Treasures of South India Tour

16 Day – Private tour with air-conditioned car and driver
From £2250 low season & £2650 high season
ABTA and ATOL protected holidays

Choose this 16 day private South India tour and indulge in the beautiful hidden treasures of this gorgeous region. This South India tour starts with an orientation tour of the cosmopolitan city of Bengaluru (Bangalore), followed by the Hoysala Temples of Belur & Halebidu, Mysuru (Mysore) – the city of palaces & silks, game drives in Nagarhole National Park to spot the wild cats, time to explore the tea & coffee plantations of Wayanad, the colonial port town of Cochin flanked by Chinese fishing nets, a night in a houseboat on the Kerala Backwaters and finally indulge in the beautiful palm-fringed Mararikulam Beach.

Please remember all our private tours are designed to meet your exact requirements, and this tour is just an example to help inspire you. If you would like we can also arrange your flights for a fully ATOL protected holiday. Contact the team for more information on 01792 315499 or email info@aitholidays.com

 

Highlights of the Treasures of South India tour

Chennakeshava Temple, Belur, Karnataka
  • Bengaluru city tour
  • Visit the Hoysala Temples
  • Statue of Gomateshwara
  • Chamundi Hills and Nandi Bull Statue
  • Full day sightseeing in Mysore and Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary
  • Nagarhole National Park Safaris
  • Trek  to Edakkal Caves
  • Sightseeing tour of Fort Cochin
  • Kathakali dance performance
  • Overnight stay on a private houseboat cruising the Kerala backwaters
  • Sunset cruise on Vembanad Lake
  • Day of leisure on Mararikulam Beach

Highlights of the Treasures of South India tour itinerary

Treasures of South India Tour

You will be met at Bengaluru International Airport by your Authentic India Tours representative and transferred to the hotel.

After some relaxation, it’s time to enjoy a discovery tour of this thriving cosmopolitan city where landscaped gardens and 18th-century palaces rub shoulders with glitzy malls and upmarket restaurants. You will also be offered an optional excursion to Bengaluru Palace, one of the city’s top tourist destinations. This majestic structure was built for the ruling Maharaja in the late 19th century when he was only ten years old.

As evening falls we suggest a visit to a chic rooftop bar or microbrewery, to sample a craft beer or Indian-spiced cocktail.

Accommodation: Royal Orchid, Bengaluru

Today you leave Bangalore, driving past sunflower and sugar cane fields to the city of Hassan. Located in the heart of the Malanad region, Hassan is rich in history and culture. The rest of the day is free to relax in your hotel or you may wish to explore and walk through the lush green Maharaja Park.

Your two-night stay is in a superior cottage at the Hoysala Village Resort. This ethnic style hotel is rated as one of Hassan’s top hotels.

Approximate travel time and distance: 4 hours, 190 kms
Accommodation: Hoysala Village Resort, Hassan
Meals included: Breakfast

Today, your day will be packed with the fascinating history of the Hoysala Empire as you visit the heritage towns of Belur and Halabidu.

First, you will visit Belur, a UNESCO world heritage site. Here you will be amazed by the intricate carvings and statues of the Chennakeshava and Veeranrayana Temples.

This is followed by a visit to Halabidu, the regal capital of the Hoysala Empire in the 12th Century where you will have the chance to admire the ornate Hoysaleswara Temple.

Accommodation: Hoysala Village Resort, Hassan
Meals included: Breakfast

After breakfast we travel to Mysuru, stopping en route to visit the Gomateshwara statue at Shravanabelagola. This 17-metre high figure gazes serenely out at the countryside spread out below him. In the afternoon your tour continues with a short drive into the Chamundi Hills, where you will be able to get a panoramic view of the city and see the Nandi Bull – a huge statue carved from stone.

Any trip to India should include some shopping and Mysuru is famous for its colourful silks. These can be purchased from shops around the city, including the Government Silk Factory. Centuries-old Devaraja Market provides another unique shopping experience. This bustling market is a feast for the senses, with vibrant cones of coloured dyes, exotic fruits and fragrant flowers.

Approximate travel time and distance: 3 – 4 hours, 150 kms
Accommodation: Royal Orchid Metropole, Mysuru
Meals included: Breakfast

Today involves a full day of sightseeing in Mysuru which is affectionately known as the ‘City of Palaces’.  We start with the city’s most spectacular palace, Amba Villas. Here you can marvel at the deep pink marble domes, ornately carved exterior and lavishly decorated chambers. Later you will be driven to Sri Rangapattanam to see the Tipu Sultan’s elegant Summer Palace and the ruins of the Tipu’s Fort.

