IOYO - 08
This 17 days tour of South India with Goa & Mumbai is perfect for those looking to discover new cultures & beaches of incredible India. The calming hustle-bustle of winds, the soothing waves of the beaches, the unforgettable aura of the ancient temples where mantra are constantly chanted, is everything that Southern India promises to deliver to every visitor she has! This startling trip to South India will start from Chennai, the motherland of “Idlis - a south Indian steamed cake of rice” and will end in the city of dreams, Mumbai. In between, get surprised by the shades of green in God’s Own Country – Kerala, famous for its backwaters, coconut trees, houseboats, and lakes. This journey will further take you to Goa, where you can enjoy the lively nightlife, it has along with scrumptious seafood and fantastic beaches, which gives you the space to laze on all day.
Your first destination Chennai will put you in awe and will enthrall you with the aromatic fragrances of incense stick from various ancient temples that surrounds the city and will refresh you with salty breeze from the beaches. Once you reach Chennai, you will be transferred to your hotel. The capital of Tamil Nadu and home to Tollywood, Chennai is the industrial hub of the state. On your way to the hotel, you will drive past some intriguing architectures, and the latter part of the day will be dedicated to an optional sightseeing tour. You will stay overnight in Chennai to capture all the freshness.
After spending a night in Chennai and de-stressing yourself, you will check out from your respective hotel and will head towards Mahabalipuram and Kanchipuram. The moment you enter Mahabalipuram, you will find Gajra clad women “a traditional Indian garland that are tied in women's hair as a part of their everyday traditional attire” welcoming you with an infectious smile on their faces. Mahabalipuram is one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites and holds a major part of India’s history and culture in its heart, which you will be able to notice when you visit various monuments and witness remarkable artifacts. Numerous caves, temples, and mandapams cut out from gigantic rocks will certainly leave you spell-bound. In every part of this town, you will witness a new chapter of Indian mythology unfolding itself and every monument talks volumes about the history of Southern India.
Bridging the invisible gap between culture and fashion, Kanchipuram, a silk paradise, as it offers the world-famous Kanchipuram silk saris. Until today the ancient community of weavers put in their blood and sweat in making every Kanjivaram silk saree an impressive accolade for their visitors. So, don’t forget to pick one of these masterpieces from Kanchipuram.
After you are done exploring the streets of Kanchipuram, spend some time at the very impressive Ekambeshware and Varaderajaswamy temples. Later in the day you will return to Chennai railway station and board a night train to your next destination that is Trichy.
Highlights: Mamallapuram - Visit the Shore Temple, The bas relief Arjuna's Penance, The five chariots, etc. Kanchipuram - Visit Siva, Ekambareswara, Sri Kailasanathar, Sri Vardaraja Perumal, Sri Kamakshiamman Temples.
After the overnight journey you will arrive at Trichy. On your arrival, you will be the transferred to your respective hotel to freshen up. Trichy also known as Tiruchirapalli is located at the banks of Cauvery River and is the fourth largest city of Tamil Nadu. This city tells a lot about the history of the Chola Dynasty. The air in this city has some unique holiness to it. The afternoon tour of Trichy will take you to the Danish Church, Rock Fort temple complex and to a fort that is built on a rock with 434 steps to reach the temples of Lord Ganesh and Lord Shiva. As per the history of India, this temple complex has witnessed the fiercest battles between the Bijapur and Madurai Nayaks, Marathas and Carnatic forces. It is believed that this fort played a crucial role at the time of Carnatic wars. You will they stay overnight in Trichy.
Highlights: Tiruchirapalli - visit the Danish Church and Rock Fort temple complex.
