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17 days Wildlife Tour of South India

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17 days Wildlife Tour of South India

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PLACES TO BE VISIT : Bangalore / Mysore / Ranganathithu / Nagarhole / Bandipur / Ooty / Cochin / Munnar / Periyar (Thekkady)

TOUR HIGHLIGHTS – South India consist well known wildlife and Nature reserve with ample of wildlife species. This tour will let you explore the core wildlife with lush greenery and the aroma of spices in the surrounding will make you feel amuse. This 17 days trip includes visit to wildlife reserves Ranganathithu, Nagarhole, Bandipur and Periyar along with explore history in Cochin.  Visit Tea & spice plantations with historical sites and experience different culture within India.

ACTIVITIES COVERED – Visit to wildlife sanctuary of Ranganathithu by boat, Nagarhole & Bandipur by jeep / canter and Periyar by common boat, Kathakali dance show in Cochin and visit spice plantation in Periyar.

1
Day 01 : Arrive Bangalore
Arrive Bangalore Meeting and transfer to Hotel. Rest of the time leisure Overnight at hotel.
2
Day 02 : Bangalore / Mysore by surface (160 kms / 3 hrs)

Morning after breakfast proceed for sightseeing tour of Bangalore visiting

Afternoon sightseeing tour Bangalore (with guide) visiting Cubbon Park is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Bangalore. The then Chief Engineer of Mysore, Sir Richard Sankey laid the foundation for the park in 1864 and was named after Sir Mark Cubbon. This beautiful park is about 300 acres. The Cubbon Park has various attractions such as the rose garden, children’s playground and several play equipments, the recently opened doll museum and an aquarium. The Cubbon Park also contains the public library, the museum and a toy train for children.

VidhanaSoudha, is one of the main attractions of Bangalore. VidhanaSoudha is the seat of the state legislature of Karnataka State. It was built by ShriKengalHanumanthaiah, Chief Minister of Mysore in the 1956. It is constructed in ‘Neo-Dravidian’ style, with RajasthaniJharokhas, Indo-Saracenic pillars and other decorative elements. This majestic building with a total plinth area of over 5,00,000 sq. ft houses the Secretariat, the state legislature and several other government offices. It is the largest Legislative building in India. The VidhanaSoudha is illuminated on Sundays and public holidays

Lalbagh is a 240 acre garden and is located on the southern part of Bangalore. Hyder Ali commissioned the building of this garden in 1760 but his son, Tipu Sultan, completed it. LalBagh contains the largest collection of rare tropical and sub-tropical plants, century-old trees, fountains, lotus pools, rose gardens and a Deer Park. The main attraction of Lalbagh is the Glass-House built in 1840. The garden surrounds one of the towers erected by KempeGowda, the founder of Bangalore. It holds a number of flower shows, especially on the Independence Day (15th of August) and the Republic Day (26th January).

Bull temple was built in 1537 by KempeGowda in the Dravidian style of architecture. The temple is dedicated to Nandi (Bull), the carrier vehicle of Lord Shiva. The temple has a superb monolithic bull 6.1 meters long and 4.6 meters high. The ground nut fair (called as KadalekayParishe in kannada) is held every year on the last Monday of the Kaarthika month (November/December).

Continue drive to Mysore Arrive and check in at hotel Overnight at hotel.

3
Day 03 : Mysore

Morning after breakfast proceed for visiting Srirangapatnam which is 20 kms from Mysore, is a river island that because of its natural protector in the River Cauvery had for long been a coveted location for many powers. It’s most famously associated with Haider Ali and Tipu Sultan who fought off the marauding Marathas and the British from here till Tipu was tragically defeated in battle right here in his backyard. Parts of the old Fort still stand, as does Tipu’sDariaDaulatBagh, the summer palace set in a magnificent garden. An old Masjid stands on the same soil as three temples in testimony to Tipu’s religious tolerance, and the family mausoleum or Gumbaz has beautiful ivory on wood inlay.

Return to Mysore, after lunch proceed for sightseeing of Mysore

Mysore Maharaja’s City Palace built in 1907 which is truly regal in its dimensions and elegance. The City Palace in its wondrous loud glitz towers over everything else in Mysore, not really in height but definitely in grandeur. See the bejeweled golden throne and the quirky howdah (in which the Raja would sit atop his elephant) with red and green lights to tell the mahout to Stop or Go.

