Southern India

Start: Kochi Finish: Kochi

Visiting: Kochi, Ooty, Coonoor, Mudumalai Tiger Reserve, Masinagudi, Mysuru, Mahabalipuram, Puducherry, Madurai, Periyar, Periyar National Park, Kerala Backwaters


Duration: 14 Nights

Physical rating: Low

Special diets catered: Vegetarians

Tour Operator: Intrepid Travel

Group size: 1 - 12

Age range: 15-99 years

Tour operated in: English


Prices From: $1567

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Tour Overview

Lush and tropical, southern India is inspiring and delightful. Beneath the green shade of a coastal paradise, meet with locals in their fishing villages and tribal homes. Join them in the bazaars, on buses and boats, or even on pilgrimage in Madurai. From cultural sights like the Maharaja's Palace in Mysore to French-influenced Puducherry and the vast landscape of Periyar, southern India's spirituality, friendly people, and wild animal sanctuaries make it a fascinating part of the country to explore.

Highlights

  • iconStep back in time among the iridescent hills of the very British ‘Snooty Ooty’ – home of snooker and the charming Nilgiri toy train.
  • iconExperience a unique way of life with a family homestay and home-cooked meals in the idyllic backwaters of Kerala.
  • iconSearch for elusive wildlife, including elephants, sloths, and birds on safari around one of the best places in India to observe nature up close – Periyar National Park.
  • iconDiscover the waterfalls, tea plantations and spice markets of South India’s Western Ghats, a jungle-clad mountain range older than the Himalaya and one of the most biodiverse regions in the world.
  • iconKnown as the ‘Queen of the Arabian Sea’, Kochi is a fascinating blend of Chinese, Portuguese, Dutch and English influences, and is best explored by ferry.

Places You'll See

Countries:
Madurai
Masinagudi
Kochi
Mysore
Puducherry

Itinerary

Map Image
icon Day 1 : Kochi

Location: Kochi

Accommodation: Hotel

Meals: No Meals

Your Indian adventure starts today in Kochi with a welcome meeting at 6 pm. If you arrive in Kochi early, there are plenty of things to see and do. Once an important spice-trading centre, Kochi has been under Portuguese, Dutch and British rule at various times throughout history. Explore with one of our Urban Adventures or wander down to the shore and seek out the huge Chinese fishing nets dotted along the coast of Fort Cochin.

icon Day 2 : Kochi

Location: Kochi

Accommodation: Hotel

Meals: Breakfast

This morning, take on Kochi with a leader-led orientation tour. Board a local ferry to Mattancherry and drop by the Dutch Palace, built by the Portuguese in the 16th century before it was renovated and presented to the Rajas of Cochin by the Dutch. Pay an optional visit to Paradesi Synagogue – the oldest active synagogue in the Commonwealth and home to many rare antiques. Then amble around the spice bazaars and antique stores of Fort Cochin. In the evening, experience a Kathakali performance. This Keralan dance is an ornately costumed display of storytelling, requiring complete control of the body.

Included Activities:
-Kochi - Leader-led Fort Kochi walking tour
-Kochi - Dutch Palace
-Kochi - Kathakali performance

Optional Activities:
-Kochi - Jewish Synagogue

icon Day 3 : Ootacamund – Conoor

Location: Ooty, Coonoor

Accommodation: Hotel

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Buckle up, because most of today is spent travelling. Catch a 3.5-hour train to Coimbatore, before travelling by private vehicle to Ootacamund (approximately 4 hours). Often referred to as ‘Snooty Ooty’, it was here that the game of snooker was named and arguably invented. Stretch your legs exploring the town’s Hindu temples or stroll through what almost feels like the English countryside. Ooty is pleasantly mild in the summer but can get cold in winter, so make sure you come prepared with adequate clothing. You’ll stay in the nearby Conoor, where dinner is included at your accommodation tonight.

icon Day 4 : Ootacamund – Conoor

Location: Ooty, Coonoor

Accommodation: Hotel

Meals: No Meals

Today, board Ooty’s renowned toy train for a ride along the Nilgiri Mountain Railway. Be sure to get a window seat for great views over the lush countryside. In nearby Conoor, visit a tea plantation to learn about the history of tea production. Spend the rest of the day exploring Ooty’s Botanical Gardens, which are home to over 650 species of plants and trees. Alternatively, get a little romantic with a boat ride on the lake.

