South India Explorer Group Tour
Discover some of Southern India’s most sensational places for yourself! This 16-day tour will take you to magnificent temples such as those in Mysore and Madurai, through fascinating landscapes like Periyar National Park and out to breezy coastal cities like Kochi and Mamallapuram.
- 16 days
- 4-24 participants
- Accommodation included
- Qualified, English-speaking guide
Travel to India and enjoy a two-week expedition through the tropical Southern part of the country. Visit quaint towns, magnificent temples, busy markets, and quiet lagoons. Experience a train ride from Kannur to Kochi and venture into the Periyar National Park to try and spot some exotic wild animals. Mysore is a great place to shop for yourself, for family, and for friends. Relax during a peaceful boat trip through the Backwaters of Alappuzha and finish off your Indian adventure with a refreshing afternoon spent at the beach in Mamallapuram.
South India Explorer Group Tour Itinerary
Get to know India’s spectacular south! This 16-day group travel tour will take you on a journey to see many unique and fascinating places. Discover beautiful palaces, marvel at magnificent temples, visit wild animals in their natural habitats and relax on the beach! This trip has something for everyone!
Below you’ll find the day-by-day breakdown for our South India Explorer tour.
Your tour of South India begins in Bangalore (Engl. Bengaluru). After you check-in to your hotel, you can spend the rest of the day exploring this stunning city. Bangalore is the third largest city in India and a hub for innovations in aviation, aerospace and IT. Due to the many parks Bangalore is also known as 'Garden City'. Here you can experience modern India: there are many bars and restaurants, places to shop, a lively student community, and a historic city center to experience.
In the morning you'll meet your guide and your fellow travellers. We'll then travel to the airport to meet the rest of the group and head to Mysore, which is known for its high-quality silk, incense, and sandalwood. The Devaraja fruit and vegetable market is one of the most colourful in all of India. From Chamundi Hill, you'll have a great view of the city and the surrounding area.
A must-see spot in Mysore is the Amba Vilas Palace Maharaja. This opulent structure is a testament to the wealth and splendor of the old monarchy. Massive wooden doors lead into rooms with huge columns and mosaic floors. The architecture is made even more spectacular with bright colors and extravagant ornamentation. On Sundays the palace is lit up for an hour – quite a spectacular sight. Mysore also has a superb zoo that is well known for its large size and high standards of animal care. If you have time we also recommend taking a walk through the city.
Today you'll make the journey from Mysore to Wayanad, which lies in between the coffee, tea and spice plantations of the Westerns Ghats. The region is perfect for growig spices like cardamom and pepper because of its cool climate and fertile soil. Coffe is however the main crop.
Get to know the life in Wayanad by going for a walk along the rice fields.
Spend the morning in Wayanad. You'll then take the train to the beautiful coastal city of Kochi. The train takes about five and a half hours. Kochi, formerly Cochin, is a major port city in India and extends over several islands and narrow peninsulas. It lies on the Arabian Sea and has about 600,000 inhabitants. The city has an interesting and diverse history with Chinese, Portuguese, and Dutch influences.
During your stay in Kochi you can choose to join a boat tour through the famous “Backwaters of Alappuzha” (optional). The journey takes about three hours and takes you through many picturesque canals, lakes, and streams. You can relax on the deck and soak up some sun or enjoy the scenery from the saloon. During your journey you'll see palm trees, rice fields, and floating seaweeds. You can also take a detour to Bolgatty Palace on the island of the same name. This was once the home of the former Dutch colonial governor of Kochi.
Another free day in Kochi will let you experience more of the city’s delights! We recommend you visit the "Dutch Palace" where you can admire enchanting murals which portray scenes from Hindu mythology. You may also choose to visit the 16th century Jewish synagogue that can be found here. This is the only Jewish community in India from this period. We also recommend going to a Kathakali dance show where you can see traditional dancers with painted faces and colorful costumes.
The next stage of the journey will take your breath away. In the morning we'll visit the bustling marketplace of Alappuzha (formerly Alleppey). After lunch, you'll board the ferry for a relaxing 3-4 hour ride to the famous "backwaters". Here you can watch the locals in their everyday lives or take a boat tour if you haven’t already done so.
Today you'll travel through rugged and picturesque mountains to the Periyar National Park. Here you can marvel at the relatively undamaged tropical rainforest. The Periyar National Park was founded in 1899 and covers a large mountainous area. The park is also a tiger reserve and home to a wide variety of animals, including many endangered species.
Today you can continue exploring the spectacular Periyar National Park. This lush, untamed territory is home to elephants, bison, groups of wild boar, several species of monkey, fishing cats, otters, porcupines, and tortoises (just to name a few). One way to explore the beautiful green surroundings is by taking part in the "spice tour". This includes a jeep ride to several plantations in the rural area of Thekkady. Your tour-guide will help you book this excursion.
