Best of South India

Southern Soujourn

Best of South India

  • India
  • 13 Days
  • Bangalore | Mysore | Nagarhole National Park | Chennai | Pondicherry | Thanjavur | Karaikudi | Madurai
  • Wildlife at Nagarhole National Park
  • Mysore Palace
  • French town of Pondicherry
  • Brihadeshwar Temple
  • Meenakshi Temple


Calling the southern part of India, the ‘sauna’ of the country won’t be too heretical. The five major states of India, lie below the belly of the country and plunge into the ocean- Bay of Bengal to the east, Arabian Sea to the west and the Indian ocean to the south. In this trip, we offer a tryst with the best parts of this vast region. Definitely more culturally rich, South India is heavy on ancient temples.

Unlike spiritual seekers who come only with devotional fervour, the traveller will be enthralled by the history and longstanding traditions that these temples showcase. We wend through the largest and oldest temple complexes, and then change the vibe by visiting an erstwhile French town. Karaikudi in Chettinad is a highlight for its ancient homes of the trading community, and focusses on tile making and weaving. You do touch the two most important cities of South India – Bangalore and Chennai, which are a perfect blend of a teeming metropolis that still keep their traditions intact.



Bangalore : Arrive in Bangalore (also known as Bengaluru) and settle in at the hotel for the night. Time dependant, step out for a drink in the ‘beer capital of India.’


Bangalore – Mysore : While Bangalore is the political capital of the state of Karnataka, Mysore is known as the cultural capital. On way to Mysore, visit the Srirangapatna temple, a UNESCO accredited heritage site that holds immense importance on the temple circuit of the nation. In the evening, roam the streets of Devraja Market of Mysore and see the Mysore palace light up at night. Overnight in Mysore.


Mysore : This day will be used entirely to explore Mysore and the nearby Chamundi Temple on a hill. We go to the grand Mysore Palace, museums and art galleries in town to see the remnants of the Wodeyar Kings and rulers before them. The visionary ruler, Tipu Sultan, hailed from this town. Overnight in Mysore.


Mysore – Kabini : We arrive in Kabini inside the Nagarhole National Park by noon and step out for a 4WD open jeep safari with a naturalist, in the afternoon. As one of the richest forest covers of the state, this is a popular spot for tiger, leopard, Black Panther and Asiatic elephant sighting. The forest is also great for birders. Stay the night at Kabini, overlooking the namesake lake.


Kabini : The whole day is reserved for more time in the jungle at morning and evening safaris. The one in the evening can also be done by boat. The slow pace gives you more time to immerse yourself in the natural surroundings.


Kabini – Bangalore – Chennai : After driving to Bangalore, you get onto the flight to Chennai. Overnight in Chennai.


Chennai : With a strong undertone of culture, Chennai is a great place for those who like a heritage infusion to the trip. We visit the Dakshinachitra living museum that showcases exhibits from all south Indian states. Later, the city tour takes us to the Government Museum, Fort St. George, St. Thomas Cathedral and the famous Kapaleeshwar Temple. The streets outside the temple are full with flower vendors and those selling temple prayers paraphernalia. It is a vibrant market with numerous things to see and photograph.


Chennai – Mahabalipuram – Pondicherry : Today we drive along the Bay of Bengal to the erstwhile French colonised town of Pondicherry. En route we stop at a temple town, Mahabalipuram, famous for seven submerged temples. Pondicherry is a refreshing change from the other cities that you might have seen till now. The seaside town is walk friendly with cobble-stone streets and French named avenues. You can explore the Aurobindo Ashram in the French Quarter on this day.


Pondicherry – Thanjavur : This morning, we drive to Thanjavur, a veritable stop for ancient temples of the region. Enroute, we briefly stop at Chidambaram, Gangaikondacholapuram and Darasuram.
Arrive at Thanjavur by late afternoon and settle in for the day.


Thanjavur : This day is kept to explore the grand Brihadeeshwara Temple, Museum and the Art Gallery. The temple is the largest in South India and was made in, as long back as 1003 AD. This is a UNESCO Heritage site and is known as one of the ‘Great living Chola temples of the world’.
Rest of the day is spent at leisure.


Thanjavur – Karaikudi : Drive to Karaikudi and explore the Chettiar mansions, ancestral homes of the affluent traders of this region. Also visit the local craftsmen for seeing the making of the the colorful Athangudi tiles and weavers on their looms. The ancient homes are the biggest draw of this region.


Karaikudi – Madurai : On this day, we drive to Madurai to visit the famous Meenakshi Temple, dediacated to Goddess Parvati. One can take the whole day to explore the temple at peace. The bustling market outside is equally fascinating.


Madurai – Chennai : We drive back to Chennai for the departure.
October – March: Winter months, recommended to travel
Mid April – June: Summer months, when it is moderately hot in April, but May and June are avoidable.
July – September: Monsoon months where trips are doable.
Show Buttons
Hide Buttons