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SOUTH INDIA EXPERIENCE ( MODERATE)

DURATION : 19 Nights / 20 Days

DESTINATIONS : Cochin - Ooty - Mysore - Hassan - Chennai - Mahabalipuram - Pondicherry - Thanjavar - Madurai - Thekkady - Alleppey - Kovalam -

Tour Highlights

Best Season:  January – February – March – April – October – November - December

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The tour begins by exploring the beautiful old port city of Kochi and finishes with relaxing days on the golden beaches Kovalam. In between we’ll travel to the hill station of Ootacamund, famous for its beauty and Botanical gardens, before continuing east into Karnataka and the palaces of Mysore. Stopping at the temples of Belur and Halebid en route to Bangalore, we’ll take the train south to Chennai. After a day’s sightseeing in India’s fourth-largest city, our next destination is the magnificent beach temples of Mahabalipuram, carved out of the single rocks. We’ll visit the old French enclave of Pondicherry and the arts centre of Thanjavur before arriving in Madurai, famous for its large and alluring temples complexes with exquisite carvings.

We then travel back into the hills and Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary, with a delightful abundance of birds and wildlife, and the spice markets of Thekkady. The final phase of the tour is spent enjoying a memorable houseboat cruise on the backwaters of Kerala around Alleppey before we finish our tour at Kovalam with its sandy beaches.

TOUR HIGHLIGHTS

  • Fort Kochi, an amalgam of old Portuguese, British and Dutch colonial architecture
  • Ootacamund, the queen of hill stations of India
  • Mysore, famous for its magnificent Maharajah’s Palace
  • Mahabalipuram and Kanchipuram, famous for their spectacular rock temple carvings
  • Pondicherry, a unique ex-French enclave on the Coromandel coast
  • Thanjavur and Madurai, with some of the largest temple complexes in India
  • Flexible tailor-made booking option

Short Description

This three-week tour is a fascinating journey through India’s Deep South. We’ll see some of the country’s finest architecture in the form of vivid Hindu temples and charming old colonial buildings hill stations, wildlife reserves, tropical beaches, Maharajahs palaces and stunning scenery – all the while enjoying some of the best food in India. A highlight is our stay on a houseboat, from which we’ll explore the picturesque Kerala backwaters.

Detailed Itinerary

 
Day 1: Arrival Cochin

Arrive at the International Airport of Kochi. After traditional 'Swagat' (Welcome) our representative would assist you at the airport and transfer you to your hotel. On arrival, check-in at the hotel.

Kochi is also known as Cochin - the “Queen of Arabian Sea”, it is one of the finest natural and major harbor city of Kerala and it has a cosmopolitan culture highly influenced by historical trading partners. 

Overnight stay at Hotel (Room only)

Day 2: Cochin Sightseeing

After breakfast, visiit Mattancherry Palace also known as the Dutch Palace; it was built by the Portuguese and presented to Veera Kerala Varma (1537–65), Raja of Kochi, in 1555 AD.

Later visit Jewish Synagogue, it is the oldest synagogue in all the Commonwealth of Nations and was built by Malabar Yehudan People, or Cochin Jewish community.

Then visit St. Francis Church, it is the oldest European church in India and was built in the beginning of 16th century.

Later visit Chinese fishing nets at Fort Kochi, it is a very popular tourist attraction. These nets are fixed land installations, which are used for a very unique and unusual method of fishing.

Evening, enjoy Kathkali Dance.

Overnight stay at Hotel (Breakfast)

Day 3: Cochin - Ooty (Approx. 280 kms - 6 hour drive)

Today we leave Kochi and drive towards the Nilgiri Hills of Ooty. A fabulous hill station used to be popular summer and weekend getaway for the Britishers during the colonial days. It is situated at an altitude of 2240m above sea level.

Afternoon we reach there and check-in at the hotel.

Overnight stay at Hotel (Breakfast)

Day 4: Ooty Sightseeing

After an early breakfast, we take a short toy train journey to Coimbatore.

We drive back to Ooty and then we proceed for the sightseeing tour of this beautiful hill station.

Botanical gardens, which shows the explicit collections of flowering trees and shrubs.

We visit Rose garden and Doddabetta peak, which is a view point from where the whole of Ooty can be seen and afterwards we head to Wax museum is also known as ‘melody world’.

A boat ride at Ooty Lake can also be arranged as an optional activity.

Overnight stay at Hotel (Breakfast)

Day 5: Ooty - Mysore (Approx. 130 kms - 4 hour drive)

Morning after breakfast we start a scenic drive towards Mysore.

Mysore used to be the capital city of Kingdom of Mysore and now it is the 3rd largest city of Indian state Karnataka. It is situated at the base of the Chamundi Hills.

We reach there and check-in at the hotel and relax.

Overnight stay at Hotel (Breakfast)

Day 6: Mysore city

Today we proceed for the sightseeing tour of Mysore city.

