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 ALL Tours >> South >> Grand South India Tour

 



 

Grand South India Tour

Mumbai – Bangalore – Hassan – Mysore – Ooty – Cochin – Kumarakom – Periyar – Madurai – Trichy – Thanjavur – Pondicherry – Mammalapuram – Kanchipuram – Chennai – Mumbai            (17 Days / 16 Nights)


Day 01: Arrive Mumbai

Met on arrival and transfer to hotel.


Day 02: Mumbai

During the morning excursion to Elephanta Caves, across the harbour you will see the world famous Elephanta Caves - 1200 years old and dedicated to Lord Shiva. The famous sculpture signifying the Trinity of the Creator, the Preserver and the Destroyer is situated here.

The city’s long association with the British is reflected in the old world charm of its buildings made in the Indo-Saracen style. Some of the well-known landmarks are the Gateway of India at Apollo Bunder overlooking the harbour.

Half day city tour of Mumbai will include a visit to the Prince of Wales Museum, Marine drive, Mani Bhawan (Gandhi House), Flora Fountain, Kamla Nehru Park and finally to the Hanging gardens.

Evening at leisure. Overnight at the hotel.

Day 03: Mumbai - Bangalore    

(9W 411 – 0640 / 0815 hrs

Morning check-out of the hotel and transfer to the airport in time to board flight for Bangalore. Assistance on arrival and transfer to hotel. Later proceed for sightseeing tour of Bangalore, one of the most pleasant cities of India takes in the central area which is studded with beautifully laid out parks, gardens, wide tree-lined avenues, imposing buildings and lively bazaars. Bangalore is famous for the Vidhan Soudha which is one of the India’s most spectacular buildings, built in granite     in the neo-Dravidian style of architecture. The Cubban Park is a beautifully landscaped, full of flowering trees and covers the park is the lung of the city an area of 120 hectares. The park is the lung of the city and was laid out in 1864. Some of the other attractions in Bangalore include the Lalbagh Gardens, the Tipu Sultan’s Palace and the Bull Temple, one of the Bangalore’s oldest temples.

 

Day 04: Bangalore - Hassan (Drive: 190 km / 5 hrs)

Morning check-out of the hotel and drive to Hassan, en-route visit Shravanbelgola, a small village nestled between two hillocks.           

Arrive Hassan and check-in at the hotel, later visit Belur & Halebid.

BELUR - Situated on the banks of river Yagachi, Belur was the capital of the Hoysala Empire 800 years ago, before it was shifted to Dwarasamudram (Halebid). Belur is a small town basking in the glory of one of the greatest monuments of medieval India - the 12th century Chennakesava Temple at Belur commemorates the victory of the Hoysalas over the Cholas in the great battle of Talakad. The exterior is covered with a variety of intricately-carved sculptures and friezes. The interior contains exquisite panels and richly carved pillars. A tall stone pillar in the temple courtyard is balanced, amazingly, only by its centre of gravity.

HALEBID - Halebid was the ancient capital of Hoysala Empire, then known as Dwarasamudra, was founded in the early 11th century AD. It was raided by the armies of the Delhi Sultanate in 1311 and 1327. Deserted afterwards, Dwarasamudra came to be called Halebid or the Old Capital. Of the many buildings of this ancient city, only a few have survived Muslim invasion. Notable among them is the imposing Hoysaleswara Temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. In the evening return to hotel.

 

Day 05: Hassan – Mysore (Drive: 120 km / 3 hrs)

Morning check-out of the hotel and proceed to Mysore, en-route visiting Srirangapattna, summer Palace of Tipu Sultan, is an island fortress encircled by river Cauvery. High stone walls and moats enclose temples, palaces and a great mosque, on arrival check-in at the hotel.

Mysore sightseeing includes a visit to the Maharaja’s Palace, the palace built in Indo-Sarcenic style. It is profusely decorated and gilded and has a solid jewel studded  golden throne. The Jaganmohan Palace converted into Art Gallery in 1875 exhibits paintings, which date back to that period.  

Visit fabled Brindavan Gardens with its dancing fountains. These breathtaking gardens, with their colorful lights are an important visitor attraction.

Evening at leisure. Overnight at the hotel.

 

Day 06: Mysore - Ooty    (Drive: 160 km / 5 hrs)    

Check-out of the hotel and drive to Ooty, a popular hill station in the Nilgiris or the Blue Mountains, so called on account of the mist that envelops this range. At an elevation of 2286 meter, Ooty offers many profiles of nature, each imbued with a distinctive grandeur, on arrival check-in at the hotel.

Evening at leisure. Overnight at the hotel.

