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The Great Golden Triangle

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Travel bug Kerala Tour itinerary offers you value for money Tours to Kovalam,Tours to Poovar and Tours to Varkala along with quality accommodation in Luxury Hotels in Kerala.Our fascinating Kerala tours allows you to explore the extraordinary beauty, experience the cool puff of air, and inhale the fresh flavor of spices. Travelbug offers Kerala Tour Packages with   Enjoy your tour to Varkala with its exceptional beach and greenery.

Kovalam

If your idea of a holiday is to laze on a beach chair on clear sand with clear sky above and clear blue waters ahead of you with coconut trees lining the horizon on your side, then you could be dreaming of Kovalam. Just an hour’s drive from the hustle-bustle of the capital city of Thiruvananthapuram leads to this paradise beach. One of the most beautiful beaches in South India, Kovalam is a must-see on the list of beach lovers. Kovalam locally translates into a grove of coconut trees, and there are numerous coconut trees lining the beaches.

Ideal time to visit: September to March

Peak season: Mid-December to Mid-January

Places to visit/Recreation:  The famous Lighthouse Beach has a lighthouse built during the British era and is surrounded by a beautiful bay with calm waters created by a massive rocky promontory. It is an ideal location for swimming, sunbathing, surfing, herbal body toning, catamaran cruising during sunrise and sunset. The Hawah and Samudra beaches are also popular among tourists.

For the culturally inclined, there are theatres which stage live performances of traditional Kerala art forms like Kathakali and Kalaripayattu. Shopping options range from colourful silk scarves, handicrafts, Kerala spices, cashews, coconut artefacts, etc.

Kovalam is also haven to a variety of Ayurvedic treatments, Panchakarma treatments, Yoga therapy, and other natural remedies.

Kovalam is best enjoyed in its natural form, at the beaches. One could spend endless hours at the waters and still not be satiated. Sunrise and sunset views are simply superb, and few scenes can be more musical and beautiful than watching a full moon with the waves roaring.

Places to Stay: At Kovalam there are budget range accommodations with shacks along the beaches and 5-star hotels alike. Many hotels offer attractive packages combining different treatments with the stay. Food for different palates and wallets is available, with seafood being the most popular. Some hotels which have live sea-forms where people can select what they want to be cooked.

Nearest Airport: Trivandrum (16 kilometres from Kovalam)

Near railway station: Trivandrum

Road accessibility: Easily accessible by road.

Poovar

At the southern tip of Trivandrum, bordering Kerala and Tamil Nadu, is the beautiful coastal village of Poovar. With backwaters on one side and the sea on the other, Poovar is a network of lagoons, lakes, canals, estuaries, and deltas, interspersing forty-four rivers that join the Arabian Sea. The Neyyar River passes through Neyyattinkara taluk into the Arabian Sea near Poovar. Lying close to the natural harbour Vizhinjam, Poovar has an estuary which connects with the sea during high tides. A quiet tourist spot, Poovar was once a trading centre of timber, sandalwood, ivory, and spices. Stories about the name are many.  It is said that trading ships of King Solomon landed in a port called "Ophir", which was converted to Poovar down the ages. Another legend has it that the powerful merchant Moosa Marikkar gave refuge to Maharaja Marthanda Varma in this area. The Maharaja was amused by the picturesque sight of red kovala flowers floating in the Neyyar River and described it as Pu (flower) ar (river) or the river of flowers.

Ideal time to visit: October to March

Places to visit/Recreation: This is a perfect place to laze around, soak in the unlimited stretches of green and blue hues that weave the landscape, and feast on sumptuous food. Take a houseboat cruise on the Paruthiyur backwaters and picnic on the coconut-grove lined beach. Known for its exotic flowers, numerous spices, and coconut groves, a walk around Poovar gives a taste of the well-preserved flora here.

Whatever you are looking for, Poovar has something for you. A rejuvenating ayurvedic experience, complete with medicated steam baths and herbal oils to refresh your senses; kettuvallam rides or trip to the ancient kalarippayattu centre for cultural lovers; sunset and sunrise cruises for a romantic getaway; or just relaxing at the silent beach for beach lovers.

