Is Mysore Dussehra worth a visit
Fascination South India
Day 1: Vienna / Linz / Salzburg / Graz / Munich - Frankfurt - Bangalore / Bengaluru. In the morning flights to Frankfurt. At noon (around 12.25pm - 1.55pm) scheduled flight with Lufthansa to Bangalore in Karnataka - transfer to the hotel.
Day 2: Bangalore - Somnathpur - Mysore. In the morning drive to Somnathpur - the artists of the Hoysala dynasty have carved a true jewel of Indian stone carving out of the easily worked soapstone. We continue to Mysore, the second largest city of Karnataka, whose great pride is the impressive Maharaja's palace built in the Indo-Saracen style (visit). We end the day with a drive up Chamundi Hill with a wonderful view over the city. October date: We can experience the Mysore Dasara procession this evening.
Day 3: Mysore - Shravanabelagola - Coorg. In Shravanabelagola, a short hike takes us to the top of the hill where the 17 m high, bright white statue of the Jain saint Gomateshwara stands. In Coorg - in the middle of the foothills of the Western Ghats (800 m) - coffee and tea plantations await us on the banks of the Cauvery. In the afternoon we visit a Kodava family.
Day 4: Coorg - Kabini - Nagarhole-NP. In the west of Karnataka we find the largest contiguous forests in India (UNESCO World Heritage) - the Nagarhole National Park is home to the largest population of Indian elephants, but also numerous species of birds, deer, tigers, and much more.In the afternoon we undertake our first game viewing drive.
Day 5: Nagarhole NP - Cheruthuruthy. After another game drive in the morning we continue to the state of Kerala; Vasco da Gama landed here in 1498 on his first expedition to India. In the evening we reach Cheruthuruthy.
Day 6: Cheruthuruthy - Kerala Kalamandalam - Munnar. Not far from our hotel is the Kerala Kalamandalam on the banks of the River Nila, a center for art and culture, especially for the classical dance of South India. Then the road climbs up to the mountains of the Western Ghats in Munnar - we keep making short stops or walks in the tea plantations. The former Hill Station Munnar (1500 m) is also surrounded by tea plantations from which the highest mountain in South India, the Anamudi (2695 m), rises. We visit the interesting tea museum and take a trip to beautiful viewpoints.
Day 7: Munnar - Cochin / Kochi. Through the Western Ghats it goes to the coast to Cochin / Fort Kochi - the "Queen of the Arabian Sea", a picturesque harbor town on the coast of Malabar. A walk takes us to the Chinese fishing nets in the harbor and through the beautiful old streets of the old town of Fort Kochi to the Francis Church, the oldest church in India with the Vasco da Gamas cenotaph.
Day 8: Cochin / Kochi - Alleppey - houseboat trip through the backwaters. In the morning we visit the synagogue from the 16th century - one of the oldest synagogues in India (if open) - and the Mattancherry Palace of the Dutch. In the late morning drive to Alleppey: one of the most fascinating landscapes in India stretches behind the coast - half water, half land. A labyrinth of lagoons, lakes and canals runs through the palm-shaded land. In Alleppey the houseboats (in the style of old rice boats / Kettuvallam) await us, with which we glide through the backwaters of Kerala.
Day 9: Backwaters - Kumarakom - Vaikom - Periyar. We leave the houseboat and drive to Vaikom to the unique Kerala-style temple with its fantastically painted sanctuary. Then it goes again into the mountains of the Western Ghats - on the way we visit a spice garden and reach Periyar in the evening.
Day 10: Boat trip in Periyar - Madurai. On a boat trip in the Periyar reserve, with luck, you can see wild boars, deer, possibly also wild elephants and Gaur - Indian bison. Then drive east to the fertile plains of Tamil Nadu to Madurai, an oasis of traditional Tamil culture. Visit to the Meenakshi Temple: numerous gopurams (= temple towers) with a breathtaking abundance of colorful statues of gods rise above the halls. We end the day with a visit to the Tirumalai Nayak Palace (17th century) in the Indo-Saracen style.
Day 11: Madurai - Chettinad. Head northeast into the Chettinad region - 78 villages that impress with their own culture and architecture. Here was the smallest Maharaja empire in India, which owed its wealth to the banking and trading activities of the Chettiar merchants. Many of the beautiful merchant palaces have been preserved, we will visit one or two.
Day 12: Chettinad - Trichy - Tanjore - Swami Malai. In Trichy we explore the overwhelming Srirangam Temple - the largest temple complex in India and the center of Vishnuism. The 21 mighty gopurams are extremely impressive. Then a quick drive to Tanjore: The Chola kings built numerous temples in the Cauvery Delta, the most beautiful is the unique Brihadeshwara temple (10th century / UNESCO World Heritage). We reach Swami Malai via the holy city of Kumbakonam.
Day 13: Swami Malai - Gangaikondacholapuram - Chidambaram - Pondicherry. Our route to the north offers other great temples - Gangaikondacholapuram and Chidambaram, thanks to its location one of the most beautiful temples in the south. In the afternoon we reach Pondicherry, which was a French colonial city until 1954 - we explore the beautiful old town with a bike rickshaw.
Day 14: Pondicherry - Mahabalipuram - Chennai / Madras. Drive to Mahabalipuram, where the port city of the Pallava dynasty was in the 7th century. We explore the great rock temples on the coast as well as the largest relief in the world (UNESCO World Heritage). We end our trip with a short city tour through Chennai - after dinner transfer to the airport.
Day 15: Chennai / Madras - Frankfurt - Vienna / Linz / Salzburg / Graz / Munich. After midnight (approx. 1:50 am) flight back to Frankfurt, arrival at approx. 7:50 am - on to Austria and Munich.
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