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Grand South India Tour

Duration: 23 Nights / 24 days – start @ US $ 1,695/- Per Person on Twin Sharing Note: for 4* & 5* email us.
Inclusions: 3* Hotel (23 Nights hotel Accommodation) + 23 Breakfasts + Air Tickets ( Banglore to Mumbai) + A/c Car + Boat ride at Elephanta Caves near Gateway of India (Mumbai) + English Speaking Guide service in Chennai, Pondicherry, Tanjor, Madurai, Myrsore, Banglore & Mumbai Only + all taxes. Excludes: Items in personal nature, any entrance tickets, insurance, ride, video/still camera fee etc.
Places to Visit:Chennai – Pondicherry – Mahabalipuram – Kanchipuram – Trichey – Madurai – Kanyakumari – Kovalam – Alleppy (A/C Deluxe House Boat) – Thekkedy – Kodaikanal – Ooty – Mysore – Hassan - Banglore - Mumbai
Day 01
Arrival at  Chennai - On Arrival at Chennai Airport by international flight, assistance will be provided to receive the guests and to transport to the Hotel for comfortable overnight stay in Chennai.
Day 02

Explore Chennai - From the morning itself, the exploration of the Chennai will start. Chennai, the capital city of Tamil Nadu, is called the 'Gateway to the South'.  Since the Peninsular Southern region is the cradle of old Indian culture, it would be appropriate to start the South tour with acquaintance to its culture at the gate way of South.  So tour begins with the visit to its cultural centre Kalakshetra.  It houses   school of art and music.  Here you can learn about the nuances of class dance form of South India called  Bharatnatyam and classical  Carnatic music, distict from the Hindustani classical music of North India.  You will also explore traditional weaving and designing.  Besides, you can interact with the performing artists and the artisans at work.  Next to follow are historical monuments. Visit to Fort St. George built in 1653, which now houses the Secretariat and Legislative Assembly of Tamil Nadu,  will  give you an  opportunity to explore the Indo-British architecture.  Places next to visit are  St. Mary's Church, the oldest Anglican Church in India and Shri Parthasarathy Temple built by Pallavas in the 8th century AD.  Other places to visit include Kapaliswara Temple, Mylapore( eighth century Pallava Temple dedicated to Lord Shiva),  San Thomas Cathedral Basilica rebuilt in 1606 as a cathedral and  made a basilica in 1896  and Theosophical Society Centre ( the world headquarters of the Theosophical Society)  - a spiritual body formed with the objective to synthesize all religious teachings in harmony with philosophy and science.
Back to Hotel, have lunch and take a nap after hectic tour and then roam around leisurely of your own before you go to sound sleep. Overnight Chennai Hotel.

