Day 01: Departure from your own Country
Board the flight for Chennai.
Day 02: Arrive Chennai
Upon arrival at Chennai International airport meet with our representative at arrival lounge and transfer to the hotel. Overnight stay at hotel.
Day 03: Chennai - Kanchipuram - Mahabalipuram - Chennai - Trichy
Today we will have day excursion to Kanchipuram and Mahabalipuram.
Kanchipuram, 70 kms west of Mahabalipuram which is a city of thousand temples. One of the seven sacred cities of Hindus, it was the capital of the early Cholas as far back as the 2nd century BC. Kanchi was a major seat of Tamil learning as well as an important place of pilgrimage for Buddhists, Jains and Hindus.A part from temples, the city is also famous for its silk weavers, who settled here some 400 years ago and have given it an enviable reputation.
Later on we shall proceed to Mahabalipuram, driving south of Chennai on the coast which is the ancient port of Pallavas. The pallavas have created many marvellous monuments with sculptural panels, caves, Monolithic Rathas and Temples. Krishna Mandapam has a big bas relief, notable for its realistic representation. The world's largest bas relief measuring 27m x 9m, whale back shaped rock contains figures of gods, demi-gods, men beasts, birds and representation of the entire creation. Shore Temple, one of the oldest in south dating back to 8th century AD is a good example of the first phase of structural temples constructed in Dravidian style. The Five Rathas are a group of five monolithic temples, each created in different style.
In the evening transfer to Chennai railway station to board an overnight sleeper train to Trichy. Overnight stay on board.
Day 04: Arrive Trichy
Upon arrival at Trichy railway station meet with our representative and transfer to the hotel. After fresh-n-up visit Srirangam, which is an island, 5 kms from Trichy. Surrounded by the Kaveri water is a 600 acres island town enclosed within the seven walls on the gigantic Sri Ranganathaswamy temple. There are no less than 22 gopurams, one of which is the tallest in India. The 72 m high 13 tiered gopuram dominates the landscape for miles around. The Rock Fort situated on the banks of the Kaveri River, Trichy's most famed landmark is an 84 m high rock, one of the oldest in the world approx. 3,800 million years. The attraction is not for fort itself but the temple at the summit. 344 steps hewn out of rock lead to the top where are the inscriptions dating back to the 3rd century B.C.
Overnight stay at hotel.
Day 05: Trichy - Thanjavur - Madurai
Today we will leave for Madurai, en-route visit Thanjavur. The home of Carnatic music, musical instruments, dance and traditional handicrafts, Tanjore (Thanjavur) is famous for the Brahadeeswarar Temple. The temple constructed more than a thousand years ago by the Chola King Raja Rajan is an architect's marvel. The Art Gallery and the Saraswathi Mahal Library are also well known places of interest.
Further continue drive to Madurai. Upon arrival check into the hotel. Overnight stay at hotel.
Day 06: Madurai
After breakfast we will go for full day city sightseeing tour of Madurai. Madurai, known as Athens of the East, is the second largest city on the banks of the River Vaigai. The city is believed to be more than 2500 years old. The city got its name from the drops of nectar (Mathuram) that fell from Shiva's lochs when he came to bless its people for constructing a temple for him. Madurai where the people wake up at the chant of hymns is proud of the magnificent Meenakshi-Sundareswara Temple. Of its 12 gopurams, four of the tallest stand at the outer walls of the temple. The 48.8 m high southern gopuram is the most spectacular and have over 1500 sculptures. In the Ashta Shakthi Mandapam inside the Meenakshi temple, the sculpted pillars tell the story of the beautiful princess of Madurai and her marriage to Lord Shiva.Evening transfer to hotel. Overnight at hotel.
Day 07: Madurai - Periyar
After breakfast leave for Periyar in the morning (4 hours) and transfer to hotel on arrival. You may opt for a pleasant boat ride along the Periyar Lake in the evening. Enjoy watching varied birds and animals like tigers, elephants, wild boar, deer, etc at the Periyar/Thekkady National Park. You can also visit a few tribal villages around Periyar and witness fascinating activities of tribals collecting honey from dangerous hill bees. Evening transfer to hotel. Overnight at hotel.
Day 08: Periyar - Cochin
If evening boat ride is not possible, then we will enjoy morning boat ride on Periyar lake for wildlife viewing. Return to hotel for breakfast. After breakfast leave for Cochin, the capital city of Cochin and gateway to south India. Upon arrival check into the hotel. Overnight stay at hotel.
Day 09: Cochin
Today we will have full day guided tour of Cochin, - the commercial capital and the most cosmopolitan city of Kerala. Visiting The Dutch Palace, Synagogue, the famous Chinese fishing nets.
Afternoon free to go around to explore it spice market or enjoy some local shopping. Evening Kathakali Dance Show (Optional). Overnight at Cochin.
