(16 nights / 17 days)
Mumbai - Bangalore - Sravanbelgola - Hassan - Mysore - Ooty - Conoor - Calicut -
Beypore - Garuwayur - Cochin - Alleppey - Periyar - Madurai - Tanjore - Trichy - Tanjore - Mahabalipuram - Chennai
Day 1 - Arrival in Mumbai (Bombay)
Upon arrival, you will be met by Groups tour to India representative and transferred to the hotel. Take the guided city tour of the city in the afternoon. Drive past the various Victorian mansions, reminiscent of the colonial charm of the British Raj. Visit the Gateway of India, erected as a symbol of welcome to Queen Mary and King George V of England on their visit to India in 1911. Afterwards, travel to the Hanging Gardens, perched at the top of Malabar Hill and offers beautiful views over the Arabian Sea. Overnight stay at the hotel.
Day 2 - Mumbai/Bangalore
After taking breakfast transfer to the airport and take a flight to Bangalore, known as the garden city due to large number of well laid out gardens dotting the city. Wide tree lined avenues, striking buildings and modern shopping malls add ambience to the surroundings. Afternoon excursion tour to the city covers the Palace of Tippu Sultan (once residence of the famous south Indian king who fought bravely with the British and was killed in the battlefield), the Indian Institute of Science, the Bull Temple and the expansive Lal Bagh botanical garden.
Day 3 - Bangalore/Sravanabelgola/Hassan
Morning drive to Hassan via Sravanabelgola for a sightseeing tour of the celebrated temples of Halebid and Belur. Sravanabelgola is one of the oldest and most important Jain pilgrimage sites in India. The temples at Belur and Halebid stand as testimony to the finest pieces of art. According to one school of though, the intricate sculptured decoration on the temple excels even the Friezes at Konark and Khajuraho in Orissa and Madhya Pradesh respectively.
Day 4 - Hassan/Mysore
Travel to Mysore and visit the Krishnarajasagar reservoir and the famous Brindavan Gardens with its dancing fountains. The reservoir was created as a result of the construction of the dam across the Cauvery River. Mysore is a must-see city replete with relics of history.
Day 5 - Mysore
An excursion to the city covers visits to the Chamundeshwari Temple, the majestic Mysore Palace, one of the largest in the country, the Zoological Gardens, and the handicraft center. In the evening, explore the Brindavan Gardens and view it at its wonderful best with the dazzling illuminated fountains.
Day 6 - Mysore/Ooty (Ootacamund)
Drive to Ooty, also known as the Queen of the Southern Hill Stations. Once the most popular summer resort in south India for the British officials it still revels in reputation of being a much sough-after tourist destination and is a popular location for shooting of Indian films. Major attractions of the place include St. Stephen's Church, the Ooty Club, (intriguing headstones in the cemetery) and the Government Botanical Gardens, which is home to more than 2,000 species of plants. Drive to Doddabetta, literally "Big Mountain," the highest peak in the Nilgiris, Mukurti Peak, the Pykara Dam and the extensive tea plantations.
Day 7 - Ooty/Conoor/Calicut
After taking breakfast, take a "toy" train ride, a tiny, narrow gauge train with two engines that takes you up in a series of switchback, to Conoor. Bounded on all sides by hills and slopes of tea, Conoor is a hill station with charming old houses of the British days. From Conoor, drive to Calicut, now renamed Khozikode. Once the most famous port of Malabar Coast and of India, Calicut was known to the Greeks since the beginning of the Christian era. It was the principal port for export of spices and cloth to the Greeks. Overnight stat at a local hotel in Calicut.
Day 8 - Calicut/Beypore/Garuwayur/Cochin
Driven Cochin or Kochi via the major fishing harbors of Beypore and Guruvayur. Cochin, the commercial hub and main natural harbor of Kerala, has a distinct European feel as it was under the rule of Portuguese, Dutch and English at one time or another. Overnight stay at the hotel in Cochin.
Day 9 - Cochin
After taking breakfast, travel to the backwaters of Cochin, which run from the sea through lush tropical countryside. The boat trip is very relaxing and fascinating. Return to Cochin and stroll down the streets of Cochin. In the evening proceed to witness the famous Kathakali Dance.
Day 10 - Cochin/Alleppey/HouseBoat
Drive to Alleppey and board a houseboat for a cruise through the backwaters of Kerala. On the boat ride, enjoy splendid scenic beauty of these palm-shaded backwaters. Overnight on the houseboat.
Day 11 - Disembark/House Boat
Today disembark the houseboat and then drive to Periyar. One of the most famous wildlife sanctuaries in India, Periyar is home to rare species of birds and animals. Overnight stay at the hotel.
Day 12 - Periyar
In the morning, go for a jeep ride to a nearby spice plantation followed by a boat ride on Lake Periyar to view the wild animals that can be spotted drinking and bathing from this 100 year-old lake.
Day 13 - Periyar/Madurai
Start your day by driving to Madurai, a city of antiquity. Capital of the Pandyas, the city was the meeting place of poets and academics, writers, builders and artisans. Visit the world famous Meenakshi Temple, the Palace of King Triumalay, Gandhi Museum and the Temple at Alaghat Koli.
Day 14 - Madurai/Tanjore/Trichy
Travel to Tanjore, the seat of the Chola Empire during the medieval period. Visit the Birhadeswara Temple, which is more than 200 feet in height and constructed in the Dravidian truncated pyramid form, and has a huge lingam in its sanctorum. In the inner shrine of the temple, you can see a large stature of Nandi the bull, the mount of the god Shiva. Upon arrival in Trichy or Tiruchirapalli, you will be free to explore the city . Overnight stay at the hotel.
Day 15 - Trichy/Tanjore/Mahabalipuram
After taking breakfast take a city tour covering visits to Rock Fort, Sirangam and Jambukeshwar Temples. Trichy is associated with history from Chola period to the 18th century Carnatic Wars in which the contending parties were supported by the British and the French. Travel to Mahabalipuram. Overnight stay at hotel.
Day 16 - Mahabalipuram
Take a temple tour of Mahabalipuram, once the principal port of the Pallavas, and Kanchipuram, once the capital of Pallava and a city of a thousand temples. Visit the Shore Temple, a impressive display of early temple construction in South India and Penance of Bhagirata, the world's largest bas relief also known as "Arjuna's Penance". Other important temples of Kanchipuram include the 16th century Ekambasreshwar Temple, Kamakshi Temple, dedicated to Parvati "the goddess with the eyes of love", and Vaikunta Perumal Temple. Overnight stay at the hotel.
Day 17 - Mahabalipuram/Chennai/Onward
After taking breakfast, transfer to Chennai and take a city tour. Formerly called Madras, Chennai is the capital of the state of Tamil Nadu. Pay a visit to Fort St. George and St. Mary's Church. Later, transfer to the airport for your onward flight.