Duration: 16 Nights/ 17 Days
Destinations:Chennai (Madras)-Trichy-Madurai- Periyar-Cochin-Bangalore-Mysore- Hassan -Hospet- Badami-Goa-Mumbai
Day 01: Arrive Madras ( Chennai), On arrival transfer to Hotel. Overnight at hotel.
Day 02: Morning a full day tour of Mahabalipuram & Kanchipuram. Kanchipuram is 64 kms from Madras and is the ancient capital of the Pallavas famous as a city of 1000 Temples and still has 124 shrines. The first temple dedicated to Shiva was built in the 7th and 8th century & has paintings on the walls. Temples of Ekambaswara, Kailasanatha, Sri Kamakshi and Varadarajaswamy are of interest. Kanchipuram is also famous for its silks.
The city of 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. Evening transfer to rail-station for overnight train to Trichy. Overnight on board the train.
Day 03: Morning arrive Trichy and transfer to hotel. Afternoon city tour. Trichy was the citadel of the Chola dynasty in the medieval period. In the 18th century it witnessed the Carnatic wars fought between the French and the English. Lord Robert Clive's house is still there to see and so is the Danish Church. The Rock-Fort is the landmark of Trichy. A climb of 434 steps leads to the ancient temple of Ganapati on top and a further climb to a Shiva temple. Overnight Trichy.
Day 04: Drive to Madurai visiting Tanjore enroute. At Tanjore, the beautiful Chola Temple of Brihadeeshwara is 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 Madurai.
Day 05: Morning 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. Afternoon free. Overnight Madurai.
Day 06: Morning drive to Periyar. 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 07: Morning an interesting drive to Cochin, which will take you through the rubber plantation and the spice route. Overnight at hotel in Cochin.
Day 08: Morning tour of Cochin. Cochin is the natural harbour created by the famed underwater Malabar mud-banks whose quality ensures that the rougher the seas are outside the calmer the waters are within the Harbour. Vasco-de-Gama placed it on the world map. It has a Jewish synagogue,
Portuguese churches, mosques & Hindu temples. Watch the Chinese Fishing Nets. Afternoon free. Overnight Cochin.
Day 09: Morning transfer to airport for a short flight to Bangalore. On arrival transfer to Mysore by surface. Overnight at a hotel in Mysore.
Day 10: Morning tour of Mysore. Visit 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 and sculptures which are magnificent. Visit the Art Gallery; drive upto Chamundi hill to see Chamundeshwari Temple & a panoramic view of Mysore. On the way back, see the Nandi Bull. Afternoon free. Overnight Mysore.
Day 11 : Full day tour of Belur and Halebid. The Chenna Kesava temple of Belur built 900 years ago is an exquisite example of Hoysala art. Halebid's 12th century Hoysaleswara and Kedareswara temples are master pieces of Hindu art.
On the way also visit Sravanbelgola. At Sravanbelgola, hewn out of a single rock and visible from a distance of 25 kms is the statue of Lord Gomteshwara which is bathed with milk and honey once every 12 years.
Day 12: Morning drive to Hospet. Visit Hampi. The once beautiful capital city of Vijayanagar Empire - greater than Rome, had palaces, temples & sculptures, spread all over. The city was razed to the ground by the Sultanates of South in 1565. Some of the interesting ruins remaining are the Virupaksha, Vittala and Hazara Rama temples huge Ganesha and Narasimha images, the elephant stables, the Queen's Bath, carvings on the Ramachandra temple & Lotus Mahal.
Day 13: Morning drive to Badami stopping at Aihole & Pattadakal on the way.
Aihole is the cradle of stone temple architecture of the southern Dravida School. The oldest temple, Lad Khan goes back to the 5th century A.D. There are 70 temples in this group. The Durga temple is noted for its sculptures. The Meguti temple is built of 630 small stone blocks. The Ravanaphadi Cave has some beautiful carvings. Pattadakal, referred to as Petrigal, reached its pinnacle of glory under the Chalukya kings from 7th to 9th centuries. The oldest in this group is the Sanghameswara Temple. The Mallikarjuna Temple has pillars depicting life of Krishna. Virupaksha temple has sculptures and panel scenes from the epics, the Ramayana & Mahabharata. The Papanatha Temple has impressive carvings on pillars and ceiling.
Day 14: Morning tour of Badami. Badami also known as Vatapi is rich with Hindu and Jain temples carved out of sand stone hills. The carved temples date back to the 6th century. Of these, three are Hindu and one Jain. Sculptured out of solid rock they are adorned with carvings. The Fort, on top of a hill encloses large granaries, treasury & a watch tower. The Malegitti Shivalaya temple set on the summit of a hill is built of stones without mortar.
Day 15: Morning drive to Goa famous for its golden beaches. On arrival check into your chosen hotel. Rest of the day at leisure to enjoy the sun at the beach.
Day 16: In Goa - Day at leisure to enjoy the Golden beaches and clear waters of Goa.
Day 17: Afternoon transfer to airport for a short flight to Bombay. On arrival in Bombay proceed for a half day city sight seeing tour. Later in the evening transfer to International airport for your journey back home.
Room till 12 Noon of day 17.