Day 10: Cochin - Bangalore - Mysore
After breakfast transfer to the airport to board the flight for Bangalore. Upon arrival at Bangalore airport meet with our representative and leave for Mysore. Upon reaching transfer to the hotel. Overnight stay at hotel
Day 11: Mysore
After breakfast, visit this ancient princely city, famous for its silks, sandalwood and various palaces, among which the largest palace in India, built in Indo-Persian style in 1900. Visit an art gallery and the Chamundeshwari Temple dedicated to the goddess Kali on Chamundi Hill, from which you have a panoramic view of the city. You will also visit Somnathpur, famous for the temple of Keshava. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 12: Mysore - Belur - Halebidu - Hassan
Today we will go for a day excursion to Belur and Halebidu.
Belur in Hassan district 220 kms from Bangalore and 38 kms from Hassan) is famous for its magnificent Hoysala Temple Complex. The Chennakesava Temple here is the major attraction, built by Hoysala Vishnuvardhana, to commemorate his victory over the Cholas. The facade of the temple is filled with intricate sculptures with no portion left blank. It is the only Hoysala Temple still in active worship.
Halebidu in Hassan district is 27 kms away from Hassan and was the capital of the Hoysalas. It has one of the finest Hoysala temples. The Hoysaleswara Temple, perched on a star-shaped base amidst lawns, is a sculptural extravaganza. Its walls are richly carved with an endless variety of Hindu deities, sages, stylized animals, birds and friezes depicting the life of the Hoysala Kings.
Later we will return to Hassan for overnight stay.
Day 13: Hassan - Hospet
Morning temple tour of Hassan. Hasanamba Temple is 800 years old and houses the main deity of Hassan. The temple is dedicated to Amba also known as Goddess Shakti. The goddess here is an anthill or (hutta in kannada) which denotes Hasanamba is actually goddess Parvathi. The Inner sanctum opens only once a year for two weeks during Deepavali and closes three days after Balipadyami. When the temple is closed they keep before the goddess a lit lamp two bags of uncooked rice, water and flowers.
Later in the afternoon leave for Hospet. Upon arrival check into the hotel. Overnight stay at hotel.
Day 14: Hospet - Hampi - Hospet
Morning after breakfast an excursion to Hampi. Hampi, the seat of the famed Vijayanagara empire was the capital of the largest empire in post-moghul India, covering several states. The Vijayanagara empire stretched over at least three states -Karnataka, Maharashtra, and Andhra Pradesh. The destruction of Vijayanagar by marauding Mughal invaders was sudden, shocking and absolute.
Although in ruins today, this capital city once boasted riches known far beyond the shores of India. The ruins of Hampi of the 14th Century lies scattered in about 26 sq. km area, amidst giant boulders and vegetation.
Protected by the tempestuous river Tungabhadra in the north and rocky granite ridges on the other three sides, the ruins silently narrate the story of grandeur splendor and fabulous wealth.
The splendid remains of palaces and gateways of the broken city tells a tale of man's infinite talent and power of creativity together with his capacity for senseless destruction. A visit to Hampi is a sojourn into the past. Most of the important structures and ruins are located in two areas, which are generally referred to as the Royal Centre and the Sacred Centre.
A visit to Anegundi village by traversing the gushing Tungabhadra river on a coracle is an experience that provides the guests with a glimpse into the traditional country life in Karnataka.
In the afternoon, proceed for a local sightseeing tour of Hospet. Overnight stay at hotel.
Day 15: Hospet - Badami
Morning after breakfast leave for Badami. En-route we will visit Aihole & Pattadakal.
Aihole is the cradle of stone temple architecture of the southern Dravida School. The oldest temple, Lad Khan goes back to the 5th century A.D. There are 70 temples in this group. The Durga temple is noted for its sculptures. The Meguti temple is built of 630 small stone blocks. The Ravanaphadi Cave has some beautiful carvings.
Pattadakal, referred to as Petrigal, reached its pinnacle of glory under the Chalukya kings from 7th to 9th centuries. The oldest in this group is the Sangameswara Temple.
The Mallikarjuna Temple has pillars depicting life of Krishna. Virupaksha temple has sculptures and panel scenes from the epics, the Ramayana & Mahabharata. The Papanatha Temple has impressive carvings on pillars and ceiling.
Further continue drive to Hampi. Upon arrival check into the hotel. Overnight stay at hotel.
Day 16: Badami - Goa
Morning visit Mahakoota temples and Badami rock cut caves. Badami also known as Vatapi is rich with Hindu and Jain temples carved out of sandstone hills. The carved temples date back to the 6th century. Of these, three are Hindu and one Jain. Sculptured out of solid rock they are adorned with carvings. The Fort, on top of a hill encloses large granaries, treasury & a watch tower. The Malegitti Shivalaya temple set on the summit of a hill is built of stones without mortar.
Later in the afternoon leave for Goa. Upon arrival check into the hotel. Overnight stay at hotel.
Day 17: Goa
Full day leisure or to enjoy the water activities in Goa. Overnight stay at hotel.
Day 18: Goa - Mumbai - Departure
Morning free at leisure. in the afternoon transfer to the airport to board the flight for Mumbai. Upon arrival transfer to the International airport through airport shuttle service to board the flight for onward destination.
Tour & services Ends.