UNESCO Sites of South India

India

Archaeology | Culture

Discover South India's ancient archaeological wonders

17 days £2,695 pp (was £2,995 pp) This is the per person group tour price, based on 2 sharing. The price is subject to change with exchange rate and flight cost fluctuations.
Intro, Dates & Prices

Intro

You will experience the little-seen Karthika Deepam festival in Kumbakonam on the Nov 2020 departure.

South India is packed with some of the most impressive and least-known archaeological sites in the Indian Subcontinent. Travel from the western part of South India through the Western Ghats (a UNESCO biodiversity hotspot) to the coastal town of Mahabalipuram in the east. You will explore the heritage of South India and the remarkable architecture and archaeological ruins of ancient Indian civilisations. The trip starts with a memorable visit to the rock-cut Buddhist, Hindu and Jain shrines in the Ajanta and Ellora Caves. Another highlight is a visit to the unearthly boulder-strewn landscape of Hampi, the 14th century capital of the Vijayanagar Empire. Explore Badami’s 6th century Hindu temples carved into the hills, Mahabalipuram’s carved frescos, and enjoy a trip on the toy train through the lush Nilgiri Hills.

Note: an escorted guide will join if the group size is 4 travellers or more. Local English-speaking guides are provided at all sites.

TOUR HIGHLIGHTS

  • The Ajanta and Ellora caves - UNESCO World Heritage sites
  • Other-worldly landscape of 14th century Hampi
  • Royal heritage and monuments in Mysore
  • World's largest monolithic stone statue in Shravanabelagola
  • Ride toy train in the Nilgiri Hills
  • Intricately carved cave temples in Mahabalipuram

Places Visited

Aurangabad - Ajanta Caves - Ellora Caves - Solapur - Badami - Aihole - Pattadakal - Hampi - Hassan - Belur - Halebidu - Mysore - Shravanabelagola - Ooty - Mettupalayam - Trichy - Tanjore - Kumbakonam - Mahabalipuram

What's Included

Arrival & departure transfers
Ground transport with driver
Domestic flights (if relevant - refer to itinerary)
Accommodation
Meals (refer to itinerary for meal plan)
English-speaking guides
Entrance fees to sites & parks

Contact us today

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Itinerary & Map
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Day 1 : Aurangabad

Arrive into Aurangabad Airport. You will be met and transferred to your hotel, where you will have the rest of the day to relax and acclimatise in preparation for your first day of sightseeing tomorrow. Overnight in Aurangabad. 

It is usually best to fly into Mumbai and then connect to Aurangabad. If you would like to fly into Mumbai a few days earlier we can organise a short Mumbai tour extension. Contact us for more information.

Overnight in Vivanta By Taj, Aurangabad

Meal plan: n/a

Despite going through multiple name changes – Khadki, Fatehnagar, ‘City of Gates’ – Aurangabad remains an international tourist destination, abundant with history and world heritage sites – Ajanta and Ellora caves. Nowadays, the city maintains a booming industry, home to the headquarters of Videocon, but still prides itself on its heritage and traditions and often displays exhibits of the city’s art.
 


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Day 2 : Aurangabad

After breakfast at your hotel, you will travel to your first UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Ajanta Caves. Here, you will have plenty of time to examine its thirty rock-cut Buddhist cave monuments and impressive paintings and sculptures. Overnight in Aurangabad. 

Overnight in Vivanta By Taj, Aurangabad

Meal plan: Breakfast

The majestic Ajanta Caves consist of 30 rock-cut caves dating back to 2nd century BC. Overlooking the river Waghur, each cave is fashioned into a horse shoe shape and form monasteries and worship halls filled with the country’s finest examples of ancient Indian art. Vivid colours and mural wall paintings were abundant in Indian history and is evidential in the 1st, 2nd, 16th and 17th caves, which forms the largest surviving Indian wall painting. Most of the paintings depict the Jakarta tales – Buddhist legends describing the previous births of the Buddha – and appear to be the works of confident artists, complete with bold rich brush strokes. The Ajanta cave arts offer a window into a long-forgotten time, but also provide an interesting dichotomy between the strict spiritual lives of monks (with no materialistic possessions) and the sensual, artistic habits they obviously enjoyed.

