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Best of South India

Overview

Tour Description

The Best of South India tour has something to offer to every type of traveler - the bustle of the cosmopolitan Bangalore, historic Mysore with all its unique arts, culture and rich heritage, the natural and pristine beauty of Wayanad, and rich wildlife at Nagarhole National Park. Experience the rich and well preserved culture and cuisine of the Malabar coast at Thalassery. A night's stay on the Kettuvallum houseboat, cruising in the backwaters is the highlight of this tour.

Itinerary

Meeting and assistance on arrival at Mumbai international airport and transfer to your hotel for overnight stay.

BOMBAY - the Manhattan of India Bombay is a gateway city for visitors to India and the starting point for itineraries covering the Western and Southern regions. The first glimpse of the British Empire’s “Jewel in the crown” was Bombay, and this bustling seaport is now a teeming metropolis, the heart of the country’s financial, commercial and industrial activities. Visitors to Bombay will see that this city is the symbol of modern India.

After breakfast city sightseeing tour of Mumbai spanning 6 to 7 hrs visiting Kamla Nehru Park, Hanging Gardens situated on the slopes of Malabar Hill, offering a panoramic view of Marine Drive and Chowpatty Beach, Prince ofWales Museum, Mani Bhawan, Dhobi Ghat, Gateway of India and drive through the Crawford Market, Marine drive and Flora fountain.

Evening free for independent activities or explore the financial capital of India on your own. Overnight stay at hotel.

After breakfast transfer to airport for flight to Bangalore

Bangalore, now renamed Bengaluru is known as the Garden city. In 2009, it has been inducted into the Global Cities and ranked as “Beta World City” alongside cities such as Geneva, Copenhagen, Boston and Berlin. Banglore is today known as the Silicon city of India because of its position as Leader in IT exports. Once the centre of the British rule, it is a growing metropolis today and a major economic and cultural hub. It is truly a combination of Old world charm and the hustle and bustle of Modern city.

After visiting the iconic sights of Bangalore such as the Vidhan Sauda, which houses the legislative chambers of the state government, the Lal Bagh, Bangalore's famous botanical garden, and its museums, we'll drive 3 hrs to Mysore.

Mysore is the ancient capital of the kingdom of Mysore, ruled by the Wodeyar Rulers and later by Haider Ali and Tipu Sultan. It is a popular tourist destination which attracts visitors from across the globe. It is also famous for arts and handicrafts, along with sandalwood and silk sarees. Dussehra, a hindu festival is celebrated with great zeal over a period of 10 days here.

The next day, we'll go for an excursion to Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary. Spread across an area of 67 sq. km, Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary is located at a distance of 19 km from Mysore city. Lying on the banks of River Cauvery, this beautiful sanctuary is home to some of the most exquisite birds. We'll take a boat tour of the bird sanctuary.

We'll continue the sightseeing of Mysore. We'll visit The Maharaja Palace, Chamundi Hills, St Philemona Church and the other palaces. You will be free in the evening to explore the local markets, flooded with arts and handicrafts of South India..

After breakfast we'll drive 3 hrs to the Nagarhole Wildlife Sanctuary, also known as "Rajiv Gandhi National Park". It was the hunting ground of the former rulers of Mysore. Today the national park, spread across an area of 643 sq kms is protecting the wildlife in the state of Karnataka.

The park, which is a part of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve, has a healthy abundance of wildlife which consists of tigers, leopards, wild dogs, sloth bear, bison and different species of dee,r and a large population of elephants.

After checking into the jungle lodge, we'll go for an afternoon jungle safari with an expert naturalist in jeeps. We'll relax and enjoy the evening views of the Kabini river from our luxurious Resort rooms.

The next day, after a hot cup of tea, we'll leave for an early morning boat safari to catch a glimpse of marsh crocodiles sun bathing on the banks of the meandering Kabini river. We'll go for another afternoon jungle safari to enjoy the flora and fauna this park has to offer in all its natural glory.

We'll drive 3 hrs to Wayanad after our final morning safari and breakfast. On arrival we'll check into the Tranquil Resort.

Wayanad is a green paradise, located in the Western Ghats. Wayanad's landscape combines mountain scenery, rice paddies of green, skinny betel nut trees, bamboo, red earth, spiky ginger fields, slender eucalyptuses, and rubber, cardamom and coffee plantations. It's an excellent place to spot wild elephants.

The evening is free for independent activity or a nature walk in the serene and beautiful surrounding areas.

The next day, we'll visit the Edakkal caves. These remote hilltop 'caves' are celebrated for the ancient collection of petroglyphs in their top chamber, thought to date back over 3000 years. Legend has it that the caves were formed by the arrows shot by the sons of Rama, legendary hero of the epic, Ramayana. In the afternoon, we'll visit some of the coffee and rubber plantations of the region.

We'll drive 2 hrs to Calicut, now kown as Kozhikhode. It was a significant spice trade centre in olden days and is close to Kappad Beach, where Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama landed in 1498. The central Kozhikode Beach, overlooked by an old lighthouse, is a popular spot for watching the sunset. Inland, tree-lined Mananchira Square, with its musical fountain, surrounds the massive Mananchira Tank, an artificial pond.

It is an amalgamation of European colonial history, imposing architectural structures, a stunning view of the coastline and myriad ancient temples.

Early morning drive 5 hrs to Kumarakom. On arrival stay at a resort.

Kumarakom is a cluster of island on Vembanad Lake in the backwaters of Kerala, the God’s own country laced with canals, lakes and lagoons where fully staffed houseboats ply. Kumarakom is a blend of natural beauty and rich culture. Experience the local cuisine of the region to spoil your taste buds. The bird sanctuary here, which is spread across 14 acres is a favourite haunt of migratory birds. Some common birds sighted on the island are Egrets, Darters, Herons, Teals, Waterfowls, Cuckoo, Wild Duck and migratory birds like the Siberian Stork.

Kumarakom is one of the most important tourist centres and provide lifeline to tourism with a large network of inland canals. The boast will cruise for the entire day and park at a jetty at night. Next morning the boat will reach Alleppey, also known as the Venice of east.

Alleppey is famous for its historic Aranmula Snake Boat Race which is an annual event held in August.

The houseboats mainly concentrate on an area where the waterways are fairly narrow so that you can watch life on the banks as you pass. Kettuvallams or rice barges converted to houseboats are a unique feature of the Kerala Backwaters. Lunch and dinner will be served on the individual houseboats.

Overnight houseboat.

Leisurely check out of the houseboat after breakfast and drive about an hour to the Cochin.

COCHIN also known as Kochi, is the present is the industrial and commercial capital of the state of Kerala. The Dutch, the British, Arabs, Chinese and the Portuguese have all left their influence on this major city, which now boasts of a world class port and international airport. Today it is one of the main starting point for exploring the incomparable beauty and diversity of the state

After breakfast proceed for city sightseeing of this historic town with your guide and chauffeur driven private car. Some the main attractions are Chinese Fishing Nets, Jewish Synagogue, St Francis Church, Fort Kochi, Mattancherry and the willingdon Island.

Evening visit nearby theatre for a spectacular Kathakali dance performance, the traditional dance of Kerala.

After breakfast transfer to airport for flight to onward destination.

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