This South India tour is brimming with variety and many extraordinary gems for you to enjoy. Relax on the beach, wander colonial streets or simply savor the historic architecture – the choice is yours!

Itinerary Summary

DayPlaceHighlightsHotel Options
1 - 3MamallapuramShore Temples, Arjuna’s Penance Monument, Pancha Pandava Rathas Monument, Krishna’s Butterball RockIdeal Beach Resort, Radisson Blu Resort Temple Bay
3 - 4PondicherryFrench Town, Colonial Buildings, Aurobindo Ashram, AurovilleMaison Perumal, Palais De Mahe
4 - 5ThanjavurUNESCO World Heritage Site, Brihadeshvara Temple, Statue of Nandi The BullIdeal River View Resort
5 - 7MaduraiMeenakshi Temple, Gandhi Museum, Vandiyur Kanmoy Tourist ComplexThe Gateway Hotel Pasumalai Madurai
7 - 9MunnarMatupetty Dam, Tea Plantations, Soft Trekking, Kannan Devan Tea MuseumThe Windermere Estate, Spice Tree Munnar
9 - 10CochinFort Kochi Harbor, Matancherry, Pardesi Synagogue, St. Francis ChurchTea Bungalow, Old Harbour
10 - 11Alleppey HouseboatBackwater, Relaxation, Houseboat, Paddy Fields, Village LifeXandari Riverscapes
11 - 14AlleppeyBackwater, Relaxation, Local Culture, Temple Visits, HouseboatMarari Beach Resort, A Beach Symphony
14 - 14CochinFort Kochi Harbor, Matancherry, Pardesi Synagogue, St. Francis Church

Ideal For

  • Heritage
  • Landscape
  • Relaxation

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 Price & Inclusions

  • Option 1 $ 2,415 /person
  • Option 2 $ 2,820 /person

Prices are in USD and exclude international flights

Price Includes

  • Accommodation (on a twin-sharing basis) on the indicated meal plan for 13 nights.
  • All activities as listed :
    • Mamallapuram: City Highlights of Mamallapuram
    • Mamallapuram: Highlights of Dakshinachitra
    • Pondicherry: City Highlights of Pondicherry
    • Pondicherry: Chidambaram & Gangaikondacholapuram City Highlights
    • Thanjavur: City Highlights of Thanjavur
    • Madurai: City Highlights of Madurai
    • Munnar: City Highlights of Munnar
    • Cochin: City Highlights of Cochin
    • Alleppey Houseboat: Included Activities at Houseboat
    • Alleppey: Complimentary Activities at Marari Beach Resort
  • All airport and hotel transfers
  • A high-quality air conditioned vehicle with unlimited mileage and a trusted chauffeur throughout your trip, apart from during your stay at a beach/backwater resort or houseboat if applicable.
  • All activities described in the itinerary, including entrance fees wherever applicable, accompanied by our tour guide
  • Your Trip Coordinator: a 24/7 point of contact, supporting you during your trip
  • Welcome kit including all important documents and information regarding your itinerary
  • Insolvency insurance
  • Fees and taxes

This listed price is based on two people sharing a double room. The price may vary due to the time of year you travel, the size of your group, and accommodation availability.

Itinerary Details

Day 1 - 3

International Arrival

Mamallapuram

2 Days

Mamallapuram was once a bustling seaport that provided shelter to illustrious travelers like Ptolemy and Periplus in the first century! Today, the city’s claim to fame lies in its ancient Pallava heritage, evident in Mamallapuram’s exquisite collection of temples, caves, rathas (chariots) and monuments.

Included Activities

City Highlights of Mamallapuram
Tour the stunning Shore temples dedicated to Lord Shiva; visit the temple of Anantasayana or ‘reclining Vishnu’; see Arjuna’s Penance, Pancha Pandava Rathas, the Varaha Cave, Krishna’s Butterball; Relax by the beach.

Highlights of Dakshinachitra
A half day tour of Dakshinachitra takes you to the living museum which provides insight into the architecture, lifestyles, crafts and performing arts of South India. Tour the 10 acre campus which has been recreated to depict 4 South Indian states – Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. Explore heritage houses, interact with village artisans, witness folk performances and participate in activities like bead making, basket weaving, pottery, palm leaf carving, paper craft, shell craft and glass painting.

Hotel Options

Ideal Beach Resort – Opt 1
RoomStandard Room
MealsBreakfast
StyleBeach Resort
Radisson Blu Resort Temple Bay – Opt 2
RoomChalet Garden View
MealsBreakfast
StyleBeach Resort
Day 3 - 4

Drive from Mamallapuram to Pondicherry (130 km, 2.5 hrs)

Pondicherry

1 Day

Pondicherry offers a slice of France in South India! Once a sleepy fishing village, the trading town was a French settlement since the 17th century until the Indian Independence.

