South India Explorer - 14 days

South India Explorer - 14 days

300 Views
14 Days From

$2665

$2592

South India Explorer - 14 days

14 Days Starting in Chennai and ending in Kochi

Visiting: Chennai, Mahabalipuram, Puducherry, Thanjavur, Chettinad Palace, Madurai, Munnar, Periyar, Alappuzha, Kerala Backwater Tour, Kumarakom, Kochi

Tour operator:

On The Go Tours

Tour code:

2037/SIEX

Guide Type:

Fully Guided

Group size:

2 - 24

Age range:

15 + if accompanied by an adult.

Special diets catered:

Vegetarians, Please contact On The Go Tours with specific dietary requests

Tour operated in:
English
Trip Styles:

Small Group

From:
$2665
$2592 Exclusive Tourhub Discount: -$73

NB: Prices correct on 26-May-2024 but subject to change.

This tour is no longer available, please see similar tours below or send an enquiry

Tour Overview

Explore the highlights of Southern India, from Chennai to Kochi on this 14-day tour. Visit some of the most intricate and beautiful UNESCO world heritage temples of Southern India and uncover the delights of tropical Kerala in India's deep south. Visit the former hill station of Munnar and its sprawling tea plantations, spot elephants in Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary and spend a night aboard a houseboat, gliding along the tranquil, palm fringed backwaters.

Highlights

  • Kerala Backwaters – Sail along the famous backwaters in our deluxe rice boat and enjoy marvelous views

  • Mahabalipuram – Visit the impressive Shore Temple on the Bay of Bengal and the striking Five Rathas

  • Kumarakom – Relax on the shores of Lake Vembanad and opt to visit the local bird sanctuary

  • Madurai – Attend an evening Aarti prayer ceremony and see the impressive rock cut temple of Thirupparankunram Murugan

  • Trichy – Discover the imposing Rock Fort Temple which is perched on a hill overlooking the city

  • Tanjore – Visit the giant 1,000 year old Brihadishwara Temple on our guided tour of the city’s highlights

  • Kochi – Enjoy free time to explore the coastal city and watch an entertaining Kathakali dance show

  • Pondicherry – Tour the French colonial city including the Sacred Heart Basilica and walk on the beach

  • Munnar – Explore the former British Hill Station and enjoy a guided stroll through one of the many sprawling tea plantations

  • Kanchipuram – Marvel at the plethora of Hindu temples dedicated to the gods Shiva and Vishnu

Show all

Itinerary

Expand All

Day 1: Chennai

Location: Chennai

Sunday. Welcome to Southern India! On arrival at Chennai airport you are met and transferred to our hotel. The rest of today is free to explore the city at leisure before meeting the group and guide at the hotel at 18:00 for a Welcome meeting.

Day 2: Mahabalipuram

Location: Chennai, Mahabalipuram, Puducherry

Meals Included: Breakfast

Chennai - Mahabalipuram - Pondicherry. Say goodbye to Chennai this morning as we travel to the French colonial city of Pondicherry. French rule lasted here until 1954 and the influence is still clear in the city’s architecture.



En route visit Mahabalipuram - the beautiful 7th century Shore Temple, so-named because of its location on the shore of the Bay of Bengal. Continue to the world’s largest bas-relief carving, Arjuna’s Penance and the incredible Five Rathas. This UNESCO-listed site is made up of five different temples, all carved individually from separate rocks. The temples lay hidden under sand until the British rediscovered them 200 years ago.

Day 3: Pondicherry

Location: Puducherry

Meals Included: Breakfast

Pondicherry. Today we explore the highlights of Pondicherry including the Sri Aurobindo Ashram spiritual community and Pondicherry Beach, with it's beautiful golden sand and lapping waves. Finally, we explore the striking Sacred Heart Basilica, a famous Christian pilgrimage site. Enjoy the rest of your day at leisure.

Day 4: Thanjavur

Location: Puducherry, Thanjavur

Meals Included: Breakfast

Pondicherry - Tanjore. Leaving Pondicherry today, we travel to the vibrant city of Tanjore (Thanjavur). We discover the ancient, fortified town with a guided tour exploring Tanjore's glorious history dating back more than 1,500 years. Take in the enormous Brihadishwara Temple. This temple is over 1000 years old and the dome on top is thought to have been hauled up in a similar way to the construction of the Pyramids of Giza in Egypt.

