Cultural Tour of North - Central India

Duration: 17 Days / 16 Nights
Chennai - Mahabalipuram - Kanchipuram - Pondicherry - Tanjore - Trichy - Madurai - Thekkady - Alleppey - Cochin - Bengaluru - Hassan - Mysore - Bengaluru

South India is bestowed with the best-kept traditions and heritage of the ancient era. In its antiquity, the region has acquired the great wealth of temples, forts, palaces and ruined remains of settlements and civilizations in its heart of heritage. South India heritage tour is a tribute to the region’s deep seated heritage. In this expansive attempt, the journey covers up the heritage of Tamil Nadu’s temple towns, colonial era of French in Pondicherry, natural heritage of beaches and backwaters in Kerala and heritage strewn lands of Karnataka.

Day 01. Arrive Chennai

Upon arrival in Chennai, meet Incredible India Tour representative for an assisted transfer to the hotel. Rest of the day is free for resting and leisure. Overnight in Chennai.

South India Heritage Tour

Day 02. Chennai

Chennai, the first destination of South India Heritage Tour is a home to the second largest collection of heritage buildings in Tamil Nadu. After breakfast, begin the Chennai city tour with a visit to British established Fort St. George, Government Museum, the Snake Park, Kapalishvara Temple, Elliot’s Beach and Marina Beach. These are some of the most outstanding specimens of Chennai’s best-kept heritage. Return to the hotel for overnight stay.

Day 03. Chennai - Kanchipuram – Mahabalipuram

After breakfast, check out Chennai for a drive to Kanchipuram. This is city sacred to Hindus and revered at par with the likes of Varanasi, Ujjain and Ayodhya. Such is the glory of the city of thousand temples that still have shrines more than hundred in its heritage trove. The tour to Kanchipuram takes a traveller through the Kailasanatha Temple. This is the finest structural Pallava temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. Ekambareshwarar temple is next in the series, showcasing the popular Gopurams gateway tower architecture. The temple gopuram is 59 m tall, making it one of the tallest gopurams in the country. Further in the city, visit Vaikunta Perumal temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu. This Pallava is also one of the 108 Divya Desam dedicated to the lord. After lunch in Kanchipuram, drive towards Mahabalipuram. Upon arrival, check in the hotel. Remaining day is free at leisure. Overnight in Mahabalipuram

Day 04. Mahabalipuram

In the morning, begin a tour of Mahabalipuram, where the first world heritage site can be seen in great zeal. Rising from the sand, this town served the Pallava dynasty in the sixth century as an important coastal port where ships with spices and silk were sailed across the Bay of Bengal to the islands of Java, Sumatra and Cambodia. This is also an interesting destination for heritage lovers. Visit Shore Temple perched on rocky outcrop stands on the shoreline as the landmark structure of Mahabalipuram.  Also visit the famous rock bas reliefs of Arjuna's Penance, Krishna’s Butterball, Five Rathas or Chariots and mandapas as a part of Mahabalipuram tour. Also visit Dakshinachitra, a 10 acre heritage museum where the prime heritage of South India, its art, village crafts and sculptures from the four southern states of Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Kerala are displayed. Return to the hotel for dinner and overnight in Mahabalipuram.

South India Heritage Tours

Day 05. Mahabalipuram - Pondicherry

Check out Mahabalipuram for Pondicherry / Puducherry via drive. This was formerly a French colony and now a resplendent tourist attraction famous for the Aurobindo Ashram. This retreat was founded by Sri Aurobindo in 1926. Also, visit Manakula Vinayagar Temple dedicated to Lord Ganesha. In the evening, experience the French culture etched in Pondicherry with an observation tour through the region’s French buildings. Return to the hotel for overnight stay.

Day 06. Pondicherry - Tanjore

After breakfast, check out Pondicherry for Tanjore. The city holds prominence to the south Indian culture. here, a tourist can view the world’s finest Chola bronze collection and even visit the breathtaking Brihadishwara Temple, the most outstanding Chola contribution to the region’s architectural legacy.
Upon arrival in Tanjore or Thanjavur, check in the hotel. Later visit the Brihadishwara Temple, the world heritage site as the Great Living Chola Temples. Entirely made of granite, this temple is the crowning glory of temple architecture established by the Chola rulers.
Scheduled next is the visit to the Tanjore Palace. Constructed in 16th century, the palace is distinctively known for its huge corridors, spacious halls, observation and arsenal towers. Overnight in Tanjore.