Included Activities

City Highlights of Pondicherry
Explore this quaint French town, its colonial buildings and its most popular edifice – the Aurobindo Ashram; visit the famous temples of Vedapureswarar, Varadaraja Perumal and Manakula Vinayakar.

Chidambaram & Gangaikondacholapuram City Highlights
Enjoy a day trip to the traditional temple town of Chidambaram where you will find Chidambaram Thillai Natarajah Temple, a Hindu temple built by the Chola dynasty to honour Lord Shiva as Nataraja, the Lord of Dance. Admire the bejeweled image of Nataraja partaking in Bharatanatyam, a cosmic dance that symbolises the motion of the universe. Next, visit Gangaikonda Cholapuram, the city of the Chola Rajendra I who took the Ganges and was once a capital of this powerful dynasty. Visit the magnificent three storey high Gangaikondacholapuram temple that is surrounded by a huge fort-like wall.

Hotel Options

Maison Perumal – Opt 1
RoomStandard Room
MealsBreakfast
StyleBoutique
Palais De Mahe – Opt 2
RoomStandard Room
MealsBreakfast
StyleBoutique
Day 4 - 5

Drive from Pondicherry to Thanjavur via Chidambaram and Gangaikondacholapuram (190 km, 5 hrs)

Thanjavur

1 Day

Thanjavur is a fascinating cultural melting point and was once considered India’s cultural capital.

Included Activities

City Highlights of Thanjavur
Visit the famous UNESCO World Heritage site of the Brihadeshvara Temple or Bull Temple – home to India’s largest lingam; enjoy the natural splendor that surrounds the Panchanatheesvarar Temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva.

Hotel Options

Ideal River View Resort – Opt 1
RoomRiver View
MealsBreakfast
StyleResort
Day 5 - 7

Drive from Thanjavur to Madurai (182 km, 4 hrs)

Madurai

2 Days

Madurai, the city of incense and chiming cymbals, is one of the oldest in India! Dubbed the “Athens of the East’, the historical city was reputedly visited by learned men from Rome and Greece, including Megasthenes in the 3rd century BC! Cozily nestled amidst the towering mountains, this is an energetic city of contrasts where Hindu Gods and a growing IT industry go hand in hand.

Included Activities

City Highlights of Madurai
Visit the thousand pillared Madurai Meenakshi Temple; the Meenakshi Sundareswarar Temple; Koodal Alagar Temple; Thirumalai Nayak Mahal; Vandiyur Kanmoy Tourist Complex; Gandhi Museum.

Hotel Options

The Gateway Hotel Pasumalai Madurai – Opt 1
RoomPasumalai Superior Room
MealsBreakfast
StyleInternational
Day 7 - 9

Drive from Madurai to Munnar (160 km, 4.5 hrs)

Munnar

2 Days

Munnar offers a haven of peace and tranquility within the verdant hills of Kerala.

Included Activities

City Highlights of Munnar
Explore this beautiful panoramic town. Drive to Matupetty Dam and Kundala Dam; visit Echo Point via sprawling tea plantations; end at Top Station to view lush mountainsides. Dine in the city; stay overnight. Next day, enjoy a drive through winding lanes, a picture-perfect town and scenic plantations; see exotic forest and grassland flora. Do a 20min trek to the top on a paved path. Back in the city, visit the Kannan Devan Tea Museum..housing photographs and machineries depicting each turning point contributing to a flourishing tea industry; the Antiques museum exhibits antique furniture, Telephones, etc, and shows a 30min documentary on the history of Munnar along with a tea production demonstration; take a Tea Tour in the evening.

Hotel Options

The Windermere Estate – Opt 1
RoomGarden Room
MealsBreakfast
StyleResort
Spice Tree Munnar – Opt 2
RoomSpice Tree-Classic Room With Jacuzzi
MealsBreakfast
StyleResort
Day 9 - 10

Drive from Munnar to Cochin (160 km, 4.5 hrs)

Cochin

1 Day

Kochi, formerly Cochin, is considered the Queen of the Arabian Sea as it was one of the first European settlements in India, due its ideal positioning for trading.

