Deccan Indian Tour

12 NIGHTS 13 DAYS

CHENNAI – MAMALLAPURAM – KANCHIPURAM – PONDICHERRY – CHIDAMBARAM – TANJORE – TRICHY – MADURAI – PERIYAR NATIONAL PARK – KOCHI – BACK WATER CRUISE – TRIVANDRUM – KOVALAM BEACH

This tour of Tamilnadu and Karnataka offers you a diversity of attractions. The magnificent sculptures, dance forms and the temples testify the rich cultural heritage of these states. Tamil Nadu has a glorious past, a vibrant culture and a rich history. The shore temples of Mahabalipuram, Kanchipuram; the historical capital of Pallava dynasty during 7th – 9th century; Pondichery, a French colony until 1954 and home to Sri Aurobindo Ashram; temples of Tanjore, Tiruchirapally and Meenakhi Temple in Madurai are just awe-inspiring. After this great cultural feast head to Kerala’s world-famous white sandy beaches lined with coconut palm trees. The backwater cruise in a houseboat is so relaxing and a unique experience. You will also get an opportunity to experience Ayurveda massage, which is an ancient medical science that dates back to five thousand years and is popular all over the world.

1

Day:

Chennai – Mamallapuram

( 55 KM , 1 Hour )

Arrive at Chennai airport. Welcome at the airport and transfer to Chennai city for a short tour.
Chennai, the capital city of Tamil Nadu is a metropolitan city which serves as a gateway to the South Indian culture. The city has been a key player in the development of culture and history of India as it has witnessed many movements which have been written down in the pages of history.

We shall visit Fort St. George, a structure that was established in the year 1639 along the coast of Bay of Bengal, Fort St. George is said to have marked the birth of the city. A Museum from inside is decorated with cannons of Tipu Sultan and many interesting artifacts. Situated in the fort St. Mary’s Church, which is also called as Westminster Abbey of the East. It is the first Anglican Church in Asia.

Anna Samadhi and museum is a memorial built on Marina Beach. The structure was built to commemorate the death of former Chief Minister of the Indian state Tamil Nadu, C. N. Annadurai. He was cremated here. The entrance arch greets you with Tusk shape giving way to a highly polished marble tile structure, broad pathways and building of ornamental octagonal mantapams.

Later drive to Mamallapuram.

Arrive and check in at hotel.
An ancient port with a flourishing maritime trade, Mamallapuram or Mahabalipuram, as popularly known as, is situated on the shore of the Bay of Bengal. It was the chief seaport of the Pallavas who ruled over South India from the 1st century BC to 8th century AD and is recognized as the site of some of the greatest architectural and sculptural achievements in India.
Overnight stay.
2

Day:

Mamallapuram – Kanchipuram – Mamallapuram

( 160KM , 4 Hours )

In the morning leave for Kanchipuram.
Kanchipuram, the golden city of a thousand temples, was once the capital of the Pallava dynasty. It is considered one of the seven sacred cities of India; some of the best temples were built here during the reign of the Pallavas between the 6th and 7th centuries. Subsequently, Kanchipuram also served as an important city of the far-flung empires of the Chola and the Vijayanagara dynasties. The city has also been, through the years, a great seat of learning and culture. The city is famous for its hand woven saris, famed as Kanchipuram saris worldwide.

Return to Mamallapuram.
Visit the shore temple which is one of the oldest temples in south India and belongs to the latter half of the 7th century AD. Said to have been constructed by King Rajasimha, it is a good example of the first phase of structural temples constructed in the Dravidian style. It has two shrines dedicated to Vishnu and Shiva, facing the east and the west.
Overnight stay.
3

Day:

Mamallapuram -Pondicherry

( 155 KM , 3 Hours )

After breakfast drive to Pondicherry. Arrive and check in at hotel.
A French colony up to year 1954, Pondicherry is a small conclave in India that retains a distinct French ambience and culture.
This small, quiet Union Territory is well known for Sri Aurobindo Ashram founded by Sri Aurobindo, the well-known philosopher, attracts thousands of people from all over the country and abroad who come here to learn yoga and to meditate.

