Company representative will receive you on arrival at the international airport in Mumbai late in the night. Transfer to your hotel. Relax.
Overnight stay will be at hotel.
DAY 02 - MUMBAI VISIT
Breakfast will be at hotel. Day will free to relax at the hotel.
Visit DABBAWALA's tour in the morning. Later Proceed for the JEWISH CHRONICLE TOUR.
Jewish Chronicle: The Jewish community in Mumbai comprises mainly of about 4,000 Bene Israel Jews who trace their origins in Mumbai to a shipwreck off the Maharashtra coast around 175 BC and a few hundred Baghdadi Jews from Iraq. This experience, led by a local historian, will showcase for you their history and heritage. The highlights of the experience include the Kenesethe Eliyahoo Synagogue, Magen David Synagogue, and the Shaar -ha- Rahamim Synagogue.
Overnight stay will be at hotel.
DAY 03 - MUMBAI VISIT
Breakfast will be at hotel.
Proceed to visit DHARAVI SLUM TOUR.
On this tour, you will see why Dharavi is the heart of small scale industry in Mumbai. Many people know Dharavi as the 'largest slum in Asia', but there is much more to this historic area of Mumbai than poverty. Dharavi's industries have an annual turnover of approximately US$ 665 million. You would also experience a wide range of these activities: recycling, pottery-making, embroidery, bakery, soap factory, leather tanning, poppadom-making and many more. Most of these things are created in innovative ways and in very small spaces! When passing through the residential spaces, you will undoubtedly feel the sense of community and spirit that exists in the area. People from all over India live in Dharavi, and this diversity is apparent in the temples, mosques and churches that stand side by side. A tour through Dharavi's narrow alleys is quite an adventure, and you will leave with an enlightened sense of the purpose and determination that exists in the area.
Later enjoy the sightseeing tour of the city.
Gateway of India: Mumbai's most famous monument, this is the starting point for most tourists who want to explore the city. It was built as a triumphal arch to commemorate the visit of King George V and Queen Mary, complete with four turrets and intricate latticework carved into the yellow basalt stone. Ironically, when the Raj ended in 1947, this colonial symbol also became a sort of epitaph: the last of the British ships that set sail for England left from the Gateway. Today this symbol of colonialism has got Indianised, drawing droves of local tourists and citizens. Behind the arch, there are steps leading down to the water. Here, you can get onto one of the bobbing little motor launches, for a short cruise through Mumbai's splendid natural harbor.
Marine Drive: Marine Drive is possibly the best way to discover Mumbai. This is a windswept promenade, flanked by the sea and a row of buildings. Looped between the concrete jungle of Nariman Point, Mumbai's Manhattan, and the leafy green slopes of Malabar hill, Marine Drive was once called the queen's Necklace, strung with glittering street lights like an enormous strand of imperious jewels.
The Prince of Wales Museum: This museum stands not too far from the Gateway of India. It has a priceless collection of art, sculpture, china and other antics. Carefully preserved, this mid-Victorian Gothic style building built in 1904 with beautiful gardens surrounding it, is worth visiting in Mumbai.
Dhobi Ghat: A unique feature of Mumbai, the dhobi is a traditional laundryman, who will collect your dirty linen, wash it, and return it neatly pressed to your doorstep. The most famous of these Dhobi Ghats is at Saat Rasta near Mahalaxmi Station where almost two hundred dhobis and their families work together in what has always been a hereditary occupation.
Queen Victoria Terminus: No photograph collection of Mumbai is complete without a photo of the Queen Victoria Terminus station in the "Fort Area" of Mumbai. Belovedly referred to as VT station. It was acknowledged as a 'World Heritage Site' by UNESCO in 2004. And 'Slumdog Millionaire' famous song was shot here on these platform.
Evening the vehicle will be available for A walking tour of Art Precinct of Mumbai's British Heritage District in the evening.
Overnight stay will be at hotel.
DAY 04 - MUMBAI - COCHIN: BY FLIGHT
Have breakfast at the hotel.
Transfer to airport for flight to Mumbai. Reach and take connecting flight to Cochin.
Arrive Cochin and transfer to 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.
Evening enjoy the HARBOUR CRUISE.
Overnight will be in Cochin.
DAY 5 - COCHIN
Enjoy breakfast at hotel.
Proceed for a day sight seeing tour of Cochin. A few interesting sites included in the tour are the:
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 that 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.
