01 Day: Arrival Mumbai
Meeting and assistance on arrival at Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport Mumbai and escort you by a private car and transfer to the hotel, whilst the room keys and check-in is organized. You will be briefed about the tour and services. After relaxation, if time permit visit Iskcon Temple: dedicated to Lord Krishna, The architectural splendour of the ISKCON Temple is adorned with murals and sculptures. Also visiting the Juhu Chowpatty, nearby to the temple, one of the famous beach of Mumbai at Juhu. Later return to the hotel for overnight stay.
Mumbai is a cluster of Seven Islands and derives its name from Mumba Devi, the patron goddess of the koli fisher folk, its oldest inhabitants. Mumbai pulsates with activity. It is a city that is disciplined by nos time frame neither day nor night. It is also the country's financial powerhouse, the nation's industrial heartland, and its economic nerve center. Dazzling shopping arcades, exciting sport activity, nightclubs & discotheques, theatre & music, gourmet restaurants and interesting sightseeing. It offers visitors a heady mix of all this and more.
02 Day: Mumbai
Today morning after breakfast take a sightseeing tour of Mumbai with a drive to Gateway of India and from here cruise by motorboats to Elephanta Caves. A flight of 100 steps takes you to the top of the hill where it is set. The caves houses large pillars that seem to hold the ceiling, which is made, have crossbeams. The picturesque presentations of the 9 marvelous sculptured panels, set on the walls are awe-inspiring. The most famous of the panels is the Trimurthi, or triple-headed Shiva, where the God is depicted as the destroyer, the preserver and the creator. Later in the afternoon cruise back to Gateway of India, one can have lunch at the hotel or other several good Restaurants like Leopold & Mondegar serving continental cuisines. The sightseeing tour continue visiting Prince of Wales Museum: is a heritage museum comprises of a number of ancient artifacts, Dhobhi Ghat: to see the city's famous open-air laundry in action, Parliament House: The Maharashtra State Assembly, Marine Drive: is one of the most beautifully laid boulevards in the city, Mani Bhawan: Known also Gandhi Museum, here Gandhi laid the foundation for many independence movements; The three storied building has now converted into a museum in honour of Father of Nation. Later return to the hotel for overnight stay.
Note: Elephanta Caves and Prince of Wales museum are closed on every Monday.
03 Day: Mumbai – Trivandrum (By Air)
– Kovalam (16 kms: ½ hrs)
Today after breakfast check out from the hotel and transfer to the domestic airport to board the scheduled morning flight for Trivandrum, assistance on arrival at the Trivandrum airport and drive to Kovalam (16 kms), on arrival transfers to the beach resort. Day is free to relax and leisure activities in the beach resort. Overnight at the beach resort in Kovalam.
Kovalam: On the Malabar Coast along the Kerala shoreline is a small village; called Kovalam is 16 kms away from Trivandrum, a sheltered bay endowed with unusual beauty. This natural bay is a safe sea-pool free from high waves and surge. The beach resort here is of international standard. Today Kovalam has become one of the most popular beach hangouts in India. Kovalam means a grove of coconut trees and truly the coconut trees along the beaches gives it a paradise of nature.
04 Day: Kovalam
Today morning enjoy the beach actives swimming at the Kovalam beach is the rejuvenating and a relaxing experience. Water skiing is just like the snow skiing where you the vast space to enjoy and Kovalam beach is the good option to try to water skiing. You may opt to enjoy Angling, Para-sailing and Surfing at the beach. You can also experience world famous Ayurvedic massage and treatment offers at the resort, this is not merely to relax you, also rejuvenates your mind, body and soul. Overnight at the beach hotel in Kovalam.
