepower of the Chola kings as it towers over the town. Study the detailed inscriptions which depict temple life and the dancers, musicians, potters, goldsmiths and astrologers who lived there.
Enter the pavilion in the main courtyard to view the shining black Nandi statue, one of the largest in India, and weighing an astonishing 25 tons. Our next stop is at The Thanjavur Art Gallery. This gallery was built in the beautiful Thanjavur Royal Palace of the Nayaks built in 1600 A.D. The walls of the art gallery adorn painting and sculptures of South India that prevailed during the peak of the Tamil history.


Then we proceed to the village to explore bronzecasting and Tanjore paintings. With a history oftraditional bronze casting take the opportunity toview the masters at work using the lost-waxmethod. This method, used to create sacred temple bronzes during the Chola period, is still practiced today and is being passed down through the generations to ensure that bronze casting continues to thrive.

Then we are proceeding to Madurai. This vast,pulsating city, one of the oldest cities in South India, dating back 2500 years, sprawls along the banks of the River Vaigai. Wander through the fun, packed streets, which are full of pilgrims, wandering cows,open-air kitchens and colorful bazaars.

Tanjore to Madurai – 4 hrs
Meals included: - Breakfast and Dinner

Visited:
Tanjore, Madurai
Accommodation
Heritage Madurai (Madurai)

Day 6: ​Discover the heritage capital of India- Madurai

Today you are going to starts your day with
celebrated Meenakshi Amman temple. This ancient temple is a maze of lamp-lit corridors. Something is always happening here – ceremonies, musicians playing, weddings, prostrating pilgrims and festivals – making it a compelling place to spend time and enjoy the sights of temple life. Our next stop is at the Thirumalai Nayak Palace, an example of architectural grandeur. It was built by King Thirumalai Nayak in 1636 AD.

The palace was designed by an Italian Architect and served as the residence of the King. Get right under the skin of this fascinating city and take a leisurely rickshaw ride, with a friendly rickshaw wallah driving you, through the maze ofstreets. Take in the sights and smells that surround you; pass through vegetable markets and see the locals haggling over the price; stop at the dhobi ghats where the city's laundry is done in the river; and spend time in the Gandhi Museum which charts India's freedom struggle.


Overnight at Madurai

Meals included: - Breakfast and Dinner

Visited:
Madurai
Accommodation
Heritage Madurai (Madurai)

Day 7: Drive to Munnar, a haven of peace and tranquility

Today drive to Munnar a hill station located 1600 
meters above sea level. Once the summer resort of the erstwhile British administration in South India it still retains its colonial charm and is famous for its tea plantations, most of which are privately owned.  

After  lunch  hours  you  are  proceeding  for  Nature walk to enjoy the sprawling tea estates, rolling hills, picture postcard hamlets and undulating valleys. 

Madurai to Munnar – 5 hrs
Overnight at Munnar
Meals included: - Breakfast and Dinner

Visited:
Munnar
Accommodation
Night at Hotel Chandys Windy Woods (Munnar)

Day 8: Drive to Cochin through breathtaking valleys

Drive  to  Cochin.  Kochi  is  a  colonial  port  town  of Kerala  whose  diverse  architecture  acts  as  a reminder of the foreign traders who came over the centuries  to  buy  spices.  Portuguese,  Dutch  and British influences combine to bring a colonial twist 
to a city that is cosmopolitan and absorbing.
                       
In the evening, the epic Ramayana comes to life at a Kathakali  performance,  traditional  Keralan  dance, where the characters use larger than life gestures, wear outrageous costumes and dramatic make up. 

Munnar to Cochin – 5 hrs
Overnight at Cochin
Meals included: - Breakfast and Dinner

Visited:
Kochi
Accommodation
Eighth Bastion CGH (Cochin)

Day 9: Study the History of Fort Kochi and Kerala Cuisine

After breakfast you are proceeding for Guided tour of Fort Kochi. Meander through the old districts of Mattancherry and Fort Cochin where  the various European influences are most  apparent with merchant houses and old warehouses cramming the  waterfront  and  narrow  streets. Take in  the Pardesi Synagogue in Jew Town (closed on Friday& Saturday), St Francis Church, the oldest European church in India, and the highly decorated Santa Cruz Basilica. Allow time to admire the colorful murals, including depictions of the Ramayana, in the 16th century  Dutch  Palace. Linger  in  the  colorful, pungent  spice  markets  before  moving  on  to  the much-photographed  Chinese  nets  that  line  the shore of Fort Cochin. 

