South India Heritage Tour
20 Nights / 21 Days
: Chennai - Mahabalipuram - Kanchipuram - Pondicherry
- Swami Malai - Tanjore - Tirchy - Madurai - Rameshwaram - Kodaikanal - Kanya
Kumari - Kovalam - Periyar - Kottaym - Alleppey - Ooty - Coonoor - Mysore -
Srirangapatnam - Hassan - Belur - Bangalore - Sravanbelgola - Mumbai
Day 1: Chennai
Arrive Chennai by international flight. Assistance on arrival and transfer to
the hotel. Afternoon sightseeing tour. Chennai, the capital city, popularly
regarded as the 'Gateway to the South' represents a culture that is distinctly
different from that of northern India.
Day 2: Chennai - Mahabalipuram - Kanchipuram
Morning drive to Kanchipuram. Kanchipuram, 70 kms west of Mahabalipuram, this
city of thousand temples lies. One of the seven sacred cities of Hindus, it
was the capital of the early Cholas as far back as the 2nd century BC. Kanchi
was a major seat of Tamil learning as well as an important place of pilgrimage
for Buddhists, Jains and Hindus. Overnight at the hotel in Covelong.
Day 3: Chennai - Pondicherry
Chennai-Pondicherry, 170 km Morning drive to Pondicherry. Afternoon sightseeing
tour of Pondicherry
Day 4 : Pondicherry - Swami Mailer
Pondicherry-Swami Mailer, 166 km Drive to Swami Mailer ethnic Village Resort
visiting en-route Chidambram and Gangaikonda Cholapuram
Day 5 : Swami Malai - Tanjore - Trichy
Swami Malai-Tanjore-Trichy, 91 km Morning drive to Trichy visiting en-route
Tanjore Temple. Arrive Trichy, check-in at the hotel. Afternoon visit Srirangam
and Rock Fort Brahadeeswara Temple at Tanjore (Thanjavur), dedicated to Lord
Shiva, also called the Big Temple, belongs to the architecture of the Chola
period. Built in the 10th Century A.D., by Raja Raja Chola, the Temple Tower
is capped by an 81.3 tonnes round monolithic cupola. This enormous piece of
stone is said to have been was moved into position by moving it along an inclined
plane 6 kms. long. The temple is considered an engineering skill of the Chola
architects who planned its construction in such a way that the shadow of the
cupola never falls on the ground.
Day 6 : Trichy - Madurai
Morning visit Rock Fort Temple. The Rock Fort situated on the banks of the Kaveri
river, Trichy's most famed land mark is an 84 m high rock, one of the oldest
in the world aprox.3,800 million years. The attraction is not for fort itself
but the temple at the summit. 344 steps hewn out of rock lead to the top where
are the inscriptions dating back to the 3rd century B.C. Later drive to Madurai
and on arrival, check-in at the hotel. Overnight stay.
Madurai is one of the oldest cities of India, with a history dating all the
way back to the Sangam period of the pre Christian era. The glory of Madurai
returned in a diminished form in the earlier part of this millennium; it later
on came under the rule of the Vijayanagar kingdom after its ransack by the
ravaging armies of Delhi (Malik Kafur). During the 16th and 18th centuries,
Madurai was ruled by the Nayak Emperors, the foremost of whom was Tirumalai
Nayakar. The Sangam period poet Nakkeerar is associated with some of the Tiruvilayaadal
episodes of Sundareswarar - that are enacted as a part of temple festival
traditions even today.
Day 7 : Madurai - Rameshwaram or Kodaikanal
Madurai Day at leisure - optional Day trip to visit Rameshwaram or Kodaikanal
Founded by American missionaries in 1845, Kodaikanal is steeped in history.
Relics and artifacts of the Paliyans who once lived in these hills can still
be seen in the Shenbaganur Museum. Even today, a few Paliyans can be seen near
Kukal Cave. In the early days, there were no roads-people had to travel by bullock-cart
and palanquin, braving the dangers of the forests. Slowly Kodaikanal developed,
missionaries established church properties, many of the then ruling princes
built summer holiday-homes, clubs were opened, school and hotels were built,
and civic amenities were introduced.
