South india four week tour Feb 2019

#1 Sep 29th, 2018, 00:30
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#1
Hello All

I live in Somerset, England, a very rural countryside location. I'm a healthy 60 year old male.

After a simply fantastic three week back pack tour of North India in Feb this year, I am planning a four week trip to south India in Feb 2019. The North tour included New Delhi, Amritsar, Shimla, Agra, Jaipur, Jodhpur, Jaisalmer and Mumbai. 2020 will see a highlight tour of the north after the rains have just finished in oct/Nov.

I will be back packing again in the South with a friend. We have travelled on the trains, taxis, planes, busses and tuk tuks and don't mind using any of them to achieve this trip. I have an outline for a schedule, but don't know if its either achievable or indeed a good tour. I would like to see three or four really fantastic temples, along with the national park, backwaters of Kerala, hopefully with a kayak tour. Unsure whether Kochi or Alleppey is best for me. The only place that cant be moved is the entry airport, unless there is a good reason to change. I have not booked the flights either way yet. Here is my proposed itinerary and any thoughts very much appreciated. I can add a day anywhere in the itinerary and fly back a day later.

Phil.

Friday 01 February 2019 leave uk
Saturday 02 February 2019 Arrive Goa
Sunday 03 February 2019 Goa
Monday 04 February 2019 Goa
Tuesday 05 February 2019 Goa to Bangalore
Wednesday06 February 2019 Bangalore
Thursday 07 February 2019 Bangalore
Friday 08 February 2019 Bangalore to mysore
Saturday 09 February 2019 Mysore
Sunday 10 February 2019 Mysore, Mysore Palace at night
Monday 11 February 2019 Mysore to Bandipur National Park
Tuesday 12 February 2019 Knat mountains, Bandipur National Park
Wednesday13 February 2019 Knat mountains, Bandipur National Park
Thursday 14 February 2019 Knat mountains, Bandipur National Park -Kochi
Friday 15 February 2019 Kochi or Alleppey Kayak through backwaters
Saturday 16 February 2019 Kochi or Alleppey overnight stay onboard
Sunday 17 February 2019 Kochi or Alleppey to Madurai
Monday 18 February 2019 Madurai
Tuesday 19 February 2019 Madurai, Meenakshi Temple
Wednesday20 February 2019 Madurai, Ameshwaram Temple
Thursday 21 February 2019 Madurai to Kumbakonam
Friday 22 February 2019 Kumbakonam, Sarangapani Temple
Saturday 23 February 2019 Kumbakonam, Adi Kumbeswarar Temple
Sunday 24 February 2019 Kumbakonam to Puducherry
Monday 25 February 2019 Puducherry
Tuesday 26 February 2019 Puducherry to Chennai
Wednesday27 February 2019 Chennai
Thursday 28 February 2019 Chennai to London (can do another day if needed)
#2 Sep 29th, 2018, 02:13
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  • nycank is offline
#2
Quick note:

Unless a brick-n-mortar TA is giving you a good deal on the airfare, probably a cheaper alternative would be to fly into BOM and fly out of MAA.
#3 Sep 29th, 2018, 02:58
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Bangalore is not a very interesting destination.
Better is to take a train from Goa to Hampi/Hospet and continue straight to Mysore.

Fort Cochin is nice but Kochi has no direct access to the backwaters.
For this Alleppey is a better choice.
#4 Sep 29th, 2018, 04:39
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#4
Quote:
Originally Posted by nycank View Post Quick note:

Unless a brick-n-mortar TA is giving you a good deal on the airfare, probably a cheaper alternative would be to fly into BOM and fly out of MAA.
Thanks for suggestion

I have just costed it, todays rates, per person from lhr. in Goi, out Maa £527
In bom, out Maa £469 plus £22 bom to Goi

So £30 cheaper, certainly an option as the £527 had a stop in bom anyway. Just means Iím booking the two legs separately, which isnít a problem.
#5 Sep 29th, 2018, 04:57
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#5
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Originally Posted by vonkla View Post Bangalore is not a very interesting destination.
Better is to take a train from Goa to Hampi/Hospet and continue straight to Mysore.

Fort Cochin is nice but Kochi has no direct access to the backwaters.
For this Alleppey is a better choice.
Thanks for input.

I will reroute that leg as suggested. Iíd hoped to get a train journey in a couple of times.

If correct I can do Goa to Hampi, stay couple of days, on to stay in Hospet, overnight sleeper train to Mysore.

