This morning on your arrival in Bangalore, you will transferred to your hotel. Rest of the day is at leisure. Bangalore is the Silicon Valley of India and is one of the top preferred entrepreneurial locations in the world. The story goes that a 12th century king lost his way and met a poor woman who offered him boiled beans. The grateful king named the place "benda-kaal-uru" which means town of boiled beans. The Karaga Shaktyotsava an important festival dedicated to Goddess Draupadi is celebrated annually over a period of nine days in March or April. Bangalore is also an important place for classical music and dance. Overnight is in Bangalore
This morning you will be enjoying a tour of Bangalore. The tourist spots in Bangalore are Lal Bagh, Maharaja's Palace, etc. You could also include the various temples in the Bangalore sight-seeing. Bangalore the Silicon Valley of India is known as the "Garden City of India". The Lal Bagh started by Hyder Ali and finished by his son Tipu Sultan has India's largest collection of tropical plants - over a 1000 species of flora and also trees over 100 years old. The construction of the Bangalore Palace was started in 1862 and completed in 1944 and looks similar to the Windsor Castle in England. Drive past different Government buildings. The afternoon is at leisure. Overnight is in Bangalore.
You will be transferred to the Bangalore airport to board your flight for Kochi. On your arrival in Kochi, you will drive directly to Alappuzha also known as Alleppey. This picturesque town also known as Venice of the East is crisscrossed with canals and offers you backwaters, beaches, and lagoons. A cruise in the backwaters is an unforgettable experience. Every year, on the second Saturday of August the Nehru Trophy Boat Race is held on the Punnamada Lake. Kuttanad with continuous paddy fields and lush green coconut palms is known as the rice bowl of Kerala. This is one of the few places in the world where rice is cultivated below sea level. Coir is the most important commodity manufactured in Alappuzha. Overnight is in Alleppey.
Your morning is at leisure to discover this beautiful city known as Venice of the East. This afternoon you will embark a rice houseboat which is quite an experience. Alleppey on the Arabian Sea with numerous canals meandering through the town is a very important destination for tourists visiting Kerala. The Kerala backwaters are a network of large lakes linked by canals and fed by rivers. The backwaters are formed because of the waves and shore currents creating low barrier islands. Here you will board a houseboat in Kerala’s backwaters. The charm of staying a night in the houseboats known as kettuvallam in the backwaters is great. These boats were used to ferry the grain. Thatched roof covers provide protection from the sun and rain. The boats are like floating cottages with a sleeping area, toilets, dining area and a sit out on the deck. The food is cooked on board by staff. Overnight is on board the houseboat.
Today you will drive to Kochi airport in time to board your Chennai flight. On your arrival in Chennai, you will be transferred to your hotel. The name Chennai was derived from Chennaipattanam, built by the English in 1639. The earlier name of Madras was a short from of Madraspattinam a fishing village. Chennai is the capital of Tamil Nadu and is the largest industrial and commercial center of South India and also an important centre for Carnatic music. The city is also famous for the Tamil movies and known as Tollywood. Chennai came into prominence because of the British who defended the town against several attacks from the French and converted it to a major naval port. Chennai has numerous places of interest and beautiful museums. Overnight is in Chennai.
This morning you will drive to Puducherry also known as Pondicherry or Pondy. You have time at leisure for visiting this beautiful city with a colonial influence. Puducherry was acquired by the French in 1674 and has colonial buildings, churches, temples, and statues. The systematic well planned French style avenues, preserves and gives a look of the colonial ambiance. Puducherry has a number of well preserved heritage buildings and monuments. Promenade Beach, Paradise Beach, Auroville Beach and Serenity Beach are the well known beaches of Puducherry. Overnight is in Puducherry.
This morning you will be visiting Pondicherry which traces its origin to the revered sage Saint Agasthya. Puducherry is divided into the French Quarters "Ville Blanche" and the Indian quarter "Ville Noire". Some of the streets still have their French names. In the French Quarters, it is common to see French style villas and colonial style buildings. Sri Aurobindo Ashram is globally quite popular. Auroville is a universal town where people from all nationalities live together in harmony and peace. The Lord Ganesha Sri Manakula Vinayagar Temple is a quite visited Hindu Temple.
After the visit of Puducherry, drive to Mamallapuram also known as Mahabalipuram or Mamallapattana. This is an UNESCO World Heritage Site and a historic town and seaport. It was also known by the ancient mariners as the city of "Seven Pagodas". Out of the Seven Pagodas, only the Shore Temple survives. Mahabalipuram was a bustling seaport and the traders went to countries of South East Asia from here. It was an important port for the Pallavas and most of the monuments portray events from the Mahabharata and date back from the 7th to the 9th century. In an ancient text, this place was noted as Sea Mountain where ships rode at anchor bent to the point of breaking laden with goods.
Your tour of Mahabalipuram takes you through the cave temples and mandapams cut in the rocks showing depiction of incidents from Hindu legends, epics and mythology. The temples were built during the rule of Narasimhavarman and Rajasimhavarman. The city was mostly developed by Narasimhavarman. The bas relief Arjuna's Penance with life size images carved on the rock wall is the largest Bas-relief in the world. The five chariots are carved out of a single rock. The twin structure of the Shore Temple is one of the oldest in South India and is worth visiting. The Shore Temple built from dressed stone has bas reliefs, one 100 ft long and 45 ft. high, carved out of granite. Afternoon is at leisure. Overnight is in Mahabalipuram.
This morning you will be transferred to Chennai airport in time for your return/onward flight.
END OF YOUR SHORT SOUTH INDIA HOLIDAY.