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Art History of South India Holiday Tour
Duration: 16 days
Location: India
Price: $1775
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This comprehensive South India Tours will immerse you into this fascinating land with opportunities to visit and spend time with local people. The South India Holiday makes space for serendipity, for chance encounters are those which are most memorable.

Art History of South India Tours

Many travellers come to India seeking something “old,” a sense of continuing ancient traditions and life styles. Many find it here, in South India, which is the home of one of humanity’s most ancient civilizations. This is the land of people who are keeping up with modern pace but yet are well connected to ancient thought, art and practices. Haggle with a merchant here, and you can hear the same slang a roman merchant heard over 2000 years ago. A land of stunning natural beauty filled with good natured hospitable people who are fully aware of the antiquity, a visit to South India will definitely change the way you look at life.

This comprehensive guided South India Tours will immerse you into this fascinating land with opportunities to visit and spend time with local people. Traveling in small, select groups, the South India Tours is lead by an acclaimed academic, V.N. Seetharam, an Indology and Indian art expert, who has led many international travel groups. The South India Tours itinerary makes space for serendipity, for chance encounters are those which are most memorable.

On this South India Tours we will visit:

Chennai – Mahabalipuram – Pondicherry –Thanjavur –Madurai – The Periyar National Park – Kumarakom – Allepey – Cochin

Detailed Itinerary of Art History of South India Tours

Price per person on twin sharing basis. Accommodation in luxury air conditioned hotels with a three star rating or higher. Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner included. Transport in a luxury air conditioned SUV/Sedan/Mini Bus. Looking for 5 star accommodation? Contact us. Please read the Indian Expeditions Booking Terms and Conditions

Day 1 & 2 on the South India Tours: Chennai

South India Tours Temple ChennaiWe will visit Fort St George, the first fort built in India and explore Chennai’s colonial past. We will take a walk through Chennai’s busy gold and saree market and learn how to bargain the Indian way. We visit some of Chennai’s most prominent temples, some of which date back to many centuries ago. You will be mesmerized with the Chennai Egmore museums exquisite collection of bronze sculptures from as early on as the 5th century. We will attend an Indian Classical music concert and explore the trail of the Apostle Doubting Thomas and visit the St Thomas Basilica, where the apostle is said to have been originally buried.

Talk: Orientation, Art history of South India. Performing Art: Classical Concert. (depending on tour dates, please check with travel manager.)


Day 3 on the South India Tours: Mahabalipuram (Mamallapuram)

South India Tours Mahabalipuram

We will explore the ancient 5th century port, Mahabalipuram and be amazed by ancient, exquisite rock sculptures. Here we will relax in an exquisite beach resort, and dine on some fine sea food.

Talk: Pallava and Chola art.

Day 4 on the South India Tours: Pondicherry

We will visit an agrarian village and understand the true beat of India. We will witness traditional farming techniques and communal lifestyles. We will interact with traditional farmers, get a glimpse of India’s cast system, and look into chores, rituals and festivals associated with everyday life in India. We then follow the scenic East Coast Road and explore India’s French connection, Pondicherry, where we will visit the Arabindo Ashram and Auroville, a spiritual commune. We then go on to a handicraft manufacturing unit, and you could learn some French here if you want!

Talk on the South India Tours: French In India.

Day 5 and 6 on the South India Tours: Tanjavur

South India Tours ThanjavurWe arrive post lunch and take a stroll through some of Thanjavur’s streets. Here, we will enjoy a 10th century Chola theme dinner, recipes of which have been taken from ancient rock inscriptions and manuscripts. We will visit the “Big Temple,” the magnificent Brahadeswhara Temple built in the 11th century, regarded as one of India’s most magnificient ancient structures. We will go on an orientation drive and visit a Vedic and Sanskrit school and commune, and interact with professors and students. We will view age old methods of bronze casting and attend a classical dance program, where you will have a chance to interact with traditional dancers and musicians

Talk: Orientation, Art history of South India. Performing Art: Classical Concert. (depending on tour dates, please check with travel manager.)

Day 7 and 8 on the South India Tours: Madurai

South India Tours Madurai Madurai is one of the worlds oldest cities. We will explore the bi lanes of this ancient city and witness vibrant and mysterious rituals in the awe-inspiring Madurai Meenakshi Temple. You can catch a Tamil movie and attend a talk on Tamil cinema and its influence on everyday life.

Talk: Madurai.

Day 9 and 10 on the South India Tours: Periyar National Park

South India Wildlife Tours TigerHaunt of the tiger, leopard, crocodile, sloth bear, and many other enchanting flora and fuana, you will get a chance to explore your wild side here. We will spend two leisurely and relaxed days going on Safari to spot the big cats and other mega fauna and we will visit a tea and spice plantation, taking slow walks amongst breathtaking scenario, or you could go on a more rigorous trek. Here, we also interact with tribals and ex poachers and understand the impact of sustainable tourism on indigenous people and sensitive ecology.

Talk: Conservation of wildlife in India.

Day 11 and 12 on the South India Tours: House Boat, Kumarakom

We bid farewell to the Jungles and to all the friends that we would have made during our trip there on on the South India Tours and proceed to Kumarakom, a stunningly beautiful town in Kerala. Hop on a house boat on which we spend a night cruising the spectacular back waters of Kerala at a leisurely pace. We then can visit a local village or spice plantation.

Talk on the South India Tours: Kerala.

Day 13 and 14 on the South India Tours: Alleppey

South India Tours kerala HouseboatIn Alleppey we will beach bum on pristine beaches and take in the sun. You could get an ayurvedic massage. We will view a demonstration of Kalaripaythu, an ancient martial art and Kathakalli, an ancient dance form. We will explore and admire beautiful British, Dutch and Portuguese architecture before finishing this South Indian adventure.

Lecture: Ayurveda, Kathakali and Kalari Paythu.

Day 15 on the South India Tours: Cochin

We will check into a home stay and experience the warmth of an Indian family hospitality. Here, you can have discussions with your host and let them show you around. We will explore ancient churches and synagogues, take walks around the beach and spot dolphins and watch fisherman catch fish using ancient style huge Chinese fishing nets.

Lecture:  Spice Trade.

Add Ons :

There are many options for those of us who’d like to continue the South India Tours. We can explore Goa or continue a tour of Kerala or head back into Karnataka, where we can visit Mysore, Hampi and/or some faboulous wildlife destinations. We have many options as an add on, and we can tailor one to suite you best.

Trip Lead of the South India Tours

South India Tours Private Guide V.N Seetharam is considered by many as one of the best South India tour guides they have ever encountered. Acknowledged by academicians from across the globe  as one of the worlds leading experts in Indian Architecture, Sculpture, Indology and culture, Seetharam makes for a fantastic travel partner. It is his bookseller roots that have made Seetharam a cultural historian of our times, much appreciated for his insights on prose, poetry, literature and scriptures alike. For decades together and all of the 90′s Seetharam dominated the book business in India with his exclusive and rich treasure, popularly known as “The Bookshop” in Chennai. The press adored his niche motley of books and tagged it as one of the best collections in India.

Today Seetharam has hundreds of fans who once visited his bookshop, admired his passion and are coming back for South India Tours with him as the trip lead.

Looking for a wildlife holiday? Try The Western Ghats Holidays.

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