• Boat on the back waters of Kerala

Wings over South India

Our unforgettable Wings Over South India Tour takes you on a mesmerising journey through some of India’s best locations. Immerse yourself into a world of rich history and colourful culture as expert guides take you on an exciting adventure through spectacular historic sites and religious temples, bustling city streets and breathtaking lands overflowing with natural beauty.

On this 9 day tour, you’ll spend some time in Cochin, a popular hotspot in Kerala, famous for having one of the finest natural harbours in the world. Moving on to Nagarhole National Park, wildlife-enthusiasts will be thrilled by a safari experience and boat journey across the Kabini river. You will then continue on to the island of Mysore, with its lavish palaces and unique architecture, offering plenty to admire for those who love to get to the core of the country's past.

From Mysore to Pondicherry, you’ll find many contrasts, with Pondicherry’s French legacy revealed throughout the town, this place that boasts beautiful tree-lined streets, mustard-colored colonial villas and chic boutiques. Yoga lovers can explore old-style Ashrams whilst taking a pit stop for some traditional Indian tea, and for those who wish to relax, admire the shimmering azure water and immaculate golden sands on one of Pondy’s many beautiful beaches.

Your tour will finish in the stunning beach resort of Mahabalipuram where you will have plenty more time to enjoy the sun, sand and sea or alternatively, continue sightseeing and exploring with a trip to see Mahabalipuram’s fascinating carved temples and rock-cut caves.

Duration
10 days
Options
Private basis, Escorted
Start your journey
The Taj Mahal

Trip highlights

  • Roam Cochin and discover the city’s most fascinating and iconic landmarks, providing an insight into the city’s rich and varied history.
  • Embark on a thrilling safari adventure on land and on water in Nagarhole National Park, home to some of the most endangered animals in the world.
  • Explore the Maharajas’ Palace, the ancient temple of Chandi Hill and the breathtaking architecture of the Somnathpur temples in Mysore
  • Relax on the beautiful beaches of Pondicherry and explore Mahabalipuram’s fascinating carved temples and rock-cut caves.

Arriving in Cochin, you’ll be greeted at the airport and transferred to the luxurious Crown Plaza Hotel. Here, you’ll receive the best assistance and amenities, surrounded by a stunning blend of traditional charm and modern touches. The hotel offers elegant and modern rooms with views of the backwaters and city as well as a large outdoor pool, a spa, a fitness centre and a restaurant which offers a breakfast buffet and traditional Kerala, pan-Asian and international cuisines.

The Wings over South India Tour begins in the city of Cochin. Steeped in history, Cochin is a cosmopolitan city boasting European and Chinese influences. Spend your first afternoon roaming the city streets: exploring churches, ancient mosques and cobbled streets lined with colonial buildings. Stop for a snack at a street-stall or walk the cafe trail and try a cup of traditional Darjeeling tea as you take a moment to adjust to the energy of this pulsating city.

For those feeling tired, simply relax at the hotel and make use of the incredible facilities before your India tour begins to unfold.

Suggested Accommodation

  • Crown Plaza Hotel

After a delicious buffet-style breakfast, your day will begin with a sightseeing tour of Cochin. Experience a taste of Indian opulence with a visit to The Dutch Palace, which stands as a replica of the majestic pre-colonial and colonial era of Kochi and Kerala. Highlights of this sightseeing trip include the Jewish Synagogue, St. Francis Church and the Santa Cruz Basilica. The tour ends in the Fort Kochi area where you can walk through historical Dutch and Portuguese buildings.

In the evening enjoy a sumptuous candle lit dinner followed by a traditional Kathakali dance performance, one of India's most spectacular Dance Drama based on stories from Ramayana and Mahabharata. The dancers wear beautiful masks and costumes and perform with drummers and musicians.

Suggested Accommodation

  • Crown Plaza Hotel

After a final breakfast at the hotel, it’s time to leave Cochin, moving on to the city of Mysore. A transfer will collect you from your hotel in time to take you to the airport before your scheduled flight time. Upon arrival to Mysore another transfer will be ready and waiting to take you to your next hotel; either the Evolve Back Resort or The Serai Hotel.

Tired from your journey, you may choose to simply relax at the hotel, cooling off with a refreshing dip in the pool before your Indian safari the next day. Those feeling adventurous can spend the afternoon exploring Mysor, a world-heritage listed place, rich in tradition that offers an atmospheric bazaar district drenched in fragrant spices and incense.

Suggested Accommodation

  • Evolve Back Resort or The Serai Hotel

This morning, a pick-up will collect you from your hotel for a full day Safari adventure in Nagarhole National Park, home to some of the most endangered animals in the world. Your morning will be spent in a shared Safari vehicle, searching for rare and unusual wildlife whilst admiring Nagarhole’s unique flora and fauna. In the afternoon you’ll move from land to water, spending some time drifting across the Kabini River on a Safari boat. Remember to pack your binoculars, as this is a great opportunity to catch sight of the many rare species of birds, monkeys and other creatures that inhabit the park.

The dam on Kabini river submerged large tracts of forest creating a huge lake, parts of which are within the national park. During the dry season, the lake dries out, leaving only the main river visible. The resulting open plain creates an abundance of fresh grass which has proved to be a boon for the park, supplying fresh grass when the rest of the park is drying out.

