• Madurai
    madurai

15 days South India Tour itinerary

Destinations : Chennai, Kanchipuram, Mahabalipuram, Pondicherry, Thanjavur, Trichy, Madurai, Thekkady, Alappuzha, Kochi, Ooty, Mysore, Bangalore

Duration :15 Days

Tour Code :SITT 038



15 days south india tour itinerary


DAY 1 : Arrival at Chennai

Welcome to Tamil Nadu! On your arrival at Chennai International Airport, you will be received and transferred to the hotel. In the afternoon visit to the capital city. Your first visit will be to the famous Fort St. George. The fort is named after St George who used to preach in Chennai. It was built in 1640 by the British East India Company. It also encompasses other historic monuments such as St Mary's Church & St George Fort Museum. Have a short drive to visit the famous Santhome Church where the Basilica was built over the tomb of St.Thomas, one among the three in the World. St. Mary’s Church was designed by Edward Fowle and built by William Dixon. The structure is a rectangle built with brick and polished lime. The curved roof makes the structure unique and different. The church started as Government congregation and later the monument became as one of the protected areas of the Archaeological Survey of India. Also visit the Kapaleeswarar Temple dedicated to Lord Shiva.

Overnight stay in Chennai

DAY 2 : Chennai - Kanchipuram - Mahabalipuram (4hrs drive)

Finish your first Indian breakfast and start your drive to Kanchipuram. Dedicated to Lord Shiva, the Ekambaranathar Temple has been spoken about by Tamil poets who lived in the 2nd century. During the rule of Pallavas, the original structure was pulled down and new temple was built. During Chola dynasty, the temple was improvised. The temple in its present form was the work of Krishnadevaraya, the most famous Vijayanagar King in the year 1509. Belonging to the 8th century, Kailasanathar Temple is one amongst the oldest structures in the city and it is dedicated to Lord Shiva. Pallava kings were famous for their love for architecture and one glance at the temple would suffice to understand the importance they attached to arts and architecture. The stone carvings with intricate and dedicated workings are beyond words. Spend some time visiting Silk Weaving Centres. Continue your drive to Mahabalipuram and relax in the hotel. Overnight stay in Mahabalipuram


DAY 3 : Mahabalipuram

Mahabalipuram, also called Mamallapuram is a historic town that finds mention in ancient Hindu mythology and legends. It was a bustling port city from the 1st century BC till the time of the Pallavas in 9th century BC. Present day Mahabalipuram is a modern town replete with the glorious vestiges of its heritage. You can experience the competitive art works like Sea Shore Temple, Five Chariots, Arjuna’s Penance, Krishna’s Butter Ball, Varaha Cave, etc. These are the monuments included in UNESCO’s heritage site lists. Relax in the resort.


One more night stay in Mahabalipuram


DAY 4 : Mahabalipuram - Pondicherry (2hrs drive)

Start your drive to Pondicherry. Visit the famous Goubert Markets, an active vibrant market centrally located.  Then have a visit to the famous Aurobindo Ashram. Despite the crowd, the members maintain discipline within the complex, restoring its peaceful environment. The ideals of the ashram are based on the teachings of Sri Aurobindo and Mira Alfassa. Visit the Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, established in 1908 by the French missionaries and attained the status of basilica in 2011. This Catholic Church is one of the finest churches of Pondicherry and an excellent example of Gothic architecture. In the evening, you can have Rickshaw Ride through French colonies and Commercial Streets. 


Overnight stay in Puducherry


DAY 5 : Pondicherry- Gangaikonda Cholapuram - Darasuram - Thanjavur (4.5hrs drive)

Finish your breakfast and drive to Thanjavur. Enroute stop and visit Gangaikonda Cholapuram Temple. The person who can be credited with the erection of this temple is King Rajendra Chola, son of Raja Raja Chola. Rajendra built this temple to recreate his father's achievement, the Brihadeeswara Temple of Thanjavur. Also visit Darasuram Airavatesvara Temple. This temple is a storehouse of art and architecture and has some exquisite stone carvings. Although this temple is much smaller than the Brihadeeswara Temple or the Gangaikondacholapuram Temple, it is more exquisite in detail. This is because this temple is said to have been built with nitya-vinoda, "perpetual entertainment", in mind. Check-in to the hotel and relax. All the above said temples are collectively the UNESCO World Heritage Site known as 'Great Living Chola Temples'. 