Day 5: Chettinad

Location: Thanjavur, Chettinad Palace

Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Tanjore - Chettinad. Today we travel to Chettinad which renowned across India for its unique spectacular combination of flavourful cuisine, yet few venture to this sleepy, tranquil village. Explore the crumbling Chettinad Palace and the famous tile factory in Athangudi, where your guide will explain how the renowned handmade terracotta tiles of Chettinad are crafted and readied.

Day 6: Madurai

Location: Chettinad Palace, Madurai

Meals Included: Breakfast

Chettinad – Madurai. Departing Chettinad we continue onwards to Madurai, where we enjoy a half day guided tour taking in the Thirumalai Nayakar Mahal. This grand palace is known for the giant circular pillars in its courtyard and dates back to the 17th century. We continue to the famous rock cut temple of Thirupparankunram Murugan. According to a famous Hindu legend, this is where Murugan slayed the demon Surapadman. Finally, we join an Aarti prayer ceremony at the Meenakshi Temple. The ceremony involves the lighting of candles and songs being sung in praise of the gods.

Day 7-8: Munnar

Location: Madurai, Munnar

Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Madurai - Munnar. Leaving Madurai today we travel to the picturesque former hill station of Munnar where we spend the next two nights. Today we take a guided walk through a local tea plantation and visit a local market. The remainder of day 7 and day 8 is spent at your own leisure. You may wish to visit the nearby Blossom Park and enjoy cycling or boating in the stunning surrounds.

Day 9: Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary

Location: Munnar, Periyar

Meals Included: Breakfast

Munnar - Periyar. A drive south to Periyar, South India’s most popular Wildlife Sanctuary and home to bison, antelopes, sambar, wild boar, birds and even the odd tiger! Kumily, close to the sanctuary and where we’ll stay, is a pretty little town dotted with small spice and handicraft shops. There is plenty to do in and around Periyar, so we leave the choice to you to enjoy the remainder of the day at your own leisure.

Day 10: Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary

Location: Periyar

Meals Included: Breakfast

Periyar. Today we enjoy an included boat ride on Lake Periyar to spot herds of wild elephants. The rest of the day is at your own leisure to explore on your own. You can opt for an optional visit to explore the spice plantation or enjoy a kalaripayattu dance performance.

Day 11: Alleppey

Location: Periyar, Alappuzha, Kerala Backwater Tour

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Periyar - Alleppey - Keralan backwaters. Today we leave Periyar and take a scenic drive to Alleppey. Here we board our private rice boat for a voyage through the famous Kerala backwaters. Our rice-boat takes us sedately along the enchanting palm-fringed backwaters, covering a distance of some 20 kms, during which time the boat glides past local villages and fascinating scenes of everyday rural life. Watch a beautiful sunset over the backwaters and enjoy tasty meals (starting with lunch) prepared by the on-board chef using fresh local produce.

Day 12: Kumarakom

Location: Kerala Backwater Tour, Kumarakom

Meals Included: Breakfast

Keralan Backwaters - Kumarakom. On the morning of day 12 we disembark our rice boat at Kumarakom - a village spread over a cluster of islands on Lake Vembanad. Enjoy two days relaxing or exploring Kumarakom at leisure. Perhaps take a boat ride on the lake or visit the Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary. The sanctuary is home to many rare bird species and is an important stopover for migratory birds in the winter (Nov-May).

Day 13: Kochi

Location: Kumarakom, Kochi

Meals Included: Breakfast

Kumarakom – Kochi. Formerly a princely state, Kochi is also fondly referred to as “The Queen of the Arabian Sea”. Upon arrival spend the rest of the day is at leisure to explore Kochi on own. This evening you can opt for an optional tour to watch an entertaining and traditional Kathakali dance show. Kathakali performers are known for their elaborate costumes and make up and they always put on a fantastic show.

Day 14: Kochi

Location: Kochi

Meals Included: Breakfast

Saturday. Our Indian adventure comes to an end today with an included departure transfer to Kochi airport.

What's Included

  • Accommodation

    3 - 4 star and heritage properties

  • 12 breakfasts, 1 lunch and 3 dinners

  • 11 nights 3-4 star and heritage hotels

  • 1 night deluxe houseboat cruise along the Keralan backwaters

  • Guided sightseeing - Kochi, Fort Kochi, Munnar tea plantation, Mahabalipuram, Kanchipuram Temples, Pondicherry and Madurai

  • Traditional Kathakali Dance Show in Kochi, (entrance fee excluded)

  • Train journey: Trichy to Kochi

  • Escorted by an English-speaking Indian tour guide (for groups of 6 or more)

  • Services of English-speaking Indian specialist guides at some sites

  • Airport arrival and departure transfer on days 1 and 14

show more

What's Not Included

  • International flights and visa

  • Tip for your tour guide. We recommend you allow USD$4-7 per day, per traveller. Tipping your guide is an entirely personal gesture

  • Entrance Fees: USD$25-35pp, paid in local currency

  • Entrance Fees: USD$35-45pp, paid in local currency

Age Policy

16 + if accompanied by an adult.

Accommodation

The Residency



The Residency is a smart and modern hotel with a good choice of restaurants and bars. The rooms are spacious, comfortable and modern in decor. The fitness centre although small, has a good array of fitness machines.





Hotel GRT Grand



In the heart of Chennai, the GRT Grand is a luxurious hotel with excellent amenities. Guest rooms feature some fantastic comforts including jetted baths, free Wi-Fi internet and state of the art LCD TVs. The hotel also boasts 3 delicious restaurants and an on site full service spa and indoor pool.



Well located close to the Ramee Shopping Mall SDAT Tennis Stadium.





Hotel Atithi



With its great selection of facilities, this modern hotel has marked itself one of the finest hotels in Pondicherry. Each room is fully equipped with all the essential amenities, with the added perks of 24-hour room service and free WiFi. Guests can enjoy the in-house gym, rejuvenating spa and an outdoor pool offering amazing views over the city. There are plenty of options when it comes to dining, with a lounge bar, two multi-cuisine restaurants and a fun-filled rooftop bar. If that wasn’t enough, Hotel Atithi is also well-located close to many of the top attractions in this heritage city.





Hotel Sangam



Set among the historic temples of Thanjavur, Hotel Sangam offers you a peaceful and comfortable stay. Its guestrooms are spacious and feature modern interiors with large windows allowing for plenty of natural light. Enjoy local and international cuisine at the Thillana Restaurant, where you’ll find both guests and locals alike, or opt for a light snack and cool beer in the Layam Bar. An outdoor pool serves the perfect place to kick back and relax after a day of sightseeing. And you can always expect a warm greeting from staff, who are more than happy to share their knowledge of the area.





Chidambara Vilas



Chidambara Vilas is a heritage property tucked away in the rustic Chettinad region, renowned worldwide for its famous Chettinad cuisine. The culture, heritage and opulence of the beautiful heritage hotel takes you to the bygone era. The property offers 25 guest rooms, recreating the ambience of authentic Chettiar lifestyles reflected in its furnishings and with modern day comfort's such as air-conditioning. The property also features a swimming pool, the perfect spot to relax and recharge in a quiet atmosphere.





JC Residency



The JC Residency is ideally located in a serene part of Madurai, offering Heritage styling throughout the hotel. Guest rooms feature contemporary decor and generous space and modern facilities including LCD TV, high speed Wi-Fi connectivity, electronic safes and well-equipped bathrooms. Hotel facilities also include an outdoor swimming pool and gym.





Eastend Munnar



The Eastend Munnar is a quaint resort set in landscaped gardens in the heart of Munnar town. The modern rooms are well-sized with a neutral palette of warm woods, creams and touches of gold. Guests can climb to the Tree Hut for panoramic views of the surrounding hills or underground to 'The Cave', which contains various rock-cut reliefs. The multi-cuisine restaurant provides a menu covering Chinese, continental and Indian dishes.





The Elephant Court



Located on 4 acres of land, the Elephant Court is a grand hotel decked out in cooling teak wood. Guest rooms are beautifully appointed with earthy hues of brown and pale green set off by crisp cotton sheets. Dining options include local specialities and international cuisine, all served in the restaurant with beautiful views of the swimming pool and surrounding area. A trip to the beautiful rooftop curio shop to pick up some souvenirs is a must.



The accommodation is well located close to the Thekaddy forests.





Deluxe Houseboat



There are few things as serene and tranquil as floating along the Keralan backwaters in the comfort of a luxurious houseboat. Deluxe houseboats are elegantly furnished, with up to four bedrooms, equipped with modern en suites, an open lounge, dining area and a deck to relax and admire the beautiful views of the lush green palms and rice paddies. Air conditioning operates in the bedrooms between 9pm to 6am only. The cruises are full board, with tasty meals freshly prepared by the onboard chef.





