South India Tour is the complete intensive tour of South India.
South India is made up of the 4 states of
Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu. They all lie in the southern
part of the Indian Peninsula. During the 30 Days South India Tour you will visit
all these parts of South India, finest beaches, hill stations,
wildlife sanctuaries, backwaters and some of the
finest temples in South India like Kodaikanal, Ooty, BR Hills,
Munnar, Periyar, Kovalam, Alleppey, Mysore, Pondicherry, Bangalore
Day 1: Chennai
Arrival in Chennai (formerly
Madras). The cosmopolitan City and capital of
Tamil Nadu is the main
gateway for travelers to South India. You are met by an Indo Vacations
representative and transferred to your Hotel.
Chennai - Kanchipuram (about 70 km)
After a late breakfast we start the sightseeing of Chennai. We visit
the Fort St. George near the harbour area of Chennai which was built
by the British in the 17th century and also the St. Mary's church
which was the first English church in India. In the afternoon we drive
This temple town was once the capital of the Pallava dynasty.
Kanchipuram is one of the India's Seven sacred cities. The silk sarees
produced here are famous throughout the world. In the afternoon we
visit the Vaikuntam Perumal Temple. This temple is one of the
important Vishnu temples which were built by Pallava King Nandivarman
Pallavamalla in the 7th century A.D. The presiding deity Lord
depicted in sitting, standing and reclining postures. After visiting
this temple we visit the Kailasanathar Temple. This Pallava temple was
constructed in the 8th century and has an attractive panel depicting
Shiva and Parvathi in the midst of one of their innumerable dance
competitions. The architecture of this temple resembles the Shore
Temple at Mamallapuram. Overnight stay in Kanchipuram
Kanchipuram - Mamallapuram (about 67 km / 1½ hours)
Today we drive to Mamallapuram.
Mamallapuram situated on the shores of the Bay of Bengal, was once a
port of the Pallavas. The Pallavas have created many marvellous
monuments, caves, monolithic Rathas and Temples. Today we visit the
Arjuna's Penance. This skilfully carved rock is the largest bas-relief
sculpture in the world. This sculpture derived its name from Arjuna,
the hero of Mahabharata, who performed a penance to obtain a boon from Lord
After visiting the Arjuna's Penance we visit the Five Rathas, also
known as the Pancha Pandava Rathas. There are five monolithic temples,
each created in different style. Four of the Rathas are supposed to
have scooped out of a single rock formation. In the evening we visit
the Shore Temple. This temple is one of the oldest temples in South
India. It belongs to the 8th Century AD and is a good example of the
first phase of structural temples constructed in Dravidian style.
The whole day at leisure in Mamallapuram. (for your own activities)
Devarajaswami Temple, Kanchipuram
Mamallapuram - Pondicherry (about 100 km / 2 hours)
After having breakfast we proceed to Pondicherry.
Pondicherry was retained as French colony until 1954. Pondicherry has
even today the French atmosphere amidst the surrounding Tamil country.
We visit the Sri Aurobindo Ashram, which is a world famous Yoga and
Pondicherry - Tanjore (about 175 km / 3 hours)
We drive through the tropical mountains to Chidambaram.
Chidambaram lies on the north edge of the coleroon river. In
Chidambaram we visit the Natraja Temple which is dedicated to the
dancing Lord Shiva, a famous Hindu deity of the Chola Kings. On the
way to Tanjore we have a stop over in Kumbakonam.
Kumbakonam is famous
for its 18 temples in the town centre. Visit the Gangaikoda Cholapuram
temple and the Fharasuram temple which are the most important for
their architecture. Later drive to Tanjore and check into your Hotel
Day 7: Tanjore
The city Tanjore (Thanjavur) is the capital of great chola empire who
built more than 70 temples between 10th and 14th century. We visit
here one of the world heritage monument, Brihasdisvara Temple (11th
century), which is also known as big temple. Later we visit The Palace
of Tanjore also makes for an important tourist destination. It is
characterized by its vast corridors, large halls, its shady courtyards
and observation towers. It started being built by the Nayaks in the
mid-16th century but was completed by the Marathas. The palace now
functions as the Royal Museum, housing a collection of royal remains.
