Travel to the cultural and scenic highlights of southern India

Lush and tropical, southern India is inspiring and delightful. Beneath the green shade of a coastal paradise, meet with locals in their fishing villages and tribal homes. Join them in the bazaars, on buses and boats or even on pilgrimage in Madurai. From iconic cultural sights like the Maharaja's Palace in Mysore to French-infused Pondicherry and the vast landscape of Periyar - southern India's spirituality, friendly people and wild animal sanctuaries make it a fascinating part of the country to explore.

Kochi, India
Kochi, India
Physical rating
Cultural rating
Min 15
Group size
Min 1, Max 12
Carbon offset
338kg pp per trip


  • Join pilgrims in Madurai
  • Soak up the French influences in Pondicherry
  • Savour the aromas at a spice farm
  • Experience island life on a homestay in the Kerala backwaters
  • Explore the abundant Periyar National Park
  • Ride a train through tea plantations in Ootacamund
  • Admire the mish-mash of colonial styles in Kochi
  • Safari into the wilds of Mudumalai National Park
  • Cycle around the fishing village of Mamallapuram
  • Be awed by Mysore's ornate Maharaja's Palace


Visit fragrant spice bazaars, antique shops, Mattancherry Palace and Fort Cochin. Enjoy an exciting Kathakali dance performance in the evening.
Ride the famous Ootacamund toy train through rolling plantations and learn the secret of making the perfect brew at a tea garden.
Stay in a jungle retreat at the foot of the Nilgiri Hills. Safari into the wilds of Mudumalai National Park, home to tigers, panthers, elephants and spotted deer.
View the illuminated stained glass windows of the ornate Palace of Mysore, once belonging to the Maharaja. Dine with a long-time friend of Intrepid and travel to the Keshava Temple - a great example of Hoysala architecture.
Travel to Mamallapuram, cycle around the Shore Temple and see the massive rock carving known as Arjuna's Penance.
Follow the scenic south coast of India to French-influenced Pondicherry and visit the Sri Aurobindo Ashram.
Witness mysterious rituals in the Sri Meenakshi Temple, a labyrinth of lamp-lit corridors and shrines in the heart of Madurai.
Travel through rubber, tea and coffee plantations, and then breathe in the fresh aroma of spices on a visit to a spice farm. At Periyar National Park, join a forest guide and try to track herds of elephants.
Share a traditional feast with a local family and take a sunset boat tour through the Kerala backwaters.
Enjoy free time to explore the vibrant streets of Kochi and admire the medieval Portuguese, Dutch and British Raj architecture before wrapping up this southern Indian adventure.
View trip notes to read full itinerary


5 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 3 dinners
4x4 Safari Vehicle, Auto rickshaw, Boat, Bus, Ferry, Overnight sleeper train, Private vehicle, Train
Homestay (1 night), Hotel (9 nights), Jungle resort (1 night), Overnight sleeper train (1 night), Resort (2 nights)
Included activities
  • Backwaters - Guided walk
  • Backwaters - Pole Boat Ride
  • Kochi - Dutch Palace
  • Kochi - Fort Kochi sightseeing
  • Kochi - Kathakali performance
  • Madurai - Sri Meenakshi Temple
  • Mamallapuram - Cycling tour
  • Mamallapuram - Shore Temple
  • Mysore - Chamundi Hill temple
  • Mysore - Home cooked lunch & family visit
  • Mysore - Keshava Temple
  • Mysore - Maharaja's Palace
  • Ooty - Tea factory visit and toy train ride
  • Periyar - National Park wildlife walk
  • Periyar - Spice farm tour & dinner
  • Pondicherry - Auroville
  • Pondicherry - Walking tour and Sri Aurobindo Ashram


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Important notes

1. A single supplement is available on this trip. See under the Single Traveller section of your Trip Notes for more information.

Trip notes

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Your trip notes provide a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what’s included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.

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Our Southern India trips score an average of 4.78 out of 5 based on 101 reviews in the last year.

Southern India , October 2015

Southern India , September 2015