• 18 Days Splendours of South India
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18 Days Splendours of South India

Destination to Visit: Cochin, Alleppey, Kumarakom, Thekkady, Madurai, Tanjore, Mahabalipuram, Pondicherry, Chennai, Mysore, Bangalore

Trip Overview:

This compact trip offers a healthy taste of Kerala`s stunning tropical beauty. Luxuriate on the beach and watch the sunset, explore magnificent temples, and savour that last smidgen of flavour as you scrape your banana leaf plate clean. After a night aboard a houseboat in the tranquil backwaters, you may never want to leave.


Trip Highlights & Experiences

Please explore some of our selected itineraries here for South India and Srilanka, Kerala Tours

  • Alleppey
  • Bengaluru
  • Chennai
  • Kochi
  • Kumarakom
  • Madurai
  • Mahabalipuram
  • Mysore
  • Pondicherry
  • Tanjore
  • Thekkady
This trips specializes in crafting holiday tours in the Indian subcontinent. This trip incorporate following themes and activity.
Day 1 Cochin Arrival

OUR REPRESENTATIVE will receive you on arrival at the airport and transfer to the hotel.

Cochin is a diverse and colorful port/city, spreading over 4-5 islands and peninsulas. The main town of Ernakulam is on the mainland.All the islands are connected by a ferryboat network and therein lay the charm of an exploratory two days here. Around the headland of Fort Cochin, a phalanx of cantilevered Chinese fishing boats dips into the sea at high tide. In its back streets, there is an aroma of ginger, cardamom and other spices, piled high in every nook and cranny.

Overnight will be at Cochin.

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Day 2 Cochin

Breakfast will be at the hotel.

Proceed for a sight seeing tour of Cochin.

Chinese fishing nets: The Chinese fishing nets erected on teak wood and bamboo poles work on the principle of balance. Records say they were first set up here between AD 1350 and 1450. Vasco Da Gama Square, the narrow promenade that parallels the beach, is the best place to watch the nets being lowered and pulled out of the sea.

JEWISH SYNAGOGUE: The Jewish community traces its history to nearly 2000 years ago. In 1948 the community numbered 2500 and today there are fewer that 30 people. The community is still centered round JEWTOWN where you will visit its crown Jewel, the Paradesi Synagogue. Built in 1568 and reconstructed after a Portuguese bombardment in 1662, the synagogue is distinguished by its tile roof and bell tower. The small synagogue is also known for its hand-painted, willow-patterned, blue and white Chinese floor tiles, and the many brass and crystal lamps that hang from the ceiling. Later visit the interesting International Pepper Exchange, also located in Jew town.

The Vasco Da Gama Square, Santa Cruz Basilica, St. Francis Church, VOC Gate, Bastion Bungalow etc. are also nice for sightseeing. Take a boat ride and visit BOLGATTY PALACE and VYPPIN ISLAND.

In the evening proceed for KATHAKALI DANCE PRESENTATION.

Overnight will be at Cochin.

Day 3 Cochin – Aleppey (House Boat Cruise)

After a leisurely breakfast proceed to Alleppey.

Alappuzha is famous for its boat races, houseboats, coir products, fish and lakes. Alappuzha remains prominent on the tourist trial of Kerala as one of the major centers for backwater boat trips. "Kuttanad" in Alappuzha is one of few places in the world where farming is done below sea level. Kuttanad is a land of lush paddy fields and is called the `Rice Bowl` of Kerala. Kuttanad stretches for 75 Km sandwiched between the sea and the hills.

Check into a traditional houseboat of Kerala Style and go on a leisurely backwater cruise along the lake on a thatched houseboat.

The backwaters of Kerala are a unique product of Kerala and are found nowhere else in the world. Backwaters are a network of lakes, canals and estuaries and deltas of forty-four rivers that drain into the Arabian Sea. The backwaters of Kerala are a self supporting Eco-system teeming with aquatic life. The canals connect the villages together and are still used for local transport. Over 900 km of this labyrinthine water world is navigable.

