STUNNING SOUTH INDIA BUDGET TOUR PACKAGE
19 Nights / 20 Days
A sweeping tour of the South hitting all the tourist highlights along the way - from the beaches of the Bay of Bengal to the shores of the Arabian Seacoast with hill stations, backwaters, and architectural marvels along the way. Stunning South India at its best.
Itinerary Route: Chennai - Mamallapuram - Pondicherry - Tanjore - Madurai - Periyar - Alleppey - Cochin - Coonoor - Mudumalai - Mysore - Hassan - Hospet - Badami - Goa
Day 1: Chennai to Mamallapuram (2 hour drive)
You will be greeted by a Tour Packages India Representative and then driven to Mamallapuram where you'll spend the next two nights. Venture down to the beach and treat yourself to fresh fish in beachside restaurants while listening to the sounds of the surf.
Day 2: Mamallapuram
Spend the day sightseeing. By far and away, the most popular tourist attraction is Arjuna's Penance - one of the largest bas relief works of art in existence - carved out of the hillside rock it never fails to impress. Mamallapuram is famous as a pilgrimage town as well as being the seat of stone carving in South India and you'll see evidence of this especially on the way to the Five Rathas. Don't miss the Shore Temple, a rare item as it's the only monument in Mamallapuram "constructed" as opposed to being carved out of the rocky terrain of the town.
Day 3: Mamallapuram to Pondicherry (2 hour drive)
Take a drive down the coast to the former French colony of Pondicherry. Along the way, stop in Auroville and pay a visit to the Matrimandir - an architectural marvel as well as the point from which all things in Auroville radiate - solar-powered, peaceful, welcoming, beautiful surroundings. In Pondicherry, enjoy the rocky beachfront which leads down to the Sri Aurobindo Ashram, a beautiful example of French-influcenced architecture.
Day 4: Pondicherry to Tanjore (5 hour drive)
Proceed to Tanjore - the rice bowl of Tamil Nadu - which also enjoys the reputation of being the cultural center of Tamil Nadu. Tour the town and see the Brihadishwara Temple (Big Temple) - the most important place to see due to it's marvelous architecture and gardens. Pay a visit to the Palace & Saraswathi Mahal Library which houses ancient Tamil and Sanskrit manuscripts. The Siva Ganga Garden is wonderful little park for family outings - train rides and boat rides are available.
Day 5: Tanjore to Madurai (3 hour drive)
Arrive in Madurai and spend the day touring the city. Don't miss the Meenakshi Temple, the Koodal Alagar Temple, Thiruparankundram, Gandhi Museum, and the Kazimar Big Mosque and Maqbara. Catch the evening Sound and Light Show at the Thirumalai Nayak Palace.
Day 6: Madurai to Periyar (4 hour drive)
Enjoy a scenic drive through the Western Ghats to Periyar. Visit the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary and Tiger Reserve. Spend the evening exploring nearby Kumily where every spice grown in Kerala is sold - you'll know you've arrived by the aromatic atmosphere.
Day 7: Periyar to Alleppey (4 hour drive)
Enjoy the downhill drive into the backwaters of Alleppey where you'll spend the night. Kick back and relax on the shores of this beautiful backwater slice of paradise.
Day 8: Alleppey to Cochin (2 hour drive)
Drive up to the lovely heritage harbor town of Cochin. In the evening, enjoy a traditional Kathakali Dance overlooking the Cochin Harbor.
Day 9: Cochin
Spend the day seeing the sights which may include a visit to the Dutch Palace, Jewish Synagogue, St. Francis Church, Santa Cruz Basilica or a boat tour of the harbor islands.
Day 10: Cochin to Coonoor (6 hour drive)
Spend the morning driving up into the Nilgiri Hills to the hill station of Coonoor. Considered to be a "retreat", Coonoor offers a respite from the "touristy" sister stations of Ooty and Kodaikanal. Surrounded by hills and nature, it's a popular place for honeymooners and a simple getaway.
Day 11: Coonoor to Mudumalai (1 hour drive)
Take a short drive to the Mudumalai National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary (also declared a Tiger Reserve). Although a haven for Bengal Tigers and Indian Leopards, sightings are considered quite rare. However, the park is home to diverse wildlife and offers some great side trips for opportunities to spot the park denizens - take an elephant safari, hang out on the banks of the Moyar River where animals come to drink, follow the Moyar River to Moyar Falls where it plunges into a giant gorge, bring your binoculars to spot some rare vultures and birds. Spend the night at the edge of the Park.
