Dravidian South India Tour

18 Days / 17 Nights

Itinerary

 

Day 01: Arrive Chennai

Assistance on the arrival. Traditional welcome with garlanding and stamped picture postcard to each guest on the arrival . Transfer to Hotel. Later proceed for the sightseeing of Chennai, “the gateway of South India”. Visit National Art Gallery and Museum (closed on Friday) . Visit Fort St. George, St. Mary’s Church, Drive along Marina Beach , San Thome Cathedral, Mylapore Shiva Temple and Shopping. Dinner and Overnight at Hotel. The Dravidian South India Tour schedule is as follows:

Day 02: Chennai- Kanchipuram- Mahabalipuram  ( 140kms / 4hr approx)

Morning leave for Mahabalipuram, enroute visit Kanchipuram, the city of 1000 temples. It is considered as the second holiest city in India next to Varanasi. Visit Vaikuntaperumal temple, Ekambareeswarar and Varadarajar temple. Kanchipuram is a famous for its exquisite silk sarees. Further drive to Mahabalipuram..  It boasts of some of India’s most sublime rock cut art comprising of Arjuna’s Penance – the largest open-air bass-relief, Five Rathas, structured temples, man-made caves and chariots. the  only surviving shore temple.Dinner and Overnight at Hotel.

Day 03: Mahabalipuram – Pondicherry  (100km/1hr approx)

Morning leave for Pondicherry, once a French settlement and now home to the Aurobindo Ashram – It spiritual tenets represent a synthesis of yoga and modern science and Auroville or the city of Dawn, an international settlement where community living is the focus of life. The sphere shaped Matri Mandir a hall of Meditation is the splendid centre of Auroville.  Visit Pondicherry Museum which has an outstanding collection of artefacts. The sculpture gallery is a treasure house of Pallava and Chola art. Evening relax at the beach, which runs along the city. Dinner and overnight at Hotel.

Day 04 : Pondicherry – Chidambaram/Kumbakonam – Tanjore (177km/3h30m approx)

After breakfast to  Chidambaram crossing the unparalleled scenic sights of Southern India. Chidambaram is also known as the “City of the Cosmic Dancer”. This city is also the centre of philosophy art and religion. Post lunch session unfurls the magic of this city of Nataraj – the cosmic dancer. Visit Chidambaram temple planned and built by the Chola kings in the 11th century. En route Tanjore visit Gangaikondacholapuram and its monumental temple called Gangaikondacholisvaram built in 1020 AD. Overnight at   hotel.

Day 05 : Tanjore – Chettinad via Trichy (100km/2hrs approx)

Visit the Brihadishwara temple a masterpiece in itself built in 1000AD by the Cholas. Next to be seen is the Tanjore art gallery and the Saraswati Mahal Library with its unique collection of Chola art and rare illustrated manuscripts. A short distance away is the eternal city of Tiruchirapalli better known as Trichy. Here worth a visit is Srirangam temple the abode of Lord Vishnu in his reclining form. All the 1000 pillars in the hall are very intricately designed. Post lunch continue towards Chettinad via Trichy.
Overnight at hotel.

Day 06: Chettind – Madurai (100km/2hrs approx)

Kanadukathan is a heritage village of Chettiars of Chettinadu. Heritage walk is recommended. Visit Thirumayam fort. Visit to the Chettinadu Palace, Cycle tour in the rural region nearby.  Shopping to Karaikudi where Antiques, Chettinadu sarees and silverware are available. Post lunch continue to Madurai. Overnight at hotel.

Day 07: Madurai

Madurai famous for the Meenakshi Sundereswar temple is the epitome of South Indian temple cities alive and bustling with pilgrims and religious preoccupations. The temple of goddess Meenakshi houses the cultural capital of South India. Overnight  at hotel.

Day 08: Madurai – Periyar (250km/5hrs approx)

After breakfast drive to Thirumalai Nayak Palace & Visits 1000 Pillars. Visit Gandhi Museums, Mariamman Teppakulam (Temple Tank) and to visit local markets. Lunch at hotel and after lunch visit Thiruparankunram Murugan Temple or Azhagarkoil Vishnu Temple. Evening proceed to Periyar . Overnight at Periyar.

Day 09: Periyar

You will be taken to one of the best game sanctuaries in India – Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary.  A boat ride on the  lake Periyar is the best way to experience the sanctuary. Visit the spice plantation like cardamom, cinnamon, pepper, coffee and tea estates. On your way back to hotel, you can shop at the local market and pick up some fragrant spices. Overnight at Hotel.

