Exclusive South India Experience: 15 Day



Day 01 : Hyderabad Arrival

COMPASS REPRESENTATIVE will receive you on arrival at the airport and transfer to the hotel.

The 400-year old city of Hyderabad, once the Nizam’s Capital, is today the capital city of Andhra Pradesh and is the fifth largest metropolis in India. This cosmopolitan city is endowed with rich culture and heritage and presents an amalgam of old world charm together with the ebullience of growth and enterprise. It is often called the ‘Gateway to the South’ offering a fascinating panorama of the past. It is truly a blend of fairy tale and the earthy, a pot-pourri of the old and the new.

Overnight will be at Hyderabad.

Day 02 : Hyderabad

Breakfast will be at the hotel.

Proceed for the city sightseeing.

Charminar, the epitome of Hyderabad was constructed in 1591 by Quli Qutb Shah. Located in the heart of the old city Charminar has been the most popular historical monument. All around this magnificent edifice is a bustling bazar of pearl and jewellery shops, perfume and attar dealers. The famous Laad bazar selling glittering bangles is also located close by.

Hyderabad's most popular promenade, it dams the Hussain Sagar Lake with the monolithic statue of Buddha right in the middle. There is the necklace road on one side and the tankbund road on the other side which separates the twin cities. The tankbund road is lined with 33 statues of famous personalities of the state and the lake is the venue of many a water sporting event. There are boat rides available on two cruises - the Bhagmati and Bhageerati besides the speed boats. There is also a Lumbini park on one side for recreation. It's a sight to watch especially in the evenings when the reflection of the lights along the lake and the Birla Mandir can be seen in the dark waters of the lake. Qutub Shahi tombs top the list of architectural beauty of the monuments like Jami Masjid, Mecca Masjid, and Toli Masjid. Left of Mecca Masjid and near the Golconda Fort is the tombs of Asaf Jahi rulers. The tomb of the child king, Mehboob Ali has become a shrine as he was believed to having the power of curing people from poisonous bites. These tombs are quite popular as tourist spots.

The NIZAM’S MUSEUM is also a nice place to get a peep into history and the royal past of Hyderabad. It is in Purana Haveli behind Princess Durrushevar Children Hospital. Overnight will be at Hyderabad.

Day 03 : Hyderabad - Chennai by air

All the neighboring areas were merged into the city now known as Madras or as Chennai as it is officially known. Until Independence, Madras was the capital of what in British times was called the Madras Presidency, comprising nearly the whole of South India, including the Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam and Kannada speaking areas.

In the afternoon proceed to the golf course for a round of golf and then later in the evening return to the hotel.

Overnight will be at Chennai.

Day 04 : Chennai

Breakfast will be at the hotel.

Proceed for the city sightseeing.

Santhome Cathedral: Built by Portuguese in the 14th and 15th century, this Cathedral is named after St. Thomas. Historically important, it is one of the pilgrimages for the Christian community.

Fort St. George: It is one the first few bastions built by the east India Company, marks the beginning of Chennai as a modern city. It occupies a place of pride and prominence in Chennai. This bastion achieved its name from St. George, the patron saint of England. The state legislature and the secretariat are located in Fort St. George. It houses the St. Mary's church the oldest Anglican Church in India which was built in 1680 and the tombstones in its courtyard are the oldest British tombstones in India. The Fort Museum, once a building that housed Chennai's first lighthouse, first commercial bank and first 'club', is now a well-kept repository of tangible memories of early Madras.

Rippon Building: Another pride of Chennai city, this 100 year old building was named after Governor Lord Rippon, the father of self-government in India. The Chennai Corporation and its council are functioning in this building. (Entry time – 10 am to 03 pm)

Kapaleeswarar Temple: Dedicated to Lord Shiva, Kapaleeswarar temple has inscriptions from the 13th century A.D. The temple 'Gopuram' (tower) is in the characteristic Dravidian style of architecture. The walls and pillars of temple have very delicate and intricate carvings which depict the scenes from Hindu mythology.

Central Railway station: A red, massive British structure is another landmark of this metro, has been the gateway connecting the state with the rest of the nation. This Railway station forms part of the city’s treasure of heritage buildings, worth a visit. Visitors must take platform tickets.

Overnight will be at Chennai.

Day 05 : Chennai - Madurai by air

Breakfast will be at the hotel.

Transfer to the airport to take flight for Madurai. Reach and check into the hotel.

One of South India's great temple towns, Madurai is an ancient city that is said to go back to 3rd century BC and finds mention in the writings of Megasthenes.

Madurai is built around the stupendous Sri Meenakshi Amman temple, itself a town in its own right. A triumph of Dravidian architecture, it soars into the sky, every inch of its outer surface intricately carved with multicolored images of deities, saints and mythical beasts.