The Vasco Da Gama Square, Santa Cruz Basilica, St. Francis Church, VOC Gate, Bastion Bungalow etc. are also nice for sightseeing. Take a boat ride and visit BOLGATTY PALACE and VYPPIN ISLAND.
Overnight stay will be at hotel.
DAY 06 - COCHIN - JETTY AT VEMBANAD LAKE: BY ROAD IN 1.5 HRS
Enjoy breakfast at hotel. Proceed to Alleppey to board the Oberoi Motor Vessel Vrinda.
The Oberoi Motor Vessel Vrinda is the perfect way to experience the picturesque backwaters of Kerala one of India's most enchanting holiday destinations. Discover its rich heritage and fascinating backwaters on a two night or a three night journey.
Once all guests are on board, Vrinda sets sail along the main waterway on Vembanad Lake and enters the Alleppey canal. Guest could actively participate with the local fishermen and understand the life cycle of "karimeena" also called as pearl spot. Lunch will be served on board.
The cruiser sails along the scenic waterways for four hours and returns to the Vembanad Lake in time to watch the sunset.
Later in the evening, guests enjoy a performance of the highly ritualized Kathakali dance which tells stories from the ancient Hindu epics - Ramayana and Mahabarata. Performances begin with the application of elaborate makeup which is based in traditional Ayurvedic principles.
The vessel will anchor for the night at the Vembanad Lake jetty. Dinner on board.
Overnight on board VRINDA.
DAY 07 - VRINDA
On board Vrinda, with a rice boat excursion
Motor Vessel Vrinda will sail from the Vembanad Lake jetty and head south, towards Alleppey. Breakfast will be served on board.
Sailing through scenic backwaters, guests can observe life along these water highways while passing through one of the few areas in the world where farming is done below sea level.
Guests will be transferred to a traditional rice boat to navigate through the narrower sections of the backwaters.
For the next few hours, guests will observe and experience a way of life unique to this region, accompanied by a guide. This section of the cruise includes a visit to the half-statue of Lord Buddha at Karumadi and a traditional Kerala tharavad (family residence).
Later in the day, guests return to Motor Vessel Vrinda where lunch will be served as the boat passes through picturesque stretches of the backwaters on the way back to Alleppey, known as the Venice of the East. Motor Vessel Vrinda will return to Vembanad Lake, where guests can enjoy Vrinda Vadiyam a musical fusion of classical instruments. Motor Vessel Vrinda will anchor for the night at the Vembanad Lake jetty. Dinner on board.
Overnight on board VRINDA.
DAY 08 - DEPARTURE FROM VRINDA FOR PERIYAR
Motor Vessel Vrinda will sail North along the main waterway channel on the Vembanad Lake and head South, past Pallathurathy.
Breakfast will be served on board; following which guests will check out at 10 am and will be transported by air-conditioned vehicle to Thekkady.
Proceed to Periyar and reach in 4-5 hrs. Reach and check into the hotel.
Enjoy the scenic beauty & the marvelous waterfalls, high mountains with the low flying clouds passing by. Visit Tea Plantations and also see how tea is processed.
Four hour drive southwards over rolling hills and coffee plantations to the PERIYAR WILDLIFE SANCTUARY, one of the major wildlife reserves in India. Indian elephants, wild boars, lion-tailed monkeys, ibex, tigers, leopards and sloth bears are on the list. The park surrounds a large, many-fingered lake and a dawn or dusk foray on one of the boats will be a thrilling experience. It is from the lake rather than vehicles that the wildlife is viewed. The sanctuary is rich in bird life. Great hornbills, kites, darters, herons, egrets, owls and kingfishers are in abundance. Surrounding the reserve are many small spice plantations and we spend an absorbing afternoon searching for pepper, cardamom, turmeric, cloves, nutmeg, ginger, cinnamon and betel.
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.
Overnight will be at Thekkady.
DAY 09 - PERIYAR - MADURAI: BY ROAD IN 4-5 HRS
Breakfast will be at hotel. Proceed to Madurai. Reach and check in at hotel.
Madurai is one of the oldest cities of South India which is located on the banks of river Vaigai. Madurai has developed Tamil language in all aspects. Madurai is the busiest commercial centre in south Tamilnadu round the clock. This sacred city of south India attracts thousands of pilgrims and visitors from India and abroad. It is famous for Ancient Dravidian Culture. The greatest poet Nakkerrar developed Tamil language in this city. Earlier, it was ruled by Pandyas and it was the capital city of great Pandya Kings. Thirumalai Nayakar had played a great role in developing Madurai. Cultural heritage and commercial trading was well developed in Madurai. This city is also called as Temple city. The famous Meenakshi temple is located in Madurai. Lord Meenakshi is considered as power, wealth and knowledge. This city is also famous for Jasmine flowers, textiles and for South Indian spicy food.
