Meet and assist on arrival in Chennai. Later transfer to your pre-booked hotel. Overnight in Chennai.
Morning city tour of Chennai. Chennai is a vibrant and bustling city, where many interesting churches still remain from the first British settlements in India. Founded in 1639 by the English merchant, Francis Day, as Fort St George, the original fort still remains, as do many remnants of 'The Raj' including the Church of St Mary, the oldest Anglican Church east of Suez. This coastal city has a beautiful promenade and a string of waterfront Indo-Saracenic buildings. Overnight in Chennai.
Morning, drive to Mammalapuram en route visiting Kanchipuram which was the historical capital of the Pallavas during the 7th - 9th centuries. It is known as ‘the city of thousand temples’.
On arrival in Mammalapuram, you are checked into your hotel. Rest of the day at leisure. Overnight in Mammalapuram.
Full day sightseeing tour of Mammalapuram. Mammalapuram is believed to have been a thriving port back in the 7th century and is now famous for its rock cut temples and caves. The significance of the architecture here is that most of the work is monolith (carved out of a single stone) the five rathas (chariots) of the five Pandavas, the large open-air bas relief of Arjuna's penance (one single rock structure measuring 96 feet length by 43 feet height) and the magnificent shore temple are the highlights of Pallava architecture in Mammalapuram.
Overnight in Mammalapuram.
Morning, drive to Pondicherry. This former French colony and charming seaside town retains some enduring pockets of colonial culture. As well as the influence in the food, the town still boasts an 'Hotel de Ville' and the policemen wear kepis. Afternoon undertake a guided “Heritage Walk” through this fascinating city, followed by a visit to Aurobindo Ashram. Overnight in Pondicherry.
Morning, drive to Thanjavur en route visiting Tiruchirappalli (Trichy). The most famous land mark of this bustling town is the Rock fort Temple, a spectacular monument perched on a massive rocky out crop which rises abruptly from the plain to tower over the old city.
On arrival in Thanjavur, check in to the hotel. Rest of the day at leisure. Overnight in Thanjavur.
Morning, sightseeing tour of Thanjavur. Thanjavur was the ancient capital of the Chola Empire which ruled from 850 to 1270. Thanjavur rose to glory during the later Chola reign between the 10th and the 14th centuries and became a centre of learning and culture. The Brihadishwara Temple was built by the greatest of the Chola emperors, Raja Raja. Completed at the turn of the first millennium, it remains the regional centre of social and religious life.
Afternoon drive to Madurai. Overnight in Madurai.
Full day sightseeing tour of Madurai. The ancient city of Madurai is one of India's most sacred pilgrimage centres. Originally designed in the shape of a lotus motif, the city has since spread into a colourful patchwork of temples, bazaars and narrow roads packed with shops, stalls, pilgrims and cows. The Sri Meenakshi Temple, a vast complex of chambers and courtyards built around nine towering gopurams (gateways), is renowned as the finest example of Dravidian architecture in southern India.
Overnight in Madurai.
Morning drive Thekkady. On arrival, check in to your hotel. Rest of the day at leisure. Overnight in Thekkady.
Early morning “boat-cruise” on Periyar Lake to observe wildlife in Periyar Sanctuary. Afternoon guided tour of Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary. The greatest attraction of Periyar remains the large herds of wild elephants that come down to the lake's edge. Overnight in Thekkady.
Morning drive to Kumarakom en route visiting a tea factory. Overnight in Kumarakom.
Kumarakom is a serenely beautiful and scenic backwater destination, a charming peninsula jutting into the ever-effervescent Vembanad Lake that is dotted with plenty of traditional rice boats and canoes, leaving a scene that is immensely pleasing to the eye. Entire day at leisure. Overnight in Kumarakom.
Morning board a traditional houseboat for an overnight cruise and stay on the backwaters. The Backwaters of Kerala consist of an intricately woven network of canals, streams and rivers. This lush green area provides a haven for many species of birds and fish. The local population has adapted to a waterborne existence with the Backwaters providing their highway and recreation as well as their livelihood. Overnight on the houseboat.
Morning cruise on the backwaters. Afternoon drive to Kochi. Rest of the day free for independent activities. Overnight in Kochi.