Places to stay: Poovar is basically a fishing village, but there are numerous hotels and resorts as well as home-stays to provide a comfortable stay.

Nearest airport: Trivandrum (20 Km)

Nearest railway station: Trivandrum (22 Km)

Accessibility by road: Easily accessible by road.

Varkala

For a triple combination of geology, history, and pristine beaches, head to Varkala. This beautiful place is rated one of the top six Indian beaches with clear sands and unending sea and not yet crowded spaces. This is the only place in Kerala where you can find cliffs overlooking the waves in the otherwise flat coast, and has been declared a geological monument. The cliffs have numerous gushing springs, and the water is believed to have healing powers.

Best time to visit: September to May

Places to visit/Recreation: The Papanasanam beach (literally translates to “destroyer of sins”) in the southern end of the cliff is the most visited beach and provides one of the best sunset views. To sit down on Varkala beach and watch the sun go down the horizon is considered poetic bliss. For the adventurous, there are activities like sailing, parasailing, surfing, and scuba diving. Beach volleyball is another option for sports lovers.

The 900-year-old Janardhana Swamy Temple is regarded as an important shrine for Vaishnavites and referred to as Southern Varanasi or Kashi. Decorated elephants lead a colourful procession on the last day of the 10-day annual Arattu festival dedicated to Lord Vishnu, held in the month of Menam (March to April).

The beach has a number of multi-cuisine restaurants, with delicious sea food cooked in the distinct spices and flavours of Kerala.

Varkala is dotted with many Ayurvedic centres offering yoga, meditation, and other natural therapies. Tourists throng these places to cure their ailments and also for de-stressing and rejuvenation.

The famous "beach bazaars" are abundant in which there are numerous knickknacks and souvenirs, like handicrafts made from coconut shells and oyster shells, to jewellery and Kerala spices on sale.

Places to stay: Varkala offers a wide range of staying options to suit your budget. The place has beachside shacks, star hotels, and ultra-luxury resorts with superb amenities like the Varkala Marine Palace.

Nearest airport: Trivandrum (57 Km from Trivandrum).  The Papanasanam beach also has a helipad.

Nearest railway station: Varkala (3 Km to the beach)

Accessibility by road: Easily accessible by road.

Cherai Beach

Cherai, with a combination of green paddy fields, coconut palms, backwaters, and the sea has an ambience that reflects harmony and balance. This beach is located in the northern part of the Vypin Islands and stretches 27 kilometres in length.

Best time to visit: Through the year excluding the rainy season, June to October.

Places to visit/Recreation: The long stretch of beach is clean, shallow and ideal for swimming and sunbathing. The lagoon and the ocean are separated by a few hundred meters; this rare sight is quite enthralling. Cherai is also famous for water scooters, speed boating, snorkelling, and sailing. If you are lucky, you may even spot dolphins. Birdwatchers should look out for herons or storks in the sky and ducks waddling in the shallow waters. Cherai’s network of lakes, lagoons, canals and estuaries houses a variety of freshwater flora and fauna.

The tourism fest during December is a major attraction of Cherai Beach. Cherai boasts of a spruced up walkway that is 400 meters long well lit by high mask lights, which gives a magical glow at night.

There are a number of centres which offer natural remedies like Ayurveda, Yoga, and meditation. Food options are varied, but the local sea food cuisine being the main attraction.

Places to stay: Cherai has a number of luxury resorts, hotels and Ayurvedic spas catering to different budgets. Many of these are located overlooking the Arabian Sea and provide splendid views. Alternatively, staying in Cherai could be made memorable in themed hide-outs, modelled on traditional Kerala homes or authentic Nalukettus with modern amenities and Ayurvedic treatments at affordable rates.

Nearest airport: Cochin (about 30 Km from Cherai).

Nearest railway station: Aluva (20 Km from Cherai).