Overnight will be at Madurai.

Day 06 : Madurai

After breakfast, proceed for sightseeing around Madurai.

Gandhi Museum - The spacious Gandhi Memorial Museum is offers a moving and meticulous account of the history of India’s struggle for independence. On exhibit is the dhoti Gandhi was wearing on the day of his assassination. The museum regularly holds lively discussions, lectures and presentations on Gandhi and the ideals of ahimsa.

Vishnu Temple - Located about 2 kilometers to the west of Madurai, this temple has three altars, one on top of the other. Each shows Vishnu in a different posture. The middle altar contains a seated Vishnu, the Koodal Alagar, the main deity of the temple. The outside walls of the temple are covered from top to bottom by hundreds of brightly painted, beautifully carved celestial figures. The majestic Koodal Alagar is among the most important temples of South India.

Thirumalai Nayak Palace - This 1636 palace was built by King Thirumalai Nayak who had a major contribution in building upon the Meenakshi Amman Temple and giving it the massive proportions we see today.

With time, the palace fell to ruin until it was restored partially by the British. The parts that are still standing give one a fair indication of its past grandeur. Intricate stucco work covers its arches and pillars, the 1300 square meter Celestial Pavilion or Sorgavilasam stands unsupported by a single pillar or girder, while elsewhere, and 20 m high white pillars connected by impossibly ornate arches line a courtyard.

Thirupparankundram is a temple carved out of rocks located to the south of Madurai. Dedicated to Lord Subramanya, the temple has several other shrines dedicated to Shiva, Durga, Vishnu and other deities. This highly ornate temple adorned with woodcarvings is holy not only for Hindus but also the local Muslims.

Vandiyur Mariamman Teppakulam is a giant reservoir connected to the Vaigai River through a maze of underground channels. During the Teppam or Float Festival, pilgrims pile into hundreds of boats and row to the temple in the center of the reservoir.

Watch the evening AARTI at Meenakshi Temple - THE HIGHLIGHT OF THE TOUR.

Sri Meenakshi Amman temple - The foundations of the temple were laid, it is said, over 2000 years ago, subsequent generations adding to it until it grew to the 65000 square meter complex we see today. The compound is square-shaped, its walls breached by 12 spectacular temple towers or Gopurams, that serve as gates. Inside the temple is the astounding Hall of Thousand Pillars. Each pillar has a breathtakingly detailed life-like sculpture of celestial beings, gods and mythic beasts. No matter which angle they are viewed from, the pillar appear arranged in a perfect straight line. A passageway outside has the famed musical pillars, each of which, when tapped, produces its own unique musical note.

Overnight will be at Madurai.

Day 07 : Madurai - Thekkady by road

Breakfast will be at the hotel.

Drive to Thekkady. Reach and check into the hotel.

Four hour drive southwards over rolling hills and coffee plantations to the PERIYAR WILDLIFE SANCTUARY, one of India’s major wildlife reserves. Located on the banks of the Periyar, it is home to the elephant, sambar, bison and the elusive Bengal Tiger. Depending on the season, one may also encounter great hornbills, kites, darters, herons, egrets, owls and kingfishers. The sanctuary is surrounded by spice plantations, and the rich aroma of cardamom, nutmeg and cinnamon hang in the air.

Overnight will be at Thekkady.

Day 08 : Thekkady

Proceed for bamboo rafting or jungle walk experience at Periyar National Park.

Bamboo Rafting and Jungle Walks are unique programs available in Periyar. These eco-friendly programs take the tourists to the thick forests on trek and then to the catchments area of the Periyar Tiger Reserve on a bamboo raft.

You will visit the rare species of plants and animals. The “experience” will be customized as per your preference depending on how many hours you want to spend in the park. Come back and enjoy breakfast at the resort.

In the afternoon visit spice plantations like cardamom, cinnamon, pepper, coffee, tea estates etc. on your way back to the hotel, you could stop at the local market and pick up some fragrant spices. Visit Kumily market to buy the best spices available.

Overnight will be at Thekkady.

Day 09 : Thekkady - Kumarakom by road

Breakfast will be at the hotel.

Drive to Kumarakom. Reach and check into the hotel.

The village of Kumarakom is a cluster of little islands on the Vembanad Lake, and this small water world is part of the Kuttanad region. The bird sanctuary here, which is spread across 14 acres, is a favorite haunt of migratory birds and an ornithologist's paradise. Egrets, darters, herons, teal, waterfowl, cuckoo, wild duck and migratory birds like the Siberian stork that live there in flocks are a fascination for visitors. This is an unbelievably beautiful paradise of mangrove forests, emerald green paddy fields and coconut groves interspersed with enchanting waterways and canals adorned with while lilies.

