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Highlights | Itinerary

Best of South India

Day 01: Arrival / Mumbai
Mumbai / Goa (SG 803 – 1205 / 0100 Hrs)

Morning arrival, Meeting and assistance upon arrival as our representatives welcome you and escort you to your car.

Welcome to India, or as we say ‘atithi devo bhava’ (the guest is an incarnation of God). Thank you for giving us the opportunity to serve you!

Late, transfer to the airport to board your flight to Goa.

Meeting & assistance upon arrival in Goa, transfer to hotel Ozran Heights.

Day is at leisure to enjoy the spectacular beaches of Goa.

Day 02: Goa

Day is at leisure to enjoy the spectacular beaches of Goa.

Day 03: Goa / Badami (350 Kms) (06 Hrs Drive)

After breakfast, we will drive to Badami.

UpUpon arrival check in to the hotel Badami Court.

Day 04: Badami / Hampi (230 Kms) (04 Hrs Drive)

Morning, we proceed on a tour of this incredible city.

Badami is famous for its rock-cut cave temples. These temples have been carved out on the red sandstone hills that surround the town. There are four cave temples at Badami. These temples date back to the 6th and 7th centuries AD and ornately carved with figures of Hindu deities. Three temples are dedicated to Hindu gods. The fourth one is a Jain temple and was built much later. Near these caves lies the 5th-century Agastyatirtha Tank, dotted with Bhuthnath temples, dedicated to Lord Shiva. The archeological museum is located near this tank, which in turn is near the historic Badami fort.

Afternoon, we will drive to Hampi.

Upon arrival in Hampi, check into Hampi Malligi Resort.

Day 05: Hampi

Morning, we proceed on a tour of Hampi.

A world heritage center, Hampi- is the most beautiful of all the ruins in Karnataka. Founded in the 14th Century, this was the glorious capital city of a flourishing dynasty that was great patrons of art and architecture. The remains can still be seen in the vast ruins of Hampi, which historians have praised as 'greater than Rome'. Hampi is famous for its ruins belonging to the erstwhile medieval Hindu kingdom of Vijayanagar and it has been declared a World Heritage site. The temples of Hampi, its monolithic sculptures and monuments, attract the traveler because of their excellent workmanship. The Hindu style of architecture found at Hampi reflects the splendor of the Vijayanagar Empire. The rugged landscape adds to the historic ambience of this site.

Day 06: Hampi / Chikmagalur

After breakfast we will drive to Chikmagalur.

Upon arrival check in to The Gateway Hotel KM Road.

Rest of the day is at leisure for your independent activities, of course you have car and driver available for local visits.

Day 07: Chikmagalur / Halebid & Belur / Hassan

Morning we will drive to chikmagalur enroute we will visit Belur and Halebid - temple towns, slightly bigger than villages. The temples in typical Dravidian style are excellent examples of traditional Hindu architecture. These temples are the cream of what remain the most artistically exuberant periods of Hindu cultural development. The wealth of sculptural details on the temples makes them easily the most outstanding example of art and architecture. Every inch of the outside wall and much of the interiors are covered with an endless variety of Hindu deities, sages, scenes from wars, hunting, agriculture, music and dance and some very sensual sculptures explicitly portraying the amorous lifestyles of the dancing girls. The life outside the temples is extremely busy and colorful. Pilgrims, bare feet with horizontal or vertical sandalwood paste smearing on their foreheads and wearing traditionally colored saffron or black pilgrim’s costumes move in and out of the temple complex with flowers and other offerings in their hands. The pavement flower shops, shops selling religious artifacts, the fruit and tea stalls with pilgrims flocking around, add color and character to the place.

From here we will continue our drive to Hassan. We stop a few times for pictures such as a line of village women carrying grass over their heads in huge sprawling bundles - the head hardly visible.

Upon arrival check in to hotel Southern Star.

We are free to explore Hassan independently on foot. There is only one main road, the rest are dignified trails. Little shops (grocery, vegetables, tailors etc.) and small temples with a steady stream of pilgrims seem to be bursting on to the lanes. Women and men wearing traditional costumes, stand at their doors with shy curiosity as we walk past the door steps of their typical houses. Our walk would be invariably accompanied by friendly shrill shrieks of children - “hello”, “your name? “Which Country”

Day 08: Hassan / Shravan Belagola / Mysore

After breakfast drive to Mysore. Enroute visiting Shravan Belagola, which is one of the oldest and the most important pilgrimage centres for the followers of Jain religion. It is the site of the 17mtr monolithic statue of Lord Bahubali - believed to be the world’s tallest monolithic statue.

