Highlights of South India
CHENNAI | MYSORE | COORG | NAGARHOLE | CALICUT | KOCHI | MVVRINDA | THIRUVANANTHAPURAM
COVERING THE THREE STATES of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala, this itinerary captures the essence of South India. It introduces you to the culture, the highly devotional classical music and dance forms, the distinctive cuisine, the styles of dress, homes … You start at Chennai, previously known as Madras, the capital of Tamil Nadu, and, in 1639, the site of the first settlement of the British East India Company. From there to Mysore, capital of the Wodeyar dynasty which ruled the state of Karnataka for some 150 years till Independence. Then into the interior – the misty hills, lush forests, acres and acres of tea and coffee plantation, orange groves, and breathtaking views of Coorg or Kodagu which translates as ‘dense forest on steep hill’ – an apt description. Kozhikode or Calicut is where Vasco da Gama landed, finally successful in his search for a sea route to the spice lands. But it is the cruise of the backwaters of Kerala that the true essence of the land comes through – a quiet peaceful countryside bathed in serenity
ITINERARY - 14 NIGHTS/15 DAYS
DAY 01 ARRIVAL
Reception and welcome at Chennai airport followed by transfer to your hotel. Explore Chennai in the afternoon, the flower and fruit markets, museums, the profusion of suberb Indo-Saracenic buildings.
DAY 02 CHENNAI
All day excursion to Mamallapuram and Kanchipuram. Also visit Kalakshetra, a cultural institute started in 1936 for the preservation of traditional values in Indian art, especially dance and music.
DAY 03 CHENNAI ~ MYSORE
Take the morning train to Mysore, political and cultural capital of the south under the Wodeyar Kings.
DAY 04 MYSORE
After breakfast, visit the Maharaja’s palace then drive on to see other sites outside the city.
DAY 05 MYSORE ~ COORG
Drive to Coorg in the morning, stopping at a Tibetian settlement en route.
DAY 06 COORG
Day at leisure to explore the tranquil beauty of the tea gardens that abound.
DAY 07 COORG~ NAGARHOLE If you leave in time, you could be out in the National Park by the afternoon.
DAY 08 NAGARHOLE
Spend the day attempting to spot tiger, leopard, wild dog, elephants, gaur, as well as a variety of monkeys, deer and antelope. The park is also an excellent place for birdwatchers.
DAY 09 NAGARHOLE ~CALICUT
A journey through picturesque jungles and countryside to Calicut (also known as Kozhikode), a busy coastal city to the north of Kerala.
DAY 10 CALICUT ~ KOCHI
This is a long drive with two halts - one at an elephant orphanage and the temple at Gooruvayur en route. Relax in the evening.
DAY 11 KOCHI
On the west coast of India, the town of Kochi, previously known as Cochin, is also referred to as the Gateway of South India. Visit the ancient palace, old Portuguese churches as well as Jewish synagogue, indicators of the diverse cultural heritage of the city.
DAY 12 KOCHI ~ MV VRINDA
Take a cruise down emerald backwaters that meander through palm-lined villages where these waterways are still the primary linkage.
DAY 13 MV VRINDA
Vrinda sets sail for the middle of the lake at sunrise. Spend the day enjoying the luxury of the cruise boat in the most beautiful natural surroundings.
DAY 14 MV VRINDA ~ THIRUVANANTHAPURAM
Tour the capital city of Kerala, earlier known as Trivandrum.
DAY 15 DEPARTURE
Transfer to the airport in time for your flight out.