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    South India Temples and Backwaters Tour

    10 NIGHTS – 11 DAYS

    CHENNAI – MAMALLAPURAM – KANCHIPURAM – PONDICHERRY – CHIDAMBARAM – TANJORE – TRICHY – CHETTINAD – MADURAI – PERIYAR – KUMARAKOM – BACK WATER CRUISE – KOCHI

    On this South India Temples and Backwaters Tour, you visit Tamil Nadu and Kerala. Tamil Nadu is famous for its magnificent Hindu Temples which are architectural masterpieces. These Temples are not just places of worship but these are like a connection between man and God. Its not only rich architecture but other interesting aspect is the rituals performed in these temples which are in accordance with architectural design based on sacred geometric diagrams which symbolize universe. You also visit Pondicherry where you will witness French influence in every aspect of the city. Later you proceed to Kerala to explore wild life and spice plantation in Thekkady and famous backwaters of Kerala in traditional houseboat cruise.

    South India Temples and Backwaters Tour

    1
    Day : Chennai – Mamallapuram (55 Km, 1 Hour)

    Arrival at Chennai airport. Welcome at the airport and transfer to city for a short city tour. After visiting Fort St.George, Anna Samadhi and Museum, drive to Mamallapuram. Upon arrival check in at the hotel. Overnight stay.

    2
    Day : Mamallapuram – Kanchipuram – Mamallapuram (140 Km, 3 Hours)

    Morning depart for Kanchipuram. It was the historical capital of the Pallavas during the 7th – 9th centuries. Kanchipuram is one of the seven sacred cities of India. It is also famous for hand-woven silk fabrics and saris. Return to Mamallapuram. Visit the Shore Temple which includes many bas reliefs including one 100 ft. long and 45 ft. high carved out of granite. It was built in the early 8th century. Evening relax on the beach. Overnight stay.

    3
    Day : Mamallapuram – Pondicherry (155 Km, 3 Hours)

    After breakfast drive to Pondicherry. After arrival check in at the hotel. In this city, many battles were fought between British and French. Pondicherry is synonymous with French Heritage in India and understandably so as it served as the capital of the French Colonies in India. Afternoon visit Sir Aurobindo’s Ashram. The ashram was set up in the year 1926 by Sri Aurbindo Ghose. His philosophy is derived in a combination of yoga and modern science. After visiting Ashram, return to hotel for overnight stay.

    4
    Day : Pondicherry – Chidambaram – Tanjore (172 Km, 4 Hours)

    Morning leave for Chidambaram. Visit Nataraja temple in Chidambaram. The magnificent Temple was guilt in 7th century A.D. Its beautiful polygonal dome enshrines Lord Vishnu and Shiva. Continue drive to Tanjore and upon arrival check in at the hotel. Afternoon visit Brihadeshwara Temple which was built in the 10th century. This is the crowning glory of Chola temple architecture. The dome on top of the apex of the 63 metre high temple, is a single piece of granite weighing an estimated 81 tons which was put in place by hauling it along an earthwork ramp six km long in a similar manner to which the Egyptian pyramids were built. Overnight stay at hotel.

    5
    Day : Tanjore – Trichy – Chettinad (150 Km, 4 Hours)

    Morning excursion to Trichy. The city is a fine blend of tradition and modernity around the Rock fort. Also visit Srirangam Temple which consists of 7 concentric walls and 21 towerrs or gopurams. Later leave for Chettiandu which is famous for architecture for Chettinadu houses.

    6
    Day : Chettinad – Madurai (90 Km, 2 Hours)

    Morning drive to Madurai. After arrival check in at the hotel. Afternoon city tour of Madurai covering the famous Meenakshi Temple, Tirumala Naik Palace and Gandhi Museum. The temple is famous for its gigantic gateway which is 49 mts. high. Overnight stay at hotel.

    7
    Day : Madurai – Periyar (140 Km, 3 Hours)

    Morning leave for Periyar. On arrival check in at the hotel. Afternoon enjoy Boat cruise which is the best option to experience the wilds of Periyar Sanctuary. Enjoy wild life and watch the wild elephants in their natural habitat. Overnight stay at hotel.

