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Great Journeys: India: Southern India

Starting and ending in Chennai, this journey takes in the amazing sights of the southern tip of India.

Map of southern India

Click on the links below to find out more about individual destinations.

Journey Summary

Starting off in Chennai, we head south to the incredible temple towns of Mamallapuram, Thanjavur, Trichy and Madurai, experiencing French colonialism in Pondicherry en route. After maxing out on temples we relax in the beautiful hill station of Kodaikanal, before heading west (via Madurai) to explore the stunning backwaters of Kerala and the cultural mishmash of Kochi. Finally, looping back northeast, we take in the colourful markets in Mysore and the progressive city of Bangalore before heading back to Chennai.

Suggested Itinerary

The following is only a suggested itinerary – one of the things about India is how it manages to make all carefully laid plans irrelevant after just a few hours. In India planning as you go is pretty much the only thing to do, and bear in mind that transit days are often just as fascinating as days spent exploring, especially if you're taking the train...

Day Suggested Itinerary
1 Fly to Chennai
2 One day in Chennai
3 Chennai to Mamallapuram
4-5 Two days in Mamallapuram
6 Mamallapuram to Pondicherry
7 One day in Pondicherry
8 Pondicherry to Trichy
9 One day in Trichy
10 Day trip to Thanjavur
11 Trichy to Madurai
12 One day in Madurai
13 Madurai to Kodaikanal
14-18 Five days in Kodaikanal
19 Kodaikanal to Madurai
20 Madurai to Kollam
21 Kollam to Alappuzha to Kochi (by backwater boat)
22-24 Three days in Kochi
25 Kochi to Mysore
26-67 Two days in Mysore
28 Mysore to Bangalore
29-30 Two days in Bangalore
31 Bangalore to Chennai
32 One day in Chennai
33 Fly from Chennai