Temple, Backwater & Palaces of South India
Package price On Request
Product Code : AGORA179
The Temple, Backwater & Palaces of South India private tour is a 15-day itinerary that showcases the cultural and natural beauty of the region. From Chennai to Bangalore, you will visit ancient temples, UNESCO World Heritage Sites, French Quarters of Pondicherry, Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary, Alleppey's backwaters on a houseboat, and charming hill station of Ooty. This tour also includes visits to magnificent palaces, forts, museums, and gardens, providing an opportunity to experience the rich history and vibrant present of South India.
Day 1: Arrive Chennai
Upon arrival at Chennai airport, you will be met by a representative who will assist you with your transfer to your hotel.
After checking in, embark on a city tour of Chennai. Visit Fort St. George, which was built in 1640 AD by the British East India Company. Inside the fort, you will visit St. Mary's Church, which was also built by the British East India Company. Next, you will visit Kapaleeshwarar Temple, which is a holy shrine of Lord Shiva. Vadapalani Murugan Temple, which is one of the most frequented places of worship for Hindus in Chennai. After that, you will visit the Government Museum. You will then return to your hotel for an overnight stay.
Day 2: Chennai - Mahabalipuram (120kms)
After breakfast, check-out from the hotel and drive to Mahabalipuram. On the way, you will visit Kanchipuram, an ancient city that is famous for its silk sarees and its temples. You will visit some of the famous temples of Kanchipuram, which include Kailasanathar Temple, Ekambareswarar Temple, and Varadharaja Perumal Temple. Afterward, proceed to Mahabalipuram and check-in at the hotel. You will visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Mahabalipuram, which has some amazing monolithic temples like the Pancha Rathas, the Shore Temple, and the Arjuna's Penance. You will also visit the Krishna's Butterball and the Cave Temples.
Day 3: Mahabalipuram - Pondicherry (100kms)
After breakfast, drive to Pondicherry and check-in at the hotel. Visit Auroville, an experimental township where people from all over the world live together in harmony. You will also visit the Pondicherry Museum, which has a collection of rare artifacts and sculptures. In the evening, you can take a walk or drive through the French Quarters, which are characterized by their charming mustard streets and colonial villas. You will visit French consulate, Raj Nivas, Government Square, Churches, and French schools.
Day 4: Pondicherry - Thanjavur (180kms)
After breakfast, drive to Thanjavur via Chidambaram, where you will visit the famous Nataraja Temple. This temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is one of the most important pilgrimage sites for Shaivites. After visiting the temple, you will continue your journey towards Thanjavur. On the way, you will visit the Great Living Chola Temples at Gangaikonda Cholapuram and Darasuram. These temples are UNESCO World Heritage Sites and are famous for their exquisite Dravidian architecture. Gangaikonda Cholapuram was built by Rajendra Chola I, while Darasuram was built by his son, Rajendra Chola II. Once you reach Thanjavur, you will check-in at your hotel and have some time to rest and relax.
Day 5: Thanjavur - Trichy (60kms)
After breakfast, visit Brihadeshwara Temple and Palace Complex, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It was built by the great Chola king in the 10th century. Later, drive to Trichy and check-in at the hotel. You will visit Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple, which is the largest functional temple in the world. You will also visit the Rock Fort, which is the oldest rock in the world, estimated to be around 2.3 billion years old.
Day 6: Trichy - Madurai (135kms)
After breakfast, check out from your hotel in Trichy and drive to Madurai, a city famous for its rich cultural heritage and architectural marvels. On arrival in Madurai, check in to your hotel and relax for a while. Later, visit the famous Meenakshi Temple, one of the most visited temples in India, and admire its intricate carvings and stunning architecture. Also visit the Thirumalai Nayakar Palace, which was built in the 17th century and is an excellent example of Indo-Saracenic architecture. In the evening, visit Alagar Koil, Tiruparankundram Murugan Temple, and Palamuthirsolai Murugan Temple. Return to your hotel for an overnight stay.