In the evening proceed to visit Meenkashi temple for evening Aarti.
Overnight will be at Madurai.
DAY 10 - MADURAI
Today morning visit the flower market. Return to the hotel and enjoy the breakfast.
Later proceed for the sightseeing of Madurai:
Meenakshi Amman Temple: This is one of the famous temples in South India, which is dedicated to Goddess Meenakshi and Lord Shiva. Main goddess is Lord Meenakshi. The temple is located in the centre of the city. Most impressive of the temple is its 12 Towers. This temple has five entrances, four entrances were built according to the direction like East, west, North and South and name as East Tower, West Tower, North Tower and South Tower and it is famous for Golden Lotus tank also. In this temple various festivals are celebrated continuously around the year. All the temple towers are decorated with paintings with arts and architecture. Thousand pillars hall is located inside the temple itself. (Architecture of the temple is amazing & one must see this remarkable temple in his/her lifetime).- During festival season, all the temple towers and water tank will be illuminated with colorful lights.
Thirumalai Nayak palace: King Thirumalai Nayak, who was one of the Nayak rulers, built this palace. The building, which we see now, was the main palace where the King Nayak lived. Still, his throne is kept in the palace for exhibition. The palace was divided into two parts, one is called Swarga Vilasam and another one is called Ranga Vilasam. The specialty of the palace: The style of the architecture and the designing of the palace is the combination of all Dravidian, Islamic and European styles. Huge circular pillars surround the Courtyard of the palace. Every evening, sound and light show is conducted as well with stories depicting Nayak' s life history and about his rule.
Gandhi Museum: This museum was built to honor our Father of nation, Gandhi JI. It gives a detailed history about his freedom struggle. We shall see many pictures of Freedom struggle and Gandhian thoughts. The pictures exhibits based on Indian political leaders, peace movements and some of the collections of world events. We shall also witness some of the things which were used by Gandhi JI.
Thiruparankundram Temple: This temple is the first one, among the six abodes of Lord Murugan (Karthikeya). This temple was built by carving the hills. Lord Muruga marries goddess Deivayanai, who is the daughter of Indra (King of the Heaven). One more specialty of this temple is the idols of Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu both faces each other in the main shrine, which is rare thing in Hindu temples. The vehicle of Murugan is the peacock and his weapon is Vel (Javelin).
Overnight will be at Madurai.
DAY 11 - MADURAI - CHENNAI: BY FLIGHT
Enjoy the breakfast at the hotel. Proceed to the airport for the flight to Chennai.
Reach Chennai and get transferred to the hotel.
The first British Warehouse came up in 1639 when the British acquired the sandy beach from the local Nayaks on lease. It was called Madraspatinam then. Later by 1654, the Fort St. George was built. Still later the neighbouring villages were included in the city which came either as grants or gifts. Triplicane was rented from the Sultan of Golconda in 1676. In 1744 Robert Clive worked as a writer from the Fort, later to become a military man of British Army. The Fort House, which housed the Governor and his council, were added in the 17th Century, the Assembly Hall in 1910 and the Secretariat in 1925.
All the neighbouring 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.
Proceed for the sightseeing of Chennai:
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.
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.
Overnight will be at Chennai.
DAY 12 - CHENNAI - EXCURSION TO MAHABALIPURAM
Enjoy the breakfast at the hotel. Proceed for an excursion to Mhablipuram.
CAVES: There are nine rock-cut temples. The Mahishasuramardhini cave, depicting the goddess fighting a demon on one side and Lord Vishnu's cosmic sleep on the other, is a particularly remarkable one.
KRISHNA MANDAPAM: A bas-relief, notable for its realistic representation. The panel relates to one of the stories of Lord Krishna.
ARJUNA'S PENANCE: This is the world's largest bas relief measuring 27m X 9m. This huge whale-backed rock contains figures of gods, demigods, men, beasts, birds and almost all of the entire creation. And, this is easily the pride of Mamallapuram.
THE FIVE RATHAS: There are the five monolithic temples, each created in a different style. They are also known as the Pancha Pandava Rathas - and four out of the five rathas are supposed to have been carved out of a single rock.
