Day 1: Kolkata
On arrival at Kolkata airport assistance & transfer to hotel (check in/out time 12pm). Rest time for personal activities. O/n at hotel.
Day 2: Kolkata
Breakfast at hotel. Full day city tour of Kolkata visiting Fort William, Victoria Memorial, Netaji Bhawan, Howrah Bridge, Dakshineswar Kali Temple and other landmark monuments of the city. O/n at hotel.
Day 3: Kolkata - Balasore (250km)
Breakfast at hotel. Drive to Balasore check in at hotel.
Visit Khirachora Gopinatha Temple - the main town of Balasore, built by King Langula Narasimha Dev, who also built the famous temple at Konark. Jagannatha Temple a newly built temple in the area, the architecture of which is influenced by the famous Jagannatha Temple of Puri. Bhusandeswara Temple - there is a Jagannatha Temple in Nilagiri which is one of the prominent Jagannatha temples of Odisha. Lord Jagannath, Balabhadra and Subhadra are worshipped here.
Rest time to spent at Chandipur - on - sea a seaside resort famous for its mile long beach. It is a unique beach & the tide comes to the shore only four times a day, at fixed intervals. O/n at hotel.
Day 4: Balasore - Bhitarkanika (165km)
Breakfast at hotel. Drive to Bhitarakanika check in at hotel. Rest time to relax and explore the surrounding. Lunch, dinner and O/n at hotel.
Day 5: Bhitarkanika
Breakfast at hotel. Bhitarkanika Wildlife Sanctuary is sprawls over 650 sq. kms and boasts of rich marine vegetation, salt tolerant varieties of trees and plants, rivers and creeks. Home to some of the rarest species in the world both flora and fauna, the sanctuary is mainly known for its species of reptiles especially crocodiles, however, it also attracts a plethora of migrant species like Olive Ridley Sea Turtles, Asian Open Bill, Black Ibis, Egrets, and Darters etc. In the winter (which is the ideal migrating season for avifauna species), you can find as many as 215 species of migratory birds. The highlight of the wildlife sanctuary is the rare white crocodile that can grow up to 23 feet. Another attraction of the region are the sprawling mangrove trees making it the second largest mangrove forest in India. There are several entrances available for the park, the most popular one of which is boating from Khola to Dangmal. This entrance allows you to walk through the dense forests and experience the rich ecosystem in all its glory. Lunch, dinner and overnight at Jungle Cottage/ Tent.
Day 6: Bhitarkanika - Bhubaneshwar (200km)
Breakfast at hotel. Drive to Bhubaneshwar via visiting Lalitgiri, Ratnagiri & Udaigiri famous for Jain & Buddhist Monasteries. Lalitgiri, earliest Buddhist Complex dating back to the 1st century AD. The majestic ruins of the huge brick monastery, the remains of the chaitya hall, a number of votive Stupas & a renovated stone stupa at the apex of a small rugged sandstone hill dominate the rural greenery around. Next visit Ratnagiri, famous for many significant Buddhist sculptures scattered around in the hill range. The excavations have revealed the relation of this place with the Gupta Dynasty, dates back to 6th Century AD. The huge monastery showing that Buddhism spread through these areas in the later part, especially due to the influence of the great King Ashoka. O/n at hotel.
Day 7: Bhubaneshwar - Puri (75km)
Breakfast at hotel. Visit Lingaraja Temple, the 11th century temple described as fusion of dream & reality, a rare masterpiece, and one of the finest examples of purely Hindu temple. Every inch of the 55 m-high Lingaraja temple is covered with elaborate carvings. Sculpture & architecture fused elegantly to create a perfect harmony. Mukteshwara Temple, build in 7th-8th century AD, one of the most ornate temples in Bhubaneswar. The intricate carvings of the deities stand testimony to the influence of Hindu, Buddha & Jain style of architecture. The carvings on the roof are specially striking. Parashurameshwara Temple, a small but richly decorated shrine of Shiva that was built in the 7th century. It is one of the best examples of the Orissa style of temple architecture.
