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SMOOTH SOUTH

South India is an extremely diverse region in terms of landscapes, peoples and cultures. In comparison to northern parts of India South is considered to be the softer side with laid back style of travel through colourful, fertile plains and gentle hills of Western and Eastern ghats (mountains). Discovering South India is a combination of cultural and spiritual experiences in glorious places of worship, ashrams and during countless festivals, proximity to wild nature and lush greenery, ultimate relax on palm fringed beaches and culinary ecstasy.

Why « Smooth South »?

This trip takes you smoothly from the East Coast to the West Coast of the Hindu heartland. You will start with discovering various cultural and religious locations along the coast facing the Bay of Bengal. First days are designed to put your focus and energy on what previous generations created and maintained throughout the centuries. You will get to visit cities of distinct character with some of the most remarkable monuments, temples, and districts. Gradually moving towards the West coast it’s the nature, greenery and wildlife that take over your attention. Each day is designed to give you new thrill and experience but you won’t feel overloaded with activities as this part of India is meant to be discovered leisurely. At the end of the journey there are two absolutely relaxing days on the beach, where you feed your body and soul with sun, water, sea food and smile!


Advices

Pack dull colored clothes and stay invisible in the wilderness
Pack a small torch for your night patrol experience
Take a deep breath and inhale intoxicating scents of world famous spices. Don’t forget to purchase your favorites!
Experience massages and Ayurvedic treatments at the end of your trip
Take both warm clothes for staying up in the hills and light ones for the beach.
Be friendly to local people and share the happiness!

TOP ACTIVITIES

Admire a UNESCO Heritage Site in Mamallapuram
Unique Catamaran fishing excursion
Visiting massive Sri Meenakshi Temple in Madurai
Jungle Night Patrol
Jungle trek and bamboo rafting
Kathakali – traditional dance show
Kalaripayattu – ancient Indian martial art show
Visiting tea plantations
Learning about spices
Spending day and night on unique houseboat
Relaxation on Varkala beach

Detailed itinerary ( View All )

This trip takes you smoothly from the East Coast to the West Coast of the Hindu heartland. You will start with discovering various cultural and religious locations along the coast facing the Bay of Bengal. First days are designed to put your focus and energy on what previous generations created and maintained throughout the centuries. You will get to visit cities of distinct character with some of the most remarkable monuments, temples, and districts. Gradually moving towards the West coast it’s the nature, greenery and wildlife that take over your attention. Each day is designed to give you new thrill and experience but you won’t feel overloaded with activities as this part of India is meant to be discovered leisurely. At the end of the journey there are two absolutely relaxing days on the beach, where you feed your body and soul with sun, water, sea food and smile!

Welcome to the East coast. Your trip starts in Chennai – Tamil Nadu’s cultural centre and home to India’s second largest film industry known as Kollywood. Nomaday representative will receive you at the airport and bring to the hotel. Depending on your energy level you can leisurely enjoy first moments in India or grab a rickshaw and do some sightseeing in the city.

Explore Chennai in the morning. It’s one of India’s largest cities. Get the glimpse of everyday life on bustling streets, crowded, chaotic, colourful, various markets, veggies sellers, small street food stalls interrupted with temples around every corner and some remains of European- flavoured history are going to be your first impressions of real India. Grab a typical Tamil lunch before hitting the road. This region is famous for delicious rice based meals and snacks served on a fresh banana leaf. After that depart in the afternoon towards south, admire views on a picturesque coast road leading to Mamallapuram, a heritage village by the sea. Check into a cosy, seaside hotel and enjoy leisurely evening with mouth-watering food and tropical breeze.

After breakfast start discovering Mamallapuram which reminds of an open air museum. This ancient centre of sculpture and art with fabulous carvings on giant single rocks is a UNESO World Heritage site. Enjoy a magnificent aura of caves, sculptures, temples and ruins sprouting around each corner. Later in the evening don’t hesitate to have a great seafood dinner in one of numerous beach restaurants. Overnight in a hotel.

This day connects you to India’s French side. On the way south stop for Pancha Ratham, impressive complex of monolithic rock cut architecture. After, visit Pondicherry which is a unique blend of French and Indian style. That special charm comes from the times of French rule spanning 281 years, when characteristic geometric grid and glamorous touch shaped it. In 1761 the British drove the French out and implemented a simpler and more severe style. Today Pondicherry is what India has inherited from these influences. Enjoy walks through pretty streets of French Quarter with numerous late 18th and early 19th century buildings, Mediterranean style houses, bakeries, restaurants, boutiques and galleries and seaside promenade.