Accessibility by road: Easily accessible by road.  Cherai is reachable through regular boats plying from Cochin to Vypin Island, from where a ferry to Cherai is easily available. There is a new bridge linking Ernakulam to Vypin that passes along the islands of Bolghatty, Mulavukadu, Vallarpadam, and the drive is considered to be very scenic.

Marari Beach

If you want to be transported back in time, back to about a hundred years ago, head to Marari beach. This beach is a part of Mararikulam, a local fishing village in coastal Kerala where life has not changed much in the last century, with fishing being the main occupation. The idyllic Marari Beach lies between Cochin and Alappuzha and is one of India's best kept secrets. The name Marari is derived from the name of this village, which offers endless miles of sand beaches backed by swaying palms. This virgin territory provides an experience combining the local charm and traditional Kerala hospitality at its best.

Best time to visit: October to May

Places to visit/Recreation: Marari beach provides a relaxing and a charming old-world experience for those who would like to explore its marvellous backwaters and get transported back in time. Adventure lovers can enjoy parasailing or sailing.

Marari is famous for manufacturing coir from the husk of coconut, and this coir is used to make mats and brushes. A trip through these units to see the various products being made is an entertaining and educating experience.

Shoppers can make a trip to nearby Cochin to shop for either spices or antique art works. After any of these activities, you can end an ideal day by sitting back and relaxing on the beach and watching the sun set over the horizon. This can be followed by a leisurely dinner with music provided by the sound of the waves.

Places to stay: Until recently, Marari had only one resort, owing to its uncrowded appeal. With tourism picking up, a number of home-stays and resorts have sprouted. Most accommodations also offer Ayurveda, Panchakarma, Yoga and other natural remedies. Food options are numerous; though most cuisines are served, Kerala cuisine, and particularly sea food, would be the obvious choice.

Nearest airport: Cochin (85 Km away), Thiruvananthapuram (150 km)

Nearest railway station: Mararikulam (5 km from the beach)

Accessibility by road: Easily accessible by road, NH-47 is just about 5 km East of Mararikulam; 11 km from Alappuzha.

Alappuzha

Touted as the “Venice of the East” by global travellers, Alappuzha, earlier called Alleppey, is a district of immense natural beauty. Alappuzha literally translates as “the land that lies between the sea and its rivers”. It is caressed by the Arabian Sea on the west with a network of lakes, lagoons, and freshwater rivers crisscrossing it. Being a home to unique animal and bird life forms, Alappuzha has tremendous backwater tourism potential that is yet to be fully harnessed. Because of its proximity to the sea, the town finds significant mention in Kerala’s maritime history.

Best time to visit: August to March.

Places to visit/Recreation: The very mention of the town’s name brings to memory the Nehru Snake Boat Race, held annually on the second Saturday of August, where snake boats are rowed across the river with thousands of spectators cheering their favourite teams.

The ferry boat rides through scenic backwaters is another favourite with tourists. Another tourist favourite is the houseboat. As the name suggests, it is a house in a boat, with kitchen and bedroom included. You can either take a ride in these or spend days on end in these houseboats on the backwaters.

A major centre for the coir and carpet industry, Alappuzha houses about 4000 production units including some big manufacturing units with mechanized looms.

The Alappuzha beach, Ambalapuzha temple, Krishnapuram Palace, Chettikulangara Bhagavathy Temple, Arthunkal, Karumadikkuttan, and Champakulam Church are other attractions in this famous district.

Apart from boat races, beaches, marine products and the coir industry, Alappuzha is synonymous with one other thing, Kuttanad - a land of lush paddy fields referred to as the “Rice Bowl of Kerala” and one of the few places in the world where farming is done below sea level.

Nearest airport: Trivandrum (150 km); Cochin (Nedumbassery - 85 km)

Nearest railway station:  About 5 km from bus station and ferry station.  Rails from most major cities pass through Alappuzha.

Accessibility by road: Easily accessible by road from most parts of Kerala, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. 

