South India Tours - Luxury Tour of India (Total Tour - 16 Days)
|Mysore||LALITHA MAHAL PALACE||02|
|Backwaters||PRIVATE LUXURY HOUSEBOAT||01|
|Madurai||TAJ GARDEN RETREAT||01|
|Chennai||LE MERIDIEN||Day Use|
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Day 01 of South India Tour
Arrival at Chennai
Compass Representative will meet and assist you upon your arrival at the Chennai airport. Transfer to your hotel. Check in at hotel in Chennai.
The first British Warehouse came up in 1639 when the British acquired the sandy beach from the local Nayaks on lease. It was called Madraspatinam then. Later by 1654, the Fort St. George was built. Still later the neighboring villages were included in the city which came either as grants or gifts. Triplicane was rented from the Sultan of Golconda in 1676. In 1744 Robert Clive worked as a writer from the Fort, later to become a military man of British Army. The Fort House, which housed the Governor and his council, were added in the 17th Century, the Assembly Hall in 1910 and the Secretariat in 1925.
All the neighbouring areas were merged into the city then called Madras. It has now been renamed Chennai.
Overnight will be at Hotel.
Day 02 of South India Tour
Proceed for city tour of Chennai in the morning after breakfast.
Santhome Cathedral. Built by Portuguese in the 14th and 15th century, this Cathedral is named after St. Thomas. Historically important, it is one of the pilgrimages for the Christian community Fort St. George, one the first few bastions built by the East India Company, marks the beginning of Chennai as a modern city. It occupies a place of pride and prominence in Chennai. This bastion achieved its name from St. George, the patron saint of England. The state legislature and the secretariat are located in Fort St. George. It houses the St. Mary's church the oldest Anglican Church in India which was built in 1680 and the tombstones in its courtyard are the oldest British tombstones in India. The Fort Museum, once a building that housed Chennai's first lighthouse, first commercial bank and first 'club', is now a well-kept repository of tangible memories of early Madras. Kapaleeswarar Temple Dedicated to Lord Shiva, Kapaleeswarar temple has inscriptions from the 13th century A.D. The temple 'Gopuram' (tower) is in the characteristic Dravidian style of architecture. The walls and pillars of temple have very delicate and intricate carvings, which depict the scenes from Hindu mythology.
Overnight at Hotel.
Day 03 of South India Tour
Chennai - Mahabalipuram/ Kanchipuram - Chennai Excursion:
By road full day excursion
Breakfast will be at hotel. Proceed for Mahabalipuram by surface.
Proceed for sight seeing of Mahabalipuram - famous for the seven pagodas. Here, on the seashore is an interesting group of ancient rock hewn temples, which are the examples of Dravidian style of architecture.
Visit Kanchipuram, ancient capital of the Pallavas famous as a city of 1000 temples that still has 124 shrines. Kanchipuram is also famous for silk.
Day 04 of South India Tour
Chennai - Banglore:
By Train No :2007
Train Name : Boeing 737
Departure: 0600 hr
Arrival : 1300 hr
After breakfast and proceed for The Railway station for the Train to Bangalore.
Reach in the afternoon.
Bangalore - where every season carries a holiday mood, a city called the Garden City of India, a city which has identified it self as the Manhattan of India, a city which keeps pace with the latest trends and fashion. Bangalore is fast emerging as one of the most industrialized city in India. The local Chieftain, KEMPE GOWDA, founded Bangalore in sixteenth century. But Bangalore never came up on the scene till Tipu Sultan converted it into the summer capital of Mysore. The Wodeyars also contributed in developing the city through gardens and palaces they built. To the British goes the credit of making it into an administrative center.
The pleasant climate of Bangalore has been an attraction for one and all. Capital of a state that is rich in Sandalwood, Rose wood and Silk, certainly has more to offer than a day or two of sight seeing. Bangalore has always tried to keep itself peppy and jazzy. The numerous pubs and nightclubs can compete with any modern city of America or Europe. It is a city that has adopted to the changing fashion trends in the world. The city is not only has large number of cinema halls but is also famous for its nightlife. The modern shopping malls full of brightly lit shops and showrooms not necessarily invite prospective buyers but are treat for the window shoppers too.
Proceed to explore the town and enjoy photography.
Overnight will be at Hotel.
Return to Chennai and relax at the hotel. Overnight will be at Hotel.
Day 05 of South India Tour
Bangalore - Mysore:
By road covering 140 km in 3 hr
Proceed for city tour of Bangalore in the morning after breakfast.