From here we will continue our drive to Mysore.

Upon arrival check into hotel Regaalis.

After wash & change we will proceed on guided tour of Mysore, which has been for centuries an important center for South Indian culture and learning. It is also the city of lingering aroma of Jasmine, Musk, rose, sandalwood, etc. This is so because Mysore is one of the major manufacturers of incense sticks through scores of family owned factories. The city is also a crafts center. It is an extremely friendly and easy going city and at an altitude of 770 meters it has a wonderful climate. The Maharaja’s Palace (1907) is a huge building in Indo - Saracenic style of architecture; it hosts an extravaganza of stained glass, mirrors, gilt and gaudy colors, beautifully carved wooden doors, mosaic floors and a series of historically important paintings. Of special mention are the beautifully carved mahogany ceilings, solid silver doors, white marble floors and superbly collumned durbar hall (Hall Of Public Audience).. Next we visit the temple of Shri Chamundeshwari, set on top of the Chamundi Hills (1602 meters.). Three quarters up the hill is the famous Nandy (Lord Shiva’s Bull - His vehicle) carved out of a single solid piece of granite and 5 meters in height.. The temple itself is a huge building with a 40mtr high seven-storied Gopuram (tower).

Day is planned to explore Mysore. This salubrious and charming city lies 770-m above sea level is an easy-going city famous for its silk and is also a thriving sandalwood and incense centre. The city is steeped in history. The Mysore Palace, built in Indo - Saracenic style is one of the largest and most brilliant palaces in India. It's a kaleidoscope of stained glass, mirrors, gilt and colours. There are beautiful carved wooden doors, mosaic floors, as well as exquisite paintings. Halfway up the Chamundi Hill is the Nandi Bull, a 4.8 m monolith. It was carved out of solid rock and is one of the largest in India. Hordes of pilgrims come here throughout the year. Right on top, is the 2000-year-old Chamundeswari Temple. The temple provides atypical festive atmosphere without overwhelming religious overtures.

Day 09: Mysore / Bangalore (139 Kms) (03 Hrs Drive)
Bangalore / Cochin (SG 246 - 1655 / 1805 Hrs)

At 07:00 AM, we will drive to Bangalore.

Upon arrival in Bangalore, we proceed on a guided tour of the city. Bangalore city has a number of tourist places. Apart from the numerous gardens, it also has some historical sites and other places of interest that are worth visiting and seeing. The Vidhan Soudha or the State Secretariat, built in 1954, is the main attraction of this city. It is a marvel of modern architecture and is a fine amalgamation of traditional Dravidian and modern styles.

Cubbon Park, the 120-hectare park located near the Vidhan Soudha, has a number of neo-classical styled government buildings. The Government Museum of Bangalore (one of India's oldest museums) and the Visvesvaraya Technological and Industrial Museum are important museums within the city. The Lal Bagh Botanical Gardens, which holds a number of flower shows, especially during the Republic Day (26th January), is located on the southern fringes of the city. The 18th-century Tipu Sultan's Fort and Palace are other important places of interest to the traveler.

Afternoon, transfer to airport to board your flight to Cochin.

Meeting and assistance upon arrival in Cochin & transfer to hotel The Trident.

