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India: Great Wonders of the South

$4185

per person

This trip is designed for travelers interested in exploring southern Indian culture. Discover the best places to visit, from the golden beaches of Goa to Kerala’s palm-fringed backwaters. Absorb the more calm, grounded, joyful and welcoming atmosphere as your experience southern hospitality as warm as the Indian summers themselves.

Stroll on the sunny coast of the Arabian Sea and relax on a Backwaters houseboat boat cruise. Feast your eyes on varieties of ancient temples ranging from carved rock, rainbow-colored stucco to skyscraper temple towers. Excite your taste buds with French-Tamil fusion food and Chettinad cuisine cooking demonstrations on the Tea and Spices trail. You’ll be amazed of the diversity of India culture, it’s a true eye-opening experience for all.

13 Days, 12 Nights: Chennai, Mylapore, Pondicherry, Thanjavur, Karaikudi, Madurai, Munnar, Cochin


TRIP OVERVIEW (*UNESCO World Heritage Sites)

 ✦ Customizable Private Tour 
  • Peacock Trail
  • Kapaleeshwarar Temple
  • Marina Beach
  • Welcome Dinner with Dance Performance
  • The Group of Monuments at Mahabalipuram*
  • ‣ Pondicherry City Tour
  • French quarter
  • Sri Aurobindo Ashram
  • Pondicherry Government Park
  • Gandhi Memorial
  • French-Tamil Cooking Demo
  • Silk Weavers’ Colony
  • Brihadeeswara Temple
  • Thanjavur Palace
  • Saraswati Mahal Library
  • Art Gallery in Thanjavur
  • Chettinad Cooking Demo
  • Trichy City Tour
  • Meenakshi Amman Temple
  • Munnar Hill Station
  • Tea Plantation Tour
  • Tea Museum Tour
  • Kudla Dam Walk
  • Echo Point Walk
  • Cochin City Tour
  • Mattancherry
  • Antique & Spice Markets
  • Fort Cochin
  • Chinese Fishing Nets
  • Synagogue at Jewish Quarter
  • Kathakali Dance Performance
  • Backwaters Cruise

WHY YOU’LL LOVE THIS TOUR

Meenakshi hindu temple in Madurai, Tamil Nadu, South India. One of the famous landmarks in East India

ANCIENT SKYSCRAPER TEMPLES

South India built towering multi-story temple towers centuries before other cultures. See the granddaddy of all Dravidian temples, the Meenakshi Amman temple which boasts 12 towers with the tallest at 170 feet.

A DREAMY LANDSCAPE

Unlike the hectic tourist epicenters of Jaipur and Delhi, relaxation practically oozes out of Kerala. As your boat glides along the backwaters, watch the farmers work on rice paddy fields, housewives washing laundry while coconut palms wave under a warm breeze.

Kerala Houseboat
Cruise past the rice paddies and coconut groves on the Kerala Backwaters
Munnar Tea Plantation

LUSH GREEN KERALA MOUNTAINS

Ascend up to the tea plantations in Munnar hill station for lush green estates that give off a vantage point from where one can drink in views of the neighboring valleys, mountains, and villages. The tranquil beauty of nature is punctuated by signs of women plucking buds and leaves from the green tea gardens, otherwise known as tea plantations.


    1

    Meet Up at Chennai (MAA)

    Upon arrival at Chennai airport, you'll be met and transferred to your hotel. The remainder of the day is free for you to explore this capital city of Tamil Nadu state on your own.
    2

    Chennai | Mylapore Peacock Trail

    Let’s take the Peacock Trail through Mylapore, a town that predates Chennai by at least 2,000 years and is the religious and cultural epicenter of the Tamil people. Visit the Kapaleeshwarar Temple, re-built 300 years ago, which is a fine example of the pure Dravidian style with gopurams and mandapams.
    Marina Beach is 4 miles long on the Bay of Bengal, one of the longest beaches in the world. Near the north of Marina Beach is Fort St George which was the first English fortress in India. The fort also houses St Mary's Church, it is the oldest Anglican church and the oldest British building in India.This evening, enjoy a local dance performance with your welcome dinner.
    Breakfast the most important meal of the day. We select fabulous hotels with both local authentic and western breakfast so you are well prepared to enjoy your travel tours.Breakfast   Enjoy local authentic cuisine during your dinner at one of our travel tours. Develop new friendships with other members along the way.  Welcome Dinner
    Shiva temple a tourist attraction

    Kapaleeshwarar Temple
    Rainbow-colored Kapaleeshwarar Temple on the Peacock Trail.

