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Start at Madurai and end at Trivandrum

Suggested Number of Days 7 Nights / 8 Days

At the edge of an ancient subcontinent, away from the predictable tourist trails, there are a thousand stories waiting to be told, a thousand experiences for wanderers yet to come. Choose the path less travelled and enjoy unique experiences in the South of India.

MADURAI, TAMILNADU

Madurai

Recommended Stay

2 Nights / 3 Days

Madurai’s recorded history goes back to the 3rd century BC, when it was referred to by Megasthenes, a Greek ambassador to the Maurya empire. It is impossible to miss the skyline dotted with the 14 colorful gopurams (towers) of the Meenakshi Amman Temple – located on the banks of the river Vaigai, the ancient city was once the capital of the Pandya Kingdom. Covered in bright carvings of Hindu gods, the Dravidian-style Meenakshi temple is a major pilgrimage site. Experience the divine wafting fragrance of jasmine mingled with the ancient Vedic chants that fill the air, as devotes come from distant places to pay homage to the consort of Shiva. The city houses a number of historical monuments, with the Meenakshi Amman Temple, Koodal Azhagar Temple and Tirumalai Nayak Palace being the most prominent. This Palace is a classic fusion of Dravidian and Rajput styles and is famous for its stunning 248 pillars.

KOLLAM, KERALA

Kollam

Recommended Stay

2 Nights / 3 Days

Distance From Madurai

260 kms drive

Formally known as Quilon, Kollam is a sea port on the southern coast of India. It is an ancient trading town that had ties to the Romans, Chinese, Arabs and other trading nations in the Orient. The district is home to Ashtamudi Lake, a pristine backwater area in the shape of an octopus. The name means eight braids and it describes the lake to perfection! Peppered with multiple houseboats and lush backwater resorts, the lake is lined with verdant coconut groves and possesses a unique wetland ecosystem. The winding canals are flanked by little picturesque villages, and the cheena vala, or Chinese fishing nets make for a fascinating sight. Take an Ashtamudi Lake Cruise and watch how locals here make their living from these waters, from fishing to making coir products from the husk of the abundant coconuts.

KOVALAM, KERALA

Kovalam

Recommended Stay

2 Nights / 3 Days

Distance From Kollam

80 kms drive

At the southern tip of Kerala lies Kovalam, a beach town surrounded by incredible greenery. The name means coconut grove and as you arrive here you be treated to the sight of vast expanses of coconut trees, as far as the eye can see. Kovalam has three main beaches, which are separated by rocky outcrops, and together they form the crescent of the Kovalam beach. Visit the Padmanabhapuram Palace, at the foot of the Veli Hills – built in 1601, it is Asia’s largest wooden palace. Adorned with intricate carvings and sculptures, the palace features murals dating back to the 17th and 18th centuries. Visit Thiruvananthapuram to see the Padmanabhaswamy Temple, the abode of Lord Padmanabha – it is believed to be the world’s richest temple.

Kanyakumari

Recommended Stay

1 Night / 2 Days

Distance From Kovalam

100 kms drive

Kanyakumari, formerly known as Cape Comorin, is literally Land’s End for the subcontinent – the southernmost tip of peninsular India. Here, you can observe the merging of the Indian Ocean with the Bay of Bengal on your left and the Arabian Sea on your right –the unique aspect of this spot being the fact that you can enjoy both sunrise and sunset from the same beach. A centre for religion art and culture, Kanyakumari is home to the Kumari Amman Temple, an important Hindu shrine. The most iconic monument to be seen here is the Vivekananda Rock Memorial, a gigantic structure surrounded on all sides by the Laccadive Sea and reachable only by boat. It is dedicated to the renowned Indian philosopher, Swami Vivekananda. Also famous is the Gandhi Memorial Mandapam, a shrine dedicated to Mahatma Gandhi. From Kanyakumari, visit Tiruchendur and explore the Thiruchendur Murugan Temple. It is dedicated to Murugan, a warrior deity and second son of Shiva.

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