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Itinerary

Book With Flexibility

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Tour Itinerary

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 cultural sights like the Maharaja's Palace in Mysore to French-influenced Puducherry 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.

Countries Visited

India

  1. Day 1
    Kochi
    Your Indian adventure starts today in Kochi with a welcome meeting at 6 pm. If you arrive in Kochi early, there are plenty of things to see and do. Once an important spice-trading centre, Kochi has been under Portuguese, Dutch and British rule at various times throughout history. Explore with one of our Urban Adventures or wander down to the shore and seek out the huge Chinese fishing nets dotted along the coast of Fort Cochin.
  2. Day 2
    Kochi
    This morning, take on Kochi with a leader-led orientation tour. Take a local tuk tuk to Mattancherry and drop by the Dutch Palace, built by the Portuguese in the 16th century before it was renovated and presented to the Rajas of Cochin by the Dutch. Pay an optional visit to Paradesi Synagogue – the oldest active synagogue in the Commonwealth and home to many rare antiques. Then amble around the spice bazaars and antique stores of Fort Cochin. In the evening, experience a Kathakali performance. This Keralan dance is an ornately costumed display of storytelling, requiring complete control of the body.
    Meals:   Breakfast
  3. Day 3
    Conoor
    Buckle up, because most of today is spent travelling. Catch a 3.5-hour train to Coimbatore, before travelling by private vehicle to Conoor, where dinner is included at your accommodation tonight.
    Meals:   Breakfast   Dinner
  4. Day 4
    Ootacamund – Conoor
    Spend the morning in Conoor with an orientation walk and a visit to a tea plantation to learn about the history of tea production. Later board Ooty’s renowned toy train for a ride along the Nilgiri Mountain Railway. Be sure to get a window seat for great views over the lush countryside. In nearby Conoor, visit a tea plantation to learn about the history of tea production. Spend the rest of the day exploring Ooty’s Botanical Gardens, which are home to over 650 species of plants and trees. Alternatively, get a little bit romantic with a boat ride on the lake.
  5. Day 5
    Mudumalai National Park – Bandipur
    Take a private vehicle for the short drive to Bandipur today. Set against the backdrop of the Nilgiri Hills, Mudumalai National Park was once the Mysore Maharaja's private hunting ground. In 1974 it was brought under Project Tiger and is now one of the best sanctuaries in India to observe wildlife in close proximity. Embark on a short safari in search of tigers, leopards, elephants, sloth bears, sambars, spotted deer, and much more. There's also an amazing variety of birdlife in the park. Tonight’s family-run accommodation in Bandipur is a mixed-gender dormitory style with a common bathroom. This dorm room is only open to your group.
    Meals:   Dinner
  6. Day 6
    Mysore
    Travel by private vehicle across the scenic Karnataka plains to Mysore, stopping to share a biryani lunch with local Loval host and family. Mysore is an easy-going town with a pleasant climate, perfect for wandering around on foot. Your leader will provide an orientation walk for you to get your bearings. A visit to Mysore is incomplete without a look around Mysore Palace. One of the most ornate palaces in India, its interior is full of colour, mosaics, and mirrors.
    Meals:   Breakfast   Dinner
  7. Day 7
    Mysore – Overnight train
    This morning, head out of Mysore and climb Chamundi Hill to the Sri Chamundeswari Temple, dedicated to the Hindu Goddess Durga. Continue on to the Keshava Temple in the small town of Somnathpur – an excellent example of Hoysala architecture. You’ll also have some time to pay an optional visit to Tipu Sultan’s mausoleum in Srirangapatna, or instead, return to Mysore for a palm reading or to catch a film at the local cinema. Tonight, board an 11-hour overnight sleeper train to Chennai.
  8. Day 8
    Mamallapuram
    After arriving in Chennai, take a private vehicle along the scenic East Coast Road to Mamallapuram. Explore this ancient seaport town by tuk tuk, paying a visit to the seventh-century Shore Temple and the enormous bas-relief rock carving, known as Arjuna's Penance. There will also be time to inspect the town’s numerous mandapams (pillared temple pavilions), watch local stonemasons at work, or just to kick back and relax at a beachside restaurant.
  9. Day 9
    Puducherry
    Travel by private vehicle for 5 hours through palm trees and rice paddies to Puducherry (Pondicherry). On arrival, head out with your group and leader on a walking tour to see local temples, the Sri Aurobindo Ashram, and the French Quarter. Once a French colony, you’ll see evidence of French influence in Puducherry's architecture, its wide town squares, and even in the uniforms of the police.
  10. Day 10
    Madurai
    Transfer by taxi to the railway station at Villupuram and board a train to the temple city of Madurai (approximately 6 hours). Madurai’s Tamil roots stretch back 2500 years, making it one of the oldest cities in India. Wander the lamp-lit labyrinth of the Sri Meenakshi Amman Temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva and goddess Meenakshi. Visit the Gandhi Memorial Museum, which displays a detailed account of India’s struggle for independence along with the bloodstained dhoti the famous leader wore when he was assassinated.
  11. Day 11
    Periyar
    This morning, travel by private vehicle along a winding road to the Periyar National Park and Tiger Reserve. High in the ranges of the Western Ghats, the park is set among stunning scenery and is the most popular wildlife sanctuary in Southern India. Both today and tomorrow, you’ll get to explore the national park on foot and will understand why Periyar is a popular wilderness sanctuary because of its lush surroundings. Enjoy a tour of a local spice plantation. And then join our hosts at a local family and try some authentic home-cooked flavors in Southern India.
    Meals:   Dinner
  12. Day 12
    Periyar
    Venture back into the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary today for a guided nature walk. Encounters with animals in the wild are never guaranteed, and this is more of a jungle walk than an animal spotting tour, but do look out for tiger tracks, spotted deer, Indian elephants, or gaur – the world's largest species of buffalo. In the afternoon, unwind with an optional ayurvedic massage at your accommodation, or just relax in this scenic setting with a drink in hand.
  13. Day 13
    Kerala Backwaters
    Travelling by private vehicle, pass through the rubber, tea, and coffee plantations on the way to the backwaters of Kerala. Board a motorboat to cross to the island village where you’ll stay with a local family tonight. In the late afternoon, explore the island with a local English-speaking guide, and sometimes your homestay host! This is a great chance to meet locals and learn more about their unique way of life. Take a leisurely punt boat ride around the waterways and enjoy the scenery. In the evening, share stories and a traditional home-cooked Keralan meal with your host family.
    Meals:   Dinner
  14. Day 14
    Kochi
    Wake early, before crossing the backwaters by private boat to Alleppey. From here, take a 2-hour local bus back to Kochi. The rest of the day is free for you to choose your own adventure. Perhaps you’d like to stroll down Princess Street for a spot of shopping, or book yourself into a southern Indian cooking class – your group leader will have some other recommendations, so be sure to ask them. Tonight, why not gather together with your group and have a night out at a local restaurant. Whatever you do, be sure to snack on a pazham pori (fried fritter of banana or plantain) while you explore the city.
    Meals:   Breakfast
  15. Day 15
    Kochi
    With no activities planned for today, you are able to leave the accommodation at any time.
    Meals:   Breakfast

