South India tour takes you through the key states of Tamilnadu, Kerela, Karnataka as you get up and close with Heritage sites at Mahabalipuram, Madurai, Tanjore, Trichy, Mysore, Ooty and also see the Cosmopolitan Banglore, Chennai in addition to the backwaters and a trip to God's own country.
Get a dose of the southern part of incredible India with the best of South India tour which takes you to the cities of Chennai, Kanchipuram, Mahabalipuram, Pondicherry, Tanjore, Trichy, Madurai, Periyar, Kumarakom, Alleppey, Munnar, Cochin, Ooty, Mysore and Bangalore. Witness the cultural heritage steeped in tradition and customs amalgamated with global cultures which have left their influences in southern India over the years. Delish food, aromatic air, serene beaches, calm backwaters, gorgeous hill station, hustle-bustle of city life, palm tree-lined road, beautifully carved temples and more is on offer in this 16 days tour. The picturesque landscapes; aroma of tea, coffee and spice gardens in the air, world heritage sites, rich flora and fauna, stunning textiles and weaves, temples and churches will leave you enthralled. Your bags will be full of shopping souvenirs and heart full of memories which will be cherished always.
Day: 1 Arrival Kochi
Start your southern sojourn with the salty Chennai- Seat of Dravidian culture and home to Dosa, Idli and Sambar. Feast on culinary delicacies as you go around enjoying the classic temple architecture and get a glimpse into the colonial past and visit marvels from ancient Chola, Pallava, Nayaks and Vijaynagar dynasties. Namaste! Welcome to Southern Capital of Incredible India. Today you arrive at Chennai International Airport. Enjoy Traditional Welcome and proceed for check-in to your hotel. Free Time to relax before you start sightseeing tour in this most classic and culturally rich city of the South.
Visit The Government Museum to get a grip on the history of the ancient city that has stood the test of time and invasions from British, Dutch and Danes over the centuries and managed to retain its original character now reflected in the past glory of iconic Fort William and St George’s Church. You get free time around sunset on Marina Beach- most important hangout of the city population and become a part of the culture as you sip coconut water and the traditional Indian Snacks available on the shacks spread on the beach. Your Overnight stay is in Hotel.
Day: 2 Chennai / Kanchipuram / Mahabalipuram ( 70 Kms / 1.5 Hrs )
Head to the seashores of Mahamallapuram and enroute visit the Temple city of Kanchipuram. Architectural wonders cast in stone are famous for the technique employed back in the 5- 8 A.D. Visit the relics from both Mahabharata and Ramayana- it is believed that the Famous five princes had come all the way here while they were in exile, just like lord Rama who stopped by on his way to Lanka. Today morning after breakfast checkout from hotel, proceed to Kanchipuram- significant Hindu city-seat of one of the four Shankaracharya’s- religious head pontiffs. Travel back in antiquity as you visit the temple of Ekambarnath-dedicated to Lord Shiva, Kamakshi- Wife of God of Love, Kailashnath and Devrajaswami- in praise of Lord Vishnu. Of special importance is the temple of 100o pillarsadorned with sculptures that can still take your breath away. The tinsel of the hand woven silk Sarees is what keeps the town bussing now with activity and you can see the shops and looms spread all over the dusty town.
Reach Mahamallapuram. Check-in on arrival and free time to relax. Later visit the Heritage City and home to the Sea Shore temple dating back to the Pallava Period and rock caves, Arjun’s Penance, Five Chariots cast in stone and Trimurthi. Mahamallapuram is an epitome of stone and rock cut style of architecture dating back to fifth century. Evening is free to explore the excitement of the seafood, sculptures, and sand in this old seaside getaway away from the hustle-bustle of the towns of Incredible India. Your overnight stay is in a hotel.
