Grand South India

Duration: 29 Nights / 30 Days

Destinations Covered: Chennai~Mahabalipuram~Pondicherry~Kumbkonam ~Tanjore ~Trichy~Madurai~Thekkady~Alleppey~Cochin~Munnar~Ooty~Mysore~Bangalore~Hassan~Hospet (Hampi)~Badami~Goa~Departure

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TOUR ITINERARY

Day  01 :: Arrival Chennai (Madras)
Arrival at the airport. Our representative will receive you with warm welcome and assist you to transfer to the hotel.
Overnight stay at the hotel.

 

Day  02 :: Chennai (Madras)
After breakfast sightseeing of Chennai city which includes  Gandhi Memorial, Kala Kshetra, Mylapore temple and Marine beach. Overnight stay at the hotel.

 

Day  03 :: Chennai (Madras) / Kanchipuram/Mamallapooram (150 Kms/ 3-4  Hrs)
After breakfast drive to Kanchipuram (76kms/1.50 Hrs). This city was the ancient capital of the Pallavas and was known for its 1000 temples, many of them are still used to this Day . The most famous being the Sri Kamakshi temple. The city is toDay  well known for the silks it produces. Have lunch at a local restaurant and then continue driving to Mamallapooram and check in at the hotel. In the afternoon visit Mamallapooram earlier known as Mahabalipooram. This city was a port during the Pallava period. It has some of the most beautiful rock cut temples in South India. It also is home to the famous Shore Temple that is unique because Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu are housed in the same sanctum sanctorum. Dinner and overnight stay at the hotel. 

 

Day  04 :: Mamallapooram/ Pondicherry (100 Kms/ 2-3  Hrs)
After breakfast drive to Pondicherry. This town has a strong French influence, as it was an erstwhile French colony. Check in at the hotel for dinner and overnight stay.

 

Day  05 :: Pondicherry
In the morning after breakfast visit Aurobindo Ashram, which is 10kms north of Pondicherrry. After lunch at the hotel visit Auroville an interesting experiment where people from various nationalities live together in harmony.
Overnight stay at the hotel.

 

Day  06 :: Pondicherry / Chidambaram (60 Kms/ 1 Hr) / Gangaikonda Cholapuram (40 Kms/ 1 Hr) / Kumbakonam (35 Kms/ 40 minutes)
After breakfast drive to Kumbakonam via Chidambaram, Gangaikonda Cholapuram. Visit Natraja Temple at Chidambaram.
Chidambaram ::-is also known as Thillai, since the place was originally a forest of the thillai, botanically known as agallecha shrubs. It is an important pilgrim centre and a holy place for Saivites as the famous Nataraja Temple is located here. Dedicated to Lord Nataraja, this ancient temple of the Cholas is unique not only it is devoted solely to the art of Bharatanatyam, but also it is one of the rare temples where Shiva is represented by an idol rather than the customary lingam. Spread over an area of 40 acres with a gopuram on each side, the temple is distinguished by five sabhas or courts.
Later drive to Gangaikondacholapuram. On arrival visit the huge temple of Lord Shiva at Gangaikonda Cholapuram.Gangaikonda Cholapuram Temple is an architectural work of genius. Located at Thanjavur (Tanjore) in Tamil Nadu, Gangaikondacholapuram can be reached easily through regular buses that are available from the main towns and cities of Tamil Nadu. In the early 11th century, the temple got built by Rajendra Chola, who was the son and successor of Rajaraja Chola.
Later drive towards Kumbakonam. On arrival check into the hotel.
Overnight stay at the hotel.

 

Day  07 :: Kumbakonam / Darasuram / Tanjore (45 Kms/ 1 Hr)
After breakfast drive toward Tanjore via Darasuram. Visit Airavateshvara Temple-is dedicated to Lord Shiva. Here the Lord Siva is known Airavateshvara (the protector of the elephant), because he was worshipped at this temple by Airavata, the white elephant of Indra. Airavata, while suffering a change of color from a curse inflicted by sage Durvasa, had its white color restored by ablutions performed in this temple. This incident is commemorated by an image of Airavata with Indra seated on in an inner shrine.
Later drive to Tanjore.
On arrival check into the hotel.

 

Day  08 :: Tanjore /Trichy (54kms/2 Hrs)
After breakfast visit Brahadeswara TempleTanjai Periya Koil, Tanjore Palace & Art Museum.  Leave for Trichurapalli or Trichy located on the banks of the River Kaveri. It is famous for the Ranganath temple at Srirangam. On arrival check in at the hotel.
Overnight stay at the hotel.