    8
    Day : Periyar – Kumarakom (190 Km, 4 Hours)

    Morning leave for Kumarakom, the backwater region of Kerala. On arrival check in at the hotel. Afternoon free to relax on the lake side or if interested you can visit the bird sanctuary in Kumarakom and the local villages. Overnight stay at resort.

    9
    Day : Kumarakom – Alleppey (Overnight Back Water Cruise In House Boat)

    After breakfast board the houseboat. Enjoy a memorable day on enchanting backwaters in a houseboat to explore its breathtakingly beautiful surroundings and the fascinating Kerala countryside. Traveling along on a houseboat through palm-fringed narrow canals winding through the vast expanse of lush paddy fields and the unique tiny hamlets lined up all along on the edges of the waterways are sights one can never forget. All meals will be served on board. Overnight onboard the House boat.

    10
    Day : Alleppey – Kochi (65 Km, 1 ½ Hours)

    Disembark the house boat and then drive to Cochin. Upon arrival check in at the hotel. Cochin has one of the best natural harbours in the country. Afternoon city tour of Cochin covering Dutch Palace Museum, Jewish Synagogue, Francis Church and Chinese Fishing Net. Evening watch one of the classical dances of South India which is known as Kathakali. Overnight stay.

    11
    Day : Departure

    Morning transfer to Cochin airport to catch flight for onward destination.

    FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQ'S)

    No, this is a private travel exclusively for you, your friends and family who may accompany you on the tour.

    Yes, it is possible. But, the cost may be high in case of a single traveler. You may send us information in the form and we shall send you our best offer depending on number of persons in your group or for a single person.

    Yes, since this is a private tour, you may decide the dates as per your choice. Only in case of certain tours, we have to check if there are any operational difficulties for organizing a tour of your choice. Certain tours are not possible for particular period which we shall let you know. Besides, the cost may vary depending on seasonality.

    It is better if you could buy international tickets directly through your local agent or on internet. Although we can provide you international flight tickets, but you may a get a better deal locally.

    No, you have to obtain visa on your own. The visa regulations will depend on your nationality. You may contact us for further details.

    Yes, it is very much possible. You can extend your stay on arrival or departure or at any other place. You may also modify the tour. You may let us know your interest and we can send you modified tour itinerary with cost.

    Our cost normally includes hotel accommodation with breakfast, private air-conditioned car with driver which includes fuel, parking and all taxes, entrance fee to monuments, train tickets if any, guided city tours in English or in other foreign languages, viz French, German, Italian, Spanish, Japanese, Chinese, Russian or other foreign languages subject to availability which we can notify at the time of reservation request. Our cost also includes some other services viz Elephant ride at Amer fort in Jaipur, camel safari in Jaisalmer and boat tour in Varanasi. We shall send you all details at the time of sending you quotation.

    We may also include other services viz lunches, dinners or other services if you wish. We may also exclude guide service and entrance fee to monuments if you so wish.

    Train tickets are included in our cost. But, we give supplement cost for domestic flight tickets as these days, there are dynamic fares and these are not fixed. We send you indicative fare at the time of sending you quotation which is subject to change until issue of tickets with advance purchase for which we need payment from you to issue flight tickets. You may also purchase domestic flight tickets directly on your own if you prefer.

    We provide minimum standard (3 star or similar), superior (4 star or similar), deluxe (5 star or similar) hotels and the cost will depend depending on category of hotels. We can send you quotation for the category that you are interested in. We usually provide heritage or palace hotels which fit in your category of hotels. We may also mix the hotel category if you prefer and can also provide you rates based on hotels of your liking in all places if you like.

    We usually request 25% advance upon confirmation of our services unless otherwise informed at the time of sending you quotation. We shall send you all payment terms at the time of sending you our offer.I am interested.

    Click here to send us information of your trip and we shall send you soonest possible.