In the afternoon there will be a change of pace, with a trip to the famous Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary. Here you can relax with a boat cruise along the tranquil waters of the River Cauvery, where you will see many different species of bird, including cormorants, river terns and black-crowned night herons.

Accommodation: Royal Orchid Metropole, Mysuru
Meals included: Breakfast

The next couple of days are a real treat for nature lovers. After breakfast, we take the short drive to Nagarhole National Park, rated among the best of India’s wild spaces. It’s an area of sandalwood and teak forest, threaded by the Kabini River and its backwaters. The Kabini provides water for hundreds of different animals, such as the wild elephants, which you might spot on your trip.

In the afternoon, you’ll be taken by a 4×4 vehicle on a game drive down a forest track, where your guide will point out animals hidden in the undergrowth. In conjunction with the wildlife authorities, a motorboat and canoe ride across the reservoir will also be arranged.

Approximate travel time and distance: 2 hours, 90 kms
Accommodation: Kaav Safari Lodge, Kabini
Meals included: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Enjoy a full day of jungle activities with early morning and afternoon game drives on day 7.

An early morning game drive is recommended, as the animals are most active at this time of day. You will be travelling in an open-top 4 x 4 vehicle, so make sure you bring something warm to wear. Look out for elephants, spotted deer, mongoose, peacocks, jungle fowl and if you are lucky you may even see a tiger.

Later you can go on an expedition with a local naturalist, so make sure you pack sunscreen and a hat.

Accommodation: Kaav Safari Lodge, Kabini
Meals included: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

This morning you have a final chance for a game drive with a local wildlife expert, looking out for the many animals that inhabit the forests of the national park.

From here it’s a short trip to Wayanad, one of the most unspoilt locations in South India, famed for its wildlife. Nestled among the craggy peaks of the Western Ghats, Wayanad is a diverse region of remote forest, emerald tea plantations and lime-green paddy fields.

Approximate travel time and distance: 2 – 3 hours, 90 kms
Accommodation: Wayanad Wild, Wayanad
Meals included: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Your adventure continues in Wayanad where you will be taken on a visit to the nearby plantations, to learn about the production of coffee, tea and spices. There’s also the chance to spot local wildlife such as birds in the forest canopy.

In the afternoon there is a choice of activity.  You can trek to Edakkal caves to marvel at the ancient writing carved into the stone walls but this excursion requires a moderate level of fitness as there is a steep climb. Alternatively, you can visit some of the local markets.

Accommodation: Wayanad Wild, Wayanad
Meals included: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

After an early breakfast, we leave the peace of Wayanad for the buzz of Cochin, a colonial port city steeped in history. Cochin has been an important gateway to South India for distant merchants and travellers since 1413. It’s a melting pot of cultures, first ruled by the Portuguese, and then taken over by the Dutch and the British. This multicultural heritage is reflected in the city’s diverse architecture.

In the evening, enjoy a boat trip past Cochin’s island shores. As the sun sets, you will see the famous cantilevered fishing nets. It’s fascinating to watch the fishermen skilfully dip the hammock-like nets into the water, silhouetted against the orange and pink sky.

Approximate travel time and distance: 7 hours, 260 kms
Accommodation: The Eighth Bastion, Cochin
Meals included: Breakfast

Today you get to explore Cochin a melting pot of cultures, religions and nationalities. You will see St Francis Church, which is the oldest European church in India, as well as the lavish 16th-century Jewish Synagogue. Then you can explore the Mattancherry Palace, also known as the Dutch Palace due to its colonial influences. It also houses colourfully painted murals depicting the ancient Indian poem Ramayana.

The afternoon is at leisure, so you may wish to wander around the quaint cobbled streets which house a number of interesting antique shops.

This evening you will experience a traditional Kathakali performance, a Kerala classical dance famed for its colourful costumes and athletic movements.

Accommodation: The Eighth Bastion, Cochin
Meals included: Breakfast

 

After a short journey from Cochin, you will arrive in the laid back village of Kumarakom, nestled in the backwaters off the South Eastern end of Vembanad Lake. Here, you can immerse yourself in the beauty and tranquillity of the area with a stroll along the lakeside or the coconut fringed canals of the backwaters.

Sunbathe by the pool of your luxury hotel, or relax with one of the many authentic Ayurveda therapies it offers. You can also visit the butterfly garden, go bird watching or even try your hand at paddleboarding. A highlight of the tour is an evening cruise on Vembanad Lake, where you can watch the sunset over the waters.

