South India Explorer

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  • 12 nights accommodation on twin sharing (2 persons sharing room) in 3/4 star and heritage hotels on Bed & Breakfast basis
  • 1 night deluxe houseboat cruise along the Keralan backwaters
  • Boat ride in Lake Periyar
  • Arrival/departure transfer & sightseeing with private air-conditioned vehicle
  • Touring and excursions as per itinerary
  • Entrance fee at monuments

Not Included:

Above mentioned costs do not include any International Air Fare, Airport tax, Visa fee, unspecified meals, drinks, telephone calls, laundry, camera fees, tips, insurance and any other expenses of personal nature, Single room supplements and any optional additional tours or activities during free time and not mentioned above.

Day 1: Chennai to Mahabalipuram

Welcome to Southern India! On arrival at Chennai Airport you’ll be transferred to our hotel in Mahabalipuram, where the rest of the day is at leisure. You may wish to visit the gravity-defying Krishna’s Butterball. This giant boulder is perched precariously at the top of a slope and looks like it could roll down at any moment – yet it has remained here for 1,200 years.Arrive in Delhi and transfer to hotel. Overnight in Mahabalipuram (Meals: No Meals)

Day 2: Kanchipuram & Mahabalipuram

This morning we meet our guide and group for a Welcome meeting at 8:00, then travel to Kanchipuram and discover some of its impressive temples, dedicated to the gods Shiva and Vishnu. We then return to Mahabalipuram for a guided tour of its highlights. Discover the beautiful 7th century Shore Temple, so-named because of its location on the shore of the Bay of Bengal. Continue to the world’s largest bas-relief carving, Arjuna’s Penance and the incredible Five Rathas. This UNESCO-listed site is made up of five different temples, all carved individually from separate rocks. The temples lay hidden under sand until the British rediscovered them 200 years ago. Overnight in Mahabalipuram (Meals: Breakfast) 

Day 3: Mahabalipuram –Pondicherry 

Say goodbye to Mahabalipuram this morning as we travel to the French colonial city of Pondicherry. French rule lasted here until 1954 and the influence is still clear in the city’s architecture. Enjoy a tour of highlights including Pondicherry Beach and the Sri Aurobindo Ashram spiritual community. Finally, we explore the striking Sacred Heart Basilica, a famous Christian pilgrimage site. Overnight in Pondicherry (Meals: Breakfast)

Day 4: Pondicherry – Tanjore

Leaving Pondicherry today, we travel to the vibrant city of Tanjore, stopping at several temple sites en route. Discover the impressive Natraja Temple in Chidambaram, one of the oldest temples in Southern India. Later, visit the UNESCO-listed Airavateswara Temple, a popular Hindu pilgrimage destination. On arrival in Tanjore the evening is free to explore at leisure. Perhaps go shopping for Tanjore’s famous authentic bobblehead dolls, which make excellent souvenirs. Overnight in Pondicherry (Meals: Breakfast)

Day 5: Tanjore – Madurai

Enjoy a guided tour of Tanjore today, an ancient fortified town with a glorious history dating back more than 1500 years. Explore highlights including the enormous Brihadishwara Temple. This temple is over 1,000 years old and the dome on top is thought to have been hauled up in a similar way to the construction of the Pyramids of Giza in Egypt. Later, we drive to Madurai and join an Aarti prayer ceremony at the Meenakshi Temple. The ceremony involves the lighting of candles and songs being sung in praise of the gods. Overnight in Madurai (Meals: Breakfast)

Day 6: Madurai

Enjoy a half day guided tour of Madurai today and take in Thirumalai Nayakar Mahal. This grand palace is known for the giant circular pillars in its courtyard and dates back to the 17th century. We continue to the famous rock cut temple of Thirupparankunram Murugan. According to a famous Hindu legend, this is where Murugan slayed the demon Surapadman. Finally, we return to Meenakshi Temple to appreciate the magnificent site for a second time. We then explore the bustling local bazaar before this evening is at leisure. Overnight in Madurai (Meals: Breakfast)

Day 7: Madurai – Trichy – Koch

Today we travel to Trichy to explore some more stunning temples, starting with Sri Ranganathaswamy. Located on an island, this is one of the most famous temples in Southern India. We also visit the imposing Rock Fort Temple, perched on a hill overlooking the city. The Pallavas first built a temple here, before the Nayaks recognised its strategic position and transformed it into a fortress. Our final visit is to Sri Jambukeswarar Temple, before we board the night train to Kochi. Overnight onboard train (Meals: Breakfast)

