Best time to Visit
Day 1 Arrive Bangaluru
Upon arrival at Bangalore, you are received by a Vasco representative and escorted to the hotel. You are welcomed inside in Traditional style on arrival and check-in to the hotel for overnight stay.
Day 2 Bengaluru – Hassan
After breakfast in the morning you are free for own activities. Later check out from the hotel and drive to Hassan. Check-in at hotel upon arrival.
Rest of the day is at leisure. Overnight stay is at the hotel.
Day 3 Hassan – Mysore
After breakfast we leave for half day sightseeing of Belur and Halebid; which are known as one of the finest specimens of Hoysala architecture. The wealth of sculptural detail at Belur and Halebid rivals the temples of Khajuraho or the best of European Gothic art. At Belur the temple of Lord Channekeshava is embellished with superb carvings of deities, animals and friezes depicting the life and times of Hoysala rulers. Halebid was the seat of Hoysala Kingdom. Its great Hoysaleswara Temple was also built in the typical Hoysala style of architecture. A stellar base with the emblem of the lion and elephants seemingly supporting the temple, symbolise stability.
After visit we drive to Mysore, upon arrival check-in to hotel. Overnight stay is at the hotel.
Day 4 Mysore
After breakfast at the hotel we leave for a guided walk in the heart of Mysore which is a perfect introduction to the city. Helps you connect events around the world to what has happened here. You will see the colonial history with a strong British influence. Get to know what the Maharajas contributed to this city and get a feel of vibrant markets and parts of the old city.
Later we leave for the sightseeing tour visiting the palace of the Maharaja built in 1911-12. The palace is a harmonious synthesis of the Hindu and Saracenic styles of architecture with archways, domes, turrets, colonnades and sculptures which are magnificent. Visit the Art Gallery, drive up to Chamundi hill to see Chamundeshwari Temple and have a panoramic view of Mysore from the top of the hill. On way back, see the Nandi Bull. Overnight stay is at the hotel.
Day 5 Mysore – Ooty
After breakfast in the hotel we drive to Ooty. Check in at the hotel upon arrival.
In the afternoon take a ride on the unique Toy Train upto Coonoor. Return to hotel for overnight.
Day 6 Ooty – Kochi
After breakfast at the hotel we drive to Kochi. Check-in at the hotel upon arrival.
In the evening you will witness Kathakali Dance Show, India's most spectacular Dance Drama based on stories from Ramayana and Mahabharata. The dancers are elaborately made up with paint and masks, accompanied with drummers and musicians. We reach the theatre early to get a chance to see the dancers getting ready for the show and their faces being painted. Return to hotel for overnight stay.
Day 7 Kochi
After breakfast in the hotel, we leave for a guided tour of Cochin. We visit the St. Francis Church considered the first European Church in India, built in 1562 by St. Francis; this is India’s oldest European-built church. Continue on to Mattanchery Dutch Palace (closed on Friday & Public Holiday), a double-storied palace. The most important feature of Mattanchery Palace is the murals in the bedchambers, which depict scenes from the Ramayana, Mahabharata. These murals are some of the most beautiful and extensive, one of the wonders of India. Proceed to the Jewish Synagogue (closed on Saturdays), which was constructed in 1568 and is the oldest in commonwealth. While driving along the coastline, at the Harbour's mouth, one can also view the unique and still-in-use "Chinese Fishing Nets" which were introduced by the Chinese traders in the 14th Century. The tour ends in the Fort Kochi area where you can walk through the historical Dutch and Portuguese buildings. Some parts of this nearly 500-year-old Fort are still amazingly well preserved.
Overnight is at hotel.
Day 8 Kochi – Alleppey
Drive to Alleppey in the morning to embark the houseboat for an overnight backwater experience, the most romantic way of seeing one of the most beautiful areas of Kerala. The boat cruise takes you to small islets & you get glimpses of village at the best of its serenity and innocence. Watch village girls picking mussels or laundering clothes or pots on the small ponds in front of their house, while men folk are busy plucking coconuts, dates from the trees. Watch the village folk make the golden fiber called coir from coconut husk and transform it into various coir products. Rustling coconut groves abound.
We stop over to drink calm fresh coconut water from the kernel and watch the toddy-tapper tap at work. A ride on the smaller country boats takes you to the narrow canals of the backwaters. Meals are freshly cooked and served on the houseboat. Overnight is on board.
Day 9 Alleppey – Munnar
In the morning we leave for Munnar, the summer resort of the erstwhile British in South India.
Check-in at the hotel upon arrival.
Afternoon we tour the hill station town. Munnar offers a breathtaking view of the hills draped in folds of green carpet of tea gardens. Beyond the rolling hills discover the rich tropical forests abounding in exotic flora & fauna. It is here that you will find the Anamudi peak, the highest peak in the Western Ghats, in South India. Munnar's serene atmosphere, silver streams and pleasant climate welcomes you to have a whiff of the cool mountain breeze. We visit the sprawling tea estates of Munnar- the right royal resort lazily nestled in the verdant slopes of tea country. A quaint little town that exudes a rare old world charm and strangely reminds one of the days of the Raj in its elegant splendour. A promise of health with its soothing sunshine, salubrious climate and invigorating scent of the air from the tea gardens. We also visit a Tea Museum.