Ayurveda, means the science of healthy living, derives its name from the Sanskrit words, AYUSH (LIFE) and VEDA (KNOWLEDGE). It looks at healing in a holistic fashion. The physical treatment has overtones of philosophical and psychological approaches too. Any ailment in the body is viewed as a result of a combination of factors with special reference to the components of diet. It is here that Ayurveda recognizes that each individual is different and so treatment too should be customized. The Ayurvedic principles are found in detail in Atharva Veda, one of the four Vedas of Hinduism.
05 Day: Kovalam – Cape Camorin – (80 kms: 3 hrs one way)
Trivandrum – Kovalam
Early morning check out from the hotel and drive to Cape Camorin also known as Kanya Kumari 85 kms, this place is at the tail tip end of India, one can see the 3 seas meet over here (Arabian Sea, Indian Ocean & Bay of Bengal) on arrival visit Kumari Amman Devi Temple, Vivekananda Rock & Ashram. After visit drive to Trivandrum. If time permits, take a sightseeing tour of Trivandrum city, (16 kms) the capital of the state of Kerala is a beautiful seaside city built on seven hills. The visit the famous Sri Padmanabhaswamy Swami Temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and is a landmark in the city. If time permits, also visit Horse Palace, Sree Chitra Art Gallery, and Padmatheertha Kulam (Temple Pond). Later return back to Kovalam for overnight stay.
Trivandrum: Thiruvananthapuram shot into prominence in the 18th century when the capital was shifted here form Padmanabhapuram, a little down south. The erstwhile kings of the then Travancore State, taking on the title of Padmanabhadas (servant of Lord), had dedicated themselves completely to the service of the Lord residing in the temple here. By the terms of this dedication, the deity owns the kingdom while the king is the mere executor of the trust. The temples in the city are believed to be several thousand years old. After independence, the city was designated as the capital of Kerala.
Kanyakumari - Referred to by the British as Cape Commorin, Kanyakumari in the state of Tamil Nadu is located at the southernmost tip of the peninsular Indian. The small temple dedicated to Kanyakumari, or the youthful form of the primeval energy Shakti (Mother Goddess) is located on the seashore, in the town known by the same name. Kanyakumari is the point of confluence of three oceans - the Bay of Bengal, the Arabian Sea and the Indian Ocean. This well-known Hindu pilgrimage center is famous for its beautiful sights of sunrise and sunset over the waters.
06 Day: Kovalam – Varkala (60 kms: 1½ hr)
After breakfast checkout & drive to Varkala, on arrival transfer to beach resort in Varkala. Day free to relax at the beach resort. You may optionally enjoy the Ayurvedic Massages available at the resort. Overnight in Varkala.
Varkala, a quiet, secluded stretch of sand, the Papanasam beach in Varkala is known for its mineral springs and rocky cliffs. The 2000-year-old shree Janardhana Swamy temple and the Nature Care Centre are the two main attractions here. It is 40 km from Thiruvananthapuram.
07 Day: Varkala – Alleppey (140 kms: 3 hrs)
(Backwaters tours through sailing boat)
After breakfast checkout the hotel and drive for Alleppey, on arrival embark at the houseboat. The day for the journey of backwaters in the boat, through the tropical countryside enchanting backwaters of Alleppey by regattas (snake boats) for which Kerala is very famous, while sailing enjoy palm fringed narrow canals winding through the vast expanse of paddy fields and the neat tiny hamlets lined up along either side of the canals are panoramic sights one can never forget. The Chinese fishing nets, the reminiscent of our past trade links, are also found on the way. Flocks of duck swimming around the banks and tiny birds flying across the sky remains as enduring pictures reflecting the charm of this tourist land, you also enjoy fishing from the houseboats, evening enjoy sunset from the sun-deck of the houseboats, The Houseboats have generated electricity; sitting cum dining area, separate bedroom with attached English toilets, sun deck and fully loaded kitchen with a Chef, and Srank (Driver). Dinner and overnight at the houseboat.