Eastend Lakesong



Nestled among the serene backwaters of Kumarakom, Eastend Lakesong comprises of 8 acres of facility packed leisure land. Guests sleep in villas and cottages, which are all well furnished with colourful interiors and comfortable beds. The onsite restaurants offer an excellent selection of local and international cuisine. Why not treat yourself to a relaxing massage at the Ayurveda on site Spa? It is the perfect way to unwind after a long day of exploring in the fierce Indian heat.





Trident Hotel Kochi



Nestled serenely on Willingdon Island, Trident boasts an array of indulgent amenities, including an Ayurvedic spa, an inviting outdoor pool, and a modern fitness center. From the comfort of its air-conditioned guestrooms and suites, adorned with picturesque garden or pool views, guests revel in modern comforts like satellite TV and minibars, with suites offering the added luxury of separate living spaces. Dining at its four restaurants promises a culinary voyage, from the flavours of Indian and Continental cuisine at Travancore to the seasonal seafood delights of The Seafood Grill.

Check out our Q&As

  • What Ethical Travel credentials does the tour company have?

    Ensuring our footprint is light and that the benefits of travelling reach the local communities you visit is paramount to us. We’re proud to say that when travelling with us, the large majority of your holiday funds remain within the countries you visit, supporting local economies at a grass roots level.

  • How long has the tour company been trading?

    Since 1998

  • Who will be my travelling companions on the tour?

    With English-speaking tours, it's not a huge surprise that most on our travellers are from English-speaking countries or have English as their second language. Our group tours cater for everyone from 18 years old to 70+

  • Will the accommodation included meet local health and safety regulations?

    Yes

Reviews from travellers on this tour

Geoffrey Griffiths  

South India Explorer - 14 days

11-Mar-2019

Excellent adventure holiday. Rather a lot of temples in the first week and lots of travelling. The second week much relaxed and very enjoyable. The guide was excellent and obviously passionate about his country. Imparted lots of knowledge and went out of his way to ensure all requests were addressed and went beyond what was expected. A real gentleman.