Full day sightseeing tour of Kochi. Kochi (colonial name Cochin) is a vibrant city situated on the south-west coast of the Indian peninsula in the breathtakingly scenic state of Kerala, hailed as 'God's Own Country'. Heralded as the Queen of Arabian Sea, Kochi was an important spice trading centre on theArabian Sea coast from the 14th century. Occupied by the Portuguese, Kochi was the first of the European colonies in India. It remained the capital of Portuguese India until 1530. The city was later occupied by the Dutch and the British, with the Kingdom of Cochin becoming a princely state.
Overnight in Kochi.
Board train for Coimbatore. On arrival, drive to Ooty. Rest of the day at leisure. Overnight in Ooty.
Called the 'Queen of Hill Stations', Udhagamandalam better known as Ooty is the most popular hill station in the South. It is located in Nilgiri Mountains at the tri-junction of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala. Nature has been extremely generous to this region. Curiously, this slice of paradise remained unknown to the great southern dynasties and it took the British to discover it in the early 1800s.
Morning, enjoy the toy train ride by ‘Nilgiris Toy Train’ Mettupalayam, at the foot of the Nilgiris. Also visit Doddabetta, the highest peak in the Nilgiris. Later visit the Botanical Gardens. Overnight in Ooty.
Morning, long drive to Mysore. Afternoon, sightseeing tour of the city. Capital of an empire for more than six centuries, Mysore is famed for sandalwood and incense which flavours its air. The Mysore Palace, once the residence of the Wodeyar kings, is one of the largest and most colourful palaces in south India. It has a carved silver door, domes, turrets, arches, colonnades, a gallery of exquisite paintings and beautiful Hoysala wall carvings. Just outside the city the Chamundi Temple is famed for its huge Nandi bull, carved from a single block of black granite.
Overnight in Mysore.
Drive to Bangalore. Rest of the day at leisure. Overnight in Bangalore.
Morning sightseeing tour of Bangalore. Bangalore is known as the garden city for its large number of parks but it has now gained a reputation as the centre of India's burgeoning IT industry. Bangalore's most famous resident, Tipu Sultan, was known for his fierce opposition to British rule and left behind some fine legacies which are worth visiting. His summer palace just outside the city has wonderful carved and painted wooden ceilings and was completed in 1789.
Afternoon free at leisure. Overnight in Bangalore.
Transfer to airport to board flight for onward destination.
Mr Mrs. Tanu Bhalla
69, Jaswinder Enclave, Bhagirathi Nagar, Bhupatwala, Haridwar, Uttarakhand, India - 249410
Char dham Yatra Tour - 12 D / 11 N
Delhi - Haridwar - Barkot - Uttarkashi - Rudraprayag - Kedarnath - Jyotirmath - Rishikesh
Badrinath Tour - 6 D / 5 N
Delhi - Jyotirmath - Badrinath - Rudraprayag - Haridwar
Gangotri Tour - 5 D / 4 N
Delhi - Haridwar - Uttarkashi - Gangotri - Rishikesh
Yamunotri Tour - 5 D / 4 N
Delhi - Haridwar - Syanachatti - Yamunotri
Badri-Kedar Tour - 9 D / 8 N
Delhi - Haridwar - Rudraprayag - Badrinath - Jyotirmath - Rishikesh
Hemkund Sahib Tour - 8 D / 7 N
Delhi - Jyotirmath - Govindghat - Ghangaria - Rishikesh
Kailash Mansarovar Yatra Tour - 18 D / 17 N
Kathmandu - Nyalam - Saga - Paryang - Mansarovar - Darchen - Dirapuk - Zuthulphuk
Amarnath Yatra Tour - 8 D / 7 N
Delhi - Srinagar - Pahalgam - Chandanwari - Sheshnag - Panchtarni - Amarnath
Mata Vaishno Devi Tour - 3 D / 2 N
Delhi - Jammu - Katra - Vaishno Devi
Gokul - Mathura Tour - 4 D / 3 N
Delhi - Mathura - Gokul - Mahavan - Goverdhan - Mathura - Nand Goan - Barsana