South India

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25 Nov - 09 Dec - 2022 - USD $ 2197 / Person

Hyderabad – Chennai - Kochi – Munnar – Alleppey – Kovalam

Welcome to India!
Our representative will meet you in the arrival area of the airport after you clear all
immigration and custom formalities. Depart for your hotel where you will check in for your stay.

Day 1 In Transit


The main tour will arrive early morning. All the rooms will be confirmed from the night before

Day 2 Hyderabad

Arrive in Hyderabad, met, and transfer to the hotel
Late breakfast at the hotel
Morning at leisure
Afternoon visit Aga Khan Academy
Evening Sound & light show at Golconda Fort
Dinner with Overnight stay in Hyderabad

Famous for its beautiful “monuments, mosques and mistresses”, the Nizams of Hyderabad
were amongst the richest people in the world. Asaf Jah seized power from the Mughal
Governor in 1724 and founded the dynasty which ruled the twin cities of Hyderabad and
Secunderabad. Built on ancient granites, the area was famous for its gemstones and
produced magnificent diamonds including the famous Kohinoor that today decorates the
crown worn by British royalty. Today the city is growing as a center for information
technology and is rapidly becoming known as “Cyberabad” after Bill Clinton visited it in
March 2000. Morning is at leisure.
Early afternoon we visit the famous Aga Khan Academy Hyderabad which began operating
in 2011 on a 100-acre campus near the city of Hyderabad, India. The Academy opened first
with its Junior School and then in 2012 initiated the Senior School, including the residential
program. Evening is reserved for witnessing Sound &Light show at famous Golconda Fort, followed
by dinner at a fine restaurant.

Day 3 - Hyderabad


Breakfast at the hotel
Visit Film City with lunch
Overnight stay in Hyderabad
Post breakfast; visit the myriad Settings of shooting & the numerous beautiful Theme
Gardens etc. at Film City. On arrival, you' ll receive a box of chocolates, a welcome drink, and snacks before boarding
your guided coach to take you around the complex. Film City is a unique location that caters
to the requirements of the film world, including regional, national, Hollywood, and in-house
productions.

 

Option - In the evening visit the offices of the Aga Khan Development Network.


Day 4: Hyderabad – Chennai


Breakfast at the hotel
Full day sightseeing tour
Biryani Lunch at a local restaurant

Later in the evening transfer to airport to board a flight to Chennai

Meeting on arrival & transfer to hotel


The old city is entered through the Char Minar, the decorative gateway built in 1591 and
referred to as the Oriental “Arc de Triomphe”. This was built by Sultan Mohammad Quli
Qutb Shah as a showpiece at the center of his beautiful city and has become the symbol of
Hyderabad. Of special note in the old city is the Mecca Masjid or the Grand Mosque. This
was begun by the sixth Sultan and ultimately completed by Aurangzeb. The enormous black
granite slabs were quarried locally and the red bricks on its entrance arches are believed to
have been made from clay brought from Mecca.

The Lad Bazaar is particularly interesting to wander in. Here shops sell the typical
Hyderabadi embedded glass bangles, pearls, and cloth. Silver merchants working in their
tiny shops make thin silver “leaf” by pounding sheets of metal.
The capital of the Qutb Shahi Kings who ruled the area from 1507 to 1687, Golconda was
repossessed by the Nizam Asif Jha in 1724 and restored for a short period to its former
glory. It is one of the most accessible of great medieval forts in India. The Fateh Darwaza
or Victory Gate at the entrance is made of teak with a Hindu deity engraved in it. It is
studded with iron spikes to repel war elephants. The famous diamond vaults here once
held the famous Kohinoor and Hope diamonds. While the dungeons were used by the
Nizam to imprison his worst enemies among whom were several of his sons and at least
two of his wives.
Northwest of the fort is the Tombs of the Qutb Shahi rulers. Each tomb of black granite
or greenstone with plaster decorations is built on a square or octagonal base with a large

onion dome and arches with fine sculptures, inscriptions and remains of glazed
decorations.

After the sightseeing, transfer to Hyderabad airport for a flight to Chennai in the evening. On arrival, our representative will meet you at the airport to transfer you to your hotel in Chennai.   