Kumarakom

Get off your tired feet and unwind as you sit down or lay and watch the birds fly by at Kumarakom. Situated on the banks of the largest backwaters in Kerala, the Vembanad Lake, which is full of shrimps and prawns, Kumarakom is also home to a wide variety of flora and fauna. Described by tourists as one of the most beautiful villages, foreigners often liken it to paradise. The Kerala Government realised the significance of this place and declared it a “Special Tourism Zone.” The village of Kumarakom is a group of islands and is part of the Kuttanad region, called the “Rice Bowl of Kerala.”

Best time to visit: June to August; November to February.

Places to visit/Recreation:  Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary is vast, spread across 14 acres, and came into being following the preservation efforts from the Kerala government.  This ornithologist’s paradise is a favourite haunt of migratory birds and houses birds from Siberia and Himalayas alike. Egrets, darters, herons, teal, waterfowl, cuckoo, parrots, teal, wood beetle, wild duck and migratory birds like the Siberian stork that flock Kumarakom are a fascination for visitors. A ride on either a motorboat or houseboat is one of the best ways to watch the birds of the Kumarakom sanctuary.

A boat ride through Vembanad Lake provides a beautiful landscape of lake, green trees, and the bird sanctuary. Try the special boats like Kochu-odi Vallam, Odi-Vallam, Iruttukutthi Vallam, Churulan Vallam, and Chundan Vallam (Snake Boat) which can also be seen in the boat races during Onam. Kumarakom also boasts of a private sailing club on the offshore of Vembanad Lake.

Another popular picnic spot is Aruvikkuzhi waterfalls with water falling down a mountain from 100 feet and providing a breathtaking view.

Places to stay: Varied options, to suit any budget.

Nearest airport: Cochin (70 km)

Nearest railway station:  Kottayam (15 km)

Accessibility by road: Easily accessible by road. Kumarakom is 14 km from Kottayam which is well connected with state and national highways.

Thekkady

Two images spring to mind with Thekkady; that of a herd of elephants playing in the lake, and the tree houses that provide a life elevated from ground level.

Best time to visit: September to March.

Places to visit/ Recreation: The Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary is situated on the banks of Periyar Lake at Thekkady. The high mountains of Western Ghats are covered in dense evergreen, moist deciduous forests, and savannah grass lands. The sanctuary houses elephants, sambars, tigers, gaurs, lion, tailed macaques, and Nilgiri langurs. Spread across 777 sq km, 360 sq km of which is thick evergreen forest, Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary is a Tiger Reserve. This fascinating jungle is renowned for its diversity of wildlife, geomorphology, and scenic beauty.

The best way to enjoy the sanctuary is by boats, safeguarded by nets, which allow a peek into the wildlife from close quarters. There is a beautiful artificial lake formed by the Mullaperiyar Dam built across the Periyar River.

About 5 km from Thekkady is Murikkady, which is famous for its coffee, cardamom, and spice plantations.

Kurisumala is a major tourism and trekking spot and offers breathtaking views of Kumily town and Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary. 5 kilometres from Kumily lies a photographer’s delight - Pandikuzhi.

The Chellar Kovil, located about 15 km from Kumily and leading to Theni district of Tamil Nadu, has a lot of waterfalls and cascades and is extremely serene and beautiful

About 15 km from Thekkady is the Mangala Devi Temple, a beautiful stone temple in Thekkady forest, which is open only during the festival of Chitra Pournima.

Whether walking through plantations or going on a lazy elephant ride, trekking to test your stamina or relaxing on a boat ride, Thekkady offers all this and more.

Places to stay: Being a famous tourist spot, Thekkady also offers the usual accommodation options, but the stay in a tree house in the dense forest is an experience unlike any other.

Nearest airport: Madurai (114 km), Cochin (185 km), and Trivandrum (250 km).

Nearest railway station:  Kottayam (110 km)

Accessibility by road: Easily accessible by road.

