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Temples & Tides: India by South

Temples & Tides: India by South

Tour Highlights

● Backwaters and rivers ● Tiger Reserve and National Parks ● village life around the forest and river ● UNESCO World Heritage temples ● Folk ritual with Theyyam Dance ● Story walks in ancient city ● Coffee & Spice Plantations ● Authentic cuisine experience ● Colonial Heritage

  • Nagarhole (Kabini) – A protected Tiger Reserve on Kabini river network/ coracle ride / walking tour to the forest villages / jeep safari to spot some leopards, tigers, elephants and bird watching numerous tropical birds.
  • Bekal – Less explored and serene backwaters of Kerala and also a small destination of hills / Performance of Theyyam in a village temple of folk deity.
  • Coorg – The hill region of a warrior community where the stay inside a coffee estate is a treasure experience
  • Mysore – A princely capital state having royal museums with masterpiece painting collection, fort of Tipu Sultan famous for his patriotic and heroic battle against British
  • Pondicherry – A former French colony on the Bay of Bengal turned into a spiritual centre established by revolutionary-turned-saint Sri Aurobinda / Hub of 18 th century heritage churches, art galleries, water sports activities
  • Mahabalipuram,Tanjore & Madurai– Three UNESCO World Heritage Sites presenting outstanding examples of temple architecture and sculpture of ancient India
  • Chettinad– Heartland of South Indian agricultural belt – the region is internationally admired for its unique cuisine, handloom textile and architecture.

Days: 12 nights/13 days

States covered:

Karnataka, Kerala, Tamilnadu

Sketch Itinerary

Day 1: Fly in > Bangalore – Mysore (150 km, 3 hrs)
Day 2: Mysore – Kabini (60 km / 1.5 hrs)
Day 3: Kabini
Day 4: Kabini – Coorg (130 km / 3 hrs)
Day 5: Coorg
Day 6: Coorg – Bekal (115.3 Km / 2.5 hrs)
Day 7: Bekal Day 7: Bekal- Kannur (78.8 Kms/ 2 hrs) - Kozhikode (78.8 Kms/ 2.5 hrs)
Day 8: Kozhikode – Chennai – Mahabalipuram -Pondicherry (155.2 / 4 hrs)
Day 9: Pondicherry
Day 10: Pondicherry – Tanjore (165.8 Kms / 5 hrs)
Day 11: Tanjore – Chettinad – Madurai (189.6 / 5 hrs)
Day 12: Madurai
Day 13: Madurai- Fly out

Comprehensive Itinerary

Day 1: Bangalore – Mysore (150 km, 3 hrs)

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Welcome to Bangalore. The time you arrive in Bangalore a car will transfer you to Mysore, the city of palaces. Check in the hotel (Royal Palace Amba Vilas) by afternoon and take some rest to get energised for the evening hopping. In the evening pay a visit to the local market called Devraja market. You will see different shops with their own different significance. Some are selling flowers, some of them clothes; some are dealing with handicrafts and artefacts. All the shops create a series of rainbow together. After hopping from one shop to another, return to the hotel and spend some time on your own. Stay overnight in Mysore.

 

Day 2: Mysore – Kabini (60 km / 1.5 hrs)

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Good Morning!! Have a mouth-watering breakfast, check out of the hotel and proceed for your day expedition in Mysore. Today, you will visit the palace and all other historical places in Mysore. Early morning you will visit Srirangapatna which was the 18th century capital city of the fighter king Tipu Sultan. Jagmohan Palace is one of the popular sites in Mysore. It is enriched with abundant collection of Indian paintings, musical paintings and also few European masterpieces. After that, also pay a visit to famous Mysore palace which has an Indo-Saracenic style of architecture and also blends Islamic, Rajput and Gothic styles. It also conducts a famous festival called Dasara every year. After a exerting sightseeing in Mysore drive down to the backwaters Kabini river at a fringe of Nagarhole National Park. Check in the hotel and then enjoy a lazy coracle ride (a round shaped ethnic boat) along the placid river body which is surrounded by the forests. Overnight stay in Kabini or Nagarhole.

 

Day 3: Kabini

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Wake up in the morning and spend some time on your own after breakfast. Enjoy the scenic beauty of the river and the surround forests. In the afternoon go for a jeep safari in Nagarhole National Park. In this safari, you will encounter with some leopards, barking deer, jackals and herd of leopards. The park has rich forest cover, small streams, hills, valleys and waterfalls. The park has a healthy predator-prey ratio, with many tigers, Indian bison and elephants. It is also a part of Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve. After the safari, experience the village life by taking a walk or riding a bicycle around the resort and then enjoy a cup of tea at a local village shop, where the local people and entertain themselves after their daily hard work.

 

Day 4: Kabini – Coorg (130 km / 3 hrs)

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After breakfast check out of the hotel and start your journey to Coorg. The journey will mesmerise you as the road towards the ‘Spice land’ is dotted with paddy fields, woods, arecanut plantations and small hamlets. As you reach there, check in a homestay in a traditional cottage in the middle of coffee and spice estate nearby. After you take some rest proceed for a guided tour to unfold the different layers of coffee plantation in the afternoon. After the tour, return to your hotel and spend some leisure time and prepare for the next day surprises. Stay overnight in Coorg.

