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Southern India & East Coast by Rail

Southern India & East Coast by Rail


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Overview

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Itinerary

Countries Visited

India

Tour Itinerary

Live like a local in the Kerala backwaters, travel to the southern tip of India in Kanyakumari, explore temples and palaces up the east coast, visit bustling Kolkata.

It's common knowledge that India is a huge tourist destination — so what do you do if you want to get off the beaten path and check out some underexplored parts of the country? Get on the train, of course. Hop on board and go from the deep south of Kochi up the east coast towards bustling Kolkata, disembarking to explore temples and palaces along the way. You'll have the chance to explore smaller cities and villages on the coast, getting a perspective on this country that few have the opportunity to experience. Once you've lived like a local hopping off and back on the train for your next adventure, you'll be seeing India in a brand new light.

Day 1: Kochi
Arrive at any time.
Activity: Your opportunity to meet your CEO and fellow travellers, and learn more about your tour. Opt to join the group for a local meal afterwards. Don't forget to see the notice in the lobby (or ask reception) for the official time and place to meet up with the group.
Accommodation: Hotel Fort Manor (or similar)

Day 2: Kochi/Alleppey
Take the early train to Alleppey to explore the Kerala backwaters. Walk in the paddy fields and take a canoe ride through the canals the region is famous for.
Transport: Climb aboard, take a seat, and enjoy the ride.
Transport: Scoot quickly around the big cities inside a three-wheeled mini-taxi.
Activity: Enjoy a boat ride through the beautiful backwaters of Kerala. Take in the lush, green scenery and the multitude of coconut trees.
Accommodation: Alasr Heritage Home (or similar)
Meal(s): Dinner (Dinner at a local homestay.)

Day 3: Alleppey/Kanyakumari
Enjoy some more time in Kerala before an evening train to Kanyakumari for a full day exploring the area.
Free Time: Enjoy more time here.
Transport: Meals are available for purchase on board.
Transport: Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.
Accommodation: Hotel Singaar International (or similar)
Meal(s): Breakfast

Day 4: Kanyakumari/Madurai
Spend the day in Kanyakumari. Drive to the southernmost tip of India and take a ferry across to Vivekananda Rock and the Ramkrishna Ashram. Take an evening Kanyakumari Express train to Madurai.
Transport: Get to the next spot on your route aboard a convenient and efficient ferry boat.
Transport: Get to the next spot on your route aboard a convenient and efficient ferry boat.
Activity: Take an enjoyable ferry ride to Vivekananda Rock, a small island about 100m from the mainland. Mix with the many pilgrims going to visit this holy site—it honours the Hindu poet and philosopher, Swami Vivekananda. Learn about Hinduism at the peaceful Ramakrishna Ashram, an ashram maintained by the Ramakrishna Mission, which is a Hindu movement named after the late philosopher, Swami Ramakrishna.
Transport: Climb aboard, take a seat, and enjoy the ride.
Accommodation: Rio Grande Hotel Madurai (or similar)

Day 5: Madurai
Explore the Meenakshi Temple and colourful markets of Madurai.
Activity: Visit the gorgeous Meenakshi Temple, considered to be the finest in South Indian religious architecture. This enormous temple complex is dedicated to Shiva and his consort Parvati, or Meenakshi. Even before you pass through the massive stone walls of the temple, the nine striking gopurams (monumental gateways covered with stucco figures of deities, mythical animals, and monsters all painted in vivid colours) loom high above.
Free Time: Enjoy some free time exploring the bustling markets and gorgeous temples of this holy city.
Accommodation: Rio Grande Hotel Madurai (or similar)

Day 6: Madurai/Māmallapuram
Take the morning Vaigai Express to Chengalpattu before continue by van to Mamallapuram.
Transport: Climb aboard, take a seat, and enjoy the ride.
Transport: Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.
Accommodation: Hotel Mamalla Inn (or similar)

Day 7: Māmallapuram
Cycle around and explore the rock-cut Shore Temple and Mamallapuram Beach.
Activity: Explore this impressive group of monuments that were sculpted during the 7th and 8th century, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Of these, the Shore Temple stands out for its a marvelous view of the Bay of Bengal's shore. Made of granite, it's actually a twin-temple dedicated both to the Hindu gods, Vishnu and Shiva.
Activity: Kick off your shoes and walk through the soft sand of this stunning beach. Watch fishermen take out their boats and bring in their catch.
Accommodation: Hotel Mamalla Inn (or similar)

Day 8: Māmallapuram/Chennai
Drive to Chennai and explore Marina Beach and San Thome Basilica. Later, board an overnight train to Hyderabad.
Transport: Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.
Activity: Get to know this South Indian cultural hub with a visit to San Thome Basilica and a stroll along the expansive Marina Beach.
Transport: Experience overnight travel like a local. Sit back and get some well-earned (and likely much-needed) rest en route to your next stop.

