Chennai to Kochi - 9 days

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  • Overview
  • Itinerary
  • What's Included
  • Dates
  • On The Go Tours

Explore the best of Southern India, travelling from Chennai on the east coast and ending in Kochi on the west coast. Discover the coastal region from Chennai down to Pondicherry before taking in some exquisite UNESCO listed temples in the state of Tamil Nadu. End in the idyllic coastal town of Kochi, full of history and fantastic flavours.

Highlights
  • Pondicherry – Stroll along the beach in this French colonial city and visit the Basilica of the Sacred Heart
  • Mahabalipuram – Discover the striking Shore Temple which sits on the beautiful Bay of Bengal
  • Madurai – Light candles and sing songs as you enjoy a lively Aarti prayer ceremony and explore the city on a guided tour
  • Tanjore – Tour the hotspots of the city and gaze admiringly at the towering Brihadishwara Temple
  • Kochi – Enjoy free time to explore independently and perhaps enjoy a traditional Kathakali dance show
  • Trichy – Visit the imposing Rock Fort Temple which is perched ominously on a hill overlooking the city
  • Darssuram - Study the enchanting stone carvings at the the UNESCO-listed Airavateswara Temple as we stop off on our journey from Pondicherry to Tanjore
  • Kanchipuram – Explore the plethora of Hindu temples dedicated to Shiva and Vishnu in this ancient city
Age Policy
16 + if accompanied by an adult.
Destinations
  • Indian Subcontinent
  • India
Tour Types
  • Small Group

Chennai - Mahabalipuram. Saturday. Welcome to Southern India! On arrival at the airport you’ll be transferred to our hotel in Mahabalipuram, which is around a 90 minute drive away. The rest of the day is free to explore. Perhaps visit the giant Krishna’s Butterball - this 250 ton boulder is perched on a slope - and looks like it could roll down at any moment, when in fact it has stood here for 1,200 years.

We start our day meeting the rest of our group and guide for a welcome meeting at 8:00 before visiting the ancient city of Kanchipuram to see some of its impressive temple sites. Explore the northern Shiva temples and some of the 15 temples dedicated to the god Vishnu. <br/><br/> In the afternoon we return to Mahabalipuram and delight in a tour of the town’s highlights. We’ll explore the impressive Shore Temple overlooking the beautiful Bay of Bengal before continuing to the world’s largest bas-relief carving, Arjuna’s Penance, which tells the story of the descent of the sacred Ganges from the heavens to Earth. Our final stop is to the Five Rathas, five giant temples that were all individually carved from five rocks and covered by sand until the British rediscovered them around 200 years ago.

Meals: Breakfast,

Mahabalipuram - Pondicherry. This morning we depart Mahabalipuram and travel to the former colonial city of Pondicherry, where the French influence is still visible in the architecture. Visit Pondicherry Beach and the beautiful 19th century Basilica of the Sacred Heart.

Meals: Breakfast,

Pondicherry - Tanjore. After breakfast we head away from the coastal Pondicherry to an important centre of South Indian religion, art and architecture - Tanjore (Thanjavur). En route we'll visit temples in the towns of Chidambaram, Gangaikonda Cholapuram and Darssuram. Continue to the UNESCO-listed Airavateswara Temple and marvel at the stone carvings here before we reach Tanjore, our final stop for the day, for an afternoon at leisure.

Meals: Breakfast,

Tanjore - Madurai. This morning we discover the ancient fortified town of Tanjore, with a guided tour exploring the glorious history dating back more than 1,500 years. Take in the incredible Brihadishwara Temple. The dome on top of this giant temple was hauled into place in a similar way to the construction of the pyramids in Egypt. <br/><br/> Continue to Madurai this afternoon, where we check in to our hotel, before making our way to Meenakshi Temple to enjoy an Aarti Ceremony, a Hindu ritual of worship, where candles are lit and songs are sung in honour of the gods

Meals: Breakfast,

Enjoy a half day city tour of Madurai today, taking in highlights including the impressive Thirumalai Nayakkar Mahal temple and Thirupparankunram Murugan, which is cut straight into the rock. Gaze in awe at this colourful site before our tour ends at the bustling Madurai bazaar.

