Day 01: Arrival at Chennai
After arrival at the Chennai airport, transfer to the hotel and accommodation. In the afternoon, a half-day sightseeing tour of Chennai and visit to the San Thomas Basilica build in the 16th century over the grave of Apostle Saint Thomas. Then you will see the Marina Beach - India’s longest urban beach, Aringar Anna Zoological Park – the 1st public zoo in India, Big Mosque or Muttukadu Lake. Overnight.
Day 02: Chennai - Kanchipuram - Mahabalipuram (150 km/4 hrs drive)
After breakfast, a drive to Mahabalipuram. Pass through the Kanchipuram, a significant pilgrim site for followers of Vishnuism and Shaivism and one of the holiest cities of the whole subcontinent. You will see various temples such as Ekambareswarar Temple or Kailasanathar Temple etc. At the same time, you will have opportunity to choose one of the famous local saris which made Kanchipuram famous across the whole of India. In the afternoon, a transfer to Mahabalipuram and overnight.
Day 03: Mahabalipuram
After breakfast, a visit of the “city of stonemasons” Mahabalipuram, which was registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Around the whole city you will find many temples, monoliths, stone chariots and decorated caves. Visit to the Shore Temple built in the 8th century which is considered as the oldest stone temple in South India, famous bas-reliefs Krishna Mandapa or Arjuna's Penance, Tiger's Cave built by Pallava rulers or Crocodile Bank Trust. Optional swimming at the local sandy beaches. Overnight.
Day 04: Mahabalipuram - Puducherry (100 km/3 hrs)
After breakfast, a drive to Puducherry (Pondicherry) - an Indian union territory and former capital of French India. Visit to the utopic Auroville City - a Universal Town founded by Sri Aurobindo Society which brings people of different countries, religions and beliefs together. Then visit to the Aurobindo Ashram open for meditation, Light House Beach, Nehru Street, Botanical Garden or Vanniya Perumal Temple. Overnight.
Day 05: Puducherry - Gangaikondacholapuram - Darasuram - Thanjavur (200 km/4 hrs)
After breakfast, a visit of the unique temple in Gangaikondacholapuram built in the 11th century by King Rajendra I. Its dominant feature is the 55 m-tall pyramid tower and also the biggest Shiva Lingam in all south Indian temples. Then a drive to Darasuram, a town known for its Airavatesvara temple (UNESCO) dedicated to Lord Shiva and constructed by Rajaraja Chola II in the 12th century. In the evening, arrival in Thanjavur and overnight.
Day 06: Thanjavur- Tiruchirappalli – Madurai (190 km/4 hrs.)
After breakfast, you will explore the “Rice Bowl” of Tamilnadu, city Thanjavur. Visit the Brihadeeswarar temple (UNESCO) or Royal Palace with beautifully decorated Durbar Hall or museum with the unique collection of Chola bronze statues. In the afternoon, drive to Tiruchirappalli (Trichy) where you will visit one of the most impressive temple complexes in South India and holy place of Vishnuism – the vast Ranganathaswamy Temple which is surrounded with huge pyramid towers. Then, you will climb to the hoary Rock Fort temple with beautiful view of the city. In the late evening, arrival in Madurai and overnight.
Day 07: Madurai – Thekkady (150 km/3,5 hrs.)
After breakfast, a visit to Madurai, one of the oldest cities in South India and lying on the banks of the River Vaigai. The pearl of this “temple city” is the vast Meenakshi Temple of which towers are decorated with hundreds of colourful mythological figures. The almost constant rituals and processions spread to surrounding streets also complete this extraordinary atmosphere. Visit to Thirumalai Nayak Mahal, a palace built in the 17th century in Dravidian and Islamic architecture styles, or famous markets with fabrics, jewels and many other handicrafts. In the afternoon, arrival in Thekkady, accommodation in a hotel and overnight.
Day 08: Thekkady – NP Periyar
After breakfast, a visit to Periyar National Park which is one of the most visited nature reserves in India. The park is filled with fun and activities including a bamboo raft trip, jeep rides, nature walks or a boat ride in evening. During the day you will have the opportunity to watch many various animal species like wild elephants, antelopes, sambar deer, Malabar flying squirrels, parrots and with bit of luck you can also spot a tiger or leopard. In the afternoon, there is an optional elephant safari or visit to the spice plantation. Overnight.
