Discover South India

Tour Duration : 15 Nights & 16 Days
Places Covered : Mumbai - Kochi - Munnar - Kumarakom - Alappuzha - Kochi - Ooty - Mysore - Shravanabelagola - Hassan - Hospet - Hampi - Hospet - Badami - Belgaum - Mumbai

Detailed Itenarary :

Day 1 : Mumbai

Arrive Mumbai :: Met upon arrival in Mumbai and transfer you to the hotel. Over night stays in the hotel.

Day 2 : Mumbai

Mumbai :: Have breakfast & then proceed for the city tour of Mumbai visiting :- Gateway of India :: this graceful ceremonial archway was built to commemorate the arrival of King George V and Queen Mary for the Delhi Durbar of 1911. It has historical significance for India because after the country gained Independence, the last British troops left Indian soil, marching under this imperial archway to board their waiting ships. Elephanta Island :: Situated 9 kilometers out to sea, from the Gateway of India; this island has a beautiful rock-cut Shiva Temple, on top of a hill. The island can be reached by a short enjoyable ferry ride. Prince of Wales Museum :: One of the countrys reowned museums, this heritage building is situated amidst green lawns, away from the hustle and bustle of the city. The museum contains a priceless collection of miniature paintings as well as extensive collection of art, sculpture, rare coins and weapons. Dhobi Ghat :: A unique feature of Mumbai, the dhobi is a traditional laundryman, who will collect your dirty linen, wash it, and return it neatly pressed to your doorstep. All for a pittance the "laundries" are called "ghats": row upon row of concrete wash pens, each fitted with its own flogging stone. The clothes are soaked in sudsy water, thrashed on the flogging stones, then tossed into huge vats of boiling starch and hung out to dry. Next they are ironed and piled into neat bundles. The most famous of these Dhobi Ghats is at Saat Rasta near Mahalaxmi Station where almost two hundred dhobis and their families work together in what has always been a hereditary occupation. Jehangir Art Gallery :: is situated just next to above museum. Here are many arts and photographic exhibition are held, to explore Indian painting and sculpture. Haji Ali Mosque :: rises squarely from the sea, the mosque has a tomb of the Muslim saint Haji Ali. People from all religions come here, as they believe that their wishes will be fulfilled upon a visit here. The mosque is known for his typical Islamic architectural. Over night stay in the Hotel.

Day 3 : Mumbai - Kochi - Munnar

Mumbai - Cochin (Fly) - Munnar (Drive 130 Kms - Approx. 3 Hr) :: Have breakfast & drive towards Airport to board a flight for Cochin. Upon arrival, direct drive towards Munnar - is breathtakingly beautiful - a haven of peace and tranquility - the idyllic tourist destination in Gods 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. Unending expanse of tea plantations - pristine valleys and mountains- exotic species of flora and fauna in its wild sanctuaries and forests - aroma of spice scented cool air - yes! Munnar has all these and more. Its the place you would love to visit - its the place you would wish never to leave- so welcome - log on to for all information on Munnar anytime, every time. Upon arrival, check in to the hotel. Evening is free for leisure. Over night stay in the hotel.

Day 4 : Munnar

Munnar :: Have breakfast & proceed for city tour of Munnar & visit: - Mattupetty Dam :: situated at a height of 1700 m , Mattupetty is famous for its highly specialized dairy farm, the Indo-Swiss live stock project. Over 100 varieties of high yielding cattle are reared here. Visitors are allowed into three of the eleven cattle sheds at the farm. Erivakulam National Park :: is situated in the Devikulam Taluk of the Idukki District. It was declared as a sanctuary in 1975. Considering the ecological, faunal, floral, geo-morphological and zoological significance, it was declared as a National park in 1978. It covers an area of 97 sq kms of rolling grasslands and high level sholas (evergreen forests). The park is breathtakingly beautiful and is easily comparable to the best mountain ranges found anywhere in the world. Sanctuary Visit: - The Park is devided into 3 regions - the core area, the buffer area and the tourism area. Visitors are allowed only to the tourism area which is in the Rajamala region. The Nilgiri Tahr can be observed at close quarters here. Also enjoy tea plantation visit. Later proceed back to the hotel for over night stay.