Also visit Dhauli, where Mauryan Emperor Ashoka the Great renounced bloody warfare & embraced the teachings of Buddha after victory over kingdom of Kalinga. Visit Peace Pagoda known as Shanti Stupa built in early 1970 by Japanese. Also visit two ancient rock edicts, today eclipsed by the presence of the Pagoda dating from 260 BC they outline Ashoka`s detailed instructions to his administrators to rule with gentleness & fairness. Udaigiri & Khandgiri caves, largest Buddhist Complex in Orissa. These hills provide some solid examples of Jain & Buddhist art of the 2nd Century BC. There are monasteries, Chaitya & Stupas that represent a vibrant culture that flourished in these hills.
Drive to Puri check in and O/n at hotel.
Day 8: Puri
Breakfast at hotel. Visit The Konark Sun Temple, a 13th century Temple in the form of the chariot with 24 wheels, heavily decorated with symbolic stone carvings and led by a team of six horses. It was constructed from oxidizing weathered ferruginous-coloured sandstone by King Narasimhadeva I of the Eastern Ganga Dynasty. The temple is one of the most renowned temples in India and is a World Heritage Site as a cultural property under categories (i). Pipili applique work village, Raghurajpur artisan village, Ramchandi temple, Chandrabhaga beach & Lord Jagannath temple (only Hindu can enter temple sanctum). O/n at hotel.
Day 9: Puri - Gopalpur (135km)
Breakfast at hotel. Drive to Gopalpur enroute visit Chilika Lake, the second largest brackish water lagoon in the world after the New Caledonian barrier reef. It is the largest wintering ground for migratory birds on the Indian sub-continent & home to a number of threatened species of plants and animals. Enjoy a pleasant boat ride amidst the colorful migratory birds and the quaint water.
Continue drive to Gopalpur check in and O/n at hotel.
Day 10: Gopalpur - Srikakulam (170km)
Breakfast at hotel. Drive to Srikakulam check in at hotel.
Later excursion to visit the Buddhist heritage site of Salihundam. There are a number of Buddhist stupas and a huge monastic complex on a hillock amidst scenic surroundings. Four stupas, relic caskets, and architectural shrines were discovered during digging performed by state authorities, as well as sculptures of Buddhist deities Mareechi and Tara. All of the remnants were built between the 2nd century and 12th century, reflecting the different times of Buddhism: Mahayana, Theravada and Vajrayana. Buddhism spread to Sumatra and other far-eastern countries from here. Salihundam is one of the main Buddhist excavation sites, showing evidence that Buddhism thrived in the local area during the 2nd and 3rd centuries. In city visit Sri Suryanarayana Swamy Temple, a 7th century AD sun temple, believed to be built by king Devendra Varma is one of the oldest sun temples in India. Sri Kurmanatha Swamy Temple, a Hindu temple dedicated Mahavishnu. O/n at hotel.
Day 11: Srikakulam - Araku Valley (145km)
Breakfast at hotel. Drive to Araku Valley, an enticing hill station offers enlivening viewpoints, imposing waterfalls and lush green coffee plantations. Explore the Borra Caves, one of the largest, million year old limestone caves set at an elevation of 705m above the sea level. The marvellous creation of nature was formed when river waters flow through a limestone area, and the calcium carbonate turns into calcium bicarbonate, which is easily washed out by the running water. The most striking feature of the caves is its exquisite variety of speleothems ranging in size. Tribal Museum, that showcase the tribal culture and house utensils, jewellery, hunting tools & wedding photographs of tribal. Coffee Plantations on Ananthagiri Hills. The smell of coffee leaves is spread through the entire valley on miles and miles long coffee plantations in the mesmerizing hills of Ananthagiri. You will find a lot of tribal population working in the coffee plantations. Also visit Waterfalls & Galikonda Viewpoint. O/n at hotel.
Day 12: Araku Valley - Vizag (120km)
Breakfast at hotel. Drive to Vizag check in at hotel.
