Visit the UNESCO monuments of Mahabalipuram, including Rivage Temple resplendent with thousands of sculptures dedicated to Shiva
Explore the stunning monuments of Thanjavur, from the 11th century Brihadeshwara Temple to the Saraswati Mahal Library, one of the oldest of its kind in the world
Stay in some of South India’s heritage properties, offering beautiful architecture and fascinating glimpses into the past
“In many ways, the biggest asset was the presence and leadership of Cosmo Brockway. Personable, unflappable, kind, thoughtful… just some of his many qualities that, added to his knowledge of the history, culture and people of India, enhanced the whole experience”
Traveller on a previous tour with Cosmo Brockway
This 17-day tour of Southern India offers a visual and sensory feast for all tastes. Spanning the width of the southern half of the subcontinent, our journey will take in some of India's great architectural, religious and cultural highlights.
Author and travel writer Cosmo Samuel Brockway will be our guide as we explore the treasures of this varied and beguiling region, from the historical monuments of Chennai to the atmospheric colonial settlements of Pondicherry and Tharangambadi. Remnants of some of India’s greatest empires will be seen in Thanjavur, once capital of the Chola dynasty, and the seafront Pallava Kingdom temple complex of Mahabalipuram.
The elaborately designed temples of Madurai and Kanchipuram will provide glimpses into the story of Hinduism both past and present, while the churches of Chennai and Fort Kochi will bring to life the journey of Christianity across the subcontinent.
We will enjoy the astonishing scenery and serenity of Kerala's Malabar Coast, elephant spotting from the lake at Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary and cruising its famous backwaters on a traditional houseboat, before experiencing a melting pot of cultures at Fort Kochi, home to Chinese fishing nets, tiled synagogues and glorious period buildings.
The energetic city of Mumbai will reveal its many treasures, including the famed UNESCO World Heritage site of Elephanta Island with its 5th century cave carvings, as well as a dawn heritage walk through Jewish built markets and Gothic edifices, and a curated tour of a leading museum collection.
The majority of hotels are of a four or five-star standard. For further information on accommodation, please see the information box under ‘Practical Information’.
Interactions with local figures will give the tour a personal flavour as we hear stories from lives led across South India, and learn about some of the most ancient and colourful communities in the world. Opportunities will also be taken to sample South India’s appetising cuisine, including a ‘food walk’ through the lively streets of Madurai.
Tour Director Cosmo Samuel Brockway has been travelling across India for the last 16 years as a travel journalist, tour leader and, most recently, author of the award-winning book Glorious Hotels of India (2019). He is a South Asia specialist and editor for Ampersand Travel, and writes for leading publications on Indian culture and design. He has led tours across the Holy Land, Norway and Greek island of Patmos, besides the subcontinent, and is currently working on his next book on Sri Lanka.
Cosmo writes: “I am looking forward to introducing groups to some of the lesser-known treasures and scenes across India. My passion is to take travellers away from the well-trodden paths and show them a very personal glimpse of India, both historic and vibrantly flourishing.”
Included: return airfare, accommodation based on sharing a twin or double bedded room, breakfast, eleven lunches with water, eleven dinners with water & tea/coffee, excursions, gratuities & all taxes.
Not Included: visa, travel insurance, twin or double room for single use supplement £1250.