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Trails of Tradition: Discovering South India and Sri Lanka

Package price On Request

Product Code : AGORA784

The "Trails of Tradition: Discovering South India and Sri Lanka" tour offers an enriching 16-day journey through the diverse cultural and natural landscapes of South India and Sri Lanka. Beginning in Cochin, India, travelers explore historic landmarks and serene backwaters before venturing into the spice-scented hills of Thekkady. The itinerary then takes a cultural turn with visits to ancient temples and palaces in Madurai, Trichy, and Thanjavur, showcasing the rich heritage of Tamil Nadu. Crossing over to Sri Lanka, the tour unveils the island's treasures, from the bustling streets of Colombo to the ancient rock fortress of Sigiriya and the wildlife-rich plains of Yala National Park. The tour concludes with leisurely beach time in Bentota, offering a perfect blend of relaxation and exploration.

Day 1: Arrive Cochin

Upon your arrival at Cochin International Airport, our representative will be there to greet you. They will assist you with your luggage and transfer you to your hotel in Cochin. After checking in and refreshing yourself, you can venture out to explore the vibrant city of Cochin. Wander through the local markets, sample some traditional Kerala cuisine, or take a leisurely stroll along the picturesque Marine Drive.


Day 2: Cochin - Alleppey

After a delightful breakfast at the hotel, set out on a guided city tour of Cochin. Explore landmarks like the Chinese Fishing Nets, which are unique to this part of the world, and learn about their fascinating history. Visit the historic St. Francis Church, the oldest European church in India. Explore the intricately designed interiors of the Mattancherry Palace and discover the vibrant history of the Jewish Synagogue in the heart of Jew Town. In the evening, proceed to Alleppey, known as the "Venice of the East" for its serene backwaters. Check into your traditional Kerala houseboat and enjoy an overnight cruise, floating through the tranquil backwaters, witnessing the local life along the banks.


Day 3: Alleppey - Thekkady (140kms)

Enjoy a delicious breakfast on the houseboat as you sail through the backwaters. After disembarking, drive to Thekkady, a haven for nature lovers. On arrival, visit a local spice plantation where you can see various spices like cardamom, pepper, cinnamon, and cloves being cultivated. In the evening, immerse yourself in the cultural heritage of Kerala with a mesmerizing traditional martial art and Kathakali dance show. The vibrant costumes, intricate makeup, and powerful performances will leave you spellbound. Overnight stay in Thekkady.


Day 4: Thekkady - Madurai (160kms)

Start your day with an early morning boat safari on Periyar Lake within Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary. The sanctuary is home to a variety of wildlife including elephants, tigers, deer, and exotic birds. After the safari, drive to Madurai, one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. Check into your hotel and relax. In the evening, visit the spectacular Meenakshi Amman Temple, a masterpiece of Dravidian architecture with its towering gopurams (gateway towers), intricately carved pillars, and vibrant sculptures. Witness the evening prayer ceremony, a truly mesmerizing experience. Overnight stay in Madurai.


Day 5: Madurai - Trichy (140kms)

After breakfast, continue your exploration of Madurai with a visit to Thirumalai Nayakkar Palace, a magnificent palace built in the 17th century by the Nayak dynasty. Marvel at its grand architecture, spacious courtyards, and beautiful frescoes. Later, drive to Trichy (Tiruchirappalli), a bustling city with a rich cultural heritage. Visit the iconic Rockfort Temple, perched on a rock formation that dates back over 2 billion years, and the sprawling Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple, one of the largest functioning Hindu temples in the world. Overnight stay in Trichy.


Day 6: Trichy - Thanjavur (60kms)

After breakfast, explore more of Trichy with visits to Jambukeswarar Temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva and one of the five major Shiva temples of Tamil Nadu, and the iconic St. Joseph's Church, known for its Gothic architecture and beautiful stained glass windows. Afterward, drive to Thanjavur (Tanjore), the cultural capital of Tamil Nadu. Marvel at the Brihadeeswarar Temple, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the finest examples of Dravidian architecture, with its towering vimana (temple tower) and intricate stone carvings. Overnight stay in Thanjavur.


Day 7: Thanjavur - Pondicherry (180kms)

Enjoy breakfast at the hotel before embarking on a scenic drive to Pondicherry, a charming coastal town with a unique blend of French and Tamil architecture. Enroute, visit UNESCO World Heritage Sites Gangaikonda Cholapuram and Darasuram, showcasing the architectural brilliance of the Chola dynasty, and the Nataraja Temple in Chidambaram, dedicated to Lord Shiva and famous for its gold-plated roof and intricate sculptures. Upon reaching Pondicherry, check into your hotel and spend the evening relaxing on serene beaches like Promenade Beach or exploring the quaint streets of the French Quarter. Overnight stay in Pondicherry.


Day 8: Pondicherry - Mahabalipuram - Chennai (160kms)

After breakfast, drive to Chennai via Mahabalipuram, a UNESCO World Heritage Site renowned for its ancient rock-cut temples and monuments. Explore UNESCO-listed sites like the Shore Temple, a beautiful temple overlooking the Bay of Bengal, Arjuna's Penance, an enormous rock carving depicting scenes from the Mahabharata, and the Five Rathas, monolithic rock-cut temples named after the Pandava brothers. Continue to Chennai, the capital city of Tamil Nadu. Upon arrival, check into your hotel and unwind. Overnight stay in Chennai.


