Best Of South India
Duration: 18 Days / 17 Nights
Destination Covered: Kanchipuram- Mahabalimpuram- Pondicherry – Tanjore – Madurai – Kovalam- Periyar – Kumarakom- Alleppey – Cochin- Ooty – Mysore- Bangalore- Chennai
Day 01 : Arrival Chennai
Arrive Chennai, Gateway of South India, where you are greeted with a traditional Indian welcome on arrival at the airport and escorted to the hotel. After check in at hotel our representative will explain you the travel plan and hand over the essential travel documents to you. Overnight at hotel.
Day 02 : Chennai
Morning start guided city tour of Chennai. Visit Kalakshetra, a school of art and music that encourages exponents of Bharatnatyam, Carnatic music, traditional weaving and designing; Fort St. George built in 1653 during British reign in India, now houses the Secretariat and Legislative Assembly of Tamil Nadu. St. Mary’s Church, the oldest Anglican Church in India with its premises. Sri Parthasarathy Temple built by the Pallavas in the 8th century AD; Kapaliswara Temple, Mylapore also an eighth century Pallava Temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. San Thomas Cathedral Basilica rebuilt in 1606 as a cathedral and in 1896 it was made a basilica and Theosophical Society – the world headquarters of the Theosophical Society formed to encourage the study of comparative religion philosophy and science. Overnight at hotel.
Day 03 : Chennai – Kanchipuram – Mahablipuram
Morning drive to Kanchipuram, 70 kms west of Mahabalipuram which is a city of thousand temples. The city is also famous for its silk weavers. Later proceed to Mahablipuram. The pallavas have created many marvellous monuments with sculptural panels, caves, Monolithic Rathas and Temples. Krishna Mandapam has a big bas relief i.e. the world’s largest bas relief. Shore Temple & Five Rathas are a group of five monolithic temples, each created in different style. Overnight at hotel.
Day 04 : Mahablipuram –Pondicherry (135Kms)
Morning drive to Pondicherry. Later you will visit Pondicherry city. Although the French influence is gradually fading, Pondicherry retains a few Gallic accents. Pondicherry’s main sights are the Rai Nivas, the Sacred Heart Church and the Sri Aurobindo Ashram. The ashram retreat was founded in 1926 by Sri Aurobindo after whose death the spiritual authority passed to one of his disciples, a French woman known as the Mother. The Mother was also instrumental in founding the city of Dawn Auroville, 10 km from Pondicherry. Its original charter aimed at creating a city of the future where people from India and abroad could live and work together in a spiritual environment. Overnight at hotel.
Day 05 : Pondicherry –Chidambram –Tanjore (175kms)
Morning drive to Tanjore on the way you will visit the temple or Lord Natraja at Chidambram. On arrival, check-in at the hotel. In the afternoon, city tour of Tanjore. Tanjore (Thanjavur) is famous for the Brahadeeswarar Temple. The temple constructed more than a thousand years ago by the Chola King Raja Rajan is an architect’s marvel. Evening free. Overnight at hotel.
Day 06 : Tanjore – Trichy – Madurai (201Kms)
Morning drive to Madurai on the way visit Trichy. Visit Srirangam, which is an island, 5 kms from Trichy. Surrounded by the Kaveri water is a 600 acres island town enclosed within the seven walls on the gigantic Sri Ranganathaswami temple. The Rock Fort situated on the banks of the Kaveri River, Trichy’s most famed land mark is an 84 m high rock, one of the oldest in the world aprox. 3,800 million years. Later drive to Madurai and on arrival, check-in at the hotel. Overnight at hotel.
Day 07 : Madurai
Morning city tour of Madurai. Madurai where the people wake up at the chant of hymns is proud of the magnificent Meenakshi-Sundareswara Temple. Of its 12 gopurams, four of the tallest stand at the outer walls of the temple. Also visit Thirumalai Nayak Palace. Evening watch night ceremony at the temple. Overnight at hotel.