Later city tour of Vizag a port city and industrial center on the Bay of Bengal. Visit Submarine Museum located inside an actual submarine INS Kurusura. The INS Kurusura served the Indian Navy for 31 years before it was decommissioned in 2001. The museum is situated on RK beach, near the War Memorial. The museum has artefacts, pictures and articles that share stories of strength, sacrifice and patriotism of the warriors. Nearby are the elaborate Kali Temple and the Visakha Museum, an old Dutch bungalow housing local maritime and historical exhibits. Kailasagiri a hill top park & one of the best tourist spots in the city for a bird`s eye view of the bay. Victory at Sea War Memorial located on beach road a well maintained monument that generates a sense of patriotism and pride in our countrymen who fight selflessly for the safety of our citizens. O/n at hotel.
Day 13: Vizag - Kakinada (155km)
Breakfast at hotel. Drive to Kakinada check in at hotel.
Later boat safari in Coringa Wildlife Sanctuary. It is the second largest mangrove forest in India after Sundarbans. Merely 22km away from the Kakinada Beach, Coringa is a Wildlife Sanctuary as well as an estuary. It is home to 35 species of mangrove plants, 120 species of rare birds and innumerable species of flora. This sanctuary is also famous for being home to the critically endangered white-backed vulture, long-billed vulture, saltwater crocodiles and various salt-tolerant species of flora like Avincinia, Rhizophora and many more. There are wide wooden bridges built through the dense forest lands that allow you to walk through the forest looking at Flora and Fauna. Next visit Shri Bhavanarayana Swamy Temple, an important place of worship dedicated to Lord Vishnu. Rest time to relax on the beach. O/n at hotel.
Day 14: Kakinada - Machilipatnam (255km)
Breakfast at hotel. Drive to Machilipatnam check in at hotel.
Visit Panduranga Swamy Temple, it houses a statue of the Panduranga Vithal that measures 3 feet in height and resembles a lot of the childhood appearance of Lord Krishna. The idol of the lord is further beautified with a diamond studded crown and other ornaments. One will also find a statue of Abhayanjaney Swamy lying in front of the lord`s idol. Another temple dedicated to Goddess Rukmini, Radha and Satyabhama can be visited located just besides the entrance of this temple. Temples of Lord Shiva, five ancient temples dedicated to Lord Shiva can be spotted in the town. These age old temples reflects the rich cultural heritage & exquisite architectural features. Manginapudi Beach is an ideal place to relax and unwind while either sitting on the shore or swimming amid the shallow water of this natural bay. O/n at hotel.
Day 15: Machilipatnam - Nellore (300km)
Breakfast at hotel. Drive to Nellore check in at hotel.
Later visit Ranganatha Temple a Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Ranganatha a resting form of Lord Vishnu. It is located on the banks of the Penna River and is believed to have been constructed in the 12th century. Just before the main entrance of the temple is a huge tower, called Gaaligopuram, which literally means wind tower. This tower is approximately 70 feet high and has 10 feet of gold plated vessels on top of it, called kalashams. And Sri Vedagiri Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy Temple built in 9th century by the pallava king Narasimha Varma, according to the Rocks sculpture. Rest time free & easy to relax. O/n at hotel.
Day 16: Nellore - Chennai (275km)
Breakfast at hotel. Drive to Chennai enroute visit Venkatagiri Fort. Constructed by Recherla rulers in the year 1775 & surrounded by dense forest, the fort looks splendidly picturesque. The serene atmosphere in the fort calms your mind while the magnificence of the fort brings to the fore its past importance in the power game.
Further drive to Tirupati and visit Lord Venkateswara Temple one of the most ancient and sacred pilgrimage sites in India. The initial temple at Tirumala was built by the Tamil king Thondaimaan. The Pallavas of Kanchipuram (9th century), Cholas of Tanjore (10th century), Pandyas of Mathura and Vijayanagara Kings (14th & 15th centuries) regularly visited the temple and contributed largely to the temple.
Continue drive to Chennai check in at hotel. O/n at hotel.
Day 17: Chennai - Mahabalipuram (120km)
Breakfast at hotel. Drive to Mahabalipuram via Kanchipuram the city of thousand temples. In Kanchipuam visit Kailasanathar temple 8th century temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. Ekambareswarar temple an ancient temple dedicated to Siva, 2500 year old mango tree inside the temple has 4 branches each yields different varieties of mangoes. Varadharaja temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu. Vaikundhaperumal temple dedicated to lord Vishnu & Kamakshiamman temple the ultimate form of Goddess Parvati.
