Call Scenic 138 128

Colours of South India

Explore the colours of South India on this unforgettable 16 day tour. Make your way from Kochi to Chennai, whilst exploring 2,000 years of heritage.

16 Day
From (AUD)
$ 9,490
  • 2018/2019 Kochi > Chennai

    Southern wonders

    Tamil Nadu on the east coast of Southern India is a veritable living museum to both British and French colonial history, providing lots of opportunities to explore this fascinating era.

    This ancient state is also home to one of the world’s oldest civilisations. Explore 2,000 years of language, dance, poetry and belief systems as you make your way through Madurai, Tanjore and Trichy. These towns are also renowned for their number of well-preserved temples, many of which are World Heritage-listed. Tap into the spirituality of this region by visiting one of South India’s biggest pilgrimage sites, the Sri Meenakshi Temple which boasts over 33,000 sculptures. For those keen to see wildlife, the tranquil surrounds of Periyar National Park is just the trick. Known for its elephants, it is one of the great parks of India.

    Tour Code:

    INSI

    Duration:

    16 Days

    Departure City:

    Kochi

    Return City:

    Chennai

  • 16 Day Itinerary

    • Day 1 - Kochi

      Welcome to South India. Upon arrival check into your hotel in Kochi for the next three nights.

    • Day 2 - Kochi

      Watch the local fishermen handling the Chinese fishing nets, then visit Mattancherry Palace, Jew Town and the Synagogue. Tonight, witness a Kathakali performance, a classical form of dance, drama and music.

      Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    • Day 3 - Kochi
      Freechoice

      Visit a local market and learn the secrets of South Indian cooking or enjoy a ‘Me Time’ yoga workshop. Alternatively visit Kumbalanghi Village.

      Freechoice Dining

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

      Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    • Day 4 - Kochi > Kumarakom

      Travel into the Kerala Backwaters to Kumarakom and enjoy a two night stay.

      Luxury Houseboat
      Alternatively, spend your first night in Kumarakom on board a houseboat, known as Kettuvallam, and cruise through backwaters. Included at no extra cost but must be pre-booked.

      Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    • Day 5 - Kumarakom
      Freechoice

      Visit Philip Kutty’s Farm for a Keralan cooking class and lunch or relax with a traditional Ayurveda massage.

      Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    • Day 6 - Kumarakom > Periyar National Park
      Highlights:
      Periyar Lake cruise

      Ascend into the highlands to Periyar National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary and take a private boat cruise on Periyar Lake. Your stay tonight is at the Spice Village.

      Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    • Day 7 - Periyar National Park > Madurai
      Highlights:
      Enrich - spice plantation lunch
      Freechoice

      Join an early morning guided jungle walk or take a jeep tour through local spice farms and countryside.

      Enrich

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

      Cross into Tamil Nadu and drive to Madurai for a two night stay.

      Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    • Day 8 - Madurai
      Highlights:
      Sri Meenakshi temple

      Rise early for a walk through the heritage section of town to witness the early morning rituals. Later, walk through the local flower and vegetable market and the weavers market. Visit one of South India’s biggest pilgrimage sites, the Sri Meenakshi Temple. This evening return by Tuk Tuk to this Hindu temple to absorb the rituals and celebration of the evening puja ceremony.

      Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

    • Day 9 - Madurai > Chettinad
      Highlights:
      Chettinad city tour

      Travel to the village of Karaikudi 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, stopping for a weaving demonstration en route. Stay at a beautifully restored Art Deco mansion for two nights.

      Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    • Day 10 - Chettinad
      Highlights:
      Enrich - wedding feast

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

      Enrich

      Witness the preparations for a typical Chettinad wedding feast before a private Bharattnatayam classical dance performance.

      Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    • Day 11 - Chettinad > Trichy > Tanjore
      Highlights:
      Freechoice

      Journey through the ‘rice bowl’ of Tamil Nadu to Trichy.

      Freechoice

      Climb the Rock Fort Temple or visit the island of Srirangam.

      Drive to Tanjore for an overnight stay.

      Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    • Day 12 - Tanjore > Puducherry
      Highlights:
      Enrich - meet a master craftsman

      Discover the World Heritage-listed Brihadishvara Temple.

      Enrich

      See a demonstration by master craftsmen to learn all about lost-wax casting, a method of bronze casting dating back 5,700 years.

      Later, drive to the pretty seaside town of Puducherry for a two night stay.

      Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    • Day 13 - Puducherry
      Highlights:
      Colonial heritage walking tour

      Journey to Auroville, ‘City of Dawn’, and see the Matrimandir, a metallic sphere covered in gold. Learn how the local Tamil population 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

    • Day 14 - Puducherry > Chennai
      Highlights:
      Mamallapuram Shore TemplesFreechoice Dining

      Stop at Mamallapuram to explore the spectacular World Heritage-listed Shore Temples. In Chennai, enjoy a two night Special Stay.

      Freechoice Dining

      Dine at Spectra or China XO. Alternatively, try Jamavar, specialising in Indian cuisine.

      Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    • Day 15 - Chennai
      Highlights:
      Freechoice
      Freechoice

      Discover Georgetown and 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 before wandering along India’s largest urban beach, The Marina. Tonight reminisce about your wonderful journey at your farewell dinner.

      Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    • Day 16 - Chennai
      Highlights:
      Farewell

      With wonderful memories bid farewell to India.

      Meals included: Breakfast

  • Tour inclusions

    Scenic highlights
    • 3 exclusive Enrich experiences
    • Your choice of 18 Freechoice activities and dining
    • 1 memorable Special Stay
    • 42 meals – 15 breakfasts, 14 lunches and 13 dinners