    Why StateExpress

    Established in 1980, State Express has been providing most reliable services to travelers all over the world for last 35 years. We are renowned for our customer first approach and unobtrusive efficiency which ensures the highest levels of customer satisfaction. We have been awarded several times by State Government for being best Tour Operator. All aspects of our tours have been carefully researched and then designed to give ultimate experience to travelers. Let our travel knowledge help you to create a wonderful experience, whether on one of our tour itineraries or a tailor made tour itinerary made exclusively for you to give you an unforgettable holiday.

    Our people make the difference

    Our success has been possible because of our people who are our biggest asset. We have a team of highly dedicated, sincere, hardworking who work with integrity that has made State Express one of the leading and most reliable tour companies in India. They not only have expertise and experience to meet any requirement, they also speak foreign languages and trained to offer only the best and leave nothing to chance. We know that travel to Indian sub-continent is a dream of many of our guests and our team does everything possible to make their dream true and give them an experience of their lifetime.

    Our infrastructure

    We have complete infrastructure to provide you best rate and services to you. We are an IATA approved and authorized agents for all domestic airlines and Indian Railways. We have our own cars vans and coaches with experienced drivers. We have multi lingual staff to ensure that our guests do not face any language problem. We also have associate offices in all major tourist centers to provide assistance in shortest possible time.

    Our fleet of vehicles & drivers

    We undoubtedly have one of the best and most modern fleet of cars, vans, 4X4s and large coaches. Surface travel is a very important aspect in India as you spend lot of your time while travelling on the road and therefore given us an edge over other tour companies who have to rely on other transport companies to provide this service to their clients. We have our own garage and all our vehicles are well maintained to give you hassle free journey.

    Besides having the best fleet, it is our drivers who truly make the difference as they play a crucial role in making a tour successful. Even if you stay in best of the hotels and travel in most comfortable and luxurious vehicles, if you do not have a good driver, it may spoil your experience. We have our team of drivers who are part of State Express and have been working with us for years and they are trained, dedicated and motivated to take care of our guests and make them comfortable. That is the reason that more than 90% of our guests thank us and appreciate them after returning to their home.

    Our choice of hotels

    We take utmost care in selection of hotels that we recommend to our clients and include in our list of suggested hotels. We inspect these hotels regularly to be sure of their quality of product and services. We give lot of emphasis on the location and the people who run those hotels. We want to give you clients an experience of heritage and palace hotels which are unique and not available in other part of the world.

    Our tour itineraries

    All our tour itineraries are designed by experts to give you an opportunity to see most wonderful sites in number of days at your disposal at the same time giving you time to explore the places in your own way. We have a number of itineraries to choose from which covers all India, Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka and Tibet. We also include mode of travel and approximate time taken between places to ensure that you do not have any surprises during the tour. Our specialists will also work with you to create an itinerary of your choice either by modifying our readymade tour itineraries or prepare an exclusive tailor made tour for you based on your interest and liking keeping in mind local conditions.

    24×7 assistance during the tour

    We provide you clients real 24×7 assistance during the tour. This is not a marketing gimmick but we have someone in our office always to assist you in case of any emergency anytime. We also provide cell phone numbers of our executive who you may contact even during odd hours when you need them for anything urgent. We have associate offices in all major cities of India to provide you assistance in minimum possible time.

    Response time

    We know that response time is key to our success and we value it a lot. Even at initial stages before reservation, you will get replies from us in not more than 24 working hours. We shall always be there whenever you need us during the tour.

    Personalised Service

    Apart from professional service, we believe in emphasising on personalised service. That is to make our guests feel at home in a foreign country and also feel that they have friends here who they can trust for any need. Our customer executives remain in constant touch with our guests during the tour to give them comfort and trust that we are always with them.

    Good value for money

    We know that there are so many travel companies providing their services and unless we provide good value for money to our clients, they will not be satisfied. Our own fleet of cars, vans and coaches and best special discounted rates with hotels due to our volumes enables us to offer value for money.

