chhatrapati-shivaji-terminus-mumbai

Best of South India

from USD 2651
Tour Duration: 15 Nights / 16 Days
The tour gives an insight to the limitless ancestry and ethnicity of South India by covering 4 UNESCO World Heritage sites. You will get to witness the astonishing mythology of India through depiction by Kathakali dancers. After experiencing the breathtaking performances we cruise through Arabian Sea and have a gala time on the boat. The thrilling walk through jungle and a boat ride in Thekkady will captivate all your senses. South India being the land of spices, you will get to jaunt between the various spice plantations. The pride of South India lies in its backwaters. We sail through the Alleppeys backwater in a houseboat with a chef on board serving you thoroughly. Being the land of origin of Ayurveda, your rejuvenation is also taken care of. An hour of revitalizing massage is what you will look forward to after long days of tour. Further we head to the southernmost tip of India, Cape Comorin popularly known as Kanyakumari. At last we discover the beauty of Dravidian architectures in Southern India.

All about the Best of South India

This gateway to the southern region of India reveals the rich cultural heritage of the place by focusing on its three most important states; namely Mumbai, Kerala and Tamil Nadu. The journey begins from touring around the financial capital of India and home to the famous celebrities of the Indian Cinema industry Bollywood, i.e. Mumbai. The city righteously boasts about the spirit of its people and the cosmopolitan culture they thrive upon.

The itinerary further takes us down to Kerala; commonly referred to as ‘The God’s Own Country’ wherein the travelers spend the upcoming 7 nights de-stressing with the serenity the awesome landscape offers. The tranquil backwaters, lush green surroundings, the beautiful tea estates and spice plantations. You’ll wrap up this city with a pampering Ayurvedic massage therapy.

Further we travel to visit the state just next to Kerala, i.e. Tamil Nadu, where we discover the rich cultural heritage of south India with the grandeur of the temples at Madurai and Thanjavur. Then we proceed to see the mini France of India – Pondicherry. A former French colony that still retains some bits and pieces of the French culture. The journey completes with a visit to the Shore temples of Mahabalipuram (UNESCO’s World Heritage Site) and Marina beach in the last southern city called Chennai.

Heritage Sites

  • Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, Mumbai
  • Elephanta Caves, Gharapuri
  • Great Living Chola Temples, Chennai
  • Group of Monuments at Mahabalipuram, Mahabalipuram

Tour Itinerary at Glance

Day 1: Arrive Mumbai (INDIA)
Day 2: Mumbai (B, D)
Day 3: Mumbai / Chochin by flight (B, D)
Day 4: Cochin (B, D)
Day 5: Cochin/ Thekkady (Drive) (B, D)
Day 6: Thekkady (B, D)
Day 7: Thekkady / Alleppey ( Drive ) (B, L, D)
Day 8: Alleppey / Kovalam (Drive) (B, D)
Day 9: Kovalam (B, D)
Day 10: Kovalam / Kanyakumari / Madurai (Drive) (B, D)
Day 11: Madurai (B, D)
Day 12: Madurai/ Tanjore (Drive) (B, D)
Day 13: Thanjavur / Pondicherry ( Drive ) (B, D)
Day 14: Pondicherry / Mahabalipuram/ Chennai (Drive) (B, D)
Day 15: Chennai (B, D)
Day 16: Chennai / Onward destination (B, L, D)

