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Must Visit Temples of East & South India and Kerala Backwater

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Product Code : AGORA719

Embark on a spiritual and cultural odyssey through East and South India, culminating in a serene exploration of Kerala's enchanting backwaters. This meticulously crafted journey will take you to must-visit temples in the sacred cities of Bhubaneswar, Puri, and Madurai, among others, where you'll witness the rich tapestry of religious traditions and architectural marvels. You'll also explore the vibrant cities of Kolkata and Chennai, each steeped in history and culture. The journey culminates in the serene backwaters of Kerala, offering a unique and tranquil perspective on India's natural beauty. Immerse yourself in the spiritual, cultural, and natural wonders of East and South India on this unforgettable voyage.


Day 1: Arrive Kolkata

Your incredible journey begins in the historic city of Kolkata. Upon landing at Kolkata Airport, our warm and welcoming representative will greet you and assist you in your comfortable transfer to your hotel. After the journey, take some well-deserved time to relax and get settled in, preparing for the exciting adventures that lie ahead.


Day 2: Kolkata City Tour

Today, you'll embark on a full-day exploration of Kolkata, affectionately known as the "City of Joy." Your itinerary includes visits to iconic landmarks that have shaped the city's history and culture. The resplendent Victoria Memorial, with its grand architecture, is your first stop. Next, the Indian Museum unveils the fascinating history and heritage of the region. A visit to the iconic Howrah Bridge offers panoramic views of the Hooghly River. You'll also explore the opulent Marble Palace, a gem of neoclassical architecture. And, in the spirit of giving, your journey leads to Mother Teresa's Missionaries of Charity. Here, you'll witness the extraordinary work of this noble organization, which continues to impact the lives of the less fortunate. As you traverse the bustling streets, you'll immerse yourself in the vibrant and diverse culture of this historical city.


Day 3: Kolkata to Bhubaneswar (Flight)

Following a hearty breakfast, you'll head to the airport for your flight to Bhubaneswar. Bhubaneswar is an ancient city with a rich history, and you'll delve into its cultural treasures. Your first destination is the awe-inspiring Lingaraj Temple, a masterpiece of Odishan architecture and a revered Hindu pilgrimage site. The Mukteshwar Temple, known for its intricately carved arched gateway, is a short distance away. And the Rajarani Temple, adorned with ornate carvings and sculptures, is your next stop. Your cultural exploration continues with a visit to the Dhauli Stupa, a historic Buddhist pilgrimage site, known for its rock inscriptions and peaceful surroundings.


Day 4: Bhubaneswar to Puri (60kms)

Today, you embark on a scenic drive to Puri, the city of spiritual significance on the eastern coast of India. As you journey to this coastal haven, you'll make an essential stop to visit the magnificent Konark Sun Temple. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is renowned for its intricate stone carvings that depict various aspects of life. Your journey includes visits to two artisan villages. In Pipili, you'll discover vibrant applique work, a traditional art form known for its colorful fabrics and meticulous craftsmanship. Raghurajpur, the next village, is famous for Pattachitra paintings, which narrate mythological stories through vivid and detailed illustrations. Upon reaching Puri, you'll visit the revered Jagannath Temple, a significant Hindu pilgrimage site. The temple's history, traditions, and spiritual ambiance will captivate your senses.


Day 5: Excursion to Chilika Lake

Today's adventure takes you on an excursion to the serene Chilika Lake, the largest coastal lagoon in India and a haven for migratory birds. As you board a boat, you'll cruise through the picturesque lake, marveling at the diverse biodiversity and the peaceful surroundings. Chilika Lake is a sanctuary for thousands of birds and offers a tranquil escape. After your serene sojourn, you'll return to Puri and have the remainder of the day to enjoy at your leisure.


Day 6: Puri to Chennai (Flight)

Your journey continues as you transfer to Bhubaneswar Airport for your flight to Chennai, formerly known as Madras. Chennai, a bustling metropolis with a rich cultural heritage, is your next destination. Upon arrival, your city tour will introduce you to the highlights of Chennai. You'll start with a visit to Marina Beach, one of the longest urban beaches in the world. The iconic Kapaleeshwarar Temple, known for its vibrant Dravidian architecture, is your next stop. A visit to Fort St. George, the first British fortress in India, allows you to explore colonial history. The Government Museum showcases an impressive collection of art and artifacts. You'll immerse yourself in the vibrant culture and architectural beauty of Chennai as you explore these remarkable landmarks.


Day 7: Chennai to Pondicherry (160kms)

Today, a scenic drive will lead you to the charming town of Pondicherry, known for its unique blend of Indian and French influences. En route, your journey includes visits to the famous temples of Kanchipuram, renowned for their grandeur and spiritual significance. Your cultural exploration continues at Mahabalipuram, a UNESCO World Heritage Site celebrated for its intricately carved temples and rock-cut sculptures that depict stories from Hindu mythology. Your day culminates in Pondicherry, where you'll experience the captivating confluence of cultures.


