gems of south


DESTINATION : NEW DELHI - tamil nadu - KARNATAKA - kerala

Duration : 7 - 10 Days

A journey through the less-traveled paths of South India, this tour takes you through a region rich in diverse cultures, ancient heritage, and stunning landscapes. A selection of South India’s hidden gems across various states, each place offers unique experiences from serene backwaters and historic ruins to vibrant local cultures and untouched natural beauty.

Highlights of the Tour

  • A short drive away from Chennai, Mahabalipuram has a plethora of ancient marvels to explore from– Pancha Rathas, Arjuna’s Penance, Pancha Pandava Cave, Old Light House, Krishna’s Butter Ball, Mahishasuramardini Cave, Ganesh Ratha Temple, Shore Temple and Varaha Cave Temple.
  • Explore Fort St. George, the British colonial outpost that marks the birthplace of modern Chennai. The Fort Museum here houses artifacts from the East India Company era and the St. Mary’s Church, the oldest Anglican church in India.
  • Visit Auroville’s Matri Mandir & Sri Aurobindo Ashram, where you can immerse yourself in the tranquility of the meditation hall and explore the library. Venture into the heart of Pondicherry to witness the iconic Statue of Gandhi on the Beach Road Promenade.
  • Explore the grandeur of the Thanjavur Royal Palace, once the seat of the Nayak and Bhonsle rulers. Visit the magnificent Brihadeeswarar Temple, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the Panchanatheesvarar Temple.
  • In Madurai, visit the famed Madurai Meenakshi Amman Temple. Explore more at Thirumalai Nayakar Mahal, St. Mary’s Cathedral, East Marret Street and Vandiyur Mariamman Teppakulam.
  • Thekkady offers an enriching safari experience at its Periyar National Park. You can also explore its Anayirankal Dam, a few spice gardens and Kumily.
  • Board a traditional houseboat for a leisurely cruise through the famed backwaters of Alleppey. Feel the softness of golden sands beneath your feet as you visit Alleppey Beach and then climb to the top of the Alappuzha Lighthouse for panoramic views of the town and the Arabian Sea.
  • Witness Kochi’s iconic Chinese Fishing Nets along its shoreline and explore the Santa Cruz Cathedral Basilica & the Dutch Cemetery. Relax at Fort Kochi Beach and witness stunning murals at the Mattancherry Palace, also known as the Dutch Palace.
  • Indulge your senses at the Cochin Spice Market, a bustling marketplace with aromatic spices. Venture to the Thripunithura Palace, a majestic structure with royal history of the Cochin royal family. 
  • In Karnataka’s capital, Bangalore, visit the Lalbagh Botanical Garden, a 240-acre oasis that showcases a stunning collection of plants, a serene lake, and the iconic Glass House. Immerse yourself in spiritual serenity during the ISKCON Temple tour, a majestic edifice dedicated to Lord Krishna.
  • Next, explore the Bull Temple and Tipu Sultan Fort and Palace – KR Market and Cubbon Park. Witness the opulence of Bangalore Fort & Bangalore Palace, a magnificent blend of Tudor and Gothic styles. 
  • Visit the resplendent Mysuru Palace, an architectural masterpiece from the times of the Wodeyar dynasty. Next, climb the Chamundi Hills to visit the ancient Sri Chamundeshwari Temple. Shop at the famous Devraja Market.
  • Head to Ramanagara, a picturesque town which gained fame as the backdrop for the iconic Bollywood movie “Sholay”. Move to Srirangapatna to explore Dariya Daulat Palace, the summer residence of Tipu Sultan.


Situated on the Coromandel Coast of the Bay of Bengal, Chennai, the capital city of Tamil Nadu, stands as a dynamic metropolis and gateway to the South. Chennai is home to a vibrant cultural scene, thriving business hubs, and the soothing embrace of the coastal breeze. From the ancient temples that dot the cityscape, such as the Kapaleeshwarar Temple and Parthasarathy Temple, to the classical dance forms like Bharatanatyam performed with grace, the city is a living canvas of South Indian traditions.

Founded in 1968 by Mirra Alfassa, known as “The Mother,” and designed by architect Roger Anger, Auroville is an experimental township in Pondicherry, India, that transcends conventional notions of urban living. Auroville is home to a global community that transcends national boundaries. Residents, known as Aurovilians, come together to contribute to the city’s development, guided by the principles of sustainability, equality, and mutual respect.

A UNESCO World Heritage Site in Karnataka, Hampi is an open-air museum of history and architecture. Once the capital of the Vijayanagara Empire, it’s famed for its vast ruins, magnificent temples, and unique landscape full of boulders and palm trees. Thanjavur stands as a living museum of architectural marvels, primarily showcased in the form of its majestic temples.The Maratha rulers, especially the Nayaks and the Bhonsles, have left an indelible mark on Thanjavur. The grand Thanjavur Palace, with its Durbar Hall and the Saraswathi Mahal Library, showcases the opulence of the royal court. The city’s markets and bazaars are a sensory delight, offering a myriad of traditional crafts, silk sarees, and Tanjore paintings. 

Madurai, a city with ancient Tamil culture still alive, is where the Dravidian heritage mingles with the Pandyan, Chola, and Nayak dynasties. The city’s very essence lies in the convergence of diverse traditions that has withstood the sands of time. Madurai is located on the banks of the Vaigai River and it has been a center of learning for centuries including its Tamil Sangam, an ancient academy of poets.

Thekkady is a serene town, embraced by the Periyar National Park and cradled by the Western Ghats, it has a captivating blend of lush landscapes and diverse wildlife. The crown jewel of Thekkady is the Periyar National Park, a sprawling wildlife sanctuary with majestic elephants, elusive tigers, and a myriad of other species. The town is also home to many spice gardens and serene backwaters.

Situated along the Malabar Coast of Kerala, Alappuzha is renowned as the “Venice of the East”. This enchanting town has an intricate network of canals, the age-old traditions of houseboat living, and the gentle rhythm of coastal life. The famed annual Nehru Trophy Snake Boat Race is held in the backwaters of Alleppey. Majestic snake boats, each manned by a team of rowers, race with fervor in this thrilling event.

On the southwest coast of Kerala, Kochi is an active port city with bustling maritime activities and beautiful backwaters for short cruises. It has it all– vibrant bazaars with the famous spice markets and historic places including Fort Kochi. Skyscrapers, high-end hotels, and state-of-the-art infrastructure complement the historic charm of the city. Kochi is also a hub for cultural events and artistic expressions, hosting many festivals including the Kochi-Muziris Biennale.

Bangalore, a vibrant metropolis on the Deccan Plateau, is a captivating blend of tradition and technology. Renowned as the “Garden City,” its landscape is adorned with lush parks, tree-lined boulevards, and a temperate climate. Bangalore has also earned the moniker “Silicon Valley of India” for its thriving IT industry, hosting global tech giants and startups alike. Heritage sites like the Bangalore Palace and Bull Temple stand tall amid modern skyscrapers.

Mysuru is renowned for its rich cultural heritage and also its well-planned layout and clean streets. Formerly known as Mysore, the city is famous for the opulent Mysuru Palace, a masterpiece of Indo-Saracenic architecture. The city is a hub of traditional arts and crafts, with a vibrant silk industry and the annual Dasara festival attracting visitors from around the world. Mysuru also boasts the Chamundi Hills, housing the Chamundeshwari Temple, with panoramic views of the city.

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