Grand Tour of South India

  22 Days / 21 Nights

   Chennai-Mahabalipuram-Kanchipuram-Pondicherry-Thanjavur-Thanjavur-Trichy-Chettinad- Madurai-Periyar Lake-Aleppey-Kochi-Bangalore-Mysore-Hassan-Hospet-Hampi-Badami-Goa

Surely, this is possibly the best circuit for a trip to South India. A great journey through Southern Indian history and the many dynasties that have left their mark forever engraved in stone in the form of gargantuan and intricately carved temples of Dravidian architecture. This trip begins with a visit of the exceptional site of Mahabalipuram, entirely classified as World Heritage site by UNESCO. Beautifully coloured in ochre, the temples of Thanjavur will charm you. Madurai will be discovered during your visit to the Meenakshi Temple and enjoy a beautiful night ceremony which will enchant you like a folklore.

Head to the green hills of Munnar that have the largest tea plantations in the region. This is an opportunity to learn more about its trade secrets. You will then arrive at Cochin, the little fishing port. Before Cochin, enjoy a boat cruise in the backwaters of Alleppey. The rest of your journey will take you to Mysore and its palace, the second most visited monument in India after the Taj Mahal, then Coorg where you will stay in the Indian jungle. Hassan, Hampi and Badami will be your last three steps, and perhaps provide the most fascinating monuments. The last leg of the tour is Goa, an ideal destination for beach vacation.

Day 1

Arrive Chennai-Mahabalipuram (56 kms/ 01 hr)

Arrive at Chennai International Airport. Our team comes to receive you and transfer you to your hotel in Mahabalipuram. Overnight stay will be at hotel.

Day 2

Tour of Mahabalipuram

After breakfast, start off the visit of Mahabalipuram. Discover the town of Mahabalipuram, formerly dedicated to the sacrifices to the goddess Durga (The invincible). It was a thriving port during Pandya and Pallava rule in this area. Mahabalipuram is also called as Mamallapuram. This town is today a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its numerous sculptures and beautiful temples including the Shore Temple. Temples in the form of chariot (rath) are worth watching. Overnight stay is scheduled in Mahabalipuram hotel.

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Day 3

: Mahabalipuram-Kanchipuram-Pondicherry (100 km/ 03 hr)

Depart in the morning, after breakfast, towards Kanchipuram. Discover Kanchipuram, the "Golden City", the former capital of Pavalla civilization. Kanchipuram is one of the seven sacred cities of India. Visit the temples of the city. You can explore the temples cluster by riding a rickshaw. The famous temples of Kanchipuram are Kailasanathar Temple, Kamakshi Amman Temple, Ekambareswarara Temple etc. In the late afternoon, depart for the former French colony of Pondicherry. Overnight stay will be in Pondicherry hotel.

Day 4

Visit Pondicherry

Depart in the morning after breakfast to visit Pondicherry. Sightseeing tour of the city will be conducted during a walk on foot accompanied by a professional guide. Pondicherry had been a French colony and thus offers a cultural mélange of Indian and French. You shall be visiting prime attractions of Pondicherry like Barathi Park, the Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, the botanical gardens, Government Park, and the Old Town. Walk on the exotic beaches and enjoy the panoramic coastal view. A visit of the Old Town of Pondicherry will be a different experience. But the main attraction of Pondicherry is Auroville, an ashrama founded by Shri Arbindo Ghosh and Shri Maa as a global center of healing and harmony. The overnight stay will be in Pondicherry hotel.

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Day 5

Pondicherry-Thanjavur (175 km/ 4 hrs)

Depart in the morning after breakfast to Tanjhavur. Tanjhavur is also called Tanjore. On the way to Thanjavur, you can make a boat trip in the mangrove Pichavaram (on request). Along the way, it is possible to see some crocodiles swim peacefully in the same waters where Indians wash, fish on the edge and cows and goats graze peacefully. Upon arrival, visit grand and beautiful Chidambaram Temple and Nataraja Temple. Both of these temples, a marvelous piece of architecture, are UNESCO Heritage Sites. Overnight stay will be in Tanjhavur hotel.

Day 6

Explore the city of Thanjavur and Trichy

Visit the Brihadishwara Temple, a masterpiece of sacred architecture of Chola period and the Palace in the morning. Thereafter proceed to explore the city of Trichy, endowed with two extraordinary temples. Visit the Rock Fort Temple and the Srirangam Temple. In addition to city tour, have a walk by the sea. Later, in the evening return to Thanjhavur hotel for overnight stay.

