This is great a perfect trip to enjoy South India Cultural Tours.
Duration: 6 Nights / 7 Days
Destinations Covered: Madras - Madurai - Periyar - Kumarakom - Cochin
Day 01: Arrival Madras Meeting with Mission Eco Trek’s representative for assistance at the airport and transfer to the hotel. Afternoon, sightseeing tour of Madras city. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 02: Madras Full day excursion to Mahabalipuram & Kanchipuram. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 03: Madras - Madurai Morning transfer to the airport in time for morning flight to Madurai. Meeting and assistance at the airport. Sightseeing tour of Madurai. In the evening visit the Meenakshi Temple to attend the "Aarti" ceremony. Overnight at the hotel.
Madurai is one of the oldest cities of India, with a history dating all the way back to the Sangam period of the pre Christian era. The glory of Madurai returned in a diminished form in the earlier part of this millennium; it later on came under the rule of the Vijayanagar kingdom after it’s ransack by the ravaging armies of Delhi (Malik Kafur). During the 16th and 18th centuries, Madurai was ruled by the Nayak Emperors, the foremost of whom was Tirumalai Nayakar. The Sangam period poet Nakkeerar is associated with some of the Tiruvilayaadal episodes of Sundareswarar - that are enacted as a part of temple festival traditions even today.
Day 04: Madurai - Periyar
In the morning drive to Periyar and upon arrival, check in at the hotel. Afternoon, sightseeing by boat over Lake Periyar to view the wild life. Overnight at the hotel.
Periyar: One of the well known wildlife sanctuaries in the south, Periyar sanctuary attracts a large number of nature lovers every year. Also called the Thekkady Wildlife Sanctuary, this place is ideal for watching the animals in their natural habitat. The forest here slopes into the manmade lake at the bottom of the hill. This lake serves as the waterhole for the animals and they come here to drink or take a dip. Elephants, Gaur, Sambhar and even tigers can be spotted here. There are boat services which takes the visitor around the lake. The best season to visit the park is between October and June. Spread over 777 sq.km of the Cardamom Hills of Western Ghats, the Periyar sanctuary is located 137 km from Madurai. Although an excursion on the splendid artificial lake is the standard way to experience the sanctuary, you can also walk around with the local guide in a small group. Wild Elephant herds come to the lake to frolic in the water. Other attractions of the sanctuary are the Sambhar, Bison, Spotted Deer, Tigers, Leopards, Malabar Flying Squirrels, Stripe necked Mongooses, etc. There are over 260 species of birds here, including Nilgiri Wood Pigeons, blue-winged Parakeets, White bellied Tree Pies, laughing Thrushes and Fly Catchers.
Day 05: Periyar - Kumarakom
Morning drive to boat landing point from where the hotel's courtesy boat will take passengers to Kumarakom. Rest of the day free at leisure. Overnight at the hotel.
Kumarakom slumbers on the banks of the famous Vembanad Lake, which is a part of Kuttanad ('granary' of Kerala). The Vembanad Lake with its majestic canals, streams and distributaries along its banks weave an intricate and enchantingly beautiful web. The gorgeous green of the fringed palms ripple in the blue waters and blend into wavelets. The entire state of Kerala is blessed with plenty of rivers and the resources of many are still untapped. The waterways of Kerala which play a main role in the economy of the state links remote villages and islands with the main land. The water ways provide a cheap and economical mode of transport. The water ways of Kuttanad is now a big attraction for tourist. It is incredibly different experience to cruise in the backwaters in country boats, absorbing the beauty of Kerala villages. The scenery flashes up vivid contrasts of breath-taking greens and deep blues. Boat rides are available for tourist and others at nominal rates.
Day 06: Kumarakom - Cochin
Morning, backwater cruise to Alleppey and back. Later drive to Cochin. Upon arrival, check in at the hotel.
Cochin set on a cluster of islands and narrow peninsulas, the port city of Cochin (Kochi) (Queen of Arabia) reflects the eclecticism of Kerala perfectly. With a rich past and a bustling present, it has been the business hub of the region from the very early days after Alleppey (Alappuzha) Cochin consists of mainland Ernakulam, the islands of Willington, Bolgatty and Gundu in the harbor, Fort Cochin and Mattancherry on the southern peninsula, and Vypeen Island north of Fort Cochin, all was linked by ferry but now some islands have bridges. The influence of Chinese, Jews, Arabs and Europeans is evident in Cochin and its people.
The oldest church in India, 500-year-old Portuguese houses, old tiled houses built in the Chinese pagoda style, the famous Chinese fishing nets, a Jewish community whose roots go back to the Diaspora, synagogues and mosques all tell the fascinating story of this harbor town. The harbor is still at the heart of the city and pepper, sea food, rubber and coir mats and matting are exported from here. Despite this, Cochin is an attractive city with serene creak & lagoons overhung with feathery coconut palms and picturesque islands. The older parts of Fort Cochin and Mattanchery are an unlikely blend of medieval Portugal, Holland and an English country village grafted onto the tropical Malabar coast. Cochin is one of India's largest ports and a major naval base.
Day 07: Cochin - Back Home
Morning sightseeing tour of Cochin. Later transfer to the airport in time for afternoon flight to Back Home.
If this itinerary could not meet your desires, we can design a tailor-made itinerary to suit your desires. Please kindly let us know whether you would like to make it shorter or longer.
Cost: for the up-to-date and competitive pricing, please contact us...
Note: After end of the India trip, you can extend your great holiday to Nepal for trekking to the World’s highest peak Mt Everest (8848m) base camp, visit to Buddha’s birth place-Lumbini, and sightseeing tour in holiest Pasupatinath temple including lots of historical and world heritage sites. You can also combine a trip Tibet through Nepal.
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Two weeks holiday in Nepal with Mission Eco-Trek
My wife and I took a 2 week tour in Nepal with Mission Eco-Trek in Feb 2011 and had a fantastic time. Mission Eco-Trek provided the very highest caliber guides and Ram Kumar (the proprietor) personally made sure that everything went smoothly. When storms caused our original flights to be cancelled and then cancelled for a second time, he graciously accommodated our changes at no extra cost. The cost was reasonable and the services provided were exceptional -even beyond what we had expected from the contract....
Kevin & Jacque
New York, USA