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Treasures of South India
A cultural tour of India
Tour Duration : 16 Days TourTaj Mahal - Agra
Destinations :
Mumbai, Banglore, Hassen, Sravanbelagola, Mysore, Ooty, Cochin, Alleppey, Kumarakom, Periyar, Madurai, Trichy, Tanjore, Pondicherry, Mahabalipuram, Chennai.
Tour Description : This memorable journey through Karnataka, Kerala & Tamil Nadu, encompasses all the highlights of southern India. Mumbai the financial capital of India is our initial base. We then travel to explore Bangalore, Hassan, Mysore, the historic palace city takes us back to the grandiose age of the maharajas & Ooty in Karnatka where we get a lifetime experience of journey on the Toy train ( a Unesco world heritage), and continuing our Journey to the lush tropical land of Kerala – the harbour city of Cochin, with its diverse architectural and religious influences. Alleppey is a village where we observe the rural lifestyle in the backwaters before boarding a traditional rice barge and taking to the main waterways. Next is the Periyar National Park and from where we visit the historic temple and palace cities of Madurai, Trichy, Tanjore (Thanjavur). Our journey ends back in the lively former trading outpost city of Chennai (Madras).





DETAILED ITINERARY TOUR PRICE ACCOMMODATION INCLUSIONS




Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive Mumbai:
Namaste! We are warmly welcomed the traditional Indian way with hands clapped together. After immigration and custom formalities, we are transferred to our Hotel. Mumbai is an easy city to enjoy, and that the longer you spend here, the better it gets. This is India's finance centre, the economic powerhouse of the nation, and heart of the Hindi film industry. Overnight: Hotel in Mumbai (2 Nights)

Day 2: Mumbai:
After breakfast, our experience of Mumbai starts with Gateway of India- Mumbai's most famous monument; this is the starting point for most tourists who want to explore the city. We continue our tour of Mumbai by visiting the Prince of Wales Museum & Victoria Terminus which is recently added to the world heritage site. This is a city's most exuberant Gothic building look more like a lavishly decorated palace or cathedral than a train station. Our Next Stop is at Mani Bhawan, where Mahatma Gandhi stayed here during the freedom Struggle of British India. The house is now converted into a Museum. From here we leave for Jain Temple and Hanging gardens and drive past Haji Ali - the tomb of a wealthy Muslim merchant, who renounced all his worldly belongings before embarking on a pilgrimage to Mecca. The tomb itself is over eight hundred years old and linked to the mainland by a path that is annually submerged in the high monsoon tide. We end our tour at the Dhobi Ghats - a vast outdoor laundry. After the tour we return back to our hotel. Rest of the day is free explore Mumbai on your own. (Breakfast)

Please Note: The Prince of Wales Museum is closed on Mondays.

Day 3: Mumbai/Bangalore: by flight
Today we are transferred to airport for flight to Bangalore. On arrival, meet & assisted transfer to hotel. PM: Sightseeing of Bangalore, The capital of Karnataka State (formerly Mysore) is modern, well planned and ranks among India's most beautiful cities. Its rolling parks and gardens are famous for their botanical value and beautiful flowers. Also visit the Visveswariah Memorial Museum, Mysore Arts and Crafts Centre and shopping areas. Overnight: Hotel in Bangalore (1 Night) (Breakfast)

Day 4: Bangalore/Hassan (190 Kms / 04 Hrs drive):
In the morning after breakfast we leave by surface to Hassan and on arrival transfer to hotel. Later we visit Belur and Halebid. The twin capital of the ancient Haysala Kingdom (1100 A.D. to 1310 A.D. and see the Chenna Kesva temple in Belur built in 1117 A.D. an excellent example of Hoysala architecture that has intricate carvings on the exterior and bracket figures of women in different postures. Also visit the image of Ganesh, Durga and Saraswati at Kappe Chenningaraja Shrine and later visit Hayaleswara Temple at Halebid and see the intricate carved friezes and episodes from Hindu Mythology. It ranks among the masterpieces of Indian sculptural art. Overnight: Hotel in Hassan (1 Night) (Breakfast)

Day 5: Hassan/Sravanbelagola/Mysore (125 Kms/03 Hrs drive):
In the morning after breakfast we leave by surface to Mysore en-route visits Sravanabelagola -the large monolithic statue of lord Bahubali a Jain saint. On arrival in Mysore we check in our hotel.

