HIGHLIGHTS OF SOUTH INDIA
CHENNAI (Madras)-MYSORE-COORG-NAGARHOLE-CALICUT-COCHIN- RICE BOAT(MV Vrinda)-KUMARAKOM-KOVALAM (Trivandrum)
Covering the three of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala, this itinerary captures the essence of South India. It introduces you to the culture, the highly devotional classical music and dance forms, the distinctive cuisine, the styles of dress, homes. . .
You start at Chennai, previously known as Madras, the capital of Tamil Nadu, and, in 1639, the site of the first settlement of the East India Company. From there to Mysore, capital of the Wodeyar dynasty which ruled the state of Karnataka for some 150 years till Independence. Then into the interior – the misty hills, lush forests, acres and acres of tea and coffee plantation, orange groves, and breathtaking views of Coorg or Kodagu (originally called Kodaimalenadu) which translates as 'dense forest on steep hill'- an apt description. Kozhikode or Calicut is where Vasco da Gama landed – successful in his search for a sea route to the spice lands.
But it is the cruise of the backwaters of Kerala that the true essence of the land comes through – a quiet peaceful countryside bathed in serenity.
Jewels of information
The name Thiruvananthapuram literally splits into Tiru, Anantha, puram meaning ‘the town of Lord Anantha’. Anantha is the thousand-headed serpent on whom Vishnu the creator reclines. The Anantha Padmanabhaswamy temple lies at the heart of the town which was the seat of the royal family of Travancore for almost 200 years.
Day 01: Arrival in Chennai
Reception and welcome at Chennai airport, followed by transfer to your hotel.
Day 02: Chennai
Visit Kalakshetra, a cultural institute started in 1936 for the preservation of traditional values in Indian art, especially in the field of dance and music. Later, explore Chennai, stopping at flower and fruit markets as well as museums and the profusion of suberb Indo-Saracenic buildings.
Day 03: Chennai – Mysore
Take the morning express train to Mysore, political and cultural capital of the south under the Wodeyars Kings.
Day 04: Mysore
After breakfast visit the Maharaja’s palace before driving to see other sites.
Day 05: Mysore – Coorg
Drive to Coorg in the morning, stopping at a Tibetian settlement en route.
Day 06: Coorg – Nagarhole
You should be out in the National Park by the afternoon attempting to spot tiger, leopard, wilddog, elephants, gaur as well as a variety of monkeys, deer and antelope. It is also an excellent place for birdwatchers.
Day 07: Nagarhole – Calicut
A journey through picturesque jungles and countrysideou to Calicut (also known as Kozhikode) is a busy coastal city located to the north of Kerala
Day 08: Calicut – Kochi
Cochin is a long drive even with two halts – one at an elephant orphanage and the temple at Gooruvayur en rout. Relax in the evening.
Day 09: Kochi
Kochi (Cochin), on the west coast of India is also referred to as the Gateway of South India. Visit the ancient palace, old Portuguese churches as well as Jewish synagogue, all indicators of the diverse cultural heritage of the city.
Day 10: Cochin- MV Vrinda (Boat)
Take a comfortable cruise down emerald backwaters lined with palm trees that meander through villages where these waterways are still the major mode of transport.
Day 11: To Kumarakom
Vrinda will set sail for the middle of the lake at sunrise. Later, stopping at some of the ancient temples en route, the boat will go through to Kumarkom.
Day 12: Kumarakom
Kumarakom, on the banks of the famous Vembanad Lake is part of Kuttanad, the granary of Kerala. Explore the bird sancutry, or get an Ayurveda massage.
Day 13: Kumarakom – Thiruvananthapuram
Tour the capital city of Kerala, earlier known as Trivandrum.
Day 14: Departure
Transfer to the airport in time for your flight out.