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THIS EXCEPTIONAL journey concentrates predominantly on the southern states of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, providing a varied insight into their Dravidian roots and their princely and colonial past. Explore the exotic temple towns of Madurai and Thanjavur before heading for the Coromandel coast and the small town of Pondicherry, with its relaxed atmosphere and proliferation of French colonial architecture. In contrast, Chennai had stronger links with the British, evidence of which can be seen clearly during the course of this tour. Leaving the cities behind, travel back inland by train for a couple of days of gameviewing in the jungle at Nagarhole National Park, before travelling to the ancient dynastic capital and ‘sandalwood city’ of Mysore with its plethora of palaces, monuments and mausoleums.
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South India
17 Days
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South India

Saffron & Sandalwood

Places & destinations covered in this tour
Brihadeshwara Temple, Chamundi Hill, Chidambaram  Temple, Coromandel Coast, Darasuram, Gangaikondacholapuram, Gopurams, Karnataka, Keshava Temple Somnathpur, Madurai, Mahabalipuram, Meenakshi Temple, Mysore, Nagarhole National Park, Nandi Bull Temple, Pondicherry, Srirangam Temple, Tamil Nadu, Tanjore, Thanjavur, Tiruchirapally.

A tour to South India visiting temples & national parks
This exceptional tour concentrates predominantly on the southern states of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka in India, providing a varied insight into their Dravidian roots and princely and colonial past.

Travel to the exotic temple towns of Madurai and Thanjavur before heading for the Coromandel coast and the small town of Pondicherry, with its relaxed atmosphere and proliferation of French colonial architecture. In contrast, Chennai had stronger links with the British (The East India Company), evidence of which can be seen clearly during the course of this tour. Leaving the cities behind, travel back inland by train for a couple of days of game viewing in the jungle at Nagarhole National Park, before travelling to the ancient dynastic capital and ‘sandalwood city’ of India – Mysore with its plethora of palaces, monuments and mausoleums.
 
Tour Plan for Saffron & Sandalwood by Greaves India

DAY 1 ARRIVE MUMBAI (BOMBAY)
On arrival stay at The Gateway Hotel Pasumalai.

DAY 2 MUMBAI
Morning free. Afternoon explore the sights of India’s commercial capital which is hugely spread out and is replete with Victorian Architecture.

DAY 3 MUMBAI – MADURAI
Morning flight to Madurai. Stay 2 nights at The Gateway Hotel. Afternoon at leisure.

DAY 4 MADURAI
Spend the morning exploring this bustling city of India, including the famous Meenakshi Temple (excluding the inner sanctum). A car and driver is at your disposal for the afternoon. Evening return to the Meenakshi Temple.

DAY 5 MADURAI – TIRUCHIRAPALLY – THANJAVUR
Full drive to Thanjavur, via the ornate Srirangam Temple at Tiruchirapally. On arrival stay 2 nights at the Sangam Hotel.

DAY 6 THANJAVUR
Half day tour of this ancient Chola capital which is dominated by the mighty Brihadeshwara Temple with its huge gopurams. Afternoon free with car and driver at disposal.

DAY 7 THANJAVUR – PUDUCHERRY (PONDICHERRY)
Full day’s drive to Pondicherry. En route visit the exquisite and rarely visited temple complexes at Darasuram, Gangaikondacholapuram, and
Chidambaram. On arrival in Pondicherry stay 2 nights at The Promenade.

DAY 8 PUDUCHERRY
Morning exploration of this pretty, peaceful town. The French quarter boasts some exceptional old, colonial buildings and is easy to explore on foot.

DAY 9 PUDUCHERRY – MAHABALIPURAM – CHENNAI (MADRAS)
Morning drive up the coast to Chennai. En route visit the fabulous shore temples at Mahabalipuram. On arrival, stay 2 nights at the Vivanta by Taj Connemara Hotel.

  DAY 10 CHENNAI
Spend the morning exploring the city which had strong colonial ties during the days of the East India Company. See the various sights before spending an afternoon at leisure.

DAY 11 CHENNAI – BENGALURU
Early morning train to Bengaluru and stay 1 night at the Taj West End hotel. Afternoon city tour.

DAY 12 BENGALURU – NAGARHOLE NATIONAL PARK
Morning drive to Nagarhole National Park. Stay 2 nights at the Serai Kabini Lodge. Afternoon game drive.

DAY 13 NAGARHOLE
Early morning and afternoon game drives either by boat, by jeep or by elephant back. This area of India is home to a rich variety of wildlife.

DAY 14 NAGARHOLE – MYSORE
After an early morning game drive, proceed to Mysore and stay 2 nights at the Wild Flower Resort & Spa. Explore the city this afternoon, visiting the ornate city palace and drive to the top of Chamundi Hill, passing the huge monolith Nandi Bull, en route.

DAY 15 MYSORE
Morning drive to nearby Srirangapatnam which boasts the ruins of Tipu Sultan’s summer palace. Afternoon visit to the Hoysala Temple at Somnathpur.

DAY 16 MYSORE – BENGALURU
Morning at leisure. Afternoon train to Bengaluru. Room at disposal at the ITC Windsor Hotel until late tonight. After dinner, depart for the airport.

DAY 17 DEPART BENGALURU
Early morning departure for onward destination.

This is a suggested itinerary for travelling on the tour Saffron and Sandalwood. Dates, duration, hotels and routing may be changed to personalize the tour to the travelers’ preferences and requirements. Please contact Greaves for further ideas on how to turn your vacation into an unforgettable holiday to India.

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