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Day 7

Thanjavur-Chettinad-Madurai (120 kms/ 03 hrs)

After breakfast, depart for Madurai. On the way to Madurai, stop at Chettinad village of wealthy businessmen to experience the lifestyle of people. You can enjoy bullock cart ride here. After the visit, continue your journey to Madurai. On arrival at Madurai, check in at the designated hotel. Thereafter, move for visiting the Meenakshi temple, a Hindu temple. This is one of the masterpieces of Dravidian architecture and one of the most revered temples in India. Dedicated to Goddess Meenakshi, a form of Parvati, wife of Lord Shiva, in its Sundareshvara form, it has two shrines, one for each of the deities. It is among the most frequented holy places in India and attracts pilgrims who come to marry or get purified. Overnight stay is scheduled in Madurai hotel.

Day 8

Visit Madurai

After breakfast, move on for city tour. Visit the main sight of Madurai- Tirumalai Nayak Palace, built in 1636 and restored by Lord Napier. Dance and theater are played in the hall of the palace everyday. Enjoy it. In the evening, visit the Meenakshi Temple where you will attend the evening worship ceremony, Aarti. Overnight stay will be in Madurai hotel.

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Day 9

Madurai-Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary (170 kms/ 04 hrs)

After breakfast, depart for Periyar. Nestled in the hills of the "Western Ghats" in Kerala, the Periyar National Park is a nature reserve of the Bengal tiger. The Periyar Wildlife is near a large and picturesque lake in the heart of the reserve. Stroll through the lush gardens of spices in Periyar. You can enjoy elephant ride but in the buffer zone of the sanctuary. A boat ride in the Periyar Lake will be conducted so that from the lake you could see the diversity of wild life of this national park. Overnight stay is planned in Thekkady hotel.

Day 10

Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary-Alleppey (155 km/ 3 hrs)

After breakfast, depart towards Alleppey. Upon arrival, you will be transferred to houseboat. On board houseboat, sail through the Lake Vembanad. The houseboat passes through clusters of human habitations and villages. Discover Palai Plain with its sight of rice fields, peaceful villages and magnificent canals and lagoons, backwaters. Enjoy navigation on the canals, lagoons and lakes. On the banks, observe antique houses of teak, mahogany and rosewood, overview of antique teak houses, mahogany and rosewood; villages full of flowery hibiscus, bougainvillea and shimmering green rice paddy fields. of a shimmering green. Meals and night is planned aboard the houseboat.

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Day 11

Alleppey-Cochin (60 km/ 01 hr)-city tour

Start early in the morning, after breakfast, to Cochin. Visit Fort Cochin and the city. The historical heart of the city is in the neighborhood of Fort Cochin. It is here that we find the palace of Raja built in 1555 by the Portuguese. Overnight stay will be in Cochin hotel.

Day 12

Cochin and its wonders

After breakfast, city tour of Cochin will commence. Visit the fishing port. It is essential to approach closest to the complicated system of pulleys and balancers of Chinese fishing nets set on the waterfront is one of the great attractions of Cochin. They were introduced by a Chinese merchant during his visit to the Maharaja and still bear witness to the history of Kerala and its exchanges with distant civilizations. Visit the Dutch Palace and the Jewish Synagogue. In the evening, enjoy the theater to see a dance-theater performance of Kathakali, famous for its local disguises. Overnight stay has been scheduled in Cochin.

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Day 13

Cochin-Bangaluru (by flight)-Mysore (145 km/ 4 hrs)

Start early in the morning to the airport for the flight to Bangalore. Upon arrival, you will be straightaway transferred to Mysore by private airconditioned vehicle. On the way to Mysore, visit Shrirangapattana. Located about 25 kms prior to Mysore, Shrirangapattana is like an island as it is enclosed by River Kaveri. Visit the revered Sri Ranganthaswamy temple built in the ninth century - which serves as a major pilgrimage site in South India - along with other historical monuments.

On arrival, check in at Mysore hotel for overnight stay. Spend evening in leisure in the hotel.

Day 14

Explore Mysore

Visit the Mysore Palace and temples, real jewels of this city. The present Mysore Palace was built in 1897-1912 at the request of Regent Maharani Vani Vilas Mysore Sannidhna by an English architect Henry Irwin, then extended till 1940.

The architecture is of Indo-Sarsanic style with sumptuous architectural features of the Hindu, Rajpur and Gothic incorporated. The palace houses 12 Hindu temples, the oldest of which was built in the 14th century and the newest in 1953. It is the second most visited monument in India after the Taj Mahal.

Other places to be visited are Lalitha Palace (the second largest palace in Mysore), Mysore Rail Museum and Chamundeshwari Temple. Herinafter, roam around in the market, famous for sandal wood products, essence and colourful handicraft articles. Don’t miss to taste delicious dosa here. Overnight stay is scheduled in Mysore.

Day 15

Mysore-Hassan (125 km/ 03 hrs)

Depart after breakfast towards Hassan. On the way, visit the amazing site of Sri Sravanabelgola. Besides the temples and monasteries, explore the Indragiri hill, a sacred site for the Digambar Jain sect. Digambara means "those who are dressed in sky”. Sravanbelgola houses a giant statue of Gomateshvara. On arrival at Hassan, check in at the hotel for overnight stay.

