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Treasures of South India Tour

Duration:
16 days / 15 nights
Destinations:
Bangalore, Hassan, Mysore, Kabini, Wayanad, Cochin, Allepey, Kumarakom, Mararikulam
Price Guide:

Price guide for this 16 day South India tour:

  • £1900 in low season
  • £2180 in high season

based on two people travelling.

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Overview

Choose this 16-day private tour and indulge in South India’s beautiful hidden treasures. This South India tour starts with an orientation tour of the cosmopolitan city of Bangalore and then continues to the tranquil South. En-route visit the Hoysala temples of Belur & Halebidu, Mysore – the city of palaces & silks, enjoy game drives in Nagarhole National Park to spot the wild cats, visit the tea & coffee plantations of Wayanad, the colonial port town of Cochin flanked by Chinese fishing nets, experience the Kerala backwaters and finally indulge in the beautiful palm-fringed Mararikulam beach.

Highlights of this South India Tour include

  • Bangalore city tour
  • Visit the Hoysala Temples world heritage site
  • Statue of Gomateshwara
  • Visit the Chamundi Hills and Nandi Bull Statue
  • Full day sightseeing in Mysore including city tour and visit to Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary
  • Game drives in Nagarhole National Park
  • Trek in Wayanad including a visit to Edakkal Caves
  • Sightseeing tour of Fort Cochin & Mattancherry
  • Traditional Kathakali dance performance
  • Overnight stay on a private houseboat cruising the Kerala backwaters
  • Sunset cruise on Vembanad Lake
  • Day of leisure on Mararikulam Beach

Please remember all our private tours are designed to meet your exact requirements, and this tour is just an example to help inspire you.

Treasures of South India Tour - 16 Days

For those who want to experience the highlights of South India, this Treasures of South India tour covers everything from precious Indian landmarks to game drives with wildlife experts. On this memorable tour you discover modern city sights, ancient temples, lush national parks and intriguing waterways.

Code: BAN001

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Day 1 - Arrive in Bangalore

You will be met at Bangalore International Airport by your Authentic India Tours representative and transferred to the hotel.

After some relaxation it's time to enjoy a discovery tour of this thriving cosmopolitan city where landscaped gardens and 18th century palaces rub shoulders with glitzy malls and upmarket restaurants. You will also be offered an optional excursion to Bangalore Palace, one of the city’s top tourist destinations. This majestic structure was built for the ruling Maharaja in the late 19th century, when he was only ten years old.

As evening falls we suggest a visit to a chic rooftop bar or microbrewery, to sample a craft beer or Indian-spiced cocktail.

Accommodation: Fortune JP Cosmos
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Day 2 - Bangalore to Hassan

Today you leave Bangalore, driving past sunflower and sugar cane fields to the city of Hassan. Located in the heart of the Malanad region, Hassan is rich in history and culture. The rest of the day is free to relax in your hotel or you may wish to explore and walk through the lush green Maharaja Park. 

Your two night stay is in a superior cottage at the Hoysala Village Resort. This ethnic style hotel is rated as one of Hassan’s top hotels.

Approximate travel time and distance: 4 hours, 190 kms

Accommodation: Hoysala Village Resort
Meals included: Breakfast
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Day 3 - Hassan

Today, your day will be packed with the fascinating history of the Hoysala Empire as you visit the heritage towns of Belur and Halabidu.

First, you will visit Belur, a UNESCO world heritage site. Here you will be amazed by the intricate carvings and statues of the Chennakeshava and Veeranrayana Temples.

This is followed by a visit to Halabidu, the regal capital of the Hoysala Empire in the 12th Century where you will have the chance to admire the ornate Hoysaleswara Temple. 

Accommodation: Hoysala Village Resort
Meals included: Breakfast
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Day 4 - Hassan to Mysore

After breakfast we travel to Mysore, stopping en route to visit the Gomateshwara statue at Shravanabelagola. This 17 metre high figure gazes serenely out at the countryside spread out below him. In the afternoon your tour continues with a short drive into the Chamundi Hills, where you will be able to get a panoramic view of the city and see the Nandi Bull – a huge statue carved from stone.

Any trip to India should include some shopping and Mysore is famous for its colourful silks. These can be purchased from shops around the city, including the Government Silk Factory. Centuries old Devaraja Market provides another unique shopping experience. This bustling market is a feast for the senses, with vibrant cones of coloured dyes, exotic fruits and fragrant flowers.