Day 03
Transported 225km away from Chennai  to visit Kanchipuram - Mahabalipuram.- Enjoying the morning drive to Kanchipuram, you reach one of the seven sacred cities of Hindus.  This is Kanchi, a city of thousand temples.  Kanchi (now called Kanchipuram) was the capital of the early Cholas dynasty during the 2nd century BC. Kanchi was a major seat of Tamil learning besides an important place of pilgrimage for all the major religions in India -Buddhists, Jains and Hindus. In addition to the monumental beauty of its temples, the city is also known for its silk weavers who settled here four centuries back to make Kanchipuram a famous Indian city for production and trading of silk fabric. Then you proceed to Mahablipuram, 70 kms from Kanchipuram,  enjoying the enchanting drive-way south of Madras leading to coast-line where Mamallapuram (Mahabalipuram) is located to explore the relics of the ancient-most  port of  and ruins of city besides the monumental remains of  ancient   Pallavas dynastic rulers. The pallavas created many marvelous monuments with sculptural panels, caves, rock-cut temples and Rathas(Chariots). Krishna Mandapam (open space enclosed within high walls)  with the world's largest bas relief measuring 27m x 9m, whale- back shaped rock with cut-out  figures of gods, demi-gods, men .beasts, birds etc. Shore Temple, one of the oldest in south dating back to 8th century AD is a good example of the first phase of structural temples constructed in Dravidian style. The Five Rathas, a group of five monolithic temples, each created in different Dravidian architectural styles.
Overnight Mahabalipuram Hotel.
Day 04
Mahabalipuram to Pondicherry, 170 km. - Pondicherry, once a French Colony, affords you an opportunity to get transported to a different socio-cultural milieu since most of the Indian territory remained under British empire.  You can readily mark the French influence on the life style and the monumental structures in Pondicherry. Pondicherry's main places to visit are the Rai Nivas, the Sacred Heart Church and the Sri Aurobindo Ashram.  Aurobindo Ashram was founded in 1926 by Sri Aurobindo, a famous spiritual master of Inedia.  After his death, the spiritual authority passed to one of his disciples, a French woman known as the Mother. The Mother  established another Ashram Retreat called city of Dawn Auroville, 10 km from Pondicherry with an objective to  create a city of the future where people from India and abroad could live and work together in a commune steeped in spiritual environment. Check-in at the hotel in Pondicherry for overnight stay.
Day 05
Visit to Tanjore (Via Chidambram) from Pondicherry. - Morning drive to Tanjore at a distance of 175 km from Pondicherry includes en-route visit temple of Lord Natraja at Chidambram.  On arrival at Tanjore, check-in at the hotel where you can fresh up and dine before exploring Tanjore in the afternoon. Tanjore  is a city of art and music.  It is a cultural centre for Carnatic music and dance.  It is also a city of craftsmen engaged in producing  traditional musical instruments and handicrafts.   Tanjore (Thanjavur) is known for its famous Brahadeeswarar Temple. The temple was got constructed by the Chola King Raja Rajan a millennium back.  Other attractions of Tanjore are Art Gallery and the Saraswathi Mahal Library. Night stay at Tanjore Hotel.
Day 06
Pondicherry - Trichy – Madurai.  - After a morning drive covering 201 km Drive to Trichy.  Just 5 kms further drive from Trichy lands you on an island called Srirangam. Surrounded by the Kaveri water, Srirangam  is a 600 acre island town.  Here stands Sri Ranganathaswami temple enclosed within the seven walls.  This temple has 22 gopurams (gate-ways with pyramid-like structures).  One of these is highest in India. It is 72 m high  13  tiered  structure which catches the eyes from  miles around.Another attraction here is The Rock Fort situated on the banks of River Kaveri.  The Fort stands on an 84 m high rock which is one of the oldest rocks in the world (approximately 3,800 million years old). Yet more that the fort, what attracts the visitors most is the temple atop the rock. To reach the temple, you have to climb  344 rock-cut steps.  In the temple, you will explore the inscriptions dating back  3rd century B.C. The day ends with a drive to Madurai to check-in at the hotel for overnight stay Madurai Hotel.
Day 07
Visit to Madurai s - The day starts with morning sightseeing tour of Madurai, known as Athens of the East.  Second largest city on the banks of the River Vigai, Madurai is at least 2500 years old city. It may be still older as a mythological tale tells.  The city is named after nectar (Mathuram) that fell from Shiva's locks when he came to bless its people for constructing a temple for him. Madurai is famous for its Meenakshi-Sundareswara Temple. Of its 12 gopurams, the tallest four stand at the outer walls of the temple. The 48.8 m high southern gopuram contains over 1500 sculptures. In the Ashta Shakti Mandapam inside the Meenakshi temple, the sculpted pillars tell the story of the beautiful princess of Madurai and her marriage to Lord Shiva.Afternoon at leisure followed by overnight stay at Madurai hotel.
Day 08

Breakfast at hotel. After breakfast at hotel drive to Kanyakumari. (245 Kms  6 hrs drive) on arrival check into hotel. Visit for Kumari Amman Temple, Gandhi Memorial and Vivekananda Rock Temple and evening enjoy the beautiful Sunset. Evening come to hotel for Overnight stay at Kanyakumari hotel.

