Discover Southern India & Kerala


  • 12 days

  • India

  • Active pace

tour : 2640

From

£1,178pp

Prices shown exclude flights and transfers

Overview

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This affordable vacation in India begins on the Bay of Bengal in eastern India’s ancient city of Chennai. Guided sightseeing includes Fort St. George, built in 1644, and Dakshina Chitra heritage center where fascinating history and sights bring Indian art and architecture to life. Continue to the historic port city of Mahabalipuram, take a Life of Pi tour in Puducherry, and explore the temple and palace of Tanjore. In Madurai, wander the flower market, visit the palace and temple, and explore the Gandhi Memorial Museum. Your inspiring tour of India also includes visits to Thekkady to visit a spice plantation and enjoy an ancient martial arts performance. Board a houseboat for an overnight cruise into the beautiful backwaters of Kerala. Your value-minded tour of India concludes with two nights in Cochin—home of the traditional Chinese fishing nets and a colorful dance performance.

Highlights

CHENNAI
Visit Fort St. George, Mylapore Walk
PUDUCHERRYVisit Auroville and Sri Aurobindo Ashram; Life of Pi tour; Heritage walk
TANJOREVisit Brihadashwara Temple and Tanjore Palace; cooking demo and dinner
MADURAITour local flower market; visit Thirumalai Nayak Palace and Gandhi Memorial Museum; evening prayer ceremony at Meenakshi Temple
THEKKADYWitness a Kalaripayattu performance
LAKE VEMBANAD
Overnight houseboat cruise
COCHINHeritage walk in Fort Cochin; Kathakali dance performance

Flights available from most UK airports

Tour prices are shown without flights: make your own arrangements, or purchase your flights with us from most UK airports. All flight-inclusive tours are ATOL-protected, so you can book with confidence.

Flights available from most UK airports

2020 Tour itinerary

Inside visits and special features are shown in UPPERCASE in the tour description, including admission charges where applicable.

Total meals included:

  • 11 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 2 dinners

CHENNAI, INDIA

Day
1

. Welcome to Chennai, India’s fourth largest metropolis. Hotel rooms are available for mid-afternoon check-in.

CHENNAI

Day
2

. Enjoy a sightseeing tour of the city. Visit FORT ST. GEORGE, built in 1644, and stroll through Mylapore, the cultural hotspot of Chennai. Your evening is free to explore at leisure.

Meals included:

  • Breakfast

CHENNAI–MAHABALIPURAM–PUDUCHERRY

Day
3

. Start your day with a visit to DAKSHINACHITRA, a unique heritage center for the living traditions of Indian arts, crafts, and architecture. Later, journey to MAHABALIPURAM, once the main port of the Pallava Kingdom and now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Arrive in Puducherry early this evening.

Meals included:

  • Breakfast

PUDUCHERRY

Day
4

. A full day of sightseeing awaits you today. First, visit AUROVILLE, the city of dawn. This experimental township was established as a universal place where men and women of all countries could live in peace and harmony above all nationalities, politics, and religious beliefs. Then, enjoy a LIFE OF PI TOUR and HERITAGE WALK of the French Quarter. Visit the SRI AUROBINDO ASHRAM, one of the highlights of Puducherry, visited by thousands of people from all over the world.

Meals included:

  • Breakfast

PUDUCHERRY–TANJORE

Day
5

Travel through the rich and varied countryside to Tanjore in Tamil Nadu. Once there, visit the famous BRIHADESHWARA TEMPLE and TANJORE PALACE. This evening, enjoy a cooking demonstration and dinner.

Meals included:

  • Breakfast
  • Dinner

TANJORE–CHETTINAD–MADURAI

Day
6

Continue exploring Southern India on the way to Madurai via Chettinad. Visit Chettinad Village Market where you can opt to try a traditional meal served on a banana leaf. Later, arrive in Madurai, one of southern India’s oldest towns.

Meals included:

  • Breakfast

MADURAI

Day
7

. In the morning, enjoy a tour of the local FLOWER MARKET, followed by a visit to the THIRUMALAI NAYAK PALACE, built in 1636. Then, reflect on Mahatma Gandhi and his influence on India’s history at the GANDHI MEMORIAL MUSEUM. This evening, enjoy a glimpse of Madurai’s devout religious culture during a visit to the atmospheric MEENAKSHI TEMPLE at prayer time.

Meals included:

  • Breakfast

MADURAI–THEKKADY

Day
8

Admire the changing sights as you journey to Kumarakom. Along the way, stop for a visit to a SPICE PLANTATION. Later, enjoy a KALARIPAYATTU PERFORMANCE, one of the oldest martial arts forms in the world that developed in Kerala.

Meals included:

  • Breakfast

THEKKADY–KERALA BACKWATERS CRUISE

Day
9

Board your HOUSEBOAT for an overnight cruise on the backwaters of Kerala. As you drift along, enjoy authentic local food, watch the villagers go about their daily chores, and marvel at the beauty of southern India’s backwaters. Tonight, remain on board for a unique stay on Lake Vembanad.
NOTE:
Due to space restrictions, please plan to pack a small overnight bag for the houseboat stay.

Meals included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

KERALA BACKWATERS CRUISE–COCHIN

Day
10

Say goodbye to your houseboat and travel to Cochin, an important spice trading port since the 14th century and now a cosmopolitan business center. Along the way, enjoy lunch at a local village.

Meals included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch

COCHIN

Day
11

. Your tour of Cochin starts with the CHINESE FISHING NETS—the livelihood of many local fishermen—and a HERITAGE WALK in Fort Cochin. This afternoon, enjoy free time to explore, shop, or visit an art cafe. In the evening, celebrate the success of your tour at a spectacular show of KATHAKALI DANCE, a form of storytelling distinguished by the elaborately colorful costumes and face masks worn by the dancers.

Meals included:

  • Breakfast

COCHIN

Day
12

. Your tour ends with breakfast this morning.

Meals included:

  • Breakfast

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