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Treasures of Southern India

Group Tour | General Interest 14 Days & 12 Nights Lead-in price: £2095

The delicate scent of spices, the sound of temple bells and a rich tapestry of ancient arts and craft all characterise Tamil Nadu and Kerala. This journey travels through hill stations, tropical backwaters and templeladen towns while staying in some of the region’s very best hotels.

The Cox & Kings signature experiences

  • Stay in the heart of the French quarter in Puducherry (Pondicherry)
  • Visit Meenakshi temple for the night ceremony
  • Spend 2 nights relaxing in the Keralan backwaters at the sublime Kumarakom Lake Resort
  • Guided tour of hidden Kochi
  • Stay in 4- & 5-star accommodation
  • Small group size - average 14 people (maximum 20)
  • No single supplement on selected departure dates (limited availability)
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Superior Group Tour in brief

Day 1: Fly to Chennai

Fly from London (regional connections available) to Chennai (Madras) with British Airways. (N)

Day 2: Chennai

On arrival transfer to the Taj Connemara for 1 night (early check in available). Time at leisure before an afternoon tour of the city followed by free time at Marina Beach. (B)

Day 3: Mahabalipuram - Puducherry

Morning walking tour of Mylapore, a town that predates Chennai by 2,000 years. Continue to Puducherry (Pondicherry), visiting the world heritage-listed shore temples at Mahabalipuram en route. Stay 2 nights at the Palais de Mahé located in the heart of the French Quarter. (B)

Day 4: Puducherry

This morning visit a local rural village, organised by Mohanam Cultural Centre. Watch the villagers involved in traditional crafts such as stone carving, ceramics and terracotta work. Afternoon guided walk through Puducherry, stop by the Aurobindo ashram, stroll to the lively Tamil quarters and experience Hindu faith at the Ganesh temple in the evening. (B)

Day 5: Chidambaram - Kumbakonam

Witness the daily rituals at Chidambaram Temple and the art of Kalamkari, which uses plant-based dyes to create intricate artwork, before driving through scenic countryside to Kumbakonam for 2 nights at the Mantra Koodam. In the early evening, try your hand at pottery and enjoy an interactive culinary demonstration, led by expert chefs. (B, D)

Day 6: Kumbakonam

Sunrise visit to the local market. After breakfast, discover the crafts and culture of Tamil Nadu. Observe master foundrymen produce extraordinarily detailed bronze cast statues and see the process of pattu silk weaving, using wooden handlooms. You will also visit the Darasuram Temple, renowned for its delicate stone sculptures and the Vedic School which dates back 140 years. Afternoon at leisure to explore the countryside on foot. (B, D)

Day 7: Tanjore - Chettinad

Drive to Chettinad, stopping at Brihadeeswarar Temple in Tanjore en route. Continue to the art gallery and Saraswathi Mahal Library at the Tanjore Palace. Arrive in Chettinad for an overnight stay at Chidambara Vilas. This evening, enjoy a superb culinary experience. (B, L, D)

Day 8: Madurai

This morning, explore the village market, stopping for a traditional cup of tea before visiting some of the impressive mansions. Travel to Madurai. Evening visit to the illuminated Meenakshi Temple and Hall of a Thousand Pillars for the night ceremony. Overnight stay at the Heritage Madurai. (B)

Day 9: Munnar

Travel to the hill country around Munnar for an overnight stay at Fragrant Nature. After lunch in a tea planter’s bungalow, visit the Suryanelli tea factory to enjoy a guided tour, tea tasting and a gentle stroll through the tea plantation. (B, L, D)

Day 10: Kumarakom

Morning at leisure or visit the Srishti Welfare Centre, which trains disabled children in making some amazing handmade products. Travel to Kumarakom for 2 nights at the Aveda Kumarakom (Poolside Premium Cottage). Upgrade to a Lakefront Luxury Villa with plunge pool from £95 per person for 2 nights. (B, D)

Day 11: Kumarakom

Day at leisure to enjoy the beautiful surrounds or explore village life in the backwaters.* (B, D)

Day 12: Kochi

Morning cruise aboard a shikara (wooden boat) through the backwaters before driving to Kochi (Cochin). Visit the Mattancherry Palace and enjoy an evening Kathakali dance performance. Stay 2 nights at Eighth Bastion. (B)

Day 13: Kochi

Morning sightseeing tour of Kochi including the Chinese fishing nets and the 16th-century St Francis Church. Explore hidden Kochi including Jew Town and dhobi wallah, a wash-house where a sea of white hotel sheets and clothing are slathered on the washing stones. Afternoon at leisure to further explore the streets and their array of local markets. (B)

Day 14: Fly to London via Mumbai

Fly home via Mumbai with British Airways. (B)

Meal basis: As per itinerary – B: Breakfast, L: Lunch, D: Dinner, N: No meals.