Day 07. Tanjore - Trichy

After breakfast, check out Tanjore for another temple city, Trichy. Upon arrival, check in the hotel.
Trichy or Tiruchirapalli as locally known is famous for Rock Fort and Ranganathaswamy Temple in Srirangam. This is the large temple complex known for its courtyard and surrounded by seven concentric walls with 21 gopurams. In the evening, visit Rock Fort Temple dedicated to Lord Ganesha. A visit to the local markets around the temple can be done in the evening. Overnight in Trichy.

Day 08. Trichy - Madurai

After breakfast, check out Trichy for Madurai. This is one of the oldest cities, not only in the South India, but in the world and has been a centre of learning & pilgrimage for centuries. Upon arrival, check in the hotel. In the noon, visit Sri Meenakshi Temple, attracting thousands of pilgrims from the country. Later visit the Thirumalai Nayak Palace. Overnight in Madurai.

Day 09. Madurai - Thekkady

After breakfast, leave for Thekkady in Kerala. Thekkady is bestowed with great natural heritage in the form of spice forests and wildlife cover. Upon arrival here, check in the hotel. In the noon, begin boat safari on the Periyar Lake and spot the natural wildlife and take spice tour. Overnight in Thekkady.

South India Heritage Trip Day 10.  Thekkady - Kumarakom - Alleppey

After breakfast, check out Thekkady for Alleppey. Enroute stop over at Vembanad Lake for boat ride. This is one of the most popular man made bird sanctuaries surrounded by the backwaters on the Vembanad island. After the boating, continue towards Alleppey. Upon arrival, check in the backwater resort. Enjoy the luxury of life at the Backwater Resort.

Day 11. Alleppey

This day is free to relax in the backwater resort. Option for explore the backwater villages by country boat is there. After excursion, return to the hotel for overnight stay.

Day 12. Alleppey - Cochin / Kochi

After breakfast, drive to Cochin / Kochi. The commercial capital of Kerala, also known as the Queen of Arabian Sea is rich in tourism potentials. Dotted with rich heritage of the modern history, Kochi city tour includes a visit to Fort Cochin. Next visit the St. Francis Church, which is the oldest European Church in India built in 1503 by Portuguese. Further, visit the most prominent attraction of Kochi, the Chinese Fishing Nets, where the traditional way of fishing can be still observed. In the evening, witness the spectacular Kathakali Dance Show, the living heritage of Kerala. Overnight in Kochi.

Day 13. Kochi - Bengaluru (flight)

Check out Kochi and transfer to airport for a flight towards Bengaluru / Bengaluru. Transfer to your hotel upon arrival in Bengaluru. In the afternoon, begin the Bengaluru city tour with a visit to the Vidhan Soudha, largest monolithic Nandi statue Temple, popularly known as the Bull temple and option for shopping at MG Road. Overnight in Bengaluru.

Day 14. Bengaluru - Hassan

In the last leg of South India Heritage Tour, explore and experience the deep seated heritage of Karnataka in the form of its ruined civilization remains. After breakfast, check out Bengaluru for a drive to Hassan. This is also addressed as the temple-architectural capital of Karnataka.

Enroute Hassan, visit Sravanabelagola. This is one of the oldest and the most important Jain pilgrimage centers in India dedicated to Bahubali Gomateshwara. The saint is worshipped in the form of 17m high statue, said to the world's tallest monolithic statue. After the stopover, continue to Hassan, the heritage gateway of Karnataka. Upon arrival, check in the hotel and map the heritage of Hoysala temples at Belur and Halebid. Return to the hotel for overnight at Hassan.

South India Heritage

Day 15. Hassan - Mysore

After breakfast, drive to Mysore and upon arrival, check in at your hotel. In the afternoon, visit the Mysore Palace, resonating with the royal heritage of the land. This palace was once the seat of the Maharajas of Mysore. Visit Chamundi Hill and Chamundeshwari temple atop the summit of the peak. Later experience the Brindavan Gardens. Return to the palace for overnight stay.

Day 16. Mysore

Day is free for at discretion or shopping in Mysore. The destination is known for finest silks, sandalwood and rich handicrafts. Overnight in Mysore.

Day 17. Mysore - Bengaluru

Transfer by road to Bengaluru board your flight for onward journey.

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