Art Gallery is another place that should not be missed while at
Tanjore. It has a collection of around 250 Chola bronze statues and
150 stone statues dating back to the 9th and 12th century and
belonging to the many groups like the Bhairava, Umasahita Shiva,
and Rama Lakshmana. Overnight stay at Tanjore.
Tanjore - Trichy (about 75 km / 1 hours 20 mins)
Today we drive to Srirangam and visit the Ranganathasvami Temple which
is one of the largest temples in India dedicated to
god Vishnu. After
the visit of Srirangam we proceed to Trichy.
the land near the delta is very fertile and productive. This town
Trichy is so ancient that it was mentioned by Ptolemy in the 2nd
century BC by Alexandrian geographer. We climb stairs to the famous
Rock Fort which was built on 84 m high rock in the centre of town in
about 1660. We also visit a Shiva and Ganesha temple and enjoy a
wonderful view of the surroundings from the top.
Temple Tiruchirapalli, Srirangam
Trichy - Madurai (about 135 km / 2 hours)
Today we leave Trichy and drive to Madurai.
Madurai, situated on the bank of river Vaigai is also referred to as
the Athens of the East. Madurai has the most outstanding examples of
Vijayanagar temple architecture in the Minakshi
a standing monument to the temple builders of the 16th and 17th
century. We spend enough time in Minakshi Temple and afterwards have a
walk through the bazaars of this 2500 years old town before we drive
back to our hotel.
Madurai - Kodaikanal (about 120 km / 3 hours)
Today we drive from Madurai to Kodaikanal.
In the evening arrive in Kodaikanal.
Today morning, proceed for a trekking program. The various trekking
routes will keep the trekker busy with their sheer number of choices.
The trek to the Dolphin Nose and the 3-4 trek of 40 Miles Rounded
from Berijam Lake to the Kerala border Vandaraw via ‘Poondi’, Kavunji,
and Kukkal is a treat for their breathtaking views of the hills,
plains and cascading waterfalls and zigzagging streams. Kodaikanal
also has a wonderful Orchidorium having 300 species of trees and
flowers. The Orchidorium is open for visitors from 10 am to 12 noon
and 3 pm to 5 pm on weekdays. Return to your hotel and unwind.
Meenakshi Temple, Madurai
Kodiakanal - Munnar (about 165 km / 5 hours)
Today we drive from Kodaikanal to Munnar.
Munnar is a beautiful hill resort situated in the cradle of tea
plantations. Munnar, the queen of hill stations is located at the
confluence of three mountain streams namely, Mudrapuzha, Nallathanni
and Kundala, along the western Ghats on the eastern border of Kerala
and was once the summer resort of the British government in South
India. Sprawling tea plantations, picture-book towns and winding lanes
make this a popular resort. On arrival drive to the hotel. Rest of the
day at leisure.
In the morning you will have sightseeing in Munnar and visit the tea
the top peak of Munnar and Mattupetty. Rajmalai is the natural habitat
of the Nilgiri Tahr, located about 15 km from Munnar. Half of the
world population of the rare mountain goat, which is becoming extinct,
is now found here. Mattupetty is located about 15 kms from Munnar and
known for its highly specialised dairy farm - the Indo Swiss Livestock
project. Over a 100 varieties of high yielding cattle are reared
Letchmi hills trek Today we drive about 3 kilometers towards
Cochin (road) from Munnar, to the starting point of Letchmi hills
trek. (Usually we start around 08.30hrs or 09.00hrs.) The trek will
start at the height of 1420 meters MSL (approx), we will start through
the tea plantations for about 30 to 40 minutes, After reaching the top
of the hill, rest of our couple of hours trek will be on the ridge
which offers beautiful views around, it will be through grasslands,
one side will be rocky mountain slope and the other side will be tea
plantations, patches of Shola forest etc…, in a clear sky day we could
see the Anaimudi “highest peak in S. India” and the water reservoir
of Idukki Dam which listed as highest arch dams in Asia and third
tallest dam in India. We will have refreshment/picnic lunch at any
suitable place during the trek, our trek we will be through Nature
Zone where we can see some of exotic spices like Coffee, Cardamom,
etc…, also its one of the best places to spot some endemic birds of
this part of Western Ghats. Will have another 40 minutes to 01 hours
walk through the tea plantations to finish the trek, highest point of
this trek will be about 1950 meters MSL (approx) return to your hotel
Munnar - Periyar (about 80 km / 2 hours)
In the morning after having breakfast drive to Periyar (Thekkady).
