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Home >> South India >> Tamil Nadu - KeralaTours >> South to the Malabar Coast (Tour Code : STKK 05)

South to the Malabar Coast - 17 Nights / 18 Days

Destinations Covered: Chennai - Covelong - Pondicherry - Tanjore - Madurai - Kodaikanal - Munnar - Cochin - Mararikulam - Chennai
DAY 01 : Chennai - Covelong
This morning drive to the Fisherman’s Cove Hotel at Covelong, just 32 kms from the city. Stop enroute at Dakshin Chitra cultural center dedicated to the art, architecture and culture of the Southern Indian states. Stay for 3 nights at Fisherman’s Cove Hotel (luxury sea facing cottage)
DAY 02 & 03 : Covelong at Leisure
DAY 04 : Covelong - Pondicherry
Drive south to Mahabalipuram noted for the seven monolithic temples, each carved from a single granite boulder standing on the seashore. In the village you will see a huge frieze, known as Arjuna’s Penance, which is cut on to a flat granite rock face. Continue to Pondicherry the former French colony; the center of the town still retains a French atmosphere in its architecture and planning. Stay at the Hotel De L’Orient an 18th century French colonial house.
DAY 05 : Pondicherry
This morning drive out of the city to Gingee to see the remarkable 15th century Vijayanagar fort. Return to Pondicherry and in the afternoon visit the Aurobindo Ashram founded by a Bengali philosopher in the early 20th century.
DAY 06 : Pondicherry - Tanjore
Today drive via the temple towns of Chidambaram and Kumbakonam to Tanjore to stay for two nights at the Ideal River Resort which is situated overlooking the Cauvery River outside of the town.
DAY 07 : Tanjore
This entire area is rich in South Indian temple architecture. Today visit the great Brihadiswara Temple in Tanjore, which is considered to be one of the most magnificent Chola temples in India. Drive out to Trichy which, is dominated by the Rock Fort Temple. Also visit Srirangam a superb temple complex spread over an island in the Couvery River. The Sri Ranganathaswami Temple dedicated to Vishnu is one of the biggest temples in India.
DAY 08 : Tanjore - Madurai
This morning drive to Madurai, which has been a center of learning, and pilgrimage for many centuries. Life in this bustling pilgrimage city is centred on the great Meenakshi temple, which dominates the old city. This temple with its gopurams (pyramidal gateway towers) is covered with a profusion of multi-coloured images of mystical figures, animals and gods. Stay overnight at the Taj Garden Retreat or Hotel Sangam.

Alternatively, from Tanjore you could visit the region of Chettinad, just 90 kms east of Madurai, and home to the Nattukottai Chettiars, a prosperous banking community, who ventured overseas to Ceylon, Burma and Indo-China in the 19th and 20th centuries and amassed great fortunes. Stay for two nights at The Bangala a charming 75 year old Chettinad Bungalow belonging to the Meyyappa Chettiar family that has been sensitively restored into a delightful heritage guesthouse.
DAY 09 : Madurai - Kodakonal
Today it is a scenic drive up to Kodaikanal, which is one of the most charming hilstations in South India. Kodaikanal lies on the southern crest of the Palani Hills, at an altitude of 2100 metres above sea level. Stay two nights at the Carlton Hotel.
DAY 10 : Kodaikonal
At leisure, Kodaikanal is noted for its scenery and landscaped lakes. Two of the most spectacular views in India can be enjoyed from Coaker’s Walk and Pillar Rocks; however, at certain times of year the views can be restricted by the weather.
DAY 11 : Kodaikonal - Munnar
Leave today for a scenic drive through the hills to Munnar, at 1520 metres above sea level, in the high ranges of Kerala. Munnar is a genuine hill station and center of the Kerala tea industry. It is also close to Anaimudi, at 2695 metres the highest peak in South India. In the town Christ Church with its memorial plaques to past planters is worth visiting. Stay at Windamere Estate or Siena Village
DAY 12 : Munnar
Full day exploring Munnar and the surrounding area of Eravikulam National Park.
DAY 13 : Munnar - Cochin
Drive south to the Malabar Coast and to Cochin. Stay at the Brunton Boatyard Hotel overlooking the sea in Fort Cochin.
DAY 14 : Cochin
This morning visit the synagogue. Dutch Palace, St. Francis’ Church and the spice market. In the afternoon take a harbour cruise to see some of the nearby islands and the legendary Chinese fishing nets.
DAY 15 : Cochin - Mararikulam
This morning it is a short drive south to end your journey for three nights at the Marari Bieach Resort at Mararikulam. Alternatively, before relaxing at the beach, spend a couple of days crusing the backwaters on your own houseboat.
DAY 16 & 17 : Mararikulam at Leisure
DAY 18 : Mararikulam - Chennai
Transfer by car to Cochin airport for your return flight to Chennai. Assistance on arrival and transfer to international airport in time to connect flight for onward destination.





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