Itinerary Karnataka & Tamil Nadu

Karnataka whose name stems from ‘Kari-nadu’ is celebrated as beautiful throughout its ancient literature. Start off with a temple drive at Hassan before heading to the coffee land of Coorg, spend your days at a jungle camp in Kabini before heading inroads to Mysore to explore its palace and other sites. Cut to Tamil Nadu, starting with the vibrant metropolis of Chennai and the cultural gateway of South India; explore the weaving town of Kanchipuram and the shore temple of Mahabalipuram before travelling to the French town off Pondicherry. The ancient Chola capital of Tanjavur next beckons you through its brilliant temple architecture. After a hiatus at Karaikudi, home to the Chettinad mansions and cuisine; wind up in the temple town of Madurai.

Day wise Itinerary

  • Day 1 – Arrive in Bengaluru – Hassan (182kms / 4hrs)

    On arrival in Bengaluru, be met and transferred to the town of Hassan with an en route halt at Shravanabelagola, once a prominent center of Jain art & architecture and famous for the Gomateswara Temple with its monolith statue of Bahubali said to be one of the tallest and most graceful statues in the world. Later travel to Hassan and check into your night stay.

     

    Overnight Hassan

  • Day 2 – Hassan – Coorg (104kms / 3hrs)

    Visit the ancient temple complexes of Halebidu and Belur showcasing the extraordinary architecture of the Hoysala empire, it is said that the designs are not repeated across the temples and each one is surreally life-like. Later travel to the coffee cup of India, Coorg and check into luxury night stay in the midst of a coffee & spice plantation.

     

    Overnight Coorg

  • Day 3 – Coorg

    Spend the day at leisure in the resort – savor guided plantation walks, village visits on a cycle trail, coracle rides on the river Cauvery or even guided treks in the Dubare Forest Reserve. You may also choose to explore the touristy side of Coorg by visiting some of its prominent sites such as the Madikeri Fort on a hilltop, the scenic Abbey Falls, the temple of Talacauvery said to be the origin of the river Cauvery, the Dubare Elephant Camp or even the Tibetan settlement in Bylakuppe

     

    Overnight Coorg

  • Day 4 – Coorg – Kabini (122kms / 3-4hrs)

    Checkout from Coorg and travel to the jungle lodge located on the banks of the river Kabini passing through the famed Nagerhole National Park, home to the herbivores such as the chital, sambar and gaur varieties of deer besides wild pig, common langur and the Asian elephant. The tigers, leopards and wild dogs seal the deal in terms of wildlife at the park making for a truly exciting stay here.

     

    Overnight Kabini

  • Day 5 – Kabini

    Spend the day participating in the different activities on offer from the resort – the boat safaris on the river Kabini allow for sighting of the largest congregation of the Asiatic elephants, the guided vehicle safari brings you face to face with the prevalent wildlife in the national park, besides guided nature walks which unravel the beauty of birds, insects, trees and wild flowers; there are also night trails letting you encounter the fascinating nocturnal world of spiders, beetles, owls, lizards and moths.

     

    Overnight Kabini

  • Day 6 – Kabini – Mysore (45kms / 1hr)

    Make inroads to the city of Mysore, Karnataka’s cultural capital. Arrive by early afternoon and check in. Later be taken on a guided walking tour unravelling the history and culinary side of Mysore besides visiting a local market. The tour starts with a walk around heritage structures starting at the Town Hall, past the palace and through the market and meanders into the tiny lanes morphing effortlessly into a food walk that lets you indulge in local street food.

     

    Overnight Mysore

  • Day 7 – Mysore – Chennai (500kms / 8hrs)

    Start your day early over a short hike up to the top of picturesque Chamundi Hills. On top of the hill is the Chamundeshwari temple that dates back to the 11th century and has an imposing Chola style tower. Next to it are a few more (older) temples, notably the Mahabaleshwara temple. After breakfast, visit the Mysore Palace which is an excellent combination of Dravidian, Indo-Saracenic, Oriental and Roman styles of architecture. The Palace is a beautiful three storied stone building of fine gray granite and rich, pink marble domes. Board the afternoon train to Chennai arriving by late evening. Be met and transferred to the hotel to unwind.

     

    Overnight Chennai

  • Day 8 – Chennai

    After a relaxed morning, visit T.Nagar, Chennai’s popular shopping hub, to look at some traditional Kanjeevaram silk sarees, beautifully crafted gold and diamond jewellery and other trinkets. Later in the afternoon, head to Mylapore for a guided heritage walk visiting the 300-year-old Kapaleeshwar (Shiva) Temple and nearby bazaars, fruits & vegetable sellers and flower vendors. Explore the bylanes before stopping for coffee and snacks at a popular eat out. In the evening, unwind at Marina Beach, one of the longest beaches in the world, and try to see how many statues of Tamil scholars you can spot!