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Inclusions

  • Kochi - Leader-led Fort Kochi walking tour
  • Kochi - Dutch Palace
  • Kochi - Kathakali performance
  • Ooty - Nilgiri Mountain Railway & Tea Plantation visit
  • Bandipur - National Park Safari
  • Mysore - Home cooked lunch & family visit
  • Mysore - Maharaja's Palace
  • Mysore - Leader-led walking tour
  • Mysore - Keshava Temple
  • Mysore - Chamundi Hill & Temple
  • Mamallapuram - Shore Temples guided tour
  • Puducherry - Leader-led French Quarter walking tour
  • Madurai - Sri Meenakshi Temple
  • Periyar - Spice plantation visit
  • Periyar - Home cooked meal
  • Periyar - National Park
  • Periyar - Guided nature walk
  • Kerala Backwaters - Pole boat ride
  • Kerala Backwaters - Village walk

Meals
5 Breakfast(s) Included
4 Lunch(es) Included
3 Dinner(s) Included

Style: Original

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Accommodations

Homestay (1 night), Hotel (11 nights), Jungle lodge (1 nights), Overnight sleeper train (1 night)

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Questions & Answers

Question: How many suitcases can I take with me on my trip?

Each person is allowed one "check-in," and one "carry-on." Remember to take all valuables with you as "carry-on", because electronic equipment, cameras, laptops, jewelry, business documents and money are not covered by the airlines' liability, so always carry them aboard with you.

Question: Is Airfare Included in the Price?

Airfare from your point of origin to and from the trip is not included in the land price.

Intrepid Tours Customer Reviews

Overall Rating
4
Accommodations
3.6
Itinerary
4.2
Professional Staff
4.4
Repeat with Operator
4.1
Value for Money
3.7

Ratings based off 210 reviews about Intrepid Tours - currently showing 9 reviews with comments only

Intrepid is awesome. Our guide was superb. Everything went smoothly!

Our tour guide was wonderful. She was knowledgeable, fun, energetic, and made our week run very smoothly. The trip itself was fantastic! We saw a lot and the islands are absolutely beautiful. Great food, great new friends made on the tour, and would absolutely book with Intrepid again.

Intrepid tour is great company. Will use this company again.

The trip was both both educational and exciting. I very much enjoyed the sights and culture.

The itinerary was just as I expected! The guide was very good as were the accomodations

Intrepid did such a great job. I never had to worry about where I was supposed to be and it felt so good not to worry about a thing but just to enjoy myself. Our guide was extremely knowledgeable about culture and history.

Taiwan people very friendly. Accommodation were centrally located and easily accessible. Did extra activities then in brochure which was greatly.

Larus our tour guide did an excellent job and was very attentive to our needs. He is very knowledgeable and has a great sense of humor.

Our guide Tarang chandola was exceptional. Courteous, knowledgeable, organized, polite, professional and went above and beyond taking care of our needs and requests offen anticipating what that might be. He made sure we all had the best possible time and offered suggestions to meet the needs of everyone on the tour. This made the trip even more enjoyable.

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