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Day 3 : Aurangabad - Ellora - Solapur

After breakfast, you will check-out of your Aurangabad hotel and and journey to the celebrated Ellora Caves, 30km away from the city. Use the day to explore its thirty four caves, featuring Buddhist, Hindu and Jain monuments. and art work, all of which date back to 600 - 1000 CE. Overnight in Solapur. 

Overnight in Balaji Sarovar Portico, Solapur

Meal plan: Breakfast

Locally known as ‘Verul Leni’, the Ellora Caves represent one of the largest rock-hewn monastic-temple complexes in the entire world, with 100 caves (34 of which are open to the public). Excavated out of the vertical face of the Charanandri Hills, the caves represent various denominations – Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism – and are divided up accordingly. However, their proximity to each other is also a clear indication of the religious harmony that existed in ancient times. The most notable cave is the tenth, Vishvakarma (also known as the ‘Carpenters Cave’), because of its wooden beam appearance and 15 foot carving of the Buddha in the heart of the cave and the large Bodhi tree at the back.  
 


Solapur is a city located in the south-western region of Maharashtra state. It is known for its textile industry and has the world's second largest - and Asia's largest - spinning mill, giving it a nickname as the Manchester of India.

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Day 4 : Solapur - Badami

Today you will drive to Badami, where you will spend the afternoon exploring its four Hindu and Jain Temples carved into the town’s soft sandstone hills. The Badami caves are some of the earliest examples of Hindu temples, and were the inspiration for many others around the country. Overnight in Badami.

Overnight in Krishna Heritage, Badami

Meal plan: Breakfast

Badami was formerly known as Vatapi, after the twins Vatapi and Ilyala from the legend Ramayana. It served as the regal capital of the Chalukyas dynasty from AD 540 to 757. The town sits in a ravine surrounding Agastya Lake and is most recognised for its beautiful red sandstone Hindu temples, two of which are dedicated to Vishnu, and the others to Shiva and Jain Tirthankaras. Like the Ajanta and Ellora caves, the Badami caves illustrate inscriptions and intricate carvings as well as early Kannada poetry. Badami also boasts the impressive Badami Fort and a Buddhist cave, which can only be reached through a small entrance on your hands and knees.
 


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Day 5 : Badami - Hospet

After breakfast, travel to the city of Hospet in the Ballari district of central Karnataka. En-route, stop at Pattadakkal, a UNESCO World Heritage site of Hindu and Jain temples, and Aihole, another historic site of Hindu, Buddhist and Jain monuments and temples. Overnight in Hospet.

Overnight in Evolve Back, Hampi

Meal plan: Breakfast



Aihole, a prominent city during the Chalukya Dynasty, lies close to Badami and is one of Karnataka's most popular visitor attractions. Rich with an illustrious architectural history, Aihole has great cultural significance as the cradle of Hindu temple architecture. There are about 125 temples in and around Aihole – several of which date back to Chalukyan times – as well as early Buddhist caves and Jain monuments. One of its most elaborately designed temples is Durga Temple. Dedicated to Lord Vishnu, the temple’s exquisite and intricate carvings offer valuable records of the origins and development of Northern Indian temple architecture; as well as proving a popular site among art enthusiasts.
 


Situated along the Malprabha river, Pattadakal is a small town in north Karnataka. Settled in pre-historic times, the modern town boasts nine Hindu and one Jain temple built by the Chalukya dynasty (who ruled large parts of southern and central India between the 6th and 12th centuries). The world heritage town is considered an architectural jewel by UNESCO for its natural integration of northern and southern Indian building styles.
 


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Day 6 : Hampi

After breakfast, take a short thirty-minute drive from Hospet to the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Hampi. Once the wealthy capital of the Vijayanagar Empire in the 14th century with numerous temples and trading markets, it is now an unearthly yet captivating landscape of magnificent ruins. Explore these sights, ​as well as the popular Hampi Bazaar and rural easy going village Virupapur Gadde in the afternoon. Overnight in Hospet.