The tour package inclusions and exclusions at a glance

  1. Whats included in this tour
    • Hotels as mentioned or similar
    • Meals as mentioned in the itinerary (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
    • All sightseeing and transfers by Air-conditioned transportation
    • Services of English Speaking guide for sightseeing (Local guides for 1-5 Pax and tour escort throughout the tour for 6 pax and above)
    • Entrances fees
    • Regional/domestic airfare in coach class
    • Harbor Cruise in Cochin
    • 01 Rejuvenation Massage for 01 Hour at Somatheeram Ayurveda Resort – Kovalam
    • Kathakali Dance performance -Cochin
    • Boat Ride at Lake Periyar –Thekkady
    • Guided Jungle Walking Tour -Thekkady
    • Spice Plantation tour- Thekkady
  1. Whats not included in this tour
    • International airfare & departure taxes
    • Insurance & visa fees
    • Drinks/beverages with meals
    • Tips/gratuities
The tour packages General Terms and Conditions
  1. General Terms
    • The prices are Per Person on twin sharing basis.
    • The above cost is valid for the mentioned departure dates only.
    • Please note that smoking is prohibited in public and all parts of the hotels except in designated areas and bedrooms, where smoking is permitted.  Should you desire a smoking bedroom, please let us know.  The fulfillment of this request is subject to availability of smoking rooms and is not guaranteed. 
    • Unless specified, check-in at hotels in India is at 14:00 Hrs and check out is at 12:00 Hrs
    • Our liability does not arise in case of Force Majeure (political disturbances, natural phenomenon etc.)
    • Reporting time at the International at the airport is generally 3 hrs prior to departure of the flight.
    • Check-in counters of most flights close approximately 45 minutes before departure and boarding gates close about 15 minutes prior departure.
    • Reporting time at the Domestic airport is generally 2 hrs prior to departure of flight
    • For booking domestic air seats we need names as per passport.
    • Baggage allowance in internal flights with in India is 15 Kg per person 
  1. Cancellation Policy

    b. Airfare:
    Refunds on airfares purchased through BTS will depend on the rules of the carrier and the applicable fare base used for the purchase of the ticket. BTS will charge a ser­vice fee of no less than 10% of the airfare paid by the Client. Clients are advised not to purchase airfares till the tour is confirmed and visas (if any) procured.

    c. In the case of Rail Journeys or luxury train tours, luxury cruises. Specific cancellation policy pertaining to the specific rail journey, luxury train, luxury cruises as laid down by the operator will apply. There will be a 10 % cancellation processing fee applied by Bestway2india in addition to the cancellation charges levied by the operator.

    CANCELLATION BY THE OPERATOR
    “Bestway2india”, “BTS” reserves the right to cancel the Tour due to an insuffi­cient number of participants. In such an event, and only in such an event, “Bestway2india”, “BTS” will refund the said Deposit to the Client. “Bestway2india”, “BTS” will have no further liability to the Client for damages or inconveniences caused to the Client. Client hereby expressly waives any claim he/she may have against “Bestway2india”, “BTS” for such cancellation. In the event that “Bestway2india”, “BTS” decides:
    a) that the Tour may jeop­ardize the safety or security of the Clients, “Bestway2india”, “BTS”, or any staff of “Bestay2india” “BTS” and/or Services Providers; or
    b) the Tour cannot commence and/or continue for circumstances beyond the control of “Bestway2india”, “BTS”, “Bestway2india”, “BTS” may, in its sole discretion, postpone, cut short or cancel the Tour at any time. Such changes and/or cancellations may be necessitated for political, military, health, weather conditions or other valid reasons affecting local conditions, but will not be limited to the aforesaid reasons only. In such an event the liability of “Bestway2india”, “BTS” is limited to refunding the Client such monies which represent unused services, less

    a. any monies expended by “Bestway2india” “BTS”
    b. any liability incurred by “Bestway2india” “BTS”, and
    c. a reasonable amount of the Tour Price for services rendered by “Bestway2india” “BTS”

  1. Day 1 Arrive Mumbai (INDIA)

    Namaste – Welcome to India! Upon arrival we are greeted the traditional Indian way with hands clapped together. We are then transferred to our hotel and have the balance of the day free.  

  2. Day 2 Mumbai

    We start our day with a visit to the Gateway of India, Mumbai's most famous monument. Here we embark on our excursion to the Elephanta Caves*, located on an island in the Sea of Oman. The caves contain a collection of rock art linked to the cult of Shiva. Here, Indian art has found one of its most perfect expressions, particularly the huge high reliefs in the main cave. We return to Mumbai by motor launch and visit the Prince of Wales Museum and Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus*, formerly known as Victoria Terminus Station, an outstanding example of Victorian Gothic Revival Architecture in India, blended with themes deriving from Indian traditional architecture. The building, designed by the British Architect F. W. Stevens, became the symbol of Bombay as the ‘Gothic City’ and the major international mercantile port of India. Its remarkable stone dome, turrets, pointed arches and eccentric ground plan are close to traditional Indian palace architecture. Our Next Stop is at Mani Bhawan, where Mahatma Gandhi stayed here during the Freedom Struggle. The house is now converted into a Museum. From here we leave for the Jain Temple and Hanging Gardens, the Zoroastrian Towers of Silence, the bustling Crawford Market and drive past Haji Ali, the tomb of a wealthy Muslim merchant. We end our tour at the Dhobi Ghat, the world's largest outdoor laundry. The word Dhobi Ghat is used all over India to refer to any place where many washers are present.