Day 5: Chennai

Breakfast at the hotel

Embark on a guided excursion to Mahabalipuram

Lunch at Mahabalipuram

On return, visit Kancheepuram

Drive back to Chennai in the late afternoon

Overnight stay in Chennai  

 

After an early breakfast, we will set off on a privately guided excursion to Mahabalipuram (1.5 hours drive).

 

Spend half a day marvelling at the exquisite creations of UNESCO World Heritage Site of Mahabalipuram including the Shore Temple, an elegant rock-cut temple with magnificent embellishments eroded by sea winds over centuries. The temple and its surroundings bear testimony to the maritime ambitions of the Pallavas. You will also see the colossal bas-relief carved out on the face of a single rock called Arjuna’s Penance or the Descent of the Ganges. View the Five Rathas or chariots hewn out of solid blocks of rocks, cave temples most of which are dedicated to Lord Shiva or Lord Vishnu, and various Mandapams, stone figures of Nandi Bull, Shiva’s vehicle and parts of temples excavated on site. The complex is an architect’s delight and shows the high quality artisanship of the Pallava craftsmen. You will also make your way to the massive and smooth boulder perched precariously on top of a hill as if defying gravity. It is said that the Governor of Madras in 1908 tried to remove the boulder with seven elephants, but it did not budge even an inch!

 

 

Lunch will be arranged at GRT Radisson in Mahabalipuram.

 

Post lunch; drive to Kanchipuram (2 hours).

 

Visit the ancient religious and pilgrimage centre of Kanchipuram located about two hours’ drive away from Mahabalipuram. It is famous for its collection of richly carved temples. Established by the Pallavas, the town of Kanchipuram continued to flourish under the Cholas, Pandiyas, and Vijayanagar dynasties. It is also famous for silk weaving, artisans of which settled here over four centuries ago. We will have an opportunity to meet & interact with the textile artists while in Kanchipuram.

 

Late in the afternoon, drive back to Chennai ( 2ours).

 

Hotel: Taj Connemara (Heritage room) (B,L)

Day 6: Chennai- Kochi             

 

Breakfast at the hotel

Morning : Proceed for a guided city tour of Chennai

Transfer to airport to board flight to Cochin

Meeting on arrival & transfer to hotel

Afternoon: explore Fort Kochi area

Dinner at Bay View terrace

Overnight stay in Kochi   

 

After breakfast proceed for a visit to St. Thomas Mount, the site where St. Thomas was believed to have been martyred. St Thomas Cathedral was originally built by the Portuguese in 1504 and then rebuilt in neo-Gothic style in 1893. In the basement is a chapel housing the tomb of St Thomas the Apostle (Doubting Thomas), who it is said brought Christianity to the subcontinent in the 1st century.

 

Your next stop would be the Fort St. George, which is presently, being used by the Tamil Nadu Government. Within the compound is a museum holding many remembrances of the East India Company and the British period. From the British hold of centre you will be driven to Egmore – which is the heart of city to visit the State Museum –which is spreading to an area of 16.25 acres of land.

 

Continue your exploration to Thousand Lights mosque which is a multi-domed mosque in Anna Salai. It is one of the largest mosques in the country and is a revered place of worship and azadari for Shia. The mosque was built in 1810 by Arcot Nawab Umdat-ul-Umra. It was constructed in medieval architecture. The site of the mosque was previously occupied by an assembly hall. There was a tradition of lighting thousand oil lamps to illuminate the assembly hall. The chief Shia Qazi of Chennai functions from the mosque, and the post has been continuously held by the same family.

 

End the tour with a visit to the Kapaleeswarar Temple – the biggest temple in Chennai dating back to the 13th century AD, honoring Lord Shiva.

 

Later transfer to Chennai airport to board your late afternoon flight to Cochin.

On arrival, we will be transferred to the hotel. Hotel: Crown Plaza (Superior room) (B,D)

Day 7: Kochi

More popular as the Queen of the Arabian Sea, Kohi is a cluster of islands on the vast expanse of the Vembanad Lake. The Lake opens out into the Arabian Sea here to form one of the finest natural harbours in the world.

It is this natural advantage that has made Kochi a fascinating blend of the cultures and influences of explorers and traders. The Arabs, Chinese, Portuguese, Dutch and the British have all left their mark here. The Jewish synagogue, the Dutch palace, the Chinese fishing nets, and other remnants of European and Asian architecture merge smoothly into the traditional fabric of the seaport city.