Overnight stay in Thanjavur


DAY 6 : Thanjavur

Thanjavur Art Gallery, situated within the Thanjavur Royal Palace, is one of the main attractions of Thanjavur town. Thanjavur Art Gallery, which is housed in the Nayak Hall of the place, has an extensive collection of stone and bronze statues and idols belonging to the Chola period (8th – 9th centuries). Bronze statues belonging to the Pallava period are also displayed here. Art Gallery also displays murals, paintings, sculptures and other artefacts that can be dated to the period in between 8th and 18th centuries. Visit the famous Brihadeeswara Temple also known as Big Temple, built in the year 1010 AD by the mighty Chola Emperor Raja Raja Chola. It remains as one of the greatest glories of Indian architecture. This temple is a part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site known as 'Great Living Chola Temples'. In the evening, visit the Bronze Making Artisan’s Village to see the Bronze Casting and Tanjore Paintings. 


One more night stay in Thanjavur


DAY 7 : Thanjavur - Trichy - Madurai (4hrs drive)

Start your drive to Tiruchchirappalli (Trichy). Have a stop at 'Amma Mandapam' – the holy banks of River Cauvery, where you can see the Hindu rituals after the cremation.  It’s quite interesting to see the rituals performed by the Hindus with the help of the priest. Regarded as the largest functioning Hindu temple in the world, the Ranganathaswamy Temple in Srirangam was built between the 6th and the 9th centuries by the Azhwar Saints. The temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and is the 1st of the 108 Divya Desams or Vishnu Temples in the world.


Continue your drive to Madurai. Visit the famous Thirumalai Nayak Palace built in the 16th century with grand pillars is the most attractive one. The palace, built in 1636 by King Thirumalai Nayak, was considered an architectural marvel during its construction. It has a fusion of Dravidian and Islamic styles of architecture. Also visit the Meenakshi Temple dedicated to Goddess Parvati and a thousand pillared hall with eye-catching sculptures. The complex is adorned with many shrines and architecture.


Overnight stay in Madurai


DAY 8 : Madurai - Thekkady (3.5hrs drive)

One of Kerala's most beautiful and amazing destinations is Thekkady (Periyar), located in the Idukki district. Thanks to its location on the Kerala-Tamil Nadu border which enables Thekkady to enjoy a cultural and ecological mix. Check-in to the resort and do the wildlife activities like Boat Ride in Forest Lake, Guided Spice Plantation Walk, Kalaripayattu” martial art show.


Overnight stay in Thekkady


DAY 9 : Thekkady - Alappuzha (4hrs drive)

Alappuzha (Alleppey) is the hub of Kerala's spectacular backwaters and home to a vast network of waterways. The town center is busy, and the number of channels is not really enough to earn it the 'Venice of the East' tag, but just outside the town center, towards the beach or the backwaters, Alappuzha presents a different sight altogether. Check-in to the houseboat and finish your lunch there itself with a typical Kerala cuisines. Cruise through Vembanad lake by houseboat till evening where the boat will stick in one place. You can finish your dinner in the boat and your sleep will be in an air-conditioned houseboat.


Overnight stay in Alappuzha Houseboat


DAY 10 : Alappuzha - Kochi (1.5hrs drive)

After breakfast drive to Kochi. Located in Ernakulam district, Kochi is also known as the “Queen of the Arabian sea” and it is the commercial capital of Kerala. Visit the famous St. Francis Church, believed to be the oldest European-built church in India. However, it's most famous for the fact that it was once the burial site of explorer Vasco da Gama, who died in Kochi in 1524. Have a short walk to Santa Cruz Cathedral,  one of the eight basilicas present in India. It is not only one of the oldest churches in Kochi, but also in the country. In 2004 the cathedral completed 500 years of its existence. Chinese Fishing Nets, undoubtedly Kochi's most recognizable sight, have been there since the 14th century and are remarkably still in use today. It is believed that traders from the court of the Chinese ruler Kublai Khan introduced these nets here. Visit the famous Mattancherry Dutch Palace which was originally built by the Portuguese. Later, in the 17th century, the Dutch modified it and presented it to the Raja of Kochi. Located next is the Jewish Synagogue built in 1568, is magnificently decorated by Chinese tiles and Belgian chandeliers. Also don’t miss to witness the traditional Kathakali dance show in the evening.


Overnight stay in Kochi


DAY 11 : Kochi - Ooty (7hrs drive)

This will be the longest drive in your tour. Finish your breakfast and drive to Udagamandalam. Check-in to the resort and relax.


