Grand Tour of South India

Duration : Days-27 / Nights-26

Route : Chennai » Mahabalipuram » Pondicherry » Thanjavur » Madurai » Periyar wild life park » Kumarkom » Alleppey » Cochin » Munnar » Ooty » Mysore » Bangalore » Hassan » Hospet » Badami » Goa » Mumbai

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Covering some of the finest sights in the South, this tour highlights the region’s great diversity – Tamilnadu’s huge, colourful temples, the vast palace and atmospheric markets of Mysore, tranquil tea plantations of Munnar, the cosmopolitan background of the port city of Cochin, city of dreams Mumbai, gardens of Bangalore, Kerala’s stunning tropical backwaters and Periyar’s wild elephants, with several exciting options to relax at the end.

A ride on the Nilgiris Toy Train, dinner at a popular French restaurant in Pondicherry, a walk through the jungles of Periyar, a visit to the bronze idol-making artisans in Kumbakonam, and a traditional Kerala meal on banana leaves, are some of the highlights of what is one of the finest tours of South India.

Relax on the beach, wander colonial streets or simply savor the historic elegance of architecture with these extraordinary gems in South India – truly a holiday of a lifetime.

Highlights of this itinerary

  • Experience beaches &Temples of Tamilnadu
  • Backwaters, Hill station & wildlife of Kerala
  • Nature walks & spice garden visit at Periyar
  • Experience of Backwaters on Houseboat
  • Kathakkali dance show in Kochi
  • Architectures of Mysore
  • World heritage monuments of Hampi and Badami

Route Info

  • Day 01: Chennai
  • Day 02: Mahabalipuram (enroute visit Kanchipuram)
  • Day 03: Mahabalipuram
  • Day 04: Pondicherry
  • Day 05: Thanjavur
  • Day 06: Madurai (enroute visit Trichy)
  • Day 07: Madurai
  • Day 08: Periyar wild life park
  • Day 09: Periyar wild life park
  • Day 10: Kumarkom
  • Day 11: Alleppey (Luxury Houseboat stay)
  • Day 12: Cochin
  • Day 13: Munnar
  • Day 14: Ooty
  • Day 15: Ooty
  • Day 16: Mysore
  • Day 17: Bangalore
  • Day 18: Hassan (Halebid, Bilur, Shravanbelagola visit)
  • Day 19: Hospet/Hampi
  • Day 20: Hospet/Hampi
  • Day 21: Badami
  • Day 22: Badami
  • Day 23: Goa
  • Day 24: Goa
  • Day 25: Mumbai (by flight)
  • Day 26: Mumbai
  • Day 27: Departure

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1 : Chennai (‘Gateway to South India’)
Warm welcome to India! You will be received by our representative at Chennai Airport and proceed to your hotel. On the way, your tour guide will present you all your tour documents, helpful information on getting around in India and also your complimentary mobile phone. The rest of the day is at your leisure to settle in. Depending on your arrival time, if you’d like to begin exploring city on the very first day of your arrival, your driver is always available there at your disposal to escort you anywhere you’d like to go.
Chennai is the capital city of Tamilnadu state. It is popular for its rich historical and cultural heritage. Most famous tourist places includes visit to National Art Gallery and Museum (fine collection of ancient paintings), East India Museum, Mylapore Shiva Temple, Victory War Memorial, Theosophical Society, St. Mary’s Church and Marina Beach (the second longest in the world).
Stay overnight at hotel.

Day 2 : Mahabalipuram(UNESCO world Heritage Site also known as the second pagodas) (130 km from Chennai)
After breakfast depart for Mahabalipuram enroute visiting “Kanchipuram temples”. Kanchipuram is the ancient capital of the Pallavas, is famous as the city of 1000 temples now still has 124 temples remains. Kanchipuram is also famous for hand-woven silk fabrics. Here visit Kailashnatha temple, Ekambareswara Temple which is dedicated to Lord Shiva was built between the 7th and 8th century and has interesting religious paintings on the walls. This is one the largest temple covering nine hectares of land. At evening transfers to Mahabalipuram hotel. Check-in hotel and relax.
Stay overnight.

Day 3 : Mahabalipuram
Mahabalipuram is the 7th century port town of south India. After breakfast visit the major attractions of this town that are wonderful monolithic temple architectures and rock-cut stone sculptures. Visit the famous Arjuna’s Penance (Bas-Relief on a huge rock), the Shore Temple and the Pancha Rathas (Five Chariots) – five monolithic pyramidal structures named after the legendary Pandavas. Temples of Mahisasura Madapam, Sri Kamakshi and Varadarajaswamy are worth visiting.
Stay overnight at hotel.