Overnight in Evolve Back, Hampi

Meal plan: Breakfast

Sat on a hilly terrain of granite boulders, Hampi is a fantasy world of palace and temple ruins, vast banana plantations and forest-green paddy fields. Despite being destroyed by Muslim sultanates in 1565, Hampi preserved the remains of more than 1,600 impressive forts, royal and sacred complexes, madapas and water structures. At the epicentre of these remains is Vittala Temple. Featuring a detailed chariot and multiple elephants, all fashioned out of stone, the temple illuminates the high quality of Hampi’s craftmanship. However, its centre piece is its richly carved pillars that emit musical tones when tapped.
 


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Day 7 : Hospet - Hassan

Enjoy an early breakfast before starting the journey to your next destination, Hassan. To break up the journey visit the small towns of Halebidu and Belur on the way, both of which are known for their fine examples of Hoysala architecture. Once you have arrived in Hassan, enjoy an evening meal at the Hoysala Village Restaurant. Overnight in Hassan.

Overnight in Hoysala Village, Hassan

Meal plan: Breakfast

Named after the Goddess Hassanamba, Hassan city serves as the headquarters of Hassan district. Established during the Hoysala Empire, it became an important pilgrimage site in Janism. Home to the statue of Bahubali – who was believed to have meditated motionless for over a year in a standing position – it was built in 981 A.D. and has been associated with the Hassan area for more than 2,000 years.
 


Belur was the first capital of the Hoysala Empire. Established in the 11th century, it was often referred as ‘earthly Vaikuntha’ – in recognition of the ground’s sanctity. With this in mind, it is unsurprising that the town is home to a number of renowned temples like Chennakeshava. An active Hindu temple since its inception, Chennakesava is described in medieval Hindu scripture, as well as in pictorial form in the ancient Indian poem Ramayana and to this day remains an important pilgrimage site in Vaishnavism.
 


Halebidu served as next capital of the Hoysala Empire, after Belur. Although known for its traditional Hoysala architecture, it was destroyed twice by Islamic forces of the Delhi Sultanate, thus earning its name Halebidu which literally translates to ‘old capital’. The town is home to a number of Hindu and Jain temple complexes including Hoysaleswara Temple, a 12th century Hindu sanctuary dedicated to Shiva.
 


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Day 8 : Hassan - Mysore

After a leisurely breakfast, begin the journey to the enchanting city of Mysore. Stop en-route in Shravanabelagola to climb the 700 steps up to the Gommateshwara statue dedicated to the Jain god Bahubali. Make sure to admire the beautiful views at the top. After arriving in Mysore, enjoy an evening stroll round the colourful 100 year old Devaraja Market. Overnight in Mysore.

Overnight in Radisson Blu, Mysore

Meal plan: Breakfast

Often referred to as the 'City of Palaces', Mysore is famed for its enchanting palaces, royal heritage and dazzling monuments. Situated in the southern part of the Deccan Plateau, Mysore District is an undulating tableland, covered in parts by granite outcrops and fringed by verdant forests. As the cultural capital of Karnataka, Mysore is home to the annual and world renowned Hindu festival 'Dasahara', an academy of visual arts and its very own painting style.

The town of Shravanabelagola is an historic and religious destination. Apart from being home to the world’s largest monolithic stone statue, Gommateshwara Bahubali, it is also thought to be the exact area where Chandragupta Maurya (founder of the Maurya Empire) stayed with his mentor. Shravanebelagola is one of the most important Jain places in the world and holds an anointing ceremony called Mahamasthakabhisheka to the statue of Bahubali every twelve years.
 


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Day 9 : Mysore

Post breakfast, head out on a sightseeing tour of Mysore. Bask in the grandeur of Mysore Palace, and explore Sri Rangapatanam. Then choose to drive 13km from Mysore to Chamundi Hills, or walk a 1000 steps track. Here, you can marvel at the 4.8 meter tall monolith of Nandi, the sacred vehicle of Lord Shiva. After, drive back to the hotel in Mysore and enjoy the rest of the day at your leisure. Overnight in Mysore.

