The Maharajah’s Palace At Mysore The Maharajah’s Palace At Mysore
Grand Tour Of South India
15 Days
01
 Depart  UK  
02
 Arrive  Bangalore To  Mysore  · Pick Up From
   Bangalore Airport
 · Tippu Sultans Fort
 · Chamundi Hill At Night
03
 Mysore  · The Huge Mysore
   Rajah’s Palace
04
 Ooty  · Dramatic Mountain        Journey To Ooty
05
 Ooty  · The Nilgiri Blue    Mountain Railway
06
 Cochin  · Kathakali Dance     Performance
07
 Cochin  · Historic Sights Of
   Old Fort Cochin
08
 The  Backwaters  · Rice Boat Journey
   On The Backwaters
09
 Thekkady  · Wild Elephants At
    Periyar By Boats
10
 Madurai  · Descent Of The
    Western Ghats
11
 Madurai  · The Ancient Sri     Meenakshi Temple
12
 Tanjore  · Sri Brihadishwara
   And TanjoreBronzes
13
 Pondicherry  · Rickshaw Ride To
   The French Quarter
14
 Mahabali  Puram  · The Stone Temples
   At Mahabalipuram
15
 Mahabali  Puram  · Relax On The Beach
16
 Depart  Chennai  Arrive UK  · Transfer To Chennai    Airport

This Is A Private Tour With Your Own
Vehicle And Driver-Guide
When To Go: July - April When To Go: Throughout Year
Tilling Rice Fields In Tamil Nadu Tilling Rice Fields In Tamil Nadu
Golden Turrets Of The Mysore City Palace Golden Turrets Of The Mysore City Palace
Spice Market At Mysore Spice Market At Mysore
Tea Gardens At Coonoor Tea Gardens At Coonoor
Old Steam Locomotive At Coonoor Old Steam Locomotive At Coonoor
Kathakali Dance Performance Kathakali Dance Performance
Kerala’s Idyllic Southern Backwaters Kerala’s Idyllic Southern Backwaters
Rice Boat On A Backwater Rice Boat On A Backwater
Elephants At Periyar National Park Elephants At Periyar National Park
The Sri Meenakshi Temple At Madurai The Sri Meenakshi Temple At Madurai
e Beautiful Sri Brihadishwara Temple At Tanjore e Beautiful Sri Brihadishwara Temple At Tanjore

Grand Tour Of South India

Room And Breakfast (Rice Boat: Full Board)
Based On 2 Persons Sharing Room

SUMMER: 01/05 – 30/09 WINTER: 01/10 – 30/04
FEATURED TOUR – LAND HOLIDAY ONLY
  SUMMER 2016 WINTER 2015
 FIRST CLASS HOTELS  £1336 PP  £1688 PP
 STANDARD 3 STAR HOTELS  £1074 PP  £1296 PP


FEATURED TOUR - WITH FLIGHT PACKAGE (LHR)
  SUMMER 2016 WINTER 2015
 FIRST CLASS HOTELS  £2072 PP  £2336 PP
 STANDARD 3 STAR HOTELS  £1808 PP  £1944 PP
*Based On Lowest Non – Peak Period Airfares
airplane

INCLUDES
  • Private tour of South India in an air-conditioned vehicle with English speaking driver.
  • All entry fees for places of interest as described in itinerary including jeep hire at national parks.
  • Services of local English speaking guides at Mysore, Cochin, Madurai, Tanjore and Mahabalipuram.

OFFERS AND DISCOUNTS
  • Children under 5 years of age sharing parents bed are given this tour FREE OF CHARGE!!
  • Special rates available for 2 adults and 1 child sharing triple room.
  • Discounts available for families and groups.
  • Flight and accommodation supplements may apply at peak periods.

TAILOR MADE ALTERATIONS
  • You are welcome to suggest changes or alterations such as a more relaxed tour with fewer activities or additional nights at places that may interest you.
  • Tell us about any special interests and we will incorporate them in to your
    tour schedule.

Grand Tour Of South India
A Comprehensive Tour Of The Majestic Palaces Of Mysore, Tropical Kerala And Delightful Temples Of Tamil Nadu.

The southern half of the Indian Subcontinent presents a very different and unique experience to the well trodden tourist circuit of North India.

You start your tour at Bangalore, a vision of a modern India yet to come, and a city at the forefront of the global IT revolution with a rapidly rising skyline. Southwards lies the princely city of Mysore, with grand palaces of its former rulers and evocative historic associations with Tippu Sultan.

The journey up the mountain wall of the Western Ghats has dramatic hairpin bends. Here are found legendary Hill Stations of the British Raj like Ooty and Coonoor. The highly scenic Nilgiri Blue Mountain Railway traverses tea estates and pretty highland waterfalls.

Through the Southern Ghats lies the tropical paradise of Kerala. Cochin has a great melting-pot harbour, with centuries old historical influences contributing to a unique Syrian inspired cuisine and an old Jewish Quarter.

