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16 Days tour through Kerala, Tamil Nadu & Karnataka

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Southern Splendour offers a comprehensive South India experience through its most famous destinations.This complete tour covers everything from majestic palaces, mountains walls, down the plains of Keralan backwaters, wild life and celebrated Dravidian heritage temples to the quaint French colony at Pondicherry.Your moment is waiting!

Places:Mysore, Ooty, Tanjore, Pondicherry, Houseboat & more

Duration:16 Days

honeymoon package

Experience Highlights

  • Experience bliss as you enjoy a scenic ride through the Blue Mountains on a heritage ‘Toy Train’
  • Stay on a beautiful eco-friendly houseboat as it traverses through the backwaters
  • Witness the architectural marvel of the temple at Madurai and partake in the festive night ceremony
  • Cover 4 UNESCO World Heritage sites on your tour: Legendary Stone carving sites at Mahabalipuram, the Chola temple sites, Mountain rails and the Western Ghats.
  • Take a ride on a friendly jumbo or even do an elephant shower at Thekkady (optional)

Tour on Map

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Day to Day itinerary

prev
  • Day 1

    Bengaluru
  • Day 2

    Mysore
  • Day 3

    Explore
    Mysore
  • Day 4 & 5

    Ooty
  • Day 6 & 7

    Kochi
  • Day 8

    Houseboat
  • Day 9 & 10

    Thekkady
  • Day 11

    Madurai
  • Day 12

    Tanjore
  • Day 13

    Pondicherry
  • Day 14 & 15

    Mahabalipuram
  • Day 16

    Depart Chennai
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Day

1

bengaluru

You will be welcomed at Bengaluru International airport by our company representative. While modernity does push the boundaries of the city, the combined legacies of Haider Ali, Tipu Sultan and the British still live on. Bangalore’s creature comforts can be godsend for the weary traveller

Get Bangalored: Benevolent climate & charm of the Indian IT hub


Once known as the garden city, it is now dominated by IT parks. Explore the lovely gardens like Lalbhag and Cubbonpark and lovely Victorian-era architecture as visible on the Vidhan Sauda - which houses both the State Legislature and Secretariat. You may consider a trip to the famous bull temple too.

Cosmopolitan Bengaluru will give you an experience of the vibrant new face of India.

Image by Jogesh S

Bengaluru’s burgeoning drinking and dining scene means there are lots of options you could consider for an evening outing. Relax for the night in your hotel

Day

2

at the ‘city of palaces’ - mysore

Today, we travel to one of South India’s most vibrant cities – Mysore. The grand palaces, silk, sandalwood and incense production give an iconic status to this destination. You may also consider visiting Srirangapatna- the summer palace on the way to Mysore.

Travel to Mysore (150 Km / 3 hours)

Visit Srirangapatna: the fortress of the ‘Tiger of Mysore’

Steeped in bloody history, this fort town is built on an island on the Cauvery river. This was the summer palace and de facto capital from where Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan ruled in their glory days. After epic wars (Tipu defeated by British) we are left with a clutch of monuments, beautiful wall paintings and a nice view to have lunch!

Mysore’s flamboyant palace known for its glittering in royal heritage is a must experience

Visit the Maharaja’s Palace: The icon of Mysore


Built in indo-saracenic style with dome, arches and turrets, the palace is a treasure house of exquisite carvings and works from all over the world. The jewels studded throne, majestic durbar hall with ornate ceilings and intricately carved doors make for a fascinating sight. If you are lucky to be here on a Sunday or public holiday, the illuminated palace will be a spectacle to remember!


Also visit the Rajendra art gallery, which houses a remarkable collection of paintings form Raja Ravi Varma and other traditional Mysore styles.

Day

3

explore mysore

Today, you get to explore this ancient city, its bustling markets, magnificent monuments and more. Shop around for premium silk, incense and sandalwood which are a speciality of Mysore. After exploring Chamundi hills during the day, a magical evening at the Brindavan gardens awaits you

Explore Chamundi hills: If you went up to the top, your nose was chopped!

Morning is a great time to start a fine half-day excursion to Chamundi Hills. Experience the panoramic view overlooking the Mysore city and explore the marvellous temple. The 1000 stone steps laid out by the Maharaja in the 17th century and the majestic Nandi monolith is a compelling sight. Enjoy shopping around for local specialities at the Devaraja Market.