    3

    Chennai – Pondicherry (Puducherry) | Mahabalipuram, Kanchipuram

    Mahabalipuram is a small seaside village and once the main port of the Pallava Dynasty from the 5th to 9th centuries. The Group of Monuments at Mahabalipuram has been classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site that was carved out of rock during the 7th and 8th centuries.  See the famous Descent of the Ganges, and the Shore Temple with thousands of sculptures dedicated to the glory of God Shiva.
    Afterward you continue by road to Pondicherry.
    Breakfast the most important meal of the day. We select fabulous hotels with both local authentic and western breakfast so you are well prepared to enjoy your travel tours.Breakfast       Enjoy local authentic cuisine during your dinner at one of our travel tours. Develop new friendships with other members along the way.  Dinner

    Mahabalipuram
    Famous for hundreds of 7th century rock monuments & temples.

    Thousands of 7th and 8th centuries rock sculptures dedicated to the God Shiva

    Descent of the Ganges
    Enjoy a stroll surrounded by amazing 7th century rock sculptures in Mahabalipuram.

    4

    Pondicherry (Puducherry) | Pondicherry City Tour, Cooking Demonstration

    Today you visit a local village to observe their traditions and daily life.
    In 1674, Pondicherry became a French colony. Experience the French colonial atmosphere in Puducherry, visit the French quarter and the famous Sri Aurobindo Ashram (an ashram is akin to a monastery), founded by one of India's greatest philosopher-poets. Other attractions are the lush Government Park and elegant Gandhi Memorial. Enjoy a French-Tamil cuisine cooking demonstration at your hotel. Think French seafood with sauces infused with mild Indian spices.
    Breakfast the most important meal of the day. We select fabulous hotels with both local authentic and western breakfast so you are well prepared to enjoy your travel tours.Breakfast    Enjoy local authentic cuisine during your dinner at one of our travel tours. Develop new friendships with other members along the way.  Dinner

    Crispy Dosa (Rice Pancake)
    Served with coconut & sambar chutney.

    5

    Pondicherry – Thanjavur | Silk Weavers’ Colony

    Visit Tanjavur which is a major silk center and watch traditional weaving at the silk weavers' colony. Some of the silk sarees are embroidered with gold and silver thread. See Indian Tie & Dye techniques from 5000 years ago.
    Breakfast the most important meal of the day. We select fabulous hotels with both local authentic and western breakfast so you are well prepared to enjoy your travel tours.Breakfast      Enjoy local authentic cuisine during your dinner at one of our travel tours. Develop new friendships with other members along the way.  Dinner

    South Indian Weaver
    Weaving with a traditional loom.

    6

    Thanjavur | Brihadeeswara Temple, Cooking Demonstration

    Thanjavur thrived as the ancient capital of the Chola kingdom. The great Brihadeeswara (Brahadeeswara) Temple in Dravidian architecture is one of the most magnificent examples of south Indian temple architecture. To explore more about Chola artifacts, we’ll visit the Thanjavur Palace, Saraswati Mahal library and the art gallery. The art gallery hosts an excellent collection of Chola bronzes and stone carvings. Enjoy an introduction to the Thanjavur style of paintings.
    Enjoy your Chettinad cooking demonstration with a wide range of spices at the hotel.
    Breakfast the most important meal of the day. We select fabulous hotels with both local authentic and western breakfast so you are well prepared to enjoy your travel tours.Breakfast     Enjoy local authentic cuisine during your dinner at one of our travel tours. Develop new friendships with other members along the way.  Dinner

    Brihadishvara Temple
    Magnificent 11th century Hindu Temple in Thanjavur.

    Spice Market
    Buying fresh nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves and other locally grown spices.