Alleppey situated in south of Cochin, is the center for backwater cruises in Kerala. It has a large network of canals, which passes through the town, provides its lifeline & has a long sandy beach. It is also the center of the famous coir products of Kerala. Nehru Trophy Boat Race – the most colourful snake-boat race in Kerala – is held here on the second Saturday of August every year.
08 Day: Alleppey – Periyar (90 kms: 2 ½ hrs)
Today morning after breakfast disembark from the houseboat and drive to Periyar, on arrival transfer to the hotel. After rest and relaxation take a spice plantation tour to see crops of cardamom, cinnamon, pepper, coffee, tea estates etc. on your way back to the hotel, you can stop at the local market and pick up some fragrant spices. Overnight at Periyar.
Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary, one of India's biggest wildlife sanctuaries covering 777 sq. Km (300 Sq.miles) is a Tiger Reserve. Its centerpiece, the man-made Periyar Lake at the height of 2000 ft. covers 26 sq.km, running through the forests of the Western Ghats in Kerala. The lake is an important source of water for the many wild animals. The Best time to visit Periyar is between OCTOBER and MAY. The best chance of watching animals is during the hot months of march, April and May, when water gets low and the grass dries out, animals especially elephants come down to the Periyar lake to bath & frolic in the water with the young ones.
09 Day: Periyar
After breakfast, take a visit to Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary one of India's biggest wildlife sanctuaries covering 777 sq. Km (300 Sq. miles) is a Tiger Reserve. Its centrepiece, the man-made Periyar Lake at the height of 2000 ft. covers 26 sq. km, running through the forests of the Western Ghats in Kerala, discover the park, animals found here include elephant, sambar, gaur and wild boars and birds like ibis and grey heron. The visit is done in a boat to view animals with a bit of extra luck we may be able to see the rare tiger as well. Rest of the evening is free for relaxation and individual activities. Overnight at Periyar.
10 Day: Periyar – Munnar (105 kms: 2 hrs)
After breakfast, check out from the hotel and drive to Munnar. On arrival, transfer to the hotel. Munnar is located at the Idukki district of Kerala State in India. The word "Munnar" means three rivers. 3 mountain streams (Madurapuzha, Nallathanni and Kundala) are joining together here. During the British rule in India, Munnar was the summer resort of the Government officials. The natural beauty, calmness and mild cold climate throughout the year make it the favorite tourist places. There are about 30 tea plantations in and around Munnar. The tea estates, hills, lakes and forests inside Munnar range expose its beauty. The Munnar hills are covered by tea plants, which make Periyar the feeling of seeing a wide green carpet. You can take a short tour of the Munnar hill station exploring tea gardens and panoramic view of the wonderful hill station. Optionally you can visit Eravikulam National Park (15 km from Munnar) the park is 97 sq. km, situated in the Devikulam Taluk and is home to the Nilgiri Tahr. Considering the ecological, faunal, floral, geo-morphological and zoological significance, it was declared as a National park in 1978. The park is breathtakingly beautiful and is easily comparable to the best mountain ranges found anywhere in the world. Later return to the hotel for overnight at Munnar.
Munnar, the erstwhile 'summer capital of the British', has become the most sought after holiday destination in South India. It is the luxuriant gift of nature to the Western Ghats, the eastern border of Kerala, 5000ft above sea level. Dense forests, wildlife sanctuaries, and major cash crop plantations cover most of this region. Munnar abounds in animals like elephants and Nilgiri Thar and rich biodiversity teeming with flora and fauna.
11 Day: Munnar
After breakfast visit to Pothamedu whichoffers an excellent view of the tea, coffee and cardamom plantations in Munnar. The rolling hills, the lush mountain and the breathtaking scenery here is ideal for trekking and Long Mountain walks. Visit the tea factory and the museum here. Later visit at Devikulam (7 km from Munnar). This idyllic hill station with its velvet lawns, exotic flora and fauna and the cool mountain air is a rare experience. Also take sightseeing towards Mattupetty Side, where you can visit the Photo point, Mattupetty Dam, Echo point (The natural Echo phenomenon is always happening here), Shooting point and the Kundale Lake. Return to the hotel for overnight stay.
