Incredible South India Tour

Incredible South India Tour

Tourism in India

Destination Covered:

Chennai - Mahabalipuram - Kanchipuram - Pondicherry - Trichy - Tanjore - Madurai - Periyar - Alleppey - Kumarakom - Cochin - Ooty - Mudumalai - Mysore - Halebid - Belur - Hassan - Badami - Bijapur - Gulbarga - Bidar - Hyderabad - Mumbai

Duration:
24 Nights / 25 Days
Tour Category:
Day 01 - Arrival in Chennai
On arrival at International airport you will be welcomed by our representative, then transfer to the hotel, where we have held the room on ready occupancy basis. Overnight stay in the hotel.
Day 02 - In Chennai
After breakfast take a sight seeing tour of Chennai city, visiting Marina Beach, the second longest beach in the world.

The St. George Fort, built in 1653, is currently used as the state government’s secretariat; Santhome Cathedral was built around the 14th-15th century and is another colonial structure worth visiting. Dedicated to Lord Shiva, the Kapaleeswara Temple is the oldest temple in Chennai. Another important temple in the city dedicated to Lord Krishna is Parthasarthy Temple.

The Snake Park has a large collection of snakes and many other reptiles. Evening optionally you can visit flower and fruit market. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 03 - Chennai - Mahabalipuram (65kms-1½hrs) - Kanchipuram
After breakfast checkout the hotel and drive to Mahabalipuram. On arrival transfer to the hotel later 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, 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.

Later drive to Kanchipuram (76 kms - 1 ½ hours) to visit Ekambareshwar Temple, Kailashnath Temple, Kamakshi Temple, the Vaikunthaperumal Temple, all built in the 7th and 8th centuries. With a weaving tradition dating back to the Pallava era (when silk was the royal cloth), Kanchipuram is justly famous for its particularly fine silk saris, embellished with stunning patterns. Later drive back to Mahabalipuram, Overnight at the hotel.
Day 04 - Mahabalipuram - Pondicherry (135 kms - 2 ½ hours)
After breakfast check out the hotel and drive to Pondicherry, on arrival transfer to the hotel. The capital of the French colonies in India since the 17th century.

Later take a sightseeing tour of Pondicherry visiting the Aurobindo Ashram, which has been a seat of learning and Vedic cultures since ancient times proceed to Auroville, the planned city of Dawn of the new world. Evening you can visit local market and colonies. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 05 - Pondicherry - Trichy (203 kms - 4 ½ hrs)
After breakfast check out the hotel and drive to Trichy on arrival transfer to the hotel, Afternoon take a sightseeing tour of Trichy, was the citadel of the Chola dynasty in the medieval period. In the 18th century it witnessed the Carnatic wars fought between the French and the English. Lord Robert Clive's house is still there to see and so is the Danish Church.

The Rock-Fort is the landmark of Trichy. A climb of 434 steps leads to the ancient temple of Ganapati on top and a further climb to a Shiva temple. Overnight Trichy.
Day 06 - Trichy - Tanjore - Madurai (158 kms 3 hours)
After breakfast drive to Madurai en route visit to Tanjore, visit at the beautiful Chola Temple of Brihadeeshwara is capped by a monolithic cupola made of a single granite block weighing 80 tons which was taken to the top with the help of a 6 km long ramp, an old technique used by the Egyptians for building pyramids. Its bronzes and handicrafts make Tanjore one of the highlights of a visit to South India.

After visit continue to drive to Madurai, on arrival transfer to the hotel for overnight stay at Madurai.
Day 07 - In Madurai
After breakfast, visit to 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, later visit Tiruparankundram Murugan Temple, Palamuthirsolai Murugan Temple. Overnight at Madurai.
Day 08 - Madurai - Periyar (140 Km - 4 hours)
After breakfast check out the hotel and drive to Periyar, on arrival check in to the hotel.

Later in the evening take cruise in the Periyar Lake in the cool surroundings and the panorama spreads around tropical jungles, Wild elephants & birds of myriad varieties. In the evening you may visit to spice market to pick up some fragrant spices. Later return to the hotel.
Evening free for leisure at the jungle resort. Overnight stay at Periyar.
Day 09 - In Periyar
After breakfast visit at 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. Overnight at the houseboat.

Note: 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).
Day 11 - Kumarakom - Cochin (92 Kms - 2 hours)
After breakfast disembark from houseboat and drive to take a short trip Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary, located on the banks of the Vembanad Lake, a walk through the nice tropical surroundings.

After visit, drive to Cochin, on arrival transfer to the hotel. After relaxation take a sightseeing of Cochin includes Jewish synagogue, which contains beautiful Belgian glass chandeliers and is paved with hand painted tiles from China. Visit the Dutch Palace with its wonderful murals depicting the entire story of the Ramayana on its walls.