A casual walk through the vibrant Devaraja market is an authentic Indian experience you must not miss

Image by sayaguhiyat.com

Evening at the Brindavan Gardens: This place is purely magical


These gardens have been the background of many a shimmering bollywood musical number. After sunset, the special attractions include dancing fountains where coloured lights transform the place into a magical fairyland. Also visit the famous KRS dam which is an awesome sight too. Relax for the night at your resort

Day

4

AT THE ‘QUEEN OF HILL STATIONS’ - OOTY

Today, we depart by surface to Udhagamandalam (Ooty) and enjoy the ride up the hills. Get away from the plains and soak–in the beauty of the Blue Mountains. The Stunning gardens, rolling hills, pine and eucalyptus forests have earned the name queen of hill stations for this place

Travel to ooty (130 Km / 3.5 hours)

Spectacular journey up 36 hairpins bends to Ooty

The journey through the Mudumalai jungles will be thrilling as you spot wild elephants by the roadside. It gets better as you take the scenic 36 hairpin bends from the plains to the blue mountains or Nilgiris.

Watch the rhapsody of the carpeted emerald-green tea plantations unfold at Ooty

Image by RaghavanPrabhu

Sight-seeing in Ooty: Botanical garden, lake, and more

Visit the famous Botanical garden built in 1847 which features a wide variety of exotic and ornamental plants. The iconic, St Thomas church overlooks the lake where boating facilities are available. You can also try horse-back riding around the lake. Visit the highest peak – Doddabetta which offers a beautiful vista.

Relax for the night at your resort in Ooty/Coonoor.

Day

5

explore ooty

The day is at leisure to explore the hill station. A fascinating ride on the Nilgiri mountain rail is a must experience. Spend your day at the view points, lakes or just sipping tea at your hill resort. For those chasing the atmosphere of the British Raj, it just lingers around the clubs and heritage hotels.

The journey up here on the celebrated ‘Toy train’ is magical and the scenery is stunning

Enjoy a scenic ride on the world heritage Blue mountain railway

Experience the treasured and fabled charm of the Nilgiris in operation since 1899. A century later it continues to inspire weaving through forests, little dark winding tunnels and valleys as it traverses through one of the steepest rail stretches in Asia. The whistling, chugging and steam clacking takes you on a journey in time. Ooty to Coonoor and back would be a good ride.

Relax for the night in your hill resort.

Day

6

kochi

Spend the day at Kochi, one of the finest natural harbours and the oldest European settlement in India. The cultural mosaic here is shaped by a long history of visitors – Arab, Chinese, British, Jewish, Portuguese and French – making for a remarkable heritage city

Travel to kochi (300 Km / 6 hours)

A scenic Journey to Kochi though the Keralan plains

Today you will travel along the Palakkad gap and enter the northern ‘rice bowl’ of Kerala. The trip will be slightly longer (close to 6 hours) but you will not feel time pass by as Kerala’s stunning landscapes keep you busy.

A guided Kathakali experience gives you insights into Kerala’s rich culture

Image By Kathakalicentre

Kathakali: an evening enjoying the performing arts of Kerala

This 17th century art form is a highly stylized classical dance-drama with the confluence of dancing, acting, vocal and instrumental music. Watch the extensive make-up process and then enjoy story telling in Kerala style during the performance

Stay at one of the finest boutique hotels in Fort Kochi to soak in the colonial ambience. Relax for the night at your hotel.

Day

7

explore kochi

The day is left for you to explore the heritage sites of Fort Kochi at your own pace. You can shop around for antiques and spices, learn the history of the land and experience the culture of Kerala.

Do-it- yourself walk: heritage sites of Fort Kochi

You start your walking tour of Fort Kochi at the St. Francis Church, the oldest European church in India and explore the imposing Santa Cruz basilica built by the Portuguese. It will be fun to observe the iconic and still-in-use Chinese fishing nets and even try using them yourself. Stroll past the shops along Jew Street shopping for antiques and spices and also visit the Jewish Synagogue and the Dutch Palace. You will notice that the heritage zone of the city is amazingly well preserved.

A mix of people from all over the world hasleft their stamp on this fascinating town of Fort Kochi

Enjoy dinner at one of the amazing seafood restaurants in the city. Relax for the night in your hotel.

Day

8

on a Houseboat in Alleppey

This morning,take a short journey through backwater villages to reach the town of Alleppey. The ‘Venice of the East’ as it is called supports a vibrant village life along the shorelines with paddy fields and palms.

Travel to alleppey (65 Km / 1.5hours)

On board a ‘Kettuvallom’: A glimpse of backwater life

After traditional lunch on your private houseboat, the cruise will take you through splendid waterways of narrow canals. You will get opportunities to explore village life and the country side. Afternoons are best spent sunbathing on the deck or lounging in the shade while socialising with your crew. As we drift along we will be amazed by life at the waterside and witness a spectacular sunset. Experience night life on an anchored houseboat in the middle of the lake.Overnight stay in Houseboat.

