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Grand Tour of South

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Day 01 - Arrive Chennai

On arrival at Chennai airport you will be taken to your hotel. Chennai was the site of the first colonization of the British East India Company and was founded in the year 1639. For more than 2000 year Chennai area has been popular with seafarers, spice traders and cloth merchants. Chennai has grown from the merging of a number of small villages, including its former namesake Madraspatnam.  Spend rest of the day at leisure.
Overnight in Chennai.

Day 02 - Drive Chennai - Mahabalipuram ( 55 kms / 1.5 hrs)

After breakfast half day sightseeing tour of Chennai - the fourth largest city inhttp://www.amazingholidaysinindia.com/images/x9.gif India, visiting the Fort St.George, St.Mary’s Church, St.Thomas Cathedral and the Fort museum - the museum has a collection of objects that come from the occupation of Chennai by the British East India Company, including letters from the famous Robert Clive. Later drive to Mahabalipuram (Mamallapuram) famous for its shore temple once the principal port of the Pallavas who ruled between the 06th and 09th century AD. This charming and quiet town was destroyed by the tsunami in December 2004. Showing their courage and determination, the citizens of Mahabalipuram rebuilt their home very fast. On arrival in Mahabalipuram, check into hotel. Spend rest of the day at leisure.
Overnight in Mahabalipuram.

Day 03 - In Mahabalipuram

Morning after breakfast, half day sightseeing tour of Mahabalipuram visiting Ganesh Ratha - a rock cut dravidian temples resembling a chariout, Trimurti Cave temple, just north to the Ganesh Ratha, Five Rathas – are sculptured temples in the style of Chariots. Spend rest of the day at leisure enjoying the beaches.
Overnight in Mahabalipuram

Day 04 - Drive Mahabalipuram - Kanchipuram - Pondicherry (160 kms / 03 hrs)

After breakfast depart for Pondicherry en-route visiting Kanchipuram.  Kanchipuram-the city of thousand temples, once the capital of Pallava. Kanchipuram still contains no less than 124 shrines. Mainly two rulers, Mahendray and Mamall Narashimha Parman, built the temples. Typical of their architecture is the Kailasnatha Temple dedicated to Shiva, believed to be 1200 years old. Other important ones include the 16th Century Ekambasreshwar Temple, Kamakshi Temple, and Vaikunta Perumal. Kanchipuram is also the centre for silk weaving and is famous for its saris and dress materials. Later continue your drive for Pondicherry. on arrival in Pondicherry, check into hotel
Overnight in Pondicherry.

Day 05 - In Pondicherry

Pondicherry formerly a colony of France, is a fascinating synthesis of Europeanhttp://www.amazingholidaysinindia.com/images/x12.gif culture and India. For years, his charm attracts travelers from around the world. With its friendly atmosphere, its location on the sea, shops and restaurants and its appetites, it is an ideal place to relax. After breakfast sightseeing tour of Pondicherry visiting the famous Sri Aurobindo Ashram founded in 1926 by Sri Aurobindo and a Frenchwoman known as, The Mother. The ashram does many cultural and educational activities in Pondicherry. Later, visit the Museum of Pondicherry and Auroville, a city dedicated to human unity.
Spend rest of the day relaxing.
Overnight in Pondicherry.

Day 06 - Drive Pondicherry - Trichy ( 255 kms / 05 hrs)

After breakfast drive to Trichy  - was the royal city of the Chola empire between 850 and 1270. On arrival  in Trichy, check into hotel. After a short rest proceed for the half day sightseeing tour of Trichy including Rock fort Temple perched 83m high on a massive rocky outcrop, Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple – a superb temple dedicated to Vishnu, Sri Jambukeshwara Temple dedicated to Shiva and Parvati and other religious sites.
Overnight in Trichy.

Day 07 - Drive Trichy - Thanjavur (54 kms / 02 hrs)

After breakfast drive to Tanjavur.  Thanjavur (Tanjore) was the ancient capital of the Chola Kings, controlled most of the Indian peninsula, including parts of Sri Lanka and the Srivijaya kingdom of the Malay Peninsula on the island of Sumatra. On arrival in Tanjavur, check into hotel. Later spent the day visiting Brihadishwara Temple, Fort, Thanjavur Palace & Museums.
Overnight in Tanjavur.

Day 08 - Drive Thanjavur - Madurai (165 kms / 03 hrs)

After breakfast drive to Madurai. Over the centuries Madurai remained under the jurisdictions of the Cholas, the Pandyas, the Muslim invaders and the Nayaks who ruled Madurai until 1781. Madurai is proud of its 2500 years of heritage. On arrival in Madurai, check into hotel. Spend rest of the day at leisure.
Overnight in Madurai.