Overnight in Radisson Blu, Mysore

Meal plan: Breakfast

The Palace of Mysore is the official residence of the Wodeyars, a former Hindu dynasty. Completed in 1912 and expanded in 1940, it is one of India's most visited sights. This is particularly due to its architectural style, which is commonly known as Indo-Saracenic, as it employs Gothic, Hindu and Muslim styles.

Named after the goddess Chamundeshwari, The Chamundi Hills are one of Southern India's eight sacred hills, with the Chamundeshwari Temple that sits atop the hill under the patronage of the rulers of Mysore. The hills also offer lovely panoramic views of Mysore. 

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Day 10 : Mysore - Ooty (Coonoor)

After breakfast, leave Mysore for the paradise of nature lovers. Located at an altitude of 1,858 metres, the hill town Coonoor contains lush green meadows, waterfalls and popular tourist areas such as Sim’s Park and the popular trekking spot, Hidden Valley. You will then make your way to Ooty, the Queen of Hill Stations and capital of the Nilgiris district. Sample tea from nearby plantations in an hour-long tasting tour and learn what makes the perfect tea. After, the remainder of the day will be free at your leisure. Overnight in Ooty.

Overnight in Kurumba Village Resort, Ooty

Meal plan: Breakfast

Situated in the Nilgiri hills, Udhagamandalam (Ooty), is known as the Queen of Hill Stations due to its jade-green valleys and picturesque mountains 2,240 metres above sea level. During colonial days it was a popular summer resort where soldiers like the 1st Duke of Wellington were sent to recuperate. Nowadays it serves as a popular hill resort and is renowned for its UNESCO protected mountain railway.
 


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Day 11 : Ooty - Mettupalayam

After a relaxed morning, visit the UNESCO protected Nilgiri Mountain Railway Station. Here, you will learn about the historic 'rack and pinion technology' which still operates today. You will then board the train to Mettupalayam for a ride through the mountain's curves and tunnels, passing deep ravines full of verdant vegetation, gurgling streams and luscious tea gardens. Overnight in Mettupalayam.

Overnight in Black Thunder Resort, Mettupalayam

Meal plan: Breakfast & lunch

Built by the British in 1908, the Nilgiri Mountain Railway is a 1,000mm metre gauge railway in Tamil Nadu. Along its 28 mile track it negotiates 208 curves, 250 bridges and 16 tunnels. Relying on steam locomotives, it provides a typical steam train experience, passing tea estates, forested hillsides and mountain regions.

 


Mettupalayam is a municipality in the Coimbatore district and is situated at the foothills of the Nilgiris. The railway station here is one of the most important stations in Coimbatore as the Nilgiri Mountain Railway starts from here.

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Day 12 : Mettupalayam - Trichy

After a hearty breakfast in Mettupalayam, begin the drive to Tiruchirappalli (Trichy). After a few hours rest in the hotel, spend the afternoon exploring the fourth largest city in Tamil Nadu, Trichy. Visit the magnificent Rock Fort that dominates the city, climb the 437 steps up to the magnificent Vinayaka Temple, Trichy's highest point, to get a birds eye view of the sacred Kaveri River. Later, visit Srirangam, a grand temple on an island in the Cauvery, dedicated to Lord Ranganathaswamy. Overnight in Trichy. 

Overnight in Sangam, Trichy

Meal plan: Breakfast



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Day 13 : Trichy - Tanjore - Kumbakonam

After breakfast, journey to the city of Kumbakonam. En-route, visit the spectacular Brihadeeswara Temple in Tanjore, decorated with carved panels depicting mythological events and Tanjore Palace & Art Gallery, which houses large collections of Chola bronzes and Tanjore paintings. Afterwards, visit a local carpenter where you will watch a Veena (an ancient South Indian musical instrument) being carved out of jackfruit tree wood. Overnight in Kumbakonam.