Day 4 : Pondicherry (also known as Pudducherry) (98 km from Mahabalipuram/ 01.30 hours drive)
Pondicherry which was formerly a French Colony settled early in the 18th The main attraction here is the Aurobindo Ashram which was founded by Sri Aurobindo in 1926. This ashram promotes Aurbindo’s ideas in bringing about a synthesis of Yoga and modern science, so as to unite the spirit and matter.
Visit Auroville – a unique experiment in international living and in creating a new environment where men and women of all nationalities live together in harmony. It has a beautiful shopping place promoting local handicraft. Also visit Pondicherry museum and sculpture gallery with an outstanding collection of artifacts.
Stay overnight at hotel.

Day 5 : Thanjavur (UNESCO World Heritage Monuments)(170 km from Pondicherry/ 02.30 hours drive)
Tanjavour is an important center of South Indian literary and religious art and architecture. Most of the Great Living Chola Temples which are located in and around Thanjavur. The celebrated temple of Brihadeshwara built by the Chola King during the 11th century is its major attraction. The Saraswati Mahal library, containing a rare collection of books and manuscripts on paper and palm leaves. Thanjavur is also the home of the Tanjore painting, a painting style unique to the region. The city is an important agricultural center located at the heart of the region, known as the Rice bowl of Tamilnadu.
Stay overnight at hotel.

Day 6 : Madurai (one of the oldest cities in South India – 2600 years old) (200 km from Thanjavur)
After breakfast depart for Madurai enroute visit Thiruchirapalli temples (also known as Trichy). Trichy, situated on the banks of Kaveri River is a blend of history and tradition as well as pilgrim centre, it is famous for Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple at Srirangam. This superb temple complex is surrounded by seven concentric walls with 21 Gopurams. The rock fort is land mark of Trichy with Ganesh Temple on the top height of over 23mts.
At evening transfer to Madurai Hotel. Check-in and relax.
Stay overnight.

Day 7 : Madurai
One of South India’s great temple towns, Madurai is synonymous with the celebrated Meenakshi Temple (1000 pillared Temple). It is the most beautiful temples with finest workmen ship of stone carving situated on the banks of river Vaigai. Madurai was an important cultural and commercial centre even as early as 550 AD. It was the capital city for the great Pandya kings.
The Pandyan King Kulasekarar built a great temple and created a lotus shaped city around the temple. On the day the city was to be named, as Lord Shiva blessed the land and its people, divine nectar (Madhu) was showered on the city from his matted locks. This city was henceforth known as Madhurapuri. Madurai is famous for Jasmine Flowers. Another key attraction of this town is Thirumalai Nayak’s palace and Gandhi Museum.
Stay overnight.

Day 8 : Thekkady (Periyar wild life sanctuary) (125 km from Madurai/ 02 hours drive)
After breakfast depart for An enchanting Plantation Town Thekkady, located in central Kerala, is a popular wildlife centre with unending chains of hills and spice scented plantations. Two art shows are very famous from here. First is Kathakali dance performance and the second is Kallari (ancient fighting art show). On arrival check-in and relax. Later day visit the natural surroundings of this beautiful place.
Stay overnight at your hotel.

Day 9 : Thekkady(Periyar wild life sanctuary)
After breakfast full day enjoy boat safari at Periyar Lake located in the center of the wildlife sanctuary. Here you will be able to see a large variety of wildlife, which includes tigers, elephants, monkeys, deer, wild boar and different species of birds, can also be spotted. You can also take an elephant safari at sanctuary. Evening at leisure.
Stay overnight at your hotel.

Day 10 : Kumarakom (Backwater’s paradise)(125 km from Thekkady/ 02 hours drive)
Morning breakfast and depart for the most beautiful and picturesque backwater destination of Kerala, On the bank of Vembanad Lack it is a beautiful place to enjoy nature and feel the beauty of Nature. It is completely a relaxing place.
Kumarakom also has one of the finest bird sanctuaries of India. Enjoy exploring the beautiful surroundings or spotting an exciting range of colorful water birds in the Kumarakom bird sanctuary. You will enjoy your stay at your backwater resort, nestles on the serene bank of the Vembanad Lake, the vast stretch of tranquil, emerald green backwaters. Here you can enjoy Ayurvedic spa and massages treatment at your resort.
Stay overnight at your backwaters resort.

