Experience the richness of life with our Explore South India Tour
Day 01 – Arrive Chennai
Arrive Chennai met with and transfer to Hotel. Chennai, the capital city, popularly considered as the Gateway to the South represents a culture that is distinctly different from that of northern India.
Day 02 – Chennai
Today we would take you for sightseeing tour of Chennai. The places of interest are Kalakshetra – it is also known as Temple of art is located outside the Elliots beach established in 1936 by Rukmini Devi Arundale to train, encourage and revive nterest in Bharatanatyam which is the classical dance form of the state.
Fort St. George – constructed in 1640 AD, by the British East India Company – now houses the Secretariat and Legislative Assembly of Tamil Nadu. St. Marys Church – the oldest Anglican Church in India.
Sri Parthasarathy Temple – devoted to Lord Krishna was originally built by the Pallavas in the 8th century AD. Kapaleswarar Temple – located in Mylapore is yet another 8th Century Pallava Temple. The temple Gopuram (tower) is in the characteristic Dravidian style of architecture. It is devoted to Lord Shiva.
San Thome Cathedral Basilica – rebuilt in 1606 as a cathedral and in 1896 it was made a basilica; and Theosophical Society – the world headquarters of the Theosophical Society formed to encourage the study of comparative religion philosophy and science.
Day 03 – Chennai – Kanchipuram – Mahabalipuram
Drive Kanchipuram situated 76 kms away from Chennai. The little Temple Town of Kanchipuram, or Kanchi, as it is popularly recognized for one of the seven holy cities of the Hindus. It remained the capital of Pallavas from 6th to the 8th centuries.They built numerous temples here. So your trip would include all the major temples to be visited in the city. Visit Kamakshi Temple devoted to Goddess Kamakshi. It has four colourful gopuras and the main chamber has a gold–plated roof.
The Kailasanatha Temple is devoted to Lord Shiva. It is the oldest temple constructed by Pallava ruler. This temple is encircled by 58 smaller shrines, each with splendid carvings of the various images of Shiva. The Great Ekambaresh vara Temple, constructed initially by the pallavas, has a 16–pillared mandapa in front of it, was added later by the Vijayanagar Kings.This temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva, is one of the largest & ancient temples.
The Vaikuntha Perumal temple is one of the 18 temples dedicated to Vishnu, erected by Varman II. This exceptional structure has three main chambers, built one on top of the other. Each of them enshrines an image of Vishnu in a different form – standing, sitting and reclining.
The Varadaraja Temple is the towns main Vishnu temple. The chief deity in the form of Vishnu is known as varadaraja. It is believed that the temple stands on the site where Brahma performed a Yagna (Sacrifice) to invoke Vishnus presence.
Day 04 – Mahabalipuram
Mahabalipuram – worldwide renowned for its shore temples, it was the second capital of the Pallava kings of Kanchipuram.It is located 58 kilometres from Chennai on the Bay of Bengal. Later we would take you for trip to following places – Caves – There are nine rock cut cave temples.
The Mahishasuramardhini cave, contrasting the goddess fighting an evil spirit on one side, and Lord Vishnus cosmic sleep on the other, is an amazing sight to view. Krishna Mandapam – This cave features carvings of a rural scene, presenting Lord Krishna lifting up the Govardhana Mountain, to protect his people from the rage of Indra, the God of Rain.
Five Rathas – These rock–cut temples are rated as excellent examples of Pallava art. Fashioned in unusual styles, the five Rathas are named after the Pandava Brothers & Draupadi – the heroes of Mahabharata epic. Arjunas Penance – This huge whale–back shaped rock contains figures of gods, demigods, men, beasts, and birds and in fact, can be said to represent creation itself. It also illustrates Arjuna – one of the Pandava brothers and a skilled archer, is standing on one leg, doing penance to obtain a boon from Lord Shiva.
The Shore Temple – This is one of the ancient temples in South India. They were built in 8th Century A.D. and is an excellent example of the first phase of the structure of temples constructed in the Dravidian style. The two spires of the temples contain a shrine for Lord Vishnu and for Lord Shiva.
Day 05 – Mahabalipuram – Pondicherry
Today you will take drive to Pondicherry, on arrival check into hotel. Rest of the day is free for you. Later enjoy the city tour of Pondicherrys main sights are Sri Aurobindo Ashram – established in 1926 by Sri Aurobindo after whose death the religious authority passed to one of his follower, a French woman known as the Mother.
In the courtyard are the Samadhi of Aurobindo and The Mother where their mortal remains have been enshrined. Auroville – located at 10 km from Pondicherry. Its original deed aimed at creating a city of the future where people from all over the world with different religions could live and work together in a spiritual environment. Beach – where you can enjoy swimming & sun bathing.
Day 06 – Pondicherry – Thanjavur
Drive to Tanjore visiting enroute Chidambram.Visit The Nataraja Temple – is located in the heart of Chidambaram town and cover an area of 40 acres. The roof of the chamber is covered with gold plates. This is the temple of the Cosmic Dancer, where the presiding divinity is called Nataraja. It has 56 pillars in the hall portraying 108 gestures of Bharat Natyam, the classical dance of Tamilnadu. On arrival, check–in at the hotel. Aternoon visit Tanjore.
