Experience the paradise on earth with a heavenly and unforgettable memories in a 13 days trip.
Places to be covered
Cochin, Kerala, Alleppey, Munnar, Thekkady, Madurai, Pondicherry, Auroville, Chennai
Embrace the greenest zones of India with a fresh breath of air as you land into the Cochin International Airport- a culturally and historically unique part of the country. Welcome to the Southern States, where authenticity and originality tops all priorities and customs and traditions are still celebrated in the purest form. The airport itself should to be your first bucket list landmark- being the only airport in the country to be fully powered by solar energy! While the layers of greenery zigzagged by thin and stable glass like waters might have already amazed you from your plane window, you can now finally prepare to step into God’s own country as our dedicated tour manager escorts you to your hotel and gives you a brief description of your trip.
The next morning, after grabbing a few local delicacies complimenting your classic continental breakfast, visit the Kochi Fort- a royal foothold binding Kerala’s beautiful water bound regions. Then capture the reason behind the Keralite love for fish as you see the abundance of Chinese fishing nets along every shore of the city! Then march towards the state’s living evidence of harmony and secularism- The Santa Cruz Basilica, one of the eight Basilicas in Kerala. Initially built by the Portuguese in 1558, this site has been revamped and renovated several times by India’s European conquers to establish and propagate the Catholic Faith in their territory! After a fruitful and yet tiring part of the day, proceed for Lunch at the Rice Boat by Taj Malabar- the ultimate option for seafood in a land where love is expressed through the sea. While the traditional boat like interior and sea face of this restaurant will build on your traditional experience, the Matancherry Palace will add an everlasting colonial influence to your tour with its Dutch Architecture and Murals of the Royal Rajas of Kochi! Then visit the Matancherry Synagogue- the oldest active synagogue in the Commonwealth of Nations which also shares a wall with the nearby temple- another standing example of India’s secularism! As you explore one culture after the other, end your tour with the nearby Jew Town- the residence of Malabar Jews- the first community of Jewish migrants to India. The charming presence of multiple cultures in the state reminds us best of a united and tolerant world! Then, spending the evening in and around Kochi’s panoramic streets before you indulge in a five star dinner at your hotel!
Spend your day with Kerala’s well-known backwaters today. After breakfast, transfer to the Vembanad Lake Jetty- the longest lake in India and the largest in Kerala. After a heavy dose of man- made wonders, you will now have a chance to spend some time with the creator of Kerala- Mother Nature. While on board the Oberoi Motor Vessel-Vrinda, you will be able to explore the ‘Venice of the East’ in the most comfortable and luxurious way. As you sail along the Vembanad Lake towards the Alleppey Canal, you will get a fair chance to sit back, relax and spend some pretty moments with yourself. Contemplate, rethink and imagine as you feel the cool coastal air and smell a tinge of coconut all around you! You are a free man and Kerala’s clear open skies and aesthetically placed lakes and trees will motivate you to chase the impossible! End rather culturally, with a splendid display of the state’s iconic dance- Kethakali, based on the age old Hindu Epics of Ramayana and Mahabharata! Have lunch and dinner both on board where every delicacy will help you fabricate a first class cruise experience!
Prepare for your final approach to Alleppey as you have breakfast on board the next morning. Step down from the luxurious beast into a tiny traditional vessel and sail towards the Half Statue of Lord Buddha at Karumadi! This mysterious half broken granite statue will get you linking all the pieces of history you have ever known! Return to The Oberoi Vrinda and take second helpings to your heart’s content at the irresistible buffet offered on board as you continue to sail through the Alleppey Canal! Then gear up for the Vrinda Vadiyam Evening Show- a scintillating fusion of Hindustani tones and instruments that’ll strike every chord in your mind’s orchestra!
Welcome to Munnar- Kerala’s thriving hill station and the elite getaway for the former colonizers of South India! As you travel uphill, the Vallarta and Cheeyapara- God’s own way of showering his blessings in the literal sense! After loading your cameras with the image of falling pearl pearls of water, proceed to the Mundackal Planation Homestay for a healthy and heavy lunch! This resort- literally carved out of Nature’s best will help you calm your senses and fully relax before you visit the Tata Tea Museum and take in the fragrance of the original Indian Tea nestled in the nation’s southern laps! You will also get a chance to know more about the history of Tea Plantation in India- one of the largest tea producers of the world and in the top five per-capita consumers! End your day at the Pothamedu Viewpoint offering refreshing views of Munnar’s tea and coffee plantations spread on its hills like green blankets! While this point may not feel as high as Everest, the Keralite Vibe is sure to make you feel on top of the world! In the evening, explore the hidden typicalities of a South-Indian Market so that you have the content of shopping before you go to bed!
Start your day with the Blossom Park at Munnar, where your mood is likely to blossom with fragrant gardens and chirping birds. Hop from one lookout point to another and this trail will take you to your next stop- The Eravikulam National Park, famous for its largest viable population of the endangered ‘Niligi Tahr’! If your cameras get cranky, head straight to the nearby Echo Point and Photo Point where the echo phenomenon will add an auditory delight to your visual treats! Then, end in style by halting at Kerala’s highest peak- Anamudi, named after an elephant’s forehead because of its vast expanse!
