Backwaters, Spices & Splendors of the South
Unravel the mysteries of the Deep South – a land of temples, spices, precipitous peaks and golden sands. A treasure trove filled with natural and man-made marvels – this tour not only unveils the architectural abundance and distinctiveness of South India, but also narrates the anecdotes of its glorious past. This holiday evokes a flurry of spicy and soothing emotions – as you wander across the temple cities and enthralling hill stations, peppered with rich colonial history and natural vibrancy. Intriguing and rewarding – this holiday showcases the colours, vitality and history of this part of India.
Bangalore – Mysore – Coonor – Cochin – Houseboat – Periyar – Madurai – Chettinadu – Trichy – Tanjore – Pondicherry – Mahabalipuram – Chennai
Day 1. To Bangalore
Departure from your home country to Bangalore.
Day 2. Arrive in Bangalore
Arrive in Bangalore and transfer to your hotel, The Paul. Relax and spend your day at leisure.
Day 3. To Mysore via Srirangapatna
Drive to Mysore, and visit Srirangapatna en route, an island fortress on the River Cauvery with high walls enclosing temples, palaces and a glorious mosque. It was once the home of Haider Ali and his legendary son Tipu Sultan, also known as The Tiger of Mysore. Two nights in Mysore.
Day 4. Mysore
Morning sightseeing tour of the lovely city of Mysore. Visits include the hilltop Sri Chamundeswari Temple, the striking monolithic Nandi Bull, Mysore Palace and the Devraja market. After lunch, visit the superb temple at Somnathpur, built to glorify Hoysala craftsmanship by the famed Commander Somnath.
Day 5. To Coonoor via Ooty
Morning drive to the delightful hill station of Ooty. After lunch at the Taj Savoy, board the charming Toy Train to Coonoor. The lazy little train merrily chugs along, passing though the startling green tea plantations and wooded hillsides. Overnight at Taj Gateway Hotel.
Day 6. To Cochin
Morning drive to Cochin for a two nights stay. Rest of the day at leisure.
Day 7. Cochin
Morning sightseeing of Cochin includes visits to the Dutch Palace, St. Francis Church, the Chinese Fishing Nets and Jewish Synagogue. Revel in an evening Kathakali dance performance – arrive early to watch the dancers apply their elaborate makeup.
Day 8. Houseboat
Morning drive to Alleppey to spend the day cruising along the iconic backwaters in a traditional rice boat (Kettuvallam) converted into a relaxing houseboat. Overnight stay on the air-conditioned houseboat.
Day 9. To Periyar
Disembark at Philipkutty’s Backwater Farm for a wonderful lunch. Continue driving to Periyar. Two nights at the Spice Village.
Day 10. Periyar
Morning guided jungle walk with an experienced naturalist. Afternoon at leisure.
Day 11. To Madurai
Morning drive to Madurai. Afternoon at leisure. In the evening, visit the Meenakshi Temple to witness the ‘going to bed ceremony’ when the statue of Lord Shiva is carried to the chamber of his wife, Parvati, on a silver chariot.
Day 12. To Chettinadu
Morning drive to Chettinadu- a unique area of Tamil Nadu famed for its culinary delicacies, beautiful mansions, rich cultural heritage, art, and architecture. In the afternoon, enjoy a delightful bullock-cart ride to see the palace and explore the local village. Overnight at Visalam.
Day 13. To Tanjore via Trichy
Morning drive to Trichy to visit the Srirangam, famous for the Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple, dominated by 22 towers (gopurams), making it the largest temple in India and one of the largest religious complexes in the world. Also climb the steps to the Rock Fort Temple to enjoy the magnificent views across the countryside. Continue driving to Tanjore. Two nights at the Ideal River View Resort.
Day 14. Tanjore
Morning visit to the unrivalled World Heritage Brihadeeshwara Temple, a masterpiece of Chola architecture. The entire temple structure is made out of granite stones. Also visit the museum, library and the art gallery. Afternoon at leisure.
Day 15. To Pondicherry
Morning drive to Pondicherry – a former French enclave. In the afternoon, explore the French quarter known for its delightful colonial aura. Also visit the international community of Auroville. Overnight at Maison De Perumal.
Day 16. To Chennai via Mahabalipuram
After an early breakfast, drive to Chennai, visiting the UNESCO Heritage Site of Mahabalipuram en route, with its delicate Shore Temples, series of graceful Rathas and the beautifully carved Arjuna’s Penance. Afternoon sightseeing of Chennai includes Fort St. George and St. Mary’s Church. Overnight at the Trident Hotel.
Day 17. International Departure
Fly back to your home country.
Each of our programs can be customised to our clients’ desires. Enquire now for a tailor made Indus experience!
Best time to visit: October to March is the best time of the year to visit South India. The weather is pleasant and humidity is relatively lower.
Duration: 17 days
Themes: Culture, Heritage, Architecture, Hill Stations, Beaches, Kerala Backwaters Houseboat, Wildlife.
Regions you will discover: Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Pondicherry (Puducherry), Mahabalipuram (Mamallapuram)
Transport within India:
Private air-conditioned chauffeur-driven car
UNESCO Heritage Toy Train
Traditional Keralan Houseboat
Price: Available on request for relevant travel month
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