Welcome to India! On arrival at Bengaluru Airport, you will be greeted by our tour representative in the arrival hall, who will escort you to your hotel and assist you in check-in. Proceed for a sightseeing tour of Bengaluru. The schedule for the day depends on your time of arrival. Popularly known as the “Silicon Valley of India” for being the major IT hub of India, Bengaluru also enjoys the title of the “Garden City” due to the presence of many public parks. Combining history and architecture of the past with IT and modern developments, Bengaluru showcases the perfect marriage of old with new. Places you will visit include ISCON Temple (an interesting synchronization of spirituality with modern technology), Lalbagh botanical garden and Vidhana Soudha (Karnataka State Legislature). Overnight, stay at hotel..
After breakfast, check-out of your hotel and drive to Mysore, which is 150 km (approximately three hours) from Bengaluru. Formerly known as Mysore, Mysore owes its popularity to its splendid royal heritage and awe-inspiring monuments and buildings. En route, you visit Srirangapatna which is located at a short distance from Mysore. Srirangapatna is of great religious, cultural and historic importance. Major attractions you visit here include temple of Lord Ranganathaswamy, Daria Daulat Bagh (Summer Palace of Tipu Sultan), Tipu Sultan Gumbaz (Mausoleum of Tipu Sultan), and Srirangapatna Fort. On arrival in Mysore, check-in at hotel. This evening, you can choose to visit Mysore Palace, and depending on the day of the week, capture the glimpses of Palace light illumination or witness the sound and light show. Overnight, stay at hotel.
Start your day with a visit to Devaraja market. This age-old, lively bazaar opens at 6 a.m. and is famous for flowers, spices, incense and essential oils, and souvenirs and traditional items. Mysuru is also famous for silk and Khaddi cotton. If you wish and time permits, you can check out the emporiums later in the day. After breakfast, check-out from the hotel and embark on a Mysuru tour before proceeding to the next destination of your South India travel, Kabini. Places you visit include Chamundeshwari Temple atop the Chamundi Hills, Jaganmohan Art Gallery, Zoological Garden, and Philomena’s Church. The grandeur of the Nandi Bull on top of Chamundi Hills is a veritable architectural marvel. Later, drive to Kabini, 90 km away, (approximately two hours) and check-in. Rest of the day is at leisure. Overnight, stay at hotel.
The day starts with an early morning expedition to Kabini Wildlife Sanctuary. Kabini is sometimes referred to as The Elephant Country because numerous herds can be spotted at a time. The sanctuary is popular among the wildlife enthusiasts and photographers who wish to capture the glimpses of wild animals like tiger, leopard, cheetal, jackal and panther in their natural habitat. Besides wild animals and lush forests, there is a dam at Kabini, which is also a tourist attraction. From Kabini, drive to Wayanad which is 150 km (approximately three hours) away. On arrival in Wayanad, check into your hotel. Later, go on a trip to the Edakkal caves in Ambukuthy Mountains and Jain Temples at Sulthan Bathery. Overnight, stay at hotel.
If you wake up early in the morning, you can go on a scenic drive and
or visit the tea, coffee or spice plantations. After breakfast, go for a sightseeing tour of Wayanad. Start at the spectacular Soochipara Waterfalls which have a beautiful downhill trek. Next, visit the highest point of Thamarasesry ghat, Lakiddi View Point, to enjoy a breathtaking view of the scenic valley from 700 meters above sea level. Also visit the 25 feet tall Chain Tree or Changala Maram which attracts tourists for the legend that the chain around the tree also keeps growing with the tree, keeping the ghost chained as per the curse of a priest. In the evening, take a boat ride on Pookot Lake or shop for spices and handicrafts at the emporium. Overnight, stay at hotel.
Early morning, embark on a safari to Muthanga Wild Life Sanctuary, home to an array of wild animals like Indian bison, tiger, elephant, deer, and peafowl. After breakfast, check-out from the hotel and drive to Kozhikode, 105 km (approximately two hours) away. En route, visit Beypore, an ancient port town. The tradition of shipbuilding in Beypore is 1500 years old and you can see the construction of an Uru (the Arabian trading vessel) at the shipbuilding yard. A close look at the construction gives you an insight into the expertise of craftsmen who even today assemble the ship in traditional way. On arrival in Kozhikode, check-in at hotel. Spend the evening at leisure. You can relax either at the famous Kappad beach, where Vasco Da Gama, the Portuguese explorer, landed in 1498, or at the hotel. Overnight, stay at hotel.
Start your day with a stroll on Kappad Beach and watch the sunrise. Return to your hotel for breakfast. Later this morning, check out from your hotel and drive to Kochi, 185 km (approximately three hours) away. On arrival in Kochi, check-in at hotel. This afternoon your city tour takes you to the Jewish Synagogue or Paradesi Synagogue, which is one of the oldest existing synagogue in India dating back to 16th century. You can shop spices and souvenirs in the alleys of Jew Town. Also visit Dutch Palace or Mattancherry Palace, the epitome of Hindu temple art and home to exhibits of the Rajas of Kochi. The tour also includes a visit to the oldest church in India, St. Francis Church. Overnight, stay at hotel..