THE SHORE TEMPLE: This is one of the oldest temples. Unique about this temple is the fact that it houses shrines for both Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu. This belongs to the early 8th century AD and it is a classic example of the first phase of structural temples constructed in pure Dravidian style.
Return back to Chennai and stay overnight.
DAY 13 - CHENNAI - MYSORE: BY SUPERFAST TRAIN DEPARTURE AT 06:00 AM AND REACHES AT 13:00 HR
Early morning proceed to the railway station for the train to Mysore. Breakfast will be on board.
Reach and get transferred to the hotel. Relax for the day and enjoy the palace.
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, Srirangapatnam, 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 gallery 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.
Overnight will be at Mysore.
DAY 14 - MYSORE
Enjoy the breakfast at the hotel.
Proceed for the sightseeing of Mysore.
Mysore Palace: The Maharaja's Palace is one of the important sights in Mysore. Built in Indo-Saracenic style with domes, turrets, arches and colonnades, the Palace is a treasure house of exquisite carvings and works of art from all over the world. Intricately carved doors open on to luxuriously furnished rooms. The majestic Durbar Hall has an ornate ceiling and many sculpted pillars. The magnificent jewel studded golden throne of the Wodeyars is displayed here during the Dasera festival. Illuminated on Sundays and public holidays, the palace presents a spectacle of breathtaking beauty.
Chamundi Hills: A well-known 335 meters high landmark, Chamundi Hill can be reached by a 13 km road or by climbing up the 1,000 steps laid out by the Mysore Maharaja in the 17th century. Half-way up along the stone steps is Nandi, Lord Shiva's Bull, a majestic 4.8 meter monolith. At the top is the 12th century temple of Chamundeshwari, the patron goddess of the Wodeyars. Close to the temple is the gigantic statue of the demon Mahishasura. The summit offers a panoramic view of Mysore's lakes, parks and palaces.
Brindavan Gardens: Located at the KR Sagar Dam [Kannambadi], Brindavan Gardens is one of the best gardens in South India. Spread over an acre, Brindavan Gardens has since the 1960s provided the backdrop for many Indian films. Special attractions include the 'Dancing Fountains'. Timings: Monday-Friday: 6:30 PM - 7:25 PM and Saturday-Sunday: 6:30 PM - 8:25 PM
Overnight will be at Mysore.
DAY 15 - MYSORE - BEKAL:BY ROAD 5-6 HRS
Enjoy the breakfast at the hotel. Proceed to Bekal. Reach and check in at the most lovely beach hotel.
A serene village in Kasaragod district, Bekal is a land with a storied past. Here the ancient forts and golden beaches whisper to the wind legends unknown to mankind. The sun kissed beaches, the regal forts, majestic hills, meandering rivers and the rich cultural tradition of this land all pale in comparison to the ancient stories it has to share. To preserve the rich heritage, natural vegetation and the pristine charm of this quaint village, the Government of Kerala has started the Bekal Resorts Development Corporation Ltd (BRDC). It is a venture intended to make Bekal a 'Beach Tourist Destination' at par with international standards. Located in the southwestern tip of India, the extensive beaches, numerous estuaries and backwaters and the unexplored virgin environs all qualify Bekal as a site with immense potential to become an international tourist destination.
Enjoy the beaches. Overnight stay will be at hotel.
DAY 16 - BEKAL
Enjoy the breakfast at the hotel. Proceed to visit Bekal fort.
Over three and a half centuries old, Bekal Fort looms large against the backdrop of the Arabian Sea. Soaring observation towers, once cannon emplacements, splendours of the sea that spread to the north, south and west and the rich naturescapes to the east, a water reservoir with a long flight of steps and a magazine for storing ammunition add to the mystery of the place. Folklore has it that there are several secret underground passages here, once used for military purposes. With two of them now open to the public, one can as well take a walk down the corridors of time. Bekal is the most famous of the forts of Kasaragod, renowned as the land of forts; the others being Kumbala, Kasaragod, Kundankuzhi, Bandadukka and Povval.
Rest of the day enjoy the beaches. Overnight stay will be at hotel.
DAY 17 - BEKAL - MANGALORE: BY ROAD IN 1.5 HRS AND MANGALORE-MUMBAI: BY FLIGHT
Enjoy the breakfast at the hotel. Proceed to Mangalore airport for your flight to Mumbai. Reach Mumbai and get connected with the international flight home with the sweet memories of the tour.
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