Day 5 : Munnar - Kumarakom

Munnar - Kumarakom (Drive 200 Kms - Approx. 4 Hr) :: Have breakfast & drive towards Kumarakom. Upon arrival transfer you to the hotel. Remain day is Have breakfast & day at leisure to perform your own activity and relax at the beach. Over night stay in Hotel.

Day 6 : Kumarakom - Alappuzha

Kumarakom - Alleppey (Board A/c Houseboat) :: Today board a houseboat by 11am and cruise through the back water of Kerala, on the way you can see traditional Kerala village life remind unchanged for many years. You also witness the merchant’s spellings vegetables in a boat while the village people wait at the bank of Venbanad Lake. Here your crew will prepare delicious Keralian meals from freshly brought vegetables from the market. Over night stay in Houseboat.

Day 7 : Alappuzha - Kochi

Arrive Alleppey - Cochin (Drive 53 Kms - Approx. 1 Hr) :: Post breakfast arrival at disembark the houseboat and drive to Cochin. Met upon arrival in Cochin and transfer you to the hotel. Relax in hotel, for couple of hours and then proceed for the Sun Set Cruise in the Arabian Sea to see. After that you go for seeing: - Chinese fishing Nets :: A legacy of one of the earliest visitor to the Malabar coast, these nets are unmistakable as one enters the harbor. Records show that they were first erected between A.D 1350 and 1450. Constructed out of Teak wood and Bamboo poles, they work on the principle of balance. The best place to watch is from Vasco Da Gama square, a narrow promenade that parallels the beach with little stalls that serve fresh seafood, tender coconuts and so on. Later proceed back to the hotel for over night stay.

Day 8 : Kochi

Cochin :: After breakfast, city tour of Cochin and visit to: - Santa Cruz Basilica :: Built by the Portuguese, the church was elevated to a Cathedral by the Pope Paul IV in 1558. Spared by the Dutch conqueror of Cochin who destroyed many Catholic buildings in 1663, it later fell into the hands of the British who demolished it when they took over Cochin in 1795. For almost 100 years there was no church on the site, until the Bishop Dom Gomez Vieira commissioned a new building in 1887. Consecrated in 1905, Santa Cruz was proclaimed a Basilica by the Pope John Paul II in 1984. The Dutch Cemetery :: Consecrated in 1724 and now managed by the church of South India, the inscriptions found here are some of the most authentic reminders of the countless men and women who left their European houses behind to play their roles on the colonial canvas of 17th, 18th and 19th century. St. Francis Church :: Considered Indias oldest European church, St Francis was originally roman Catholic during the Portuguese period from 1503 to 1663, Dutch reform from 1644 to 1804, and Anglican from 1804 to 1947. Today it is governed by the Church of South India. The building was originally constructed out of timber and later reconstructed in stone masonry during the 16th century. Vasco Da Gama who died in Cochin in 1524 was buried here before his remains were returned to Portugal 14 years later. Jewish Synagogue, Mattancherry :: The Synagogue at Mattancherry built in 1568, The Great Scrolls of the Old Testament, the Copper Plates on which the grants of privilege made by the Cochin rulers were recorded and the exquisite Chinese hand-painted tiles are of interest, is the oldest Synagogue in the Common Wealth Countries. It was partially destroyed in the war of 1662, but was rebuilt by Dutch. In the mid 18th century the clock tower was added. Its floors are paved with exquisite had painted blue-willow tiles imported from China. Of these no two tiles are alike. The great scrolls of the Old Testament the copper plates in which the grand of privilege made by the Cochin Rules were recorded and the exquisite Chinese and Painted Tiles are of great interest. The Synagogue is open from 10 am to 12 noon and 3 pm to 5 pm on all days except Saturdays and Jewish holidays. The boasts of Rabbi gives visitors a full account of the synagogue and the history of the Jews in Kerala. Although this ancient community of Cochin has new dwindled to Hebrew language remain in Jew Town. In the evening, if you have the time - we can take you to dance performance, which is roughly for about 1.30 hrs. Later proceed back to the hotel for over night stay.

