South India offers a fascinating blend of ancient traditions, spectacular temple architecture, and distinctive art and dance forms. Markedly different from the north in terms of climate and culture, the exotic south has a wealth of attractions.
Day 1: Arrive Chennai. Transfer to the Taj Connemara Hotel for 3 nights. Included: (B).
Day 2: After a morning at leisure enjoy a city tour of Madras, founded by the British in the 17th century and still retaining much of its colonial elegance. Included: (B).
Day 3: Full day visit to the holy city of Kanchipuram, famous for its marvelous Hindu temples and the rock-cut temples of Mahabalipuram. Included: (B).
Day 4: Morning flight to Bangalore, and onwards transfer to Mysore, a splendid city of palatial buildings and tree-lined boulevards. Stay at the Lalitha Mahal Palace Hotel for 2 nights. Included: (B).
Day 5: In the morning visit the exquisite Somnathpur Temple, and the summer palace of Tipu Sultan at Srirangapatnam. Afternoon tour of Mysore including the former Maharajah’s palace and a panoramic view from Chamundi Hill. Included: (B).
Day 6: Morning road transfer south into the Nilgiri Hills to Ootacamund, the Queen of Hill Stations, for an afternoon at leisure. Stay at the historic Savoy Hotel for 1 night. Included: (B), (D).
Day 7: A full journey through rural India to Madurai, for 2 nights at the Taj Garden Retreat. Included: (B).
Day 8: Madurai is one of the great pilgrimage centres of the south, and you will visit the vast Meenakshi Temple, including the beautiful 16th century Court of a Thousand Pillars. The whole complex is teeming with pilgrims and traders, its bazaars abounding in spices and temple offerings. Afternoon at leisure. Included: (B).
Day 9: Early morning transfer to Madurai railway station to board the Vaighai Express to Trichy, arriving mid-morning. Stay overnight at Jenney’s Residency. Afternoon sightseeing including the Rock Fort Temple, 83 meters high on a rocky outcrop, and the Srirangam Temple, dedicated to Vishnu. Included: (B).
Day 10: Depart Trichy in the morning stopping at Tanjore to visit the Brihadishwara Temple & Fort. Built in the 11th century, this is one of the finest examples of Chola temple architecture and is a World Heritage Site. Continue by road to Pondicherry, a former French colony. Stay overnight at the Hotel de L’Orient. Included: (B).
Day 11: Morning sightseeing in Pondicherry, before heading north to Chennai. Stay overnight at the Radisson St Thomas Hotel. Included: (B).
Day 12: Early morning transfer to airport for flight back home.
Also see tour packages in:
Asia India Local Culture Cultural Journey