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Discover Southern India and Kerala

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Key inclusions

  • Private home pick-up service
  • Flights
  • Transfers
  • Asia & The Far East

  • Steady pace

  • Cosmos escorted tours

Great value escorted tours in the world's most captivating places. No other travel company matches our expertise, on-trip experiences - with a great mix of included excursions and free time - and value.

Lose yourself in a magical land of brightly-coloured temples, chaotic bazaars and delicious street food. Drift past backwater villages and bask in the setting sun, then barter with silk merchants as you wander the colonial streets.

At a glance

  • Chennai Take a Mylapore walk and see the sacred Kapaleeswara Temple.
  • Pondicherry Visit the town’s many colourful temples and silk merchant bazaar.
  • Tanjore Explore this interesting palace-fort and its 8th-century works of art.
  • Madurai Experience a prayer ceremony at the Meenakshi temple.
  • Kumarakom Watch the world go by on an overnight backwater cruise.
  • Kochi Spot Dutch, Portuguese, British and Jewish influences on a heritage walk.

What's included

  • Private home pick-up service
  • Flights
  • Transfers
  • Services of a tour director
  • Accommodation
  • Selected meals
  • Porterage
  • All airport taxes
Price match guarantee

With accommodation, transfers, excursions, selected meals, private VIP home pick-up and the services of an expert Tour Director all included in the price, our escorted tour holidays are highly rated by our customers. But should you find a like-for-like tour cheaper elsewhere, we will match its price and give you a further £100 reduction.

Private home pick-up service

Our private home pick-up service is included up to 50 miles to your departure airport. Your driver will happily load and unload your luggage, and drive you to your departure terminal. At the close of your trip, you'll be welcomed by your driver in the arrivals hall and returned home again. A supplement is payable per mile over 50 miles.

Read more about our private home pick-up service.

Make your own way

For more information please see our booking conditions for tour-only holidays.

Customer Reviews

The base trip was EXCELLENT. The tour leader (Sandya Harendra)...

26th March 2018
Mr Julian Harrison

The base trip was EXCELLENT. The tour leader (Sandya Harendra) could not have been better. We thoroughly enjoyed the tour. The only downside was the booked 3 day extension to Ooty/Mysore. We were not aware at booking the consequences of this extension ie an 8 hr road journey on first day, a further 7 hrs on the road for transfers and the last night of the holiday (and only night staying in Mysore hotel) required a 2am get up to connect with the flights given at booking. We decided not to ruin the fantastic base tour and independently purchased separate return flights before the extension began.

Very nice mixed group but on the extension no information...

24th November 2017
Trusted Customer

Very nice mixed group but on the extension no information given re guides or distances to travel. Highlights were Pondicherry, Kerala and Ooty. Cochin harbour cruise waste of time. No availability for free time and unable to go out of some hotels

The car pick up was excellent. Qatar Airline was excellent....

6th March 2017
Trusted Customer

The car pick up was excellent. Qatar Airline was excellent. The tour itself involved a lot of travelling through areas that were very poor, which gave a good idea of what life is like for the rural population. The temples and museams weren't of great interest, we found them very basic. I wouldn't recommend this holiday. Overall the hotels were very good. The driver and bus boy were very good.

Overview

Lose yourself in a magical land of brightly-coloured temples, chaotic bazaars and delicious street food. Drift past backwater villages and bask in the setting sun, then barter with silk merchants as you wander the colonial streets.

Total meals included:

  • 12 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 3 dinners

Depart UK

Day
1

Fly to Chennai where on arrival you will be met and transferred to your hotel.

Chennai

Day
2

Welcome to Chennai. This beautiful city on the Bay of Bengal, formerly known as Madras, has grown from a small fishing village into India's fourth largest metropolis. Later in the afternoon, enjoy a sightseeing tour of Chennai that includes the Mylapore Walk. This evening, enjoy a welcome dinner.

