Bird Watching Tour South India

Duration : 15 Days / 14 Nights
Attractions : 14 Cave Temples - Gowda Fort - Bannerghatta National Park - Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary - Amber Vilas - Chennakesava Temples - Bandipur National Park - Beautiful Botanical Garden - Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary - Cochin

Day 01 : Flight to India (Chennai)
Arive around midnight in Chennai (formerly Madras). The cosmopolitan and the capital city of Tamil Nadu is the major gateway for travelers to South India. When arrived, you will received by an Indo Vacations representative and moved to the hotel.

Day 02 : Chennai
Today after having the breakfast we drive through the coastal route to Mahabalipuram, where we visit some of the 14 cave temples and 9 monolithic rathas (temple chariots). This port was made by Pallavamala in the 7th century and was largely responsible for building the temples and in the afternoon we visit the St. George Fort. This fort is near the harbor area of Chennai and was built by the British in the 17th century.

Day 03 : Chennai - Bangalore
Drive to Bangalore in the morning. It is the capital city of the Indian state Karnataka. This city was formerly known as the "Garden city" but today it is known as "computer city" of India. In the afternoon we will drive through the garden city with its numerous avenues of Jacaranda, Gulmohar and Cassia. We will also visit the Bull temple, built in the Dravidian style of architecture owns a huge Nandi Bull carved out of single Grey Granite. We will also visit the famous Gowda Fort, built by Tipu Sultan, the Vidhan Sauda and downtown commercial centre. This Vidhana Sauda was built after independence and is a prominent piece of neo Dravidian style architecture.

Day 04 : Bangalore - Bannerghatta National Park - Bangalore
Today we will drive further to visit Bannerghatta National Park where you can find everything from avifauna to panthers. Home to panthers, lions, tigers and a large variety of birds, the park covers an area of 104.27 square km and is about 22 km from the city of Bangalore. Other animals include the Elephant, Gaur, Leopard, Jackal, Fox, Wild Pig, Sloth Bear, Sambar, Spotted Deer, Barking Deer, Langur, Bonnet Macaque, Porcupine and the Hare.

Day 05 : Bangalore - Mysore
Today in the morning after having breakfast we pass through the betel nut and pepper plantation and proceed to Mysore and make a stopover in Sravanabelgola where we visit the colossal monolithic statue, standing 18 meters high. This Jain sculpture represents the saintly prince Bahubali after he had gained Nirvana. The next destination after Sravanabelgola is Mysore. Mysore is world famous for silk and sandalwood and is also a center of producing saris that is a common dress of woman in India. In Mysore a major attraction to visit is Chamundi Hill that has a giant Nandi (buffalo god). The hilltop view can be enjoyed along with the surroundings. We will also visit the beautiful Brindavan Gardens in the evening.

Day 06 : Mysore - Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary - Mysore
Today we will drive to visit Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary. This bird sanctuary is around 20 km from Mysore and is situated on the banks of the Kaveri River. It includes of a group of six islets. This sanctuary gained the status of a bird sanctuary in the year 1940. There is a large number of birds at the sanctuary that attracts innumerable tourists. Some species of birds that are found here are Spoonbills, Open bill Storks, Darters, White Ibis, Little Cormorants, Egret, Heron, Partridge, River Tern, Stone Plougher, Snake Birds, etc. One can also go for ride along the river and the islets and watch the trees full of rare birds of myriad varieties. After visiting this sanctuary we will drive back to the hotel in Mysore.

Day 07 : Mysore - Belur (about 170 km)
Today in the morning we will visit the most awesome and one of the largest city palaces in India. 'Amber Vilas' the City Palace of Mysore is built in the Indo-Saracenic style. After the sightseeing in Mysore we proceed through beautiful hilly landscape and arrive in Halebid. Halebid is the ancient capital of Hoysala Empire. Here we visit the Hoysalesvara Temple of 12th century where we see half-life size statues of Hindu deities, with minute details of each, all around the temple. After Halebid the next destination will be Belur, where we visit the group of Chennakesava Temples that are famous for their architecture and sculptures.

Day 08 : Belur - Bandipur National Park
After having breakfast in the morning we will drive further to Bandipur National Park and in the afternoon we will visit the wildlife sanctuary in jeeps. This Park is one the many reserves located within the forest belt between the Western Ghats and the Nilgiri Mountains, it lies in the southern state of Karnataka and covers a forest area of 865 square kilometers. The Bandipur National Park gained the status of a national park in 1974 and is one of the original 9 tiger reserves under the watchful eye of "Project Tiger". Bandipur has a good population of wildlife - The Royal Bengal Tiger, Elephant, Spotted Deer and Sambar, Gaur and Flying Squirrel, four horned Antelope, Nilgiri Langur and Sloth Bear. The park has 1900 elephants , making it the park's most prominent features.

Day 09 : Bandipur National Park - Ooty
In the morning again we walk through Bandipur National Park and then, pass through the Tea plantation and eucalyptus forests of mountains of Nilgiri. Then we arrive in the city Ooty (Udhagamandalam), which was developed as hill station by British. It lies at an altitude of 2300 m. and still maintains the British flair.

Day 10 : Ooty
Ooty (also known as the queen of the blue mountains)is known for its rolling hills covered in pine and eucalyptus forests. It is also famous for its coffee and tea plantations. Now we visit the famous and most beautiful botanical Garden of Ooty which covers an area over 20 hectares, planted with more than a thousand varieties of plants, shrubs and trees including orchids, fern and alpine. Evening is free for leisure.

Day 11 : Ooty - Kumarakom
Today after having breakfast we will drive through the mountains, which are full of Cardamom and pass through the tea and coffee plantations. We then proceed to Kumarakom where we will enjoy the Boat ride trip through the tropical vegetation on the backwaters.

Day 12 : Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary
In the morning we will visit Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary. Kumarakom was earlier an old rubber plantation, developed into a bird sanctuary on the banks of Vemband Lake spreading over 14 acres of land. Now a popular leisure retreat with foreigners, this sanctuary is on the southern bank of Kavanar River opposite the Coconut Lagoon. It is home to numerous species of birds, such as Darters, Bitterns, Teal, Waterfowl, Cuckoo, Wild Ducks, Brahminy Kites, Marsh Harries, Teals and Herons and Siberian storks. We will also go for boat ride when visiting the Sanctuary.

Day 13 : Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary - Kochi (Cochin)
In the morning we will drive to Kochi (Cochin). This lovely place reveals its beauty as we drive through this region. One of the most interesting town in South India at Malabar Coast, Cochin, is also known as Venice of South. In Cochin we visit St. Francis church, the oldest European church in India in which the grave of famous sailor Vasco da Gama can be visited. After the visit of St. Francis Church we take a walk through the Jewish area of Mattancherry. The town of Cochin is divided into different parts, Fort Cochin, Willington Island, Ernakulam, Bolghatty Island and Vypeen Island. Most of the historic buildings are located in Fort Cochin.

Day 14 : Cochin:
Today we can spend the entire day exploring Cochin. In the late afternoon we visit a Kathakali dance school. Kathakali dances come from Kerala and in its traditional form relate stories from the Hindu epics Ramayana and Mahabharata. Rest of the day at leisure (opportunity for the shopping or enjoy a massage in the Hotel). After having dinner we depart to the Airport with Indo Vacations representative.

Day 15 : Cochin
Take a flight to your home destination around midnight.