Bona fide South India - Homestays & Heritage Hotels
In this tour package for South India, visit the little known suburbs, silent backwaters, plantation hills, Tamil Nadu coastal towns & parts of South India that have little been reported or documented.
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Duration of this South India Trip:
19 Days - 18 Nights
Tamil Nadu & South India places to visit:
Palakkad (2N), Thrissur (2N), Cochin (2N), Alleppey (2N), Kumily (2N), Dindigul (3N), Kanadukathan (2N), Tranquebar (2N), Pondicherry (1N)
Accommodation for 18 nights as per the meal plan mentioned
Airport & Hotel transfers
Private air-conditioned car with driver throughout the trip
English speaking tour guide in Cochin & Pondicherry
Sightseeing tours, Entrance fee to monuments when accompanied with a guide
Your travel package for South India can be extended in number of ways and customized based on your interests and requirements.
Itinerary for South India trip
Day 01: Arrive in Cochin & Drive from Cochin to Palakkad (Distance 150kms & 4hrs. journey)
On arrival at Cochin Airport you will be met by our representative and transferred to Palakkad. Your stay here is at a beautiful heritage home almost 3 centuries old that provides an amazing opportunity for you to learn more about the culture and people of Kerala. This place is like a cultural center offering you glimpses of history of Kerala and India, its society, architecture, performing arts and cuisine. Go on a tour of this Palakkad Homestay accompanied by your host.
Day 02: Tour of Palakkad town
During the day, go on tour of the local village joined by your knowledgeable host. Make a visit to a museum where you’ll find old Kathakali headgear and other artifacts on display; also visit some local weavers who are specialized in making this headgear. You may be fortunate to experience an authentic Kathakali performance and watch the Hindu ritual ‘Kalam Ezhuthi Pattu’ which includes the drawing of goddess Kali, a deity in natural colors.
At evening watch the sun set over the Ghats with the sound of music from the temple besides the river.
Day 03-04: Drive from Palakkad to Thrissur (Distance 70kms & 2hrs. journey)
Drive 2hrs to Nattika village in Thrissur to transfer into an Ayurveda beach resort in Kerala facing the Arabian Sea. The property here is set on a splendid, dirt free beach, which offers the option to walk along the coastline for miles. The cottages are set amidst a palm tree garden. You may relax by the beach on comfortably padded loungers placed underneath little beach huts. Relax & rejuvenate during your stay at this beach resort.
Day 05: Drive from Thrissur to Cochin (Distance 90kms & 3hrs. journey)
After check-out from hotel, drive to Cochin to be transferred to a Cochin Homestay. Off the many homestays in Kochi we have sorted those that are closest to the sightseeing spots, away from the hustle and bustle of the city; have the perfect hosts; and undoubtedly deliver quality service.
Evening visit the Kerala Kathakali Centre to watch a Kathakali dance performance - a classic dance drama where you’ll see how a story unfolds by dance, music, song and strangest of all, facial movements that convey the emotions and dialogue. It is a mixture of calm and rhythmic movements; frenetic drumming that leads to a dramatic climax but throughout colorful and elaborate.
Day 06: Sightseeing in Cochin
Cochin: Formation of Cochin happened with the amalgamation of smaller villages across the southwestern coast of Kerala. It has a mix of the Dutch, Portuguese, British and the Jewish influences that make this city unique.
Go on a sightseeing tour of Cochin to explore its rich history and heritage accompanied with a tourist guide. Places to visit/see in Cochin: Visit the Jewish synagogue at Matanchery and walk through the old Jewish town; take a walking tour of old Fort Kochi and visit the important monuments including Dutch Palace, St. Francis Church (India’s oldest) and Santa Cruz Basilica and explore the streets on foot. Also see the famous Chinese fishing nets in action.
Day 07: Drive from Cochin to Alleppey (Distance 60kms & 2hrs. journey)
Drive early morning to arrive at a dockyard in Alappuzha. The journey from the dock to your homestay in Alleppey starts with a canoe ride. Your stay here is at an antique wooden house in a remote village set in the middle of the backwaters. From the veranda of your home follow the life along the waterfront, walk across the paddy fields - and just ask to be canoed across the river. Enjoy the exemplary hospitality of your hosts during your stay.
