Grand Tour Southern India

Grand Tour of Southern India

Duration : 14 Nights / 15 Days 
Places Covered : Bangalore - Hassan - Mysore - Chennai - Mahabalipuram - Tanjore - Trichy - Madurai - Thekkady - Kumarakom - Houseboat - Alleppey - Cochin 
Day 01 : Bangalore 
Arrive at Bangalore. Meet and assist at the airport. Upon arrival transfer to the hotel. Later visit Bangalore's botanical gardens before touring the ancient Bull Temple and Tipu Sultan's Palace. Then transefr to the hotel for overnight stay. 

Day 02 : Bangalore - Hassan 
Drive to Chikmagular (139 kms / 4 hrs) and transfer to Hotel. In the afternoon we visit the temples at Halebid, one of the greatest examples of Hindu architecture in India, whose walls are covered with detailed friezes of the life and times of the Hoysala rulers. Our tour continues in Belur with the victory temple, Cheenakesvara, crowded with exquisitely filigreed pillars.
Day 03 : Hassan - Mysore
Drive to Srirangapatnam and visit the opulent Summer Palace of Tipu Sultan, occupied briefly by the future Duke of Wellington in 1799. Continue to the chairing city of Mysore ( 125 Kms/ 3 Hrs.). Our tour includes the Mysore Palace whose rooms are a kaleidoscope of colour.

Day 04 : Mysore 
A relaxing start to the day as we ascended Chamundi Hill - the Climb is said to improve one's karma - for Panoramic views of the city and the giant statue of the Nandi bull. Day is free for leisure at the local market. Overnight stay at the hotel. 

Day 05 : Mysore - Chennai
Morning is free for leisure. In the afternoon, board the modern Shatabdi Express for our train journey to Chennai, train # 2008, Shatbadi Exp, Dep at 14:20 hrs and arr at 21:35 hrs. Upon arrival transfer to the Hotel for overnight stay.

Day 06 : Chennai - Mahabalipuram
Chennai is a bustling city with a relaxed and friendly character. Our tour commerce in the area around the 17th century Fort St. George, taking in St. Mary's Church where Clive of India was married, before a visit to the Government Museum to view the Chola bronzes. Finally we visit San Thome Catherdal, said to house the remains of the apostle. Thomas who is reputed to have brought Christianity to India in the 1st century AD. The afternoon, drive to Mahabalipuram, 55 kms and 1 1/2 hrs. Upon arrival transfer to the hotel. 

Day 07 : Mahabalipuram - Tanjore 
After breakfast, visit the place, where the legendary Pallava Kings Commissioned a range of temples. The most famous is the shore temple, romantically weathered by wind and sea. Later proceed driving to the great Chola Capital - Tanjore (290 kms / 6 Hrs).

Day 08 : Tanjore
Our Exploration of Chola architecture continues with the Bridhdiswara Temple built in 1010. With a dome carved from a single piece of granite weighting over 80 tonnes, 
Day 09 : Tanjore - Trichy - Madurai 
This morning drive to Trichy (56 kms / 1½ hrs) sightseeing concentrate on the spectacular temple architecture near Trichy at Srirangam. Set on an island in the Cauvery River within seven concentric walled Courtyards, the Sri Ranganathaswami Temple is one of the largest complexes in India.
Day 10 : Madurai - Thekkady (Periyar)
Day 11 : Thekkady 
Day 12 : Thekkady - Kumarakom
Day 13 : Kumarakom - Houseboat
Morning free for leisure. Later board the houseboat, from Kumarakom to Alleppey, Staying in this moving palace is breathtakingly stimulating experience

Day 15 : Cochin Out
Morning free time at the local market for shopping. Late evening transfer to airport for onward destination. (Hotel Checkout 12:00 Hrs)
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