Arrive Bangalore Airport & Transfer to Hotel. In the afternoon, proceed for the city tour Of Bangalore. Bangalore City: The capital of Karnataka state & India’s Silicon Valley is a former, British garrison town with its wide avenues, classical bungalows and gothic churches. Visit Lalbagh Botanical Gardens, Nandi (bull) temple etc.
After breakfast, drive Bangalore/Hassan (18S kms/04 hrs) via Sravena Belgola. Sravena Belgola: A centre of Digambar Jains is presided over by a colossal rock statue, S7 feet high (ad 983) of Jain Saint Gomateswara. It is nude statue. The face has the serene & calm look. The statue looks as fresh as if newly quarried. Thereafter continue drive to Hassan & evening: visit Belur & Halebid. Belur & Halebid: situated on the banks of river Yagachi, Belur was the capital Hoysala Empire 800 years ago before it was shifted to nearby Helebid. Today, Belur is small town banking on its luxurious greenery and in the glory of one of the greatest monuments of medieval art in India.
After breakfast, drive Hassan/Mysore (160 kms/04 hrs) en-route visit Srirangapatnam. Srirangapatnam: 16 kms north of Mysore, Srirangapatnam meaning “port of the lord of the world” is an ancient religious site on an island in the river Cauvery. The summer palace of Tipu Sultan, Srirangapatanam is known for its fortress and tomb of the famous warrior king. Thereafter continue drive to Mysore & evening: visit Somnathpur. Somnathpur: the tiny village, east of Mysore, has one of the best preserved and the only complete one of approximately 80 Hoysala temples in Mysore region.
After Breakfast city tour of Mysore is a city of palaces, but the most magnificent of them all is the Mysore Palace, One of the most unforgettable images of the city is the image of the illuminated Mysore Palace against the dark black sky. It takes ninety seven thousand light bulbs to produce this enchanting image of the Palace. The Palace is situated in the middle of the city and is a reminder of the grandeur of a bygone era.
Thereafter transfer to railway station to connect train to Chennai.
Dep: Mysore 1420 hrs 2008 Shatabdi express
Arr: Chennai 2125 hrs A/C Chair Car
Meet upon arrival & transfer to hotel in Mahabalipuram (50 Kms).
After breakfast day for sightseeing in and around Mahabalipuram. Mamallapuram – the kings of Pallava dynasty laid the foundations of Dravidian architecture in India and at Mahabalipuram. The important monuments to be seen are the five Rathas, the bas – relief on huge rock popularly known as Arjuna’s penance, the Mahisasura Mandapam, the Krishna Mandapam and the Shore temple.
Drive Mahabalipuram/Pondicherry (132kms/03 hrs 15 mins) a colonial town where pure French influence still exist.
Drive to Thanjavur visiting Gangaikondacholapuram and Kumbakonam Temples en-route. Kumbakonam: 38 kms from Thanjavur. Well-known pilgrim centre for both Saivites and Vaishnavites. The temples here are dedicated to Adi Kumbeshwara, Nageshwara, Chakrapani, Ramaswamy and Sarangapani. Gangaikondacholapuram: once the capital of the Chola King Rajendra (1102-44), the town of Gangai has the temple and the 5 kms long 11th century reservoir embankment survive. The temple which Rajendra built was designed to rival the Brihadisvara temple built by Rajendra’s father Rajaraja in Thanjavur.
Visit Shivganga Fort, Scwartz Church, Royal Palace & Brihadishvara temple. Tanjore: situated 36 kms south west of Swamimalai, Tanjore is also known as the granary of South India. The most important tourist attraction of this town is the magnificent Brihadishvara temple which has been called India’s greatest temple built in Dravidian style during 11the century. The gateway is more than 200 ft. High in the familiar pyramid style, but its crowning dome rests on a single block of granite weighing 80 tons. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. Also visit Saraswati Mahal – library which contains a rare collection of books and manuscripts on paper and palm leaves.
Drive Tanjore/Trichy (65 kms/1 hr). On arrival check-in at hotel. In the afternoon, proceed for the sightseeing tour of Trichy. Trichy: This town had been the southern sea of power for centuries. Many French & English battles were fought here battling for power when Robert Clive brought victory to the English in 18th century. The rock fort has played an important role in these events. Visit the island of Srirangam, a massive Vishnu Temple with seven walls.
Drive to Karaikudi visiting Ranganatha temple complex en-route. Stay at the heritage Chettiar mansion the Bangia, enjoy the Chetinadu Cuisine and visit Chetiyar bungalows.
Morning drive to Madurai and noon visit Meenakshi temple, Thirumalai Nayak Palaceand Anglican Cathedral. Meenakshi temple: this is an exquisite example of temples built by the Pandyan rulers. There are as many as 11 majestic towers with the main entrance from the east. There are two shrines, one dedicated to Sundreswarar and the other to his consort Meenakshi. The hall in front of the Sundareswarar shrine is known as Kampathadi Mandapam. The different manifestations of Lord Shiva are depicted on the pillars of this hall. Evening: witness the Pooja ceremony at the Meenakshi Temple.
Drive to Periyar (160 kms, 4 hrs 30 min). Afternoon 90 mins plantation tour and evening boat cruise on Lake Periyar to see the wildlife. Periyar is spice capital of India and known for elephants in wilderness.
Morning drive to Kumarakom for night on Kettuvallam houseboat.
After leisurely breakfast drive to Cochin. En-route sees the coir making. Evening witness the classical Kathakali Dance shows and sees the artist putting painstaking makeup.
After breakfast city tour of Cochin. Cochin: visit to the Cochin Harbour Terminus, Mattancheery Dutch Palace, Jewish Synagogue, Jew Town, Fort Cochin area- St. Francis Church, Chinese fishing nets. Also at Ernakulum, the public gardens, Colleges, High Court building and Broadway shopping centre. Afternoon: free for personal activities.
You can fly to Chennai or Mumbai for onward journey back home or to the beaches of Goa or Marari for relaxation.