Overview

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 
Improved Itinerary (2020)
4 UNESCO Heritage Sites
Local Expert Guide 
Guaranteed Departure
Group Size: 2 – 22

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 London Heathrow direct to Chennai (former Madras).

Day 2 Transfer to the 5-star ITC Grand Chola for an overnight stay. Chennai tour including Marina Beach, Fort St. George and St. Mary's Church.

Day 3 Visit the Chennai Government Museum. Continue to Mahabalipuram for two nights at the 5-star Radisson Resort Temple Bay. Visit the Shore Temple, Arjuna's Penance, the five Rathas and Krishna Mandapam. (B)

Day 4 Visit Kanchipuram, a city of 1,000 temples. Afternoon free. (B)

Day 5 Drive to Tanjore (7 hrs) via colonial Pondicherry to visit the Sacred Heart Basilica and museum. Overnight at the 4-star Ideal River View Resort. (B, L)

Day 6 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 7 Rickshaw to Meenakshi Temple. Visit Thirumalai Nayak Palace and Gandhi Memorial. (B)

Day 8 Travel to Periyar (5 hrs) and visit a spice plantation. Overnight at the 4-star 'CGH Earth' Spice Village. Evening 'Kalaripayattu' performance, a local martial art. (B)

Day 9 Nature walk in Periyar National Park. Visit a rubber plantation & plantation house. Travel to Kumarakom (4 hrs). Overnight at the 4-star ‘CGH Earth’ Coconut Lagoon. (B, L)

Day 10 Board a 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 Naure. Visit St. Francis Church, Synagogue, Mattancherry Palace and Chinese fishing nets. Cooking demonstration. (B, D)

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

Day 13 By train to Coimbatore (4 hrs). 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 Tusker Trails. Jungle safari by canter. (B, L, D)

Day 16 Jungle safari. Drive to Mysore for two nights at the 5-star Radisson Hotel. Visit the railway museum and Devyaraja market. (B)

Day 17 Visit Mysore Palace and Jaganmohan Art Palace. Travel up to the temple on Chamundi Hills. Lunch at Lalitha Mahal Palace. Visit Tipu Sultan's summer palace at Srirangapatna and view the Sunday Mysore Palace illumination. (B, L)

Day 18 Transfer to Hassan (3 hrs) for overnight at the 3-star Hoysala Village. Visit the temples of Belur and Halebeedu, capitals of the Hoysala Empire. (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 and Bull Temple. (B)

Day 21 Return direct flight to London Heathrow. (B)

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

Notes

Itinerary includes some walking over uneven ground.
Temple visits include a walk with shoes off.
27th December 2019 departure includes Christmas or New Year’s Eve meal.
The Rail Museum in Mysore is temporarily closed for renovation work. Alternative visit to Ranganathaswamy Temple in Srirangapatna until the Rail Museum reopens.

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)

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)

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 Tusker Trails. 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
 

Notes

Itinerary includes some walking on uneven ground.
Temple visits include a walk with shoes off.
11th December 2020 departure includes Christmas or New Year’s Eve meal.
The Rail Museum in Mysore is temporarily closed for renovation work. Alternative visit to Ranganathaswamy Temple in Srirangapatna until the Rail Museum reopens.

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.

2019

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

Date Price
October 18 £3095
November 1 £3195
November 15 £3145
December 6 £3095
December 27 £3395

2020

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

Date Price
January 17 £3195
January 24 £3195
February 7 £3295
February 21 £3195
March 6 £2995
October 16 £3195
October 30 £3295
November 13 £3295
December 11 £3595

2021

Date Price
January 15 £3295
January 22 £3395
February 5 £3495
February 19 £3395
March 5 £3295

Supplements per person

Single Supplement

Double for sole use:
2019: £795 (Nov £895; Dec 27 £995)
2020: £895 (Feb/Nov/Dec £995)
2021: £895 (Feb/Nov/Dec £995)

Flight Options

London-Chennai/Bangalore-London
British Airways World Traveller Plus from £395
British Airways Club World from £1795
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 - £995 per person
3-4 guests - £495 per person
5-9 guests - £225 per person
10+ guests - No extra charge

Independent Arrival

Save £650 
Arrival transfer add £22
Departure transfer add £22

Price Includes
Air travel and taxes, transfers, 19 nights’ accommodation, breakfast daily, 7 lunches and 3 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.

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Grand Tour of Southern India

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