Included Activities:
-Ooty - Nilgiri Mountain Railway & Tea Plantation visit

Optional Activities:
-Ooty - Botanical Gardens
-Ooty - Boat ride

icon Day 5 : Mudumalai National Park – Masinagudi

Location: Mudumalai Tiger Reserve, Masinagudi

Accommodation: Jungle Lodge

Meals: Lunch, Dinner

Take a private vehicle for the short drive to Masinagudi today. Set against the backdrop of the Nilgiri Hills, Mudumalai National Park was once the Mysore Maharaja's private hunting ground. In 1974 it was brought under Project Tiger and is now one of the best sanctuaries in India to observe wildlife in close proximity. Embark on a short safari in search of tigers, leopards, elephants, sloth bears, sambars, spotted deer, and much more. There's also an amazing variety of birdlife in the park. Tonight’s family-run accommodation in Masinagudi is a mixed-gender dormitory style with a common bathroom. This dorm room is only open to your group.

icon Day 6 : Mysore

Location: Mysuru

Accommodation: Hotel

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Travel by private vehicle across the scenic Karnataka plains to Mysore, stopping to share a biryani lunch with local host Raju and his family. Mysore is an easy-going town with a pleasant climate, perfect for wandering around on foot. Your leader will provide an orientation walk for you to get your bearings. A visit to Mysore is incomplete without a look around Mysore Palace. One of the most ornate palaces in India, its interior is full of colour, mosaics, and mirrors.

Included Activities:
-Mysore - Home cooked lunch & family visit
-Mysore - Maharaja's Palace
-Mysore - Leader-led walking tour

icon Day 7 : Mysore – Overnight train

Location: Mysuru

Accommodation: Overnight Sleeper Train

This morning, head out of Mysore and climb Chamundi Hill to the Sri Chamundeswari Temple, dedicated to the Hindu Goddess Durga. Continue on to the Keshava Temple in the small town of Somnathpur – an excellent example of Hoysala architecture. You’ll also have some time to pay an optional visit to Tipu Sultan’s mausoleum in Srirangapatna, or instead, return to Mysore for a palm reading or to catch a film at the local cinema. Tonight, board an 11-hour overnight sleeper train to Chennai.

Included Activities:
-Mysore - Keshava Temple
-Mysore - Chamundi Hill & Temple

Optional Activities:
-Mysore - Cinema
-Mysore - Tipu Sultan's Mausoleum

icon Day 8 : Mamallapuram

Location: Mahabalipuram

Accommodation: Hotel

Meals: No Meals

After arriving in Chennai, take a private vehicle along the scenic East Coast Road to Mamallapuram. Explore this ancient seaport town by bicycle, paying a visit to the seventh-century Shore Temple and the enormous bas-relief rock carving, known as Arjuna's Penance. There will also be time to inspect the town’s numerous mandapams (pillared temple pavilions), watch local stonemasons at work, or just to kick back and relax at a beachside restaurant.

Included Activities:
-Mamallapuram - Cycling tour
-Mamallapuram - Shore Temples guided tour

icon Day 9 : Puducherry

Location: Puducherry

Accommodation: Hotel

Meals: No Meals

Travel by private vehicle for 5 hours through palm trees and rice paddies to Puducherry (Pondicherry). On arrival, head out with your group and leader on a walking tour to see local temples, the Sri Aurobindo Ashram, and the French Quarter. Once a French colony, you’ll see evidence of French influence in Puducherry's architecture, its wide town squares, and even in the uniforms of the police.

Included Activities:
-Puducherry - Leader-led French Quarter walking tour

icon Day 10 : Madurai

Location: Madurai

Accommodation: Hotel

Meals: No Meals

Transfer by taxi to the railway station at Villupuram and board a train to the temple city of Madurai (approximately 6 hours). Madurai’s Tamil roots stretch back 2500 years, making it one of the oldest cities in India. Wander the lamp-lit labyrinth of the Sri Meenakshi Amman Temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva and goddess Meenakshi. Visit the Gandhi Memorial Museum, which displays a detailed account of India’s struggle for independence along with the bloodstained dhoti the famous leader wore when he was assassinated.

