South India Tour Package – 16N17D
Destinations Covered: Chennai – Mahabalipuram – Pondicherry – Tanjore – Trichy – Madurai – Periyar – Kovalam – Allepey – Kumarakom – Kochi – Ooty – Nagarhole – Mysore – Bangalore
Day 01 Arrive Chennai
On arrival you will be met and transferred to hotel. Later proceed for the sightseeing of Chennai, “the gateway of South India”. P.M. Visit National Art Gallery and Museum (closed on Fridays) which has a selection of ancient paintings of almost all schools as well as section devoted to modern art, Fort St. George, St. Mary’s Church, Drive along Marina Beach (the second longest in the world), San Thome Cathedral, Mylapore Shiva Temple and shopping.
Day 02 Mahabalipuram
Kanchipuram, the city of 1000 temples. It is considered as the second holiest city in India next to Varanasi. Visit Vaikuntaperumal temple, Ekambareeswarar and Varadarajar temple. Kanchipuram is famous for its exquisite silk sarees. Visit the handloom and shop if you please. Drive to Mahabalipuram, the only surviving shore temple. It boasts of some of India’s most sublime rock cut art comprising of Arjuna’s Penance – the largest open-air bass-relief, Five Rathas, structured temples, man-made caves and chariots.
Day 03 Pondicherry
Pondicherry, once a French settlement and now home to the Aurobindo Ashram – It spiritual tenets represent a synthesis of yoga and modern science and Auroville or the City of Dawn, an international settlement where community living is the focus of life. The sphere shaped Matri Mandir a hall of meditation is the splendid centre of Auroville. Visit Pondicherry Museum which has an outstanding collection of artifacts. The sculpture gallery is a treasure house of Pallava and Chola art. Evening Relax at the beach, which runs along the city.
Day 04 Tanjore
Tanjore is rich in its architecture, exquisite handicrafts, paintings, bronzes and South Indian Musical instruments. Visit the magnificent Brahadeeswara temple, where the shade of the tower (gopuram or vimanam) will not fall on the ground. The second largest monolithic sculpture, Nandi (Bull) can be found in the portal of the shrine. The Royal palace complex houses in important library and museums, including a superb collection of Chola bronzes.
Day 05 Trichy
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 Visit Srirangam temple and RockFort temple.
Day 06 Madurai
Drive to Madurai, known for 1000-pillared Meenakshiamman temple. Visit Meenakshi temple, famous for its Court of Thousand Pillars, built in 1560 A.D and visit to the temple to witness the famous night ceremony when the Temple bronze of Lord Siva is carried to the bed chamber of Goddess Parvathy to the accompaniment of religious prayers and music. Also visit Thirumalai Nayak’s Palace and Gandhi Museum.
Day 07 Periyar
Periyar. You will be taken to one of the best game sanctuaries in India – Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary. Your journey to Thekkady is through breathtaking, winding, dense rubber, etc; do not forget your camera. A boat ride on the spending Lake Periyar is the best way to experience the sanctuary. Visit the Spice plantations like cardamom, cinnamon, pepper, coffee and tea estates. On your way back to hotel, you can shop at the local market and pick up some fragrant spices.
Day 08 Kumarakom
A cruise on the Vembanad Lake, gently rocked by the waves rippling to the rhythm of the swaying coconut palms on the distant banks could be truly exhilarating. Stay in the backwater resort and enjoy your day in swimming or a massage that would do wonders on your body. The splash of water slapping softly on the banks provides a soothing background music. Visit Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary. The breathtaking view of the lake during the dawn and dusk and the glimpse of the formation of birds flapping in and out of the bird sanctuary can be seen from any spot of the island.
Day 09 Allepey
After witnessing the sunrise, drive to Allepey. This is the heart of backwaters and it is naturally known for its snake boat racing events. Spending an overnight at the resort is an ideal getaway from the madding crowds of everyday life. For those in search of peace and tranquility, this is a refreshing interlude. Day free to relax at backwater resort or proceed for a backwater cruise (Optional).
