Glimpses of South India

Kerla

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Package Detailed Itinerary

DUration: 15 Nights / 16 Days.

Destinatio covered::Chennai, Mahabalipuram, Bangalore, Hassan, Mysore, Ooty, Coonoor, Cochin, Alleppey, Kumarakom, Periyar, Madurai, Tanjore, Pondicherry. .

A cultural tour of Glimpses of South India

Kapaleeshwara Temple, Chennai TravelDravidian architecture and culture, old churches, towering temples, gardens, palm fringed beaches, alluring backwaters and lush tropical scenery are just some of the attraction of the paradise that is the south of India. We visit temples and magnificent palaces, explore stone carvings in a UNESCO World Heritage site, ride an historic steam Toy train, witness colorful dances, the picturesque backwaters, and then unwind in a beachfront resort on the Arabian Sea.

Day 01, Arrive Chennai

Namaste! We are warmly welcomed the traditional Indian way with hands clapped together. After immigration and custom formalities, we are transferred to our Hotel. Overnight: Hotel in Chennai (2 Nights)

Day 02, Chennai –Mahabalipuram -Chennai:

We take an excursion to the World Heritage Site of Mahabalipuram. This group of sanctuaries, founded by the Pallava kings, was carved out of rock along the Coromandel Coast in the 7th and 8th centuries. It is known especially for its rathas (temples in the form of chariots), mandapas (cave sanctuaries), giant open-air relief’s such as the famous 'Descent of the Ganges', and the temple of Rivage, with thousands of sculptures to the glory of Shiva. On our return we tour Chennai, culturally one of the richest cities of India. We visit the Kapaleeswarar, the ancient Shiva Temple, Santhome Church and the bazaar.

Day 03, Chennai –Bangalore:- Train #2007 –Shatabadi Express, Departure:- 06:00 Hrs, Arrival:- 10:50 Hrs

Early morning we are transferred to railway station for our train to Bangalore. On arrival in Bangalore, we are transferred to our Hotel. In the afternoon we take a half day city tour of Bangalore, visiting Vidhana Soudha: This imposing edifice built almost entirely of dressed Bangalore granite is a tribute to temple architecture. Housing the Legislative Chambers of the state government, this is Bangalore's best - known landmark. Cubbon Park: in 1864, Lord Cubbon, the then viceroy of India, laid out 3000 acres of verdant tranquility. Today, it is an oasis of greenery in the heart of Modern Bangalore, Tipu Sultan's Palace: Now a museum, this two- storied ornate wooden structure is a mine of information and is one of the most remarkable Islamic buildings in the city. Also visit Lal Bagh Gardens: this 240 acre expanse of greenery forms one of India's most beautiful botanical gardens, the credit of which goes to the rulers Hyder Ali and his son Tipu Sultan, who laid out an 18th century paradise with rare trees brought from far off Persia, Afghanistan and France. You may also visit The Bull Temple: the awesome monolithic deity in this temple, Nandi draws devotees from all over the country. Rest of the evening is free for shopping in local bazaar.

Day 04, Bangalore –Hassan:- Drive- 250 km

In the morning after breakfast we drive to Hassan. Today we visit the exquisite temples of Belur and Halebid. The main structure of the temple in Belur, which is star-shaped, is a homogenous architectural unit on a raised platform. Inside, even in the darkness, you can see the hand-lathe turned shining pillars, each unique in its own splendor. Halebid was known as Dwara Samudra, the wealthy capital of the Hoysalas. The great city of Dwarasamudra flourished as a Capital of the Hoysala Empire during the 12th & 13th centuries, reflected in the strikingly beautiful Hoysala temples. Overnight:- Hotel in Hassan (1 Night)

Day 05, Hassan –Sravanbelgola –Mysore:- Drive:

In the morning after breakfast we drive to Mysore. En-route we visit Sravanbelgola. It is positioned approximately 51 kms from South-east of Hassan and 160 kms from Bangalore. The word Sravanbelgola means naked ascetic or Sravana. Sravanbelgola is one of the most significant Jain pilgrimage. On the summit of Indragiri hill, a massive statue of Gomateshwara statue is positioned. It is approximately 17 meter high. This massive statue was carved by the order of King Rachmalla. In order to perform the Mahamastabhishka, several thousands of devotees assemble. A grand ceremony is celebrated after every 12 year. During this ceremony, milk, curd, ghee, saffron and gold coins are used for the anointment of this 1000-year-old statue. Overnight:- Hotel in Mysore (2 Nights) (B)