Day 9 : Kochi - Ooty

Cochin - Ooty (Drive 275 Kms - Approx. 5 Hrs) :: Morning Proceed for Ooty and upon arrival visit: - The Ooty Lake :: The beautiful Ooty Lake is a favourite haunt of tourists. Botanical Gardens :: Extending over 22 acres, this beautiful garden with exotic trees. Ornamental plants and undulating lawns, was laid out in 1847. A marvellous flower show is held here every May. Dodabetta Peak :: The highest peak in the Nilgiris. Wenlock Downs :: The undulating countryside just outside Ooty is ideal for long walks. This is simply a place to stay for over night and the major attraction are the tea estates. Over night stay in the hotel.

Day 10 : Ooty - Mysore

Ooty - Mysore (Drive 117 Kms - Approx. 2 Hrs) :: Have breakfast & drive towards the third largest city in Karnataka, Mysore gets its name from Mahishasura, the demon from Puranas, who used to rule here. This city of palaces, flowers and sandalwood was once the residence of the Maharajas of Mysore. Located 140km from Bangalore at a height of 770m above sea level, the city has a non-variant climate. Many dynasties ruled Mysore starting from 3rd century BC. The Satavahanas, the Kadambas, the Gangas, the Chalukyas, the Rashtrakutas, the Hoysalas, the Bahmanis, the Adil Shahs, all left their marks in Mysore. From 1399 the Wodeyar family ruled Mysore until India became independent in 1947 except for 38 years in the 18th century when Hyder Ali and his son Tipu Sultan seized power. Raja Wodeyar (1576-1617) annexed Srirangapattana in 1610 and Bangalore, a little later. During Chikkadevarayas reign, which kept away from rivalries of Mughals, Marathas and the Nizams, Mysore was most prosperous. After Chikkadevaraya, the Wodeyar rulers became weak and Hyderali through a coup took the power. During the 38 years that followed, Mysore prospered very well. With the headquarters at Srirangapattana, they built beautiful palaces in Mysore and Bangalore, laid out a dream botanical garden at Lal Bagh and fought valiantly to oust the British from their native soil. After the death of Tipu Sultan in 1799 the power was restored to the Wodeyars. In 1831 the British took over the administration of Mysore. In the early 20th century nationalist fervour swept the country and people of Mysore involved actively in the freedom movement. After independence, Mysore was acceded to the Union of India. In 1956 Mysore State was enlarged and on 1st Nov. 1973 renamed Karnataka. Upon arr. visit to: - CFT Research Institute :: Once a royal residence, the European Renaissance style palace with lovely mosaic work and pilaster work houses the central food technology Research Institute. Chanarajendra Museum & Art Gallery :: Vast collections of handicrafts, sculptures, paintings and other objects of interest are houses in the Jaganmohan palace. The paintings of renowned Raja Ravi Varma and Nicolas Roerich and the ivory collections are of special interest. The palace was built in 1861. Lalita Mahal Palace :: Krishnaraja Wodeyar IV built the palace, designed by E. W. Fritchley, in 1921 as a guesthouse for European friends. Nesting at the foot of the Chamundi Hills, the pleasing white structure was modelled in the lines of St. Pauls Cathedral in London. ITDC converted it into a hotel in 1974. One can enjoy the grandeur and elegant luxury of a bygone era in this hotel. Later check in the Hotel - over night stay in the Hotel.