    What our clients say about us

    Good Morning,

    we are in Rome and none problem in the return trip; I send you an email to add comments and let you know our feedback in details; my wife and I are frequent travelers and have custom to evaluate our trips in all the aspects; so

    . Booking process excellent (rapid, clear and exhaustive answers; we have appreciated the help to obtain the e-visa and the contacts during the tour to know possible problems;

    . Driver excellent (polite, punctual and very expert in the drive), he gave us many suggestions and accompanied us directly to the coach in the Tundla station; the other driver in Varanasi good but should improve his english;

    . Car good;

    . Guide only in Jaisalmer good;

    . Tour organization good for times and the included hotspots;

    . Hotels: we evaluate the hotels for cleaning and comfort of the room and bathroom and for breakfast; we use a ranking from 1 (bad) to 5 (excellent):

    Iris Park 2; dirty bathroom with dirty towels, room dirty and uncomfortable (too small, difficult to move inside, put and open the suitcases; breakfast room trivial and food inadequate for european tourists;

    Mandawa Palace 4 for all;

    Lallgarl Palace 4 and no 5 for inadequate breakfast respect to the level of the hotel;

    Mandar Palace 3-4 , room and bathroom no perfectly clean , breakfast inadequate for european tourist and internet didn’t work;

    Krishna Prakas Havei unacceptable; room located in the roof without elevator and with dangerous stairs; room dirty with a door that didn’t close perfectly, bathroom dirty with dirty towels; breakfast room dirty with tablecloth dirty and broken, food trivial and inadequate also for amount;

    Master Paradise 3, cold uncomfortable room without possibility to warm it; bathroom in the average and skinny breakfast;

    Golden Tulip 5 and more, the best

    Atulayaa Tay unacceptable, dirty and small room, dirty bathroom with microscopic sink an a glass wall between the bed, dirty towels, trivial breakfast;

    Meradan Grand 4 for all

    Last hotel in Dehli 4 for room and bathroom also here glass wall between bathroom and the bed but the light didn’t across;

    we suggest, personal opinion, to cancel the hotel with a rank less than 3 and choose others of superior quality ( also if more expensive) because the hotel is important to rest in a daily tour step by step.

    In summary we evaluate very good the experience of our first trip in India and surely we will recommend State Express to our friends.

    Enzo Ferrante

    27 January 2023 

    Hi Rinki,

    Just wanted to say thank you for all the organisation for our India trip. Everything went very smoothly. Our vehicles, drivers and accommodation were all faultless.

    Look forward to our next trip now whenever that may be.

    I’d like to just comment on one thing… please encourage clients to do Chittorgarh as a day trip. The accommodation there must’ve been really good at some point but is quite run down now. They were lovely and very obliging but when we compare the accommodations it wasn’t the best.

    I know I’d said I wanted a night in Chittorgarh but I wasn’t as conversant with availability there as someone who knows the areas more.

    Thank you once again from my mum, massi and I.

    Best wishes and regards to your team,

    Ps. Next visit we must meet!! 🙂

    Priya

    14 January 2023

    Dear Sirs, namaste.
    The journey of my group is over and we have returned to our homes.
    I hope all of you are fine.
    I wish to thank State Express for the usual good assistance. A special thank to Mr Mamlesh Sahu for following my trip through his frequent telephone calls.
    I hope to have the chance to come again.

    Dhanyavad.

