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17 Days South India Cultural & Wildlife Tour

17 Days South India Cultural & Wildlife Tour

Itinerary Summary

The Nature hypnotizes one at South India with its carefree creativity that is beyond human imagination. But whatever man has been able to conceive in its gentle forests and construct in its cities still leave you spellbound too. The imperial city of Mysore is known for its Palaces, sacred temples and rich heritage to the mighty Wodeyars who ruled the land for about 450 years. Bangalore presents a most interesting mosaic of architectural heritage and hi-tech technology and software parks. The salubrious climate and beautiful marks keep it charming all the year round.

The itinerary also covers balmy and soothing environs of the famous hill resort Ooty; the seacoast town of Kannur; and the Thekkady Wildlife Sanctuary at Periyar, where wild elephant herds form one of the main attractions of the place. You will also visit Cochin in Kerala during the tour, which is one of the finest natural harbors in the world. At Cochin, you can see distinct influences of ancient mariners who came here from Arabia, Britain, China, Holland, and Portugal.

  • Day 1:


    Explore India REPRESENTATIVE will meet and assist you upon your arrival at the Bangalore airport. Transfer to your hotel and relax for the day.

    Legend goes that King Veeraballa of Vijayanagara once lost his way in forest. Hungry and tired, he came upon a lone hut in the thick forest where he met an old woman. When he asked for food, she gave him baked beans ('Benda Kalu' in Karnataka).The King found this humble meal taste better than his royal kitchen menu. To commemorate this incident, he called the place "Benda Kalu Ooru" (place of baked beans).

    Capital of the Southern state of Karnataka, Bangalore today is Asia's fastest growing cosmopolitan city. It is home to some of the most high tech industries in India. Bangalore is also home to some of India's premier scientific establishments. Blessed with a salubrious climate, gardens & parks, natural lakes, architectural landmarks, shopping malls, the best restaurants and pubs in this part of the globe, business opportunities, Bangalore is the ideal gateway to India and beyond. Bangalore offers something for everyone-music and dance concerts (Western and Indian), dramas, exhibitions, carnivals, conferences and more.

    Overnight will be at Hotel.

  • Day 2:


    After breakfast proceed for the sightseeing.

    Vidhana Soubha: This splendid neo-Dravidian granite building that dominates the northern boundary of the Cubbon Park is the home of the State Legislature and the Secretariat. The massive sandalwood door of the Cabinet room is a spectacular feature of this imposing building. The Vidhana Soudha is bedecked in illuminated glory during special periods and is a sight worth viewing.

    Lal Bagh: Hyder Ali laid out this famous botanical garden and his son added horticultural wealth to them by importing plants and trees from several countries. The garden today houses over 1000 species of flora which include rare and enchanting collection of tropical plants, trees and herbs. The Glass House, modeled along London's CRYSTAL PALACE, is the center of attraction in this 2400 acre park. Bi-annual flower shows attracting participants from all over India is held in the Glass House. In July, 2003 it was decided that the Department of Horticulture and Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) would jointly take up the development of Lal Bagh Botanical Gardens.

    Tipu's Palace & Fort: The Bangalore Fort was built by Kempe Gowda and expanded by Tipu Sultan. Within its walls is the well preserved 16th century Ganapathi Temple.
    The Bangalore Palace was built by a Wodeyar king in 1887. Inspired by the Windsor castle, this palace was built in the Tudor style, complete with Gothic windows, the foiled windows, battlements and turrets resembling the Daria Daulat Palace in Srirangapatanam, this summer palace has been constructed largely of wood and is famous for it's carving and paintings.

    Government Museum: One of the important buildings, the Government Museum is one of the oldest in India (1886). The special attractions here are the antiquities from MOHENJODARO period. Situated nearby the museum is the VISVESWARAVA INDUSTRIAL & TECHNOLOGICAL MUSEUM named after the great engineer - statesman.

