23 Nov 2015 - 26 Nov 2015
The ancient port town of Mammallapuram is a charming tourist hub which has been attracting travellers for centuries. It was known already in Marco Polo’s day as the “Seven Pagodas" alluding to the seven tiered towers that once stood on the shore, of which one - the Shore Temple, still stands. The port is famous for its stone carvings, which have World Heritage Site status. Impressive cave temples, monolithic rathas (chariots) and sculpted reliefs built by the Pallavas in the 7th and 8th centuries form this group of monuments. After sightseeing, enjoy an Indian thali meal or chai tea at one of the bustling diners in town.
26 Nov 2015 - 28 Nov 2015
Puducherry – previously known as Pondicherry – is made up of four entirely separate enclaves along the Indian coast, all of which were colonised by the French in the 18th century. Named after the largest of these enclaves, this union territory has retained a strong European culture that makes it unlike any other place in India. Nowhere is this more evident than in Puducherry district, dubbed the ‘French Riviera of the East’, where antiquated colonial buildings line the quiet cobbled streets and tree-lined avenues of the old town, and many people still speak French as their first language.
28 Nov 2015 - 29 Nov 2015
Situated between Trichy and the coast of Tamil Nadu, Thanjavur is an important centre of South Indian religion, art, and architecture. It is also an agricultural hub, fondly known as the ‘rice bowl of Tamil Nadu’. It’s most visited monument, the Brihadeeswara Temple, is located at the centre of the city and a style of painting, called Tanjore, which is unique to the region, can be seen here. The temple forms part of the Great Living Chola Temples, which are UNESCO World Heritage Sites located in and around Thanjavur. Thousands of people still worship at the Cholas' grand Brihadishwara Temple every day.
29 Nov 2015 - 1 Dec 2015
Located in the southern state of Tamil Nadu, Madurai is the oldest existing city on the Indian peninsula, and one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world, with a recorded history spanning more than 2500 years. It is known as ‘the city of temples’ due to its countless ancient Hindu shrines, including the great Meenakshi-Sundareswar Temple, spread over 6 hectares and featuring a series of 50-metre-high gateway towers that can be seen from afar. The best time to visit Madurai is between October and March, when temperatures are between 20-35 degrees.
1 Dec 2015 - 4 Dec 2015
A tourist attraction in Kerala, Thekkady is a district located at the Periyar National Park. Thekkady comprises evergreen forests and savanna grasslands, and is known for its natural spices such as black pepper, cardamom, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and clove. Elephants, tigers, sambar and many other species inhabit the park. Top attractions include the exquisite ancient Mangla Devi Temple, the aromatic Abraham’s spice garden, and the massive waterfall at the sleepy, picturesque village of Chellarkovil. Take in panoramic views of the extraordinary landscape from the Chellarkovil viewpoint, and picnic on the rolling, lush green lawns at Pandikuzhi. Don’t miss the opportunity to visit the Kadathanadan Kalari Centre, to see demonstrations of the best traditional martial arts. Thekaddy is home to India’s sole Tiger Reserve, and has a rich living tribal culture.
4 Dec 2015 - 5 Dec 2015
Located in the Indian state of Kerala, the bustling city of Alappuzha, also known as Alleppey, is set along the coast of the Laccadive Sea. Dubbed the ‘Venice of the East’, it is renowned for its houseboat cruises which float along the tranquil backwater canals of Kerala. It is said to be one of the most popular tourist centres in the state. While cruising the palm-shaded canals is the main attraction, visitors can also enjoy visiting Alappuzha’s beautiful beaches, exploring the little riverside villages dotting the lush countryside and discovering an array of resplendent temples. Don’t miss the annual Nehru Trophy Boat Race held at Punnamada Lake.
5 Dec 2015 - 8 Dec 2015
One of Kerala’s most alluring backwaters is Kumarakom, a hub of biodiversity where mangrove forests are mixed in with rice paddies, coconut palms and bursts of white lilies. This vivid subtropical peninsula juts into Vembanad Lake and is a popular place to study yoga, meditation and Ayurvedic massage, and from which to take bird-watching, boating and fishing trips. Nearby attractions include the Aruvikkuzhi Waterfalls, just two kilometres from Kumarakoram, which cascade down the mountain slopes from roughly 30 metres above, and Pathiramanal (meaning ‘sands of midnight’) a beguiling island and bird sanctuary in the middle of the lake.