|Southern Splendour Tour
The deep South is a land of contrasts from golden sands to precipitous peaks, from sweltering plains to cool hill stations, from frenetic temple cities to placid backwaters, and bound by colonial history, peppered with intrigue. A land of colour, history and vitality!
Destinations Covered: Chennai - Mysore - Nagarhole - Ooty - Cochin - Periyar - Madurai - Tanjore - Pondicherry - Chennai
15 Nights / 16 Days
Day 1: Arrive Chennai (Madras)
Meeting and assistance on arrival at International airport & transfer to hotel. On arrival, check in at the hotel. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 2: Chennai
Morning at leisure. Afternoon sightseeing tour of the city, including Fort St. George a delightful collection of colonial buildings still used today as Government offices; St. Marys Church and Marina Beach. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 3: Chennai = Mysore (By Train)
Take the morning Shatabdi Express train to Mysore. On arrival, transfer to hotel. Afternoon excursion to Srirangapatnam to see the ruins of Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultans capital. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 4: Mysore
Morning tour of the delightful city of Mysore with visits to the Sri Chamundeswari Temple, the impressive monolithic Nandi Bull, the imposing Mysore Palace and the Devraja market. After lunch visit the superb Hoysala style temple at Somnathpur. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 5: Mysore Nagarhole (By Surface)
Morning drive to Nagarhole National Park. On arrival, check in at Kabini River Lodge. Afternoon game drive in the park looking for elephant, bison, tiger, leopard, sloth bear, sambar and barking deer. Overnight at the Lodge.
Day 6: Nagarhole Ooty (By Surface)
Early morning elephant safari followed by an unusual coracle ride on the Kabini River. Then off to snooty Ooty! On arrival, check in at the hotel. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 7: Ooty
A day at leisure to visit the botanical gardens and tea plantations or meander through the luxuriant hilly countryside to savour many picturesque vistas. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 8: Ooty Cochin (By Surface)
Morning after breakfast drive to Cochin. On arrival, check in at the hotel. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 9: Cochin
Morning sightseeing of Cochin including the cantilevered Chinese Fishing Nets, Dutch Palace, St Francis Church and the Jewish Synagogue. Evening Kathakali dance performance try and get in early to watch the dancers apply their elaborate makeup.
Overnight at the hotel.
Day 10: Cochin Alleppey Periyar (By Surface)
Drive to Alleppey and then relax on a boat cruise to Kottayam through the backwaters a verdant and complex system of lakes, lagoons and canals. After the cruise enjoy a scenic drive to Periyar. On arrival, check in at the hotel. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 11: Periyar Madurai (By Surface)
Early morning game viewing by boat on Lake Periyar, if you are lucky, watch otters playing in the shallows and lone Tuskers cooling themselves before the heat of the day sears the land. After breakfast drive to Madurai. On arrival, check in at the hotel. Afternoon sightseeing of Sri Meenakshi Temple. Evening re-visit to Meenakshi temple to witness the evening Aarti. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 12: Madurai Trichy Tanjore (By Surface)
Drive to Tanjore stopping at Trichy en-route, to visit the Srirangam Temple and climb the steps to the Rock Fort Temple with its magnificent views across the countryside. On arrival, check in at hotel. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 13: Tanjore
Visit the incomparable Brihadishwara Temple, the piece de resistance of Chola architecture. Dominated by a dome cut from a single piece of granite weighing 81 tonnes, this temple is indeed worthy of its World Heritage status. Other visits include the Museum, Library and Art Gallery. Afternoon at leisure. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 14: Tanjore Pondicherry (By Surface)
Morning drive to Pondicherry stopping at the beautifully sculpted Darasuram temple. Later visit Gangaikondacholapuram to see the vast temple dedicated to Shiva. On arrival, check in at the hotel. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 15: Pondicherry Chennai (By Surface)
Tour of the French quarter of Pondicherry followed by a visit to the international centre at Auroville, established in 1968 as an experiment in harmonious living. Late afternoon drive to Chennai. On arrival, check in at the hotel. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 16: Departure Chennai
In time transfer from hotel to International airport to connect flight for onward destination / home.