    Meals Included
  3. Day 3 Mumbai / Chochin by flight

    Today we are transferred to airport for our flight to Kochi, formerly known as Cochin. On arrival, we are transferred to our Hotel. Rest of the day is free for personal activities.

    Meals Included
  4. Day 4 Cochin

    In the morning we explore Kochi, formerly known as Cochin, Kerala’s commercial capital with one of the finest natural harbours in the world. We visit St. Francis Church, the oldest European Church in India. Vasco De Gama was buried here before his remains were taken back to Portugal. Next, we visit the Roman Catholic Santa Cruz Cathedral built by the Portuguese in the 16th century; which is famous for beautiful paintings on its ceiling. We continue to the Jewish Quarter with its Old Synagogue and the Dutch Palace, built by the Portuguese. Later we take a boat cruise to visit Bolghatty Palace and observe the fascinating Chinese fishing nets in action. In the evening we enjoy Kathakali Dance Performance. This dramatized presentation of a play usually based on the Hindu epics of Ramayana, Mahabharata and Puranas, is a unique combination of literature, music, painting, acting and dance.

    Meals Included
  5. Day 5 Cochin/ Thekkady (Drive)

    After breakfast we drive to Thekkady to check in our hotel. The area is famous for its spice plantations. In the afternoon we will visit a spice plantation, where cardamom, pepper, ginger, turmeric, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, all spice, and tea are grown. We will also see Ayurvedic medicinal plants and will have the opportunity to buy some garden fresh spices. In the evening we return to our hotel for dinner.

    Meals Included
  6. Day 6 Thekkady

    Our day starts with a jungle walk at the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary in the early morning, after which we return to our hotel for breakfast. The Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary is one of the world’s most fascinating natural wildlife reserves. Spread across 777 square kilometres it was declared a Tiger Reserve in 1978. In the afternoon we enjoy a boat ride on Lake Periyar to watch animals in their natural habitat by the water's edge. We are likely to see animals like boars, Sambars, wild dogs, Langur monkeys and wild elephants. The sanctuary is also a haven for water birds and we can see plenty of darters, grey herons, egrets and kingfishers. The evening is free to explore the local bazaar in Thekkady and purchase some of the famous spices grown in the area.

    Meals Included
  7. Day 7 Thekkady / Alleppey ( Drive )

    Today we drive to Alleppey. On arrival in Alleppey we board our traditional houseboat and begin our journey through the picturesque backwaters and small lakes relaxing in the tranquility of Kerala's beautiful scenery. On our journey we come across many boats, canoes and other crafts, as we observe the traditional way of life and activities of the local people.

    Meals Included
  8. Day 8 Alleppey / Kovalam (Drive)

    We enjoy breakfast on board, sail to Alleppey and disembark at the Puthenagady Jetty. A comfortable drive gets us to beautiful Kovalam Beach on the Malabar Coast near Trivandrum. We then get to relax by the beach with endless white sands by the blue waters of the Arabian Sea in secluded a coconut grove.

    Meals Included
  9. Day 9 Kovalam

    Enjoy 01 Rejuvenation Massage (01 Hour) and free day to relax on the beach.

    Meals Included
  10. Day 10 Kovalam / Kanyakumari / Madurai (Drive)

    After breakfast we leave for Madurai, visiting Kanyakumari, the “Lands’ End" of India on the way. Kanyakumari is the southernmost tip of peninsular India where the waters of the Bay of Bengal, the Indian Ocean and the Arabian Sea meet. We visit the Temple of Goddess Kumari, the Vivekananda Rock Memorial in the sea where Swami Vivekananda mediated. After lunch we continue our journey to Madurai. On arrival, we check in our Hotel.