Day 8: Kochi

On arrival in Kochi this morning you’ll be transferred to our hotel, before the rest of the day is free to explore. You may wish to wander down Princess Street and appreciate the Dutch, Portuguese and British influence on display. This evening we watch an entertaining and traditional Kathakali dance show. Kathakali performers are known for their elaborate costumes and make up and they always put on a fantastic show. Overnight in Kochi (Meals: No Meals)

Day 09 & 10: Kochi – Munnar

Enjoy a guided tour of historic Fort Kochi today, the old part of the city. We see the famous Chinese fishing nets and explore narrow, winding streets. Visit St Francis’ Church and see the Parsi Synagogue – the oldest active synagogue in the Commonwealth. After our tour we travel to the picturesque former hill station of Munnar, surrounded by sprawling tea plantations. Overnight Munar (Meals: Breakfast & Dinner)

Day 10: Munnar

We take a guided stroll through a local tea plantation and visit a local market, before the rest of the day is free to relax as you please. You may wish to visit nearby Blossom Park and enjoy cycling or boating in your stunning surroundings. Overnight Munar (Meals: Breakfast & Dinner)

Day 11: Munnar – Alleppey – Keralan backwaters

Today we leave Munnar and take a scenic drive to Alleppey. Here we board our deluxe private rice boat for a voyage through the famous Kerala backwaters. This is a chain of rivers, lakes and lagoons that run parallel to the Arabian Sea and are surrounded by lush forests. We sail past palm trees and local villages, before enjoying sunset and a delicious dinner onboard. Overnight onboard Deluxe rice boat (Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner)

Day 12 & 13: Keralan Backwaters – Kumarakom

On the morning of day 12 we disembark our rice boat at Kumarakom – a village spread over a cluster of islands on Lake Vembanad. Enjoy two days relaxing or exploring Kumarakom at leisure. Perhaps take a boat ride on the lake or visit the Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary. The sanctuary is home to many rare bird species and is an important stopover for migratory birds in the winter (Nov-May). Overnight: Kumarakom (Meals: Breakfast)

Day 14: Kumarakom – Kochi Departure

Our South India adventure comes to an end today. We travel back to Kochi this morning and there is an included departure transfer to the airport. *Please note: Flights from Kochi should depart after 2pm.

From the majestic Taj Mahal to the sacred waters of the Ganges, travel on this journey through India’s most suggestive sites and experience its spiritual customs and traditions. Wonder around the he century old temples and forts of Orchha and reflect on beauty fine frescoes and mural paintings of the Raj Mahal and the Laxmi Narayan temple. Take a dawn boat cruise on river Ganges to experience daily religious rituals and ceremonies.

South India Explorer (Group) 13 Nights / 14 Days Prices per person (2 sharing) Prices per person Single Room
April 2023 (08) £2025 £2985
September 2023 (24) £2195 £3235
October 2023 (08 & 22) £2195 £3235
November 2023 (05 & 26) £2195 £3235
December 2023 (10 & 31) £2265 £3345
Januray 2024 (14 & 28) £2025 £2985
February 2024 (11 & 25) £2025 £2985
March 2024 (10 & 24) £2025 £2985
April 2024 (14 & 21) £2195 £3235
September 2024 (15 & 29) £2195 £3235

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    At a Glance

    South India Explorer

    Private Journey · 14 Days / 13 Nights from £2025

    • Starts: Chennai       Ends: Kochi        
    • Departs: Sunday
    • Hotel Rating:  3/4 star & Heritage hotels
    • Tour Guide: Yes – guided by local tour guide
    • Meals: Daily Breakfast
    • Visiting: Kumarakom, Mahabalipuram, Tanjore, Munna, Madurai , Pondicherry, Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary Kerala Backwaters & Chettinad
    • Countries: India


    From the majestic Taj Mahal to the sacred waters of the Ganges, travel on this journey throug India’s most suggestive sites and experience its spiritual customs and traditions. Wonder around the he century old temples and forts of Orchha and reflect on beauty fine frescoes and mural paintings of the Raj Mahal and the Laxmi Narayan temple. Take a dawn boat cruise on river Ganges to experience daily religious rituals and ceremonies.

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