Included Activities:
-Madurai - Sri Meenakshi Temple

Optional Activities:
-Madurai - Gandhi Museum - Free

icon Day 11 : Periyar

Location: Periyar

Accommodation: Hotel

Meals: No Meals

This morning, travel by private vehicle along a winding road to the Periyar National Park and Tiger Reserve. High in the ranges of the Western Ghats, the park is set among stunning scenery and is the most popular wildlife sanctuary in Southern India. Both today and tomorrow, you’ll get to explore the national park on foot and will understand why Periyar is a popular wilderness sanctuary because of its lush surroundings. In the evening, enjoy a tour of a local spice plantation.

Included Activities:
-Periyar - Spice plantation visit

icon Day 12 : Periyar

Location: Periyar National Park

Accommodation: Hotel

Meals: No Meals

Venture back into the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary today for a guided nature walk. Encounters with animals in the wild are never guaranteed, and this is more of a jungle walk than an animal spotting tour, but do look out for tiger tracks, spotted deer, Indian elephants, or gaur – the world's largest species of buffalo. In the afternoon, unwind with an optional ayurvedic massage at your accommodation, or just relax in this scenic setting with a drink in hand.

Included Activities:
-Periyar - National Park
-Periyar - Guided nature walk

Optional Activities:
-Periyar - Boat trip

icon Day 13 : Kerala Backwaters

Location: Kerala Backwaters

Accommodation: Homestay

Meals: Lunch, Dinner

Travelling by private vehicle, pass through the rubber, tea, and coffee plantations on the way to the backwaters of Kerala. Board a boat to cross to the island village where you’ll stay with a local family tonight. In the late afternoon, explore the island with a local English-speaking guide, and sometimes your homestay host! This is a great chance to meet locals and learn more about their unique way of life. Take a leisurely punt boat ride around the waterways and enjoy the scenery. In the evening, share stories and a traditional home-cooked Keralan meal with your host family.

Included Activities:
-Kerala Backwaters - Pole boat ride
-Kerala Backwaters - Village walk

icon Day 14 : Kochi

Location: Kochi

Accommodation: Hotel

Meals: Breakfast

Wake early, before crossing the backwaters by private boat to Alleppey. From here, take a 2-hour local bus back to Kochi. The rest of the day is free for you to choose your own adventure. Perhaps you’d like to stroll down Princess Street for a spot of shopping, or book yourself into a southern Indian cooking class – your group leader will have some other recommendations, so be sure to ask them. Tonight, why not gather together with your group and have a night out at a local restaurant. Whatever you do, be sure to snack on a pazham pori (fried fritter of banana or plantain) while you explore the city.

icon Day 15 : Kochi

Location: Kochi

Meals: Breakfast

With no activities planned for today, you are able to leave the accommodation at any time.

What's Included

  • icon
    Kochi - Leader-led Fort Kochi walking tour

  • icon
    Kochi - Dutch Palace

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    Mamallapuram - Shore Temples guided tour

  • icon
    Transport

    Auto rickshaw, Boat, Bus, Cycle rickshaw, Ferry, Overnight sleeper train, Private vehicle, Train

  • icon
    Kerala Backwaters - Village walk

  • icon
    Mysore - Home cooked lunch & family visit

  • icon
    Accommodation

    Homestay (1 night), Hotel (11 nights), Jungle lodge (1 nights), Overnight Sleeper Train (1 night)

  • icon
    Periyar - Spice plantation visit

  • icon
    Mysore - Leader-led walking tour

  • icon
    Ooty - Nilgiri Mountain Railway & Tea Plantation visit

  • icon
    Madurai - Sri Meenakshi Temple

  • icon
    Kochi - Kathakali performance

  • icon
    Periyar - Guided nature walk

  • icon
    Mysore - Keshava Temple

  • icon
    Puducherry - Leader-led walking tour

  • icon
    Mamallapuram - Cycling tour

  • icon
    Meals

    5 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 3 dinners

  • icon
    Mysore - Chamundi Hill & Temple

  • icon
    Mysore - Maharaja's Palace

  • icon
    Puducherry - Leader-led French Quarter walking tour

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    Periyar - National Park

  • icon
    Kerala Backwaters - Pole boat ride

What's Not Included

  • icon
    Tipping and Gratuities

  • icon
    International Travel

  • icon
    Airport Transfers at Destination

Accommodation

  • Homestay (1 night), Hotel (11 nights), Jungle lodge (1 nights), Overnight sleeper train (1 night)

Transport

  • Auto rickshaw , Boat , Bus , Cycle rickshaw , Ferry , Overnight sleeper train , Private vehicle , Train

Included Activities

  • Kochi - Leader-led Fort Kochi walking tour
  • Kochi - Dutch Palace
  • Kochi - Kathakali performance
  • Ooty - Nilgiri Mountain Railway & Tea Plantation visit
  • Mysore - Home cooked lunch & family visit
  • Mysore - Maharaja's Palace
  • Mysore - Leader-led walking tour
  • Mysore - Keshava Temple
  • Mysore - Chamundi Hill & Temple
  • Mamallapuram - Cycling tour
  • Mamallapuram - Shore Temples guided tour
  • Puducherry - Leader-led walking tour
  • Madurai - Sri Meenakshi Temple
  • Periyar - Spice plantation visit
  • Periyar - National Park
  • Periyar - Guided nature walk
  • Kerala Backwaters - Pole boat ride
  • Kerala Backwaters - Village walk

Book with Confidence

  • icon
    Low Deposit

    Intrepid Travel requires a deposit of 200 GBP to secure a place on this tour, and the final balance is not due till 21 days before departure..

  • icon
    Secure payments

    All payments to TourHub are deposited into an externally regulated Trust account.


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Travel, Your Way

Good reasons for travelling privately

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  • icon
    Increased safety during COVID

    Spend the majority of time amongst your group to reduce exposure to others

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    Travel more exclusively

    Your tour guide can focus all their attention on your group

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    Travel for a special occasion

    Celebrate an important event by only travelling with your friends or family

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Dates & Availability

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Friday Sep 24, 2021

Nights

15

Available

12

$1566.95

Sunday Oct 03, 2021

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15

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12

$1566.95

Friday Oct 15, 2021

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15

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12

$1629.63

Friday Oct 29, 2021

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15

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10

$1629.63

Friday Nov 05, 2021

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15

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11

$1629.63

Friday Nov 12, 2021

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15

Available

11

$1629.63

Friday Nov 19, 2021

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15

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12

$1629.63

Friday Nov 26, 2021

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15

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12

$1629.63

Friday Dec 03, 2021

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15

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12

$1685.34

Friday Dec 17, 2021

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15

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12

$1685.34

Sunday Dec 19, 2021

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15

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12

$1685.34

Friday Dec 24, 2021

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15

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12

$1685.34

Sunday Dec 26, 2021

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15

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10

$1685.34

Friday Dec 31, 2021

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15

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10

$1566.95

Friday Jan 07, 2022

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15

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12

$1706.24

Friday Jan 14, 2022

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15

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12

$1706.24

Friday Jan 28, 2022

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15

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10

$1706.24

Sunday Jan 30, 2022

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15

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12

$1643.56

Friday Feb 04, 2022

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15

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12

$1643.56

Tuesday Feb 08, 2022

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15

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12

$1643.56

Friday Feb 11, 2022

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15

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12

$1643.56

Friday Feb 18, 2022

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15

Available

8

$1643.56

Friday Feb 25, 2022

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15

Available

12

$1643.56

Friday Mar 11, 2022

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15

Available

12

$1643.56

Friday Apr 01, 2022

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15

Available

12

$1643.56

Friday Sep 23, 2022

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15

Available

12

$1643.56

Sunday Oct 02, 2022

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15

Available

12

$1706.24

Friday Oct 14, 2022

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15

Available

12

$1706.24

Friday Oct 28, 2022

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15

Available

12

$1706.24

Friday Nov 04, 2022

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15

Available

12

$1768.91

Friday Nov 11, 2022

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15

Available

12

$1768.91

Friday Nov 18, 2022

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15

Available

12

$1768.91

Friday Nov 25, 2022

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15

Available

12

$1768.91

Friday Dec 02, 2022

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15

Available

12

$1768.91

Friday Dec 16, 2022

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15

Available

12

$1768.91

Sunday Dec 18, 2022

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15

Available

12

$1768.91

Friday Dec 23, 2022

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15

Available

12

$1768.91

Sunday Dec 25, 2022

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15

Available

12

$1706.24

Friday Dec 30, 2022

Nights

15

Available

12

$1706.24