Sandalwood Wildlife & Tea Tour of South Indian
Duration : 14 Nights / 15
Places Covered: Chennai - Covelong - Bangalore - Hassan via
Sravanabelagola - Hassan - Coorg - Nagarhole - Mysore - Ooty
Of the large predators that prowl
untouched corners of our earth, the tiger is perhaps the most spectacular.
It is neither the most powerful nor the most successful, but its appearance
inspires a shiver of dread and fascination, its silence, its powerful
flowing stride, its cold-eyed stare, its burnished coat, its very presence
stops the jungle in its tracks. The deer freeze, call in alarm and flee,
peacock squawk and flap away from its path, even the formidable rhino, wild
buffalo and elephant eye it with respect. The tiger is the ultimate predator
of the great Indian jungles. And it shows itself to humans only if wishes or
one is skillful and persistent or sometimes just very lucky by taking this
Day 1 : Chennai
Chennai and transfer to Fisherman's Cove. Full day at leisure on the beach.
Day 2 : Covelong
A day of sightseeing. Visit Mamallapuram group of World Heritage monuments
including Shore temple and Arjuna's Penance. Also visit the golden city of
Kanchipuram - one of the four most sacred places.
Day 3 : Covelong
A day on the beach.
Day 4 : Chennai - Bangalore
Early morning transfer to Chennai Railway station and take train to
Bangalore (5 hrs). Tour the "Garden City," including a visit to
Lal Bagh Botanical Gardens, the Mysore Arts and Crafts Center, the bull
temple, and the colorful and bustling markets.
Day 5 : Bangalore - Hassan via
Morning drive to Hassan enroute visiting Sravanabelagola (5 hrs). One has
to climb 600 steps to reach the hilltop dominated by 1000 years old
Gomateshwara statue. The statue is considered to be the tallest monolith (17
m) and most graceful sculptures of the world. Afternoon visit Belur and
Halebid temples. The visual is often described as the jewel box
of Hoysala temple architecture.
Day 6 : Hassan - Coorg
Morning drive to Coorg (3 hrs). Afternoon at leisure to explore the rolling
hills with plantations of coffee, black pepper vines and the celebrated
Coorg orange and cardamom plants.
Day 7 : Coorg - Nagarhole
Morning drive to Nagarhole (4 hrs) and check in at Kabini River Lodge - the
hunting lodge of Mysore Maharaja, at the edge of Nagarhole National Park. In
the afternoon take a jeep safari in the park
Day 8 : Nagarhole National Park
Morning and afternoon jungle safaris in the Nagarhole National Park. Rest
of the day at leisure by the river.
9 : Nagarhole National Park - Mysore
Morning Jungle safari by jeep. Late morning drive to Mysore (3 hrs).
Afternoon visit Mysore Royal Palace.
Day 10 : Somnathpur
Morning excursion to Somnathpur (1 hr). Visit Keshava temple built in 1268
AD, richly adorned with carved friezes and sculptured images. Evening visit
to Brindavan Gardens, with its many water features, including the musical
Day 11 : Mysore - Ooty
Morning drive to Ooty (4 hrs) - the erstwhile summer headquarters of the
British government in southern India and offers a cool retreat.
Day 12 : Ooty
In the morning proceed by Nilgiri Mountain Railway - toy train to Coonoor
across plantations and forest clad hills with breathtaking views. Drive
backs to Ooty and proceed for sight seeing.
Day 13 : Ooty - Chennai
The morning is at leisure. Afternoon drive to Mettupalayam and connect the
overnight train for Chennai.
Day 14 : Chennai
Arrive Chennai, upon arrival transfer to the hotel. Later tour of
Mahabalipuram & Kanchipuram. Kanchipuram (64 kms from Chennai) is the
ancient capital of the Pallavas famous as a city of 1000 Temples and still
has 124 shrines. The first temple dedicated to Shiva was built in the 7th
and 8th century and has paintings on the walls. Temples of Ekambaswara,
Kailasanatha , Sri Kamakshi and Varadarajaswamy are of interest. Kanchipuram
is also famous for its silks. The city of Mahabalipuram is famous for the
seven pagodas. Here on the seashore is an interesting group of ancient rock
hewn temples which are the examples of Dravidian style of Architecture.
Day 15 : Chennai
Breakfast at the hotel. Chennai is a bustling city with a relaxed and
friendly character. Our tour commence in the area around the 17th century
Fort St. George, taking in St. Mary's Church where Clive of India was
married, before a visit to the Government Museum to view the Chola bronzes.
Finally we visit San Thome Catherdal, said to house the remains of the
apostle. Thomas who is reputed to have brought Christianity to India in the
1st century AD. Later transfer to the International Airport to catch the
flight for onward destination.