Day 9: Hyderabad
Learn more about the region's history with a visit to the iconic Charminar and historic Golconda Fort.
Activity: Explore the remains of this former medieval capital.
Activity: Visit Hyderabad's most iconic structure, sometimes called the "Arc de Triomphe of the East", and take in the bustling atmosphere. Swing by the nearby Laad Bazaar and browse the stalls.
Accommodation: Treebo Grand Plaza Hyderbad (or similar)

Day 10: Hyderabad/Puri
Enjoy a free morning to continue exploring this state capital before catching an evening flight to Bhubaneshwar. Continue by van to reach Puri.
Free Time: Head out and explore.
Transport: Look! Up in the sky! It's a bird! It's a plane! It's... yup, it is a plane, actually.
Transport: Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.
Accommodation: Hotel Naren Palace (or similar)

Day 11: Puri
Explore Raghuraj Pur village and beautiful Puri beaches.
Activity: Enjoy the varied artistic delights of this heritage crafts village, including Gotipua dance troupes, palm leaf paintings, stone and wood carvings, and toys made of wood, papier-mache, and cow dung (yes, you read that correctly).
Free Time: Get out and explore.
Accommodation: Hotel Naren Palace (or similar)

Day 12: Puri/Kolkata
Take a morning Shatabdi Express train to Kolkata, with lunch provided on board. Arrive in the afternoon and take an orientation walk with the CEO.
Transport: Climb aboard, take a seat, and enjoy the ride.
Free Time: Start exploring.
Accommodation: Dee Empresa Hotel (or similar)
Meal(s): Lunch (Enjoy lunch on board.)

Day 13: Kolkata
Explore the vintage monuments and streets of this former capital of the British Era, also visit Missionaries' of Charity the noble peace prize winner, Mother Teresa's house and final resting place.. Opt to take a ferry ride across the Hooghly River. Opt to join the group for dinner at one of the famed restaurants on Park Street for the final night out.
Free Time: Get out and explore.
Accommodation: Dee Empresa Hotel (or similar)

Day 14: Kolkata
Depart at any time.

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Inclusions

Meals Included
1 breakfast, 1 lunch, 1 dinner

Transport
Train (seats), train (beds), private van, walking, plane.

Inclusions
Your Welcome Moment: Meet Your CEO and Group. Backwaters canal ride. Vivekananda Rock and Ramkrishna Ashram visit. Meenakshi Temple visit. Cycle tour to Shore Temple and Mamallapuram Beach. Chennai city tour. Charminar and Golconda Fort visit. Jagannath Temple visit. Raghuraj Pur village visit. Internal flight. All transport between destinations and to/from included activities.

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Accommodations

Hotels/guesthouses (11 nts), homestay (1 nt), sleeper train (1 nt).

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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.

G Adventures Tours Customer Reviews

Overall Rating
4
Accommodations
3.6
Itinerary
4
Professional Staff
4.3
Repeat with Operator
4
Value for Money
3.9

Ratings based off 446 reviews about G Adventures Tours - currently showing 15 reviews with comments only

This was my 8th tour with this operator and I have a 9th scheduled. Obviously I am happy with this operator.

It was a great tour and are guides were very knowledgeable.

A Gadventures tour is a great affordable way to see the country and get the opportunity to meet and interact with the local people

It was a dream vacation.Thank you.

The G-Adventures travel guides were excellent

All 100% perfect, nothing to be done better

The G Adventures tour was fantastic.

Very satisfied with tour, enjoyed it very much.

I liked the variety of activities and the chance to opt out without undue pressure. I met some really fun people on this tour.

Everyone connected with the tour went above and beyond. The tour was more than I ever dreamt!

Our CEO Solofo for this trip is fantastic. He is patient and very nice. He went extra ways to help me and other members. I really enjoy this trip because of him! He is an excellent CEO. I definitely will recommend to other friends about him. Pls let him know that we really enjoy his introduction. He is also very informative and knowledgeable. In a word, he is excellent!

Great trip at a reasonable price.

Awesome trip in a great country. Our CEO was professional and fun!!!

G adventures offers hands down some of the best tour packages out there!

The Japan vacation was better than I expected!!!! It was an active "moving" trip, which I truly enjoyed. I've done "coach tours" where you sit on the bus and they take you -- this experience was "hands on" riding the buses, trains and running through the streets -- it was amazing !!!!! We got the full feel of Japan and the people. This trip is not for the weak or slow pace crowd - you drag your luggage through the streets, up and down stairs --- it was truly exciting and exhilarating. G adventures has a fan for life. The instructions and assistance was outstanding -- Great job - Steve (AffordableTours.com) was outstanding !


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