During afternoon visit Sri Aurobindo Ashram, well known as the center of Integral Yoga, the Ashram was founded in 1926 by Sri Aurobindo, a patriot, philosopher and savant. The Ashram symbolizes the ideals of Sri Aurobindo and Mother. The activities of the Ashram include agriculture, industries art and culture. The samadhi, the final resting place of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother is always decorated with flowers and attracts a large number of devotees.
After visiting Ashram return to hotel for overnight stay.
4

Day:

Pondicherry – Chidambaram – Tanjore

(172 KM , 4 Hours )

In the morning leave for Chindambarm.

Also known as Thillai as the place was originally a forest of Thillai. Chindambaram is an important Pilgrimage center and a sacred place for Saivites. The town represents a rich cultural heritage of India.

Visit Nataraja temple.

Nataraja Temple, dedicated to Lord Nataraj, is the most unique temple as it is the only temple which is dedicated to the art of Bharatnatyam and Lord Shiva is not represented in usual Linga form but in dancing form.
Continue drive to Tanjore and after arrival check in at hotel.
Tanjore is a spiritual, cultural home of ancient temples and craft. Tanjore derives its name from Tanjan, a giant, who, according to legend, devastated the neighborhood and was killed by goddess Sri Anandavalli Amman and Lord Vishnu. The place is well renowned for Tanjore Paintings and Thavil, a percussion instrument.
In the afternoon, visit Brihadeshwara temple. The glorious Chola legacy has left behind not less than 74 temples in and around Tanjore, of which the Big Temple is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, built in 1010 AD, the temple is the crowning glory of Dravidian temple architecture. There has been continuous worship for over a thousand years here and the architecture of the temple symbolizes the fusion of ritual and philosophic concepts that flowered in the region.
Overnight stay at hotel.
5

Day:

Tanjore – Trichy – Madurai

( 210 KM, 6 Hours )

Morning excursion to Trichy.
Trichy is a city of rock fort, situated on the banks of the river Kaveri. Tiruchirappalli, popularly known as Trichy, has an antiquity of centuries. The place was a bastion of the Chola power. After that it came under the control of the Pallavas who ceded it the Pandyas. Trichy again became part of the Chola Empire in the 10th century AD.
Today, Trichy is a fine blend of tradition and modernity built around the Rock Fort. Apart from the fort, there are several churches, colleges and missions dating back to the 1760s.

Visit Rock Fort temple, Trichy’s most famous landmark is an 83m high rock. It is the only outcrop in the otherwise flat land of the city. Atop the rock is the Ucchi Pillayar Koil, a temple dedicated to Lord Vinayaka, from where one can enjoy a panoramic view of Trichy. A flight of steps leads to the Mathrubutheswarar or Thayumanaswami temple dedicated to Lord Siva where the lingam is a projection of the rock itself. Sri Thayumanaswamy Temple has a 100-pillar hall and a Vimana covered with gold. On the southern face of the rock are several beautifully carved rock-cut cave temples of the Pallava period.

Also visit Srirangam Temple, which is the most important pilgrimage site of Trichy. Srirangam, surrounded by the waters of the Cauvery on one side and its tributary Kollidam on the other, is a 600-acre island-town enclosed within the seven walls of the gigantic Sri Ranganatha Temple. There are not less than 22 gopurams, one of which is the tallest in India. The 72m high 13-tiered Rajagopuram dominates the landscape for miles around.
Continue drive to Madurai and check in at hotel for overnight stay.
6

Day:

Madurai

Morning city tour of Madurai.
Madurai, a sacred confluence of culture and religion, is one of the oldest inhabited cities in the world and the city is built around the temple that was built by Pandian King Kulasekhara around 2,500 years ago. The city got its fame during the Sangam period in the conglomeration of Tamil scholars around 100 years ago. The city has also served as the capital city of the Pandya Kings and has been visited by many travelers.

In the afternoon we shall leave for sightseeing tour of the city.
Visit Sri Meenakshi-Sundareswarar Temple. The temple is the largest temple complex in the country. It is an excellent example of the Dravidian architecture. The temple features two sanctuaries out of which one is dedicated to Lord Shiva as Sundareswarar and the other to his consort Meenakshi.
The Tirumala Naik Palace is located at the distance of 1.5 km from Meenakshi-Sundareswarar temple. Built in 1636 AD by King Tirumalai Nayak, one of the leading rulers of the Nayak dynasty. The original structure is four times larger than the present structure and was divided into two parts. The structure was famous for impressive stucco work and alluring arches.
Overnight stay at hotel.
7

Day:

Madurai – Periyar

( 140 KM, 3 Hours )

In the morning leave for Periyar.
Periyar National Park and wildlife Sanctuary are a protected area in Pathanamthithi in Kerala. The sanctuary is a famous elephant and a tiger reserve. Covering an area of 925 square kms, the park was declared as a National park in 1982.