Here is to starting Heaven Point 3- Kerala’s greenest and most lively location scattered around its thriving national park! After a filling breakfast, we will let you dress up for your drive date with nature. This scenic drive will let you capture the city’s most pristine and well celebrated spots for them to enhance your social media feed, room walls and photo albums! After a tasty lunch, spice your day further at the Periyar Spice Garden- the ultimate storehouse of the secret behind every Indian Recipe! Then end your day with an unseen form of peace and tranquillity at the countryside of Kurnily before you go to bed and have one of the most restful sleeps of your life!
Today is your picture perfect day with the elephants and tigers of South India giving you the sought after royal vibe! The notable tiger and elephant reserve of Thekkady will top all your memories and you will need more than a simple excursion seep every corner of the place into your memory! In the evening, gear up for your trip to Madurai in Tamil Nadu- an ancient temple town with several Hindu sagas carved in its walls!
After breakfast, start your Madurai Trip in style by chasing the city’s most iconic structure- The Meenakshi Annam Temple. This gigantic structure is sure to impress you with its vast gates, vibrant colours and spiritual aura. Many find their true purpose within the prayer halls of this complex and are startled by the finesse of its intricate idols and carvings! Then drive to Thirparankundram- one of Hindu Deity Murugan’s six abodes followed by the Thirumalai Nayakkar Mahal- a secular confluence of ages old Dravidian and Arab-Influenced Islamic Architecture! Post lunch, dedicate some time to the Father of India- Mahatma Gandhi at the Gandhi Museum where you can explore several exemplars of his notions of non-violence and love of peace. End your day with the Vishnu Temple of Alagar Koil, an ancient masterpiece central to the spirit of Madurai followed by a scrumptious lunch at the hotel.
Today is all yours! You’re free to explore South India the way you like! Find beauty with your own perspective as you hunt the streets and markets of Madurai. Goodies and souvenirs from here will give your home the most authentic traditional look! Besides, nobody really minds a tiny little Indian good luck charm! Of course, if you need any help navigating or can’t decide where to go, our tour managers will handpick locations for you based on your preferences so that you don’t end up whiling away time at a place you don’t fully connect with! Then, drive to Pondicherry as the sun begins to set and get ready to enter the French Toast of India!
Welcome to Pondicherry- a city that is elegant, elaborate and exquisite and still lives up to its French Colonial Standards. You’ll find a series of old French-Style cafes and colonial heritage buildings on almost every street you walk past. With names and signboards in French and its people still speaking the language, Pondicherry has promised France to live up to its legacy! Start with Shri Aurobindo Ashram- a place that echoes tranquillity and harmony! After a relaxing start, you’ll see the French Version of the White House as you head to the Raj Nivas- the official residence of the Lieutenant Governor of the union territory! Next, after paying respects to the brave men who lost their lives for French India at the French War Memorial, date back to the Chola Empire with an array of breath- taking artefacts at the Pondicherry Museum. Then, the French-built botanical gardens with its themed plots and train rides will make your informational journey more adventurous before you indulge in second helpings at Le Dupleix- where the ambience will treat your eyes while the food treats your tummy! After lunch, compliment the city’s eternal European Vibe as you head to the Barathi Gardens featuring a Greco-Roman Arch Structure- most suitable for a romantic and memorable evening walk! The scenic beach views under the open moonlight skies around The Promenade will give you the most ideal backdrop to reminisce all your Indian delights!
Take an exciting moped journey to the experimental city of Auroville- a community founded by Spiritual Leader Mirra Alfassa meant to accommodate harmonious living for people from all over the world! The city’s centrepiece- Matrimandir, also called the soul of the city is a place meant for integral yoga not dedicated to any religion or sect! This spherical structure covered in gold discs is like the town’s own sun which never sets! Then proceed to the Savitri Bhavan, a centre promoting a living sense of human unity via spiritual education! Then stop by the Auro Beach for a few restful moments before you go to the city’s mesmerizing town hall, libraries and gardens! Auroville, which literally translates to the ‘city of dawn’, is a truly congruent combination a man, art and culture!
Your final stop in India- the city of Chennai is now only 200 minutes away! Starts early from Pondicherry and gear up for an eventful city tour as your reach the colonial port town of South India! Explore the Christian Face of India’s diamond culture with St Mary’s Church- the oldest church east of Suez and the also the oldest British building in India! Then visit the Rippon Building- Chennai’s giant masterpiece and also a fine example of neoclassical architecture! Then, end in style with the San Thome Basilica- which is said to be amongst the only three cathedrals of the world to house the replica of Jesus’s 12 apostles. Spend your evening by the Marina- Chennai’s longest beach and feel the cool breeze of the Indian Ocean as you thank your stars for a momentous Indian Adventure which you are sure to remember for a lifetime!
With millions of memories and images in your mind and an undying desire to make more- prepare to head back home as you board your flight. Make sure you promise India to visit her once again, with the same amount of enthusiasm and an unparalleled excitement!
- DAY 1