    7

    Thanjavur - Karaikudi | Trichy City Tour

    Drive from Thanjavur to Karaikudi to visit Trichy that was a capital of the early Cholas in the 3rd century BC. It has passed through the hands of many rulers including the British. It is known for the famous 17th century Rock Fort Temple.
    Breakfast the most important meal of the day. We select fabulous hotels with both local authentic and western breakfast so you are well prepared to enjoy your travel tours.Breakfast      Enjoy local authentic cuisine during your dinner at one of our travel tours. Develop new friendships with other members along the way.  Dinner
    8

    Karaikudi – Madurai | Meenakshi Temple

    Madurai is one of the oldest cities in India, a metropolis that traded with ancient Rome. It’s celebrated Meenakshi Amman Temple is one of India's greatest temples with a dazzling maze-like structure. Meenakshi Temple with its nine gopurams (temple towers) soaring to almost 164 feet above the gateways, is decorated with colorful stucco images of gods, goddesses and animals. The incredible thousand-pillared hall and the Golden Lotus tank are must-see attractions!
    Breakfast the most important meal of the day. We select fabulous hotels with both local authentic and western breakfast so you are well prepared to enjoy your travel tours.Breakfast    Enjoy local authentic cuisine during your dinner at one of our travel tours. Develop new friendships with other members along the way.  Dinner
    Temple with colorful stucco images of gods, goddesses and animals

    Meenakshi Temple
    Decorated with colorful stucco images of gods, goddesses and animals.

    Meenakshi hindu temple in Madurai, Tamil Nadu, South India. One of the famous landmarks in East India

    The Temple City of Madurai
    The temple towers of Meenakshi Temple soar to the sky.

    Historic Hindu Temple
    See the thousands of colorful statues of Meenakshi Temple up close.

    9

    Madurai - Munnar

    Drive to Munnar, the hill station 6,000 ft above sea level that is the home to many tea plantations. These tea plantations were the British Raj’s solution to Chinese tea monopoly in the 1800s. With its cooler weather, the fog often wafts over the mountains. The tranquil beauty of nature is punctuated by signs of women plucking buds and leaves from the green tea gardens (tea plantations).
    Breakfast the most important meal of the day. We select fabulous hotels with both local authentic and western breakfast so you are well prepared to enjoy your travel tours.Breakfast     Enjoy local authentic cuisine during your dinner at one of our travel tours. Develop new friendships with other members along the way.  Dinner 
    10

    Munnar | Tea Plantation, Tea Museum, Kudla Dam, Echo Point

    Today, you’ll stroll through a working tea plantation. Depending on the time of the year, you may be able to see the colorful tea pluckers at work and visit the factory to observe the Tea making process - crush, tear, curl. Then visit the interesting Kannan Devan Tea Museum with machines, photographs, classic bungalow furniture and office equipment of the Colonial era.
    Other attractions are Kudla Dam, Echo Point and a gentle hike through the lush landscape.
    Breakfast the most important meal of the day. We select fabulous hotels with both local authentic and western breakfast so you are well prepared to enjoy your travel tours.Breakfast    Enjoy local authentic cuisine during your dinner at one of our travel tours. Develop new friendships with other members along the way.  Dinner

    Tea Leaf Pluckers
    Pluckers among the tea plants.

    Visit Tea Plantations
    Some of the finest tea plantations in India are in the higher regions of Kerala.

    11

    Munnar - Cochin | Cochin City Tour, Kathakali Dance Performance

    We drive to Cochin today. Serene Cochin is a melting pot of medieval Portuguese and Dutch heritage mixed with an English village grafted onto the tropical Malabar Coast. You will visit the historical towns of Fort Cochin and Mattancherry, the spice markets, antique shopping market, synagogue and the famous Chinese fishing nets.
    Enjoy a performance of famous Kathakali dance demonstrating an ancient ritual that plays an important role in Kerala's cultural life.
    Breakfast the most important meal of the day. We select fabulous hotels with both local authentic and western breakfast so you are well prepared to enjoy your travel tours.Breakfast      Enjoy local authentic cuisine during your dinner at one of our travel tours. Develop new friendships with other members along the way.  Dinner

    Chinese Fishing Nets
    14th century technology transfer!