Spend leisurely another day in charming Pondicherry. Except from city sightseeing, shopping and discovering tastes of local cuisine you have a chance to go on a catamaran fishing excursion if you wish. These boats got their name from Tamil language where kattu means tie and maram – wood, tree and are traditional watercrafts used by local fishermen. Try your luck and hook a catch of the day! This is a day to “give time a break” as the locals say and soak into relaxed ambiance of this unique place. Overnight in hotel.

Today you will depart early morning to reach the administrative and cultural hub of Tamil Nadu. Madurai is a vibrant city with very interesting history reaching back to the 4th century BC. After checking into hotel and lunch you can admire a light and sound show in the Thirumalay Nayak Palace.

Full day of sightseeing and wandering through city’s bustling streets and markets. You will visit the symbol of Madurai – massive Sri Meenakshi Temple complex and surroundings. You will loose the sense of time standing in the shadow of the almost 160-foot tall gopuram of the temple and admiring colourful figures of thousand gods carefully carved all over this impressive structure. In the evening there is a special night ceremony in that temple not to be missed. Overnight in hotel.

Departing in the morning you will get into the area of the Western Ghats with Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary. Here, if you are not afraid of the darkness, on the Night Patrol you will discover the jungle and its various inhabitants such as wild elephants, bisons, wild boars, sambars and if you are lucky tigers! Steel nerves and silence is a must! Alternatively in case you are not into night jungle walks you are invited to watch a unique show of impressive Indian ancient martial art - Kalaripayattu. It’s a beautiful and at the same time dangerous discipline that combines tradition, devotion, focus and strict physical training. Overnight in cosy hotel.

Full day program combining trek through different habitats and bamboo rafting. Listen to tribal guide’s stories and facts about surrounding flora and fauna, return on a bamboo raft. Overnight stay in hotel.

After fresh breakfast you will be driven to India’s favourite hill town – Munnar. This relaxed settlement is a highest tea estate in the world and used to be a summer resort for the British. In the afternoon discover ins and outs of finest tea making, visiting a tea factory and the Tea Museum. This is a day of leisure and relaxation with chai (Indian tea) cup in your hand surrounded by endless greenery. Overnight at hotel.

After breakfast start an active day. Full day of sightseeing, some trekking and boating around Mattupetty lake and dam. Later on take a tour to the Eravikulam National Park, natural habitat for Indian wild rare Nilgiri Tahr, other endemic species and place with breath taking views. It will be a trek through evergreen forest and grasslands followed by a renowned tea and spice plantation visit. After full day of wandering in nature you will surely enjoy delicious meal made from local ingredients and famous aromatic spices (after today you will recognise them all easily!). Relax and enjoy evening in Munnar. Overnight stay in cozy hotel.

From the glorious hill station move to the west coast. Enjoy day of sightseeing Cochin – charming, historical city that every second step reflects colorful past and multicultural influences that shaped it. Emerged from blending of several small villages on the coast, it’s a collection of islands and districts with distinct personality. From the colonial trading post of Fort Cochin and concrete towers of Ernakulam, to the sandy beaches of Vypeen Island. Check in to heritage cozy hotel in the city and take an afternoon stroll through picturesque, lively streets of Fort Cochin. In the evening don’t miss the chance to see the colorful, intriguing traditional dance show – Kathakali. Indian stories narrated through elaborate costumes, detailed gestures, attractive make-up and dramatic music…feast for culture lovers. Overnight in hotel.

Another day in Cochin. You should spend it discovering numerous monuments being reflection of consequent Chinese, Dutch, Portuguese and English influences. It’s also a great occasion to find spices for aromatic cooking, back home they will surely make you win compliments. Later that day get on a sunset cruise around the harbour to enjoy romantic silhouettes of the famous Chinese nets against intense red and orange-hued sky. Don’t forget to charge your camera! Overnight in hotel.

Today morning drive from Cochin brings you to your new exciting accommodation and mean of transportation - houseboat! This is how you discover and admire unique backwaters of Kerala. Fresh meals (lunch and dinner) will be prepared on the boat while slowly following the flow of water. From the cozy deck of your private boat, get the close up of lush jungle and everyday life having its own slow cycle there where exotic birds, jungle mysterious creatures live in harmony with peaceful local people. Overnight stay on the houseboat.

From the house boat experience you will be driven to your last stop in South India. In Varkala you will find yourself relaxing on a scenic beach. This part of Kerala coast is rich in small hidden sandy beaches, nestled below romantic cliffs and palms. Take your time sunbathing, playing with Arabian Sea waves and definitely receiving rejuvenating Ayurvedic massages. Here it’s all about well-being, shanti ambience (shanti means peace in Hindi) and mouth-watering food.

                                                             

Wake up, eat, relax, enjoy.

                                                     

This is your last day in aromatic Kerala. Take a drive towards south to Thiruvantapuram where you can take a flight for your onward journey.

The Smooth South trip is over!.

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