Temples and Spices
Lots of sun, some sand, tangy spices, roaring seas and spirituality along with incredible temples – that’s the memory you will take back after this temple and spices tour.
||Chennai | Mahabalipuram | Pondicherry | Tanjore | Karaikudi | Madurai | Munnar | Periyar | Alleppey | Cochin|
Meet SOI representative at the airport who will take you to your hotel and after completing check in formalities attend to any need of yours. Further he will also brief you about some basic aspect of the tour apart from getting your familiar with important cultural and social observances.
Day starts with a tour of the city where British in India after establishing their first base in India went on to establish its supremacy. You will leave for Mahabalipuram after heritage walk around Kapaleeshwara Temple and visit to St. George Fort.
Commence on a guided tour of Mahabalipuram, which at present is a small fishing village. But in the days of yore it was an important seaport where the first moorings of the incredible South Indian temple architecture was laid. It is also home to UNESCO World Heritage rock-hewn temples.
From Mahabalipuram to Pondicherry is short scenic drive on East Coast road flanked by the roaring waves of Bay of Bengal. Primarily under the French rule before India’s independence it is known for its spiritual and French heritage along with serenity that spreads all around.
Arriving in Tanjore somewhat in the early noon you will apart from visiting Chidambaram Temple en route also walk in the hallowed precincts of Gangaikonda Cholapuram, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is an ode to India’s remarkable architectural workmanship.
Start your tour with a visit to the Bronze Museum famous for its eclectic of bronze statues and utensils. Tanjore in ancient times was known for its metal work, which still continues to enthrall the visitors. This apart you will also visit Brihadeeswarar Temple, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Prior to reaching Karaikudi you will stop to marvel at the architectural beauty of Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple. The highlight of the visit includes the lip smacking albeit little spicy traditional Chettinad dinner which you will partake after a demo by the Master Chef.
It’s the day where you will get to lose yourself to the charm of a typical village life revel in the magnificence of the mansions of Chettinadu traders who made fortune in the medieval sea-trade between South India and the countries in the Malay Peninsular region.
After savouring temple architecture get to lose yourself in the splendors of the Tirumalai Nayak Palace that makes an unusual combination of South Indian Dravidian style with that of Rajputana. Later, watch the ancient ritual come alive at the UNESCO World Heritage Meenakshi Temple.
Munnar is a paradise for its scenic splendours. With no place to rush around the entire duration can be spent in losing yourself in the world of remarkable flora. Later visit the tea plantation, while interacting with the workers you can watch them deftly pluck tea leaves.
From the natural beauty to a leisurely trip into the wilds Munnar is akin to experiencing divinity on earth. With exquisite flora and fauna it’s like going back to our primitive self. One of the highlights of the visit includes making your own tea with the freshest tea leaves the way you prefer.
Amongst the world’s gentlest creatures elephants are the highlight of the trip to the jungles of Periyar Wildlife Reserve. The high points of the day include an elephant safari in spice plantation and a boat ride in the azure still waters of the Periyar Lake reflecting the sky.
From the waters of Periyar Lake to enrapturing backwaters of Alleppey the experience is as if you are flowing with the life watching the world passing by. Take a gondola or a houseboat or enjoy a high tea sitting on the deck or at the banks it’s an opportunity of a lifetime.
Visit Cochin, one of the oldest seaports where India carried on its trade with the West. Naturally, it is home to some of the oldest foreign settlements, whose splendours will leave you agape during the heritage walk. In the evening get delighted by the Kathakali dance performance.
Every good thing must come to an end. It’s likewise with this trip. As you board your plane for a flight back home you will carry with you the memories of the “Closer to the God” tour and snapshots of cherished moments not just in your camera but in your heart as well.