Southern India: Spices, Temples and Backwaters10 days & 9 nights, Private Journey
Handcrafted itineraries for one or more travelers with on-the-ground support, a private guide, and a private vehicle. Private Journeys represent the best of the custom programs we've designed over the years. Our insider knowledge and destination expertise make these innovative journeys truly unique experiences.Private Journey
Please select an option before proceeding to Booking Request.
Day 1Arrive Chennai
Upon arrival in Chennai, you will be welcomed by your Cox & Kings local representative and escorted to your hotel.Preferred: Park Hyatt Chennai
Elite: The Leela Palace Chennai - 3 Nights
After breakfast this morning, visit the Kalakshetra Dance Academy, founded by Rukmini Devi in 1936 to revive Bharatanatyam, the classical dance form of the state. Continue to the temple city of the Pallava dynasty, Mahaballipuram, where you enjoy lunch at a seaside resort. After you dine, it's on to visit Dakshinachitra, a unique Heritage village. As you tour this fascinating open-air museum, you'll get an authentic insight into the diverse culture.Preferred: Park Hyatt Chennai
Elite: The Leela Palace Chennai (B, L)
Take a day trip to Kanchipuram, one of the seven ancient sacred cities of India. The spectacular temple city reflects the glorious traditions of South India, with its grand temples and a thriving handloom industry, which has made the city renowned for its excellent silk.Preferred: Park Hyatt Chennai
Elite: The Leela Palace Chennai (B, L)
Day 4To Madurai
After breakfast this morning, head for the airport for your flight to Madurai, a prominent city in Tamil Nadu and home to the spectacular Meenakshi Temple. Upon arrival, you have the rest of the day at leisure to begin your explorations of the area.Heritage Madurai - 2 Nights (B)
Embark on a visit to Sri Meenakshi Temple. One of the most important places of Hindu pilgrimage, the temple is a baroque example of Dravidian architecture, filled with gopurams (spires) in a profusion of multi-colored images of gods, goddesses, animals and mythical figures. The 1,000-pillared hall in the complex houses the Temple Art Museum with its stone images and exhibits on Hindu deities. This evening, witness the sacred aarti ceremony, which consists of music, chanting, song and crowds of spiritual revelers.Heritage Madurai (B)
Day 6To Kumarakom
Drive through the picturesque South Indian countryside to Kumarakom, where a labyrinthine network of rivers, canals, streams and lagoons form the famed backwaters. Enjoy stunning views as you continue your journey to your resort.Coconut Lagoon - 2 Nights (B)
Embark on a leisurely exploration of the Kerala backwaters, an unforgettable journey through a luxuriant palm-fringed landscape, where the locals and the river enjoy a symbiotic existence. You'll cruise through the tropical landscape on a rice barge, savoring a traditional lunch along the way.Coconut Lagoon (B, L)
Day 8To Kochi
Transfer by boat to the jetty and then proceed to Kochi. In the evening, sample some of the local flavors as you dine on authentic Kerala cuisine at the residence of a famous culinary expert.Preferred: Trident, Kochi
Elite: Brunton Boatyard - 2 Nights (B, D)
Unravel the ancient treasures of the quaint harbor town of Kochi. Visit the Portuguese Church of St. Francis and the oldest living synagogue in the world. Continue to Mattancherry Palace, built by the Portuguese for the King of Kochi in exchange for trading rights. Later, enjoy lunch at a local restaurant.
This evening, consider celebrating your last night in India with dinner at one of the city's many seafood restaurants.Preferred: Trident, Kochi
Elite: Brunton Boatyard (B, L)
Day 10Depart Kochi
Today you will be escorted to the airport for your onward flight.(B)
In the Indian Subcontinent, there are completely different customs when it comes to road use and road craft, and all manner of vehicles, people and animals can be found moving about, even on the main roads. To most visitors, road journeys in the Indian Subcontinent can seem quite startling at first; however, all Cox & Kings drivers are very experienced and in tune with other road users, allowing you to relax and absorb the extraordinary sights and sounds en route.
For Escorted Groups, Cox & Kings uses air-conditioned buses of an appropriate size for the number of people traveling, while on Private Journeys, Cox & Kings uses mid-size cars with an option to upgrade to luxury segment vehicles, available on request. They all feature air-conditioning and our drivers are experienced. Please refer to page 51 for further details.
Important Note: Road conditions in the Indian Subcontinent change throughout the year, due to monsoon rains and extreme weather patterns and journey times can vary enormously at all times of the year which is beyond the control of Cox & Kings.