The houseboat with all modern comforts lets you discover the countryside at your own pace. You will have lunch, dinner and breakfast in the Houseboat. A ride on the houseboat is a fabulous way to explore the fascinating beauty of the backwaters.

Lunch will be served on the boat freshly prepared by the crew.

In the evening the boat will anchor by the lush paddy fields and enjoy the tranquility of the water around.

Dinner would be laid out in the boat. Spend night on houseboat.

 

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Day 4 Kumarokom – Thekkady

After breakfast start for Kumarakom. Cruise through the backwaters watching the children going to school and the village markets opening.

Disembark the boat at the reception of the backwater resort.

Proceed to Periyar. Reach and check into the hotel.

Enjoy the scenic beauty & the marvelous waterfalls, high mountains with the low flying clouds passing by. Visit Tea Plantations and also see how tea is processed.

Four hour drive southwards over rolling hills and coffee plantations to the PERIYAR WILDLIFE SANCTUARY, one of the major wildlife reserves in India. Indian elephants, wild boars, lion-tailed monkeys, ibex, tigers, leopards and sloth bears are on the list. The park surrounds a large, many-fingered lake and a dawn or dusk foray on one of the boats will be a thrilling experience. It is from the lake rather than vehicles that the wildlife is viewed. The sanctuary is rich in bird life. Great hornbills, kites, darters, herons, egrets, owls and kingfishers are in abundance. Surrounding the reserve are many small spice plantations and we spend an absorbing afternoon searching for pepper, cardamom, turmeric, cloves, nutmeg, ginger, cinnamon and betel.

Overnight will be at Thekkady.

Day 5 Thekkady

Enjoy breakfast at the resort.

Take a jungle trek in the morning with your guide. This is a very interesting trek and not very hard also.

Afternoon visit spice plantations like cardamom, cinnamon, pepper, coffee, tea estates etc. on your way back to the hotel, you could stop at the local market and pick up some fragrant spices.

Overnight will be at Thekkady.

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Day 6 Thekkady – Madurai

Drive to Madurai after a leisurely breakfast. Reach and transfer to hotel.

One of South India`s great temple towns, Madurai is synonymous with the celebrated Meenakshi Temple. Situated on the banks of river Vaigai, Madurai has a rich cultural heritage passed on from the great Tamil era more than 2500 years old. Madurai was an important cultural and commercial centre even as early as 550 AD. It was the Capital city for the great Pandyas kings.

Madurais Main attraction is the Famous Sri Meenakshi Amman temple a riotously baroque example of Dravidian architecture with Gopurams carved from top to bottom in a breathtaking profusion of multicolored images of Gods. Sri Meenakshi Amman temple dates back to 2000 Years back and designed in 1560 by Vishwanatha Nayaka and built during the reign of Tirumalai Nayaka. The Temple occupies an area of six hectares. There are 12 temple towers (Gopurams). The outer towers are the landmarks of Madurai. The enormous temple complex is dedicated to Shiva, known here as Sundareshvara and his consort Parvati or Meenakshi. Kulasekara Pandyas, but the entire credit built the original temple for making the temple as splendid as it is today goes to the Nayakas. The Nayakas ruled Madurai from the 16th to the 18th century and left a majestic imprint of their rule in the Meenakshi - Sundareswarar Temple. The temple complex is within a high-walled enclosure, at the core of which is the two sanctums for Meenakshi and Sundareswarar, surrounded by a number of smaller shrines and grand pillared halls. The impressive GOPURAMS (towers) rise from solid granite bases, and are covered with stucco figures of deities, mythical animals and monsters painted in vivid colors.

In the evening visit the great Meenakshi Temple dedicated to the consort of Lord Shiva. Enjoy the EVENING AARTI which could be the highlight of the tour.

Return to the hotel and relax.

Overnight will be at Madurai.

 

Day 7 Madurai

Breakfast will be at the hotel.

Enjoy the sightseeing of the temple town.

Thousand Pillar Museum: Located inside the temple and has a variety of collections.