Overnight in Mantra Koodam, Kumbakonam

Meal plan: Breakfast

Tanjore is an important centre for South Indian religion, art and architecture. Most of the Great Living Chola Temples, which are UNESCO World Heritage Monuments, are situated in and around the city.

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Day 14 : Kumbakonam

On your 14th day you will visit the Great Living Chola Temples, which were built by the kings of the Chola Empire, and the Rajaraja II temple complex. Take time at each to appreciate the intricate architectural, sculpting, painting and bronze casting work of the Chola’s – one of the longest-ruling dynasties in the history of southern India. After lunch, make a visit to a bronze sculptor and observe its intricate process, before having a go at creating your own pottery masterpiece. Later, enjoy a bullock cart ride through Kumbakonam’s roads. Overnight at Kumbakonam hotel.  

Overnight in Mantra Koodam, Kumbakonam

Meal plan: Breakfast

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Day 15 : Kumbakonam - Mahabalipuram

Check out of your hotel after breakfast, and travel to Mahabalipuram, an ancient historic town and beach destination. En-route, visit the Hindu temple Brihadisvara in Gangaikonda Cholapuram.  Completed in 1035 AD by Rajendra Chola I, it was designed as part of his new capital and is among the largest temples in South India. Later in the afternoon, check-in to Ideal Beach Resort in Mahabalipuram, where you will spend your two final nights of the tour. Spend the rest of the day at your leisure. Overnight in Mahabalipuram.

Overnight in Taj Fisherman's Cove, Mahabalipuram

Meal plan: Breakfast

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Day 16 : Mahabalipuram

After breakfast, explore Mahabalipuram. Tour its famous 7th century shore temples, beautiful rock-cut temples – the Group of Monuments at Mahabalipuram – and Rathas (temple chariots). There will also be time to visit the town’s west side, where the precariously-balanced 250 tonne boulder, Krishna’s Butterball, sits as well as intricately carved monuments, temples and a lighthouse. Spend your last evening at the iconic Moonrakers Restaurant, sampling their renowned seafood and curry dishes. Overnight at the hotel.

Overnight in Taj Fisherman's Cove, Mahabalipuram

Meal plan: Breakfast

Mahabalipuram/Mamallapuram, 50km south of Chennai, is a recognised beach destination on India’s east coast and is frequented by tourists throughout the year. The city is also famed for its stone sculpting industry. Thanks to the Pallava kingdom’s stonemasonry, Mahabalipuram holds some of the most outstanding examples of Dravidian art and architecture. One example is the rock-cut Group of Monuments at Mahabalipuram (a complex of 7th and 8th century religious monuments). The UNESCO site has 400 ancient monuments and temples, including the Shore Temple, which overlooks the Bay of Bengal, and one of the largest open-air rock reliefs, Descent of the Ganges. Carved on two monolithic rock boulders, it illustrates the story of the sacred and supernatural river Ganges forming in earth from heaven, led by the king Bhagiratha.
 


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Day 17 : Chennai - Departure

Your last day of the tour. Enjoy a hearty breakfast before making your way to Chennai International Airport for your flight.

Alternatively if you wish to extend your stay in India or beyond, contact us for ideas.

Meal plan: Breakfast

Accommodation

Accommodation

All accommodation subject to availability. Final accommodation choices will be confirmed after booking.

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Vivanta By Taj

Aurangabad (2 nights)

A grand palace style hotel situated in the middle of five acres of gardens with stylish rooms that offer satellite and cable TV. Enjoy a multitude of cuisines at the Latitude restaurant, or taste the best grills and desserts at the Garden Cafe. Unwind with tea brought across the Silk Road from China in the Tea House, or visit the fitness centre, which is open all day.

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Balaji Sarovar Portico

Solapur (1 night)

Balaji Sarovar is a lavish five-star hotel not far from the airport and close to the railway station. It offers a comfortable, luxurious experience in resplendent rooms and features the finest world cuisine in their restaurants. With free Wi-Fi, satellite TV and a fitness centre with a swimming pool, relax after a day of exploring the city.

