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Temple Trails and Backwaters: A South Indian Odyssey


18 Nights / 19 Days

Tour Type

Daily Tour

Group Size

10 people




Experience the rich tapestry of South India on our “Temple Trails and Backwaters: A South Indian Odyssey” tour. Journey through Tamil Nadu and Kerala, where ancient temples stand as architectural marvels amidst vibrant landscapes. Discover the intricate carvings of Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple in Srirangam and the spiritual aura of Madurai’s Meenakshi Amman Temple. Delve into Kerala’s tranquil backwaters, cruising through Alleppey and Kumarakom, while immersing yourself in local culture and cuisine. This expedition blends divine spirituality with serene natural beauty, offering a profound exploration of South India’s cultural heritage and picturesque landscapes.


  • This is a private tour/activity only for your group.
  • Enhanced cleaning/ traveler safety.
  • In-depth cultural experience.
  • Flexible sightseeing & stopover.
  • Most travelers can participate.

Bulk discount (by Percent)

Bulk discount adult
# Discount group From adult To adult Value
1 Discount on 2-person group 2 2 %
2 Discount on 3-person group 3 3 %
3 Discount on 4-person group 4 4 %
4 Discount on 5-person group 5 5 %
5 Discount on 6-person group 6 6 %
6 Discount on 7-person group 7 7 %
7 Discount on 8-person group 8 8 %


Day 1: Arrive Chennai

Arrive at Chennai International Airport and transfer to the hotel. Check-in and relax at the hotel in Chennai. Visit Kapaleeshwarar Temple, a masterpiece of Dravidian architecture with its towering gopurams and a serene temple tank. Explore Parthasarathy Temple, an ancient Vaishnavite temple dedicated to Lord Krishna, known for its intricate carvings and vibrant rituals. Discover San Thome Basilica, a Roman Catholic minor basilica built over the tomb of St. Thomas, the Apostle of Jesus Christ. Visit the Government Museum, one of the oldest museums in India, showcasing artifacts from Tamil Nadu's rich cultural heritage.

Day 2: Chennai - Vellore (140kms)

Enjoy breakfast at the hotel before starting your journey towards Vellore. Enroute, visit Kanchipuram, renowned as the "City of Thousand Temples." Explore Ekambareswarar Temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva, and Kailasanathar Temple, showcasing exquisite Pallava architecture. Continue to Vellore and check-in at the hotel. Visit the Sripuram Golden Temple, a spiritual oasis adorned with intricate gold detailing and surrounded by lush greenery. Explore Vellore Fort, a 16th-century fort known for its grand ramparts and the Jalakandeswarar Temple, showcasing Vijayanagara architecture and intricate carvings

Day 3: Vellore - Trichy (280kms)

Enjoy a hearty breakfast at the hotel in Vellore. Drive to Trichy (Tiruchirappalli), a bustling city known for its cultural heritage and temples. Enroute, visit Arunachaleswarar Temple at Tiruvannamalai, a prominent temple dedicated to Lord Shiva, surrounded by the Annamalaiyar Hills. Continue the journey to Trichy and upon arrival, check-in at the hotel.

Day 4: Trichy - Madurai (135kms)

After breakfast at the hotel. Visit Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple in Srirangam, one of the largest functioning Hindu temples in the world dedicated to Lord Vishnu, with its impressive gopurams and intricately carved pillars. Explore the historic Rockfort Temple complex, comprising of the Ucchi Pillayar Temple and Thayumanaswami Temple, offering stunning views of Trichy. Check-out and proceed towards Madurai, the cultural capital of Tamil Nadu. Upon arrival, check-in at the hotel. Visit the Meenakshi Amman Temple, a masterpiece of Dravidian architecture, famous for its towering gopurams, thousand-pillar hall, and vibrant sculptures depicting mythological tales. Explore Thirumalai Nayakkar Mahal, a 17th-century palace known for its Indo-Saracenic architecture, grand courtyards, and intricate stucco work.

Day 5: Madurai - Munnar (160kms)

Enjoy a leisurely breakfast at the hotel in Madurai. Drive to Munnar, a picturesque hill station nestled in the Western Ghats. Check-in at the hotel in Munnar and relax amidst the tranquil surroundings. Overnight stay at the hotel in Munnar.