Gandhi Museum: The Gandhi Memorial Museum is one of the distinct places to be visited in Madurai. This Museum is one of the rare living memorials of "The Father of India". The Museum is set in relaxing grounds and has a clear historical account of Indias struggle for Independence.
 
The Vishnu Temple: There is a Vishnu Shrine called Kudal Algar (Kudal is the former names this town) and it is said that Lord Vishnu came down to this place to give away Meenakshi to God Sundareshvara.  The vimana or the tower of the god in the temple is of a very fine workmanship and is known as the Ashtanga Vimana. The Marriage of the Meenakshi is to have been celebrated on the day of Panguni Uttram generally occurring on the Full moon day of the month of Panguni (March April). And is a very important Event in this place.
 
Thirumalai Nayak Palace: This Palace was built in 1636 by King Thirumalai Nayak with the help of an Italian Architect. The building we see today was the main Palace where the King lived. The original Palace Complex was four times bigger than the present structure. This palace consisted mainly of two parts, namely Swargavilasa and Rangavilasa.  In these two parts, there are royal residence, theatre, shrine, apartments, armoury, palanquin place, royal bandstand, quarters, pond and garden. King Thirumalai Nayak celebrated festivals like Scepter festival, Navarathri, Chithirai festival, Masi festival and the Float festival. He conducted daily dance and music performances in the palace. This palace was destroyed by his grandson Chokkanatha Nayak and the valuables were transferred to other places. During the British rule, in 1822, Lord Napier made several renovation works. Then the palace was utilized to house some officials of the judiciary and district administration. After independence, this palace was declared as a national monument and is now under the care of the Tamilnadu Archaeological Department.
 
Vandiyur Mariamman Teppakulam: Vandiyur Mariamman Teppakulam is a huge temple tank about 5 km east of the Meenakshi temple. The mandapam in the centre has an idol of Vigneshwara (Vinayaka). It is said to have been found when the earth was being dug out from here to build the Thirumalai Nayakkar Mahal. So, the place attained sanctity and was converted into a Teppakulam (tank). This enormous temple tank is fed by water brought from the Vagai through an ingenious system of underground Channels. King Thirumalai Nayak born in `Poosa` Star so in commemorating the birth of the king Float Festival is conducted in Tamil Month `Thai` (Jan/Feb) in the tank in a colorful way, which attracts thousands of tourists.

Thirupparankundram: located south of Madurai at a distance of 11 Km is the celebrated cave to lord Subramanian (Lord Sivas son) he is said to have married Devayana daughter of Indra, in this place and performed several of his miracles. 8th Century Pandyas Rock cut Cave is also here and can be visited.

Overnight will be at Madurai.

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Day 8 Madurai – Tanjore

Breakfast will be at the hotel.

Drive to Tanjore. Reach and check into the hotel.

Tanjore or Tanjavur as it was earlier called, was the capital of the chola empire from the 10th century to the 14th century A.D. later is become part of the vijaynagar kingdom, then passed into the hands of the Marathas and later still went to the British. For ages it has been the chief political. Literary and religious centre of the South. The celebrated temple Brihadeshra built by the Chola King during the 11th century is its major attraction. The Saraswati Mahal library, dating back from the time of the Marathas, containing a rare collection of books and manuscripts on paper and palm leaves. The home of carnatic music, musical instruments, dance, and the traditional Handicrafts. Tanjore is famous for the lord Brahadiswara temple {lord Siva}. Tanjore is the rice bowl of India. It is well contacted by air, train, and road transport.

It is also famous for the silk. Overnight will be at Tanjore.

Day 9 Tanjore – Pondicherry

Breakfast will be at the hotel.

Proceed for a sight seeing of the city of Tanjore also known as Thanjavur.