Day 11 : Alleppey House Boat (night stay at floating luxury houseboat exclusively for you) (35 km from Kumarakom)
After breakfast transfer to Alleppey houseboat point (Jetty) to embark on your houseboat (your luxury home on sail for next 24 hours). It is one of the highlight of your travel. Houseboat trip is the perfect way to experience the backwater lifestyle of Kerala.
The day long journey in the beautiful backwaters of Kerala is the only way to explore what otherwise seems more like a poet’s version. While sitting on the deck of your houseboat or while sitting in the spacious open sit-out area, outside your bedroom, you can see how daily life is running across both the corners of backwaters covering beautiful rivers and canals with palm trees and small houses near to it , villages paddy fields, churches, etc.
You can get out and get an experience of Toddy, soft liquor made from Coconut (it is safe, pure and sweet.)
Stay overnight at your luxury, air-conditioned and private houseboat.

Day 12 : Cochin (Kochi; the commercial and industrial capital of Kerala) (55 km from Alleppey/ 50 minutes drive)
From time immemorial, the Arabs, British, Chinese, Dutch, and Portuguese have left indelible marks on the history and development of Cochin. Over the years, Cochin has emerged as the commercial and industrial capital of Kerala and is perhaps the second most important city on the west coast of India (after Mumbai). This lovely seaside city is proud of its world class port and international airport that link it to many major cities worldwide.
Here you can visit Old Cochin, fisherman China Nets, Fish market, fort Cochin and old churches, the famous Mattancherry Palace (Dutch Palace), Bolghatty Palace, St. Francis Church and the Jewish Synagogue. Also see the giant Chinese Fishing Nets being lowered on the famous Vasco Da Gama Square, offering a spectacular view to its visitors.
Stay overnight at your hotel.

Day 13 : Munnar (Only Hill station of Kerala) (140 km from Cochin/ 02.30 hours drive)
Munnar is the most beautiful and only hill station of Kerala. After breakfast departs for Munnar enjoying the panoramic view of the Cardamom hills & green carpets of tea plantations en-route. The mountains and rubber plants on the way to Munnar is most beautiful and worth to see.
Here you will visit Eravikulam National Park, the Mattupetty Dam, Dairy Farm, Old Munnar Town and also walk through the market of Munnar. Evening at leisure.
Stay overnight at your hotel.

Day 14 : Ooty (Most famous hill station of south India)(250 km from Munnar/ 05 hours drive)
After breakfast depart to the most famous hill station of south India – Ooty. It is located in the Nilgiri (Blue) Mountains of the Western Ghats, Ooty draws a large number of tourists every year. It used to be popular summer and weekend getaway for the British during the colonial days, later it was made into a summer administrative town. It is situated at an altitude of 2,286 meters above sea level. Lofty mountains, great lakes, dense forests, sprawling grasslands, miles of tea gardens and eucalyptus trees greet the visitors en route to Ooty. The hill station itself is a land of picturesque picnic spots.
After a long drive of 5 hours check-in hotel for relax. Remaining time at your leisure to enjoy beautiful sunset.
Stay overnight at hotel.

Day 15 : Ooty
After breakfast visit Botanical gardens, Ooty lake, Dodabetta Peak and Lamb’s Rock. You can also take excursion visit to famous hill station Coonnoor (17kms), also visit Tiger Hill, Wenlock Downs and Law’s falls.
Stay overnight at hotel.

Day 16 : Mysore(120 km from Ooty/ 03 hours drive)
Morning breakfast and depart to It is a tourism hot spot within the state of Karnataka. The city receives the maximum number of tourists during the period of the Dussehara festival when festivities take place for a period of 10 days.
One of the most visited monuments in India; the Ambavilas Palace (also known as Mysore Palace) is the center attraction of Mysore sightseeing tours. It’s known for its magnificent palaces and majestic buildings, sprawling garden, shimmering silk and sandalwood, the ‘City Royale’ always figures in the tourist’s itinerary. Major tourist attraction includes Mysore City Palace and Museum, Brindavan Garden, Hill Saint Philomena’s Church Jaganmohan Palace.
Overnight relax at hotel.

