Tour Of Southern India
18 Days / 17 Nights
DAY 1 : ARRIVE CHENNAI TO MAHABALIPURAM
Meeting and assistance on arrival at CHENNAI airport and drive 1 hour (60 kms) to your beach resort at MAHABALIPURAM, where you are booked to stay for two nights.
Best Hotels in Mahabalipuram
InterContinental Chennai Mahabalipuram Resort, Grande Bay Resort and Spa , Radisson BLU Resort Temple Bay Mamallapuram , Ideal Beach Resort
DAY 2 : IN MAHABALIPURAM
Mahabalipuram with its picturesque location on a rocky outcrop between the beach and a lagoon is a happy combination of history, good beaches, hassle-free tourism and fabulous fish and lobster. It is renowned for its series of charming RATHAS and the spectacular carved relief depicting ARJUNA’S PENANCE. The magnificent SHORE TEMPLE built by king Rajasimha in the seventh century houses the shrines of both Shiva and Vishnu. The KRISHNA MANADAPAM has a bas-relief of Lord Krishna lifting the Govardhan hill on his fingertips. Return to your hotel late in the afternoon for overnight stay.
Best Restaurants in Mahabalipuram
Le Yogi , L’attitude 49 , Gecko Café , The Restaurant at Ideal Beach Resort , Waters Edge , Golden Palate , Freshly ‘n’ Hot Café , Buddha Cafe Restaurant
DAY 3 : TO PONDICHERRY
After breakfast drive to Pondicherry, a French colony on the coastline of India. During your afternoon tour visit SRI AUROBINDO ASHRAM, where Sri Aurobindo and the Mother lived for the most parts of their lives. The PONDICHERRY MUSEUM is home to some of the most exquisite collections on architecture and sculpture. Pondicherry also has a pleasant beach alongside promenade and historical monuments.
Best Hotels in Pondicherry
Palais de Mahe , Villa Shanti , Pondicherry Executive Inn Pvt Ltd , Maison Perumal , La Villa , The Sunway Manor
Best Restaurants in Pondicherry
Surguru , Villa Shanti , Cafe Xtasi , LB2 Lounge Pondy , Cafe des Arts , Sri Kamatchi Non Veg Hotel , DisDis & Co
DAY 4 : TO THANJAVUR
This morning we drive to Tanjore. Arrive Tanjore and check in at your hotel. It is primarily a place for the art lovers, especially for those who love temple architecture and wonder about kings who erected these magnificent monuments. During their reign, the Cholas made significant contribution to the various fields of art and architecture. The BRIHADEESWARA TEMPLE, the wonderful PALACE, ART GALLERY and the SARASWATI MAHAL LIBRARY are some of the other things to see in Tanjore.
Best Hotels in Thanjavur
Svatma , Ideal River View Resort , Hotel Parisutham , Hotel Sangam , Lakshmi Hotel
DAY 5 : IN THANJAVUR
Morning proceed for a full day excursion to Trichy. In Trichy visit ROCK FORT, from where the view is spectacular. The VINAYAKA TEMPLE at the top is reached by climbing a tunnel in rock. Half way up is the SRI THAYUMANASWAMY TEMPLE, dedicated to Lord Siva having a 100-pillar hall and a Vimana covered with gold. Also visit TIRUVANAIKKAVAL or JAMBUKESWARA TEMPLE named after the elephant , which is believed to have worshipped Lord Siva here. Installed under an ancient Jambu tree, the lingam is partially submerged by water and meant to represent God incarnate as water. Later return to Thanjavur. Evening at leisure. Overnight at the hotel.
Best Restaurants in Thanjavur
Sree Ariya Bhavan , Hotel Gnanam , Chennai Dharbar Restaurant , Mohal Briyani , Sathars
DAY 6 : TO MADURAI
Drive today to the temple city of MADURAI. In Madurai the architectural marvels of the temples and the exquisite sculptures fascinate all those who have a look at them. You can also participate in the many festivals and regale in the rich tradition of the locals. Some of the major attractions in the city are the MEENAKSHI TEMPLE, TIRUMALAI NAYAK MAHAL, GANDHI MUSEUM, KOODAL AZHAGAR TMEPLE, VANDIYUR MARIAMMAN TEPPAKULAM etc.
Best Hotels in Madurai
Heritage Madurai , Kadambavanam Ethnic Resort , The Gateway Hotel Pasumalai Madurai , Fortune Pandiyan Hotel , Fortune Pandiyan Hotel
Best Restaurants in Madurai
Murugan Idli Shop , Sree Sabarees , Kumar Mess( Best Non veg) , Phil’s Bistro , Sree Mohan Bhojanalaya , Chopstix Multicuisine Restaurant ,
Barbeque Bistrro , Surya Veg Restaurants (Hotel Supreme) .
