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Southern India Tour, A Cultural and Historical Journey

offered by supplier M21631 (read about supplier)

Key Information:
Tour Duration: 10 - 20 day(s)
Group Size: 2 - 15 people
Destination(s): India  
Specialty Categories: Cultural Journey  
Season: January - December
Airfare Included: No
Tour Customizable: Yes
Minimum Per Person Price: 1450 Euro (EUR)
Maximum Per Person Price: 2600 Euro (EUR)

This 20-day trip offers the perfect taste of southern India traveling with Indian rail, private vehicle with chauffeur and guide. Expand the horizon of your historical and cultural knowledge.

Day 1: Hyderabad.
Your journey of a lifetime begins in Bangalore. Arrive at the international airport where you’ll be met and transferred to your hotel. There is no better way to start your adventure than with an afternoon guided city tour. Here you will visit Golconda Fort, Kutub shahi Tombs, Salarjung Museum, Charminar. Overnight stay at hotel in Hyderabad.

Day 2: Hyderabad – Hampi.
Today after breakfast you would get drive to Hampi an ancient village in south India dotted with numerous ruined temple complexes from Vijayanagara Empire (UNESCO site).O/N in Hampi.

Day 3: Hampi.
Today after breakfast motor bike tour sightseeing of Old Vijayanagara Empire including Hampi Bazar, Virupaksha Temple, Vithala Temple, Queen’s Bath, Vithala Temples, Lotus Mahal, etc. O/N in Hampi.

Day 4: Hampi – Bangalore.
Today after breakfast get ready for some adventures trip starts with crossing the river Tungabhadra through a coracle ferry passing many Shivlings along the river and then hike on top of Anjan Hill followed by Hampi highest mountain climb Matanga Hill and experienced the most beautiful sunset ever at this amazing hill. Later in evening you would be picked from hotel to railway station for your overnight journey to India silicon city Bangalore.

Day 5: Bangalore.
On arrival in Bangalore city junction railways station you would be picked and transferred to hotel later in afternoon guided sightseeing walk around the city. Here you will visit Cubbon Park with its 300 acres of lush gardens, tour the government museum, one of the oldest in India, and visit the gallery. Once an obscure town, Bangalore is now the hub of India’s booming IT industry and is the nation’s most progressive city. The title “A Tale of Two Cities” is apt as Bangalore bridges together two different worlds. The central district, dating back to the British Raj years, contrasts with the Silicon Valley-sequel outskirts of Bangalore. On this journey you will discover a mystifying land sprinkled with the unpredictable gems of India’s legacy. Overnight in Bangalore.

Day 6: Bangalore – Mysore (sightseeing of Sravanabelagola and Halebeed).
Today after breakfast you would be picked from hotel for further journey towards calm beauty of Jain Pilgrimage Sravanabelagola and further ahead to mesmerizing beauty of Halebeed and epitome of sculpture Belure. Overnight stay at Hotel in Mysore.

Day 7: Mysore.
After breakfast you will drive to Srirangapatna located on an island straddling the Cauvery River, Srirangapatna is steeped in bloody history. The seat of Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan’s power, this town was the de facto capital of much of southern India during the 18th century. Your afternoon exploration of the city of Palaces begins at the temple of Chamundeswari located on top of Chamundi Hills. The temple was named after a deity worshipped for centuries by Mysore Maharajas. Walk up the steps to behold the remarkable tower of the temple and its granite statues including the beautiful 16-foot statue of Nandi, gifted by the Maharaja, Dodda Deva raja Wodeyar in 1659. Also included is a drive to St. Philomena’s Church. Constructed in 1936, it is believed to be one of the oldest churches in India and its architecture was inspired by the Cologne Cathedral in Germany. Overnight in Mysore.

Day 8: Mysore – Chennai (train).
After breakfast, we arrive at Mysore Palace. Discover a royal heirloom in marble as you behold the sight of the sun striking its rays onto the domes that radiate like pink pearls. The palace cannot be left out of southern India’s treasure trail! The finest example of Indo-Saracenic archaeological brilliance, it is one of India’s grandest royal buildings. Entering the Doll’s Pavilion and Elephant Gate you will be transported back to a lavish way of life, where opulent halls are richly decorated with stained-glass ceilings and a golden elephant howdah that stands like an unused TARDIS to the ancient world of the Maharajas of Mysore. Later in afternoon you would be dropped to railway station for train to Chennai. On arrival you would be transferred to hotel. Overnight in Chennai.