     

    Overnight Chennai

  • Day 9 – Chennai – Kanchipuram – Mahabalipuram (143kms / 6hrs)

    Check out and travel to Kanchipuram, home to several temples and famous for its handloom silk textiles. Visit the Ekambareshwar Temple which gets its name from an ancient mango tree within the temple complex, the Kamakshi Amman Temple dedicated to the Goddess deity of Kanchipuram, before stopping at a traditional silk loom to see how silk threads are transformed into a beautiful sarees. Later travel to the world heritage site of Mahabalipuram famous for the Shore Temple and other rock cut wonders. Spend the evening at a school of stone sculpting learning the art. You can interact with a stone carver or shop at a local store for stone sculptures.

     

    Overnight Mahabalipuram

  • Day 10 – Mahabalipuram – Pondicherry (100kms / 2.5hrs)

    Spend the morning touring Mahabalipuarm – visit the Five Rathas which are monolithic temples named after the Pandava brothers and shaped uniquely, the Mahishasuramardhini Cave, one of nine rock cut caves depicting the goddess fighting a demon on one side and Lord Vishnu in cosmic sleep on the other, Arjuna’s Penance which is the world’s largest bas relief containing mythological figures and Krishna’s Butter Ball which is a huge boulder resting precariously on a narrow rock base and supposed to have been immovable neither by kings nor their elephants. Later travel to Pondicherry, arrive by late afternoon. Check in and spend the evening over a walk on the seaside promenade.

    Overnight Pondicherry

  • Day 11 – Pondicherry

    Visit the International City of Auroville this morning, a community that is home to more than 2500 people from 50 different countries. You may walk up to the Matrumandir here or just go about the precincts interacting with Aurovillians to understand what makes it unique. Later in the afternoon, be taken on a guided walk around Pondicherry’s French Quarter aka the White Town covering the Sri Aurobindo Ashram and nearby buildings. Many of these structures are colonial buildings, some even deemed as heritage sites. Besides covering the French influence, the walk will also cover the spiritual journey of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother who introduced integral yoga to the world.

     

    Overnight Pondicherry

  • Day 12 – Pondicherry – Tanjore (170kms / 4hrs)

    Come face to face with the Great Living Temples of the Chola empire that showcase the best of their art & architecture and stand as examples of the workmanship in that era. En route Tanjore, visit the Brihadisvara temple in Gangaikondacholapuram and later the Airavatesara & the Brihadisvara temples in Tanjore; the latter being amongst the tallest temples in the world and whose gopuram never casts a shadow. Also visit some of the other treasures in Tanjore such as the Saraswathi Mahal Library with its huge collection of 30000 palm leaf and paper manuscripts, the 16th century built Tanjore Palace and the Art Gallery housing a good collection of stone & bronze Chola statues dating from the 9th to 12th century.

     

    Overnight Tanjore

  • Day 13 – Tanjore

    Tanjore is known for its art & architecture; the city still upholds some of its ancient lineage in music, paintings and handicrafts. Take the time today to cover some of art places and meet the artists involved in making the famous Tanjore and Kalamkari paintings, discover how musical instruments such as the Tanjore Veena and Nadhaswaram are made, understand the skills behind making the traditional Tanjore dancing dolls made of paper mache and wax. Also visit the historical town of Nachiarkoil where over 200 craftsmen are engaged in the 1000 year old art of lamp making.

     

    Overnight Tanjore

  • Day 14 – Tanjore – Karaikudi (102kms / 2.5hrs)

    Make a jump from arts to commerce – travel to Karaikudi in the region of Chettinad, home of the Nattukotai Chettiars who were a prosperous banking and business community. The region is also known for its 18th century mansions characterized by wide courtyards and spacious rooms decked with furnishings from East Asia and Europe. Spend the next two nights in one such mansion converted heritage hotel. Arrive in Karaikudi by afternoon and spend the rest of the day at leisure over bicycle rides or walks to the surrounding villages

     

    Overnight Karaikudi

  • Day 15 – Karaikudi

    Soak in the flavors of Chettinad today through choices of visiting a village market, savoring a traditional lunch served on banana leaf, stopping at a potter and handloom weaver’s workshop, braving a bullock cart ride, watching the age old tradition of making handmade decorative tiles or even learning to prepare authentic dishes passed down from generations with locally sourced ingredients. You could unwind with a soothing massage using local herbs and oil concoctions.

