Rhythem of South India

Tour Route:
Chennai - Bangalore - Mysore - Coonoor - Cochin - Alleppey - Periyar - Kodaikanal - Madurai - Mahabalipuram - Chennai
Duration:
15 Nights / 16 Days

Day 01 : Arrival Chennai

Arrival in Chennai. You will be met on arrival and transferred to your hotel.

Day 02 : Sight seeing Chennai

Chennai is the fourth largest city in India and gateway to the south. This morning tour the city by car. Chennai became the earliest British Settlement in India when in 1639 the Raja of Chandragiri, gave Francis day the site which now forms the city of Chennai. Fort St. George, built in the following year became the chief centre of activity of the East India company. Within the fort is St. Mary's Church, the first Anglican church built in India. Also visit the National Art Gallery, museum and the Sam thome Cathedral.

Day 03 : Chennai / Bangalore

Today transfer to the airport for your Indian Airlines flight for Bangalore. You will be met on arrival and later you will tour the city. Though a modern, important commercial centre, Bangalore remains one of India's most attractive cities. Around the centre of the city you will find parks and gardens, wide tree lined avenues, imposing buildings and lively bazars. Later tour city visiting Tipu Sultan's summer palace and the nearby bull Temple which is one of the oldest temples in Bangalore. Also visit the Lalbagh Botanical gardens originally laid out in the 18th century by Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan. These gardens contain one of the largest collections of rare tropical plants in India. Also see Vidhana soudha, this spectacular government building is built of granite and houses both the secretariat and the State Legislative.

Day 04 : Bangalore / Mysore (139 kms)

This morning drive South to Mysore visiting enroute Srirangapatanam to see the ruins of Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan's capital from which they ruled much of Southern India during the 18th century. Continue on to Mysore. This rural city is noted for its palatial buildings beautiful gardens and as a major centre for the manufacture of incense made from sandal wood, mush and jasmine. Mysore is also a centre for handicrafts specializing in wood carvings and silk. In the afternoon visit the Maharaja Palace which is the focal point of the city.

Day 05 : Sightseeing of Mysore (140 kms)

Today visit the colourful vegetable and flower market in Mysore. Drive out to Chamundi hill to view the Chamundeswari temple and the famous Nandi Bull. Also visit the Sri Chamundeswari Temple at Somnathpur, built around 1260 AD by the Hoysala Kings. The walls of this temple are covered with stone animal sculptures it has been said that this its one of the most beautiful and interesting buildings in India.

Day 06 : Mysore/ Nagarhole (90 kms)

This morning drive to Nagarhole National Part. Consisting of tropical deciduous forest, swamps and streams, Nagarhole is noted for elephant, tiger crocodile, leopard, deer and a rich variety of bird life. Evening game viewing in Nagarhole - Kabini River Lodge.

Day 07 : Game viewing at Kabini River

Morning and Evening game drives at Nagarhole. Viewing will be by jeep, elephant or coracle.

Day 08 : Nagarhole / Coonoor (163 kms)

Today drive to Ooty the former summer capital of the Raj which is popularly known as the queen of hill stations. Ooty nestles in the Nilgiris Hills at an altitude of 7,500 feet and is famous for its spectacular scenery and popular 'Toy Train' which operates up from Coimbatore. Ooty was discovered by the collector of Coimbatore, John Sullivan, who first built his house here in 1819 and then the lake in 1823. In the afternoon continue on to Coonoor, just 13 kms from Ooty and offering a more relaxing alternative to bustling Ooty.

Day 09 : Coonoor / Cochin (278 kms)

Drive south to Cochin the principal port and centre of the spice trade on the Malabar coast. Cochin was the first European settlement in India and the port was founded by Vasco-da-Gama in 1502. Portuguese, Dutch and British settlers have all left their culture on this colourful city.

Day 10 : Cochin / Alleppey Back water Cruise / Periyar

This morning tour the city visiting the Mattancherry palace, the nearby merchant houses and a fine synagogue. Also visit Fort Cochin and St. Francis Church, the oldest European church in India - In the afternoon take a motor launch from Alleppey across to Changanacherry. Your cruise will take about 2 1/2 hours and will take you through some of the most picturesque back waters passing through narrow canals and tropical lagoons. On arrival at Changanacherry re-join your car and continue on to Periyar wildlife sanctuary in the Cardamom Hills on the border of Tamil Nadu and Kerala. Periyar was established in 1943 and in one of the largest sanctuaries in India. It is one of the best sanctuaries in which to observe herds of elephants. The 21 mile shapes and colours often remind people of the Scottish Highlands. Viewing is best by that may be seen include bison, wild boar and sambar.Evening viewing by boat.

Day 11 : Periyar / Kodaikanal

Leave by car to Kodaikanal, which is one of the most charming hill stations in South India. Kodaikanal lies on the southern crest of the Palani hills, at altitude of 7000 feet. Arrive in Kodaikanal early afternoon.

Day 12 : Sight seeing of Kodaikanal

At leisure to walk around and enjoy the sight and views of this tranquil town. Kodaikanal is notes for its scenery and landscaped lake. Take of the most spectacular views in India can be enjoyed from Coaker's walk and pillar Rocks, however, at certain times of year the views can be restricted by the weather.

Day 13 : Kodaikanal / Madurai (135 kms)

This morning drive down to Madurai which has been a centre of learning and pilgrimage for many centuries. Life in this bustling pilgrimage city is centered around the great Meenakshi Temple. In the afternoon visit the 17th century Shree Meenakshi Aundeshavara Temple which dominates the old city. This great temple with its gopuram is covered with profusion of multi coloured images of mystical figures, animals and gods. From dawn until late at night the temple complex and colourful bazaars team with pilgrims. Return in the evening to the temple to witness the temple music.

Day 14 : Madurai / Chennai

Today transfer to the airport for your Indian Airlines flight for Chennai. On arrival at Chennai you will be met by our representative and transferred to Hotel.

Day 15: Chennai / Kanchipuram / Mahabalipuram

Today visit Mahabalipuram and Kanchipuram by car. Mahabalipuram was named after the Pallava King Narasimbhavaram who enjoyed the title Mamalla or great champion. He excavated many cave temples, the most remarkable being the seven monolithic temples, each carved from a single granite boulder standing on the sea shore. In the village you will see a huge bronze relief measuring 27m by 9m, known as Arjuna's penance. Which is cut on to a flat granite rock-face. Continue inland to Kanchipuram which is known as 'The Golden city of a thousand Temples'. Visit the 7th century Kailasantha Temple dedicated to Shiva and Vaikuntaperumal temple dedicated to Vishnu. Kanchipuram is noted for its cotton dyeing and silk weaving.

Day 16 : Departure Chennai

End of tour.