 

Day  09 :: Trichy / Madurai (133kms/3.5 Hrs)
After breakfast visit Rock Fort Temple, Srirangam and Jambukeshwar Temple. 
Later drive toward Madurai. On arrival check into the hotel.
Rest of the Day  free at your leisure.
Overnight stay at the hotel.

 

Day  10 :: Madurai tour
After breakfast  youll be having a tour taken to the world famous Sri Meenakshi Sundareswarar Temple-is a historic Hindu temple located in the south side of river Vaigai in the temple city of Madurai. It is dedicated to Parvati who is known as Meenakshi and her consort, Shiva named here as Sundareswarar(beautiful deity). The temple forms the heart and lifeline of the 2500 year old city of Madurai. The complex houses 14 gopurams(gateway towers) ranging from 45-50m in height, the tallest being the southern tower, 51.9 meters (170 ft) high, and two golden sculptured vimana(shrine) over sanctum of the main deities. Thirumalai Nayak Mahal-is one of the important palace which was built by Thirumalai Nayaakar in 1636. The paintings, carvings and designing of the mahal shows the amazing talents of the nayak kings. This Mahal is situated 2kms south east of Meenakshi Amman Temple. A classic example of the Indo-saracenic style, the piece de resistance of this mahal is its carved dome outsoars without the support of girders or rafters. This mahal has 248 pillars of each 58 feet tall and 5 feet in diameter. The gigantic pillars and paintings of the events that took place before, the ethics impress ourselves and takes us to the 16th century. Also visit Mariamman Teppakulam Tank-Also known as Vandiyur Mariamman Teppakulam is situated at a distance of about 5 km from the Meenakshi Amman Temple. The area of the tank, and the island pavilion with a garden in the center, is approximately equal to the area of Meenakshi Temple. It is one of the largest temple tanks in South India and gets water supply from the Vaigai River. There is a Vinayakar temple situated right in the middle of the tank, which is dedicated to Lord Vigneshwara, the Elephant-faced God.  
Overnight stay at the hotel.

 

Day  11 :: Madurai / Karaikudi / Madurai (95 Kms/ 2  Hrs-one way)
After breakfast have an excursion tour to Karaikudi. On arrival visit Chettinad as a region is famous for the Chettinad House and many fantastic specimens can be seen the town of Karaikudi. Just beside the Rajas palace is the house converted to a museum, the Chettinad Museum. An interested tourist may also visit the factories of the famous Athangudi tiles. A guide might also educate you on how the terracotta tiles are made. It is said that the local variety of sand does the trick.
Later drive back to Madurai.
Overnight stay at the hotel. 

 

Day  12 :: Madurai / Thekkady (140 Kms/ 3-4  Hrs)
After breakfast drive to Thekkady. On arrival check into the hotel. Later   go for boating in periyar lake, you may get a chance to watch wild animals while boating.
Overnight stay at the hotel.

 

Day  13 :: Thekkady / Alleppey (120 Kms/ 3-4  Hrs)
After breakfast drive to Alleppey to at Jetty point. Embark to the Houseboat. Enjoy the tradition meals (lunch) on board. Have panoramic view of surrounding villages and the green paddy fields.
Overnight stay and dinner on board. 

 

Day  14 :: Alleppey / Cochin (65 Kms/ 1 Hr)
After breakfast drive to Cochin. On arrival check into the hotel.
Rest of the Day  free at your leisure. Later guided  sightseeing tour of Cochin city which includes popular tourist attractions include St. Francis Church, Dutch Palace, Chinese fishing nets, Kochi backwaters,  Hill Palace and Santa Cruz Cathedral Basilica.
In the evening you will be enjoying Kathkali dance show at the theater.
Overnight stay at the hotel.

 

Day  15 :: Cochin/ Munnar (150 Kms/ 3-4  Hrs)
Early in the morning, have a scrumptious morning meal at the hotel, after which youll be driven to Munnar. En-route, treat your eyes with lush greenery, scenic views, luxuriant mountains and low flying clouds. Upon reaching Munnar, check-in at the hotel. Later in the evening, youll visit Raja Malai, the highest mountain peak (2695 meters above sea level) in Munnar, where you can spot the Nilgiri Tahr, the endangered mountain goat. Return to the hotel, have dinner and retire for the night.

 

Day  16 :: Munnar
After having a sumptuous breakfast at the hotel, youll head for a Day -long excursion to the nearby tourist destinations of Munnar. The trip will cover visits to magnificent tea plantations, Anamudi peak, Eravikulam National Park, Devikulam, Mattupetty and Pallivasal. In the evening, return to the hotel and spend the night.

 

Day  17 :: Munnar / Ooty (250 Kms/ 5-6  Hrs)
After breakfast drive to Ooty. On arrival check into the hotel.
Rest of the Day  free at your leisure.
Overnight stay at the hotel.

