South India - Temples and Waterways

Experience the spiritual roots of Southern India, from the colonial-era powerhouses of Chennai and Puducherry to the ancient Chola Empire capital of Tanjore, and the spectacular Hindu temple complexes of Madurai.

Members from: $2,335 P.P Twin ShareNon-members from: $2,667 P.P Twin Share

  • Type

    Escorted Touring

  • Destination


  • Supplier

    Titan Travel

  • Booking Code


  • Departs

    Multiple departures available. Enquire for more details.


  • 29 meals

    14 breakfasts
    1 lunch
    14 dinners

  • Accommodation

    14 nights in hotels

  • Transport

    Travel in destination by coach

Tour Highlights

17 excursions & visits

  • City tours of Chennai, Puducherry (including cycle rickshaw ride)
  • Visits to Mamallapuram UNESCO World Heritage Sites; Auroville Visitor Centre and Matrimandir temple; Chidambaram Temple; Brihadishwara Temple; Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple; Meenakshi Amman Temple; Thirumalai Nayakkar Palace; Kochi’s Dutch Palace and Jewish Synagogue
  • Visits to a local flower market; spice garden
  • Guided nature walk through Periyar National Park or half-day bamboo rafting
  • Cruise on a traditional Kettuvalam
  • Kathakali dance show in Kochi
  • Heritage walk of Fort Kochi


Day 1 - Chennai

Join your tour group at the hotel in Chennai, where a cosmopolitan atmosphere adds layers to an old soul in the form of stunning temple architecture. Chennai’s military and economic history dates back to the 1st century, and it’s been a coastal centre of trade since the British East India Company established a fort in 1639.

Hyatt Regency Chennai (5-star)

Day 2 - Chennai - Mamallapuram

We’ll start with a city tour, taking us to some of the most iconic landmarks. On our first stop at the Government Museum, we’ll wander the renowned Bronze Gallery’s collection of ancient bronze sculptures. We’ll continue stepping through time, passing the High Court building, historic Fort St George (the first British fortress in India) and the stunning soft sand and clear blue waters of Marina Beach. Next, we'll visit the soaring Santhome Cathedral Basilica, said to be the final resting place of St Thomas the Apostle, before stopping at the iconic Kapaleeshwarar Temple. Though non-Hindus are only allowed up to the outer courtyard, the intricate carvings and vibrant colours of the temple's architecture will leave you spellbound. We’ll then head to Mamallapuram.

Radisson Blu Resort Temple Bay Mamallapuram (5-star)

Today includes…

Excursions & visits: City tour of Chennai (morning)

Day 3 - Mamallapuram

Mamallapuram is a world-renowned area showcasing some of the most beautiful and awe-inspiring temples in the world, surrounded by salty air and coastal beauty. Today we’ll set out on a sightseeing tour of this remarkable UNESCO World Heritage Site, experiencing an era of great artistic and architectural wonder. The rest of the day is free to explore this historic location at your leisure. Or you can take an optional excursion to DakshinaChitra Heritage Museum, a living history museum exhibiting the culture and lifestyle of the southern states of India.

Radisson Blu Resort Temple Bay Mamallapuram (5-star)

Today includes…

Excursions & visits: Visit UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Mamallapuram (morning)

Day 4 - Auroville - Puducherry

We’ll set off on a scenic drive to Puducherry, one of the most charming and picturesque cities in Southern India. En route we’ll make a stop in Auroville, a community recognised as the first and only internationally endorsed ongoing experiment in human unity and transformation of consciousness. At the Visitor Centre, we’ll gain a fascinating insight into the community's philosophy and way of life then continue to breathtaking Matrimandir, the spiritual and physical centre of Auroville. This magnificent temple, with its unique golden dome and tranquil surroundings, is a place of peace and silent contemplation.

