IOYO - 46
Spirituality and India are the two sides of the same coin and the statement seems indisputable when one talks about the southern part of India. An abode to deep-rooted spiritual traditions along with a cultural legacy, South India is the perfect haven for the ones who believe in spirituality.
The divinity of the cities will help you to achieve a perfect harmony of soul and mind. With our Religious Tour Packages in South India, you will explore a host of spectacular shrines, sites, locations and other religious fountains of South India. It will not only enthrall your heart but also provide you a unique and celestial experience.
Our 16 days tour will begin from Bangalore – the hub of India’s high-tech industry that is blessed with benevolent climate. And after that you will be driven to the cities. Hassan is the ideal place for the food lovers who are in quest of lip-smacking dishes. While in Belur you will witness Hoysala architecture; in Thrissur, you will witness myriad religious places. On the other side, you will witness Chinese style fishing nets and Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Kochi. You will see different animals as well as birds in Periyar and get the essence of backwaters in Alleppey. You will be driven to 2000 year old Janardana Swami Vishnu Temple in Varkara as well as Kanyakumari - a land of seeing sunrise and sunset. Last but not the least you will visit Thiruvananthapuram - a city of temples.
Along with relishing the marvels of nature, you will also explore the glories of the ancient temples. To make your holiday in South India a successful and fulfilling experience, we make an arrangement of everything including accommodation, transport and the rest other things. Enjoy a spiritual expedition with us.
On day 1, you will arrive in Bengaluru, one of the most developed cities of India and will be immediately be driven to Hassan by road. Hassan is a district in Karnataka that is situated 980m above the sea level. Derived from the Kannada words ‘karu’, and ‘nadu’; Karnataka means ‘elevated land’.
Loaded with a blend of glittering palaces, ancient ruins and national parks, it is one of the top tourist destinations in India. The congested city will offer you a different feeling. Some of the chief places to visit here are Mysore, Bangalore, Sravanbelgola, Hampi, Badami, Bijapur and many more. The land is also famous for delicious dishes including Bisibele bhath, Uppittu, Benne Dosa, Masala Dosa, Vade, and Mysore Pak. Overnight is in Hassan.
Today you will spend your day to explore Belur as well as Halebid. The capital of Hoysala Empire, Belur represents one of the finest examples of Hoysala architecture. Built by king Vishnuvardhana, in the 12th century, in the celebration of his victory over the Cholas, Chennakesava Vishnu Temple is a piece of wonder. It took 103 years to complete the temple and the sculptures include elephants, lions, horses, stories from the Indian legends and dancers. Also familiar as Dwarasamudra; Halebid or Halibeedu - the capital of the Hoysala Empire in the 12th century; means the Old City.
There is a big lake named Dwara Samudhra in front of the Hoysaleshawara and Kedareshwara temples. The name of the lake means the entrance of the sea and the city itself derives its name from the lake. In the walls of the temples you will find depictions of the Hindu mythology, birds, animals, as well as dancing damsels. Each of the sculpture in the temple is different from another one and there is a museum in the complex. Nandi Bull, another wonder, was incomplete even after 86 years of work. You can also stroll around the beautiful Jain temples and visit Belur and Halebid, return to Hassan. Spend the night in Hassan.
Highlights: Visit Belur & Halebid.
On day 3, you will be taken from Hassan to Kozhikode by road. Earlier acquainted as Calicut, it means "fortified palace". Being the major trading point for spices like black pepper, cardamom, and many more, the city was also called the "City of Spices".
Moreover, it was also an eminent cotton-weaving center and gave its name to the Calico cloth. Famous Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama landed arrived in Calicut in 1948 and opened a trade route between Europe and India. The historic temples and churches make Kozhikode popular. Your tour will take you to Kappad - place where Vasco da Gama set foot in India, Pazhassirajah Museum, paintings of Raja Ravi Varma, Dolphin's Point as well as the Science Planetarium. Spend the overnight in Kozhikode.
Highlights: Visit Kozhikode.
Today, you will be driven to Thrissur, earlier called Trichur. Derived from Thrishivaperur, Thrissur means "the place of three Shiva Temples". Here, you will witness a wide number of religious places including Thiruvambadi Sri Krishna Temple, Vadakkumnathan temple, Our Lady of Dolores Syro-Malabar Catholic Basilica,Our Lady of Lourdes Syro-Malabar Catholic Metropolitan Cathedral, and many more. The colorful Thrissur Pooram festival is celebrated here. The ‘Cultural Capital of Kerala’, is also the center for the Kerala Lalithakala Academy, Kerala Sangeetha Nadaka Academy as well as Kerala Sahitya Academy. Overnight is in Thrissur.
