Arrive in Chennai and drive directly to Mahabalipuram visiting Kanchipuram enroute. Kanchipuram (64 kms from Chennai) is the ancient capital of the Pallavas famous as a city of 1000 Temples and still has 124 shrines. The first temple dedicated to Shiva was built in the 7th and 8th century and has paintings on the walls. Temples of Ekambaswara, Kailasanatha, Sri Kamakshi and Varadarajaswamy are of interest. Kanchipuram is also famous for its silks. Overnight stay at Mahabalipuram.
Visit Mahabalipraum. 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. Overnight stay at Mahabalipuram.
This Morning drive to Pondicherry. The capital of French India before independence, Pondicherry traces its origin to Saint Agasthya, the revered sage of the south & excavations near-by reveal that a Roman settlement existed here 2000 years ago. It was the theatre of many a battle between the British. Overnight stay at Pondicherry.
This morning drive to Thanjavur. Later visit the city. The beautiful Chola Temple of Brihadeeshwara 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. Overnight stay at Thanjavur.
Full day excursion of Trichy. 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 Thanjavur.
This morning drive to Chettinad. Chettinad is the ancestral home of the Nattukottai Chettiyars, a prosperous banking community successful in the oversea business markets in South and Southeast Asia in the 19th and early 20th centuries. There are a total of 76 villages and Karaikudi is the largest one. Chettinad is famous for its houses for its unique, spicy, and very tasty cuisine. Overnight stay at Chettinad.
This morning drive to Madurai. Overnight stay in Madurai.
Morning city tour. Visit the great Meenakshi 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 saracenic style, famous for the Stucco work on its domes & arches. Also visit the Alagar Hills and Tirupar. Overnight stay at Madurai.
This morning drive from Madurai to Kodaikanal. Overnight stay at Kodaikanal.
Kodaikanal is a charming hill station situated amidst the grandeur of the southern crest of the upper Palani hill -in the Western Ghats, at a height of 2135 mts. Its tranquil lake framed by wooded hills, mighty rocks and slopes and enchanting waterfalls mesmerize visitors. It is noted for hybrids and grafts, hill plantain fruits and plums and -Kurunji- flower which blossoms once in 12 years. Overnight stay at Kodaikanal.
This morning drive to Munnar. Munnar is a breathtakingly beautiful and a haven of peace and tranquility. This is a the idyllic tourist destination in God's own country. Set at an altitude of 6000 ft in Idukki district, Munnar was the favored summer resort of the erstwhile British rulers in the colonial Days. Munnar has un-ending expanse of tea plantations - pristine valleys and mountains- exotic species of flora and fauna in its wild sanctuaries and forests and aroma of spice scented cool air. Overnight stay at Munnar.
Drive to Cochin and transfer to hotel. Afternoon city tour. Cochin is the natural harbour created by the famed underwater Malabar mud-banks whose quality ensures that the rougher the seas are outside the calmer the waters are within the Harbour. Vasco-de-Gama placed it on the world map. It has a Jewish synagogue, Portuguese churches, mosques & Hindu temples. Watch the Chinese Fishing Nets. Overnight stay at Munnar.
Dirve to Cochin railway station to board the train for Calicut. Arrive Calicut and transfer to hotel. Overnight stay at Calicut.
Calicut was a major center of trade between Kerala and the outside world. The city of Calicut came into existence in the 13th century. The name Calicut is derived from 'calico,' the fine variety of hand-woven cotton cloth said to have originated from this place.The outer world came to know about India in 1498 when the Portuguese sailor Vasco da Gama came to Calicut and obtained permission to carry out trade from here. Places of interest are - Kappad where Vasco da Gama set foot in India, Pazhassirajah Museum, an art gallery displaying paintings of Raja Ravi Varma, Dolphin's Point, the Science Planetarium and Mananchira with a musical fountain. Later drive to Wayanad. Overnight stay at Wayanad.
Wayanad, is a green paradise and is nestled among the mountains of the Western Ghats. This land is filled with history and culture. The dale Lakkidi, nestled among the hills of Vythiri taluk, has the highest average rainfall in Kerala. The misty environs of Wayanad offer a wide range of trekking opportunities, plantation visits and wildlife tours. Kalpetta, 15 km away used to be a major Jain centre. Lakkidi, its gateway town, is popular for its plantation homestays. Tipu Sultan, the legendary ruler of Mysore who valiantly opposed the British, built a fort at Sultan Bathery 10 km away, in the 18th century. Overnight stay at Wayanad.
This morning drive to Mysore. Afternoon visit of Mysore. Visit the palace of the Maharaja built in 1911-12. The palace is of harmonious syntheses of the hindu and saracenic styles of architecture with archways, domes, turrets, colonnades ands culptures which are magnificent. Visit the Art Gallery; drive upto Chamundi hill to see Chamundeshwari Temple and a panoramic view of Mysore. On the way back, see the Nandi Bull. Overnight stay at Mysore.
This morning drive Mysore to Hassan. Overnight stay at Hassan.
Full day excursion of Halebid and Belur. Full day excursion to 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. Hoysaleswara and Kedareswara temples are master pieces of Hindu art. On the return, if time permits, visit Sravanbelgola. At Sravanbelgola, hewn out of a single rock and visible from a distance of 25 kms is the statue of Lord Gomteshwara which is bathed with milk and honey once every 12 years. Overnight stay at Hassan.
This morning drive from Hassan to Hospet. Overnight stay at Hospet.
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 1565. Some of the interesting ruins remaining are the Virupaksha, Vittala & 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 Hospet.
Drive to Badami. Arrive Badami and transfer to hotel. 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 and a watch tower. The Malegitti Shivalaya temple set on the summit of a hill is built of stones without mortar. Overnight stay at Badami.
Drive to Goa airport.
END OF THE TOUR.