Day 9: Chennai – Mahabalipuram.
Today after breakfast you would be picked up from your hotel to Chennai City tour and drop off to Mahabalipuram. Evening at leisure. Overnight in Mahabalipuram.

Day 10: Mahabalipuram.
Today after breakfast you would be picked up from your hotel t to see beautiful Mahabalipuram Temple UNESCO World Heritage Site. Mamallapuram, also known as Mahabalipuram, is a town in Kancheepuram district in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. It is around 60 km south from the city of Chennai. Mamallapuram was the major seaport of the ancient Pallava kingdom based at Kancheepuram, and a wander round the town’s magnificent, World Heritage–listed temples and carvings inflames the imagination, especially at sunset. And then, in addition to ancient archaeological wonders and coastal beauty, there’s the traveler ghetto of Othavadai and Othavadai Cross Sts. Restaurants serve pasta, pizza and pancakes, shops sell hand sanitizer and things from Tibet , and you know you have landed, once again, in the great Kingdom of Backpackistan. ‘Mahabs’, as most call it, is under two hours by bus from Chennai, and many travelers make a beeline straight here. The town is small and laid-back, and its sights can be explored on foot or by bicycle. Evening at leisure, Overnight stay at Mahabalipuram.

Day 11: Mahabalipuram - Pondicherry.
Today after breakfast you would be picked from hotel to get drive towards Pondicherry. On arrival in Pondicherry go for Sightseeing including Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Pondicherry Museum, Auroville, paradise beach, Serenity Beach etc. Later in evening enjoy at leisure strolling at the promenade one of the liveliest area in Pondicherry situated along picturesque seafront with a rocky beach. There are also few cafes and restaurants nearby where you can enjoy exquisite French food as well as other cuisines. Overnight Stay in Pondicherry.

Day 12: Pondicherry - Kumbamkonam.
Today after breakfast drive towards Kumbamkonam visit Gangai Konda Cholapuram and Kumbamkonam temple which are 2 of 4 UNISCO World Heritage sites in state of Tamilnadu. Two of the three great monuments of Chola civilization stand in villages near Kumbamkonam: the Airavatesvara Temple in Darasuram and the Gangaikondacholapuram temple. Unlike the also World Heritage–listed Brihadishwara Temple at Thanjavur, today these temples receive relatively few worshippers (and visitors). They are wonderful both for their overall form (with pyramidal towers rising at the heart of rectangular walled compounds) and for the exquisite detail of their carved stone. Overnight stay at Hotel in Kumbamkonam.

Day 13: Kumbamkonam – Thanjavur.
Today after breakfast depart for Thanjavur and go for local THANJAVUR sightseeing: Thanjavur is an important center of South Indian religion, art, and architecture. Most of the Great Living Chola Temples, which are UNESCO World Heritage Monuments, are located in and around Thanjavur. The foremost among these, the Brihadeeswara Temple, is located in the Centre of the city. Thanjavur is also home to Tanjore painting, a painting style unique to the region. Evening at leisure overnight stay in Thanjavur. Here are the ochre foundation blocks of perhaps the most remarkable civilization of Dravidian history, one of the few kingdoms to expand Hinduism beyond India, bedrock for aesthetic styles that spread from Madurai to the Mekong. A dizzying historical legacy was forged from Thanjavur, capital of the great Chola Empire during its heyday. Today, this is a crowded, hectic, modern Indian town but the past is still very much present. Every day thousands of people worship at the Cholas' grand Brihadishwara Temple, and Thanjavur labyrinthine royal palace preserves memories of other powerful dynasties from later centuries. Overnight stay at hotel in Thanjavur.

