Extensive South India Holidays

Extensive South India Holidays

Tourism in India

Destination Covered:

Bangalore - Mysore - Calicut - Cochin - Periyar - Alleppey - Kumarakom - Kovalam - Kanyakumari - Madurai - Rameshwaram - Tanjore - Trichy - Tanjore - Chidambaram - Pondicherry - Thiruvannamalai - Mahabalipuram - Kanchipuram - Chennai

Duration:
24 Nights / 25 Days
Tour Category:
Day 01 - Arrival in Bangalore
Assistance on arrival at Bangalore International airport by, where you will be meet by our representative and transferred to the hotel in Bangalore. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 02 - In Bangalore
After breakfast take a sightseeing tour of the Bangalore city, visiting Lal Baugh - One of the many gardens in the city; it derives its name from the profusion of Red roses which are in bloom here,

Cubbon Park - a garden laid down by Lord Cubbon in 1864. The ambience of the city life is broken with presence of such a large park in the center of the city.

The Bull Temple - The 4.57 m high and 6.10 meters long image is carved out of single granite rock,

Bangalore Palace - Built in the Tudor style and inspired by the Windsor palace, Vidhan Soudha - the Vidhan Soudha houses the state legislative assembly of state government,

Tipu’s Palace - The summer palace of Tipu Sultan later followed by visit to-

Sri Gavi Gangadhareshwara Temple - The temple is natural monolith carved cave temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. In the evening you can visit Ulsoor Lake. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 03 - Bangalore - Mysore (139 kms - 3 hours)
Morning after breakfast drive to Mysore; the Sandalwood and Incense Capital of the World & some of India's finest Crafts, such as Printed Silk, Inlaid, Furniture and Ivory Carvings are also found here. Also known as the city of Palaces, Mysore retains a quaint charm that never fails to enchant. On arrival transfer to the hotel.

After some relaxation take a half day sightseeing tour of the city visiting the Palace of the Maharaja (Emperor) built in 1911 - 1912. The palace is of harmonious syntheses of the Hindu and saracenic styles of architecture with archways, domes, turrets, colonnades and sculptures which are magnificent followed by visit to St. Philomenas cathedral. In the evening visit to Mysore Arts and Crafts Centre. Later return to the hotel for overnight stay.
Day 04 - In Mysore
After breakfast visit the Art Gallery; drive up to Chamundi hill to see Chamundeshwari Temple and a panoramic view of Mysore.

On the way back, see the Nandi Bull. In the late afternoon take an excursion to Brindavan garden and see the spectacular musical garden. Return to the hotel for overnight.
Day 05 - Mysore - Calicut (210 Kms - 5 - 6 hours)
Morning after break fast check out the hotel and drive to Calicut (Kozhikode). On arrival check in to the hotel. After some relaxation visit to Dolphin's Point Just 15 minutes from the city centre is a place called Dolphin's Point, where one can see dolphins playing in the sea of an early morning.

Pazhassi Raja Museum Located at East Hill, the Pazhassiraja Museum, run by the State Archaeological Department, displays ancient murals, antique bronzes and old coins, as well as models of temples, megalithic monuments like dolminoid cysts and umbrella stones.

Krishnan Menon Museum The Krishna Menon Museum has a section in honour of the great Indian leader V.K. Krishna Menon, whose personal belongings and souvenirs gifted by world leaders are exhibited here. Timings are 10 am to 5 pm. (Closed on Mondays and Wednesday forenoons). Overnight at the hotel.
Day 06 - Calicut - Cochin (225 Kms - 6 hours)
Morning after breakfast visit to Beypore Beach - 11 km from Kozhikode, is a small coastal town famous for centuries as a ship-building centre and still is known today for its country crafts called `Uru' built by traditional shipbuilders known as `khalasis'.

After visit check out the hotel and drive to Cochin. On arrival at Cochin transfer to the hotel. Later in the evening take a sunset cruise at marine drive jetty. Evening free for leisure and individual activities. Overnight stay at the hotel.
Day 07 - In Cochin
After breakfast take a sightseeing tour of Cochin: Oasis state of Kerala & on to the Malabar Coasts & Kochi (formerly Cochin), one of the India's most colourful cities. This inter, connected series of Islands & shoreline presents a vivacious blend of Cultures & Religions; Visit to Fort Cochin & St. Frances Church to see the town of Vasco da Gama.

We also see the Jewish Synagogue & the Mattancherry "Dutch" Palace. This evening a memorable experience in any journey in Kerala is a Boat Trip along the Palm Fringed Lakes & Backwaters of the Area; we enjoy this extraordinary excursion today. As we sail along the shady canals we see cantilevered Chinese fishing nets.

From our launch, we enjoy use of narrow produced - Laden dugouts & the everyday life of families living on narrow spits of land between the waters. In the evening enjoy the Kathakali Dance, one of India's most famous Classical dances. Lavish Costumes & Exotic makeup & Masks intensify the beauty of the dancers, intricate moments. Overnight at Cochin.
Day 08 - Cochin - Periyar (185 kms 4 hour drive)
After breakfast checkout and drive to Periyar on a scenic route dotted with plantations of rubber, cardamom, cocoa, green pepper and areca nut, to the wildlife reserve at Periyar.