Day 09

Breakfast at hotel.  After breakfast drive to Rameshwaram (90 Kms and 3 Hrs drives). On arrival check in at Hotel It is one of the beast beaches of India with its lovely slice beach sand and perfectly positioned palms. Evening relax on the Kovalam beach.  Overnight stay at Kovalam Hotel.   

Day 10

Breakfast at hotel. After breakfast, transfer to Kovalam sightseeing of Padhamanabha Swamy temple, Museum, Horse Palace, Art Gallery. Kovalam considered as the Paradise of the South. It consists of three adjacent crescent beaches and also picture perfect tropical beaches. Rest of the day at leisure on the beach Overnight stay at Kovalam Hotel. 

Day 11

Breakfast at hotel. After breakfast at hotel drive to Alleppey to check into houseboat (180Kms-5 hrs drive) and overnight at houseboat.(Houseboat will move from 1200hrs noon to 1700 Hrs evening and morning 0600 Hrs to 0900 Hrs. and morning). Dinner & Overnight stay at Deluxe House boat

Day 12

Breakfast at hotel.  Check out time form Houseboat is 09:00 A.M. After check out drives to Kumarakom (170 Kms and 5 Hrs drive). After check in to your Hotel, After refreshing go for a spice plantation Tour to see crops of cardamom cinnamon, pepper, coffee, tea estate (Optional) & later for boating in the Periyar lake- its centre piece of Periyar Wildlife sanctuary also Periyar Tiger reserve, manmade lake of the height of 2000 ft, Later return to hotel for Overnight stay at Thekkedy hotel.   

Day 13

Breakfast at hotel.   After Breakfast. Full Day is at leisure to relax in the beautiful natural surrounding and explore this beautiful place on your own. Day free for Personal Activity. Overnight stay at Thekkedy hotel.

Day 14

Breakfast at hotel. After breakfast drive to Kodaikanal (135 Kms and 4 Hrs drives). Check into the hotel, refresh, relax and at leisure visit Kodai Lake for the boat rides (extra cost), also visit Byrant Park and Coakers walk. Overnight stay at Kodaikanal hotel. 

Day 15

Breakfast at hotel.  After breakfast drive to Ooty (238 Kms and 6 Hrs). On arrival check in at Hotel. Visit Dodda Betta Peak, which gives a view of Ooty from the heights of Nilgiri. Later move for seeing Conoor Tea Gardens, Sim’s Park offering some wonderful views of varieties of flowers & trees and Dolphin’s Nose which offers scenic beauty of small mountains, springs, tea gardens etc from the top. You can indulge in hiking, boating, trekking, and horse riding also. Overnight stay at Ooty hotel.   

Day 16

Breakfast at hotel. After breakfast we take you for a visit to the Botanical Garden. Botanical Garden in opty is well known and one of the oldest botanical garden in country. It is also special for its green lawns, rare trees, variety of different collections of flowering plants, clear watered pools etc. Enjoy the gardens and then transfer back to the hotel in the evening. Overnight stay at Ooty hotel. 

Day 17

Breakfast at hotel.  After breakfast checkout hotel and drive to Mysore. (152 Kms / 5 Hrs) Sightseeing tour of Mysore starts in the afternoon. 770 m above sea level, Mysore was the erstwhile capital of the Wodeyars’ dynastic rulers. Mysore is named after the legendary demon-king  Mahishasur who was killed by the mythological goddess Chamundeshwari.  Mysore attracts tourists for its imposing Royal Palace with a Durbar Hall where the the then Maharaja's jewellery, studded gold throne (weighing 200 kgs) is on display dring Dussehra Festival.   The main tourist attraction of Mysore is it two millennium oldChamundeshwari temple on a hilltop as well as Nandi Bull half way to the temple.  Nandi Bull is a rock-cut 4.8 metre sculture. 19 km north-west of Mysore, you visit KRS Dam and the ornamental Brindavan Gardens with  musical fountains and colourful lights. Overnight Mysore Hotel.