Overnight stay is at the hotel.
Day 10 Munnar – Madurai
After breakfast at the hotel we drive to the city of Madurai. Check-in at the hotel upon arrival.
In the afternoon we leave for city sightseeing tour visiting the Meenakshi Temple, an enormous temple complex dedicated to Lord Shiva and his consort Parvati or Meenakshi. The temple with its majestic stonewalls and 12 towers known as ‘Gopurams’ rising out of the swarming streets of the city center were built in the 17th century by Nayak rulers. The high point of the Meenakshi temple is Hall of a "Thousand Pillars", built in the 16th century; every pillar sculptured in Dravidian architecture. Not to be missed here are ‘Musical Pillars’. Each pillar when struck produces a different musical note.
Later, visit the Tirumala Nayak Palace - a gracious building in the Indo-Saracenic style, famous for the stucco work on its domes and arches.
After early dinner you have the choice to return to Meenakshi Temple to witness the daily prayer ceremony when the temple bronze of Lord Shiva is carried to the bed chamber of Parvati. The procession is accompanied by religious prayer and temple music. Overnight stay is at the hotel.
Day 11 Madurai – Tanjore
After breakfast we drive to Tanjore en-route visit Chettinad, which is one of the most beautiful heritage towns in South India, we continue drive to Tanjore, upon arrival check in to hotel
Afternoon we start the tour of Tanjore. We start with the Brihadeeshwara Temple, a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, built in the 10th century by Chola King Rajaraja 1 is a classical example of Chola architecture. The inner sanctum and Gopurams of the temple was constructed in 12years from a single piece of granite weighing around 80tonnes.The Raja Museum and the Art gallery with a large collection of Chola sculptures in bronze and granite is a must visit for artefact lovers. The Saraswati Mahal library contains over 40,000 rare books and palm leaf inscriptions in Indian and European languages. Overnight stay is at the hotel.
Day 12 Tanjore
After breakfast we take an excursion to Trichy. Visit the spectacular Rock Fort temple, a boulder of giant proportions perched on top on 84m high rock with images carved into it. Climb the 400-odd steps from the entrance to the summit. On the way is a tunnel said to lead to Thanjavur, now sealed. Further up is a hundred pillar halls and at the end of the last flight is the Tayumanasvami Temple dedicated to Shiva, which has a golden vimana, which houses the main deity. The Sri Rangam temple, our next stop is sprawled over a large area, on an island as the Cauvery flows on both sides. It houses the image of the sleeping Vishnu along the mortal remains of Sri Ramanuja Achraya.
Overnight stay is at the hotel.
Day 13 Tanjore – Pondicherry
After breakfast we drive to Pondicherry en - route we visit the ancient town of Darasuram and the Airavatesvara Temple, a Hindu temple of Dravidian architecture, considered a “sculptor’s dream in stone”, and one of the oldest of the Chola temples. This UNESCO World Heritage Site, also built by Rajaraja Chola in the 12th Century, is dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is a storehouse of art and architecture and has some exquisite stone carvings. Although this temple is much smaller than the Brihadishwara or the Gangaikonda Cholapuram Temples, it is more exquisite in detail due to the fact that it was said to have been built with nitya-vinoda, “perpetual entertainment”, in mind. We continue our drive to Pondicherry check in at the hotel upon arrival.
Overnight stay is at the hotel.
Day 14 Pondicherry – Mahabalipuram
After breakfast we visit southeast India on the Bay of Bengal south-southwest of Chennai (Madras). It consists of four former French coastal settlements whose administration was transferred to India in 1954. Visit Auroville and Aurobindo Ashram.
Later we drive to Mahabalipuram, upon arrival check in to hotel. Rest day is free to do own activity. Overnight stay is at the hotel.
Day 15 Mahabalipuram
In the morning after breakfast, we leave for an excursion to Kanchipuram, one of Hinduism's seven most sacred cities. This "Golden City of a Thousand Temples" dates back to the early Cholas in the 7th century AD. Only around 70 temples of the original 1000 old temples are still intact and the most famous of them is the Kailasanatha Temple built with sandstone in the early seventh century A.D. Kanchipuram is also known for its silk weaving and a visit to the nearby villages to see the craftsmen at work on their looms is a rewarding experience.
Continue on to Mahabalipuram (Mamallapuram) to visit the seventh century rock hewn monuments. The Shore temple, a World Heritage Monument is the only surviving one of seven, is a unique example of a temple built of rock quarried elsewhere and carried to shore. The best-known of the rock carvings is the immense bas-relief which is sculpted in fascinating detail on a huge whaleback-shaped rock, depicts the descent of the Ganges to the earth, the penance of Arjuna and myriad characters from the Mahabharata.
We also visit the Five Rathas, set of monolithic rock temples located on a sandy compound are the perfect examples of the evolution of Dravidian style architecture. The Rathas have an association to the great epic Mahabharata which describes the heroes of Mahabharata with their wife Draupadi which is termed as Panch Pandava Rathas. We return to hotel for overnight stay.
Day 16 Mahabalipuram – Chennai
After breakfast at the hotel we drive to Chennai airport to board your flight back home.