Day 1: Bangalore
Welcome to India. On arrival, you are received and transferred to your hotel.
Bangalore is India's Garden City. Bangalore is a delightful mix of the traditional and modern. It is home to many fascinating legacies of richly carved temples, imposing mosques and trappings of a royal past. Bangalore, today, is a major industrial and commercial centre and is also well known for being the 'Silicon Valley' of India because of the concentration of major IT companies here. Overnight in Bangalore.
Day 2: Bangalore - Hassan
After breakfast, drive from Bangalore to Hassan (185 kms - 5 hours) en route visiting Sravanabelagola, one of the oldest and most important Jain pilgrimage centres in India. See the 17 mt high statue of Lord Bahubali (Gomateshvara) which is carved out of a single piece rock and is said to be the world's tallest monolithic statue. On arrival at Hassan, check-in at your hotel. In the afternoon proceed for a sightseeing tour of Belur and Halebid, fine examples of Hoysala Art. The soft stone used by the builders was chiselled with extreme fineness for the smallest of detail. The temple at Belur is famed for its profusely ornamented exterior and the one at Halebid for its sculptured figures and an open air museum. Overnight in Hassan.
Day 4: Coorg
Tour Coorg, also known as Mercaram is the epitome of nature as it haunts with its pleasant temperature climate, abundance of lush green expanses, coffee plantations, gentle aroma of spices and echoing vestiges of the past. Madikeri is the district head quarters of Coorg and is situated at an altitude of 1145 mts. Later, visit the Omkareshwara Hindu temple with Muslim architecture. Overnight in Coorg.
Day 5: Coorg - Mysore
After breakfast, drive from Coorg to Mysore (115 kms - 3 hours). Mysore, is home to 17 palaces. Although no longer a princely state, it retains its old charm and many buildings are adorned with domes, turrets and impressive archways. Also know as Sandalwood City, it is a major centre for the manufacture of sandalwood incense. The city is a legacy of the famous warrior king Tipu Sultan, known for his victories over the British Army. The city is also known for its silk processing and nurturing of silk worms which is a major industry here.
On arrival, check-in at your hotel. In the afternoon, proceed for a sightseeing tour of Mysore. On a hill overlooking the city is the temple to Chamundeswari, its patron goddess. The major tourist attraction is the Mysore Palace, built in Indo-Saracenic style and the seat of the Maharajas of Mysore. The Mysore Arts and Crafts Centre is famous for its fine craftsmanship in wood, ivory, sandalwood and silk. The tour also includes a visit to the Zoological Gardens and the St. Philomena's church, one of the largest churches in the country, built in the Victorian Gothic style. Overnight in Mysore.
Day 6: Mysore - Ooty
Drive from Mysore to Ooty (158 kms-5 hours). On arrival check-in at your hotel. The afternoon is earmarked for a tour of Ooty, also known as Ootacamund. This beautiful hill station, established by the British in 1819, located in the Nilgiris or the Blue Mountains - so called because of the blue haze the envelops them. Today, an unmistakable touch of the British Raj still lingers in its little cottages, colourful gardens, winding lanes, old churches, its Botanical Garden and the lake surrounded by groves of eucalyptus. A fine retreat from the heat of plains, Ooty offers scenic beauty and a relaxed ambience, at an altitude of 2286 meters, and is known as the Queen of Hill Station. Overnight in Ooty.
Day 8: Munnar
The morning is set aside for a visit Munnar. Drive past rubber and spice plantations and into southern India's tea growing district headquarters at the charmingly old-world Munnar. Snuggled in the green and serene Kanan Devan Hills, at an altitude of 1524 m, Munnar offers panoramic views of low flying clouds and mist filled valleys which make it a pretty little haven with a cool bracing climate. The important places of interest include the Kundale Tea Plantation, Rajamalai Park, The High Range Club and Eranakulam National Park which is a wildlife sanctuary and home of the endangered Nilgiri Tahr, macaque, sambar , elephants, tigers, gaur and many more. A little beyond lies Anaimudi, South India's highest peak, which towers over 2695 m. Overnight in Munnar.
Day 9: Munnar - Cochin
Drive from Munnar to Cochin (135 kms - 3.5 hours). Cochin, now known as Kochi, is one of India's largest ports where the misty silhouettes of huge merchant ships can be seen anchored off the point of Fort Cochin waiting for a berth in the docks of Ernakulam or Willingdon Island. With its wealth of historical associations - since the times it was visited by the Portuguese, the Dutch and British, this city is a magical blend. Here you can see the oldest church in India, a 500 years old Portuguese house, the cantilevered Chinese fishing nets, a Jewish synagogue and the palace built by the Portuguese.On arrival, check-in at your hotel. In the afternoon, proceed for the sightseeing tour of Cochin. The tour begins from the Dutch Palace (closed on Fridays), also known as Mattancherry Palace, built by Portugues in 1555 and is famous for its murals depicting scenes from the Ramayana and the puranic legends. Adjacent to the palace is the Jewish Synagogue (closed on Fridays and Saturdays) built in 1568. Also visit the St. Francis Church (closed on Sundays), established by the Portuguese Franciscan friars in 1503. Vasco da Gama was buried in the courtyard of this European church built in India. Other attractions include the traditional fishing hamlets and the fisher folk in their colorful costumes. The tour also includes a visit to the seaside where one can still see the, nearly a century old Chinese fishing nets, which, are still in use.
In the evening, witness a Kathakali dance performance at a local theatre, performed by various artists. Kathakali is a traditional dance form, depicting Indian epics (Ramayana and Mahabharata). The dancers are dressed in very colorful and elaborate costumes. Their faces are painted to depict various characters of these epics. This dance has a lot of facial expressions and brisk, yet articulate body movements. Overnight in Cochin.
Day 10: Cochin - Mumbai
Post breakfast at the hotel you are transferred to the airport in time for your flight to Mumbai. Upon arrival you are met and transferred to your hotel. Mumbai, India's western gateway is a vibrant, vivid and electrifying city. Set off on an afternoon sightseeing tour of Mumbai. The tour begins at 'The Gateway of India' Mumbai's foremost landmark overlooking the harbour, was conceived following the visit of King George V in 1911 and officially opened in 1924. A drive up to the Malabar Hill, to the hanging gardens, gives a panoramic view of the city and the Queens Necklace - the Marine Drive. The tour concludes with a drive through the Flora Fountain and Fort area and view the Gothic and Victorian style buildings. Visit the Victoria Terminus (now known as Chatrapati Shivaji Terminus) India's finest Gothic building and a bustling Railway Station. Continue drive around the Horniman Circle and visit the Town Hall, right besides the docks. Late in the evening, you are transferred to International airport for your flight home.