Ultimate South India Group Tour
This trip is truly something special! For 23 days you'll experience the whole of incredible India. You can see many magnificent temples, like the Madurai or Hampi. Relax on the beach in Kochi and Goa or marvel at fascinating nature in Aleppey or Periyar National Park.
- 23 days
- 4-24 participants
- Accommodation included
- English speaking guide
On this particular tour in India, you’ll journey through the southern states of India and combine colourful Hinduism with the gentle, friendly nature of the locals and tropical landscape. Stroll through the opulent temple and move between sacred cows in Tamil Nadu, enjoy the park and the glorious past in Kerala, explore the colourful markets and palaces in Karnataka, relax on white sandy beaches in Goa and try the varied Indian cuisine at its finest. All this adds up to an adventurous journey through this exotic part of the subcontinent!
Ultimate South India Tour Itinerary
Discover beautiful landscapes, magnificent temples, and bustling cities all within reach of a relaxing beach. All this in just three weeks including two lovely Indian train trips.
Below you’ll find the day-by-day breakdown for our Ultimate South India tour.
The Great Tour of Southern Indian Treaures
Welcome to India! Your journey begins in Mamallapuram, a small town on the Bay of Bengal, about 55km from Chennai. In the 6th century, the Pallavar Empire was the strongest power in the area and the present-day state of Tamil Nadu. Mamallapuram was once the most important port of the empire and there are many monuments that you can visit.
The UNESCO World Heritage Site of Mamallapuram is a wonderful place to experience rural Indian life. People come here for the kilometer-long beaches and the famous ancient monuments. You can visit the famous seaside temple, which is the second most photographed attraction in India after the Taj Mahal. If you rent a bike, you can easily explore more Pallava sculptures.
On the third day we'll continue to Pondicherry, a former French enclave which was has been completely transformed thanks to Sri Aurobindo (1872-1950). He and his followers constructed temples, Ayurvedic clinics and numerous other organizations. Just north is a small town named Auroville, the model image of an India settlement that was also planned by Aurobindo and his followers. While here, you should use your time to visit the "model for society of the future." Dirt from 124 countries was given as a symbol of unity of mankind.
The first stop today is Thanjavur. There you'll see a magnificent Shiva temple which was built in the 10th century by the Emperor Rajaraja I. On the same site you'll also find a huge statue of Nandi and Shiva that are well worth a picture or two. After a two-hour drive from Tiruchirappalli (Trichy) you'll arrive in the chaotic city of Srirangam, where India's largest temple complex is located. There are 20 thousand people who live and work in this area!
Today's destination is Madura, the oldest city in Tamil Nadu. The Meenakshi temple attracts thousands of pilgrims and is one of the largest and oldest of its kind in India. Priests perform rituals while astrologers try to read your hand! You can also be blessed by an elephant here if the mood strikes you. Madurai is a great place to look for bronze statues, carpets or other souvenirs. A rickshaw ride is also a great experience to have here as well after a long day of shopping.
Today you'll explore the Meenakshi temple and a market full of religious jewelry. There is also a museum with beautiful bronze statues. In the evening you can listen to a sermon or a concert, which will be given in honor of the gods.
Periyar National Park is the next stop on your tour. Here you'll find tropical rainforests and a variety of wildlife. The best way to observe the wildlife is from a boat. There are many animals to see like herds of elephants, bison and wild boar. In addition, there are monkeys, birds and much more. Your guide can assist you when you book a jungle hike if you like.
Today you'll have another day off to explore on your own. You can either visit the National Park or participate in a spice tour. This is ideal for exploring this wonderful region where you can visit a spice plantation. A guide will tell you about the many spices including vanilla, cinnamon, cloves and pepper.
Next stop: the backwaters. A beautiful area which is criss-crossed by canals, lakes and creeks and where local life takes place right on the water. The houses are close to the water and you will see people going about their daily lives as you take in the view. You'll stay overnight in Thrikkunnapuzha.
After breakfast, you'll visit the market place in Alappuzha and after lunch you be on the ferry for a 3 to 4 hour journey through the backwaters. Soak up the sun on the deck or watch the passing scenery from the interior of the ship. Continue to Kochi on the Arabian Sea, the center of the dramatic dance Kathakali. There will be some gorgeous costumes and dancing plus a lot of makeup that further enhance the performances.
Kochi spans the mainland and the offshore islands which are all connected by a ferry. Today you can explore the city on your own. We recommend the Dutch Palace, where you can admire beautiful wall paintings depicting scenes from Hindu mythology. There is also a Jewish synagogue from the 16th century as well as the Bolgatty Palace which you can visit too.
First, you'll take the train to Calcutta; the trip takes about 4 hours. From there you travel by bus to the "Hill Station" in Wayanad, which sits between coffee, tea and spice plantations in the Western Ghats mountain range. Here you can admire the arts and crafts that the locals have created and discover the tribe's traditions and rituals in the region. If you have time, you should take a jeep safari in the quiet Wayanad National Park.
Next stop on the tour is Mysore. The city is located on the pleasant Decca Plateau and is known as the city of sandalwood which is the base ingredient for making incense. Even from a distance one can smell the sweet scent as it wafts over the hills. The Devaraja Market is one of the most photogenic in the country. The people are very friendly and before you know it, you'll be overwhelmed by the exotic fragrances and perfumes sold there.
Today you should visit the Ambas-Vilas-Maharaja Palace. It is an excellent example of the splendor in which the former prince lived. Take a stroll through the streets alongside beautiful buildings, or climb to the top of Chamundi Hill. From up there you have a wonderful view of the city. You can also take an excursion to Somnathpur and see the Kesava Temple.
