Duration : 21 Nights / 22 Days
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Arrive Chennai and drive directly to Mahabalipuram visiting Kanchipuram enroute. Kanchipuram (64 kms from Madras) 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 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 Mahabalipuram.
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 Pondicherry.
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 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 Thanjavur.
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 Chettinad.
Morning drive to Madurai. Overnight 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 Tirupara Kundran Rock temple. Overnight Madurai.
Morning drive to Kodaikanal. Kodaikanal is a hill town in the Tamil Nadu. It’s set in an area of granite cliffs, forested valleys, lakes, waterfalls and grassy hills.The town centers around man-made, star-shaped Kodaikanal Lake, bordered by evergreen forest. Rowing boats can be hired, and hikers and cyclists follow the 5k Lake Road path around the shore. Overnight 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 Kodaikanal.
Morning drive to Munnar. Munnar is a town in the Western Ghats mountain range in Kerala. A hill station and former resort for the British Raj elite, it's surrounded by rolling hills dotted with tea plantations established in the late 19th century. Eravikulam National Park, a habitat for the endangered mountain goat Nilgiri tahr, is home to the Lakkam Waterfalls, hiking trails and 2,695m-tall Anamudi Peak. Overnight 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 Munnar.
In the morning after breakfast, Drive to Calicut. Calicut is a coastal city in the Kerala. It was a significant spice trade center and is close to Kappad Beach, where Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama landed in 1498. The central Calicut Beach, overlooked by an old lighthouse, is a popular spot for watching the sunset. Inland, tree-lined Mananchira Square, with its musical fountain, surrounds the massive Mananchira Tank, an artificial pond.Check in listed hotel.
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 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 Wayanad.
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 Mysore.
Morning drive to Hassan. Overnight 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 Hassan.
Morning drive to Hospet. Overnight 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 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 Badami.
Take a transfer to the railway station/ airport for your onward journey.