The Residency Towers Puducherry (4-star)

Today includes…

Excursions & visits: Visit to Auroville Visitor Centre and Matrimandir temple (morning)

Day 5 - Puducherry

Today we explore the captivating city of Puducherry. A delightful blend of colonial architecture interspersed with old Hindu temples, it's easy to visualise both sides the city's historical coin: a city where Frenchmen and Tamilians lived side by side for almost 300 years. Our first stop will be the Heritage French Quarter, where we’ll take a leisurely walk down the quiet streets lined with bougainvillea-draped townhouses. We will also visit the spiritual community Sri Aurobindo Ashram, which has grown over the last century from a small group of 12 disciples into a large and diverse community of about 2,000 members seeking a decent, healthy and spiritual life. To add to the fun and excitement of the morning, we’ll take a rickshaw ride through the streets of Puducherry, giving you a chance to experience the city's vibrant energy and charm. The afternoon is then yours to enjoy at leisure, or you can take an optional excursion to visit local fishermens’ villages, interact with families, see their daily life and learn about the traditional ways of fishing and how they’ve changed over time.

The Residency Towers Puducherry (4-star)

Today includes…

Excursions & visits: City tour of Puducherry, including cycle rickshaw ride (morning)

Day 6 - Thanjavur

This morning we’ll set out to explore the mesmerising town of Thanjavur, with a stop in Chidambaram at the Thillai Nataraja Temple. Once we arrive in Thanjavur and check-in at the hotel, we’ll explore the dizzying historical legacy of the Chola empire with a visit to Brihadisvara Temple. The late afternoon is the best time to visit this crowning glory as the sun bathes the rocks and sublime sculptures in a hot palette of reds and oranges.

Sangam Hotel, Thanjavur (4-star)

Today includes…

Excursions & visits: Visit to Chidambaram Temple (morning)

Visit to Brihadishwara Temple (afternoon)

Day 7 - Trichy - Madurai

We'll hit the road and make our way to Madurai, with a stop in Trichy along the way. Driving through Trichy, we'll catch a glimpse of the stunning rock fort, perched high on a massive outcrop, before making our way to Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple, so large it feels like a self-enclosed city. As we walk through the temple grounds, we'll see ornate gopurams (monumental entrance towers), intricately carved pillars, and stunning frescoes depicting scenes from Hindu mythology. Upon arrival at our hotel in Madurai, one of the oldest cities in India, we’ll spend the evening at leisure.

Courtyard by Marriott by Marriott Madurai (5-star)

Today includes…

Excursions & visits: Visit to Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple (morning)

Day 8 - Madurai

We’ll rise early to start our day with a sensory overload at the vibrant flower market in Madurai. The early morning hours are the best time to experience the wonderful colours and fragrances that fill the air. As you wander, you’ll be amazed by the sheer variety of flowers from delicate jasmine, which dominates the market due to its religious significance, to the bright hues of red and pink roses, the bold orange of marigolds, and the towering presence of gladioli. Next, we’ll immerse ourselves in the soul of Madurai with a visit to the magnificent Meenakshi Amman Temple, the colourful abode of the triple-breasted warrior goddess Meenakshi. The temple towers high above its surroundings, making it an iconic landmark. We’ll then head to the crumbling Thirumalai Nayakkar Palace. In the afternoon there’s an optional excursion to see traditional bronze-making, glass painting and veena (musical instrument) making units - the traditional crafts of the region.

Courtyard by Marriott by Marriott Madurai (5-star)

Today includes…

Excursions & visits: Visit to local flower market, Meenakshi Amman Temple and Thirumalai Nayakkar Palace (morning)

Day 9 - Periyar

We head to Periyar, one of India's most magnificent wildlife sanctuaries. Nestled in the High Ranges, this picturesque paradise is home to a diverse range of exotic flora and fauna. After checking in at our hotel, we’ll have the chance to explore Periyar Spice and Ayurvedic Garden. Here, you'll get to see and smell different spices such as cardamom, cinnamon, pepper, tea and coffee growing in their natural environment. Periyar's altitude of 1,000m above sea level makes it an ideal location for spice growing. In fact, 95% of India's pepper is produced here. In the evening, there’s an optional outing to enjoy a Kalaripayattu performance. Considered amongst the oldest and most scientific martial arts in the world, Kalaripayattu evolved in Kerala and aims for ultimate coordination between mind and body.