Approximate travel time and distance: 3 - 4 hours, 150 kms

Accommodation: Royal Orchid Metropole
Meals included: Breakfast
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Day 5 - Mysore

Today involves a full day of sightseeing in Mysore which is affectionately known as the ‘City of Palaces’.  We start with the city’s most spectacular palace, Amba Villas. Here you can marvel at the deep pink marble domes, ornate carved exterior and lavishly decorated chambers. Later you will be driven to Sri Rangapattanam to see the Tipu Sultan’s elegant Summer Palace and the ruins of the Tipu’s Fort.

In the afternoon there will be a change of pace, with a trip to the famous Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary. Here you can relax with a boat cruise along the tranquil waters of the River Cauvery, where you will see many different species of bird, including cormorants, river terns and black crowned night herons.

Accommodation: Royal Orchid Metropole
Meals included: Breakfast
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Day 6 - Mysore to Kabini

The next couple of days are a real treat for nature lovers. After breakfast we take the short drive to Nagarhole National Park, rated among the best of India’s wild spaces. It’s an area of sandalwood and teak forest, threaded by the Kabini River and its backwaters. The Kabini provides water for hundreds of different animals, such as the wild elephants, which you can spot on your trip.

In the afternoon, you’ll be taken by 4x4 vehicle on a game drive down a forest track, where your guide will point out animals hidden in the undergrowth. In conjunction with the wildlife authorities, a motor boat and canoe ride across the reservoir will also be arranged.

Approximate travel time and distance: 2 hours, 90 kms

Accommodation: Kaav Safari Lodge
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
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Day 7 - Kabini

Spend the day at one with nature in the national park.

An early morning game drive is recommended, as the animals are most active at this time of day. You will be travelling in an open-top 4 x 4 vehicle, so make sure you bring something warm to wear. Look out for elephants, spotted deer, mongoose, peacocks, jungle fowl and if you are lucky you may even see a tiger.

Later you can go on an expedition with a local naturalist, so make sure you pack sunscreen and a hat.

Accommodation: Kaav Safari Lodge
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
 
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Day 8 - Kabini to Wayanad

This morning you have a final chance for a game drive with a local wildlife expert, looking out for the many animals that inhabit the forests of the national park.

From here it’s a short trip to Wayanad, one of the most unspoilt locations in South India, famed for its wildlife. Nestled among the craggy peaks of the Western Ghats, Wayanad is a diverse region of remote forest, emerald tea plantations and lime green paddy fields.

Approximate travel time and distance: 2 - 3 hours, 90 kms

Accommodation: Wayanad Wild
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
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Day 9 - Wayanad

Your adventure continues in Wayanad where you will be taken on a visit to the nearby plantations, to learn about the production of coffee, tea and spices. There's also the chance to spot local wildlife such as birds in the forest canopy.

In the afternoon there is a choice of activity.  You can trek to Edakkal caves to marvel at the ancient writing carved into the stone walls but this excursion requires a moderate level of fitness as there is a steep climb. Alternatively you can visit some of the local markets.

Accommodation: Wayanad Wild
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
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Day 10 - Wayanad to Cochin

After an early breakfast we leave the peace of Wayanad for the buzz of Cochin, a colonial port city steeped in history. Cochin has been an important gateway to South India for distant merchants and travellers since 1413. It’s a melting pot of cultures, first ruled by the Portuguese, and then taken over by the Dutch and the British. This multicultural heritage is reflected in the city’s diverse architecture.

In the evening, enjoy a boat trip past Cochin’s island shores. As the sun sets, you will see the famous cantilevered fishing nets. It's fascinating to watch the fishermen skilfully dip the hammock-like nets into the water, silhouetted against the orange and pink sky. 

Approximate travel time and distance: 7 hours, 260 kms

Accommodation: Eighth Bastion
Meals included: Breakfast
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Day 11 - Cochin

Today you get to explore Cochin a melting pot of cultures, religions and nationalities. You will see St Francis Church, which is the oldest European church in India, as well as the lavish 16th century Jewish Synagogue. Then you can explore the Mattancherry Palace, also known as the Dutch Palace due to its colonial influences. It also houses colourfully painted murals depicting the ancient Indian poem Ramayana. 

