Best of South India & Sri Lanka - 19 days

Cochin – Alleppey – Munnar – Thekkady – Madurai – Chennai – Colombo – Pinnawela – Kandalama – Kandy – Nuwara Eliya – Yala – Bentota – Colombo – Mumbai

See the best of the South India & Sri Lanka. Ancient cities steeped in history, grand temples, intricate ruins, elephants, tea plantations, lush countryside, bustling bazaars, and a rich, intriguing culture combined with beautiful gardens and leafy wildlife parks.

Day 1: Cochin

Our representative will receive you on arrival at the airport in Cochin and will take you to your hotel.

Cochin officially known as Kochi is a major city in the state of Kerala. It has one of the major seaports of the country and is located in the district of Ernakulum, about 220 kilometers north of the state capital, Thiruvananthapuram. The combination of several villages on the coast of southwest created the current incarnation of Kochi (Cochin or), where walking at sunset, try fresh fish from off shore vendors and boat ride around the islands off the coast are part of the most popular activities among visitors. The art centers present traditional dance, Kathakali.

Activities: We will start our excursion with a visit to the Old Fort Area, one of the most ancient Jewish communities of the world constructed in 1568. Later we will visit the Dutch Palace & Cemetery; St. Francis Church with the grave of Vasco da Gama; will stroll through the spice and antique markets and see the Chinese fishing nets.

In evening we will enjoy traditional Kathakali dance performances or even a kaleidoscope of martial arts and traditional dance forms of Kerala.



Day 2: Cochin – Alleppey

By road in 1hr. (50 Km)

Alleppey washed by the silvery waves of the Arabian Sea, which is nicknamed "the Venice of the East", welcomes you. The city dedicated to nature has canals, backwaters and picturesque lagoons. The "snake boat races" are the most significant traditional event in Alleppey. This city is also considered as the oldest planned city in this region and the lighthouse built on the coast of the city adds to the beauty of this place.

Activities: Cruise Kerala’s backwaters in a traditional houseboat which will give you a distinctly unique experience! These quaint slow moving exotic barges have all the creature comforts of a hotel – furnished bedrooms, modern toilets, living rooms, kitchen and a balcony for viewing/angling – shaded and with uninterrupted amazing views of an untouched, rather inaccessible rural Kerala. Your food will be prepared and served on the boat itself. The next morning we will disembark in Kumarakom.

Backwaters Kerala

Backwaters - Kerala

Day 3-4: Kumarakom – Munnar

By road in 4hr. (185 Km)

Munnar town is a small town surrounded by mountains of Annamalai. This place is known for its geographical location (at a height of about 1500m from sea level) and the tea plantations.

Activities: We will go trekking to discover amazingly exotic forest and grassland flora. The freshness of the location is astounding, with the aromas of the local plantations wafting spice and tea scents. Later Drive to Matupetty Dam and Kundala Dam & visit Echo Point via sprawling tea plantations.

In the evening we will do a Tea Tour and visit Tata Tea Museum at the end.

Elephant ride in Munnar

Elephant ride in Munnar

Day 5-6: Munnar – Thekkady

By road in 4hr. (180 Km)

Thekkady is a true paradise for nature lovers. The Periyar National Park is located at the top of the ranges of Western Ghats in the southern state of Kerala. It is a wildlife sanctuary famous for its dense evergreen, moist deciduous forests and savanna grass lands leaf. It is home to herds of elephants, sambar, gaur etc... It also has a lake in the heart of the sanctuary, which is a veritable paradise for all wildlife lovers.

Activities: We will enjoy a boat ride in the scenic Periyar Lake amid lush, calm environs of Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary. A Naturalist accompanying us on the boat will explain all about Periyar’s wildlife. Glimpse elephants frolic; see gaurs and bison’s along the lake shore bathing, drinking, resting; sight River Otters – the only lake mammal here. In the evening we will visit the tea and spice plantations.

Elephants in Thekkady

Elephants in Thekkady

Day 7-8: Thekkady – Madurai

By road in 4hr. (170 Km)

Madurai - The Athens of the East- attracts large number of tourists from worldwide. It is synonymous with the highly acclaimed Meenakshi Temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. Other center of attraction includes Tirumalai Nayak Palace, Thirupparankundaram Temple and Gandhi Museum.

Activities: We will visit the thousand pillared Madurai Meenakshi Temple; the Meenakshi Sundareswarar Temple; Koodal Alagar Temple; Thirumalai Nayak Palace; and Gandhi Museum.

In the evening enjoy a Light and Sound Show in temple complex.

Meenakshi Temple

Meenakshi Sundareswarar Temple

Day 9: Madurai – Chennai

By train

Chennai known as Madras is the cradle of Dravidian civilization, one of the oldest cultures in the world. The metropolis has few tall buildings but we would recommend enjoying and relaxing in the provincial market instead of the bustle of a big city atmosphere.

Activities: We will visit Santhome Cathedral, constructed by the Portuguese during 14 & 15th century in the name of Saint Thomas; St. George Fort, one the first constructions of the East India Company en India; Rippon Building, with more than hundred years of life this building was named after the Governor Rippon who was the father of autonomy in India.

