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Kerala Tour

Amazing South India

HomeIndia ToursSouth India

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

Tour Type: Private tailor-made tour, experienced guide and driver
Accommodation: 4 to 5-star well selected hotels, also be open to your own choice
Highlights:

  • Free road trip of South India, with flexible photo stops.
  • A panoramic journey from coast to coast traversing South Asian Subcontinent.
  • Go deep into the southern tea mountains and fill your lungs with fresh air.
  • Try wondrous Alleppey backwater tour amid the coconut groves of Kerala.

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Itinerary Details
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Day 1: Arrive in Chennai; airport pick-up
Arrival Note: Upon arrival, you will be warmly greeted by our representative at the Chennai Airport with a welcome board, and a comfortable private car and driver will be prepared to transfer you to the hotel in downtown Chennai. You can spend the rest of the day resting to get over the jet lag and preparing for the following Chennai tour.
Day 2: Chennai city sightseeing & transfer to Mahabalipuram
Sightseeing Activities: After breakfast, our guide will first take you to visit the Santhome Church, a Cathedral basilica built over the tomb of an apostle of Jesus – Saint Thomas. Next, we will visit the Kapaleeshwarar Temple, a 7th-century Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Shiva and built in Dravidian style of architecture.

Afterwards, we will travel by private car to Mahabalipuram, also known as Mamallapuram. After about an hour of smooth driving, we will arrive and check into a local hotel, and then you can spend the rest of the day at leisure.

Meals: Breakfast
Day 3: Mahabalipuram exploration
Sightseeing Activities: First we will go to Kanchipuram, the ‘Varanasi of South India’, and visit the Temples of EkambaswaraKailasanathaSri Kamakshi and Varadarajaswamy featuring exquisite carvings and sculptures in Dravidian style of architecture. Next, we will visit the Shore Temple, an 8th-century granite temple complex touted as the best example of the architectural style of the Pallava Dynasty. Later, we will head to the Arjuna's Penance, the world's largest bas-relief completed in the 7th century, and finally the Five Rathas, a perfect manifestation of the evolution of Dravidian architecture.

Meals: Breakfast
  • Arjuna's Penance
    Arjuna's Penance
Day 4: Drive 2.5 hours to Pondicherry; Pondicherry city sightseeing
After breakfast, we will drive to Pondicherry (also called Puducherry) and check into the hotel.

Sightseeing Activities: In the afternoon, our guide will lead you to have a look at the colonial-style buildings at the French Quarters. If you like, you can rent a bike at your own expense and ride around the neighborhood for a while. Next, we will visit the Aurobindo Ashram, a community built by Mirra Alfassa, a spiritual guru, and Sri Aurobindo who developed Internal Yoga. Our last stop today is the Sri Manakula Vinayagar Temple, an over 500-year-old Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Ganesha.

Meals: Breakfast
Day 5: Road trip from Pondicherry to Tanjore (5 hours’ drive)
After breakfast, we will start a long drive to Tanjore (officially known as Thanjavur). Stops can be made wherever you want on the way. Upon arrival, check into the local hotel and have a break, and our guide will then accompany you on an afternoon tour of Tanjore.

Sightseeing Activities: We will start with a visit to the Brihadeeswara Shiva Temple, a vast Chola Dynasty complex which represents the essence of the temple architecture in south India. Next, we will head to a former imperial palace – Thanjavur Maratha Palace, whose history dates back to the Thanjavur Nayak Dynasty. Going into the Palace, we will admire 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 4 hours to Madurai with stopover at Trichy
In the morning, we will set off to Madurai. On the way we’ll stop at Trichy (Tiruchirapalli) for a visit.

Sightseeing Activities: At Trichy, our guide will first take you to Srirangam to visit the Sri Ranganathaswami Temple, one of the biggest Indian temple complexes dedicated to Lord Vishnu. Then we will proceed to the Lord Robert Clive's House and the Danish Church to look for the footprints left by the colonists. Next, we will go to the Rock Fort, which sits on a huge rock, from where we can have a panoramic view of Trichy and visit the two temples of Lord Ganesha and Lord Shiva respectively.

After visiting the fort, we will continue our journey to Madurai. Upon arrival, check into the hotel and walk around if you are still energetic.

Meals: Breakfast
Day 7: Madurai travel featuring Tirumala Nayak Palace
Sightseeing Activities: In the morning, our visit will start from the Meenakshi Temple, where countless colorful statues on the exterior wall are quite eye-catching. Next, you will be guided to visit the Tirumala Nayak Palace, which was built in the 17th century and renowned for its domes and arches. Afterwards, we will continue to visit the Alagar Hills and the Gandhi Museum. Today’s guided tour will then end at a bustling local market, and you can spend the rest time shopping, drinking coffee, or exploring the city on your own.

Meals: Breakfast
  • Meenakshi Temple
    Meenakshi Temple
Day 8: Drive from Madurai to Munnar (170 km; 4.5 hours)
In the morning, we will drive to Munnar, a beautiful hill station. If you see any beautiful scenery on the way, you can ask our driver to stop at any time for you to take photos, which is the advantage of our private tour. Arriving at the hotel, you can have a rest. Munnar is 1,500 to 2,695 meters above sea level and is famous for its mountains, water and tea plantations. We will not arrange a fixed itinerary for the rest of the day, in consideration of your fatigue from the long ride. We prefer to leave the time free for you to relax and breathe in the fresh air.