The afternoon is at leisure, so you may wish to wander around the quaint cobbled streets which house a number of interesting antique shops.

This evening you will experience a traditional Kathakali performance, a Kerala classical dance famed for its colourful costumes and athletic movements.

Accommodation: Eighth Bastion
Meals included: Breakfast
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Day 12 - Cochin to Kumarakom

After a short journey from Cochin, you will arrive in the laid back village of Kumarakom, nestled in the backwaters off the South Eastern end of Vembanad Lake. Here, you can immerse yourself in the beauty and tranquillity of the area with a stroll along the lakeside or the coconut fringed canals of the backwaters.

Sunbathe by the pool of your luxury hotel, or relax with one of the many authentic Ayurveda therapies it offers. You can also visit the butterfly garden, go bird watching or even try your hand at paddle boarding. A highlight of the tour is an evening cruise on Vembanad Lake, where you can watch the sunset over the waters.

Approximate travel time and distance: 90 mins, 65 kms

Accommodation: Coconut Lagoon
Meals included: Breakfast
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Day 13 - Kumarakom to Alleppey

After a morning of leisure, board your deluxe private houseboat in time for a typical Keralan lunch. The houseboat will be your overnight transport to Alleppey, which is known as the Venice of the East due to its network of narrow canals, as well as your accommodation for the night.

Sit back and relax as an expert crew steer you across the Kerala backwaters, catering to your every need. You will cruise down a network of coconut palm-fringed backwater canals and across the famous Vembanad Lake. As you drifting past traditional villages and paddy fields, keep a look out for birds such as kingfishers, snake birds and herons.

Accommodation: Private Houseboat
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
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Day 14 - Allepey to Mararikulam

You will be met by your driver late morning and taken on a short trip to Mararikulam, a quaint little fishing village with one of the most picturesque beaches in South India.

You will be given the opportunity to relax here for the next two nights, with garden villa accommodation at the Marari Beach Resort. Alternatively if you are feeling more energetic visit the local temple, enjoy a cycle trip or pick up some tips from the hotel chef. 

Approximate travel time and distance: 45 mins, 25 kms

Accommodation: Marari Beach Resort
Meals included: Breakfast

 

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Day 15 - Mararikulam

Today is a full day of leisure, giving you time to soak up the sun and serenity at this quiet, unspoilt beach.

Relax in a hammock under a shady palm tree or enjoy a dip in the clear waters of the Arabian Sea.

You can also indulge in a rejuvenating massage at the hotel’s Ayurveda spa before retiring to your villa for the second night.

Accommodation: Marari Beach Resort
Meals included: Breakfast
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Day 16 - Mararikulam - Cochin Departure

You will be picked up by your driver and transferred to Cochin Airport for your return flight.

Approximate travel time and distance: 2 hours 30 mins, 100 kms

Meals included : Breakfast

Accommodation

Your accommodation on the Treasures of South Indian Tour is a perfect mix of both city stops and village vistas. You'll stay in decadent 5* hotels as well as Eco-friendly resorts surrounded by India's farmland.

Fortune JP Cosmos, Bangalore

Situated in the heart of the city, where shopping, culture and beautiful green spaces come together, Fortune JP Cosmos is a first class hotel with 134 modern rooms and every amenity you could wish for. Offering a swimming pool, gym and beauty salon along with its great location, this hotel has it all. The various restaurants in the hotel offer a dining delight where world cuisines can be savored.

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Hoysala Village, Hassan

Hoysala Village is a superior grade ethnic resort which offers every nature lover a paradise to enjoy. Located in the town of Hassan, referred to as the ‘land of the sunflower’, it is surrounded by farmland and greenery.  The comfortable rooms have been created to retain the local flavour.  This is a truly special resort which also has the benefit of a swimming pool.

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Royal Orchid Metropole, Mysore

Offering opulent rooms, delectable dining in award winning restaurants and a great location in the heart of the city this five star hotel has it all! Rooms that are the epitome of style with pool facing balconies and garden views ensures every guest enjoys a luxurious experience. With a swimming pool, fitness centre and gaming room everyone is catered for. Located in a renowned tourist destination the area itself has a lot to explore.