Day 8: Pondicherry Sightseeing

Your exploration of Pondicherry begins with a visit to the tranquil Sri Aurobindo Ashram, a spiritual and philosophical community founded in the early 20th century. Auroville, the nearby experimental township, is your next stop, known for its commitment to human unity and sustainable living. As you visit Promenade Beach, you'll appreciate the serenity and beauty of the Bay of Bengal. The Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, with its neo-Gothic architecture, is a testament to the town's colonial history. The French Quarter, with its well-preserved colonial buildings and cobbled streets, transports you back in time. Pondicherry offers a unique blend of spiritual tranquility and cultural richness.


Day 9: Pondicherry to Thanjavur (220kms)

Today, your journey takes you to Thanjavur, formerly known as Tanjore, a city celebrated for its rich cultural heritage and architectural marvels. En route, you'll visit the famous Chidambaram Nataraja Temple, known for its grand architecture and the celestial dance of Lord Shiva. The journey also includes visits to the Great Living Chola Temples at Gangaikonda Cholapuram and Darasuram, both recognized as UNESCO World Heritage Sites for their historical and architectural significance. Upon your arrival in Thanjavur, you'll check in at your hotel, where you can relax and prepare for your exploration of the city's cultural treasures.


Day 10: Thanjavur - Trichy - Madurai (190kms)

Begin your day with a visit to the Brihadeeswarar Temple, a marvel of Chola architecture and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Thanjavur Palace, once the official residence of the Nayak Kings, offers a glimpse into the city's royal history. The Saraswathi Mahal Library, housing rare manuscripts and artworks, is a treasure trove for history and culture enthusiasts. Your journey to Madurai includes a stop in Trichy, where you'll visit the Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple, dedicated to Lord Ranganatha. The Rock Fort, perched on a 273-foot high rock, is an iconic landmark with a temple complex that rewards your climb with breathtaking views. Finally, you'll continue your journey to Madurai, the city of temples, and check in at your hotel.


Day 11: Madurai - Munnar (160kms)

Today, your journey in Madurai begins with a visit to the iconic Meenakshi Temple, known for its impressive gopurams and intricate sculptures. The Thirumalai Nayakar Palace, built in the 17th century, showcases a stunning blend of Dravidian and Islamic architectural styles. You'll also explore the sacred sites of Alagar Koil, Tiruparankundram Murugan Temple, and Palamuthirsolai Murugan Temple, each with its unique history and cultural significance. Afterward, your journey leads to the scenic hill town of Munnar, where you'll check in at your hotel and prepare for the breathtaking landscapes and lush tea plantations you'll explore tomorrow.


Day 12: Munnar

Munnar, with its picturesque landscapes, is your playground today. Your journey begins at Pothamedu, a scenic viewpoint offering panoramic views of the sprawling tea plantations and rolling hills. The Mattupetty dam, surrounded by lush forests and hills, invites you to explore and enjoy the natural beauty. Rajamala hill, home to the endangered Nilgiri Tahr, is an opportunity to witness the region's unique wildlife. Eravikulam National Park, known for its biodiversity and rich flora and fauna, is your next destination. The Mattupedi Dairy Farm is an insightful visit that offers an understanding of the dairy industry. Echo Point, a place where your voice bounces off the hills, adds a touch of fun to your day. The Tea Museum unveils the fascinating history and culture of tea production in Munnar. Today is a perfect blend of scenic beauty and cultural enrichment, allowing you to immerse yourself in the tea culture of Munnar.


Day 13: Munnar - Thekkady (100kms)

Today, your journey takes you on a scenic drive to Thekkady, a region known for its breathtaking landscapes and vibrant culture. En route, you'll visit Ramakkalmedu, celebrated for its panoramic views of the Western Ghats and the neighboring state of Tamil Nadu. As you reach Thekkady, you'll check in at your hotel and have the opportunity to relax and immerse yourself in the tranquil surroundings.


Day 14: Thekkady

Today's adventure begins with an exciting boat safari in the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary, an enchanting reserve known for its diverse wildlife. As you traverse the pristine waters of the Periyar Lake, you'll have the opportunity to spot elephants, tigers, deer, and a variety of exotic bird species. Afterward, you'll visit a spice plantation, where you'll have a chance to see, touch, and smell aromatic spices that thrive in the region. Your guided tour of the spice plantation will reveal the secrets behind the flavors and fragrances of Indian spices, providing a deeper understanding of this essential aspect of Indian cuisine.


