Heart of South India

An essential introduction to South India. Traverse from the eastern coast to the western coast of South India

Explor this beautiful part of India as you traverse from the eastern coast to the western coast over 14 nights. From massive temple spires to colonial settlements, from local artisans to performing arts, from serene coastal villages to fragrant spice plantations and from smiling faces to the delectable cuisine- this is a region where you are bound to lose your heart!

Once ruled by mighty kingdoms like the Cholas, Cheras and Pandyas, the southern states of India are today a reflection of the culture, religion and architecture of that glorious past. Protected by the Vindhya mountain, the region remained uninfluenced by the northern kingdoms and thereby maintained its uniqueness.

Spices Kerala Nutmeg Seed
Shore Temples Mamallapuram
Kathakali Dancers

Tour Snapshot

14 day tour
Best time to visit: November – February 
Routing: Chennai-Pondicherry-Tanjore-Madurai-Thekkady-Kumarakom-Cochin
Tour reference number: SI-001

Tour highlights

  • 14 nights easy paced tour with time to explore as well as unwind
  • A deeply immersive and experiential tour
  • Discover the splendid architecture, temple towns, history and traditions of Tamil Nadu and Kerala
  • Learn about India’s Jewish heritage
  • Visit talented craftspeople, who keep traditional arts alive
  • Learn about exotic spices in a guided walk through a spice garden
  • A day cruise in a houseboat on the  backwaters.
  • Soft trek in the jungles of Thekaddy with an expert naturalist

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Brief Programme

Excluding your day of arrival, we have a full day in this modern but historically rich city. Visit the colorful and vibrant Kapaleeshwar temple where you will get your first introduction to temple architecture. Orientation drive to see the various historic buildings from the colonial era.

On the drive to Pondicherry we stop to marvel at monolithic stone chariots, rock cut temples and sculptural panels in the seaside village of Mamallapuram.

Pondicherry stands apart from the rest of India for its distinct fusion of Tamil and French cultures. Walking tour of French neighbourhood and Tamil town as well as the ashram of Aurobindo, the 20th Century seer and prophet.

Embark on temple visits that will leave you astounded. The off-beat Gangaikoda Cholapuram and Darasuram temples are not to be missed. In Tanjore visit the famous Chola temple of Brahadeswarar – the colossal, timeless edifice is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. A fantastic collection of Chola bronzes awaits us at the Palace museum.

This region is famous for silk sarees and bronze casting, both of which we will learn more about at interactive visits with artisans.

The Meenakshi temple spread over 6 hectares, will astound you due to its sheer size, sculptures and religious rituals that still continue inside. Also visit the Thirumalai Nayak palace, built in 1636. Its massive columns and rich ornamentation is impressive indeed. The busy flower market with its incredible variety of flowers is a colourful photo opportunity.

Into the greenery of the rolling hills and crisp fresh air of Thekkady. Here we enjoy a guided walk through a spice garden, a soft trek through the jungles of the Periyar wildlife reserve where a naturalist will introduce the flora and birdlife of the region to us.

A Kalari Payattu performance of a traditional and ancient martial art will keep you on the edge of your seats.

Enjoy a relaxing and interesting day cruise through backwaters on Kettuvalloms or Houseboats. In Kumarakom there will be time to enjoy Ayurveda treatments and massages, which Kerala is so famous for. Rest, rejuvenate and take part in the activities that the resort offers.

Visit a village to see local life up-close. Meet and interact with people who practice different professions like coir-making, coconut harvesting etc. Enjoy the rural and rustic atmosphere and smiling faces which will greet you.

We also visit several highlights in Kochi such as the St. Francis Church which was originally dedicated to Santo Antonio, patron saint of Portugal, the 14th-15th century cantilevered Chinese fishing nets that still are being used, the Mattancherry Palace, built by the Portuguese and the Jewish Synagogue in ‘Jew Town’.

We have a traditional Kathakali dance performance lined up for you. The masked dance is performed by men playing all roles and narrates mythological stories.

Farewell dinner is in a specialty restaurant. Tomorrow morning/Late tonight you will be transferred to the airport for your international flight from Kochi.

This tour is a sample of one of the popular routings and experiences. We will be delighted to customize it to your interests and budget.

What can we add on to this programme?

  • Add a Ayurvedic retreat, detox and rejuvenize before heading home.
  • Combine this with a pre or post tour of Sri Lanka
  • This tour can be extended with an exotic beach resort in Kerala

Write to us now  to get this tour customized for you with a price proposal. 

The tour price will depend on many factors such as time of travel, hotel selection, and add-on experiences and services.

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Write to us now  to get this tour customized for you with a price proposal.