Brihadeshwara Temple or Big temple The Brihadeeswara Temple is the main attraction of Tanjore. The massive temple built by Raja Raja Chola reflects the Cholas contribution to the development of arts in this area. It is also regarded as the Chola dynasty`s finest contribution to the Dravidian temple architecture. Listed as a World Heritage site, the temple is visited by a large number of people for the regular worship here. The temple is characterised by its unique structure. Unlike the usual South Indian temples, the Brihadeeswara temple has a soaring vimana and a stunted gopuram. It was constructed from a single piece of granite weighing an estimated 80 tonnes and the dome was hauled into place along a 4 km earthwork ramp in a manner similar to the Egyptian pyramids. A huge Nandi, about 6 m long and 3.7 m high, faces the inner sanctum. The statue of Nandi was created from a single rock piece and weighs 25 tonnes. It is in fact one of the largest statues of Nandi bulls in India. The temple also has a spacious ground, number of pillared halls, shrines and 250 lingams.

The Palace The Palace of Tanjore also makes an important tourist destination. The royal Palace near the massive Brihadeshwara temple is characterized by its vast corridors, large halls, shady courtyards and observation and arsenal towers. Built by the Nayak in the mid-16th century, the Palace was completed by the Marathas. The Durbar Hall of the palace still retains the grandeur of the bygone era. The palace also functions as a Royal Museum housing a diverse collection of royal remnants, compilations of the early 19th century, the kings slippers, head dresses and hunting tools.

Saraswathi Mahal library Located just by the side of the art gallery, the Saraswati Mahal Library has a huge collection of about 30,000 palm leaf and paper manuscripts in Indian and European languages. It also has some Tamil works including treatises on medicine, and commentaries on works from the Sangam period. It was built during 1700 AD. You can visit the nearby museum that houses some interesting exhibits like the entire range of the Ramayana written on palm leaf. Checkout the time and entry fee before you visit the Saraswati Mahal library

The Art Gallery and the Saraboji palace The Art Gallery is another must see of Tanjore. It has a rich collection of 250 Chola Bronze statues and 150 stone statues dating from the 9th to 12th century. These statues belong to the many groups namely the Bhairava, Umasahita Shiva, Kali and the Rama Lakshmana. You can have a look at all these wonderful collections by paying a nominal entry fee. large and excellent collection of chola bronzes, granite pieces. look for bhairavas, umasahista Siva, kali, somaskandha and the Ramalakshmana group.

After lunch at local restaurant, proceed to Pondicherry, which carries a strong whiff of the French presence in India. This erstwhile French colony on the East Coast of South India merged with the rest of the country in 1954. It is separated by a canal running north to south dividing the eastern French Quarter and the Western Tamil side. PONDY, as it is popularly known, is a gourmets delight and many restaurants serve French, Italian and Chettinad cuisines. Every meal could be at a different place and experience will be rewarding each time.

Legend says that Pondicherry is the place where St. Agasthaya settled down.

Enjoy the evening at the PROMENADE which stretches for 1.5 km along the beach. It is the pride of the place and home to some of the landmarks like the war memorial to the French soldiers and the old lighthouse.

Overnight will be at Pondicherry.

 

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Day 10 Pondicherry

Enjoy breakfast at the hotel.

Start sightseeing of the place with your guide who would even have deep French roots. Visit the immaculate Conception Cathedral that dates back to 1692 and also the Sacred Heart Church on the Southern boulevard with its stately Gothic architecture and beautiful stained glass panels depicting events from the life of Christ.  

Visit the paper factory and the fishermen village.

Drive to visit Aurbindo Ashram, the city of dawn, 10 km north of Pondicherry. It is an international community which has nearly 1800 people from over 30 countries living there. This ashram promotes Aurbindo ideas in bringing about a synthesis of Yoga and modern science, so as to unite the spirit and matter.

Enjoy a walk in the city. Overnight will be at Pondicherry.

 

Day 11 Pondicherry – Mahabalipuram

Reach and check into the hotel.

A few miles south of Chennai, at Mahabalipuram, on the sandy shores of the Bay of Bengal, a beautiful group of rock-cut monuments evokes the past. This ancient seaport was once the main harbor and naval base of the great Pallava Empire and is today the site of an enchanting seaside assemblage of temples and shrines. It was well known in the 1st century known to Greek traders, and was the Pallavas second city. Though their power waned nearly 1200 years ago, they left a breathtaking legacy in four distinct kinds of sculpture, Rathas (temple chariots), bas-relief sculptural panels, rock-cut caves, and free standing temples.