Today you'll travel to Madurai, the oldest city in Tamil Nadu. The impressive Meenakshi Amman Temple located here is one of the largest of its kind in all of India and attracts thousands of pilgrims. The earliest archaeological finds from this area date back to the first century AD. Make sure you visit the temple, and if you want to see as much of the city as possible take a rickshaw tour with a local guide!
Your next stop is Trichy, the city of rock forts and temples. Trichy is home to India's largest temple, Srirangam. The main gate is about 90 meters high and 20,000 people live and work inside this labyrinth. This is also an important site for pilgrimages so there are newcomers every day. Around the main temple there are seven temple walls in which you'll find crowds bustling with activity. Later in the day, we'll travel to the charming city Thanjavur, also known as Tanjore.
The city of Thanjavur and the surrounding estate are in the fertile basin of the Cauvery River. The Tamils consider the river sacred so it is sometimes called ‘the southern Ganges’. The emperor Rajaraja I built the magnificent Shiva temple in the 10th century; it is one of the most beautiful buildings in the world. You'll spend the majority of the day on the bus as you travel to your next destination, Mamallapuram, a popular beach town known for its fascinating stone sculptures.
Located on the charming Bay of Bengal, Mamallapuram is the perfect place to end your tour. You'll have a few days to relax and explore as you see fit. Here you can marvel at temples and stone reliefs from the 7th century or if you prefer, you can relax on the nearby beach. Within this area, there are many beautiful monuments to visit. Mamallapuram is the largest producer of stone temple statues in India so you can see sculptors working and transporting stone everywhere you go.
Today you can rent a bicycle and explore the city. There are many beautiful coastal paths and interesting areas within the city center. Take a detour to the famous coastal Temple (Shore Temple), the second most photographed building in India after the Taj Mahal.
Today is the day you bid farewell to vibrant India. The Channai International Airport is 55 km from Mamallapuram. We wish you a safe journey and hope you are taking many beautiful memories back with you! If you want to stay longer our staff will be delighted to help you extend your trip.
South India Explorer is an enchanting 16 day tour that is perfect for the adventurous spirit! Your journey begins in beautiful Bangalore after which you'll venture onwards, to Mysore, Kochi, and Mamallapuram. On the way you'll also visit the sprawling Periyar National Park, radiant Alappuzha, magnificent Madurai, and thrilling Thanjavur.
We recommend that you read this information carefully before booking or departure. Here you will find important information about our South India Explorer 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.
- To travel to India you need a Visa
- Travel vaccinations are recommended
- Qualified, English-speaking guide throughout
- Overnight stays in hotels
- All transfers as described
- Train from Kannur to Kochi
- Boat trip to the Backwaters of Alappuzha
- Qualified, English-speaking guide throughout
What's not included?
- International flight to/from home country
- All meals and beverages
- Optional excursions
- Entrance fees
- Travel insurance
- Transfer to/from airport
- Accommodation is in double rooms. Single travellers room with a fellow traveller of the same sex wherever possible. If you want to book a single room, please indicate this on the booking form.
- Participants on trips beginning on October 20, 2015 will have the option to visit the Dussehra festival in Mysore. The itinerary is subject to change during that time.
Prices & Dates
2017/ 2018 Season Information
The price for all South India Explorer tours in the 2017 season is £799.00 p.p. in a double room. For the 2018 season it is £874.00 p.p. in a double room. For travelers wishing to have a private room, a single-room supplement of £296.00 p.p. will be charged.
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*Solo Traveler Tour (click here for info)
**Festival Tour (click here for info)
|Dates||Duration||Price pp in DBL|
|10.11.2017 - 25.11.2017*||16 Days||£799.00|
|24.11.2017 - 09.12.2018||16 Days||£799.00|
|23.12.2017 - 07.01.2018||16 Days||£799.00|
|23.12.2017 - 07.01.2018*||16 Days||£799.00|
|05.01.2018 - 20.01.2018||16 Days||£874.00|
|16.02.2018 - 03.03.2018||16 Days||£874.00|
|16.02.2018 - 03.03.2018*||16 Days||£874.00|
|31.03.2018 - 15.04.2018||16 Days||£874.00|
|20.04.2018 - 05.05.2018||16 Days||£874.00|
|27.04.2018 - 12.05.2018||16 Days||£874.00|
|20.07.2018 - 04.08.2018||16 Days||£874.00|
|20.07.2018 - 04.08.2018*||16 Days||£874.00|
|17.10.2018 - 01.11.2018**||16 Days||£874.00|
|09.11.2018 - 24.11.2018||16 Days||£874.00|
|09.11.2018 - 24.11.2018*||16 Days||£874.00|
|30.11.2018 - 15.12.2018||16 Days||£874.00|
|22.12.2018 - 06.01.2019||16 Days||£874.00|
|22.12.2018 - 06.01.2019*||16 Days||£874.00|