16 Days – Kerala & Southern Highlights

16 Days – Kerala & Southern Highlights

Destinations Covered: Chennai – Bangalore – Hasan – Mysore – Coonoor – Munnar – Thekkady –  Kumarakom – Cochin 

Overview

This journey, which is unusual in its course, leaves the largely beaten tourist paths of Tamil Nadu and South Kerala and Karnataka  leads across the middle of the entire subcontinent from the Arabian Sea to the Indian Ocean. Numerous world cultural heritage sites are on the way There are many encounters with the religious traditions of the country and with its history, at the same time you can always be found in everyday life in India and in the realities of life of its people alos enjoy wildlife sancuturay and beautiful scenery of mountains and hills.

Highlights of Tour

  • Guided tour of Chennai including Marina Beach, Kapaleeswarar Temple
  • Explore Kanchipuram – Kailasnatha Temple ,The Varadaraja Temple
  • Guided Tour of Shore Temple
  • Guided Tour of  Bangalore – the Bull Temple, Tipu Sultan’s Palace.
  • Day tour to temples of Belur and Halebid
  • Explore beautiful hill station of Coonoor
  • Enjoy Toy train ride at Ooty
  • Explore historical Mysore Palace
  • A walk around the Hill Station of Ooty
  • visit a local tea plantation and the Tata Tea Museum in Munnar
  • Enjoy Kathakali Dance Show
  • Guided tour of Cochin including Francis Church, Jewish synagogue, the Chinese fishing nets

Day 1:  Arrive in Chennai

Upon arrival in Chennai airport, to be received and met by our representative and transferred to our hotel.

Day 2:  Chennai

We commence our tour of Chennai city this morning starting with a visit to Marina Beach, which stretches for over 13km, making it the second longest beach in the world. We then head to Fort St. George, We also visit St. Mary’s Church, this is the  india’s ancient church surviving British church consturcted in  1680.  Later we head to the Kapaleeswarar Temple dedicated to Lord Shiva.  Located in  Mylapore, it is more than 350 years old and is considered by Hindus to be one of the  holy Places in southern India.

Day 3:  Chennai – Kanchipuram and Mamallapuram

This morning we drive 64km south to Kanchipuram, the ancient capital of the Pallavas, we will visit  The 7th-century Kailasnatha Temple is the oldest and also considered the most beautiful of the town’s temples.  Next we will visit The Varadaraja Temple – it was constructed  by Kings of Vijayanagara.in the 16th Century. Kanchipuram is also famous for silk textiles so before leaving we visit the Shreenivas Silk House.

Next we drive to the coastal temple town of Mamallapuram, also called Mahabalipuram, to see the rock carvings which date from the 7th and 8th centuries. Here we will see the Shore Temple, the Panch Pandava Rathas and Varaha Cave before returning to Chennai.

Day 4:  Chennai – Bangalore

We rise early this morning to catch our day train, the Shatabdi Express, to Bangalore. You will be provided with a simple, light breakfast however if you require additional food make sure you pre-purchase it before boarding.

Upon arrival we are transferred to our hotel.   This afternoon we enjoy a city tour of Bangalore including the Bull Temple, one of Bangalore’s oldest temples, and Tipu Sultan’s Palace.

Day 5:  Bangalore – Hassan

Today we head 163km west to Hassan with our first stop being a visit to Sravanabelagola, one of the most revered Jain pilgrimage centres.

Our day finishes with a visit to the 12th-century temples of Belur and Halebid. We will explore  The Chennakeshava Temple of Belur.

Day 6:  Hassan – Mysore

Morning breakfast at Hotel and  start our Journey to south to Mysore  en-route we will visit the Srirangapatnam Fort .  When we reach Mysore and check-in at hotel, Afternoon we will enjoy city tour of Mysore with Local Guide a visit the Maharaja’s Palace, consturcted  between 1910 and 1913 some of palace still in use part of which is still in use.   We drive drive up the 1,062 meter high Chamundi Hill to visit oldest temple Sri Chamundeshwari Temple it was built in 12th Century. On our way back to the hotel we will stop and visit the Nandi Bull statue which was fixed out of solid rock in 1659.

