What to expect

Unforgettable Experiences

Glide along the backwaters of Kerala upon a Kettuvallams

Cultural Heritage

Witness India's many impressive temples

Breathtaking Landscapes

Discover the highlands of Periyar

About the trip

Join Solos on this incredible trip to Southern India. A far cry from the bustling north, you’ll discover a much more relaxed and slower pace of life in the south, with lush green and rugged landscapes – well suited for tea, coffee and spices in Periyar. We’ll glide through the peaceful tranquil backwaters of Kerala and spend a night on board a house boat. Accompanying this, we will witness the region’s magnificent temples, with breathtaking carvings and sculptures, especially in the cities of  Kanchipuram and Madurai. Some of these impressive temples date back to the 7th and 8th Centuries, and have been extremely well preserved. We’ll also witness the coastal cities, from the former French colony of Pondicherry on the east, where we will see French influences throughout the city and on the tree lined seafront, to one of the first churches in India on the west coast in Cochin, which was first constructed in 16th century by the Portuguese traders. On this tour, each day will be a day of new discoveries and experiences, taking us from the mesmerising temples, to the natural wonders of southern India.

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What's Included

  • Return flights & transfers
  • Airport taxes & charges
  • Twin or double room for single use with private facilities
  • Solos Board
  • Guided tour of Mylapore Temple
  • Visit Kanchipuram
  • Tour in Mahabalipuram
  • Visit Aurobindo Ashram in Pondicherry
  • Visit Brahadeeshwarar temple
  • Nature walk in the highlands of Periyar
  • Houseboat Cruise along the backwaters
  • Sightseeing tour of Cochin
  • Accompanying Solos Tour Leader
  • Fully financially protected


  • Overnight flight
  • Arrive into Chennai
  • Mahabalipuram
  • Pondicherry
  • Tanjore
  • Madurai
  • Highlands Of Periyar
  • Nature Walk in Periyar
  • Alleppey
  • Kumarakom
  • Cochin
  • Return flight home
  • Insurance click here
  • India visa currently $25 plus card fees (2.5%). For the latest info please check

What you’ll be doing


Overnight flight to Chennai

Today we depart the UK and take our overnight connecting flight to India.

Arrive in Chennai

This morning we will arrive into Chennai and transfer to the hotel. Chennai, formerly known as Madras, is the capital city of Tamil Nadu and one of the foremost tourist destinations of South India. Famously regarded as the ‘Gateway to the South.’ This afternoon, we will enjoy a guided tour of Mylapore Temple, Fort St. George Museum, St. Mary’s Church and Bronze Gallery at the National Museum. In the evening, we’ll get to know our fellow travellers over a welcome dinner.
  • Dinner included.

Experience Khanchipuram - The Golden City of Thousand Temples

After breakfast, we head to Kanchipuram (75 km/approx. 2 hrs), ‘The Golden City of Thousand Temples’, many of them remarkably well preserved. We visit the temples of Ekambareshwar, Kailashnath, Kamakshi and the Varadarajaswami, all built in the 7th and 8th Centuries. The area is also well known for its hand-woven silks, a tradition dating back to the Pallava era (when silk was the royal cloth), Kanchipuram is famous for its particularly fine silk saris, embellished with stunning patterns. We will visit a silk weaver later and then continue to Mahabalipuram (70 km/approx. 1 hr 30 min).
  • Breakfast including.

Enjoy a guided tour of Mahabalipuram - Shore Temple and Arjuna’s Penance

After breakfast, we get a guided tour of the fascinating rock carvings and temples for which Mahabalipuram is famous for. This includes Arjuna’s Penance, the world’s largest bas-relief, beautifully carved from solid granite. We’ll also visit the Shore Temple that has stood for twelve centuries with its twin granite spires soaring upwards. Later today, we will continue on to Pondicherry (138 km/approx. 3 hrs). Pondicherry is a former French colony. The city has a strong French influence, especially in the Old Quarter and along the promenade.
  • Breakfast included.

Visit the Aurobindo Ashram

Today we visit the Aurobindo Ashram – a spiritual community that grew out of a small community of disciples who had gathered around the philosopher Sri Aurobindo after he settled in Pondicherry. The city has a different feel to other Indian cities thanks to its French influence. Then we drive to Tanjore (230 km/approx. 6hrs). Scenically, this is one of the most enchanting districts in the state, which lies to the east of Trichy and has the reputation as the Rice Bowl of Tamil Nadu.
  • Breakfast included.

Explore the region's architectural masterpieces & temples

Today we visit some of the most impressive temples in South India, starting off with the Brihadeeswarar temple, or other wise known as the Big Temple, which was built by the greatest Chola emperor ‘Raja Chola.’ With its soaring pyramidal shrine, heavy doorways, and early paintings, this makes it a masterpiece of Chola art and architecture. This is the dynasty’s finest contribution to Dravidan temple architecture. We continue the day and proceed to Trichy (60 km/approx. 1 hr 30 min) for a visit to the Srirangam Vishnu temple, which is considered the first, foremost and the most important of the 108 main Vishnu temples. It is one of the most acclaimed temples of South India and has played a pivotal role in Vaishnavism history and Rockfort Ganesha Temple.
  • Breakfast included.