Day 11 : Mysore

Mysore :: Have breakfast & proceed for the city tour of Mysore & visit: - Maharajas Palace :: Built enormous and lavish in 1911 to replace the old palace in the fort that burned down, the Maharajas Palace is an extravagance of domes, arches, turrets and sculptures. It is a fine example of Indo-Saracenic style of architecture. With vast pillared corridors and stately halls, carved ceilings, intricate mosaics, carving in ivory, stone and wood, life like paintings, antique royal weapons, this palace is a must in every visitor’s itinerary. Rail Museum :: Situated opposite the CFTRI on Krishnaraja Road, the rail Museum has exhibits from Mysore State Railways that operated between 1881-1951. Chamundi Hills :: This is a 1150m hill that is named after Goddess Durga, the consort of Lord Shiva, who vanquished the Demon Mahishasura. From the top of the hill, one can have a panoramic view of Mysore. The peak is accessible by a 13km road. But the summit can be reached by climbing the 300 year-old flight of 1000 steps reducing the distance to 4 km. Chamundeswari Temple :: Built in the 12th century, a fine example of Dravidian temple architecture, Krishnaraja Wodeyar renovated the temple in 1827. The temple tower is 40m high with seven stories. The deity is Goddess Durga. On the way to the temple, there is a monolithic statue of Nandi bull and a mortar statue of Mahishasura. Vegetable Market :: the other interesting place to see the Indian vegetables. And later proceed back to the Hotel. Over night stay in the hotel.

Day 12 : Mysore - Shravanabelagola - Hassan

Mysore - Hassan via Shravanabelagola (Drive 71 Kms - Approx. 1½ Hrs) :: Leave in the morning after breakfast for Hassan and visit enrooted: - Shravanabelagola :: A huge monolithic statue of the Jain saint Gomateswara, standing on the Indragiri Hill here, dominates the landscape. It is said that the Mauryan king Chandragupta came here in the "3rd century BC, after renouncing the world and also visit Halebid :: Founded in the early 11th century as Dvarasamudra, this ancient capital of the Hoysala empire was destroyed by the armies of the Delhi Sultanate in 1311 and 1327. The famous Hoysaleswara temple, which today is the centre of attraction, however survived the destruction. Construction of the Hoysaleswara Temple at Halebid began around 1121 but despite more than 80 years of labour, it was never completed. Never the less. It is easily the most outstanding example of Hoysala art. Every inch of the outside walls and much of the interior is covered with an endless variety of Hindu deities, sages, stylized animals and birds and friezes depicting the life of the Hoysala rulers. And now proceed for Belur :: was the Hoysala capital prior to Halebid, during the eleventh and twelfth centuries. The Chennakeshava temple is a fine and early example of the Hoysala style. It is one of the three major Hoysala sites still in daily use. Construction begun in 1116 to commemorate the Hoysala’s victory over the Cholas at Talakad and took almost a century to complete. The facade of the temple which is covered with intricate sculptures, frescoes, elephants and episodes from the epics, sensuous dancers - all these are awe-inspiring in their intricate workmanship. Inside the Temple are hand-lathe turned filigreed pillars. Upon arrival transfer you to the hotel for over night stay.

Day 13 : Hassan - Hospet

Hassan - Hospet (Drive 422 Kms - Approx. 8 Hrs) :: Leave after breakfast for a long drive - you have a choice - you can even use the train services. Or you can continue by the same car. Upon arrival - check in the hotel and over night stay in the hotel.