Day 16

Visit the temples of Belur and Halebid

Depart after breakfast for the discovery of Hassan. Proceed on an an excursion of thirty kilometers to visit the stunning temples of Belur and Halebid. You are going to discover a new architectural style born at the height of the Hoysala culture, between the 11th and 13th century. Abundant sculptures adorn these temples. Witness the intricately carved sculptures, depicting their war epics. In the evening return to hotel for overnight stay.

Day 17

Hassan-Hospet (320 km/ 6 hrs)-At the gates of the lost kingdom of Hampi

Depart after breakfast towards Hospet. Continue heading north, crossing the Deccan Plateau to Hospet, near the lost kingdom of Hampi. The ruins emerge from the mountains of Karnataka, characterized by lively market towns, barren plateaus alternating with fringed landscape of coconut trees, paddy fields and forests. Hospet is known as the gate of the lost kingdom of Hampi. On arrival at Hospet, you will betransferred to the hotel to spend evening in leisure and have overnight stay.

Day 18

Visit Hampi, the former capital of the Vijayanagar Empire

Visit Hampi, the former capital of the Vijayanagar Empire, one of the most fascinating sites of the country. Hampi extends till Hospet. Hampi is the site of the last capital of the Hindu Empire of Vijayanagar that flourished in the fourteenth to the sixteenth century. Capital of an Empire and the mall, Hampi resisted for long the aggression & progression of Islam, until its conquest in 1565 AD. Surrounded by seven walls, Hampi had up to 500,000 inhabitants. The remains of this brilliant city are now scattered in a setting of a strange beauty. The dance hall of Vitthala Temple is a masterpiece of refinement in temple architecture. The pillars have been so designed and carved that it creates music as air blows. Overnight stay will be in Hospet hotel.

Day 19

Hospet-Badami (150 km/ 04 hrs)-visit the famous cave temples

Depart after breakfast towards Badami. Drive to the charming village town of Badami. Visit the famous cave temples and sites of Mahakuta, Pattadakal and Aihole. Badami, Pattadakal and Aihole are three historical and archaeologically important sites. Overnight stay will be in the hotel.

Day 20

Badami-Goa (245 kms/ 05 hrs)-and pleasures of the sea

Depart from Badami after breakfast towards Goa. Goa is meant for leisure on beaches and pleasures of the sea. Goa is the smallest state of India and had been a Portuguese colony for few hundred years. It’s influence is clearly visible in cuisines, architecture, festivals and attires. On arrival at Goa, you will be directly transferred to the pre-booked beachside hotel or resort. Evening has been kept free with possibility to walk by the sea on one of the many beaches of Goa. Overnight stay will be in Goa hotel.

Day 21

Visit Velha Goa

After breakfast, proceed to visit Old Goa or Velha Goa. Among the famous monuments of Velha Goa or North Goa are mostly churches and cathedrals like Basilica of Bom Jesus, Sé Cathedral, Church of St Francis of Assisi, Sé Catedral de Santa Catarina and Church of St Cajetan. You will be visiting capital city of Goa, Panaji. You will have opportunity to shop in the capital city. In addition to it, you will be taken to Fontainhas, an old Latin Quarter in the city of Panaji in Goa. Most of the legacy of Portuguese colonial era like narrow streets and Latin styled villas and buildings, painted in vibrant colours have been kept intact to this day. It gives a peep into the Portuguese era of Goa. In the evening return to hotel for overnight stay.

Day 22

Goa - Departure

You will be transferred to the airport in Goa according to your departure flight.

  1. Accommodation in the hotels on double occupancy basis.

  2. Daily breakfasts at all locations.

  3. In Alleppey, during houseboat stay, dinner and high tea.

  4. Bullock cart ride in Chettinad village, boat cruise in Periyar Lake, Kathakali dance show in Cochin.

  5. Ground transfers by private car with an English speaking driver

  6. Destination specific tour guides at each destination with significant monuments.

  7. The vehicles are air conditioned and equipped with seat belts and fire extinguishers. The price includes petrol, road tax, parking, vehicle insurance and driver, accommodation and meals thereof

  • Above rates are based on current exchange rate, fuel price, entrance fee, hotel rates and tax structure as applicable on the date of mailing the package proposal, however any change in these components beyond our control shall affect the cost accordingly.

Payment Terms:

We would require 50% advance payment to secure your bookings and process the file. We accept bank transfers and payment by credit cards through PAYPAL international payment gateway only. Balance amount needs to be paid on arrival in India by cash, Traveller’s Cheques or credit cards. All credit card payments are subject to 4.88% bank fees.

Cancellation Terms:

50% cancellation if cancelled within 45 days.

75% cancellation if cancelled within 30 days.

100% cancellation if cancelled 15 day or less.

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