This morning, you will start afresh towards your next destination, Tanjore also known as Thanjavur. Thanjavur was the capital of the Chola dynasty and was also known worldwide for its famous Tanjore paintings. It is also the motherland of Bharatnatyam, a classical dance of Southern India. Apart from Tanjore paintings, The Brihadeeswara Shiva Temple, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is something that you cannot afford to miss. King Raja Raja Chola built this temple in the 11th century AD. It is made of a single granite block weighing 80 tons, which was carried to the top with the help of a 6 km long ramp, an old technique that was popularly used by Egyptians for building pyramids. The walls of this spell-bounding temple are covered with paintings from the Chola and Nayak period. The other places that fill your day are the Thanjavur Maratha Palace constructed by the rulers of Thanjavur, the Saraswati Mahal Library which has more than 30,000 manuscripts written on palm leaves as well as on paper and the Raja Raja Chola art gallery which has humongous collection of stone and bronze idols dating back to the 9th -12th century. The next destination on the list is Madurai and you will reach there by road. You will stay overnight in Madurai to have a relaxing time.
Highlights: Tanjore - visit the Brihadeeswara Shiva Temple, Thanjavur Maratha Palace, Saraswati Mahal Library and the Raja Raja Chola art gallery.
Dubbed the “Athens of the East’, the historical city of Madurai is considered to be one of the oldest cities in the world with the history dated to 3rd century BC. You will start your day by visiting numerous temples, including the famous labyrinth-like Meenakshi Temple, Tirumala Nayak Palace, Alagar Hills, and Tirupara Kundran Rock temple. The Meenakshi Temple complex is one of the finest examples of Dravidian architecture. It is the largest temple in India. After discovering these beautiful sites, you will be staying back in Madurai for the night.
Highlights: Madurai - Visit Meenakshi Temple, Tirumala Nayak Palace, Alagar Hills and Tirupara Kundran Rock temple.
Your next destination will be Periyar National Park, which is a thrilling delight for nature lovers. Also called Thekkady, it is famous for its extensive flora and fauna. From Elephant and Tiger Reserve to various animals like wild boars, sambars, tigers, leopards, wild dogs, langurs, and monkeys it has it all. A boat ride across the Periyar Lake is all that you need to witness the mesmerizing beauty of this National Park. During your ride, you will see numerous animals and birds that call this Park their home. The Park is surrounded by a couple of tea trails and coffee plantations. Invoke your imagination and don’t miss the opportunity to visit these lush green surroundings. If you prefer to explore more, we recommend you a trek to the nearby areas. The whisper of nature sounds will make your night stay all the more relaxing in Periyar.
Highlights: Periyar - Boat ride (common boat) on the lake Periyar to watch the wildlife.
This morning you will travel from Periyar to Kochi. Kochi earlier known as Cochin is referred to as the Queen of Arabian Sea. Over the centuries, Kochi has been the spice center for the traders from across the globe. The name of the city comes from Malayalam term Kochazhi that actually means small lagoon. Kochi was put on the world map by Vasco-de-Gama. The Arabs, Portuguese, British, Dutch, all have left their impression on the land of this city. After Mumbai, Kochi is probably the second most important city on the west coast of India. By the end of the day, you can visit a Kathakali dance show before you stroll around the heritage part of Kochi.
This morning, you will be taken to Fort Kochi for a walking tour to adore. In this day, you will be covering some renowned spots that include the Portuguese churches, mosques, and temples along with the Jewish synagogue. You will have a stop at Chinese style fishing nets, which will be the highlight of the day. It holds around 10m of height and consists of cantilever along with an outstretched net that is suspended in the sea and one huge stone suspends on other end with ropes for the counterweights. Every installation of this fishing-net gets operated by a group of fishermen. Your afternoon will be free which you can use to explore the surroundings. You can also pay a visit to other popular spots of the city like Kochi Fort, Hill Palace or try some art galleries and cafes in this old part of town.
Highlights: Kochi - Visi the Portuguese churches, mosques, temples and a Jewish synagogue.
