South India Tour with Theyyam Festival Kerala
(16 Days / 15 Nights)
  (Chennai-Mysore-Halebid-Belur-Sravanbelgola-Bangalore-Hassan-Mahabalipuram-Kasargod-Pondicherry-Chidambaram-Kumbakonam-Tanjore-Srirangam- Trichy-Madurai-Chennai)
(to view the route of this tour on a Map please click here)
 

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Theyyam Festival
Theyyam is a popular ritual art of north Kerala. It is rich in culture and is essentially a dance festival. Theyyam is said to be corrupted form of the word 'Deivam' meaning God and 'Aattam' means dance. The meaning of Theyyam thus becomes 'God's dance'. In Theyyam people worship deity and dancer is also the deity. In this art devotees worship Mother Goddess. Though animals, serpents and trees are also worshiped by many.

Season of Theyyam continues for six months beginning from the Malayalam month of Thullam (October-November) and continues till Edavam (May-June). Most Theyyam festivals are held in the region of Valapattanam River of Kannur and Chandragiri River of Kasargod. Prominent amongst all places is the Theyyam of Malabar region in north Kerala.
 


Theyyam Dance
Theyyam is performed by male members of particular castes only. Malayan, Pulayan, Vannan, Anjoottan, Munnutton, Velan, Chungathan, Koppalan and Mayilon are some of the castes who perform theyyam.

Theyyam dance has its roots in the ancient tribal culture of Kerala dating back to the Dravidian age. It lays great importance to worship of heroes and ancestral spirits. Theyyam sees a wonderful amalgamation of dance, mime and music. Chenda, veekku chenda, elathalam and kurumkuzhal are the musical instruments used in theyyatom.

There are about 450 known forms of "theyyams" and each has got its own myth and style of costumes, make-up, choreography and songs. Rakthachamundi, Makkappothi, Puliyoru Kannan, Pottan, Kathivanur Veeran, Muchhilottu Bhagavathi, Palothu Daivam, Vishnumurthy, Puthiya Bhagavathi, Vayanattu Kulavan, Ucchitta, Gulikan, Nagakanni, Mutiappan, Veerali, Puliyoru kali, Panchuruli, Kuttissasthav are some of the theyyams performed even now.

Influence of prominent Hindu sects of Shakteyas (followers of Mother Goddess Shakti), Vaishnavites (followers of Lord Vishnu) and Shaivites (followers of Lord Shiva) is apparent on Theyyam cult.

Theyyam is supported by a vast literature of folk songs. Besides the theme of worshiping Mother Goddesses and animals, Theyyam also narrates the tales and woes of people who lost their lives in battlefield, pangs of women who committed suicide or persons killed by the local chieftains. Such people are honoured through theyyams performed in front of shrines.

Theyyam is also known as
Kaliyattom at some places. Kaliyattom means 'a sacred dance performance for goddess Kali. Some believe that Kaliyattom is sometimes called Theyyattom because every 'thera' or village was duly bound to perform it. There are two stages in theyyattom: Thottam, the preliminary ritual and Theyyam. Some theyyams also has another stage called Vellattom. The myth of the deity is recited by thottam, through songs accompanied by a orchestra. Theyyam is the second stage.

Costume and Make-up
To get the appearance of super-human, peculiar and colourful costume and make-up are used in theyyam dances. Essential componentc of the costume of theyyam dancer are the leaves of coconut tree which are cut and made into different shapes and sizes.

 

Day 01: Flight to India (Chennai)
Around Midnight arrival in Chennai (formerly known as Madras). The cosmopolitan city and capital of Tamil Nadu is the main gateway for travellers to South India. Upon arrival, you will be met by an Indo Vacations representative and transferred to the hotel.
 

Day 02: Chennai
After having the breakfast we start the sightseeing of Chennai. We visit the Fort St. George near the harbour area of Chennai. The British built this fort in the 17th century. We will also visit the St. Mary's Church. This church was the first English church in India.
 

Day 03: Chennai - Mysore
In the morning we drive through the betel nut and pepper plantation and proceed to
Mysore. Mysore is world famous for Silk and Sandalwood. Mysore is also a centre of producing saris. Saree is a common dress of woman in India. In Mysore we drive to Chamundi Hill to see a giant Nandi (buffalo god) and enjoy the view of the surroundings form the hilltop. In the evening we will visit the beautiful Brindavan garden.
 

