HIGHLIGHTS OF SOUTH INDIA
CHENNAI (Madras)-MYSORE-COORG-NAGARHOLE-CALICUT-COCHIN- RICE BOAT(MV Vrinda)-KUMARAKOM-KOVALAM (Trivandrum)
Introduction The tour highlights the essence of South India.
Jewels of information
Tipu Sultan: the warrior tiger king.died fighting british.
Day 01: Wecome to Chennai
Arrive Chennai airport, where you will be greeted by our rep and transfer to your hotel.
Chennai, also known as Madras, the capital of Tamil Nadu, is the country's fourth largest city. Compared to the other major metros of India, it is far less congested and polluted. Chennai was the site of the first settlement of the East India Company. It was founded in 1639, on a piece of land given by the Raja of Chandragiri, the last representative of the Vijayanagar rulers of Hampi.
Day 02: Chennai
Morning visit to Kalakshetra, a cultural institute started by Smt. Rukmani Devi Arundale in 1936 for preservation of traditional values in Indian art, especially in the field of dance and music.
Later you would visit Chennai, which include the temple, bronze gallery of Chennai (closed on Fridays) that is famous for its superb collection of Chola art. Also drive through the flower and fruit market, drive past the High Court built in Indo-Saracen style
Day 03: Chennai – Mysore
Take the morning shatabadi to Mysore.
Mysore - a city of palaces, gardens, shady avenues and sacred temples and retains some of the charm of the old world with its many institutions that propagate Carnatic Classical music and dance. It also used to be the political capital of the Wodeyar dynasty which ruled the state of Karnataka for some 150 years till the independence of the country from the British. These kings were great patrons of art and culture and Mysore was the cultural capital of the south under the rule of the Wodeyars.
Afternoon visit Srirangapatnam and the summer palace of Tipu Sultan.
Day 04: Mysore
Morning after breakfast proceed for sightseeing tour visiting the palace of the Maharaja built in 1911-12. The palace is of harmonious synthesis of the Indo-Saracenic styles of architecture with archways, domes, turrets, colonnades and sculptures which are magnificient, also visit the Art Gallery. Later drive upto Chamundi hill to see Chamundeshwari Temple and a panoramic view of Mysore. visit temple of Goddess Chamundeshwari, symbol of victory of Good over Evil is a 335 metre landmark with 1000 steps. Half way up along the stone steps is Nandi, a majestic 4.8 mts monolith. Atop the hill is huge statue of Mahishasura, the demon and a temple of Goddess Chamundeshwari, can also be reached by driving 13 Kms. Enroute back to Mysore also visit Bull Temple.
Afternoon you can relax at the hotel or visit Brindavan gardens, located 12 Kms north-west of Mysore city and has rows-of colourful fountains. There is a boating pond to cross the dam from the south bank to the north bank and at the northern edge are the dancing fountains. Using advanced lighting techniques, the fountains are made to jump and dance to the tune of music. The dam is over 3 Kms long and is constructed at the junction of three rivers - Kaveri, Hemavati and Lakshmanathirtha. This site has been popularised over the years by the large number of Indian/foreign films shot at this location.
Overnight at hotel.
Day 05: Mysore – Coorg
Drive to Coorg in the morning, visiting a Tibetian settlement en route.
This day you are free to explore city Coorg or Kodagu (originally called Kodaimalenadu) means 'dense forest on steep hill'. Dubbed as the Scotland of India, this town has a lot to offer to the tourist. Misty hills, lush forest, acres and acres of tea and coffee plantation, orange groves, undulating streets and breathtaking views are what make Coorg an unforgettable holiday destination.
Day 06: Coorg – Nagarhole
Drive to Nagarhole this morning. A perfect get - away for nature - lovers. Deriving its name from Kannada, 'Naga' meaning snake and 'hole' referring to strems, Nagarhole is truly a delightful spot, bubbling with the activity of some of the most magnificent animals and trees.
Afternoon visit the National Park. There are chances of seeing the tiger, leopard and wild dog as well as elephant, gaur, chital, sambar, barking deer, wild boar, langur, giant squirrels and jackals among other animals. Birdlife is also excellent, with beautiful morning views of the grey jungle fowl and red spurfowl. Other colourful or uncommon birds include the Malabar trogon, great black woodpecker, Malabar pied hornbill, Indian pitta, Malabar whistling thrush and scarlet minivets.
Rosewood, teak, sandal, silver oak…the deep, fresh aroma of these trees mingling with the sounds of the wildlife.
Day 07: Nagarhole – Calicut
Your journey will bring you to Calicut this morning through picturesque jungles and countryside. Calicut (also known as Kozhikode) is a busy coastal city. Located to the north of Kerala holds an important position in the legend and history of Kerala. Vasco Da Gama landed at Kappad, 16km north of Kozhikode as the leader of a trade mission from Portugal & was received by the Zamorin himself.