Day 06, Mysore:

Mysore, The city of Dusserah, palaces and parks, is one of the few places in India, which still breathes the air of medieval country splendor. In addition to it’s beauty, quietude and equable climate. Mysore offers a convenient base for a number of interesting excursions, making it a very popular resort. Our tour of Mysore starts with a visit to Mysore Palace - Once the capital, seat of power of the ruling Wodeyars, is one of the largest of its kind in India and one of the most splendid. This Indo-Saracenic building has among other things stained glass chamber ceilings, a carved silver door, a solid gold throne and a gallery of exquisite paintings. 13 kms off Mysore city are the Chamundi Hills; halfway up is the Nandi Bull, a 4.8 metre monolith. Right on top is the 2000 -year old Chamundeswar Temple, dedicated to the patron goddess of the royal family. 19 km north -west is the Krishna Raja Sagar Dam and the Brindavan Gardens famous for its dancing musical fountains. 14 km northeast of Mysore on the Bangalore-Mysore Highway is Srirangapatnam, the island fortress that was once the capital of the warrior -Kings Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan, the Tiger of Mysore.

Day 07, Mysore:- Ooty:- Drive

In the morning after breakfast we drive to Ooty. The verdant hills, the lush green valleys and the pristine natural beauty of the hill resort of Ooty offers the urban tired souls a chance to resume their affair with Nature, to whom they truly belong. The heavenly hill resort like a blushing bride peeks from behind the lofty Nilgiri hills. The unassuming beauty of this heavenly hill resort beckons you to come and embrace the tranquility and solace that tours to Ooty India offer. Upon arrival in Ooty, we check in our Hotel. Rest of the day is free. Overnight:- Hotel in Ooty (2 Nights)

Day 08, Ooty :

One of the reasons people like to visit hill stations is that, they not only offer respite from the dust and pollution of the city but also give people a chance to see the undefiled beauty of nature. The green hills, the cascading waterfalls and sparkling brooks, all make the hill stations a delight for the eyes of the city-weary. Ooty is an ideal hill station since it offers all this and much more. Today we visit Botanical Gardens, Lamb's rock, Dodabetta Peak etc. Rest of the day is free. (B)

Day 09, Ooty -Coonoor- Cochin:

Today take a memorable toy train journey from Ooty to Coonoor. Ooty to Coonoor train trip is a must. This little lazy train is a world heritage mountain rail and the sceneries it provides along the way are a sight to behold indeed. It will take you through pristine rain forests, meticulously manicured tea gardens which are lush and lemon green from a distance hugging the landscape like a carpet on the floor, wild streams and raviens running down the countless number of bridges the train has to negotiate, Children will relish dark, gloomy and cold tunnels which punctuate the track at every few kilometers by counting them all the way. Great train journey indeed which will linger in your memory for a long time to come. On arrival in Coonoor, we drive to Cochin. On arrival in Cochin, we check in our hotel rest of the day is free to relax. Overnight: Hotel in Cochin (2 Nights).

Day 10, Cochin:

We tour Cochin, the commercial capital of Kerala, with one of the finest natural harbors in the world. We visit the oldest European Church in India "St. Francis Church". Today it is governed by the Church of South India (CSI). Vasco Da Gama was buried here before his remains were taken back to Portugal 14 years later. Next we visit the Santa Cruz Cathedral Built by the Portuguese in around the 16th century; this Roman Catholic Church is famous for the beautiful paintings on its ceiling. We visit the Jewish Quarter with its old synagogue, and the Dutch palace built by the Portuguese and given to the Raja of Cochin. In the evening we enjoy Kathakali Dance Performance. This dramatized presentation of a play usually based on the Hindu epics of Ramayana, Mahabharata and Puranas and has a unique combination of literature, music, painting, acting and dance.