Day 04: Mysore - Halebid - Belur (about 170 km)
Today we visit the most impressive and one of the largest city palaces in India. The City Palace of Mysore "Ambar Vilas" is built in the Indo-Saracenic style. After the sightseeing of Mysore we proceed through picturesque hilly landscape and arrive in
Halebid. Halebid was the ancient capital of Hoysala Empire. In Halebid we visit the Hoysalesvara Temple of 12th century where we see half-life size statues of Hindu deities, with minute details of each, all around the temple. After the visit in Halebid we proceed to Belur. In Belur we visit the group of Chennakesava Temples. These temples are famous for their architecture and sculptures. Belur and Halebid are the apex of the cultural heritage of Karnataka.
 

Day 05: Belur - Sravanbelgola - Bangalore (about 160 km)
In the morning after having breakfast we drive to
Bangalore. On the way to Bangalore we make a stopover in Sravanbelgola where we visit the colossal monolithic statue of Gomatesvara, standing 18 meters high of 1980 AD. This Jain sculpture represents the saintly prince Bahubali after he had gained enlightenment. After the visit of Sravanbelgola we proceed for Bangalore. Bangalore is the capital city of the Indian state Karnataka. This former "Garden city" Bangalore is known today as "computer city" of India. In Bangalore we visit the monolithic Nandi, Shiva's Bull and famous Gowda Fort. The Gowda Fort was built by the Tipu Sultan.
 

Day 06: Bangalore - Hassan
In the morning we drive through the garden city with its numerous avenues of Jacaranda, gulmohar and cassia. Today we visit Tipu's summer palace. Drive past numerous parks, the Vidhan Sauda and downtown commercial centre. Today we also visit Protima Bedi`s Dance Village. Overnight in Hassan.
 

Day 07: Hassan - Mahabalipuram
Today after having breakfast we drive through the coastal route to Mahabalipuram. In Mahabalipuram we visit some of the 14 cave temples and 9 monolithic rathas (temple chariots). Pallavamala was the ruler who made the port famous in the 7th century and was largely responsible for building the temples.
 

Day 08: Mahabalipuram - Kasargod
Today after having breakfast we drive
to Kasargod. Kasaragod was famous from time immemorial and Arab travelers who came to Kerala in 9th and 14th centuries AD had visited Kasaragod. The Bekal fort, which is of great historical and archaeological interest, is the largest and best preserved of its kind in the district and the land on which it is situated, runs into the sea with fine bay towards the south

Day 09 Kasargod
After breakfast we visit Kasargod to see the spectacular Theyyam Festival. Overnight at the resort.
 

Day 10: Kasargod - Pondicherry - Chidambaram
In the morning after having breakfast we drive to
Pondicherry. Pondicherry was retained as French colony until 1954. Pondicherry has even today French atmosphere amidst the surrounding Tamil country. We visit the Sri Aurobindo Ashram, which is a world famous Yoga and philosophy center. Then we drive through the tropical mountains to Chidambaram. Chidambaram lies on the north edge of the Coleroon River. In Chidambaram we visit the Natraja Temple. This temple is dedicated to the dancing Lord Shiva, a famous Hindu deity of the Chola Kings.
 

Day 11: Chidambaram - Kumbakonam - Tanjore
Today after having breakfast we drive to Tanjore. On the way to Tanjore we have a stop over in Kumbakonam. Kumbakonam is famous for its 18 temples in the town centre. Tanjore was the capital of great Chola King who built more than 70 temples between 10th and 14th century. We visit here one of the world heritage monument, Brihasdisvara Temple (11th century), which is also known as big temple.
 

Day 12: Tanjore - Srirangam - Trichy (about 60 km)
Today we drive to Srirangam and visit the Ranganathasvami Temple. This temple is one of the largest temples in India dedicated to god Vishnu. After the visit of Srirangam we proceed to
Trichy. Trichy, the land near the delta is very fertile and productive. This town Trichy is so ancient that Ptolemy mentioned it in the 2nd century BC by Alexandrian geographer. We have to climb stairs for the famous Rock Fort. This fort was built on 84 m high rock in the centre of town in about 1660. We also visit a Shiva and Ganesha temple and enjoy a wonderful view of the surroundings from the top.
 

Day 13: Trichy - Madurai (about 140 km)
Today we leave Trichy and drive to
Madurai. Madurai is situated on the bank of river Vaigai and is also referred to as the Athens of the East. Madurai has the most outstanding examples of Vijayanagar temple architecture in the Minakshi Temple, a standing monument to the temple builders of the 16th and 17th century. We spend enough time in Minakshi Temple and afterwards have a walk through the bazaars of this 2500 years old town before we drive back to the hotel.
 