Visit Sri Brihadeswara Temple – It was constructed by the great Chola King in 10th century AD. It is brilliant example of Chola architecture. The Palace – It is a huge building of stonework built partly by the Nayaks around 1550 AD and later completed by the Marathas.
Art Gallery – It is positioned in the Thanjavur Palace only. It has some of the most magnificent and precious Granite and Bronze statues of Chola period.
Day 07 – Thanjavur – Trichy – Madurai
Today you will take drive to Madurai enroute visiting Trichy. Enjoy sightseeing tour of Trichy: Sri Rangnathaswamy Temple – The Temple at Srirangam is positioned 6 kilometers from the city center Trichy. The temple is built on an island in the middle of the Kaveri River and devoted to Lord Vishnu. It is also the largest temple in the world.
The Rock Fort – situated on the banks of the Kaveri River is an 84 m high rock which is one of the oldest in the world. The temple that is located 300 feet above the sea level is devoted to Lord Shiva. The extremely huge temple has a 100–pillar hall and a Vimana covered with gold. Later drive Madurai. Reach & check in to the hotel.
Day 08 – Madurai
Madurai, which is recognized as Athens of the East is also the second largest city on the banks of the River Vaigai. It is a beautiful city famous for its spectacular temples that are examples of rich architecture and magnificent sculptural works. The city is believed to be on of the ancient cities of India. Later we would take you for a tour of Madurai.
Visit Meenakshi Temple – devoted to Lord Shiva who was identified here as Sundareshvara and his wife Parvati or Meenakshi. The temple has 12 gateways Gopurams, which vary in height from 45 to 50 m and the highest Gopuram is in the south. The southern gateway is nine stories high and has images of gods and goddesses. Evening witness Prayer Ceremony at the Meenakshi Temple.
Day 09 – Madurai – Kanyakumari – Kovalam
Today morning you will go to Kanyakumari – Cape Camorin which ispositioned 87 km away from Thiruvananthapuram. Kanyakumari is the Lands End of India. Here, the Bay of Bengal meets the Indian Ocean and the Arabian Sea.
Also Visit: Padmanabhapuram Palace is recognized for its scheduling and military architecture and continued to be the center of power till 1790, when the capital was moved to Thiruvananthapuram. The main lure of the Padmanabhapuram Palace are its sheer artistic beauty, wall paintings, innovative designs and time tested wooden carvings.
The Kumari Amman or the Kanyakumari Temple – This temple is devoted to a manifestation of Parvati, the virgin goddess who performed reparation to acquire Lord Shivas hand in marriage. Beautifully placed overlooking the shore. When she was unsuccessful, she promised to remain a virgin (kanya).
Vivekananda Memorial –There are two rocks rising out of the ocean, situated southeast of the Kumari Amman temple. One among these is Sri Padaparai, where the footprints of the virgin goddess are believed to be imprinted on this rock. It is said that Swami Vivekananda sat in deep meditation here and therefore the Vivekananda Rock Memorial was built in 1970.
Day 10 – Kovalam
Kovalam is a natural bay ideal for swimming, surfing. One can swim in the shallow blue water and have a sunbath in the exotic tropical sun which can adorn you with a good suntan. You can also pamper yourself with Ayurveda & Spa treatments available at the hotels. (optional).
Day 11 – Kovalam – Periyar
Today you will drive to Periyar. Arrival and check into hotel. Visit Spice Plantations where you can touch, smell and taste almost all the spices grown here like – pepper, cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, vanilla, and nutmeg. Located by the side of the river Periyar, the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary is the major attraction of Thekkady.
Spread over an area of about 777 sq km with about 360 sq. km of which is thick evergreen forest. The sanctuary is natural treasure dwelling of some of the rare species of flora, fauna & wild animals like tigers, elephants, sambars, gaurs, lion tailed macaques and Nilgiri langurs. Enjoy the boat ride at Periyar Lake from where you can have the unique experience of watching animals in their natural environment.
Day 12 – Ooty – Periyar – Kumarakom – Alleppey
Today en board the traditionally decorated houseboats, you will start an over night backwater cruise which will end on next day morning at Alleppey.
Alleppey is also known as the Venice of the East.. Houseboat cruise is the best way to explore the beauty of backwaters.
Day 13 – Alleppey – Cochin
After breakfast, leisurely cruise towards Alleppey finishing point jetty.Disembark at 09:30 hours and drive to Cochin. Rest of the day free.
Day 14 – Cochin
Today we will take you for a sight seeing of Cochin The Dutch Palace at Mattancherry islocated at 10 kms from Ernakulam is well–known for its medieval charm. It houses a gallery of interesting paintings and murals, thus signifying the rich customs of the Hindus through art.
The Chinese Fishernets were introduced by Chinese traders are used for a very unique and unusual method of fishing.
Jewish Synagogue – located at the Jew Street was built in 1568. It is also rated as the oldest synagogue among all commonwealth nations. St. Frances Church – first European church here the body of lateVasco Da Gama was originally buried.