Continue drive to Mahabalipuram check in at hotel. Later visit Monolithic Temples Five Rathas an excellent examples of the evolution of Dravidian style architecture. Krishnas Butterball a gigantic granite boulder resting on a short incline. 7th century Cave Temples cut and decorated with panels in the Mamalla style. Shore Temple built with blocks of granite in 7th century during the rule of King Narsimha-Varman II Rajasimha the temple complex consisting of two Siva temples and a carving of Anantasayana Vishnu. The Arjuna`s Penance an enormous rock-cut relief, one of the largest in the whole world. O/n at hotel.
Day 18: Mahabalipuram - Pondicherry (120km)
Breakfast at hotel. Drive to Pondicherry check in at hotel.
Visit Aurovil & Pondicherry Museum. Drive pass through stunning French Quarters, which include French consulate, Raj Nivas, Government Square, Churches & French schools. Rest time to relax on the beach. O/n at hotel.
Day 19: Pondicherry - Thanjavur (180km)
Breakfast at hotel. Drive to Thanjavur via visiting Nataraja Temple dedicated to the dancing posture of Lord Shiva at Chidambaram. Constructed during the 10th century when Chidambaram used to be the capital of the Chola dynasty, the architecture of temple represents the link between arts and spirituality. Also visit The Great Living Chola Temples at Gangaikonda Cholapuram Temple built in Tamil style of architecture with a square plan. The temple complex includes Nandi Mandapa, Alankar Mandapa, Maha Mandapa, Mukha Mandapa and Ardha Mandapa. And Darasuram a storehouse of art and architecture with 85 feet high vimana. The front mandapam itself is in the form of a huge chariot drawn by horses. The temple has some exquisite stone carvings. The main deitys consort Periya Nayaki Amman temple is situated adjacent to Airavateshwarar temple. Arrive Thanjavur check in and O/n at hotel.
Day 20: Thanjavur - Trichy (60km)
Breakfast at hotel. Visit Brihadeshwara Temple, built in the 10th century it is an outstanding example of Chola architecture and is listed in UNESCO world heritage site. The shrine is a 216 feet structure, the sanctum is dotted with paintings from the Chola and Nayak periods and the statue of Nandi the Bull welcomes at the entrance. Vijayanagar Fort built by Nayaks and partly by Maratha rulers during the early 1550 AD. Thanjavur Art Gallery, located in the Thanjavur Palace has an exquisite collection of ancient sculptures and coins. Saraswathi Mahal Library another section of the Palace where over 30,000 palm leaf and paper manuscripts are preserved.
Drive to Trichy check in at hotel. Visit Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple the largest functional temple in the world. The temple complex along with the surrounding area covers a total area of 156 acres, there are 22 gopurams including India`s tallest 72 meters, 13 storey high. Many people have had a hand in its construction, including the Cheras, Pandyas, Cholas, Hoysalas and rulers from Vijayanagar. Rock Fort Temple the 83m high Rock Fort is the only outcrop in the flat land of the city. The rock is one of the oldest in the world-approximately 3800 million years, which makes it as old as the rocks of Greenland and older than the Himalayas. Also visit Jambukeswarar Temple dedicated to Lord Shiva, it houses five concentric walls, and seven gopurams. O/n at hotel.
Day 21: Trichy - Madurai (135km)
Breakfast at hotel. Drive to Madurai check in at hotel.
Later visit Meenakshi Temple one of the largest temple complexes in India built between the 16th to 18th centuries. Apart from the estimat ostration of countless devotees and glittering market stalls. Thirumalai Nayakar Palace built in 1636 AD by King Thirumalai Nayak, the palace depicts the perfect blend of Dravidian and Rajput styles. Also visit Alagar Koil, Tiruparankundram Murugan Temple & Palamuthirsolai Murugan Temple. O/n at hotel.
