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IndiaTour - South India - South India Wildlife, Culture and Backwater Tour

South India Wildlife, Culture and Backwater Tour

16 Nights / 17 Days

Places Covered : Chennai - Pondicherry - Tanjore - Trichy - Madurai - Kovalam - Alleppey - Kumarakom - Cochin - Guruvayur - Kannur - Wayanad - Mysore - Srirangapatnam - Bangalore


01 Day: Arrival Chennai
Meeting and assistance on arrival at the Chennai International airport, our representative welcome and escort you by a private car and transfer to the hotel, whilst the room keys and check-in is organized, our representative would hand over the documents and brief the tour programme to you. Overnight at the hotel.

02 Day: Chennai
After breakfast, take a sightseeing tour of Chennai; the gateway of South India will put you in touch with a different phase of India - Classical, Ancient, Gentle. Chennai is the 4th largest city in India. Spread over 50 miles and features a large and beautiful waterfront on the Bay of Bengal. The British East India Company established its first trading post at Chennai, and in 1653 the company built Fort Saint George to protect its position. After breakfast, take a sightseeing tour of Chennai visiting The St. George Fort, built in 1653, is currently used as the state government’s secretariat, Santhome Cathedral was built around 14th-15th century and is another colonial structure worth visiting. Dedicated to Lord Shiva, the Kapaleeswara Temple is the oldest temple in Chennai. Another important temple in the city dedicated to Lord Krishna is Parthasarthy Temple. The Snake Park has a large collection of snakes and many other reptiles. Evening you can visit flower and fruit market or take a walk at Marina Beach, the second longest beach in the world. Overnight at the hotel.

03 Day: Chennai - Pondicherry (170 kms: 3 hrs)
After breakfast check out the hotel and drive to Pondicherry. On arrival, transfer to the hotel. Take a city tour of Pondicherry, including a visit to Sri Aurobindo Ashram and the Ecole Françoise d’Extreme Orient, which is nearly 100 years old, with programs in Sanskrit, Tamil and Archaeological studies. The French Catholic influence is evident in a number of churches, notably the Jesuit Cathedral (Notre Dame de la Conception’ 1691-1765), The Church of Our Lady of Angels (1855), famous for an oil painting of Our Lady of Assumption given to the Church by King Louis Napoleon III, and the 17th century Chapel of Our Sisters of Cluny. In the evening you can visit to French colonies and local market. Overnight at the hotel.

04 Day: Pondicherry - Tanjore (170 kms: 4 hrs)
After breakfast you may opt to visit Auroville, the planned city of Dawn of the new world. Later check out of the hotel and drive to Tanjore. On arrival, transfer to the hotel. Later visit Brihadeshwara temple, which was built by Raja and is termed as the crowning glory of Chola temple architecture. This temple is one of the monuments in India with World Heritage listing. Also visit the Thanjavur Palace, which was constructed in 1550 and has huge corridors, spacious halls, observation and arsenal towers. Followed by a visit to visit Saraswati Mahal Library: This library has one of the most important oriental manuscripts collections, in India. Established around 1700 AD, the library contains a collection of over 44,000 palm leaf, and paper manuscripts in Indian and European languages. Overnight at the hotel.

05 Day: Tanjore - Trichy - Madurai (158 kms: 3 hrs)
After breakfast, check out of the hotel and drive to Madurai. Enroute visit Trichy; visit most famous landmark of this bustling town - the Rock Fort Temple, a spectacular monument perched on a massive rocky outcrop, the Sri Ranganathanswami Temple. This temple is one of the largest and most interesting temple complexes in India, built on an island in the middle of the Cauvery River and covering a staggering 2.5 sq km and Jambukeshwara - Mysore Temples. Later drive towards Madurai. On arrival, transfer to the hotel. Overnight at the hotel.

