Southern India's history, varied culture, green landscapes and beautiful coastline make any visit a rich and diverse experience. Start in eastern Chennai, formerly Madras, where the British East India Company started trading and travel across the region of Tamil Nadu, viewing its majestic temples, through hills and tea plantations to the lush Kerala region with its inland waterways and charming Fort Cochin.
- Explore the ancient shore temples at Mahabalipuram
- Enjoy France in India in the former colonial enclave of Pondicherry
- Witness the ceremonies in Sri Meenakshi temple with pilgrims
- Relax at the backwaters and be tempted to try an ayurvedic massage
Day 01 - Arrive Chennai
On arrival in Chennai, you’ll be met by your Indus Bound Representative and transferred to your hotel, where you’ll be staying for two nights. Spend the remainder of the day recovering from your journey.
Day 02 - Drive to Mahabalipuram
Head out for a half day tour of Chennai to explore the temples and famous church. Later, drive to Mahabalipuram (01-02 Hrs) and rest of the day is at leisure to relax at the hotel.
Day 03 - In Mahabalipuram
Today we visit the impressive coastal site of Mahabalipuram which was constructed between the 7th and 9th centuries and portrays, by way of impressive rock carving and relief, the historical, mythological and philosophical Indian epic known as the Mahabharata.
Day 04 - Drive to Pondicherry
Moving on, we drive south following the coastline to the former French colony of Pondicherry (02-03 Hrs). The colonial buildings, statues and churches make for an interesting and atmospheric setting. Explore the Auroville, Sri Aurobindo Ashram & the Museum
Day 05 - Drive to Tanjore
Continue to Tanjore (04-05 Hrs) visiting Gangaikonda Cholapuram temple enroute.
Day 06 - Drive to Madurai
Visit Brihadeshwara Temple. Later, drive to Madurai visiting temple complex of Srirangam and Rock Fort in Trichy enroute
Day 07 - In Madurai
Visit the UNESCO-listed Meenaakshi-Sundeshwarar Temple in the morning, followed by the 17th century Thiruvamalai Nayaka Palace. In the afternoon, drop in at a Vedic school for Brahmin boys to watch the young students learning Sanskrit chants by rote, before returning to the temple again in the evening.
[Optional : Morning walking tour of Madurai streets]
Day 08 - Drive to Periyar
Drive to Periyar National park (03-04 Hrs). Late afternoon, explore the Spice Plantations of the region.
Day 09 - Drive to Alleppey
Drive to Alleppey (04-05 Hrs) and embark your traditional rice barge to spend your afternoon and evening cruising along the backwaters. A private chef on-board will provide you with a freshly cooked dinner made from local ingredients.
Day 10 - Drive to Mararikulum
Wake up on your houseboat and enjoy breakfast before disembarking. Drive to Mararikulum (01 Hr), to base yourself at picturesque Marari Beach to spend your final two nights. Take a stroll along the beach or relax under a palm tree with a book.
Day 11 - In Mararikulum
Full day at leisure. You might like to try an Ayurvedic massage, or hire a bicycle to explore the surrounding quiet lanes.
Day 12 - Drive to Cochin
Drive to Cochin (01 Hr). Spend the remainder of the day at leisure, and perhaps a stroll around the local neighborhood of Fort Cochin later.
Day 13 - In Cochin
Spend the day exploring the old colonial district of Fort Cochin. Tucked away in the narrow streets of Fort Cochin are a number of delightful art galleries, cafés and interesting clothes boutiques, as well as centuries-old houses. You will visit the residence where Vasco da Gama stayed when he was here in the early 16th century, and have a look around India’s oldest church, as well as one of one of the region’s few surviving synagogues down in Jew Town, near Mantancherry, site of a Keralan palace with superb traditional murals. Around sunset time, watch local fishing boats chug past the famous Chinese fishing nets. Venture out in the evening for a performance of Kathakali dance.
[Optional : Cooking Class experience with a local]
Day 14 - Departure Transfer
Transferred to Cochin International Airport for flight back home or continue your onwards journey with us
Starting from USD 1375 Per Person
Price is based on double occupancy, and is subject to change based on hotels & dates of travel. Price includes daily breakfast, sightseeing, monument entrance fees, private guides, transfers, chauffeur driven air-conditioned SUV car & All Taxes.
When to Travel?
Winter season between September to March is the best time to visit South India & Kerala. This is the time when Kerala has a comfortable climate and pleasant weather with less humidity. The average temperature during this time is between 17 degrees to 32 degrees Celsius.
These are some of the recommended hotels for your private tour. Let us know for more options you may need, we work with a wide range of hotels in India & Beyond.
ITC Grand Chola
Radisson Blu Temple Bay
Palais De Mahe
MID RANGE, BOUTIQUE, HERITAGE
MID RANGE, HERITAGE
FIRST CLASS, HERITAGE
Spice Coast Cruises
FIRST CLASS, HOUSEBOAT
Marari Beach Resort
FIRST CLASS, BOUTIQUE
FIRST CLASS, HERITAGE
FIRST CLASS, HERITAGE
Why 'Private' Travel?
Full flexibility & Personalized service with your own experienced Private guide
A private Car & Driver at your disposal for your holiday. Set your own pace
Select from Hand-picked hotels; from Luxury Palaces to boutique homestays
Meet the locals & Discover the real 'authentic' experiences of a destination
Our guests seem happy to tell us about their Indus Bound holidays and we are very happy to share their thoughts with you.
Dear Pankaj, you delivered what we missed in our last 6 trips to India, a true Indian experience!! An advise for all those hesitating working with you, 'If you are tired of cookie-cutter tours and looking for an authentic travel experience in India, you are at the right place'.
Ms Elaine & Mr Wayne Helson, UK
Tailor-made Central India & Gujarat
I wanted to take the time to thank you for all the hard work you put in to arrange a magical honeymoon for us. We had a ball. All the transfers worked like clockwork, the hotels were great and the route planning excellent. We really felt we were spoon-fed all the way through.
You guys were absolutely true to your word, the holiday experience we have been waiting for years. Big thanks for arranging our visit to Ruskin Bond's home, you are certainly more than a holiday provider.
Mr Neil & Mrs Susan Everington, UK
Tailor-made North India & Nepal
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