Today you will fly from Kochi to Bangalore. On your arrival in the Garden City, you will be directly taken to the Royal City of Mysore, by road that was once ruled by the Wadiyars. The city of palaces is famous for its Dussehra festival, a royal festivity time celebrating victory of truth over evil. Earlier, the city was ruled by Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan, before the era of Wadiyars started. This majestic city of palaces is also considered as the cultural capital of the State of Karnataka, as Wadiyars maintained proximity with the Cultural aspect of this state. You will stay overnight in Mysore.
It is unlikely for anyone to visit Mysore and not visit Mysore Palace and Chamundeswari Temple. The whole experience is a recall of world of regal opulence and you will be awestruck once you witness these masterpieces. The architecture of World Heritage-listed Maharaja’s City Palace, built by the Maharaja of Mysore in the year 1911-1912 is eye pleasing and will certainly stay with you for life. After your visit to the grand palace, you will head towards Chamundeshwari temple on Chamundi Hill. On your way to the temple, you will be able to gauge a panoramic view of the majestic city of Mysore. The afternoon is free in Mysore, so you can visit the Krishnarajasagar dam and the Brindavan Gardens if you wish too. Mysore is an abode for Mysore silk, again something worth exploring. You will be staying for a night in Mysore.
Highlights: Mysore - Visit the Mysore palace, art gallery, Chamundi hill, Nandi bull, etc.
Today, you will be travelling to Sravanbelgola. The Gommateshvara Bahubali statue of this city is of utmost importance for the people who practice Jainism. The statue is colossal and can be seen from distance. It is bathed with honey and milk as a ritual, once in every 12 years. During this auspicious time, it attracts many pilgrims from all over the world. Spend some time here and witness the religious belief of the Jainism.
From Sravanbelgola, you will be taken to Belur & Halebid. Belur was the capital of Hoysala Empire and has one of the finest examples of Hoysala architecture, like the Chennakesava Vishnu Temple, which was built by king Vishnuvardhana, on the occasion of his victory over the Cholas in the 12th century. It took 103 years to complete the temple and sculptures include elephants, lions, horses, stories from the Indian legends, dancers etc. It is a masterpiece with chequered history, which has numerous interesting tales to it.
Halebid or Halibeedu, which means the Old City, was the capital of the Hoysala Empire in the 12th century. In front of the Hoysaleshawara and Kedareshwara temples, there is a big lake, called the Dwara Samudhra, which means, the entrance of the ocean and the city was named after this very lake. The walls of the temple are covered with depictions of Hindu mythology, animals, birds, and dancing damsels. The sculptures of the temple are different from each other and there is a museum in the complex. You will be surprised to know that even after 86 years of work, the Nandi Bull is incomplete; no one knows the mystery behind it. You will be staying overnight in Hassan.
Highlights: Visit Belur, Halebid and Sravanbelgola.
On Day 12, you will be travelling from Hassan to Hospet by road. On your way, there is a fantastic excursion of Heritage site of Hampi, which is planned for you. Hampi, a UNESCO World Heritage Site is located within the ruins of Vijayanagar, the former capital of the Vijayanagar Empire, which is believed to be greater than Rome. It had a cluster of palaces, temples & sculptures. The city was turned to dust by the Sultanates of South in 1565. The city is full of beautiful ruins, which testify it’s glorious past. The most intriguing ruins are of Virupaksha temple, Vittala temple, Hazara Rama temple complex the elephant stables, the Queen's Bath, Ramachandra temple & Lotus Mahal. The Virupaksha Temple or the Pampapathi temple of Shiva also houses erotica statues of Bhuvaneshwari and Pampa. The Hazara Rama Temple Complex has almost a thousand carvings & inscriptions of Ramayana. The Vittala Temple Complex houses a stone chariot and the famous musical pillars. After strolling through the ruins in Hampi, you will be spending the night in Hospet.
Highlights: Hampi - visit the Virupaksha temple, Vittala temple, Hazara Rama temple complex, elephant stables, Queen's Bath, Ramachandra temple & Lotus Mahal & Virupaksha Temple.