Air travel in the Indian Subcontinent is more affordable now. There are full service brands that operate domestic and international flights and then there are low cost airlines that have gained popularity due to low cost airfares being offered.
Flight Delays & Insurance: Due to increase in air traffic, government restrictions and changing weather conditions, flight delays have become more commonplace. Domestic flights in India can incur last minute schedule changes, delays, over flying, and / or cancellation without prior notice. November through January, fog can also create delays in Northern India airports, causing flight postponement or cancellation.
Flight delays can cause problems with onward connections, hotel and holiday arrangements. Although the airline will sometimes make arrangements to get you to your next destination at no extra cost, costs may be involved for you, in the form of additional accommodation, transfers and onward tickets. Unfortunately, since most services are paid for in advance, any services missed due to delays are non-refundable. Please note many international flight tickets are restricted and nonrefundable. Therefore, Cox & Kings requires that you are insured against such eventualities, and recommends traveling with a comprehensive Travel Insurance Policy from your point of origin.
Early Starts: A number of flights within the Indian Subcontinent arrive / depart early in the morning and, while we will endeavor to schedule your tour with a flight which arrives / departs at a reasonable time, sometimes there is little or no alternative and early check-in / check-out times may be required.
Special Requests: Cox & Kings will endeavor to request any specific meals or services, on the condition that we are told at the time of booking. Specific seat requests with most major airlines can now only be requested if traveling in one of the premium classes. We are able to request general seating preferences for Economy Class passengers. However, all special requests are at the discretion of the airline and cannot be guaranteed.
Travel within the Indian Subcontinent is an adventure at every moment. We will endeavor to keep all clients apprised of any changes and or alterations to the program due to flight arrival or departure re-scheduling or other situations that may occur throughout your travel.
Important Note: Airlines and train schedules and fares are subject to last minute change. In the event that any amendment or cancellation arises or increase in fare, Cox & Kings cannot be held liable for the same.
The Indian Subcontinent has made an indelible mark in the area of hospitality. The distinctive features of these hotels are high standard and quality accommodation and service along with contemporary facilities at par with world standards. The availability of hotels in the Subcontinent ranges from Deluxe, Luxury, First Class and Budget to Heritage and Boutique.
Accommodation standards vary dramatically throughout the Subcontinent and in general cannot be compared to the West. In larger cities such as Delhi and Mumbai, the hotels we use are fully modernized with excellent facilities, while in other cities and towns the hotels are smaller but still offer good facilities. In the desert cities of Rajasthan, areas of Southern India and small hill towns, many hotels we use are small, privately owned properties or converted palaces, retaining much of their original ambience, but the room size, shape and design can vary enormously (even in the same price bracket). On certain circuits in Rajasthan, enjoy the experience of staying at one of the marvelous Heritage hotels – once the residence of Maharajas. Although palace hotels often have simple facilities and service can be slow, we ask for your patience as this is more than compensated for by their atmosphere and charm.
Check-in & Check-out Times: Most hotels work on a check-in of 1400 hours and check-out of 1200 hours. If a flight arrives in the morning, you may be taken for breakfast or sightseeing before check-in. We will endeavor to get your room as early as possible in these instances.
Game Parks & Remote Areas: Even when you travel off the beaten track with Cox & Kings,you can be sure that your accommodation in game lodges, smaller hotels and tented camps is the best available. Sometimes the best hotel may be the only hotel, which may be very modest. In these cases we feel that the simplicity of such accommodation is outweighed by the experience. Game park accommodation cannot be compared to that available in parts of Africa and is often reached down narrow and makeshift roads.
Meals: Meals included in the tour program are indicated in the itineraries at the end of each day with codes: Breakfast (B), Lunch (L) and Dinner (D).
Maps: Type of travel is indicated in the maps at the beginning of each itinerary with symbols:
Road Travel (), Train Travel (),Air Travel (), Day Excursion ( ).
Cox & Kings is happy to arrange for you to extend your stay in the Indian Subcontinent. We have suggested possible extension options for the tours in this brochure, however we would also be delighted to design a custom extension, either pre or post tour, to fit in with your particular interests. Please note that tour extensions are operated on the same basis as Private Journeys.
Many of the sites in the Indian Subcontinent necessitate a reasonable amount of walking, either to the site or around it. Whilst the walking is normally easy going, a full-day’s sightseeing can be quite tiring and sometimes strenuous. In addition, at ancient monuments there are many steep sections and uneven surfaces. A reasonable amount of fitness is required.
Southern India: Spices, Temples And Backwaters
Please select an option before proceeding to Booking Request.