Day 7: Madurai - Thekkady (160kms)
After breakfast at the hotel in Madurai, embark on a scenic drive towards Thekkady. The route takes you through the beautiful landscape of Ramakkalmedu, known for being one of the windiest places in Asia. The highlight of this place is the wind farm generating electricity, an engineering marvel worth seeing. You will also visit the Frog Rock, Turtle Rock, and the highest twin-statue in Kerala called Kuravan & Kurathi. You can capture the stunning views from the viewpoint at Ramakkalmedu. After spending some time here, continue your journey to Thekkady, a beautiful town located in the Idukki district of Kerala. Upon arrival, check-in at the hotel and relax for the evening.
Day 8: Thekkady
After breakfast, explore the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary, located in Thekkady. The sanctuary is a must-visit destination for wildlife enthusiasts as it is home to a wide range of flora and fauna. The sanctuary is best explored on a boat ride, which takes you through the serene Periyar Lake, amidst the dense forests of the Western Ghats. On this boat ride, you have a chance to spot various animals like elephants, bison, sambar deer, wild dogs, jungle cats, tigers, and wild boars. If you are lucky, you might also spot some of the snakes like cobras, vipers, and kraits. The sanctuary is also home to a variety of birds such as grey jungle fowl, Malabar grey hornbill, woodpeckers, and bulbuls.
After the boat ride, you can take a spice plantation tour, where you can see crops of cardamom, cinnamon, pepper, coffee, tea estates, and much more. You can also stop at the local market to pick up some fragrant spices to take back home. After an exciting day, you will drive towards Kumarakom and check in at the hotel for the night.
Day 9: Thekkady - Alleppey (135kms) - Houseboat
After breakfast, check out from your hotel in Kumarakom and drive to Alleppey, a beautiful town famous for its backwaters and houseboats. On arrival in Alleppey, board your traditional houseboat and embark on a journey through the enchanting backwaters of Kerala. Enjoy the serene surroundings as you sail past coconut groves, paddy fields, and quaint villages. Enjoy delicious Kerala-style meals prepared by the onboard chef. Overnight stay will be on the houseboat.
Day 10: Alleppey - Cochin (60kms)
After breakfast, disembark from your houseboat at Alleppey and drive to Cochin, a vibrant city that blends the old-world charm with modern amenities. On arrival in Cochin, check in to your hotel and relax for a while. Later, visit the historic Fort Cochin, a beautiful coastal town that boasts of colonial-era architecture. Visit the St. Francis Church, the oldest European church in India, and the Jewish Synagogue, which is one of the oldest synagogues in the world. Also, visit the Mattancherry Palace and the Chinese fishing nets. In the evening, enjoy a Kathakali dance performance. Return to your hotel for an overnight stay.
Day 11: Cochin - Ooty (280kms)
After enjoying breakfast at your hotel in Cochin, check-out and drive to Ooty, a picturesque hill station located in the Nilgiri Mountains. The drive takes about 7 hours, during which you can enjoy the scenic beauty of the surroundings. On arrival in Ooty, check-in to your hotel and relax for a while. You can spend the rest of the day at leisure, exploring the beautiful surroundings of Ooty. You can visit the local markets and indulge in some shopping, or take a leisurely stroll through the charming streets of the town.
Day 12: Ooty - Mysore (140kms)
After breakfast, visit the Botanical Gardens, which is one of the main attractions of Ooty. Spread over 55 acres, the gardens feature a variety of exotic plants and trees. After visiting the Botanical Gardens, take a ride on the famous Nilgiri Mountain Railway, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This train ride is a must-do activity while in Ooty as it takes you through the picturesque mountains and valleys of the region. Later in the day, drive to Mysore and check-in at the hotel. Spend the rest of the day at leisure, relaxing and exploring the city on your own.
Day 13: Mysore
After breakfast, embark on an excursion to the Chennakesava Temple at Somanathapura, which is a stunning example of Hoysala architecture. This temple is located about 35 km from Mysore and is known for its intricate carvings and sculptures. On your return to Mysore, visit the famous Mysore Palace, which is one of the largest and most magnificent palaces in India. You can also visit the Chamundeshwari Temple, Nandi Bull, City Palace, and St. Philomena's Church. These sites offer a glimpse into the rich history and culture of Mysore. Overnight at hotel.