Day 07 - In Madurai

After breakfast start your full day sightseeing tour of Madurai visiting the Meenakashi Temple- The Sri Meenaksh Temple was designed in 1560 during the reign of Tirumalai Nayak. This is a huge complex of temples is an excellent example of Dravidian architecture, with its bright colors and exquisite carved columns miles. Within the temple complex, housed is the 1000 pillard hall, is the Temple Art Museum. Later continue your city tour visiting Tirumalai Nayak Palace, Museums and Mariamman Teppakkulam Tank.
Overnight in Madurai.

Day 08 - Drive Madurai - Periyar (155 kms / 4 hrs)

After an early breakfast drive to Periyar. Periyar is South India’s most popular wildlife sanctuary created by British. Located in the Idukki region, Periyar (Thekkady) is known as one of the best places to see elephants in Asia. The park is covered with forests and various habitats allow the existence of a large variety of flora and fauna. In the animal reserve, there are elephants, deer, leopards, bison, wild dogs etc. The drive to this hilltop wildlife sanctuary is one of the most beautiful ones. On arrival in Periyar, check into hotel. Spend rest of the day at leisure exploring on your own.
Overnight in Periyar.

Day 09 - In Periyar

Morning after breakfast visit of spice plantation. The area is famous for coffee, tea, and the plant in Asia. Enjoy evening boat ride on Lake Periyar. All activities of the reserve is concentrated around the lake. There are nearly 700 elephants in the region, most often around the lake.
Rest of the time walking around and enjoying the surroundings.
Overnight in Periyar.

Day 10 - Drive Periyar - Munnar (125 kms / 03 hrs)

Morning after breakfast drive to Munnar. Munnar -- with miles of tea plantations, mountains, plants and exotic animals in their forests and reserves, and the smell of spices in the fresh air,  is a unique place in the world. Its beauty, its peace, tranquility make this town the perfect destination for any traveler. Situated at the confluence of 3 mountain streams - Mudrapauzha, Nallathanni and Kundala, at the height of 6000 ft in Idukki region. Munnar was the preferred destination of the English during the summers of the colonial era. On arrival in Munnar, check into hotel. Spend rest of the day at leisure.
Overnight in Munnar.

Day 11 - In Munnar

Morning after breakfast spend full day at leisure visiting, Spice plantation, Tea Garden, Mettupetty Dam - surrounded by tall hills and forest. Optionally you can also visit the Eravikulam National Park which is located around 16 kms from Munnar where you can see the endangered Nilgiri Tahr (ibex).
Overnight in Munnar

Day 12 - Drive Munnar - Kumarakom (200 kms / 05 hrs)

After breakfast start your journey for Kumarakom. The drive is a wonderfulhttp://www.amazingholidaysinindia.com/images/x14.gif experience passing through the backwater and plantations. Seeing Kumarakom, it becomes very clear why Kerala is called the "Land of God." This charming village is made up of several towns on Lake Vembanad, a paradise for birdwatchers. With its mangroves so beautiful, its clear waters, its emerald fields, its canals lined with coconut palms and white lilies, the village is the perfect place for a few days of vacation. You can explore the bird sanctuary, walking on the canals, or fishing. On arrival In Kumarakom, check into hotel.  Spend rest of the day at leisure.
Overnight In Kumarakom

Day 13 - In Kumarakom

Spend full day at leisure exploring the surroundings on your own.
Overnight In Kumarakom

Day 14 - Transfer Kumarakom - Houseboat Jetty

Morning at leisure, later in time transfer to the embankment point to board the houseboat, which is one of the highlights of any trip to Kerala. It’s once a lifetime impression to have such a romantic and beautiful experience. Browsing through villages built on narrow pieces of land, stopping to visit local markets, or to watch craftsmen busy with their previous work to build boats. Time spend on the houseboat passing through the Backwaters of Kerala. Here your houseboat crew will prepare delicious Keralian meals from freshly brought vegetables from the market.
Overnight on board houseboat.