STATUE OF BAHUBALI, SRAVANBELAGOLA: 51 kms south-east of Hassan, this is one of the most important Jain pilgrim centres. Here is the 17 m high monolith of Lord Bahubali - the world's tallest monolithic statue. Thousands of devotees congregate here to perform the Mahamastakabhisheka - spectacular ceremony held once in 12 years, when the 1000 - year - old statue is anointed with milk, curds, ghee, saffron and gold coins. The next Mahamastakabhisheka will be held in 2017 A.D. Overnight: Hotel in Mysore (2 Nights) (Breakfast)

Day 6: Full day sightseeing of Mysore including Somnathpur:
After breakfast we visit Maharaja Palace, the beautiful profile of this walled palace. The city of Dusserah, palaces and parks, is one of the few places in India which still breathes the air of medieval country splendour. In addition to its beauty, quietude and equable climate Mysore offers a convenient base for a number of interesting excursions, making it a very popular resort. (Breakfast)

Day 7: Mysore/Ooty (140 Kms/ 03:30 Hrs drive):
In the morning after breakfast we leave by surface to Ooty, on arrival we check in to hotel. Ooty, situated in the Nilgiri hills it is a beautiful and scenic small hill station. The verdant hills, the lush green valleys and the pristine natural beauty of the hill resort. Ooty offers the urban tired souls a chance to resume their affair with Nature, to whom they truly belong. The green hills, the cascading waterfalls and sparkling brooks, all make the hill station a delight for the eyes of the city-weary. Ooty is an ideal hill station since it offers all this and much more. There are many places you can tour, such as the Botanical Gardens, Lamb's rock, Dodabetta Peak, among many others.

Afternoon visit Doddabetta Hills. The height of the Dodabetta Peak is 2,623 meters making it the highest point of the district. It is located at a distance of 10 km from the main city and offers an unbelievably beautiful scene of the surrounding topography. Overnight: Hotel in Ooty (1 Night) (Breakfast)

Day 8: Ooty/Cochin (290 Kms/06 Hrs drive):
Morning 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 ravines 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 kilometres by counting them all the way. Great train journey indeed which will linger in your memory for a long time to come. Leave by surface to Cochin on arrival we check in our hotel. Overnight: Hotel in Cochin (1 Night) (Breakfast)

Day 9: Cochin/Alleppey/Houseboat (65 Hrs/ 02 Hrs drive):
Morning sightseeing of Cochin- The queen of Arabian Sea - a land of mountain ranges, rushing rivers, low lands studded with blue lagoons and the sea flanking the entire coastline. The imprints of it's colourful past can be seen in the people and the monuments of Cochin, even today. Visit the Jewish Synagogue, the Dutch Palace, St. Francis Church and the Chinese fishing nets are interesting. After the city tour, we drive to Alleppey, where on arrival we board the traditional rice boats - "Ketuvallam" and begin journey through the picturesque backwaters and small lakes relaxing in the tranquillity of Kerala's beautiful scenery -Experience the way of life and activity of the local people. Overnight: A/C Deluxe Houseboat (1 Night) (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Please note: Jewish Synagogue remains closed on Friday’s and Saturday’s

Day 10: Kumarakom/ Periyar (125 Kms/ 3.30 Hrs drive):
Disembark from the houseboat and leave by surface to Periyar. On arrival in Periyar we check in our hotel. Afternoon boat ride through the sanctuary. Boat ride through the sanctuary is the standard way of seeing the sanctuary. The Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary (Entry: 0600 to 1800 hrs): Lying close to plantations, in the rich jungles of Periyar in Thekkady is one of the world's most fascinating natural wildlife reserves - the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary. Spread across 777 sq km, of which 360 sq. km is thick evergreen forest, the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary was declared a Tiger Reserve in 1978. Noted for its geomorphology, diversity of wildlife and scenic beauty, the Reserve attracts visitors from all over the world. The splendid artificial lake formed by the Mullaperiyar Dam across the Periyar River adds to the charm of the park. This is the only sanctuary in India where you can have the unique experience of viewing wildlife at close quarters from the safety of a boat on the lake. The greatest attraction of Periyar, however, are the herds of wild elephants that come down to play in the lake. Overnight: Hotel in Periyar (1 Night) (Breakfast)

Day 11: Periyar/Madurai (160 Kms/4 Hrs drive):
In the morning after breakfast we leave by surface to Madurai. On arrival we check in our hotel. Later we take sightseeing of Madurai, 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. In evening visit Meenakshi temple for night ceremony. Overnight: Hotel in Madurai (1 Night) (Breakfast)

