Traversing South India
Traversing South India- 13nights/14days
Traversing the Deccan through the ancient temples of Tamil Nadu, through hills and waterways of Kerala and through jungles and ancient ruins in Karnataka; this tour provides an assortment of experiences. You see the prized bronze collection at Chennai museum and visit the famous Shore temple at Mahabalipuram; take part in evening prayer ceremony at the Meenakshi Temple in Madurai. Some of the best wild life reserves of South are included in this tour and, even if the tiger proves elusive, wild elephants are less shy and as equally awe inspiring.
This itinerary takes you through the vast variety that is encompassed by the South: Chennai, Madurai, Mysore, Kochi, Ooty, Bangalore, each city distinct in terms of heritage, people, culture, ambience; the ancient sites of Belur and Halebid, the ruins of which testify to a flourishing, sophisticated kingdom under Hoysala ruler. Cruising down the backwaters, it shows you glimpses of a more intimate Kerala; brings you music and dance; a demonstration of the superb control inculcated by the ancient martial arts. It takes an acquaintance further so that next time, when you return, you greet a friend.
price on application
Cost Includes: Accommodation for 13 nights, transfers, excursions and sightseeing with English speaking guide in an air-conditioned chauffeur driven car, monument entrance fee, porterage, mineral water in car, 2 jungle safaris at Bandipur, boat ride at Periyar for wildlife viewing, sunset boat cruise and Kathakali dance performance in Cochin and air travel in economy class as per itinerary
Hotels Superior : Ambassador Pallava (executive) Chennai, Sangam (standard) Madurai, Cardamom County (cottage) Periyar, Trident Hilton (superior) Cochin, Holiday Inn Gem Park (superior) Ooty, Tusker Trail (standard) Bandipur, Reegalis (superior) Mysore, Southern Star (AC deluxe) Hassan, Bangalore Internatuional (standard) Bangalore Deluxe (upgrade to): Le Meridien (deluxe) Chennai, Taj Garden Retreat (deluxe) Madurai, Taj Garden Retreat (cottage) Periyar, Le Meridien (royal club) Cochin, Taj Savoy (standard) Ooty, Metropole (royal) Mysore, Hoyshala Village (deluxe suite) Hassan, Le Meridien (deluxe) Bangalore Luxury (upgrade to): Taj Connemara (executive heritage) Chennai, Spice Village (standard) Periyar, Brunton Boatyard (standard sea view) Cochin, Lalitha Mahal Palace (standard) Mysore, Taj Westend (luxury) Bangalore.
Chennai(2)-Madurai(1)-Periyar(1)-Kochi(2)-Ooty(1)-Bandipur National Park(2)-Mysore(2)-Hassan(1)-Bangalore(1)
Day 01 Arrival
Reception and welcome at Chennai airport followed by transfer to your hotel. Spend the rest of the day sightseeing.
Day 02 Chennai
Full day excursion to Mahabalipuram and Kanchipuram.
Day 03 Chennai - Madurai
Take a flight to Madurai, one of South India's great temple towns and an ancient centre of learning.
Day 04 Madurai – Periyar
After breakfast leave for Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary. Check in at your hotel before taking a boat safari for close encounters with wildlife.
Day 05 Periyar – Kochi
Drive to Kochi [Cochin] and enjoy a sunset cruise in the backwaters to see the Chinese fishing nets.
Day 06 Kochi
A day dedicated to the sights and sounds of the city. Enjoy a Kathkali dance performance in the evening.
Day 07 Kochi – Ooty
This ‘Queen of hill stations' in the heart of the southern Nilgiri mountains is a picturesque five-hour drive away.
Day 08 Ooty – Bandipur
The national park of Bandipur is one of the finest habitats of the Royal Bengal Tiger and the Asian elephant.
Day 09 Bandipur
A day given over to bringing out the naturalist in you.
Day 10 Bandipur – Mysore
Travel to Mysore in the morning. You have the day to sightsee.
Day 11 Mysore
Day excursions to the Ranganathitoo Bird Sancutry, Srirangapatnam and Somnathpur.
Day 12 Mysore – Hassan
Drive out to see the Hoysala temples at Belur, Halebid, and carry on to the 11th century - city of Hassan.
Day 13 Hassan – Bangalore
Drive to Bangalore after a leisurely breakfast. You have the day to explore the town and shop.
Day 14 Departure
Transfer to the airport in time for your direct flight out, or a connecting flight via Mumbai or Chennai.
THE BENELUX BONANZA
The journey I was about to undertake would not only in geographical terms span vast distances over land and sea......it was an odyssey which would cover a period of over four hundred years and one in which I would try to establish a "connection" with my ancestors.
I had attempted to obtain tickets for the Palace on Wheels (POW) from a specialist rail tour company in the United States, only to be informed that the ticket allocation has been exhausted on the date we wanted to travel. I incidentally mentioned this to Andre as part of a broaderPeter Bermingham