Enchanting South & Lakshadweep Tour

12 NIGHTS – 13 DAYS

CHENNAI – MAMALLAPURAM – KANCHIPURAM – MADURAI – PERIYAR – KUMARAKOM – BACK WATER CRUISE – KOCHI – LAKSHADWEEP

This tour offers you culture as well as nature at its best. Tamil Nadu offers visitors many ancient, gigantic masterpieces in form of Hindu Temples. These temples manifest India’s greatest temple architecture and are also backbone of Tamil culture. Lakshadweep is absolutely different, a jewel of the Arabian Sea which has a wonderful coral island system. Once you arrive here, you will love its exotic and sun-kissed white sand beaches. The shallow calm lagoon with wall like reef formed due to marine live coral boulders on one side blocks the incoming swells of the outer sea. The underwater sight here is just breathtaking and the lagoon offers excellent potential for water sports like diving, swimming and snorkelling.

Lakshadweep is a jewel of the Arabian Sea; a spectacular coral island system located 400 kms of the Malabar Coast. What you can do on the islands is only limited by imagination. It is like a window to another world.

1

Day:

Chennai – Mamallapuram

( 55 KM , 1 Hour )

Arrive at Chennai airport.
Chennai is the capital city of Tamil Nadu. Earlier known as Madras, it is one of the metropolitan cities of South India. The place is known for its deep rooted traditions and culture. Chennai is a 375 year old city and is known for its enduring spirit.

Welcome at the airport and transfer to the city for a short sight-seeing tour.

Founded by the British East India Company in 1644, Fort St George was the apparatus of the trade. Appropriately, it is now the center of the legislative assembly of the state of Tamil Nadu. The Fort Museum, located in the oldest surviving building of the fortress is must a visit and has an impressive collection of exhibits spread over ten galleries.
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. It also houses a museum on Annadurai.
Then drive to Mamallapuram.
Mahaballipuram or Mamallapuram is a UNSECO World Heritage Site and it is about 55 kms from Chennai. You will discover many cave temples and sculpture bits. Monolithic structures carved out of one enormous rock are also a common sight here. In fact, this region is often referred to as open museum. It is not only architecture that draws tourist here, also beautiful white beaches and shopping that allures many tourists.
Arrive and check in at hotel.
Overnight stay.
2

Day:

Mamallapuram – Kanchipuram – Chennai

( 145 KM , 3 Hours )

In the morning visit Shore Temple. The temple is the Tamil Nadu’s first structural temple that is located on the sea shore. The sands keep revealing past secrets of the temple. Perched on a rock, the shore temple is designed to attract the rays of the rising sun. The main shrine of the temple faces the sea on the east and as unique as Palavas can get, the shrine is dedicated to Lord Vishnu, the protector and Lord Shiva, the destroyer. It is a monolithic rock cut structure that has been beautifully built.

Later depart for Kanchipuram.
Situated just 70 kms from Chennai, Kanchipuram is also known as a Temple city. Kanchipuram is one of the oldest cities in South India, and was a center of learning for both Tamil and Sanskrit. Kanchipuram came into light during the reign of the Pallavas. The city is even known for its hand woven saris all over the world.

Continue drive to Chennai city. Arrive and check in at hotel for overnight stay at hotel.
3

Day:

Chennai – Madurai

( By air – 1 Hour)

Morning transfer to Chennai to board a flight to Madurai.
Arrive at Madurai airport and transfer to hotel.
Madurai is one of the important and liveliest cities of the Indian state Tamil Nadu. This city has a great historical and cultural importance. Madurai is also popularly known as Athens of the East. Madurai is mainly dominated by its famous medieval temple.

In the afternoon we shall leave for sightseeing tour of Madurai.
We shall visit Meenakshi Temple which is 50 meters high and sprawling for 45 acres, it is a brilliant example of South Indian temple. The temple was built in the 7th century. The interiors of Meenakshi temple are painted with vibrant colors and the temple is devoted to Goddess Meenakshi. There are 14000 pillars in the temple complex and each is beautifully carved. The visit to Meenakshi temple is a sight to behold.

Built in 1636, Tirumalai Naik Palace is situated near the famous Meenakshi Temple. An arcaded octagonal structure, dome about 18m in diameter and 21m in height without any supporting girders illustrate the engineering marvel of its builders. The structure was built in Indo Saracenic style architecture. The interiors of the complex cannot be compared to any of the contemporary. They are richly decorated and house the royal residence, theatre, shrine, apartments, armory, palanquin place, royal bandstand; pond and garden were situated in these two portions. The main attraction of the palace is the courtyard and dancing hall.

Overnight stay
4

Day:

Madurai – Periyar

( 140 KM, 3 Hours )

In the morning leave for Periyar. Arrive and check in at hotel.