Approximate travel time and distance: 90 mins, 65 kms
Accommodation: Coconut Lagoon, Kumarakom
Meals included: Breakfast

After a morning of leisure, board your deluxe private houseboat in time for a typical Keralan lunch. The houseboat will be your overnight transport to Alleppey, which is known as the Venice of the East due to its network of narrow canals, as well as your accommodation for the night.

Sit back and relax as an expert crew steer you across the Kerala backwaters, catering to your every need. You will cruise down a network of coconut palm-fringed backwater canals and across the famous Vembanad Lake. As you drifting past traditional villages and paddy fields, keep a lookout for birds such as kingfishers, snake birds and herons.

Accommodation: Private Houseboat, Alleppey
Meals included: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

You will be met by your driver late morning and taken on a short trip to Mararikulam, a quaint little fishing village with one of the most picturesque beaches in South India.

You will be given the opportunity to relax here for the next two nights, with garden villa accommodation at the Marari Beach Resort. Alternatively, if you are feeling more energetic visit the local temple, enjoy a cycle trip or pick up some tips from the hotel chef.

Approximate travel time and distance: 45 mins, 25 kms
Accommodation: Marari Beach Resort, Mararikulam
Meals included: Breakfast

Today is a full day of leisure, giving you time to soak up the sun and serenity at this quiet, unspoilt beach.

Relax in a hammock under a shady palm tree or enjoy a dip in the clear waters of the Arabian Sea.

You can also indulge in a rejuvenating massage at the hotel’s Ayurveda spa before retiring to your villa for the second night.

Accommodation: Marari Beach Resort, Mararikulam
Meals included: Breakfast

You will be picked up by your driver and transferred to Cochin Airport for your return flight.

Approximate travel time and distance: 2 hours 30 mins, 100 kms
Meals included: Breakfast

Treasures of South India Tour Images

Vidhana Soudha, Bengaluru (Bangalore), Karnataka
Lal Bagh Botanical Garden, Bengaluru (Bangalore), Karnataka
Bangalore Palace, Bengaluru (Bangalore), Karnataka
Tipu's Summer Palace, Bengaluru (Bangalore), Karnataka
Shettihalli Rosary Church, Hassan, Karnataka
Gomateshwara Statue, Shravanabelagola, Hassan, Karnataka
Priest at Shravanabelagola, Hassan, Karnataka
Gomateshwara Statue, Shravanabelagola, Hassan, Karnataka
Hoysaleshwara Temple, Halebidu, Karnataka
Hoysaleshwara Temple, Halebidu, Karnataka
Chennakeshava Temple, Belur, Karnataka
Chennakeshava Temple, Belur, Karnataka
Nandi Bull Statue, Chamundi Hills, Mysuru (Mysore), Karnataka
Mysore Palace, Mysuru (Mysore), Karnataka
Mysore Palace, Mysuru (Mysore), Karnataka
Devaraja Market, Mysuru (Mysore), Karnataka
Devaraja Market, Mysuru (Mysore), Karnataka
Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary, Mysuru (Mysore), Karnataka
Nagarhole National Park, Kabini, Karnataka
Nagarhole National Park, Kabini, Karnataka
Wild Elephants at Nagarhole National Park, Kabini
Indian Bison, Nagarhole National Park, Kabini
Landscape View, Wayanad
Village Life, Wayanad
Edakkal Caves, Wayanad
Street Vendor, Cochin (Kochi), Kerala
Chinese Fishing Nets, Cochin (Kochi), Kerala
Jewish Synagogue, Cochin (Kochi), Kerala
Dhobi Khana, Cochin (Kochi), Kerala
Fishing Boats, Cochin (Kochi), Kerala
Shopping in Jew Street, Cochin (Kochi), Kerala
Kathakali Performance, Cochin (Kochi), Kerala
Serene Lake Vernadamen, Kumarakom, Kerala
Private House Boat, Kerala Backwaters, Kerala
Village Life, Kerala Backwaters, Kerala
Tranquil Backwaters, Kumarakom, Kerala
Serene Lake Vernadamen, Kumarakom, Kerala
Woman Transporting Water, Kumarakom, Kerala
Typical Houseboat Bedroom, Kerala Backwaters, Kerala
Mararikulam Beach, Kerala
Marari Beach, Mararikulam, Kerala
Fishermen, Mararikulam Beach. Kerala