Day 18

Explore Mysore - Just 45 km drive from Mysore transports you to  Somnathpur temple in the morning. This  temple, built in 1268 AD in Hoysala architectural style, is located at a star shaped chiseled plinth base.  Many sculptured  miniature elephants around the temple are monumental . The temple wall depicts scenes from Ramayana, Mahabharta and Bhagvata.Spend afternoon at leisure followed by overnight stay at the hotel. Overnight Mysore Hotel.

Day 19

Hassan - Belur - Helebi from Mysore - After 150 km drive from Mysore, reach Hassan and check-in at the hotel to undertake visit of Belur and Halebid in the afternoon.
Belur temple took over 103 years to be built in the best of  Hoysala style of architecture. The temple is raised on a star shaped rock-cut plinth. From the base upwards, there are fine decorative intricate carvings. 650 sculptured elephants stand in a row outside the shrine.  Many of the figures of full blossomed women depicted at Belur are believed to be portraits of King Vishnuvardhana's queen. Halebid, 16 km east of Belur and 27 km from Hassan, locates Hoysaleswara Temple dating back to 12th century, is a sculptural bonanza. The walls of the temple are replete with carvings of various gods and goddesses, animals and birds besides dancing girls. The temple dedicated to Lord Shiva guarded by a Nandi Bull remained in completed even after 86 years in the process of construction. In the inner sanctum, the star black Shiva lingam is worshipped till date. The ornate carving at the temple door is marvelous. Overnight Hassan Hotel.

Day 20
To Bangalore - Mumbai from Hassan(via Sravanbelgola)

During drive form Hassan to Bangalore, Sravanbelgola falls en-route.
Sravanbelgola  is known for the world's tallest monolithic statue(17 metre high) of Bahubali (Gomateshvara). The statue was built in 981 AD by the sculptor Aristanmi.  This is sacred monument for the Jain, an Indian religious sect. Sightseeing tour resumes on arrival at the Bangalore city.
Bangalore, the capital city of Karnataka, is centre of science, aeronautics and electronics. Situated 1000 m above sea level, Bangalore is called the garden city. Weather is pleasant round the year. The places to visit here include Lalbagh (the finest botanical Gardens of India), Cubbon Park covering 300 acres of land and Vidhana Soudha housing The State Legislature and Secretariat are the main attractions.
Overnight Banglore Hotel.

Day 21

Full day in Bangalore - Breakfast at hotel. After breakfast we take you for a visit of Bangalore city visiting Vidhan Soudha, Lalbagh Botanical garden, Tipu Sultan’s palace and Bull temple – one of the oldest temples built in 16th century. Rest of the day is free at leisure.   Overnight stay at Banglore hotel.

Day 22

Breakfast at hotel. Free till depature. In time departure transfer to airport to catch flight for Mumbai. On arrival catch connecting for return journey. ( By Air) Banglore to Mumbai flight will G8-391 / AT:1200 HRS. / Arrive Mumbai at: 1400 hrs. Overnight stay at Mumbai hotel.

Day 23

Mumbai – Breakfast at hotel. Full day city sightseeing tour Mumbai (Bombay), capital city of Maharashtra State and commercial capital of India, is an ancient city. The Buddhist and Hindu dynasties ruled the region until the 13th century.  There were only scattered settlements on the island. The  development of Bombay as a metropolitan city started  with after the East India Company occupied Bombay.  Gateway of India in Bombay was built to commemorate the royal visit of George V and Queen Mary in 1911.  Most of the other monumental structures here came up during British empire.  The places to visit here include Prince of Wales Museum, Flora Fountain, Victoria Terminus, St. Thomas Cathedral, Crawford Market, Malabar Hill, the Hanging Gardens and Dhobi Ghat (Washermen's village). Overnight Mumbai Hotel.

Day 24
Departure from Mumbai with a drive to airport for flight to onward destination.

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