8. SAINTS OF INDIA

A 16 DAY PILGRIMAGE TO INDIA

CALCUTTA I GOA I PONDICHERRY I THANJAVUR I THEKKADY I KOCHI

Upon arrival at Calcutta International Airport, we will be welcomed and transferred to the hotel.

 

Overnight stay in Calcutta (D)

Our pilgrimage begins with a visit to the Missionaries of Charity motherhouse and Mother Teresa’s tomb, as well as exploring the various centres of the Missionaries of Charity. In the afternoon, we celebrate Holy Mass at the Tomb of St Mother Teresa and spend time in prayerful reflection away from the bustling streets of Calcutta.

 

Overnight stay in Calcutta (B, D)

Enjoy a colonial heritage tour of Calcutta City, including the imposing Victoria Memorial, the Birla Planetarium, Indian Museum, and Howrah Bridge. Later in the afternoon, visit the Indian Botanical Garden to sit beneath what may be the largest banyan tree on earth. Visit and celebrate Holy Mass at St Paul’s Cathedral in Calcutta.

 

Overnight stay in Calcutta (B, D)

After breakfast, we will be transferred to the Calcutta airport for departure to Goa, known as “Rome of the East”. Upon arrival we will be picked up from Goa airport and transferred to the hotel for check-in. This afternoon is free to explore the pristine beaches of Goa.

 

Overnight stay in Goa (B, D)

This morning we will visit the Basilica of Bom Jesus that was built in the 16th century where St Francis Xavier’s relics are kept in a silver casket, elevated inside the church. Visit the Se Cathedral which is the largest church in the whole of Asia and the Church of St Francis of Assisi, which houses a rich collection of beautiful paintings and is noted for its Mosaic Corinthian interior design. Later visit Our Lady of Rosary Church, located in a UNESCO world heritage area and Church of Saint Cajetao that was built in the style of St Peter’s Basilica in Rome.

 

Overnight stay in Goa (B, D)

After an early breakfast, we will be transferred to Goa Airport for departure to Chennai. Upon arrival at Chennai, we will visit Santhome Cathedral and St Thomas’ tomb. St Thomas the Apostle came to Kerala and then to Tamil Nadu preaching and was martyred at St Thomas Mount where a Church has been built to mark the site. After celebrating Holy Mass at St Thomas Mount we will journey to Pondicherry.

 

Overnight stay in Pondicherry (B, D)

In the morning we will visit Sri Aurobindo Ashram, a spiritual community and visit the library and the crafts centre that makes everything from perfumes to Ayurveda medicines. Visit the reminders of the colonial days: the grand French Consulate and the Museum that displays artefacts from the Vijayanagara, Nayak, and Chola dynasties. The rest of the evening is free for shopping and cultural events with an Indian or French dinner.

 

 

Overnight stay in Pondicherry (B, D)

Today we will travel to Velankanni, popularly known as the ‘Lourdes of the East’, a shrine to Our Lady located on the Coromandel Coast. Velankanni is dedicated to Our Lady of Health, popularly called “Sacred Arockia Madha Church”, and people of all faiths and religions visit from all over the country. Celebrate Holy Mass at the Shrine of Velankanni and drive to Thanjavur for an overnight stay.

 

Overnight stay in Thanjavur (B, D)

This morning we embark on a sightseeing tour of Thanjavur to visit the most prized architectural marvels which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Later proceed to Trichy to visit Lord Robert Clive’s house and Rock Fort, a 83m high rock which is said to be 2300 million years old. Visit Saccidananda Ashram, a Benedictine monastery on the banks of the River Kavery. We will have a time of quiet reflection followed by a lecture about the theology of God in Christianity and Hinduism. Celebrate Holy Mass in a traditional Indian way at the ashram and then drive to Thanjavur for an overnight stay.

 

Overnight stay in Thanjavur (B, D)

After early breakfast travel south to Madurai to visit Sri Meenakshi Temple, a popular tourist destination to visit Thirumalai Nayak Palace, considered a wonder of South India. The palace is a blend of Dravidian and Islamic styles of architecture and is one of the grandest in the city. Later continue to Thekkady, with its bountiful treasures of tropical flora and fauna, is the ultimate habitat of many endangered species and a rich tribal culture.

 

Overnight stay in Thekkady (B, D)

Today we will visit a Spice Plantation to see the most abundant spices like pepper, cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, ginger, turmeric and curry that are grown on the beautiful hills of Thekkady. Enjoy the rest of the day with activities of your choice like trekking, a tribal village visit, bamboo crafts, or an elephant ride, etc.

 

Overnight stay in Thekkady (B, D)

This morning we journey through the rubber and tea plantations to Bharananganam, known as “Lisieux of India”, the shrine of the first female saint of India, St Alphonsa. We continue our journey to the beach resort in Alleppey, for an overnight stay.

 

Overnight stay in Alleppey (B, D)

Today we will visit Fort Cochin to see the Jewish Synagogue, Santa Cruz Basilica, Mattancherry Palace, St Francis Church and more. Later proceed to Kodungallur to visit the place St Thomas first landed in India. We continue our journey to St Thomas Christian Museum at Kakkanad to explore a rich collection of historical and cultural documents, and artistic and liturgical objects of St Thomas Christians.

 

Overnight stay in Alleppey (B, D)

After a leisurely morning we board to a houseboat for an overnight stay. Enjoy the rest of the day with a cruise on the backwaters on Vembanad Lake and through the canals of Alleppey.

 

Overnight stay on Houseboat (B L D)

After an early breakfast, we check-out from the houseboat. Rest of the day is free for leisure and shopping. Later proceed to Kochi International Airport to fly home with beautiful memories.

  • Return economy class airfares
  • 4* Hotel accommodation
  • Meals specified on itinerary
  • Transfers on fully air conditioned coach
  • English tour guides, as required
  • Entrance fees to the relevant sites
  • Tours led by Tour Manager or a Priest Chaplain
  • Tips: $150 Pre-collected
  • Single Room Supplement $1,250 AUD (optional)
  • Seasonal surcharges apply

TOUR CODE : DEPARTURE DATE 

  • SISEP19  : 20 SEP 2019
  • SINOV19  : 4 NOV 2019
  • SISEP20 : 18 SEP 2020
  • SINOV20 :  2 NOV 2020

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