Day 09: Thekkady - Kumarakom (140 km/4 hrs.)
After breakfast, a drive to Kumarakom, a cosy little island just 16 km west of Kottayam in India’s favourite destination Kerala, which is renowned the world over for its exotic migratory birds, self-sustaining ecosystem and hospital. On arrival, check into the hotel and after taking a brief leisure you will visit Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary. In the evening see the breath-taking view of the lake during sunset. Overnight.
Day 10: Kumakoram - Alleppey (60 km/2 hrs.)
After breakfast, enjoy a boat ride on Vembanad Lake. It is a perfect way to experience the backwater lifestyle of Kerala. The day-long journey in the beautiful backwaters of Kerala is the only way to explore what otherwise seems more like a poet’s version of life. The boat will reach in the area which is simply breath-taking. It is far beyond the imagination how one’s whole life is running across both the corners of the backwaters. Transfer to Alleppey (Allappuzha) and overnight.
Day 11: Alleppey – Cochin (60 km/2 hrs.)
After breakfast, a drive to Cochin and a city tour of Cochin. . A walk inside the old quarter Fort Cochin with its colonial buildings from the Portuguese era and a walk on a seacoast promenade with its typical Chinese fishing nets. Visit to the Santa Cruz Basilica or house of Vasco da Gama, the famous navigator, who was buried in 1524 in the local St. Francis Church. You will continue to Mattancherry quarter with preserved Jewish ghetto with synagogue and you will visit also the Mattancherry Palace with unique frescoes of the Keralan school of art. In the evening you can attend the traditional Kathakali Dance show. Overnight.
Day 12: Kochi - Bengaluru
After breakfast, a transfer to the airport and flight to Bengaluru (Bangalore), the capital city of Karnataka and Indian “Silicon Valley”. Visit the famous Lal Bagh Botanical Garden, known for housing a variety of old trees, roses, fountains, pools, and an assortment of herbs. Also visit the Cubbon Park, Bull Temple and Mysore Arts and Crafts Centre while driving through the Vidhan Soudha, a beautiful colonial building housing the state legislature and secretariat. Overnight.
Day 13: Bengaluru – Mysore (145 km/3 hrs.)
After breakfast, a drive to Mysore known for its magnificent palaces and majestic buildings, sprawling garden, shimmering silk and sandalwood products. The “City Royale” always figures in the tourist’s itinerary. En-route visit Srirangapatnam, an island fortress of Tippu Sultan. A visit to the Tippu’s summer palace, a mosque and the Srirangapatnam Temple. In the evening, a visit to the Chamundi Hill with a temple and almost 5-m-tall statue of Lord Shiva’s bull Nandi carved from one piece of granite. Overnight in Mysore.
Day 14: Mysore
After breakfast, a full-day sightseeing tour of Mysore. Visit to the fabulous Maharaja Palace built in 1912. Then you will continue to the art gallery in the Jaganmohan Palace, the former Maharaja settlement, with an exhibition of old photographs and Indian paintings from the 19th and 20th centuries. Later in the evening, a visit to the beautiful Brindavan Garden lying on the banks of the Krishna Raja Sagar dam. After sunset the musical fountains and coloured lights transform this place into a magical fairy land. Overnight in Mysore.
Day 15: Mysore - Hassan (120 km/3 hrs.)
After breakfast you will proceed to Hassan. En-route a visit to Sravanabelagola, one of the oldest and most important Jain pilgrimage centres in India. In the site you will find the 17 m tall statue of Gomateshwara, which is probably the world’s tallest monolithic statue, and beautifully decorated Jain temples. Overnight in Hassan.
Day 16: Hassan - Halebid - Belur - Hassan (90 km/2 hrs.)
After breakfast you will take an excursion to Halebid and Belur, two former capitals of powerful Hoysala Empire existing between the 11th and 14th centuries. In both cities, you will find beautiful temples from the 12th century with rich statue decorations in Hoysala style. A visit to the Hoysaleswara Temple in Halebid which is the most outstanding example of Hoysala architecture and in Belur visit the Channekeshava temple. Return to Hassan and overnight.
