Southern India Splendour and Nature Trove Sri Lanka
Visit Shore Temple in Mahabalipuram.
Visit Vaithleeswaran temple, known for its Palm leaves astrology.
Sightseeing of Raja Malai National Park to see Nilgiri tahrs.
Navigate the networked backwaters of Kerala in houseboat.
Enjoy basking in the sun in Kovalam beach.
Sightseeing of Colombo's busiest and most traditional bazaar.
Visit Elephant orphanage where elephants are looked after.
Sightseeing of the famous botanical garden Peradeniya.
Enjoy the sublime greenery of tea plantations.
Visit the old city of Galle.
Enjoy the Sri Lanka beach in Hikkaduwa.
Day 1 – Chennai / Mahabalipuram
Arrive in Chennai and drive 60 km / 2 hrs to Mahabalipuram, a coastal town which was a flourishing port of the Pallavas of ancient India. The monuments and sculptures here are world renowned and attract tourists from all over the world. Overnight in hotel.
Day 2 – Mahabalipuram / Pondicherry
In the morning, we visit the World Heritage Monument – the Shore Temple of Mahabalipuram. Thereafter, drive 90 km / 2 hrs to Pondicherry, a former French colony settled in the early 18th century and is a charming coastal town with a few enduring pockets on French culture and an ashram. Sightseeing of Pondicherry includes visit to Aurobindo Ashram and Auroville village. Auroville reflects the principles of Sri Aurobindo and is focussed on meditation and spiritual regeneration. Overnight in hotel.
Day 3 – Pondicherry / Thanjavur
Drive 200 kms to Thanjavur. En route we visit Vaithaleeswaran Temple. This place is known for Palm Leaves Astrology. Your future is read from Old Tamil scripts which were written in ancient times by 18 saints. On arrival in Thanjavur, we visit Brihadeshwara Shiva Temple, also known as Big Temple, which is a crowning glory of Cholas, built by Raja Raja (985 – 1014). A dome of 63 m high encloses an enormous Shiva Lingam, a single piece granite stone weighing 81 tonnes. A statue of Nandi (Shiva’s Bull) of a single granite rock of 6 m long guards the entrance. Overnight in hotel.
Day 4 – Thanjavur / Madurai
After breakfast, we proceed to Madurai. Madurai is known as the temple town of South India and is the second largest city in Tamil Nadu. Once the capital city of Pandyas, Madurai is famous for the Meenakshi Temple, with its towering gopurams and rare sculptures. We visit this Temple which is though very old but the bulk of the temple was built during the reign of Nayak King (1623 – 55). Thousands visit the Temple every day. If time permits, we witness the Arti in the temple. Overnight in hotel.
Day 5 – Madurai / Munnar
In the morning, we visit Meenakshi Temple again which is an outstanding example of Vijayanagar Temple architecture, built in 1560. Thereafter, we drive 140 kms / 5 hrs to Munnar through the plains of Tamil Nadu, followed by hills of tea plantations with super landscape of Kerala. Munnar (1524 M) is famous for its tea, pepper and rubber plantations, and has come up as a popular hill station in recent years. We explore the town and visit Raja Malai National Park to see Nilgiri Tahrs. Overnight in hotel.
Day 6 - Munnar / Cochin
Drive 135 km / 4 hrs to Cochin which is a well-known harbour of the world. Cochin town was shaped by the Portuguese, the Dutch and later British. Cultural influence of Indo European architecture is evident from existing buildings. Arab and Jewish spice traders settled here in the 1st century AD. We visit Chinese Fishing nets in the sea, Portuguese Synagogues and spice market. Overnight in hotel.
Day 7 – Cochin / Allepey / Houseboat
Drive 60 km / 1 hr to Alleppey from where we board a Houseboat and begin boat cruising in the backwaters through the lakes, lagoons, canals and nearby villages. These Houseboats are known as rice boats by the locals because they ferry rice and other agricultural produce in these boats. Overnight in Houseboat.
Day 8 – Houseboat / Kovalam
We get off the Houseboat in the morning after breakfast. Thereafter, we drive to Kovalam which is a beach town. Rest of the time at leisure. Overnight in hotel.
Day 9 - Kovalam
Day free at beach with option of Ayurvedic massage or just relax at the beach. Overnight in hotel.