Seventh-century carvings of the Pallava dynasty include a series of freestanding boulders carved to resemble small temples and animals. Rock cut caves and a masterful stone bas-relief are nearby. The `Penance of Arjuna` relief, cut on two huge rocks, shows scores of figures of deities, people and animals including, according to one interpretation, the emaciated figure of Arjuna, the great warrior of the Mahabharata, standing on one leg and doing penance, praying to Lord Shiva for the strength to destroy his enemies. Sadhus of today perform this exact act of sacrificial devotion. On the adjacent beach stands one of South India`s oldest temples, the Shore Temple, its foundations washed for twelve centuries by the frothy sea.

Enjoy the beach.

Overnight will be at Mahabalipuram.

 

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Days 12 Mahabalipuram

Breakfast will be at the hotel.

Enjoy visit to the following places.

CAVES: There are nine rock-cut temples. The Mahishasuramardhini cave, depicting the goddess fighting a demon on one side and Lord Vishnu`s cosmic sleep on the other, is a particularly remarkable one.

KRISHNA MANDAPAM: A bas-relief, notable for its realistic representation. The panel relates to one of the stories of Lord Krishna.

ARJUNAS PENANCE: This is the world`s largest bas relief measuring 27m X 9m. This huge whale-backed rock contains figures of gods, demigods, men, beasts, birds and almost all of the entire creation. And, this is easily the pride of Mamallapooram.

THE FIVE RATHAS: There are the five monolithic temples, each created in a different style. They are also known as the Pancha Pandava Rathas and four out of the five Rathas are supposed to have been carved out of a single rock.

THE SHORE TEMPLE: This is one of the oldest temples. Unique about this temple is the fact that it houses shrines for both Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu. This belongs to the early 8th century AD and it is a classic example of the first phase of structural temples constructed in pure Dravidian style.

Overnight will be at Mahabalipuram.

Day 13 Mahabalipuram – Kanchipuram - Chennai

Breakfast will be at the hotel.

Drive to Chennai visiting Kanchipuram enroute.

Kanchipuram: Kanchipuram is a small rural town about 75 km from Chennai (Madras) in the state of Tamilnadu. It also serves as the district head quarters for the Chengalpattu district. Its economy is entirely dependent on tourism and the well established handloom industry. Silk sarees manufactured here are one of the best in the entire world. Is one of the Indias seven sacred cities it was the historical Capital of the Pal lavas. This city is also a world renowned for the gorgeous hand woven silk. Saris of myriad rich colors, noted for their shine, finish and matchless beauty. The Exquisite silk saris are woven from the pure mulberry silk in contrasting colors and have an enviable reputation for luster, durability and finish.

Continue drive to Chennai after lunch the gateway to southern India, established in 1639 by the East India Company, is one of the oldest cities of the country.

The first British Warehouse came up in 1639 when the British acquired the sandy beach from the local Nayakas on lease. It was called Madraspatinam then. Later by 1654, the Fort St. George was built. Still later the neighboring villages were included in the city which came either as grants or gifts. Triplicane was rented from the Sultan of Golconda in the year 1676. In 1744 Robert Clive worked as a writer from the Fort, later to become a military man of British Army. The Fort House, which housed the Governor and his council, were added in the 17th Century, the Assembly Hall in 1910 and the Secretariat in 1925.

All the neighboring areas were merged into the city now known as Madras or as Chennai as it is officially known. Until Independence, Madras was the capital of what in British times was called the Madras Presidency, comprising nearly the whole of South India, including the Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam and Kannada speaking areas.

Overnight will be at Chennai.

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Day 14 Chennai

Proceed for city tour of Chennai in the morning after breakfast.

Santhome Cathedral: Built by Portuguese in the 14th and 15th century, this Cathedral is named after St. Thomas. Historically important, it is one of the pilgrimages for the Christian community.