Tour + Coonoor & Mysore: 5 days & 4 nights from £685 Travel to Ooty to explore the erstwhile British summer capital and to ride the scenic Blue Mountain Railway. Continue to Mysore, the home of India’s largest palace.


* Optional activities: These activities can be pre-booked or booked locally and incur an additional cost.

Private & tailor-made travel: This itinerary can be taken privately on a date that suits you, for which guideline prices are shown. Alternatively, it can be tailored to your exact requirements.

Superior group tour accommodation

  • The Taj Conemara
    The Taj Conemara

    Renovated in 2018, the Taj Connemara is located in the heart of Chennai's (Madras') business district and combines old world charm with excellent facilities. Restored to its former glory with a grand wooden staircase, an original lattice ceiling and ornate south Indian stonework, a stay at this luxury hotel is an experience in itself. The hotel offers daily historical walking tours of the property. Guests can enjoy afternoon tea during the day and live jazz music in the bar in the evenings.

  • Palais de Mahé
    Palais de Mahé

    A quaint hotel in the heart of Puducherry's old French quarter, Palais du Mahé is only minutes away from the area's famous promenade, historic temples, famous cathedrals and colourful boutiques. With high ceilings, deep verandas, bright tangerine pillars and ochre colonnades, this heritage-style mansion features 18 spacious rooms that elegantly echo the distinctive Indo-French architecture, decorated with simple, period-style furniture sourced either locally or crafted by artisans from the region. While traditionally these mansions feature a large courtyard, this has been replaced with an inviting pool. Facilities at this delightful hotel include a floor dedicated to Ayurvedic massages and treatments and a rooftop restaurant serving Indian and Continental cuisine. The hotel is managed by the CGH group, renowned for seamless service and friendly, enthusiastic staff.

  • Mantra Koodam
    Mantra Koodam

    Tucked away in the peaceful village of Veppathru, close to the temple town of Kumbakonam, the Mantra Koodam offers elegant cottages and bungalows surrounded by a serene verdant garden. There is an array of activities on offer at the property ranging from nature and birdwatching walks to cycling and village tours. The restaurant serves delicious vegetarian dishes using locally grown and sourced ingredients. Features: 26 cottages, restaurant, bar, swimming pool, spa. Room amenities: Air conditioning, television, desk.

  • Chidambara Villas A Luxury Heritage Resort
    Chidambara Villas A Luxury Heritage Resort

    Originally built during the late 19th century by the Chettiyars of the Karaikudi region, Chidambara Vilas is a mansion that has been converted into a hotel. Sympathetically restored over a period of 3 years, the hotel retains many of its original features including the period furniture, pillared columns exquisitely carved out of Burma teak and the Belgian Chandeliers. Each of the 25 spacious rooms is comfortably furnished and carefully combines old-world charm with the essential requirements of modern-day traveller. The rooms are decorated individually and no two are the same size. The hotel's facilities include a main dining area that serves traditional Chettinad cuisine. The interactive kitchen set next to this dining area offers guests the opportunity to learn about traditional Chettinad cuisine. There is also a fine dining restaurant with an ambience that takes you back to colonial days. The fine dining restaurant serves Chettinad delicacies prepared according to guests preference. ...

  • Heritage Madurai
    Heritage Madurai

    Heritage Madurai (previously Heritance Madurai) is a seamless blend of traditional elegance and modern comfort set among lush gardens. The original Madurai Coats Club from the time of the British Raj, this property has not lost its British flavour. After extensive refurbishment it was completely restored in keeping with the traditional architecture of the town. The rooms are spacious, tastefully furnished and designed to meet the demands of discerning travellers. The 18th-century columns and antique doors from the Chettinad district give the hotel a distinctive character. Features: 70 rooms, 2 restaurants, bar, swimming pool, spa, Wi-Fi. Room amenities: Ceiling fan, television, minibar, safe, tea & coffee facilities.

  • Fragrant Nature Munnar
    Fragrant Nature Munnar

    Located in the hills of Munnar and offering panoramic views of valleys, villages and mountains, Fragrant Nature is an excellent choice for those wanting luxurious comfort in a remote location. All the rooms are tastefully designed with traditional décor and have their own fireplaces to keep you warm in the chill of the mountains. Features: 41 rooms, Wi-Fi, restaurant, fitness centre, spa, rooms with mountain views. Room amenities: Television, minibar, safe, hairdryer, ceiling-fan, desk.