I can add the extra day to the start of journey, to extend time here. I want to make sure I am still in Mysore on the Sunday night to see palace lit up.

How I would love to be able to spend months in your country at a time, life unfortunately doesnít allow for it.

Phil
#6 Sep 29th, 2018, 09:30
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#6
Just so you know, late Feb in Kerala , along the coast can get quite warm, even hot. It's warmer than the north at the same time of the year (in case you're mentally comparing it with your previous trip).

Where are knat mountains ?

If you want to see three or four fantastic temples, then replace kumbakonam with a two day tour of thanjavur, gangaikondacholapuram and dharasuram. You could stay in kumbakonam though (dharasuram) is located there. Also make time for Srirangam - can be a day trip from madurai. See my reports in signature for some details.

Tamil temples are closed from 12-4 pm so plan accordingly.
#7 Sep 29th, 2018, 09:48
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#7
Towards the end of your tour see if you could accommodate Mahabalipuram on your way back to Chennai.
#8 Sep 29th, 2018, 14:43
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#8
Quote:
Originally Posted by sheptonphil View Post Thanks for suggestion

I have just costed it, todays rates, per person from lhr. in Goi, out Maa £527
In bom, out Maa £469 plus £22 bom to Goi

So £30 cheaper, certainly an option as the £527 had a stop in bom anyway. Just means Iím booking the two legs separately, which isnít a problem.
Does this help ?

https://goo.gl/flights/5e2MU

https://goo.gl/flights/zEKbD
#9 Sep 29th, 2018, 14:59
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#9
Quote:
Originally Posted by vaibhav_arora View Post Just so you know, late Feb in Kerala , along the coast can get quite warm, even hot. It's warmer than the north at the same time of the year (in case you're mentally comparing it with your previous trip).

Where are knat mountains ?

If you want to see three or four fantastic temples, then replace kumbakonam with a two day tour of thanjavur, gangaikondacholapuram and dharasuram. You could stay in kumbakonam though (dharasuram) is located there. Also make time for Srirangam - can be a day trip from madurai. See my reports in signature for some details.

Tamil temples are closed from 12-4 pm so plan accordingly.
Superb detail, thanks.

Sorry, typo, Ghat mountains in Karnataka.Bandipur National Park

I will research all the suggestions and fit the Chennai leg around deeper tour of far south as your suggestions.

Phil
#10 Sep 29th, 2018, 14:59
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#10
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Originally Posted by aarosh View Post Towards the end of your tour see if you could accommodate Mahabalipuram on your way back to Chennai.
Thanks, will look at that today.

Phil
#11 Sep 29th, 2018, 15:01
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#11
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Originally Posted by nycank View Post Does this help ?

https://goo.gl/flights/5e2MU

https://goo.gl/flights/zEKbD
Thanks, yes is is a cheaper option. I was trying to avoid the long stops on two stop flights. I appreciate it will be a balance between travel time, stops and price.

Phil
#12 Sep 29th, 2018, 15:05
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vaibhav_arora View Post Just so you know, late Feb in Kerala , along the coast can get quite warm, even hot. It's warmer than the north at the same time of the year (in case you're mentally comparing it with your previous trip).
No, I didn't. By week three, I should be heading inland more then up the East coast if that makes any difference. I can bring trip forward by a week, maybe two, would that help greatly?

Phil
#13 Sep 29th, 2018, 15:21
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See this temperature chart https://www.accuweather.com/en/in/ko...weather/204289 for Kochi.
#14 Sep 29th, 2018, 15:29
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#14
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Originally Posted by sheptonphil View Post No, I didn't. By week three, I should be heading inland more then up the East coast if that makes any difference. I can bring trip forward by a week, maybe two, would that help greatly?

Phil
If you have flexibility to move things around, bring it as close to Jan 14 as you reasonably can. It will be crowded during pongal festival in Tamil Nadu but it's the best time to be there. It ends Jan 18. Google video for pongal with any of your Tamil destination cities to get some idea.

Another benefit of starting in TN and ending in Goa would be you could relax in Goa on the way out, while the tiring bit of temple hopping would be done in the first half of the tour.
#15 Sep 29th, 2018, 16:03
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#15
I did think that last night after reading the replies. Two or three days in goa, then fly back with a short stop in Mumbai ( I want to do the tiffinwaller tour, following a tiffin tin from home to work).

Iím open to making this work the best it can.

Cheers

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