On arrival at Chennai airport meet Himalayan Adventure executive and transfer to pre booked hotel. Overnight stay at hotel.
After breakfast full day guided sightseeing city tour of Chennai. Chennai, the capital city, popularly regarded as the 'Gateway to the South' represents a culture that is distinctly different from that of northern India. The places of interest are Kalakshetra, a school of art and music that encourages exponents of Bharatnatyam, Carnatic music, traditional weaving and designing; Fort St. George built in 1653 during British reign in India, now houses the Secretariat and Legislative Assembly of Tamil Nadu; St. Mary's Church, the oldest Anglican Church in India with its premises; Sri Parthasarathy Temple built by the Pallavas in the 8th century AD; Kapaliswara Temple, Mylapore also an eighth century Pallava Temple dedicated to Lord Shiva; San Thomas Cathedral Basilica rebuilt in 1606 as a cathedral and in 1896 it was made a basilica; and Theosophical Society - the world headquarters of the Theosophical Society formed to encourage the study of comparative religion philosophy and science. Evening transfer to hotel. Overnight at hotel.
After breakfast drive to Kanchipuram, 70 kms west of Mahabalipuram which is a city of thousand temples. One of the seven sacred cities of Hindus, it was the capital of the early Cholas as far back as the 2nd century BC. Kanchi was a major seat of Tamil learning as well as an important place of pilgrimage for Buddhists, Jains and Hindus. Apart from temples, the city is also famous for its silk weavers, who settled here some 400 years ago and have given it an enviable reputation. Later on we shall proceed to Mahablipuram, driving south of Chennai on the coast which is the ancient port of Pallavas. The pallavas have created many marvelous monuments with sculptural panels, caves, Monolithic Rathas and Temples. Krishna Mandapam has a big bas relief, notable for its realistic representation. The world's largest bas relief measuring 27m x 9m, whale back shaped rock contains figures of gods, demi -gods, men beasts, birds and representation of the entire creation. Shore Temple, one of the oldest in south dating back to 8th century AD is a good example of the first phase of structural temples constructed in Dravidian style. The Five Rathas are a group of five monolithic temples, each created in different style. Later Check in at the hotel. Overnight stay at hotel.
After breakfast drive to Pondicherry. In the afternoon city tour of Pondicherry. Although the French influence is gradually fading, Pondicherry retains a few Gallic accents. Pondicherry's main sights are the Rai Nivas, the Sacred Heart Church and the Sri Aurobindo Ashram. The ashram retreat was founded in 1926 by Sri Aurobindo after whose death the spiritual authority passed to one of his disciples, a French woman known as the Mother. The Mother was also instrumental in founding the city of Dawn Auroville, 10 km from Pondicherry. Its original charter aimed at creating a city of the future where people from India and abroad could live and work together in a spiritual environment. Evening transfer to hotel. Overnight at hotel.
After breakfast drive to Tanjore visiting en-route the temple or Lord Natraja at Chidambram. On arrival, check-in at the hotel. In the afternoon, city tour of Tanjore. The home of Carnatic music, musical instruments, dance and traditional handicrafts, Tanjore (Thanjavur) is famous for the Brahadeeswarar Temple. The temple constructed more than a thousand years ago by the Chola King Raja Rajan is an architect's marvel. The Art Gallery and the Saraswathi Mahal Library are also well known places of interest. Evening transfer to hotel. Overnight at hotel.
After breakfast drive to Trichy and on arrival, visit Srirangam, which is an island, 5 kms from Trichy. Surrounded by the Kaveri water is a 600 acres island town enclosed within the seven walls on the gigantic Sri Ranganathaswami temple. There are no less than 22 gopurams, one of which is the tallest in India. The 72 m high 13 tiered gopuram dominates the landscape for miles around.The Rock Fort situated on the banks of the Kaveri River, Trichy's most famed land mark is an 84 m high rock, one of the oldest in the world aprox. 3,800 million years. The attraction is not for fort itself but the temple at the summit. 344 steps hewn out of rock lead to the top where are the inscriptions dating back to the 3rd century B.C. Later drive to Madurai and on arrival, check-in at the hotel. Overnight at hotel.
After breakfast full day city tour of Madurai. Madurai, known as Athens of the East, is the second largest city on the banks of the River Vigai. The city is believed to be more than 2500 years old. The city got its name from the drops of nectar (Mathuram) that fell from Shiva's lochs when he came to bless its people for constructing a temple for him. Madurai where the people wake up at the chant of hymns is proud of the magnificent Meenakshi-Sundareswara Temple. Of its 12 gopurams, four of the tallest stand at the outer walls of the temple. The 48.8 m high southern gopuram is the most spectacular and have over 1500 sculptures. In the Ashta Shakti Mandapam inside the Meenakshi temple, the sculpted pillars tell the story of the beautiful princess of Madurai and her marriage to Lord Shiva. Evening transfer to hotel. Overnight at hotel.
After breakfast drive to Kanyakumari which would take 5 hours. In the afternoon go for sightseeing. Kanya Kumari is the southernmost end of Tamil Nadu, the land's end of India or the point where the three seas meet - the Bay of Bengal, The Arabian Sea and the Indian Ocean. Later visit Kumariamman temple dedicated to the virgin goddess Kanyakumari (Parvati) who stands guard over the country. The temple is built at the spot where the goddess is believed to have waited for her consort Lord Siva. Gandhi Memorial, constructed at the spot where the ashes of Mahatma Gandhi were kept for public view in an urn before a portion was immersed into the three seas. Vivekananda Memorial built on the Vivekananda Rock where the great Philosopher guide Swami Vivekananda went into meditation that transformed him into one of the most charismatic spiritual leader. Later we shall drive to Kovalam visiting en-route Padmanabhapuram, 45 km short. The capital of Travancore until 1333, Padmanabhapuram is known for its fort which encloses, among other buildings, a palace and a temple. The palace has some important art relics while the Ramaswamy temple has exquisitely carved panels depicting scenes from the Ramayana. Evening transfer to hotel. Overnight at hotel.