On arrival drive to the hotel. Thekkady is a naturalist's paradise of
unending chains of hills and spice scented plantations. It has
unspoilt tropical forests and incredible wealth of animal and plant
life. Thekkady is well known for the Periyar
National Park and
the elephants are the major attractions here. In the afternoon, drive
to the Periyar National Park. The Periyar National Park and Tiger
Reserve is one of the most captivating wildlife parks in the world and
also one of the largest and finest wildlife reserves in India. Periyar
National Park covers an area of 780 square km and was designated a
part of project Tiger in 1973. In the evening we have a boat ride on
the Periyar lake and observe the activities of elephants, tiger,
bison, wild oxen, wild boar and spotted deer.
Munnar Tea Garden
Periyar - Kovalam (about 220 km / 5 hours 30 mins)
Today you will drive to the famous Kovalam
The Kovalam beach is located about 16 kms. from the city of Trivandrum.
This internationally renowned beach resort has been a favourite place
of tourists since 1930. Kovalam consists of three adjacent crescent
beaches. The southernmost beach is known as the Lighthouse Beach and
is the most popular beach. Enjoy your whole day at this beach.
Today morning take a day trip to Kanyakumari. Located 87 kms from
Trivandrum, Kanyakumari is the southernmost part of the Indian
mainland. Here the Indian Ocean, the Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea
converge. Kanyakumari has great religious importance for the Hindus.
The place is devoted to the Goddess Devi Kanya, an incarnation of
Parvati, Lord Shiva’s wife. Pilgrims visit the temple and bathe in the
holy waters here. Another major tourist attraction here is the
Vivekananda Memorial, built about 400 metres offshore. Swami
Vivekananda meditated here in 1892 before embarking on a journey to
introduce religious reforms throughout the country. The mandapam built
in his memory here reflects architectural styles from all over the
country. Later visit the Padmanabhapuram Wooden palace, A magnificent
wooden palace of the 16th century, Padmanabhapuram Palace lies at the
land's end of mainland India. An enticing piece to any lover of art
and architecture this old palace of the kings of the erstwhile
Travancore (1550 to 1750 AD) is a fine specimen of Kerala's indigenous
style of architecture. Charles Correa, India architect par excellence
selected as one among the top ten architects of the world by the
British Institute of architects, says that it is his most favorite
building. He has incorporated many ideas from this building, in his
architectural style. Return to your hotel and unwind.
Day 18: Kovalam
morning visit the Sri Padmanabhaswamy Temple - Spread over an area of
2,400 sq. metres, the Sri Padmanabhaswamy temple is believed to be
over 260 years old. The temple with its Gopuram (tower) towering
majestically is believed to be among the 108 shrines sacred to the
Vaishnav in India.
Napier Museum - Dating back to 1880, the Napier Museum building
combines the Mughal, Kerala, Chinese and Italian architectural styles.
The building has a natural air-conditioning system. The museum offer
glimpses of Kerala’s rich cultural heritage. The museum showcases an
excellent collection of bronzes historic ornaments, ivory carvings and
chariots, and life-size figurines of the Kathakali dancers in full
Sri Chitra Art Gallery - The Sri Chitra Art Gallery displays paintings
from the Rajput, Mughal and Tanjore schools of art. Besides these, the
gallery houses some rare collection of paintings by Raja Ravi Varma,
Svetoslav and Nicholas Roerich. An Oriental collection of paintings
from China, Japan, Tibet and Bali are a visual treat to the visitor.
Kovalam - Alleppey (about 162 km / 3 hours 30 mins)
In the morning drive to Alleppey.
Alleppey, the coastal town on the Arabian Sea is known as the Venice
of the East and famous for the numerous backwater canals that meander
through the town. This town holds a thrilling event of snake boat race
every year during August. It is also known for its cashew nuts. In the
evening arrive in Alleppey and drive to the hotel.
Alleppey - Cochin (about 55 km / 1 hours)
In the morning after having breakfast drive to Cochin.
Cochin is the most interesting town in South India at Malabar Coast
and is also known as Venice of South. Cochin is also known as the
Queen of the Arabian Sea. After arrival in Cochi, drive to the hotel.