The Backwaters are best enjoyed by spending a night aboard a private Rice Boat - highly luxurious craft with a full compliment of staff to explore the waterways of Kerala in style. Periyar National Park at Thekkady is perhaps the best location in India to observe Indian Elephants in the wild.

Tamil Nadu proudly celebrates its Dravidian heritage with fabulous Hindu temples and their massive towers or gopurams. Tanjore and Madurai are majestic temple cities with some of India’s best architecture housing legendary shrines such as the Sri Meenakshi Temple. The flat, fertile plains lead to the dramatic Coromandel Coast with its quaint French colony of Pondicherry, a mini-France in the heart of Asia and the enormous stone monuments at the ancient Pallava capital of Mahabalipuram.

Recommended For: Anyone seeking a unique South Indian tour experience, covering Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu.

Day 01

Depart UK
Depart UK – Overnight flight.

Day 02

Mysore
Windflower Resort And Spa

Bangalore is one of the most hip and happening cities in India and the centre of the Indian Software Industry. It also has a pleasant climate and plenty of parks and gardens.

Srirangapatnam
Srirangapatnam is famous as the former capital of Tipu Sultan, who fought and lost a war with the British, dying in battle in 1799. Tipu Sultan's Fort with double wall defenses was considered the second strongest in India. Located just outside the fort is Tipu Sultan's Wooden Summer Palace with ornate and beautiful frescoes. At The Gumbaz lie the tombs of Tipu Sultan and his father Hyder Ali.

The Sriranganatha Temple is one of the largest temples in South India with a colossal image of Lord Vishnu, on the back of a snake with a benevolent smile.

Panoramic View Of Mysore
The summit of Chamundi Hill offers a panoramic view of Mysore's lakes, parks and palaces. Half-way up along the stone steps is Nandi, Lord Shiva's Bull, a majestic stone monolith.

Day 03

Mysore
The Windflower Resort And Spa

Mysore
The Mysore Maharajahs were great patrons of art and culture and the city displays some magnificent reminders of their rule. The Maharaja's Palace is one of the most extravagant sights in the whole of India. Built in Indo-Saracenic style with domes, turrets, arches and colonnades, the palace is a treasure house of exquisite carvings and works of art from all over the world. Illuminated on Sundays and public holidays, the palace presents a spectacle of breathtaking beauty.

Brindavan Gardens is one of the best gardens in South India. Spread over 150 acres this beautiful location has featured in the song and dance routines of many Bollywood movies.

Day 04

Ooty And Coonoor
Taj Gateway Coonoor

Spectacular Journey Via 36 Hairpin Bends To Ooty
Travelling through the Mudumalai jungles you are very likely to spot wild elephants by the roadside. A series of 36 Hairpin Bends takes you from the jungle plains of Karnataka to the tea covered Nilgiri Hills

Ooty
At a height of 7347ft stands Udhagamandalam (Ooty) the Queen of Hill Stations, founded by the British in the 19th century to escape the oppressive heat and serve as summer headquarters for the Government of Madras.

Unfortunately, the hill town now suffers from severe overcrowding, so it is actually better to head to nearby Coonoor for a much more relaxed and peaceful stay. Coonoor, is a lovely town surrounded by forests of pine, eucalyptus and cypress.

Day 05

Ooty And Coonoor
Taj Gateway Coonoor

The Nilgiri Mountain Railway From Coonoor To Ooty
Take a short 18 Km journey on the famous Nilgiri Mountain Railway from the railway station at Coonoor (5616 ft) to Ooty (7228 ft).

Ooty
If you are chasing the atmosphere of the Raj, it still just about lingers in places like the Ootacamund Club, the best preserved of all the former British clubs in India, where snooker was invented by Neville Chamberlain. The well-kept Botanical Gardens, Ooty Lake and The Savoy Hotel are also worth visiting.

Day 06

Cochin
The Old Harbour Hotel

Descend to the plains of Tamil Nadu and drive through the Palakkad Gap to enter the northern ‘rice bowl’ of Kerala for a journey to Cochin. Upon arrival, you can, if you wish, enjoy a performance of Kerala’s world famous Kathakali Dance.

Day 07

Cochin
The Old Harbour Hotel

Cochin
The ancient port of Cochin has been influenced by traders from the Middle East, China and Europe who came to trade for spices from the Malabar Coast. You should head straight to Fort Cochin, at the mouth of the harbour where the town’s varied past is reflected in an Old Town area with steep-roofed bungalows, colonial residences, spice and antique shops, its cathedral, and synagogue. Travelling at a gentle pace, it is a short walk to the famous Chinese Fishing Nets and the Parade Ground from where a network of streets radiating in all directions is crammed full of charming old mansions and curio shops.

Day 08

Backwaters
Luxury Private A/C Rice Boat

Rice Boat Journey On The Alleppey Backwaters
The Backwaters of Kerala are an interlinked body of natural waterways, rivers and lakes connecting coastal towns. Over 900 Km of the Kerala backwaters are navigable and have been used for centuries by local people for the transportation of spices and rice.

