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22-Day South India Heritages with Kerala & Bangalore

Tour route: Chennai – Mahabalipuram – Pondicherry – Thanjavur – Trichy (Tiruchirappalli) – Madurai – Periyar – Alleppey – Cochin – Munnar – Ooty (Udhagamandalam) – Mysore – Hassan - Bengaluru

  • Tour code: MOT-IN-009
  • Price inclusions: All transportation mentioned in itinerary (flight, train, ship, private car, etc.); private guides & drivers, hotels, meals (based on your meal plan), and all service charges & taxes.
  • Travel date: private tour with flexible travel date
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  • Reviews(17)
Day 1: Arrival Chennai - Mahabalipuram

Upon your arrival in Chennai, you will be greeted by a private representative and transferred directly to Mamallapuram which is located on the coast on the Bay of Bengal. After hotel check-in and you will have some free time to recover from the jetlag, get ready to find something in South India!

 Overnight: Mahabalipuram

Day 2: Historical Mahabalipuram

After breakfast start your day at Mamallapuram with a visit to the 7th-century Shore Temple which is surrounded by lush gardens, followed by an exploration of the celebrated bas-relief at Arjuna’s Penance and the Five Rathas. The afternoon is at leisure on the beach.

Overnight: Mahabalipuram
Meal: Breakfast

Day 3: Mahabalipuram - Pondicherry

Continue your journey down the coast to the former French colony of Pondicherry. First visit Auroville (City of Dawn) and Aurobindo Ashram that promotes the ideas to bring about a synthesis of yoga and modern science. Later take a walk through the French Quarter of Pondicherry to soak up the French flavors and feel the city's leisurely approach to life when strolling past charming colonial architecture & street side cafes, you may also take a bicycle if you prefer. 

Overnight: Pondicherry
Meal: Breakfast

Day 4: Leisure Day in Pondicherry

Today is free on your own leisure in this lovely town. 

Overnight:Pondicherry
Meal: Breakfast

Day 5: Pondicherry - Thanjavur - Tiruchirappalli

Travel further through the fertile region known as the 'rice bowl' of Tamil Nadu to Thanjavur. On guided afternoon tour you will discover the monumental granite Temple of Brihadeeshwara (Bull Temple) which is capped by a monolithic cupola and a symbol of power and might of the Cholas who ruled between 9th and 13th centuries. Enjoy a wonderful collection of royal remnants of early 19th century at nearby Thanjavur Palace. Observe and learn about how the exquisite bronzes and handicrafts are produced by the hands of local craftsmen. Drive to Trichy for overnight stay.

Overnight: Tiruchirappalli
Meal: Breakfast

Day 6: Tiruchirappalli

Today you will visit the Rock Fort. A climb of 434 steps leads to the ancient temple of Ganapati on top and a further climb to a Shiva temple. The rest of day is free at leisure. The car is at disposal all day.

Overnight: Tiruchirappalli
Meal: Breakfast

Day 7: Tiruchirappalli - Madurai

Today you will drive to Madurai (approx. 3 hours), South India's greatest temple town and significant pilgrim site.

Overnight: Madurai
Meal: Breakfast

Day 8: Majestic Temples & Arts of Madurai

Madurai is the oldest city in Tamil Nadu. Today you will visit the thousand-year-old Meenakshi Temple,one of India's largest pilgrim sites with 12 towering gopurams; it's going to be unforgettable to observe the rituals and celebration during the evening puja ceremony inside the Meenakshi Temple.
Later, visit the Tirumala Nayak Palace-a gracious building revealing the power and wealth of the Nayakas who made Madurai their capital in the 16th and 17th centuries. Continue to the Alagar Hills and Tirupara Kundran Rock temple. 

Overnight: Madura
iMeal: Breakfast

Day 9: Madurai - Periyar

After breakfast drive through the Western Ghats to Periyar Tiger Reserve, India’s earliest sanctuary and one of the best places to see the Asian Elephant. After checking into your hotel, you have time to stroll through one of the spice plantations this area famous for and learn about the many different uses of spices, both in medicine and food. Afternoon at leisure.

Overnight: Periyar
Meal: Breakfast

Day 10: Enchanting Periyar

In the early morning (around 7 am), you'll enjoy a forest trek inside the National Park which takes 1-3 hours regarding to your interest. After the trekking. Take a late morning cruise on the picturesque Periyar Lake at the heart of the Periyar Tiger Reserve. Afternoon free at leisure. This night you can choose to take an optional martial art performance, the ancient Kalaripayattu that is said to be 3000 years old.