Vidhana Soudha, Bengaluru (Bangalore), Karnataka

Lal Bagh Botanical Garden, Bengaluru (Bangalore), Karnataka

Bangalore Palace, Bengaluru (Bangalore), Karnataka

Tipu's Summer Palace, Bengaluru (Bangalore), Karnataka

Shettihalli Rosary Church, Hassan, Karnataka

Gomateshwara Statue, Shravanabelagola, Hassan, Karnataka

Priest at Shravanabelagola, Hassan, Karnataka

Gomateshwara Statue, Shravanabelagola, Hassan, Karnataka

Hoysaleshwara Temple, Halebidu, Karnataka

Hoysaleshwara Temple, Halebidu, Karnataka

Chennakeshava Temple, Belur, Karnataka

Chennakeshava Temple, Belur, Karnataka

Nandi Bull Statue, Chamundi Hills, Mysuru (Mysore)

Mysore Palace, Mysuru (Mysore), Karnataka

Mysore Palace, Mysuru (Mysore), Karnataka

Devaraja Market, Mysuru (Mysore), Karnataka

Devaraja Market, Mysuru (Mysore), Karnataka

Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary, Mysuru (Mysore), Karnataka

Nagarhole National Park, Kabini, Karnataka

Nagarhole National Park, Kabini, Karnataka

Wild Elephants at Nagarhole National Park, Kabini

Indian Bison, Nagarhole National Park, Kabini

Mountain View, Wayanad

Village Life, Wayanad

Edakkal Caves, Wayanad

Street Vendor, Cochin (Kochi), Kerala

Chinese Fishing Nets, Cochin (Kochi), Kerala

Jewish Synagogue, Cochin (Kochi), Kerala

Dhobi Khana, Cochin (Kochi), Kerala

Fishing Boats, Cochin (Kochi), Kerala

Shopping in Jew Street, Cochin (Kochi), Kerala

Kathakali Performance, Cochin (Kochi), Kerala

Serene Lake Vernadamen, Kumarakom, Kerala

Private House Boat, Kerala Backwaters, Kerala

Village Life, Kerala Backwaters, Kerala

Ayurveda Medicines, Kumarakom

Tranquil Backwaters, Kumarakom, Kerala

Serene Lake Vernadamen, Kumarakom, Kerala

Woman Transporting Water, Kumarakom, Kerala

Typical Houseboat Bedroom, Kerala Backwaters, Kerala

Mararikulam Beach, Kerala

Marari Beach, Mararikulam, Kerala

Coconut Groves, Mararikulam

Fishermen, Mararikulam Beach. Kerala

Places on the Treasures of South India Tour

Pricing and Inclusions

Price guide for this 16 day South India tour is:

  • £2250 in low season (May – September inclusive)
  • £2650 in high season (October – April inclusive)

The prices do not include flights.

Authentic India Tours is a member of ABTA and ATOL. All the holidays on this website are ABTA protected. If you would like us to arrange your holiday including flights we will be happy to provide a quote and your holiday will also be ATOL protected.

This is a private tour and can be tailor-made to meet your exact requirements. Prices will vary depending on the number of people, length of tour, accommodation & season. Reductions are normally available for groups of three or more. Some hotels operate an additional peak pricing rate during busy times which is normally from mid-December to mid-January.

Please get in touch with your dates and we will be pleased to provide you with your personal itinerary and accurate quote.

Included with this South India tour are the following:

  • Authentic India Tours meet & greet assistance on arrival
  • All internal transfers and sightseeing tours using an air-conditioned vehicle
  • Accommodation for 15 nights on twin sharing basis
    Standard category rooms at all hotels unless otherwise mentioned
  • Meal plan: Kaav Safari Lodge, Wayanad Wild & Houseboat on full board; Bed & Breakfast elsewhere
  • English speaking guide for sightseeing tour of Mysuru (Mysore) & Cochin
  • Tickets for Kathakali Dance Performance in Cochin
  • Game drives in Kabini (Nagarhole National Park)
  • Entrances at all national parks, museums and monuments as per the itinerary
  • Mineral water on all days of travel

Price does not include:

  • International flight tickets
  • Travel insurance & Visas
  • Expenses of personal nature like laundry, tips, beverages etc
  • Meals other than those mentioned in the above meal plan
  • Camera & video fees at national parks, museums & monuments

The prices mentioned above are per person based on two people sharing a twin room. The prices which were valid at the time of publication may be subject to change, based on your date of travel and local market fluctuations. You will be informed of any price differences prior to booking.

For a quote based on your dates of travel, any alternative accommodation or changes to this itinerary, please call Authentic India Tours on 01792 315499 or email us at info@aitholidays.com

Please remember all our private tours are designed to meet your exact requirements, and this tour is just an example to help inspire you.

For more information please email info@aitholidays.com or call our India specialists on 01792 315499.

Authentic India Tours is a member of ABTA and ATOL. All the holidays on this website are ABTA protected. If you would like us to arrange your holiday including flights we will be happy to provide a quote and your holiday will also be ATOL protected.