Fort St. George: It is one the first few bastions built by the east India Company, marks the beginning of Chennai as a modern city. It occupies a place of pride and prominence in Chennai. This bastion achieved its name from St. George, the patron saint of England. The state legislature and the secretariat are located in Fort St. George. It houses the St. Mary`s church the oldest Anglican Church in India which was built in 1680 and the tombstones in its courtyard are the oldest British tombstones in India. The Fort Museum, once a building that housed Chennai`s first lighthouse, first commercial bank and first `club`, is now a well-kept repository of tangible memories of early Madras.

Rippon Building: Another pride of Chennai city, this 100 year old building was named after Governor Lord Rippon, the father of self-government in India. The Chennai Corporation and its council are functioning in this building. (Entry time 10 am to 03 pm)

Kapaleeswarar Temple: Dedicated to Lord Shiva, Kapaleeswarar temple has inscriptions from the 13th century A.D. The temple `Gopuram` (tower) is in the characteristic Dravidian style of architecture. The walls and pillars of temple have very delicate and intricate carvings which depict the scenes from Hindu mythology.
Central Railway station: A red, massive British structure is another landmark of this metro, has been the gateway connecting the state with the rest of the nation. This Railway station forms part of the citys treasure of heritage buildings, worth a visit. Visitors must take platform tickets.

Overnight will be at Chennai.

Day 15 Chennai – Mysore

Take deluxe train to Mysore.

Breakfast will be served on the train.

Reach Mysore and check into the hotel.

The picturesque railway station of Mysore has repeatedly won awards by the Indian Railways for its extremely courteous and excellent service by the staff at the counters. Mysore is connected by broad-gauge rail to Bangalore and also has meter-gauge services to Chamarajanagar (south) and to Arasikere (north-west).

Mysore city was the capital of the old royal Mysore province. The word Mysore expands to "Mahishasurana Ooru" which means the town of Mahishasura. The story goes that the demon Mahishasura was killed by goddess Chamundeshwari atop the Chamundi hill near Mysore, and hence the name. Ever since, the Mysore royal family has worshipped Chamundeshwari as the palace deity. Hills dedicated to her stand at the eastern end of Mysore town today.

To the people of India the word Mysore is synonymous with Sandalwood, silk and fine inlay-work using ivory. It is the home of incense sticks dipped in sandalwood oil perfume base and has two well known incense factories - the Aravinda Parimala and the Vasu and Cycle brand (together these two account for 70% of the incense stick export from India). Mysore is also the home of many well regarded musicians and artists. It is even today the hub of the tourist map of Karnataka. Nearby are several places of interest to visitors, some of these are Brindavan Gardens, Srirangapattana, Rangana Tittu bird sanctuary, Chamundi Hills, Nanjanagudu, Bandipur forest reserve, Shivanasamudra falls, and Talakaadu.

Overnight will be at Mysore.

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Day 16 Mysore

Breakfast will be at the hotel.

Enjoy sightseeing tour of the city.

Mysore Palace: The Maharaja`s Palace is one of the important sights in Mysore. Built in Indo-Saracenic style with domes, turrets, arches and colonnades, the Palace is a treasure house of exquisite carvings and works of art from all over the world. Intricately carved doors open on to luxuriously furnished rooms. The majestic Durbar Hall has an ornate ceiling and many sculpted pillars. The magnificent jewel studded golden throne of the Wodeyars is displayed here during the Dasera festival. Illuminated on Sundays and public holidays, the palace presents a spectacle of breathtaking beauty.

Chamundi Hills: A well known 335 meters high landmark, Chamundi Hill can be reached by a 13 km road or by climbing up the 1,000 steps laid out by the Mysore Maharaja in the 17th century. Half-way up along the stone steps is Nandi, Lord Shiva`s Bull, a majestic 4.8 meter monolith. At the top is the 12th century temple of Chamundeshwari, the patron goddess of the Wodeyars.Close to the temple is the gigantic statue of the demon Mahishasura. The summit offers a panoramic view of Mysore`s lakes, parks and palaces.