The Jayachamarajendra Art Gallery is considered one of the best art galleries in South India because of its excellent collection of paintings and artifacts that once belonged to the Wodeyars of Mysore. The three-storied Jaganmohan Palace was converted into this art gallery in 1875. The Jayachamarajendra art gallery has a remarkable collection of Rembrandt paintings. This collection is so unique that such works of Rembrandt can be found nowhere in the world except in Russia. The western collection section of the museum has works by master like P.P. Ruben, Titan, Caddy and miniature paintings by Gunoy.

Chamundi Hills and Temple- Is named after goddess Chamunda, of whom a temple is located here. Wodayar Kings (rulers of Mysore) considered MaaChamundeshwari their principle deity and christened the hill after her name in 17th century. The Chamundeshwari Temple is a major pilgrimage spot of South India and also stands as an architectural landmark of Mysore. Chamundeswari Temple is a prime attraction of Chamundi Hills. This hill along with Chamundeshwari Temple also has the oldest temple of Mysore, Mahabaleswara Temple, which was built around 9th Century AD. This temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. An imposing, in fact third-largest statue of Nandi Bull in India is installed here. This statue is 5 meter tall and is carved out of a single black stone.

The Lalitha Mahal Palace is the second largest palace in Mysore. It is located near the Chamundi Hills. LalithaMahal was built in 1921 by Maharaja KrishnarajaWodeyar IV. This European-Classical two storied Palace was designed by E W Fritchley, an English architect. The LalithaMahal palace is noted for its white color, which is visible from a great distance. LalithaMahal was specifically built to house the king’s guests. The palace has now been converted into a five-star hotel.

Mysore Art & Craft centre for some Mysore silk sarees, dress materials and handicraft articles. An important center for people looking for beautiful handicrafts and artifacts specific to the state of Karnataka, is known for its highly affordable rates and exhaustive product catalogue. This venue is owned and managed by the Karnataka State Handicrafts Development Corporation (KSHDC). As it is government run, the products sold here assure the highest benchmarks of quality & all at reasonable prices. This emporium strives hard to showcase the wide ethnic diversity of Indian handicrafts and lays a lot of focus on the products manufactured by the local artisans of the State of Karnataka. Dedicated to the cause of protecting and preserving the handicrafts industry of Karnataka and all its craftsmen.

Overnight a hotel.

4
Day 04 : Mysore / Ranganatithu / Mysore (20 kms / 1 hr)

Morning after breakfast proceed for Ranganathithu Park.

Visit to the park can be done by boat only. Return to Mysore. Overnight at hotel.
5
Day 05 : Mysore / Nagarhole by surface (100 kms / 2 ½ hrs)

Morning after breakfast depart for Nagarhole National Park.

Arrive and check in at Resort. Dinner and Overnight at Resort.
6
Day 06 : Nagarhole National Park

Early morning proceed for Jungle safari by Jeep / Canter.

Return to resort for breakfast, rest of the time free to explore the scenic beauty around the resort. After lunch at resort, proceed for Jungle safari. Return to resort, dinner and overnight.
7
Day 07 : Nagarhole / Bandipur by surface (150 kms / 2 ½ hrs)

Morning after breakfast depart for Bandipur.

Arrive and check in at hotel. After lunch, proceed for Jungle safari Return to hotel, dinner and overnight
8
Day 08 : Bandipur National Park

Early morning proceed for Jungle safari by Jeep / Canter.

Return to resort for breakfast, rest of the time free to explore the scenic beauty around the resort. After lunch at resort, proceed for Jungle safari. Return to resort, dinner and overnight.
9
Day 09 : Bandipur / Ooty by surface (50 kms / 2 hrs)

Morning after breakfast depart for Ooty.

Arrive and check in at Hotel. Rest of the time at leisure. Overnight at hotel.
10
Day 10 : Ooty

Morning after breakfast proceed for sightseeing tour of Ooty visiting

Botanical Garden, in Tamil Nadu situated on a hillock covering and extensive area of 55 acres is the most beautiful attraction among the tourists and locals. The Botanical Garden was laid out in the year 1847 by the Marquis of Tweedale. The garden is well maintained and taken care of by the Horticulture Department of the Government of Tamil Nadu, with beautiful lawns and trees collected from different parts of the world. It also has an assortment of several flowering plants and herbal plants. The garden is divided into six different sections namely, Lower Garden, New Garden, Italian Garden (Not to be missed), Conservatory, Fountain Terrace, Nurseries. These gardens have about a thousand varieties, both exotic and indigenous, of plants, shrubs, ferns, trees, medicinal and bonsai plants. The Botanical Garden is home to 650 species of plants and trees which are rare species of trees such as the cork tree, the monkey puzzle tree, and the paper bark tree. The cork tree is probably one of its kind in India. There is also an old fossilized tree trunk displayed over here, which is estimated to be 20 million years old. The Italian Garden, borders a lily pond with several varieties of aquatic plant species.