Travel to Madurai to visit the Meenakshi temple

After breakfast, we drive to Madurai (190 km/approx. 3 hrs 30 min), where we check-in to the hotel and spend the rest of the day at our leisure. This evening, we visit the Meenakshi Temple. This Dravidian-style temple is a major pilgrimage site, where millions attend the processions and ceremonies. The temple is the physical centre of the city of Madurai as well as its economic, mythical, and spiritual heart.
  • Breakfast included.

Spot wildlife in the Highlands Of Periyar

After breakfast, we head to the highlands of Periyar (145 km/approx. 4 hrs). From 1895, the British maintained the area as wildlife preserve and there are still opportunities to find elephants, bison, deer, and varieties of birds. The rugged landscape is very tropical and well suited to tea, coffee and spices.
  • Breakfast included.

Nature Walk in Periyar

We delve deep into nature this morning as we embark on an interpretive nature walk. There will be plenty opportunities to watch the birds, butterflies and other wildlife in their natural habitat. The route will be in the Anavachal/ Anachuruli area, with the route covering 4 – 5km, passing through evergreen and marshy grasslands. After the walk, we return to the hotel for breakfast. This afternoon, we visit the fascinating spice plantations such as cardamom, cinnamon, pepper, coffee and tea estates. Later this evening, we will be treated to a thrilling Kalaripayattu (local martial arts performance).
  • Breakfast included.
DAY 10

Cruise the tranquil backwaters of Kerala

Following breakfast this morning, we’ll drive to Alleppey (137 km/approx. 3 hrs. 30 min). When we arrive at Alleppey jetty, we will board a ‘Kettuvalloms’ houseboat, for a cruise along the tranquil backwaters. Kettuvalloms were primarily used for transporting paddy and other goods, and are now an integral part of Kerala’s tourism. We will glide along the peaceful backwaters, rightly called the Venice of the East and spend the night on board our houseboat.
  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner included.
DAY 11

Unwind in Kumarakom

We will have breakfast aboard the Kettuvalloms. We will then head to Kumarakom (35 km/approx. 1 hr). Set in the backdrop of the Vembanad Lake, the largest lake in the state of Kerala, Kumarakom is laced with canals, where houseboats ply the backwaters of Kerala. The rest of the day will be at leisure. We can relax at the hotel and the pool side cottage, or we can head to the lake and unwind in the peaceful setting.
  • Breakfast included.
DAY 12

Head to Cochin

Following breakfast at the hotel, we will drive to Cochin (80 km/approx. 2 hrs) and check into the hotel. It is here at the historic port that traditionally India’s invaluable spices were shipped to Europe. The fascinating maze of narrow streets and merchants’ houses are located in Fort Cochin. Later this evening, we will enjoy a spectacular Kerala Kathakali classical dance show.
  • Breakfast included.
DAY 13


Today we will have a sightseeing tour of Cochin. We will visit the Mattancherry Dutch Palace, which was built by the Portuguese, it is one of the finest examples of the Kerala style of architecture interspersed with colonial influences, as well as this we will visit the Jewish Synagogue. On this tour we will head to St. Francis Church, the oldest European Church in India, the church’s history dates back to 1503, again, built by the Portuguese traders who reached the Kingdom of Kochi. We will view the Chinese Fishing Nets, unique to this part of Kerala and living symbols of centuries old Chinese influence on this coast. This evening we will have a farewell dinner with our fellow travellers and discuss highlights of the tour with new found friends.
  • Breakfast and dinner included.
DAY 14

Flight home

Our final breakfast in India this morning before we head to the airport for our flight back home.
  • Breakfast included.


Temples and Backwaters of Southern India

We stay in comfortable hotels throughout as detailed below (or similar)
  • Chennai – Radisson – 1 night
  • Mahabalipuram – Radisson – 1 night
  • Pondicherry – The Promenade – 1 night
  • Tanjore – Hotel Sangam – 1 night
  • Trichy – Hotel Sangam 1 night
  • Madurai  – JC Residency – 1 night
  • Periyar – Greenwoods – 2 nights
  • Alleppey – Lakes and Lagoons Houseboat – 1 night
  • Kumarakom – Rhythm – 1 night
  • Cochin – Radisson – 2 nights

Frequently Asked Questions

Our Reviews

“I’m sure you will enjoy it, I have been on three solos holidays to date and the people I’ve met have been great.”

“I’ve been travelling with Solos for nearly 20 years, on and off. The reason is for exactly what you want – you meet like minded people… and have loads of fun!”

“I’ve been on loads of trips with Solos over the years and can honestly say you will not regret booking your 1st one!”

“The feeling you have once you go away on your own is worth all the nerves before! I was so very anxious the first time but now having done it 4 times, I love it!”


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