Footsteps of Christianity - 13N/14D

Cochin - Kumarakom - Periyar - Madurai - Trichy - Tanjore - Mahabalipuram - Chennai

Overview

You will be surprised with this fact that India is not a Hindu country, It is the largest secular democratic country in the world. Christians are more than 2.5% of India's population. Christianity in India is as old as it is in Europe. St. Thomas who was a disciple of Jesus arrived in Kerala (South India) in 52 AD. He succeeded in converting local Indians to Christianity.

2000 and more years ago, Hindu India opened the doors and welcome to Judaism and Christianity. The followers of Mohammad and Jura stian arrived a little later. The Christian church was established in India almost at the same time as it was in Europe and the protestant came with the British. Both Churches today use Indian languages for their liturgy.

Arrival Cochin International Airport, Cochin
Languages English, Spanish, German, Italian, French
Highlights
  • St. Francis Church, Dutch Palace, Bishop House and the unique Chinese fishing Nets - Cochin
  • Catholic Church dedicated top St. Thomas - Malayatoor
  • Mar Thoma Church - Cranganore
  • St. Thomas Apostolic seminary Vadavathoor
  • Periyar Nnational Park
  • Sri Meenakshi Temple, Madurai
  • Camel ride in Jaisalmer
  • Bede Griffiths Ashram, Trichy
  • Christian Pilgrimages - Tanjore
  • UNESCO world heritage site - Mahabalipuram
  • Fort St. George and Cathedral of St. Thomas - Chennai
Important Note
  • Incase of waitlisted booking we have to hold the alternate, for which we will advise the supplement OR reduction accordingly.
  • The above rates are based on presently prevailing taxes and entrances to the monuments. If there is any change, prices will also change accordingly.
  • Check in and Check out time is 1200 Hrs.
  • Given rates are based on present rate of exchange and it may be change.

Tour Map

Tour Itinerary

  • Day 01: Arrive Cochin

    On arrival in Cochin, you will be Greeted and Escorted by our representative to your hotel. Rooms will be available from 1200 Hrs.

    Cochin is located in the state of Kerala, a state that boasts of a literacy rate of about 92-93 %. The population of the extended metropolitan area is 1.5 million people. It is one of the smallest states in India.

    Later enjoy the tour focuses on Cochin, a city still influenced by the medieval presence of Portugal, Holland, and England. Most amazing are the Chinese fishing nets along Vypeen Island. Traders brought these cantilevered fishing nets from the courts of Kublai Khan. The tour includes the Jew City with the Jewish Synagogue (built-in 1568). The hand-painted floor tiles came from Canton by a Rabbi who also had trading interests.

    Later visit St. Francis Church, the Mattancherry Palace ("Dutch Palace"), and the unique Chinese fishing nets near the mouth of the Arabian Sea.

    After the sightseeing visits the Bishop House in Fort Cochin.

    This evening you will attend the colorful Kathakali Dance Drama at a local theatre Overnight in the hotel

  • Day 02: Cochin - Malayatoor - Cochin

    After breakfast take an excursion trip to Malayatoor (50kms / 02 hrs). There are approximately about 200 steps to climb up. It will take about 45 minutes one way to climb up the steps.

    Malayattoor is famous for the Catholic Church, located on top of the Malayattoor hill, at a height of 609 m. Dedicated to St. Thomas the apostle of Jesus Christ, thousands of pilgrims gather here for the annual festival of 'Malayatoor Perunnal', held during the months of March /April.

    Sailing in an Arab merchant vessel, St. Thomas is believed to have landed at Kodungalloor port in Kerala, in AD 52. It is believed that St. Thomas took the initiative for establishing a Christian community at Malayattoor.

    After the visit of Malayatoor, drive back to Cochin. Overnight in the Hotel

  • Day 03: The Arrival of St. Thomas

    After breakfast visit to Kodungallur to visit Mar Thoma Church. This Orthodox Church features the blending of the Protestant Reformation ideal with eastern forms. The form of Christian faith is not American faith, but India faith. Continue to the St. Thomas Church alleged to be founded by St. Thomas.

    One the way visit the Muringoor Divine Retreat Center and here you will experience some insight into the strong Christian traditions that have grown to an alleged 30 million in India.
    The Cranganore region is also known for the earliest advent of Islam into India, and arguably its first mosque.

    Overnight in the hotel

    IMP - The sightseeing of the mosque & temple in Craganore is possible only from outside. (Foreigners are not allowed inside these places). Also, we need to check on the Muringoor visit. Incase if they celebrate any festivals they don't allow the outsiders.

