India's Great Divide is the
Vindhya Mountains. They run from east to west, separating the
fertile river valley of the Ganges called the Ganga, from the
Deccan Plateau which occupies much of the peninsula of India. It
also separates the north, where the predominant languages are
Sanskrit - based (brought in by the Indo Iranian herds people
about 3,500 years ago), from the Dravidian tongues brought in by
a long headed race from the Mediterranean about a thousand years
The South India's coastal plains are backed by the
mountains rimming the wedge of the Deccan plateau. On these
plains lie the best beaches in South India. On the rimming
mountains, the western and eastern ghats are the tea, coffee and
spice lands. Beyond these mountains, in the wedge shaped
plateau, are great old cities supported by rich farm lands and a
culture that has its roots in the almost historical Kumari
Continent from where, they claim, civilization spread across the
world. The south is gracious, graceful, Old India.
The delightful south; almost untouched by invasions throughout
its history, the Indian heritage is more intact here than in
other regions of the country.
Arrive Madras. Transfer
to Hotel. Overnight stay at Chennai (Madras).
Day - 02
Breakfast at the hotel.
Half day city tour of Chennai covering visit to Fort
St. George, St. Mary’s Church, Santhome Basilica,
Marina Beach, a round around the city. Proceed on to
Kancheepuram, visit to Ekambareswar temple,
Kailasanathar temple, Sri Kamakshi temple and
Varadarajaswamy temple. Proceed on to Mamallapuram.
Overnight stay at hotel.
Day - 03 Mahabalipuram-Trichy
After Breakfast, tour
of Mahabalipuram. The city of Mahabalipuram is famous for the seven pagodas. Here
on the seashore is an interesting group of ancient
rock hewn temples which are the examples of
Dravidian style of Architecture. Evening transfer to
railway station for Trichy night train. Night on board
Day - 04
Morning arrive Trichy
and transfer to hotel. Afternoon city tour. Trichy
was the citadel of the Chola dynasty in the medieval
period. In the 18th century it witnessed the
Carnatic wars fought between the French and the
English. Lord Robert Clive's house is still there to
see and so is the Danish Church. The Rock-Fort is
the landmark of Trichy. A climb of 434 steps leads
to the ancient temple of Ganapati on top and a
further climb to a Shiva temple. Overnight stay at Trichy.
Day - 05
Drive to Madurai
enroute Tanjavur. At Tanjore, visit the beautiful Chola Temple of Brihadeeshwara
which is capped by a
monolithic cupola made of a single granite block
weighing 80 tons which was taken to the top with the
help of a 6 km long ramp, an old technique used by
the Egyptians for building pyramids. Its bronzes and
handicrafts make Tanjore one of the highlights of a
visit to South India. Proceed on to Madurai. Arrive
and check-in Hotel. Overnight stay at Madurai.
Day - 06
Morning visit the great
Meenakshi Amman Temple dedicated to the consort of Lord
Shiva with its towering gopurams (rising high above
the surrounding country side). Later, visit the
Tirumala Nayak Palace - A gracious building in the
Indo Saracen style, famous for the Stucco work on
its domes & arches. Also visit the Alagar Hills and
Tiruparam Kundram Rock temple. Afternoon free for
Overnight stay at Madurai.
Day - 07
Morning drive to
Periyar. The earliest sanctuary to be set up in
1934, it extends to 777sq.kms and forms part of
the high mountain ranges, the Western Ghats. Wild
life can be seen while cruising on Periyar Lake in a
motor boat. Amongst the animals which can be seen
are elephants, wild boar, sambar, tiger, leopard,
wild dog, langur monkeys, etc. Overnight stay at Periyar.
Day - 08
Periyar - Kumarakom-Alleppey
After Breakfast, drive to Kumarakom. Arrive and embark on to
Cruise in the backwaters, traversing the narrow
canals, witnessing the village life of Kerala.
Evening the boat will anchor on the Vembunad Lake.
Day - 09
Alleppey - Cochin
Morning disembark from
the houseboat and proceed to Cochin. On arrival
enjoy a tour of Cochin. Cochin is the natural
harbour created by the famed underwater Malabar
mud-banks. Vasco-de-Gama placed it on the world
map. Visit the Fort Cochin, Mattancherry Palace,
Jewish synagogue, St. Francis Church and view the
operation of the Chinese fishing nets. Evening visit
to Cochin cultural centre for viewing the Kathakalli
Opera. Overnight stay at Cochin.
Day - 10
Cochin - Bangalore-Mysore
Morning transfer to
airport for Bangalore flight. Arrive & drive
directly to Mysore. Enroute visit to Srirangapatinam,
the city established by King Hyder Ali and his son
Tipu Sultan. The city fell after three repeated wars
fought against the British forces. Arrive Mysore and
check-in Hotel. Overnight stay at Mysore.
Day - 11
Morning tour of Mysore.
Visit the palace of the Maharaja built in 1911-12.
The palace is of harmonious syntheses of the hindu
and Saracen styles of architecture with archways,
domes, turrets, colonnades and sculptures which are
magnificent. Visit the Art Gallery; drive upto
Chamundi hill to see Chamundeshwari Temple & a
panoramic view of Mysore. On the way back, see the
Nandi Bull. Overnight stay at Mysore.
Day - 12
Mysore - Belur - Halabid - Hassan
Full day tour of Belur
and Halebid. The Chenna Kesava temple of Belur built
900 years ago is an exquisite example of Hoysala
art. Halebid's 12th century Hoysaleswara and
Kedareswara temples are master pieces of Hindu art.
On the way also visit Sravanabelgola. At
Sravanbelgola, hewn out of a single rock and visible
from a distance of 25kms is the statue of Lord
Gomteshwara which is bathed with milk and honey once
every 12 years. Overnight stay at Hassan.
Day - 13
Morning drive to Hospet.
Visit Hampi. The once beautiful capital city of
Vijayanagar Empire - greater than Rome, had palaces,
temples & sculptures, spread all over. The city was
razed to the ground by the Sultanates of South in
Day - 14
After breakfast, visit
Some of the interesting ruins remaining are the
Virupaksha, Vittala and Hazara Rama temples huge
Ganesha and Narasimha images, the elephant stables,
the Queen's Bath, carvings on the Ramachandra temple
& Lotus Mahal. Overnight Stay at Hotel.
Day - 15
Badami - Hampi - Aihole & Pattadakal
Morning drive to Badami
stopping at Aihole & Pattadakal on the way. 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 Sanghameswara 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. Overnight at Badami.
Day - 16
Tour of Badami
Morning tour of Badami.
Badami also known as Vatapi is rich with Hindu and
Jain temples carved out of sand stone 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. Overnight at Badami.
Day - 17
Morning drive to Goa.
Arrive and check-in Hotel. Evening free at the
beaches. Overnight at hotel.
Day - 18
Tour around Old Goa,
visit the Churches of the Portuguese era. Also visit
the Church of Bom Jesus where the uncorrupt body of
St. Francis Xavier is kept. Evening boat cruise.
Overnight at hotel.
If you wish to extend your
stay in Goa, please inform us so we could quote for
the extension for the number of days you would like