Arrive Periyar and check – in at hotel. Rest of the day free for walk around in the peaceful town known for various Spice and coffee plantations. Overnight stay at Periyar.
Day 09 - In Periyar
After breakfast take a sightseeing tour of the city visiting Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary one of India's biggest wildlife sanctuaries covering 777 sq. Km (300 Sq. miles) is a Tiger Reserve.

Its centre piece, the man-made Periyar Lake at the height of 2000 ft. covers 26 sq. km, running through the forests of the Western Ghats in Kerala, discover the park, animals found here include elephant, sambar, gaur and wild boars and birds like ibis and grey heron. The visit is done in a boat to view animals with a bit of extra luck we may be able to see the rare tiger as well.

Later in the evening take a spice plantation tour to see crops of cardamom, cinnamon, pepper, coffee, tea estates etc. on your way back to the hotel, you could stop at the local market and pick up some fragrant spices. Overnight at Periyar.
Day 10 - Periyar - Alleppey (114 kms - 2 ½ hours) Backwaters tours through sailing boat to Kumarakom
After breakfast checkout and drive for Alleppey, on arrival embark at the houseboat. The day for the journey of backwaters in the boat, through the tropical countryside enchanting backwaters of Alleppey by regattas (snake boats) for which Kerala is very famous, while sailing enjoy palm fringed narrow canals winding through the vast expanse of paddy fields and the neat tiny hamlets lined up along either side of the canals are panoramic sights one can never forget.

The Chinese fishing nets, the reminiscent of our past trade links, are also found on the way. Flocks of duck swimming around the banks and tiny birds flying across the sky remains as enduring pictures reflecting the charm of this tourist land, you also enjoy fishing from the houseboats, evening enjoy sunset from the sun-deck of the houseboats, moving towards Kumarakom.

The Houseboats have generated electricity; sitting cum dinning area, separate bedroom with attached English toilets, sun deck and fully loaded kitchen with a Chef, and Srank (Driver). Overnight at the houseboat.
Day 11 - In Kumarakom
Kumarakom - for the nature-lover. Here in this backwater town, you can laze in a canoe amidst sylvan surroundings where the only presence is yours and the egrets. Later visit at Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary, located on the banks of the Vembanad Lake, to see bird viewing where numerous species of birds, including Darters, Bitterns, Brahminy kites, Marsh Harries, Teals and several varieties of Herons roost are found.

For an inquisitive bird watcher, it is always advisable to carry their binoculars at all times. Return to hotel, Make sure you do not miss out on Karimeen and fresh toddy the favorite fresh water food and the local wine. Overnight stay at Kumarakom.
Day 12 - Kumarakom - Kovalam (140kms -2 ½ hrs)
Today morning after breakfast check out the hotel and drive to Kovalam through green coastal belt and cashew plantations. Check into the hotel. Day free to relax with the option of herbal oil massage. Overnight at Kovalam.
Day 13 - In Kovalam
After breakfast day free to explore Kovalam on your own. The coastal village of Kovalam may lie just 10 km south of Thiruvananthapuram but, as Kerala's most developed beach resort, it’s a world away from the rest of the state. Overnight in Kovalam.
Day 14 - Kovalam – Trivandrum - Kovalam
Morning after breakfast take an excursion tour to Trivandrum city (16 kms) visiting the ancient temple of Sri Padmanabhaswamy is one of the major attractions in the city of Trivandrum, Museum was built in 1880 and shows a harmonious blending of Kerala, Mughal, Chinese and Italian architectural styles.

Sri Chitra Art Gallery has a good collection Tanjore, Mughal, and Rajput schools of art. The Zoo in Thiruvananthapuram has many shady and delightful walks. Overnight at Kovalam.
Day 15 - Kovalam - Kanyakumari - (80 kms - 1 ½ hrs)
After breakfast check out and drive to Kanyakumari. On arrival transfer to the hotel. Late visit Kumari Amman Temple, Gandhi Mandapam, Swami Vivekananda Memorial and Thiruvalluvar Statue.

Watching the sun rise and sun set from here is the big attraction, especially on the full moon day in April, when it's possible to see both the setting sun and rising moon on the same horizon. Return to the hotel for overnight.
Day 16 - Kanyakumari - Madurai (235 kms: 5 hrs)
After breakfast check out and drive to Madurai. On arrival transfer to the hotel. Later the day will be free at leisure. Return to the hotel for overnight.
Day 17 - In Madurai
After breakfast take a sightseeing of Madurai visiting the Meenakshi Sundareshwar, one of the largest temple complex in India built between the 16th and 18th centuries. Apart from the estimated 33 million sculptures there, the temple is absolutely absorbing with the endless rounds of ceremonies, prostration of countless devotees and glittering market stalls, followed by visit to Tirumalai Nayak Palace, Koodal Alagar Temple and Vandiyur Mariamman Teepakulam where annual boat festival takes place. Overnight at the hotel in Madurai.
Day 18 - Madurai - Rameshwaram (172 kms: 3-4 hrs)
After breakfast checkout and drive to Rameshwaram. On arrival transfer to the hotel. Later visit the city, often referred to as the ‘Island of Prayer’, and also considered to Varanasi of the South this major pilgrimage center is on an island in the Gulf of Mannar.

