CHENNAI - TRICHY - TANJORE - MADURAI - PERIYAR - KOCHI - BANGALORE - MYSORE - BELUR - HALEBID - HOSPET - HASSAN - HAMPI - AIHOLE - PATTADAKAL - BADAMI - GOA - MUMBAI TOUR
This is one of the most popular South India trips starting from Chennai and ending in Goa. This is a South India travel package covering the important touristic cities and is good for the first time visitors to South India. One of the best tour operators of India Services International Ltd offers you the best holiday packages for South India. In this cultural vacation trip of South India you are covering temples, wildlife and ending at one of the best beaches of India.

Day 01 : - Arrive Chennai.
This morning on your arrival in Chennai you will be transferred to your hotel. The name Chennai was derived from Chennaipattanam, built by the English in 1639. The earlier name of Madras was a short form of Madraspattinam a fishing village. Chennai is the capital of Tamil Nadu and an important centre for Carnatic music. The city is also famous for the Tamil movies and known as Kollywood. Chennai came into prominence because of the British who defended the town against several attacks from the French and converted it to a major naval port. Chennai has numerous places of interest and beautiful museums. Rest of the day is at leisure. Overnight in Chennai.

Day 02 :- On board train Chennai to Trichy.
Today, you will have a full day excursion to Mamallapuram and Kanchipuram. Kanchipuram was the ancient capital of the Pallavas and was the town of a 1000 temples. Kanchipuram sight-seeing takes you through some of the known temples such as Siva temple from the 7th century, Ekambareswara temple, Sri Kailasanathar Temple from the 8th century, the Sri Vardaraja Perumal Temple, etc. Kanchipuram is a shopper’s paradise as it offers the world famous Kanchipuram silk and saris. After the visit, you will continue by road to Mamallapuram.

Mamallapuram also known as Mahabalipuram or Mamallapattana, an UNESCO World Heritage Site and a historic town and seaport. It was also known by the ancient mariners as the city of "Seven Pagodas". Out of the Seven Pagodas, only the Shore Temple survives. Mahabalipuram was a bustling seaport and the traders went to South East Asia from here. It was an important port for the Pallavas and most of the monuments portray events from the Mahabharata and date back from the 7th to the 9th century.

Your tour of Mahabalipuram takes you through the cave temples and mandapams cut in the rocks showing depiction of incidents from legends, epics and mythology. The temples were built during the rule of Narasimhavarman and Rajasimhavarman. The bas relief Arjuna's Penance with life size images carved on the rock wall is the largest Bas-relief in the world. The five chariots are carved out of a single rock. The structure of the Shore Temple is one of the oldest in South India. After the visit, you will be transferred to Chennai rail-station in time to board an over-night train for Tiruchirapalli. Overnight on board the train.

Day 03 :- Trichy.
This morning on your arrival in Tiruchirapalli also known as Trichy or Tiruchi you will be transferred to your hotel. Tiruchirapalli played an important role in the Carnatic Wars between the British and the French. Trichy has a large number of religious places like Rock fort temple, Samayapuram Mariamman Temple, Erumbeeswarar Temple, Nadir Shah Mosque, Christ Church, Our Lady of Lourdes Church, etc. The main festival in Trichy is a harvest festival celebrated in January "Pongal", Aadi Perukku, Vaikunta Ekadasi, Srirangam Rathyatra, Deepavali and Holi, Teppakulam float festival, Bakrid, Eid al-Fitr Christmas, etc.

Tiruchirapalli the citadel for the Cholas and developed by the Nayaks of Madurai is an eminent city as it is known for its scholars of Tamil. This afternoon tour of Tiruchirapalli will take you to the Danish Church, Rock Fort a temple complex and a fort built on a rock with 434 steps to reach the temple of Lord Ganaesha and more for the temple of Lord Shiva. This fort complex had witnessed the fierce battles in between the Bijapur and Madurai Nayaks, Marathas and Carnatic forces. It has been said that this fort plays huge role at the time of Carnatic wars that helped in the foundation layout of British Empire. Overnight is in Trichy.

Day 04 :- Drive Trichy to Tanjore to Madurai.
This morning, you will be transferred to Tanjore or Thanjavur famous for Tanjore paintings and Bharatanatyam the classical dance. The UNESCO World Heritage Site Brihadeeswara Shiva Temple from the 11th century AD is capped by a monolithic cupola made of a single granite block weighing 80 tons. The other places of interest are the Thanjavur Maratha Palace the Saraswati Mahal Library with 30,000 + manuscripts written on palm leaf & paper and the Raja Raja Chola art gallery with a huge collection of ancient idols. After the visit of Thanjavur, you will continue your drive towards Madurai. Overnight is in Madurai.

