Bird Watching in South India
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Last updated: 06/23/2007
South India and mainly Kerala contains one of the richest and most varied avifauna in India. It is a well-recognized birders destination exhibiting considerable diversity of terrain, vegetation.
Flight to India (Chennai)
Around Midnight arrive in Chennai (formerly Madras). The cosmopolitan City and capital of Tamil Nadu is the main gateway for travellers to South India. Upon arrival, you will be met by an Indo Vacations representative and transferred to the hotel.
Today after having the breakfast we drive through the coastal route to Mahabalipuram. In Mahabalipuram we visit some of the 14 cave temples and 9 monolithic rathas (temple chariots) Pallavamala was the ruler who made the port famous in the 7th century and was largely responsible for building the temples. In the afternoon we visit the St. George Fort. This fort is near the harbour area of Chennai. The British built this fort in the 17th century.
Chennai - Bangalore
In the morning we drive to Bangalore. Bangalore is the capital city of the Indian state Karnataka. This former "Garden city" Bangalore is known today 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 visit the Bull temple, which is built in the Dravidian style of architecture. This temple has a huge Nandi Bull carved out of single Grey Granite. We will also visit the famous Gowda Fort, which was built by Tipu Sultan. We will also visit the Vidhan Sauda and downtown commercial centre. This Vidhana Sauda, which is built after independence, stands out by its imposing architecture in the neo Dravidian style.
Bangalore - Bannerghatta National Park - Bangalore
Today we will drive further to visit Bannerghatta National Park. Here we can find everything from avifauna to panthers in the Bannerghatta National Park. This park is home to panthers, lions, tigers and a large variety of birds. This 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.
Bangalore - Mysore
Today in the morning after having breakfast we pass through the betel nut and pepper plantation and proceed to Mysore. Today we 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 enlightenment. After the visit of Sravanabelgola we proceed to Mysore. Mysore is world famous for silk and sandalwood. Mysore is also a centre of producing saris that is a common dress of woman in India. In Mysore we drive to Chamundi Hill to see a giant Nandi (buffalo god) and enjoy the view of the surroundings form the hilltop. We will also visit the beautiful Brindavan Gardens in the evening.
Mysore - Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary - Mysore
Today we will drive to visit Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary. This sanctuary is around 20 km from Mysore. This bird sanctuary is situated on the banks of the Kaveri River, includes of a group of six islets as well. This bird sanctuary attained the status of a bird sanctuary in the year 1940. The large number of birds at the sanctuary has attracted large number of 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. We can also have ride along the river and the islets, to witness the trees full of beautiful birds of myriad varieties. After visiting this sanctuary we will drive back to the hotel in Mysore.
Mysore - Belur (about 170 km)
Today in the morning we visit the most impressive and one of the largest city palaces in India. The City Palace of Mysore "Ambar Vilas" is built in the Indo-Saracenic style. After the sightseeing in Mysore we proceed through picturesque hilly landscape and arrive in Halebid. Halebid is the ancient capital of Hoysala Empire. In Halebid 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 the visit in Halebid we proceed to Belur. In Belur we visit the group of Chennakesava Temples that are famous for their architecture and sculptures.
Belur - Bandipur National Park
In the morning after having breakfast we will drive further to Bandipur National Park. In the afternoon we will visit the wildlife sanctuary in jeeps. Bandipur National Park is one the many reserves located within the forest belt between the Western Ghats and the Nilgiri Mountains. Bandipur lies in the southern state of Karnataka and covers a forest area of 865 square kilometers. It was declared a National Park in 1974 and is one of the original 9 tiger reserves under the watchful eye of "Project Tiger". Bandipur has a sizeable population of wildlife - The Royal Bengal Tiger, Elephant, Spotted Deer and Sambar, Gaur and Flying Squirrel, four horned Antelope, Nilgiri Langur and Sloth Bear. Amongst the reserve's most prominent animals are its 1900 -odd elephants.
Bandipur National Park - Ooty
In the morning again we will have a stroll through Bandipur National Park and then, we will pass through the Tea plantation and eucalyptus forests of mountains of Nilgiri and arrive in the city Ooty (Udhagamandalam). Ooty was developed as hill station by British, lies at an altitude of 2300 m. and still has British flair.
Ooty (also known as the queen of the blue mountains) is famous for its rolling hills covered in pine and eucalyptus forests and also for its coffee and tea plantations. We visit the famous and most beautiful botanical Garden of Ooty which covers an area over 20 hectares and is planted with more than a thousand varieties of plants, shrubs and trees including orchids, fern and alpine. Evening free for leisure.
Ooty - Kumarakom
Today after having breakfast we drive through the mountains, which are full of Cardamom and pass through the tea and coffee plantations and proceed to Kumarakom. In Kumarakom we will enjoy the Boat ride trip through the tropical vegetation on the backwaters.
Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary
In the morning we will visit Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary. Earlier an old rubber plantation, Kumarakom was developed into a bird sanctuary on the banks of Vemband Lake spreading over 14 acres of land. It is now a leisure retreat very popular with foreigners. This sanctuary is on the southern bank of Kavanar River opposite the Coconut Lagoon. Kumarakom 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 visit the Sanctuary by having a boat ride.
Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary - Kochi (Cochin)
In the morning we will drive to Kochi (Cochin). This drive gives us again an impression of the beautiful landscaping of this region. Cochin is the most interesting town in South India at Malabar Coast and 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 have 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 in Fort Cochin.
Today we have our whole day at leisure so that we can explore Cochin on our own. 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 the dinner we depart to the Airport with Indo Vacations representative.
Around midnight flight to home destination.
- Inclusions -
- American/Continental Breakfast.
- Exclusions -
- Any Kind of Personal Expenses such as Tips, Laundry, Telephone Bills, and Alcoholic beverages.
- Extras -
- Given cost if on per person basis on minimum two travelers. There is discount available between April and September. Please write us to receive more details !
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