Day 6: Munnar

Start your day with breakfast amidst the serene tea plantations of Munnar. Visit the Tata Tea Museum to learn about the history of tea cultivation in Munnar, with interactive exhibits and tea-tasting sessions. Explore Eravikulam National Park, home to the endangered Nilgiri Tahr (mountain goat), and enjoy a scenic trek amidst lush greenery and panoramic views. Visit Echo Point, a natural echo phenomenon amidst lush hills and tea estates. Explore Anamudi Peak, the highest peak in South India, offering breathtaking views of the Western Ghats and surrounding valleys. Stroll through the tea gardens, visit scenic viewpoints, and immerse yourself in the natural beauty of Munnar.

Day 7: Munnar - Thekkady (110kms)

After breakfast at the hotel, drive to Thekkady, a haven for wildlife enthusiasts and nature lovers. Visit the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary, nestled amidst dense forests and rolling hills, known for its diverse wildlife including elephants, tigers, and rare bird species. Enjoy a boat cruise on Periyar Lake, offering opportunities for wildlife sightings and serene views of the surrounding forests. Visit spice plantations to learn about the cultivation of spices like cardamom, pepper, and cloves, with guided tours explaining their medicinal and culinary uses. Explore the vibrant local market in Thekkady, known for its aromatic spices, handicrafts, and souvenirs.

Day 8: Thekkady - Kumarakom (140km) (B)

Enjoy breakfast at the hotel in Thekkady amidst the refreshing mountain air. Drive to Kumarakom, a serene backwater destination renowned for its tranquil landscapes and rich avian biodiversity. Visit the Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary, an ornithologist's paradise, with sightings of migratory birds like Siberian cranes and native species amidst lush mangrove forests. Relax and unwind amidst the backwaters of Kumarakom, with options for canoeing or staying overnight on a traditional houseboat, experiencing the unique lifestyle of Kerala. Visit the Bay Island Driftwood Museum, showcasing intricate sculptures made from driftwood collected from the backwaters, depicting local folklore and marine life.

Day 9: Kumarakom - Alleppey

After breakfast, embark on a houseboat cruise through the enchanting backwaters of Alleppey. Sail through narrow canals, serene lagoons, and palm-fringed landscapes, observing the rustic charm of Kerala's countryside. Enjoy traditional Kerala cuisine onboard the houseboat, prepared using freshly caught fish and local spices. Explore the backwater villages of Alleppey, interacting with locals engaged in traditional activities like fishing and coir-making. Visit local markets and ancient temples along the backwaters, experiencing the cultural richness of rural Kerala. Relax on the shores of Marari Beach, known for its pristine sands and tranquil ambiance, watching the sun set over the Arabian Sea.

Day 10: Alleppey - Cochin (60kms)

Enjoy breakfast onboard the houseboat amidst the serene backwaters of Alleppey. Disembark from the houseboat and drive to Cochin, a historic port city known for its blend of Portuguese, Dutch, and British influences. Visit the iconic Chinese Fishing Nets along the coast of Fort Kochi, introduced by Chinese traders centuries ago and still used by local fishermen. Explore Mattancherry Palace (Dutch Palace), featuring Kerala murals depicting Hindu mythology and scenes from the Ramayana. Visit Paradesi Synagogue, the oldest active synagogue in the Commonwealth of Nations, showcasing exquisite Belgian glass chandeliers and hand-painted Chinese tiles. Discover St. Francis Church, the oldest European church in India, where the explorer Vasco da Gama was originally buried. Visit the Kerala Folklore Museum in Kochi, dedicated to preserving and showcasing the traditional art forms, cultural artifacts, and architectural styles of Kerala.

Day 11: Cochin - Kovalam (200kms)

After breakfast at the hotel in Cochin, embark on a scenic drive to Kovalam, a coastal town famous for its pristine beaches and Ayurvedic treatments. Relax and unwind on the golden sands of Kovalam Beach, known for its shallow waters ideal for swimming and sunbathing. Explore the bustling Lighthouse Beach, named after the prominent Vizhinjam Lighthouse offering panoramic views of the Arabian Sea and Kovalam coastline. Indulge in delicious seafood at beachfront restaurants, enjoying fresh catches of fish and traditional Kerala delicacies. Visit Hawah Beach (Eve's Beach), a serene stretch ideal for leisurely walks and capturing beautiful sunset views over the Arabian Sea. Overnight stay at the hotel in Kovalam, enjoying the coastal charm and tranquility of this popular beach destination.