Highlights: Visit Thrissur.
Today, you will be taken to Kochi, a land that was put on the world map by Vasco-de-Gama. Spend your leisure hours to explore the wonders of the land. Earlier known as Cochin, the city is referred as the ‘Queen of Arabian Sea’. For a number of centuries, the city has remained the popular centre in across the world for the trade of spices. Derived from a Malayalam term ‘Kochazhi’, Kochi means a small lagoon. Enriched with the impression of Arabs, Portuguese, British, and Dutch Kochi is probably the second most important city on the west coast of India. Spend the night in the hotel.
Today morning, you will be driven to several renowned spots of Kochi including the Portuguese churches, mosques and temples along as well as the Jewish synagogue. One of the important things that you witness here is the Chinese style fishing nets. Holds around 10m of height along with an outstretched net; the installation process needs the assistance of six fishermen. Spend the afternoon to visit other popular destinations like Hill Palace, Kochi Fort, Marine Drive, Kochi International Marina, Cherai Beach, Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, and many more. During the evening, you will also enjoy a Kathakali dance show. Overnight is in Kochi.
Highlights: Visi the Portuguese churches, mosques, temples and a Jewish synagogue.
On day 7, you will be transferred to Periyar National Park from Kochi. Also referred as Thekkady, the jungle is popular as an Elephant and Tiger Reserve and is the abode of myriad animals including Bengal Tiger, Indian elephant, wild boar, sambar, tiger, leopard, wild dog, langur, monkeys, and many more. Here, you will also see an abundance of birds and plants. Want to witness the animals? Book a boat ride. You can also visit various plantation regions like coffee, and tea that surround the Park. Spend the night here.
Today you will spend to watch the animals. Moreover, you can also go for a soft trek, take a boat on Lake Periyar or explore the local bazaars. Spread across more than 700 km, Periyar National Park is famous for its dense forests and is the home to different animals as well as birds. If you want to see the herds of elephants and other animals, book a boat ride in the lake formed by the Mullaperiyar Dam across the Periyar River. It will be a memorable experience. Nearby places to visit are Murikkady along with spices and coffee plantations, Chellar Kovil and its picturesque waterfalls. Overnight is in Periyar.
Highlights: Periyar - Boat ride (common boat) on the lake Periyar to watch the wildlife.
On day 9, you will be taken to Alappuzha, also referred as Alleppey. Termed as the ‘Venice of the East’, this picturesque town is crisscrossed with canals and offers you beaches, backwaters, and lagoons. To experience something memorable, book a cruise in the backwaters. If you come here on the second Saturday of August, you will witness Nehru Trophy Boat Race on the Punnamada Lake. Lush green coconut palms and the paddy fields bring the title the ‘rice bowl of Kerala’ to Kuttanad. It is one of the places where rice is cultivated below sea level. An important commodity manufactured in that is manufactured in Alappuzha is Coir.
Numerous canals meandering through the town make Alleppey, a famous destination for tourists visiting Kerala. A network of large lakes the Kerala backwaters are linked by canals and fed by rivers. The waves as well as the shore currents form the backwater. Used to ferry the grain, the boats come with thatched roof covers – offer protection from the sun and rain. Looking like a floating cottage, the boats come with a sleeping area, toilets, dining area and a sit out on the deck. The staff members cook the foods. Overnight is on board the houseboat.
Highlights: Visit Alaphuzza.
Today, you will be driven to Varkala and spend the rest of the day at leisure. There is a myth about the origin of the city. A sinned Pandyan king was ordered by Lord Brahma to construct a temple here to absolve himself of his sins. According to another legend, a group of sinned devotees went to Narada who threw his loin cloth which is called valkalam here. These devotes prayed here to absolve themselves of their sins. You will also witness cliffs adjacent to the Arabian Sea with a number of water sports. Also familiar as the Varkala Beach is an amazing place for sun-bathing and swimming. You will also get a lot of Ayurvedic treatment centers nearby. Spend the night here.
Highlights: Varkala Beach.