Most of the town’s places to stay and eat are clustered around the Ramanathaswamy Temple. Built in the 12th century AD, the temple with its awe-inspiring corridors, and the longest in India. Overnight in Rameshwaram.
Day 19 - Rameshwaram - Tanjore (260 kms - 6 hrs)
After an early breakfast checkout and drive to Tanjore. On arrival transfer to the hotel. Later the day is free at leisure. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 20 - Tanjore - Trichy - Tanjore (55 kms - 1 hour)
After breakfast visit to Trichy take sightseeing tour of the city, most famous landmark of this bustling town - the Rock Fort Temple, a spectacular monument perched on a massive rocky outcrop, the Sri Ranganathanswami Temple. This temple is one of the largest and most interesting temple complexes in India, built on an island in the middle of the Cauvery River and covering a staggering 2.5 sq km and Jambukeshwara - Mysore Temples.

After visit continue to proceed to Tanjore. On arrival transfer to the hotel. After relaxation take a sightseeing tour of Tanjore visiting Brihadeshwara temple, which was built by Raja and is termed as the crowning glory of Chola temple architecture. This temple is one of the monuments in India with World Heritage listing.

Also visit the Thanjavur Palace, which was constructed in 1550 and has huge corridors, spacious halls, observation and arsenal towers. Return to the hotel for overnight stay.
Day 21 - Tanjore – Chidambaram - Pondicherry (175 kms 4 hours)
After breakfast check out the hotel and drive to Pondicherry, enroute visit Chidambaram and see the famous Nataraj Temple depicting Lord Shiva as a cosmic dancer. In this temple postures of Bharatnatyam- (form of dance) are depicted in sculpture and also visit the temples at Kumbakonam. Later visiting south Indian villages and stopping en route to see the lifestyle of Dravidian community.

After visit Continue to proceed to Pondicherry, on arrival transferred to the hotel. Later sightseeing of Pondicherry the world-famous Sri Aurobindo Ashram is situated here. The Auroville complex is the brainchild of "The Mother". The late French woman devotee of Sri Aurobindo to whom the spiritual authority was passed on after the death of Mr. Aurobindo. Then visit Pondicherry museum, old city optionally one can go for local market for shopping. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 22 - Pondicherry - Thiruvannamalai - Mahabalipuram (95 kms 2 hours)
After breakfast checkout and drive to Thiruvannamalai- a pilgrim centre with an ancient temple of Lord Shiva. Later proceed to Mahabalipuram. On arrival transferred to the hotel.

After relaxation take a sightseeing tour of the city, built in the 7th century, this ancient city is said to be a sculptor's delight, boasting of some of India's most sublime rock-cut art, for which it is now a World Heritage site, visit the seven pagoda-style Shore temples, Rathas, Arjuna's Penance, Krishna Mandapa, Shore Temple, Mahishasurmardini Cave, Varaha Mandapa and Mandapam, lashed by the waves of the sea and the seven rathas or temple chariots, a group of monolithic monuments & animal figures carved out of solid rock, the earliest known examples of Dravidian architecture. They were constructed in a single century-long burst of creative enthusiasm. Return to the hotel for overnight stay.
Day 23 - Mahabalipuram - Kanchipuram - Mahabalipuram (65 kms 1 ½ hours one way)
After breakfast drive to Kanchipuram, explore the city, Kanchipuram is one of India’s seven sacred cities and one of its loveliest temple towns also known for its handloom silks, followed by visit to temples Kailasnathar, Vaikuntaperumal, Ekambareshwara, Kamakshiamma and Sakiswarar, you can do shopping of silk cloth market and weavers homes. Later return to Mahabalipuram to stay for overnight.
Day 24 - Mahabalipuram - Chennai (72 kms 2 hours)
Today morning after breakfast check out the hotel and drive to Chennai, on arrival transfer to the hotel. After relaxation take a sightseeing tour of the city visiting Fort St George, which marks the beginning of (Chennai) Madras as an important center for trade. Within the fort is St Mary’s Church, the first English church in India and the oldest British building to survive.

Our tour will also include the Little Mount where St Thomas is believed to have spent some time and Great Mount where he was martyred in 52 AD. We will spend sometime in the Mylapore Temple area visiting the 16th century Kapleeswarar Temple and the fruit and flower market. Of the museums perhaps the most unusual is the Development Center for Musical Instruments, which exhibits ancient and modern instruments, which you may touch and play. Some are curiously ornamental and some are modern experiments. Of special note are those reconstructed with the help of ancient literary texts and temple sculptures.

In the evening you may opt to visit to the Marina Beach, the second longest beach in the world. Return to the hotel for overnight stay.
Day 25 - Chennai - Home town (By Air)
The morning free for leisure and relax, you may opt for shopping or half day sightseeing tour of the city.

Later check out the hotel and transfer to the international airport to board the scheduled flight for home town. On departure the tour concludes with happy memories.
 
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