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IN09: 13 Days Chennai - Mahabalipuram - Pondicherry - Tanjore - Trichy - Madurai - Munnar - Periyar - Alleppey - Kochi

Tour Type: Private Tour, flexible and customized
Guide & Driver: English-speaking guide, experienced driver & air-conditioned car
Accommodation: 4 to 5-star well selected hotels, also be open to your own choice
Meals: A mix choice of local cuisines and western-style food

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Itinerary Details
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Day 1: Arrive in Chennai, Airport pick-up
Upon arrival, you will be met by our representative with a welcome board at Chennai airport, and transferred to your hotel in Chennai. The rest of the day is free for you to prepare for your exciting Chennai tour.
Day 2: Chennai city attraction & road transfer to Mahabalipuram
Visit the Santhome Church in the morning, it is one of the three churches sitting on the tomb of an apostle of Jesus - Saint Thomas. Next we visit Kapaleeshwarar Temple, a 7th-century Hindu temple in Dravidian architectural style dedicated to Lord Shiva.

After the visit, we will set off to Mahabalipuram(also known as Mamallapuram) by a comfortable drive. Once you are settled in your hotel, you can spend the rest of the day at leisure.

Meals: Breakfast

Day 3: Mahabalipuram exploration
First we go to Kanchipuram, the "Varanasi of the south", and visit the Temples of Ekambaswara, Kailasanatha, Sri Kamakshi and Varadarajaswamy featuring exquisite carvings and sculptures in Dravidian architectural style. Then we go to the Shore Temple, an 8th-century granite temple complex touted as the best example of the architectural style in Pallava dynasty. Next we head to Arjuna's Penance, the world's largest bas-relief completed in the 7th century, and the Five Rathas, a perfect manifestation of the evolution of Dravidian architectural style.

Meals: Breakfast

  • Arjuna's Penance
    Arjuna's Penance
Day 4: Drive 2.5h to Pondicherry, Pondicherry city tour
After breakfast, we will drive to Pondicherry (also called Puducherry) and check into your hotel. Stops will be made whenever you want. In the afternoon, have a look at the colonial-style buildings at French Quarters. If you want, you can take a bicycle there at an additional cost. Then we continue to Aurobindo Ashram, a community built by Mirra Alfassa, a spiritual guru and Sri Aurobindo, who developed Internal Yoga. Our last stop today is The Lord Ganesha Sri Manakula Vinayagar Temple, an over 500-year-old Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Ganesha.

Meals: Breakfast

Day 5: 5-hour drive from Pondicherry to Tanjore, Tanjore visit
After breakfast, your driver will take you to your hotel in Tanjore (officially known as Thanjavur) famous for the Great Living Chola Temples. Today we will start with a visit to Brihadeeswara Shiva Temple, which represents the essence of temple architecture in southern India. Then we head to a former imperial palace - Tanjore Maratha Palace, whose history dates back to the Tanjore Nayak dynasty. Going into the Palace, we will visit the Saraswati Mahal Library with over 30,000 palm leaf manuscripts, and the Raja Raja Chola art gallery, where plenty of ancient stone and bronze sculptures of Hindu deities are stored.

Meals: Breakfast

  • Brihadeeswara Shiva Temple
    Brihadeeswara Shiva Temple
Day 6: Drive 4h to Madurai with stopover at Trichy
In the morning we will set off to Madurai. On the way we stop at Trichy (also called Tiruchirapalli). First you will be taken to Srirangam to visit Sri Ranganathaswami temple, one of the biggest Indian temple complexes dedicated to Lord Vishnu. Then we proceed to Lord Robert Clive's house and the Danish Church to find the footprint left by the colonials. Next we move to Rock Fort which was located on a massive rock. Here we can get a panoramic view of Trichy and visit two temples of Lord Ganesha and Lord Shiva separately.

Getting down from the fort, we continue our ride to your hotel in Madurai. You can walk around the hotel if you are still energetic.

Meals: Breakfast

Day 7: Madurai city tour including Tirumala Nayak Palace
In the morning we start at Meenakshi Temple, where countless colorful statues on the exterior wall are quite eye-catching. Then you will be guided to visit the Tirumala Nayak Palace, which was built in the 17th century and renowned for its domes and arches. After that, we will move to visit Alagar Hills and Gandhi Museum. The morning tour will end at a bustling and living market. The rest of the day is free for you to explore the city and the local people's life by yourself.