12 Day: Munnar – Cochin (134 kms: 3 hrs)
After breakfast checkout from the hotel and drive to Cochin. On arrival, transfer to the hotel. After relaxation and refreshments, in the evening enjoy the Kathakali, one of India's most famous Classical dances. Lavish Costumes & Exotic makeup & Masks intensify the beauty of the dancers, intricate moments. Overnight at the hotel.
Kochi (colonial name Cochin) is a vibrant city situated on the south-west coast of the Indian peninsula in the breathtakingly scenic and prosperous state of Kerala, hailed as 'God's Own Country'. Its strategic importance over the centuries is underlined by the sobriquet Queen of the Arabian Sea. Informally, Cochin is also referred to as the Gateway to Kerala. From time immemorial, the Arabs, British, Chinese, Dutch, and Portuguese have left indelible marks on the history and development of Cochin. Over the years, Cochin has emerged as the commercial and industrial capital of Kerala and is perhaps the second most important city on the west coast of India (after Mumbai/Bombay). Cochin is proud of its world class port and international airport that link it to many major cities worldwide. This lovely seaside city is flanked by the Western Ghats on the east and the Arabian Sea on the west. Its proximity to the equator, the sea and the mountains provide a rich experience of a moderate equatorial climate. Cochin is situated in Ernakulam district in the state of Kerala. Kochi is the arguably the ideal starting point for exploring the unfathomable diversity and beauty of Kerala, rated in the top three tourist destinations by the World Travel & Tourism Council and featured in National Geographic Traveler's '50 greatest places of a lifetime'.
13 Day: Cochin
After breakfast, take a sightseeing tour of Cochin: Oasis state of Kerala & on to the Malabar Coasts & Kochi (formerly Cochin), one of the India's most colourful cities. This inter-connected series of Islands & shoreline presents a vivacious blend of Cultures & Religions; Visit to Fort Cochin & St. Frances Church to see the town of Vasco da Gama. We also see the Jewish Synagogue & the Mattancherry "Dutch" Palace. This evening a memorable experience in any journey in Kerala is a Boat Trip (of your own) along the Palm Fringed Lakes & Backwaters of the Area; we enjoy this extraordinary excursion today. As we sail along the shady canals we see cantilevered Chinese fishing nets. From our launch, we enjoy use of narrow produced - Laden dugouts & the everyday life of families living on narrow spits of land between the waters. Rest of your day is free for relaxation. Overnight at the hotel.
14 Day Cochin – Guruvayur – Ooty (280 kms: 7 hrs)
Early morning drive to Cochin. Enroute visit to visit to Guruvayur Temple, dedicated to Lord Krishna, one of the most popular pilgrim centers of India, followed by visit to Punnathur Kotta, where 44 elephants belong to the Guruvayur Krishna Temple are fenced and fed in the Punnathur Kotta. Later, drive to Ooty. On arrival, transfer to the hotel. Rest of the evening is free for leisure. Overnight at the hotel.
Ooty: Known as the queen of hills and the most popular hill station in the South India. It is located in the Nilgiri hills at 2286 meter above sea level. With its rolling lawns and salubrious climate it became the important hill station in South India and the summer capital of the former Madras presidency. Ooty still has the touch of the Raj about it, with its cottages and pretty gardens and stone churches that stands among the groves of pine. Old summer palaces of maharajas are now hotels and set in their beautiful parks.
