Southern India is truly distinctive from the rest of the country. Pillowy green hill stations are laid out like patchwork quilts, bristling with temples and ashrams. Compared to the hustle and bustle of the North, the pace is slow and the surroundings are tranquil—a perfect recipe for relaxing! The cuisine—subtle yet fiery—is influenced by the sea, replacing the North’s filling meat dishes. On your journey, you’ll experience the grand temples of Madurai, the warm hospitality South India is so famous for, and the Islamic influences in Hyderabad and Chennai.
Trip designed by Travel Expert Karen MacRaeView Karen’s Profile
Welcome to the City of Temples! When you disembark from your plane in Chennai, your guide will meet you and escort you through the fast track at immigration.
Head to the city of Mylapore, one of the more interesting and oldest areas of Chennai. Explore the local restaurants and small shops then stop at the oldest temple in the city, Kapleeswar Temple. Later, meet a talented chef and textile hisotian for a home-cooked lunch.
On the way to Pondicherry visit DakshinaChitra, a museum dedicated to South Indian heritage and culture. Then stop at Mahaballipuram to see the UNESCO protected group of monuments.
Explore Pondicherry by bike or foot. Known as the "French Riviera of the East", the combination of sea front, whitewashed residences and ornamental gardens gives this area a distinct Mediterranean feel.
Drive to the heart of Tamil Nadu through the valley of the Kaveri River. Stop at the temple of Gangaikonda Cholapuram and the exquisite Darasuram. We'll explore the area either walking or cycling through villages and farmlands.
Journey to the temple town of Madurai, stopping on the way at the Brihadisvara Temple, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Set in a grove in the forest, the unusual Ayyanar temple is where local villagers come to pray and ask the god for favours.
This morning you will visit the Minakshi Temple, an outstanding structure dedicated to the “fish-eyed goddess,” Minakshi. Later, explore the markets surrounding the temple, housed in the remains of a 16thC ruin.
Journey into a completely different atmosphere, surrounded by lush coffee plantations and forests in the Palani hills. Walk or bike to the nearby villages and coffee plantations to explore the region.
Today is yours to enjoy. Take advantage of one of the quieter, more peaceful spots on our journey. We recommend a stroll through the villages or a visit to the nearby plantations.
Today you’ll drive back to Madurai to catch your flight to Hyderabad. If time allows, you’ll be able to go on a short walk around the city to stretch your legs before dinner—we’ve got something special cooked up for this one!
Explore the Old City! Walk around the four palaces of the Chowmahalla Complex, through the imposing Durbar Hall and then to the colourful and chaotic market.
Before your evening flight to Mumbai, you’ll have time to visit the Paigah and Qutb Shahi Tombs.Show All Days VIEW MAP CLOSE Want to see a full
In a word: everything. In ninety words? Signature B&R guides; local experts; unique, unforgettable biking and walking routes; private tours; authentic local cuisine; lessons and demonstrations; local artisanal wines; wine tastings; all victuals and libations; all the endorphins you can handle; new insight; interesting, fun and like-minded travel companions; a feeling of total freedom. In short: an extraordinary, hassle-free journey of discovery.