South India is well known for its brightla
y decorated temples, cultural monuments, Ayurvedic treatments and mouth-watering dishes.
In this tour we have included Tamilnadu, Karnataka, and Kerala along with North Indian state Varanasi - oldest living city in the world.
Kerala tours, which include glittering beaches, lush hill stations, resplendent waterfalls and sprawling plantations and are amongst the most popular of family vacation options in all the South India tour packages. Besides the spice and surf of Kerala, highlights of South India include the Brihadishwara Temple at Thanjavur or the Meenakshi temple at Madurai dedicated to the fish-eyed goddess.
Also visit the garden city of Bangalore; sandalwood-scented Mysore. Enjoy the story-telling art of Kathakali and the martial-art grace of Kalaripayattu
Feast your eyes on Chinese fishing nets, or catch a glimpse of France in Puducherry.
It is very rare to find this unique combination of most important places of south India along with Varanasi.
Distant India Journeys representative will meet you on arrival at International airport. Transfer to your hotel. Relax.
DELHI, the capital of kingdoms and empires is now a sprawling metropolis with a fascinating blend of the past and the present. Delhi is a perfect introduction to the composite culture of an ancient land and a window to the kaleidoscope - that is India.
Morning after breakfast a full day city tour of this imperial British capital of the 20th century awaits you. Visit the Qutub Minar – the tallest free standing minaret in stone in the world; then onto Humayun’s tomb – the first Mughal construction in India from 1565 AD. Also see the Rashtrapati Bhawan, the India gate built in the earlier half of the 20th century. After lunch a temple tour of this capital city of India awaits you. Visit the Sikh temple at Bangla Sahib, the Lotus temple of the B’hai faith, and to finish the day visit the Birla Mandir, a Hindu temple in activity. Drive through the old city past the Red Fort and visit the Jama Masjid – the biggest of its kind in India. Here take a rickshaw through the winding streets of the old city to see the life of the people in this part of the world. A perfect introduction of your tour. The rickshaw puller pulls you through, the imperial avenue of the yesteryears, the Chandni Chowk. Finally, reach Rajghat, the memorial of Mahatma Gandhi, where your car and chauffeur is waiting for you to take you to your next stop the Birla Mandir, a Hindu temple in activity.
Transfer to the airport to catch your flight to Varanasi. Upon arrival transfer to the hotel. En route to your hotel visit Sarnath – the sacred Buddhist city where Gautama Buddha preached his first sermon to his 5 disciples under the Bodhi tree. Visit the site and the temple attached to it. See the frescoes related to the life of Buddha inside the temple. Also visit the archaeological museum that houses artifacts from the 3rd century BC. Most interesting is the lion capital of Ashoka Maurya from 272 BC. Adjacent to the museum is the ancient seat of learning from the 2nd century BC now completely in ruins. Also see the Dhamek stupa and the Dharmarajika Stupa where hundreds of Buddhist pilgrims offer there prayers. Continue to Varanasi just 11 km away and check in to your hotel.
Early in the morning (0500hrs) we take you to banks of the river Ganges where we board a boat to see the morning ablutions of the Hindus from the security of our boat. The boat ride starts from Dasashwamedh Ghat and ends at Manikarnika Ghat along the sacred Ganges. Don’t forget to see the sun rise along the Ganges. See the Kashi Vishwanath temple and the Gyanvyapi kund and the mosque attached to it. Also visit the Benares Hindu University the largest residential university in India with more than 3000 residential students. Also worth a visit is the Bharat Mata Mandir (Mother India temple) where you see the undivided India – Mahatma Gandhi’s Dream.
Return to your hotel for breakfast. Rest of the time is free for business meetings.
In the afternoon transfer to the airport to catch your flight to Bangalore via Mumbai. On arrival in Bangalore, check into your hotel and relax.
Today you see the Administrative buildings of this beautiful south Indian city. Also see the botanical gardens with 1000 different varieties of flowers. This garden was done up by Hyder Ali in the 18th century. After lunch leave Bangalore and proceed towards Mysore a short distance away. Evening visit to the famous Brindavan gardens.
In the morning visit the Maharaja’s palace with ornate interiors suggests the rich and extravagant lifestyle of the rulers of this region. Later visit Tipu Sultan’s Palace and capital at Srirangapatanam which holds a few mural paintings depicting life tales of Tipu Sultan and his father Hyder Ali both a living terror to the British.
In the afternoon, board superfast train to reach Chennai. On arrival at Chennai railway station, you will be transferred to your pre-booked hotel. Check into your hotel and relax.
After breakfast visit the city of Chennai covering the government museum and Fort St. George. Later excursion to Kanchipuram visiting the Ekambaram temple and the Kailashnath temples dedicated to Shiva. The temples in this region date back to the 6th and 7th centuries.
Leave for an excursion to Mahabalipuram.
In the morning proceed for a city tour of Mahabalipuram covering the shore temples that date back from the 8th century. Also see the rock cut monolithic temples including Arjuna’s Penance and Tiger cave. Post lunch is free to relax on the beach.
Board your car in the morning and drive to Chidambaram crossing the unparalleled scenic sights of Southern India. Chidambaram is also known as the “City of the Cosmic Dancer”. This city is also the centre of philosophy art and religion. Post lunch session unfurls the magic of this city of Nataraj – the cosmic dancer. Visit Chidambaram temple planned and built by the Chola kings in the 11th century.
En route Tanjore visit Gangaikondacholapuram and its monumental temple called Gangaikondacholisvaram built in 1020 AD.
Visit the Brihadishwara temple a masterpiece in itself built in 1000AD by the Cholas. Next to be seen is the Tanjore art gallery and the Saraswati Mahal Library with its unique collection of Chola art and rare illustrated manuscripts. A short distance away is the second capital of Tanjore district also the home of intellectuals especially Brahmins called Kumbakonam. Visit the Nageshwara temple by far the best architectural feat of Southern India.
A short distance away is the eternal city of Tiruchirapalli better known as Trichy. Here worth a visit is Srirangam temple the abode of Lord Vishnu in his reclining form. All the 1000 pillars in the hall are very intricately designed. Post lunch continue towards Madurai.
Madurai famous for the Meenakshi Sundereswar temple is the epitome of South Indian temple cities alive and bustling with pilgrims and religious preoccupations. The temple of goddess Meenakshi houses the hall of 1000 musical pillars known for their intricate work. Some free time later in the day to explore this cultural capital of South India.
Just 135 kms away from Madurai is the famous Periyar Wild Life Sanctuary. Reach Periyar by early afternoon and after lunch get set for a boat ride on Lake Periyar.
After breakfast transfer to Kumarakom. Check-in at hotel and relax. Rest of the day is free to relax and enjoy the backwaters Resort.
Leave the backwaters and reach Cochin by early afternoon. Proceed for a half day sight seeing of Cochin.
A few interesting sites included in the tour are the Chinese fishing nets along the Vasco Da Gama Square, Santa Cruz Basilica, St. Francis Church, VOC Gate, Bastion Bungalow etc. Apart from these architectural splendors, an array of restaurants serving fresh seafood is also popular among tourists. The Chinese fishing nets erected on teak wood and bamboo poles work on the principle of balance. Records say they were first set up here between AD 1350 and 1450. Vasco Da Gama Square, the narrow promenade that parallels the beach, is the best place to watch the nets being lowered and pulled out of the sea.
In time transfer to the airport for your flight back to Chennai and finally your onward destination.