top of page
South india from east to west

South India trip
from East to West

With this individual tour of South India, from east to west, you will discover some of the most remarkable jewels of Indian religious architecture: the temples of Mahabalipuram echoed by the sanctuaries of Kanchipuram and Chidambaram. Faith in Shiva remains strong, especially in Madurai, the capital of the Tamil country, not far from Tanjore, the main centre of the Chola civilisation, which resisted the pressure of North India, which had become Muslim.

These were the regions where European colonisation began, and traces of it can be found in Kochi, Chennai and Pondicherry. The latter summarises the influence of France when Mahé de la Bourdonnais was fighting the English for control of the Indian Ocean.

Mysore recalls Tipu Sultan's vain attempts to oppose the British conquest. And to conclude this journey, Bangalore, largely turned towards the future, appears as a link between the India of traditions and that which looks resolutely towards the future.

South India tour from East to West

15 Days / 14 Nights

Stopovers in Chennai - Mahabalipuram - Pondicherry - Tanjore - Madurai - Munnar -  Backwaters  - Kochi - Mysore - Hassan - Bangalore

south india tour from east to west

Day 1 • Chennai (formerly Madras)

Arrival at Chennai international airport. You are greeted by our representative and driver and transferred to your hotel. 

Day 2 • Chennai

Full day dedicated to the visit of Chennai, the capital city of the Tamil country. A city of tradition which is now the 4th biggest metropolis of India. You will discover the waterfront dominated by Fort Saint-George, the first British fortress in India, before a stroll in the district of Mylapore where Saint-Thomas cathedral basilica stands as well as the venerable temple of Kapalishwara.

Day 3 • Chennai - Mahabalipuram 

Drive to Mahabalipuram. On the way, visit one of the seven holy cities of India: Kanchipuram. Former capital of the Pallava dynasty, it is nicknamed as the city of 1000 temples, which are masterpieces of Dravidian architecture. You will visit the temples of Ekambaranathar and Kailasanatha. Upon arrival in Mahabalipuram, check in at the hotel and rest of the day at leisure.

Day 4 • Mahabalipuram - Pondicherry 

In the morning, visit of Mahabalipuram monuments. Built in the 7th and 8th centuries during the Pallava dynasty, all of them were carved in the rocks along the Coromandel Coast. After the visits, continue towards Pondicherry. On arrival, check in at the hotel and stroll through the "white city" which still retains the atmosphere of the old French colonies.

Day 5 • Pondicherry - Tanjore

Morning departure towards Tanjore. On the way, in the heart of the Chola country and the flat landscapes of the Kaveri river delta, you will find three famous villages that are home to three beautiful temples built in the 11th and 12th centuries: Chidambaram, Gangaikondacholapuram and Darasuram. Upon arrival in Tanjore, check in at the hotel.

​Day 6 • Tanjore - Madurai 

Morning dedicated to the visit of the most famous temple of Tanjore: Brihadesvara Temple built by the most celebrated emperor of the Chola Dynasty, Rajaraja. Dedicated to Lord Shiva, the temple is the most beautiful jewel of an architecture that has deeply marked the landscapes of southern India with its high pyramidal towers. After the visit, drive on to Madurai. A major literary centre during the first three centuries of the Christian era, it is sometimes called Athens of the East because of its architectural richness in temples. In the evening, after check in at the hotel, you will attend the Shiva ceremony in the Meenakshi temple.

Day 7 • Madurai - Munnar 

Morning visit of the Tirumalay Nayak palace, built in the 17th century by mixing Indo-Muslim art and Italian influence. Thereafter, you will drive on to the mountains of Kerala and the city of Munnar. Still little-known, Munnar is full of charm because of its location at 1524 m above sea level in the middle of hectares of plantations. Arrive, check in at the hotel and rest of the day free.

Day 8 • Munnar 

Munnar is an ideal stopover for the traveller looking for greenery and nature walks amidst thousands of hectares of tea plantations. Here you can see the plucking and manufacturing process of the famous beverage for which Munnar has been renowned since the early 20th century. A favourite resort of the British settlers, you can visit the small church they built and stroll through its lively bazaars.

Day 9 • Munnar - Kumarakom (Backwaters)

You will continue your journey towards Kumarakom, the entry point of the Backwaters. Around lunch time, you will embark on a "Kettuvallom", a traditional boat from Kerala, for the discovery of this extraordinary region formed by a network of interconnected canals, rivers, lakes and inlets. The labyrinthine system formed by more than 900 km of waterways, all along the coast of Kerala, dictates to the inhabitants of the region a particular lifestyle. Lunch, dinner and night on board.

Day 10 • Kumarakom - Kochi 

After breakfast on board, disembark and continue to Kochi (ex-Cochin). Check in at the hotel and take the rest of the day to go and explore the "museum city", a former Portuguese and Dutch colony, famous for its bay and its large deployed fishing nets.

Day 11 • Kochi 

Full day sughtseeing of the "museum city" as it is called, and more specifically the historical centre in the Fort Kochi area. There stand the Synagogue dating back to 1568 and St Francis church the oldest European church. After seeing the Chinese fishing nets you will go for a stroll in the small narrow streets that are lined with the colourful old mansions of the spice merchants.

Day 12 • Kochi - Mysore 

In the morning, you will be transferred to the airport for your flight to Bangalore. Welcome and then depart towards Mysore, the former capital of Karnataka, renowned for sandalwood, jasmine and the extravagance of its palaces. On the way, you will stop at the small island of Srirangapatnam on the Kaveri River to find the tomb of Tipu Sultan, a fierce fighter who opposed the British plans of domination over India. In the centre of the island stands the great temple of Sriranganathaswamy, dedicated to Vishnu and dating back to the 10th century. You will arrive in Mysore in the afternoon. Check-in and rest of the day at leisure.

Day 13 • Mysore - Hassan 
Morning visit of the extraordinary Maharaja's palace, the residence of the royal family of Mysore, completely rebuilt in 1912 after a huge fire. The interior is a kaleidoscope of coloured glass and mirrors. It features beautiful carved rosewood doors and mosaic floors. You will then depart towards Hassan, the history of which dates back to the 11th century. On the way, you will stop at Shravanabalagola. Considered as the most important religious centre of Jainism, the site is famous for the colossal statue of Gomateshvara, which, by its 19 meters, is the tallest monolithic statues in the world. Upon arrival in Hassan, check in at the hotel.

Day 14 • Hassan & surroundings (Belur & Halebid) 

Full day dedicated to visit the sites of Belur and Halebid, two great cities of Hoysala rulers, 16 km away from each other and famous for their temples, that are masterpieces of the 12th century Hoysala sculptors.

Day 15 • Hassan - Bangalore 

In the morning, you will drive back to Bangalore that you will reach in the afternoon. You will then be transferred to the international terminal for your onward journey.

Ideas for mythology & technology

This tour is only a suggested itinerary; it can be booked as is or used as a starting point to create your own tailor-made tour in South India. 

- Do the tour the other way round.
- Add / replace a few days to enjoy ayurvedic treatments for which South India is renowned.
- Plan to stay with local people at one or more of the stopovers for a full experience of the local life.
- Add a few days for a beach holiday in Kerala.
- You can go there all year round. However, we recommend December and January for the best weather. 


Please contact us for a tailor-made quote, excluding international flights.

Other ideas for Tours in South India

bottom of page