Your trip along narrow canals and stay on a houseboat can be an experience of a lifetime

Image by Augustus Binu
Day

9

THEKKADY

Enjoy a relaxed breakfast on your boat and by 9 am get on a journey to Thekkady, home to one of the best managed wildlife reserves in India. With a 100-year-old artificial lake and its setting in the thickly forested Western Ghats (UNESCO world heritage site), Periyar will not disappoint with a range of activities and wildlife spotting on offer. The Asiatic elephants are commonly seen and lucky spotting of Gaur (Indian Bison) and wild boar do happen

TRAVEL TO THEKKADY (140 kMs, 3 hrs)

Check-in to your resort, relax for a while and soak in the tropical garden landscape.

A guided tour in a Keralan spice farm will transform your idea of what spices really taste like

Image by Orange County

Guided spice plantation tour: The aroma is incredible!

Keralan spice tours are immensely educative experiences. For some, it is the lingering aroma of cloves, cinnamon, for others, it is about joy of plucking spices straight of the plant. Experienced guides escort you around gardens keeping you excited along the way with bits of information and even some demonstrations on the healing powers of the various spices.

Relax for the night at your resort.

Day

10

In the Periyar reserve (thekkady)

Today you will have some of the best wildlife experiences on offer in the Periyar. A nature walk by the river side, an elephant safari, shopping and evening seeing one of the oldest martial arts forms in existence.

Go for an early morning Nature walk in the reserve

Dawn is an ideal time to view exotic wildlife with the help of your trained tribal naturalist/ guide in the Periyar tiger reserve. The walk through the jungle explores a safe and easy path for about 3 hours. You can get lucky and spot some wildlife, flowers and birds along the way. Head back to your resort for a late breakfast.

Elephant Safari: Take a ride on top of a friendly elephant (Optional)

Nothing like a friendly jumbo! If you are interested we will take you on a ride through plantations on an elephant or even do a jumbo shower. Safe and among the best experiences in Thekkady,

Asiatic elephants, gaurs and wild boars are commonly spotted in the reserve during boating

Experience Kalaripayattu: One of the oldest fighting systems in existence

Today evening, we will take you to attend a Kalaripayattu show illustrating the 3000 year old art-form. The practitioners of Kalaripayattu are not only warriors but also self-healers. Besides the swords and daggers the warriors are also trained in a unique weapon called ‘Urumi’ - a lethal flexible sword that can be concealed as a waist belt. 

Relax for the night at your resort.

Day

11

MADURAI

Today we travel to one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world, Madurai. This town is an ancient centre of Tamil Knowledge and former capital city of the Pandya Kings. After a relaxed breakfast we start our journey to Madurai

TRAVEL TO MADURAI (160 km, 3.5 hrs)

Visit the Thirumalai Nayak Palace: built as one of the grandest in South India

This is the 17th century palace of TirumalaiNayak who made significant contribution to the city of Madurai and the Meenakshi Temple. This Palace is a classic fusion of Dravidian and Islamic styles. This national monument is famous for its interior work and artistic style

After visiting the palace, check-in to your hotel, have lunch and relax for a couple of hours.

A snapshot of the gopurams at the Meenakshi temple, encrusted with a staggering array of gods, goddesses, demons and heroes

An evening at Meenakshi Temple: Architectural marvel of the fish eyed goddess

A fascinating temple complex ornate by gateway towers with exquisitely multi-coloured images of gods, demons and mythical figures. Enter through the busy eastern entrance (a lot of craft shops here) and move on to see the 1000 pillar hall and the art museum. Also spend time at the massive temple tank and leave the temple through the hall with magnificently painted ceilings.

After visiting the palace, check-in to your hotel, have lunch and relax for a couple of hours.

Day

12

CHETTINAD day tour / tanjore

Enjoy a lovely breakfast at your hotel and by 9 am we begin our journey to Karaikudi/Chettinad the land of mansions. Spend the day at the bungalows, sample the cuisine and see handmade tile making. Head to Tanjore for the evening

TRAVEL TO Karaikudi (90KM, 2 HRS)

Sample the famous Chettinad cuisine

Arrive at Chettinad and enjoy a Chettinad style lunch in the ambience of your one of the trader mansions. This is where you will hear the fascinating story of the Naatukottai Chettiars (a business community), how they built their townships and mansions and also the secrets of their famous cuisine.

