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Explore South India

Tour Duration: 13 Night / 14 Days
Itinerary:Bangalore, Mysore, Ooty, Cochin, Kumarakom, Periyar, Madurai, Chennai, Mahabalipuram
Tour Theme: Offers Kerala backwaters, beaches, monuments and popular temples.

DAY-01: Arrival - Bangalore
South India Tourism On arrival at Bangalore International Airport, transfer to hotel. Bangalore - Bangalore ,also called the Silicon Valley of India ,is the principal administrative, cultural, commercial and industrial centre of the state of Karnataka. Bangalore enjoys a pleasant and equable climate throughout the year. Tree-lined streets and abundant greenery made it the 'Garden City' of India. Bangalore is one of Asia's fastest growing cities and now reputed for its booming software industry. Bangalore has seen a major technology boom and is now home to more than 250 high-tech companies, including homegrown giants like Wipro and Infosys. Not to say that it has nothing for the people interested in history. But along with the modern day pubs, discos and hangouts, one can still see remnants of the older Bangalore. All in all, a lovely city to visit.
DAY-02: Bangalore - Mysore (140-kms/03 hrs)
Upon arrival check-in to the hotel. Afternoon you are collected from your hotel for a half day tour of Mysore. Mysore: Mysore “city of Palaces” is in the hill country of southwestern India, this region is cooler than the coastal cities - one of the reasons so many maharajahs chose to live here and given 17 palaces to this city. It still retains its old charm and many buildings are adorned with domes, turrets and impressive archways. . Also know as "Sandalwood City", it is a major center for the manufacture of incense. The city is a legacy of the famous warrior king Tipu Sultan, known for his victories over the Imperial British Armies. The city is also known for its silk processing and is a major center for nurturing silkworms. Hence, Mysore is more than palaces, parks and temples … traditional carvings on fragrant sandalwood … the rustle of rich silks … mouthwatering Mysore Pak, a traditional sweetmeat … It is a gourmet's delight and a Shopper's paradise. This tour includes a visit to The Mysore Palace - Built in 1912 in the Indo Saracenic style. ,former residence of the Wodeyars, this structure is one of the largest of its kind in India. The Jaganmohan Palace - this is a converted art gallery that houses paintings that date back to the late 19th century.
Chamundi Hill - perched atop a hill is a 12th century temple of Chamundershwari. The gigantic 4.8 meter tall monolith of Nandi the sacred vehicle of Lord Shiva is a marvel to watch. Also close to the temple stands a gigantic statues of the demon Mahishasura. St. Philomena's Church - this beautiful Cathedral was built in 1956 and is one of the largest churches in the country. It has been built in the Gothic style with beautiful stain glass windows and lofty towers. Brindavan Gardens - Adjacent to the dam is the beautiful Brindavan Garden. With lighting and musical fountains this place transforms it self into a fairy land in the evenings.
Overnight at the hotel in Mysore.
DAY-03: Mysore - Ooty (160-kms/05:00 hrs)
On reaching Ooty hill station, check-in to the hotel. Rest of the day at leisure to relax. Ooty: Udhagamandalam, this Queen of hill stations, otherwise known as Ooty, is in the Nilgiri mountain ranges of Tamil Nadu. At a height of 2,268 meters, Ooty is known for its salubrious climate and scenic beauty. Ooty is characterized by rolling meadows, gardens and lakes vaguely reminiscent of England. It still retains something of the Raj in its cottages and stone churches.
Overnight at hotel in Ooty.
DAY-04: Ooty
On this day we will explore Ooty town and tourist attractions in & around Ooty. Important places to see include the Botanical gardens, with 2,000 species of plants of a magnificent flower show was landscaped and established in 1847 by the Marquis of Tweepdale. A fossil of a tree trunk is a unique exhibit here for it is belived to be 20 million years old. There is also an artificial lake where facilities for boating are available. Pony rides, minitrains rides, and quiet walks amidst the forest roads are other temptations. The highest peak in the Nilgiri range is Doddabetta, 2.623 mts in height and 10 km from the main town. From here one can have a fine view of Ooty city, Gundalpet, Coonoor, Wellington and and Mysore on a clear day.
Overnight at hotel in Ooty.
DAY-05: Ooty – Cochin (280kms/06:30hrs)
On arrival at Cochin, check-in to the hotel. Cochin: Cochin means harbour and even before the building of Ancient Rome, spices, silks, ivory and sandalwood were traded here. Cochin proudly boasts a rich cultural heritage, but is also one of the most fast-paced and modern cities in India. It is also one of the finest natural harbours of the world and a major Indian port. It is its charm and a relatively good infrastructure that make it the ideal gateway to the state. This has been the case since 1341, the year nature carved out Cochin's harbor with a massive flood. As a result, Cochin became the first port of call for Arabs and came to be known as the "Queen of the Arabian Sea." This city offers visitors Forts, palaces, museums, old churches, cool backwaters, palm fringed lagoons, beaches and the practicality of a contemporary metro.