Enjoy special cooking demo with dinner to enjoy 
Kerala cuisine.  

Overnight at Cochin
Meals included: - Breakfast and Dinner 

Visited:
Kochi

Day 10: Mesmerizing house boat cruise at the Backwaters

After breakfast you are proceeding to  Alleppey boat jetty to do House boat cruise. House boat is waiting  to  take  you  on  a  tour  through  the backwaters, a splendid area full of canals, lakes and coves. You can sunbathe on the deck or observe the landscape  from  the  protection  of  the  cabin.  The population’s  whole  life  takes  place  here  on  the water. The people sail, fish, swim and bathe here. 

They do their washing and their washing up. They are so adapted to the water that you can see people talking for an hour, while they are up to their necks in water. Peddlers take care of the supplies and the public transport goes on the water. Countless water birds wait for their chance to catch a fish. The trip goes through a wonderful area full of palm trees, rice fields and floating water plants that surround the boat like emerald Green Island. 

Cochin to Alleppey – 2 hrs
Overnight at Alleppey
Accommodation at House boat 
Meals included: - Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner 

Visited:
KochiAlleppey
Accommodation
Night at Alleppey Deluxe House Boat (Alleppey)

Day 11: Partake in the alluring festival with elephants

After breakfast proceeding to Kollam, on the way 
you are going explore the festival called "Gajamela Adoor". The Adoor Gajamela is celebrated on the last day of the  ten  day  long  annual  festival at Sree Parthasarathy  temple  Adoor. The  elephant  is  the most well loved and the revered animal in  South India and more so in Kerala. Any temple or religious festivity without elephants does not achieve their desired  altitude. Gaja is Sanskrit  means  elephant and mela means a fair.  The  Adoor Gajamela is therefore a fair of elephants.

Alleppey to Kollam – 3 hrs
Overnight at Kollam
Meals included: - Breakfast and Dinner 

Visited:
Alleppeycon, Kollam
Accommodation
Night at The Raviz (Kollam)

Day 12: Loosen up yourself at the lake Resort

Leisure day. Overnight at Kollam.


Meals included: - Breakfast and Dinner 

Visited:
Kollam
Accommodation
Night at The Raviz (Kollam)

Day 13: Farewell to India

After breakfast it's time to bid farewell to India.  You will  be  dropped  at  the  Trivandrum  airport  to connect your onward flight.


Kollam to Trivandrum airport – 2 hrs

Visited:
Kollam

Mahabalipuram Puducherry Tanjore Madurai Munnar Kochi Alleppey Alleppeycon Kollam

Price details

This tour idea is fully customizable

The price reflects this specific itinerary and is designed to give you an idea of the budget required for this destination. Throughout the trip-planning process, our local agency will tailor your itinerary around your budget.

Approx. $1,770 / 13 days
Excluding international flights
Price Per Person in Double Room
Price for 2 Travelers
Single Supplement 

Included in price:

  • Accommodation with comfort hotels (4 and 5-star hotels)
  • Breakfast and Dinner
  • Air-condition car for the entire tour
  • Entrance tickets as per Itinerary
  • Local English speaking guide for city tours
  • Traditional Lunch on banana leaf at Mamallapuram
  • Witness Pongal festival celebration
  • Heritage walk at Pondicherry
  • Witness Mattu Pongal at Pondicherry
  • City tour Tanjore - explore bronze casting, study silk weaving, etc...
  • Authentic Chettinadu Lunch at Karaikudi
  • Cycle rickshaw tour at Madurai
  • Nature walk at Munnar
  • Kathakali dance show at Cochin
  • Cooking demo with dinner at Cochin
  • Houseboat cruise at Alleppey with all meals
  • Spectacular Gajamela festival at Kerala
  • All applicable taxes

Not included in price:

  • International Flights
  • Meals not mentioned in the program
  • Travel Insurance
  • Visa Expenses
Book your flights to India
International flights are not included in this trip. Thanks to our partnership with Option Way, you can take advantage of booking your flights directly with your local agent.
Check out the many benefits:
  • Competitive rates
  • All-inclusive prices with no hidden fees
  • Your local agent Deepa, in India, will inform you of any changes to your flights
For more information or to book your flights directly, head to our partner site.

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