Day 10: Periyar – Kottayam (105kms/3.5hrs) – Alleypey (Houseboat on back waters)

Morning drive to Kottayam and board the wack water houseboat.  After having lunch in houseboat cruise on backwaters towards Alleppey.  Experience the kerala backwater , life and culture of lagoon dwellers, picturesque vegetation,  and  visit fishermen villages enroute. Evening arrive Alleppey and  rest in Houseboat.  Alleppey is an important tourist destination in India. A town with picturesque canals, backwaters, beaches and lagoon, it was described as the one of the places known as Venice Of the  East” by Lord Curzon. Alleypey is also connects Kumarakoram and Cochin towards north and Quilon to the South. Night in Houseboat.

Day 11: Alleypey – Marari (16km/30m approx)

After breakfast visit  Kuttanad, Chettikulangara Bhagawathy Temple, Arthunkal Church, Krishnapuram Palace, Pathiramanal Island. Evening drive towards Marari beach. Marari beach is an endless vista of sand and surf , but it is more. An authentic experience of the world of Kerala’s traditional fishing villages along the coat , and a creation of an ancient, harmonious way of life. It is perfect for those people exploring the Kerala backwaters who feel like some time at the beach as well. This beach is quiet and undeveloped. The name Marari is shortened from Mararikulam, a small and sleepy fisherman’s village. Overnight at Hotel.

Day 12: Marari – Cochin (45km/1hr approx)

After breakfast drive towards Cochin. Cochin, is a city in the Indian State Of Kerala. Also popular known as the Queen of Arabic Sea. Cochin was the centre of the world spice trade for many centuries and finest natural harbours of the world.  Visit to Hill Palace Museum, Maharaja Palace. The museum of Kerala Art & History.  After Lunch Cochin sightseeing by boat from Marine Drive. Overnight at Hotel in Cochin.

Day 13: Cochin (Option / Extension)

After breakfast explore Kochi and Fort Kochi and Mattancherry, Visit the Jewish Synagogue built over 400 years ago, containing beautiful Belgium glass chandeliers and paved with hand pained tiles from China; the Dutch Palace with its wonderful murals depicting the entire story of Ramayana; St. Francis Church which was the original burial site of Vasco De Gama and which is the first European church that was built in India and the fishing in the fourth Kochi beach using the Chinese fishing nets. Overnight at hotel.

Day 14: Cochin – Coimbatore (200km/4h30hrs approx)

Coimbatore is one of the fastest growing tier-II cities in India and a major Textile, Industrial, Commercial, Educational, Information technology, healthcare and manufacturing hub of Tamil Nadu. Other important industries include software services. Coimbatore is the fourth largest metropolis in South India.
After breakfast one can visit Government Museum, temples and churches. Overnight at Coimbatore.

Day 15: Coimbatore – Metuppulayam (36km/1hr apx) – Ooty by toy train) – Mysore (130km/3hrs apx)

After breakfast proceed towards Mysore, the Sandalwood City. Taking the Toy train ( a world Heritage Train) from Met to Ooty.  Having lunch at Ooty . After lunch visit Ooty Tea plantation and journey continue towards Mysore. Arrive Mysore, Check in Hotel and relax. Overnight in Mysore.

Day 16: Mysore

Mysore is known as City of Palaces. You will visit many Palaces and historical monuments related to the Royal life of Mysore especially related to Tipu Sultan. Perfect for the travellers who have interest in History and  Architecture.  Day to explore the Royal Palace of Mysore and the rich heritage. Palace and the entire architecture and decorum of the place is in harmony with the Royal style for which Mysore is known for. You will visit Maharajas Palace, Chamundi Hills, Nandi Bull etc. Evening you may opt to go for a shopping. Mysore silk is very popular and worth to have a look. Overnight at Hotel.

Day 17: Mysore – Hassan (120km/2h30 approx)

After breakfast leave for Hassan, . Hassan District is one of the 30 districts of Karnataka state located in the south-western part of Karnataka in India. The district has had an eventful and rich history. on your way to Hassan , you will visit temples of Belur, Halebid and Shravanabelagola, sites depicting ancient Indian Heritage and evening visit the local market. Overnight at Hotel.

Day 18: Hassan – Bangalore (180km/4hrs approx)

Early morning experience the beautiful view of the rising Sun in this city. Breakfast at hotel and proceed to Bangalore and on your way you can have the view of beautiful scenic and landscape of Hassan. Arrive Bangalore and assistance to the airport to onward destination.