15 Day: Ooty – Coonoor – Ooty (1 hr drive one way)
After breakfast drive to Coonoor, optionally you may take a toy train ride; visit Sim's Park, there are also a number of individual tree specimens planted all over the place, give a special charm to the park, Dolphin's Nose, the Nose is a unique rock of tremendous proportions which looks like a Dolphin, Lamb's Rock commands a grand view of the Coimbatore Plains, Laws Falls a paradise for Nature lovers. Later take a sightseeing tour of Ooty enjoy the scenic surroundings, the Botanical Garden a wealth of variety of plants that include different types of roses, imported shrubs, rare flowering plants, eucalyptus trees, several old trees and even a fossilized tree trunk that is 20 million years old, followed by boat rides and fishing, a visit to the Ooty Lake is a must. Besides these, there are various viewpoints like Lamb’s Rock, Kodanadu and Dodabetta Peak is the highest point in the district at a height of 2623 meters. Provided the day is clear, one can see as far as the plains of Coimbatore and the Mysore plateau. Overnight at the hotel.
Coonoor, surrounded by the tea plantations, and at an altitude of 1850 m, Coonoor is the first of the three Nilgiri hill station-Udhagamandalam (Ooty), Kotagiri and Coonoor - that you come to when leaving behind the southern plains. Like Ooty, it's on the toy train line from Mettupalayam. While Kotagiri had the Kotas, and Ooty the Todas, so Coonoor was home to the Coon hill tribe. (The suffix, 'oor', means village.) This now bustling town appears rather squashed between the hills and it's only after climbing up out of the busy market area with the bus and train terminals that you'll get a sense of what hill stations were originally all about.
16 Day: Ooty – Mysore (165 kms: 4 hrs)
Morning after breakfast drive to Mysore, the Sandalwood and Incense Capital of the World & some of India's finest Crafts, such as Printed Silk, Inlaid, Furniture and Ivory Carvings are also found here. Also known as the city of Palaces, Mysore retains a quaint charm that never fails to enchant. On arrival, transfer to the hotel. Later take a sightseeing trip to visit the Palace of the Maharaja (Emperor) built in 1911 - 1912. The palace is of harmonious syntheses of the Hindu and saracenic styles of architecture with archways, domes, turrets, colonnades and sculptures which are magnificent followed by visit at St. Philomenas cathedral - folklore museum - Brindavan gardens & spectacular musical fountains. Visit the Art Gallery; drive up to Chamundi hill to see Chamundeshwari Temple and a panoramic view of Mysore. On the way back, see the Nandi Bull. Overnight at the hotel in Mysore.
Mysore, the capital city of the Wodeyars has always enchanted its admirers with its quaint charm, rich heritage, magnificent palaces, beautifully laid-out gardens, imposing buildings, broad shady avenues and sacred temples. Mysore races its history back to the mythical past, when Goddess Chamundeshwari of Chamundi Hills killed the wicked buffalo-headed demon, Mahishasura. Mysore Dasara is the celebration of this victory of good over evil. Mysore also has associations with the Mahabharata and King Ashoka of the 3rd century B.C. During the Wodeyar rule Mysore reached the Zenith of its glory as a fabled centre of oriental splendor.
17 Day; Mysore – Halebid – Belur – Hassan (115 kms: 3 hrs)
After breakfast check out the hotel and drive to Hassan, en route visit the picturesque hilly landscape afterwards continue to drive to Hassan. En route you may take a stopover in Halebid, which is the ancient capital of Hoysala Empire. In Halebid we visit the Hoysalesvara Temple of 12th century where we see half-life size statues of Hindu deities, with minute details of each, all around the temple. After the visit in Halebid we proceed to Belur. In Belur we visit the group of Chennakesava Temples, which are famous for its architecture and sculptures. After visit drive to Hassan for overnight stay.
Halebid is 27 kms northwest of Hassan and 17 kms east of Belur. The temples of Halebid - like those of Belur - bear mute testimony to the rich, cultural heritage of Karnataka. The Hoysaleshwara Temple, dating back to the 21st century, is astounding for its wealth of sculpture details. The walls of the temple are covered with an endless variety of Gods and Goddesses, animals, birds and dancing girls. Yet no two facets of the temple are the same. This magnificent temple - guarded by a Nandi Bull - was never completed despite 86 years of labour. The Jain basdis nearby are equally rich in sculpture detail.