 Overnight: Periyar
Meal: Breakfast

Day 11: Periyar - Alleppey

After the breakfast, drive to Alleppey, embark on your houseboat and start an enchanting cruise along the reputed backwater of Kerala; just relax and lay back while you navigate slowly through the tranquil waterways. It is a wonderful opportunity to discover Kerala's rural lifestyle. You'll see that Kerala is known for its cashew nuts, coir trade, rice, pepper crops & coconuts. 

Overnight: onboard
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 12: Alleppey - Cochin

Morning drive to Cochin and transfer to hotel. Afternoon visit Cochin is the natural harbour created by the famed underwater Malabar mud-banks whose quality ensures that the rougher the seas are outside the calmer the waters are within the Harbour. Vasco-de-Gama placed it on the world map. It has a Jewish synagogue, Portuguese churches, mosques & Hindu temples. Watch the Chinese Fishing Nets. Evening enjoy the Kathakali Dance Performance

Overnight: Cochin
Meal: Breakfast

Day 13: Cochin - Munnar

Morning drive to Munnar & transfer to the hotel. Rest of the day at leisure.

Overnight: Munnar
Meal: Breakfast

Day 14: Munnar City Tour

Today’s visit to the sights of Munnar will allows you to discover the breathtaking beautiful of this idyllic destination in God’s own country. The unending of tea plantations, pristine valleys and mountains, abundant species of flora and fauna in the forests, that’s all Munnar has to offer.  

Overnight: Munnar
Meal: Breakfast

Day 15: Turning to Ooty

Drive to Ooty this morning. After check in the hotel, you are free to explore Ooty by yourself.

Overnight: Ooty
Meal: Breakfast

Day 16: Greenly Ooty

Ooty is the right place for fans of nature. You will savor the “queen of all hill station” as you experience its charming flowers, lofty mountains and lush forests.

Overnight: Ooty
Meal: Breakfast

Day 17: Ooty - Mysore

Drive to Mysore this morning and transfer to the hotel. Spend the remainder of the day at leisure

Overnight: Mysore
Meal: Breakfast

Day 18: Mysore Discoery

Morning tour of Mysore, visit the City Palace, a Hindu Temple and a monolithic sculpture of the bull Nandi, the vehicle of Lord Shiva. Visit the beautiful Brindayan Gardens where you can admire the amazing topiaries and the illuminated, cascading fountains. In the afternoon visit the Srirangapatnam.

Overnight: Mysore
Meal: Breakfast

Day 19: Hoysala architecture in Hassan

After breakfast proceed to Hassan, en-route visiting Belur & Halebidu enroute. Halebidu is home to one of the best examples of Hoysala architecture in the ornate Hoysaleswara and Kedareswara temples. Continue to discover the main attraction in Belur, including the Chennakeshava temple complex which contains the Chennakesava Temple as the centre piece, surrounded by the Kappe Chennigraya temple built by Shantaladevi, queen of king Vishnuvardhana. 

Overnight: Hassan
Meal: Breakfast

Day 20: Hassan - Bengaluru

Morning drive to Bengaluru visiting Shravanabelagla en-route. The statue of Gommateshvara Bahubali at Shravanabelagola is one of the most important pilgrimage destinations in Jainism, one that reached a peak in architectural and sculptural activity under the patronage of Western Ganga Dynasty of Talakad. On arrive in Bengaluru for overnight. 

Overnight: Bengaluru
Meal: Breakfast

Day 21: Bengaluru City Highlights

Morning half day city tour of Bengaluru - visit the Lal Bagh Botanical Gardens, the Mysore Arts and Crafts Center, the Bull Temple, and the colorful bustling local markets. This afternoon is free for leisure.

Overnight: Bengaluru
Meal: Breakfast

Day 22: Bengaluru, Departure

Bid farewell, after check out from hotel, our representative will escort you to airport for your home bound flight.

Meal: Breakfast

Recommended Accommodation for Your Journey

Good accommodation choice will in no doubt enhance your tour experience. Our well-established partnership network with key hotel chains in India, Nepal, Bhutan and Sri-Lanka will bring you the benefits of competitive hotel rate and guaranteed room availability.

We pick hotels for you based on:

Location: geographically convenience values for your precious holiday time. So properties we use are either in downtown area close to main city attractions and amenities, or convenient for sightseeing or transportation.
Facility & Service Quality: all hotels are inspected strictly and regularly, must be with great performance on accommodating English speaking customers, and excellent feedbacks from our pervious clients as well.
Diversity for Choice: many styles and grades of hotels are available for different budgets, tastes and culture backgrounds.

Hotel Criteria for Each Tour Class

Note: Bhutan is less developed with fewer hotels criteria for choice, and most of the hotels there aren't as high standard as those in Western society.

