Kapaleeshwarar Temple Chennai

Temples of South India

14 nights from £2,820pp (excl. international flights)

Chennai  – Pondicherry  – Tanjore  – Madurai  – Kerala

Our experts say

Take a road trip through south India exploring unique temples and colourful history, finishing in the cool green hills and backwaters of Kerala.

The state of Tamil Nadu in south India is home to a unique style of temple architecture set on beaches and in vibrant towns. Spend a couple of weeks exploring this historic land, take time to relax in the green hills, and finish off cruising the backwaters with a drink in your hand and your feet firmly up.

Remember, this is just a suggested itinerary - your own holiday can be tailored to your preference of budget, duration, locations and experiences. Get in touch with us to plan your personalised trip.

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The itinerary…

Day 1: Take to the skies

Take the overnight flight from wherever you are to Chennai

Day 2: Welcome to India!

We will meet you at the airport and take you to your hotel to settle in and get ready for the upcoming adventure.

Day 3: Explore Chennai

Temple In  Chennai

Temple in Chennai

This morning we will show you around Chennai with its British churches and magnificent Hindu temples.

Day 4: Mahabalipuram & Pondicherry


Shore temple at Mahabalipuram

Today you will be driven about 3 hours down the East Coast Road to Pondicherry, stopping on the way to visit the ancient temples on the shore at Mahabalipuram – a UNESCO World Heritage site and some of the most interesting temples in south India. Continue to Pondicherry to check into your hotel.

Day 5: Pondicherry


The Mother temple at Auroville

Pondicherry is a charming seaside town and a former French colony which still retains a lot of its European character. This morning we will take you on a walking tour of the town, and you have the afternoon to explore at your own leisure. Some points of interest are the Aurobindo Ashram and its nearby international community at Auroville.

Day 6: Tanjore

The drive to Tanjore takes about 4 hours, and temple lovers should pause on the way at the busy shrine of the dancing Shiva at Chidambaram. You can also stop off at the temples in Darasuram or, if you can learn to pronounce it, Gangaikondacholapuram. This area is packed with amazing sites, so discuss with your driver and take your pick.

Day 7: Tanjore

Tanjore Temple

Brihadishwara Temple in Tanjore

Tanjore has many of south India’s finest medieval temples, so today we will show you around the capital of the historic Chola empire and the magnificent Brihadishwara Temple and the 16th century Thanjavur Palace.

Day 8: Chettinad and Madurai



Leave Tanjore and set off on the 5 hour drive to Madurai. You can break up today’s journey by stopping off at the unique trader’s mansions at Chettinad. This is a good spot for lunch as Chettinad’s spicy cuisine is world famous. Continue to Madurai and check into your hotel.

Day 9: Madurai – the temple of the fish-eyed goddess

Shree  Meenakshi  Temple  Complex In  Madurai

Shree Meenakshi Temple complex at Madurai

Madurai is a vibrant town which is home to one of India’s most remarkable temples, a huge colourful complex dedicated to the fish-eyed goddess Meenakshi. Your guide will show you around the temple and the town, and take you back to the temple again in the evening for the ritual wedding of the goddess Meenakshi with the great god Shiva.

Days 10 - 11: Paradisa – the green hills of Kerala

Paradisa  Plantation  Retreat

Paradisa Plantation Retreat

You have seen a lot of temples and a lot of culture over the last week, so it is a good time to head to the cool green hills of Kerala and relax for a couple of days in a beautiful hotel in a coffee and spice plantation. The drive to Paradisa takes about 3 hours.

Day 12: Backwaters of Kerala

Backwaters Of  Kerala

Cruise the backwaters in your houseboat

A trip to south India isn't incomplete without spending a night on a houseboat cruising the backwaters of Kerala. Your drive to the boarding jetty takes about 3-4 hours as you descend the hills to the coast. Settle into your houseboat, drift lazily around the backwaters, and enjoy a traditional Keralan dinner prepared by your on-board chef.

Day 13: Fort Cochin



Check out of your houseboat and drive about 2 hours to the quaint harbor town of Fort Cochin to check into your hotel, and spend the day exploring the town at your own leisure. In the in the evening we will take you out for a performance of the local dance, the Kathakali.

Day 14: Fort Cochin

Cochin Fishing Nets

Traditional fishing in Cochin

Enjoy a private guided tour of Cochin and explore this charming historical town with its European churches, Jewish synagogues, Indian palaces and Chinese fishing nets. This has been a cosmopolitan place for thousands of years.

Day 15: Fly home

Check out of your hotel before 12 noon and we will drive you to the airport for your flight home.

Duration: 14 nights

Location: Kerala and South India, India

Price: £2820pp

Our 'Temples of South India' itinerary includes accommodation, daily breakfast (with select lunches & dinners), transfers & drives in chauffeur-driven AC vehicle, sightseeing and activities as indicated. Excludes international flights.

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