Meals included:

  • Dinner

Chennai

Day
3

Enjoy a sightseeing tour of Chennai that visits Kalakshetra and Dakshinachitra, a unique heritage centre for the living traditions of Indian arts, crafts, and architecture. Journey to Mahabalipuram, once the main port of the Pallava Kingdom and now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. NOTE: Some sights are subject to days of operation.

Meals included:

  • Breakfast

Chennai - Kanchipuram - Pondicherry

Day
4

Begin today with a visit to Kanchipuram. Showcasing more than a thousand temples, the Kanchipuram skyline features a stunning cluster of ornate towers that mark the temple entrances. The area is also famous for its silk industry, with weavers following designs that are hundreds of years old to make luxurious saris. Arrive in Puducherry late this afternoon.

Meals included:

  • Breakfast

Pondicherry

Day
5

This morning, visit the Auroville, a universal town where men and women of all countries are able to live in peace and progressive harmony regardless of creed, politics or nationality. The purpose of Auroville is to realise human unity. Continue to Pondicherry and visit the Pondicherry Museum, an excellent gallery with sculptures and has archaeological findings from the Arikamedu Roman settlement. Later, enjoy a 'Life of Pi' tour and heritage walk of the French quarters, and visit the Sri Aurobindo Ashram. One of the major highlights of Pondicherry, it is visited by thousands of people from all over the world. Evening at leisure.

Meals included:

  • Breakfast

Darasuram - Swamimalai - Tanjore.

Day
6

Continue to Tanjore in Tamil Nadu through rich and varied countryside. En-route visit the temple towns of Swamimalai and the Darasuram Temple. The rest of the evening is at leisure.

Meals included:

  • Breakfast

Tanjore

Day
7

Today, visit the famous Brihadeshwara Temple and Tanjore Palace. This evening, enjoy an introduction and interaction on Tanjore Paintings and Tamil cuisine cookery demonstration followed by dinner.

Meals included:

  • Breakfast
  • Dinner

Chettinad - Madurai

Day
8

Continue exploring Southern India on the way to Madurai via Chettinad. Visit Chettinad Village Market and enjoy a traditional meal served on banana leaf. Arrive in Madurai, one of southern India's oldest towns.

Meals included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch

Madurai

Day
9

In the morning, enjoy a tour of the local flower market, followed by a sightseeing tour of Madurai. This evening, enjoy a glimpse of Madurai's devout religious culture on a visit to the atmospheric Meenakshi Temple at prayer time.

Meals included:

  • Breakfast

Thekkady - Kumarakom

Day
10

Admire the changing sights as you journey to Kumarakom. Along the way, enjoy a visit to a spice plantation followed by lunch in Thekkady.

Meals included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch

Kumarakom - Backwaters of Kerala Cruise

Day
11

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 the backwaters. Tonight, remain onboard your houseboat 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 - Kochi

Day
12

Say goodbye to your houseboat and travel to Cochin, an important spice trading port since the 14th century and now a cosmopolitan business centre. In the evening, enjoy a sunset harbour cruise on the Arabian Sea.

Meals included:

  • Breakfast

Kochi

Day
13

Enjoy a sightseeing tour of Cochin that includes a heritage walk in Fort Cochin. This afternoon, enjoy free time to explore, shop, or visit an Art Cafe. In the evening, enjoy a spectacular show of kathakali dance.

Meals included:

  • Breakfast

Kochi - UK

Day
14

Your tour ends today.

Transfer to the airport for your flight to the UK.

Meals included:

  • Breakfast
Print itinerary

Things to note

A visa is required to travel on this tour. Please refer to www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice prior to departure for the latest requirements and how to apply.

Hotels

Tour hotels will be as specified or alternatives of a similar standard.


  • Chennai: GRT Grand
  • Pondicherry: The Promenade
  • Kumbakonam: Paradise Village Resort
  • Madurai: GRT Regency
  • Kumarakom: Eastend Lakesong
  • Kochi: Le Meridien

Why book with us?