Day 10: Cochin

After breakfast, we proceed on a guided tour of the City. The true character of the city is to be found in the older parts of the Fort Cochin area. It more or less exists as it used to be a 1000 years back, when it was first built. The roads have not been widened because the old haggard buildings, through patchwork repairs over the centuries, still stand on the edges. This part of the city reflects an unusual blend of medieval Portugal, Dutch and English country life grafted on to the tropical Malabar Coast. The fishing community of Cochin is also very interesting. They ancient cantilevered fishing nets called Chinese Fishing Nets. The net is fixed to a pole on the shore. While fishing, the entire net is lowered by a primitive fulcrum mechanism using long bamboo poles. By the same mechanism the pole is lifted along with the catch. We will explore the sights of Photographic as well as cultural interest. We would also visit the 16th century Mattancherry Palace, also known as the Dutch Palace since the Dutch substantially renovated the palace in the 17th century. The double storied quadrangular building surrounds a courtyard containing a Hindu temple. The Central Hall on the first floor was the coronation hall of the Rajas of Cochin; on display are their dresses, turbans and palanquins. The most important feature of this palace, however, is the astonishing murals in the bedchambers and other rooms, which depict scenes from the Ramayana and other religious legends. These murals are undoubtedly some of the most beautiful and extensive anywhere to be seen in India. The unique feature here is the unexpected and isolated Jewish community, whose origins date back to AD 52. They are self-contained and have there own Synagogue.

The area around the Synagogue, known, as ‘Jew Town’ is one of the main centers of spice trade. Scores of small firms huddle together in old dilapidated buildings and the air is filled with the aroma of ginger, cardamom, cumin, turmeric and cloves. The area is very busy. The potters are loading gunny bags of spices on to carts, which keep running up and down the narrow lanes. We would visit Jew Town, in the Mattancherry section and a short walk from the ferry, is one street long. Jews used to occupy virtually all the houses on Jew Town Road, where they sold fruits, vegetables and spices or worked as oil pressers or carpenters. The spice markets are still located on the narrow street.

Day 11: Cochin / Alleppey / Houseboat

After a leisurely breakfast we ride to Alleppey for a houseboat experience through the narrow canals and channels of the backwaters of Kerala.

The materials that go into the making of houseboat are all local and Eco-friendly; bamboo poles, coconut fiber ropes, bamboo mats carpets etc. The main wood used is "Anjali ". The Houseboat provides all comforts - Beds, a kitchen, western toilets and an upper deck. Traditional lanterns are used as lights. The cuisine is of traditional Kerala flavour along with the local Specialties - delicious fish and prawns.

We spend the day Cruising on our boat through remote tribal villages along the tranquil backwaters of Kerala is a superb experience. Sensational in its own silent way, the cruise takes you along snake boat docks, friendly cheering villagers, coir (Jute) making communities, toddy (local spirit) shops, fishing nets pitched for the day's catch, bunded paddy fields and manual canoes of different sizes criss-crossing each other. The experience enables you to reach beautiful untouched areas.

Day 12: Houseboat / Kumarakom

After breakfast, the houseboat traverses through narrow channels and canals and reaches Kumarakom.

Upon arrival in Kumarakom, check into lake Song Resort.

Day 13: Kumarakom

Day is free for independent activities. You can also enjoy the optional Ayurvedic body massage at the resort. You could also choose to explore the surrounding tribal villages, visit the nearby water bird sanctuary or ride through the narrow backwater channels through back of beyond Kerala.

Day 14: Kumarakom / Cochin
Cochin / Departure

After breakfast, we will drive to Cochin

Upon arrival in Cochin, transfer to airport to board your flight to Cochin

END OF SERVICES…

Tour Cost Based On 02 People Traveling Together Sharing 01 Room

• Cost valid for period till 30th September, 2014: - INR 94,550* Per Person

• Cost valid from 01st October till 2014 31st March, 2015: - INR 115,900* Per Person

Additional Cost For Suggested Upgrades To Hotels In Various Cities Per Room / Per Night

Destinations Suggested Upgraded Hotels Trip Advisor Rating Additional Cost Till 30th Sep 2014 From 01st Oct 2014 – 31st Mar 2015
Cochin Vivanta By Taj Malabar 4.5 star INR 1100 Per Person INR 4500 Per Person
Brunton Boatyard Fort 4.5 star INR 1450 Per Person INR 10,300 Per Person
Kumarakom Coconut Lagoon 4.5 star INR 7,50 Per Person INR 3,950 Per Person
Vivanta By Taj 4.5 star INR 1,100 Per Person INR 2,850 Per Person

NOTE: - Upgrades at same price available depending upon exact date of travel.

*T & C Apply

Accommodation on twin share basis; daily American breakfast; air-conditioned private car for all journeys and tours; local guides; Airfare for the Mumbai / Goa & Bangalore / Cochin sector in economy class (Discounted airfare subject to change & availability)