06 Day: Madurai - Kovalam (325 kms: 8 hrs)
After an early breakfast, visit to Meenakshi Sundareshwar, one of the largest temple complex in India built between the 16th and 18th centuries. Apart from the estimated 33 million sculptures there, the temple is absolutely absorbing with the endless rounds of ceremonies, prostration of countless devotees and glittering market stalls, later visit Tiruparankundram Murugan Temple, Palamuthirsolai Murugan Temple. Also visit the Tirumal Nayak’s Palace, which is in a highly decorative monument. Its enormous roofed arcade supported by 48 – foot high stone pillar, still stands. Later check out of the hotel and drive to Kovalam. On arrival, transfer to the hotel. Overnight at the hotel.

07 Day: Kovalam
After breakfast have your day full of the sun, sand and water. You can either laze around on the beach for the entire day or pamper yourself with some rejuvenating Ayurvedic therapies at the Ayurvedic Treatment in Kovalam. Later return to the hotel for overnight stay.

08 Day: Kovalam – Alleppey (175 kms: 3 hrs) Backwaters tours through sailing boat to Kumarakom
After breakfast checkout and drive for Alleppey. On arrival embark at the houseboat. The day for the journey of backwaters in the boat, through the tropical countryside enchanting backwaters of Alleppey by regattas (snake boats) for which Kerala is very famous, while sailing enjoy palm fringed narrow canals winding through the vast expanse of paddy fields and the neat tiny hamlets lined up along either side of the canals are panoramic sights one can never forget. The Chinese fishing nets, the reminiscent of our past trade links, are also found on the way. Flocks of duck swimming around the banks and tiny birds flying across the sky remains as enduring pictures reflecting the charm of this tourist land, you also enjoy fishing from the houseboats, evening enjoy sunset from the sun-deck of the houseboats, moving towards Kumarakom. The Houseboats have generated electricity; sitting cum dinning area, separate bedroom with attached English toilets, sun deck and fully loaded kitchen with a Chef, and Srank (Driver). Overnight at the houseboat.

09 Day: Kumarakom
After breakfast disembark from the houseboat and drive drive to Kumarakom - for the nature-lover. Here in this backwater town, you can laze in a canoe amidst sylvan surroundings where the only presence is yours and the egrets. Later visit at Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary, located on the banks of the Vembanad Lake, to see bird viewing where numerous species of birds, including Darters, Bitterns, Brahminy kites, Marsh Harries, Teals and several varieties of Herons roost are found. For an inquisitive bird watcher, it is always advisable to carry their binoculars at all times. Return to hotel. Make sure you do not miss out on Karimeen and fresh toddy the favourite fresh water food and the local wine. Overnight at the hotel.

10 Day: Kumarakom – Cochin (92 kms: 2 hrs)
After breakfast, check out of the hotel and drive to Cochin. On arrival, transfer to the hotel. After relaxation take a sightseeing tour of Cochin, Oasis state of Kerala & on to the Malabar Coasts & Kochi (formerly Cochin), one of the India's most colourful cities. This inter, connected series of Islands & shoreline presents a vivacious blend of Cultures & Religions; visiting FORT COCHIN. A few interesting sites included Vasco Da Gama Square, Santa Cruz Basilica, St. Francis Church, VOC Gate, Bastion Bungalow, Jewish Synagogue, Mattancherry Palace, etc. Learn the operation of the interesting Chinese fishing nets erected on teak wood and bamboo poles which work on the principle of balance. Records say they were first set up here between AD 1350 and 1450. Vasco Da Gama Square, the narrow promenade that parallels the beach, is the best place to watch the nets being lowered and pulled out of the sea. In the evening enjoy the Kathakali, one of India's most famous Classical dances. Lavish Costumes & Exotic makeup & Masks intensify the beauty of the dancers, intricate moments. Overnight at the hotel.