We drive to Srirangapatna (Distance: 25km approx.); it is a river island formed by River Kaveri and an important place of religious, historic and culture. Here we visit Gumbaz, the mausoleum of Tippu Sultan, Ranganathaswamy Temple and the Daria Daulat. Srirangapattna was the capital of Tipu Sultan and it is said that both Tippu Sultan and his father Hyder Ali made generous endowments to the Ranganathaswamy temple. This enormous temple has fort like walls and it is dedicated to Lord Vishnu as Ranganatha.

Later we drive back to Mysore.

We visit the Mysore Palace; it is considered as the largest palace and is also known as Amba Vilas Palace. Mysore is often described as ‘City of Palaces’.

Also visit the Chamundi Hills where lies the famous Chamundeshwari Temple. Afterwards we return back to hotel and relax.

Overnight stay at Hotel (Breakfast)

Day 7: Mysore - Hassan (Approx. 125 kms / 4 hour drive)

This day we drive to Hassan (Distance: 125km), reach there and check-in at the hotel.

Later, we visit The Chennakesava Temple situated on the banks of the Yagachi River in Belur, the temple was built by King Vishnuvardhana of Hoysala Empire. It is originally known as Vijayanarayana Temple and dedicated to Hindu God Vishnu.

Then we head towards Halebidu and visit Hoysaleswara Temple dedicated to Hindu God Shiva and was built by King Vishnuvardhana of the Hoysala Empire.

We also visit Kedareshwara Temple, this is also dedicated to Hindu God Shiva and it was built by King Veera Ballala II of Hoysala Empire. Afterwards we return back to hotel and relax.

Overnight stay at Hotel (Breakfast)

Day 8: Hassan - Bangalore & Train to Chennai

Today, we drive towards Bangalore railway station to catch a day express train for Chennai the capital city of Indian state Tamil Nadu; en-route we visit Shravanabelagola, where lies the statue of Gommateshvara Bahubali and is one of the most important holy place in Jainism.

After visit, drive to Bangalore railway station to board train to Chennai railway station.

On arrival in Chennai railway station, transfer to the hotel.

Overnight stay at Hotel (Breakfast)

Day 9: Chennai - Mahabalipuram via Kanchipuram (Approx. 60 kms - 2 hour drive)

Post breakfast, leave for Mahabalipuram en-route we visit Kanchipuram.

Kanchipuram has been ruled by many dynasties and it has very popular Hindu Temples dedicated to Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu. Some of the prominent temples are Varadharaja Perumal Temple, Ekambareswarar Temple and many more. Kanchipuram is also known as ‘The City of Thousand Temples’.

Afterwards we continue our drive to Mahabalipuram; it is an ancient historic town and was the major seaport during the Pallava Kingdom. The group of monuments at Mahabalipuram is considered as UNESCO World Heritage Site.

We reach there and check-in at the hotel and relax. 

Overnight stay at Hotel (Breakfast)

Day 10: Mahabalipuram Sightseeing

Today after breakfast we start exploring this magnificent town called Mahabalipuram.

We start our tour with the famous shore temple, is the structural temple built in the 8th century during the reign of Pallava dynasty and then we visit Pancha Rathas are the temples carved in the shape of Chariots and are the best example of monolithic Indian Rock-cut architecture.

Then we visit Cave Temple and Krishna’ butter ball and spend some time to enjoy the beauty of Mahabalipuram beach.

Overnight stay at Hotel (Breakfast)

Day 11: Mahabalipuram - Pondicherry (Approx. 100kms / 3 hour drive)

Today, we will leave for Pondicherry. On arrival, check-in at the hotel.

Puducherry is a Union Territory and the most popular tourist destinations in South India. It was formerly known as Pondicherry and it used to be the largest French colony in India as it was under the French rule until 1954 and some people still speak French here.

Afternoon visit Sri Aurobindo Ashram is a spiritual ashram in India and attracts many devotees from India as well as from all over the world for spiritual salvation. The ashram was founded in the year 1926 by Sri Aurobindo Ghose, who was an Indian philosopher, yogi and poet.

Overnight stay at Hotel (Breakfast)

Day 12: Pondicherry - Thanjavur (Approx. 180kms / 5 hour drive)

After breakfast, drive to Thanjavur en-route we visit Airavatesvara Temple at Darasuram near Kumbakonam.

The Temple depicts the style of Dravidian architecture and it was built by Emperor Raja Raja Chola II of Chola dynasty in 12th century and it is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site as “Great Living Chola Temples”. The Temple is dedicated to Hindu God Shiva as Shiva is known here as Airavateshvara.

Afterwards we continue our drive towards Thanjavur, reach and check-in to the hotel.

Thanjavur is the most important site of South Indian religion, art and architecture; most of the Great Living Chola Temples are also located here.

