India ⎻ South

When it comes to temples, South India’s Dravidian masterpieces are renowned for their outstanding architecture. You’ll see Meenakshi Temple with its brightly painted sculptures, Brihadesvara Temple built and adorned with frescoes by the Cholas and Chidambaram Temple dedicated to Lord Shiva performing the cosmic dance. In Kanchipuram, “City of 1000 Temples,” meet master craftsmen working on beautiful silk sarees. Then visit a spice plantation in Periyar, practice yoga with a master and cruise through winding waterways and mangroves of Kerala’s backwaters. Have lunch on a traditional houseboat,  take a Tuk Tuk ride in Kochi to Jew Town and visit the Paradesi Synagogue. Enjoy a Kathakali performance – a dance-drama-storytelling tradition of South India – including a backstage visit to watch the artists apply their special makeup.

Created by potrace 1.16, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2019

Language

Hindi, English

Created by potrace 1.16, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2019

Time Zone

GMT+5:30

Created by potrace 1.16, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2019

Currency

Indian Rupee (INR)

Created by potrace 1.16, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2019

Average Temp

76° F

Southern India Expedition

Treasures of South India

Inspire Your Expedition with Our Sample Itinerary

Day 1 – CHENNAI, INDIA / MAHABALIPURAM (MAMALLAPURAM)

Arrive in Chennai

Private transfer to Mahabalipuram

Accommodations: Taj Fisherman’s Cove Resort & Spa

Day 2 – MAHABALIPURAM

Full-day private tour:

  • Shore Temple
  • Arjuna’s Penance
  • Cholamandal Artists’ Village

Accommodations: Taj Fisherman’s Cove Resort & Spa
Meals: Breakfast

Day 3 – MAHABALIPURAM – KANCHIPURAM

Private transfer to Kanchipuram (approx. 1.5 hours): 

  • “City of 1000 Temples”
  • Meet master silk craftsmen
  • Lunch at a local restaurant

Accommodations: Taj Fisherman’s Cove Resort & Spa
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 4 – MAHABALIPURAM / TANJORE

Private transfer to Tanjore (approx. 6.5 hours)

En route:

  • Chidambaram Temple 

Lunch at Paradise Resort

Option to return to Chennai, fly to Trichy & transfer to Tanjore   

        (supplement applies)

Accommodations: Hotel Sangam
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 5 – TANJORE – TRICHY – TANJORE

Morning private transfer to Tanjore:

  • Brihadisvara Temple –  UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • Royal Palace – Saraswati Mahal Library Museum & Art Gallery 

Afternoon private transfer to Trichy:

  • Rock Fort Temple
  • Sri Ranganatha Swamy Temple

Accommodations: Hotel Sangam
Meals: Breakfast

Day 6 – TANJORE / CHETTINAD / MADURAI

Private transfer to Madurai (approx. 3 hours)

En route:

  • Chettinad – grand mansions

Lunch at CGH Visalam

Accommodations: Gateway Hotel Taj Pasumalai
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 7 – MADURAI

Private morning tour:

  • Cycle Rickshaw ride to the Flower Market 
  • Thirumalai Nayak Palace

Evening:

  • Meenakshi Temple – prayer ceremony

Accommodations: Gateway Hotel Taj Pasumalai
Meals: Breakfast

Day 8 – MADURAI / PERIYAR

Private transfer to Periyar (approx. 3.5 hours)

Evening:

  • Spice Plantation

Accommodations: CGH Spice Village Spice Garden
Meals: Breakfast

Day 9 – PERIYAR / KUMARAKOM

Boat ride on Periyar River

Afternoon private transfer to Kumaralom (approx. 3.5 hours)

  • Optional Yoga session with a master (supplement applies)

Accommodations: Kumarakom Lake Resort
Meals: Breakfast

Day 10 – KUMARAKOM

Backwater cruise on a traditional rice barge 

Lunch on a houseboat.

Accommodations: Kumarakom Lake Resort
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 11 – KUMARAKOM / KOCHI

Private transfer to Kochi (approx. 1.5 hours)

Afternoon private tour:

  • Kerala Folklore Museum
  • Mattancherry Palace
  • Tuk tuk ride to Jew Town – Paradesi Synagogue

Evening:

  • Kathakali Performance – dance/drama/storytelling

Accommodations: Taj Malabar Resort & Spa
Meals: Breakfast

Day 12 – KOCHI / HOMEWARD BOUND

Private transfer to the airport for flight home

Optional Extension

Day 12 – KOCHI / HYDERABAD

Private transfer to airport for flight to Hyderabad

Private transfer to hotel

Afternoon private tour:

  • Mausoleums of the Paigahs
  • Old City of Hyderabad – Charminar, Mecca Mosque

Accommodations: Taj Falaknuma Palace
Meals: Breakfast

Day 13 – HYDERABAD

Full-day private tour:

  • Golconda Fort
  • Qutb Shahi Tombs
  • Suraiya’s Weaving Studio
  • Chowmahalla Palace

Accommodations: Taj Falaknuma Palace
Meals: Breakfast

Day 14 – HYDERABAD / HOMEWARD BOUND

Private transfer to the airport for flight home

Starting at $2,750 per person
(two travelers, double occupancy, airfare not included)

Optional Hyderabad extension starting at $1,450 per person
(two travelers, double occupancy, airfare not included)

Itineraries are customized to travelers’ interests and preferences.
Final prices will vary based on dates of travel and number of travelers.

Everything NEI arranged for our New Zealand adventure worked out like clockwork. New Zealand is a picture-perfect country and your tour by land, sea and air showed it off at its best, along with the warm hospitality and pride of its people.

Jacky & Graham G.
Mono, Ontario

When to go:

Best times are October to April

What to eat:

Dosa (thin pancakes), Biryani (rice cooked with meat & vegetables), Idli (steamed rice cakes)

What to pack:

Conservative clothing, light jacket or sweater; shawl or scarf; swimwear, comfortable walking shoes; sunscreen, sunglasses, hat; insect repellent; camera equipment; universal adapter

You May Also Enjoy These Trips: