Any suggestions on South India Tour? There are so many places, a 13-15 days tour covering Kerala and major places of T Nadu would do.
I made this for some of my colleagues, see if this works.Day 01
Boarding at Train from Howrah/Shalimar Day 02
At Train Day 03
Reach at Ernakulam (Kochi)
Originally built by the Portuguese, Kochi (Cochin) has a natural harbour with lagoons and canals and fishing hamlets. Kochi (Cochin), the Queen of the Arabian Sea, is situated on the west coast of India in the beautiful state of Kerala. Kochi can be regarded as the commercial and industrial capital of Kerala. Kochi is the most important city in Kerala. It is the second most important city (after Mumbai) on the western coast of India .
Sightseeing at Cochin (Kochi) -
Bolghatty Palace : This Dutch palace is situated on the Bolghatty island. At present it is being used as hotel. The island has a fine golf course and the panoramic view makes it an attractive picnic spot. Frequent boat service is available from the mainland.
Chinese Fishing Nets : The chinese fishing nets found here are the only ones of its kind in India. It is believed that traders from the court of the Chinese ruler Kublai Khan introduced these nets here.
Dutch Palace : The Dutch Palace was originally built by the Portugese. Later, in 17th century, the Dutch modified it and presented to the Raja of Kochi. Coronation of many Rajas of Kochi were held here. The place has a fine collection of mural paintings depicting the scenes from the Hindu epics Mahabharatha and Ramayana.
Fort Kochi beach : A stroll along the beach, particularly at sunset with the chinese fishing nets and sailing ships in the background, is a fine experience. Many European style bungalows can be seen along the shoreline.
Jewish Synagogue : The synagogue ,magnificently decorated by Chinese tiles and Belgian chandeliers ,was built in 1568. Giant scrolls of the Old Testament can be found here. It is located near the Dutch Palace.
St. Francis Church : It is the oldest church built by European in India.On his 3rd visit to Kerala, Vasco da Gama, the Portugese trader who reached India from Europe by sea, fell ill and died in Kochi. He was buried in the St. Francis Church. Later his remains were taken back to Portugal. In spite of that the exact place where he was buried has been marked out inside the churchDay 04
Proceed to Munnar
Cochin(Ernakulam) - Vytila - Thrippunithura - Kolencherry - Muvattupuzha - Kothamangalam - Adimali – Munnar; Distance – 145 kms.Day 05
Stay at Munnar
Sightseeing at Munnar -
Fort Munnar : Overlooking the refreshing surroundings of the Anayirangal Lake, the luxury hotel Fort Munnar offers a fantastic panorama of gentle slopes and sheer drops and a spectacular view of the coffee, tea and cardamom plantations. The hotel is conceived under the concept of eco-friendly holidaying. In the shape of a colonial architecture, the Fort Munnar is finely tuned with enormous trees, enchanting hills and foliages surrounding it. The forests surrounding Fort Munnar are home to exotic spices that have been reaching all parts of the world from time immemorial.
Rajmalai : This is about 15 kms from Munnar. The natural habitat of the Nilgiri Tahr.
Eravikulam National Park : Eravikulam National Park is 15 km from Munnar. This is a 97 sq km park situated in the Devikulam Taluk. Anaimudi peak, the highest mountain peak in South India is situated in the Southern region of the park.
Devikulam : Devikulam is about 7 km from Munnar. It is a hill-station lake town and is a major tourist attraction.
Marayoor : 36 km from Munnar. It is the only place in Kerala that has a natural growth of sandalwood trees. The place has left glimpses of the ancient caves (muniyaras). Thoovanam Waterfalls is situated near Marayoor.
Mattupetty Dam : 13 km from Munnar. It has an Indo-Swiss Livestock project and has rose gardens. It has boating facilities too. The famous Echo point is very near and offers beautiful picnic spots.
Kundalay Dam : 20 km from Munnar. Is on the way to Top station. The Golf course of Tata Tea is located hereDay 06
Proceed to Thekkady and take evening Periyar Lake Cruise
Munnar - Devikulam – Thekkady – 110 kms
Boat Cruises : Boat cruises make the best bet to explore the wilds of Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary. Today the Periyar Lake presents an excellent boating spot for tourists. Although it is unusual to see many animals from the boats, still you spot a family of Elephants, Wild Boar, and Sambar Deer by the water's edge.Day 07
Take Dawn Cruise at Periyar and proceed to Alleppey
Distance – 153 kms
Built in the 9th century AD, Alleppey, called Alappuzha lies on the edge of the great Ashtamudi lake. With the Arabian Sea on the west and a vast labyrinth of lakes, lagoons and several freshwater rivers criss-crossing it, Alappuzha is a district of immense natural beauty.
Related to the Venice of the East by travellers from around the world, this Backwater Country is also home to diverse range of animals and birds. It has always been honoured a unique place in the maritime history of Kerala for its proximity to the sea. Alleppey has earned fame in the commercial world as the world's premier supplier of coir.
