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FROM: USD $1,196

Chennai to Kochi - 9 days

Explore the best of Southern India, travelling from Chennai on the east coast and ending in Kochi on the west coast. Discover the coastal region from Chennai down to Pondicherry before taking in some exquisite UNESCO listed temples in Tamil Nadu. End in the idyllic coastal town of Kochi, full of history and fantastic flavours.

Inclusions
Itinerary
Prices & Dates
Hotels

Trip Highlights

Mahabalipuram – discover the striking Shore Temple which sits on the beautiful Bay of Bengal
Madurai – light candles and sing songs as you enjoy a lively Aarti prayer ceremony and explore the city on a guided tour
Kanchipuram – explore the plethora of Hindu temples in this ancient city which are dedicated to Shiva and Vishnu
Kochi – enjoy free time to explore independently and perhaps enjoy a traditional Kathakali dance show
Trichy – visit the imposing Rock Fort Temple which is perched imposingly on a hill overlooking the city
Tanjore – tour the highlights of the city and gaze at the towering Brihadishwara Temple
Pondicherry – stroll along the beach in this French colonial city and visit the Basilica of the Sacred Heart

Included

7 breakfasts
Airport arrival and departure transfer on day 1 and day 9
Services of English-speaking Indian specialist guides at some sites
All relevant transfers and transportation in private A/C vehicles
7 nights 3 - 4 star hotels and 1 night overnight sleeper train from Trichy to Kochi
Guided touring of Mahabalipuram, Kanchipuram Temples, Pondicherry and Madurai
Escorted by an English-speaking Indian tour guide (for groups of 6 or more)

Not Included

International flights and visas
Entrance Fees: USD$15-25pp, paid in local currency
Tip for your tour guide. We recommend you allow $3 - 7 USD per day per traveller. Tipping your tour guide is an entirely personal gesture
Tipping Kitty: USD$25-35pp, paid in local currency

Itinerary

Day 1

Chennai

Chennai - Mahabalipuram. Saturday. Welcome to Southern India! On arrival at the airport you’ll be transferred to our hotel in Mahabalipuram, which is around a 90 minute drive away. The rest of the day is free to explore. Perhaps visit the giant Krishna’s Butterball. This 250 ton boulder is perched on a slope and looks like it could roll down at any moment, when in fact it has stood here for 1,200 years.
Overnight: Mahabalipuram

Day 2

Kanchipuram Temples & Mahabalipuram sightseeing

Today we visit the ancient city of Kanchipuram and see some of its impressive temple sites. Explore the northern Shiva temples and some of the 15 temples dedicated to the god Vishnu.

Later, we return to Mahabalipuram and enjoy a tour of the town’s highlights. We’ll explore the impressive Shore Temple, overlooking the beautiful Bay of Bengal. Continue to the world’s largest bas-relief carving, Arjuna’s Penance, which tells the story of the descent of the sacred Ganges from the heavens to Earth. Our final stop is to the Five Rathas, five giant temples that were all individually carved from five rocks and covered by sand until the British rediscovered them around 200 years ago.
Overnight: Mahabalipuram  |  Breakfast

Day 3

Pondicherry sightseeing

Mahabalipuram - Pondicherry. This morning we depart Mahabalipuram and travel to the former colonial city of Pondicherry, where the French influence is still visible in the architecture. Visit Pondicherry Beach and the beautiful 19th century Basilica of the Sacred Heart.
Overnight: Pondicherry  |  Breakfast

Day 4

Temples & Tanjore

Pondicherry - Tanjore. Travel to Tanjore (Thanjavur) this morning with several stops en route. In Chidambaram we visit the Natraja Temple, one of the oldest temples in Southern India. Continue to the UNESCO-listed Airavateswara Temple and marvel at the stone carvings here before we arrive in Tanjore for an afternoon at leisure.
Overnight: Tanjore  |  Breakfast

Day 5

Tanjore sightseeing & Evening Aarti Ceremony

Tanjore - Madurai. This morning we enjoy a guided tour of Tanjore, an ancient fortified town with a glorious history dating back more than 1,500 years. Take in highlights including the towering Brihadishwara Temple. The dome on top of this giant temple was hauled into place in a similar way to the construction of the pyramids in Egypt.

Later, we drive to Madurai and enjoy an Aarti Ceremony this evening. Candles are lit and songs are sung in honour of the gods
Overnight: Madurai  |  Breakfast

Day 6

Madurai sightseeing

Enjoy a half day city tour of Madurai today, taking in highlights including the impressive Thirumalai Nayakkar Mahal temple and Thirupparankunram Murugan, which is cut straight into the rock. Gaze in awe at this colourful site before our tour ends at the bustling Madurai bazaar.
Overnight: Madurai  |  Breakfast

Day 7

Rock Fort Temple

Madurai - Trichy - Kochi. Leave Madurai today and stop at Ranganathaswamy Temple. This colourful temple is located on an island in the river and is one of the largest functioning Hindu temples in the world. Our next stop is the famous Rock Fort Temple in Trichy (Tiruchirappalli), the most prominent landmark in the city. Originally a temple, its strategic location on top of a giant ancient rock meant that it became an important fortification in the 16th century. This evening we board the overnight train to Kochi.
Overnight: Overnight Train  |  Breakfast

