In the Footsteps of St. Thomas

In the Footsteps of St. Thomas

When the Portuguese traders arrived in Kerala in the 1600s, they were surprised to find thriving Christian communities dedicated to St Thomas. It was believed he came on a known trade route from the Middle East and moved through the countryside preaching and teaching about Jesus. It was at Madras, now Chennai, that he was martyred.
Join us as we travel in his footsteps from coast to coast, beginning our journey at Chennai, visiting the Mount of St Thomas and the Fort area. We then move south, stopping at the world heritage site of Mahabalipuram and on to Velankanni, the Catholic Shrine of Our Lady of Good Health.
From here, we continue to Madurai to see the magnificent Shree Meenakshi Temple, ascend the mountains of the Western Ghats with their tea and spice farms, and end our journey on the coast at Cochin
This tour is varied and perfect for anyone who enjoys seeing ancient history come to life. There is time for reflection, fun, relaxation, exploration and, of course, shopping.

In the Footsteps of St. Thomas

Chennai – Mahabalipuram – Pondicherry – Velankanni – Trichy – Madurai – Munnar – Kumarakom – Cochin

When the Portuguese traders arrived in Kerala in the 1600s, they were surprised to find thriving Christian communities dedicated to St Thomas. It was believed he came on a known trade route from the Middle East and moved through the countryside preaching and teaching about Jesus. It was at Madras, now Chennai, that he was martyred.
Join us as we travel in his footsteps from coast to coast, beginning our journey at Chennai, visiting the Mount of St Thomas and the Fort area. We then move south, stopping at the world heritage site of Mahabalipuram and on to Velankanni, the Catholic Shrine of Our Lady of Good Health.
From here, we continue to Madurai to see the magnificent Shree Meenakshi Temple, ascend the mountains of the Western Ghats with their tea and spice farms, and end our journey on the coast at Cochin
This tour is varied and perfect for anyone who enjoys seeing ancient history come to life. There is time for reflection, fun, relaxation, exploration and, of course, shopping.
Itinerary:
Tuesday 14th November – Departure for Chennai

Depart from your home country for Chennai.

Wednesday 15th November – Chennai

On arrival in Chennai we transfer to the Hotel Ambassador Pallav and meet the rest of the group. After freshening up, we head out for our first encounter with the city, visiting two of Chennai’s most interesting places of worship. First we make our way to St Mary’s Anglican Church, the oldest British building in India (fondly known to locals as the ‘Westminster Abbey of the East’), before making our way to the Hindu temple of Kapaleeshwarar, a grand and impressive example of Tamil temple architecture with thousands of trademark colourful carvings. Overnight in Hotel Ambassador Pallav, Chennai

Thursday 16th November – Chennai

Today we ascend St Thomas’ Mount, where it is believed that the apostle was martyred, and later visit his tomb in the Roman Catholic Basilica of San Thome. Our day also includes a stop at the largest mosque in Chennai, the Wallajah Masjid, built from granite in the old Mughal style. Overnight in Overnight in Hotel Ambassador Pallav, Chennai

Friday 17th November – Pondicherry

This morning we leave Chennai and drive south along the Coromandal Coast to Mahabalipuram, the ancient and stunning ‘temple by the sea’. After lunch we continue south on the coastal road down to the French colonial seaside town of Pondicherry. There will be an opportunity to take an evening stroll along the famous beachfront promenade. Our overnight stay is at the charming heritage hotel Maison Perumal.

Saturday 18th November – Velankanni

Today we leave Pondicherry and head further south to the site known as the ‘Lourdes of the East’, the Roman Catholic shrine dedicated to Our Lady of Good Health in Velankanni. We check in for an overnight stay at the Hotel Clinton Park Inn.

Sunday 19th November – Trichy

We have a leisurely morning with the option of exploring the shrine and Velankanni town, before an afternoon drive to Trichy, where we check in to the Sangam Hotel.

Tuesday 21st November – Madurai

Today we travel west to the city of Madurai where we check into the GRT Regency Hotel, and head out for a fascinating and thought-provoking visit to the Gandhi museum. Overnight in GRT Regency Hotel, Madurai

Wednesday 22nd November – Madurai

The Shri Meenakshi Temple in Madurai is arguably the finest and most fascinating temple complex in India, and is a major pilgrimage centre in the south. Dedicated to “the fish-eyed goddess” Meenakshi, the site houses several shrines surrounded by 14 large colourful gateway towers. Just a mile down the road, we also stop to visit the impressive 17th century king’s palace of Thirumalai Nayakkar Mahal, built in an interesting blend of native South Indian and Islamic styles. The afternoon is at leisure. A visit to Madurai’s markets provides a great opportunity to get the Christmas shopping out of the way! Overnight in GRT Regency Hotel, Madurai

