Flight - 1 night

Mahabalipuram - 2 nights

Tanjore - 1 night

Madurai - 2 nights

Periyar - 2 nights

Kumarakom - 1 night

Houseboat - 1 night

Cochin - 2 nights

Ooty - 2 nights

Bandipur - 1 night

Mysore - 2 nights

Hassan - 1 night

Bangalore - 2 nights

Spendology - Widgets

Grand Tour of Southern India

The temples, palaces, trains, hill stations, villages, waterways and wildlife of Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Karnataka

Often people overlook Southern India, preferring to explore the ‘Golden Triangle’ in the north, but the full majesty of the south’s temple complexes are equally rewarding. Crossing the Western Ghats reveals dramatic landscapes, hill stations, colonial heritage and even a ‘Toy Train’ with steam locomotive. One of the highlights is a night on a houseboat on Kerala’s backwaters.

Mysore is renowned for resplendent palaces of the illustrious Maharajahs whose hunting grounds are now national parks with jungle lodges.

Hopefully recent television programmes set in the lush scenery of Kerala and historic Cochin (The Good Karma Hospital, The Real Marigold Hotel) will inspire you to join this wide-ranging tour that also includes Ooty hill station and Madurai temple.

Key Features

Culture & Natural Wonders
Jules Verne Sightseeing
4 UNESCO Heritage Sites
7 Lunches & 5 Dinners
Local Expert Guide

Special Events

Palace, Dance, Houseboat & Cuisine

Illuminated Palace of Mysore; a cooking demonstration with dinner; special lunches; overnight on a houseboat with a backwaters canoe ride; martial arts and Kathakali classical dance performance.

Day 1 Fly overnight from Heathrow direct or via Dubai to Chennai (former Madras).

Day 2 Wash and change facilities. Visit the Government Museum, Fort St. George, St. Mary’s Church & Marina Beach. Continue to Mahabalipuram for two nights at the 5-star Radisson Resort Temple Bay. (B)

Day 3 Visit Shore Temple, Arjuna’s Penance, the five Rathas and Krishna Mandapam. (B)

Day 4 Drive to Tanjore (7 hrs) via colonial Pondicherry to visit the Basilica and museum. Overnight at the 4-star Ideal River View Resort. (B, L, D)

Day 5 Visit Brihadeeshwara Temple, the art gallery and Royal Palace Museum. Travel to Madurai (5 hrs). Two nights at the 4-star Heritage Madurai Hotel. (B)

Day 6 Take a rickshaw ride. Visit Meenakshi Temple, Thirumalai Nayak Palace and Gandhi Memorial. (B)

Day 7 Travel to Periyar (5 hrs) to visit a spice plantation. Two nights at the boutique 4-star ‘CGH Earth’ Spice Village. ‘Kalaraipayattu’ performance, a local martial art. (B, D)

Day 8 Morning boat ride in Periyar National Park. Afternoon at leisure. (B)

Day 9 Visit a rubber plantation with lunch at a plantation house. Travel to Kumarakom (4 hrs) for overnight at the 4-star lakeside ‘CGH Earth’ Coconut Lagoon. (B, L)

Day 10 Board a Keralan houseboat for an overnight backwaters cruise. Canoe on the smaller canals. (B, L, D)

Day 11 Drive to Cochin. Two nights at 4-star The Fragrant Nature. Visit St. Francis Church, Synagogue, Mattancherry Palace and Chinese fishing nets. Cooking demonstration and dinner with a local family. (B, D)

Day 12 Visit Kumbalanghi fishing village. Kathakali classical dance performance. (B, L)

Day 13 By train to Coimbatore (4 hrs) then drive to Ooty (3 hrs) for two nights at the 4-star heritage Taj Savoy. Visit the botanical gardens, church and local market. (B)

Day 14 By Nilgiri ‘Toy Train’ to Coonoor (1 hr). Visit a tea plantation and lunch at the historic Taj Hotel. Visit Sim’s Park. (B, L)

Day 15 Travel to Bandipur National Park for overnight at the 3-star Windflower Resort & Spa. Jungle safari by canter. (B, L, D)

Day 16 Morning jungle safari by canter. Drive to Mysore for two nights at the 5-star Radisson Hotel. Visit the railway museum and Devyaraj market. (B)

Day 17 Visit Mysore Palace, Jaganmohan Art Palace and Chamundi Hills. Lunch at Lalitha Mahal Palace. Visit Tipu Sultan’s summer palace. Mysore Palace illumination. (B, L)

Day 18 Transfer to Hassan (3 hrs) visiting the temples of Belur and Halebeedu. Overnight at the 3-star Hoysala Village. (B)

Day 19 Drive to Bangalore (4 hrs). Visit en route the temple of Sravanbelagola. Two nights at the 5-star ITC Windsor Hotel. (B)

Day 20 Visit Tipu Sultan’s Palace, Chitrakala Parishad Art Gallery, Bull Temple and drive past Vidhan Soudha. (B)

Day 21 Return flight. (B)

  • Key
  • B - Breakfast
  • L - Lunch
  • D - Dinner


Itinerary includes some walking on uneven ground.
Temple visits include a walk with shoes off.

Time to relax or see even more of India!

No one can cover all of India on one tour, so why not make the most of your time in India by choosing further experiences?

We invite you to customise your tour by adding one or more extensions from our great range shown on the following pages. Relax in a resort or discover more of India with our specialist guides.

Also please consider adding extra nights before the tour if you would like to draw breath after the flight to India or stay on to reflect, relax or explore independently. Extra nights can also be added to most extensions. Please talk to one of our knowledgeable Personal Travel Experts to let us know what you are looking for and they will work out the best way. Sometimes extra transfers, internal flights and nights are recommended or needed, and sometimes two extensions can be combined into a more logical sequence.

Click here to view all our pre- and post- India extensions


per person in a twin/double room
British Airways from Heathrow

Date Price
January 20 £2945
February 17 £2995
October 13 £2945

Supplements per person

Single Supplement

Double for sole use £895 (Feb £995)

Flight Options

British Airways World Traveller Plus from £545
British Airways Club World from £2495
*Emirates from Heathrow, Gatwick, Manchester, Birmingham or Glasgow nil

Extension Options

We offer a wide variety of pre- and post-tour extensions, click here for more information.
Pre/post tour extra nights and transfers are available.

Privately Guided

2 guests - £1295 per person
3-4 guests - £495 per person
5-9 guests - £225 per person
10+ guests - No extra charge

Independent Arrival

Save £600 
Arrival or departure transfer add £24

Price Includes
Air travel and taxes, transfers, 19 nights’ accommodation, breakfast daily, 7 lunches and 5 dinners, itinerary as described, services of local guides and representatives. If our specially negotiated airfares are unavailable at the time of booking, a supplement may apply.

Not Included
Travel insurance, visa procurement, optional excursions, overseas airport taxes, tipping, any government taxes or compulsory charges introduced after publication.

* The later arrival of Emirates flights does not allow time for wash and change facilities.

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Grand Tour of Southern India

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