Kerala and Temples of Southern India
When you arrive in Kerala and the Southern States of India, you will feel like you’re leagues away from the bustling, chaotic Northern cities. Gone are the immense crowds and sweltering heat-- instead, you are faced with a region of astonishing natural beauty and incredible culture. On this tour you will discover the highlights of the region-- from the ancient seaport of Mahabalipuram in Chennai, to the skilled silk weavers of Kumbakonam, to the Brihadeeswara Temple and the buzzing streets of Madurai. As you travel through these four cities in Southern India, you’ll taste the most amazing traditional Indian food, visit the cultural attractions that date back hundreds of years, and end up at places that you’ve never known you’ve wanted to visit. This trip is one of a lifetime, just be sure to bring a camera as you capture those exhilarating moments you’ll want to keep forever.
3 days in Chennai
2 days in Thanjavur
2 days in Madurai
2 days in Cochin
Day 1 Chennai
After touching down in Chennai, you will be welcomed at the airport by a smiling consultant who will introduce you to your driver and take you to your hotel. Spend the rest of the day relaxing and unwinding!
Day 2 Chennai
In the morning you will strike out on a half-day tour with a personal guide to discover all the delights that Chennai has to offer. Today you’ll drive to Kapaleeshwar Temple, learn about the blending of Hinduism and Christianity at Santhome Cathedral and Presidency College, and tour Mamallapuram and its many secrets!
Day 3 Chennai – Thanjavur (2.5 Hours)
In the morning you will visit Kalakshetra, the leading Tamil authority on culture and art. Gain valuable insight about the culture, before watching a performance by local students. Later, you’ll head to Thanjavur for a bit of sightseeing before relaxing at your hotel.
Day 4 Thanjavur
After breakfast you will explore the ancient town of Kumbakonam, a place filled to the brim with historic temples. Whilst here you will also visit the bronze sculpture artisans and silk weavers for a lesson in their culture. In the evening, enjoy a performance of the traditional Bharatanatyam dance before feasting on a tantalizing Tamil vegetarian meal.
Day 5 Thanjavur – Madurai (4 Hours)
Before you transfer to Madurai, spend the morning enjoying the spiritual and architectural wonders of Brihadeeswarar Temple. Then, sit back and relax as you are taken to your hotel in Madurai, where after checking in and refreshing you will set out to learn about the 17th-century Meenakshi Amman Temple. In the evening, enjoy the nightly ceremony where the image of Shiva is carried to spend the night with his consort Pavarti.
Day 6 Madurai
Spend the morning visiting the 17th Century Thirumalai Nayak Palace and the immense Theppakulam water tank. Both offer an interesting blend of Hindu and Islamic features that make them incredibly unique. Later, explore the mazes of Madurai's bazaars and shops, and learn more about this fabulous culture with your local guide. Finally, tour the opulent Minakshi Sundareshvara Temple.
Day 7 Madurai - Cochin (3 Hours)
After breakfast you will be picked up by your personal driver and taken to Madurai airport for your 3-hour flight to Cochin. Once you arrive, you will be taken to your hotel to relax before enjoying a traditional Kathakali dance performance.
Day 8 Cochin – Alleppey – Cochin (7 Hours Including Tour)
Break bread in the morning with a local family and learn more about domestic life in the city. Later, hop on a bicycle or Tuk Tuk for some exploration! Enjoy a scenic cruise along Alleppey’s maze of canals and waterways before digging into a lunch of fresh fish.
Day 9 Cochin
Your time in India has come to an end. Take the morning to pack and enjoy the last glimpses of this vibrant city before being taken to the airport for your flight home!
Marina Beach, Arignar Anna Zoological Park, Kapaleeswarar Temple, DakshinaChitra
Royal Palace Museum, Brihadeeswarar Temple, Rajarajan Manimandapam, Great Living Chola Temple
Meenakshi Amman Temple, Alagar Kovil, Koodal Azhagar Temple, Gandhi Museum, Thirupparamkunram Murugan Temple
Fort Kochi, Mattancherry Palace, Ernakulam Shiva Temple.
Private Day Tour to Pondicherry
Escape the kinetic energy of urban Chennai on this private daylong tour of Pondicherry. Gain insight into the spiritual heritage of this region with a stop at Sri Aurobindo Ashram, and learn more about its colorful cultural heritage on a visit to Pondicherry Museum. Listen as your personal guide shares stories and trivia about the area’s French colonial past before immersing yourself in the culture, food, and tradition of the region. Finally, journey to Auroville, where you’ll visit the domed Matrimandir Temple and learn more about the spiritual community.
Day Trip on Royal Enfield
Visit Mahabalipuram’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites on a full-day, private tour from Chennai that includes door-to-door transport, breakfast, lunch, and all entrance fees. Travel by private car or on a classic Royal Enfield motorcycle, before spending the day exploring temples and a seashell museum in a scenic town, with your personal guide.
Heritage Walking Tour
Madurai is the oldest city in South India and a place of great historical importance. It has been a flourishing market town since the 2nd century BC, the center of power for many dynasties and a seat of divinity. During your tour you’ll visit the Meenakshi Amman temple- a building dedicated to Goddess Meenakshi and Lord Sundareswarar, and one of the most famous sights in the city. The temple is said to be 1500 years old!
Evening Foodie Tour
Foodies will love this evening tour which will take you through the bustling Madurai street food scene. Go to several popular local food stalls and savor delectable South Indian flavors, before dining at a famous local restaurant. Eat like a true local and learn about this region’s culinary culture and nightlife scene from your knowledgeable local guide.
Kochi Shore Excursion
See the top attractions in and around Fort Cochin and Mattancherry on a private 7-hour tour. Start with a motorboat cruise around Kochi (Cochin) Harbor and Bolgatty Island, then visit highlights like the Paradesi Synagogue, Mattancherry Palace (Dutch Palace), Santa Cruz Basilica, St. Francis Church, and the Chinese fishing nets. Includes entrance fees, private guide and vehicle, and port pickup and drop-off.
Cook a traditional Kerala meal in a Local’s Home
Join Freeda in her home for a hands-on cooking class where you will learn to prepare traditional Syrian Kerala dishes. Enjoy the delicious, traditional meal you helped prepare with Freeda and her husband… and leave with new friends, a full belly, new recipes, and a true glimpse into a local's life.
Weather and climate
The best time to visit the Indian Southern States is between December and March. These months offer bearable temperatures and significant crowds. From April – June temperatures typically reach over 40 degrees Celsius every day, and monsoon season follows closely behind.
Cuisine & Wine