 

Day  18 :: Ooty 
After breakfast visit Ooty Lake-The artificially formed lake is the gift of the then collector of Combatore John Sullivan. The lake is 65 acres in area. The lake is about 2.75 Kms long and 100 to 140 meters breadth. The Tamilnadu Tourism Development Corporation has rowing, pedaling and motor boats for hire. The lake has a boat house. People enjoy boating. The childrens park on the banks with its toy train going around the lake is a memorable experience for all children. Visit Botanical Garden-was more than 150 years old. But it attracts old and young with all its colorful plants, flowers, the vast sprawling and well-groomed lawn. It was laid out in 1847 by the Marquis of Tweedale, the then Governor of Madras Presidency. He called for the help of Mr.W.G McIvor who was in Royal Botanical garden in Kew. He took ten years to develop it into present shape. Doddapetta peak :: is 10 Kms from Ooty. Doddapetta means- that clouds often meet and rest at this peak of the mountains. The peak hides itself amidst the friendly clouds or fog. If the sky is clear, you are sure to have a sight of long distant plains of Mysore and Coimbatore; let luck favors you.Rose Garden-As a part of Centenary celebrations of Ooty Flower Show, Rose garden was formed in four hectres of land on the slopes of Elk Hill. The terrace farming was implemented. It has got five terraces. Various varieties of Roses were collected. ToDay  the varieties available have crossed 2800 species.
Rest of the Day  free at your leisure.
Overnight stay at the hotel.

 

Day  19 :: Ooty / Mysore (130 Kms/ 2-3  Hrs)
After breakfast drive to Mysore. On arrival check into the hotel. Later guided tour to Mysore which includesChamundi Hills ::- The backdrop of the city is the 1,100-feet-high Chamundi Hill. On the top of the hill stands the temple dedicated to the Goddess Chamundeshwari, the royal familys patron deity.  Visit Brindavan Gardens ::-A half-hours drive from the city takes to the Brindavan Gardens. The well-manicured steps of these world famous terrace gardens are bordered by watercourses. Musical fountains with soft coloured lights adds delightto the visitors eyes. Also visit Lalitha Mahal Palace-The Lalitha Mahal was built in the 1930s The main attraction of the palace is a staircase of Italian marble branching off from a landing to reach the first floor hall. Visit  Mysore Palace-Built in around AD 897 in Saracenic style, the Mysore palace has both Hindu as well as Muslim influences. The palace, designed by an English architect and completed in 1912, was built in place of an earlier palace which was burnt down in 1897. Head towards to visit Srirangpatanam ::-About 15 km from the royal city of Mysore lies the town of Srirangapatnam. One of the interesting places here are the summer palace of Tipu Sultan built in 1784 in the Indo-Saracenic style. The palace also has a small museum where Tipus trivia, including a gold-embroidered tunic, old paintings and a coin collection, are displayed.
Overnight stay at the hotel. 


Day  20 :: Mysore / Bangalore (140 Kms/ 3-4 Hrs)
After breakfast drive to Bangalore. On arrival check into the hotel. Later visit Bull Temple, Vidhan Soudha and Tipus Palace.
Overnight stay at the hotel.

 

Day  21 :: Bangalore/ Shravanbelagola / Hassan (200 Kms/ 4-5  Hrs)
After breakfast drive to Hassan via Shravanbelagola-makes its claim to fame as a famous religious places and tourist site of Karnataka.There are various Tourist Attractions in Shravanabelagola. Among the different Tourist Attractions of Shravanabelagola do not miss to visit the popular pool called Kalyani, Chandragiri hill and Indragiri hill. Other than these natural Attractions in Shravanabelagola there are numbers of religious sites.
Continue drive to Hassan. On arrival check into the hotel.

 

Day  22 :: Hassan / Belur / Halebid / Hassan (155 Kms/ 3-4  Hrs)
After breakfast have an excursion tour to Belur & Halebid.
World famous temple towns, slightly bigger than villages. The temples in typical Dravidian style are excellent examples of traditional Hindu architecture. These temples are the cream of what remains the most artistically exuberant periods of Hindu cultural development. The wealth of sculptural details on the temples make them easily the most outstanding example of art and architecture. Every inch of the outside wall and much of the interiors are covered with an endless variety of Hindu deities, sages, scenes from wars, hunting, agriculture, music and dance and some very sensual sculptures explicitly portraying the amorous lifestyles of the dancing girls. Also fascinating is the life outside the temples, which is extremely busy and colourful. Pilgrims, bare feet with horizontal or vertical sandalwood paste smearing on their foreheads and wearing traditionally colored saffron or black pilgrims costumes move in and out of the temple complex with flowers and other offerings in their hands. 
Drive back to Hassan.
Overnight stay at the hotel.