Munnar

A must-see on for anybody who loves hills, Munnar is one of the most popular Indian tourist destinations. Situated at an altitude of 1520 meters at the confluence of the rivers, Muthirappuzha, Nallathanni, and Kundaly, Munnar literally means “three rivers.” The highest peak in the Western Ghats, Anamudi lies close to Munnar . It took some time for this sleepy plantation town to wake up to tourism, but today it is rated stunning by those who have seen it and a must see for those who have not.

Best time to visit: September to June.

Places to visit/Recreation: The main tourist attractions in Munnar are the tea gardens. Walking through the plantations, one can watch the entire process from picking tea leaves to packing which is quite enthralling. Tea lovers can also sample and select their favourite flavour.

Lined with extensive plantations, Munnar has lost a lot of its flora and fauna. Endangered species like the Nilgiri thar, grizzled giant squirrel, Nilgiri wood-pigeon, elephant, gaur, and sambar are guarded in the surrounding protected areas including Kurinjimala Sanctuary, Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary, Manjampatti Valley, Amaravati Reserve Forest, Indira Gandhi Wildlife Sanctuary, Eravikulam National Park and Anaimudi Shola National Park, Pampadum Shola National Park, and Palani Hills National Park.

Attukal is ideal for trekking and is picturesque with waterfalls and hills.

Devikulam is another beautiful hill station with exotic flora and fauna. The Sita Devi Lake here, with its mineral water bodies and fishing activities, is an ideal picnic spot.

Nyayamakad, another trekking and picnic spot, is also famous for its waterfalls.

The Chirst Church of Munnar is a predominant landmark. Pallivasal, 8 kms away from Munnar, is another picturesque location housing the first hydropower project in Kerala.

Munnar also has an option of parasailing, gliding over the sprawling tea plantations.

Places to stay: Being one of the most popular tourist spots, Munnar has a wide range of options to stay, from home-stays to posh resorts.

Nearest airport: Cochin (135 km), Madurai (170 km),(Coimbatore 160 kms)

Nearest railway station:  Aluva (128 km), Cochin (130 km)

Accessibility by road: Easily accessible by road. 
Kochi

Home to one of the world’s finest harbours, Kochi (formerly Cochin), is known as the “Queen of the Arabian Sea.” A global spice trading centre for centuries, this former gateway to South India is now the business capital of Kerala. Migrating people and expanding business transformed this city into a cultural melting pot.

Best time to visit: October to March.

Places to visit/Recreation: Kochi has numerous tourist attractions ranging from palaces to churches to museums to islands.

The Mattancherry Palace or the Dutch Palace was built by the Portuguese and presented to the King of Cochin and through murals depicts Hindu temple art, portraits, and exhibits of Kings of Cochin.

The Jewish or the Paradesi Synagogue is also situated in Mattancherry and is close to the Mattancherry Palace. The oldest synagogue in the Commonwealth of Nations, it is located in Jew Town.

Santa Cruz Cathedral Basilica is a church that was later upgraded to a cathedral, a must-see for visitors in Cochin.

Bolgatty Palace, one of the oldest existing Dutch palaces outside Holland, it has been presently converted to a luxury resort.

Wellingdon Island: A link to the other seaports of the world, this artificial island was created from the sand obtained by deepening the Cochin port.

The St. Francis Church, believed to be the oldest European-built church in India, is another attraction.

The Hill Palace Museum, Chinese fishing nets, Museum of Kerala, St. Francis Assisi Church, Pallipuram Fort, Parikshit Thampuran Museum, Kanjiramattom Mosque, Bastion Bungalow are other tourist attractions.

A short drive out of Kochi can lead to Athirappilly falls, Cherai Beach, Kalady, Bhoothathankettu, Chottanikkara Temple, Kadamattom Church, Paliam Palace at Chendamangalam, and Malayattoor. Kerala has no dearth of tourist spots and another exotic place is just a few more kilometres away.

Places to stay: Stay options at Kochi range the entire gamut and include 7-star hotels to 3-star hotels to hotels which offer tiny rooms with basic amenities.

Nearest airport: Cochin (Both national and international flights)

Nearest railway station:  Kochi - connected to most major cities.

Accessibility by road: Easily accessible by road.