Meals: Breakfast
Day 9: Munnar highlights including Eravikulam National Park
Sightseeing Activities: In the morning, we will head to the Eravikulam National Park, a protected area for the endangered Nilgiri Tahr and home to many species of butterflies and birds. Next, we will go to the Tea Museum to learn about the local tea plantations through artifacts and photographs. Later, we will head to the Top Station, the highest point of Munnar. En route, we’ll stop to see the Echo Point which is named after the natural echo phenomenon here. At last, we will visit Mattupetty popular for its dam and natural beauty, marking a perfect end to the day.

Meals: Breakfast
Day 10: Drive 3 hours to Periyar; cruise on Periyar Lake
Today we will continue our holiday to Periyar. We’ll arrive at the hotel in Periyar around noon. After a short break, our guide will take you to spend some time exploring a spice plantation to learn about the use of many exotic spices.

Travel Different: In the afternoon, we will arrange a special boat tour of the Periyar Lake for you. Cruising along the main waterway of the Periyar Tiger Reserve, you can not only enjoy the picturesque lake views, but also spot some wildlife along the banks, which would be an exciting and fun experience.

► Tip: There is a popular Hindu martial arts show named Kalaripayattu at night. If you are interested, you can tell our guide in advance to arrange it for you for an additional charge.

Meals: Breakfast
Day 11: Drive 4 hours to Alleppey; houseboat trip on backwaters
Today we will continues our trip by private car to Alleppey (Alappuzha), a major city of Kerala State on India’s west coast. Around noon, we will arrive at this fancy destination known as the ‘Venice of the East’ for its master network of waterways.

Sightseeing Activities: Here we will prepare a local houseboat for you to experience a cruise on Kerala's backwaters. The boat will pass several villages and it is a perfect opportunity to enjoy the natural beauty and know the local lifestyle.

What makes us different:
1. Best Cruising Time: Our itinerary is carefully designed based on the site visits of our travel experts, and we will arrange the most suitable time to board the houseboat between 12:00 and 13:00, so that you can get the best photo light and sightseeing experience.
2. Accommodation on Local Houseboat: We will prepare your lunch and dinner on board, which are plain but authentic local food. In addition, we will specially arrange for you to stay in the houseboat for one night, which would be a special experience. You’ll see that the local fishermen stop sailing around 17:00 to 18:00 to do their own fishing. After sunset, the houseboats will be moored at the dock for the night.
3. Nehru Trophy Boat Race: It is an annual tradition held on the second Saturday of August at the Punnamada Lake in Alleppey. If you are interested, please book as early as possible and let our travel consultants make proper arrangements for you.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 12: Drive to Kochi (Cochin) and visit highlight attractions
After breakfast, we will drive 1.5 hours from Alleppey to Kochi. Upon arrival, we’ll first check into the hotel, and then the guide will take you to the Jew Town to appreciate the ancient buildings and alleys with various architectural styles. Next, we will get into the Mattancherry Palace, a Portuguese palace exhibiting Hindu murals and ancient furniture. Afterwards, we’ll proceed to the St Francis Church, the most ancient European church which witnessed the colonial struggle. Later in the afternoon, we’ll move to the Jewish Synagogue, the oldest synagogue among Commonwealth countries. Finally, we will head to the harbor to see the Chinese Fishing Nets introduced to India from centuries ago and enjoy a leisurely time at sunset. 

► Tip: Kathakali, a traditional Kerala night show with a history of more than 400 years, is worth seeing. If you are interested, please tell our guide to arrange it for you at an additional cost.

Meals: Breakfast
Day 13: Departure from Kochi; airport see-off
Departure Note: Your south India tour comes to an end today. Our guide and the driver will escort you to the Cochin International 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

2023 Special: 10% off - book 60 days before, 5% off - book 30 days before

Category
Month
Jan - Mar, Oct - Dec
Apr - Sep
Tour Prices with Luxury Hotels
Month2-3 travelers4-5 travelers
Jan - Mar, Oct - Dec$1909
$1718
$1739
$1565
Apr - Sep$1739
$1565
$1559
$1403
Tour Prices with Standard Hotels
Month2-3 travelers4-5 travelers
Jan - Mar, Oct - Dec$1659
$1493
$1479
$1331
Apr - Sep$1579
$1421
$1399
$1259
  • 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
Why Travel with Us?
  • One-to-one Customer Service
  • 100% Tailor Made by Insiders
  • Expert Local Guides
  • Hand-picked Hotels
  • No Hidden Charge
  • Your Money Fully Protected

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!
    Rate
    5/5
  • 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.
    Rate
    5/5
  • 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!
    Rate
    5/5
  • 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.
    Rate
    5/5
  • 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!!
    ...More
    Rate
    5/5
  • 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!
    Rate
    4/5
  • 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!
    Rate
    5/5
  • 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!
    Rate
    5/5
  • 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!
    Rate
    5/5
  • 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.
    Rate
    4/5

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!
    Rate
    5/5
  • 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.
    Rate
    5/5
  • 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!
    Rate
    5/5
  • 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.
    Rate
    5/5
  • 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!!
    ...More
    Rate
    5/5
  • 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!
    Rate
    4/5
  • 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!
    Rate
    5/5
  • 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!
    Rate
    5/5
  • 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!
    Rate
    5/5
  • 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.
    Rate
    4/5
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