 

Day 07: Ooty

Morning proceed for a sightseeing tour of Ooty. The sightseeing encapsulates a visit to the hill slopes covered with tea estates, lush downs and placid lakes. This extraordinary scenic beauty is matched by a salubrious climate. Also visit the botanical Gardens, laid out in 1847 by the Marquis of Tweeddale. A variety of exotic and ornamental plants adorn this garden. There is a fossil tree trunk 20 million years old in the garden.

The Ooty Lake presents a chance at the quaint activity of paddle boating; it used to be very pretty but is now increasingly weed locked. The Rose Garden has 1919 varieties of the flower. There are a lot of British buildings. The gothic St. Stephen’s Church built in 1820, and the Stone House bungalow, Raj Bhawan built in 1877. The Roman Catholic shrine called Kandal Cross, which bears a relic of the True Cross, makes Ooty `Jerusalem of the East’!

Evening at leisure. Overnight at the hotel.

Day 08: Ooty– Cochin (Drive: 285 km / 8 hrs)                    

Morning check-out of the hotel and proceed for Cochin. Upon arrival check-in at the hotel. Overnight at the hotel

Day 09: Cochin - Kumarakom            

Morning explore Cochin, a port city with a rich past and bustling present. Kochi is an attractive city with serene back-waters, golden sunsets, lagoons. Which are overhung with feathery coconut palms. It also has picturesque Islands-Vypeen, willingdon, Ramanthuruth, Vallarpadam and Bolghatty - all of which contribute to its beautiful cityscape. The interesting Jewish Synagogue - the oldest in India and the Mattancherry Palace of the former maharajas form part of this picturesque city. Also visit Chinese fishing nets rest on their cantilevered stands. The technique came from Kubla Khan’s court and till date serves the purpose.

Later in the day check-out of the hotel and drive to Kumarakom. Arrive and check-in at the hotel. Overnight at the hotel.

Day 10: Kumarakom - Periyar                

Morning at leisure. Later in the day check-out of the hotel and proceed to Periyar, best known for its wildlife, is a must-see for all visitors to Kerala, on arrival check-in at the hotel, afternoon Boat cruise in The Periyar Lake, it lies at the heart of the sanctuary which is a veritable paradise for all wildlife lovers. One can view the animals in their natural surroundings while cruising on the lake, or better still come within a few feet of a herd of wild elephants. The majestic gaur, deer, wild boar and the distinctive Nilgiri langur are often spotted along the lake, as also water birds.

Periyar’s wildlife variety includes the tiger, sambar, barking deer, mouse deer, the nilgiri tahr, wild dog, porcupine, lion tailed macaque, Malabar squirrel and the sloth bear. The reserve has also attractions for the bird watcher as varieties of birds like the hornbill, blue winged parakeet, whistling thrush, flycatcher and water birds are to be seen here.

Arrive and check-in at the hotel. Later proceed for a boat cruise in Periyar Lake. Evening at leisure. Overnight at the hotel.

 

Day 11: Periyar – Madurai (Drive: 160 km / 5 hrs)

Morning check-out of the hotel and proceed for Madurai. Upon arrival check-in at the hotel.

Later in the afternoon proceed for a sightseeing tour of Madurai. In the heart of the town stands the overwhelming Meenakshi Sundareswarar Temple, with its immense gopurams towering over the city. The splendidly carved temple complex, the main attraction of the town, draws pilgrims and visitors from all over the country. Also visit Tirumalai Nayak Temple, The Palace Building - Constructed in the Indo-Sarcenic style, is considered to be an architectural feat, built in the 17th century. The palace has a number of pillars, their heights varying from 4m to 12 m, and 15 domes, three of them huge. The beautiful arches are unique in their ornamental workmanship. Also visit Vandiyur Mariamman Tank. This is a huge temple tank measuring 304.8m on each side, with a mandapam at its centre. Madurai is also a business centre famed for its traditional handicrafts in brass and bronze.

Evening at leisure to explore the local market. Overnight at the hotel.

 

Day 12: Madurai - Tiruchirapali    (Drive: 128 km / 3 hrs)

Morning check-out of the hotel and proceed for Tiruchirapalli. Upon arrival check-in at the hotel.

Later in the afternoon proceed for a sightseeing tour of Tiruchirapalli which is dominated by the Rock Fort, perched on a massive rock that soars 83 meters upwards from the surrounding plains. The present fort was built by the Nayak of Madurai and was the scene of Carnatic battles as late as the 18th century.

Visit Rock Fort Temple and Srirangam - a picturesque island between the Cauvery river and its tributary Kollidam, north of Tiruchirapalli. Sri Ranganathaswamy temple is one of the largest Vaishnavite temple in south India built around the 13th and 14th centuries. With its 21 magnificent towers and stone pillars covered with a profusion of carvings. The temple is surrounded by seven walls within which the town itself is located.