Day: 3 Mahabalipuram / Pondicherry ( 162 Kms / 3.5 Hrs ) + City Tour
The iconic Town of Life of Pi is where the classical and colonial exist side by side along the canal that divides the cities iconic buildings, structures, culture and lifestyles, is also famous for the Aurobindo Ashram and myriad European eating joints and antic hotels. This morning after breakfast check out from hotel and proceed to the Little France Riviera in India- Pondicherry. Check-in on arrival and time to relax. Later visit the Ashram to pay homage at the resting place of Shri Aurobindo and Mother, founder of Auroville. Visit the Shri Vardharaj temple-an apt reminder of the towns classical past and also visit the Museum to acquaint yourself with the history of this seaside fishing town, once the seat of French Dominion in India. Later in the day, you get free time to explore the local markets and relax on the beach and enjoy some magnificent views of the Bay of Bengal. Overnight stay is in the hotel.
Day: 4 Pondicherry / Tanjore ( 175 Kms / 3.5 Hrs ) + City Tour
After breakfast, you will checkout from the hotel. Head to hit the road leading to Tanjore- known for its gold plated miniature paintings of classical gods and goddesses and Temple Architecture. On arrival, you first check-in to your hotel and get time to relax and freshen up. Visit the World Heritage monument -Bradheeshwara Temple, best known for its distinctive gopuram or Vimana. Nandi Bull and Royal Palace are other landmarks that speak volumes of dedication and undying faith in Hindu customs and traditions and richly reflected in the art and lifestyle of the aristocratic clan that ruled the place over the centuries. Evening is free for you to soak the southern flavors of the sleepy town of Tanjore as you go around sipping the filter coffee and feasting on the snacks served hot and piping all over the town. Overnight stay is in hotel.
Day: 5 Tanjore / Trichy ( 60 Kms / 01 Hrs ) + City Tour
Quintessential town situated on the banks of the river Cauvery with a towering structure that is iconic and symbol of the rich temple architectural heritage of the region is a feast for eyes amidst the chaos of this textile zone of the country. After breakfast, you will checkout from the hotel. Head to hit the road leading to the temple town of- Trichy. On arrival check-in to your hotel and time to relax before you visit the Government Museum- storehouse of collection of artifacts dating back to 4th Century A.D till as late as British heritage and provides a glimpse of the influence of various dynasties of the region that influenced; the art, architecture and lifestyle of the region from Vijaynagar Empire, Nayaks, Cholas and Pallavas. Pay a visit to the heritage site of Rock fort temple and the famous Ranganathaswami temple with a towering Vimana visible from all over the city. Evening is free at leisure to saunter in the scenic town of temples, heritage and rituals. Overnight stay is in the comfort of your hotel.
Day: 6 Trichy / Madurai ( 135 Kms / 3.5 Hrs )
Welcome to the soul city of the Southern part of Incredible India. Its name to fame Meenakashi Temple is a world heritage site that needs to be experienced to feel the aesthetics of the temple architecture in the largest and over 2000 years old Hindu temple of this fast-changing modern IT hub called Madurai. This morning enjoy sumptuous breakfast and checkout from hotel to proceed towards Madurai- home to Meenakshi Temple. On arrival you check-in to hotel and free time to relax. Visit the heritage site of Meenakshi Temple- the abode of triple breasted Goddess, a marvel in stone with stucco work on the Vimana depicting tales from mythology in a colorful style. Also see the Tirumalai Nayaks Palace reduced from its original size is a confluence of Hindu and Islamic motifs and a symbol of secularism at its best.
Enjoy the Pudhu Madapam known for its tailors who can imitate what you are wearing in shortest possible time. See Mariamman Teppakkulam Tank built during the renaissance is as big as the main temple in size and is used as a cricketing playground by the children during the dry summer months. Also, see Koddal Azgar Temple. Evening is free to shop and explore this mighty center of Madurai via its local bazaars selling handcrafted items and souvenirs for the globetrotter. Overnight is in Hotel.