Day 22: Madurai - Rameshwaram (170km)
Breakfast at hotel. Drive to Rameshwaram check in at hotel. Later visit Ramanathaswamy Jyotirlinga Temple & Adams Bridge. O/n at hotel.
Day 23: Rameshwaram - Kanyakumari (320km)
Breakfast at hotel. Drive to Kanyakumari check in at hotel. Rest time to relax on the beach and watch sunset. O/n at hotel.
Day 24: Kanyakumari - Kovalam (80km)
Breakfast at hotel. Visit Vivekananda Rock Memorial built on the site where Vivekananda attained enlightenment, located at about 500 meters east of the mainland of Vavathurai and can be accessed by regular ferries. The Shripada Mandapam has a study hall and a museum, where you can explore Vivekananda`s life and work in depth. Vattakottai Fort, a seaside fort largely made of granite blocks. The historical fort provide a panoramic view of the Bay of Bengal Sea on one side and majestic hills of the Western Ghats on other. Kumari Amman Temple believed to be built by Lord Parshuram 3000 years ago to worship Devi Kanyakumari who is the reincarnation of goddess Parvati, on the coast rising above the sea level while affording a beautiful view of foamy water touching the temple walls (only hindu can enter the temple). Kanyakumari Beach, the beautiful hue-changing beach on the confluence of three water bodies: Bay of Bengal, Indian Ocean, and the Arabian Sea. Miraculously, here you can see that the water of three seas does not mix, you can distinguish between the turquoise blue, deep blue, and sea green waters of the three seas, though the colors keep changing with the season and the day`s weather.
Continue drive to Kovalam check in at hotel. O/n at hotel.
Day 25: Kovalam
Breakfast at hotel. City tour of Trivandrum. Visit Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple embellished in gold-plated covering, the temple sanctom is opened only to Hindu. Attukal Temple, rich in cultural heritage and adorned by impeccable Tamil architecture. The city has a rich tradition of nurturing art and culture since ancient times, witness same by visiting Museums. Napier Museum, renowned for its fine collection of sculptures, paintings and musical instruments. Kuthira Malika built in the 1840 is an iconic monument that gives you a curious insight into the glorious history of Kerala. The museum houses artifacts like the ethnic jewelry that was once worn by the queens, wooden paintings and carvings, armory and idols made of the purest metal. Sri Chitra Art Gallery a perfect place for art lovers housing some of the famous work of Raja Ravi Verma and art objects belonging to the Mughals, Rajputs and Tanjore art schools. Drive through famous beaches which include Shankumugham Beach, Kovalam Beach, Vizhinjam Beach & Light House Beach Road. O/n at hotel.
Day 26: Kovalam
Breakfast at hotel. Day free for personal activities and relax. O/n at hotel.
Day 27: Kovalam - Alleppey (160km)
Breakfast at hotel. Transfer to Alleppey boat jetty to board houseboat and sail through the tropical countryside enchanting backwaters. The Houseboats have generated electricity, sitting cum dining area, separate bedroom with attached English toilets, sun deck and fully loaded kitchen with a chef and driver. O/n in houseboat.
Day 28: Alleppey - Cochin (60km)
Breakfast at hotel. Drive to Cochin check in at hotel. City tour of Cochin the lovely seaside city flanked by the Western Ghats on the east and the Arabian Sea on the west. You will find here a unique mix and match of traditional as well Western architecture and lifestyle. Visit Fort Cochin a charming seaside area known for its Dutch, Portuguese & British colonial architecture and elaborate bamboo fishing nets at Fort Kochi Beach. St. Francis Church was the original burial site of explorer Vasco da Gama. Upscale eateries and chic cafes serve Keralan specialties, and quaint shops sell cotton clothing and handmade souvenirs. Heritage buildings house contemporary art galleries. Also visit Jewish Synagogue & the Mattancherry Dutch`s Palace. In the evening enjoy Kathakali, a traditional dance form of Kerala with lavish costumes, exotic makeup, masks etc. O/n at hotel.
Day 29: Cochin - Departure
Breakfast at hotel. As per flight schedule transfer to airport to board flight for onward destination.
Leave a Reply