Day 17 : Bangalore (well known as Garden city)(150 km from Mysore/ 03 hours drive)
Morning depart to Bangalore, the capital city of Karnataka. On arrival check-in hotel and relax. Major tourist attraction in Bangalore includes visit to famous Lal Bagh Botanical Garden, known for housing a variety of old trees, roses, fountains, pools, and an assortment of herbs. Also visit the Cubbon Park, Bull temple, Tipu Sultan’s Fort and Palace, Venkataramanaswamy Temple, Gavi Gangadhareshvara Temple and Mysore Arts and Crafts Centre while driving through the Vidhan Soudha, a beautiful colonial building housing the state legislature and secretariat.
Overnight relax at hotel.

Day 18 : Hassan(120 km from Bangalore / 02 hours drive)
Morning drive to Hassan enroute you can visit Shravanbelagola – one of the oldest and most important Jain pilgrimage centres in India, and the site of the 17 metre high status of Gomateshwara, said to the world’s tallest monolithic statue.
Hassan is famous for unique style of Temple Architecture. The mere mention of Hassan resonates with the names of Belur-Halebid. The temples at Belur & Halebid are the mute testimony to the highest peak of Sculpting skills that man has ever achieved. Belur, which is an important tourist place in Hassan, was one of the first capitals of the Hoysala Kingdom. On arrival check-in and relax. Later visit important sites of Halebid and Bilur. Halebid’s 12th century Hoysaleswara and Kedareswara temples are master pieces of Hindu art.
Stay overnight.

Day 19 : Hospet (Hampi – UNESCO World Heritage Sites)(335 km from Hassan/ 06 hours drive)
After breakfast drive to Hampi, the medieval capital of the Hindu empire Vijayanagara (the City of Victory).
Hampi is the most beautiful and evocative of all the ruins of Karnataka. After a long drive of 6 hours check-in hotel for relax. Remaining time at your leisure.
Overnight relax at hotel.

Day 20 : Hospet(Hampi)
Key attraction of this palace is King’s Palace, Mahanavami Dibba and Queen’s Bath. This structure has a very plain exterior but the interior is stunningly ornate, with graceful arched corridors, projecting balconies and lotus-shaped fountains.
Visit to Lotus Mahal, this visually appealing structure has two levels, with open pavilions at the bottom and balconies above. An elegant example of the fusion of the Hindu and Muslim styles of architecture, later on visit Elephant Stables, Pushkarni and Hazara Rama Temple – This was a royal temple reserved for ceremonial use.
Overnight relax at hotel.

Day 21 : Badami (140 km from Hospet/ 02.15 hours drive)
Badami, located in the Bagalkot district of North Karnataka, was the capital of the Chalukya Dynasty.The Badami cave temples are a set of four temples carved out of soft sandstone. They belong to the Chalukya Period. Of the four caves, three are dedicated to Hindu Gods, and the fourth is a Jain Temple.
A number of annual temple festivals are held in towns near Badami. The annual temple festival, held at Banashankari, in the month of January-February is worth visiting;so are the Virupaksha Temple Car Festival and Mallikarjuna Temple Festival held in Pattadakal during March-April.
Morning breakfast and drive to Badami. On arrival check-in and relax. Later day visit the famous Badami cave temples and other important sites.
Evening at leisure. Stay overnight.

Day 22 : Badami
After breakfast visit excursion to Aihole and Pattadakal. Aihole – is famous as the Cradle of Indian Temple Architecture has over 125 temples including Lad Khan Temple, Drug (fort) Temple, Ravalphadi Cave Temple, Konti Temple Complex, Jain Meguthi Temple are few not to be missed.
Pattadakal- a World Heritage centre has 10 major temples representing early Chalukyan architecture. The Papanatha, Virupaksha and Mallikarjuna temples are examples of early Chalukyan art. Scenes from the Ramayana, Mahabharata and the Bhagvatha Purana are depicted here.
Stay overnight.

Day 23 : Goa (250 km from Badami/ 05 hours drive)
Goa state is situated along West coast of India touching the Arabian Sea. With the rule of the Portuguese for over 450 years and the consequential influence of Portuguese culture, Goa presents a somewhat different picture to the foreign visitor than other parts of the country. The state of Goa is famous for its excellent beaches, churches, and temples. Goa is well known for tourism, fisheries and iron ore mining industries. The climate of Goa is overall pleasant throughout the year.
Best time to visit: – The period of June to September is Monsoon Season (rainy season). The period from October to February is very pleasant for tourists with normally clear skies. The period of April & May comes under hot season (summer season) with some increase in humidity.
Morning breakfast and drive to Goa. On arrival check -in your beach resort. Remaining time enjoy beautiful white sand beaches.
Stay overnight.