Day 12: Madurai/Trichy (145 Kms/4 Hrs drive)/Tanjore (60 Kms/01.30 Hrs drive):
In the morning after breakfast we leave by surface to Trichy, where on arrival we visit great temple of Srirangam - an island on the Cauvery. This is a massive temple with a 100 pillar hall highly decorated with carvings. After visiting the temple, continue drive to Tanjore and on arrival we check in our hotel. PM: Visit Tanjore. The city is well known for its magnificent Shree Brihadeshwara Shiva Temple – a Unesco World Heritage site, built in the Dravidian Style whose vimanam soars 216 ft. high and the dome rests on a single 80 ton granite block. Built in 1010 AD by Raja Raja Chola in Thanjavur, Brihadeshwara Temple also popularly known as the ‘Big Temple’ has turned 1000 years in 2010. The temple Opens daily 9 am - 1pm & 4-6 pm. Also visit the Saraswathi Mahal Library containing rare collections of ancient books and manuscripts in various languages on various subjects. Overnight: Hotel in Tanjore (1 Night) (Breakfast)

Day 13: Tanjore/Darasuram/Kumbakonam/Pondicherry (185 Kms/ 4 Hrs drive):
In the morning after breakfast we leave by surface to Pondicherry en-route visits Kumbakonam and Darasuram. Kumbakonam is noted for many of its temples, Dharasuram and Gangakondacholapuram. This former French Colonial city in Tamil Nadu didn't come under Indian rule until 1954. Pondicherry otherwise known a Puducherry means a "New Hamlet" which is located on the Coromandal Coast. Here people speaking 55 different languages reside and inspite of Linguistic plethola there is no restlessness but absolute harmony. It's main attraction is actually outside of town: the ashram at Auroville, built by followers of Sri Aurobindo, a philosopher/prophet born in 1870. The International town where people of different countries reside belongs to humanity as a whole. Matrimandir the famous monument is constructed by the Auroville Society which represents the flower Lotus. Also visit 400 years old Manakula Vinayagar Temple which has several fresco paintings on the walls telling the life story of half human and half animal lord. You shall also visit Sri Aurobindo Ashram named after Sri Aurobindo, who was a National Leader, famous for his integral Yoga and philosophical literary works. A French Lady, Madam Mirr Richard, followed his spiritual path and the Samadhi of both Sri Aurobindo and Mother are situated at main premises of the Ashram. Overnight: Hotel in Pondicherry (1 Night) (Breakfast)

Day 14: Pondicherry/Mahabalipuram (100 Kms/2.30 Hrs drive):
After breakfast we depart for Mahabalipuram best known for its shore temples. A UNESCO World Heritage site, Mahabalipuram was the second capital of Pallava King of Kanchipuram. The 7th century town is famous for its rock-hewn temples, sculptures and the world's largest stone bas-relief. On arrival check in our hotel. We also visit the "Five Rathas", a group of monolithic monuments and animal figures carved out of solid rock, almost like an artist's experiment in variety of form. Mamallapuram is a sculptor’s delight. Among the noteworthy sites in the vicinity of the town are Arjuna's Penance, Krishna Mandapam, Varaha Mandapam, and Mahishasurmardhini Caves. Evening is a walking tour of the bazaars and narrow lanes to see the city’s activities at dusk time. Overnight: Hotel in Mahabalipuram (1 Night) (Breakfast)

Day 15: Mahabalipuram/ Chennai (60 Kms/01.30 Hrs drive):
Morning is free to relax on the beach. Afternoon drive to Chennai the capital of the state of Tamil Nadu and the cultural Gateway to South India. On arrival check in to our hotel. Chennai is also a focal point for India's 1950-year old Christian faith. Christ's Apostle Thomas is said to have preached, died & buried in Chennai. The little mount, St. Thomas' Mount and Santhome Cathedral commemorate these epochal events. Our tour of Chennai starts with a visit to The National Art Gallery, Built before 1789, the museum was established in 1857 and contains one of the best collection in the country of bronzes, including the famous icon of Natraja. There are also sections devoted to geology and anthropology. The Museum with some beautiful temple prizes and the finest collection of South Indian bronzes are quite interesting. St. Mary's Church, St. Mary's Church-Built in 1680. This was first English Church in Chennai and is India's oldest surviving British church. In the church there are reminders of Clive, who was married here in 1753, and Elihu Yale, The early governor of Madras. Peoples Park and the beautiful Marina Beach, which is the second longest beach in the world as well as the clock towers, are worth visiting. Overnight: Hotel in Chennai (1 Night) (Breakfast)