Day 05 :- Madurai.
Madurai is one of the oldest living cities in the world and goes back to 3rd century BC. Madurai comes from the word Madhura which means sweetness. The people of Madurai celebrate many festivals and one of the important festivals is the annual 10 days Chittirai festival. Rani Mangamma's palace has been converted into Gandhi Memorial Museum. Mahatma Gandhi had adopted the loin cloth as his mode of dress after seeing agricultural laborers in Madurai wearing it. Meenakshi Temple is in the list of nominees of the "New Seven Wonders of the World".

The morning tour of Madurai includes Meenakshi Temple, Tirumala Nayak Palace, Alagar Hills and Tirupara Kundran Rock temple. The 2000 years old Meenakshi Temple complex is one of the largest and oldest in India and the deities are Lord Siva and his wife Meenakshi. The temple has a Hall of Thousand Pillars with every pillar showing life like features. The outermost corridors have musical pillars of stones which when tapped, produce different musical notes. Thirumalai Nayak Palace is famous for its domes and arches. Your afternoon is at leisure. Overnight is in Madurai.

Day 06 :- Drive Madurai to Periyar.
Today morning you will drive from Madurai to Periyar animal sanctuary which is also known as Thekkady. Your evening is free for game viewing. Periyar is famous as an Elephant and Tiger Reserve and shelters various animals like Bengal Tiger, Indian elephant, wild boar, sambar, tiger, leopard, wild dog, langur, monkeys, etc. It has an abundance of birds and plants. The Park is surrounded by various plantation regions for coffee, tea, etc. and a visit to these plantations is a worth. You have free time for selecting any of the above activities. Overnight is in Periyar.

Day 07 :- Drive Periyar to Kochi.
Today you will be driven from Periyar to Kochi. Rest of the day is at leisure. Kochi earlier known as Cochin is referred as the Queen of Arabian Sea. Kochi has remained the popular centre in across the world for the trade of spices for number of centuries. The name of the city comes from Malayalam term “Kochazhi” that actually means small lagoon. Kochi was put on the world map by Vasco-de-Gama. The Arabs, Portuguese, British, Dutch, all have left their impression on the history of Kochi. Rest of your day is at leisure in t his interesting city. Optionally in the evening you could enjoy a Kathakali dance show. Overnight is in Kochi.

Day 08 :- Kochi

During the morning city tour of Kochi, you will be taken to some of the renowned spots of Kochi that will include the Portuguese churches, mosques and temples along with a Jewish synagogue. You will be taken to watch the Chinese style fishing nets. It holds around 10m of height and consists of cantilever along with an outstretched net that is suspended in the sea and one huge stone suspended on other end with ropes for the counterweights. You have an afternoon at leisure. Overnight is in Kochi.

Day 09 :- Fly Kochi to Bangalore and drive to Mysore.
Today you will be flown from Kochi to Bangalore. On arrival, you will be drive to directly from the Bangalore airport to Mysore. Rest of the day is free. Mysore also known as Mysooru was the capital of the Mysore Princely Kingdom and is known as the city of palaces and quite famous for its Dussehra festival. Mysore was ruled by the Wadiyars excepting for some time in the 18th century when Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan ruled this place. The Wadiyars were great patrons of art and culture which benefitted the cultural growth of the city, due to which Mysore is called the Cultural capital of Karnataka. Overnight is in Mysore.

Day 10 :- Mysore
The morning city tour of Mysore will take you to the Mysore Palace with archways, domes, turrets, colonnades and sculptures. Appreciate the exhibits at the Art Gallery. You will drive to the Chamundi hill to visit the Chamundeshwari Temple. From the hill enjoy the panoramic view of the city of Mysore and on return visit the Nandi bull. Your afternoon is at leisure or you could take an optional tour of Krishnarajasagar and the Brindavan Gardens. Mysore is a good place for buying the famous "Mysore silk". Overnight is in Mysore.

Day 11 :- Drive Mysore to Sravanbelgola to Belur to Halebid to Hassan.
Today, you will be transferred to Sravanbelgola. The Gommateshvara Bahubali statue of this city is renowned and popular and significant pilgrimage spot for the Jain people. This statue is very huge and can be seen from the distance of around 25kms of the area that get bathed with honey and milk as a ritual once in every 12 years. At this time, it attracts thousands and thousands of worshippers from all over the world.