After visiting the palace, check-in to your hotel, have lunch and relax for a couple of hours.

Among the most celebrated architectural discoveries in Tamil Nadu, the Brihadeshwara temple is one compelling sight

Image by Krishnan K Narayanan
TRAVEL TO TANJORE (105 KM, 2.5 HRS)

Explore the Brihadeshwara Temple: ‘Big temple’ with the largest temple tower

This famous Shiva temple is also part of the great living Chola temples heritage site. The temple houses one of Asia’s largest stone Nandi (bull) statues. Curiously the temple architecture is such that at any time of the day, it never creates a shadow on the ground

Optional:You could consider a quick shopping tour for Tanjore paintings, dancing dolls and musical instruments. Also consider a visit to the Palace Museum in Tanjore.

Day

13

pondicherry

Enjoy a lovely breakfast at your hotel and by 9 am we begin our journey to the French quartet of Pondicherry. Unmistakably and charmingly distinct European feel of Pondicherry makes for an excellent outing.

travel to Pondicherry (110 km, 2.5 hrs)

Visit to Auroville: A unique experiment in community living

Auroville township is home to an international community (from 43 nations) dedicated to peace and sustainable living. We will go to the visitors centre and if interested shop around for paper crafts, ceramic and wood work. We will also get view-point passes for the Matrimandir- an archaeological marvel & spiritual heart of Auroville.

After Auroville, we will travel to Pondicherry and you can check-in to your guest house.

An edifice of spiritual significance, Matrimandir is often described as the ‘Soul of Auroville’

An evening at the French quarter: Walk around and explore

This evening you are free to explore Pondicherry at your leisure. Enjoy Do-it-yourself heritage walks through the seafront promenade, white mustard buildings, neo-classical governor’s residence (Raj Nivas) and white town. You could also visit the Aurobindo ashram and its bookstall. Don’t miss French food (hello steak!) and beer.

Enjoy the good life and relax for the night at your resort.

Day

14

mahabalipuram

We start today’s tour at 9 am after a lovely breakfast in your hotel. Mahabalipuram is an enclave of seafood, sun and sand. The town is famous for its ancient rock carvings and still the best place to see artisans chip away at exquisite sculptures in stone.

travel to Pondicherry (100 km, 2 hours)

Spend Half-a-day enjoying Pallava stone work at the UNESCO Heritage Sites

Experience seekers and history buffs will find heaven here. Explore the magnificence of Pallava architecture at the 3 monuments: Shore temple (magnificent ruins of a dual shrine), Arjuna’s Penance (bas relief on the face of a huge rock) and the PanchRathas.

Arjuna’s Penance, a legend (story) carved on monolithic rock is testimony to the architectural and artistic brilliance of man

Day

15

cool-off at the beaches of mahabalipuram

Spend an extra day here by the beach to relax and cool off after your extensive South Indian tour. Relax as you please by exploring the town on a bicycle or on foot. The entire place resonates to the sound of chisel from small workshops producing ornate stone sculptures.

Relax by the shimmering Indian Ocean at Mahabalipuram

Sunsets are incredibly beautiful here as fishermen can be seen dragging nets and boats on to sandy beaches in the backdrop of the shore temples. Nights are best spent at the traveller’s ghetto where restaurants serve pizzas, pastas and pancakes. Shop around for little souvenirs in stone

Even if it is not the pick of beaches, it would be fun to take a catamaran ride with fishermen to see submerged temple tops

Day

16

departure from MUMBAI

Today is the last day of your tour. Enjoy as splendid breakfast and head to Chennai. Drop back at airport for onward journey with memories to last for a lifetime.

Bon Voyage

STANDARD PACKAGE

Accommodation

3 star Hotel/resort with neat amenities, hygienic bathrooms & European toilets, Telephone and 24 hours room service

Transportation

Air Conditioned vehicle with chauffer at your disposal thorough out the tour

Meals

Buffet breakfast included at all resorts/ hotel and all meals in the houseboat

Total tour cost

Price on Enquiry

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We can tailor-make the above itinerary to your specifications and work around your preferences, budget, add/remove nights or incorporate any special interests. Just complete an enquiry form to get in touch with our destination experts.explore

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About This Trip

add ons

Best Time to visit

October to March


group Leader and guides
This tour is ideal as a special interest group tour. Groups (min. 15 travellers)are accompanied by one of our experienced group leaders. They offer suggestions onlocal food to try, share cultural insights and introduce our local friends.


Pick Up and Drop Off
Bengaluru (Start Point), Chennai (End Point)

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