Drive to Mysore. En-route proceed for sight seeing of Srirangapatanam. Reach Mysore and transfer to hotel.
Mysore was ruled by the Wodeyar dynasty from the 15th century all the way up to Independence in 1947, and as the former capital of a princely state, the city is strewn with grand old palaces and other maharaja ex-haunts, as well as monuments, statues, temples, gardens and parks. Mysore's strong sense off tradition explodes during the Annual Dasara Festival, a ten-day-long celebration in October. Everywhere you go in this city you'll find yourself surrounded by the lingering aromas of sandalwood, Jasmine, Rose, Musk, Frangipani and many others. Whenever you smell them again, you'll be reminded this place. It is one of the major centers of incense manufacture in India, and sources of small family owned agarbatti (incense) factories are scattered all over the town, their products exported all over the world.
Overnight will be at Mysore.
Day 06 of South India Tour
After breakfast, proceed for Sightseeing of PALACE.
Built in around AD 897 in Saracenic style, 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.
The main palace building is made of massive grey granite with a tower covered by a gilded dome. Colours abound the palace architecture. The huge rooms and the floor tiles are covered with colours like turquoise blue, magenta, golden yellow and leaf green. The central hall, incredible in its beauty, was used for marriages and other major gatherings. A temple is also situated within the royal courtyard.
The palace also houses a museum, which has a collection of musical instruments, children's toys, many paintings, costumes, weapons, etc., belonging to the Maharaja's family.
Overnight will be at Mysore.
Day 07 of South India Tour
Mysore - Ooty:
By road covering 145 km in 3 hr
After breakfast drive to Ooty.
Aptly called the queen of southern hill stations, Ooty (also Ootacamund or Udhagamandalam) is located in the southern state of Tamil Nadu. The British Collector John Sullivan discovered this place and had developed it to a summer resort for the people of South India. This picturesque place nestles in an amphitheatre created by four majestic hills namely the Doddabetta, Snowdon, Elk Hill, and Club Hill. These hills are part of the Nilgiri ranges, which are actually the meeting points for the Western and the Eastern Ghats. The name Nilgiri or the Blue Mountains may have been derived from the fact that when the funnel-shaped lavender-blue flowers blossom this picturesque mountain range becomes covered with the colour of the blue lavender making the entire mountain look blue. The original name of the hill station was Udhagamandalam, but with the advent of the British, the name was shortened to Ooty. Every year, it draws thousands of tourists who come to this place to escape from the humid and dusty summer days of the plains.
Spend day at leisure enjoying the scenic beauty and photographing. Meet the people and visit some of the highlights.
Stay overnight at Hotel.
Day 08 of South India Tour
After breakfast proceed for Sightseeing of Ooty.
Ooty Lake: Built in 1825, the 2.5-km-long Ooty Lake is a place worth visiting. You can go for boating and fishing in this lake. However, for fishing you need a prior permission. A racecourse is also located near the lake. A mini-train takes the visitors around the lake.
Lamb's Rock: About nine kilometres from Coonoor lies Lamb's Rock, a viewpoint on a high precipice. The point offers stunning views of the Coimbatore plains and the coffee and tea estates on the slopes.
Kodanadu View Point: On the eastern edges of the Nilgiris, at about 16 km from Kotagiri, lies the Kodanadu View Point. You can get a panoramic view of the tea estates and the Moyar River from either side of the road. There is a watchtower from where you can view the Rangasamy peak and pillar.
Overnight will be at Ooty.
Day 09 of South India Tour
Ooty - Cochin:
By road covering 245 km in 6 hr
After Breakfast at hotel drive to Cochin.
The eventful history of this city began when a major flood in AD 1341 threw open the estuary at Kochi, till then a land locked region, turning it into one of the finest natural harbors in the world. Kochi thus became a haven for seafaring visitors from all over the world and became the first European town-ship in India when the Portuguese settled here in the 15th century.
In the evening enjoy a KATHAKALI DANCE with the make-up session also. This would be an interesting cultural insight.
Overnight will be in Cochin.
Day 10 of South India Tour
After Breakfast proceed for the sightseeing tour of Cochin.
A few interesting sites included in the tour are the Chinese fishing nets along the Vasco Da Gama Square, Santa Cruz Basilica, St. Francis Church, VOC Gate, Bastion Bungalow etc. Apart from these architectural splendors, an array of restaurants serving fresh seafood is also popular among tourists. The Chinese fishing nets erected on teak wood and bamboo poles 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.
Enjoy a private relaxing cruise in the harbor sipping some hot tea and enjoying the sunset.
