South India 18 Days

South India 18 Days

An exploration of the southern realms of India. A restful backwater cruise, wildlife and nature resorts and forest dwelling tribes are just some of the highlights.

Mumbai  •  Cochin  •  Kumrakom  •  Palakad  •  Wayanad  •  Nagahole  •  Mysore  •  Chennai  •  Pondicherry  •  Mahabalipuram
  • Itinerary and Tour Map
    South India 18 Days

    Day 1 – Arrive Mumbai
    Arrive Mumbai airport where you will be met and transferred to your hotel.
    Stay two nights at the Trident Mumbai.
    Day 2 – Mumbai
    Your South India experience commences with a short boat ride from the Gateway of India to Elephanta Island to see the sculptured rock temples. Tour Mumbai, including visits to the Hanging Gardens on Malabar Hill, the Dhobi Ghats a huge open-air laundry, the Gandhi Memorial and Victoria Terminus. (B,D)
    Day 3 – Mumbai – Backwater cruise
    Fly to Cochin then transfer to Allepey to board a kettuvalam, a rice barge houseboat, for an overnight cruise on the tranquil, palm-fringed backwaters of Kerala. Stay in private cabins with en-suite and let your tastebuds be tempted as the onboard chef prepares local cuisine. (B,L,D)
    Stay one night on a deluxe houseboat. (B,L,D)
    Day 4 – Kumarakom
    Disembark this morning in Kumarakom and proceed to your resort for a day at leisure. Spa and pool facilities are available as well as bird watching at a nearby sanctuary.
    Stay one night at Kumarakom Lake Resort. (B,D)
    Day 5 – Kumarakom – Cochin
    Travel to Cochin where your city sightseeing includes the Dutch Palace, Jewish Synagogue, St. Francis Church and the Chinese fishing nets. In the evening attend a kathakali dance performance.
    Stay one night at Brunton Boatyard. (B,D)
    Day 6 – Cochin – Palakad
    There is much of interest on the journey to Palakad. In Kodangallur see Mar Thoma Church, the first church in India, established when the Apostle St Thomas visited in the first century AD. The first mosque is also here, built in 629 AD. Travel on to visit a temple stable where elephants are kept, then to a classical Indian dance school to witness the training and learn about the history of this highly disciplined art form.
    Stay one night at Kairali Ayurvedic Health Resort. (B,D)
    Day 7 – Palakad – Wayanad
    Cross the winding Thamarassery Mountain Pass to Wayanad, part of a Biosphere Reserve aimed at conserving the biological heritage of the region. The land is pristine. Many of the tribes are forest dwellers and have perfected ways of living in harmony with nature. Visit a local temple and the neolithic caves at Edakkal.
    Stay two nights at the Vyithri Village Resort. (B,D)
    Day 8 – Wayanad
    Enjoy the beautiful natural landscape today, visiting lakes and waterfalls and interacting with some of the local tribes. (B,D)
    Day 9 – Wayanad – Nagarhole
    Drive to Nagarhole National Park, noted for its spectacular range of animal and bird life. Take a safari this afternoon by jeep, on the lookout for tigers and other wildlife.
    Stay one night at Kabini River Lodge. (B,L,D)
    Day 10 – Nagarhole – Mysore
    Early morning jeep safari. After breakfast at the lodge, travel to Mysore, known for its sandalwood and silk. Drive up Chamundi Hill for views over the lakes, parks and palaces of Mysore and stroll around the pools and fountains in pretty Brindavan Gardens before witnessing a spectacular fountain and light display.
    Stay two nights at the Lalitha Mahal Palace. (B,D)
    Day 11 – Mysore
    Visit Mysore Palace and an art gallery in Jagan Mohan Palace housing a vast collection of paintings and curios. Take an excursion to Somnathpur, known for its Keshava Temple covered in stone sculptures dating back to the 13th century. (B,D)
    Day 12 – Mysore – Chennai
    Day at leisure before boarding the Shatabdi Express for the evening train to Chennai.
    Stay two nights at the Grand Chola Sheraton. (B,D)
    Day 13 – Chennai
    In Chennai visit Fort St George, once the headquarters of the British East India Company. See the extensive bronze collection at the Madras Museum and drive along the marina lined with 19th century architecture. (B,D)
    Day 14 – Chennai – Kanchipuram – Pondicherry
    Travel to Kanchipuram, a busy pilgrimage centre humming with activity around its temple precincts. Visit some of the Hindu temples that dominate the town which is also known for its production of fine silk saris. Continue on to Pondicherry.
    Stay two nights at the Taj Pasumalai. (B,D)
    Day 15 – Pondicherry
    Visit the Sri Aurobindo Ashram, a centre for the practice of yoga and meditation, and Ecole Françoise d’Extreme Orient, a school for Sanskrit, Tamil and archaeological studies. The French Catholic influence is evident in a number of churches in Pondicherry, some of which you will visit. Also take a drive along the seaside promenade viewing the many landmark buildings and memorials, then visit the Grand Bazaar. (B,D)
    Day 16 – Pondicherry – Mahabalipuram
    Travel to the nearby idyllic coastal town of Mahabalipuram. Visit a shore temple with fine bas reliefs and man-made caves.
    Stay two nights at the Taj Fisherman’s Cove. (B,D)
    Day 17 – Mahabalipuram
    Day for coastal relaxation. (B,D)
    Day 18 – Depart Chennai
    Transfer to the airport at Chennai for the flight home. (B)

    Combine this with the North India tour to create a 36 day GRAND INDIA tour.

  • Make a Booking

    • Tour Prices

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      Prices are per person, in Australian dollars.  Please confirm prices when booking.

    • Price Includes:

      Price Includes:

      • 16 nights in 4 and 5 star hotels as indicated, or similar, and best available in remote regions
      • 1 night on a deluxe houseboat
      • 17 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 16 dinners
      • Flight Mumbai-Cochin, including domestic air taxes and fuel surcharges
      • Train Mysore-Chennai
      • All transfers, sightseeing and entrance fees

      Price Excludes:

      • Visa fees
      • Gratuities

      Tour prices and inclusions are based on a minimum of 2 passengers.


    Photo Gallery

    South India 18 Days


    • Idling along palm fringed backwaters on a houseboat
    • Jeep safaris in Nagarhole on the lookout for tigers
    • French influenced Pondicherry
    • Beachside R&R at Mahabalipuram
    Or perhaps you would prefer . .