Enchanting South

Tour Type:
Private Escorted Tours
Start:
Bangalore
Duration:
17 Days
End:
Trivandrum
Departs:
Daily

Starting From

NZ$ 5277
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This tour will take you to the hidden but marvellous places in south India covering the Karnataka and Kerala regions. Witness the architectural and cultural diversity of Northern Malabar and the Kingdom of Mysore. You will be experience palaces and temples of the Mysore Empire, wildlife of Western Ghats, and natural beauty of Ooty before you travel to Kerala. Kerala will welcome you with its lush green scenery of Wayanad and wildlife in Muthanga. Moving onward, you will experience the culture, temple rituals, villages and colonial buildings that jostle for space with churches, synagogues, mosques and temples; golden beaches, quiet inland waterways and a backdrop of jungle-covered slopes.

Itinerary

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DAY 1

Upon arrival, you will be welcomed by our Tour Executive at the airport lounge with a TOTAL HOLIDAY OPTIONS signboard. Transfer to hotel. Stay overnight in Bangalore.

DAY 2

This morning after breakfast proceed on a sightseeing tour of the “city of gardens” as it is commonly known because of its beautiful parks, avenues, and gardens. Bangalore was founded in the 16th century by Chieftain Kempe Gowda but never came upon the scene till Tipu Sultan converted it into the summer capital of Mysore. The Wodeyar’s also contributed to developing the city through gardens and parks they built. But to the British goes the credit of making it into an administrative centre. Bangalore has now become one of Asia’s fastest-growing cities and because of its high concentration of IT industry is now pegged as the “Silicon Valley of India”. Visit The Bull Temple; carved out of single granite rock, it houses the magnificent stone statue of the sacred bull Nandi, Bangalore Palace; Built in the Tudor style and inspired by Windsor Palace, the summer palace of Tipu Sultan, within its walls is the well preserved 16th century Ganapathi Temple. Later travel to Mysore. On arrival transfer to the hotel, dinner, and overnight at Mysore.

DAY 3

The one-time capital of the Mysore Maharajas, it is the second biggest city of Karnataka state, which still preserves its age-old glory in its majestic palaces, forts, and gardens. While peeping into history, one finds that Mysore was ruled by the Wodeyar’s and was their capital. Under the Wodeyar’s patronization, the city developed as the center of art and craft. It is known the world over for its exotic sandalwood oils, rosewood carved products and Mysore silk saris. After breakfast proceed for a sightseeing tour and visit Chamundi hill to see Chamundeshwari Temple and a panoramic view of Mysore, the Palace of the Maharaja (Emperor) built in 1911–1912 is the harmonious synthesis of the Hindu and Saracenic styles of architecture with archways, domes, turrets, colonnades and sculptures which are magnificent. The evening takes a walk in the Brindavan gardens and enjoys the spectacular “Musical Dancing Fountains”. Dinner and overnight at Mysore.

DAY 4

After breakfast check out from the hotel and drive to Ooty visiting Madumalai Wildlife Sanctuary en route. The sylvan hilly topography of the Western Ghats renders Madhumalai (ancient hills) a highly attractive wildlife reserve because it is clothed in dense mixed and moist deciduous forests.

On arrival go on wildlife Jeep safari; the terrain of the wildlife sanctuary is extremely varied with hills, valleys, ravines, watercourses, and swamps. The vegetation comprises of tropical moist deciduous forests, dry deciduous forests and scrubs forests compared with the nearby reserves. The sanctuary is home to the wild elephant, gaur, deer, and primates like the bonnet macaque and langur. The predators that inhabit the park are the tiger, leopard, and dhole – the Asiatic wild dog that hunts in packs. The predators of the skies are the crested hawk-eagle and the crested serpent eagle, with the rest of the avian population boasting of flamboyant, hornbills, the great black woodpecker with its red crest, mynas, barbets, parakeets, tiny eared owl, an owl.

After the park visit drive continue to Ooty; arrive and check-in at the hotel. Stay for two nights in Ooty.