Overnight at hotel in Cochin.
DAY-06: Cochin
This morning you are collected from your hotel for a half-day tour of Cochin. This tour includes a visit to Fort Cochin – a home to a unique community of Eurasians, commonly known as "Anglo-Indians". The architecture of the quiet streets in this enclave is very definitely, European with fine houses built by wealthy British traders, and Dutch cottages with split farmhouse doors. Mattancherry Palace -locally known as the Dutch Palace, the two storey building was actually erected by the Portuguese, as a gift to the Cochin Raja. St. Francis Church - this Protestant church was originally built by the Portuguese in 1510 A.D. It is considered to be India's oldest European 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. Jewish synagogue - dates from 1568 and is adorned with fine glass lamps and floor tiles. Bolghatty Island - This is a beautiful island lying close to Ernakulam. Built by the Dutch in 1774, Bolghatty Palace, the home of the former British Resident of Kochi is situated here. At the end of your tour visit the harbor near Vasco da Gama Square, where you can watch fishermen hoisting their catch from the cantilevered Chinese fishing nets that line the shore. Your evening tour includes a Kathakali dance performance at a local theatre. Kathakali is a traditional dance form, depicting Indian epics (Ramayana and Mahabharata). The dancers are dressed in very colorful and elaborate costumes. Their faces are painted to depict various characters of the se epics. This dance has a lot of facial expressions and brisk, yet articulate body movements.
Overnight at hotel in Cochin.
DAY-07: Cochin – Kumarakom (90kms/02:00hrs)
After breakfast, drive to Kumarakom. Kumarakom: The enchanting backwater destination of Kumarakom is a small village that is a cluster of little islands on the Vembanad Lake in Kerela. Kumarkom strengthens Kerala’s reputation for being God’s own country with its unbelievably beautiful mangrove forests, coconut groves and emerald green paddy fields interspersed with enchanting waterways and canals adorned with while lillies. It is part of the Kuttanad region, and the bird sanctuary here spread across 14 acres of any ornithologist's paradise. This enchanting backwater destination offers visitors many leisure options. From wandering into the depths of its wildlife sanctuary to cruising down the back waters and fishing, Kumarkom is perfect for a lazy and laid back holiday. The best way to watch the birds of the Kumarakom sanctuary is a boat trip round the islands, as hundreds of swaying verdant coconut palms lining the rivers lean to brush the tops of your heads. Kumarkom is an example of nature at her bountiful best in the fragrant flowers, the riot of multi coloured birds, the surrounding greenry and the clear waters. Upon arrival check-in to the hotel. Rest of the day at leisure to enjoy the Nature’s beauty on your own.
Overnight at hotel in Kumarakom.
DAY-08: Kumarakom – Periyar (200kms/04:30hrs)
Morning at leisure, later you drive to Periyar
Periyar: Situated in the Idukki district of God’s Own Country, Kerala, Periyar or Thekkady as it is commonly known, is famous as one of the best places to see the Asian Elephant. Today, it is one of the very few strongholds of this magnificent pachyderm in Southern India. The uniqueness of this sanctuary is the Periyar Lake, an artificial lake, which was created by damming the Periyar River a century ago. Thekkady consists mainly of Tropical Moist Deciduous Forest. Some areas of the kkady also house pristine Evergreen forests. The varieties in habitats ensure that the diversity of flora and fauna is absolutely amazing with a magnificent variety of animals - the elephant, the bison, Gaur, Sambar deer, Barking deer, Mouse deer, Nilgiri langur, Bonnet macaque, Lion-tailed macaque leopards, Jungle cats, Wild dogs and most importantly the tiger that is main predator in the Periyar Tiger Reserve. Upon arrival check-in to the hotel. Rest of the day at leisure.
Overnight at resort in Periyar.
DAY-09: Periyar
This morning your are collected from your hotel for Boat ride on Periyar Lake. All tourist activity is concentrated around the splendid artificial Periyar lake, an incredible way to experience the sanctuary. There are an estimated 700 elephants roaming these forests. Most of the population is generally concentrated on the banks of the Periyar Lake and come to the lake to frolic in the water. Late in the afternoon visit a nearby Spice Plantation. The area is famous for Cardomom, Cofee and Tea plantations. Evening at leisure.
Overnight at resort in Periyar.