  • Park Regis Aveda Kumarakom
    Park Regis Aveda Kumarakom

    Located just 20 yards from Vembanad lake, the Aveda Kumarakom is a luxury resort in the picturesque backwaters area of Kerala. Rooms are spacious, comfortable and elegantly designed while the restaurant, which specialises in seafood, serves an array of regional, national and international cuisines.

  • Eighth Bastion
    Eighth Bastion

    Set in the heart of Fort Kochi, Eighth Bastion is a small, chic property that effortlessly combines contemporary and colonial styles. The hotel is built around a small courtyard, and features guestrooms elegantly decorated in minimalist style, with many overlooking the Arabian Sea. No two rooms are of the same size with some featuring shower cubicles and others sunken bath tubs. The Eighth Bastion currently does not have a licence to serve alcoholic drinks.Features: 19 rooms, restaurant, outdoor pool, garden. <br>Room amenities: Air conditioning, en suite bathrooms with shower or bath, safe, Wi-Fi.

Superior group tour extensions

Royal Palace and gardens in Mysore
Coonoor + Mysore
4 Nights from £685

Travel to Ooty to explore the erstwhile British summer capital and to ride the scenic Blue Mountain Railway. Charming Mysore is home to India's largest palace and a base from which to explore the island citadel of Srirangapatna.

This morning drive to Coonoor. Stay 2 nights at the Gateway Hotel Coonoor (or similar). (B)

Enjoy the scenic narrow gauge train trip to Ooty aboard the Blue Mountain Railway as it glides past tea plantations and charming villages. Afternoon tour of Ooty's botanical gardens. (B)

Travel to Mysore and visit the impressive Nandi Bull and the magnificent maharajah’s palace. Overnight at Radisson Mysore (or similar). (B) Day

Travel by road to Bengaluru (Bangalore) visiting Srirangapatna en route. Overnight at the LaLiT Ashok Bangalore (or similar). (B)

Direct flight to London with British Airways. (B)

Meal basis:

As per itinerary – B: Breakfast, L: Lunch, D: Dinner, N: No meals.

Please call 020 7873 5000 for more information or to make a booking.

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Dates & prices


Main Costs
Departure-Return date Original Price Saving Single Supplement Guaranteed Departures Click to Book
23 Oct 2022 - 5 Nov 2022 £2,495 £0 £995 Reserve
6 Nov 2022 - 19 Nov 2022 £2,495 £0 £995 Reserve
20 Nov 2022 - 3 Dec 2022 £2,095 £0 £945 Yes Reserve

Vaccination Travel Policy
All clients must be fully vaccinated before travelling with us on a Cox & Kings (C&K) group tour. This means that a customer must have received their full two doses of the COVID‑19 vaccination at least 14 days before travelling with us. This does not apply to our private tours or tailor-made travel. If you have any questions please call us or visit our FAQs page on our website here

Flexible Prices & Itineraries
For a quote based on alternative accommodation standards or flight options, or to tailor this itinerary, please call 020 7873 5000 or send an email enquiry

Guaranteed Departures Where a tour date has ‘yes’ listed, this tour is guaranteed to run.

For all other departure dates, once the minimum number of people booked has been reached, this tour is also guaranteed to run. Our sales consultants will be able to advise how many people are booked for your chosen date at the time of enquiry, giving you the confidence to book safe in the knowledge your tour will go ahead.

Terms & Conditions Guaranteed departures will run except in the circumstances where travel to the destination is advised against by the UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) or entry restrictions relating to COVID-19 preclude travel.

Additional Information

Please call 020 7873 5000 for more information or to make a booking.

Prices above are per person in pounds sterling (£), based on two people sharing a twin-room. The prices which were valid at the time of publication, may be subject to change, particularly as a result of variable flight costs. You will be informed of any such changes prior to booking.

  • * Small group size - average 14 people (max 18)
  • * 4- & 5-star accommodation
  • * Flexible - extensions, room & flight upgrades available
  • * International flights with British Airways
  • * Transfers in air-conditioned vehicles
  • * Experienced local tour manager
  • * 13 breakfasts, 2 lunches & 6 dinners
  • * Guided sightseeing & entrance fees
  • * Porterage at airports & stations
  • * Day at leisure in Kerala's backwaters

Destinations on this tour

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