DAY 5

After breakfast, enjoy the sightseeing tour of Ooty, known as the 'Queen of Hill Stations', snugly ensconced in the heart of the Nilgiris. This scenic hill station is dotted with undulating hills, sparkling waterfalls, gurgling brooks, and terraces of lush green tea gardens, orchards of peaches and plums and eucalyptus. Founded by the British in the early part of the 19th century, Ooty is home to many Britishers who have fallen in love with this hill station where they discovered a little bit of England. “.....such beautiful English rain, such delicious English mud” is how Lord Lytton-Viceroy of India from 1876-1880 described Ooty to his wife. Before that time, the area was inhabited by the tribal people; visit the Botanical Gardens, Lake, and tribal Village. A hill station with a landscape perpetually enveloped in mist, Ooty’s beauty has a timeless appeal.

Evening experience the most enchanting “toy train” ride from Connor to Ooty (01 hours / 15 minutes journey); A century after it first attracted travellers, the Nilgiri Mountain Toy train continues to inspire weaving through forests, moving through time, along the valleys and into the little dark winding tunnels, round the bends, up the gradients, through the glens, trees, and birds. A whiff of mist, a myna's trill, sunlight dances on yonder hill, whistling, chugging, fire, steam-clacking, moving into a dream Gorge, gorgeous, misty, foggy shrouded peaks, drizzles clothe the slopes. Stay Overnight at Ooty.

DAY 6

After breakfast, check out from the hotel and drive to Wayanad, the green paradise is nestled among the mountains of the Western Ghats, forming the border world of the greener part of Kerala. Clean and pristine, enchanting and hypnotizing, this land is filled with history and culture. Located at a distance of 76 km. from the seashores of Kozhikode, this verdant hill station is full of plantations, forests, and wildlife. Wayanad hills are contiguous to Mudumalai in Tamil Nadu and Bandipur in Karnataka, thus forming a vast landmass for the wildlife to move about in their most natural abode. Arrive Wayanad and check-in at the resort.  Later walk around the resort and stay for two nights in Wayanad.

DAY 7

Morning get ready for a fun-packed jungle safari. A jungle safari along the Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary where elephants, deer, sloth bears, tigers, and panthers roam free and numerous rare birds chirp through the skies. Set off towards the Kuruwa Island, a bunch of desolate islets sprinkled in the middle of the vast Kabini River. Now it is a soaring hub of ecotourism supported by the locals as well as forest administration. Crossing the dangerous-looking and rock-strewn waters is an experience to cherish. Also, check out some tracks off the beaten track with the help of your guide.  On the way back, visit Edakkal Caves too. Afternoon free to relax at the resort.

DAY 8

After breakfast, check out from the hotel and drive Bekal, a small region with adoring attractiveness situated in the shoreline of the Arabian Sea in Pallikare village in Kasargod district of Kerala. The district of Kasargod lies in the northernmost region of Kerala, during Perumal age Bekal was a section Mahodayapuram. On arrival check into your hotel located on the shores of the Arabian Sea and the rest of the day free to relax.  Stay two nights at Bekal.

DAY 9

This morning after breakfast proceed for sightseeing at Bekal Fort one of the largest and best-preserved forts in Kerala and visit Ananthapuram temple, the only lake temple in Kerala. Also, visit ancient temples and churches around. Stay Overnight in Bekal.

DAY 10

After breakfast check out from the hotel and drive to Kozhikode, and visit Beypore, a prominent port and fishing harbour of ancient Kerala. Visit the fish markets and Boatyards in Beypore, which have been building vessels since early centuries for legendary seamen. Arrive Kozhikode and check-in at the hotel. Later visit, the Sweet Meat Street (S.M. Street) is the busiest shopping street in Kozhikode town. The street is named so as it once was lined up with sweetmeat stalls. Fancy clothes, handloom fabrics, handicrafts, coir products, miniature snake boats, and much more is available to buy in and around the street. There is also a wholesale spice market at the Big Bazaar Road where one can shop for specialities of Kerala. Stay Overnight in Kozhikode.

DAY 11

After breakfast, enjoy the sightseeing tour of Kozhikode and visit Comtrust Weaving Center; this weaving centre was started by the Bassil Mission of Germany more than a century ago and the age-old hand looms speak of the days when the export of cotton weaves to the European countries and the Far East were at its highest. One can still see the art of traditional dyeing and weaving which still exists today, and if you wish to go ahead and pick your choice of great looking bedspreads, towels, cotton bags and the like. Kappad Beach; this is the place where Vasco-da-Gama set foot in India, on 27 May 1498 A.D, opening doors to trade with the Western world. A small stone monument at the beach has commemorated this landing. Stay overnight in Kozhikode.