Day 9: Chennai - Colombo (flight)

After a leisurely breakfast, transfer to the airport for your flight to Colombo, Sri Lanka's vibrant capital city. Upon landing at Bandaranaike International Airport, you'll be warmly welcomed and transferred to your hotel in Colombo. Later in the day, embark on a city tour of Colombo. Visit Gangaramaya Temple, a blend of modern architecture and cultural essence, the National Museum showcasing Sri Lanka's rich history and heritage, and Independence Memorial Hall, a national monument commemorating Sri Lanka's independence from British rule. Don't miss the bustling Pettah Market, a vibrant bazaar offering everything from textiles and spices to handicrafts and electronics. In the evening, take a leisurely stroll along Galle Face Green, a popular promenade overlooking the Indian Ocean, and soak in the stunning sunset views. Overnight stay in Colombo.


Day 10: Colombo - Sigiriya (170kms)

After a hearty breakfast, embark on a scenic drive to Sigiriya, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of Sri Lanka's most iconic landmarks. En route, visit Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage, a sanctuary for orphaned and injured elephants, where you can witness these majestic creatures up close and even participate in their feeding. Upon reaching Sigiriya, check into your hotel and relax. In the afternoon, explore Dambulla Cave Temple, another UNESCO World Heritage Site known for its five caves filled with stunning Buddha statues, intricate murals, and ancient inscriptions. Overnight stay in Sigiriya.


Day 11: Sigiriya - Polonnaruwa - Sigiriya

Start the day with a delicious breakfast before embarking on a memorable climb to the top of Sigiriya Rock Fortress. This ancient rock fortress, also known as the "Lion Rock", is surrounded by beautiful gardens, ponds, and ancient frescoes. Marvel at the breathtaking panoramic views from the top and admire the engineering brilliance of this ancient citadel. In the afternoon, travel to Polonnaruwa, another UNESCO World Heritage Site and the second most ancient kingdom of Sri Lanka. Explore the well-preserved ruins, including the Royal Palace, Gal Vihara with its magnificent rock-cut Buddha statues, and the Sacred Quadrangle featuring several ancient monuments. Return to Sigiriya for an overnight stay.


Day 12: Sigiriya - Kandy (90kms)

After breakfast, proceed to Kandy, the cultural capital of Sri Lanka and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. En route, stop at a spice garden in Matale to learn about the various spices grown in Sri Lanka, their uses, and their medicinal properties. In Kandy, visit the Temple of the Tooth Relic, one of the most sacred Buddhist sites in the world, housing the relic of the tooth of Lord Buddha. In the evening, enjoy a cultural dance performance showcasing traditional Sri Lankan music, dance, and drumming. Overnight stay in Kandy.


Day 13: Kandy - Nuwara Eliya (80kms)

After breakfast, set out for Nuwara Eliya, often referred to as "Little England" due to its pleasant climate and colonial-era architecture. En route, visit Ramboda Falls, one of the highest waterfalls in Sri Lanka, and a nearby tea plantation to learn about the process of tea production, from picking the leaves to brewing the perfect cup. Upon reaching Nuwara Eliya, explore the picturesque city, including Gregory Lake where you can enjoy boat rides and water activities, and the Hakgala Botanical Garden known for its exotic plants, orchids, and roses. Overnight stay in Nuwara Eliya.


Day 14: Nuwara Eliya - Yala (150kms)

Following breakfast, depart for Yala National Park, the second largest national park in Sri Lanka, renowned for its diverse wildlife and picturesque landscapes. Upon arrival, check into your hotel and relax. In the afternoon, embark on an exciting jeep safari in Yala National Park. Keep your camera ready as you search for elephants, leopards, sloth bears, crocodiles, and a myriad of bird species in their natural habitat. Overnight stay in Yala.


Day 15: Yala - Galle - Bentota (190kms)

After breakfast, head to Bentota, a picturesque coastal town famous for its golden beaches, turquoise waters, and water sports activities. En route, explore the historic city of Galle and its UNESCO-listed Galle Fort. Wander through the well-preserved colonial architecture, visit the maritime museum, and stroll along the charming cobblestone streets lined with boutique shops, cafes, and art galleries. Continue to Bentota and check into your beachfront hotel. Spend the rest of the day relaxing on the beach or indulging in water sports activities like jet skiing, snorkeling, and diving. Overnight stay in Bentota.


Day 16: Bentota - Colombo (80kms)/ Departure Flight

After a leisurely breakfast, bid farewell to the beautiful beach town of Bentota and embark on a scenic drive back to Colombo. Upon arrival in Colombo, you will be transferred to Bandaranaike International Airport for your departure flight, marking the end of this unforgettable journey through South India and Sri Lanka.

- Assistance on arrival at airport.

- 15 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.

- Any flight tickets.

- Camera charges at monuments if any.

- Meals other than mentioned in the inclusions.

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

- Gratuities and optional activities.

- Anything not mentioned in inclusions.