See St. Francis Church - the first European church built in India. In the afternoon take Backwaters cruise visiting the Bolghatty Palace the beautiful Dutch colonial mansion. We will pass islands with their traditional fishing hamlets and the fisher flock in their colourful costumes and the Chinese fishing nets are huge cantilevered fishing nets believed to have brought to Kochi by Chinese traders. Return to the hotel. In the evening visit to see Kathakali Dance. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 12 - Cochin - Ooty (295 Kms 5- 6 hrs)
After breakfast checkout and drive to Ooty, en route optionally you can visit Bandipur & Mudumalai Sanctuaries, on arrival transfer to the hotel. After relaxation, enjoy the beauty of this hill station.

Ooty is fondly known as the 'Queen of Hill Stations', Ooty is snugly ensconced in the heart of the Nilgiris. Dotted with undulating hills, sparkling waterfalls, gurgling brooks and lush green tea gardens, this tranquil haven is sure to capture the hearts of every visitor.

Later take a sightseeing tour of Ooty enjoy the scenic surroundings, the Botanical Garden a wealth of variety of plants that include different types of roses, imported shrubs, rare flowering plants, eucalyptus trees, several old trees and even a fossilized tree trunk that is 20 million years old, followed by boat rides and fishing, a visit to the Ooty Lake is a must.

Besides these, there are various view points like Lamb’s Rock, Kodanadu and Dodabetta Peak is the highest point in the district at a height of 2623 meters. Provided the day is clear, one can see as far as the plains of Coimbatore and the Mysore plateau. Overnight at Ooty.
Day 13 - Ooty - Mudumalai - Mysore (155 kms - 3 hours)
After breakfast drive to Mysore. Enroute you can visit The Madumalai Wildlife. The Wildlife Sanctuary boasts of very rich flora and fauna, and is home to many endangered species. Though tigers and Leopards are only seen by the fortunate few, elephants, giant squirrels, sambhar, chital, barking deer and flying squirrels are a common sight.

The Sanctuary is also a great place to see many kinds of birds, including colorful parakeets, black woodpecker, Malabar trogon and crested hawk eagle. If you have children with you or you yourself are simply fond of the majestic elephants then, you might like to visit the elephant camp within the sanctuary, Theppakkadu. Early evening drive to Mysore, on arrival transfer to the hotel. Evening free for leisure and relax. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 14 - In Mysore
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.

Afternoon sight seeing trip to visit 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 at St. Philomenas cathedral - folklore museum - Brindavan gardens & spectacular musical fountains. 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. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 15 - Mysore - Halebid - Belur - Hassan (170 kms - 4 hours)
After breakfast check out the hotel and drive to Hassan en route through picturesque hilly landscape. En route one can stopover in Halebid, which is the ancient capital of Hoysala Empire. In Halebid visit the Hoysalesvara Temple of 12th century where we see half-life size statues of Hindu deities, with minute details of each, all around the temple.

After the visit in Halebid we proceed to Belur. In Belur visit the group of Chennakesava Temples which are famous for its architecture and sculptures. After visit drive to Hassan for overnight stay.
Day 16 - Hassan - Shravanbelgola - Hospet (355 kms - 7 hours)
After breakfast check out and drive to Hospet. En route visit Shravanbelgola, At Shravanbelgola, hewn out of a single rock and visible from a distance of 25 kms is the statue of Lord Gomteshwara, which is bathed with milk, sandalwood, and saffron once every 12 years.

Later continue to drive to Hospet. On arrival transfer to the hotel.
Day 17 - Hospet - Hampi - Hospet (Extrusion 13 kms)
After breakfast take an excursion to Hampi the once beautiful capital city of Vijaynagar Empire was greater than Rome and had palaces; Hampi ruins spread over an area of more than 26 sq. kms. protected by the tempestuous river Tungabhadra in the north and by rocky granite ridges on the other three sides, visit at Some of the interesting ruins remaining Hazara Rama Temples, huge Ganesha & Narasimha images, the elephant stables, the queen's bath, and carvings on the Ramachandra Temple & Lotus Mahal.

A terrain such as this was excellent for a capital city that needed to be vigilant and spend a further day in the heart of the lost empire. Explore Hampi at your own pace. Its monuments- like its centuries- old patience & wisdom- most is savored bit by bit. Later drive back to Hospet for overnight stay at the hotel.
Day 18 - Hospet - Badami (200 Kms - 4 hours)
After breakfast checkout the hotel and drive to Badami, en route visiting the fascinating rock-cut caves of Badami - once the capital city of the Chalukyan Empire, rulers of the central Deccan from 4th - 8th centuries AD.

Set in a ravine, the site is surrounded by fortifications, but most famous of all is the carved and inscribed temples cut from the solid rock. On arrival transfer to the hotel. Over night stay at the hotel.
Day 19 - In Badami
After breakfast take a sightseeing tour of Badami, visiting Gateways, Forts, inscriptions, Sculptures that seem to come alive under your eyes…. Badami has to be seen to be believed. Climb a flight of steps to reach the ancient caves - all hewn out o sand stone on the precipice of a hill.

