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Home > Spiritual Tours > Temples, Backwaters & Spices of South
Temples, Backwaters & Spices of South (12 Nights / 13 Days)
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Temples, Backwaters & Spices of South
Detailed Tour Itinerary

Day 1 :: Arrive Chennai

Arrive Chennai and transfer by private vehicle to Taj Fisherman's Cove, a scenic sea side resort built on the ramparts of an 18th century Dutch Fort. Morning at leisure. In the afternoon visit the ancient capital city of Kanchipuram, the second holiest Hindu town in India and an important pilgrimage site that was once home to a thousand temples. Explore enormous stone temples (Ekambareswara, Kailashnath & Varadaraja Temple) with surfaces covered in elaborate carvings of Shiva, Vishnu and other Hindu gods. See tall gopurams (tower entrance gates) and vast stone halls filled with hundreds of carved pillars.

Overnight at the Hotel. Meals (B)

Day 2 :: Mahabalipuram

Visit the seaside town of Mamallapuram (Mahabalipuram), where Pallavan stonecutters produced some of the finest carving in India. Explore cave temple halls hewn from stone, stone rathas carved from single boulders, a magnificent stone bas-relief of nearly life-size elephants and humans ("Arjuna's Penance" or "Descent of the Ganges") and the romantic Shore Temple, an eighth-century carved brick shrine fronting the beach.

Overnight at the Hotel. Meals (B)

Day 3 :: Chennai - Cochin

Transfer to Chennai airport for flight to Cochin. Cochin is an evocative harbor town stretched across islands and peninsulas on the Malabar Coast. Founded by Vasco da Gama in 1502 it was once a centre of the spice trade and now the principal port on the Malabar Coast. A cosmopolitan European influence has been left by the various waves of British, Portuguese, Dutch and Jewish settlers who made this colourful city their home.

Explore the diverse sights of Fort Kochi including a sunset cruise around the harbor to see the Dutchbuilt Bolghatty Palace and the Chinese fishing nets.

Overnight at the Hotel. Meals (B)

Day 4 :: Cochin

This morning take a guided walking tour of historic Fort Kochi to include St Francis Church, the oldest European church in India. Then go by car to visit the Mattancherry Palace the nearby merchant houses and a fine synagogue. Walk through the spice markets where traders sell varieties of rice, ginger, garlic and chili.

In the evening enjoy a Kathak dance performance.

Overnight at the Hotel. Meals (B)

Day 5 :: Cochin – Periyar

In the morning depart for a scenic drive to Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary in the Cardamom Hills on the border of Tamil Nadu and Kerala (approx 185 kms). Periyar is one of the largest sanctuaries in India and is centred on a 34km lake excavated by the British in 1895.

Visit the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary, situated on the banks of the Periyar Lake. Here the high ranges of the Western Ghats are clothed in dense evergreen, moist deciduous forests and savannah grasslands. Below this thick green canopy roam herds of elephants, sambars, tigers, gaurs, lion tailed macaques and Nilgiri langurs. Evening viewing by boat.

Overnight at the Hotel. Meals (B)

Day 6 :: Periyar - Kumarakom

Cruise the lake in the early morning, scouting the forest for resident elephants, barking deer and birds. After breakfast drive to Kumarakom, an unbelievably beautiful paradise of mangrove forests, emerald green paddy fields and coconut groves interspersed with enchanting waterways and canals adorned with white lilies. Situated on the Vembanad Lake, in this small water world you'll come across plenty of traditional country crafts, boats and canoes which will take you into the heart of the scenic lake.

Overnight at the Hotel. Meals (B)

Day 7 :: Kumarakom

Day at leisure. Board a traditional rice boat to navigate through the narrower sections of the backwaters. On the backwaters life passes by as it has for centuries. Fishermen tend their nets, women weave rugs from coir, and farmers cultivate rice and a delicious variety of fruits.