Day 10 – Kovalam / Trivandrum
Drive 20 km / 40 mins to Trivandrum. Upon arrival, we visit Padmanabhaswamy Temple, dedicated to Lord Vishnu. Overnight in hotel.
Day 11 – Trivandrum / Colombo
Early in the morning, we transfer you to the airport for your flight to Colombo. Upon arrival, time free for relaxation. Overnight in hotel.
Day 12 - Colombo
After breakfast sightseeing of Colombo - the commercial capital of Sri Lanka with a population of 1,1 million. The Fort, in the very centre of the city, is where most of the colonial remnants, mainly from the British era are still to be found. Nearby Pettah is Colombo's busiest and most traditional bazaar, a mosaic of human activities and architectural memories. Cinnamon Gardens is the most prestigious residential area. Overnight in hotel.
Day 13 - Colombo / Kandy
After breakfast, we drive into the interior of the island, past paddy fields, palm groves and coconut plantations. In Pinnewela, we visit the elephant orphanage, where about seventy elephants are well looked after, mostly young animals that have been found throughout the country sick and abandoned by their herd and brought to Pinnewela. After this visit, the road begins to ascend gradually. Another stop will be made at a spice garden; where you see many unknown trees, bushes and plants. We reach the royal city of Kandy situated at 500 m, beautifully nestled between green hills. In the late afternoon, we do a short city tour of Kandy with visit to a lapidary. In the evening, we shall pay a visit to the temple of the holy tooth. After the temple visit you have the opportunity to attend a dance performance, where you will see the famous Kandyan dances, as well as up-country and devil dances. Overnight in hotel.
Day 14 - Kandy
In the morning, we visit the world famous Botanical Garden Peradeniya. The park dates back to 1371 under the reign of king Vikrama Bahu III when he held court here. The English put the cornerstone of the present garden in 1821. During the Second World War the garden served as the headquarters of Earl Mountbatten, the supreme commander of the allied forces in Southeast Asia who became later the last Viceroy of India. You will find in the garden a very large variety of orchids, spice trees, palms, bushes, as well as tropical plants and flowers of all type. Return to your hotel. Afternoon free for personal activities. Overnight in hotel.
Day 15 - Kandy / Nuwara Eliya
After breakfast, we drive to Nuwara Eliya. Wherever we look, we see tea plantations, the rich full green of thousands and thousands of tea bushes. And out of the green in regular intervals the white coloured tea factories will enchant your eyes. A journey by train through the tea country, past waterfalls, mountain creeks and through the tea plantations is something very special. The drive from Nanuoya up to Nuwara Eliya takes about half an hour. Should it not be possible to take the train, the journey up to Nuwara Eliya will be done by car. In the afternoon, we have the opportunity to visit the Hakgala botanical garden with its collection of sub-tropical trees, bushes and smaller plants and its well-known rose garden. Overnight in hotel.
Day 16 - Nuwara Eliya / Tissamaharama
After breakfast at the hotel, we leave Nuwara Eliya to the south, passing tea and vegetable plantations, occasionally a waterfall, forests and many small villages and hamlets. From the descending road, we have again and again a beautiful view of the mountains and valleys. The closer we get to the coast, the countryside becomes more and more barren and near to the sea, we see along the road many salt fields from which salt is produced. We will reach Hambantota at noon. In the late afternoon, you have the option to do a photo safari into the Bundala game park. Overnight in hotel.
Day 17 - Tissamaharama / Galle / Hikkaduwa
After breakfast, we leave Hambantota. At Dondora, we reach the most southern point of the island and continue in westerly direction along large, beautiful, white, palm fringed beaches. We pass Matara and we stop later for a visit to the old city of Galle The fort with its impressive great rampart is well preserved. In 1505 the Portuguese took the town from the Singhalese king and built large fortifications which they called Santa Cruz. In 1640 the Dutch stormed the fortress. They later incorporated the remains of the Portuguese fortification in an imposing new fort for the protection of the harbour and the sea routes. after this visit, a short drive take us to Hikkaduwa. Overnight in hotel.
Day 18 - Hikkaduwa
Leisure time at the beach. Overnight in hotel.
Day 19 Hikkaduwa / Colombo Airport / Departure
After breakfast departure transfer to Airport for flight back home.