Day 14: Thanjavur – Madurai.
Today after breakfast checkout from hotel for onwards journey to Madurai and check into the hotel. Later In evening visit to Meenakshi Temple. Chennai may be the capital of Tamil Nadu, but Madurai claims its soul. Madurai is Tamil-born and Tamil-rooted, one of the oldest cities in India, a metropolis that traded with ancient Rome and was a great capital long before Chennai was even dreamt of. Tourists, Indian and foreign, usually come here to see the Meenakshi Amman Temple, a labyrinthine structure ranking among the greatest temples of India. Otherwise, Madurai, perhaps appropriately given her age, captures many of India’s glaring dichotomies, with a center dominated by a medieval temple and an economy increasingly driven by IT, all overlaid with the energy and excitement of a big Indian city and slotted into a much more manageable package than Chennai’s sprawl. Overnight in Madurai.

Day 15: Madurai – Kochi (6hrs).
Today after breakfast drive to Kochi, passing through crossing captivating mountains and nation reserve. On arrival in Kochi check into the Hotel. Overnight In Kochi.

Day 16: Kochi.
Unlock Kochi’s history by embarking on a guided tour that will take you into the heart of this magnificent city. Here you will visit the gigantic Chinese fishing nets, “cheenavalas”, dating from 1350 and still in use today. You will also visit the wonderful St. Francis’ Church, considered to be India’s oldest church, built by Portuguese Franciscan Friars in 1503. Vasco da Gama was buried here before being taken to Lisbon. Relax in the shade as you drive to the Jewish Synagogue, built over 400 years ago and discover the impressive architecture and beautiful murals of Dutch Palace. Later, enjoy a cooking demonstration of Southern Indian cuisine from a local TV personality, followed by lunch. Overnight in Kochi.

Day 17: Kochi – Alleppey.
Your journey continues by crossing the captivating backwaters by air conditioned houseboat. After breakfast, depart for Alleppey. Set out in style on an enchanting one night cruise. While lounging in these floating villas, you will feel like invaders of the backwaters, with the vibrant sights of Kerala skimming by. Look out for the huge Chinese fishing nets, paddy fields, and locals making coir products, rustic buildings, ancient temples and dense coconut trees. Three meals will be served on board. Overnight in Boat House.

Day 18: Alleppey - Kovalam.
After breakfast, check out from the houseboat and drive to your hotel in Kovalam. Kovalam is often tipped as the ‘paradise’ of South India, with its coconut trees and sweeping beaches, reflecting the meaning of its name –a grove of coconut trees. There is a rocky promontory that has formed a fantastic bay of pristine water perfect for a dip. The beaches are divided by rocks, creating its famous crescent shape.

Day 19: Kovalam. Spend a morning at leisure either sunbathing on the golden beaches or withdrawing to the nearby beach cafes. Try surfing or head to Samudra Beach, which is a secluded cove, where your only company is a fisherman casting his net. Adrenaline junkies can opt for a thrilling ride on a catamaran. Later board a traditional sunset boat and spend the afternoon cruising through the mangroves of Poovar Island. Relax and enjoy the passing landscapes, spotting the golden beach of Poovar Island, floating restaurants and then continue to the canals and backwaters. Overnight in Kovalam.

Day 20: Kovalam – Trivandrum.
After breakfast, it is time to head home via transfer to Trivandrum airport to board your international flight back home. We end our services at Trivandrum airport. End of Tour.

Supplemental Tour Information:
- Stay in some of India's most opulent hotels filled with treasures
- City tour as mentioned in itinerary
- get revealed of Hampi historical reign.
- Explore the contrasting sights of thriving town, Bangalore
- Sightseeing of historical Mysore
- UNESCO sites of Mahabalipuram, Thanjavur, and Madurai
- French colony of Pondicherry
- Unlock Kochi’s history by embarking on a sightseeing tour
- Get hands on culinary experience in a TV chef’s kitchen
- Delight in a sumptuous lunch with a local Keralan family
- Relish the ambience of the Kathakali & martial arts in Kochi
- Set out in Agatha Christie style on a house boat from Alleppey
- Swing lazily in your hammock in the gentle sea breeze on the beach
- Enjoy an Ayurvedic massage or simply lose yourself in a good book.

Member discount:
10% discount for InfoHub customer. Request a free gift certificate.

Airfare is not included in the tour price.

About This Supplier
Location: India
Joined InfoHub: Sep 2016

M21631 was started by me, Rajan Tiwari. In short, we’re experts who care. We know the ins and outs of every destination we recommend and are able to bring an insight and create the perfect bespoke trip that few others can match. Our lives are spent finding you the best (and most authentic) local experiences to enjoy....

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