Day 15: Thekkady - Alleppey (160kms)

Leaving Thekkady behind, you'll embark on a scenic drive to Alleppey, renowned as the "Venice of the East." Upon reaching Alleppey, you'll head to the boat jetty and board a traditional houseboat. As you sail through the enchanting backwaters of Kerala, you'll be surrounded by lush greenery, serene landscapes, and an atmosphere of tranquility. Your stay on the houseboat allows you to experience the unique charm and culture of the backwaters, a defining feature of Kerala.


Day 16: Alleppey - Cochin (60kms)

As you disembark from the houseboat in Alleppey, your journey continues to Cochin, also known as Kochi. This vibrant city, steeped in history and culture, will be the setting for your exploration today. After checking in at your hotel, your city tour begins with a visit to Fort Kochi, a historic neighborhood with an unmistakable colonial charm. The iconic Chinese Fishing Nets, a testament to the city's maritime heritage, invite you to watch them in action. Mattancherry Palace, also known as the Dutch Palace, showcases exquisite murals and artifacts that provide insights into the region's history. The Jewish Synagogue, with its historic and cultural significance, is another important stop. In the evening, you'll have the opportunity to witness a mesmerizing Kathakali dance performance, a traditional art form that narrates stories through expressive dance, music, and elaborate costumes. Your day in Cochin is a fascinating journey through history and culture.


Day 17: Cochin - Departure

Your enchanting journey through East and South India concludes today. After breakfast, you'll be transferred to Cochin International Airport as per your flight schedule for your onward journey. This extraordinary adventure has led you through diverse landscapes, historical landmarks, spiritual sites, and cultural experiences, leaving you with cherished memories and a deeper understanding of this culturally rich and naturally beautiful region.

- Assistance on arrival at airport.

- 16 Nights' accommodation in selected price category hotels.

- Daily breakfast at hotels.

- Private AC car/van for airport transfers, sightseeing, and excursions as per the program.

- English speaking tour guide on sightseeing days (local guide in each city), as per program.

- Monument entrances and activities charges mentioned in the itinerary.

- Bottled drinking water in car.

- Government taxes.


Hotels used or similar for 16 nights accommodation

Kolkata x 2 nights
3* - Regenta Orko's/ The Fern Residency
4* - The Peerless Inn/ The Fern Residency
5* - ITC Sonar, a Luxury Collection/ The Lalit Great Eastern

Bhubaneswar x 1 nights
3* - Kalinga Ashok/ The HHI
4* - Fortune Park Sishmo/ Mayfair Convention
5* - Mayfair Lagoon/ Trident Hotel

Puri x 2 nights
3* - Toshali Sands/ Blue Lily Beach Resort
4* - The Hans Coco Palms/ The Chariot Resort & spa
5* - Mayfair Waves

Chennai x 1 night
3* - Raj Park/ MGM East Woods
4* - The  Raintree/ Accord Metropolitan
5* - ITC Grand Chola/ The Leela Palace

Pondicherry x 2 night
3* - Shenbaga Hotel/ Annamalai International
4* - Le Pondy/ The Windflower Resort & Spa
5* - Palais De Mahe/ La Villa

Thanjore x 1 night
3* - Grand Gardenia/ Oriental Towers 
4* - Le Pondy/ The Windflower Resort & Spa
5* - Svatma

Madurai x 1 night
3* - Astoria by Sparsa/ Madurai’s Residency
4* - GRT Regency/ Fortune Pandiyan Hotel
5* - Heritage Madurai/ The Gateway Hotel Pasumalai

Munnar x 2 nights
3* - Fort Munnar/ Abad Copper Castle
4* - Nature Zone Jungle Resort/ Fragrant Nature Munnar
5* - Chandys Windy Woods/ Tea County

Pariyar (Thekkady) x 2 night
3* - Abad Green Forest/ Hotel Treetop
4* - The Elephant Court/ Cardamom County
5* - Spice village/ Cardamom County

Alleppey x 1 night
3* - Deluxe Houseboat (ATDC Houseboat/ Dream Boats)
4* - Premium Houseboat (Abad Premium Houseboats/ Rainbow Premium Houseboats)
5* - Luxury Houseboat (Xandari Riverscapes/ Lakes & Lagoons)

Cochin x 1 night
3* - The Dune Hotel/ Abad Plaza
4* - Casino Hotel/ The Avenue Regent
5* - Xandari Harbour/ Le Meridien

- Kolkata - Bhubaneswar - Chennai flight fare approx ?15500 per person in economy class.

- Camera charges at monuments if any.

- Meals other than mentioned in inclusions.

- Expenses of personal nature like liquor, laundry, tips, telephone, fax, internet etc. 

- Gratuities and optional activities.

- Anything not mentioned in inclusions.