Belur, this quaint hamlet - 38 kms from Hassan - is located on the banks of the river Yagachi. It was once capital of the Hoysala Empire, today made unforgettable for its exquisite temples. The Shennakeshava temple is one of the finest examples of Hoysala architecture. It took 103 years to complete this architectural marvel. The facade of the temple is filled with intricate sculptures and frescos, with no portion left blank. Elephants, episodes from the epics, sensuous dancers.. they are all there - awe-inspiring in their intricate workmanship. Hand-lathe-turned filigreed pillars support the temple. The Veeranarayana Temple and the smaller shrines are worth a visit.
Hassan is a convenient base to visit Shravanabelagola, Belur and Halebid. The District Museum here has a collection of sculpture, paintings, weapons, coins and inscriptions. The temples of Halebid - like those of Belur - bear mute testimony to the rich cultural heritage of Karnataka. The Hoysaleshwara Temple, dating back to the 12th century is astounding because of its wealth of sculptural details. The walls of the temple are covered with an endless variety of gods and goddesses, animals, birds and dancing girls. Yet no two facets of the temple are the same. This magnificent temple, guarded by the Nandi Bull was never completed.
18 Day: Hassan – Sravanbelagola – Bangalore (140 kms: 3 hrs)
After breakfast check out and drive to Bangalore. Enroute visit Sravanbelagola. At Sravanbelagola hewn out of a single rock and visible from a distance of 25 kms is the statue of Lord Gomteshwara, which is bathed with milk, sandalwood, saffron once every 12 years. Continue to proceed to Bangalore. On arrival, transfer to the hotel. After relaxation, take a sightseeing tour of the city visiting Lal Baugh - One of the many gardens in the city; it derives its name from the profusion of Red roses which are in bloom here, Cubbon Park - a garden laid down by Lord Cubbon in 1864. The ambience of the city life is broken with presence of such a large park in the center of the city. The Bull Temple - The 4.57 m high and 6.10 meters long image is carved out of single granite rock, Bangalore Palace - Built in the Tudor style and inspired by the Windsor palace, Vidhan Soudha - the Vidhan Soudha houses the state legislative assembly of state government, Tipu’s Palace - The summer palace of Tipu Sultan later followed by visit to Sri Gavi Gangadhareshwara Temple - The temple is natural monolith carved cave temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. In the evening you can optionally visit Ulsoor Lake. Overnight at the hotel.
Sravanbelagola 51 kms southeast of Hassan, Sravanbelagola is one of the most important Jain pilgrim centre .The world's tallest monolithic statue27 m. high monolith of Lord Bahubali is situated here. Thousands of devotees congregate here to perform the Mahamastakabhisheka a spectacular ceremony held once in 12 years, when the 1000-year -old statue is anointed with milk, curds, ghee, saffron, and gold coins. The next Mahamastakabhisheka will be held in 2005 A.D. Channarayapatna, Ramanathpur, Gorur and Manjarabad are the other places of interest around Hassan.
Bangalore: Bangalore, the capital city of Karnataka is called the Garden City for it's fascinating blossoms and luxuriant greenery that renders an unique beauty to this charming city. Bangalore is India's 5th largest city and the momentum of its industrial and commercial growth unequalled in the country. The city, where different cultures and customs exist. Today, this is a bustling and diverse city, with ancient arts that flourish alongside the Silicon Plateau of India. With profusion of greenery, splendidly laid out colorful garden, the city is a sheer delight to simply walk around. Weather being the best feature, Bangalore with pleasant summers and bearable winters is the best option for the tourist in India.
19 Day: Bangalore – Hometown (By Air)
Morning after breakfast check out the hotel, transfer to the airport to board the schedule flight for hometown. On departure the tour concludes with happy memories.