Kumarakom’s natural sights are undoubtedly its greatest asset; however, beyond that, the destination offers very little in the way of sightseeing options.

Visit Kumarakom’s bird sanctuary.

It might be more accurate to refer to this location as a nature sanctuary, since this protected area is home to a huge selection of different species of flora and fauna. Birds however, are especially prevalent and of particular interest, there being a mix of both indigenous and migratory species. A boat trip around the sanctuary is the ideal opportunity to see not only birds but plant and marine life also.

Overnight will be at Kumarakom.

Day 10 : Kumarakom

Breakfast will be at the hotel.

Proceed to the jetty for a DAY CRUISE.

The backwaters of Kerala are a unique product of Kerala and are found nowhere else in the world. Backwaters are a network of lakes, canals and estuaries and deltas of forty-four rivers that drain into the Arabian Sea. The backwaters of Kerala are a self-supporting Eco-system teeming with aquatic life. The canals connect the villages together and are still used for local transport. Over 900 km of this labyrinthine water world is navigable..

The houseboat with all modern comforts lets you discover the countryside at your own pace. You will have lunch and snacks in the Houseboat. A ride on the houseboat is a fabulous way to explore the fascinating beauty of the backwaters.

Drive back to the hotel and relax. Enjoy the serenity of the place in the evening.

Overnight will be at Kumarakom.

Day 11 : Kumarakom - Chittoor Kottaram by road

Breakfast will be at the hotel.

Drive to Chittoor Kottaram. Reach and spend day in leisure.

Chittoor Kottaram is a single key hotel, which means there are no guests but you and your family. Together, you will be transported back to the time when Kerala was still the Kingdom of Travancore, a fuedal land of nobles and princes. Arrive by boat just like they did in days gone by. Live and sleep as if to the manner born. Enjoy the same performances as the royals did and even eat the same food in the same manner. You would bask in the services of a personal retinue.

Enjoy Ayurvedic treatments and massages.

Overnight will be at Chittor Kottaram.

Day 12 : Chittoor Kottaram

Take a pleasure cruise on the backwaters, just to watch the sun rise over your kingdom.

Breakfast will be at the hotel.

Spend day in leisure… enjoy Ayurvedic treatments and massages. You can also experience fishing.

Come evening and you can participate in a simple tradition, the lamp lighting ceremony. You watch in amazement as from within, the whole palace slowly seems to come alive. Shadows begin their dance upon the wall and the stained glass painting magically draws you into its embrace. From within, the palace seems afire. This is how the kings lived. With romance and magic, but created from an ordinary earthen lamp.

Overnight will be at Chittor Kottaram.

Day 13 : Chittoor Kottaram - Cochin by road

Breakfast will be at the hotel.

Drive to Cochin. Reach and check into the hotel.

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.

The Dutch wrested Fort Kochi from the Portuguese in AD 1663 and later in the last phase of the colonial saga, the British took over, the town in 1795. During 1660's, Fort Kochi peaked in stature as a prime commercial centre and its fame spread far and wide - variously as a rich trade centre, a major military base, a vibrant cultural hub, a great ship building centre, a centre for Christianity and so on. Today, centuries later, the city is home to nearly thirteen communities.

In the evening proceed for a CULTURAL EVENING – Kerala's best known dance drama Kathakali, its martial art form Kalaripayattu, semi – classical dance form Mohiniattam, Theyyam - a ritual dance performed as a surrealistic representation of the Gods & classical Indian music. You can also go into the green room to see how dancers dress up, do make up and get ready as per the different dance forms.

Enjoy a chef’s dinner at the seafood restaurant in CASINO hosted by COMPASS. The whole restaurant is built in the central courtyard around a 200-year-old banyan tree. The food here is among the best seafood in the world.

Overnight will be at Cochin.

Day 14 : Cochin

Breakfast will be at the hotel.

Proceed for a sightseeing tour of the city.

CHINESE FISHING NETS: The Chinese fishing nets erected on teak wood and bamboo poles 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. JEWISH SYNAGOGUE: The Jewish community traces its history to nearly 2000 years ago. In 1948 the community numbered 2500 and today there are fewer than 30 people. The community is still centered round JEWTOWN where you will visit its crown Jewel, the Paradesi Synagogue. Built in 1568 and reconstructed after a Portuguese bombardment in 1662, the synagogue is distinguished by its tile roof and bell tower. The small synagogue is also known for its hand-painted, willow-patterned, blue and white Chinese floor tiles, and the many brass and crystal lamps that hang from the ceiling. Later visit the interesting International Pepper Exchange, also located in Jew town.

ST FRANCIS CHURCH: The Portuguese traders built St Francis Xavier’s Church at Fort Kochi in the year 1503. They came here with Admiral Pedro Alvarez de Cabral, via the same route taken by the legendary Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama, who landed at Calicut in 1498.

