Despite of continuous flow of people and ideas between North and South India over the last 4000 years and more, the four states of south India - Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu - have distinct identity. Each has its own major language and the region has its own cultural traditions of literature, art, architectures and music. Some of Hiduism 's most important school of philosophy have had their origin In the far south, yet here Christianity pre-dates many of them, and in kerala and Tamil Nadu makes a far more visible contribution to life than in most others parts of India.
As a backdrop to this cultural diversity is great range of often beautiful scenery. The Nilgiris (Blue Hills) may be thought of as only hills in comparison with Himalaya, but soaring to over 2,500 meters they often present a dramatic wall overlooking the plain of Tamilnadu to the east or the coastal strip of Kerala and Karnataka to the west, Delightful hill station - Kodaikanal, Coonoor, Munnar and the more popular Ooty - enjoy the best of low altitude, high altitude climate. On the plains below are some of India's greatest culture treasures including the distinctive southern temples at Madurai, Tanjavur and Mahamallpuram among many, while forts and palaces add another dimension to the visitor choice.
Mumbai, Bangalore, Mysore, Bandipur, Coorg, Ooty, Cochin, Munnar, Thekkady, Kumarakom, Alleppey, Quilon, Kovalam, Kanyakumari, Kovalam, Trivandrum
Day 01: Mumbai
On arrival at the Mumbai Airport, a representative of Memorable India will assist you with the various formalities and your Hotel. We rest for the night in the hotel.
Day 02: Mumbai - Bangalore
We start our day early with a sightseeing tour of the lively city of Mumbai. We first head for the Gateway of India, the ornate portal that welcomes travellers from the sea onto the shores of Mumbai. Built in 1911, the Gateway was built to commemorate the arrival of King George V. Apart from its function as a celebratory monument, the Gateways played a symbolic role during the independence of India as it saw the last set of British troops leave the free country. After that we head to the ancient Elephanta Caves to see the ornate Hindu and Buddhist carvings.
Another destination on our journey around Mumbai is the Prince Wales Museum. A magnificent collection of over 50,000 artefacts,dating back to almost 10 BCE, the Prince Wales Museum is jewel to the Museums of India. We head to Nariman Point and cruise past Marine Drive that forms a perfect crescent that shores the Arabian Sea.
After the tour we head for the Airport, where we board a flight to the equivalent of Mumbai in the South of India - Bangalore. As soon as we arrive at the Garden City, we head for the hotel and after check in we retire for a night cap.
Day 03: Bangalore
Our day in Bangalore starts off with a sightseeing tour that encompasses all the historical, architectural and scientific marvels of the Garden City. Known for its chic modernity and urbanization combined with a strong hold on heritage andculture, Bangalore comes across as a unique amalgamation of east meeting west. The epicentre of the Silicone Valley in India we unravel the city's history, culture as well as its glitz and glamour.
First we head to the Palace of Tipu Sultan, a beautiful architectural treat after which we visit places like the ISKCON Temple, Lal Bagh Garden and the Museum. We then retire for an overnight stay at the hotel.
Day 04: Bangalore - Mysore
We start off for Mysore home to the beautiful Mysore Palace and the enchanting gardens of Brindavan. After arrival we check into the hotel, freshen up and leave for an evening in the Brindavan Gardens where a musical show awaits you. Watch in awe as the streams of water dance elegantly to the music under the star lit night. We retire for an overnight stay at the hotel and prepare for a fun filled day around the city tomorrow.
Day 05: Mysore
We rise early for a fun filled day in the Sandalwood city of India. Home to legendary kingdoms like the Wadiyasand Tipu Sultan, this small city has long tales of the past that have fascinated and is till date relished by people all over the world. With an attachment to art and craft, the city exhibits ornate architecture,breath taking monument and some distinct Mysore crafts that are still cherished today.
On our tour around the city, we visit the Summer Palace of Tipu Sultan, Srisangapatnam, the Mysore Palace, Chamundi Hills and lots more. We retire for an overnight stay at the Hotel.