Goa

Goa, once a Portugese Colony, is India's smallest state by area and the fourth smallest by population. Located on the west coast of India in the region known as the Konkan, it is a beautiful beach state bounded by the state of Maharashtra to the north, and by Karnataka to the east and south, while the Arabian Sea forms its western coast. The historic city of Margao in Goa still exhibits the influence ofPortuguese culture, who first landed in the early 16th century as merchants, and conquered it soon thereafter. The Portuguese overseas territory existed for about 450 years, until it was annexed by India in 1961.

Renowned for its beaches, places of worship and world heritage architecture, Goa is visited by large numbers of international and domestic tourists each year. It also has rich flora and fauna, owing to its location on the Western Ghats range, which is classified as a biodiversity hotspot. The lush green vegetation at par with the rolling sea waves adds exquisiteness to Goa. A quite stroll amidst the swaying palms along the golden beaches or a relaxing boat cruise with your loved ones can give you the serenity you deserve to make life bliss. Besides the natural beauty, the fabulous beaches and sunshine, travellers to Goa love the laid-back, peaceful, warm and friendly nature of the Goan people.

 

GETTING TO GOA

Goa by Air

Dabolim, the main entry point for Goa is situated at a distance of around 30 km from Panaji on the coast near Vasco da Gama. Most domestic airlines operate to Goa in addition to chartered private airlines operating from UK and Germany.

Goa by Rail

It is not difficult to reach Goa by trains, especially after the opening of the Konakan Railway that connects Margao and Vasco da Gama to major cities in India. You can take trains from Delhi (1,874 km), Mumbai (490km), and Bangalore (430 km) to reach Goa comfortably. Once at the railway station, you may hire taxis and motorcycle taxis to reach your desired destination.

Goa by Road / Water
Goa, Maharashtra and Karnataka state transport corporations operate from the Kadamba bus stand at Panaji. Frank Shipping operates a boat service between Mumbai and Panaji. Moving around in Goa is quite easy. One can find bus as well as car rental services. A unique experience is that of the motorcycle taxi. Several ferry services are also available.

MAJOR BEACHES IN GOA

Anjuna Beach
Situated at a distance of 18 km from Panaji, Anjuna is a small village on the seashores of the Arabian Sea. Popularly known as the freak capital of the world, Anjuna beach comes alive with its ever famous full moon parties and flea market.

Calangute Beach
Known as “Queen of Beaches” Calanguate is a haven for hippies since it was the hippies who discovered this beach. It is Goa's busiest and most commercialized resort centre.

Baga Beach
10 km west of Mapusa, Baga Beach is basically an extension of the Calangute beach. A rocky wooded headland marks Baga Beach. In fact it is very difficult to mark where one ends and another begins. The Baga River flows on one side of the Baga Beach that creating a pleasant diversion for children.

Dona Paula
Nestled on the southern side of the headland that divides the Zuari and Mandovi estuaries, Dona Paula beach is situated around 7 km from Panaji. This beach provides a panoramic view of the Mormugao harbor. The beach offers tourists the place for sunbaths and also cheap seaside goods from local vendors.

Benaulim Beach
Benaulim Beach is less than 2 km south of Colva Beach. The beach has good accommodation facilities with fine restaurants bars.

Cavelosim Beach
One of the most famous tourist destinations in Goa, Cavelossim Beach is considered as the most beautiful beach in south Goa. It lies between the Arabian Sea and the Sal River. Your visit at Cavelossim beach is made more memorable thanks to the complete holiday it offers in addition to attractive shopping opportunities.

Chapora Beach
Located at a distance of about 10 km from Mapusa, North Goa, Chapora Beach is one of the most interesting beaches of Goa. The beach has many regular cafes and restaurants. The most famous attraction here is Chapora Fort and the houses built in dense groves of coconut palms.

Condolim Beach
Less crowded and a quiet beach in comparison to Anjuna or Calangute, Condolim beach offers various water-sports activities-right from parasailing to water-skiing.