The two broad forest types that dominate the park are the moist-deciduous, where the annual rainfall exceeds 1000mm and dry-deciduous where the rainfall is lower. The Nagarhole ecosystem supports the highest density of herbivores anywhere in Asia. The commonly seen herbivores here are Muntjac, Chital, Sambar, Four-horned antelope, Gaur, Wild Boar, Asian Elephant, Common Langur and the Bonnet Macaque. The Tiger, Leopard and Wild Dog are the major carnivore species found here.

A final breakfast at the hotel, and it’s time to leave Mysore for Nagarhole. A transfer will collect you, and a three-four hour transports you to your next stop on the Wings Over South India Tour: Nagarhole National Park. Arriving for check in at your next hotel, the stunning Radisson Blu Plaza, you’ll have some time to unpack, grab a snack and prepare for a sightseeing tour of Srirangapatna in the afternoon.

Srirangapatna is an egg-shaped island town situated between two branches of the Cauvery River and was the capital of the Mysore Rajas from 1610 to 1799. The tour will take you to the ruins of Tipu Sultan’s fort, the summer pleasure palace and the Gumbaz, his mausoleum. Prepare to be spellbound as you discover the Palace’s handsomely carved interior, its ornate arches and ceilings, liberally gilded wall panels and charming frescoes, lacquered with Tipu’s tiger stripe emblem and doors of ebony inlaid with ivory. The cream-colored Gumbaz standing on its black marble pillars in the centre of the landscaped garden is an unforgettable sight.

Suggested Accommodation

  • Radisson Blu Plaza

After a delicious breakfast, a pick-up will be waiting to take you on a sightseeing tour of Mysore, the City of Palaces and Oriental splendor. Visit the Maharajas’ Palace - a magnificent profusion of Hindu and Muslim style gateways, domes, arches, turrets, colonnades and sculptures. Continuing on to the beautiful ancient temple - Chamundi Hill and the 16-foot Nandi (Siva’s bull) carved out of a single huge boulder. The view from the hill offers panoramic views of Mysore, including the hills, lakes and the turrets of temples and churches that surround it.

In the afternoon your tour will take you 25 miles east of Mysore, to the village of Somnathpur to see the Somnathpur temples. The exquisite Hoysala Temple, built in the second half of the 13th century, is triple-shrined and sculpted with rows of friezes going from wall to wall. There are beautifully and intricately carved figures within the friezes, showing scenes of dancers, musicians, warriors and nature.

Suggested Accommodation

  • Radisson Blu Plaza

Early morning, a transfer will arrive to take you on a three-four hour drive to Bangalore airport to board a flight for Pondicherry where someone will be waiting to greet you and take you to the luxurious Maison Perumal Hotel.

Once you are all checked in, you’ll have the entire afternoon to enjoy the hotel facilities at your leisure. For those feeling active, meander through the streets and get acquainted with Pondicherry, perhaps sampling some of the delicious local cuisine before resting for an all day sightseeing tour in the morning.

Suggested Accommodation

  • Maison Perumal Hotel

After breakfast at the hotel, you will be greeted by a tour guide and taken on an all day sightseeing tour of Pondicherry. Highlights include the Raj Niwas, a spectacular 200-year-old building which faces Government Park (French Place), home to many different eye-catching fountains and sculptures. Moving on, book workworms will enjoy a visit to Romain Rolland Library, which boasts over 60,000 volumes on its shelves and the Pondicherry Museum offers plenty for history lovers with its outstanding collection of artifacts relating to all aspects of Pondicherry’s French Indian past. Yogi’s will enjoy a visit to the Aurobindo Ashram where, in addition to practicing yoga, they provide a voluntary commune where over 800 people from 28 nations live. This ashram and commune looks like a city of the future, with unique architecture created using various building materials, techniques and styles.

Suggested Accommodation

  • Radisson Blu Plaza

After breakfast a pick-up will be waiting to take you on a two and a half hour journey to Mahabalipuram. Upon arrival, you’ll check in to your hotel, the Radisson Blu Resort in Temple Bay. Here, you’ll have some time to settle in to your chalet room, refresh and check out all of the hotel facilities before spending your afternoon exploring Mahabalipuram.

Mahabalipuram is a beautiful beach resort, offering the perfect spot to revitalise the mind and soul after a morning of travelling. Soak up the sun upon the golden sandy shores whilst relishing a fresh coconut water and admire the beauty of this location. In the afternoon, dedicate some time to sightseeing some of Mahabalipuram’s well maintained architectural sites.

This tiny village by the sea, dwarfed by an awesome open air museum of sculpture in living rock. Arjuna’s Penance or the Descent of the Ganga, is the world’s largest bas-relief, famous for its stone carvings which date back to the Tamil Pallava dynasty in the 7th-9th century. The rock carving is a fascinating sight, displaying scenes of Hindu mythology with animals and human figures as well as images of Gods carved in the form of sculptures. Spend some time admiring this UNESCO world heritage site before moving on to the Shore Temple which has stood by the sea for 12 centuries. Its twin spires are pure poetry in granite.

Suggested Accommodation

  • Radisson Blu Resort in Temple Bay

The last day of your Wings Over South India tour! After a final breakfast at the hotel, a transfer will pick you up in the morning and take you to the airport for your onward or return flight from Chennai.