Day 12: Kovalam

Start your day with breakfast at the hotel, surrounded by the natural beauty of Kovalam. Visit Padmanabhapuram Palace, located 30 kilometers from Kovalam, an architectural marvel showcasing traditional Kerala wooden craftsmanship, intricate carvings, and ancient artifacts (Entry restricted to Hindus with appropriate dress code). Explore Vizhinjam Lighthouse, offering stunning views of the coastline and nearby fishing villages, ideal for photography enthusiasts and nature lovers. Enjoy water sports activities such as snorkeling, surfing, and parasailing at Kovalam Beach, experiencing the thrill of adventure amidst tranquil surroundings. Pamper yourself with rejuvenating Ayurvedic treatments and wellness therapies, offered at reputed spas and wellness centers in Kovalam. Visit the Vizhinjam Marine Aquarium, home to a diverse collection of marine species including exotic fishes, corals, and aquatic plants, providing insights into the rich underwater ecosystem of the Arabian Sea.

Day 13: Kovalam - Kanyakumari (85kms)

After breakfast, embark on a scenic drive to Kanyakumari, the southernmost tip of India where the Arabian Sea, Bay of Bengal, and Indian Ocean converge. Visit Vivekananda Rock Memorial, a majestic structure situated on a rocky island offshore, dedicated to Swami Vivekananda, the renowned philosopher and spiritual leader. Explore Thiruvalluvar Statue, a 133-feet tall stone sculpture of the ancient Tamil poet and philosopher Thiruvalluvar, standing on a small island overlooking the sea. Visit Kanyakumari Temple, dedicated to Goddess Kanyakumari, where devotees gather to witness the spectacle of sunrise and sunset over the ocean. Discover the Gandhi Memorial, built in honor of Mahatma Gandhi, showcasing his life and teachings through photographs and artifacts. Overnight stay at the hotel in Kanyakumari, enjoying the tranquility and panoramic views of the Arabian Sea from this iconic coastal town.

Day 14: Kanyakumari - Rameshwaram (325kms)

Enjoy breakfast at the hotel in Kanyakumari before embarking on a scenic drive to Rameshwaram, one of the holiest pilgrimage sites for Hindus. Visit Ramanathaswamy Temple, a renowned Shiva temple known for its majestic corridors, sacred water tanks, and the longest temple corridor in India. Explore Dhanushkodi Beach, known for its pristine sands and turquoise waters, offering panoramic views of the Indian Ocean and neighboring Sri Lanka. Visit Pamban Bridge, an engineering marvel connecting Rameshwaram Island to the mainland, offering breathtaking views of the seascape and nearby fishing boats. Visit the Five-faced Hanuman Temple, known for its floating stone believed to be used by Lord Hanuman during the Ramayana era, attracting devotees and spiritual seekers. Overnight stay at the hotel in Rameshwaram, experiencing the spiritual aura and cultural heritage of this sacred town.

Day 15: Rameshwaram - Chettinad (150kms)

After breakfast, check-out from the hotel in Rameshwaram and drive to Chettinad, renowned for its unique architecture, cultural heritage, and culinary delights. Visit Chettinad Palace, a magnificent mansion showcasing traditional Chettiar architecture with spacious courtyards, intricately carved wooden pillars, and ancient artifacts. Explore local markets in Chettinad, known for their vibrant atmosphere and traditional handicrafts such as Athangudi tiles, unique to this region. Indulge in authentic Chettinad cuisine, known for its spicy flavors and aromatic masalas, prepared using locally sourced ingredients and traditional cooking techniques. Visit Athangudi Palace, renowned for its exquisite Athangudi tiles, handmade using natural pigments and intricate patterns, showcasing the artistic craftsmanship of Chettinad. Overnight stay at the heritage hotel in Chettinad, experiencing the opulence and cultural richness of this historic region.

Day 16: Chettinad - Thanjavur (100kms)

Enjoy breakfast at the hotel in Chettinad before embarking on a scenic drive to Thanjavur (Tanjore), known for its rich cultural heritage and architectural marvels. Visit Brihadeeswarar Temple (Big Temple), a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of the largest temples in India, dedicated to Lord Shiva with its majestic vimana and Nandi statue. Explore Thanjavur Palace, an expansive complex featuring the Saraswathi Mahal Library, housing rare manuscripts, ancient artworks, and historic artifacts dating back to the Chola dynasty. Visit the Royal Palace Museum, showcasing an impressive collection of royal regalia, weaponry, and artifacts belonging to the Maratha rulers of Thanjavur. Discover local handicraft shops in Thanjavur, known for their bronze sculptures, Tanjore paintings, and traditional musical instruments, offering insights into the region's artistic legacy. Overnight stay at the hotel in Thanjavur, immersing yourself in the cultural heritage and architectural splendor of this historic city.

