South India - IOYO 55

11 Nights / 12 Days Bangalore - Mysore - Ooty - Cochin - Alleppey - Periyar - Madurai - Thanjavur - Pondicherry - Mahabalipuram - Chennai

Day 01:- Arrive Bangalore
Arrive Bangalore & transfer to hotel. Overnight at Bangalore

Day 02: Bangalore Mysore
Morning city tour of Bangalore. In this Garden City - visit the Lal Bagh with a variety of old trees, fountains, lotus pools, terraces & an assortment of tropical and sub- tropical herbs. Also see the Maharaja's Palace & Government Buildings. Later drive to Mysore. Overnight Mysore.

Day 03:- Mysore
Morning tour of Mysore. The palace of the Maharaja built in 1911-12. The palace is of harmonious syntheses of the Hindu and saracenic styles of architecture with archways, domes, turrets, colonnades ands culptures which are magnificent. Visit the Art Gallery; drive upto Chamundi hill to see Chamundeshwari Temple and a panoramic view of Mysore. On the way back, see the Nandi Bull. Overnight Mysore.

Day 04:- Mysore Ooty
Drive to Ooty. Overnight at Ooty.

Day 05:- Ooty Cochin
Morning drive to Cochin. Overnight Cochin.

Day 06:- Cochin Alleppey
Morning drive to Alleppey and embark a houseboat. The coastal town of Alleppey on the Arabian Sea is the Venice of the East, for the numerous canals that meander through the town. Bathing in the backwaters on the Vemband Lake is refreshing. This town holds a thrilling event of snake-boat race every year in August. It is also known for its cashew nuts, coir trade, rice, pepper crops & coconuts. Night on board.

Day 07:- Alleppey Periyar

Drive to Periyar. This is the earliest sanctuary to be set up in 1934, it extends to 777 square kms & forms part of the high mountain ranges, the Western Ghats. Wild life can be seen while cruising on Periyar Lake in a motor boat. Amongst the animals which can be seen are elephants, wild boar, sambar, tiger, leopard, wild dog, langur monkeys, etc. Overnight Periyar.

Day 08:- Periyar Madurai
Morning drive to Madurai. Afternoon visit the great Meenakshi Temple dedicated to the consort of Lord Shiva with its towering gopurams (rising high above the surrounding country side). Later, visit the Tirumala Nayak Palace - A gracious building in the Indo saracenic style, famous for the Stucco work on its domes & arches. Also visit the Alagar Hills and Tirupara Kundran Rock temple. Overnight Madurai.

Day 09:- Madurai Tanjore
Morning drive to Tanjore. Afternoon visit the beautiful Chola Temple of Brihadeeshwara - capped by a monolithic cupola made of a single granite block weighing 80 tons which was taken to the top with the help of a 6 km long ramp, an old technique used by the Egyptians for building pyramids. Its bronzes and handicrafts make Tanjore one of the highlights of a visit to South India. Overnight Tanjore.

Day 10:- Tanjore Pondicherry
Morning drive Pondicherry. The capital of French India before independence, Pondicherry traces its origin to Saint Agasthya, the revered sage of the south & excavations near-by reveal that a Roman settlement existed here 2000 years ago. It was the theatre of many a battle between the British. Overnight Pondicherry.

Day 11:- Pondicherry Mahabalipuram
Morning drive to Mahabalipuram. Overnight Mahabalipuram.

Day 12:- Mahabalipuram
Mahabalipuram is famous for the seven pagodas. Here on the seashore is an interesting group of ancient rock hewn temples which are the examples of Dravidian style of Architecture. Overnight at Mahabalipuram.

Day 13:- Mahabalipuram Chennai
Transfer to Chennai airport.