Trip reference number: 5656

Trip Operator: Shanti Travel

The Great South

From: £1658

During the first phase of our grand tour of South Indian destinations, we will explore Tamil Nadu including the capital of Chennai, paying close attention to the cultural side with a visit to temples and bazaars. During your tours in Tamil Nadu, you will also visit Pondicherry, France's former trading post in India that exudes an old world feel and charm. We will discover the fishing villages, beaches and famous temple of Mahabalipuram.

We continue our holiday, now with a Malu (Malu, nickname for the inhabitants of Kerala whose language is Malayalam) twist in Kerala, the crossroads of various commercial sea routes, which nowadays offers an unparalleled cultural richness. Egyptians, Phonecians, Chinese, Arabs, Portuguese, and Dutchmen... have all docked at their ports. These influences are particularly palpable in Cochin, a port town constructed on the islands of the Arabian Sea that faces the untamed coast of this superb country.

But Kerala is more that just its cultural richness. The great variety of landscapes (jungle, mountain, rice paddies, lines of coconut trees, spice fields, backwater of south India and rugged coasts), the rich and varied flora and fauna, the warm nature of Kerala's inhabitant are some of the qualities that make this region one of the most alluring in India. After exploring Periyar National Park, we offer you a well deserved backwaters tour. Revel in your moments of rest and relaxation aboard a charming and comfortable house boat, a setting that is enhanced by the natural beauty of the region made up of lakes and lagoons. Next stop: Cochin or Kochi, seductive port town with a rich history that reflection the perfection and eclectic style that makes Kerala one in a million.

Now heading to the north, we stop in the former princely state of Mysore, where the earliest temples, constructed in stone, resonate the power and history of past empires. In these sanctuaries, these petrified gods seem to look at the visitors in a manner that oscillates between striking or caressing depending on the day. Karnataka is a vast museum of open sky that leaves visitors dumbfounded with the beauty of its towns: Belur, Halebid, Hampi, Badami... These sites are isolated far from big cities, and draped in the aridity of the Deccan Plateau, the top of a peak or next to a river. Don't forget that some of these sites have been recognized by the UNESCO as World Heritage sites, and are far from on the lists of the average traveller. True travellers will adore the authenticity and intimacy afforded by these locales.

Goa's beaches are among the most beautiful in India. A long stretch of sand reveals itself to you mixing the stories of yesterday with those of today. The former Portuguese hold in India distinguishes itself from the rest of India. Goanais villages, where the architecture still showcases 4 centuries of Portuguese influence, enchant you not only with its small towns, but also with its 300 odd churches that fill this corner of paradise. This is the Indian state where you will truly feel « on holiday ».

This trip has no fixed departures but restrictions may apply - check operator website

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Shanti Travel