The Elephant Court (5-star) or Poetree Sarovar Portico (5-star), Periyar

Today includes…

Excursions & visits: Visit to spice garden (morning)

Day 10 - Periyar

We’ll embark on a guided nature walk through the lush jungle of Periyar National Park. Led by a trained tribal guide, this walk offers an excellent opportunity to spot elephants, wild boar, monkeys, birds, butterflies, and other wildlife. The trails wind through evergreen and deciduous forests interspersed with marshy grasslands, providing a gentle yet immersive trekking experience that will leave you feeling connected with nature. Alternatively, if you prefer a more adventurous activity, you can opt for a half-day bamboo rafting - a dawn-to-afternoon excursion hiking through some of the richest forest tracts of the Periyar Tiger Reserve, before boarding traditional bamboo rafts. As you raft along the lake, you'll be treated to a panoramic view of forest-clad hills and the possibility of spotting animals like elephants, bison, and Sambar deer up close.

The Elephant Court (5-star) or Poetree Sarovar Portico (5-star), Periyar

Today includes…

Excursions & visits: Guided nature walk through Periyar National Park or half-day bamboo rafting (morning)

Day 11 - Kumarakom

We’ll take a scenic morning drive to Kumarakom, a beautiful town situated on the banks of Vembanad Lake in the backwaters of Kerala. Upon arrival, we'll check in at our luxurious backwaters resort and spend the rest of the day at leisure. You can choose to simply relax and unwind at the resort, taking in the serenity and enjoying the many amenities on offer. Alternatively, you can opt for an optional Kumarakom village walk. This unique experience takes you through the local fish markets and allows you to interact with women immersed in their daily chores. You'll also have the chance to meet female groups involved in the cottage industry of coir mat weaving, coconut palm frond weaving, screw pine weaving, and broomstick making. If you're feeling particularly adventurous, you can even try your hand at these traditional village jobs, gaining a deeper appreciation for rural Kerala’s way of life.

Coconut Lagoon - CGH Earth Resort, Kumarakom (5-star)

Day 12 - Kumarakom

Today we'll embark on a cruise across the backwaters of Kerala on a traditional Kettuvalam houseboat. As we float along the intricate maze of waterways, we'll be mesmerised at every turn by the serene beauty and simple charm of the backwaters. This is the perfect opportunity to soak up the countryside of Kerala at its best, with endless paddy fields and an array of coconut trees that seem to stretch on forever. We'll enjoy a delicious lunch on board the Kettuvalam, prepared using fresh and locally sourced ingredients, before returning to our resort.

Coconut Lagoon - CGH Earth Resort, Kumarakom (5-star)

Today includes…

Excursions & visits: Cruise on a traditional Kettuvalam (morning)

Day 13 - Kochi

It's time to pack our bags and head to Kochi, a vibrant and unlikely blend of medieval Portugal and an English village grafted onto the tropical Malabar Coast. Upon arrival, we'll check into our hotel where you can enjoy a restful day, perhaps lazing in arty cafés, wandering markets or simply relaxing by the pool. In the evening, get ready for a truly spectacular experience as we witness a Kathakali dance performance. One of India's most famous and vibrant dance dramas, it’s characterised by elaborate makeup and costumes and dancers wearing ornate masks designed to express different emotions and characters. Accompanied by drummers and musicians, the performers will transport you to a world of myth and legend, immersing you in the beauty and drama of this ancient art form.

Crowne Plaza Kochi (5-star)

Today includes…

Excursions & visits: Kathakali dance show in Kochi (evening)

Day 14 - Kochi

For our final day, we’ll take a heritage walk of Fort Kochi, a charming area famous for the Chinese fishing nets that flank the harbour. This is the best way to explore the local life and culture, taking us through Fort Kochi’s eventful history. We'll also visit St Francis Church and the Santa Cruz Basilica. This afternoon we’ll visit the Dutch Palace and the Jewish Synagogue, and in the evening there's an optional sunset motorboat harbour cruise with spectacular views.

Crowne Plaza Kochi (5-star)

Today includes…

Excursions & visits: Heritage walk of Fort Kochi (morning)

Visit to Dutch Palace and Jewish Synagogue (afternoon)

Day 15 - Kochi

Say goodbye to your tour group for your onward travel.


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