  • Day 4: Cochin - Kottayam - Kumarakom

    After breakfast, drive to Kottayam. This picturesque place was already in 1908 AD center of the Christians of the Syrian Church. It is one of the oldest orders of the Catholic Christian Church in India. You will see a lot of churches in this area. In the vicinity are the shrines of St. Kuriakose Elias Chavara, the founder of the Carmelites of Mary Immaculate and of a similar one for women, the Congregation of the Mother of Carmel.

    Also, visit St. Thomas Apostolic seminary Vadavathoor. The St. Thomas Apostolic Seminary was formally established by the Congregation for the Oriental Churches through its letter dated April 26, l962 and it was formally inaugurated and began functioning on July 3, l962. It is primarily intended for the education and formation of the seminarians of the Syro-Malabar dioceses. It is also open to the students of Syro-Malankaraand Latin dioceses and of religious congregations.

    Later transfer to the jetty and enjoy a short Cruise through the backwaters. These backwaters are unique to Kerala and found nowhere else in the world. You will sail past thatched houseboats with modern conveniences in the waterways and canals for 900 km (600 miles) of cruising in a labyrinthine water world. Today the canals connect villages in a self-supporting Ecosystem teeming with aquatic life.
    Board down at the jetty and continue drive to Kumarakom. On arrival check-in at the hotel

    Overnight in the hotel

  • Day 5: Kumarakom - Periyar Wildlife Park

    After breakfast drive to Periyar.

    Visit Sister St. Alfonsa in Bharananganam, considered very sacred by the people. Bharananganam is a name that is synonymous with St. Alphonsa, who is the first saint of India. This town is 5 kilometers away from Palai, now has become an important pilgrim center in Kerala. A traditional family named Muttathupadathu was blessed to have Sr. Alphonsa (maiden name A.E Anna) as their child. She was born to Mr.Auseph and Mariamma. Muttathupadathu. She was baptized at Kudamlaoor church.

    We will organize a session with Sister St. Alfonsa.

    Later drive to Periyar.

    Periyar National Park, which is a unique wildlife sanctuary and is about 780 sq. km centered at around artificial lake fed by the Periyar River.

    The rest of the day is at leisure.

    Overnight in the Hotel.

  • Day 6: Periyar

    After breakfast visits a spice site to witness their natural habitat. Begin your ascent into the gorgeous Western Ghats of India. Here is one of India's finest Wildlife Parks set amidst a stunning lake. elephants, water birds, etc. The state of Kerala is a small strip of land pressed. Later visit Elephant Camp where we will organize elephant bathing and elephant feeding. We will also organize a 30 min Elephant ride. After visiting Elephant Camp, visit a Spice Plantation.

    You will walk through the aromatic spice gardens where the air is laden with the fragrance of nature's bounty. Spices can be defined as “aromatic substances of vegetable origin, used for Flavoring food or as a preservative." Many spices are also known to have medicinal value, for instance, turmeric is a known anti-oxidant and curry leaf can control and prevent diabetes.

    Overnight in the hotel

  • Day 7: Periyar - Madurai's Disneyland Temples

    Depart the spice lands for the pass into Tamil Nadu, the state in which remnants of the ancient Dravidian tongue is still spoken. Descend the mountain pass and continue to a city that has been a cultural and learning center as another of India's oldest cities. The spectacular Sri Meenakshi Temple is an example of the baroque style of a Dravidian structure covered from top to bottom with a breathless profusion of colors of gods, goddesses, animals and mythical figures. Indians insist nothing is like it outside of Disneyland. It is dawn to dusk in a series of celebrations. After early dinner, a drive-by rickshaw to Meenakshi Temple to watch the night shows of Lord Shiva, temple musicians, singers, and priests. Return to the hotel.

    Overnight in the hotel

  • Day 8: Madurai - Trichy

    After breakfast drive to Trichy. Here one encounters the Ashram concept. The Ashram is a gift from India to the world, especially to U.S. Methodists through their legendary missionary Dr. E. (Eli) Stanley Jones. Jones became a personal friend to Mahatma Gandhi (also espoused in the ashram concept). Jones's work, "The Christ of the Indian Road" became a best-seller, and today has influenced the course of missionary thinking. It was Jones who brought the concept of "contemplative meditation" from the Indians to America. It was a deeper pursuit of meditation for Christians. The Ashram of Bede Griffits, a Catholic priest who preaches the gospel and philosophy through the Indian Way of life and style, is the destination today.