Overnight will be in Cochin.
Day 11 of South India Tour
Cochin - Aleppey:
(By surface 2hr) Private House Boat:
After breakfast drive to Aleppey.
Aleppey is one of the most important tourist centers in the state, with a large network of inland canals earning it the sobriquet "Venice of the east". These large networks of canals provide Alleppey its lifeline. Alleppey was one of the busiest centers of trade in the past with one of the best-known ports along the Malabar Coast. Even today it retains its charm as the centre for Coir carpet industries and prawn farming. Alleppey the ideal headquarters for backwater tourism as well as for visits to the lovely church filled town of Kottayam, and the town of Aranmula, famous for its historic Aranmula Snake Boat Race, which is an annual event. After reach in Aleppey enjoy in a Houseboat.
The backwaters act as a vital waterway for the transport of goods, people and their produce are often the only link between isolated villages and crowded towns. In Kerala, the total expanse of backwater stretches over 1500 km, with a network of 44 rivers, lagoons and lakes from north to south. Alleppey, which forms the main part of this network, has the peculiar geographical feature of having the water in level with the land. This gives the advantage of getting a closer look at the village life on shore while on a backwater ride.
Talk to the crew and sip your tea while enjoying the backwaters and seeing life pass by. The meals and refreshments will be served on the boat. Overnight will be on boat.
Day 12 of South India Tour
Kumarokom - Thekkady:
By Road 175 km in 5 hr
After breakfast at boat cruise to Kumarokom. Disembark and drive to Thekkady after a visit to the BIRD PARK. Pass through the rubber plantations and tea gardens. Stop at the TEA FACTORY and see how tea is processed.
The river Periyar is the longest river in Kerala. This is the only perennial river in South India with clean water. The river occupies an important place in the history of Kerala. In the Sangam age Tamil epics such as Chilapathikaram, 'Akananuru', 'Purananuru' etc much has been said about this mighty river, formerly known as the 'Choorni Nadi' or 'Thamraparni Nadi' (Sukasandesam -stanza 66). A land route existed in the Sangam age from Mussuris (present-day Kodungalloor) to Madurai, which passed near the banks of the river Periyar. The capital of the old Chera Empire presumably existed on the banks of the river Periyar. It is believed that there was a flood in the 4th century AD that severely damaged the areas along the Periyar and the people living there had to escape to safer locations, abandoning their homes and livelihoods. The flood of AD 1341 resulted in the closing of Kodungalloor port and the opening of a new port at Kochi. The huge landslide that began in the high ranges as a result of the heavy downpours sent massive flows of mud and sand which created an Island at the 'Azhimugham' of the Periyar, which is now known as the Vyppin Islands.
Relax in the evening. Overnight will be at Thekkady.
Day 13 of South India Tour
Breakfast will be at hotel.
Proceed for the boat ride at Periyar. Today you can visit the rare species of plants and animals. Take a jungle walk and enjoy nature.
Proceed to ABRAHAM'S SPICE GARDEN to see spice plantations like cardamom, cinnamon, pepper, etc. In the evening visit KUMILY MARKET to have a look at the processed spices and you can pick up some to carry back home. They are all fresh and unadulterated.
Overnight will be at Thekkady.
Day 14 of South India Tour
Thekkady - Madurai:
By road covering 170 km in 3 hr
Breakfast will be at hotel and proceed to Madurai.
Madurai is over 2500 years old and is the second largest city of Tamil Nadu - Ancient seat of learning. The city is planned in the shape of a lotus.
Check into the hotel by noon.
Freshen up and by afternoon visit the famous Madurai Meenakshi temple (dedicated to the consort of Lord Shiva with its towering GOPURAMS) - There are four entrances to this amazing temple complex set in 6 hectares. Beat some of the stone pillars in the complex with any hard object and feel incredible on hearing sweet metal sounds. The total number of pillars in the temple is a staggering one Thousand.
If time permits enjoy a 'light & sound Panorama' in Thirumala Naik Temple (optional) or visit to Alagar hills & Thirupura Rock Temple.
Spend night at Madurai.
Day 15 of South India Tour
Madurai - Chennai:
By Train No: 6128
Train Name: Guruvayoor Chennai Express
Arrival :2040 hr
After breakfast in hotel proceed for a short sightseeing tour of Madurai. Transfer to the station in the afternoon for train to Chennai. Reach by late evening. Freshen up at hotel and have dinner.
Overnight will be at Chennai.
Day 16 of South India Tour
Transfer to airport for early morning flight home with sweet memories of India.
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