Another highlight of the Botanical Garden is the Toda hill, known as the Toda mund, which gives the visitors an insight into the lives and culture of Todas (a tribe of the Nilgiris). Every year in the month of May, a flower show is conducted at the Ooty Botanical Garden that exhibits various flowers along with rare plant species, which is a major attraction of the place. The Botanical Garden of Ooty is worth a stopover when visiting Ooty. The Summer Festivals is an annual event held at the gardens in May. The highlight is the flower show where several rare species of plants are exhibited as well as various cultural programs showcasing the talent of the locals and renowned artists.

Rose Garden – The Government Rose Garden (formerly known as the Jayalalithaa Rose Garden, Centerary Rose Park and Nootrandu Roja Poonga). The Rose Garden was established in May 1955 situated on the slopes of the Elk Hill in Vijayanagaram of Ooty town in Tamil Nadu at an altitude of 2200 meters. The flowers are arranged in five curving terraces covering 4 hectares. This garden is maintained by the Tamil Nadu Horticulture Department. Initially, when the gardens were developed, 1,919 varieties of roses with 17,256 rose plants were planted. Today this garden has more than 20,000 varieties of roses of 2,800 cultivars. It is one of the largest collections of roses in India.

It is due to because Ooty has a unique tropical mountain climate, hence the garden has the ideal climatic conditions for growing of roses. Temperature variation is less and the rainfall distribution is uniform in the locale, which results in a long flowering season. The garden is visited by thousands of tourists throughout the year and even in winter, when it is not the flowering season. The collection of roses include Miniature Roses, Ramblers, Hybrid Tea Roses, Yakimour, Polyanthas, Papagena, Floribunda and roses of unusual colors like green and black. The garden has been laid out with rose tunnels, pergolas and bowers with rose creepers. The slopes of the garden also features Nila Maadam, an observation platform. From the Nila Maadam, tourists can observe the entire rose garden. The garden also features a statue of an angel amidst the roses.

Ooty Lake – The boat house, which adjoins the Ooty Lake was opened by the Tamil Nadu Tourism Development Corporation. Boating is the prime attraction at the lake. The boat house offers boating facilities with Paddle boats, Row boats, and Motor boats. It also features a garden, a mini train and an amusement park. Ooty lake is an artificial lake constructed by John Sullivan, in 1824. The water flowing down mountain streams in the Ooty valley was dammed to form the lake. The lake was originally intended to be used for fishing with ferries being used to travel across the lake. It gradually shrunk from its original size giving place to the current bus stand race course, and the lake park.

The Tamil Nadu Tourism Development Corporation on behalf of the Tourism Department took the possession of the lake in 1973, for providing boating facilities as a tourist attraction. The lake is surrounded by groves of Eucalyptus trees with a railway line running along one shore. During the summer season in May, boat races and boat pageantry are organized for two days.

Doddabetta Peak – The Doddabetta Peak stands at an altitude of 2,623 meters. It is the highest point in the district, making it possibly the best vantage point around Ooty. It is merely 10 kms from Ooty. One can simply grab it’s camera and head straight to the peak, and click amazing pictures of the valley below. On a clear day, which is honestly not that often, one can see far off areas, even the plains of Coimbatore and the flat highlands of Mysore. The Doddabetta Peak is said to be one of the highest peak in south India & famous tourist spot in India. There is a “Telescope house” that is run by the Tamil Nadu Tourism Development Corporation in the Doddabetta Peak to enable the tourist to get a better view. Any visitor is sure will be impressed after a visit to this highest peak of the Nilgiris. Trekking to the top peak as it is not very challenging, and at the same time provides views that are worth every step you take through the jungles.

Overnight at hotel

11
Day 11 : Ooty / Cochin by surface (265 kms / 6-7 hrs)

Morning after breakfast depart for Cochin.