Evening at leisure to explore the local town. Overnight at the hotel.

 

Day 13: Tiruchirapali  - Thanjavur (Drive: 54 km / 2 hrs)

Morning check-out of the hotel and drive to Thanjavur. Upon arrival check-in at the hotel.

Later in the day proceed for a sightseeing tour of Thanjavur. Thanjavur is known as the Rice Bowl of Tamil Nadu. The destination has a large share of the ancient temple wonders of South India. Visit Brihadeeswara or the Big Temple of God, an example of the magnificent achievements of the Cholas in the field of temple architecture. The tower over the inner sanctum sanctorum rises perpendicularly to a height of 15 metres from a square of 28.8 metres and then tapers to make a total height of 64.8 metres. The tower is capped by an 81.3 tonne monolithic stone slab adorned with winged niches on four sides.

Also visit The Palace near the temple. It is a vast building of masonary built partly by the Nayaks around 1550 AD and partly by the Marathas. It is grand pile of buildings with huge corridors and spacious halls. Two of palace towers, the armory and the observation towers, are visible from all parts of the city. Also visit Saraswathi Mahal, a library which has over 30,000 palm leaf and paper manuscripts in Indian and European languages.

Evening at leisure to explore the local town. Overnight at the hotel.

 

Day 14: Thanjavur - Pondicherry     (Drive: 210 km / 7 hrs)

Morning check-out of the hotel and drive to Pondicherry. Arrive and check in at the hotel

Later in the day proceed for a sightseeing tour of Pondicherry.

Pondicherry, the former French colony, houses the Aurobindo Ashram which promotes Aurobindo’s ideas in bringing about a synthesis of Yoga and modern science, so as to unite the spirit and matter.

Also visit Auroville  - Shree Aurobindo and The Mother, his most eminent disciple, set up the Auroville in 1926. Together they explored the possibilities of yoga and meditation as a path to salvation.

Evening at leisure to explore the local town. Overnight at the hotel.

 

Day 15: Pondicherry - Mammalapuram  (Drive: 74 km / 2 hrs)

Morning at leisure, later in the day check-out of the hotel and drive to Mamallapuram . Upon arrival check in at the hotel.

Later in the day proceed for a sightseeing tour visiting The Shore Temple, one of the oldest temples. Unique about this temple is the fact that it houses shrines for both Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu. Also visit The Five Rathas. There are five monolithic temples, each created in a different style. They are also known as the Pancha Pandava Rathas. Four out of five rathas are supposed to have been carved out of single rock. Arjuna’s Penance, is the world’s largest bas relief measuring 27m x 9m. This huge whale-backed rock contain figures of gods, demigods, men beasts, birds and almost all of the entire creation.

Evening at leisure to explore the local market. Overnight at the hotel.

 

Day 16: Mammalapuram – Kanhipuram – Chennai (Drive: 74 km / 2 hrs)

Morning check-out of the hotel and drive to Kanchipuram, known as one of India’s seven sacred cities, the Golden City was the historical capital of the Pallavas, and later became the citadel of the Cholas, and the Rayas of Vijaynagar. Visit Ekambareswarar Temple, an ancient temple, the 57 metre high Rajagopuram, one of the tallest towers in South India. Other important temples are The Kamakshi Amman Temple, this is one of the three holy places of shakthi worship in India.  Continue your journey to Chennai (72 km / 2 hrs), on arrival check-in at the hotel.

Evening at leisure to explore the local town. Overnight at the hotel.

 

Day 17: Chennai -  Mumbai Departure

(9W 468 – 1745 / 1930 hrs)

Morning proceed for a sightseeing tour of Chennai. The sightseeing tour captures the cultural kaleidoscope of South India with its ancient traditions, festivals, fine crafts, classical music and dance. Having begun as a British settlement 350 years ago, Chennai today still exudes the charm of a traditional lifestyle. The gateway to the south, the city provides many a fascinating vignette of its varied heritage. The Kapaleeswarar Temple, a magnificent example of dravidian architecture, has inscriptions dating back to 1250 AD. Dedicated to Lord Vishnu, the Parthasarthy Temple is another masterpiece originally built by the Pallavas in the 8th century. The Fort St. George was built in 1640 AD and was the first bastion of British power in India. St. Thomas Mount where the Apostle St. Thomas was martyred in 72 AD is another fascinating facet of the city’s heritage.

Later in the day check-out of the hotel and transfer to the airport in time to board flight for Mumbai.

Assistance on arrival at Mumbai and direct transfer to the International airport in time to board flight for onward destination.

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