11 Day: Cochin – Guruvayur (140 kms: 3 hrs)
After breakfast, check out of the hotel and proceed to Guruvayur. On arrival, transfer to the hotel. Later take a sightseeing tour of Guruvayur visiting the Guruvayur temple dedicated to Lord Krishna and considered to be the Dwaraka of the South. Also visit the famous Shree Krishna temple, which has Guruvayoorappan or the infant Krishna, as the deity. Legend has it that the temple is the creation of Guru, the preceptor of the Gods and Vayu, the God of winds. The most famous offering of the temple is Thulabharam, where a devotee presents to the deity his own body weight against products like bananas, rice etc. Later visit the Punnathur Kotta Elephant Camp, 4 km north of town. 51 elephants, aged from 6 to 93, live here, munching for most of the day on specially imported piles of fodder and cared for by their three personal mahouts, who wash and scrub them several times a week in the sanctuary pond. Overnight at the hotel.

12 Day: Guruvayur - Kannur (222 kms: 5 hrs)
After early breakfast drive to Kanuur and check into the hotel Costa Malabari. On arrival transfer to the hotel. You may opt for a short sightseeing visiting Dharmadam Island: This beautiful island is located near the Muzhappilangad beach and is basically a Buddhist dominated region. Moppila Bay This bay is a famous fishing harbor that is situated near St. Angelo's fort. The place has the latest fishing harbor, equipped with latest fishing technology. It has been built under the Indo-Norwegian treaty and is a joint collaboration between the two countries. Later enjoy Theyyam performance a traditional dance, also known as an ancient spirit-possession rite. Overnight stay at the hotel.

13 Day: Kannur - Wayanad (145 kms: 3 hrs)
After breakfast, check out of the hotel and drive to Wayanad. On arrival, transfer to the hotel. After relaxation explore Wayanad. Set at an altitude of 700 - 2100 m above sea level, Wayanad is one of the districts in Kerala that has been able to retain its pristine nature. The fast-flowing rivers - Panamaram, Mananthavady and Kabini add to the beauty of this region. Sightseeing attractions in Wayanad include Pookoda Lake, Lakkadi, Kuruva Island and Edakkal Cave. Overnight at the hotel.

14 Day: Wayanad - Mysore (150 kms: 3 hrs)
After breakfast, check out of the hotel and drive to Mysore. On arrival, transfer to the hotel. Later take a sight seeing trip to visit the Palace of the Maharaja (Emperor) built in 1911 - 1912. The palace is of harmonious syntheses of the Hindu and saracenic styles of architecture with archways, domes, turrets, colonnades and sculptures which are magnificent followed by visit at St. Philomenas cathedral - folklore museum - visit the Art Gallery; drive up to Chamundi hill to see Chamundeshwari Temple and a panoramic view of Mysore. On the way back, see the Nandi Bull. Overnight at the hotel.

15 Day: Mysore - Srirangapatnam - Bangalore (140 kms: 3 hrs)
After breakfast, check out of the hotel and drive to Bangalore. En route visit the Srirangapatnam (20 kms from Mysore) to visit Fort and Sri Ranganathaswami Temple. Later proceed to Bangalore. On arrival, transfer to the hotel. In the evening you can visit Ulsoor Lake. Later return back to the hotel for overnight stay.

16 Day: Bangalore
After breakfast, take a sightseeing tour of the city visiting Lal Baugh – One of the many gardens in the city; it derives its name from the profusion of Red roses which are in bloom here, Cubbon Park – a garden laid down by Lord Cubbon in 1864. The ambience of the city life is broken with presence of such a large park in the center of the city. The Bull Temple – The 4.57 m high and 6.10 meters long image is carved out of single granite rock, Vidhan Soudha – the Vidhan Soudha houses the state legislative assembly of state government, later followed by visit to Sri Gavi Gangadhareshwara Temple – The temple is natural monolith carved cave temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. Overnight at the hotel.

17 Day: Bangalore – Hometown (By Air)
After breakfast check out of the hotel and drive to the airport to board the flight for hometown. Tour concludes here with happy memories.