Day 14: Mysore - Bangalore (150kms)
After breakfast, check-out from your hotel and drive to Bangalore. On arrival, check-in at your hotel and start your sightseeing tour of the city. You can visit the Lal Bagh Garden, which is a beautiful botanical garden, Cubbon Park, Bangalore Fort, Tippu Summer Palace, and the Bull Temple. Drive past Vidhana Soudha and Secretariat to get a glimpse of the administrative hub of Bangalore. Overnight at hotel.
Day 15: Bangalore - Departure
After breakfast, check-out from the hotel and proceed for the departure transfer to the airport as per your flight schedule. This marks the end of your wonderful journey through South India, filled with amazing sights, sounds, and experiences that will stay with you for a lifetime.
- Assistance on arrival at airport.
- 14 Nights' accommodation in selected price category hotels.
- Daily breakfast at hotels.
- Private AC car/van for airport transfers, sightseeing, and excursions as per the program.
- English speaking tour guide on sightseeing days (local guide in each city), as per program.
- Monument entrances and activities charges mentioned in the itinerary.
- Bottled drinking water in car.
- Government taxes.
Hotels used or similar for 14 Nights accommodation
Chennai x 1 night
3* - Raj Park/ MGM East Woods
4* - The Raintree/ Accord Metropolitan
5* - ITC Grand Chola/ The Leela Palace
Mahabalipuram x 1 night
3* - INDeco Hotels/ Mamalla Beach Resort
4* - Ideal Beach Resort/ Confluence The Banquet & Resort
5* - Radisson BLU Resort Temple Bay/ Fisherman's Cove
Pondicherry x 1 night
3* - Shenbaga Hotel/ Annamalai International
4* - Le Pondy/ The Windflower Resort & Spa
5* - Palais De Mahe/ La Villa
Thnjore x 1 night
3* - Grand Gardenia/ Oriental Towers
4* - Sangam Hotels/ Ideal River View Resort
5* - Svatma
Trichy x 1 night
3* - Red Fox Hotel/ Grand Gardenia
4* & 5* - Sangam Hotels/ Ideal River View Resort
Madurai x 1 night
3* - Astoria by Sparsa/ Madurai’s Residency
4* - GRT Regency/ Fortune Pandiyan Hotel
5* - Heritage Madurai/ The Gateway Hotel Pasumalai
Pariyar (Thekkady) x 2 night
3* - Abad Green Forest/ Hotel Treetop
4* - The Elephant Court/ Cardamom County
5* - Spice village/ Cardamom County
Alleppey x 1 night
3* - Deluxe Houseboat (ATDC Houseboat/ Dream Boats)
4* - Premium Houseboat (Abad Premium Houseboats/ Rainbow Premium Houseboats)
5* - Luxury Houseboat (Xandari Riverscapes/ Lakes & Lagoons)
Cochin x 1 nights
3* - The Dune Hotel/ Abad Plaza
4* - Casino Hotel/ The Avenue Regent
5* - Xandari Harbour/ Le Meridien
Ooty x 1 nights
3* - Monarch Hotel/ Hotel Darshan
4* - Fortune Resort Sullivan Court/ Sinclairs Retreat
5* - Savoy - IHCL SeleQtions/ Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel
Mysore x 2 nights
3* - Southern Star/Sandesh The Prince
4* - Fortune Park JP Palace/ Grand Mercure
5* - Royal Orchid Brindavan Garden/The Windflower Resort & Spa
Bangalore x 1 nights
3* - Ramada/ The Rialto
4* - Fortune Select JP Cosmos/ Lemon Tree Premier Ulsoor Lake
5* - ITC Gardenia, a Luxury Collection/ ITC Windsor a Luxury Collection
- Any flight tickets.
- Camera charges at monuments if any.
- Meals other than mentioned in the inclusions.
- Expenses of personal nature like liquor, laundry, tips, telephone, fax, internet etc.
- Gratuities and optional activities.
- Anything not mentioned in inclusions.