Day 8 : Madurai - Kanya Kumari - Kovalam
Madurai-Kanya Kumari-Kovalam, 285 km Morning drive to Kanya Kumari(Cape Comorin),
the last end of India where three Oceans meet. Continue to Kovalam and on
arrival, stay for overnight
At the southern most tip of India, where the Arabian Sea,
the Indian Ocean, and the Bay of Bengal meet, lies Kanyakumari. Kanyakumari
is also famous for its spectacular sunrises and sunsets, especially on full
moon days. The city of Kanyakumari is surrounded by beautiful beaches and is
one of the known pilgrimages of India. A dip in the ocean here is considered
holy, but the sea is rough here and not fit for bathing. This is the only place
in India, where the sunset and moonrise can be viewed simultaneously on a full
Day 9: Kovalam
Breakfast at hotel. After lunch excursion to Kanya Kumari to visit the stunning
Padmanabhapuram palace and to enjoy the unique experience of Sunset & Moon
rise over the ocean simultaneously. Return to Kovalam in the evening. Overnight
at Kovalam. Kovalam beach is known as the "Paradise of the South".
Kovalam is just 16 kms away from Trivandrum, Kerala's capital city. Kovalam
is an evergreen and pleasant climatic beach resort. Kovalam is a dreamland for
tourists all over the world. With high rock promontory and a calm bay of blue
waters, this beach paradise creates a unique aquarelle on moonlit nights. Kovalam
was brought to the public eye by the Maharaja of Travancore. Over the past three
decades, the place has been well developed, and now figures prominently on the
world tourism map. The warm and clean atmosphere by the coconut trees and the
white sandbed are perfect for relaxing holidays, as the seabreeze gently plays
with the waves.
Day 10: Kovalam - Periyar
(By Road) Leisurely breakfast in the morning. We reach Periyar by noon. After
lunch we take safari to a nearby Coffee Plantations & villages.
One of the well known wildlife sanctuaries in the south, Periyar
sanctuary attracts a large number of nature lovers every year. Also called the
Thekkady Wildlife Sanctuary, this place is ideal for watching the animals in
their natural habitat.
The forest here, slopes into the manmade lake at the bottom of the hill. This
lake serves as the waterhole for the animals and they come here to drink or
take a dip. Elephants, Gaur, Sambhar and even tigers can be spotted here.
There are boat services which takes the visitor around the lake. The best season
to visit the park is between October and June. Spread over 777 sq.km of the
Cardamom Hills of Western Ghats, the Periyar sanctuary is located 137 km from
Although an excursion on the splendid artificial lake is the standard way to
experience the sanctuary, you can also walk around with the local guide in a
small group. Wild Elephant herds come to the lake to frolic in the water.
Other attractions of the sanctuary are the Sambhar, Bison, Spotted Deer, Tigers,
Leopards, Malabar Flying Squirrels, Stripe necked Mongooses, etc. There are
over 260 species of birds here, including Nilgiri Wood Pigeons, blue-winged
Parakeets, White bellied Tree Pies, laughing Thrushes and Fly Catchers.
Day 11: Periyar - Kottayam
Periyar-Kottayam/backwaters, 115 km Drive to Kottayam and board Kettuvalom,
the Houseboat. Sail through the day and spend night on boat.
Day 12: Alleppey - Cochin
Arrive Alleppey-Cochin At noon time, disembark Houseboat at Alleppey and proceed
to Cochin, 56 km
Alappuzha, formerly named as Alleppey, in Kerala is one of
the major backwater destinations. The thrilling boat race awaits you at Alleppey
or Alappuzha. Imagine to just lazing on a houseboat or enjoying fishing in Alleppey
Kerala. Kuttanad is also known as the 'rice bowl' of the state, Kerala India.
Alleppey is a captivating destination in Kerala India that provides backwaters,
traditional Kettuvallooms (house boats), beaches, boat race, swaying palms,
gourmet delight and many more.