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Kaav Safari Lodge, Kabini

Situated at the edge of a teeming jungle Kaav is a contemporary Eco-friendly boutique lodge surrounded by uninterrupted nature and an abundance of wildlife. A common lounge to interact with fellow guests, viewing lounge to admire nature’s beauty and Alfresco dining overlooking the pool and scenes beyond, add to the experience. Continuing the theme of ‘untamed glamour’ luxury rooms with balconies or glamping tents offer luxurious accommodation with private decks making this a truly unique place.

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Wayanad Wild, Wayanad

Situated in the rainforests of Lakkidi and a stone's throw away from nearby tea estates is Wayanad Wild, a unique destination in the heart of the woods. This location is truly immersed in nature. Spacious modern rooms decorated with natural materials complete with balconies built around the landscape mean you really are living among the trees but with modern amenities and a touch of luxury. Fresh local food, spectacular views and a pool surrounded by the wilderness add to the splendor of this amazing setting.

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Eighth Bastion, Cochin

The Eighth Bastion Hotel, inspired by the legend of The Seven Bastions in Fort Kochi, is a contemporary designed hotel paying homage to the area's historical Dutch influence. Merging modernity with the muted elegance of the Dutch architectural heritage, the clean lines and retro style of the hotel are striking. En-suite rooms with balconies provide luxurious accommodation and guests can enjoy a fusion of traditional Indian and world cuisine using the best local produce.

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Kerala Houseboat

Described as the 'Venice of the East', Allepey is a dreamland of interlinking canals and rivers and what better way to explore the exquisite Kerala backwaters than on a Houseboat? Offering an enchanting experience the houseboats are constructed from local and natural materials including bamboo, ropes and coconut fibre and are up to 120 feet long. With an onboard crew to cater to your needs you can sit back, relax and enjoy the cruise.

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Coconut Lagoon, Kumarakom

The award-winning Coconut Lagoon is located in a charming cove in Kumarakon on the Vembanad Lake, offering a unique and delightful setting. A scenic boat ride from a private jetty to reach Coconut Lagoon will ensure you witness beautiful Kerala scenery and get a wonderful introduction to this captivating resort. No two rooms are the same, they are quirky and inspiring, offering guests an experience like no other.

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Marari Beach Resort

Set on the white sandy shores of the Arabian Sea, the Marari Beach Resort offers an environmentally friendly, premium resort. The accommodation comprises of thatched cottages which are beautifully simple and sympathetic to the natural surroundings but feature all the mod cons that today's traveller expects. Whether you're looking to relax under a palm tree or enjoy the excellent activities programme the Marari Beach Resort hotel is an idyllic coastal hideaway.

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Destinations

South India is exceptionally diverse, and on this South India tour, you will explore some of its most beautiful sites. This full itinerary includes cosmopolitan Bangalore, the city of palaces Mysore, wildlife tours in Kabini, carved Hoysala temples and exotic beaches. Below are some of the destinations you will discover on this tour.

Bangalore (Bengaluru)

Bangalore (Bengaluru), fondly nicknamed the Silicon Valley of India, is a lively and exciting city. Gardens and palaces dating back to the 18th Century stand proudly amidst the glittering shopping and nightlife options favored by its younger residents and visitors making it one of the most popular cities in Southern India to visit today.

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Hassan

Hassan is the place to be for lovers of history, heritage and old architecture in India, famed for its temples and ancient monuments. Many of the district’s temples were built between the 10th and 14th centuries, when the Hoysala dynasty ruled Karnataka, and are well known for their intricate carvings. Most of these temples are to be found in the scenic countryside of Hassan District. Hassan City itself is clean and modern, and pulls in crowds to see the Hasanamba temple, an important Hindu pilgrimage site.

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Mysore (Mysuru)

Mysore is located a short drive or train ride from Bangalore. Known as the City of Palaces, it is famed for its royal heritage and ancient monuments. The Mysore Palace is the most famous and richly decorated of these, with Lalitha Mahal, in the east of the city, coming a close second. The ancient Sri Prasanna Krishna Swamy Temple is also a must visit, providing a taste of India’s rich cultural and religious traditions. Mysore is also the birthplace of Ashtanga yoga, and the city has a plethora of different yoga classes and luxury yoga retreats to try if you’re feeling adventurous.