Overnight at the Hotel. Meals (B)

Day 8 :: Kumarakom – Bangalore – Mysore

Early morning transfer to Cochin airport (approx 85 kms) for flight to Bangalore. Transfer by private car to Mysore (approx 130 kms). Mysore is noted for its palatial buildings and beautiful gardens.

In the evening visit the City Palace, one of the largest in India, built by Henry Irwin in 1897.

Overnight at the Hotel. Meals (B)

Day 9 :: Mysore – Belur – Halebid – Mysore

Morning departure by private vehicle to Belur & Halebid (approx 145 kms). Belur and Halebid are 17 km apart, but they have always been referred to in one breath, as belonging together. Yet, upon visiting them, you realize that the two, though built by the same school (Jakkanna Achari is credited as the architect), are quite different in appearance.

These temples have become rich repositories of ancient Hindu culture. Belur's main temple, Chennakeshava (dedicated to Lord Krishna and set in a compound with several smaller temples and a pond), was commissioned by King Vishnuvardhana in 1117 AD to celebrate Hoysala military victories. It took over a hundred years to complete and its architecture is foreign to the prevailing Hoysala style of the 12th century – it is exceptionally large (about 100-ft high) and its decoration very lavish (with a magnificent gateway tower – gopuram) in Dravidian style. It is delicate in its filigree work, with the added attraction of bracketed figures of celestial dancers, called Madanikas and exclusive to Belur, and an innumerable variety of intricate pillars. Contrary to Indian tradition, these Hoysala sculptors signed their work at this temple.

Halebid (Hale'beedu) literally means ‘the ruined city'. During the 12th and 13th centuries AD, it flourished as the capital of the Hoysala Dynasty for about 150 years. It was then known as Dwarasamudra (gateway to the seas). However, it was twice attacked by invaders who robbed it of its treasures, leaving behind the ruins of the once-magnificent Shiva temple.

Return to Mysore in the evening.

Overnight at the Hotel. Meals (B)

Day 10 :: Mysore

Morning at leisure. Visit Chamundi Hill to view the Chamundeswari Temple and the famous Nandi Bull.

Overnight at Hotel. Meals (B)

Day 11 :: Mysore

Morning at leisure. Later, drive to Bangalore. Upon arrival, check in at the hotel.

Overnight at the Hotel. Meals (B)

Day 12 :: Bangalore

Morning tour of the city. The places of interest are the Vidhan Soudha which presently houses the Legislative Assembly of the state of Karnataka, Cubbon Park, Iskon Temple, Bull Temple, Bangalore Palace and Tipu's Palace.

Overnight at the Hotel. Meals (B)

Day 13 :: Bangalore Departure

Morning at leisure. Later, transferred to the airport by private vehicle for your onward flight.

********************************TOUR ENDS*************************************

Tour Inclusions :- (Price on Request) 02 Nights stay at hotel in Chennai with Breakfast
02 Nights stay at hotel in Cochin with Breakfast
01 Night stay at hotel in Periyar with Breakfast
02 Nights stay at hotel in Kumarakom with Breakfast
03 Nights stay at hotel in Mysore with Breakfast
02 Nights stay at hotel in Bangalore with Breakfast
Transportation in an A/C vehicle throughout the tour
Daily Breakfast
City tour of Chennai
Day trip to Mapllapuram
City tour of Cochin
Jungle Safari in Periyar
Boat ride in Kumarakom
City tour of Mysore.
Visit to Hoysala tour at Belur
Visit to Vijyanagar Empire in Hampi
City tour of Bangalore
Applicable Luxury Taxes

Tour Exclusions:-

Entrances Fees
International Airfare
Personal items
Phone Calls
Tipping
Laundry
Drinks & Meals when taken outside of the hotel or retreat centre

Additional Excursions:-

01 Night stay at local family in Mysore (Price on Request)
Day trip to Elephant Centre in Periyar (Price on Request)
02 Hrs Cooking class at a local family with Bangalore (Price on Request)

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