    Kathakali dancer showcases an intricate and elaborate make up procedure that you should not miss this cultural performance.

    Kathakali Dancer
    Story telling with intricate gestures, elaborate costumes and striking makeup.

    12

    Cochin | Alleppey Cruise

    Alleppey is in the hub of Kerala's backwaters, home to a vast network of waterways and more than a thousand houseboats. Take a traditional motorized small boat to explore scenes of everyday life in unique water world of villages, paddy fields, coconut palms, fishermen, women washing and cooking in the lagoon. Then back to Cochin.
    Breakfast the most important meal of the day. We select fabulous hotels with both local authentic and western breakfast so you are well prepared to enjoy your travel tours.Breakfast      Enjoy local authentic cuisine during your dinner at one of our travel tours. Develop new friendships with other members along the way.  Dinner

    Kerala Houseboat
    Cruise past the rice paddies and coconut groves on the Kerala Backwaters.

    Ottu Shavige
    South Indian rice noodles with chutney.

    13

    Depart Cochin (COK)

    The tour comes to an end after breakfast. Hotel check-out and transfer to Cochin International Airport (COK) for your flight home.
    Breakfast the most important meal of the day. We select fabulous hotels with both local authentic and western breakfast so you are well prepared to enjoy your travel tours.Breakfast
    Overview
    Hotels
    Dates & Prices

    Hotels

    We carefully handpick our hotels to ensure they provide you with the best comfort and experience. For Private Tours, you may request a specific hotel as one of the customizable options.

    DestinationComfort Class Premium Class Luxury Class 
    ChennaiCall
    PondicherryCall
    ThanjavurCall
    KaraikudiCall
    MaduraiCall
    MunnarCall
    CochinCall
    * Hotels mentioned are subject to availability at the time of reservation. 

    Accommodation Classification

    • COMFORT ⭐⭐⭐- 3-Star Hotels or Equivalent Accommodations
    • PREMIUM ⭐⭐⭐⭐- 4-Star Hotels or Equivalent Accommodations
    • LUXURY ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐- 5-Star Hotels or Equivalent Accommodations
     
    Overview
    Tour Plan
    Dates & Prices

    Dates & Pricing 

    Private Tour, daily departure

    YearTour DateComfort ClassPremium ClassLuxury Class 
    2020Jan 10 to April 15Call$4,545Call
    2020Apr 16 to Sep 30Call$4,185Call
    2020Oct 1 to Dec 10Call$4,785Call
    2021Jan 15 to Apr 15Call$4,785Call
    2021Apr 1 to Sep 30Call$4,395Call
    2021Oct 1 to Dec 19Call$5,025Call

    Private Tour Price Details

    • ‣ Prices are in USD and are inclusive of all applicable taxes but do not include airfare.
    • ‣ Prices are per person based on double occupancy. Seasonal surcharges and blackout dates may apply during applicable major holidays. Special rates for single travelers or larger groups are available on request - please inquire.
    • ‣ Note that tour prices vary according to season. If your tour straddles two seasons then each portion will be priced according to that season.

    Deposit

    • A deposit of $300 per person is required upon booking. Full payment to be made 90 days prior to departure date.

    Flight Add-On

    • ‣ We work with all major airlines for the best routes and competitive pricing.
    • ‣ The nearest arrival airport is MAA(Chennai International Airport).
    • ‣ The nearest departure airport is COK(Cochin International Airport).
    • ‣ Contact us for more details and pricing.
     

    Inclusions

    • ‣ Airport Transfers, Meet and Greet
    • ‣ Hotel Accommodations
    • ‣ Daily Breakfast and Selected Meals (See tour plan for details)
    • ‣ English-speaking Local Guide
    • ‣ Entrance Fees to Monuments & Attractions per Itinerary

    Exclusions

    • ‣ International and Domestic Air Fare
    • ‣ Travel Insurance
    • ‣ Medical Expenses
    • Visa Fee
    • ‣ Gratuity
    • ‣ Personal Expenses

    Overview
    Tour Plan
    Hotels