    Next to the VITM is the Visveswaraya Industrial Trade Center, the first of its kind in India. In addition to its trade promotional activities, the Center has two exhibition floors housing a permanent display of all that is manufactured in Karnataka.
    Near the Museum is the K.Venkatappa Art Gallery which has a permanent exhibition of the works of the great artist, K. Venkatappa. The Gallery does much to encourage art in the state.

    Also in the Cubbon Park are the Seshadri Iyer Memorial Hall, which houses the public library, the High Court and the Jawahar Bal Bhavan. The Bhavan, with its toy train, fairgrounds and theatre, is a recreational, hobby and educational centre for children.

    St. Mary's Church: Established by a French missionary Abbe Dubois in 1811, St.Mary's church is the only church in Karnataka state to be elevated to the status of a minor Basilica. Every September, The Virgin Mary's festival is celebrated with a procession that attracts people of all faiths. The church is situated near the Shivaji Nagar Bus Terminal.

    End early and enjoy shopping or just sit in one of the numerous modern pubs in downtown area just enjoying the latest music and crowd. It will be a nice experience as the weather in this city is pleasant all through the year.

    Overnight will be at Bangalore.

  • Day 3:

    Bangalore - Mysore

    (150 km in 03hr)

    Breakfast will be at the resort. Drive to Mysore.

    On the way visit Srirangapatnam - 16 km before Mysore, this fort was the stronghold of Tipu Sultan, son of Haider Ali. Tipu made a last minute ditch against the British in 1799 before surrendering his kingdom. Among the many fort buildings still intact, are Tipu's airy Summer Palace and his tomb at the Darya Daulat Bagh (garden). Here, is also the celebrated Sri Ranganatha Temple.
    Reach Mysore and check in at hotel.

    Mysore city was the capital of the old royal Mysore province. The word Mysore expands to "Mahishasurana Ooru" which means the town of Mahishasura. The story goes that the demon Mahishasura was killed by goddess Chamundeshwari atop the Chamundi hill near Mysore, and hence the name. Ever since, the Mysore royal family has worshipped Chamundeshwari as the palace deity. Hills dedicated to her stand at the eastern end of Mysore town today.

    To the people of India the word Mysore is synonymous with Sandalwood, silk and fine inlay-work using ivory. It is the home of incense sticks dipped in sandalwood oil perfume base and has two well known incense factories - the Aravinda Parimala and the Vasu and Cycle brand (together these two account for 70% of the incense stick export from India). Mysore is also the home of many well regarded musicians and artists. It is even today the hub of the tourist map of Karnataka. Nearby are several places of interest to visitors, some of these are Brindavan Gardens, Srirangapattana, Rangana Tittu bird sanctuary, Chamundi Hills, Nanjanagudu, Bandipur forest reserve, Shivanasamudra falls, and Talakaadu.

    Within the town are several places of interest. The grand palace with its four arched entrances stands at the centre of the town. Liberally covered with golden domes and home to the most expensive royal chair (Simhasana), made of gold and studded with diamond and precious stones, this palace rivals the best in the world. During weekends the whole palace is lit with thousands of lights, a great sight. Saint Philomina's church is a fine cathedral dating back to the 18th century. The Venkatappa art gallary has inspired many an artist and conducts courses in traditional painting, drawing and woodwork. It is also the birth-place for the Mysore wooden toys, which are exported worldwide.

    Enjoy the palace sightseeing.

    Chamundi Hills - Towering over the city, these hills are 13 km away from Mysore. Halfway-up is the Nandi Bull, a 4.8 m monolith. Right on top is the 2000-year-old Brindavan Gardens 19 km northwest of Mysore is the KRS Dam and the ornamental Brindavan Gardens. The musical fountains and colorful lights transform this palace into fairy land in the evenings.

    Sir Jayachamarajendra Art Gallery - Housed in the Jaganmohan Palace, this gallery has a collection of exquisite paintings dating back to 1875, the Russian Svetoslav Roerich and the traditional Mysore gold leaf style of painting.

    Overnight will be at Mysore.

  • Day 4:

    Mysore - Nagarhole - Bandipur

    (150 km in 4hr)

    Drive to Nagarhole after a leisurely breakfast.
    Established in 1955 as a wildlife sanctuary, Nagarhole was designated a national park twenty years later. The park today stretches in a series of gentle hills and valleys, over an expanse of 640 sq km, north of the river Kabini. The park came up around a perennial water reservoir formed in 1974, when the Kabini River was dammed.

    Nagarhole's vegetation is refreshingly different from Bandipur's dry scrub - moist deciduous forests, including bamboo, teak, eucalyptus and cassia, cover much of the sanctuary, providing a refuge for a wide range of animals and birds. Nagarhole has all the resident wildlife of the Nilgiri hills: Nilgiri tahr, Nilgiri langur, bison, leopard, Asian elephant, wild boar, deer, dhole (wild dog) and porcupine, besides tigers. A high canopy of trees- up to thirty meters tall in some places- harbors rare birds such as the endangered Malabar trogon, the Malabar pied hornbill and the crested hawk-eagle.

    Nagarhole saw some upheavals in 1992, when quarrelling between the wardens of the park and the local villagers resulted in arson which had an enormously adverse impact on the park and its wildlife. It will still take a few years for Nagarhole's forest and animal count to get back to normal but there has already been a resurrection of sorts and things get better every year.

    Drive to Bandipur after the safari.

    Bandipur National park is one the many reserves located within the forest belt between the Western Ghats and the Nilgiri Mountains. Most of these reserves are demarcated more by political boundaries than by truly physical ones. Bandipur lies in the southern state of Karnataka and covers a forest area of 865 square kilometers. It was declared a National Park in 1974 and is one of the original 9 tiger reserves under the watchful eye of "Project Tiger".

    The park is situated on the border with Kerala to the south and Tamil Nadu to the west. The national park lies at the heart of an extensive forest at the confluence of the Western Ghats and Nilgiri Hills. Bandipur was made a national park in 1974. The sanctuary was elevated in status and enlarged to 80,300 hectares in 1941 and renamed Venugopal Wildlife Park after a temple. The national park is included in the proposed Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve.

    The terrain is undulating and broken by chains of hills, flat-topped hillocks and water-courses. The reserve is drained by the Kubini, Nugu and Moyar rivers and by the Bavali, Moolehole, Kekkanalla, and Marandi streams. The River Moyar has cut a picturesque gorge, known as Mysore Ditch, which is 260m deep.

    Underlying rocks are mainly metamorphic: gneiss, quartzite, mica, and hornblende schists are generally widespread. Igneous intrusions of granite and charnokite appear as out crops at high levels and in the beds of water courses (Neginhal, 1974). The soil is usually a mixture of red laterites and black cotton soil, but the latter does not show a higher concentration of salt. In some places sandstones, semi-quartz and shales are present.

    Cold, dry and wet seasons are distinguished. The cold season lasts from November to mid-February, and is followed by a dry season lasting until June. The wet season starts mid-June, though heavy pre-monsoon showers fall in April and May. Temperatures range between 18 - 24 degrees celcius in November and 21 - 33 degrees celcius in June.

    Overnight will be at the resort.

  • Day 5:


    Breakfast will be at the resort.

    Spend a day in the wild.

    Enjoy the elephant ride and spend time with the cubs.

    Overnight will be at the resort.

  • Day 6:

    Bandipur - Madumalai

    (90 km in 02hr)

    Breakfast will be at the resort. Drive to MADUMALAI NATIONAL PARK.

    Madumalai is a paradise in the wild. The name itself suggests visions of bees and honey. However, it is much more than that. It is a virgin valley of fresh, crisp foliage and loafing tigers, gaurs, deer and elephants over acres of jungle. Tiny brooks and streams along with the Kabini River form the nerve system of the sanctuary. Surrounded by the three ghats with the Niligiris forming a sort of gulf below, bordering the Kannads above, one finds here a potpourri of deciduous trees and shrubs of several rare species. Madumalai is an invigorating experience for those tired of the bustle of cities.

    Enjoy the safari of the park and stay at the tree house. It is more than 100 feet above the ground with attached bathroom and all amenities. This is a thrilling experience enjoying the animals from the top and is definitely not for the weak-hearted.

    Overnight will be at the resort.

  • Day 7:


    Enjoy the day at the park. All meals will be in the park.

    Overnight will be at the resort.

  • Day 8:

    Madumalai - Coonoor

    (50 km in 02hr)

    Drive to Coonoor after breakfast and the morning safari.

    Coonoor is the second largest hill station in the Nilgiris. It stands on a lower ridge of the main plateau at an altitude of 1839 meters. Its climate is milder than Ooty. Surrounding the town are many picnic spots. In the heart of Coonoor is "Sims Park". It is a park cum botanical garden. Many species of trees and shrubs not found in Ooty are grown here. It is at an elevation of 1880 meters and occupies 12 hectares of land.

    Enjoy the evening at the beautiful heritage resort.

    Overnight will be at Coonoor.

  • Day 9:

    Coonoor - Ooty

    Blue train to Ooty
    Enjoy breakfast at the resort.

    Visit the following places:

    Sim's Park - The Park is situated in a deep ravine on the Northern side of Coonoor Railway Station at an elevation of 1768 to 1798 mts. The park can be divided into eight major sections. The natural shola with winding footpaths all over the higher slopes of the park is the most distinctive and picturesque feature of this park. This apart a number of individual tree specimens planted in a scattered fashion all over the place, lend a special charm to the park especially when they bloom in different seasons throughout the year.

    Pomological Station - This is one of the three experimental fruit gardens in the Nilgiris maintained by the Horticultural Department. The other two are Burliar and Kallar on the Coonoor - Mettupalayam ghats road. Apples, Plums, Peaches, Lemons, Apricots and Pomegranates are grown here for the purpose of research. Surplus fruits and fruit based jams are sold to the public.

    Take the TOY TRAIN (blue train) to OOTY.

    Ootacamund, Ooty or more recently Udhagamandalam, call it what you like, still translates to a little town set on the stepped slopes of the Nilgiris, the oldest mountain range in India. Located 2240 meters, above sea level, the soothing clime and rustic setting gift Ooty a charm of its own. The verdant tea gardens and the rolling hills exude a pleasantness that will calm the high-strung city dweller and soothe his senses with the fragrance of eucalyptus and sandalwood that hangs in the air. What's more, the superb 300km drive from Bangalore to the hill station takes the motorist through two dense wildlife sanctuaries. We've been there and done that and we're about to tempt you to do the same.

    Relax during the day and in the evening explore the small town.

    Overnight will be in Ooty.

  • Day 10:

    Ooty - Coimbatore

    (80 km in 04hr (3 hr by train &)

    Breakfast will be at the resort. Visit the beautiful botanical gardens.

    Drive to DODABETTA PEAK and enjoy the day among nature.

    In the evening take the train to METTUPALIYAM (toy train) and then drive to Coimbatore.

    Check in at hotel and spend night at Coimbatore.

  • Day 11:

    Coimbatore - Madurai

    (250 km in 05hr)

    Enjoy a leisurely breakfast and drive to Madurai. Reach and check in at hotel.

    Madurai's Main attraction is the Famous Sri Meenakshi Amman temple a riotously baroque example of Dravidian architecture with Gopurams carved from top to bottom in a breathtaking profusion of multicolored images of Gods. Tamil & Greek documents record the existence of Madurai from the 4th Century BC the city was known to the Greeks via Magathenes their ambassador to the court of Chandraguptha Muriya this city was popular in trade especially in spices. It was also the site the Sangam the academy of the Tamil Poets. And Madurai is the centre of all the cities and Madurai is famous for the cotton Sungudi Saris.

    Visit the temple in the evening.