Day 12: Mudumalai to Mysore (2 hour drive)
Drive down to Mysore and spend the day taking in the sights. Visit Chamundi Hill - home to the famous giant black granite Nandi Bull. Explore the marble marvels of the varying architectural styles of Mysore Palace. It's well worth a visit to the Tipu Sultan's Palace Art Gallery. In the evening, take in the music and light show at the Brindavan Gardens and Musical Fountain.
Day 13: Mysore
Spend the day taking in the sights. Visit Chamundi Hill - home to the famous giant black granite Nandi Bull. Explore the marble marvels of the varying architectural styles of Mysore Palace. It's well worth a visit to the Tipu Sultan's Palace Art Gallery. In the evening, take in the music and light show at the Brindavan Gardens and Musical Fountain.
Day 14: Mysore to Hassan via Saravanabelagola (4 hour drive)
Stop off in Saravanabelagola on the drive up to Hassan - one of the oldest Jain pilgrimage centers in India and considered one of the greatest monuments of Jain art. The colossal 57-foot high statue of Gomateswara, carved out of a mountain, is second only to the Collosus Ramses II in Egypt. The status is surrouned by numerous granite temples and shrines.
Day 15: Hassan to Hospet/Hampi (6 hour drive)
Spend the morning driving to Hospet. Its proximity to Hampi makes it an ideal place to stay while touring the temples, palaces, monuments and sculptures spread all over the city. Spend the night.
Day 16: Hospet
Hampi is the medieval capital of the Hindu empire Vijayanagara (the City of Victory). With more than 500 monuments dotting the surrounding area, Hampi occupies a place among UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Included are beautiful temples, basement of palaces, remains of aquatic structures, ancient market streets, royal pavilions, bastions, royal platforms, treasury buildings plus many more.
Day 17: Hospet to Badami (4 hour drive)
Take a morning drive to Badami.. During the afternoon pay a visit to the spectacular Badami Caves with their intricate carvings. These ancient caves house the magnificent images and sculptures of Hindu and Jain Gods while also forming an important pilgrimage destination. The exquisite architectural work has made this one of the most popular tourist attractions in Karnataka. Also take time to explore other parts of Badami such as the Badami Fort and Agasthya Tirtha, an artificial lake.
Day 18: Badami to Candolim, Goa ( 6 hour drive)
Depart for the beaches of Goa. Stay in Candolim - home to the Aguada Fort, a structure built entirely of red laterite stone on the edge of a cliff.
Day 19: Candalim, Goa
Spend the day as you wish.
Day 20: Goa Departure
You will be driven to your point of departure in Goa.
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A Must Read before you book your tour... HILL STATIONS TO HOUSEBOATS TOUR Terms and...
A Must Read before you book your tour... HILL STATIONS TO HOUSEBOATS TOUR Terms and Conditions Important and necessary information about Deposits and Payments, Cancellation Policy, Refund Schedule...be sure to read it before booking your tour Terms and Conditions The purchase of any travel services offered by Tour Packages India (hereafter referred to as "TPI") constitutes a contractual arrangement between you and TPI, and represents your acceptance of the TPI Terms & Conditions. Deposit and Final Payment A non-refundable, non-transferable deposit of 15% per tour is required for TPI to ensure your reservation. Your booking is not confirmed until the deposit is received by TPI and you, in turn, receive a confirmation invoice via email. TPI accepts MasterCard and Visa. Your reservation will be automatically cancelled if deposit is not received by the deposit due date. Please review your booking invoice and contact TPI if your invoice appears to be incorrect or incomplete, as it may not be possible to make changes later. TPI cannot accept responsibility if we are not notified of inaccuracies within 5 days of sending out the invoice. In the case of billing errors, TPI reserves the right to re-invoice you with correct pricing. Final payment is due 30 days prior to commencement of services, with some limited exceptions as set forth below. Payment of the deposit indicates you have read and accepted these Terms and Conditions. If final payment is not received by the due date, your reservation will be canceled and your full deposit will be retained by TPI. TPI is not responsible for canceled land and/or air reservations in the event payment is not received by the final payment date. Payment in full is required 30 days prior to the commencement of the tour. Cancellation Fees are as follows: Tours cancelled 15 to 29 days before tour commencement date: 55% of the cost of services booked Tours cancelled 7 to 14 days before tour commencement date: 75% of the cost of services booked Any tour cancelled less than 7 days before tour commencement date will be ineligible for a refund.