Meeting on arrival & transfer to hotel

Morning explore Fort Kochi area

Afternoon free for shopping 

Dinner and Overnight stay in Kochi

Morning we proceed for a walking tour of Fort Kochi area which is an eye opener to the minute details of the old town. It definitely pulls you back to 14th century.  Fort Kochi is said to have formed in the 1340’s due to cataclysmic floods. Fort Kochi being the natural gateway to the Kochi harbour, grew in importance as travelers from far and wide came to Kochi: the Arabs, the Chinese, the Dutch and the Portuguese.
The large rain trees, beautiful colonial buildings, streets lined with many shops, dining options, the Chinese fishing nets, the Parade Ground, the Jain temple, the beach area, St. Francis Church, the Vasco house, the narrow lanes of Mattanchery and the fruit and vegetable markets all make this an interesting area.

Today we visit the Cheraman Juma Mosque .Built in AD 629, it is the first mosque to be built in India &  the second in the world where Juma prayers were started.

Rest of the day free for shopping at Jew Town, followed by Dinner at a Sea Food Restaurant.

Day 8 Kochi – Munnar


Breakfast at the hotel
Drive to Munnar
Overnight stay in Munnar

Today post breakfast drive to Munnar. (approx. 05 hours)
Munnar is situated at the confluence of three mountain streams - Mudrapuzha, Nallathanni, and Kundala. 1600 m above sea level, this hill station was once the summer resort of the
erstwhile British Government in South India.
Sprawling tea plantations, picture book towns, winding lanes, and holiday facilities make
this a popular resort town. Munnar also has the highest peak in South India, Anamudi, which towers over 2695 m.
Upon arrival at Munnar, check in at your hotel. 
The rest of the day is at leisure.

Day 9: Munnar


Breakfast at the hotel
Morning sightseeing tour
The afternoon is at leisure
Overnight stay in Munnar
A day to understand the entire process of tea starting from plantation to processing.
Start the day with a visit to a Tea Plantation which is situated mostly on the inner slopes
of an elevated basin-like plateau. Interact with workers. To understand their lives and
challenges. Witness the process of plucking the tea leaves. It would be worthwhile to visit some of these tea gardens to witness the plucking of leaves
by women who carry conical bamboo baskets on their back and strapped to their forehead
by a cloth band. The work on the field is all done by hand and is a fascinating sight.
From the plantation, drive to Lockhart tea factory to take a guided tea factory tour to
witness the making of the best quality Lockhart tea. Enjoy a tea tasting session after the
tour. Continue your exploration to the Tea Museum in Munnar, which is a museum showcasing
the old machinery that was used to manufacture tea during the British Raj in India. The
factory uses a CTC method of manufacturing.  
Later visit some other important sites in Munnar including a visit to Juma Masjid, Murugan
Temple, Mt Carmel Church. During the sightseeing tour, you will also be enjoying a Horse
Carriage Ride-on Kundala Dam Lake
In the late afternoon stroll around Munnar market where locals buy their regular items, so
it’s a great place to get a glimpse of local life. The rest of the day is at leisure.

Day 10: Munnar


Breakfast at the hotel
Full day at leisure OR to enjoy guided walks
Munnar is a great place for birding. So interested participants may go for a nature walk at sunrise to see some unique birds of the region.

Furthermore, they can trek to Letchmi Hills through the grasslands in ridge .The walk proves to be a treat to the eyes, with a rocky mountain slope on one side and tea plantations with patches of Shola forest (patches of tropical montane forests). On a clear sunny day, you could view Anaimudi (the highest peak in S. India) and the waters of Idukki Dam which is listed as the highest arch dams in Asia and 3rd tallest dam in India.
Overnight stay in Munnar. 


Day 11: Munnar – Alleppey


Breakfast at the hotel
Drive to Alleppey
Explore the backwaters
Lunch and Dinner will be on board
Overnight stay on board
Today post early breakfast drive to Alleppey (approx. 05 hours) where you board the
houseboat for exploring the backwaters.