Today you will travel from Hospet to Badami. En route, you will visit Aihole & Pattadakal. Aihole, a temple complex was a prominent city of the Chalukya Dynasty that was the cradle of stone temple architecture of the Dravida School and has more than 125 temples, divided into groups. The prominent groups are the Kontigudi and the Galaganatha group of temples. Lad Khan temple is the oldest and dates to the 5th century. Durga temple is one the best temples of Aihole. Ravana Phadi cave a rock cut temple, which dates to the 6th century. The Jyothirlinga Group has two temples that are flat-roofed. Every group of the temple has a unique story to tell, a story so strong, that it will immerse you with the atmosphere of bygone era. You will have a night stay in Badami.
Highlights: In Aihole visit the Kontigudi, Galaganatha, Lad Khan, Durga, Ravana Phadi, Jyothirlinga temples. In Pattadakal visit the Virupaksha Sangameshwara Chandrashekhara temple, Mallikarjuna & Kasivisvanatha temples, Galganatha temple, Kadasiddhesvara and Jambulingeswara temples.
On Day 14, you will be exploring the antics of Badami. Badami was earlier called as Vatapi, it was the capital of Chalukyas from 540 to 757 AD and is known for its red sandstone cave temples. Cave temple 1 has a hall with many pillars and a square shaped sanctum with paintings of Shiva and Parvati along with Nataraja in 81 poses. In Cave temple 2, Vishnu is depicted with one foot on Earth and the other on the sky as well as in the form of Varaha and Krishna. The Cave temple 3 shows the culture and clothing of the 6th century and also carvings of Vishnu Narasimha, Varaha, Harihara and Trivikrama. The Cave temple 4 shows a carving of the Jain Tirthankara Parshavnatha. After visiting this Chain of Cave Temples, you will continue your journey by visiting Badami Fort and the Malegitti-Shivalaya. The afternoon will be free, which will be followed by your night stay in Badami.
Highlights: Badami - visit the cave temples, Badami fort and the Malegitti-Shivalaya.
This morning, you will be travelling from Badami to Goa by road.
Goa is considered as a tropical paradise and is the one of the most popular destination among tourists. The beautiful land of Goa has white sandy beaches and glittering blue seas which works as the best bait. Goa exhibits a bustling conglomerate of culture and history of the Portuguese colony and trading point. Expect Indian culture mixed with modern Western influence here. The place has some delicious cuisine, bewildering fashion styles, sweet coconut liquor which works as the best drink here, laid-back beachside afternoons and amiable locals.
Since you are in Goa, it’s a time to pause and relax a bit. You can conveniently extend your stay at the hotel. Please contact our concierge services for various options and recommendations.
Overnight is in Goa. Cost of accommodation is not included in the package.
Morning is at leisure. You can explore some incredible historic and religious architecture in Old Goa, which comprises churches, temples, Ancestral Goa Museum.
Also, Goa offers an exciting combination of Indian and European cuisines, perfected through the centuries. For the foodies, there are better places which offer such unique and explosive flavors – a must-try during your Goa tour. While having a free day in Goa, you can go on to explore the various beaches, temples, churches and bazaars that this place has for you. If you are a true history buff, you can visit the Ancestral Goa Museum, Chapora Fort, Fort Aguada, or The Secretariat. And if you are a beachlovers, explore the Anjuna Beach, Baga Beach, Candolim Beach and many other popular beaches that this place has to offer. Apart from the famous churches and beaches, the land of Goa has various religious places for you to explore. Places like Basilica De Bom Jesus, Church of Lady of Rosary, and Royal Chapel of St. Anthony can be some sweet places to visit.
inform us the number of days you wish to stay in Goa, we will surprise you with attractive offers and packages. Cost of Goa accommodation is not included.
On the last day of your trip, you will travel from to Goa to Mumbai by air. Accommodation in Mumbai is not included in the package. You will be dropped to the airport for the connecting flight for your return/onward flight, whichever suits you the best. So, that was all about your 17days voyage to Southern Part of India, we hope you will have a great time.