    Alfredo Sermasi

    12 December 2022

    Good Morning,

    we are in Rome and none problem in the return trip; I send you an email to add comments and let you know our feedback in details; my wife and I are frequent travelers and have custom to evaluate our trips in all the aspects; so
    • Booking process excellent (rapid, clear and exhaustive answers; we have appreciated the help to obtain the e-visa and the contacts during the tour to know possible problems;
    • Driver excellent (polite, punctual and very expert in the drive), he gave us many suggestions and accompanied us directly to the coach in the Tundla station; the other driver in Varanasi good but should improve his english;
    • Car good;
    • Guide only in Jaisalmer good
    • . Tour organization good for times and the included hotspots; . Hotels: we evaluate the hotels for cleaning and comfort of the room and bathroom and for breakfast;
    we use a ranking from 1 (bad) to 5 (excellent): Iris Park 2; dirty bathroom with dirty towels, room dirty and uncomfortable (too small, difficult to move inside, put and open the suitcases; breakfast room trivial and food inadequate for european tourists; Mandawa Palace 4 for all; Lallgarl Palace 4 and no 5 for inadequate breakfast respect to the level of the hotel; Mandar Palace 3-4 , room and bathroom no perfectly clean , breakfast inadequate for european tourist and internet didn’t work; Krishna Prakas Havei unacceptable; room located in the roof without elevator and with dangerous stairs; room dirty with a door that didn’t close perfectly, bathroom dirty with dirty towels; breakfast room dirty with tablecloth dirty and broken, food trivial and inadequate also for amount; Master Paradise 3, cold uncomfortable room without possibility to warm it; bathroom in the average and skinny breakfast; Golden Tulip 5 and more, the best Atulayaa Tay unacceptable, dirty and small room, dirty bathroom with microscopic sink an a glass wall between the bed, dirty towels, trivial breakfast; Meradan Grand 4 for all Last hotel in Dehli 4 for room and bathroom also here glass wall between bathroom and the bed but the light didn’t across; we suggest, personal opinion, to cancel the hotel with a rank less than 3 and choose others of superior quality ( also if more expensive) because the hotel is important to rest in a daily tour step by step. In summary we evaluate very good the experience of our first trip in India and surely we will recommend State Express to our friends. Kindly Regards, Enzo Ferrante
    David & Emily
    8 March 2020
    Good morning Rinki,
    Emily and I are home now, and we would like to thank you for organising what turned out to be a wonderful trip. We enjoyed visiting all the various places, and the hotels were comfortable. People were very friendly and helpful. The pace of the trip was perfect, travelling but not exhausting. The driver Chandra was very good and I would have no issue with recommending him as a driver. He was very polite, punctual, and courteous. We felt he was a very safe driver, and would like to extend our thanks to him as well. With the benefit of hindsight, I would have stayed an extra day or two in Verkala rather than the extra days in Mumbai, but that is as I say with the benefit of hindsight. Once again, thank you so very much for all your help in organising this trip for us, which we will remember fondly for many years to come.
    David & Emily
    8 March 2020
    Dear StateExpress
    To whom it may concern, we are writing you regarding the package booked with andanitravel for the India golden triangle from the 01/03/2020 to the 11/03/2020. On the 4th of March ’20 the staff from the Sher Gary Resort in Road Village Sherpur, Khilchipur, Rajasthan 322001, Ranthanbore, following the Advise from the Government of Rajasthan, invited us to leave the resort and the State of India as soon as possible due to our Italian Nationality. Immediately we contacted the DCM Italy of Rajasthan, Mr Carini, who told us there was a mistake and the Advise number 27 of the 4th of March 2020 was withdrawn with immediate effect. Although we informed on a timely manner the resort staff, we have been asked to leave anyhow. Only after the DCM Italy informed the resort about the mistake, we have been given the opportunity to leave the resort the following morning. All these difficulties, the constant hostility by the people in India despite the advise number 28, the decision made by the State Express emergency contact( Harish Bhatt) to interrupt our trip and the news regarding the spread of COVID-19 in India, induced us to arrange autonomously for a flight back home as soon as possible. At least but not last we kindly ask you to let us know of any official way to provide a positive feedback to the great support, empathy, help, kindness, professionalism, flexibility and special assistant given by the driver Mr Ashok Yadav in the sphere of his competences.
    Anna Caputo, Antonio Caputo, Maria Napolitano, Guida Villani
    7 March 2020

    Hi, Rinki

    Thank you for the trip arrangement. We have enjoyed very much.
    Looking forward to our next trip in India next year and will get in touch with you again.
    Once again, thank you very much for your excellent service.

    Chua Boon Hua

    09 October 2018