Day 09 Kochi
Visit the pride of Kerala and a testimony to nature’s splendour and human innovation, the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary at the end of the day.
Day 10 Kochi
Visit the Dutch Palace – the oldest Synagogue of the British commonwealth, The Jewish Synagogue – the oldest in India with features like great scrolls of the old testament, Hebrew inscriptions on stone slabs, gold and silver crowns, blue willow patterned floor tiles in which each tile is unique, St. Francis Church – India’s oldest European church, Bolghatty Palace, Hill Palace Museum and Bird Sanctuary. Spend around Kochi city shopping for handicrafts, antiques and other traditional goods. Witness the traditional Kathakali Dance Show in the evening.
Day 11 Ooty
Drive to Ooty, the queen of hill stations. The beautiful hill station established by the British in the early part of the 19th century. A fine retreat from the heat of the plains. Ooty offers scenic beauty and relaxed ambience. The Beautiful Ooty Lake, Set Among Groves Of Eucalyptus Trees Is A Popular Spot With Its Facilities For Boating.
Day 12 Ooty
Full day excursion to Ooty and Coonoor. Visit Botanical Gardens, the Lake, Dodabetta peak, which provides beautiful views of the surrounding hills and plains at Ooty. Located at a lower altitude, with a warmer climate, Coonoor is a popular hill resort in its own way. You can take a Optional toy train to Coonoor to enjoy the scenic beauties. The well laid-out Sim’s park here is a beautiful botanical garden, with many rare flowers, shrubs and trees. Lambs rock and Dolphin’s Nose are some of the viewpoints and picnic spots around Coonoor. Overnight at Ooty.
Day 13 Kabini
90 kms southwest of Mysore lies Nagarhole National park, which claims populations of tiger, leopard and elephant as well as over 250 species of birds. Visit the park by jeep, on elephant back and in a coracle. Stay two nights at the Kabini river Lodge or at water Woods a small six bedroom bungalow, beautifully appointed, and situated on the banks of the Kabini river.
As an alternative to Nagarhole National Park, anglers may wish to consider staying at the Cauvery fishing camp on the banks of the Cauvery River at Bheemeshwari, which is noted for its mahseer fishing (best season November to June). The mahseer is considered to be one of the finest game fish in the world. Accommodation is in spacious, well furnished “ethnic log huts.” The Cauvery fishing Camp is situated 100 kms from Bangalore and 85 kms from Mysore.
Day 14 Kabini
In the morning go on a Coracle Ride on Kabini river. The Coracle is a round native boat. In the afternoon go on a wildlife tour in the National park in jeeps / vans.
Day 15 Mysore
Drive to Mysore, the Sandalwood City. A city with rich heritage with magnificent palaces, beautifully laid out gardens, imposing buildings, avenues of flowering trees and many ancient temples. The City of Mysore still retains an extraordinary charm that never fails to fascinate. Sights include the Mysore Palace, one of the largest of its kind in India – illuminated during weekends, the Art Gallery, Brindavan Gardens, etc. Overnight stay at Mysore.
Day 16 Bangalore
Visit Srirangapatna – The island fortress of Tipu Sultan is 16 Km from Mysore city. Inside the fortress is Tipu’s mosque with its twin minarets, the celebrated Ranganatha Swamy temple, Tipu’s Summer Palace known as the Daria Daulat Bagh, the Wellesley Bridge and the dungeons where British officers were once imprisoned. On arrival check-in at hotel. Later visit Lal Bagh, the Botanical Gardens, Tipu’s summer Palace, Bull Temple, and shopping at Arts & Crafts Centre Emporium at M.G.Road. Overnight at Bangalore.
Day 17 Departure
Today you will be transferred to the Airport to board connecting flight to onward destination.
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