Today, Alleppey has emerged as a Backwater Tourist Centre, beckoning thousands of foreign tourists each year. Alleppey is also famous for its Boat races, Houseboat Holidays, Beaches, Marine Products and Coir Industry. Every year, during August-September, Alleppey wakes up to the pulsating Nehru Cup Snake Boat Race, a water sport unique to Kerala.
Sightseeing at Alleppey -
Alleppey Beach : Close to Alleppey Railway Station, the Alleppey beach is long and has thick palm groves on one end. This is an ideal place to sit and relax.
Alleppey Backwaters : Alleppey - Kuttanad - The enticing backwaters and the amazing backwater house boats attracts thousands of tourists to this place. Get on these boats and rub shoulders with a colourful and varied group of locals.Or take a ride into Kuttanad through lush green fields and watch coir workers soak, beat and weave coconut fibres into long ropes on spindles as you pass the endless stretch of coconut trees.Day 08
Take backwater ride from Alleppey to Kottayam, then proceed to Trivandrum
3.5 hrs backwater ride, distance – 29 kms, 129 kms distance – Kottayam to Trivandrum, if possible visit Kovalam Beach in the evening.Day 09
Tour Kovalam Beach and Varkala Beach – 69 kms
Kovalam – 16 kms
One of the most popular beaches in Trivandrum, Kovalam beach is situated at a distance of 16 kilometers to the south of Trivandrum city. The natural beauty of this beautiful beach is what attracts people from far and wide to come here. It takes an hour from Trivandrum to reach this scenic beach, which is famous for its beach resorts. The Kovalam beach in Kerala offers the best of facilities to its visitors like sunbathing, swimming, Ayurvedic massages and plenty of other options. Check out the Thiruvananthapuram Kovalam beach and come here to recharge your energy levels and feel refreshed once again.
One of the most famous and popular of all the beaches in South India, the Kovalam beach has many beach resorts lined up to cater to different tourists and their varied demands. The Kovalam beach is divided into two main beaches besides the many other private beaches. They are known as Eve's beach and Lighthouse beach. The Eve's beach is a semi circular beach and is a secluded spot lined with palm trees. The Lighthouse beach has a famous lighthouse that has been fighting the tempests since the British rule.
The beach offers many facilities for keeping tourists amused. Apart from sunbathing and swimming, the beach is ideal to take long walks and watch the magical sunset while the warm water softly laps at your feet. The fishermen in the beach offer to take you out in the sea while they go out to claim their catch for the day. Sail with them during sunrise and come back as the sun sets, painting the horizon a beautiful shade of ochre.
What to see at Varkala
The beach with a 2 km long laterite cliff atop is one of the quitest and picteresque beach in Kerala. A naturalspring whichis said to have curative proerties is said to originate from the cliff. The view of sunset atop the cliff is memorable. The 'Papanasham' (Destroyer of Sins) beach is regarded as holy and is crowded with pilgrims during new moon days.
Janardhana Swamy temple
A Vishnu temple beleived to be constructed in 12 th century is another attraction of Varkala. A perennial spring called Padmatheertha originates near the temple.Temple timings: 4 am - noon, 5 pm to 8 pm. Festival season Starts March 15-25. Temple contact telephone number: 0470-2607575
Sivagiri is the final resting place of Sree Narayana Guru, the most eminent spiritual leader and social reformer of Kerala. Timings 5:30 am to noon, 4:30 -7 pmDay 10
Proceed to Kanyakumari, Distance – 89 kmsDay 11
Tour Kanyakumari and Vivekananda Rock
Referred to by the British as Cape Commorin, Kanyakumari in the state of Tamil Nadu is located at the southern most tip of the peninsular Indian. The small temple dedicated to Kanyakumari, or the youthful form of the primeval energy Shakti (Mother Goddess) is located on the seashore, in the town known by the same name. Kanyakumari is the point of confluence of three oceans - the Bay of Bengal, the Arabian Sea and the Indian Ocean. This well-known Hindu pilgrimage center, is famous for its beautiful sights of sunrise and sunset over the waters.
Located on the shore, the Kumari Amman or the Kanyakumari Temple is dedicated to a manifestation of Parvati, the virgin goddess who did penance to obtain Lord Shiva's hand in marriage. The temple and the ghat, beautifully situated overlooking the shore, draws tourist from all over the world. The diamond nose-ring of the deity is famous for its sparkling splendour.
Vivekananda Rock Memorial
Erected in 1970, this memorial is dedicated to Swami Vivekananda, the greatest social reformer and saint of modern India. Swamy Vivekananda had meditated on the rock where the memorial stands today at the end of 1892 before his departure for Chicago to participate in the World Religius' Conference in 1893. A meditation hall also adjoins the memorial.
Gandhi Memorial, built in the memory of Mahatma Gandhi, this is the spot where the urn containing the Mahatma's ashes was kept for public viewing before immersion. In the shape of a central Indian Hindu temples, the memorial was so designed that the first rays of the sun fall on the exact place where the pot was kept.Day 12
Board at Train from Nagercoil Day 13
At Train Day 14
Arrive at Howrah