Please Note: Museum remains closed on Friday and National holidays


Day 16: Chennai-Home:
Today we are transferred to international airport in time to board flight to next destination. (Breakfast)


(B) = Breakfast, (L) = Lunch, (D) = Dinner
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Cultural Tours : Aromas of East || Taj at Full moon || The Grand Palace Tour || Glimpses of South India || A Study Tours of the Indian Cuisines || Spirit of India || Historical Gujarat || Northern Raj || Southern Raj || Golden Triangle || Himalayan Sancturies || Treasures of South India || India Southern Spices ||
Classical India Tour || India from North to West || India from North to East || Best of Kerala || Exotic India & Nepal || Forts & Palaces of Rajasthan ||
Heart & Soul of India || Daily Departures Tours ||

Guaranteed Departure Tours : Best of North India || Best of South India || Discover India || Gems of Kerala || Incredible South India || Royal Rajasthan Tour || Splendors of North India Tour || Golden Triangle with Ranthambore Tour

Luxury Tour India : Royal India Tour || Exotic India Tour || Golden Triangle || Golden Triangle with Ranthambore || Glimpses of India || The Maharaja Tour || Himalayan Romance with Taj, Pink City & Lake City

Fixed Departure Tours : New Year at Taj Mahal || Pushkar Fair

Himalayan Panorama : Golden Temple & Kashmir || Bestway Himalayan Adventure || Drive through Buddhist Kingdom || The Holy Mount, Kailash Mansarover Yatra || Mountain Bike Tour

Beach Holidays : Majestic India with Goa || Sun & Sand of East India || Andamans - A Dream Destination || Goa Beach Tours India

Ayurveda,Spa & Yoga Holidays : Ayurveda at its best || Rejuvination India || Yoga in Rishikesh || South India Temples Tours

India by Rail : Palace on Wheels || Royal Rajasthan on Wheels || The Indian Maharaja || The Golden Chariot || Splendours of The South

Kerala Tours: Best of Kerala || Glimpses of South India || Indian Southern Spices

Special Interest Tours : Made for Each Other || The Culinary Art of India || The Best of Tandoori Delights || Dances of India || Project Tiger

Pushkar Mela : Jewels of India & Nepal with Pushkar

Spiritual Tours : Sai Baba of Puttaparthy || Sai Baba of Shirdi || Sri Aurbindo Ashram || The Great Temple Tour || Buddha Tour

Sikkim & Bhutan Tours :
Bestway Himalayan Adventure Tour || Best of Sikkim & Bhutan Tour

North East India Tour : Best of Arunachal Pradesh || Enchanting Nagaland

Trekking in Himalayas : Gangtey Gagona Trek || Bhumtang Cultural Trek || Sources of Ganges Trek || Outer Nanda Devi Sanctuary || Delhi - Delhi Tour || Everest Area || Annapurana Sanctuary || Manang Muktinath Jomsom

Asian Panorama : The Trails of Moghuls || Fascinating Myanmar || Highlights Vietnam || Tour to Mauritius || Tour to Thailand, Laos, Vietnam & Cambodia || Overland Singapore || Splendors of China

Hotels in India : Agra Hotels || Bangalore Hotels || Bikaner Hotels || Chennai Hotels || Cochin Hotels || Delhi Hotels || Goa Hotels || Jaipur Hotels || Jaisalmer Hotels || Jodhpur Hotels || Kathmandu Hotels|| Kolkata Hotels || Kovalam Hotels || Lumbini Hotels|| Mumbai Hotels || Munnar Hotels || Pokhara Hotels || Thekkady Hotels || Udaipur Hotels || Varanasi Hotels ||

Short Tours : Bestway Golden Triangle|| Delhi-Agra-Jaipur-Udaipur-Bombay || Delh-Agra-Khajuraho-Varanasi-Kathmandu || Delhi-Darjeeling-Gangtok-Kalimpong-Darjeeling-Delhi || Bombay-Mysore-Hassan-Banglore-Madurai-Trichy- Madras || Colombo-Annuradhapur-Polonnaruwa-Sigirya Kandy-Trivandrum-Bombay|| Kathmandu-Chitwan Wild life National park || Ladakh - The Little Tibet || Bombay-Goa || Bhubaneshwar-Puri|| Tibet - Overland || The Great Moghuls || Classical South India Tour


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