Day 8

Free day in Kochi

On arrival in Kochi this morning you’ll be transferred to our hotel. The rest of today is free to explore Kochi as you please. Why not enjoy a Kathakali dance show? This traditional form of dance originated in Kerala and is known for its exciting costumes and use of make up.
Overnight: Kochi

Day 9

Kochi

Sunday. Our Indian adventure comes to an end today with an included departure transfer to the airport.
Breakfast

Prices & Dates

Departure dates noted with a 'G' are guaranteed to operate. All other departure dates can be guaranteed with a minimum of 2 persons. Prices shown are per person travelling. 'Twin/Double' prices per person apply when there are 2 people travelling, sharing a room. The 'Single supplement' applies for single travellers and needs to be added to the 'Twin/Double' price.

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Easter departure, book early!
Easter Departure
Xmas departure, book early!
XMAS Departure
Available
Contact us to book
Sold out
2019
Price /
Person
Single
Supp.
12 Oct - 20 Oct 20% off
USD $1,495
USD $1,196

USD $530
09 Nov - 17 Nov 20% off
USD $1,495
USD $1,196

USD $530
USD $1,495
USD $530
2020
Price /
Person
Single
Supp.
USD $1,495
USD $530
USD $1,495
USD $530
USD $1,495
USD $530
USD $1,495
USD $530
11 Apr - 19 Apr Easter departure, book early!
Easter departure, book early!
USD $1,395
USD $530
USD $1,395
USD $530
USD $1,495
USD $530
USD $1,495
USD $530
USD $1,495
USD $530
USD $1,495
USD $530
USD $1,495
USD $530
USD $1,495
USD $530
19 Dec - 27 Dec Xmas departure, book early!
Xmas departure, book early!
USD $1,495
USD $530

Hotels

The hotels listed below are ones which we frequently use on this tour. We reserve the right to substitute these hotels to ones of a similar standard when necessary.

MGM Eastwood , Mahabalipuram

Our Category: Standard   |   Regional Category: 3 Star Hotel

Sprawled across 3 acres of lush landscaped gardens and swaying palm fronds, this resort features quaint pathways leading to its spacious guestrooms. Once inside, you’ll find the rooms are well-equipped with modern amenities, including free WiFi and 24-hour room service. Other dining options include the Virundhu Restaurant, which offers all-day dining on a selection of continental, Indian and Oriental fare. The azure blue swimming pool is also particularly inviting and the perfect place to spend a leisurely afternoon cooling off.

Hotel Atithi, Pondicherry

Our Category: Standard   |   Regional Category: 3 Star Hotel

With its great selection of facilities, this modern hotel has marked itself one of the finest hotels in Pondicherry. Each room is fully equipped with all the essential amenities, with the added perks of 24-hour room service and free WiFi. Guests can enjoy the in-house gym, rejuvenating spa and an outdoor pool offering amazing views over the city. There are plenty of options when it comes to dining, with a lounge bar, two multi-cuisine restaurants and a fun-filled rooftop bar. If that wasn’t enough, Hotel Atithi is also well-located close to many of the top attractions in this heritage city.

Hotel Sangam, Thanjavur

Our Category: Standard   |   Regional Category: 3 Star Hotel

Set among the historic temples of Thanjavur, Hotel Sangam offers you a peaceful and comfortable stay. Its guestrooms are spacious and feature modern interiors with large windows allowing for plenty of natural light. Enjoy local and international cuisine at the Thillana Restaurant, where you’ll find both guests and locals alike, or opt for a light snack and cool beer in the Layam Bar. An outdoor pool serves the perfect place to kick back and relax after a day of sightseeing. And you can always expect a warm greeting from staff, who are more than happy to share their knowledge of the area.

GRT Regency, Madurai

Our Category: Superior   |   Regional Category: 4 Star Hotel

The GRT Regency is a modern, tastefully designed hotel with comfortable rooms that have been elegantly decorated with just a splash of colour. The hotel has extensive business and conferencing facilities as well as a modern gym and health centre to ensure that visitors want for nothing during their stay. Dining options are allow guests to choose from a range of different cuisines including traditional Indian and international. The hotel is only 2 km from the city centre and 3 km from the railway station.

Casino Hotel, Kochi

Our Category: Superior   |   Regional Category: 4 Star Hotel

Casino Hotel is a modern hotel located on Willingdon island, set in tropical gardens it is a beautiful blend of art deco and colonial Indian architectural styles. With a large pool and and spacious comfortable rooms this hotel offers a fantastic experience when in Kochi. Casino Hotel boasts 2 restaurants, a 24-hour health club as well as free wifi in public areas.

In Brief

Range
Trip Type
Starts
Chennai
Ends
Kochi
Departs
Saturdays
Group Size
Min 2 / Max 24
Hotel Rating
3 - 4 star and heritage properties
Tour Guide
Yes - escorted by a tour guide
Meals
Breakfast: 7
Visiting
Mahabalipuram, Chennai, Pondicherry, Thanjavur, Madurai, Trichy, Kochi
Countries
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