A visit to Kerala is incomplete without a visit to the backwaters.  A series of canals, which
thread their way through the state to the sea, it allows you a glimpse of life in Kerala
impossible to get from road transport. Along the way you will pass rice fields, tiny villages,
boats transporting children to school and farmers transporting their produce to the market
and women completing household tasks such as laundry and washing utensils.  You will
disembark from the boat to wander in the villages and talk to the people.  At night the boat
will anchor mid-stream, and your meals will be specially prepared by the crew from freshly
bought produce.
Kettuvalloms were the original transportation of Kerala, boats used to transport
produce. With the advent of vehicular traffic, these slowly became redundant.  Eventually,
the craft was revived and today these boats are used to tour the backwaters. 
They are made completely of natural material (wood and thatch) and have a bedroom and
a sit-out.  The room is decorated using local material and artifacts. Each room has an
attached shower and bathroom. Lunch & dinner will be served on board.

Day 12: Alleppey – Kovalam


Breakfast at the hotel
Drive to Kovalam
Afternoon is at leisure
Overnight stay in Kovalam

Today post breakfast we drive to Kovalam (approx. 05 hours) visiting a village en-route.
See the life of people in a typical village in Kerala. Also, witness the coir work done by the villagers.
Upon arrival at Kovalam, check-in at the hotel. Afternoon is at leisure Indulge in long walks on the secluded beaches, or take a dip in the pool at this Kerala beach resort.


Day 13: Kovalam


Breakfast at the hotel
Excursion to Kanyakumari
Overnight stay in Kovalam
Today post leisurely breakfast proceed for excursion to Kanyakumari.
Kanyakumari is a coastal town in the state of Tamil Nadu on India's southern tip.
It is famous for its beach and the spectacular sunrises and sunsets. This day, embark on a guided tour of Kanyakumari visiting Suchindram temple, Vivekananda rock memorial and Gandhi memorial mandapam.
Suchindram Temple is unique in the whole of India in that it is dedicated to three different
deities represented by one image in the sanctum and is called Sthanumalayan (Sthanu-
Shiva; Maal-Vishnu and Ayan-Brahma) kovil. The temple is rich in sculpture and
architecture and a visitor to this temple is amply rewarded with the sight of such exquisite
art of hundreds of years old.
The memorial stands on one of two rocks located about 500 meters east of the mainland of
Vavathurai, India's southernmost tip. It was built in 1970 in honour of Swami Vivekananda
who is said to have attained enlightenment on the rock. A meditation hall (Dhyana
Mandapam) is also attached to the memorial for visitors to meditate. The design of the
mandapa incorporates different styles of temple architecture from all over India. It houses
a statue of Vivekananda. The rocks are surrounded by the Laccadive Sea. The memorial
consists of two main structures, the Vivekananda Mandapam and the Shripada Mandapam.
The Gandhi Memorial Mandapam has been built on the spot where the urn containing the
Mahatma's ashes was kept for public viewing before immersion. Resembling central Indian
Hindu temples in form, the memorial was designed in such a way that on Mahatma
Gandhi's birthday, 2 October, the first rays of the sun fall on the exact place where his ashes
were kept. Return to Kovalam in the late afternoon.


Day 14 : Kovalam


Breakfast at the hotel
Day at leisure
Overnight stay in Kovalam

Full day at leisure. Today you may indulge in some herbal ayurvedic treatments offered at
the Hotel. Pamper yourself with a facial or a body massage! ( at own expense )
(People leaving for next destination will be transferred to the International airport to
board the flight – all the rooms will be held till final departure)

Day 15 : Kovalam – Trivandrum


Breakfast at the hotel
Day at leisure

Guests who are leaving India after the main tour, will be transferred to the airport at mid night.  (room for these guests will be reserved till 18:00 hours)

Quote Includes:

Stay on twin occupancy basis.

Daily breakfast and lunch or dinner

Meet and greet services in Major cities. 

All transfers, excursions and sightseeing tours will be provided by Air conditioned vehicle as per program.

Entrance fees at all monuments listed in the itinerary for one visit only, road taxes, parking fee, fuel charges, interstate taxes, and porter age during all airport transfers.

Bottled water during sightseeing tours/long drives.

All taxes, tolls, parking fees and service tax.

 

Quote does not Include:

International airfare, Passport and Visa fees for India.

Any meals not mentioned in the above program.

Any Insurance.

All personal expenses such as gratuities, meals, medical expenses, laundry, drinks, telephone and fax services, video or camera fee at the monuments and all other services not specifically mentioned as included in the itinerary.