Day: 7 Madurai / Periyar ( 160 Kms / 3.5 Hrs )
Today is your date with the most loved creature in his own home at Periyar National Park-Land of Asian Elephants. A wildlife sanctuary with an area of 777 Sq Km and a reservoir lake spread over 26sq Km which was added by the British in 1895. After breakfast you checkout from hotel and head to hit the marshland of the Periyar- home to the wildlife of the region and spend time spotting the exquisite wonderful flora. On arrival you first check-in to your hotel and get time to relax and freshen up, before you are ready to take on the elegant big creature. See them in their natural habitat by the lake; bathing, drinking, feeding the babies, or making mirth as they play in sand with each other or just simply laze around grazing in the wilderness. You may be lucky to spot a rare Bengal Tiger if he happens to be around looking for a bison, or wild buffalo. Enjoy a boat ride on the picturesque lake in the center of the Park and spot some more creatures that call this place home and click photos of the ensuing panoramic views in the lap of nature. Overnight stay is in hotel.
Day: 8 Periyar / Kumarakom ( 98 Kms / 1 Hrs )
Head to the nearby town of God of small Things- Kumarakom- situated near the largest freshwater lake in Kerala-Vembanad Lake. The region is rich in flora and fauna and home to marine life which includes shrimps too. Today morning after the breakfast check out and proceed to Kumarakom. Visit the Kumarakom bird sanctuary with a Naturalist, a site that was once a rubber plantation and sees the wonders of nature and be delighted by the migratory birds from across the globe. Soak the sun and spend time in the serene bio-diverse belt showcasing the fine balance that it helps to maintain with the sensitive ecosystem of the region. Overnight stay is in the comfort of a hotel.
Day: 9 Kumarakom/ Allepey ( 47 Kms / 30 Mins ) + Overnight Houseboat Journey In Backwaters
Alleppey or Allapazuha is the starting point of the snake highways that take you in the heart of the backwaters and bring you face to face with the life spread and centered around in the villages, hamlets amidst the rice paddies, coconut and cashew plantations. Today morning after breakfast checkout from hotel and head to a journey on the water highways of backwaters, as you set sail in your air-conditioned Deluxe Houseboat from Alleppey. Feast on life bustling with activities as you get a glimpse of people working in the coir sector, spice gardens, or making toddy climbing coconut trees. Spend overnight on board in the serene backwaters under the star-studded sky as you feast on delicate Kerela cuisine while you sail quietly on the water highways under the night sky.
Day: 10 Alleppey / Munnar ( 90 Kms / 2.5 Hrs )
Let yourself loose in the hilly hamlet, far from the maddening crowd and you won’t be lost other than in the greenness of the manicured tea gardens that stare at you from everywhere you look. This morning after breakfast begins your sightseeing tour as you are taken to the tea plantations and get a chance to see how the green leaves are nurtured and cared for before being converted into granular tea, at the Tata Tea Gardens& Museum. Next, enjoy the Rose garden in the green city. Head for Mattupetty Dam- picturesque location surrounded by hillocks and spice gardens. CSI Church and Echo Point are other two main attractions to glimpse into the Colonial past of this manicured town of tea gardens and plantations in the lap of the Nilgiri Hills. Later in the day, you get free time to explore the local markets of hilly town selling what it is most famous for and other items like spices, condiments, handcrafted products etc. Overnight stay is in the hotel.