 

Day 5: Coorg

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Get ready!! Gulp down your breakfast and get ready for small surprises in the morning. Today you will visit the elephant camp across the river or trek to a waterfall inside the deep forest along the trail. Later on drive up to the hills’ source where the Kaveri river was born (the primary region); and then it’s time to pay a visit to the cute town called Madikeri. The places to see in Madikeri are Royal buildings, Hilltop view points, spice gardens and also you will discover the authentic taste of Coorgi cuisine which considered as the only hindu dish which prepares pork. Stay overnight in Coorg.

 

Day 6: Coorg – Bekal (115.3 Km / 2.5 hrs)

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Check out of the hotel after breakfast and proceed to Bekal the unspoilt part of Kerala. Check in the hotel as u reach there and spend some time to take rest after the long journey. Get energised and then step out to visit Bekal Fort and other surrounding places and then spend some time in Kapil beach and watch the sunset over the horizon. After that get dropped at hotel and then spend the night in Bekal.

 

Day 7: Bekal

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On this day you will go around the small town Bekal. Start your day after you are done with your breakfast. You will be visiting Malik Deenar Mosque in the morning which built in the Kaerala Hindu Temple style in AD 642 by Malik Deenar himself. He was one of the first known Muslims who came to India to spread the Islam teachings in South Asia. The mosque is an artistic and heritage example of cultural bonding as it welcomes the non-Muslims. After this it’s time to be on the water of Kerala backwaters. Check in the house boat and enjoy a lazy cruise along the massive Valiyaparamba Backwaters. Enjoy a traditional lunch served on boat. Stay overnight in Bekal

 

Day 7: Bekal- Kannur (78.8 Kms/ 2 hrs) - Kozhikode (78.8 Kms/ 2.5 hrs)

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Today spend the morning at leisure, by experiencing the beauty of the surrounding nature and sights of Kerala houses. After checking out of the house boat and then drive to Kannur. On the way stopover at Ezhimala where the hills meet the blue lagoon dotted with a coconut plantation. After reaching Kannur experience the rural life by taking a village walk around the Kannur town. After this walk in the village a beautiful experience is waiting for you. In the afternoon pay a visit to Parassinikkadavu Madaikkavu Temple and spend some time there in the temple by exploring it till the evening. In the evening a dane performance called Theyyam is offered daily, a part of the traditional offerings. Proceed to Kozhikode and stay overnight in a hotel near airport in Theyyam village.

 

Day 8: Kozhikode - fly out to Chennai – Mahabalipuram -Pondicherry (155.2 kms /4 hrs)

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Time to fly from Kerala to Tamilnadu. Check out of the hotel and get dropped in airport. After meet-&-greet at Chennai airport, drive down to Pondicherry. En route visit a small heritage village called Mahabalipuram. It is a place is globally famous for the sanctuaries carved out of rock in the 7th and 8th centuries: rathas (temples in the form of chariots), mandapas (cave sanctuaries), giant open-air rock reliefs such as the famous descent of the Ganges, and the shore temples, with thousands of sculptures to the glory of Shiva. After the day excursion and experiencing the heritage sights of Mahabalipuram drive down to Pondicherry. Stay overnight in Pondicherry.

 

Day 9: Pondicherry

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After breakfast pay a visit to Auroville – the spiritual centre of Pondicherry. Experience the natural sight and calmness of the place. Afterwards visit the museums and French heritage buildings and the French colonies in Pondicherry town. Then pay an optional visit to the serenity beach and experience the phytoplankton in the water. After that return to the hotel and spend overnight in Pondicherry.

 

Day 10: Pondicherry – Tanjore (165.8 Kms / 5 hrs)

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On this day it’s time for you to visit leave Pondicherry and head for Tanjore. When you reach there, check in the hotel and take some rest to carry on with your day excursion. Pay a visit to Biharadeshwara Temple as it is the longest temple and was established in the Chola period. It has typically Dravidian architecture. Also pay visit to others heritages in Tanjore.

 

Day 11: Tanjore – Chettinad – Madurai (189.6 / 5 hrs)

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Good morning!! Get up and check out of the hotel and drive down to Chettinad (‘Chetti’ or ‘Sreshthi’ means ‘the traders’ and ‘Nad’ stands for ‘a place’). On the way pay a brief visit to Karaikudi. Karaikudi is a small heritage town to explore. After that also explore the Chetti mansion followed by the world famous Chettinad cuisine. Also witness the weaving process of handloom cotton textile and the weaver’s make vibrant colour combinations of saree. After that proceed for Madurai. As you reach there, check in the hotel and overnight in Madurai.

 

Day 12: Madurai

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Today, have a beautiful morning by visiting the sculptures on “Gopurams”- the gates of Meenakshi temple which is the tallest ones in the land. Also explore the temple grounds with the gatherings of local pilgrims. After the visit also experience a story walk in the afternoon along the market and the streets of the town, where you will get to know the history and about the place Madurai. Stay overnight in Madurai.

 

Day 13: Madurai- departure

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Hey!! Sad to say but today is the day of your departure. Our services and your vacation come to an end today. So, grab your breakfast and get dropped at the airport. We end here!

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