Day 15 - Drive Houseboat - Cochin (65 kms / 01 hr)

Morning after breakfast drive to Cochin - perfectly reflects the eclecticism of Kerala. Cochin has a rich cultural history, but it is also one of the most modern cities of India. One of the best natural harbors in the world and a major port of India. The city has strong, palaces, museums, churches, rivers, lagoons but at the same time, it is a modern city.
Evening witness a Kathakali dance performance at the theater. Kathakali is a dance that displays the works of India's epic (Ramayana and Mahabharata). The dancers are dressed in many colors and details. Their faces painted to represent the heroes of the works.
Overnight in Cochin

Day 16 - Drive Cochin - Ooty (290 kms / 06 hrs)

Morning after breakfast proceed for the sightseeing tour of Cochin visiting Jewish synagogue – the oldest synagogue in the entire commonwealth, St. Francis Church, St. Mary’s Cathedral, Cochin Harbor, Terminus, Chinese Fishing Nets, Mattancherry Dutch Palace built by the Portuguese is known for its murals depicting scenes from the Ramayana and the Mahabharata and dresses and palanquins used by Cochin’s erstwhile rulers. Later drive to Ooty (Ootcamund)-- known as the "Queen of the summer season," spread over large area among rolling hills, bright waterfalls, enchanting streams, and lush tea gardens. It is a picturesque land with an altitude of 2.240 meters and for years, is one of the most famous destinations of India to escape from the heat of the city and relax in the midst of nature. It is the capital of the Nilgiri region, which means "Blue Mountains”. In the early 19th century the British established Ooty to serve as the summer capital of Chennai (Madras). On arrival in Ooty, check into hotel.  Spend rest of the day at leisure exploring the surroundings on your own.
Overnight in Ooty.

Day 17 - In Ooty

After breakfast full day at leisure enjoying the mountain train, visiting a tea garden or walking around the "Blue mountains”.
Overnight in Ooty.

Day 18 - Drive Ooty - Mysore (165 kms / 04 hrs)

Morning after breakfast drive to Mysore - known as the "City of Palaces" impress the travelers. It is a pleasure to know this town with its picturesque charm, its interesting patrimonies, its magnificent palaces, well-planned gardens, its impressive buildings, its shady avenues and sacred temples.
On arrival in Mysore, check into hotel
Overnight in Mysore.

Day 19 - In Mysore

Morning after breakfast set for the sightseeing tour of Mysore visiting the City http://www.amazingholidaysinindia.com/images/x15.gifPalace, Jaganmohan Palace and Chamundi Hill, where you see the twelfth century temple of Chamundershwari. Near the temple there is a  huge statue of the demon Mahisshasura. Visit the Church of St. Philomena and the Brindavan Gardens, with its lights and music sources, this place becomes a magical place at night.
Overnight in Mysore.

Day 20 - Drive Mysore - Bangalore (140 kms / 04 hrs)

Morning after breakfast drive to Bangalore - the "Silicon Valley" of India, is today one of the most important city for trade and technology and is regarded as India’s one of most progressive and liberal city. It became an important fortress city under Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan, though little remains from this period except Lallbagh botanical gardens and a palace.
After a short rest proceed for the half day sightseeing tour of Bangalore visiting Lalbagh Botanical Gardens, Vidhan Soudha,Fort and Tipu Sultan’s Palace, Bull temple which is one of the Bangalore’s oldest temple.
Overnight in Bangalore.

Day 21 Drive Bangalore -Saravanabelagola- Hassan (160 kms / 04 hrs)

Morning after breakfast drive to Hassan the base of visiting the famous temples of Belur and Halebid Belur en-route visiting one of the oldest and important Jain pligrimage site where standing a 17m – high naked statue of Gomateshvara, said to be the world’s tallest monolithic statue.
Later continue your drive for Hassan. On arrival, check into hotel. After a short rest proceed for the excursion of Halebid and
Construction of the Hoysaleswara Temple at Helebid began around 1121 and in spite of more than 80 years of labour, it was never completed, is one of the most amazing example of Hoysala art.
Belur was the Hoysala capital of Halebid during eleventh and twelfth centuries. Chennakeshava temple in Belur is beautifully done and is one of the earliest examples of the Hoysala style. It is still one of the three major Hoysala sites in daily use. Construction began in 1116 to commemorate the victory over the Cholas of the Hoysala Talak and took almost a century to complete. The facade of the temple is covered with intricate carvings, frescoes of elephants and the episodes of the epics, sensuous dancers - these are all wonderful in the hands of their intricate work.
Overnight in Hassan.
 

Day 22 - Drive Hassan - Hospet (420 kms / 08 hrs)

Morning after breakfast drive to Hospet. Hospet, a small dusty town in central 
Karnataka, was once the headquarters of the powerful Vijayanagar Empire. 
Although the city has much to offer to the visitors, but still its significance lies in its proximity to Hampi, the ancient capital of the Vijayanagar rulers. On arrival in Hospet, check into hotel.
Overnight in Hospet.

