Picturesque South with Goa (21 Nights)
Preferred Arrival /Departure Destination
Arrival – Chennai
Departure - Mumbai
Route :- Chennai - Mahabalipuram(1N) - Pondicherry(2N) - Thanjavur(2N) - Madurai(1N) - Thekkady(1N) - Alleppey(1N) - Cochin (Fort Cochin)(1N) - Wayanad (Kalpetta)(2N) - Mysore(1N) - Hassan(1N) - Hampi(3N) - Badami(1N) - North Goa(3N) - Mumbai(1N).
Summarized Itinerary :-
Day-1 Arrive at Chennai and proceed to Mahabalipuram.
Day-2 Explore Mahabalipuram and Proceed to Pondicherry.
Day-3 Explore Pondicherry.
Day-4 Travel to Thanjavur via Gangaikonda Cholapuram and Darasuram.
Day-5 Explore Thanjavur.
Day-6 Travel to Madurai. Visit Meenakshi Temple complex.
Day-7 Madurai to Periyar. Spice Plantation visit / Elephant Experience.
Day-8 Travel to Alleppey for Overnight Houseboat experience.
Day-9 Fort Cochin Heritage area.
Day-10 Travel to Wayanad (North Kerala).
Day-11 Explore Wayanad.
Day-12 Travel to Mysore. Visit Mysore Palace.
Day-13 Travel to Hassan. Visit Halebid and Belur Temples.
Day-14 Travel to Hampi.
Day-15 Explore Hampi.
Day-16 Explore Hampi.
Day-17 Travel to Badami. Explore Badami - Excursions.
Day-18 Aihole and Pattadakal Excursions before proceeding to Goa.
Day-19 North Goa Experience.
Day-20 Day visit to Old Goa heritage sites.
Day-21 Fly to Mumbai.
Day-22 International Departure.
Chennai to Mahabalipuram -60 kms (1 hrs).
Mahabalipuram to Pondicherry -100 kms (2 hrs).
Pondicherry to Thanjavur -176 kms (4 hrs).
Thanjavur to Madurai -194 kms (4 hrs).
Madurai to Thekkady -140 kms (3.5 hrs).
Thekkady to Alleppey -138 kms (4 hrs).
Alleppey to Cochin (Fort Cochin) -62 kms (1.5 hrs).
Cochin (Fort Cochin) to Wayanad (Kalpetta) -260 kms (6.5 hrs).
Wayanad (Kalpetta) to Mysore -140 kms (3.5 hrs).
Mysore to Hassan -120 kms (3 hrs).
Hassan to Hampi -360 kms (8.5 hrs).
Hampi to Badami -143 kms (3.5 hrs).
Badami to North Goa -290 kms (6 hrs).
North Goa to Mumbai.
Destination Overview :-
Chennai - Located on the Coromandel Coast of the Bay of Bengal, Chennai is a metro city of India and the largest in South India. Chennai is starting point for many itineraries of Taminadu and South India.
Mahabalipuram - Mahabalipuram also known as Mamallapuram is situated 60 km south Chennai on the famous East Coast Road. It has various historic monuments built largely between the 7th and the 9th century, and has been classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Pondicherry - Pondicherry is a popular destination in South India for Inbound guests on the heritage itinerary covering other areas like Mahabalipuram,
Chidambaram, Thanjavur, Madurai etc. Pondicherry is a popular weekend getaway ex-Chennai and Bangalore.
Thanjavur - Thanjavur is an important center of South Indian art and architecture. The Brihadeeswara Temple is located in the center of the town, which is UNESCO World Heritage site.
Madurai - Madurai today is one of the busiest towns in Tamilnadu. The Meenakshi temple is awe-inspiring and is a must visit for any South India itinerary for both Indian as well as Overseas guests
Thekkady - Thekkady (2500 ft asl) is a stopover on the South India Itinerary on Madurai - Kottayam route known for nature centric experiences connected with Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary.
Alleppey - Alleppey is renowned for its backwaters and is known as the Venice of the east. Overnight houseboats in Alleppey lake and backwaters are considered an experience.
Cochin (Fort Cochin) - A heritage area a few kilometers from Willingdon Island. With many charming heritage hotels in the area, its perhaps the best area of accommodation for leisure and experience oriented travelers.
Wayanad (Kalpetta) - Kalpetta (2800 ft) is the main town in Wayanad region of North Kerala. Kalpetta is where most moderately priced stays are found in the area and is central to most sightseeing areas.
Mysore - Mysore is a heritage destination and well visited for the Mysore Palace and located most centrally to visit a wide ranging destinations around it.
Hassan - Hassan is an industrial town located mid-way between Mangalore and Bangalore and base point for guests to visit Halebid and Belur Temples, which are world known for their Hoysala era architecture.
Hampi - Hampi is a UNESCO World Heritage Site for being home to Vijayanagara ruins and Monuments around it.
Badami - Badani is a heritage destination and home to rock cut temples and other heritage monuments. From here one also visits Pattadakal and Aihole heritage monuments.
North Goa - “North Goa” as its referred comprises Baga-Calangute-Candolim-Sinquerim, all different ends to a single stretch of beach, which gets visitors from all over India and has made Goa the world renowned destination.
Mumbai - Mumbai is financial capital of India and a major International airport, second only to Delhi in terms of flight connectivity. Mumbai is a major business hub for trade in Asia and a transit point for others destinations in India such as Goa, Kerala, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh.
Arrive at Chennai and straightaway proceed to Mahabalipuram (60 kms - 1.5 hours). Mahabalipuram is a heritage area by the Bay of Bengal renowned for its shore temple, a UNESCO heritage site.