Day 17: Thanjavur - Pondicherry (180kms)

After breakfast, check-out from the hotel in Thanjavur and embark on a scenic drive to Pondicherry (Puducherry), a charming coastal town known for its French colonial architecture and spiritual ambiance. Visit Sri Aurobindo Ashram, a spiritual community founded by Sri Aurobindo and The Mother, known for its serene meditation halls and peaceful ambiance. Explore the French Quarter (Ville Blanche), known for its colonial-era architecture, vibrant cafes, and boutiques selling French-inspired fashion and home decor. Stroll along Promenade Beach (Goubert Avenue), a picturesque promenade overlooking the Bay of Bengal, ideal for leisurely walks and enjoying panoramic sunset views. Visit Manakula Vinayagar Temple, a historic Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Ganesha, known for its colorful architecture and vibrant festivals. Discover Auroville, an experimental township promoting sustainable living and cultural diversity, with attractions like Matrimandir and international community settlements. Overnight stay at the hotel in Pondicherry, experiencing the unique blend of French charm and spiritual tranquility in this coastal town.

Day 18: Pondicherry - Chennai (160kms)

After breakfast at the hotel in Pondicherry, embark on a scenic drive back to Chennai, the vibrant capital city of Tamil Nadu. Visit Marina Beach, one of the longest urban beaches in the world, known for its golden sands and bustling promenade lined with food stalls and souvenir shops. Explore the Government Museum and National Art Gallery, showcasing a diverse collection of artifacts, ancient sculptures, and historical relics from Tamil Nadu's cultural heritage. Visit Fort St. George, the oldest British fortress in India, housing St. Mary's Church and the Fort Museum with exhibits on colonial history and maritime heritage. Explore shopping districts like T Nagar and Pondy Bazaar, known for their bustling markets selling silk sarees, traditional jewelry, and handicrafts. Visit Valluvar Kottam, a monument dedicated to the classical Tamil poet-saint Thiruvalluvar, known for its architectural grandeur and cultural significance. Overnight stay at the hotel in Chennai, reflecting on the rich tapestry of Tamil Nadu's history, culture, and architectural splendor.

Day 19: Chennai - Departure

Enjoy breakfast at the hotel and spend leisure time exploring local markets or relaxing at the hotel. Check-out from the hotel and transfer to Chennai International Airport for your onward journey. Bid farewell to Tamil Nadu and Kerala, carrying cherished memories of cultural discoveries, architectural marvels, and scenic landscapes.


  • Assistance on arrival at airport.
  • 18 Nights' accommodation in 4-star hotels.
  • Daily breakfast and meal as per day plan.
  • Private air-conditioned deluxe car for airport transfer, sightseeing and excursion as per program.
  • English speaking tour guide on sightseeing days (local guide in each city), as per program.
  • Monument entrances and activities charges mentioned in the itinerary.
  • Bottled drinking water in car.
  • Government taxes.
  • Any flight tickets.
  • Camera charges at monuments.
  • Expenses of personal nature like liquor, laundry, tips, telephone, fax, internet etc. 
  • Gratuities & optional activities.
  • Anything not mentioned in inclusions.

Tour's Location


What is the standard of the hotels on this tour?

Hotels used or similar for 18 nights accommodation

3 Star Hotels
Chennai x 1 night: ZONE By The Park/ Raj Park
Vellore x 1 night: Regency Sameera Vellore by GRT Hotel
Trichy x 1 night: Red Fox Hotel/ Hotel Blossoms
Madurai x 1 night: JC Residency/ Hotel Royal Court
Munnar x 2 nights: Abad Copper Castle/ Elysium Garden Hill Resort
Pariyar (Thekkady) x 1 night: Abad Green Forest/ Hotel Treetop
Kumarakom x 1 night: Eastend Lake Song/ Abad Whispering Palm
Alleppey x 1 night: Deluxe Houseboat (AC During Night Only)
Cochin x 1 night: The Tower House/ The Killians
Kovalam x 2 nights: Abad Harmonia Beach Resort/ Uday Suites Shanghumugham Beach
Kanyakumari x 1 night: Sparsa Kanyakumari/ The Seashore Hotel
Rameshwaram x 1 night: Daiwik Hotel/ Vinayaga by Poppys
Chettinad x 1 night: Chidambara Vilas/ Chettinadu Mansion
Thanjore x 1 night: Sangam Hotels
Pondicherry x 1 night: Shenbaga Hotel/ Anandha Inn Convention Centre
Chennai x 1 night: ZONE By The Park/ Raj Park

Can travelers upgrade the accommodation to 5-star hotels?


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