Today you'll travel to Sravanabelagola, one of the oldest and most important pilgrimage sites for Jains in India. Then you'll continue to Hassan, the starting point for tours of the Hoysala temples of Belur and Halebid. Detailed frescoes adorn the buildings and there are many sculptures in the Halebid and Belur temples. The most famous and impressive temples of Halebid are the Kedareshvara and Hoysaleshvara temples.
After breakfast you'll take a drive to Hospet, where you'll spend the night. In the afternoon you can take a bus from there to the distant Hampi (13km). For many, Hampi is the favorite part of this trip. The huge city shrank during the 16th century down to a few temples. The main attraction of which is the ruins is the Vitthala temple. An unfinished temple that is dedicated to Vishnu and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
You decide what you want to do today! You can visit Hampi which is located on the southern bank of Tungabhadra River, surrounded by banana plantations and a rocky landscape. Or you can get up early to see the first rays of sun on the granite rocks which is truly a sight to behold. You can also take a trip to the north, and see the magnificent temples of Vijayanagar. You should also try to see the Vithoba temple, the Lotus Mahal and the elephant stables.
Goa is the smallest state of India and is known for its endless beaches. But what is often forgotten is the fact that this former Portuguese colony is very different from the rest of the country. There is plenty to see in the area such as the beaches that can be reached by public transport or taxi. One of the most beautiful places is Palolem Goa, about an hour south which you should try to visit as well.
today you'll take an excursion to Benaulim, or take a trip to the north of Anjuna and visit a flea market. If you don't want to travel as far you can visit Panaji, a city with Mediterranean flair. If you take a walk through the narrow streets with overhanging balconies and many churches, you feel like you're in Portugal instead of India.
Today you can relax on the beach and go for a swim or visit the former capital of the ancient Goa, a few kilometers east of Panaji which was once Lisbon's eastern rival. There are also a number of impressive churches and cathedrals to admire there as well. The architecture is reminiscent of a rich past and tradtions.
In the evening you will take a night train to Mumbai.
Mumbai is an impressive, vibrant metropolis as well as the fastest growing city in India. The Colaba area is the Gateway to India, a remarkable triumphal arch built when the English came to India. There are beautiful colonial buildings, endless street markets and even a few English double-decker buses. Some of the sights well worth visiting are the Prince of Wales Museum, the Hanging Gardens, the Towers of Silence on Malabar Hill, the sea Mosque Haji Ali, and the Mahalaxmi Dhobi Ghat. Your return flight will be either that evening or the next morning.
You have time to explore Mumbai on your own. You could do a trip to the Elephanta Island or visit the "Prince of Wales" museum or the towers of silence.
Unfortunately, your tour has come to a close. You'll enjoy one last delicious breakfast in India and then make your way to the airport. We wish you a pleasant flight back and we're sure that you have experienced an unforgettable vacation in the past three weeks of your tour. The memories you'll take home are sure to last a lifetime. If you want, you can still book a few more days in Mumbai, just ask an SC representative online or your tour guide.
Ultimate South India Tour Information
We recommend that you read this information carefully before booking or departure. Here you will find important information about our Ultimate South India tour. Be aware that you may need to get some vaccinations in advance. This trip includes several excursions, but there is also allocated time for optional activities. Let one of our friendly tour guides help you book any additional adventures.
Important advice regarding entry and exit, necessary vaccinations and general information about the country and people can be found here. If you have any further questions one of our staff members would be more than happy to help.
This tour takes you through several states in southern India ensuring you'll experience a mix of culture, history, nature and plenty of sun. Visit Mamallapuram in the Bay of Bengal, and travel right across the southern areas of the Kochi country and up through Mumbai. Don't miss out on this amazing travel package!
- To travel to India, you will need a Visa.
- There are a number of mandatory and recommended vaccinations.
- English-speaking guide throughout.
- 21 overnight stays in hotels
- Transfer between all hotels
- English speaking guide
- Train from Kochi - Calcutta
- Train from Goa - Mumbai
- Boating Backwaters
What's not included?
- All flights
- All meals and beverages
- All necessary Visas
- Optional excursions
- Entrance fees
- Travel insurance
- Transfer to and from airport
- In some cases, trains will be overbooked. We will work to accommodate this when such a problem arises. In the event of an over booking your itinerary will stay the same.
- You’ll be accommodated in double rooms. Solo travellers will share the room with a fellow traveller of the same sex (if possible).
- If you want a single room, please mention this when booking. During the trip, beginning on October 9, 2015, you can visit the Dussehra festival in Mysore.
2018 Season Information
The price for all Ultimate South India tours in the 2018 season is $1,821.00 CAD p.p. in a double room. For travelers wishing to have a private room, a single-room supplement of $674.00 CAD p.p. will be charged.
Our online shop is currently under construction, so for booking, please fill out our inquiry form. We apologize for any inconvenience.
*Solo Traveler Tour (click here for info)
**Festival Tour (click here for info)
|Dates||Duration||Price pp in DBL|
|27.07.2018 - 18.08.2018||23 Days||$1,821.00 CAD|
|14.09.2018 - 06.10.2018*||23 Days||$1,821.00 CAD|
|05.10.2018 - 27.10.2018*||23 Days||$1,821.00 CAD|
|19.10.2018 - 10.11.2018||23 Days||$1,821.00 CAD|
|09.11.2018 - 01.12.2018||23 Days||$1,821.00 CAD|
|23.11.2018 - 15.12.2018||23 Days||$1,821.00 CAD|
|23.11.2018 - 15.12.2018*||23 Days||$1,821.00 CAD|
|14.12.2018 - 05.01.2019||23 Days||$1,821.00 CAD|
|14.12.2018 - 05.01.2019*||23 Days||$1,821.00 CAD|