Arrive and check in at hotel. Rest of the time ate leisure Overnight at hotel.
12
Day 12 : Cochin

Morning after a relaxed breakfast proceed for sightseeing tour of Cochin visiting

Dutch Palace – Location: Mattancherry, 10 km from Ernakulam.Built by the Portuguese in 1557 and presented to Raja Veera Kerala Varma of Cochin, the Palace was renovated in 1663 by the Dutch. The palace is built like the typical Kerala style mansion, the nalukettu – the home of the aristocracy, nobility and upper classes, with four separate wings opening out to a central courtyard. The double-storeyed building which stands by the panoramic Kochi backwaters has an exquisite collection of murals; also on display are royal paraphernalia like weapons, robes, and so on.

Fort Kochi – The first European Township in India and home to nearly 13 communities, is a historic town brimming with the tales of myriad traders. During 1660s, Fort Kochi peaked in stature as a prime commercial centre and its fame spread far and wide – 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. The town has innumerable interesting sights like Chinese fishing nets along the Vasco da Gama Square, the St. Francis Church, (Vasco da Gama was buried here and his remains were returned to Portugal 14 years later) and so on.

Jew Street – The Jew Street in Fort Kochi is lined with shops that sell curios, antique pieces of crockery, carved wooden furniture, bronze and brass sculptures, remnants of traditional houses, and jewellery. The antique sellers are the descendants of a fast dwindling population of Jews who settled here in AD 52. The Jewish synagogue here, a mark of exceptional architecture and history, has hundreds of visitors everyday. Though there are a few other Jewish settlements in the State, Fort Kochi with its synagogue and its popular antique shops is the most prominent.

Chinese Fishing Net – The Chinese fishing nets at Fort Kochi, located in the Kochi city of Kerala, make up a very popular tourist attraction. They are fixed land installations, which are used for a very unique and unusual method of fishing. Operated from the shore, these nets are set up on bamboo and teak poles and held horizontally by huge mechanisms, which lower them into the sea. They look somewhat like hammocks and are counter-weighed by large stones tied to ropes.

Evening witness Kathakali dance performance at local theatre

Kathakali is one of the oldest theatre forms in the world. This dance form originated in the south Indian state of Kerala and since Cochin is a developing important city, both culturally and commercially, Kathakali is quite popular among locals and tourists here.

Overnight at hotel.

13
Day 13 : Cochin / Munnar by surface (130 kms / 4-5 hrs)

Morning after breakfast, depart for Munnar

Arrive and check in at Hotel. Overnight at hotel.
14
Day 14 : Munnar

Morning after breakfast proceed for sightseeing tour of Munnar visiting

Mattupetty dam – Nestled inside the hills of Munnar and very near to the Anamudi peak lies Mattupetty, the hill station at a height of 1,700 m. Mattupetty is located 13 km away from Munnar. Here you can enjoy the greenish valleys and feel the fabulous climate around. The main attraction of Mattupetty is the dam and the lake here.

The dam of Mattupetty is a storage concrete gravity dam, was constructed under the Pallivasal Hydro-electric project in the late 1940’s for water conservation and power generation. Now it is a main source of electricity generation in Munnar and heaven for many wild animals and birds due to its constant water availability. The most attractive part of Mattupetty dam is its still water which reflects the tea garden around. You can engage yourself with water sport activities like speed boating organized by district Tourism Promotion Council of Idukki (Munnar) and enjoy the pretty natural surroundings of this beautiful dam. Adventure lovers also have options here like trekking in the Shola forest.

Mattupetty is also known as ‘cattle village’, the name which came from the famous Indo Swiss farm project or Livestock project. The project was launched in the year 1963 as part of the bilateral agreement between India and the Swiss government. You can see hundreds of varieties of high yielding cattle in this farm. The sight of the cattle grazing freely on the hills of the wide farm is a unique experience which any tourist can have ever in his life.

Echo Point – This is a very beautiful place in Munnar, which got its name from natural echo phenomenon situated at a scenic lake bank. When you scream at here, you will be hearing your voice returning to you. Placed at an altitude about 600 ft, Echo Point is located 15 km away from Munnar, on the way to Top Station. Echo Point always has a greenish look as it is covered with abundant green sceneries. It is an adventurous destination, which will be a perfect choice for those who love to have a nature walk or trekking. The place surrounded with mist covered hills, waterfalls and clean air will be a visual treat.

