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South India offers a fascinating blend of ancient traditions, spectacular temple architecture, and distinctive art and dance forms. Markedly different from the north in terms of climate and culture, the exotic south has a wealth of attractions.
South India Tour Packages begins with an arrival in Mumbai (formerly bombay), India’s most cosmopolitan city. You are greeted with a traditional Indian welcome by Company representative and escorted to your pre booked hotel.
The day is free. In the afternoon there will be an optional tour of Madras – founded by the British in the 17th century and still retaining much of its colonial elegance. We visit museum, art gallery, St. George Fort. Overnight stay at the hotel.
After enjoying our breakfast at the hotel we leave for a full day tour of Kanchipuram and Mahabalipuram. Kanchipuram – 70 kms from Chennai (Madras) is the ancient capital of the Pallavas famous as a city of 1000 Temples and still has 124 shrines. The first temple dedicated to Shiva was built in the 7th and 8th century & has paintings on the walls. Temples of Ekambareswara, Kailasanatha, Sri Kamakshi and Varada Raja Swamy are of interest. Kanchipuram is also famous for its silks.
The city of Mahabalipuram – 75Kms from Kanchipuram famous for the 7th Century Temples. Here on the seashore is an interesting group of ancient rock hewn temples which are the examples of Dravidian style of Architecture. Overnight stay at Mahabalipuram at a beach side resort.
After breakfast at the hotel we drive to Trichy – The citadel of the Chola dynasty in the medieval period. In the 18th century it witnessed the Carnatic wars fought between the French and the English. The Rock-Fort is the landmark of Trichy. A climb of 434 steps leads to the ancient temple of Ganapati on top. From here you will get a good view of Sri Rangam Temple and the Cauvery River. Overnight stay at the hotel.
After breakfast we leave for Madurai enroute visiting Tanjore. At Tanjore, the beautiful Chola Temple of Brihadeshwara is capped by a monolithic cupola made of a single granite block weighing 80 tons which was taken to the top with the help of a 6 km long ramp, an old technique used by the Egyptians for building pyramids. Its bronzes and handicrafts make Tanjore one of the highlights of a visit to South India. Later we continue to Madurai – one of the great pilgrimage centres of the south. On arrival check inn to the hotel. Overnight stay at the hotel.
Morning breakfast followed by half day sightseeing visiting the vast Meenakshi Temple – Dedicated to the consort of Lord Shiva with its towering Gopurams (rising high above the surrounding country side). Later we visit the Tirumala Nayak Palace – A gracious building in the Indo saracenic style, famous for the Stucco work on its domes & arches. There is also an extensive museum dedicated to the life and work of Mahatma Gandhi. Afternoon free at leisure. Overnight stay at the hotel.
Madurai / Periyar (150 Kms – 04hrs): After breakfast we drive to Periyar – The earliest sanctuary to be set up in 1934, it extends to 777 square kms & forms part of the high mountain ranges, the Western Ghats. Wild life can be seen while cruising on Periyar Lake in a motor boat. Amongst the animals which can be seen are elephants, wild boar, sambar, tiger, leopard, wild dog, languor monkeys, etc. On arrival Periyar check inn to the hotel. Overnight stay at the hotel.
After breakfast at the hotel drive to Kumarakom. On arrival transfer to Backwater resort. PM Free on the backwater Resort with the option to visit the nearby Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary. Overnight stay at the hotel.
Morning relaxing and our Houseboat will pick us up at the resort jetty at noon. There is the opportunity to spend an unforgettable afternoon and overnight cruising at a leisurely pace through Kerala’s superb backwaters scenery in a private houseboat. Overnight stay in the Houseboat.
After breakfast, we disembark the Houseboat at Alleppey and drive to Cochin. On arrival, check in to the hotel. Afternoon we leave for a sightseeing tour of Cochin – The natural harbour created by the famed underwater Malabar mud-banks whose quality ensures that the rougher the seas are outside the calmer the waters are within the Harbour. Vasco-de-Gamma placed it on the world map. It has a Jewish synagogue, Portuguese churches, mosques & Hindu temples. We watch the Chinese Fishing Nets and in the evening a performance of Kathakali Dancing. Overnight stay at the hotel.
Transfer to Cochin airport to take the morning flight to Bangalore. We arrive Bangalore & drive to Mysore (150Kms) enroute visiting Srirangapatanam, a wooden palace where Tipu Sultan hosted his afternoon tea parties. Overnight stay at the hotel.
After a leisurely breakfast at the hotel we visit the palace of the Maharaja built in 1911.The palace is of harmonious syntheses of the Hindu and saracenic styles of architecture with archways, domes, turrets, colonnades and sculptures which are magnificent. We drive up to Chamundi hill to see Chamundeshwari Temple and a panoramic view of Mysore. On the way back, see the Nandi Bull.
Afternoon free to explore the colourful vegetable and flower market and bazaars. Overnight stay at the hotel.
After breakfast we drive to Hassan (140 Kms) and full day tour of Belur and Halebid. The Chennakesava temple of Belur built 900 years ago is an exquisite example of Hoysala art. Halebid’s 12th century Hoysaleswara and Kedareswara temples are masterpieces of Hindu art. On the way also visit Sravanbelagola – hewn out of a single rock and visible from a distance of 25 kms is the statue of Lord Gomteshwara which is bathed with milk and honey once every 12 years. Overnight stay at Hassan.
Morning drive to Hospet and visit Hampi. The once beautiful capital city of Vijayanagar Empire – greater than Rome, had palaces, temples & sculptures, spread all over. The city was razed to the ground by the Sultanates of South in 1565. Some of the interesting ruins remaining are the Virupaksha, Vittala and Hazara Rama temples huge Ganesha and Narasimha images, the elephant stables, the Queen’s Bath, carvings on the Ramachandra temple & Lotus Mahal. Overnight stay at Hospet.
After breakfast we drive to Badami enroute stopping at Aihole and Pattadakal, Aihole is the cradle of stone temple architecture of the southern Dravidian School. The oldest temple, Lad Khan goes back to the 5th century A.D. There are 70 temples in this group. The Durga temple is noted for its sculptures.The Meguti temple is built of 630 small stone blocks. The Ravanaphadi Cave has some beautiful carvings.
Pattadakal, referred to as Petrigal, reached its pinnacle of glory under the Chalukya kings from 7th to 9th centuries. The oldest in this group is the Sanghameswara Temple. The Mallikarjuna Temple has pillars depicting life of Krishna. Virupaksha temple has sculptures and panel scenes from the epics, the Ramayana & Mahabharata. The Papanatha Temple has impressive carvings on pillars and ceiling. Overnight stay at Badami.
Breakfast at the hotel followed by sightseeing tour of Badami also known as Vatapi is rich with Hindu and Jain temples carved out of sand stone hills. The carved temples date back to the 6th century. Of these, three are Hindu and one Jain. Sculptured out of solid rock they are adorned with carvings. The Fort, on top of a hill encloses large granaries, treasury and a watchtower. The Malegitti Shivalaya temple set on the summit of a hill is built of stones without mortar. Overnight stay at the hotel.
After breakfast we drive leisurely to Goa. On arrival transfer to the Hotel. Evening free to Relax on the Beach. Overnight stay at the hotel.
Full day at lesiure. Overnight stay at the hotel.
Departure Transfer to Airport to connect flight to Mumbai. On arrival In Mumbai transfer to the international airport to Board your homeward flight or connect to your onward destination.