    Meals Included
  11. Day 11 Madurai

    Today we explore Madurai, the second largest city in Tamil Nadu. The city revolves around the Meenakshi Amman Temple, a structure in the Dravidian style of architecture.  The complex houses 14 gopurams (gateway towers) ranging from 45-50m in height, the tallest being the southern tower, 51.9 metres (170 ft) high, and two golden sculptured shrines over sanctum of the main deities. The temple is a significant symbol for the Tamil people, and has been mentioned since antiquity in Tamil literature, though the present structure was built from 1623 to 1655. There are an estimated 33,000 sculptures in the temple and amongst the highlights are the Hall of a Thousand Pillars, the Tirumalai Nayaka Temple and the Temple Art Museum.

    In the evening we enjoy night closing ceremony of the Temple.

    Meals Included
  12. Day 12 Madurai/ Tanjore (Drive)

    After breakfast we drive to Thanjavur and check in at our hotel. Thanjavur is popularly known as Tanjore. In the afternoon we explore the Brihadisvara Temple, one of the Great Living Chola Temples*. The temple, set in spacious grounds, has several pillared halls and shrines. Inscriptions record the names of dancers, musicians and poets a reminder of the significance of this area to the development of the arts in the 11th century. We end our tour of Tanjore with a visit to the Tanjore Palace & Museum, which has an eclectic collection of regal memorabilia most of it dating from the early 19th century.

    Meals Included
  13. Day 13 Thanjavur / Pondicherry ( Drive )

    After breakfast we drive to Pondicherry. This former French Colonial city in Tamil Nadu didn’t come under Indian rule until 1954. Pondicherry, otherwise known as Puducherry means a “New Hamlet” and is located on the Coromandal Coast. Its main attraction is actually outside of town: the ashram at Auroville, built by followers of Sri Aurobindo, a philosopher-prophet born in 1870, famous for his Integral Yoga and philosophical literary works. In the International Town where people from all over the world reside, we will find the Matrimandir, the famous monument built by the Auroville Society representing a lotus flower.  Today we will also visit the 400-year old Manakula Vinayagar Temple, which has several frescos telling the life story of a half human and half animal lord.

    Meals Included
  14. Day 14 Pondicherry / Mahabalipuram/ Chennai (Drive)

    After breakfast we drive to Mahabalipuram. On arrival we visit the Group of Monuments at Mahabalipuram*. This group of sanctuaries, founded by the Pallava kings, was carved out of rock along the Coromandel Coast in the 7th and 8th centuries. It is known especially for its rathas (temples in the form of chariots), mandapas (cave sanctuaries), giant open-air reliefs such as the famous 'Descent of the Ganges', and the temple of Rivage, with thousands of sculptures to the glory of Shiva.  After that we continue our journey to Chennai. On arrival we check in our Hotel. Rest of the day is free to relax.

    Meals Included
  15. Day 15 Chennai

    We tour Chennai, visiting the National Art Gallery & Museum, which contains some of the best collections of bronzes in the country including the famous icon of Natraja. We continue to India's oldest surviving British church, St. Mary's Church, built in 1680. We end our tour with a visit to People’s Park and the beautiful Marina Beach and the clock towers.

    Meals Included
  16. Day 16 Chennai / Onward destination

    Today is free for shopping and other personal activities. Hotel Check-out time is 12:00 Noon. In the evening we enjoy our farewell dinner at a local well-known restaurant. After an incredible tour of the Best of South India, we are transferred to the international terminal for our flight home. We bid farewell to India after what will have been a memorable journey into history, culture, art, architecture, making new friends and lots of memories. 

    Meals Included
victoria-terminus-mumbai

Day 1 : Victoria Terminus, Mumbai

prince-of-wales-museum-mumbai

Day 2 : Prince of Wales Museum, Mumbai

santa-cruz-cathedral-basilica-cochin

Day 4 : Santa Cruz Cathedral Basilica, Cochin

periyar-national-park-thekkady

Day 5 : Periyar National Park, Thekkady

periyar-national-park-thekkady

Day 6 : Periyar National Park, Thekkady

houseboat-alleppey

Day 7 : Houseboat, Alleppey

houseboat-alleppey

Day 8 : Houseboat, Alleppey

kovalam-beach

Day 9 : Kovalam Beach

meenakshi-temple-madurai

Day 10 : Meenakshi Temple, Madurai

meenakshi-temple-madurai

Day 11 : Meenakshi Temple, Madurai

brihadeeswarar-temple-tanjore

Day 12 : Brihadeeswarar Temple, Tanjore

pondicherry

Day 13 : Pondicherry

shore-temple-mahabalipuram

Day 14 : Shore Temple, Mahabalipuram

marina-beach-chennai

Day 15 : Marina Beach, Chennai

marina-beach-chennai

Day 16 : Marina Beach, Chennai

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  1. FAQ 1 What is the most appropriate type of luggage to bring?

