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Highlights of South India

Destinations covered : Chennai, Mysore, Hassan, Bangalore, Kovalam

Duration: 15 Days / 14 Nights

Day 01 : Chennai Arrive Chennai and our Tour Executive will meet you and transfer you to the hotel. Overnight in Chennai.

Day 02 : Chennai Sightseeing Afternoon sightseeing tour of Chennai including Marina Beach. The St. George Fort famous in highlights of south india, built in 1653, is currently used as the state government's secretariat. Santhome Cathedral was built around 14th/15th century and is another colonial structure worth visiting. Dedicated to Lord Shiva, the Kapaleeshwara Temple is the oldest temple in Chennai. Another important temple in the city dedicated to Lord Krishna is Parthasarthy Temple.

Day 03 : Mysore Early morning transfer to the Railway Station to board train for Mysore. Arrive Mysore and transfer to hotel. Later visit Chamundi Hill. On the top of the hill stands the temple dedicated to the Goddess Chamundeshwari, the royal family's patron deity. Overnight in Mysore.

Day 04 : Mysore Morning city tour including Maharaja's Palace built as recently as 1897, which is one of the biggest in highlights of south india; St Philomena's Church etc; Sri Jauyachamarajendra Art Gallery housed in the Jagmohan Palace.

Day 05 : Hassan Morning drive to Hassan, a calm and peaceful town. Arrive Hassan and check - in at hotel. Later visit Belur, known for its exquisite temples and Chennakeshava Temple is a fine example. Also visit to Halebid, where Hoysaleswara Temple has a wealth of sculptural detail, the walls covered with gods,goddesses.

Day 06 : Bangalore Morning drive to Bangalore visiting Sravanbelagola enroute, which is one of most important Jain Piligrim centres. Arrive Bangalore and check - in at hotel. Afternoon sightseeing tour of Bangalore visiting Tipu Sultan's Palace, originally built in mud in 1537 and rebuilt by Haider Ali a couple of centuries later; Bull Temple enshrining a massive bull carved out of a single piece of Grey granite; Lalbagh gardens laid out by Haider Ali in the 18th century; Cubbon Park laid out by the British in the 19th century. Vidhan Soudha built in granite incorporates features of traditional Indian architecture.

Day 07 : Bangalore - Kovalam Morning transfer to the airport to board flight for Trivandrum. Arrive Trivandrum and straight away proceed 30 minutes to Kovalam Beach. Arrive Kovalam and check - in at your hotel.

Day 08 : Kovalam Day free for independent activities or free to stroll along the beach.

Day 09 : Periyar Morning drive to Periyar. Arrive Periyar and check - in at hotel. Later walk around in the peaceful town known for various Spice and coffee plantations.

Day 10 : Madurai Early morning enjoy a boat ride on Lake Periyar to see Wild Elephants and other animals which come down to the water's edge. Take a South India Highlights tour of the famous Spice Plantations. After lunch drive 4hrs to Madurai.

Day 11 : Madurai Morning visit Meenakshi Temple, where the 1,000-pillared hall has stone figures carved on the pillars, some of which sound like metal when hit with an object. Also visit Tirumalai Nayaka Temple and the museum dedicated to the life of Mahatma Gandhi. Overnight in Madurai.continue with Highlights of South India

Day 12 : Trichy Morning drive to Trichy. Arrive Trichy and check - in at your hotel. Later sightseeing tour of Trichy including the Rock Fort, 434 steps cut into the rock side and interspersed with shrines lead up to the top. Also visit Srirangam Temple sprawling over a large area on an island as the Cauvery flows on both sides. It houses the image of the sleeping Vishnu along the mortal remains of Sri Ramanuja Acharya.

Day 13 : Pondicherry Morning drive to Pondicherry. Arrive Pondicherry and check - in at hotel. Later visit Sri Aurobindo Ashram, the final resting place of the founder of the Ashram, Sri Aurobindo and the Mother. Also visit Church Of The Sacred Heart Of Jesus is the place to visit for seeing stained glass windows built in Gothic style. Overnight in Pondicherry.

Day 14 : Mahabalipuram Morning drive 90kms/2hrs to Mahabalipuram. Arrive Mahabalipuram and check - in at hotel. Later visit Arjuna's Penance, Krishna Mandapam, Varaha Mandapam, Five Rathas and Shore Temples. This small fishing village is home to very important World Heritage Monuments with it's extensive beach and excellent seafood. Overnight at your beachside resort at Mahabalipuram.

Day 15 : Leave for Chennai Full day relaxing at the beach before your late afternoon transfer to Chennai airport (60kms/1.5hrs) to board flight for onward destination. End of our South India Highlights.