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Krishna Heritage

Badami (1 night)

Situated just outside of the main town, is surrounded by greenery with small cottages lining the garden path. It offers spacious, comfortable rooms that are well equipped with amenities to suit your needs such as air-conditioning in every room and internet access.

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Evolve Back

Hampi (2 nights)

With fort-like entrances, stone-paved boulevards, arched hallways, and regal chambers, be transported back to the 14th century Vijayanagara Empire in this luxury hotel that mimics the palaces of this era. Take a dip in the large infinity pool, relax in the laidback reading lounge, or refresh and rejuvenate your body and mind with India's ancient system of wellness. The resort offers two restaurants with a fine selection of continental and Indian cuisine, primarily inspired by the Vijayanagara Empire.

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Hoysala Village

Hassan (1 night)

The Hoysala Village Resort offers its guests a tranquil stay in luxury, spacious accommodation,  which includes all the basic amenities. Modelled on the style of rustic Indian cottages, it features beautifully designed interiors and impressive architectural structures. It also offers guests a variety of sports activities such as yoga and swimming.

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Radisson Blu

Mysore (2 nights)

Situated in the heart of Mysore, the Radisson Blu offers convenience and gorgeous views of the Chamundi Hills. Unwind in their spacious rooms with high-speed Wi-Fi and 24-hour room service or use the fitness centre and swim in the outdoor pool. The restaurant serves a variety of Indian, Asian, and international dishes.

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Kurumba Village Resort

Ooty (1 night)

Deep in the heart of the forest, the Kurumba Village Resort welcomes you to take refuge in nature, to relax and unwind in such a luxurious, unspoilt place. The resort is a tribute to the ancient clan it is named after, who were able to co-exist happily with nature. Enjoy a lavish 7-course meal from a tree house, or dine in a cave on comfortable rugs surrounded by candles. The resort offers a multitude of activities from,forest walks and golf to cooking classes and and a spice plantation tour.

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Black Thunder Resort

Mettupalayam (1 night)

The Black Thunder Resort is next to the Black Thunder water theme park with easy access to adventure activities and rain forest treks. The resort itself has spacious, air conditioned rooms and a number of restaurants to choose from. With lots of greenery, enjoy dinner in the garden restaurant surrounded by nature with the breeze blowing through coconut and banboo trees.

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Sangam

Trichy (1 night)

Sangam Hotel enjoys a central location in Trichy. It has a multi-cuisine restaurant, 24 hour coffee shop and an Egyptian themed bar.

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Mantra Koodam

Kumbakonam (2 nights)

Nestled between two branches of the Kaveri River, in the town of Veppathur with 5000 temples, Mantra Koodam is designed as a tribute to the regions heritage. You are welcomed by tolling bells as you step into a street modeled after an "agraharam", which literally translates to "garland of houses". Stroll through lush coconut groves, temple shrines, and spot the occasional peacock. Feel free to visit the Mantra Tea Kadai in the gardens, which is modeled after traditional  tea shops found in this region.

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Taj Fisherman's Cove

Mahabalipuram (2 nights)

The Taj Fisherman's Cove resort & spa was built on the ramparts of a ruined 18th century Dutch castle, just off from the Covelong beach. The resort is surrounded by lush gardens with private pools and scenic walkways to the sea. Relax in the luxurious Jiva Spa where they combine India's traditional healing therapies with the modern understanding of the body to provide a calming experience. Dine in one of the many high quality restaurants from seafood and grills to traditional dishes and mouthwatering desserts.

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Extensions

Beaches (1-7 days)

After exploring the busy cities, there's no better place to relax than one of India's paradisiacal beaches

Hill Stations & Mountains

Escape the city and unwind among some of the most breathtaking mountain and hill scapes the world has to offer.

City Extensions (1-4 days)

Visit the must-see sights and the hidden depths of India's most vibrant cities.