Brindavan Gardens: Located at the KR Sagar Dam [Kannambadi], Brindavan Gardens is one of the best gardens in South India. Spread over an acre, Brindavan Gardens has since the 1960s provided the backdrop for many Indian films. Special attractions include the `Dancing Fountains`. Timings: Monday-Friday: 6:30 PM - 7:25 PM and Saturday-Sunday: 6:30 PM - 8:25 PM

St. Philomena`s Church: A beautiful Cathedral, reminiscent of medieval architectural style, is one of the largest churches in the country. Built in the gothic style, the Church is an imposing structure with stained glass windows and lofty towers.

The Art Gallery: The Jaganmohan Palace was converted into an art gallery in 1875 and exhibits paintings which date back to that period. The artists of that time used natural vegetable and mineral dyes. The famous traditional Mysore `gold leaf ` paintings are also exhibited in the gallery, as are oil paintings of contemporary artist like Raja Ravi Varma and Svetoslav Roerich.

Overnight will be at Mysore.

Day 17 Mysore – Bangalore

Enjoy breakfast at the hotel.

Drive to Bangalore. On your way you will visit the following places:

Daria Daulat Bagh: Tipu`s Summer Palace, built in 1784, is located here. Made of teak, this Indo-Saracenic structure has ornate and beautiful frescos. It is now a museum and tells eloquently of Tipu`s valor and his losing battle against the British.

Fort: It is here that Tipu charged at the British soldiers with his legendary sword. An obelisk in the fort marks the place where he fell - betrayed by his own men. The fort holds within it, a mosque and the Ranganathaswamy Temple. Outside the fort is the Gumbaz, Tipus tomb with splendid ebony doors inlaid with ivory.

Reach Bangalore and check in at hotel.

A major industrial and commercial center, with scientific and research activity, Bangalore is multifaceted: modern marvels, historical monuments, bustling shopping plazas, a race course and golf courses. Called the Silicon Valley of India for its growing software industry, it is also known as the city of draught beer. Bangalore is capital of Karnataka which harbors a diversity of interests such as the ruins of Vijayanagara, sculptures of Belur and Halebid, mausoleum of Gol Gumbaz at Bijapur, golden sands of Karavalli, proud hills of Kodagu, forests of Bandipur, Nagarhole and Bannerghatta, and Chikmagalur with its mountains and coffee plantations, majestic Mysore and the worlds tallest freestanding monolith of Bahubali at Sravanabelagola.

Enjoy shopping or just sit in one of the numerous modern pubs in downtown area just enjoying the latest music and crowd. It will be a nice experience as the weather in this city is pleasant all through the year.

Overnight will be at Bangalore.

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Day 18 Bangalore - Departure

After breakfast proceed for the sightseeing.

Vidhana Soubha: This splendid neo-Dravidian granite building that dominates the northern boundary of the Cubbon Park is the home of the State Legislature and the Secretariat. The massive sandalwood door of the Cabinet room is a spectacular feature of this imposing building. The Vidhana Soudha is bedecked in illuminated glory during special periods and is a sight worth viewing.

Lal Bagh: Hyder Ali laid out this famous botanical garden and his son added horticultural wealth to them by importing plants and trees from several countries. The garden today houses over 1000 species of flora which include rare and enchanting collection of tropical plants, trees and herbs. The Glass House, modeled along Londons CRYSTAL PALACE, is the center of attraction in this 2400 acre park. Bi-annual flower shows attracting participants from all over India is held in the Glass House. In July, 2003 it was decided that the Department of Horticulture and Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) would jointly take up the development of Lal Bagh Botanical Gardens.
 
Tipus Palace & Fort: The Bangalore Fort was built by Kempe Gowda and expanded by Tipu Sultan. Within its walls is the well preserved 16th century Ganapathi Temple.
The Bangalore Palace was built by a Wodeyar king in 1887. Inspired by the Windsor castle, this palace was built in the Tudor style, complete with Gothic windows, the foiled windows, battlements and turrets resembling the Daria Daulat Palace in Srirangapatanam, this summer palace has been constructed largely of wood and is famous for it`s carving and paintings.
 
As per the flight timings you will be transferred to the airport to take flight back home with sweet memories of the India tour.