After Breakfast, Visit Heritage areas of Mahabalipuram (Shore Temple, Five Ratha Temple, Krishna Butterball), visit craft making units (Sculptures) and proceed to Pondicherry (100 kms - 2 hours). Pondicherry is an erstwhile French colony, renowned for its heritage hotels and confluence of Tamil & French cultures. International travellers prefer to stay in French quarters area around the Promenade which is characterised by neatly preserved heritage homes with French architecture in a small bylanes. In the evening enjoy a walk on the french quarters heritage area of Pondicherry and the promenade in the evening. A romantic evening meal at a restaurant serving French, European or Chettinad cuisine could be a good experience.
During first half sightseeing options in and around Pondicherry town comprise Aurobindo Ashram, Ashram's handmade paper factory, Varadaraja Perumal Temple, Manakula Vinayagar Koil, Pondicherry Musuem, the Botanical Gardens and the Sacred Heart of Jesus Church. Afternoon proceed to Auroville commune on outskirts of Pondicherry that is home to a unique self-sufficient international community.
After Breakfast travel to Thanjavur (also known as "Tanjore" - 174 kms - 3.5 hours) via UNESCO heritage temples of Gangaikonda Cholapuram (1000+ years old) and Darasuram (900+ years old). Thanjavur is a renowned stopover for International travellers for exploring local craft, history and UNESCO heritage temples. Reach Thanjavur by evening.
After Breakfast visit Brihadeeswara Temple, a UNESCO heritage temple (1000+ years old). In the afternoon visit Handicraft gallery, Tanjore Painting workshops, musical instrument units and Tanjore Palace.
After Breakfast, Travel to Madurai (188 kms - 3.5 hours). Madurai is renowned for Meenakshi Temple complex and is a gateway to plantation highlands of Kerala. Evening visit to Meenakshi Temple complex having 14 gateway towers, each 45-50 meters tall. It is one of the most visited temples by heritage travellers and must visit for every traveller.
After Breakfast, travel to Periyar (2500 ft asl - 140 kms - 3 hours) via countryside areas that comprise farms, vineyards and fruit plantations. Periyar is entry point into Kerala for heritage travellers and one that is renowned for its Spice Plantations, elephant experience and periyar lake boat ride. In the afternoon visit Spice Plantation, enjoy elephant experience and then visit periyar lake for a boat ride in evening.
After early breakfast depart for Alleppey (145 kms - 4 hours) by 8 AM to reach Houseboat jetty by 12 noon for the check in for the overnight Houseboat experience. Backwaters in South of Alleppey is what gives Kerala the name "Venice of the East". The overnight houseboat cruise is where travellers are able to experience upclose the backwater lifestyle (Markets, Church, sights and sounds etc). Houseboat is parked in the evening on the shores of the Vembanad lake or along backwater canals.
After Breakfast depart for Fort Cochin (75 kms - 2 hours). Fort Cochin heritage area is an extension of Cochin mainland (Ernakulam), renowned for its heritage hotels, restaurants serving International cuisine, beach front, harbour views and is very popular with International travellers. Explore locoal heritage areas (Church, Synagogue). Evening Visit to Greenix Village for cultural performance.
After Breakfast depart for Wayanad (240 kms - 6 hours), a rainforest area in North Kerala and one that connects Kerala with Wildlife areas of Kabini / Bandipur and other heritage areas of Karnataka.
Wayanad (4500 ft asl) is renowned for its nature centric experiences such as waterfalls, rainforests, nature park (Kuruvadweep), Wildlife (Muthanga and Tholpetty Sanctuaries), Heritage (Edakkal Caves), Lakeside (Banasurasagar). After breakfast, Spend full day exploring Wayanad.
After Breakfast, Travel to Mysore (150 kms - 3 hours), a popular stopover on heritage itineraries, renowned for Mysore Palace, a royal family residence renowned for its style and opulence and one of the most visited palaces in India.
After Breakfast, Travel to Hassan (128 kms - 3 hours), a popular stopover to visit Halebid and Belur Temples (85 kms round trip from Hassan - renowned for its Hoysala era architecture).
After Breakfast, Travel to Hospet (315 kms - 6 hours), base point (12 kms) to visit Hampi, a UNESCO world heritage site, visited for the city in ruins from the Vijaynagara era.
After Breakfast, Full day exploration of Hampi to Visit monuments in Hampi such as Hampi Ruins, Malyavanta Raghunathaswamy temple, Virupaksha Temple, Hazara Rama Temple Complex, Vittala Temple Complex etc.
After Breakfast, Visit monuments that could not be visited earlier day. In late afternoon visit Hampi Bazaar.
After early Breakfast, travel to Badami (127 kms - 2.5 hours). Badami is renowned for temples with styles belonging to different eras and times. Afternoon visit to Local Badami monuments such as Badami Caves and Badami Fort.
After breakfast proceed for excursions to Aihole and Pattadakal (UNESCO heritage site), two 1000+ year old heritage sites offering experience of wide ranging temple architectures. Thereafter proceed to Goa (250 kms - 5 hours), a prime beachside tourist destination in India.
Areas of Vagator, Anjuna, Ashwem are prime for those who want to relax by the Arabian Sea for a day. Spend the day by the Vagator / Anjuna beach.
After Breakfast, understand visit to the heritage sites of Panjim and Old Goa (UNESCO world heritage site). Monuments to visit include Se Cathedral, St Francis Church, Reis Magos Church and Reis Magos Fort. Return by late afternoon.
After Breakfast, travel to Goa. Airport (45 kms - 1.5 hour) for a flight to Mumbai. Stay around Mumbai International Airport for a transit stay before taking the International flight.