THE DISCOVERY COLLECTION

Discover Goa & Tamil Nadu

In this Discover Goa and Tamil Nadu programme, we aim to show you a different side to Goa before ending the trip with some time chilling out at the beach. Goa is markedly different from the rest of India and there are many different and fascinating aspects to it that are often overlooked. Listen hard and you can hear smatterings of Portuguese still spoken on the streets – the remnants of a 450 years’ legacy of being a Portuguese colony, dewy green fields are flanked by coconut groves and towering churches appear on every corner. Of course, we can’t ignore the sun-dappled beaches with shacks that serve a variety of cuisines and flea markets that always offer good bargains. Goa is definitely synonymous with good times.
Tamil Nadu is the homeland of one of humanity’s oldest living classical civilisations, stretching back uninterrupted for two millennia and very much alive today in it’s language, dance, poetry and Hindu religion. Tamil Nadu’s temples are extraordinary with vivid, intricate and colourful carvings adorning their gopurams, it is easy to get ‘templed out,’ but the best two are in Madurai and Tanjore, these both showcase a devotion which can be bewildering to those of us from the west. The mood changes from morning to evening and no two days are the same at these ancient places of worship.

G & T

Destinations Covered

Panjim | Wildernest | Beach, Goa | Madurai | Manalur | Tanjore | Pondicherry

Key Highlights

  • Exploring Faintainhas and Panjim, the historical centre of Goa
  • Wildernest in the wilds of the hills of Goa
  • A little culture and beach time.
  • The vibrant and beautiful Sri Meenakshi Temple in Madurai
  • Exploring the tranquility of estate life at Rajakkad
  • Tanjore, the Sri Bridhaswara Temple and cultural activities as per your choice, veena making, classical dancing or discovering a bit about the Vedas.
  • The French and Tamil influences in the former French Colony, Pondicherry.

Itinerary

Day 01Arrive into Goa and transfer to the hotel in Panjim.Panjim, Goa
Day 02In the morning, explore the charming old Portuguese town of Fontainhas on a walking tour of the area.  In the afternoon, discover Old Goa.Panjim, Goa
Day 03After breakfast you will be transferred to Wildernest Nature Resort.
Nestled in the trees, 800 metres above sea level, Wildernest looks down over the spectacular Swapnagandha Valley. Rest of the day at leisure to take in the beautiful views and absorb the picturesque valley from the infinity pool.
Wildernest, Goa
Day 04 & 05As this charming lodge is located within the forest it is a fantastic choice for nature lovers. Activities include, forest walks, botanical tours,
bird watching trails & waterfalls treks.
Wildernest, Goa
Day 06After breakfast, transfer to your hotel with a difference, by the beach.
Once an armed fortress that belonged to the Portuguese, Fort Tiracol has a kaleidoscopic view of the Arabian Sea and the spectacular estuary of the Tiracol River. As soon as you enter, you will be taken aback by the 17th century church standing there bang in the middle. This resort provides history, walks and beach, something for everyone.
Beach, Goa
Day 07Day at leisure.Beach, Goa
Day 08Transfer to the airport for the flight to Madurai.  On arrival at Madurai airport and transferred to the hotel.  In the evening witness the putting to bed ceremony at Sree Meenakshi Temple.Madurai
Day 09Post breakfast checkout and tour of Madurai known for its famous Meenakshi Temple, with its towering gopurams and rare sculptures. In the afternoon, transfer to a charming farm estate in the countryside to discover rural Tamil Nadu.Manalur
Day 10Day at leisure or join the activities offered by this farm estate including a plantation walk or a village walk.Manalur
Day 11Post breakfast drive to Tanjore. En-route enjoy a quick tour of Trichy known for its temple architecture. Visit the magnificent Rock Fort that dominates the city and the Srirangam, a massive temple on an island in the Cauvery. Continue onto Tanjore.  Rest of the day at leisure.Tanjore
Day 12Morning visit the most spectacular Brihadeshwara Temple, capped by a monolithic cupola made of a single granite rock weighing 80 tons.  In the evening, enjoy a performance which will be put on by the hotel, this can be a classic dance performance, or a veena performance. Alternatively try a treatment in their spa.Tanjore
Day 13Post breakfast, check-out from the hotel and transfer to Pondicherry. “Pondi”, a former French Union Territory on the Bay of Bengal, has always had a charm and a style of its own, which is still visible in the old city beside the sea.Pondicherry
Day 14Post breakfast, join the INTACH guide for a walking tour of the White town. Afternoon free to explore the town. It’s shopping is excellent (taxes are low), with particular specialities being doll making, silk weaving and paper making. It is also home to the Sri Aurobindo Ashram. The old seafront – Beach Road – makes a lovely evening stroll.Pondicherry
Day 15Transfer to Chennai for your onward flight.
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