Day 15 – Cochin – Ooty
Drive by surface to Ooty – also known as the Queen of Hills is South India. Arrive and check–in to hotel. Later we would take you for tour of the city which would include Botanical Garden – Located almost within the city limit of Ooty is a must visit place of Ooty.
Government Botanical Garden is home to few of the rarest species of plants, brought here from all corners of the world. Doddabetta Peak – It is situated at a height of 2623 meters above sea level and also the highest peak of Nilgiris hills.
Later also visit Ooty Lake – It is an artificial lake is a famous picnic spot. You can enjoy boating on this beautiful lake.
Day 16 – Ooty – Mysore
Morning depart by surface to Mysore. Reach & check into the hotel. Later we would take you for the tour of Mysore which would include Mysore Palace – It is one of the magnificent sights to be visited in Mysore. Completely built in 1912 in Indo–Saracenic style with domes, towers, arches and row of pillars, the Palace is a treasure house of wonderful carvings. It is a mixture of Hindu and Muslim architectural styles and was designed by an English architect Henry Irwin.
Shri Ramachamarajendra Art Gallery – positioned in the Jagmohan Palace, the art gallery has a precious collection of Tanjore paintings and pictures of the royal family by Raja Ravi Verma. Chamundi Hills & Temple – Mysore is situated at the foothills of Chamundi Hills.
Chamundeshwari Temple is located on top of the hills which is a famous landmark. There is a statue of Mahishasura located near to the temple, a demon killed by the goddess Chamundeshwari.
St. Philomenas Church – A beautiful Cathedral ornamented with beautiful stained glass windows portraying scenes from the birth of Christ, the Last meal the Crucifixation, the rebirth and the Ascension of Christ.
Day 17 – Mysore
Morning visit Somnathpur Temple that is located at 45 km from Mysore. It was constructed in 1268 AD and is identified for its Hoysala architecture.
The temple is seated on a star shaped base, set on a star shaped platform and guarded at intervals by miniature elephants. The temple wall depicts scenes from Ramayana, Mahabharta and Bhagvata. Afternoon at leisure.
Day 18 – Mysore – Belur – Halebid – Hassan
On arrival, check–in at the hotel. Afternoon visit of Belur and Halebid.Belur Temple took over 103 years to build and is a typical example of the Hoysala style of architecture. It is overflowing with intricate carvings. Scenes from the epics, elephants in battle and sensuous dancers come alive in stone.
Later visit Halebid Temple – 16 km east of Belur and 27 km from Hassan, the Hoysaleswara Temple dating back to 12th century, is surprising for its wealth of sculptural detail. The temple walls are covered with an eternal variety of gods and goddesses, animals, birds and dancing girls. And no two sides of the temple are the same.
This wonderful temple is devoted to Lord Shiva has 02 huge Nandi Bulls at the entrance. This temple was never completed despite 86 years of labor. Later drive towards Hassan. Reach & check into the hotel.
Day 19 – Hassan – Bangalore – Mumbai
Drive to Bangalore visiting enroute Shravanbelgola. It is believed to be the worlds tallest monolithic statue rises 17 metre high of Bahubali (Gomateshvara). The statue was constructed in 981 AD by the sculptor Aristanmi and is most sacred to the Jain Community. Arrive Bangalore, city sightseeing tour.
The highlights of this tour are Vidhan Soudha – constructed in the year 1954. The structural design of the building is based on the neo Dravidian style and it currently houses the Legislative Assembly of the state Government & Karnataka secretariat. Nandi Temple – Another Dravidian architecture – The temple is dedicated to Nandi – a sacred bull which is the vahana –carrier of Lord Shiva.
Lalbagh Gardens – The name itself suggests that it is paradise of red roses & other species of plants. Bangalore Palace – Built in the year 1887, the architecture of the palace is based on the Tudor style. Covering an area of about 800 acres, the palace gives a look of the Windsor Palace of England. Also visit Visweswaraiah Industrial & Technological Museum & Ulsoor Lake.
Day 20 – Mumbai
In the morning we have for you a full day tour of Mumbai including – Gateway of India – a 26 meter high stone archway is situated at Apollo Bunder in Mumbai. It was built in honour of King George & Queen Mary to India in 1911. Prince of Wales Museum – Constructed in the Indo–Saracenic style of architecture to honour king George Vs visit to India.
The gorgeous landscape of the Museum is worth visiting for its compilation of art, sculpture, rare coins, old firearms and a invaluable collection of miniature paintings. Jehangir Art Gallery, built in 1952 by Sir Cowasji Jehnagir, is one of the most fascinating tourist destinations in Mumbai. The art gallery is located behind the renowned Prince of Whales Museum in Kala Ghoda. Visitors can get the valuable artifact of India from the antique shop connected with the art gallery.
Marine Drive – runs along the shoreline of the Arabian Sea from Nariman Point to the end of Malabar Hill. Chowpatty Beach – Mumbais famous beach.
Day 21 – Mumbai
Transfer to airport for departure transfer for onward destination.