Tea Plantation : Tea or Chai is the most widely drunk beverage in the whole world. The tea plant, Camellia Sansis, is a cultivated variety of a tree that has its origins in an area between India and China. There are three main varieties of the tea plant ­ China, Assam, and Cambodia ­ and a number of hybrids between the varieties. The China variety grows as high as nine feet (2.75 metres). It is a hardy plant able to withstand cold winters and has an economic life of at least 100 years.

The Assam variety, a single­stem tree ranging from 20 to 60 feet (6 to 18 metres) in height. Regular pruning keeps its height to a more manageable 4 to 5 feet tall. It has an economic life of 40 years with regular pruning and plucking. When grown at an altitude near that of Darjeeling (Assam) or Munnar (Kerala), it produces tea with fascinating flavours , sought after around the globe. The Cambodia variety, a single­stem tree growing to about 16 feet (five metres) in height, is not cultivated but has been naturally crossed with other varieties.

Spice Plantation – Kerala history is closely linked with its commerce, Spice Shop which in turn was wholly dependent until recent times on its spice trade. Kerala was known for its spices and traders travelled here to trade and to gain control over this rich land. It is believed that the spice trade dates back to three thousand years. Pepper still remains the king of Kerala’s spices, but the state also rich in cardamom, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and turmeric. As in the past , the state continues to be the spice capital of the world. Over twelve varieties of spices including ginger, garlic, cardamom, vanilla, pepper, cinnamon, coffee, tea, clove and nutmeg is cultivated in Munnar and its neighboring villages.

Overnight at hotel.

15
Day 15 : Munnar / Periyar by surface (110 kms / 4-5 hrs)

Morning after breakfast, depart Periyar (also known as Thekkedy).

Arrive and check in at Hotel. Overnight at hotel.
16
Day 16 : Periyar

Heartland of spices. Enjoy the real spice tour through the real spice city of Kerala. In and around 50 sq km of Periyar Tiger Reserve, the world famous spices such as cardamom, pepper, vaanilla, nutmeg, clove, etc are grown.

Kerala history is closely linked with its commerce, which in turn was wholly dependent until recent times on its spice trade. Kerala was known for its spices and traders travelled here to trade and to gain control over this rich land. It is believed that the spice trade dates back three thousand years. Pepper still remains the king of Kerala’s spices, but the state also has a very rich produce in cardamom, cinnamon , nutmeg, ginger and turmeric. The state is the spice capital of the world. Over twelve varieties of spices including ginger, garlic, cardamom, vanilla, pepper, cinnamon, coffee, tea, clove and nutmeg is cultivated in Thekkady and its neighboring villages. You can relax and de-stress yourself with a traditional Ayurvedic Oil massages -another special service available for the tourists here.

Green Walk timings are 7:00AM, 7:30AM, 10:00AM, 10:30AM, 2:00PM and 2:30PM

Periyar Wildlife Santuary – Herds of elephants moving towards a lake against the backdrop of picturesque mountain ranges with thick greenery – if you come across such a photograph in Kerala, it will most probably be one of the Periyar Valley. Snuggled in the southern region of the Western Ghats, the Periyar Tiger Reserve sprawls over an area of 777 sq. km of forest land and is home to thousands of different species of flora and fauna, including rare and endangered ones. Thick, evergreen forests form about 360 sq. km of the total area of the valley.

Overnight at hotel

17
Day 17 : Periyar / Cochin airport (160 kms / 5 hrs)

Morning after breakfast depart for Cochin airport to connect flight for onward destination.

End of the tour.

Hotel Check in / out time 1200 hrs.
Inclusions
  • Warm welcoming with Garlanding by our representative on arrival in India
  • Meeting and assistance
  • 24 Hours Assistance throughout the trip.
  • Stay for 16 nights at chosen hotels
  • Air conditioned transport with driver
  • Breakfast at all the hotels except in Nagarhole and Bandipur all meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) will be included as per tour plan.
  • Jungle safari of Ranganathithu and Periyar by boat
  • Jungle safari of Nagarhole and Bandipur by jeep / canter.
  • Kathakali dance show in Cochin
  • Spice plantation in Periyar.
  • Services of English speaking local guides in Bangalore, Mysore and Cochin
  • Services of Naturalist in Ranganathithu, Nagarhole, Bandipur and Periyar
  • All present Government taxes & service charges
Not Includes
  • Any airfares or train fare.
  • Entrance / camera fees to the monuments.
  • Meals other than mentioned above.
  • Drinks, phone calls, laundry, tips and portages.
  • Insurance or any other expenses of personal nature.