Day 13: Cochin
Cochin Morning sightseeing tour Evening witness Kathakali Dance Show in a Theatre
Cochin set on a cluster of islands and narrow peninsulas, the port city of Cochin
(Kochi) (Queen of Arabia) reflects the eclecticism of Kerala perfectly. With
a rich past and a bustling present, it has been the business hub of the region
from the very early days after Alleppey (Alappuzha). Cochin consists of mainland
Ernakulam, the islands of Willington, Bolgatty and Gundu in the harbour, Fort
Cochin and Mattancherry on the southern peninsula, and Vypeen Island north of
Fort Cochin, all was linked by ferry but now some islands have bridges. The
influence of Chinese, Jews, Arabs and Europeans is evident in Cochin and its
people. The oldest church in India, 500-year-old Portugese houses, old tiled
houses built in the Chinese pagoda style, the famous Chinese fishing nets, a
Jewish community whose roots go back to the Diaspora, synagogues and mosques
all tell the fascinating story of this harbour town. The harbour is still at
the heart of the city and pepper, sea food, rubber and coir mats and matting
are exported from here. Despite this, Cochin is an attractive city with serene
creak & lagoons overhung with feathery coconut palms and picturesque islands.
The older parts of Fort Cochin and Mattanchery are an unlikely blend of medieval
Portugal, Holland and an English country village grafted onto the troppical
Malabar coast. Cochin is one of India's largest ports and a major naval base.
Day 14: Cochin - Ooty
Cochin-Ooty, 280 km Drive to Ooty and check-in at the hotel.
The verdant hills, the lush green valleys and the pristine natural
beauty of the hill resort of Ooty offers the urban tired souls a chance to resume
their affair with Nature, to whom they truly belong. The heavenly hill resort
like a blushing bride peeks from behind the lofty Nilgiri hills. The unassuming
beauty of this heavenly hill resort beckons you to come and embrace the tranquility
and solace that tours to Ooty India offer.
Day 15: Ooty - Coonoor
Ooty Full day sightseeing of Ooty and Coonoor. Coonoor is a fabulous hill station
in the Nilgiri hills about 19 km from Ooty. Coonoor, located at an altitude
of 1,856 metres, is the second largest hill station in the Nilgiri hills.The
Sim's Park with all its natural beauty was constructed in 1874 has unique trees
and plants. Facinating and unforgetable view points for tourist are Lamb's Rock,
Dolphin's Nose, Lady Canning's Seat to name a few.Tourist can avail of the Toy
train facility to get a detailed view of this place.
Day 16: Ooty - Mysore
Ooty-Mysore, 155 km Drive to Mysore and check-in at the hotel. Afternoon city
sightseeing tour Mysore, the third largest city of the southern Indian state
of Karnataka, is famous for its sandalwood and silk. More recently, it has also
become famous for its yoga teachers. It lies on the slope of a low-lying plateau
at an altitude of 770 m, which makes its climate pleasantly cool in winter.
The name Mysore is derived from Mahishasura, the demon who allegedly used to
rule there. Mysore was once the home to the royal family, and the spectacular
Maharajah's palace still occupies a large portion of the city centre. Home of
world famous ashtanga teacher Patthabi Jois, Mysore, now sometimes referred
to as "Ashtanga city", is fast becoming one of the most popular places
in India to study yoga.
Day 17: Mysore - Srirangapatnam
Mysore Morning visit Somnathpur Temple Afternoon visit Srirangapatnam
Day 18: Mysore - Hassan
Mysore-Hassan, 150 km Drive to Hassan and check-in at the hotel Afternoon
visit Belur and Halebid Temples.
Day 19: Hassan - Bangalore - Sravanbelgola
Hassan-Bangalore drive, 186 km Drive to Bangalore visiting en-route Sravanbelgola
On arrival, check-in at the hotel. Afternoon sightseeing tour
Day 20: Bangalore
Bangalore-Mumbai flight Transfer to airport for flight to Mumbai Afternoon
city sightseeing tour
Day 21: Mumbai
Mumbai-Dep. Transfer to airport for