Arrive and check in at hotel.
In the afternoon, enjoy boat cruise and you may spot Bengal tigers, Indian elephants, gaur, sambar, Travancore flying squirrel, sloth bear, Nilgiri Tahr, Nilgiri langur, Salim Ali’s fruit bat, stripe-necked mongoose, and Nilgiri marten. It is even a bird watcher’s paradise as you can spot various birds such as Malabar Gray Hornbill, Nilgiri wood pigeon, blue-winged parakeet, Crimson-backed Sunbird, spot-bellied eagle-owl, little spider hunter, brahminy kite, Oriental darter, and black-necked stork.

Overnight stay at hotel.
8

Day:

Periyar – Kochi

( 190 KM, 5 Hours )

In the morning leave for Kochi.
Arrive and check in at hotel.
Cochin, now known as Kochi is situated in the south west coast of India in Kerala. It is even acknowledged as the gateway of Kerala and as queen of the Arabian Sea. It is the second most important city in the west coast of India. The gateway of Kerala is surrounded by the Western Ghats on the west and Arabian Sea in the east. Cochin has dated back to the rich history as Dutch, British, Portuguese, Chinese and Arab have left their indelible mark which have become the evidences in the books of history.
In the afternoon we shall leave for sightseeing tour of the city.
Dutch palace museum, also known as Mattancherry Palace two storey structure has been built in traditional Kerala style architecture. The Portuguese palace features murals depicting Hindu temple art, portraits and exhibits of the kings of Kochi. There are four separate wings with central opening courtyard. The central courtyard houses the temple of the royal deity, Pazhayannur Bhagavathi.

The community is centralized around Jew town where you will visit its crown Jewel also dubbed as Jewish Synagogue that was destroyed by cannon fire during the Portuguese raid and was rebuilt. The interior of it is captivating and is worth a visit.
Built in 1503, St. Francis Church is the oldest European church having a great historical importance. It was the mute witness to European colonial struggle in the Indian subcontinent from 15th – 20th century. The church houses one of the oldest cemeteries in India, the Dutch cemetery.
Along the beachfront, Chinese fishing nets is a legacy of the earliest visitors to the coast. They are said to have been brought by traders from the court of Kubla Khan between 1350 AD. Employed mainly during high tides, you can see fishermen haul up the nets at 6 am, once again at 11 am and then finally around 4 pm.
In the evening, enjoy the classical dance of south India, Kathkali. It is stylized Indian dance drama renowned for its attractive makeup of characters, elaborate costumes, well defined movements, and detailed gestures presented in tune with a playbook.
Overnight stay at hotel.
9

Day:

Kochi – Alleppey

(65 KM, 1 ½ Hours )


After breakfast at hotel, transfer to Alleppey.

Arrive and embark the houseboat.
Alleppey is a land of backwater tourism. Alleppey is an important tourist destination in Kerala with beautiful lakes and rivers. It is also acknowledged as a “rice bowl of Asia” with an unending expanse of rice fields. Alleppey is a gateway to peace and tranquility with a wonderful view of lagoons, picturesque lakesides, swaying coconut trees and sandy shores. It is also known as the Venice of south India where you will find a great emulation of inland canals.

Enjoy a memorable backwater cruise at enchanting backwaters to explore its breathtakingly beautiful surroundings and fascinating Kerala countryside. Traveling along on a houseboat through palm-fringed narrow canals winding through the vast expanse of lush paddy fields and the unique tiny hamlets lined up all along on the edges of the waterways are sights one can never forget.

All meals will be served on board. Overnight stay at houseboat.
10

Day:

Alleppey – Kovalam

(170 Kms, 4 Hours )

Disembark the houseboat and then drive to Kovalam.

Arrive and check in at resort.
Surrounded by Arabian Sea, Kovalam is a beach town. It was once a tranquil fishing village clustered around its pristine white beaches. It is a great base for Ayurvedic treatments and yoga courses. The city is very famous due to low tidal waves and shallow waters.