Day 23 - In Hospet

Morning after breakfast set for an excursion to visit Hampi about 12 kms from Hospet. Hampi is located within the ruins of Vijayanagara, the former capital of the Vijayanagara empire. The site is of great importance in terms of architecture and historical significance and has some fascinating and magical qualities. Virupaksha Temple at the western end is one of the earliest structures in the city. The main shrine is dedicated to Virupaksha, a form of Shiva. Overlooking Virupaksha Temple to the south, Hemakuta Hill has a scattering of early ruins including Jain temples and a monolithic sculpture of Narasimha, Vittala Temple, Royal centre – within various stone walled enclosures here are the rest of the Hampi’s major attraction including Lotus Mahal and the Elephant stables. After the visit drive back to hospet for an overnight stay.
Overnight in Hospet.

Day 24 - Drive Hospet - Bijapur ( 235 kms / 05 hrs)

Morning after brekfast drive to Bijapur. Bijapur city is well known for the great architectures of historical importance built during the Adil Shahi dynasty. Bijapur is rich in historical attractions, mainly related to Islamic architecture. On arrival in Bijapur, check into hotel. After a short rest proceed for the sightseeing visiting Gol Gumbu- the most famous monument in Bijapur. It is the tomb of Mohammed Adil Shah. Ibrahim Rauza - this is the tomb of Ibrahim Adil Shah II the fifth king of the dynasty, Malik-e-Maidan - the largest medieval cannon in the world, Jumma Mosque – one of the finest mosque in india, Gagan Mahal, Jahaz Mahal etc.
Overnight in Bijapur.

Day 25 - Drive Bijapur - Badami (135 kms / 2.5 hrs)

Morning after breakfast drive to Badami. Badami was once the capital of thehttp://www.amazingholidaysinindia.com/images/x16.gif Chalukyan empire, the ruler of the central Deccan between 4th and 8th centuries AD. The surrounding hills are dotted with temples, forts, sculptures and inscriptions dating from the period not only Chalukyan but from another time when the site was occupied as a fortress. Badami and nearby Aihole and Pattadakal are some of the earliest and finest examples of Dravadian temples and rock-cut caves. On arrival in Badami, check into hotel. After a short rest proceed for the half day sightseeing tour of Badami visiting beautiful cave temples for which Badami is known. In Cave 1 dedicated to Lord Shiva, there is a beautiful image of Nataraja striking 81 dance poses and whose 18 arms hold, among other things, a snake, a musical instrument and a trishula. Other Caves dedicated to Lord Vishnu and to Jainism.
Overnight in Badami.

Day 26 - In Badami

Morning after breakfast excursion to Aihole and Pattadakal.
Aihole was the Chalukyan regional capital between 4th and 6the centuries - is a village near Badami famous for its group of 70 temples. These temples are the earliest examples of Dravidian architecture, Ladkhan Temple – which is the oldest temple here, Durga Temple, the Huchchappaya Temple, the Meguti Jain Temple etc. These monuments have been well preserved and restored.

Pattadakal - 22 km from Badami and about 10 km from Aihole lies on the bank of the river Malaprabha. Well known for the 10 temples built during 7th and 8th century, including Galaganatha Temple, the Temple Kashai Vishveswara, Mallikarjun Temple, and the masterpiece - the Virupaksha Temple. A mixture of Pallav and Chalukya styles of architecture can be seen. After the visit drive back to the hotel.
Overnight in Badami.

Day 27 - Drive Badami - Goa (190 kms / 05 hrs)

Morning after breakfast drive to Goa. On arrival in Goa, check into hotel. Spen rest of the day at leisure enjoying the sandy beaches of Goa.
Overnight in Goa.

Day 28 - In Goa

Spend full day at leisure enjoying the sandy beaches of Goa.
Overnight in Goa.

Day 29 - In Goa

Spend full day at leisure enjoying the sandy beaches of Goa.
Overnight in Goa.

Day 30 - In Goa

Spend full day at leisure enjoying the sandy beaches of Goa.
Overnight in Goa.

Day 31 - Fly Goa - Mumbai

Morning after breakfast drive to Goa airport in time to board flight for Mumbai. . Met on arrival at Mumbai airport and transfer to the hotel. Later in the afternoon proceed for the half-day city tour of Mumbai visiting the Gateway of India, which was created as a symbol, to welcome the Queen Mary and King George V of England on their visit to India in 1911. Next visit the Hanging Gardens, constructed at the top of Malabar Hills, which provide a lovely view over the Arabian sea, Marine Drive etc.
Overnight in Mumbai.

Day 32 - Depart Mumbai

Transfer to Mumbai airport in time to board flight for onward destination.

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