Southern India
The Backwaters of Kerala

Mumbai -Chennai -Mahabalipuram -Kanchipuram -Trichy -Thanjavur -Madurai -Kodaikanal -Periyar -Cochin -Rajah Ayurveda Healing Centre -Bangalore -Mysore -Mumbai

About the Program:
Length: 14 days
Min/max: 6/15
Tour type: cultural adventure

Riotously decorated temples, vast coffee and tea plantations, luxuriant tropical forests, and lagoons canopied by coconut trees characterize Southern India. Its unique geography is permeated with a myriad of colonial influences and maintains a truly Hindu flavor. It is also said to be the birthplace of India’s traditional Ayurveda healing system.

During this well-packed 14-day journey, you will enjoy the history and culture of southern India’s tropical Coromandel and Malabar coasts, you will visit ancient spice ports known to Roman, Arab, Chinese and European seafarers, encounter a stunning diversity of art and architecture in the many monuments, temples, forts and palaces of these shores, meet fishermen sailing boats of ancient design, where the Indian Ocean meets the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal, feel the rich tastes of southern Indian cuisine everywhere and enjoy a two-day retreat on an island for Ayurveda healing, which remains little known by the Western world...


2011 - 2012
Contact us for more information.

COST (Per Person)
Land only (twin): upon request 
Single supplement: upon request 

Price includes:
  • Domestic flights: Chennai - Trichy, Cochin - Bangalore - Mumbai.
  • Accomodation: deluxe and first-class hotels
  • Hotel taxes and service charges
  • All meals
  • Guided sightseeing
  • Entrance fees to all the sites.
  • Special events and activities
  • Service of English-speaking guides
  • Travel dossier and travel accessories

Price excludes:

  • International airfare from home city to India & return.
  • Travel insurance (strongly recommended)
  • Gratuities to guides, drivers, porters and hotel staff
  • Personal expenses


Day 1, Sun Mumbai / Chennai
Upon arrival in Mumbai, transfer for the flight to Chennai. Welcome to the city of Chennai, formerly known as Madras! You will be met and welcomed by our local representative. Transfer to hotel and rest. Welcome dinner.
D Taj Connemara Hotel

Day 2, Mon -   Chennai / Mahabalipuram / Kanchipuram / Chennai
Today you will enjoy an excursion to the World Heritage Site of Mahabalipuram. This group of sanctuaries, founded by the Pallava kings, was carved out of rock along the Coromandel Coast in the 7th and 8th centuries. It is known especially for its rathas (temples in the form of chariots), mandapas (cave sanctuaries), giant open-air reliefs such as the famous 'Descent of the Ganges', and the temple of Rivage, with thousands of sculptures to the glory of Shiva. On the way back to Chennai, visit the Kapaleeswarar, the ancient Shiva Temple, Santhome Church and a local bazaar.
B/L/D Taj Connemara Hotel

Day 3, Tue - Chennai / Trichy
A short flight gets you to Tiruchirapalli - Trichy, a town deeply immersed in Hindu religion and home to some outstanding Dravidian temple architecture. You will visit to the Rock Fort Temple, the maze of the Mathurubhuteshwar Shrine and some other local temples. Afterwards, visit some local villages and experience the rural life of Southern India.
B/L/D Sangam Hotel

Day 4, Wed - Trichy / Thanjavur / Trichy
You will take a day trip to Thanjavur, to visit the Brihadisvara Temple, a World Heritage Site, which was built between 1003 A.D. and 1010 A.D. during the reign of the great King Rajaraja, founder of the Chola Empire that stretched over all of South India and neighbouring islands in South East Asia. Surrounded by two rectangular enclosures, Brihadisvar is crowned with a 13-storey pyramidal tower that stands 61m / 67yards high and is topped with a bulb-shaped monolith. The walls of the temple are covered with rich sculptural decorations. Evening, enjoy an authentic South Indian dinner and a Bharat Natyam cultural show.
B/L/D Sangam Hotel