In the morning, visit Fort Kochi to see shore operated lift nets, popularly called Chinese fishing nets. After breakfast, check-out and drive to Alleppey, 60 km (approximately two hours) away. On arrival at Alleppey, exchange your vehicle for a houseboat on which you will sail the famous Kerala backwaters. The backwaters are a series of canals that run through little villages and are beautiful and picturesque, surrounded by green vegetation, large rice paddies and farms. The journey is done on your houseboat, locally called “kettuvallam”. These are refurbished old rice barges fitted with modern amenities, moving on the backwaters. All meals are served on the houseboat and feature local authentic Kerala cuisine. Overnight, at houseboat..
After breakfast, disembark in Kumarakom and transfer to your waiting vehicles. Your destination today is Thekkady which is also known as Periyar, and is situated 150 km (approximately three hours) away. Thekkady is a notable National Park in India and also one of the tiger reserves in India. As a destination, Thekkady is a photographer’s delight for the spectacular views of lush forests and wild animals it has to offer. Besides jeep safaris, activities in and around Thekkady include nature walks, spice garden walks and a Periyar Lake cruise. On arrival in Thekkady, check-in. This evening take a walk through the aromatic paths of the spice plantations. While tea estates dominate most of the landscape, there are several plantations growing cardamom, rubber, and coffee. On the walk, learn about the processing of the spices from seed to and packaging. Overnight, stay at hotel.
Start your day with an early morning safari in Periyar (Thekkady) National Park. Famous for tigers and elephants, Periyar is also home to gaus, sambars, sloth bears, Nilgiri langurs, stripe-necked mongoose among others. After breakfast, drive to Madurai, 150 km (approximately three hours) away. Madurai is an ancient city with a history of over 2000 years and is called the ‘Athens of the East’. Due to its active night life, Madurai is commonly called ‘Thoonga Nagaram’ which means the ‘city that never sleeps’. At the heart of the city, and the most dominating influence however is the incredible Meenakshi Amman Temple. On arrival in Madurai, check-in at hotel. This evening take a stroll through the vibrant markets of Madurai. Also attend the evening closing ceremony at Meenakshi Amman Temple which is a major attraction of Madurai. Overnight, stay at hotel..
Start your day with a visit to Meenakshi Amman Temple . The temple is dedicated to Parvati, known as Meenakshi, or the ‘fish eye’ goddess and her consort, Shiva, locally called ‘Sundareswarar’. The many mandapams or pavilions are one of the many attractions of this temple. After breakfast, check-out and drive to Kanadukathan, 100 km (approximately two hours) away. On the way, visit Sri Aiyanar temple. Located in serene surroundings in Chettinad, this temple is an offbeat tourist attraction. On arrival in Kanandukathan, check-in at hotel and freshen up before you visit this quaint town in Chettinad region in Tamil Nadu. Major attractions in Kanadukathan include Chettinadu Palace (featured in many South Indian movies) and Athangudi (village recognized for handmade terracotta tiles). Time permitting, visit the antique shops for precious collectibles in Karaikudi. Overnight, stay at hotel.
After breakfast, drive to Thanjavur, 100 km (approximately two hours) away. Thanjavur (or Tanjore) was once the capital of the indomitable Chola dynasty. It is a noteworthy centre of art, architecture and religion of South India. The Chola Temples in and around Thanjavur are UNESCO World Heritage Monuments. Specific to this region are Tanjore paintings characterized by bright and rich colours, and decorated with gold foils and precious stones. On arrival in Thanjavur, check-in at hotel and leave for the city tour. Major attractions include Brihadeeswarar Temple and Thanjavur Palace. The Brihadeeswarar Temple built by Raja Chola I, is dedicated to Lord Shiva. This spectacular temple is over 1000 years old and is one of the largest temples in India. Thanjavur Palace is a fascinating and rich piece of history famous for its library and museum of artefacts. Overnight, stay at hotel.
After breakfast, drive to Puducherry, 100 km (approximately two hours) away. Ruled by the French till 1954 (even after India’s independence), Puducherry, formerly called Pondicherry, is a Union Territory of India. On arrival in Puducherry, check-in at hotel before you embark on a sightseeing tour of the city. Drive through the lovely tree-lined boulevards, clean and tranquil streets, quaint cafes, and elegant colonial style houses and buildings. The street names here are mentioned simultaneously in Tamil, English, and French! Places to visit in Puducherry include French Quarter, Shri Aurobindo Ashram, Puducherry Museum, Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception Cathedral, Sri Manakula Vinayagar Temple, Eglise de Notre Dame des Anges (Church of Our Lady of Angels) and Seafront. Spend the evening relaxing at the Promenade Beach or indulging into the delights of French cuisine at local restaurants. Overnight, stay at hotel.
After breakfast, drive to Chennai, 300 km (approximately four hours) away from Puducherry. This is the last destination of your Southern Trilogy Tour. Formerly called Madras, Chennai is known as the “Detroit of South Asia”. It is the capital city of the state of Tamil Nadu in South India. If you arrive in Chennai by 3 p.m., visit the Government Museum (or Madras Museum). It is the second oldest museum in India and is part of the Pantheon Complex. Established by the British in 1851, the Pantheon once housed the Public Assembly Rooms and staged plays. The highlight of your visit will be the Bronze Gallery which has a superb collection of South Indian bronzes from the 7th century Pallava era onwards. End the day with a visit to the ancient, stunning Kapaleeswarar Temple in Mylapore. Overnight, stay at hotel…