Overnight stay in Ooty


DAY 12 : Ooty


The Queen of Hill Stations, also known as the Blue Mountains, Ooty is one of the most beautiful hill stations in India. This hill station has splendid green downs and lofty hills of extraordinary scenic beauty and is endowed with a salubrious climate similar to the English summer! In the morning, you will be dropped in Udagamandalam railway station to board the mountain rail. Nilgiri Mountain Railway is part of UNESCO's World Heritage Sites along with the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway and is an extremely romantic train journey. This journey passes through enormous curves, tunnels and bridges as the train chugs along the steepest track in Asia. Along the way you pass sleepy towns and misty railway stations that have featured in multiple Indian movies. Get down at Coonoor and you will be picked by the driver. Have a look at the famous Sim’s Park and start your drive back to Ooty. Dating back to 19th century, St. Stephen Church is a place to visit in Ooty for its architectural beauty and religious importance. Although comparatively simpler, this church has beautiful interiors. The terraced layout of the Botanical Gardens has thousands of exotic plant species, ranging from medicinal shrubs to fascinating bonsai trees. There is a fossilised tree trunk in the center of the garden, and it is said to be over 20 million years old. The Ooty Centenary Rose Garden is the largest rose garden in the country and is a 10-acre spectacle housing over 20,000 different kinds of roses, including Floribunda, Hybrid Tea Roses, Miniature Roses, Papagena and Polyanthus, among others.
One more night stay in Ooty

DAY 13 : Ooty - Mysuru (3hrs drive)

Finish your breakfast and drive to Mysuru. St. Philomena's Church is a Catholic Church built in honor of St. Philomena in the Diocese of Mysore, India. Designed by the Reverend Rene Feuge, it was constructed in 1956 in a Neo Gothic style and its architecture was inspired by the Cologne Cathedral in Germany. The floor plan of the cathedral is in the form of a cross. The cathedral has a crypt that houses a statue of St. Philomena. This statue was specially brought from France. Afternoon visit the famous Chamundeshwari Temple, located on the Chamundi Hills. Considered as one of the many Shakti Peethas, the temple has an impressive seven-storied Gopuram, decorated with exquisite carvings. Evening visit the famous Mysore Maharaja Palace, a huge complex belongs to 19th century designed by an Italian architect “Henry Irwin" and built by the Wodeyars. It was the official residence of the erstwhile royal family of Mysore, the Wodeyars, and has two giant durbar halls, massive courtyards, gardens and buildings.


Overnight stay in Mysuru


DAY 14 : Mysuru - Srirangapatna - Bengaluru (4hrs drive)

In the morning visit Devaraja Market, an apt place to get a flavor of the local people's ( Mysoreans, as they are called ) daily life. With more than 100 years of history, this market is well knitted into the heritage of Mysore.


Start your drive to Bengaluru. Enroute stop and visit the famous Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple in Srirangapatna dedicated to Lord Vishnu as Ranganatha. This is the prime attraction in Srirangapatna & one of the top tourist places to visit near Mysore. The temple is protected by the Archaeological Survey of India as a monument of national importance. Daria Daulat Bagh also known as Tipu's Summer Palace was commenced by Hyder in 1778 and his son Tippu Sultan completed it in 1784 AD. The palace is surrounded by a large garden on the southern bank of the river. The palace was made with teakwood in Indo-Saracenic style. The pillars, walls, canopies, arches and the corridors are graced with several murals. They depict scenes of warfare by Hyder Ali and Tippu Sultan, the Nizams of Hyderabad, the British and French soldiers. Check-in to the hotel and relax. Vidhana Soudha is the state legislature building located on Dr. Ambedkar road. It houses the Legislative Chambers of Karnataka State. Vidhana Soudha was built in the Neo-Dravidian architectural style and has the elements of Indo-Saracenic, Rajasthani and Dravidian designs. The imposing white building comprises of several carved pillars, bases, pediments, cornices and arches. Lalbagh Botanical Garden is one of the best gardens in India and one of the best places to visit in Bangalore city. The ruler of Mysore, Hyder Ali commissioned the development of the garden in 1760. Initially designed in Mughal style, this garden was further developed by Hyder Ali's son Tipu Sultan. Sprawling over an area of 240 acres, there are more than 1,800 species of flora, including plants, shrubs and trees, most of them from outside India.


Overnight stay in Bengaluru

DAY 15 : Departure from Bengaluru

This day, you will be transferred to Kempegowda International Airport (Bengaluru) for your flight back home.


Tour ends with Indian memories! 










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