    Sri Meenakshi Amman temple: dated back to 2000 Years back and designed in 1560 by Vishwanatha Nayaka and built during the reign of Tirumalai Nayaka. The Temple occupies an area of six hectares. There are 12 temple towers (Gopurams). The outer towers are the landmarks of Madurai.

    Overnight will be at Madurai.

  • Day 12:


    After breakfast go for city tour of Madurai.

    Vandiyur Mariamman Teppakulam: Vandiyur Mariamman Teppakulam is a huge temple tank about 5 km east of the Meenakshi temple. The mandapam in the centre has an idol of Vigneshwara (Vinayaka). It is said to have been found when the earth was being dug out from here to build the Thirumalai Nayakkar Mahal. So, the place attained sanctity and was converted into a teppakulam (tank). This enormous temple tank is fed by water brought from the Vagai through an ingenious system of underground Channels. King Thirumalai Nayak was born in 'Poosa' Star. In commemorating the birth of the king "Float Festival" is conducted in Tamil Month 'Thai' (Jan/Feb) in the tank in a colourful way, which attracts thousands of tourists.

    Gandhi Museum: The Gandhi Memorial Museum is one of the distinct places to be visited in Madurai. This Museum is one of the rare living memorials of "The Father of India". The Museum is set in relaxing grounds and has a clear historical account of India's struggle for Independence.

    Thirumalai Nayak Palace: This Palace was built in 1636 by King Thirumalai Nayak with the help of an Italian Architect. The building we see today was the main Palace where the King lived. The original Palace Complex was four times bigger than the present structure. This palace consisted mainly of two parts, namely Swargavilasa and Rangavilasa. In these two parts, there are royal residence, theatre, shrine, apartments, armoury, palanquin place, royal bandstand, quarters, pond and garden. King Thirumalai Nayak celebrated festivals like Scepter festival, Navarathri, Chithirai festival, Masi festival and the Float festival. He conducted daily dance and music performances in the palace. This palace was destroyed by his grandson Chokkanatha Nayak and the valuables were transferred to other places. During the British rule, in 1822, Lord Napier made several renovation works. Then the palace was utilized to house some officials of the judiciary and district administration. After independence, this palace was declared as a national monument and is now under the care of the Tamilnadu Archaeological Department.

    Overnight will be at Madurai.

  • Day 13:

    Madurai - Periyar

    (133km in 04hr)

    Proceed for Periyar after breakfast.

    The river Periyar is the longest river in Kerala. This is the only perennial river in South India with clean water. The river occupies an important place in the history of Kerala. In the Sangam age Tamil epics such as Chilapathikaram, 'Akananuru', 'Purananuru' etc much has been said about this mighty river, formerly known as the 'Choorni Nadi' or 'Thamraparni Nadi' (Sukasandesam -stanza 66). A land route existed in the Sangam age from Mussuris (present-day Kodungalloor) to Madurai, which passed near the banks of the river Periyar. The capital of the old Chera Empire presumably existed on the banks of the river Periyar. It is believed that there was a flood in the 4th century AD that severely damaged the areas along the Periyar and the people living there had to escape to safer locations, abandoning their homes and livelihoods. The flood of AD 1341 resulted in the closing of Kodungalloor port and the opening of a new port at Kochi. The huge landslide that began in the high ranges as a result of the heavy downpours sent massive flows of mud and sand which created an Island at the 'Azhimugham' of the Periyar which is now known as the Vyppin Islands.

    Proceed for a JUNGLE WALK in the national park with your guide.
    In the evening visit the SPICE MARKETS.

    Overnight will be at Periyar.

  • Day 14:


    Leave the resort early in the morning (7 AM) for a bamboo rafting excursion in the river Periyar running through the National Park.

    Breakfast and lunch will be during the excursion. From the safety of the raft you can witness herds of wild elephants coming down to water and swim. The other prominent fauna to be seen are Tiger, Sambar, Barking deer, Mouse deer, Nilgiri Tahr, Wild Pigs, Wild dogs, Porcupine, Lion-tailed macaque, Malabar Squirrel, Flying Squirrel, Sloth Bear, Gaur and Black Langur (Monkey). Tigers and Leopards seldom come to the lakeside by day.