Day 14: Madurai
Today we first visit Tirumalai Nayaka Palace. This palace was built in the 1636 and represents the Indo-Mughal style. Today we will also visit Gandhi Museum. In Gandhi Museum we get the information about the life of Gandhi and freedom movement during the presence of British in India.
 

Day 15: Madurai - Chennai
Today after having breakfast we drive to Chennai. After arrival in Chennai we will get refresh and have dinner before we depart to the airport with the Indo Vacations representative.
 

Day 16: Chennai
Around midnight flight to home destination.

 

Tour Reservation
To get more information or to book this tour please submit the Query Form or send us an e-mail ! Your booking will be activated only after we get a reconfirmation from your side.
 

About Hotels:
We provide you the accommodation as per your budget mentioned above in the table of hotels category for any of the booked tour. Hotels provided by us are from budget to luxury class hotels. Luxury hotels are all five stars or of above standard. Deluxe would be a combination of 3 and 4 star Hotels and standard would be a combination of 2 and 3 star or similar hotels. The criteria for selecting hotels by us remains the best value of your money.

 

 Proposed Hotels

Nights

Indo Vacations Inclusions:

Accommodation in a double room with shower /bath & WC in the hotels as
    indicated.

Half board (breakfast and dinner in the booked Hotels). 

Dinner & breakfast  during the tour.

An experienced english speaking Tour Guide / Tour Escort for the local sightseeing

    throughout the whole tour (An Accompanying Tour Escort will be provided on the
    group strength above 10 traveler
).

An air-conditioned vehicle, including insurance, fuel etc. with chauffeur (experienced,
    reliable and English speaking) during the entire tour.
 

All entrance fees of the mouments as per the tour itineray.

All applicable taxes.

    Not included are: Camera fees, gratitude, drinks and personal expenses of any

    nature!

  

Note:

(B = breakfast, L = lunch, D = dinner)

We suggest that you book the international flights in your country as this is mostly
    cheaper.

Please note you will need a visitor visa for India. We recommend to apply for the
    same well in advance.

For individual travelers joining the group will not  be charged extra for both the airport
    transfers (advance notice required
)

If the desired travelers do not register for the tour An option will be available to

    operate the group tour with less people with some extra charges. These charges
    will be informed well in advance and till then there is no obligation or no cancellation
    charges of registration.

Registration for the group tour with Indo Vacations is without any cost. Only at the
    time of confirmation we will send you the travel documents and ask for 25 % of the
    total amount as advance payment. The due amount can be paid after your arrival in
    India. (more information is available on query).

Indo Vacations reserve the right of changes which may be beyond our control.

Details for the vehicles used are available at the below given links:  

 

For 1 person Tata Indica - (4 seats)

    http://www.indovacations.net/english/tataindica.htm

For 2 person Tata Indica - (4 seats)
   
http://www.indovacations.net/english/tataindica.htm

For 3 person Tata Indigo - (4 seats)
   
http://www.indovacations.net/english/tataindigo.htm
For 3 - 5 person Tavera Chevrolet / Toyota Innova - (6 seats)
   
http://www.indovacations.net/english/tavera.htm;

    http://www.indovacations.net/english/ToyotaInnova.htm

For 6-9 person - Tempo Traveler - (10 seats)

    http://www.indovacations.net/english/tempotraveler.htm;

Hotel Radha Regent, Chennai (Deluxe)

Chennai

3

Hotel Sandesh The Prince (Four Star)

Mysore

1

Hotel Southern Star

Belur

1

Hotel Savannah Sinclairs, Bangalore

Bangalore

1

Hotel Southern Star

Hassan

1

Hotel Ideal Beach Resort, Mahabalipuram (Beach Resort)

Mahabalipuram

1

Hotel Kanan Beach Resort

Kasargod

2

Hotel Saradharam.

Chidambaram

1

Hotel Ideal River View Resorts, Thanjavur (3 Star)

Tanjore

1

Breeze Residency

Trichy

1

Hotel GRT Regency, Madurai (Deluxe Hotel)

Madurai

2

 Total Nights               15

 

Heritage Hotels:
Heritage Hotels are old Palaces, Forts and Grand mansions of Maharajas which have been later renovated and converted into Hotels. Rooms are decorated all individually. Rooms are comfortable, romantic and present the flair of olden Maharaja days.

 

Testimonials & References from the customers who already traveled with us!

 

 

 

Rajasthan Travel Guide

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Climate Horse Safari Rajasthan Links Rural Rajasthan Yoga
 
 

 
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