Day 10: Chennai – Colombo

International Flight

The capital city is spread along the shore of the Indian Ocean for some miles, where business and commerce begin and end. The Cinnamon Gardens and Pettah are Colombo’s busiest and most traditional Bazaar area. Visits to the Hindu temple with elaborate stone carvings, the Dutch Church at Wolfe dhal dating back to 1749, the historic Devatgahaha mosque and the Gangarama Temple give a good cultural feel about the country. While the city holds less obvious interest than many other parts of the island. It’s still a colorful enough place and worth a visit to see what makes Sri Lanka tick.

Activities: Enjoy the day sightseeing the city. Visit the Hindu temple with elaborate stone carvings, the Dutch Church at Wolfe dhal dating back to 1749, the historic Devatgahaha Mosque, Gangarama Temple and the house of Fashion for value for money ready –made garments.

In the evening, shop for ceramics or visit the Lanka Ceramic center.

Day 11: Colombo – Pinnawela – Kandalama

By road in 5 hours

“Pinnawela Elephant Orphanage” is an elephant orphanage located on the banks of the Maha Oya. This orphanage is for young elephants found Abandoned by their parents having fallen into pits ravines etc., and lost from their natural habitat. It is most interesting to visit at feeding or bathing time.

Activities: We will visit the “Pinnawela Elephant Orphanage”, Purchase some of Sri Lanka’s finest nuts at Kadjugama; a great gift for someone back at home or to keep as a snack whilst traveling around the island.

Day 12-13: Kandalama – Kandy

By road in 3 hours

KANDY – It lays in the midst of hills in the Kandy Valley, which crosses an area of tropical plantations, mainly tea. Kandy is one of the most scenic cities in Sri Lanka; it is both an administrative and religious city.Kandy was the last capital of the Sri Lankan kings which is a World Heritage Site. The name “Kandy" conjures visions of splendor and magnificence. Many of the legends, traditions and folklore are still lovingly kept alive.

Activities: Drive around the Kandy Lake built by the last Sinhala king, Sri Wickrama Rajasinghe in 1798. Visit the Kandy town and Bazaar, the arts & crafts center, a gem Museum. We will visit Peradeniya Botanical Gardens - one of the best gardens of its kind in the world has amazing variety of trees, flowers and plants; University of Peradeniya - laid out near the banks of the Mahaweli River.

In the evening, we will enjoy dinner along with a cultural KANDYAN dance performance with a FIRE WALKING show.

Day 14: Kandy – Nuwara Eliya

By road in 3 hours

Nuwara Eliya is land of tea-laden hillsides, gurgling waterfalls, stirring mountains and clear hill-country air. Here, in temperatures akin to a beautiful English summer’s day, is wonderful walking country, a chance to experience Sri Lankan scenery at its finest.

Activities: En route stop at Ramboda falls watch point. In Nuwara Eliya enjoy the sightseeing - Sri Lanka’s hill villages, tea processing factories, Botanical Gardens etc.

Day 15-16: Nuwara Eliya – Yala

By road in 4 hours

The exploration of the islands diversity continues as we head towards Yala via Bandarawela taking a breathtaking drive where you can leave the cool climes of Nuwara Eliya to experience the hot sunny weather of Sri Lanka.

You will be passing tea and vegetable plantations, occasionally a water fall, forest and many small villages and hamlets. From the descending road you have again and again a beautiful view of the mountains and the valleys.

Activities: Enjoy morning safari. Explore the National Park "Yala" on the south east coast of Sri Lanka. Yala has the world's highest concentration of Leopards, although seeing this largely nocturnal carnivore still requires some luck.

There are good numbers of Asian Elephants, crocodile, Wild Boar, Water Buffalo and Grey langurs amongst other large animals.

Day 17: Yala – Galle – Bentota

By road in 4 hours

Drive along the coast to for your final night stay in the island “Bentota”.

Stop off at Dondra – Sri Lanka’s southern tip and visit the oldest stone building in Sri Lanka. Dondra was formerly home to a great temple dedicated to the Hindu god Vishnu. In 1588 the Portuguese destroyed all temples except for this one. Learn more about its colorful history when you visit.

Activities: Visit still fisherman in Weligama. This is no ordinary fishing, there might be several methods of catching a fish but this one is mind-boggling. We will also visit the OLD GALLE FORT in Sri Lanka’s 04th biggest town.

Evening is free to relax and enjoy the Sun and Sand in Bentota.

Day 18-19: Bentota – Colombo

By road in 4 hours
Colombo – Mumbai:
International Flight

After lunch drive down to Colombo. Reach and enjoy last minute shopping.

Soothing weather, sea beaches and a fabulous metropolitan city with magnificent nightlife- Mumbai! -The hotspot for tourists- is all about falling in love with this city. The more time you will spend here, the more will get connected with it!

From Juhu Beach to Marine Drive...from Gateway of India to the Prince of Wales museum Mumbai is surely a visitor’s delight.

For the religious people - there is the Great Siddhivinayak Temple, Hajrat Ali Shrine & Mahalakshmi Temple, and the famous Elefanta Caves – which attract pilgrims from all over India!

Activities: While exploring the city we will see the Gateway of India, Victoria Terminus Railway Station, Mumbai High Court, scenic Marine Drive, Flora Fountain, and Prince of Wales Museum. Visit Hanging Gardens, Kamala Nehru Park, Mani Bhavan, Dhobi Ghat, Crawford Market, Hanuman Circle; Partially glimpse the Parsi Tower of Silence from afar while driving past. Explore vibrant Markets and Bazaars. Enjoy the evening on the famous Chowpatty beach.
Tour ends!!

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