    Return in the evening and visit the Spice plantations.

    Overnight will be at Periyar.

  • Day 15:

    Periyar - Kumarokom

    (175km in 04hr)

    Breakfast will be at resort.

    Proceed towards Kumarakom enjoying the beauty of the traditional Kerala houses. You will also pass through rolling tea gardens and rubber plantations. Stop at a tea factory to see the tea - making process.

    Reach Kumarokom and check in at hotel. An enchanting backwater destination, Kumarokom offers visitors many other leisure options. An unbelievably beautiful paradise of mangrove forests, emerald green paddy fields and coconut groves interspersed with enchanting waterways and canals adorned with while lilies - this is Kumarokom.

    Enjoy a visit to the BIRD PARK.

    Check into a traditional houseboat of Kerala Style and go on a leisurely backwater cruise along the lake on a thatched houseboat.

    The backwaters act as a vital waterway for the transport of goods, people and their produce are often the only link between isolated villages and crowded towns. In Kerala, the total expanse of backwater stretches over 1500 km, with a network of 44 rivers, lagoons and lakes from north to south. Alleppey which forms the main part of this network has the peculiar geographical feature of having the water in level with the land. This gives the advantage of getting a closer look at the village life on shore while on a backwater ride.
    Talk to the crew and sip your tea while enjoying the backwaters and seeing life pass by. The meals and refreshments will be served on the boat.

    Overnight will be at Houseboat.

  • Day 16:

    Aleppey - Cochin

    (60 km in 01hr)

    Cruise through the villages after breakfast. Disembark the boat at Alleppey.

    Aleppey is one of the most important tourist centers in the state, with a large network of inland canals earning it the sobriquet "Venice of the east". These large networks of canals provide Alleppey its lifeline. Alleppey was one of the busiest centers of trade in the past with one of the best known ports along the Malabar Coast. Even today it retains its charm as the centre for Coir carpet industries and prawn farming. Alleppey the ideal headquarters for backwater tourism as well as for visits to the lovely church filled town of Kottayam, and the town of Aranmula, famous for its historic Aranmula Snake Boat Race which is an annual event.

    Drive to Cochin.

    The eventful history of this city began when a major flood in AD 1341 threw open the estuary at Kochi, till then a land locked region, turning it into one of the finest natural harbors in the world. Kochi thus became a haven for seafaring visitors from all over the world and became the first European town-ship in India when the Portuguese settled here in the 15th century.

    Proceed for a sightseeing tour of FORT COCHIN. A few interesting sites included in the tour are the Chinese fishing nets along the Vasco Da Gama Square, Santa Cruz Basilica, St. Francis Church, VOC Gate, Bastion Bungalow, Jewish Synagogue, Mattancherry Palace, etc. Learn the operation of the interesting Chinese fishing nets erected on teak wood and bamboo poles which work on the principle of balance. Records say they were first set up here between AD 1350 and 1450. Vasco Da Gama Square, the narrow promenade that parallels the beach, is the best place to watch the nets being lowered and pulled out of the sea.

    Enjoy the boat ride in the harbour watching the dolphins playing and enjoying the city from the water.

    Overnight will be in hotel.

  • Day 17:

    Cochin - Home

    Breakfast will be at the hotel.

    Today as per your flight timings you will be transferred to the airport to take flight back home with sweet memories of the tour.





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Guest Experiences

Guest Name: Maria Veronica Galli 
Tour Taken: Delhi - Agra - Mumbai 


Thanks for your wishes of 2017 and the same for you. Here I am sending you the photos of my trip as requested.If you want you can add my comments to your website, delighted, the truth is that whatever I contracted surpassed my expectations. Everything even the  vehicles, were excellent, just like the drivers and the friendly guides, of quality and loving .I felt at ease and was able to enjoy my trip. You never know I might return to India , the truth is  I liked it a lot and would love to know  a lot more. Many Thanks!



Maria Veronica

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