    Overnight in the hotel

  • Day 9: Trichy - Tanjore Via Vailankani

    After breakfast visit Srirangam. After sightseeing of Srirangam drive to Vailankani. It is a small seaside town on the Coromandel Coast. Roman Catholics revered the story of a special healing miracle. A small Hindu boy carrying milk was stopped by a lady asking for milk. The boy gave it and continues to his customer, apologized for being late and having less milk. Checking, they discovered the milk was in full quantity. The old Hindu and boy returned to the tank and the Banyan tree. Today is called "Matha Kulam", or Our Lady's Tank. A feast was established which today lasts for 9 days and draws 1 & 1/2 million pilgrims. The shrine was elevated to a Basilica on Nov. 3, 1962, by Pope John XXIII.

    Later drive to Tanjore. On arrival transfer to the Hotel

  • Day 10: Tanjore Christian Pilgrimages

    After breakfast visit Tanjore. Here is one of the most famous of all centers for Christian pilgrimages. The late Pope John Paul IV had chosen, out of 24 worldwide shrines, as the most important shrine of Mariam. The local Danish Schwarz Church is one of the oldest in India. Visit the Bronze Museum, the Sarasvati Hall Library (a great collection of manuscripts), and see the most magnificent Indian temple, Brihadisvara Temple. Its main temple is Chola, 14 stories high (the tallest in India) and is topped with an 80-ton granite stone.

    Overnight at the hotel.

  • Day 11: Tanjore - Mahabalipuram

    After breakfast drive to Mahabalipuram.

    MAHABALIPURAM - Also known as Mamallapuram, it is a 7th-century coastal town located about 60 km from Chennai. Mahabalipuram’s name originated from Mamallapuram, where ‘mammal’ means excellent wrestler and was a name offered to King Narasimha Varman I.

    Mahabalipuram is a UNESCO world heritage site, which has various historical monuments dating back to the period between the 7th to 9th centuries. It is home to various rocks that cut monuments that stand as an example of the Dravidian architecture. Mahabalipuram is a perfect treat for tourists with its long stretches of seacoast and some of the amazing carved granite structures with Dravidian architecture.

    Overnight in the Hotel.

  • Day 12: Mahabalipuram

    After breakfast visits the historical sites of the seaside resort of Mahabalipuram: "City of Seven Pagodas". The ancient Pallava port of Mamallapuram and its 7th-century rock-hewn monuments, magnificent rock temples, and carvings transport you to the yesteryears. Visit the. Five Rathas (chariots) ceremonial chariots, rock-cut monoliths, named after the 5 Pandavas heroes of the Mahabharata epic and Draupadi their wife.

    Next, proceed to the Shore Temple by the sea surrounded by gardens designed according to descriptions of the original layout from ancient times. Built-in sandstone in the 7th century.

    Also, visit Bhagiratha's Penance which is a bas relief (27m X 9m) sculptured on the face of two enormous adjacent rocks. It depicts the penance of Arjuna along with myriad characters from the Mahabharata, realistic life-size figures of animals, gods, and saints watching the descent of the river goddess Ganga to Earth.

    The rest of the day is free on the beach. Overnight in the Hotel

  • Day 13: Mahabalipuram - Chennai

    After breakfast drive to India's 4th largest city, Chennai (8 million people), one of its oldest ancient cities. It was formerly called Madras, the capital of Tamil Nadu. It is sometimes dubbed as the "Hollywood of India". Twenty years after his arrival at Kerala, living traditions report it was here in 72 AD that St. Thomas was murdered after returning from a short trip to China.

    You will visit sites that commemorate his presence and death, the Little Mount (Place where the mortally wounded St. Thomas sought refuge), St. Thomas Mount (where Thomas was to have been speared), St. Thomas Cathedral (stands over the place identified as his burial site). A beautiful stained glass window depicts the story of Thomas. Optional is a visit to St. Mary's

    Church, the oldest surviving English church in Chennai. Also visit Fort St. George, a testament of the legendary British East India Company where memorabilia of both British and French presence exist. Visit the Cathedral of St. Thomas (remnants of St. Thomas are reportedly kept here).

    Later check-in at the hotel

    Overnight in the hotel

  • Day 14: Chennai Departure

    In time transfer o the airport to connect flight for onward journey

    IMP: Rooms will be available till 1200 Hrs

Plan Your Customized Trip