South India Malabar Coast Tour
A tour of the Malabar coast of South India gives you a chance to travel through Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Karnataka, three of the states of South India. This tour takes you along the Malabar Coast and includes visits to some important temple towns of South India, a few beaches of the south, some of the best hill stations of South India and to the famous backwaters of Kerala. This trip allows you to experience the glorious variations in the natural environment of the Malabar Cost.
Destinations Covered: Chennai (Madras)- Covelong – Pondicherry – Tanjore – Madurai – Kodaikanal – Munnar – Kochi (Cochin) – Mararikulam – Chennai – Tellicherry – Coorg – Mysore – Chennai (Madras)
Tour Package Duration: 18 Nights / 19 Days
Day 01 Chennai (Madras)/Covelong
In the morning drive to Covelong, 32kms from the city. Enroute stop at the Dakshin Chitra cultural center that is dedicated to the art and culture of the states of South India. At Covelong check into hotel for 3 nights.
Day 02 & 03 Covelong
Two days are at your leisure.
Day 04 Covelong/Pondicherry
Drive to Mahabalipuram and visit the seven monolithic temples. Each temple has been craved from a single boulder of granite and is on the seashore. In the village there is a frieze called Arjuna’s Penance that has been cut on the flat granite rock face. Travel to Pondicherry a former French colony, the strong French influence in clearly visible in the town’s architecture and planning. On arrival check in at the hotel.
Day 05 Pondicherry
In the morning drive to the Gingee city to visit the 15th century Vijayanagar Fort. Return to Pondicherry in the afternoon visit the Aurobindo Ashram founded by the Bengali philosopher in the beginning of the 20th century.
Day 06 Pondicherry/Tanjore
Drive through Chidambaram and Kumbakonam to Tanjore and spend two nights at Tanjore.
Day 07 Tanjore
Tanjore is a city that has numerous temples. Visit the Brihadiswara temple that is considered the most splendid Chola temple ever built. Travel to Trichy to visit the Rock Fort Temple. Visit Srirangam an island in the Cauvery River that houses the Sri Ranganathaswami temple dedicated to Vishnu and is one of the biggest temples in India.
Day 08 Tanjore/Madurai
Drive to Madurai, which is an important city for pilgrims. Visit the Meenakshi Temple that is the most important feature of the old city. This temple has gopurams (pyramidal towers) that are covered with multi colored sculptures of mystical figures, animal and Gods. Stay overnight here.
Alternatively, from Tanjore you can visit the Chettinad region just 90kms east of Madurai that is home to Nattukottai Chettiars a prosperous banking community, who have ventured overseas to Ceylon, Burma and Indo-China in the 19th and 20th centuries and became very prosperous. This region is also well known for its grand mansions that have splendid architecture.
Day 09 Madurai/Kodaikanal
The drive to Kodaikanal is a delight to the eyes. Kodaikanal is the most enchanting hill station in South India. Kodaikanal lies on the southern crest of the Palani Hills at an altitude of 2100 meters above seal level. On arrival check in at the hotel for two nights.
Day 10 Kodaikanal
You are at leisure in Kodaikanal. You can spend time walking and exploring the beautiful landscape of this city. Two spectacular views here are from Coaker’s walk and Pillar Rocks, but this view is dependent on the weather.
Day 11 Kodaikanal/Munnar
Drive through the scenic hills to Munnar, which is at an altitude of 1520 meters above sea level, on the Ghats in Kerala. Munnar is a hill station and is the center of the tea industry in Kerala. Anaimudi the highest peak in South India at a height of 2695 is close to Munnar. One should visit Christ Church that has memorial plaques to erstwhile planters.
Day 12 Munnar
Spend the day exploring Munnar and the Eravikulam National Park.
Day 13 Munnar/Kochi (Cochin)
Drive to Kochi from Munnar and check in at the hotel on arrival.
Day 14 Kochi (Cochin)
In the morning visit the Jewish Synagogue, Dutch Palace, St. Francis’ Church and the spice market. In the afternoon take a harbor cruise to visit some of islands nearby and the famous Chinese fishing nets.
Day 15 Kochi (Cochin)/Mararikulam
Drive to the beaches of Mararikulam and spend three nights here. Alternatively, before going to the beach you can spend a day or two cruising on the backwaters of Kerala in your own houseboat.
Day 16 & 17Mararikulam
You have two days at your leisure.
Day 18 Mararikulam/Chennai (Madras)
Transfer to the airport in Kochi (Cochin) and take the flight to Chennai (Madras).
Day 14 Kochi/Tellicherry via Calicut
Drive to Tellicherry and overnight stay in the hotel.
Day 15 Tellicherry/Coorg
Morning is at leisure. After lunch leave on a scenic drive to Coorg, nestled in the Western Ghats at 800 meters above sea level. The fascinating district of Coorg offers you clean, crisp air, spice and coffee plantations, paddy fields, a wide variety of fauna and flora and is surrounded by thick-forested mountains. This district has not been touched by urban development. Spend two nights in the hotel here.
Day 16 Coorg
In the morning take a short walk in the forest with a local guide, to a tribal village. The Kurba and Erava tribes live in communities in the forests of Coorg. They cultivate paddy, collect honey and herbs from the forest. In the afternoon visit a local plantation.
Day 17 Coorg/ Mysore
In the morning drive to the palace city of Mysore. Spend two nights here.
Day 18 Mysore
Visit places of interest in and around Mysore. This includes the Maharaja’s Palace, the vibrant vegetable and flower markets and Chamundi Hills known for its Nandi temple. You could visit the Kesava Temple at Somnathpur just outside Mysore.
Day 19 Mysore/Chennai (Madras)
In the morning visit the ruins of Tipu Sultan’s capital Srirangapatna, which is just outside Mysore. Return to Mysore to board the Shatabdi Express train for Chennai.