Kolkata & Sunderbans (6 days)

Discover colonial Kolkata and the Sunderbans Tiger Reserve

Treks & Walks (1-12 days)

Himalayan treks, village walks and more

Himalayan Extension: Ladakh to Kashmir (5 days)

Travel across the spectacular Himalayan Highway

Kolkata & Darjeeling Snapshot (7 days)

Ideal extension to Bhutan

The Golden Triangle (5 days)

Marvel at India's most incredible forts and palaces

Indian Odyssey (29 days)

Experience the best of North and South India

Wildlife of Madagascar, India & Borneo (29 days)

Spot lemurs, tigers & orangutans

Highlights of the Subcontinent (22 days)

Discover iconic sights of India, Nepal & Bhutan

Wildlife of India & Borneo (21 days)

Get under the skin of Asia's two best wildlife spots.

Journey through the Indian Himalayas (20 days)

Travel through the Himalayan foothills via Shimla & Amritsar to Ladakh

Monks, Tribes & Rhinos (20 days)

Himalayan mountains, unseen tribes & amazing wildlife

Classic Bhutan & Assam Cruise (18 days)

Experience Bhutan's rich culture, colonial Kolkata and rural life in Assam

Essential India & China (17 days)

Visit the two most populous countries on Earth.

UNESCO Sites of South India (17 days)

Discover South India's ancient archaeological wonders

Textile Tour of India (16 days)

Textile tour of Gujarat & Rajasthan including the Mewar Festival

Essential India & Sri Lanka (16 days)

India's Golden Triangle & the best of Sri Lanka.

Glimpse of India & Nepal (16 days)

Golden Triangle and the Himalayas

Taste of South India (15 days)

Experience the flavours and exotic spices of South India

Assam & Nagaland Hornbill Festival (15 days)

Wildlife, tribes & rural life in Assam, Nagaland and Manipur

Nagaland: Festival of the Headhunters (15 days)

Aoling Festival, wildlife in Assam & natural beauty of Manipur

Big Six of India (15 days)

Spot tigers, lions, leopards, buffalo, rhino & elephants

Rajasthan Explorer & Pushkar Camel Fair (15 days)

Fort cities, rural villages & camel fair

Kerala Calling (15 days)

Tropical mountains, tea & spice plantations, and backwaters

Tribes of Rural India (14 days)

Visit remote tribal villages of Orissa & Chhattisgarh

Spirit of South India (14 days)

Temple towns of Tamil Nadu to backwaters of Kerala

Kerala & Karnataka Explorer (14 days)

Idyllic backwaters, tropical forests & ancient temple towns

Taj, Tigers & Temples (14 days)

Perfect mix of classic sights and off-beat places for first-timers to India

Hampi and Beyond (14 days)

Discover Karnataka's stone temples, wildlife and coffee farms

Tribes of North East India (14 days)

Remote tribal cultures in Arunachal Pradesh, Assam & Nagaland

Sacred India (14 days)

Uncover the religious diversity of India

Delicacies of North India (14 days)

Discover the huge diversity of North India's cuisine

Big Cats of India (14 days)

Experience the thrill of the Indian jungle ...

Wildlife of North East India (14 days)

Diverse wildlife in Assam and the Sunderbans

Heart of India (14 days)

Take in the highlights of central India

Best of Bengal & Sikkim (14 days)

Colonial Kolkata, Darjeeling toy train & Buddhism

Kashmir, Ladakh & The Hemis Festival (14 days)

Experience dramatic Himalayan scenery, Islamic & Buddhist cultures

Kerala - Trekking the Western Ghats (13 days)

Explore this UNESCO biodiversity hotspot on foot

Glimpse of India (12 days)

Golden Triangle, tigers & exotic Kerala

Treasures of Gujarat (12 days)

Villages, temples, salt flats & the world's last Asiatic lions

Markha Valley Trek (12 days)

Set foot in Ladakh's hidden Himalayan valleys

Classic Kerala (10 days)

Tea, spices, backwaters & beaches

Essential Rajasthan (10 days)

Discover the forts, palaces, villages and desert of Rajasthan

Living Bridges of Meghalaya (7 days)

Waterfalls, hills and living bridges in North East India

Reviews

A really well planned trip. We experienced life in Northeast India in just the way we wanted to. We loved the game reserves and saw a rock python which thrilled our guides as it is even rarer than the tiger! We visited villages and were able to interact with local people and loved the busy markets in Delhi and Calcutta. A special highlight was the Hornbill Festival in Nagaland; shown to us by our very own Naga guide Kezo. Kezo accompanied us for 15 days of our trip and ensured that we had many very special experiences - even taking us to the home of one of his Aunts where we spent a couple of hours sitting by the bonfire chatting.