 

Day  23 :: Hassan / Chitradurga / Hospet (Hampi) (315 Kms/ 8-9  Hrs)
After breakfast drive to Hampi via Chitradurga. Chitradurga gets its name from Chitrakaldurga, an umbrella-shaped lofty hill found here. Chitradurga is located in the heart of the Deccan Plateau; Chitradurga is recognized as the land of courage and chivalry.
Visit The Fort-The Chitradurga is well-known for its massive Kallina Kote (the place of the stone fort), a marvel of military architecture made impregnable by the Nayak Palegars. It has 19 gateways, 38 posterior entrances, a palace, a mosque, granaries, oil pits, four secret entrances and water tanks. Many ancient temples can also be found inside the fort.Onake Obavvana Kindi (The Crack)-During the rein of Madakari Naayaka, the city was besieged by the troops of Haider Ali. A chance sighting of a woman entering the fort through a crack in the rocks led to a clever plan by Hyder Ali to send his soldiers through the kindi (crack). The guard on duty had just gone home for his lunch break and his wife Obavva was his temporary replacement. Noticing the soldiers emerging out of this crack, Obavva was not perturbed. Using the Onake (wooden stick used for pounding grain) she killed and quietly moved the dead, so that hundreds of them entered and fell, without raising any suspicion. The guard, Obavvas husband was shocked, when he returned from his lunch break. His wife was standing there with a blood stained Onake and strewn around her were the bodies of soldiers. 
Continue drive to Hospet. On arrival check into the hotel.
Overnight stay at the hotel.

 

Day  24 :: Hospet / Hampi (20 Kms/ 30 mnitues)/ Hospet
After breakfast tour to Hampi-Firstly, youll visit Lotus Mahal, comprising of two levels with open pavilions and balconies. This is regarded as a fine example of the architectural marvel fused with both Hindu and Muslim styles, thereby depicting a sensational appealing appearance. Other must visit attractions are Elephant Stables, Hazara Rama Temple and Pushkarini Tank.
Later in the evening drive back to Hospet.

 

Day 25 :: Hospet / Badami (150 Kms/ 3-4  Hrs)
After breakfast drive to Badami. On arrival check into the hotel.
Later Take a short nap and head on to explore the sightseeing destinations. Sited amidst two rocky hills at the mouth of a gorge, Badami Caves is the most popular attractions. Other attractions include Banashankari, the most appealing and quaint hamlet, deriving its name from Goddess Banashankari, another form of Parvati.
Overnight stay at the hotel.


Day 26:: Badami / Pattadakal / Aihole / Badami (35 Kms/ -1 Hr-one way)
After breakfast have an excursion tour to Pattadakal & Aihole. 
Pattadakal- is a small village in the south Indian state of Karnataka famous for its temples of the Chalukyan age. Pattadakal was the second capital of the Chalukyan Empire after Badami. More than that, it was also the ceremonial center where kings were crowned and commemorated. It was never a part of any town or village though it was on the banks of the Malaprabha River. Visit The temples of Pattadakal display the blending of the Rekha Nagara Prasada and the Dravida Vimana styles of architecture. The oldest is the Sangamesvara Temple built by Vijayaditya Satyasraya (AD 697-733). It is a simple but massive structure.
Later drive to Aihole. Aihole-was the first capital of the Chalukyas. Located on the banks of the Malaprabha river, the town has several legends associated with it. One of the legends claims that Parasurama, the warrior-brahmin, lived here. It is said that after his slaughter of many key Kshatriyas, Parasurama returned here and washed his bloody axe in the Malaprabha River. The axe was so blood soaked that the river water turned red. Visit 125 Chalukya temples in Aihole and the Lad Khan temple is the oldest one dating back to the 5th century. The other famous temples include the Gowda Temple, Suryanarayana Temple and the Durga temple. The Ravana Phadi cave is one of the oldest rock cut cave temples. Aihole is also famous for an inscription which recounts the history of the period.
Later in the evening drive back to Badami.
Overnight stay at the hotel.


Day 27 :: Badami / Goa (250 Kms/ 5-6  Hrs)
After breakfast drive to Goa. On arrival you will be dropped at the hotel.
Overnight stay at the hotel.


Day 28 :: Goa 
Day free on the beach at your leisure. No transport will be given to you.
Overnight stay at the hotel.


Day 29 :: Goa 
Day free on the beach at your leisure. No transport will be given to you.
Overnight stay at the hotel.


Day 30 :: Goa/ Mumbai (Flight,) 
After breakfast you will be transferred to the airport to catch the flight for Mumbai and from Mumbai you can catch your onward connection for your home country.

Tour Ends



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