Three are four caves here. The first three belong to the Vedic faith and the fourth cave is the only Jain Temple in Badami. The first cave temple - past Shiva's door Keepers - and there he is the eighteen-armed Nataraj striking 81 dance poses. The largest and most ornamental is the third Cave temple dedicated to Vishnu.

Here are some splendid carvings of the Hindu Pantheon, Narasimha - the half man and half lion avatar of Vishnu, Hari Hara, the composite god who is half Shiva a half - Vishnu. After visiting return to the hotel for overnight.
Day 20 - Badami - Aihole - Pattadakal - Bijapur (135 kms - 3 hours)
After breakfast checkout the hotel and drive to Bijapur, en route visit the beautiful countryside's of the four of a red sandstone ridge the small rural town of Badami was once the capital of the Chalukyan Empire which covered much of central Deccan between the 4th and 8th centuries.

En route visit to nearly Pattadakal - a world heritage center, it has 10 major temples representing early Chalukyan architecture, where coronations took place and where most of the temples were built between the 7th and 9th centuries.

The Virupaksha, Malikarjuna and Jain Temples are quite marvelous to behold included are a visit to Aihole where the Hindu temples architecture can be seen in its embryonic stage -50 temples within the fort wall and 50 outside.

After visit continue to drive to Bijapur. On arrival transfer to the hotel. Evening free for leisure. Overnight stay at the hotel.
Day 21 - Bijapur - Gulbarga (160 Kms 4 hours)
After breakfast take a sightseeing tour of Bijapur, known as the Agra of South. Visit the Gol Gumbaz, it is the mausoleum of Mohammed Adil Shah and was built in 1659; Ibrahim Roza, which was constructed at the height of Bijapur's property by Ibrahim Adih Shah; Jama Masjid, also constructed by Adil Shah and the Citadel.

Later check out the hotel in the afternoon and drive to Gulbarga on arrival transfer the hotel. Evening free for leisure, overnight stay at the hotel.
Day 22 - Gulbarga - Bidar - Hyderabad (135 kms 3 hours)
After breakfast take a sightseeing tour of the city, which was the capital of Bahmani Kingdom from 1347 until its transfer in 1428.

Gulbarga's old fort has number of interesting buildings. The town also has a number of imposing tombs of Bahmani kings, a shrine to a Muslim saints and the Sharana Basaveshwara temple. After visiting check out the hotel and drive to Hyderabad en route visit at Bidar which was once the capital of Bahmani kingdom from 1428.

The town has a splendid 15th century fort having Ranjeen Mahal, Chini Mahal & Turkish Mahal palaces.
Continue drive to Hyderabad, on arrival transfer to the hotel. Rest of the evening is free for relaxation. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 23 - Hyderabad - Mumbai (By Air)
After breakfast take a sightseeing tour of the city visiting the Charminar, built by Mohammad Quli Qutab Shah in 1591 to commemorate the end of plague in Hyderabad; Mecca Masjid, is one of the largest mosques in the world and is said to accommodate upto 10,000 worshippers; Salar Jung Museum, which contains 35,000 exhibits from all corners of the world and includes sculptures, woodcarvings, religious objects, Persian miniature painting, illuminated manuscripts, armour and weaponry.

Also on display are the swords, daggers of Mughal emperors and of Tipu Sultan; Golconda Fort, which dates from the time of Qutub Shahi kings (16th to 17th centuries) and is one of the most magnificent fortress complexes in India. Golconda remained the capital until 1590, when the court was moved to the new city of Hyderabad; tomb of Adil Shahi Kings, which are surrounded by landscaped gardens and number of them have beautifully carved stonework of Nawabs.

Later check out the hotel and transfer to the airport to board the evening flight for Mumbai. On arrival transfer to the hotel. Overnight stay at Mumbai.
Day 24 - In Mumbai
After breakfast takes a sight seeing tour of Mumbai, drive to Gateway of India and from here cruise by motorboats to Elephanta Caves.

A flight of 100 steps takes you to the top of the hill where it is set. The caves houses large pillars that seem to hold the ceiling which is made of cross beams. The picturesque presentations of the 9 marvelous sculptured panels, set on the walls are awe-inspiring. The most famous of the panels is the Trimurthi, or triple-headed Shiva, where the God is depicted as the destroyer, the preserver and the creator.

Later in the afternoon cruise back to Gateway of India, one can have lunch at the Taj Hotel or other several good Restaurants like Leopold & Mondegar serving continental cuisines. Later visit Prince of Wales Museum, Parliament House, Marine Drive, Jain Temple, Hanging Gardens, Return back to the hotel for overnight.

Note: Elephanta Caves and Prince of Wales museum are closed on every Monday.
Day 25 - Mumbai - Home Town (By Air)
Today morning the day is free for leisure and relax you may opt half day sightseeing and shopping in Mumbai. Optionally you can visit the temple ISCON, later go for shopping at various malls like In orbit, Cross roads and West side.

Later 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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