From Sravanbelgola, you will be taken to Belur & Halebid. Belur was the capital of Hoysala Empire and has one of the finest examples of Hoysala architecture - the Chennakesava Vishnu Temple which was built by king Vishnuvardhana in celebration of his victory over the Cholas in the 12th century. It took 103 years to complete the temple and sculptures include elephants, lions, horses, stories from the Indian legends and dancers. The carvings and sculptures are so fine and detailed that you will get a feeling of the statues coming to life.

Halebid or Halibeedu meaning the Old City was also known as Dwarasamudra and was the capital of the Hoysala Empire in the 12th century. In front of the Hoysaleshawara and Kedareshwara temples there is a big lake - Dwara Samudhra which means entrance of the ocean and the city derives its name from this lake. The walls of the temple are covered with depictions of Hindu mythology, animals, birds and dancing damsels. The sculptures of the temple are different from each other and there is a museum in the complex. The nearby Jain temples are quite beautiful. Overnight is in Hassan.

Day 12:- Drive Hassan to Hospet.
Today morning you will be transferred by road to Hospet. Your afternoon is for the Hampi sight-seeing. The most interesting ruins are the Virupaksha temple, Vittala temple, Hazara Rama temple complex the elephant stables, the Queen's Bath, Ramachandra temple & Lotus Mahal. The Virupaksha Temple or the Pampapathi temple of Shiva, also houses erotica statues of Bhuvaneshwari and Pampa. The Hazara Rama Temple Complex has about a thousand carvings & inscriptions with the story of Ramayana. It has about 1000 carvings. The Vittala Temple Complex houses a stone chariot and the famous musical pillars. Overnight is in Hospet.

Day 13:- Drive Hassan to Badami visiting Aihole and Pattadakal enroute.
Today, you will be transferred by road from Hospet to Badami. Enroute, you will visit Aihole & Pattadakal. Aihole, a temple complex was a prominent city of the Chalukya Dynasty. Aihole is the cradle of stone temple architecture of the Dravida School and has about 125 temples, divided into groups. Lad Khan temple is the oldest and dates back to the fifth century. Durga temple is one the best temples of Aihole. The Jyothirlinga Group has two temples which are flat roofed. There are various other groups which are equally interesting.

Pattadakal is a World Heritage site and is famous for its Chalukya monuments. The largest temple - Virupaksha from the 8th Century was built by Queen Lokamahadevi to celebrate her husband's victory over the Pallavas. Sangameshwara Temple was built by the Chalukyan King Vijayaditya Satyashraya. The other well known temples are Chandrashekhara temple, Mallikarjuna & Kasivisvanatha temples, Galganatha temple, Kadasiddhesvara and Jambulingeswara temples, etc. Overnight in Badami.

Day 14:- Badami.
Your morning tour of Badami will take you to the Hindu and Jain temples. Badami earlier known as Vatapi was the capital of Chalukyas from 540 to 757 AD and is known for its red sandstone cave temples. Cave temple 1 shows Shiva and Parvati and Nataraja in 81 poses. Cave temple 2 shows Vishnu, Varaha and Krishna. Cave temple 3 shows the culture and clothing of the 6th century and other carvings. The Cave temple 4 has a carving of the Jain Tirthankara Parshavnatha. You will also visit Badami fort and the Malegitti-Shivalaya. Afternoon is at leisure. Overnight in Badami.

Day 15:- Drive Badami to Goa.
Today you have a long road journey to Goa. Rest of the time is at leisure. Goa is a beautiful place to rejuvenate you by spending time in the surrounding of soothing waves of sea and clean sands at the beaches. Goa exhibits a huge influence of the Portuguese from their ruling period and is known for its beautiful beaches, clean blue water, verdant lush green mountains as well as the idyllic lifestyle of this place that completely embraces you. Hotel accommodation of Goa is not included.

Day xx: - Goa
Day free in Goa to explore the various beaches or temples and churches and bazaars. You could visit the Ancestral Goa Museum, Chapora Fort, Fort Aguada, The Secretariat, Anjuna Beach, Baga Beach, Candolim Beach and many other popular beaches of Goa along with various other religious places such as Basilica De Bom Jesus, Church of Lady of Rosary, Royal Chapel of St. Anthony and many other churches of this state. Please inform us the number of days you wish to stay in Goa. Cost of Goa accommodation is not included.

Day xx: - Fly Goa to Mumbai - Departure
Today you are transferred to Goa airport in time for Mumbai flight. Accommodation in Mumbai is not included. You will have a connecting flight for your return/onward flight.
END OF YOUR LUXURY SOUTH INDIA VACATION.