In Cochin we visit St. Francis church, the oldest European church in
India in which the grave of famous sailor Vasco da Gama can be
visited. After the visit of St. Francis Church we have a walk through
the Jewish area of Mattancherry.
Cochin – Tea with local family & Cookery show – This is a non
touristic program which we have designed for our guests. Around 3 PM,
you will be taken to one of the local families in Ernakulam. After a
formal introduction, we start the program with a visit to their roof
top vegetable garden, we also explain them about the different trees
and fruits which is seen in their backyard. You will be explained how
a coconut’s outer skin is peeled off and how to extract the coconut
from the shell. High tea will be served to the guest in a short while
with traditional Kerala snacks. The hostess brief them the preparation
methods and also make them do it in the Kitchen. This will be followed
by an interaction session during which the Hostess explain about their
family, life style, festivals they celebrate about the culture, local
cuisines etc. Normally, the guest spend around 3 Hrs at the house and
can depart with fond memories.
Cochin - Ooty (about 275 km / 6 hours 30 mins)
From the tropical coast of Kerala we drive on the serpent road and
pass through the Tea plantation and eucalyptus forests of mountains of Nilgiri and
arrive in the city Ooty (Udhagammandalam). Ooty which
was developed as hill station by British, lies at an altitude of 2300
m. and still has British flair.
- BR Hills (about 140 km / 3 hours 30 mins)
In the morning we will drive along the forest stretch to BR
Hills wildlife sanctuary.
The Biligirirangana ranges of hills are picturesquely situated between
the Cauvery & Kapila Rivers. At a height of 5091 feet above sea level,
this hill stretches from north to south for about 16 Kms. All round
are deciduous trees and roaming amidst the long grass and tall trees
are animals. We will take a stroll through the sylvan surroundings.
Today in the morning again we will have a stroll through the sylvan
surroundings of BR Hills.
Santa Cuz, Cochin
Hills - Mysore (about 85 km / 2 hours)
In the morning we pass through the betel nut and pepper plantation and
proceed to Mysore.
Today we visit the most impressive and one of the largest city palaces
in India. The City Palace of Mysore "Ambar Vilas" is built in the
Indo-Saracenic style. Mysore is famous for its Silk and Sandalwood. We
have an opportunity to see how incense is made and how silk saris are
woven by the local weavers.
Mysore - Hassan (about 120 km / 2 hours 30 mins)
In the morning we drive to Hassan via Protima Bedi's Dance Village.
Arrive Hassan by lunch. After having lunch visit the Sravanabelagola
where we visit the colossal monolithic statue of Gomateshvara,
standing 18 meters high. This Jain sculpture represents the saintly
prince Bahubali after he had gained enlightenment. Today we will also
visit the famous Hoysala temples of Halebid. Overnight in Hassan.
Hassan - Bangalore (about 145 km / 3 hours)
Today we drive to Bangalore.
Bangalore is the capital city of the Indian state Karnataka.
This former "Garden city" Bangalore is known today as "computer city"
of India. In Bangalore we visit the monolithic Nandi, Shiva's Bull and
famous Gowda Fort which was built by Tipu Sultan.
Bangalore - Tirupati (about 250 km / 4 hours 30 mins)
Today we drive to visit the famous pilgrimage shrine, Tirupati.
There we visit the famous Tirupati temple, dedicated to the Lord
Vishnu and later drive down hill and visit the temples of Padavathi.
Devarajaswami Temple, Kanchipuram
Tirupati Balaji Temple
Tirupati - Chennai (about 140 km / 3 hours)
Today we drive from Tirupati to Chennai. In the evening arrive in
Chennai. Evening at leisure in Chennai. After having dinner transfer
to the airport.
Flight to home destination.
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Accommodation in double rooms on twin sharing basis with bath and WC
on the departure day.
Boat ride on the
lake of Periyar.
Services of qualified local guides (English speaking
or languages of your choice)
at every place of sightseeing.
Transfers and departures on arrival and departure by Indo
All Transfers and Sightseeing throughout the tour by an
air-conditioned Car with
driver. For groups an individual air-conditioned bus (Except
Standard Hotels) will be
Any kind of Personal Expenses such as Tips, Laundry, Telephone Bills and Alcoholic
Camera Fees (Still
Any Flight Charges.
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