unforgettable panorama of unique sites shared with warm and friendly
people can be found in South India. Exquisite temples, jungle habitats,
cool hills, bustling markets, artistic crafts…. the excitement of each
awaits you on this tour.
Day 01 : Arrive Mumbai (Bombay)
Arrive Mumbai (Formerly Bombay), India's most cosmopolitan city and the
country's financial capital. You are greeted with a traditional Indian
welcome and escorted to hotel. Overnight at Mumbai.
Day 02 : Mumbai - Bangalore
After a leisurely morning, your afternoon flight takes to Bangalore, one
of the most beautiful and well-planned cities of India. Upon arrival you
are met and transferred to the hotel. Overnight at Bangalore.
Day 03 : Bangalore - Shravanabelagola - Chikmagalur
Enjoy a morning tour of the "Garden City," including a visit to Lal Bagh
Botanical Gardens, the Mysore Arts and Crafts Center, the bull temple
and the colorful, bustling markets. Proceeding to Chikmagalur, en route
visiting Shravanabelagola. Overnight at Chikmagalur.
Day 04 : Chikmagalur - Belur - Halebid - Mysore
Drive to Mysore stopping en route to visit Belur & Halebid. Belur
situated on the banks of the Yagachi River, the Chennakesava Temple
basks in the glory of one of the greatest monuments of medieval art in
India. An outstanding example of Indian temple architecture is found in
Halebid. The Hoysaleshwara Temple's entire surface is covered with a
succession of friezes running its entire length, featuring elephants,
lions, horsemen, and an incredible display of celestial beasts and
birds. Tonight, in Mysore view the illuminated City Palace. Overnight at
Day 05 :
Your tour of Mysore includes visits to City Palace: Chamundi Hill where
Nandi (Shiva's Bull) - a huge monolithic image is always garlanded with
flowers and held in high esteem by Hindus; and the colorful and aromatic
spice markets. Your afternoon is at leisure. This evening drive 10 miles
from Mysore to enjoy the beautiful and exquisitely illuminated Brindavan
Gardens, sprawling amid gorgeous cascading fountains. Overnight at
Day 06 : Mysore - Bangalore - Cochin
Drive to Bangalore, en route stopping at Srirangapatnam, where the
legendary warrior Tipu Sultan built his island fortress and Summer
Palace. Upon arrival in Bangalore, connect to your flight to Cochin in
the state of Kerala, known for its well-balanced ecosystem. Tonight
enjoy a presentation of the colorful costumed Kathakali dance drama.
Overnight at Cochin.
Day 07 : Cochin Sightseeing - Kumarakom
This morning visit the Portuguese Church built by St. Francis in 1562,
the Jewish Synagogue and the famed Mattancherry Palace. View the Chinese
fishing nets-ingenious devices requiring little human attention. Depart
this afternoon for Kumarakom, experiencing the rich culture and active
lifestyle that has evolved over the centuries in and around the
backwaters and waterways that thread this region. Overnight at Kumarakom.
Day 08 : Backwaters Cruise
This morning enjoy a boat ride through the series of canals and lagoons
snaking their way through several tiny villages and tropical vegetation.
Not only do the backwaters of Kerala link the state together, they are
an integral element in maintaining ecological balance and creating
harmony with nature. Your afternoon is at leisure. You may want to
experience an Ayurvedic therapeutic massage, indigenous to this region,
which is both relaxing and healing or perhaps take advantage of the rich
waters with a bit of fishing. Overnight at Kumarakom.
Day 09 : Kumarkom - Thekkady
Your exploration of South India continues as you travel to Thekkady,
located on the Tamil Nadu / Kerala border. This unique wildlife
sanctuary is about 300 square miles and centered on an artificial lake
fed by the Periyar River. Afternoon is at leisure. Overnight at Thekkady
Day 10 : Thekkady - Madurai
This morning game viewing is on board boats, which carry you along
convoluted waterways and afford sightings of elephants, bison, deer and
occasionally tigers. This tropical habitat makes it one of the premiere
reserves of southern India with all manner of flora and fauna in
abundance. Afternoon drive to Madurai, a bustling city packed with
pilgrims, businessmen, bullock carts and legions of rickshaw pullers.
Evening a visit to the Meenakshi temple to witness the evening Puja
ceremony. Overnight at Madurai.
11 : Madurai Sightseeing - Chennai (Madras)
This morning visit Shree Meenakshi Temple, a riotously baroque example
of Dravidian architecture, Thirumalai Nayak Palace and the Gandhi
Museum. Continue to Mariamman Teppakkulam Tank, site of the Teppam or
annual Float Festival held in January. Fly to Chennai (formerly known as
Madras), the fourth largest city in India. Overnight at Chennai.
Day 12 : Kanchipuram and Mahabalipuram Excursion
Today enjoy an excursion to Kanchipuram, one of the seven sacred cities
of India, which served as a capital for several dynasties. Visit three
of the best temples-Kailasanatha and Ekambareshwara dedicated to Lord
Shiva, and Vaikuntaperumal dedicated to Lord Vishnu. Continue your
excursion to the ancient Pallavan port of Mamallapuram, en route stop
for lunch at a seaside resort. Later, visit the 7th-century rock hewn
monuments. The shore temple, the only surviving one of seven, is a
unique example of a temple built of rock quarried elsewhere and carried
to shore. Overnight at Chennai.
Day 13 : Chennai (Madras) Sightseeing/ Depart Chennai
Your tour of Chennai takes you to Victoria Art Gallery, the Bronze
Gallery and Chennai Museum. Fort St. George, San Thome Cathedral and
Kapaleeswarar Temple complete your tour of Chennai. Afternoon is at
leisure. Tonight say farewell to unforgettable India and board your
international flight home filled with colorful memories of your sojourn
through Southern India.