Day 06: Mysore - Bandipur - Coorg
After an enthralling day amidst thesplendid architecture and heritage of Mysore, we head for Bandipur, to see the wilder things in life. Home to an 865 sq. km wild life reserve, in Bandipurone can easily spot herds of elephants, bison, spotted deer, sambhar, sloth bear and the tiger. Later we dive to Coorg, a small district that is till date the best example of untamed wilderness, lush greenery and breathe taking landscapes. Around 800 meters above sea level, Coorg is known for its great legacy of warriors and unparalleled natural beauty. We check into a hotel and rest for the night.
Day 07: Coorg - Ooty
From Coorg we ascend higher into the Nilgiri Hills to visit Ooty, the queen of hill stations. Soaring at a height of 2,240 m Ooty is known for its sublime climate and scenic beauty. At Ooty we visit the Botanical Gardens and the beautiful Churches, after which we retire to the hotel for an overnight stay.
Day 08: Ooty - Cochin
From the heights of Ooty we descend into Cochin the second largest metropolitan in Kerala. An important port, that has had a huge role to play in the history of the country. Throughout history sailors, empires and merchants have been attracted to the port of Cochin. An important spice hub of the state, Cochin is also filled with historical landmarks and architectural monuments. On arrival we check into the hotel and after a tour of the city we stay for a night cap at the hotel.
Day 09: Cochin - Munnar
We start offthe day with a sightseeing tour around the city of Cochin. We visit the St. Francis Church, the scenic Chinese Fishing Nets, Dutch Palace and the Jewish Synagogue. We retire for an overnight stay in hotel.
Day 10: Munnar - Thekkady (Periyar)
We start off early by visiting the beautiful tea estates in Munnar. We head to the Eravikulam National Park, home to the Nilgiri Tahr or the mountain goat. After this we head to the finest wildlife sanctuaries in India, Periyar Wildlife Reserve which is situated in Thekkady. On our arrival we check into the hotel.
Amidst lush greenery and attractive landscape, the Periyar Sanctuary is home to Bison, Spotted deer and Wild Tuskers. We retire for an overnight stay at the hotel.
Day 11: Thekkady - Kumarkom
We start off early for a tour and a ride on the beautiful Lake Periyar. After which we head for Kumarkom, known for its back waters and the Kumarkom Bird Sanctuary. Rich with a wide variety of exotic birds, like the Dater or Snake Bird, Little Cormorant, Night Heron, Golden Backed Woodpecker, Crow Pheasant, White Breasted Water Hen and the Tree Pie, the Kumarkom Bird Sanctuary is one place you cannot forget your camera. After a fun filled day of bird watching and sightseeing we retire for an overnight stay at the hotel.
Day 12: Kumarakom - Alleppey (Backwater Cruise)
We journey now through the backwaters of Kerala on the houseboat and cruise by lazily on gentle waters of Alleppey. We stay overnight stay at the houseboat.
Day 13: Alleppey - Quilon
After a splendid day in the houseboat we head to Quilon, the land with breathe taking tropical landscapes, with lagoons and tall palms that canopy the sky. We check into a hotel on our arrival and the rest of the day is at leisure. Overnight stay at the hotel.
Day 14: Quilon - Kovalam
After touring the backwaters of Kerala, its time to get mesmerized by itsendless beaches and picturesque shores at Kovalam.We check into the hotel on our arrival and the rest of the day is left free to explore Kovalam'sshores.
Day 15: Kovalam - Kanayakumari - Kovalam
Today we visit the end point of the Indian peninsula, Kanyakumari, where one can witness the union of three major water bodies of India. We visit the Vivekananda Rock Memorial and the Temple of Virgin Goddesses, after which we head back to Kovalam for a night cap at the hotel.
Day 16: Kovalam - Trivandram
Today we head to Trivandrum, the land known for its glorious beeches, historical monuments, and enchanting architectural and cultural heritage. We tour the city along with pit stop at the Padmanabhaswamy Temple, Shri Citra Art Gallery and the Museum, thus ending our exotic tour of South India and the Backwaters.
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“ our tour of Rajasthan from 12-21 Dec 2011 was absolutely magical and far exceeded our expectations. Although we have widely travelled throughout the world, this was our first time in India and
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