The rest of the day is free to relax on the Beach

Overnight stay
11

Day:

Kovalam – Trivandrum – Kovalam

Morning city tour of Trivandrum.

We shall visit the Padmanabhaswamy Temple (non-Hindus are not allowed to enter inside the temple). The Temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu. The name of the temple can be found in the epics and Puranas. Built in the Dravidian style, the temple is replication of Adikesava Perumal temples located in Kanyakumari.

Puthenmalika Palace also known as the Mansion of horses was built by Swathi Thirunal Rama Varma. It is situated on the south eastern side of Padmanabhaswamy temple. The palace is an example of traditional Kerala architecture. The palace features typical sloping roofs, overhanging eaves, enclosed courtyards and pillared verandahs. The ceilings of the palace are adorned with intricate wooden carvings. The temple is made of marble, teakwood, rosewood and granite and is worth a visit.

The Napier Museum is an art and natural history museum. Established in 1855, the museum is an architectural masterpiece designed by Robert Chisholm. It is an important landmark of the city due to its unique ornamentation and architectural style with gothic roof. The Indo-Saracenic structure also boasts of a natural air conditioning system.

Established in 1935,Sri Chitra Art Gallery is an art gallery situated in the north of Napier museum. The gallery houses a unique collection of traditional and contemporary paintings. It exhibits exquisite works from the Mughal, Rajput, Bengal, Rajasthani, and Tanjore art schools.

Return to Kovalam for spending the rest of the day at leisure.

Overnight stay.

12

Day:

Kovalam

The full day is at leisure to relax on the beach or you can explore the Ayurvedic facilities at the resort.

Overnight stay.
13

Day:

Departure

In the morning, transfer to Trivandrum airport and catch a flight for onward destination.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Is this a group tour?

No, this is a private travel exclusively for you, your friends and family who may accompany you on the tour.

Is this trip possible for single traveler?

Yes, it is possible. But, the cost may be high in case of a single traveler. You may send us information in the form and we shall send you our best offer depending on number of persons in your group or for a single person.

May I choose dates according to my choice?

Yes, since this is a private tour, you may decide the dates as per your choice. Only in case of certain tours, we have to check if there are any operational difficulties for organizing a tour of your choice. Certain tours are not possible for particular period which we shall let you know. Besides, the cost may vary depending on seasonality.

Could you provide us international flights to India?

It is better if you could buy international tickets directly through your local agent or on internet. Although we can provide you international flight tickets, but you may a get a better deal locally.

Is visa service included in your cost?

No, you have to obtain visa on your own. The visa regulations will depend on your nationality. You may contact us for further details.

Is it possible to make extension or modify tours?

Yes, it is very much possible. You can extend your stay on arrival or departure or at any other place. You may also modify the tour. You may let us know your interest and we can send you modified tour itinerary with cost.

What’s included in the cost?

Our cost normally includes hotel accommodation with breakfast, private air-conditioned car with driver which includes fuel, parking and all taxes, entrance fee to monuments, train tickets if any, guided city tours in English or in other foreign languages, viz French, German, Italian, Spanish, Japanese, Chinese, Russian or other foreign languages subject to availability which we can notify at the time of reservation request. Our cost also includes some other services viz Elephant ride at Amer fort in Jaipur, camel safari in Jaisalmer and boat tour in Varanasi. We shall send you all details at the time of sending you quotation.
We may also include other services viz lunches, dinners or other services if you wish. We may also exclude guide service and entrance fee to monuments if you so wish.

Are domestic flights and trains are included in our cost ?

Train tickets are included in our cost. But, we give supplement cost for domestic flight tickets as these days, there are dynamic fares and these are not fixed. We send you indicative fare at the time of sending you quotation which is subject to change until issue of tickets with advance purchase for which we need payment from you to issue flight tickets. You may also purchase domestic flight tickets directly on your own if you prefer.

What kind of hotel accommodation is provided ?

We provide minimum standard (3 star or similar), superior (4 star or similar), deluxe (5 star or similar) hotels and the cost will depend depending on category of hotels. We can send you quotation for the category that you are interested in. We usually provide heritage or palace hotels which fit in your category of hotels. We may also mix the hotel category if you prefer and can also provide you rates based on hotels of your liking in all places if you like.

When do I have to pay?

