Wonders of the South
Indulge your senses on a journey through southern India, a land of exotic flora and fauna, stunning beaches, and fragrant spices with a soundtrack of temple bells. Starting in historical Kochi, this tour offers you the chance to discover flamboyant religious architecture and a rich cultural heritage. Highlights include the temples of Tamil Nadu, colonial landmarks in Chennai, and the languid backwaters of Kerala.
15 days/14 nights
Departs daily ex Chennai
- Discover a tropical land of exotic spices, flamboyant temples and palm-fringed beaches
- Unravel the rich cultural heritage of cities such as Pondicherry, Chettinad and Kochi
- Tour an art school specialising in 16th century painting at Thanjavur
- Enjoy a sumptuous traditional Tamil dinner at Madurai
- Explore a wildlife sanctuary and the sleepy canals of Alleppey by houseboat
Wonders of the South
15 days/14 nights
Arrive Chennai in the evening and transfer to hotel.
Drive to Pondicherry, the “French Riviera of the East”. En route explore Mamallapuram, visiting the 7th century Shore Temple. BL
Enjoy a walking tour of this beautiful city including a visit to the 150 year old Church of The Sacred Heart of Jesus. Visit Auroville, a place of peaceful and harmonious living before enjoying a cooking demonstration and dinner with a local family. BD
Depart for Thanjavur (4 hrs) via Kumbhakonam, known as the “temple city” of South India. Enjoy an afternoon tour of an art school specialising in 16th century Tanjore paintings. B
Morning visit to the famous Brihadeeswara Temple housing a gigantic black granite sculpture of Nandi, the bull of Lord Shiva before driving to Chettinad (2.5 hrs). Remainder of the day is at leisure. On Day 6 explore Chettinad, an area rich in cultural heritage, art, architecture and antiques. B
Drive to Madurai (3 hrs). Afternoon tour of the stunning Meenakshi Temple before witnessing an evening “Aarti” ceremony. On Day 8 take a half day tour of Madurai, before visiting Kadambhavanam, a centre which showcases local culture, where you enjoy a sumptuous Tamil dinner. B/BD
Transfer by road to Periyar (4.5 hrs). Enjoy an afternoon visit to a spice plantation. B
Morning excursion to the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary before driving to Kumarakom (4 hrs). The remainder of Day 10 and all of Day 11 are yours to explore on your own. B
Drive to Alleppey. Following a town walking tour, board your houseboat and cruise the canals. BLD
Drive to Kochi (2 hrs). In the evening enjoy a picturesque boat cruise. On Day 14 explore the sites of Kochi including the Dutch Palace (closed Fri), Santa Cruz Basilica and the Chinese Fishing Nets. B
Tour ends Kochi
Transfer to the airport. Tour ends. B
This relaxed cruise explores Kerala in south India, a tranquil region characterised by spice plantations, beautiful beaches and languid backwaters.
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South India and Kerala Overview
Why visit South India & Kerala? This beautiful part of India is a wonderful complement to any north India holiday, offering a more tropical climate, gentle landscapes, colonial cities and very flamboyant temple architecture.
When is the best time to visit South India & Kerala? It is never cold in most of southern India; however in the hill stations it can drop to 5°C in the “winter” months. For the best weather, visit during the relatively cooler and less humid season, between Oct- Feb. This is also a good time to see some of the more interesting festivals. Mar, Apr, and May are hot and humid whilst the mid-year monsoon period sees heavy rains.
What can I combine Kerala with? North India’s Golden Triangle and Rajasthan, or the little island of Sri Lanka, just off the coast of south India.
How do I get to South India & Kerala? Fly into Bangalore, Chennai or Kochi.