Destinations: Bangalore -- Mysore / Nagarhole / Wayanad / Thalessary / Kumarakom / Alleppey / Cochin
Accommodation: Luxury Hotels / Palaces or Heritage Hotels
Best Time to Visit: September to February
Price : Price on request
The Best of South India tour has something to offer to every type of traveler - the bustle of the cosmopolitan Bangalore, historic Mysore with all its unique arts, culture and rich heritage, the natural and pristine beauty of Wayanad, and rich wildlife at Nagarhole National Park. Experience the rich and well preserved culture and cuisine of the Malabar coast at Thalassery. A night's stay on the Kettuvallum houseboat, cruising in the backwaters is the highlight of this tour.
DAY 1 -- Land in the IT capital of India, Bangalore
Our travel counselors meet you at the Bangalore Airport, and assist you on arrival with the transfer to the hotel.
Bangalore, now renamed Bengaluru, is known as the Garden city. In 2009, it was inducted into the Global Cities and ranked as "Beta World City" alongside cities such as Geneva, Copenhagen, Boston and Berlin. Bangalore is today known as the Silicon city of India because of its position as Leader in IT exports. Once the centre of the British rule, it is a growing metropolis today and a major economic and cultural hub. It is truly a combination of Old world charm and the hustle and bustle of a Modern Indian city. We'll stay overnight at one of Bangalore's iconic luxury hotels
DAY 2 and 3 -- Visit the city of palaces Mysore
After visiting the iconic sights of Bangalore such as the Vidhan Sauda, which houses the legislative chambers of the state government, the Lal Bagh, Bangalore's famous botanical garden, and its museums, we'll drive 3 hrs to Mysore.
Mysore is the ancient capital of the kingdom of Mysore, ruled by the Wodeyar Rulers and later by Haider Ali and Tipu Sultan. It is a popular tourist destination which attracts visitors from across the globe. It is also famous for arts and handicrafts, along with sandalwood and silk sarees. Dussehra, a hindu festival is celebrated with great zeal over a period of 10 days here. We stay overnight at Hotel Royal Orchid Metropole.
The next day, we'll go for an excursion to Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary. Spread across an area of 67 sq. km, Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary is located at a distance of 19 km from Mysore city. Lying on the banks of River Cauvery, this beautiful sanctuary is home to some of the most exquisite birds. We'll take a boat tour of the bird sanctuary.
We'll continue the sightseeing of Mysore. We'll visit The Maharaja Palace, Chamundi Hills, St Philemona Church and the other palaces. You will be free in the evening to explore the local markets, flooded with arts and handicrafts of South India.
** Special authentic Kodava Cuisine dinner at a private home can be arranged. The family are great hosts and prepare fresh, hygienic, home-cooked meals.
DAY 4 and 5 -- Spot wildlife at Nagarhole National Park
After breakfast we'll drive 3 hrs to the Nagarhole Wildlife Sanctuary, also known as "Rajiv Gandhi National Park". It was the hunting ground of the former rulers of Mysore. Today the national park, spread across an area of 643 sq kms is protecting the wildlife in the state of Karnataka. The park, which is a part of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve, has a healthy abundance of wildlife which consists of tigers, leopards, wild dogs, sloth bear, bison and different species of dee,r and a large population of elephants.
After checking into the jungle lodge, we'll go for an afternoon jungle safari with an expert naturalist in jeeps. We'll relax and enjoy the evening views of the Kabini river from our luxurious Resort rooms.
The next day, after a hot cup of tea, we'll leave for an early morning boat safari to catch a glimpse of marsh crocodiles sun bathing on the banks of the meandering Kabini river. We'll go for another afternoon jungle safari to enjoy the flora and fauna this park has to offer in all its natural glory.
DAY 6 and 7 -- Get lost in the unspoilt beauty of Wayanad
We'll drive 3 hrs to Wayanad after our final morning safari and breakfast. On arrival we'll check into the Tranquil Resort.
Wayanad is a green paradise, located in the Western Ghats. Wayanad's landscape combines mountain scenery, rice paddies of green, skinny betel nut trees, bamboo, red earth, spiky ginger fields, slender eucalyptuses, and rubber, cardamom and coffee plantations. It's an excellent place to spot wild elephants.
The evening is free for independent activity or a nature walk in the serene and beautiful surrounding areas.
The next day, we'll visit the Edakkal caves. These remote hilltop 'caves' are celebrated for the ancient collection of petroglyphs in their top chamber, thought to date back over 3000 years. Legend has it that the caves were formed by the arrows shot by the sons of Rama, legendary hero of the epic, Ramayana. In the afternoon, we'll visit some of the coffee and rubber plantations of the region.
DAY 8 -- Get an introduction to the Malabar coast in Thalassery
We'll drive 2 hrs to Thalassery situated in the Kannur district on the Malabar coastline of Kerala. Thalassery is a small picturesque town in the North Malabar region of Kerala. It is an amalgamation of European colonial history, imposing architectural structures, a stunning view of the coastline and myriad ancient temples. Thalassery was a significant place in the Malabar region during the reign of the British, French and the Portuguese, in terms of culture, trade and commerce, and education, especially thanks to its geographical location.
We'll visit the local markets in the afternoon and visit the temple complex in the evening to watch Theyyam, a ritual dance from Kannur. It showcases the elaborate costumes of the performers, who bring to life legends and stories of divine beings and heavenly spirits. The larger than life image of the performers is treated with great respect by the audience. This tour gives you a glimpse into this traditional religious ritual of Kerala.
DAY 9 and 10 -- Relax and unwind in luxurious Kumarakom
After breakfast drive 6 to 7 hrs to Kumarakom, to the backwaters of beautiful Kerala.
The village of Kumarakom is a cluster of little islands on the Vembanad Lake, and is part of the Kuttanad region. The bird sanctuary here, which is spread across 14 acres is a favourite haunt of migratory birds and an ornithologist's paradise. Egrets, Darters, Herons, Teals, Waterfowls, Cuckoo, Wild Duck and migratory birds like the Siberian Stork visit here in flocks and fascinate all visitors.
An enchanting backwater destination, Kumarakom offers visitors many other leisure options. Spend the evening at leisure or enjoy a soul soothing ayurvedic massage at the resort.
Both days are free to relax and enjoy the natural beauty of the backwater resort. You can also choose to visit the bird sanctuary or enjoy a refreshing Ayurvedic massage at the spa. This is a perfect place to relax and unwind.
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