Day 14 : Hospet - Hampi - Hospet

Hospet - Hampi - Hospet (Day Trip) :: Have breakfast & leave for full day visit of Hampi ruins and visit to The Sacred Center :: There are a host of temples scattered among the ruins of Hampi. Some of them function as places of worship even now and still maintain sacred traditions like the maintenance of a temple elephant. The Achyuta Raya’s Temple :: is one of the hidden attractions of Hampi. It is an example of the characteristic Hampi style of architecture and displays it at its most advanced stage. The main deity of the temple is Lord Tiruvengalanatha, a form of Shiva. The Courtesan’s Street & the Old Hampi Bazaar abuts the temple. The Virupaksha Temple :: is another major site for sight-seeing in Hampi. Being twelve-stories high, it is one of the tallest structures in the town and is one of its most recognizable landmarks. Located on the south bank of the Tungabhadra River, the temple is much sought after by pilgrims and tourists even today and the temple festivals attract large crowds. The Royal Center The Hazara Rama Temple :: is famous for its walls – the carvings tell the story of the Ramayana. As the name indicates, the Zenana Enclosure :: was the living quarters for the female members of the royal family. The Lotus Mahal located within it is one of the more famous places for sight-seeing in Hampi. There are still a lot of ruins scattered in the area, unfortunately only the basal structures are now preserved - Mahanavami Dibba, the Palace of Vira Harihara, the Stone Doors to the royal enclosure and the Granaries. Riverside Ruins The Vittala Temple located here has come to symbolize Hampi tourism. The temple is actually a sprawling complex of pavilions, temples, elaborate gateways and encircling walls. It is an extravagant and elaborate showpiece of the era’s architecture. Other places to see in Hampi include the two collections of 108 and 1008 shivalingas on the banks of the river, the Gejjala Mantapa located next to the Vittala temple, the Purandaradasa Mantapa dedicated to the poet of the same name and the Narasimha temple. Islamic Quarter From the riverside area, the Talarigatta Gate used to form the main entrance to the urban section of the city. The Ahmed Khan’s Mosque complex is a departure from the usual Hampi architecture. Constructed in the Deccani style, it is a remnant from the Mughal era. Carved out of granite, the Vishnu Temple is distinct from the other tourist attractions in Hampi. Over night stay in the hotel.

Day 15 : Hospet - Badami

Hospet - Badami (Drive 139 Kms - Approx. 2½ Hrs) :: Have breakfast & drive towards Badami. Upon arrival check in the Hotel and later drive around the town to have the feel of the city. Over night stay in the Hotel.

Day 16 : Badami - Belgaum - Mumbai

Badami - Belgaum (Drive 136 Kms - Approx. 2½ Hrs) - Mumbai (Fly) - Back Home :: Have breakfast & proceed for the city tour of Badami & visiting: - Cave Temples :: The cave temples figure prominently in the itinerary of tourists descending on Badami. Perched atop a flight of 200 steps, the temple complex consists of four ancient rock-cut caves replete with carved pillars and bracket figures. Of the four temples, three are Brahmanical temples while the fourth one is a Jain cave. The third cave temple, dedicated to Lord Vishnu, stands out among the lot for its sheer size and sculptural elegance. Badami Fort :: An uneven, steep and winding flight of steps between caves 2 and 3 lead to the imposing Badami fort. Within the ramparts of the fort, nestle a large granary, an underground chamber which must have served as a treasury or private audience hall and many other architectural marvels. The fort, whose chief attraction is the Tipus cannon, also houses a carved temple raised on top of the northern end of the hill. Agasthya- Tirtha Lake :: The 5th century Agastya-Tirtha Lake located beneath the cave temples is considered holy due to the healing powers of the lake water. The eastern banks of the Agasthya-Tirtha Tank are dotted with a cluster of Bhoothanatha temples. Bhoothanatha & Malegitti Temples :: The Bhoothanatha temple houses an 18-armed Shiva, Ganesh, Mahishamardini Durga, Varaha and Nrisingha incarnations of Vishnu. The pillared hallway is ornamented with exquisite artwork. The Malegitti Visalia Temple (late 7th century) is another major attraction of Badami. Later in afternoon drive towards Belgaum - upon arrival transfer you to the Domestic Airport to board the flight to Mumbai & then upon arrival have the connection to Back Home. Tour End.