DAY-10: Periyar – Madurai ()
After breakfast, drive from Periyar to Madurai. Madurai: Madurai or the "city of nectar" nestled down near the southern tip of India. This 2,500-year-old city is famous for its Hindu and Tamil cultural attractions. The ancient Kingdom of Maurya on the banks of the Vaigai River is one of India’s most sacred pilgrimage centres. Originally designed in the shape of a lotus motif, the city has since spread into a colourful patchwork of temples, bazaars and narrow roads packed with shops, stalls, pilgrims and cows. A must-see is the impressive multitowered Sri Meenakshi Temple built in 1560. Menakshi Temple, a vast complex of chambers is renowned as the finest example of Dravidian architecture in southern India. Upon arrival check-in to the hotel. Afternoon you are collected from your hotel for a half-day tour of Madurai. This tour includes a visit to the great Meenakshi Temple -a splendid example of Dravidian architecture. The present temple was designed in 1560 by Vishwanatha Nayak and subsequently built during the reign of Tirumalai Nayak. There are four entrances to the temple with an area of six hectares. Each of its 12 towers has the height of 45 to 50 meters. Later, visit the Tirumala Nayak Palace - A gracious building in the Indo saracenic style, famous for the Stucco work on its domes & arches. Also visit the Alagar Hills and Tirupara Kundran Rock temple. Evening witness Temple ceremony at Meenakshi Temple.
Overnight at hotel in Madurai.
DAY-11: Madurai - Chennai
This morning you will be met by our representative and escorted from your hotel to the Madurai airport intime to connect with the flight for Chennai. Chennai or Madras as it was known as is the capital of Tamilnadu. It is a teeming, sprawling, bustling industrial metro established on the site of a fishing village in 1639 as a first British settlement in India by the English merchant, Francis Day. Later, The East India Company developed Chennai as one of the major trading centres in India. Chennai has a blend of Dravidian and Gothic architecture in its buildings. The city might have grown but it has never lost its traditional grace and charm. The Tamil society might have incorporated English culture but the Dravidian roots are as strong as ever. Here many interesting churches still remain from the first British settlement in India. This coastal city has a beautiful promenade and a string of waterfront Indo-Saracenic buildings. Upon arrival you will be met and escorted to your hotel for check-in etc. Rest of the day at leisure.
Overnight at hotel in Chennai.
DAY-12: Chennai
This morning your are collected from your hotel for a half day tour of Chennai. This tour includes a visit to The Santhome Cathedral Church - built in 1504, then rebuilt in neo-Gothic style in 1893, this Roman Catholic Church near Kapaleeshwarar temple is said to house the remains of St. Thomas the Apostle.
St Thomas Mount - is the place where the apostle is said to have been killed. Little Mount Shrine - St. Thomas is believed to have lived in Little Mount Shrine (a tiny cave) when he came to India around 58 A.D. Known locally as Chinnamalai, the cave is entered via the Portuguese Church that was built in 1551. Fort St George -built in the 1640 A.D., the first bastion of British power of India, the fort has undergone much alteration. The fort is now used by the Tamilnadu Legislative Assembly and the Secretariat office. The 46m high flagstaff at the front is actually a mast salvaged from a 17th century shipwreck. St Mary's Church – built in 1678-80, was the first English Church in Chennai, and is the oldest surviving British Church in India. There are reminders in the Church of Clive, who was married here in 1753, and of Elihu Yale, the early Governor of Chennai who later founded the famous American University bearing his name. The Fort Museum - It has a collection of objects from the tenure of the East India Company in Chennai including letters from Robert Clive. Rest of the day at leisure to explore the city on your own.
Overnight at hotel in Chennai.
DAY-13: Chennai - Mahabalipuram
This morning you drive to Mahabalipuram (60 kms/1½ hrs.), the last stop of your South India tour. Mahabalipuram - Mahabalipuram is a sleepy coastal town 60 kms south of Chennai. This tiny sea side village set in a boulder strewn landscape is a site of many ancient sculptural marvels. It was the port city of the Pallavas who had mastered the art of construction without using bricks or mortar, carving out exquisite sculptures from rocks. The best examples of the ir art here are the five monolith chariots, the pride of Mahabalipuram. The various panels on the walls depict scenes from Hindu mythology and fables from the Panchtantra. The Mahabalipuram ruins, date to the seventh century and consist of a cave temple, shore temple, monolithic rathas (rock-carved temple chariots) and bas-reliefs (among the world's finest.). It is the ideal place to purchase intricately shaped and skilfully carved statues. Mahabalipuram , is one of the Indian towns that was devastated by the recent Tsunami waves in December 2004 , but in true Indian style , the city’s inhabitants showed tremendous grit and courage and had the city back to normal very quickly. Upon arrival check-in to the hotel. Rest of the day at leisure to explore the city on your own or perhaps just relax on the beach.
Overnight at hotel in Mahabalipuram.
DAY-14: Chennai - Departure
Met by our representative and escorted from your hotel to the Chennai airport in time for your flight home. If you have a few more days to spare, you could also choose to extend your South India tour package, to have a few more days of leisure on the beach in Mahabalipuram.
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Tour Duration: 13 Night / 14 Days
Itinerary:Bangalore, Mysore, Ooty, Cochin, Kumarakom, Periyar, Madurai, Chennai, Mahabalipuram
Tour Theme: Offers Kerala backwaters, beaches, monuments and popular temples.

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