Spend the day in Varkala, a calm and quite hamlet. Rich in mineral water springs, the beach is a quiet sea resort and a popular tourist destination. It is also called Dakshin Kashi. You will also visit 2000 year old Janardana Swami Vishnu Temple. The Sivagiri Mutt, established by Sree Narayana Guru draws a huge number of devotes in each year. It is the centre of the Sree Narayana Dharma Sangham that teaches 'One Caste, One Religion, and One God'. The British in 1684 selected the nearby Anjengo Fort as their first business settlement. Here, you will also find a cemetery along with the remains of the first occupants as well as the oldest burial site dated back 1704. Built in 1867, Varkala tunnel is a 924 ft long tunnel that took 14 years to complete. Overnight is in Varkala.
Highlights: Varkala Beach.
Today, you will be driven to the beautiful beaches of Kovalam. Spend your leisure hours at the beaches to revive your body and mind. A town at the Arabian Sea as well as paradise of the south, Kovalam means a grove of coconut trees. In the 1920s, Maharani Sethu Lakshmi Bayi of Travancore built the Halcyon Castle. The beach resorts offer Ayurvedic treatment for recuperation and regeneration. Moreover, you will get several salons that offer the same. Spend the night here.
Highlights: Kovalam Beach.
Spend the full day at the beach for relaxation. It is one of the famous honeymoon destinations in Kerala. The three beaches form a crescent of the Kovalam beach. Derives its name from the Vizhinjam Lighthouse, the Lighthouse Beach is located on a rocky promontory. Also familiar as Hawa Beach, Eve’s beach offers calm blue waters. The local fishermen use the Samudra beach. Just 3 km away, Vizhinjam sea port is known for its churches, temples as well as a mosque and offers a huge variety of fish. To take a cool swim, choose surf at Kovalam. You can also enjoy an Ayurvedic oil massages complemented by an oil bath. Overnight is in Kovalam.
Highlights: Kovalam Beach.
On day 14, you will be driven from Kovalam to Kanyakumari, also termed as Cape Comorin. Situated on the southernmost tip of India, where the Arabian Sea, Bay of Bengal and the Indian Ocean meet; it is a coastal town in the state of Tamil Nadu. A holy place for Hindus, the town consists two of the 51 Shakti Peethas - Bhagavathy temple as well as Shuchindram. According to the popular legend, Kanya Devi, an embodiment of Parvati was to marry Siva. However, as Siva failed to show up at the wedding, rice and other grains that were meant for the feast remained uncooked. It turned into stones and looked like un-cooked rice. To witness Vivekananda Rock Memorial with a 133 feet tall statue of Tamil saint-poet Thiruvalluvar, you will take a ferry and will reach the destination. Here, Swami Vivekananda had meditated here for three days. You will also visit Gandhi Memorial, where the urn with Gandhi's ashes was kept for public viewing before immersion. The land is also popular for the stunning sunrise and sunset. Spend the night here.
Highlights: Kanya Kumari - Take a ferry to reach the Vivekananda Rock Memorial.
The morning tour will take you from Kanyakumari to Trivandrum, also familiar as Thiruvananthapuram. The name Thiruvananthapuram comes from the deity of Sri Padmanabhaswamy temple means the ‘City of Lord Ananta’. Here in the temple, you will see Padmanabaha (Vishnu) is reclining on Anantha (Sheshanag). Recently, the city came into fame while some of the vaults of the temples were opened and a treasure was discovered that worth billions. And it makes this one of the richest temple of the world. A few more vaults are still to be opened. To enter into the temple, you have to adhere to a dress code.
The tour will take you to Sri Padmanabhaswamy Temple, followed by Napier Museum. Named after Lord Napier, an erstwhile Governor; it is an art and natural history museum. It is closed on Mondays, Wednesday afternoons as well as on some public holidays. The rulers of Travancore were famous for their interest in art and culture. Some of the popular artists are Maharaja Swathe Thirumalai, Raja Ravi Varma and Drayman Hampi. The paintings of Ravi Raja Varma will awestruck you. You will also visit Sree Chithra Art Gallery to see the paintings of Nicholas Roerich. In the museum, you will also find a good collection of old ornaments, bronze idols and a temple chariot. One of the oldest zoos of India is also a part of the museum. Overnight is in Thiruvananthapuram.
Highlights: Thiruvananthapuram - Visit the the Napier Museum (closed on Mondays, Wednesday afternoons and public holidays),
Today morning you will be transferred to the airport to board your return flight. End of your Religious Tour Packages in South India.