Colours of South India

Discover the Colours of South India on this 16 day luxury 5-star tour from Kochi to Chennai. Highlights include Chettinad, Tanjore & Periyar National Park.

16 Days
Kochi to Chennai
From (NZD)
$ 11,545
$ 10,845
Dates & Pricing

2019/2020 Kochi > Chennai

Tour Map
Tour Code:
INSI
Duration:
16 days
Departure City:
Kochi
Return City:
Chennai

Selected Itinerary

16 Day Itinerary

  1. Day 1 - Kochi

    Welcome to Kochi. Upon arrival check into your beautiful colonial-era hotel, home for the next three nights.

  2. Day 2 - Kochi

    Head down to the harbour and watch the local fishermen expertly handling the Chinese fishing nets. Discover the different colonial influences during your tour of Fort Kochi, then visit Mattancherry Palace, Jew Town and the Synagogue. In the evening, witness a traditional Kathakali performance, a highly evolved classical form of dance, drama and music.

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  3. Day 3 - Kochi

    Visit a local market and learn the secrets of South Indian cooking or enjoy a ‘Me Time’ yoga workshop. Alternatively, visit Kumbalanghi Village to experience traditional village life and activities.

    Dine at Pepper, an all-day diner, or try Rice Boat, a seafood specialty restaurant. Otherwise, try Dolphins Point barbeque and grill.

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  4. Day 4 - Kochi > Kumarakom

    After a relaxing morning, travel into the Kerala Backwaters to Kumarakom, your home for the next two nights.

    Luxury Houseboat - Alternatively, take the opportunity to spend your first night in Kumarakom on board a houseboat, a converted traditional rice barge known as Kettuvallam, and cruise through the lakes and Backwaters past small villages to witness the local life. Included at no extra cost but must be pre-booked.

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  5. Day 5 - Kumarakom

    Visit Philip Kutty’s Farm and enjoy a Keralan cooking class and lunch or unwind with a traditional Ayurveda massage before lunch at the resort.

    Enjoy the afternoon at leisure.

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  6. Day 6 - Kumarakom > Periyar National Park

    Ascend into the highlands to Periyar National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary. Located in Thekkady, this wildlife reserve is known for its elephant population. In the afternoon, take a boat cruise on Periyar Lake. Enjoy an overnight stay.

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  7. Day 7 - Periyar National Park > Madurai

    Join an early morning guided jungle walk in the reserve or take a jeep tour through the surrounding countryside, passing local spice farms and plantations, for panoramic views over Tamil Nadu.

    Wander through a small family-owned spice plantation and learn how spices grow before enjoying a lunch prepared by the family.

    Cross into Tamil Nadu, the ‘State of Temples’ and drive to Madurai, known as the ‘Athens of the East’. Tonight relax at your hotel.

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  8. Day 8 - Madurai

    Rise early for a walk through the heritage section of town to witness the early morning rituals. Later, wander through the local flower and vegetable market and the weavers market. An impressive sight awaits as you visit one of South India’s biggest pilgrimage sites, the Sri Meenakshi Temple,
    dating from the 1500s. Dedicated to the consort of Lord Shiva, its nine towering gopurams – or monumental gates – and 12 towers rise high above the surrounding countryside. This evening return by Tuk Tuk to this magnificent Hindu temple to witness the rituals and celebration of the evening puja ceremony.

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

  9. Day 9 - Madurai > Chettinad

    Drive to the small village of Karaikudi, located in the area known as ‘Chettinad’. The merchants and traders (the Chettiars) amassed fortunes from their roles as bankers, building remarkable homes. Experience a bullock cart ride through the narrow streets exploring the charm and faded elegance of colonial bungalows and merchant houses, stopping for a weaving demonstration en route. Stay at your beautifully restored Art Deco mansion for the next two nights.

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  10. Day 10 - Chettinad

    Witness ‘Kolam making’, colourful designs made with dyed rice, before visiting a pottery village to watch the colourful local tiles called Athangudi being crafted by hand. This afternoon, take a heritage walk and visit Chettinad Palace.

    Enjoy a traditional cooking demonstration of Chettinad’s unique cuisine before a private Bharattnatayam classical dance performance, one of the most popular classical Indian dances. Settle back and feast on a typical Chettinad wedding dinner menu.

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  11. Day 11 - Chettinad > Trichy > Tanjore

    Journey through the ‘rice bowl’ of Tamil Nadu and on to Trichy, the former Madurai Nayak capital.

    Choose to climb the Rock Fort Temple or visit the island and temples of Srirangam.

    Continue to Tanjore and stay overnight.

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  12. Day 12 - Tanjore > Puducherry:

    Discover the World Heritage-listed 11th century Brihadishvara Temple.

    See a demonstration by master craftsmen on the ancient art of lost-wax casting. Also known as ‘precision casting’ or ‘cire perdue’ in French, it is a method of bronze casting dating back 5,700 years.

    Later, drive to the pretty seaside town of Puducherry, the former capital of the French territories in India, then known as Pondicherry. Stay at your romantic hotel, a beautiful tribute to the town’s French legacy.

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  13. Day 13 - Puducherry

    Learn how the local Tamil population successfully assimilated French culture with their own during a heritage walking tour. Stroll past charming Tamil and colonial fusion architecture and visit the Aurobindo Ashram.

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  14. Day 14 - Puducherry > Mamallapuram > Chennai

    En route to Chennai stop at Mamallapuram to explore the spectacular World Heritage-listed Shore Temples. In Chennai, check into your beautiful hotel for a two night Special Stay.

    Dine on international cuisine at Spectra or China XO, featuring the flavours of China. Alternatively try Jamavar, specialising in Indian cuisine.

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  15. Day 15 - Chennai

    Walk through Georgetown and discover its markets and colonial laneways or explore the 8th century Hindu temples in Kanchipuram. Alternatively, visit a local Indian market and take part in a cooking lesson.

    Later, discover the history of the Basilica of San Thome, supposedly the final resting place of St Thomas. Tonight, reminisce about your wonderful journey at your farewell dinner.

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  16. Day 16 - Chennai

    Transfer to Chennai airport and depart South India with wonderful memories.

    Meals Included: Breakfast

Pricing & Availability