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Green Paradises of Tamil Nadu & Ayurveda

Green Paradises of Tamil Nadu & Ayurveda

€1300 per person

A smooth trip in the the mountains of Western Ghats punctuated by Ayurvedic treatments.

Older than the Himalayas, the mountains of Western Ghats that cross Tamil Nadu and Kerala offer lush hilly landscapes where a unique fauna has long established.

 

This twelve-day journey leads you to the heart of the green paradises of Tamil Nadu that begins in Trivandrum, the capital of Kerala and goes along the Western Ghats, from Courtallam – and its refreshing waterfalls – to Coimbatore, passing by Madurai, the temple-city of goddess Meenakshi, then Kodaikanal and Ooty. The trip will end in Kochi, Kerala.

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CULTURAL FESTIVAL
Trip combining the visit of Chennai, Kanchipuram and Mahabalipuram with Indian classical music concerts at Chennai's 'December festival'; for aficionados of culture & heritage.
7 days
INTO THE WILD
Journey to the heart of the Western Ghats mountains from Trivandrum (Kerala) to Coimbatore via Courtallam, Madurai, Kodaikanal and Ooty. A smooth journey, punctuated by Ayurvedic treatments.
12 days
HERITAGE / NATURE
20-day grand tour starting from Chennai (Tamil Nadu) and ending to Kochi (Kerala) by the coastal road. A fascinating journey to meet thousand-year-old cultures through grandiose temples and lush landscapes.
20 days
Day 1

Arrival in Trivandrum - Kovalam

Vanakam! We welcome you warmly at Trivendrum Airport and drive you to your hotel overlooking Kovalam Beach. Overnight in Kovalam.
Day 2

Kovalam - Trivandrum - Kovalam

This day is dedicated to the visit of Thiruvananthapuram (Trivandrum), capital of Kerala. In the early morning, we will leave for the beach of Poovar where you can witness the return of the fishermen and the fish auction, a real spectacle in itself. After breakfast, we will go and see the Sri Padmanabhaswam temple (from outside only), then we will visit the Indo-Saracenic-style Napier Museum which houses a rare collection of archaeological and historical artefacts and also contains a art gallery which, exhibits works of the famous Indian painter Raja Ravi Varma and the no less famous Russian painter, Nicholas Roerich. In the afternoon, we will visit the temple of Attukal Bhagavaty dedicated to Goddess Kannaki, an avatar of Parvati. In addition to its rich and colorful Dravidian style architecture, this sanctuary is famous for its annual Attukal Pongala festival where nearly 3 million women gather. Overnight in Kovalam.
Day 3

Kovalam - Courtallam

Courtallam or Kutralam is a heavenly place with a vegetation as exuberant as in neighbouring Kerala. Kutralam has been called the “Spa of South India” owing to its many waterfalls, which are said to have therapeutic properties. Kutralam has seven waterfalls: the Main Falls, Five Falls, Old Courtallam Falls, Tiger Falls, Shanbagadevi Falls, Honey Falls and Palaruvi Falls. The water of these cascades flows through places rich with medicinal herbs, so that the falls themselves have been credited with therapeutic properties. Overnight in Courtallam.
Day 4

Courtallam

Relaxing day including a short trek to reach a temple dedicated to Shiva where runs a beautiful waterfall. We will have a bath in its clear waters. When we return, we ill have an Ayurvedic care; just to spend a sweet night. Overnight in Courtallam.
Day 5

Courtallam - Madurai

For a day, we leave the green hills of the Western Ghats to stay in Madurai, famous for its impressive temple dedicated to the goddess Meenakshi, a veritable masterpiece of Dravidian art. After visiting the temple, we will stroll through the stalls around. Overnight in Madurai.
Day 6

Madurai - Kodaikanal

We dive again in the dense forests of the ghats and arrive at Kodaikanal, 'the princess resort mountain' with enchanting landscapes. We will visit the green valley view, the pillar rocks and the Moir's point which offer a panoramic view of the plain. Overnight in Kodaikanal.
Day 7

Kodaikanal - Palani - Coimbatore

Departure for Coimbatore. On the way, we will stop at Palani, a sacred hill dedicated to the Hindu god Murugan, son of Shiva and Parvati. Spiritual fervor is palpable there. Perhaps we will witness the trance dance of devotees bearing the 'kavadi', a wooden arch placed on the shoulders. After the visit of this holy shrine, we will take the road and arrive at in the late afternoon in Coimbatore. Overnight in Coimbatore.
Day 8

Coimbatore

This day is dedicated to the visit of Coimbatore and in particular of its most sacred sanctuaries: the temple of Perur Patteeswarar, one of oldest of Coimbatore and the temple of Marudhamalai where you will attend the milk abhishekam, a ritual which consists of pouring litres of milk on the idol while mantras are chanted with great fervour. Simply bewitching. In the late afternoon, an ayurvedic treatment in a famous center of Coimbatore awaits you. Overnight in Coimbatore.
Day 9

Coimbatore - Mettupalayam - Ooty by steam train

We will start the day early in the morning. At Coonoor, you will take the historic steam train that connects Coonoor to Ooty through beautiful scenery. It was built by the British in 1908 and is classified World Heritage by UNESCO. Arrival in Ooty for lunch. Free time. Overnight in Ooty.
Day 10

Ooty, country of the Toda people

We will spend this day visiting Ooty and its surroundings: the tea plantations, the tea factory and the huts of the Toda people, an ethnic group of the Nilgiris mountains which currently has about 1000 individuals. Their traditional semi-circular huts with thatched roofs look like Hobbit houses. Toda women have the distinction of wearing beautiful long twisted hair. Return to the hotel and Ayurvedic treatment. Overnight in Ooty.
Day 11

Ooty - Kochi

After this journey to the heart of the Western Tamil Ghats, we are back in Kerala, in Kochi (Cochin) which will be the last leg of our trip. We will drop you off at your hotel. End of this 'green' trip. Looking forward to meeting you again. Vanakam!
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