SANTA CRUZ BASILICA: Originally built by the Portuguese, this church was elevated to a Cathedral by Pope Paul IV in 1558. The church was totally demolished by the British who took over Cochin in 1795. Later Bishop Dom Gomez Ferreira commissioned a new building in 1887. Pope John Paul II finally proclaimed Santa Cruz a Basilica in 1984. The basilica, situated close to the St. Francis Church, has some beautiful paintings.

VOC GATE: Facing parade ground is this large wooden gate with the initials ‘VOC’ carved onto it representing the monogram of the once mighty Dutch East India Company. The inscription also indicates that it was built in the year 1740.

DUTCH PALACE: The Palace, originally built by the Portuguese and presented to the Cochin raja Veera Kerala Varma in 1555, acquired its present name after 1663 when the Dutch carried out some extensive repairs. The Cochin rajas held their coronation ceremonies in the Central Hall of this double-storey quadrangular building. Rooms adjacent contain breathtaking 17th-century murals depicting scenes from the Puranas and the great epics - the Ramayana and the Mahabharata.

Overnight will be at Cochin.

Day 15 : Cochin - Departure

Breakfast will be at the hotel.

As per the international flight timings, you will be transferred to the airport to take flight back home with sweet memories of the SOUTH INDIA TOUR.

TOUR ENDS!

COMPASS EXPERIENCE INCLUDES

• ACCOMODATION AT MENTIONED HOTELS,
• DAILY BREAKFASTS EITHER BUFFET OR ON ORDER OR IN ROOM
• AIR-CONDITIONED VEHICL AT DISPOSAL
• COMPASS APPROVED ENGLISH SPEAKING DRIVER ALL THROUGH
• ENGLISH SPEAKING EXPERT LOCAL GUIDES AT ALL APPLICABLE PLACES
• SIGHTSEEING & INCLUSIVE PRIVATE TOURS AS MENTIONED AT ALL PLACES
• MEET AND ASSIST SERVICES ON ARRIVAL / DEPARTURE
• INTERNAL AIRFARE IN FULL SERVICE AIRLINES WITH PRIORITY CHECK INS
• ALL MONUMENT ENTRANCES
• PORTER CHARGES AT AIRPORTS
• TIPS & GRATUITIES
• ALL APPLICABLE GOVERNMENT TAXES AND SERVICE CHARGES
• ALL PARKING, ROAD TAXES AND DRIVER ALLOWANCES

SPECIAL HIGHLIGHTS INCLUDED

• LOCAL CULTURAL INTERACTIONS
• VILLAGE VISITS AND FESTIVALS/RITUALS EXPERIENCES
• BRIEFING / WELCOME DINNER,
• CULTURAL DANCE WITH MAKE UP PRESENTATION IN COCHIN
• SEAFOOD DINNER AT COCHIN,
• GOLFING EXPERIENCE IN CHENNAI,
• FISHING EXPERIENCE IN KUMARAKOM & CHITTOOR KOTTARAM,
• JUNGLE WALK / TREK IN THEKKADY,
• SPICE PLANTATION TOUR & MARKET VISIT IN THEKKADY,
• BOAT RIDE AT PERIYAR LAKE IN THEKKADY,
• RUBBER & TEA GARDEN VISITS,
• DAY CRUISE WITH LUNCH, TEA & SNACKS,
• FLOWER MARKET VISIT IN MADURAI AND
• EVENING AART CEREMONY IN MADURAI.

COMPASS EXCLUSIVE SERVICES

• GUARANTEED HOTELS
• ALL LUNCHES DURING DRIVES BETWEEN DESTINATIONS
• UNLIMITED BOTTLED WATER, SOFT BEVERAGES, ETC DURING TOURS & DRIVES
• PRE-ALLOTTED MOBILE PHONES WITH IMPORTANT NUMBERS PRE-FED
• UNLIMITED INTERNET ACCESS & USAGE FOR FULL JOURNEY
• COMPASS CELEBRITY STATIONARY
• COMPASS TOUR PREPARATION KIT WITH PACKING & READING LISTS
• DEDICATED 24/7 TOUR MANAGEMENT & COORDINATION

Hotels

CITY EXPERIENCE & PALACE HOTELS NIGHTS
HYDERABAD TAJ FALAKNUMA PALACE 02
CHENNAI THE LEELA PALACE 02
MADURAI (TAJ) THE GATEWAY 02
THEKKADY SPICE VILLAGE 02
KUMARAKOM KUMARAKOM LAKE RESORT 02
CHITTOOR CHITTOOR KOTTARAM 02
COCHIN BRUNTON BOATYARD 02

Tour Price

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