Included Activities

City Highlights of Cochin
Kochi, formerly Cochin, is a vibrant, engaging city to explore, from the absorbing views of Fort Kochi harbor with its huge Chinese fishing nets to ancient mosques, Portuguese architecture and the crumbling remnants of the British Raj. Explore Matancherry where you can observe murals and antiquities at the Dutch Palace and Cemetery, and the 400 year old Pardesi Synagogue in the Jewish quarter. Visit the grave of Vasco da Gama in St. Francis Church. Discover the Hill Palace and Tripunithura and browse the spice and antique markets. Enjoy a traditional Kathakali dance performance or the captivating display of Kalaripayattu, a 3,000 year old martial art form.

Hotel Options

Tea Bungalow – Opt 1
RoomBungalow Heritage Deluxe
MealsBreakfast
StyleBoutique
Old Harbour – Opt 2
RoomSuperior Room
MealsBreakfast
StyleBoutique
Day 10 - 11

Drive from Cochin to Alleppey / Kumarakom (65 km, 1.5 hrs)

Alleppey Houseboat

1 Day

Cruise Kerala’s backwaters and stay overnight in a traditional kettuvallom, a boat made from coconut rope and wooden blanks.

Included Activities

Included Activities at Houseboat
Cruising Kerala’s backwaters in traditional ‘kettuvalloms’ (boats made by tying together wooden planks with coconut ropes), is a distinctly unique experience! These quaint slow moving, exotic barges have all the creature comforts of a hotel – furnished bedrooms, modern toilets, living rooms, kitchen and a balcony for viewing/angling – shaded and with uninterrupted views of an untouched, rural Kerala. Experience ‘God’s Own Country’ while meandering narrow backwater pathways on the Vembanad Lake via canals, paddy fields, villages and markets along the Alleppey/Kumarakom/Fort Kochi backwaters. Visit famous temples, churches, ancestral homes, stroll through busy markets, see rice fields and meet the locals. Enjoy local cuisine on board, served on traditional banana leaves. Drop anchor on this overnight trip and sleep to the sounds of ‘the still of the night’, accompanied by the echo of gently swishing waves.

Hotel Options

Xandari Riverscapes – Opt 1
RoomXandari Riverscapes-One Bedroom
MealsFull Board
StyleHouseboat
Day 11 - 14

Transfer from Alleppey Houseboat to Resort

Alleppey

3 Days

Alleppey was once dubbed the Venice of the East by the visiting former Viceroy of India, Lord Curzon.

Included Activities

Complimentary Activities at Marari Beach Resort
(Only if staying in Marari Beach Resort) Start a bespoke Keralan day with yoga’s marvels at the Open Air Yoga Centre; glimpse nature’s colorful tiny miracles in the Butterfly Garden; visit the Ayurveda Centre; visit the Kitchen Garden; take an environment friendly tour – bio-gas and sewage plant, solar panels, etc; stroll nearby villages escorted; Meditate at the Yoga Centre; see Saree/Dhoti demos; delight in a culinary demonstration by the chef at the Farm Kitchen..observe techniques and the use of ingredients indigenous to the region.

Hotel Options

Marari Beach Resort – Opt 1
RoomGarden Villa
MealsBreakfast
StyleBeach Resort
A Beach Symphony – Opt 2
RoomCottage
MealsBreakfast
StyleBeach Resort
Day 14 - 14

Transfer from Alleppey to Cochin airport

Cochin

0 Days

Kochi, formerly Cochin, is considered the Queen of the Arabian Sea as it was one of the first European settlements in India, due its ideal positioning for trading.

International Departure

What our guests say about this trip

My family visited India recently to see where my parents lived in the 1960’s, on a tea estate near Ooty, where I was born. My brother and sister came as well. We had a very enjoyable and memorable trip that was so well organised by Enchanting Travels. Everything went according to plan and there were no unexpected problems. The hotels were excellent, the tours interesting, the guides very informative and our driver Sashi was amazing. He was friendly, polite and navigated the crazy traffic with cool calm dexterity.

The convenience of our own vehicle and driver made it possible to stop whenever we wanted, and to adapt the trip to suit our wishes. When we got to the tea country we were able to find the tea estates and met people who remembered my parents. We visited the bungalows where we lived and saw people picking and collecting the tea. It was a real trip down memory lane for my parents and great for us to see the places they have told us about.

Later we stayed on a houseboat on the backwaters of Kerala and had three wonderful days where my parents also celebrated their 55th wedding anniversary. The houseboats are like a floating hotel room moving slowly through the waterways. The crew and captain were very friendly and helpful, and the food was delicious.

We were very glad to have made this special trip together, and lucky to have found Enchanting Travels to arrange it all for us.

– Rossco Faithfull
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Spotlight on South India

14 days $ 2,415 / person

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