Meals: Breakfast

  • Meenakshi Temple
    Meenakshi Temple
Day 8: Drive for 4.5h from Madurai to Munnar with coffee break
In the morning we will drive to Munnar, a beautiful hillstation. The distance between the two places is 171km (106m). En route, we will make stops upon your request. Check in at the hotel, Munnar lies 1500 to 2695 meters above sea level, and it is famous for mountains, water and tea plantation. We prefer to leave the rest of the time free for you to breath the fresh air in the nature.

Meals: Breakfast

Day 9: Munnar highlights including Eravikulam National Park
Morning we head to Eravikulam National Park, the protection of the endangered Nilgiri Tahr and the residence of many species of butterflies and birds. Then we go to Tea Museum to learn about the local tea plantations through curios and photographs. Next we continue to Top Station, the highest point of Munnar. En route stop at Echo Point named for the natural echo phenomenon here. Then we visit Mattupetty popular for its dam and natural beauty to end today's itinerary.

Meals: Breakfast

Day 10: Drive 3h to Periyar by private car, Cruise on Periyar Lake
Today we will proceed with our vacation to Periyar. After a short break at the hotel, you can spend some time exploring a spice plantation and learn about the use of many exotic spices.

Afternoon we take you to Periyar Lake for a cruise. Sailing along the main way of the Periyar Tiger Reserve, you can not only enjoy the picturesque lake view but also meet with some wildlife. You can watch a Hindu martial art performance named Kalaripayattu at your own expense in the evening.

Meals: Breakfast

Day 11: 4-hour drive from Periyar to Alleppey, Houseboat trip on backwaters
Today, our sightseeing continues to Alleppey (also known as Alappuzha), known as the "Venice of the East" for its master network of waterways. Here you will board a houseboat for a cruise on Kerala's backwaters, the boat will pass several villages and it is a perfect opportunity to enjoy the natural beauties as well as to get to know the local's life style.

Friendly Tips:
 Board a houseboat between 12:00 - 13:00 is recommended, as fishermen stop sailing at around 17:00 - 18:00 to do their own fishing. After sunset, houseboats will be moored on the dock for overnight.
 Every second Saturday of August, a Nehru Trophy Boat Race on the Punnamada Lake will be held.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 12: Drive for 1.5h from Alleppey to Kochi, Kochi highlights
Morning after breakfast, we will drive to Kochi, which was earlier known as Cochin, the last destination of this tour. Upon arrival, your driver will take you to check into your hotel. Later we set off to Jew Town to appreciate the ancient buildings and alleys with various architectural styles of many countries. Next we venture into Mattancherry Palace, a Portuguese palace exhibiting Hindu murals and ancient furniture. We then proceed to St Francis Church, the most ancient European church which witnessed the European colonial struggle. Then we move to the Jewish Synagogue, the oldest synagogue among Commonwealth countries. After that, we will head to the harbor to see the Chinese fishing nets introduced to India by Chinese from centuries ago. Enjoying a leisurely afternoon, you have an opportunity to watch an over 400-year old Kerala's representative performance - Kathakali in the evening (at your own expense).

Meals: Breakfast

Day 13: Departure from Kochi, Airport see-off
Your whole tour comes to an end today. We will escort you to Cochin Airport for your homebound flight. Hope you have a pleasant trip!

Meals: Breakfast

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DestinationsLuxury HotelsStandard Hotels
ChennaiHilton Chennai
Courtyard by Marriott Chennai
MahabalipuramRadisson BLU Resort Temple Bay Mamallapuram
Ideal Beach Resort, Mahabalipuram
PondicherryAccord, Pondicherry
Accord, Pondicherry
TanjoreSvatma Hotel
Hotel Sangam, Tanjore
MaduraiCourtyard by Marriott Madurai
Courtyard by Marriott Madurai
MunnarDevonshire Green, Munnar
Devonshire Green, Munnar
PeriyarThe Elephant Court, Periyar
The Elephant Court, Periyar
AlleppeyLakes & Lagoon, Alleppey (Houseboat)
Lakes & Lagoon, Alleppey (Houseboat)
KochiCrowne Plaza Kochi
Radisson Blu Kochi
Tour Prices