DAY 7 : TO PERIYAR
Today we drive from the busy and bustling temple town of Madurai to the quiet jungle resort of PERIYAR. It is one of the finest sanctuaries for studying the Indian Elephant in its home. Arrive and check-in at your hotel. In the afternoon you will be taken around to see some spice plantations. Overnight is at the hotel.
Best Hotels in Periyar
Forest Canopy , The Mountain Courtyard , Greenwoods Resort , Amaana Plantation Resort , Spice Village , Chrissie’s Hotel .
Best Restaurants in Periyar
Chrissie’s Cafe , Kofiland , Ebony’s Café , French Restaurant & Bakery , Ambadi Restaurant .
DAY 8 : TO TRIVANDRUM
Early morning proceed for boat ride in the Lake Periyar to see the wildlife in the park. Drive to TRIVANDRUm and enjoy a quick tour. Dating back to 1880, the NAPIER MUSEUM building is a combination of the Kerala, Mughal, Chinese and Italian architectural styles. The building has a unique natural air-conditioning system. The SRI CHITRA ART GALLERY houses paintings from the Mughal, Rajput and Tanjore schools of art.. Later continue your drive of another 30kms to arrive at your beach resort. Evening is at leisure to explore the beaches.
Overnight is at the hotel.
Best Hotels in Trivandrum
Vivanta by Taj – Trivandrum , Hilton Garden Inn Trivandrum , Hycinth By Sparsa , Hotel Lake Palace .
Best Restaurants in Trivandrum
Zam Zam , Villa Maya , Curry Chatty , Buraq’s Laadhiidh , Hilton Garden Inn , Arya Nivas .
DAY 9 : TO ALLEPEY
We take another drive today to the backwaters of Alleppey. On arrival in Alleppey you will be taken to your House Boat. Each boat has a fully equipped kitchen and an experienced cook to prepare authentic Kerala cuisine with seafood specialties and fresh vegetables. The waterways of Kerala play a
major role in the economy of the state as they link remote villages and islands with the mainland. All Meals and overnight stay on board the house boat
DAY 10 : TO KOCHI
You will get up early today by chirping of birds and occasional ripples in the water. Your breakfast will be cooked before your eyes by your expert boat-crew. After breakfast check out of the houseboat and drive down to Cochin. Being a major harbor from the times of the British and Portuguese, Cochin has a rich heritage of forts, churches and temples. Arrive and check-in at the hotel. Rest of the day is at leisure.
Best Hotels in Kochi
Fragrant Nature Kochi , Vivanta by Taj – Malabar , Brunton Boatyard , Kochi Marriott Hotel
DAY 11 : IN KOCHI
Breakfast followed by a sightseeing tour of Cochin visiting the Dutch Palace, (Closed on Fridays), Jewish synagogue (closed on Friday & Saturdays), Chinese fishing nets & St. Francis Church. Dutch Palace was built by the Portuguese and presented to the Raja of Cochin in 1555 AD. The Jewish Synagogue, built in 1568 AD, Fort Kochi, St. Francis Church, and the Chinese Nets. Later drive to Mattencherry area to stroll in the animated bazaar. Afternoon is at leisure to explore this ancient port town. In the evening there is a visit to the cultural centre to see the traditional dance form of Kathakali. Overnight is at the hotel.
Best Restaurants in Kochi
Trilogi (Maradu) , Masala , Tibetan Chefs Restaurant , Dal Roti , The Asian Kitchen by Tokyo Bay , The Rice Boat .
DAY 12 : TO CALICUT (by train) AND CONTINUE TO KALIPETTA
Take a train to CALICUT today, MANGLADWEEP EXPRESS (1245-1720 hrs) and drive to Kalipetta on arrival, your base for two nights in the WAYANAD jungles.
Best Hotels in Wayanad
The Windflower Resort & Spa, Vythiri , Wayanad Blooms , Sharoy Resort , Wayanad Silverwoods , Vythiri Village ., Oxyfarm Resorts .
DAY 13 : IN KALPETTA
This morning we will visit EDAKKAL CAVES (27 kms) in the Ambukuthy Mountains are not caves in the right sense. It is only a cleft in reality. It is a cleft of about 96ft. long & 22ft. wide in the rock. There are some interesting carvings of pre-historic age. This location is of breathtaking beauty. We will also visit SUCHIPARA about 22 kms from Kalipetta and you have to take a serpentine road through tea gardens to reach it. At places en route the terrain runs deep and untamed – shoes with a good grip are an absolute necessity. On return from Lakkdi, we can stop at POOKOTE LAKE, where URUVU ECO SHOP is a must for two dozen varieties of products made of bamboo.
