Treasures of Southern India

Resort:Treasures of Southern India
Operator: Cox and Kings
Destination: India
Price From: £2995.00


The delicate scent of spices, the sound of
temple bells and a rich tapestry of ancient
arts and craft all characterise Tamil Nadu
and Kerala. This journey travels through hill
stations, tropical backwaters and templeladen
towns while staying in some of the
regions very best hotels.


Day 1: Fly to Chennai

Fly from London (regional connections
available) to Chennai (Madras) with British
Airways. (N)

Day 2: Chennai

On arrival transfer to the Hyatt Regency (or
similar) for 1 night (early check in available).
Time at leisure before an afternoon tour of
the city followed by free time at Marina
beach. (B)

Day 3: Mahabalipuram Puducherry

Morning walking tour of Mylapore, a town
that predates Chennai by 2,000 years.
Continue to Puducherry (Pondicherry), visiting
the world heritage-listed shore temples at Mahabalipuram en route. Stay 2 nights at the
Palais de Mah located in the heart of the
French quarter. (B)

Day 4: Puducherry

This morning visit a local rural village,
organised by Mohanam Cultural Centre.
Watch the villagers involved in traditional
crafts such as stone carving, ceramics and
terracotta work. Afternoon guided walk
through Puducherry, stop by the Aurobindo
ashram, stroll to the lively Tamil quarters and
experience Hindu faith at the Ganesh temple in
the evening. (B)

Day 5: Chidambaram Kumbakonam

Witness the daily rituals at Chidambaram
Temple and sari weaving in Thribhuvanam
before driving through scenic countryside
to Kumbakonam for 2 nights at the Mantra
Koodam. In the early evening, try your hand
at pottery and enjoy an interactive culinary
demonstration, led by expert chefs. (B, D)

Day 6: Kumbakonam

Discover the crafts and culture of Tamil
Nadu. Observe master foundrymen produce
extraordinarily detailed bronze cast statues;
see the process of pattu silk weaving, using
wooden handlooms. Try producing your
own kolams, colourful patterns that are
displayed outside homes. You will also visit
one of the largest vegetable markets in Asia
and the Darasuram Temple, renowned for its
delicate stone sculptures. The Vedic School
dates back 140 years and is a worthwhile
visit. Afternoon at leisure or cycle into the
countryside. (B, D)

Day 7: Tanjore Chettinad

Drive to Chettinad, stopping at Brihadeeswarar
Temple in Tanjore en route, known for its
remarkable frescoes. Continue to the art gallery and Saraswathi Mahal Library at the
Tanjore Palace. Arriving in Chettinad for 1 night
stay at Chidambara Vilas. This evening, enjoy a
superb culinary experience. (B, L, D)

Day 8: Madurai

This morning explore the village market,
stopping for a traditional cup of tea before
visiting some of the impressive mansions.
Travel to Madurai. Evening visit to the
illuminated Meenakshi Temple and Hall of
a Thousand Pillars for the night ceremony.
Overnight stay at the Heritage Madurai. (B)

Day 9: Munnar

Travel to the hill country around Munnar
for an overnight stay at Fragrant Nature.
En route visit a tea factory to enjoy a tea
tasting and guided walk through a tea
plantation. (B, D)

Day 10: Kumarakom

Morning at leisure or visit the Srishti Welfare
Centre, which trains disabled children in
making some amazing handmade products.
Travel to Kumarakom for 2 nights at the
Kumarakom Lake Resort (meandering pool
villa) with views of Lake Vembanad. (B, D)

Day 11: Kumarakom

Day at leisure to enjoy the beautiful surrounds
or explore village life in the backwaters. (B, D)

Day 12: Kochi

This morning, cruise aboard a shikara (wooden
boat) through the backwaters before driving to
Kochi (Cochin). Visit the Mattancherry Palace
and enjoy an evening traditional Kathakali
dance performance. Stay 2 nights at Eighth
Bastion. (B)

Day 13: Kochi

Morning sightseeing tour of Kochi including the Chinese fishing nets and the 16th-century
St Francis Church. Explore hidden Kochi
including Jew Town and dhobi wallah, a washhouse
where a sea of white hotel sheets
and clothing are slathered on the washing
stones. Afternoon at leisure to further
explore the streets and their array of local
markets. (B)

Day 14: Fly to London via Mumbai

Fly to London via Mumbai with British
Airways. (B)

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