Overnight stay at Hotel (Breakfast)

Day 13: Thanjavur - Madurai (Approx. 190 kms / 4 hour drive)

Morning we visit Brihadeeswarar Temple, is dedicated to Hindu God Shiva and the temple was built in 11th century by Emperor Raja Raja Chola I of Chola dynasty. The Temple is a UNESCO World Heritage Site as “Great Living Chola Temples” and one of the largest temples in India. The Temple is India’s one of the most prized site for its architecture.

Then we continue our drive towards Madurai, reach and check-in at the hotel.

Overnight stay at hotel (Breakfast)

Day 14: Madurai Sightseeing

Full day visit of Madurai city.

We start with Meenakshi Amman Temple, it is a historic Hindu Temple situated on the bank of River Vaigai. The Temple is dedicated to Goddess Parvati known as Meenakshi and her consort, Lord Shiva named here as Sundareswarar It was built between 1623 – 1655AD;

After that we head to flower market, it is one of the biggest flower market in the southern India. Madurai flower market is popular for Jasmine, rose and other varieties.

Overnight stay at Hotel (Breakfast)

Day 15: Madurai - Thekkady (Approx. 145kms / 4 hour drive)

This day we start driving to Thekkady (Distance: 145km approx.) leave the temple town and enter into the hills of Thekkady, where lies the famous Periyar National Park.

On arrival check-in at the hotel.

Afternoon visit the Spice Plantation tour.

Overnight stay at Hotel (Breakfast)

Day 16: Thekkady Sightseeing

Today we spend our early morning time for a jungle walk into the park and later after breakfast we have free time for optional activities such as Ayurvedic massage, Kathakali dance show.

Late afternoon we take a boat safari in Periyar national park at Periyar Lake to see the wild life such as wild elephant, chital and sambar deer, wild boar, and lots of bird species. Evening is free for us to explore on our own.

Overnight stay at Hotel (Breakfast)

Day 17: Thekkady - Alleppey (Approx. 150kms - 4 hour drive)

This day we drive to Alleppey (Distance: 150km approx.), a backwater heaven interlocked with lakes and canals. The network of canals is used for inland navigation. A vast stretch of paddy fields make this place as the rice bowl of Kerala. Apart from rice production the coir making and boat building is a thriving industry in this area. Houseboat or a Backwater Cruise along the palm fringed waterways of Alleppey is the most exciting holiday experience. Reach there and board the traditional houseboat and enjoy the backwaters.

Overnight stay at Houseboat (All meals)

Day 18: Alleppey - Kovalam (Approx. 165kms / 4 hour drive)

After breakfast, drive to Kovalam. On arrival, check-in at the hotel.

Kovalam is the beach resort of Kerala and is very popular tourist destination. Kovalam beaches are very popular due to shallow waters and low tidal waves. Kovalam has three beaches which together form the famous crescent of the Kovalam beach these are Lighthouse Beach, Hawah Beach and Samudra Beach. The beaches are covered by fertile coconut palms; especially the southernmost part of light house beach is the most beautiful. 

Overnight stay at Hotel (Breakfast)

Day 19: Kovalam Free Day

Day free at leisure in Kovalam Beach.

Overnight stay at Hotel (Breakfast)

Day 20: Kovalam - Trivandrum - Departure

Post breakfast, In time departure transfer to Trivendrum Airport to board our flight to go back home.

                                                                                      ****Tour Ends****

Inclusions / Exclusions

The Price Includes:

  1. Accommodation in Double OR Twin / Single / Triple Room as per the hotels mentioned or similar (as per availability) on Bed & Breakfast basis (BF from D2)
  2. Transportation in an air-conditioned car with driver.
  3. Assistance on arrival & departure.
  4. Monument entrances as per the details listed in the program.
  5. Local English-speaking guide in all the cities as per the sightseeing (the guide may alter the chronology of visits as per requirement)
  6. Gift on departure by Monks & Monkeys Travel
  7. 02 bottle of mineral water (500ml) per person per day.
  8. All Government Taxes (till date)


The Price Excludes:

  1. Domestic flights & Airport Departure Tax from India (this is generally included in your ticket)
  2. Visa fees for India: compulsory; to be obtained from the Indian Consulate of your country of residence; passport valid 6 months after return date)
  3. Facility of E-visa available upon arrival (please check Govt of India website : https://indianvisaonline.gov.in/evisa/tvoa.html)
  4. Any meals except mentioned in the column prices includes.
  5. Any expenses of personal nature such as tips beverages, laundry, telephone calls, photography and video fees, etc.

Terms & condition:

  1. As of now no accommodation is confirmed and rooms are purely subject to availability at the time of confirmation of the tour.
  2. Standard check-in time for all the hotels is 14h00.
  3. Standard check out time for all the hotels is 12 Noon.
  4. Early check-in & late check-out subject to discretion of respective hotel.
  5. The company shall not accept any liability or responsibility for any damages, loss, injury, accident, delay, breakdown or irregularity, which may occur due to “force majeure”

Route Map

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