1 Dates & Availability

tourhub Discount Available - Sign In

Instant Booking Available

Sunday - Saturday

Sep 15, 2024 - Sep 28, 2024
$2665 $2592

Exclusive Tourhub Discount: -$73

Instant Booking Available

Sunday - Saturday

Sep 29, 2024 - Oct 12, 2024
$2665 $2592

Exclusive Tourhub Discount: -$73

Instant Booking Available

Sunday - Saturday

Oct 06, 2024 - Oct 19, 2024
$2665 $2592

Exclusive Tourhub Discount: -$73

Instant Booking Available

Sunday - Saturday

Oct 13, 2024 - Oct 26, 2024
$2665 $2592

Exclusive Tourhub Discount: -$73

Instant Booking Available

Sunday - Saturday

Oct 20, 2024 - Nov 02, 2024
$2665 $2592

Exclusive Tourhub Discount: -$73

Instant Booking Available

Sunday - Saturday

Oct 27, 2024 - Nov 09, 2024
$2665 $2592

Exclusive Tourhub Discount: -$73

Instant Booking Available

Sunday - Saturday

Nov 03, 2024 - Nov 16, 2024
$2665 $2592

Exclusive Tourhub Discount: -$73

Instant Booking Available

Sunday - Saturday

Nov 10, 2024 - Nov 23, 2024
$2665 $2592

Exclusive Tourhub Discount: -$73

Instant Booking Available

Sunday - Saturday

Nov 24, 2024 - Dec 07, 2024
$2665 $2592

Exclusive Tourhub Discount: -$73

Instant Booking Available

Sunday - Saturday

Dec 08, 2024 - Dec 21, 2024
$2665 $2592

Exclusive Tourhub Discount: -$73

Instant Booking Available

Sunday - Saturday

Dec 15, 2024 - Dec 28, 2024
$2665 $2592

Exclusive Tourhub Discount: -$73

Instant Booking Available

Sunday - Saturday

Dec 29, 2024 - Jan 11, 2025
$2945 $2864

Exclusive Tourhub Discount: -$81

Instant Booking Available

Sunday - Saturday

Jan 12, 2025 - Jan 25, 2025
$2665 $2592

Exclusive Tourhub Discount: -$73

Instant Booking Available

Sunday - Saturday

Jan 26, 2025 - Feb 08, 2025
$2665 $2592

Exclusive Tourhub Discount: -$73

Instant Booking Available

Sunday - Saturday

Feb 09, 2025 - Feb 22, 2025
$2665 $2592

Exclusive Tourhub Discount: -$73

Instant Booking Available

Sunday - Saturday

Feb 23, 2025 - Mar 08, 2025
$2665 $2592

Exclusive Tourhub Discount: -$73

Instant Booking Available

Sunday - Saturday

Mar 23, 2025 - Apr 05, 2025
$2665 $2592

Exclusive Tourhub Discount: -$73

Instant Booking Available

Sunday - Saturday

Mar 30, 2025 - Apr 12, 2025
$2665 $2592

Exclusive Tourhub Discount: -$73

Instant Booking Available

Sunday - Saturday

Apr 06, 2025 - Apr 19, 2025
$2665 $2592

Exclusive Tourhub Discount: -$73

Instant Booking Available

Sunday - Saturday

Apr 13, 2025 - Apr 26, 2025
$2665 $2592

Exclusive Tourhub Discount: -$73

Instant Booking Available

Sunday - Saturday

Apr 20, 2025 - May 03, 2025
$2665 $2592

Exclusive Tourhub Discount: -$73

Instant Booking Available

Sunday - Saturday

Sep 21, 2025 - Oct 04, 2025
$2885 $2806

Exclusive Tourhub Discount: -$79

Instant Booking Available

Sunday - Saturday

Oct 05, 2025 - Oct 18, 2025
$2885 $2806

Exclusive Tourhub Discount: -$79

Instant Booking Available

Sunday - Saturday

Oct 12, 2025 - Oct 25, 2025
$2885 $2806

Exclusive Tourhub Discount: -$79

Instant Booking Available

Sunday - Saturday

Oct 19, 2025 - Nov 01, 2025
$2885 $2806

Exclusive Tourhub Discount: -$79

Instant Booking Available

Sunday - Saturday

Oct 26, 2025 - Nov 08, 2025
$2885 $2806

Exclusive Tourhub Discount: -$79

Instant Booking Available

Sunday - Saturday

Nov 02, 2025 - Nov 15, 2025
$2885 $2806

Exclusive Tourhub Discount: -$79

Instant Booking Available

Sunday - Saturday

Nov 16, 2025 - Nov 29, 2025
$2885 $2806

Exclusive Tourhub Discount: -$79

Instant Booking Available

Sunday - Saturday

Nov 30, 2025 - Dec 13, 2025
$2885 $2806

Exclusive Tourhub Discount: -$79

Instant Booking Available

Sunday - Saturday

Dec 14, 2025 - Dec 27, 2025
$3155 $3068

Exclusive Tourhub Discount: -$87

Book with Confidence

  • Transfer as credit to Future Tours

    On The Go Tours allows you to transfer existing payments to a future tour to avoid cancellation fees if you can't travel and inform on the go tours, 60 days before departure.

  • Low Deposit

    On The Go Tours requires a minimum deposit of 300 GBP per person or the full booking value, whichever is less, with the final balance not due until 60 days before departure.

  • Cancellation Policy

    We don't charge a cancellation fee, here is a summary of on the go tours charges.

    Up to 60 days before tour starts: Forfeit 100% of deposit.

    At 59 days before tour starts: Forfeit 50% of booking price.

    At 30 days before tour starts: Forfeit 100% of booking price.

Why book with tourhub?

Safe & Secure

Your money is protected in an external trust until you travel.

pts logo

100% Guaranteed Refunds if your trip is cancelled.


The safest way to make overseas, multi-currency payments.

Guaranteed Best Value

Industry leading discounts, we won't be beaten on price.


No cancellation or amendment fees from tourhub.

(Operator terms may apply)

Expert Knowledge

Reliable & unbiased advice from travel experts.


Direct contact with the tour operator via our messaging service.


Inspiration & advice from a community of 6000+ real travellers, influencers & content creators.

Trusted Service

Official partners & licensed agents of 1000+ tour operators worldwide.


Don't just take our word for it...

"Tourhub: Friendliness, Professionalism & Integrity I would happily give tourhub a 6* review if I could..."

Similar Tours

Travel Guru Features

Our Reviews