Day 08: Tour of Alleppey
After breakfast, go a on a tour of Alleppey on a tuk-tuk or bicycle to the local church, a school and a local coconut processing center. After lunch, try your hand at fishing and enjoy the perfect views of a village life in Kerala which has an atmosphere of serenity and tranquility all around.
Day 09: Drive from Alleppey to Kumily (Distance 150kms & 4-5hrs. journey)
Drive 4hours to Kumily, a town in the cardamom hills near Thekkady. Your accommodation here is at a wonderful homestay surrounded by spice farms. A walk around this plantation reveals the numerous spices growing at this place. You can go around exploring the local town and the nearby Periyar Tiger Reserve.
Day 10: Kumily Tourism
Go on a tour of the plantation farm around this place along with your hosts. Evening watch a Kalaripayattu performance - the oldest of the martial arts that originated in ancient South India
Day 11: Drive from Kumily to Dindigul (Distance 150kms & 4-5hrs journey)
Drive over the Western Ghats to the hill countryside of South India in Tamil Nadu. Tonight your accommodation is at a small homestay in Dindigul located in a traditional farm with lake views. This is an ideal place to relax for few days with total peace and tranquility. Watching the night fall here is a dream.
Day 12-13: Indulge in local activities.
For two days go on a unique experience of rural India that is different from your regular tours; Out of the many possible activities, go on a cycling tour to the nearby local village of Athoor, or to the neighboring town of Madurai to see the Meenakshi Temple. Other numerous local excursions with your brilliant hosts can be a local village potter workshop, sari weaver, coconut processing plant visit, the nearby Palani Hills and many others.
Day 14: Drive from Dindigul to Kanadukathan (Distance 120kms & 3-4hrs journey)
This morning drive from Dindigul to arrive at a heritage property - a beautifully preserved Chettiar mansion in Kanadukathan that provides an admirable ambiance and atmosphere for a relaxed stay-over. After the grand welcome take a tour of this simple yet elegant architectural home of the early 20th century.
Day 15: Chettinad tour
After breakfast, go on a tour of some of the historic Chettinad houses that are the main attraction of this town. There are rows of mansions built by the once wealthy traders now in varying phases of decrepitude. After lunch go an antique shopping to a nearby town. You may also attend a cooking class of some of the best South Indian food prepared in hotel kitchen. Evening sit by & swim at the delightful pool.
Day 16: Drive from Kanadukathan to Tranquebar/ Tarangambadi (Distance 200kms & 5-6hrs journey)
.Enroute visit Thanjavur tourism site: The Bragadeeshwara Temple (also called the Big Temple). On arrival, check-into a heritage bungalow by the beach that has architectural wonders - the 14th century Pandya Temple and a 17th century Danish Fort visible from the verandah outside your room.
Tranquebar; or ‘Tharangambadi’ as this place is known in native Tamil, factually means, “The land of the singing waves”, has not been much known in the state of Tamil Nadu. Since the Danish settlement in the 1600’s, numerous rendezvous with the British, German & French has lent a steep culture & heritage to this coastal town.
Day 17: Tranquebar/ Tarangambadi visit
Visit this colonial town that still retains its primitive culture & names. Visit the Dansborg Fort, the Dansborg Archaeological Museum within the fort that has a collection of artifacts dating back to the 17th century, the Zion Church and Ziegenbalg’s house - the first Protestant missionary who set foot in India in 1705. Spend time rejuvenating at the beach or the private garden pool.
Day 18: Drive from Tharangambadi to Pondicherry (Distance 130kms & 4hrs journey time)
Pondicherry is a coastal town on India’s Coromandel Coast that has a non-Indian flavor with its mix of French & Tamil culture with the laid-back feel of a college town.
Afternoon relax at your hotel or go shopping in Pondicherry, that is known to be a paradise for shoppers
Day 19: Pondicherry tour & Drive to Chennai
Morning go on a guided here tour through French quarters and afternoon drive to Chennai with a drop to the International airport for your onward flight home or to another destination in India.