Day 7:  Mysore – Coonoor

Today we head to the hills and drive to the beautiful hill station of Coonoor.  It is situated on the Western Ghats at the height of 1900 m, Coonoor is the second biggest hill station in the Nilgiri hills in the state of Tamil Nadu and Conoor is well-known for a variety of wildflowers and birds. In the evening you have some option to walk around this charming hill station.

Day 8:  Coonoor – Ooty

This morning we catch the miniature, narrow gauge Toy Train from Coonoor and travel 18km to Ooty, another Nilgiri hill station also known as the ‘Queen of Hill Stations’. There  you have some time to 15 minute walk uphill to a local village located  on top of the botanical gardens, where we can get insight into the lives of the local people and enjoy the incredible view over Ooty and the nearby mountains. Later this afternoon we return to Coonoor by car

Day 9:  Coonoor – Munnar

We have a long day of driving today through windy and hilly roads as we continue our descent from the highlands and head to Munnar, a hill station with vast expanses plantations of tea near to Munnar.  Continue drive to Munnar we enter the border to  Kerala. When you reach Munnar and check-in at Hotel. Situated on the side of a mountain, it gives you spectacular views over the valley.

Day 10:  Munnar – Thekkady

Before leaving Munnar this morning, we visit a local tea plantation and the Tata Tea Museum to learn about the timeless cultivation of tea. Afterwards we commence our drive to Thekkady, where Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary is located.

Day 11:  Thekkady – Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary

Enjoy a walk through the park this morning, searching for the local wildlife such as elephants, wild dog, barking deer, mouse deer or the rarely seen tiger.

Before lunch we also visit a local spice village and market in Thekkady. The afternoon is at your leisure before we enjoy a Kalaripayattu show this evening, a traditional form of martial arts that started in south India.

Day 12:  Thekkady – Pallathururuthy

This morning we leave Thekkady and drive to Pallathururuthy (Houseboat). On arrival we board our houseboat, While cruising to Alleppey we will witness the village life around the backwaters of Kerala. We will enjoy dinner on board and stay overnight on the houseboat.

Day 13:  Houseboat to Kumarakom

After breakfast we disembark and drive to Kumarakom. En route we stop at the local market in Alleppey, a coir factory – a fibre obtained from the husk of a coconut. Afternoon is free at leisure.

Day 14:  Kumarakom to Cochin

Breakfast at hotel, later drive to Cochin, Kochi is Kerala’s most mixed city and its major business centre for spices and seafood. The city constructed around   a saltwater lagoon of the Arabian Sea, Kochi is a group of slender islands and peninsulas. On arrival in Cochin, check in the Cochin hotel.

After Lunch visit Kumbalangi fishing Village which is about 20 Kms. from Cochin

Day 15:  Cochin

Enjoy a full day tour around Kochi today starting with a visit to St. Francis Church, Our next stop is the Santa Cruz Basilica and from here we view the unique cantilevered Chinese fishing nets. Continuing our tour of the city, we visit the Jewish synagogue This evening we enjoy a Kathakali dance performance, a story with characters divided into the noble, wicked and grotesque wearing extravagant costumes. Kathakali is renowned for its elaborate and decorative make – up and costumes, detailed gestures and extremely defined body movements that are performed in tune to percussion and music.

Day 16:  Cochin (Departure)

Enjoy the day at your leisure to relax, check-out from hotel and transfer to the airport to board our overnight flight home.

Inclusions

Accommodation on twin/double sharing at the hotels mentioned above or similar.

01 Nights’ accommodation on AC Houseboats

Accommodation will be on CP (Room + breakfast  ) basis except in Alleppey on Full Board

All transfers, tours and excursion as per itinerary using air-conditioned AC Vehicle

Local English Speaking Guide as per itinerary

Train Tickets (Chennai – Bangalore) – AC Chair Car

Enjoy Toy Train in Coonor

Kalaripayattu show

All taxes, tolls, parking fees and service tax.

Exclusion

Any airfare (International or domestic).

Passport and Visa fees for India.

Any Lunch / Dinner is not Include

Any Monument Entrances ( Tickets)

Any meals OR options not mentioned in the itinerary / cost inclusion.

Any item of personal nature and Gratuities.

Any insurance.

Additional nights for participants, which is offered at additional cost to individual participants.

All personal expenses such as medical expenses, laundry, drinks, telephone and fax services, and all other services not specifically mentioned as included in the itinerary.

 

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