Hotel Arrangement for Standard Tour Class

Usually conveniently located and meet the basic requirements of a comfortable stay: decorative lobbies and nice guest rooms with AC, TV, hot water, shower and private bathrooms. On-site restaurants may be average in size but offer breakfast, lunch and dinner. In most cases, staffs have basic command of English. Usually 3 star hotels are adopted.

Hotel Arrangement for Comfortable Tour Class

Normally you'll stay at formal and large hotels conveniently located with shopping, dining and entertainment facilities nearby. Quality service, fully furnished rooms, restaurants, room service, fitness center and swimming pool (in some cases there is no pool) all together offer an above-average accommodation experience.
Usually good 4-star hotels are adopted or boutique hotels at request. Hotels best available will be arranged if no qualified choice, e.g. in remote area.

Hotel Arrangement for Superior Tour Class

Usually properties are conveniently located with shopping, dining and entertainment facilities nearby and offer a better service and hotel facility than that in hotels of Comfortable Tour Class. Usually 4-4.5 star hotels or boutique hotels are adopted.

Hotel Arrangement for First Tour Class

Deluxe hotels with high-end service and an extensive range of facilities for an excellent accommodation experience. Multiple restaurants on site with extensive menus for choice, room service available 24/7, fitness center and concierge service round out the experience. Usually 5 star hotels are adopted.

Hotel Arrangement for Deluxe Tour Class

The most luxury hotels are used and only available in some particular cities. These properties have top-notch service and unique location, such as a lake or a historic site, and usually incorporate some of the country’s most exquisite architecture traditions. Usually top 5 star or the best available hotels are adopted.

Meals

Normally, India Odyssey Tours put breakfast in your itinerary except for in Bhutan (all meals included). Lunch won’t be included for the sake of tour convenience, while dinner is also excluded as some travelers might want a little culinary adventure themselves. But surely your tour guide/driver is always glad to offer their advice.

Breakfast

It is normally served at the hotel where you stay. Depending on the hotel, the breakfast would be in western style, local style, or a combination.

Lunch

Usually lunch won’t be included considering the fact that sometimes travelers may want to stay somewhere longer/shorter or need other minor changes during daily sightseeing, and it’s better to decide the lunch site then rather than pre-arranging it. For sure our tour guides/drivers will be happy to advice good places to you, and we strongly suggest qualified local restaurant or hotels around the scenic spots for the sake of your health.

Dinner

Dinners will not be included in your meal plan unless you have that requirement. Enjoying the local food could be one of your best experiences in the incredible India & South Asia. This is why we offer you this flexibility of food choice, and you can always get advice from your tour guides/drivers.

If you have certain food allergies or special requirements such as vegetarian food, let us know. We will do our best to accommodate your needs.

Private Guide & Transfer

You will have a private tour guide, private driver, and an air-conditioned vehicle escorting you at every destination you travel across South Asia. This will provide you with maximized personal care, security, and flexibility.

All tour guides of India Odyssey Tours are qualified professionals and registered English Speaking Tourist Guides who are reassessed annually. All of our tour vehicles are clean and in excellent condition, manned with licensed & experienced drivers.

Private Tour Guide

You will always be greeted punctually on arrival at each destination airport. At every departure, you’ll be escorted & assisted until you have checked in and passed through the security checkpoint.

All of our tour guides in every destination are locals. Knowing the area well, they are good at guiding you around and telling background stories of the tour sites, as well as showing you the secret spots for best photos.

If any change of itinerary is needed for unexpected reasons, your private tour guides will be more than accommodating in suggesting alternatives to ensure that you always have a wonderful experience.

Private Vehicle & Licensed Driver

With our comfortable and safe private transportation, your tour will be more relaxing and less tiresome, keeping you in the best spirits to make the most out of your journey across South Asia.

Your vehicle in each destination is air conditioned, insured, clean, and regularly maintained. Your private driver is licensed and always put your safety first.

Reviews on: South India Heritages with Kerala & Bangalore

Customer Rating
  • Excellent16
  • Very good1
  • Average0
  • Poor0
  • Terrible0
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17 reviews sorted by date


Clients: Rod-Lindy

From: Australia

Travel Consultant:
Monica Mo
We were focussed on Mughal era forts, palaces and monuments in Delhi, Agra, Jaipur, Nagaur and Jodhpur - and we managed a bit of shopping too. Odyssey's Monica Mo did a great job in customizing the 11 day itinerary and responding to our preferences for sites and hotels. We were well-supported by Odyssey representatives when arriving in and leaving from New Delhi airport.
We didn't try to do too much and were satisfied that we gained some knowledge and insights in the brief time we had. We were very pleased with our driver Suresh Kumar - his driving skills, his conversation, his vehicle, and his general level of concern for us. Local tour guides were all proficient and extended our enjoyment of the sites with their understanding of relevant history.
We would highly recommend Odyssey Tours.
Rating: December 9th, 2016