Day 11, Cochin –Alleppey -Houseboat:-

Today we drive to Alleppey. In the afternoon we board the traditional rice boats - "Ketuvallam" and begin our journey through the picturesque backwaters and small lakes relaxing in the tranquility of Kerala's beautiful scenery -Experience the way of life and activity of the local people. Overnight: House Boat (1 night) (B, L, D)

Day 12, Kumarakom:-

Breakfast on board Houseboat. After breakfast we check out from Houseboat and heck in our Hotel in Kumarakom. An unbelievably beautiful paradise of mangrove forests, emerald green paddy fields and coconut groves interspersed with enchanting waterways and canals adorned with white lilies. The resorts offer comfortable accommodation and exclusive leisure options like an Ayurvedic massage, yoga, meditation, boating, fishing, angling and swimming. Day is free for your personal activities. Overnight:- Hotel in Kumarakom (1 Night)

Day 13, Kumarakom –Periyar:-Drive

In the morning after breakfast we drive to Thekkady. One of the most well-known wildlife sanctuaries in the south, Periyar sanctuary attracts a large number of nature lovers every year. Also called the Thekkady Wildlife Sanctuary, this place is ideal for watching the animals in their natural habitat. In the afternoon we take boat ride over the Lake Periyar to watch animals in their natural habitat on the water's edge. While cruising on Lake Periyar, we are likely to see animals like Wild Boars, Sambars, Wild Dogs, Langur Monkeys and Wild Elephants. Overnight:- Hotel in Thekkady (1 Night)

Day 14, Periyar –Madurai:- Drive

In the morning after breakfast we drive to Madurai, situated in southern Tamil Nadu is the second largest city in Tamil Nadu, is an important cultural and commercial centre. The main city area revolves around Meenakshi Temple, with its baroque example of Dravidian architecture and the four tall gopurams (pillars) with multicolored gods, goddesses, demons and deities. Madurai is famous for the imposing Meenakshi Temple, a structure in the Dravidian style of architecture. The history of the city dates back over 2,000 years when it was the capital of the Pandyas. The most interesting feature of the temple is its Hall of a thousand pillars some of which sound like metal when hit with an object. The metal stone or musical pillar, although made of stone, produces sounds of different metals. Other places of interest include the Tirumalai Nayaka Temple and the Temple Art Museum.
Overnight:- Hotel in Madurai (1 Night).

Day 15, Madurai –Tanjore:-Drive

After breakfast we drive to Thanjavur, popularly known as Tanjore. The town is famous for its distinctive style, "Krishna" is the most popular deity depicted, and in the Tanjore School his skin is white, rather than the traditional blue-black. Tanjore was the ancient capital of the Chola Kings whose origins go back to the beginning of the Christian era. Our afternoon tour of World Heritage Site of Tanjore includes in the Shri Brihadishwara temple built by "Raja-Raja" in 1010, which is the crowning glory of Chola temple architecture. The temple, set in spacious grounds, has several pillared halls and shrines. Inscriptions record the names of dancers, musicians and poets a reminder of the significance of this area to the development of the arts. We end our tour of Tanjore with a visit to the Tanjore Palace & Museum.
Overnight: Hotel in Tanjore (1 Night).

Day 16, Tanjore –Pondicherry:- Drive

In the morning after breakfast we drive to Pondicherry. On arrival, we check in our Hotel. Rest of the day is free. Overnight:- Hotel in Pondicherry (2 Nights) (B)

Day 17, Pondicherry:-

The Union Territory of Pondicherry is situated on the Coromandel Coast of South India, about 160 kms south of Chennai. Pondicherry traces its origin to Saint Agasthya, the revered sage of the south. It was also the site of many a battle between the British and the French, and was the capital of French India, before it attained its independence. Being a small and quiet enclave of Tamil Nadu, it has imbibed Tamilian culture. Apart from the charming atmosphere, excellent restaurants, and cheap beer, what attracts most travelers to Pondicherry is the Sri Aurobindo Ashram. The ashram, founded by Sri Aurobindo in the year 1926, has brought international reputation to this coastal town. Tours of the ashram, the spiritual tenets of which combine yoga and modern science, are popular within India and abroad.

Day 18, Pondicherry –Chennai -Home:-

Today we are transferred to Chennai airport in time to catch our flight to onward destination.

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