TOUR ENDS!!

Hello Victor,
We have successfully returned from India and are back in Texas.  I have finally downloaded my photos and I`m am thoroughly enjoying the editing process as I relive my wonderful experiences in India.  If our children had been with us, we would have stayed a month more.  My favorite thing in all of India-- more esteemed than the food, the architecture, or the religious and cultural learning--was the people.  India is its people--warm, gracious, friendly and open.
 
I wanted to take a moment to tell you how pleased we were with everything that pertained to our trip.  The guides in each town were very knowledgeable and unique in different ways.  Some were spiritual, some political, some very worldly--regardless,  it was refreshing to go to another town and have a different perspective from each guide.
 
We cannot say enough good things about our driver, Mr. Kulmant Singh.  As you are aware, it takes a lot of bravado and luck to get from point A to point B in India.  We are thankful we did so without incident and that we got to experience India "as close to a local experience" as possible.  I think the only way to have traveled more like an Indian would have been to put all four of us on one motorbike!
 
I cannot wait to return to India.  I would return to Varanasi to be part of the mass of humanity that lives and breathes with a city that encircles all of life.  I would return to Jodhpur and Udaipur to spend more time in the streets, the markets, and with the people of India.  I liked the smallness and openness of these cities.  (I have to admit, we gave our guides some work trying to keep up with our random wanderings down side streets and off the tourist path!)  I would return to Jaipur if only to stay at the Rambagh Palace again.  It was my favorite hotel as was the Imperial.  My husband`s favorites were the Oberoi`s in Udaipur and Agra.  The Orchard hotel was quite a surprise and we would return if only to sit and visit with the host, a most gracious man.
 
Once again, thank you for your help in preparing our trip.  I look forward to working with you again when we decide to travel to the south!
 
Best wishes,
Stephanie Routh
Stephanie Routh

Question : Health advice for UK citizens

Vaccinations are not required when you travel in India; however anti malaria medication is strongly recommended. If you have visited or transited a yellow fever area ten days prior to your scheduled trip to India a yellow fever inoculation certificate will be mandatory. Like all tropical countries, there are precautions that need to be followed while travelling. Indian medical professionals have reputably high standards. Should you need to consult a doctor; most hotels have doctors on call. We would be happy to assist you in visiting the specialist, although appointments are likely to be limited to a certain time of the day. Should you be using prescription medicines, please carry adequate supply - what you use may not be locally available and substitutes may not be suitable. In the unlikely event of hospitalisation, primary and secondary metros offer very high standards of health care. As a primary precaution, always drink bottled water. Ensure your liquid intake is consistent throughout the day. We always recommend that you consult your personal physician prior to any travel. We advise you to consult your doctor or the British Airways Travel Clinics, allowing at least 4 weeks before the date of travel for all medical advice. Some areas including Bhutan and Nepal may be at high altitudes so please check with our staff before confirming your itinerary. You can also check health advice for UK citizens at below link: Http://www.fitfortravel.scot.nhs.uk/destinations/asia-(east)/india.aspx

Our Tour Includes:
Accommodation at mentioned hotels,
Daily buffet breakfast at the hotel,
Sightseeing tours as mentioned in the itinerary,
Air-conditioned vehicle with driver for the tour,
Meet and assist services on arrival / departure,
English speaking local guides at applicable places,
Trainfare in best available class from chennai mysore,
All applicable taxes and service charges,
All parking with Road Taxes and Driver Allowances


Special Highlights Included:

Garanteed hotels,
Room  / hotel upgrade at any two destination,
Kathakali dance presentation in Cochin,
Overnight stay in the houseboat,
All meals in the houseboat,
Cookery demonstration during backwaters,
Small village visit during backwater cruise,
Spice plantation tour in Thekkady,
Spice market visit in Thekkady,
Nature walk/trek in Thekkady,
Sound & light show in Madurai,
Flower & vegetable market visit in Madurai,
Bicycle tour of Pondicherry (optional),
Aurobindo ashram visit at Pondicherry
Bharatnatyam dance presentation with farewell dinner at Chennai.