Day 24 : Goa
After breakfast visit the famous old churches, State Archaeology Museum and The Bom Jesus Cathedral. Later enjoy your time at your beach resort. At evening explore the surrounding places and enjoy the local culture.
Stay overnight.

Day 25 : Mumbai (financial or commercial capital of India)
Mumbai; the capital of the Indian state of Maharashtra. It is the most populous city in India, and Mumbai is the commercial and entertainment capital of India, it is also the world’s top 10 centres of commerce. Most populous city in the world with a population of approximately 20.5 million. It is one of the most populous urban regions in the world. Mumbai lies on the west coast of India and has a deep natural harbour.
After breakfast you will be transferred to Goa airport to catch your flight for Mumbai. You will be received by our representative at Mumbai Airport and proceed to your hotel. The rest of the day is at your leisure. Depending on your arrival time, if you’d like to begin exploring city, your driver is always available there at your disposal to escort you anywhere you’d like to go. Evening you can enjoy your time at Chowpaty beach.
Stay overnight at your hotel.

Day 26 : Mumbai
After breakfast visit the major tourist attraction of Mumbai city includes visit to Chattrapati Shivaji Terminus (UNESCO World Heritage Sites), Gateway of India, Hanging Gardens and Prince of Wales Museum. You can also visit Elephanta caves and Gandhi Memorial. At evening you can also enjoy your time at Juhu Beach and Marine Drive.
Stay overnight at your hotel.

Bollywood tour: On a half day Bollywood tour you can visit the film city sets where you can see glamour of Bollywood with big sets of people dancing and singing and more about postproduction of movies and about the process of how a film is made.

Day 27 : Departure
Today you are free to plan your day according to your departure schedule. Later at appropriate time you will be transferred to airport (03 hours before boarding) according to flight schedule.
Fly back home with sweet memories…!
The services End Here!

Services Included

TOUR PRICE INCLUDES WITH FOLLOWING SERVICES:-

  • A safe and comfortable air-conditioned car with driver, all inclusive. (Fuel for car, Insurance, Road and State taxes, Toll taxes, Parking fees and all transport related expense including Driver’s food and lodging.
  • Driver with excellent skills and record, a good knowledge of the area you are visiting and sufficient English to communicate with you.
  • Car will be with luxury pushback seats, safety seat belts for all passengers, mineral water and ice box in cabin.
  • The car will be with you from your arrival to departure with as many stops to sightseeing as you want enroute.
  • Air-conditioned double bed room with breakfast and all taxes included.
  • Transfers and land transportation according to proposed itinerary.
  • Meeting and assistance on arrival/departure at airports, hotels by our company representative.
  • All meals (breakfast, lunch dinner) during your stay at houseboat.
  • Complementary tea/coffee with cookies during your houseboat tour.
  • Live Kathakali dance performance at Thekkady.
  • A typical Kerala Ayurvedic massage for rejuvenation therapy.
  • Live performance of Kellari art from ancient time at Thekkady.
  • Excursion to a spice garden with naturalist/guide to explain about all the spices.
  • Flight ticket: – Goa to Mumbai

 

Services Not Included

FOLLOWING SERVICES ARE NOT INCLUDED IN THE PRICES:-

  • Tips, laundry, telephone bills, portage and Beverages.
  • Meals unless specified.
  • Entrances to Monuments and other specified destination.
  • Movie/video camera fee at monuments.
  • Domestic or International airfare unless specified.
  • Medical or baggage insurance.
  • Airport Departure taxes, Visa Charges.
  • Tips and gratuities.
  • Any other service that has not been specified
  • Your game safaris in the National Parks unless specified above.

Help Tips

SPECIAL NOTE FOR YOUR HELP AND INFORMATION:-

  • Train & all the flight reservations are subject to availability.
  • Air Fares are subject to change.
  • Euro, British Ponds and Dollars easily exchangeable in India.
  • Any other service that has not been specified but you want to add, please let us know, we will try our best to manage for you.
  • Taj Mahal is closed on Friday.
  • If any proposed hotel is sold-out then other similar level hotel is guaranteed.
  • During the travel if you want to change any hotel because of any reason then you have to inform us at-least 7 days before because at the last moment we both lose money.
  • We are not responsible for any political demonstration, Natural problems, Traffic jams etc.
  • Any flight or train cancellation at the last moment, since their control not in our hands. In such situation the compensation and dealings will be between you and the concerning company, we are not obliged to play role as mediator. But in such situation you are always free to get information from us.

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