Bogmolo Beach
Bogmolo Beach is clean and not too crowded, with reasonably safe water for swimming, and plenty of places to eat, drink and shop at.

Miramar Beach
Just 3 km away from the capital city of Panjim, Miramar beach is popularly known as “Gasper Dias”. An ideal place for evening walks, the beach also provides a panoramic view of the Aguada Fort just across the Mandovi River.

Pololem Beach
One of the most enchanting beaches in Goa and situated at a distance of 37 km from Margao, Pololem Beach (also known as Palolem Beach) is a beach of white sand facing a crescent shaped bay between two headlines.

Vagator Beach
Located at a distance of 22 km from Panaji, Vagator Beach is a beautiful beach situated in a cool rural area. It has an excellent and hassle-free atmosphere.

Varca Beach
Located at the distance of about 2 km from the south of Benaulim Beach in South Goa, it is one of the most impressive and lovely beaches of Goa. Verca Beach is a destination where one can find the very basic stuff of Goa.

Chennai

Chennai, formerly known as Madras is the capital city of the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu, located on the Coromandel Coast of the Bay of Bengal. The city was established in the 17th century by the British, who developed it into a major urban centre and naval base. By the 20th century, it had become an important administrative centre, as the capital of the Madras Presidency.

Chennai, like all the other metropolises in India, experienced significant economic growth in the last 15 years. It has several options for mainstream entertainment with malls, multiplexes, restaurants and hotels at nearly every major commercial district. The city has a vibrant theatre scene and is an important centre for Bharatanatyam, a classical dance form. The Tamil film industry, popularly known as Kollywood, the second largest movie industry in India, is based in the city. It is also the medical capital of India with some of the country’s best healthcare institutions situated in the city.

Pondicherry

Pondicherry, a splendid blend of occident and orient, was once a French colony. It is also referred to as the 'Quintessence of French Culture'. A small fishing village once existed here in 1673, when the French first settled a trading post here. Since then French exercised control over it except for brief periods when the district passed into the hands of Dutch and British.

Today, Pondicherry has proudly acquired the reputation of being one of the best meditation centre in the world's along with a collection of related activities. It is the most appropriate holiday centre for those in quest of a relaxed, leisurely holiday while simultaneously imbibing India's great spiritual and cultural heritage.

Mammallapuram (Mammallapuram)

Mammallapuram (also know as Mamallapuram) located 60 kms South of Chennai, nestling on the shores of the Bay of Bengal, was once a port of the Pallavas. The Pallavas were creators of some of the best monuments with Sculptural Panels, Caves, Monolithic Rathas and Temples.

Once a thriving port trading with many distant nations, Pallava chisels have breathed life into stone. The Pallavas’ art emphasises on robust eatherly beauty, imbibed with life. These monumental splendours along with the sunny beach resorts have been attracting tourists from all over the world. The collection of various historic monuments built between the 7th and 9th century has gained the spot a classification as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Bangalore

Bangalore, also known as Bengaluru is the capital city of the Indian state of Karnataka. Located on the Deccan Plateau in the south-eastern part of Karnataka, Bangalore is India's third most populous city. It is one of the most hip and happening cities in India and also a major center of the IT industry. A major centre for shopping, Bangalore has a wide variety of shopping malls offering some of the best brands in the world. It is also recommended to experience the pub scene mostly around MG Road, Brigade Road, and Church Street.

Bangalore is also famous for its innumerable educational and research institutes. The Indian Institute of Science, set in sprawling grounds, is the largest and best in India.

Mysore

Mysore is the second-largest city in the state of Karnataka, India. The headquarters of the Mysore district and the Mysore division, it lies about 146 km (91 mi) southwest of Bangalore, the capital of Karnataka. The name Mysore is an anglicised version of Mahishūru, which means the abode of MahishaMahisha stands for Mahishasura, a demon from the Hindu mythology. The city is spread across an area of 128.42 km2 (50 sq mi) and is situated at the base of the Chamundi Hills.