10% off - book 60 days before, 5% off - book 30 days before

Jan - Mar, Oct - Dec
Apr - Sep
Tour Prices with Luxury Hotels
Month2-3 travelers4-5 travelers
Jan - Mar, Oct - Dec$1859
Apr - Sep$1689
Tour Prices with Standard Hotels
Month2-3 travelers4-5 travelers
Jan - Mar, Oct - Dec$1609
Apr - Sep$1529
  • Prices are per person in US Dollars based on double occupancy.
  • The prices in red reflect 10% discount.
  • Any part of the itinerary e.g. tour length, activities & hotels can be tailored to your individual interests.
What's Included
  • Accommodation with daily breakfast at selected hotels.
  • Services of a private driver and air-conditioned vehicle.
  • Service of English speaking guide as per itinerary.
  • Monument Entrance fee as per itinerary.
  • All presently applicable taxes.
What's Excluded
  • International flight into and out India.
  • Meals other than those mentioned in the itinerary.
  • Personal expenses (laundry, telephone, drinks, etc.).
  • Tips for guides and drivers.
  • Personal travel insurance.
  • India Visa Fees.
7-Day Kochi Weather Forecast
Customize This Trip
Your Name
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No. of Travelers
Date of Arrival

Tour Reviews

4.914 Reviews
Write a review
  • Harsharn Fesanan from the United StatesPosted on January 14, 2020
    It was an unforgettable 13 days Chennai tour! The scenic spots, food and accommodation arranged for us were all well-pleasing!

    Thank our Indian tour guide very much, who was very devoted to explaining the temples with different architectural styles. That was quite fascinating!
  • Gareth Quartermaine from CanadaPosted on December 27, 2019
    Our 13 Days Chennai tour was smooth. The local guides were all kind and explained attractions warmly. This was a fabulous trip with beach and temple, recommended! You can appreciate the charm of India, and feel the cultural differences.
  • Robin Nolan from FrancePosted on November 25, 2019
    The guides were fantastic and the explanations were interesting and professional! Indian drivers were quite warm-hearted and the tour cars provided enough water and cool air-conditioners.
    All the service we enjoyed was very considerate! Thank Agate Travel for organizing such an unforgettable 13 days South India tour!
  • Alfred Moraes from MalaysiaPosted on October 28, 2019
    The 13-day South India trip was pretty good! Both our local guides and drivers were professional. Comfortable hotels, clean and delicious buffets, wonderful explanations and enthusiastic Indian people all added a lot of joy to my unique experience. I was surprised that people and animals could walk in harmony on the streets in India. By the way, it was very safe to travel with a group.
  • Sue Zoromski from the United StatesPosted on October 02, 2019
    The 13 days best holiday in South India has come to a successful end.
    Although the whole trip was tiring, we all had a great time! India was an ancient civilization worth visiting! The tour almost went around India, covering many famous attractions: Santhome Church; spectacular Arjuna's Penance with lively bas-relief in Mamallapuram; splendid Tirumala Nayak Palace; exciting Periyar Tiger Reserve...
    We enjoyed them very much! The explanations of them were professional and fascinating and the local guides were also friendly and dedicated!!
  • Henrik Albertson from ItalyPosted on September 15, 2019
    I had booked several tour packages on Agate Travel agency before. The trip was still satisfying, a very good company!
  • Mohammed from BritainPosted on September 07, 2019
    In India, we experienced the poor and wealthy, beautiful and dirty streets. We could also feel the strong religious beliefs everywhere. I think the most important thing about travel is communication. Only by communicating with local people and immersed in their lives can we deeply understand the culture and customs. The 13-day Chennai tour gave me a unique experience and I was very satisfied!
  • Alex Collins from AustraliaPosted on September 03, 2019
    It was a great 13 days Chennai tour. The Indian tour guide was responsible and flexible in scheduling processes for emergencies. The drivers were skillful and considerate. Accommodation in Mamallapuram was pretty good. I also like the scenic spots there. Numerous bas-reliefs and rock statues were both delicate. Among them, Arjuna’s Penance was the world’s largest bas-relief and also the highlight in Mamallapuram, which was a masterpiece of Indian art. Very amazing!
  • Karel Phen from SingaporePosted on August 27, 2019
    The fee of the 13 days holiday package from Chennai to Kochi covered all must-see attractions and there was no extra charge. We were provided with a sufficient amount of pure water every day. The local Indian guides were particularly friendly and dedicated, and the members in our group were also warm-hearted. Overall so satisfied!
  • Shannon from SingaporePosted on August 17, 2019
    There were a lot of cows, sheep and dogs on the roads in small cities in India, and everyone would make ways for animals. Humans and nature could live in harmony.
    Indian people seemed to be living a good life, and their happiness index could be high. It made us also feel comfortable and happy during the 13 days tour from Chennai to Kochi.
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