     

    Overnight Karaikudi

  • Day 16 – Karaikudi – Madurai (87kms / 2hrs)

    Travel this morning to Madurai, which was once a thriving trade center and reached the pinnacle of its glory under the rule of the Nayaks. Whilst here, visit the 2000 year old Meenakshi Sundareswar Temple with its sprawling complex, walk through the din and chaos of the Temple Bazaar and take a swig of the popular Jigar Thanda – a cool refreshing beverage, discover Samanar Malai – a hill rock complex with carvings and once home of Jain monks and the partially demolished but grand Thirumalai Nayak Palace housing ancient maps and many paintings. Additionally, you could also attend the night ceremony in the Meenakshi Temple.

     

    Overnight Madurai

  • Day 17 – Depart from Madurai

    Spend the day till it is time to check out and be transferred to the airport for your onward/return flight.

Itinerary in Images
  • Day 1

    The monolith of Bahubali

  • Day 2

    The temples of Belur & Halebedu

  • Day 3

    Elephants mimic times past at Dubare Elephant Camp

  • Day 4

    Coracle rides at Kabini

  • Day 5

    Elephants loafing around in Kabini

  • Day 6

    Gateway to the Mysore Palace

  • Day 7

    The grandiose Mysore Palace

  • Day 8

    Fishing boats lined up on Marina Beach

  • Day 9

    Silk weaving at Kanchipuram

  • Day 10

    A section of Arjuna's Penance

  • Day 11

    Coloured buildings in the French Quarters of Pondicherry

  • Day 12

    Airavatesvara Temple in Tanjore

  • Day 13

    Veena making

  • Day 14

    A typical Chettinad home

  • Day 15

    Some quirky scenes in Karaikudi - a row of terracotta horses

  • Day 16

    The grand pillared, Madurai Meenakshi Amman Temple

Suggested Properties
  • Hoysala Village Resort, Hassan

    Hoysala Village is a beautiful resort that has redefined comfort and luxury in the historical town of Hassan.

  • Orange County, Coorg

    Orange County boasts a world of luxury holiday experiences, so steeped in the lore of the land, in the culture of its people and in the untainted natural beauty of the region, that it enjoins you to be one with the Spirit of the Land.

  • Orange County, Kabini

    Orange County boasts a world of luxury holiday experiences, so steeped in the lore of the land, in the culture of its people and in the untainted natural beauty of the region, that it enjoins you to be one with the Spirit of the Land.

  • Royal Orchid Metropole, Mysore

    The perfect blend of old world charm and modernization this hotel is spread over 2.5 acres of lush green landscaping, and boasts imperial arches, imposing pillars and ornate corridors with all the modern amenities one could hope for.

  • Taj Coramandel, Chennai

    Taj Coromandel, one of Chennai’s best known landmarks, presents a rich fusion of South Indian design and classic elegance.

  • Grande Bay Resort & Spa, Mahabalipuram

    It's a modern resort with an outdoor pool, a spa & a buffet restaurant, plus a bar offering beach views.

  • La Villa, Pondicherry

    La Villa’s traditionally colonial façade and its contemporary service makes it a unique place to stay. The spacious and cool rooms are veiled in precious fabrics and furnished with contemporary designs made from old wood.

  • Svatma, Tanjore

    The SVATMA experience is designed as a voyage of discovery of the mind indulging in the luxury of leisure, dabbling with the arts, in a beautiful home environment.

  • The Bangla, Karaikudi

    The Bangala is the first Heritage Hotel in Karaikudi, Chettinad – a family-run hotel that combines traditional Chettiar hospitality with modern amenities.

  • Heritage Madurai

    A resort, one hundred years in the making, in the heart of a city that grew from drops of nectar that flowed from the locks of Shiva, as legend would have us believe.

INCLUSIONS
  • 16 nights’ accommodation on double occupancy with breakfast
  • Exclusive chauffeur driven vehicle for transfers & sightseeing
  •  Domestic train tickets from Mysore to Chennai
  • Services of an English speaking guide on a private basis
  • Entrance fees to all sights
  • All applicable taxes
EXCLUSIONS
  • Airfares
  • Visa
  •  Medical & Travel insurance
  • Meals (Lunch and dinner)
  • Expenses of personal nature such as laundry, bottled water, alcohol, etc
  • Porterage and tips
  • Anything not specifically mentioned under Inclusions and in the itinerary
TERMS AND CONDITIONS

The cost mentioned is for per person. The cost mentioned is only indicative and subject to actual cost at the time of booking.  Standard check in time is 1400hrs and check out time is 1200 hrs; early check in and late checkout can be requested and is not guaranteed. Footprint holds the right of altering the trip schedule in event of unfavorable weather or unforeseen conditions beyond control such as road blocks, flight cancellations, etc. Any additional cost incurred due to the same would need to be borne by the individual. The cost is subject to additional charges if paid by debit card, credit card or online bank transfer.