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Wayanad & Western Ghats

One of the most unspoilt locations in Kerala, Wayanad district is nestled amongst the lofty ridges of the Western Ghats. It’s a hugely diverse region, comprised of mountains, remote areas of forest, emerald tea plantations and rows of spiky lime green ginger plants. If you want to experience a wildlife sanctuary in Kerala the district has many wildlife sanctuaries that are the perfect place for trekking or observing elephants and other animals, while Wayanad is also home to many different tribes, each with their own cultures and customs.

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Cochin (Kochi)

Cochin, also known as Kochi, is a port city located on an extensive network of waterways in the state of Cochin. It has been one of the primary gateways to the region for distant merchants and travellers since 1341. Cochin is a great place to start your Kerala holiday offering beautiful hotels, wonderful culture and architecture, friendly people and the opportunity for some retail therapy.

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Kerala Backwaters

Known as the ‘Venice of the East’, Alleppey is the gateway to the  Kerala backwaters, an intricate network of lakes and waterways. Here you’ll find thousands of houseboats, converted rice barges with distinctive curved roofs. Float along the backwaters on one of these luxury boats, gazing out onto the lime green paddy fields, coconut palms and tranquil villages that line the water’s edge. Watch the sun set on the water and fall asleep lulled by the gentle rocking motion of the boat.

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Kumarakom

Hidden in the backwaters off the South Eastern end of Vembanad Lake in Southern Kerala is the small village of Kumarakom. Calm waters, lush greenery and abundant wildlife ensure that this is the perfect spot for total relaxation. The area offers beautiful quality award winning hotels and is ideally located to enjoy the Kerala backwaters. 

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Mararikulam Beach

This village is known for the authentic and quiet Mararikulam beach lined by coconut trees. It’s aptly nicknamed the ‘secret beach’ and is a favorite of the Keralan beaches on offer among locals. Mararikulam also boasts the stunning Sree Mahadeva Temple, one of the oldest temples in India, and the only temple where the deities Shiva and Parvati sit facing each other.

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Kabini (Nagarhole National Park)

Nagarhole National Park is the largest protected wildlife zone in Southern India, comprised of shady forests, rivers and bamboo thickets. It’s home to hundreds of different bird species, as well as the Bengal tiger, sloth bear, giant flying squirrel and much more. The Kabini river threads its way through the park, culminating in the Kabini backwaters, a tranquil network of waterways and lakes. The Kabini is one of the best places for wildlife spotting, as you can catch sight of animals drinking and bathing at the water’s edge.

 

Pricing and Inclusions

Price guide for this 16 day South India tour is:

  • £1900 in low season (May 2019 - September 2019 inclusive)
  • £2180 in high season (October 2018 - April 2019 inclusive)

Please be aware some hotels operate an additional peak pricing rate during busy times. This is normally from mid-December to mid-January. Please get in touch with your dates and we will be pleased to provide you with an accurate quote.

Prices vary depending on the number of people, length of tour, accommodation & season. Reductions are normally available for groups of three or more.

This is a private tour and can be tailor-made to meet your exact requirements.

Included with this South India tour are the following:

  • Authentic India Tours meet & greet assistance on arrival

  • All internal transfers and sightseeing tours using an air-conditioned vehicle

  • Accommodation for 15 nights on twin sharing basis 

  • Standard category rooms at all hotels unless otherwise mentioned
  • Meal plan: Kaav Safari Lodge, Wayanad Wild & Houseboat on full board; Bed & Breakfast elsewhere
  • English speaking guide for sightseeing tour of Mysore & Cochin
  • Tickets for Kathakali Dance Performance in Cochin
  • Game drives in Kabini (Nagarhole National Park)
  • Entrances at all national parks, museums and monuments as per the itinerary
  • Mineral water on all days of travel

Price does not include:

  • International flight tickets
  • Travel insurance & Visas
  • Expenses of personal nature like laundry, tips, beverages etc
  • Meals other than mentioned in the above meal plan
  • Camera & video fees at national parks, museums & monuments

Prices mentioned above are per person based on two people sharing a twin room. The prices which were valid at the time of publication may be subject to change, based on your date of travel and local market fluctuations. You will be informed of any price differences prior to booking.

For a quote based on your dates of travel, any alternative accommodation or changes to this itinerary, please call Authentic India Tours on 01792 315499 or email us at info@aitholidays.com