Thursday 23rd November – Munnar

Today we leave the frenetic city of Madurai and head to the cooler climes of Munnar, the old British hill station surrounded by tea estates and green hills. Here we check in to the T & U Resort for two nights. Overnight in T & U Resort, Munnar

Friday 24th November – Munnar

This morning we visit the Tea Museum, as close as you can get to a working tea factory around Munnar, and have a wander around the tranquil surroundings and plantations. It’s a day to take in the fresh air and serenity, and perhaps visit one of several waterfalls in the area. Overnight in T & U Resort, Munnar

Saturday 25th November – Kumarakom

Leaving Munnar we descend to Kumarakom (stopping at a spice farm en route – yet another opportunity for some out of the ordinary Christmas gift buying). Kumarakom is situated in the famous backwaters of Kerala, and we check in to the Punamada Resort for a 3 night stay. Overnight in Punamada Resort, Kumarakom

Sunday 26th November – Kumarakom

Today we have a day sightseeing in Cochin where we visit the Roman Catholic Cathedral, the Jewish synagogue and St Francis Anglican Church. We also make a visit to the Mattancherry palace with its Keralan style murals depicting Hindu temple art, portraits and exhibitions of the rajas of Kochi. In the evening we will witness traditional Keralan dances before returning to the hotel for dinner and a well-deserved overnight rest. Overnight in Punamada Resort, Kumarakom

Monday 27th November – Kumarakom

Today we take a relaxing backwater cruise, have lunch on board the boat and have our final afternoon at leisure. Overnight in Punamada Resort, Kumarakom

Tuesday 28th November – International departure from Cochin

Transfer to international airport for departure flights

The cost per person sharing a twin or double room:
£1,725
Single room supplement:
£425
The cost includes:
  • Daily breakfast and dinner at all hotels
  • Daily breakfast and dinner at hotels, lunch arrangement in the local restaurants.
  • Accommodation in a sharing twin or double room with en-suite facilities (Check-in is 1400 hrs and checkout 12 noon. Early check-in late checkouts are subject to availability).
  • All arrival/departure transfers, long drives and sightseeing by a chauffeur driven private air-conditioned coach.
  • Services of a local English-speaking representative for all arrival and departure transfers to assist you at the airports.
  • Services of English speaking guide during sightseeing as specified in the itinerary.
  • Entrance fees to all monuments during sightseeing as specified in your itinerary.
The cost does not include:
  • International flight
  • India visa fee. You can now apply for visa on arrival in India- please click here for more information. https://indianvisaonline.gov.in/visa/tvoa.html
  • Any expenses of a personal nature like laundry, telephone calls, beverages, gratuities etc.
  • Camera fees at monuments and other places of interest.
  • Travel Insurance: It is essential to have adequate travel insurance in place before your departure. This should be appropriate for your age, health and destination you are visiting.
Please ensure:
  • It includes comprehensive medical and repatriation cover
  • It provides cover for your whole trip
  • It covers you for all activities
  • It covers all your pre-existing medical conditions
  • Keep your Policy Number and Insurer’s 24-hour Emergency Number handy with you

If you wish to book this tour, please compete the booking form, sign and e-mail it to us. A non-refundable deposit of £400.00 per person is needed at the time of booking. Balance payments will be due 8 weeks before departure. You can make the deposit payment by debit card or electronic transfers to our bank. Credit card payment will be charge at 2% extra. Our Bank details are on the booking form. Bookings are confirmed on first come first served basis. When the tour is full we will take about 5 additional names on the waiting list to replace their booking with any cancellations etc.

CONTACT US

To enquire or make a booking on this tour, please call: 020 8901 7630 Monday – Friday 9.30am – 5.30pm, Saturday 11am – 4pm

TESTIMONIALS:
“I cannot recommend this company enough. Safe to say India has got under our skin and into our hearts, and when we visit again we will definitely be booking with this company - if you are thinking of going I urge you to do the same.”- Gillian and Ashley Iredale
``The whole experience was great, the most relaxing day of the holiday was the cruise up the backwaters when the whole group experienced it together``- Margaret Fortune
``A whole variety of experiences- worship, culture, scenery, friendliness of the people & their hospitality``- Daphne Brindle
``Being in India and witnessing the faith that the people of India have, Hindus, Muslim or Christians, seeing with my own eyes the devotion the people have`` - Steve Breward
Soul-of-india-logo-white-sml
New banner jpeg