We usually request 25% advance upon confirmation of our services unless otherwise informed at the time of sending you quotation. We shall send you all payment terms at the time of sending you our offer.

I am interested. What is next step?

Click here to send us information of your trip and we shall send you soonest possible.

Why State Express

Established in 1980, State Express has been providing most reliable services to travelers all over the world for last 35 years. We are renowned for our customer first approach and unobtrusive efficiency which ensures the highest levels of customer satisfaction. We have been awarded several times by State Government for being best Tour Operator. All aspects of our tours have been carefully researched and then designed to give ultimate experience to travelers. Let our travel knowledge help you to create a wonderful experience, whether on one of our tour itineraries or a tailor made tour itinerary made exclusively for you to give you an unforgettable holiday.

Our people make the difference

Our success has been possible because of our people who are our biggest asset. We have a team of highly dedicated, sincere, hardworking who work with integrity that has made State Express one of the leading and most reliable tour companies in India. They not only have expertise and experience to meet any requirement, they also speak foreign languages and trained to offer only the best and leave nothing to chance. We know that travel to Indian sub-continent is a dream of many of our guests and our team does everything possible to make their dream true and give them an experience of their lifetime.

Our infrastructure

We have complete infrastructure to provide you best rate and services to you. We are an IATA approved and authorized agents for all domestic airlines and Indian Railways. We have our own cars vans and coaches with experienced drivers. We have multi lingual staff to ensure that our guests do not face any language problem. We also have associate offices in all major tourist centers to provide assistance in shortest possible time.

Our fleet of vehicles & drivers

We undoubtedly have one of the best and most modern fleet of cars, vans, 4X4s and large coaches. Surface travel is a very important aspect in India as you spend lot of your time while travelling on the road and therefore given us an edge over other tour companies who have to rely on other transport companies to provide this service to their clients. We have our own garage and all our vehicles are well maintained to give you hassle free journey.
Besides having the best fleet, it is our drivers who truly make the difference as they play a crucial role in making a tour successful. Even if you stay in best of the hotels and travel in most comfortable and luxurious vehicles, if you do not have a good driver, it may spoil your experience. We have our team of drivers who are part of State Express and have been working with us for years and they are trained, dedicated and motivated to take care of our guests and make them comfortable. That is the reason that more than 90% of our guests thank us and appreciate them after returning to their home.

Our choice of hotels

We take utmost care in selection of hotels that we recommend to our clients and include in our list of suggested hotels. We inspect these hotels regularly to be sure of their quality of product and services. We give lot of emphasis on the location and the people who run those hotels. We want to give you clients an experience of heritage and palace hotels which are unique and not available in other part of the world.

Our tour itineraries

All our tour itineraries are designed by experts to give you an opportunity to see most wonderful sites in number of days at your disposal at the same time giving you time to explore the places in your own way. We have a number of itineraries to choose from which covers all India, Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka and Tibet. We also include mode of travel and approximate time taken between places to ensure that you do not have any surprises during the tour. Our specialists will also work with you to create an itinerary of your choice either by modifying our readymade tour itineraries or prepare an exclusive tailor made tour for you based on your interest and liking keeping in mind local conditions.

24 X 4 assistance during the tour

We provide you clients real 24X7 assistance during the tour. This is not a marketing gimmick but we have someone in our office always to assist you in case of any emergency anytime. We also provide cell phone numbers of our executive who you may contact even during odd hours when you need them for anything urgent. We have associate offices in all major cities of India to provide you assistance in minimum possible time.

Response time

We know that response time is key to our success and we value it a lot. Even at initial stages before reservation, you will get replies from us in not more than 24 working hours. We shall always be there whenever you need us during the tour.

Personalised Service

Apart from professional service, we believe in emphasising on personalised service. That is to make our guests feel at home in a foreign country and also feel that they have friends here who they can trust for any need. Our customer executives remain in constant touch with our guests during the tour to give them comfort and trust that we are always with them.

Good value for money

We know that there are so many travel companies providing their services and unless we provide good value for money to our clients, they will not be satisfied. Our own fleet of cars, vans and coaches and best special discounted rates with hotels due to our volumes enables us to offer value for money.

Call us at +91 11 47674000 or email us on info@statexp.in for all the details on this itinerary and what is included in your tour. We shall be glad to make any amendments in the tour if you so wish and send you our best quotation and details of the tou to suit your budget and interest.

State Express India