Day 08 : Madurai – Thekkady (Periyar wild life sanctuary ) (160kms)
Morning drive to Thekkady ( Periyar wild life sanctuary). Periyar, spread over an area of 777 sq km, has about 35 tigers and leopards. The park encompasses a 26 sq km artificial lake and is the home of sambars, wild boars, elephants and antelopes which can be occasionally seen on the banks of the river during a boat cruise. In the afternoon we shall take a boat safari on Lake Periyar to view wildlife. Evening free. Overnight at hotel.
Day 09 : Periyar – Kumarakom (128kms) – Alleppey ( Overnight at Houseboat)
Morning drive to Kumarakom and embark on deluxe Houseboat for backwater cruise. “Kettuvalam” Hoseboat move towards Alleppey through interior backwaters. We shall continue to Champakulam, earlier named as Kalloorkad, the ancient trade centre of backwaters. This cruise is very exciting and sensational to watch the real traditional Kerlan life who lives on the banks of backwaters. Enjoy lunch, Dinner at Houseboat. Overnight at houseboat.
Day 10 : Arrive Alleppey – Kovalam (158Kms)
After breakfast, we shall take a leisurely cruise towards Alleppey finishing point jetty. Disembark and drive to Kovalam. Rest of day free. Overnight at hotel.
Day 11 : Kovalam
Day free at leisure. Overnight at hotel.
Day 12 : Kovalam – Cochin (235Kms)
Morning drive to Cochin. On arrival check in at hotel. Cochin, has a fine natural harbour. In the afternoon visit Fort Cochin. The true character of the city is to be found in the older parts of the Fort Cochin area. This part of the city reflects an unusual blend of medieval Portugal, Dutch and English country life grafted on to the tropical Malabar Coast Also visit Chinese Fishing nets . Evening show witness the Kathakali Dance Show in an auditorium. as it enacts episodes from great Indian epics. The extremely stylized gestures, the elaborate make-up, the masks and the splendid costumes of these all-male dancers, recreates an incomparable sense of pageantry. Overnight at hotel.
Day 13 : Cochin – Ooty ( 280Kms)
Morning visit the 16th century Mattancherry Palace, also known as the Dutch Palace. We would visit ‘Jew Town’, in the Mattancherry section.The area around the Synagogue, known, as Jew Town is one of the main centres of spice trade. St. Francis Church, and Jewish Synagogue. Later drive to Ooty. on arrival check in at hotel. Overnight at hotel
Day 14 : Ooty
Morning sightseeing tour of Ooty. Located at 2240 m above sea level. The places of interest in Ooty include Botanical Gardens where “summer Festival” is held each during the month of May. The artificial lake and Dodabetta Peak which is the highest point in the district at a height of 2623m.Rest of day free. Overnight at hotel.
Day 15 : Ooty – Mysore (150Kms)
Morning drive to Mysore, arrive and check in at hotel. Later sightseeing tour of Mysore. Mysore as we see today is most famous for the imposing Royal Palace with a magnificent Durbar Hall, particularly splendid during the Dussehra Festival when the Maharaja’s jewelry, studded gold throne (weighing 200 kgs) is on display. Chamundeshwari temple perched on a hilltop is 2000 years old, Nandi Bull half way to the hill is a 4.8 meter monolith. 19 km north-west of Mysore is the KRS Dam and the ornamental Brindavan Gardens. The musical fountains and colourful lights transform this place into a fairly land in the evenings. Evening transfer to hotel. Overnight at hotel.
Day 16 : Mysore – Sravanbelgola- Bangalore (140kms)
Morning drive to Bangalore visiting en route Sravanbelgola which is said to be the world’s tallest monolithic statue raises 17 meter high of Bahubali (Gomateshvara).The statue was built in 981 AD and is most sacred to the Jain Community. On arrival check in at hotel. After wash & change do sight seeing tour. Bangalore, the capital city of Karnataka is one of the most important metropolises of India. Visit Lalbagh, one of the finest botanical Gardens ofIndia, Cubbon Park laid in 1864 sprawling across 300 acres, Vidhana Soudha built in 1956 housing The State Legislature and Secretariat are the main attractions. Overnight at hotel.
Day 17 : Bangalore – Chennai (330Kms)
Morning drive to Chennai. On arrival check in at hotel. Rest of day free. Overnight at hotel.
Day 18 : Chennai –Departure
Morning transfer to airport to board on flight for onward destination.