Southern Sojourns

Southern Sojourns

Discover India's colonial past along the peninsula

Our Southern Sojourns itinerary delves deeper into the lives and reigns that put India on the map – a story that begins on the southern coasts of Kerala and Tamil Nadu. Walk through the history of a tropical haven rich in spices, silks and stone art. Trace the legacy of ancient kingdoms and empires of the Indian peninsula succumb to the forces of trade and commerce, and gain new identities as colonies. The waves of invasions that brought new industries, different economies and a diverse people to our shores – and most of these are still present today, bearing testimony to the tides and times of an ever-changing country.

Highlights

  • Discover Chennai, Pondicherry, Thanjavur, Madurai and Cochin on specially curated walking tours

  • Explore UNESCO’s world heritage monuments; Mahabalipuram’s rock-cut caves and shore temples, the architectural marvel of Thanjavur’s Brihadeeshwarar temple and the collection of bronze idols from the Chola dynasty

  • Master different culinary styles; Pondicherry’s creole recipes, Thanjavur’s traditional vegetarian food, Karaikudi’s peppery Chettinad cuisine and Cochin’s Syrian-Christian specialities

  • Learn Thanjavur’s traditional crafts; bronze-casting, Tanjore paintings, Saraswati veenas and the Thalaiyattai Bommai dolls

  • Walk through Madurai’s Meenakshi temple originally built in the 6th Century and known for its eclectic night ceremony

  • Hike the hills of Munnar and discover the forests with picnic lunches amidst the Neolithic dolmens

  • Discover Munnar’s tea legacy through plantation hikes & treks & tea-tasting trails

  • Peel back the layers of Cochin’s history from its spice trading days with Dutch, Spanish, Portuguese & British

  • Go backstage for a make-up session for Kathakali Artists and witness dance-drama performances of Kathakali and Ottanthullal

Destinations Covered

When to go

  • Great time to visit

    jan

  • Great time to visit

    feb

  • Great time to visit

    mar

  • Good time to visit

    apr

  • Not advisable

    may

  • Not advisable

    jun

  • Not advisable

    july

  • Good time to visit

    aug

  • Good time to visit

    sep

  • Great time to visit

    oct

  • Great time to visit

    nov

  • Great time to visit

    dec

Chennai

Day: 1-2

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Start your sojourn at the port city of Chennai, with a thriving global trade in silks, spices and jewels, was a capital over centuries of empires and colonies, and the region around it grew rapidly from a tiny town to the bustling metropolis it is today. Formerly known as Madras, Chennai’s location along the coast offered great opportunities for industries, and like other ports in India, some of the first few industries were set up for textiles. The streets of Chennai evoke a sense of history that is intermingled with its political identity today, the older structures fulfil modern-day administrative roles, and the port commerce has contributed to the industrial and urban development. On the streets of Chennai, it is difficult to tell the difference between the political hoardings and the movie posters – essential elements of the city’s life, as is the variety of rice-based preparations of its rich cuisine. Chennai’s identity is also forged by its distinct cultural elements: the rich traditions of Bharatnatyam dance and Carnatic music, with their accompanying instruments, and the city hosts a month-long festival every December to celebrate these legacies.

Spend your days here discovering the city with our signature experiences as below:

Recommended Activities

Recommended Accommodations

Mahabalipuram

Day: 3

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Pondicherry

Day: 4-5

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Thanjavur

Day: 6-7

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Karaikudi

Day: 8

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Madurai

Day: 9-10

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Munnar

Day: 11

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Thekkady

Day: 12

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Kumarakom

Day: 13-14

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Cochin

Day: 15-16

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