    We strongly recommend bringing a backpack or a duffel bag, as suitcases can be cumbersome and difficult to store in buses, under seats, etc. Keep in mind that you will normally have to carry your own luggage on and off buses and trains and up and down hotel staircases.

  2. FAQ 2 What vaccinations are recommended for this tour?

    It's important that you receive the most accurate and up-to-date travel health information for the region you will be visiting. The only one qualified to provide you with this advice is your family physician or a specialist from a Travel Health clinic. Below are the links to a number of websites that contain excellent background information related to travel health issues. Nevertheless, these websites are no substitute for a personal consultation with a qualified medical professional. For Canadian Citizens: www.travel.gc.ca For American Citizens: www.nc.cdc.gov For UK Citizens: www.travelhealthpro.org For Australian Citizens: www.travelvax.com For EU Citizens: www.healthhype.com

     

  3. FAQ 3 What clothing should I pack for one of your tours?

    We always recommend packing as light as possible however the specific requirements for your tour will vary widely depending on where and when you are traveling. Our 'General Conditions' includes a suggested packing list and these can be downloaded from each individual tour page. The checklist is tour specific and based upon the experience of our ground staff.

  4. FAQ 4 Do your tours include international airfare?

    Travelers arrive from all over the world to begin our tours and it is not possible to include international airfare in our prices. We would be happy to help you arrange flights. Just ask for an air quote when making your booking.

  5. FAQ 5 What type of ground transportation is used on your tours?

    Our ‘General Conditions’ includes the details of all the transports used during the entire service. The details can be found on each individual tour page.

  6. FAQ 6 Are airport transfers included?

    All of our tours include airport transfers and the prices for the same are included in our tour rates.

  7. FAQ 7 Can I join a tour late or leave it early?

    It is possible to join a tour late or leave a tour early. Though you would be responsible for all costs associated with joining a tour late or leaving one early. If you feel this may be necessary please consult our Specialist before you book your tour.

  8. FAQ 8 Can you provide me with a list of the hotels we will be staying at?

    We use a variety of hotels en-route and a complete list of hotels is provided for your tour. Hotel voucher of each hotel registered for the tour is shared too.

  9. FAQ 9 I'm a single traveler, will I be charged a single supplement?

    All of our trips have a single supplement. The cost and the details vary by trip, so please refer to each tour page for details.

  10. FAQ 10 What are the age restrictions on your tours?

    There are no upper age limits for most of our tours (although for tours under ‘Trekking in the Himalayas’ and ‘Himalayan Panorama’ requires a fit medical condition. For the same, we have a ‘Medical Form’ which is mandatory to be filled by all age groups). For children below the age of 12 years, a parent/guardian should be present. If an assistance is needed, it is to be mentioned at the time of booking. The same will be chargeable.

  11. FAQ 11 How many people can join a tour?

    We keep our group sizes very flexible. So a group of 7 or a group of 70, we welcome all with the same zeal and fondness.

  12. FAQ 12 Who are my travelling companions?

    For privacy reasons, we cannot provide you with advance details on your traveling companions. However, our tours appeal to a wide range of travelers, most of whom share a traveling passion and a desire to experience these destinations at a grass-roots level. Our tours are conducted in English and so they attract many travelers from Canada, North America, UK, Australia, New Zealand, and Europe.

  13. FAQ 13 Can I book extra nights of hotel accommodation before or after my tour?

    Yes, in most cases we can arrange additional accommodation at our starting or ending hotels. Please contact our Specialist for price information. Please also note that extra accommodations must be booked outside of 30 days of departure.

  14. FAQ 14 Is tipping included and if not, how much should I budget?

    Tips are not included in the tour price and tipping is entirely at your discretion.

Overall Rating 5/5
Highly recommended
Reviewed by Ronald on Apr, 2018
5/5

Excellent arrangement on the accommodation. The driver was superb. Tours was very well organised. Highly recommended

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