Best Restaurants in Wayanad
The Bungalow Restaurant , 1980’s A Nostalgic Restaurant , Green Gates Hotel , ClayHut .
DAY 14 : TO OOTY
A long and winding drive will bring you today to Ooty in the heart of the NILGIRIS Mountains. Arrive late in the afternoon and check in at a local hotel. Rest of the day is free to unwind. The BOTANICAL GARDEN is an ideal tourist spot besides being a source of information about the region’s flora. For those who like to enjoy boat rides and fishing, a visit to the OOTY LAKE is a must. Overnight in Ooty .
Best Hotels in Ooty
Accord Highland Hotel Ooty , Woodberry Residency , Taj Savoy Hotel, Meadows Residency , Elk Hill, A Sterling Holidays Resort
DAY 15 : TO CONOOR AND BACK TO OOTY
After a very early breakfast, enjoy a spectacular train ride from Udhaghamandlam (the rail head for Ooty) to Conoor. The train starts from Mettupalayam at 0745hrs and goes up to Ooty via Conoor. We will be boarding this train on its return journey. Departure at 0915 hrs, Arrival 1025 hrs. In Conoor, you will again switch over to your bus, to return to OOTY.
Also called Udhagamandalam, Ooty is nestled on the Nilgiri Range at the junction of the Eastern and Western Ghats of peninsular India. The town is set at an altitude of 2286 meters (7500 feet). The area was discovered in 1821 by British soldiers and became a popular summer hill retreat. The Ooty Botanical Gardens were established back in 1847 and boasts over 650 species of plants and creates an excellent base from which to explore the flora and fauna of the Ghats.
Best Restaurants in Ooty
Hotel Pankaj Bhojanalaya , Earl’s Secret , Place to Bee , Hyderabad Biryani House , Taj Savoy Hotel, Pakwan India
DAY 16 : TO MYSORE
Drive to the sandalwood city of MYSORE today. Arrive in the afternoon and visit local bazaars to see the colorful fruit market. In the evening we will take you to the terraced BRINDAVAN GARDENS. Here the well- manicured steps are bordered by water- courses. Musical fountains with soft colored lights add to the visitor’s delight. The view of the gardens during the nights is a thing to be seen.
Best Hotels in Mysore
Royal Orchid Metropole Hotel , Hotel MB International , Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel Mysore , Grand Mercure Mysuru , Country Inn & Suites By Carlson Mysore , Fortune JP Palace , The Windflower Resort & Spa, Mysore.
Best Restaurants in Mysore
Vinayaka Mylari , The Foodie Restaurant , Hotel Mylari , The Old House( Italian) , Hotel RRR Restaurant , Oyster Bay , Infinit Lounge Bar & Fine Dining .
DAY 17 : TO CHENNAI (By Train)
The city of Mysore offers a visitor an insight into the lifestyles, cultures and traditions of its erstwhile rulers. On the top of the hill stands the temple dedicated to the Goddess Chamundeshwari, the royal family’s patron deity. About 15 km from the royal city of Mysore lies the town of SRIRANGAPATNAM. There are many interesting places here of which the summer palace of Tipu Sultan is a must visit. THE MYSORE PALACE has both Hindu as well as Muslim influences. The palace, designed by an English architect and completed in 1912, was built in place of an earlier palace, which was burnt down in 1897. In the afternoon take SHATABDI EXPRES train (1410- 2115 hrs) to Chennai. Meet and assist upon arrival and transfer to the hotel for overnight stay.
Best Hotels in Chennai
Taj Coromandel Chennai , The Leela Palace Chennai , ITC Grand Chola , Park Hyatt Chennai , The Westin Chennai Velachery , Hilton , Vivanta by Taj – Connemara , Trident .
Best Restaurants in Chennai
Annalakshmi Restaurant , Pan Asian , Madras Pavilion , Peshawri , Dakshin , Southern Spice , Adyar Ananda Bhavan , Cafe Mercara Express , Ottimo Cucina Italiana( Best Italian ) , The Flying Elephant , Cream Centre( Lovely vegetarian) , The Marina( Best fish) .
DAY 18 : DEPARTURE CHENNAI
Morning after breakfasts proceed for half day city tour of Chennai. Visit the GOVERNMENT MUSEUM and ART GALLERY, to see the art and bronze gallery (closed on Fridays and public holidays). Also visit the famous 16th century KAPALEESHWARAR TEMPLE dedicated to Lord Shiva, sacred to Tamil Shivaties. Non-Hindus are only allowed up to the outer courtyard. Later visit FORT ST. GEORGE, and SAN THOME CATHEDRAL.
Later transfer to the airport to board flight for onward journeys
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