Day 17: Hospet/Hampi (350 km/8 hrs.)
After breakfast, a long drive to Hampi, the UNESCO World Heritage Site. Hampi is the most beautiful and evocative of all the ruins of Karnataka and its key attraction is the King’s Palace with Mahanavami Dibba and Queen’s Bath. This structure has a very plain exterior but the interior is stunningly ornate, with graceful arched corridors, projecting balconies and lotus-shaped fountains. Overnight in Hospet.
Day 18: Hospet - Hampi (13 km/30 min.)
After breakfast, a full day sightseeing tour to Hampi. A visit for ex. to the Lotus Mahal - this visually appealing structure has two levels, with open pavilions at the bottom and balconies above, and is an elegant example of the fusion of the Hindu and Muslim styles of architecture. Later on a visit to the Elephant Stables, Pushkarni and Hazara Rama Temple, which was a royal temple reserved for ceremonial use, and many more. Overnight in Hospet.
Day 19: Hospet – Badami (150 km/4 hrs.)
After breakfast you will proceed to Badami, a former capital of the Chalukya dynasty from the 6th to 8th centuries. A half-day sightseeing tour to Badami Caves picturesquely situated at the mouth of a ravine between two rocky hills. The cave temples were carved in red coloured sandstone and are among the oldest of its kind in the whole of India. A visit to the North Fort and Banashankari, a hamlet with interesting temple of the goddess Banashankari built in the Dravidian style. Overnight in Badami.
Day 20: Badami – Aihole - Pattadakal
After breakfast, a full-day trip to Aihole and Pattadakal. Aihole is famous as the “Cradle of the Indian Temple Architecture” and there you can find over 125 temples built between the 6th to 12th centuries. A visit to the most famous temples including Lad Khan Temple, Durga Temple, Ravalphadi Cave Temple, Konti Temple Complex etc. Then a short drive to Pattadakal (UNESCO) to visit its 10 major temples representing early Chalukyan architecture. Return to Badami and overnight.
Day 21: Badami - Goa (280 km/5 hrs.)
After breakfast, a transfer to Goa, a former Portuguese colony and favourite summer resort with beautiful sandy beaches and well-known hotels and clubs. After arrival and check-in to the hotel, a free time at your leisure and relaxation on the beach. Overnight.
Day 22: Goa
Breakfast. A free time for individual activities. Overnight.
Day 23: Goa
Breakfast. A free time for individual activities. Overnight.
Day 24: Goa - Mumbai
After breakfast, a transfer to the airport to catch a flight to Mumbai. After arrival to Mumbai, a half-day city tour of Mumbai’s city centre – walk around Indo-Victorian buildings in the Colaba quarter where you will see the Prince of Wales Museum, National Gallery, University of Mumbai or the famous Gate of India which was erected to commemorate the landing of King George in 1911. We will not miss even the unique train station Chatrapati Shivaji Terminus (UNESCO). We will continue to the most peculiar Mumbai quarter Dhobi Ghat, which is considered to be the biggest open-air Laundromat in the world. If we have time, a visit to the local markets, shrines etc. Overnight.
Day 25: Mumbai – Elephanta Island
After breakfast, return to the Colaba quarter and a boat ride to the Elephanta Island (UNESCO) with a unique complex of temples carved in the rocks during the 8th century. Particular shrines, temples and colonnades occupy an area of almost 5000 m2. Nobody should miss the rock temple with the huge statue of Shiva Trimurti which belongs to the main attractions of the island. Return to Mumbai and overnight.
Day 26: Departure from Mumbai
After breakfast, a completion of the city tour and then transfer to the airport to board a flight back home/onward destination.
Chennai - Kanchipuram - Mahabalipuram - Puducherry - Gangaikondacholapuram - Darasuram - Thanjavur - Tiruchirappalli - Madurai - NP Periyar - Kumarakom - Alleppey - Cochin - Bengaluru - Mysore - Hassan - Belur - Hampi - Badami - Pattadakal - Goa - Mumbai