After breakfast full day free for your own activity or leisure. Overnight at hotel.
After breakfast drive to Periyar and on arrival, check-in at the hotel. Periyar, spread over an area of 777 sq km, has about 35 tigers and leopards. However, sighting a tiger in Periyar is a fortune for one out of thousand. The park encompasses a 26 sq km artificial lake and is the home of Sambars, wild boars, elephants and antelopes which can be occasionally seen on the banks of the river during a boat cruise. Periyar, otherwise, blessed by Nature has enormous tea, coffee, pepper and cardamom plantations and is lush green. In the afternoon we shall take a boat cruise on Lake Periyar to view wildlife. Evening transfer to hotel. Overnight at hotel.
After breakfast drive to Kumarakom and embark on deluxe Houseboat for backwater cruise. We shall embark on the Karnataka Houseboat "Kettuvalam" at Kumarakom. Then move towards Munnattumugham village, through interior backwaters. We shall continue to Champakulam, earlier named as Kalloorkad, the ancient trade centre of backwaters. Visit famous St, Mary's France Church that is believed as blessed by Str. Francis in 42 AD. The mural paintings by vegetable oil are an exciting panoramic vision. We shall also visit the famous Champakulam snake boat construction yard. Overnight at houseboat.
After breakfast, we shall take a leisurely cruise towards Alleppey finishing point jetty. Disembark at 09:30 hours and drive to Cochin. Evening for free. Overnight at hotel.
After breakfast city tour of Cochin. Cochin, Karnataka's commercial centre, has a fine natural harbor. Cochin (Kochi) gateway for Karnataka is famous for Mattanchery Palace, St. Francis Church, Wellington Island, Bolghatty Island, Chinese Fishing nets and Jewish Synagogue. Cruising on the back-waters provides glimpses of the rural life, fine view of the harbour and three islands. Evening show witness the Kathakali Dance Show in an auditorium. Overnight at hotel.
After breakfast drive to Ooty, on arrival transfer to hotel. Overnight at hotel.
After breakfast sightseeing tour of Ooty and Conoor. Ooty is an integral part of the great plateau occupying the junction of the Eastern and Western Ghats. Located at 2240 m above sea level, Ooty is the headquarters of the Nilgris district. Apart from coffee and tea plantations, trees like conifers, eucalyptus, pine and the wattle dot the hillside in Ooty and its environ. The places of interest in Ooty include Botanical Gardens where "summer Festival" is held each during the month of May: the artificial lake and Dodabetta Peak which is the highest point in the district at a height of 2623m. 17 km from Ooty is the first of these hills stations. Coonoor is a small town with an equable climate that has made it popular as hill resort. Tea and Tourism Festival is held here during Dec-Jan. the main attraction is the Sim's Park, a small well maintained botanical garden that has several varieties of plants not to be found in other hill stations.Evening transfer to hotel. Overnight at hotel.
After breakfast drive to Mysore, arrive Mysore transfer to hotel. Later sightseeing tourof Mysore. Mysore, 770 m above sea level, is the imperial city which was the erstwhile capital of the Wodeyars. The legend takes its name from a famous demon called Mahishasur, a great warrior who ruled as a tyrant until he was killed by the goddess Chamundeshwari. Mysore as we see today is most famous for the imposing Royal Palace with a magnificent Durbar Hall, particularly splendid during the Dussehra Festival when the Maharaja's jewelry, studded gold throne (weighing 200 kgs) is on display. Chamundeshwari temple perched on a hilltop is 2000 years old, Nandi Bull half way to the hill is a 4.8 meter monolith. 19 km north-west of Mysore is the KRS Dam and the ornamental Brindavan Gardens. The musical fountains and colorful lights transform this place into a fairly land in the evenings. Evening transfer to hotel. Overnight at hotel.
After breakfast visit Somnathpur temple. 45 km from Mysore, the temple was built in 1268 AD and is known for its Hoysala architecture. The temple is seated on a star shaped base, set on a chiseled plinth and guarded at intervals by miniature elephants. The temple wall depicts scenes from Ramayana, Mahabharata and Bhagvata. Afternoon back to hotel for leisure. Overnight at hotel.
After breakfast drive to Bangalore. After arriving Bangalore do sightseeing tour. Bangalore, the capital city of Karnataka is one of the most important metropolises of India. It is a vital centre of science, aeronautics and electronics. Situated 1000 m above sea level, this garden city has pleasant weather round the year. The Lalbagh, one of the finest botanical Gardens of India, Cubbon Park laid in 1864 sprawling across 300 acres, Vidhana Soudha built in 1956 housing The State Legislature and Secretariat are the main attractions. Late in the evening transfer to the airport for onward destination.
Chadar trekking was a fantastic experience and adventure... Until the 15th I only saw one tourist, but after 15th more people showed up. The guide Lama looked behind every time danger was near for me or for my equipment. At one point he even risked his own safety by when he jumped to hold me from sliding down from a high frozen waterfall into the Zanskar river.