Situated in Pathanamthitta in Kerala, Periyar National Park is a protected area and is a famous for its elephant and tiger reserve. The park was declared as the National Park in 1982. Sprawling over an area of 777 square kilometers is one of the few national parks that offer a complete wildlife experience to wildlife enthusiast and tourist.

In the afternoon enjoy a boat cruise which is the best way to experience the wilds of Periyar national park. Boat cruise offers a beautiful jungle ambience and get thrilled with its wildlife views.

Overnight stay at hotel.

5

Day:

Periyar – Kumarakom

( 190 KM, 4 Hours )

In the morning leave for Kumarakom. Arrive and check in at resort.

Kumarakom lies parallel to the Arabian Sea. It is the chain of brackish lagoons and lakes which are interconnected by canals which are both man-made and natural. With a unique ecosystem this is a spectacular sight to explore as the freshwater from rivers meets the seawater of Arabian Sea where you see various aquatic species.

The afternoon is free to relax on the lakeside or if interested you can visit the bird sanctuary in Kumarakom and the local villages.

You may also experience an Ayurveda massage.

Overnight stay at resort.

6

Day:

Kumarakom – Alleppey

After breakfast board the houseboat.

Enjoy a memorable day on the enchanting backwaters in houseboat to explore its breathtaking beautiful surroundings and the fascinating Kerala countryside.

Travelling on a houseboat through palm fringed narrow canals winding through the vast expanse of lush paddy fields and the unique tiny hamlets lined up along with all the edges of waterways are the sights one can never forget.

All meals will be served on board and overnight in houseboat.

7

Day:

Alleppey – Kochi

(65 Kms, 1 ½ Hours )

Disembark the houseboat and drive to Kochi. Arrive and check in at hotel.
Cochin, earlier known as Kochi is the largest city in Kerala, a state on the west coast of India. Most of the places to visit in Kochi are in the vicinity to Fort Kochi. Kochi is a tropical retreat for the travelers. Kochi was and is even today spice trade center of the country. The first European colony in India was first set up in Kochi.
In the afternoon we shall leave for the sightseeing tour of the city.

We shall visit Dutch palace museums, the palace is also known as Mattancherry Palace. The Portuguese palace features murals depicting Hindu temple art, portraits and exhibits of the kings of Kochi. Built in 1557 by Portuguese is a two storey structure built in traditional Kerala style architecture. There are four separate wings with central opening courtyard. The central courtyard houses the temple of the royal deity Pazhayannur Bhagavathi. The elegant palace is highly decorated with wood carved floral designs.

The Jewish Synagogue floor is made of beautiful painted blue and white Chinese tiles. No two tiles resemble each other. Built in 1568 by the prosperous Jewish trading community, its interiors are decorated with Belgian chandeliers and grand lighting. It is the oldest existing synagogue in the Commonwealth countries.
St. Francis Church was originally built in 1503 and is the oldest European church in India. The Portuguese explorer Vasco Da Gama died in Kochi 1524 when he was on his third visit to India. His body was originally buried in this church, but after fourteen years his remains were taken to Lisbon.
Situated near Fort Kochi, Chinese fishing net is the important landmark of the city of Kochi. These are the fixed land installments for fishing. Soaring 10 meters high each structure features a cantilever with an outstretched net suspended over the sea. It is a sight to behold.
In the evening, enjoy the classical dance form of South India, Kathakali.

Overnight stay at hotel.
8

Day:

Kochi – Lakshadweep

( By Flight – 1 ½ Hours + Boat / Helecopter )

Transfer to Kochi airport to board a flight to Agatti.

Arrive at Agatti airport and transfer to Kadmat Island Resort by boat. (the boats do not operate from June to September). Kadmat is 6 nautical miles away from Agatti and it takes about two hours by speed boat. Approximately 8 km in length and only 550m wide at it’s broadest point, Kadmat is one of the most beautiful islands. It features stunning shallow lagoon on the west which is perfect for water sports, and a narrow lagoon on the east.

Overnight stay at Kadmat Island Resort.

9

Day:

Lakshadweep

The day is at leisure to relax on the beach or you can explore the various activities

Apart from diving, you can try your hand at host of activities ranging from interesting to exhilarating

Night fishing on the deep sea which can be a lifetime experience.

Overnight stay at resort

10

Day:

Lakshadweep

The day is at leisure to relax on the beach or explore various independent activities in and around the island.

You can also go kayaking, wind boarding, surfing and more.
Overnight stay at resort
11

Day:

Lakshadweep

Full day free to relax on beach.
Overnight stay at resort
12

Day:

Lakshadweep – Kochi

( By Boat / Helecopter + By Flight – 1 ½ Hours)

Transfer by boat to Agatti airport to board a flight to Kochi. Arrive and check in at hotel.
The evening is free for last minute shopping and other activities.
Overnight stay at hotel in Kochi.
13

Day:

Departure

Transfer to airport to board a flight to 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