Ann Holgate , Tailormade India

Thank you for organising our holiday in Kerala. I certainly wouldn`t have had the time or the knowledge to put together such a trip. Munnar was my favourite and the accommodation throughout was excellent.

Vik , Kerala Calling, India

What an excellent service! Rahul adapted, extended and improved our trip so many times without a qualm and we ended up with the trip of a lifetime. The destinations are unusual and interesting but everything has been checked out by the team and works brilliantly. I can`t wait to do another trip.

Penelope Smith , Assam & Nagaland Hornbill Festival, India

The tour was an amazing experience for our first visit to India. The country, its people and its cuisine were friendly,delightful, colourful and exceeded all our expectations. Travel the Unknown have put together a superb unique package that we have no hesitation in recommending to anyone with an interest in food and culture.

Elaine & Neil Smith , Delicacies of North India, India

I`m sure I could not have found a better operator for the type of complicated Indian tour I wanted to undertake on a limited budget. India is an intimidating country to visit, and I suspect that some operators look down on the first time visitor, or disparage their requirements. Travel the Unknown, by contrast, helped me all the way, and their local guides were superb.

Andrew Martin , Tailormade North East India

This was a very varied and interesting trip to a forgotten part of India. If you like off the beaten track travel it is definitely worth the effort but go with an open mind and keep a smile on your face.

Richard Williams , Monks, Tribes & Rhinos, India

This was my first experience of using Travel the Unknown having enjoyed small group adventure holidays for many years. I was attracted to the company because it seeks out the more unusual and lesser known areas of a country and I was not disappointed by my visit to Assam and Arunachal Pradesh. There is a clear contrast between the people and the scenery of these two regions and we saw very few western tourists particularly in Arunachal Pradesh. The tour was well organised with plenty to see and do.

Keith Lewis , Monks, Tribes & Rhinos, India

A fantastic trip to Arunachal Pradesh. Very well organised exactly to our requirements. Superb local guide. Would recommend this trip. Hazel and James.

Hazel Frost , Tailormade North East India

Another great trip from Travel the Unknown. I would recommend this company to anyone who wants to move outside the boundaries of the usual tourist itinerary.

Catherine Crawford , Kashmir & Ladakh Explorer, India

This trip was very well put together and ticked all the boxes that we had requested. The accommodation throughout the tour was of a high standard and our experiences in the national parks was wonderful spotting many different animals including tigers, leopards, sloth bears, lions, jungle cat plus countless number of birds. Thank you Rahul for tailoring this trip to our requirements.

Nigel & Margaret Turner , Tailormade India Wildlife & Birding tour

We went on the Spirit of South India Tour and had a great time on our honeymoon. There was a good variety of places visited and the hotels, drivers and guides were all very good. We would definitely recommend this tour.

Rachel , Spirit of South India, India

I would highly recommend Travel the Unknown to anyone visiting India. The service we received both prior to, during and following our travels was always timely and excellent. We were able to customize our trip to our liking and to enjoy a wide variety of activities. The guides in every location were outstanding! Honestly. Having travelled through much of the world I can truly say that we have never been more impressed with the quality of the guides arranged for us in each location, as well as the service we received. Similarly, the hotels were excellent and allowed us to live very comfortably while, at the same time, enjoy an authentic Indian experience. If you haven`t already booked your trip with Travel the Unknown, then either do so now....or at least give them a chance to show you what they can offer.

Tracey & Gary , Tailormade India
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