Day 5, Thu - Trichy / Madurai
Today drive to Madurai, one of the oldest cities in the South for a
full-day of sightseeing.
The life of Madurai revolves around the Sri Meenakshi Sundareswarar Temple. This magnificently carved temple is the main attraction of Madurai and its huge Gopurams tower over the city. The Meenakshi Temple has a thousand pillared 'Mandapam'. There are precisely 985 pillars and each of them is delicately and exquisitely carved. Among these are the musical pillars that produce music when tapped. Surprisingly, these musical pillars are carved of a single granite rock. The temple has been a hub of Tamil culture and has sponsored the creation of great literature, art, music, and dance in the region for a long time. The city, apart from the temple, is crammed with shops, street markets, pilgrims, hotels and restaurants. Madurai is certainly a lively and culturally rich city!
B/L/D Taj Garden Retreat Hotel

Day 6, Fri - Madurai / Kodaikanal
A scenic and refreshing drive to the peaceful hill station of Kodaikanal located at the top of the Palini Hills. Upon arrival, tour the area and take a boat ride on Kodaikanal Lake to view the beautiful landscape.
B/L/D Carlton Hotel

Day 7, Sat - Kodaikanal/Periyar
Drive through some beautiful spice and tea gardens, you will travel to Periyar. En route stop to visit the tea estates and learn about the process of growing tea. Later drive to the Wildlife Sanctuary of Periyar. Afternoon, a boat tour will provide a first-class game viewing experience. The forest slopes into the manmade lake at the bottom of the hill and the lake serves as the waterhole or swimming area for the animals. Elephants, Gaur, Sambhar and even tigers can be spotted. The reserve is also famous for a host of water birds.
B/L/D Taj Garden Retreat Hotel

Day 8, Sun - Periyar
A full day at Periyar sanctuary game viewing. One of the well-known wildlife sanctuaries in the south, Periyar sanctuary attracts a large number of nature lovers every year. Also called the Thekkady Wildlife Sanctuary, this place is ideal for watching the animals in their natural habitat. Evening is at leisure.
B/L/D Taj Garden Retreat Hotel

Day 9, Mon - Periyar / Cochin

After short drive to Changanacherry, you will board a unique houseboat through the famous backwaters of Kerala. Fringing the coast of Kerala and winding far inland is an intricate network of innumerable Lagoons, Lakes, Canals, Estuaries and the Deltas of forty-four rivers that drain into the Arabian Sea. These Backwaters are both the basis of a distinct lifestyle and a fascinating thoroughfare, and travelling by boat along the Backwaters is one of the highlights of your trip. This afternoon arrive in Cochin and transfer to hotel
B/L/D Taj Residency Hotel

Day 10, Tue - Cochin
Today you explore Cochin, the commercial capital of Kerala, with one of the finest natural harbours in the world. Ancient mariners from Arabia, China, Holland, Britain and Portugal have all left their mark on this beautiful island city, often referred to as the Venice of the East. Here we tour the Dutch Palace, St. Francis Church, and the Jewish Quarter with its old synagogue.
B/L/D Taj Residency Hotel

Day 11, Wed - Cochin / Bangalore / Mysore
Morning transfer to Cochin airport and fly to Bangalore. Upon arrival, drive to Mysore. En route, visit Srangapatnam: capital of Warrior-King Hyder Ali & his son Tipu Sultan, with its magnificent monuments that are well worth a visit. Arrive Mysore in the evening. Mysore has always fascinated with its quaint charm, imposing buildings, rich heritage, magnificent palaces, beautifully laid-out gardens, broad shady avenues and sacred temples.
B/L/D Green Hotel


Day 12, Thu - Mysore

After breakfast, full-day sightseeing which includes: Sri Jayachamarajendra Art Gallery – Housed in the Jag Mohan Palace, this gallery has a collection of exquisite paintings dating back to 1875; St. Phenomena's Church – Built in the Gothic style, one of the largest churches of the country; Chamundi Hills – Right on the top of the hill, Brindavan Gardens – Witness the exuberant beauty of Brindavan Gardens.
B/L/D Green Hotel

Day 13, Fri - Mysore / Bangalore / Mumbai
Transfer to Bangalore airport and fly to Mumbai. Upon arrival, transfer to the legendary Taj Mahal Hotel. Afternoon sightseeing and shopping. Farewell dinner.
B/L/D Taj Mahal Palace and Tower Hotel

Day 14, Sat - Mumbai  / home city
Transfer to the airport for your return flight home. You will arrive home on the same calendar day!