Day: 11 Munnar / Cochin ( 120 Kms / 03 Hrs ) + Kathakali Dance Show
Welcome to the hub of spices which turned the city into a melting pot of global cultures, reflected now in its rich cultural influences of; Portuguese, Dutch, Jews and Chinese origins. Cochin is a cocktail city of old-new existing side by side and brewing with smells, sights and sounds that date back to as far as 15th Century that are still potent enough to intoxicate you to the core. Visit The Cochin Fort symbol of India’s Colonial past, see one of the oldest European Churches in the country dating back to the 16th century of St Francis, also the original burial site of Vasco de Gama. Enjoy the spider-like mesh of Chinese fishing nets, now more a symbol of the presence of Kubla Khan who came around the 1400’s to the backwaters from china along with the merchants. Meander through the spice market to soak up the smells of the local bazaar and feast your eyes as you encounter the Jewish connection of the city at the exquisite Synagogue known for its chandeliers and other artistic marvels. Visit the Dutch palace on this global sortie in the Typical Indian town and end the day surrounded by Chinese fishing nets and spend time on the Beach capturing memorable moments on camera along the horizon at the Arabian Sea coast. You get free time to dig in the spicy local markets, infested with tourist curio artifacts from the region and a chance to capture the flavors, smells, sounds that make a cocktail of condiments and culture. Evening is set for a world-renowned traditional dance performance of Kathakali, to mesmerize you with carefully crafted emotions expressed through facial expressions, restricted body movement and accentuated with colorful makeup and dress code. Your Overnight stay is in Hotel.
Day: 12 Cochin / Ooty ( 273 Kms / 5.5 Hrs )Enjoy an enthralling ride over 108 hairpin bends on your way to the Hills of Ooty, feel the fresh air of Nilgiri in your hair as you drive past coffee and cocoa plantations in this eco-reserve forest onboard one of the smallest rails on the meter gauge track dating back to the British India of 19th Century. After breakfast, drive/ride towards the hills of Ooty. Check-in on arrival and time to relax evening free to explore on your own in the spooky Hills of the Raj Era. Overnight is in Hotel.
Day: 13 Ooty
Enjoy a typical incredible Indian hill station from the southern part of the continent with decaying symbols of its most recent colonial British past glooming over the large part of the town. Today morning after breakfast starts your sightseeing tour of Ooty. Visit the town famous for its chocolates and colonial past reflected in the church, architecture and the famous botanical gardens or enjoy a boat ride on the lake. Drive into the hills as we take you to the Doodapeta Peak and hidden valley both nestled in the nascent Nilgiri mountain range. Evening is free to shop at the local bazaars selling chocolates, coffee, cocoa and other souvenirs. Overnight is in Hotel.
Day: 14 Ooty / Mysore ( 128 Kms / 2.5 Hrs )After the breakfast, check-out from the hotel and drive towards -Mysore. Check-in to your hotel on arrival. You get free time to relax. Begin your day-long sightseeing of the city of Maharajas and see the Magnificent city palace showcasing the rich aristocratic heritage of the 17th Century descendants of Tipu Sultan. Visit the Jagmohan Palace, Chamundeshwari Devi Temple and Nandi Black Bull and Srirangapatnam Fort- all steeped in history and now symbols of the state of the sandalwood county. Evening is free to shop in the silk, crepe and georgette capital of the country or buy handcrafted items of sandalwood in the form of incense, soaps, perfumes, talc or wooden toys. Overnight is in the hotel.
Day: 15 Mysore / Bangalore ( 143 Kms / 3 Hrs )
Welcome to the silicon valley of India. A city much at peace with its customs and traditions and ready to take on the world with its cosmopolitan culture of pubs and discotheques mushrooming all over with global brands jostling for space in the capitol of the state of Karnataka. State rich in culinary cuisine of the south, textile industry and now a major global IT hub of the 21st century has dwarfed its colonial and ancient historical past. After breakfast you will checkout from the hotel. Drive towards Bangalore. Check-in on arrival and time to rest. Start your sightseeing trip with a visit to the following: Fort, Tipu Sultan’s Palace, Botanical Garden-Cub bourn Park, Shiva Statue and Bull Temple. Drive past the famous M.G.Road- the lifeline of the city with views of Vidhan Sudha and the High court in the background. Evening is free to experience the smells, sights and sounds of this town in transition still holding to its cultural heritage steeped in tradition and customs. Overnight stay is in the hotel.
Day: 16 Bangalore - Departure
You will Checkout from the hotel after breakfast. Depart for the Bangalore Airport to board your connecting flight for the onward journey as your South India tour comes to an end.
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