Church Tour to South India - 12 Nights / 13 Days

Chennai – Thanjavur – Velankanni – Thanjavur – Madurai – Trivandrum – Kottayam – Cochin + Departure

Day 01: Arrive Chennai by International flight

Meeting & assistance upon arrival at Chennai airport, followed by transferring to hotel for check-in. Overnight stay at hotel.

Day 02: Chennai

Breakfast at hotel.
Morning proceed for sightseeing & church tour of Chennai.
Annai Vailankanni Shrine - The famous chapel dedicated to the Annai Vailankanni Our Lady of Good Health, Besant Nagar. This was originally built in 1972. The upper portion of the walls is covered with paintings on the Apparitions of Our Lady of good Health. This was expanded in September 2000.

San Thome Basilica is a Roman Catholic (Latin Rite) minor basilica in Santhome, in the city of Chennai (Madras), India. It was built in the 16th century by Portuguese explorers, over the tomb of Saint Thomas, one of the twelve apostles of Jesus. In 1893, it was rebuilt as a church with the status of a cathedral by the British. The British version still stands today. It was designed in Neo-Gothic style, favoured by British architects in the late 19th century. This church is one of the only three known churches in the world built over the tomb of an apostle of Jesus, the other two being St. Peter's Basilica in Vatican City and Santiago de Compostela Cathedral in Galicia, Spain.

Also visiting Fort St. Goerge, St Mary’s Church and also visiting the Museum to see the Art and Bronze Gallery (Closed on Fridays and Public holidays). Drive through the Flower and Fruit market, High court, Marina Beach and Snake Park. Overnight stay at hotel.

Day 03: Chennai – Thanjavur (375 Kms / Approx. 7 to 8 hours drive) Breakfast at hotel.

Morning checkout and drive to departure to Thanjavur. Arrive Thanjavur and transfer to hotel for check-in. Rest of the day relax at the hotel. Overnight stay at hotel.

Day 04: Thanjavur – Velankanni - Thanjavur (105 Kms / Approx. 2.5 hours drive one way) Breakfast at hotel.

Today we shall visit the famous Velankanni Church, which is also known as The Church of Our Lady of Health.
The Basilica of Our Lady of Good Health is located at the small town of Velankanni in the state of Tamil Nadu in southern India. The Roman Catholic Latin Rite Basilica is devoted to Our Lady of Good Health. Devotion to Our Lady of Good Health of Velankanni can be traced to the mid-16th century and is attributed to three miracles at sites around where the Basilica stands: the apparition of Mary and the Christ Child to a slumbering shepherd boy, the curing of a lame buttermilk vendor, and the rescue of Portuguese sailors from a violent sea storm. These accounts are based on oral tradition and there are no written or attested records in support of them. The Holy See has not approved these apparitions. Later, drive back to Thanjavur hotel. Overnight stay at hotel.

Velankanni Church

Day 05: Thanjavur – Trichy – Madurai (200 Kms / Approx. 4.5 hours drive)

After breakfast, drive to Madurai enroute visiting Trichy. Visit the Srirangam temple, the temple walls, the entire City enclose a porch with Horse Sculpture and the hall of 1000 pillars. The roof of the middle Sanctuary is covered with gold. Continue drive to Madurai. Upon arrival Madurai, transfer to hotel for check-in.

In the evening, proceed to visit Meenakshi Temple-one of the oldest and most important temples in India. The temple has a great mythological and historical significance. Renowned for its astonishing architecture, Meenakshi Temple was nominated as one of the wonders of the world, but couldn’t make it into the list of ‘Seven Wonders of the World’. However, the temple is definitely one of the ‘Wonders of India’. It is also one of the main attractions of South India with thousands of devotees thronging it every day. Despite many people visiting it every day, the temple is well-maintained and was named the ‘Best Swachh Iconic Place’ (cleanest iconic place) in India. (Non-Hindus are not allowed inside the temple where main deities are placed). Overnight stay at hotel.

Day 06: Madurai - Trivandrum (200 Kms / Approx. 4.5 hours drive)

Breakfast at hotel.

Vettucaud Church

Morning checkout and drive to Trivandrum. On arrival at Trivandrum transfer to check-in hotel. Rest of the day at leisure. Overnight stay at the hotel.

Day 07: Trivandrum

Breakfast at hotel.
Morning proceed to visit St. Joseph’s Cathedral, CSI Christ Church and Vettucaud Church.
Also sightseeing tour of Trivandrum - Napier Museum, Sri Padmanabhapuram palace and Kuthiramalika Museum. The museums have a rich collection of artifacts that tell the story of the Kerala's past in a chronological order.(Napier Museum, Padmanabhapuram Palace & Kuthiramalika Museum remains closed on every Monday.) Overnight stay at the hotel.

Day 08: Trivandrum – Kottayam (170 Kms / Approx. 4.5 hours drive)

Breakfast at hotel.
Morning checkout and drive to Kottayam. Arrive Kottayam and transfer to hotel for check-in.
In the afternoon, we shall visit Syrian Christian community and churches like Valia Palli, Cheria Palli and St. Mary’s Church. Overnight stay at the hotel.

Day 09: Kottayam – Cochin (70 Kms / Approx. 2 hours drive)

After breakfast, drive to Cochin, 'Queen of the Arabian Sea "at the Pepper Coast. The city is characterized by many influences of foreign peoples, such as Arabic, Chinese Sailors, and was century’s hub for pepper, cardamom and betel nut. On arrival check-in at hotel.
In the evening, witness a Kathakali Dance performance.
Overnight stay at the hotel

Day 10: Cochin

After breakfast proceed to Malayattor Church, This church which is dedicated to St. Thomas the Apostle for India is one of the most famous Church in Kerala. Church is situated at Kurisumudi, a verdant hill in the Western Ghats girdled partially by the river Periyar. The shrine has now been accorded an international pilgrimage station .Enroute visit St. Antonys church, Edapally Church etc.
Overnight stay at the hotel.

Malayattoor Church

Day 11: Cochin - Malayattor Church - Cochin (55 Kms / Approx. 1.5 hours drive)

After breakfast proceed to Malayattor Church, This church which is dedicated to St. Thomas the Apostle for India is one of the most famous Church in Kerala. Church is situated at Kurisumudi, a verdant hill in the Western Ghats girdled partially by the river Periyar. The shrine has now been accorded an international pilgrimage station .Enroute visit St. Antonys church, Edapally Church etc. Overnight stay at the hotel.

Day 12: Cochin – Alleppey – Cochin (Day cruise in the backwater in a Houseboat)

Breakfast at hotel.
Later drive to Alleppey (Approx. 60 Kms/1.5 Hour drive per way) to board a Houseboat for a day cruise for 4 Hours with Lunch. The traditional Keralan riceboats were converted into comfortable houseboats, ideal for a leisurely cruise through the region’s tropical backwaters. This is a tranquil haven where the visitor can watch rice fields, coconut palms and the activities of day-to-day rural life.
Evening, disembark from Houseboat at Alleppey and transfer to hotel in Cochin. Overnight stay at hotel.

Day 13: Cochin Departure by International flight

On time departure transfer to Cochin airport to board flight for onward destination.

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