The best way to enjoy the scenic beauty of the Backwaters is to travel on a traditional converted Rice Boat or Kettuvallam.

From your Rice Boat, you can watch rural fisher folk and people who live along the backwaters, or just stop along the canal bank and explore villages on foot or eat freshly caught crabs and lobsters. Water birds such as terns, kingfishers, darters and cormorants, and animals such as otters and turtles are easily observed along the backwaters.

The Deluxe Rice Boats are over 90 foot long, and are fully air-conditioned with luxurious facilities. Apart from the boat captain you are provided with a cook and assistants to prepare mouth-watering Kerala cuisine. This unforgettable journey through the backwaters in Kerala is usually the highlight of any South India Tour.

Day 09

Thekkady
The Spice Village

Kumily
Kumily is a plantation town washed in fresh spice scented air, with panoramas of cardamom, coffee and pepper plantations. Visits to local Spice Markets and spice gardens are easily arranged, as are popular Elephant Back Rides around the town.

Wildlife At Periyar Lake
The Periyar Wildlife Reserve, surrounds the Periyar Lake, and covers hills and verdant forests dominated by trees like Terminalia and Teak extending over a vast area of the Western Ghats.

The varied habitat in the sanctuary supports a large number of mammal species including Indian Bison (Gaur), Sambar, Chital Deer, Barking Deer and Wild Boar. Primates include Nilgiri Langur, Bonnet Macaque and Lion-tailed Macaque. Carnivores such as Tigers, Leopards, Jungle Cats and Wild Dogs are present but difficult to spot in the thick forest.

You can view wildlife at this reserve only by Safari Boats or Nature Treks on foot organised by Forest Department guides.

Day 10

Madurai
Taj Gateway Madurai

Madurai
An ancient city and centre of Tamil knowledge with origins lost in the mists of time, said to be over 2000 years old. Madurai was the capital city for the great Pandya kings.

Day 11

Madurai
Taj Gateway Madurai

The Sri Meenakshi Temple at Madurai is one the wonders of India and is famed for its architectural and religious importance. The complex houses 12 magnificent gopurams that are elaborately sculptured and painted, the tallest of which, the famous Southern Tower, rises to over 170 ft high.

Also worth visiting is The Thirumalai Nayakar's Palace (1623), a classic example of the Indo-Saracenic style of extravagant architecture. Madurai is famous for Jasmine flower sellers and spice markets that crowd the narrow streets around the main temple complex.

Day 12

Tanjore
Ideal River View Resort

Tanjore
Tanjore or Thanjavur was the capital of the Chola Empire and is a flourishing centre for bronze sculpture and a unique style of painting. You can go to small workshops around the town to see bronze casting that has evolved to unsurpassed levels.

The famous Brihadishwara Temple, built by Rajaraja The Great, ruler of the Chola Empire (11thC) is one of India’s finest UNESCO World Heritage Sites. You need to visit in the late afternoon when the crowds disappear and the sun’s rays turn the granite structure into glorious golden hues.

The Royal Palace at Thanjavur was built partly by the Nayaks around 1550 AD. It is possible to climb the Godagopuram, an eight storey watchtower and armory of 190 feet high. The museum’s galleries contain a World Famous Collection Of Magnificent Tanjore Bronzes depicting ancient themes, dancers and deities.

Day 13

Pondicherry
Maison Perumal

Pondicherry
Pondicherry (Pondy), was a small union territory where the French East India Company set up a trading centre in 1673 and ruled even after independence to remain a part of French India until 1954.

The former French colony is also known as The French Riviera Of The East (La Côte d'Azur de l'Est), as a remarkable degree of French influence in Pondy exists today. The relics of French rule are evident from the dress of the police to the simplicity of the people.

The entire town is divided into 2 sections, the French Quarter (Ville Blanche) and the Indian Quarter (Ville Noire). Many streets still retain their French names. Pondy has a great collection of colonial hotels such as The Hotel De’LOrient that serve excellent French Creole cuisine.

Day 14

Mahabalipuram
Radisson Temple Bay

A lovely new road runs south along the coast to Mahabaliputam, passing casuarina groves and orchards, as well as beautiful arid coastal landscapes containing huge salt pans.

Mahabalipuram
The marvelous city of Mahabalipuram was the seaside capital of the Pallava dynasty. The artistic temperament of these rulers resulted in some of the greatest works of South Indian art.

The scenic Shore Temple, The Five Rathas (chariots) made from single stone boulders and Arjuna’s Penance, the largest bas-relief in the world are highlights. The entire city resonates to the sound of chisels from small workshops that produce very ornate stone sculptures.

Day 15

Mahabalipuram
Radisson Temple Bay

Relax At Mahabalipuram
Enjoy relaxing by the shimmering Indian Ocean at Mahabalipuram. Fishermen can be seen dragging their boats and nets on to sandy beaches with beautiful red sunsets at the end of each day.

Day 16

Depart Chennai

Depart Chennai – Daytime flights arrive back in UK the same day.

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