DAY 12

After breakfast check out from hotel and travel to Cochin, en route visit En-route visit Guruvayoor Temple (Surface area outside the temple).  This small town of Guruvayoor near Thrissur, famous for its Shree Krishna Temple which draws an uncountable stretch of devotees to it. As a hallowed town and a major pilgrim centre of Kerala, it has visitors throughout the year. Stop at Punathoor Kotta – the elephant sanctuary with more than 60 elephants.  Thereafter continue your journey to Cochin and stay for two nights in Cochin.

DAY 13

After breakfast, proceed on a sightseeing tour of the oasis state of Kerala and one of India’s most colourful cities. The Port of Cochin is known as the “Queen of the Arabian Sea” and is the industrial hub of the state where the ancient civilization mingles with the 20th century.

This morning we visit the synagogue; the centre for the Jewish community — which can be traced back to the exodus from Palestine 2000 years ago. The magnificent structure was built in 1568. The Great Scrolls of the Old Testament, copper plates of inestimable historical worth containing the privileges granted to Jews by the Cochin Maharajas, and the exquisite Chinese hand-painted tiles are artefacts of great interest at the synagogue

The area around the synagogue is known as “Jew Town” and is one of the Kochi spice trade centres. We also stop at Mattancherry Dutch Palace which was built by the Portuguese and presented to the Maharaja of Cochin in 1568. At the centre of the building is a large coronation hall. Seventeenth-century mural paintings depicting scenes from the India epic Ramayana can be seen in the palace.

We see St. Francis Church; the first church to be built in India by the Portuguese. Vasco-de-Gama, who discovered the sea route to India from Europe, was originally buried here (his remains were later taken to Portugal). We see the High Court Building, Santa Cruz Cathedral and also view the famous Cochin Chinese fishing nets.

Evening we enjoy a Kathakali Dance performance. Kathakali is a ritualized dance form that is native to Kerala, with elaborate costumes and makeup. Male dancers portray both male and female roles that tell the stories taken mostly from the epics of the Mahabharatha and Ramayana.  Dinner and stay overnight at the hotel.

DAY 14

After breakfast travel to Alleppey, on arrival embark on the houseboat. Start 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. Witness the local with children swimming and playing in the water, women attending to their daily chores and men fishing from their canoes. Enjoy fishing and the sunset from the sun-deck of the houseboats while heading towards Kumarakom. All meals with overnight on board. 

DAY 15

After breakfast, disembark from the houseboat and travel to Kovalam through green coastal belt and cashew plantations. On arrival check into the resort with rest of the day free for your own activities. Take an enticing walk along the beach to enjoy the scene of the Arabian waves embracing virgin sands, with steep palm covered headland. A glittering silvery sand contour into an arc, edging on one side with cerulean waters and on the other side by a magnificent row of the green palm groves, provides a spectacular view of the seeming eternal sea and sunsets. The waterfront is lined with a number of shops with spreads of jewellery, handicrafts and clothes. Kovalam means a grove of coconuts trees and truly the coconut trees along the beaches give it a ravishing look. Afternoon, enjoy an Ayurveda basic massage. The warm and clean atmosphere, luring surroundings, azure sea and solacing sun, make Kovalam a perfect relaxing holiday destination. Stay 02 night at Kovalam. 

DAY 16

Today is free for leisure to relax at the beach or to enjoy the resort facilities.

DAY 17

After leisurely breakfast, transfer to the Trivandrum airport to board the flight for your onward journey.

Inclusion


Accommodation with private facilities

Travel by private air-conditioned vehicle with driver

Local English-speaking guide 

Meals as specified (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner) 

Private Backwater cruise 

Entry fees/monument charges

One Ayurveda oil massage

Kathakali Dance show

Boat ride at Cochin

Wildlife safari 

Assistance and Transfers

All current taxes

Exclusion


Any international or domestic airfares

Train fares other than specified in the what's included section 

Airport taxes, visa & passport fees

Extra baggage charges

Early check-in or late check-out

Meals other than specified in the what's included section

Tips & gratuities

Travel & medical insurance

Camera & video permits

Expenses incurred due to flight/train cancellation or delay

Any expense of a personal nature, like drinks, laundry, telephone calls, mini bar, postage etc

Any optional excursion or tour

Entry charges at monuments/forts etc

Any other expense not mentioned in the what's included section