Meals: Breakfast,

Madurai - Trichy - Kochi. Leave Madurai today and stop at Ranganathaswamy Temple. This colourful temple is located on an island in the river and is one of the largest functioning Hindu temples in the world. Our next stop is the most prominent landmark in the city: the famous Rock Fort Temple in Trichy (Tiruchirappalli). Originally a temple, its strategic location on top of a giant ancient rock meant that it became an important fortification in the 16th century. In the evening we board the overnight train to Kochi.

Meals: Breakfast,

On arrival in Kochi this morning you’ll be transferred to our hotel. The rest of today is free to explore Kochi as you please. Why not enjoy a Kathakali dance show? This traditional form of dance originated in Kerala and is known for its exciting costumes and use of make up.

Sunday. Our Indian adventure comes to an end today with an included departure transfer to the airport.

Meals: Breakfast,

Included
  • Accommodation
    -3 - 4 star and heritage properties
  • All relevant transfers and transportation in private air-conditioned vehicles
  • Escorted by an English-speaking Indian tour guide (for groups of 6 or more)
  • 1 overnight sleeper train Trichy to Kochi
  • 7 breakfasts
  • 7 nights 3-4 star hotels
  • Airport arrival and departure transfer on days 1 and 9
  • Services of English-speaking Indian specialist guides at some sites
  • Guided sightseeing - Mahabalipuram, Kanchipuram Temples, Pondicherry and Madurai

Not Included
  • International flights and visa
    -
  • Entrance Fees: USD$15-25pp, paid in local currency
    -
  • Tip for your tour guide. We recommend you allow USD$4-7 per day, per traveller. Tipping your guide is an entirely personal gesture
    -

Dates Price Single Availability
15-Jan-2022
8 Nights
Standard Room Enquire
29-Jan-2022
8 Nights
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12-Feb-2022
8 Nights
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26-Feb-2022
8 Nights
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Dates Price Single Availability
26-Mar-2022
8 Nights
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Dates Price Single Availability
09-Apr-2022
8 Nights
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Dates Price Single Availability
17-Sep-2022
8 Nights
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Dates Price Single Availability
01-Oct-2022
8 Nights
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Dates Price Single Availability
12-Nov-2022
8 Nights
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26-Nov-2022
8 Nights
Standard Room Enquire
Dates Price Single Availability
10-Dec-2022
8 Nights
Standard Room Enquire

Touring with On The Go Tours

From a first foray into Egypt in 1998, On The Go Tours have expanded their operations to more than 60 countries, offering award-winning small group tours to destinations around the world. Their Middle East and North Africa portfolio now includes Jordan, Israel and Morocco, whilst other regions include Asia, Africa, Europe, Latin America and the Indian Subcontinent. From Machu Picchu in Peru to the extravagant Taj Mahal in India, On The Go Tours get you to the main sights of whichever destination you choose to visit. There’s also a range of special festival tours, Christmas and New Year adventures and much more, from overland adventures to luxury cruises. They always uncover some hidden gems too, be it canoeing to a local home for lunch in Sri Lanka or riding a rickshaw around the maze of Hutongs in Beijing, China.

With three different ranges of trips to choose from, there’s sure to be something for everyone. Signature tours are everything that makes On The Go Tours special, with local tour guides, small groups and a great quality of accommodationEssentials tours keep the costs down whilst still delivering true adventure, with a mixture of public transport in Japan and overland trucks in Central Asia, Africa and Latin America.  Whilst on their Handpicked tours, On The Go Tours work with local partners to deliver authentic experiences in amazing destinations, from Iceland to the Galapagos archipelago.

Sustainability and environmental awareness are also at the heart of On The Go Tours’ operations. Whether it’s planting trees in Cambodia, donating stationary to a school in India or funding the conservation of endangered Bengal tigers, protecting the regions they visit is at the forefront of the way they do business. Signature tours with On The Go Tours also make use of locally-run hotels and eateries wherever possible, and tour guides are mostly English-speaking locals. Overall, around 70% of travellers holiday funds remain in the destination visited.

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tour details

This tour is operated by On The Go Tours

8 nights from pp exc.flights; per Night
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Enquire Award-winning small group tours to destinations around the world.
Start:Chennai
Finish:Kochi
Group size:2 - 24
Suitable for: 16 + if accompanied by an adult.
Accommodation:3 - 4 star and heritage properties
Diets:Vegetarians, Please contact On The Go Tours with specific dietary requests
Tour operated in: English
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