Kozhikode has lush green forests, rivers, wildlife, hills, a unique culture and a warm friendly ambience make Kozhikode a much sought after destination. Enjoy the ayurvedic massages that are available in the resort.
This evening see the Kerala martial arts (kailaripattu) performance.
Day 08: Calicut – Cochin
A long drive to Cochin today visiting the elephant orphanage and the temple at Gooruvayur en route.. The evening is at leisure.
Day 09: Cochin
Kochi (Cochin), the Queen of the Arabian Sea and the Queen of the Adriatic, is situated on the west coast of India is also referred to as the Gateway of South India. It is a cluster of islands dotting on the magnificent emerald lakes which in turn open to the sea, making the city one of the finest natural harbors in the world. Due to its advantageous location, Cochin has experience the affluence from the seaborne trade, and at the same time enjoyed various cultural influences brought in by different traders and visitors since the ancient times.
In the morning, while visiting the city, you will see the ancient palace, old Portuguese churches as well as Jewish synagogue, indicating diverse cultural heritages left to the city.
Day 10: Cochin- MV Vrinda (Riceboat)
Cochin is boasted for its extensively emerald backwaters lined with palm trees and local villages which represent the fascinating lifestyle of inhabitants who still used these course ways as their mode of transportation. Such cultural scenes in Cochin's backwaters can be appreciated by a comfortable cruise which will take visitors delving through magnificent waterways.
M.V. Vrinda, India’s first luxury cruiser on the backwaters of Kerala, features a unique standard of luxury and comfort. Offering a high standard of design and furniture, it boasts an air-conditioned dining room, bar and luxury cabins that create the perfect atmosphere.
After breakfast, you will be transferred to the Vembanad Lake jetty, where you will board M.V. Vrinda and will sail across the Vembanad Lake and enter the backwaters. Lunch will be served on board. The vessel will sail along these scenic waterways for four and a half hours. Vrinda will return to the Vembanad Lake in time for you to watch the sunset.
Later in the evening, you can watch a Mohiniattam recital. This classical dance form, distinctive to Kerala, is also called the 'Dance of the Enchantress'. Dancers attired in beautiful traditional costumes will perform with slow, graceful movements and highly emotive expressions.
Vrinda will anchor for the night, enjoy dinner on board.
Day 11: To Kumarakom
Vrinda will sail to the middle of the lake at sunrise. After breakfast, it will sail through scenic backwaters, passing through one of the few areas in the world where farming is done below sea level. Also catch a glimpse of village life along the backwaters as you sail in a traditional rice boat and experience a way of life unique to this region. Visit some of the ancient temples enroute. The boat will pass through picturesque stretches of the backwaters to Kumarkom.
Of board at Kumarkom, and transfer to hotel. Overnight at Hotel
Day 12: Kumarakom
Ever closed your eyes and wished for wings, to take you away to a land breathtakingly beautiful, peacefully serene and wholesomely pristine. Well, dreams have the uncanny ability of coming true. Especially when you arrive at the Kumarakom - slumbers on the banks of the famous Vembanad Lake, which is a part of Kuttanad ('granary' of Kerala). The Vembanad Lake with its majestic canals, streams and distributaries along its banks weave an intricate and enchantingly beautiful web. The gorgeous green of the fringed palms ripple in the blue waters and blend into wavelets.
Explore the bird sancutry in Kumarakom or just relax with an Ayurveda massage.
Day 13: Kumarakom – Trivandrum
Arrive Trivandrum and check in at hotel.
Afternoon proceed for half day sightseeing tour of city Thiruvananthapuram, earlier known as Trivandrum, is the capital city of Kerala. The name literally splits into "Tiru","Anantha""puram" meaning "the town of Lord ANANTHA". This is really true since the temple is at the heart of the town and for generations, the kings have called themselves "Padmanabha-Dasa" or the "servants of LORD Ananthapadmanabha", and ruled the state as the representatives of LORD Anantha-Padmanabha.
The town has a history of supporting fine art and culture. Museum is an important and unique building which houses several artifacts and rare musical instruments used in yesteryears. The city is home to one of India's best known architects Mr.Larie W.Baker. This octogenerian architect has built some of the most beautiful residential and public buildings here using his low-cost techniques using local materials and traditions. One of his widely known public buildings is the Centre for Economic development, which was built ECONOMICALLY by Baker. His own home in Nalanchira, often attracts visitors. Overnight at hotel
Day 14: Leave Trivandrum
Today you will be transferred to airport to connect your onward journey to home.