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Southern India Grand Tour
Places Covered : Mumbai - Bangalore - Hassan - Halebid - Mysore - Chennai - Mahabalipuram - Tanjore - Trichy - Madurai - Thekkady - Kumarakom - Backwaters - Cochin
Duration : 14 Nights / 15 Days
For centuries, merchants from Africa and Asia followed the monsoon winds to the thriving ports of the Malabar and Coromandel coasts in search of the riches of Southern India. The modern traveller is just as well rewarded. Southern India is the country's Dravidian heartland where great civilizations, from the ancient Chola Dynasty to the British Raj, have left a legacy of temples, palaces and graceful cities. The tranquil beauty of the Kerala backwaters, the elegant Palace of Mysore, the peaceful Hoysala temples, and the bustling bazaars of Madurai and Cochin are just some of the highlights of this journey through one of India's lesser known regions.
Day 01 : Arrive Mumbai (Bombay)
Representative from our office will meet you on arrival at airport & will transfer to the Hotel for overnight stay.
Day 02 : Mumbai - Bangalore
Morning & afternoon city tour visiting Gate Way of India, Princes of Wales Museum, Hanging Garden, Tower of Silence Dhobi Garh and Mani Bhawan. In evening transfer to airport to board flight for Bangalore & on arrival check-in at hotel.
Day 03 : Bangalore
In the morning visit Bangalore's botanical gardens before touring the ancient Bull Temple and Tipu Sultans Palace. The afternoon is free to relax.
Day 04 : Bangalore - Hassan
In morning drive to Chikmagular (139 kms / 4 hrs) and arrival check-in at the Hotel. In the afternoon visit the temples at Halebid, one of the greatest examples of Hindu architecture in India, whose walls are covered with detailed friezes of the life and times of the Hoysala rulers. Later visit Belur - the victory temple, Cheenakesvara, crowded with exquisitely filigreed pillars.
Day 05 : Hassan - Mysore
In morning drive to Srirangapatnam & visit the opulent Palace of Tipu Sultan. After the visit drive to the chairing city of Mysore ( 125 Kms/ 3 Hrs.). Our tour includes the Mysore Palace whose rooms are a kaleidoscope of colour.
Day 06 : Mysore - Chennai
In the morning visit, Chamundi Hill - the Climb is said to improve ones karma - for Panoramic views of the city and the giant statue of the Nandi bull. In the afternoon transfer to railway station to board Shatabdi Express for Chennai. In evening on arrival transfer to the Hotel for overnight stay.
Day 07 : Chennai
Chennai is a bustling city with a relaxed and friendly character. Our tour commerce in the area around the 17th century Fort St. George, taking in St. Marys Church where Clive of India was married, before a visit to the Government Museum to view the Chola bronzes. Finally we visit San Thome Catherdal, said to house the remains of the apostle. Thomas who is reputed to have brought Christianity to India in the 1st century AD. The afternoon is free to explore the city at leisure.
Day 08 : Chennai - Mahabalipuram - Tanjore
In the morning drive for the tranquil seaport of Mahabalipuram (55 kms / 1½ Hrs) where the legendary Pallava Kings Commissioned a range of temples. The most famous is the shore temple, romantically weathered by wind and sea. Later proceed driving to the great Chola Capital - Tanjore (290 kms / 6 Hrs).
Day 09 : Tanjore
Our Exploration of Chola architecture continues with the Bridhdiswara Temple built in 1010. With a dome carved from a single piece of granite weighting over 80 tonnes, this magnificent temple is now a World Heritage Monument. In the afternoon we examine the temple of Airavatesvara at Darasuram whose decorative friezes portray mythological stories.
Day 10 : Tanjore - Trichy - Madurai
This morning drive to Trichy (56 kms / 1½ hrs) sightseeing concentrate on the spectacular temple architecture near Trichy at Srirangam. Set on an island in the Cauvery River within seven concentric walled Courtyards, the Sri Ranganathaswami Temple is one of the largest complexes in India. We take time to stroll though the local village before driving to Madurai (131 kms / 3 hrs.).
Day 11 : Madurai - Thekkady
Madurai, an Ancient and traditional town is dominated by the colorful and lively Minakshi Temple whose thousand-pillared hall is crowded with exquisitely carved columns. We explore the ruined Thirumalai Nayaka Palace before departing to Thekkady (140 kms/3 hrs).
Day 12 : Thekkady (Periyar)
Enjoy morning and evening game viewing in the wildlife sanctuary of Periyar where elephant, sambar, bison and spotted deer may be seen during our lake cruise. Thekkady is renowned for its spices, and the aroma of cinnamon, nutmeg, pepper and a multitude of other spices scent the air as we explore a spice garden.
Day 13 : Thekkady - Kumarakom
The drive to Kumarakom (130 km / 4hrs) negotiates some of Indias most stunning scenery. From the sea of clouds over the Cardamom Hills we descend into the lush backwaters of Kerala to Kumarakom. The afternoon is spent relaxing aboard a traditional palm-covered rice barge with a lunch of local cuisine as we are punted through the tree-lined backwaters
Day 14 : Kumarakom - Cochin
Morning visit Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary. Later drive to Cochin an ancient trading Port (80kms / 2 hrs.). Cochin is a curious blend of medieval Portugal, Mercandle Holland and an English country village, set on the exotic Malabar coast. In the evening there is an opportunity to experience the renowned Kathakail dance at a local hall.
Day 15 : Cochin / Out
Morning tour of the opulent Mattancherry Palace, a gift from the Portuguese to the Raja of Cochin. The place has a collection of remarkable 16th century murals painted on wooden walls. In the old Jewish quarter we visit the ancient Synagogue. Later the warehouse and shops provide us with some of the best shopping in India. We conclude our visit with the Church of St. Francis and the tomb of Vasco Da Gama. Late evening transfer to the airport to board the flight for onward destination.
All Itineraries are Customized as per client requirement
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