Clients: alsisi

From: Canada

Travel Consultant:
Kyle Li
Thank you very much to Kyle Li and Odyssey India for arranging an amazing custom 24 day trip through India. His patience in reworking the itinerary several times was greatly appreciated as were his suggestions. The entire trip was magical and went off without a single problem. We were met when and where expected and treated with kindness and hospitality by the various drivers, reps and guides. Thank you so much. It was a trip to remember forever. India Odyssey is highly recommended. Thank you!!
Rating: December 6th, 2016

Clients: Ciara S

Travel Consultant:
Queenie Yang
This holiday was so much more than we could have ever imagine, it was so varied with the elephant wash, spice village, tea plantation and so much more! Our Travel Consultant Queenie Yang was very patience, as we kept changing our plans, but she came back within 24 hours every time with a new exciting itinerary. Our drivers, representatives, tour guides and, the hotel staffs were all incredible and so kind. I was unwell from the drive to Thekkady as I get car sickness and was feeling too ill to go round the spice village. Both the tour guide and our driver were very sympathetic and told me to go rest and come back when I was feeling better; everyone was so genuine and caring. We definitely couldn't have seen all the places/sights if we had planned this on our own. The only shame was we booked a separate tour for North Delhi and we really wish we had booked everything through Odyssey. Can't wait for our next adventure with you!
Rating: December 5th, 2016

Clients: billmohn

Travel Consultant:
Mavis Jiang
We just returned from our almost three week tour with India Odyssey Tours. I can't say enough good about how well they treated us. There were difficulties caused by a surprise currency demonitization which made banks and cash machines unavailable for most of the trip but Odyssey came through and kept us afloat! As expected, we were greeted on our arrival in Delhi by our driver for the whole tour and an Odyssey representative for Delhi. Here and throughout our trip, Odyssey insured our check-ins to the hotels were seamless. We were treated like royalty. When we had our cash problem the second day in Delhi, the local Odyssey rep came to our rescue with some cash, presumably from his own pocket. Later, when we still had problems getting cash in Udaipur, the Odyssey rep managed to find a working ATM without a huge line and helped change the single large bill the machine gave us for smaller bills with the help of his mother and his cousin!

The driver, Mr. Raju Gautam, was with us all around India and couldn't have been nicer. His driving was smooth and efficient. We had dedicated reps in each city and all were very helpful and knowledgeable.

Delhi – Mr. Neeraj Thakur
Agra – Mr. Anshul
Jaipur - Mr. Sher Singh
Pushkar - Mr Deepak
Udaipur - Mr. Vikram Ranawat

Our Odyssey reps in China (Mavis and Lucy) were also very helpful and they kept track of us and our needs throughout the trip. I recommend Odyssey without reservation!
Rating: December 2nd, 2016

Clients: waiheke

Travel Consultant:
Don Li
Odyssey Travel Consultant Don Li

Don had the patience of a Saint even though I changed my requirements so many times nothing was too much trouble. Apart from me, Don had to cope with the Indian domestic airlines cancelling and changing flights. One small suggestion in this area would be for the Consultant to offer the possible other flight options to the customer even if there would ne an increase in price instead of just making changes.

I would recommend Don li to any other customers.



Local Managers

Without exception the meet and greet, and, send off service by local mangers went without a problem. There was always someone there to meet us even when flights were two hours late. A special mention for Kathmandu where we were greeted with a Nepal Greeting Scarf and given a mobile phone with the numbers of the local manager and our guide pre programmed in for our use while there, a great idea.



Local Guides

Every guide was friendly, prompt, had great local knowledge and an obvious pride in their city or town. We learnt so much about the places we visited and saw things that we would not have known about if we had just been wandering around by ourselves.

I would like to give a special mention to Nash who went out of his way to help sort out the financial problems we had when overnight, and without warning, the Indian Prime Minister made most of our Indian money worthless.



Drivers and Cars

All the cars were clean and comfortable with a couple of bottles of drinking water supplied and in some cases a supply of snacks and clean wipes. The drivers were friendly and safe to drive with on some of the craziest roads we had ever been on.



Hotels

All hotels were clean and safe with good breakfasts. One hotel stood head and shoulders above the rest and this was the Shangri-La Eros, New Delhi. More of disappointment were the ITC hotels in Jaipur and Agra which were five star in the reception and bar areas but just tired old Sheratons when it came to the rooms. Unusually in these days for supposedly five star establishments they charged for wi-fi.



Overall

We found India Odyssey Tours a very good and reliable Company and I would have no reservations in using them again. They do live up to their slogan: “You are not alone with Odyssey”
Rating: November 25th, 2016
( 1-5 of 17 Reviews ) 1 2 3 4 Next
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