Famous for the festivities that take place during the Dasara festival when the city receives a large number of tourists. Mysore also lends its name to the Mysore mallige, Mysore style of painting, the sweet dish Mysore Pak, Mysore Peta (traditional silk turban) and the garment called the Mysore silk saree. Also addressed as the 'Sandalwood City of India', the city of Mysore presents a host of spectacular tourist attractions that can be visited by tourists during their vacation in the old city of the state of Karnataka. Once the administrative capital of the Wodeyar dynasty, the city of Mysore still retains the old world charm in the shadowed alleys and thoroughfares. The temples, magnificent palaces and luxuriant gardens are the chief Mysore tourist attractions that are frequently visited by the tourists.

Some major points of interest in Mysore are:

1    The Mysore Palace.

2    The Brindavan Gardens

3    Chamundi Hills

4    Lalitha Mahal

5    St. Philomena's Church

6    Mysore Zoo

7    Datta Peetham

8    Jaganmohan Art Galary

9    Jayalakshmi Vilas

10   Rajendra Vilas

11   Namma Mysore

12   Krishna Raja Sagar

Delhi

Delhi, known locally as Dilli National Capital Territory of Delhi (NCT), is the largest metropolis by area and the second-largest metropolis by population in India. It is the eighth largest metropolis in the world by population with more than 12.25 million inhabitants in the territory and with over 15.9 million residents in the National Capital Region region. The name Delhi is often also used to include some urban areas near the NCT, as well as to refer to New Delhi, the capital of India, which lies within the NCT. The NCT is a federally administered union territory. Located on the banks of the River Yamuna, Delhi has beencontinuously inhabited since at least the 6th century BC. After the rise of the Delhi Sultanate, Delhi emerged as a major political, cultural and commercial city along the trade routes between northwest India and the Indo-Gangetic plains.[5][6] It is the site of many ancient and medieval monuments, archaeological sites and remains. In 1639, Mughal emperor Shahjahan built a new walled city in Delhi which served as the capital of the Mughal Empire from 1649 to 1857.

When India gained independence from British rule in 1947, New Delhi was declared its capital and seat of government. New Delhi houses important offices of the federal government, including the Parliament of India. Owing to the migration of people from across the country, Delhi has grown to be a cosmopolitan metropolis. Its rapid development and urbanisation, coupled with the relatively high average income of its population, has transformed Delhi. Today Delhi is a major cultural, political, and commercial center of India

Agra

Located on the banks of the Yamuna River is Agra, a city in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, India. It achieved fame as the capital of the Mughal emperors from 1526 to 1658 and remains a major tourist destination because of its many splendid Mughal-era buildings, most notably the Tāj Mahal (One of the Seven Wonders of the World), Agra Fort and Fatehpūr Sikrī, all three of which are UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The architectural splendour of the mausoleums, the fort and the palaces is a vivid remainder of the the wealth in the 16th and early 17th centuries.

Jaipur

Popularly known as the Pink City, Jaipur is the capital of Rajasthan state, India. Jaipur used to be the former capital of the princely state of Jaipur. Founded in 18 November 1727 by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II, the ruler of Amber, the city today has a population of more than 3 million residents. It is also sometimes referred to as Paris of India.

Jaipur is the first well planned city of India, located in the desert lands of Rajasthan. The very structure of Jaipur resembles the taste of the Rajputs and the Royal families. In the present date, Jaipur is the major business centre for the natives of Rajasthan with all requisites of a metropolitan city. The city is remarkable among pre-modern Indian cities for the width and regularity of its streets which are laid out into six sectors separated by broad streets 111 ft (34 m) wide. The urban quarters are further divided by networks of gridded streets. Five quarters wrap around the east, south, and west sides of a central palace quarter, with a sixth quarter immediately to the east. The Palace quarter encloses a sprawling palace complex (the Hawa Mahal, or the Palace of Winds), formal gardens, and a small lake. Nahargarh Fortcrowns the hill in the northwest corner of the old city. Another noteworthy building is Sawai Jai Singh's observatory, Jantar Mantar.