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Mystical Tamil Nadu... Our Sacred South India Tour

14 days from £3,950 per person

This itinerary is one of Ampersand's Top 10 Cultural Holidays.

Exploring the myths and legends of the sacred south east, this journey encapsulates the very essence of mystical Tamil Nadu, providing a comprehensive insight into its Dravidian roots, imperial past and rural charms.

Begin by exploring the colonial centre of Chennai, formerly Madras, the soul of South India, and keeper of artistic, religious and culinary Tamil traditions. From Chennai fly down to Madurai, one of the oldest cities in India and often referred to as ‘the city that never sleeps’. At the heart of it all is the dazzling Meenakshi Temple, a maze-like structure ranking among India's greatest temples. The unusual Chettinad region, with the extraordinary Art Deco mansions will capture your heart, before being swept off your feet with more magnificent Hindu temple complexes in Tanjore. Capital of the great Chola empire during its heyday, the past is still very much present with thousands of people flocking to worship at the Cholas' grand Brihadeeswarar Temple daily. Head to the quiet former Danish settlement of Tranquebar and then onto the historic French town of Pondicherry, both of which still holding onto their charming colonial roots. Finish with a few days in the relaxed town of Mahabalipuram, where you can combine the impressive UNESCO sites with some relaxing time on the beach.

This tour of Tamil Nadu is purely a suggested itinerary; it can be booked as it is or alternatively used as a starting point for creating your own ideal tour of IndiaIf you'd like to see similar trips, take a look at our collection of Epic Journeys, as well as our favourite Active and Family-Friendly itineraries.


Itinerary details

14 days from £3,950 per person

  • Day 1 - The Gateway Hotel Pasumalai - Madurai
    Arrive in Chennai and catch a connecting flight to Madurai. Spend the afternoon at leisure with an evening ceremony at Meenakshi Temple.
  • Day 2 - The Gateway Hotel Pasumalai - Madurai
    Full day city sightseeing tour of Madurai.
  • Day 3 - Visalam - Chettinad
    Morning drive to Chettinad. Afternoon sightseeing tour and cookery demonstration.
  • Day 4 - Visalam - Chettinad
    Full day sightseeing Chettinad including the tile workshop and a bull kart ride.
  • Day 5 - Svatma - Tanjore
    Morning drive to Tanjore via Trichy to see Srirangam Temple. Afternoon at leisure.
  • Day 6 - Svatma - Tanjore
    Full day city sightseeing tour of Tanjore, including Heritage Walk and Brihadeeswarar Temple.
  • Day 7 - The Bungalow on the Beach - Tranquebar
    Morning drive to Tranquebar via Dharasuram and Kumbakonam temples. Afternoon at leisure to explore Tranquebar.
  • Day 8 - Palais de Mahe - Pondicherry
    Morning drive to Pondicherry. Afternoon at leisure.
  • Day 9 - Palais de Mahe - Pondicherry
    Half day sightseeing tour of Pondicherry. Afternoon at leisure.
  • Day 10 - Taj Fisherman's Cove - Mahabalipuram
    Morning drive to Mahabalipuram via Auroville. Afternoon at leisure.
  • Day 11 - Taj Fisherman's Cove - Mahabalipuram
    Half day sightseeing tour of Mahabhalipuram. Afternoon at leisure.
  • Day 12 - Taj Connemara - Chennai
    Morning drive to Chennai via Kalakshetra Foundation and Dakshina Chitra Museum. Afternoon at leisure.
  • Day 13 - Taj Connemara - Chennai
    Full day sightseeing in Chennai including an afternoon city tour.
  • Day 14 - In transit.
    Drive to the airport for your onward flight home.
Madurai Tamil Nadu South India 4 Madurai Tamil Nadu South India 4
Madurai Tamil Nadu South India 7 Madurai Tamil Nadu South India 7
Visalam Chettinad South India 12 Visalam Chettinad South India 12
Visalam Chettinad South India 6 Visalam Chettinad South India 6
Svatma Tanjore Tamil Nadu 5 Svatma Tanjore Tamil Nadu 5
Tanjore Tamil Nadu South India 4 Tanjore Tamil Nadu South India 4
Tanjore Tamil Nadu South India 5 Tanjore Tamil Nadu South India 5
Tanjore Tamil Nadu South India 8 Tanjore Tamil Nadu South India 8
Pondicherry Tamil Nadu South India 1 Pondicherry Tamil Nadu South India 1
Pondicherry Tamil Nadu South India 8 Pondicherry Tamil Nadu South India 8
La Villa Pondicherry India 3 La Villa Pondicherry India 3
Mahabalipuram Tamil Nadu South India 7 Mahabalipuram Tamil Nadu South India 7
Mahabalipuram Tamil Nadu South India 2 Mahabalipuram Tamil Nadu South India 2
Fishermans Cove Mahabalipuram Tamil Nadu 8 Fishermans Cove Mahabalipuram Tamil Nadu 8
Travelling is like flirting with life. It's like saying, 'I would stay and love you, but I have to go; this is my station.
Lisa St. Aubin de Teran

Client Testimonials

I would recommend Ampersand without any hesitation!!! The best travel agent that I’ve ever had dealings with. Everything – from the individual care and attention in helping to plan the trip, through to the efficiency of the agents on the ground in India – was handled brilliantly. An absolutely first-class service all round.
- Matthew Annable, Rajasthan, India
I had a very lovely time and was looked after splendidly. My first visit to India could not have been better, save for being longer! But I shall return at some point and I shall look to you to make the arrangements.
- Matthew Nicklin, North India
Everything you did for us whilst we were away was hugely appreciated, and Ampersand has been exemplary in every way. I'll always recommend you!
- Mr Richard Stoughton, Sri Lanka
Difficult to articulate just how good the service from you and your team really was. We know you will continue to do well and hope we have the chance to seek your assistance again before long.
- Mr & Mrs Manson, North India
We had a wonderful holiday - everything was perfect. Thank you for helping us to make a thoughtful plan to enjoy and make most out of our trip. The places we visited, the guides, the transportation and driver, the hotels selected... Everything was great!
- Jaime Benitez, South India
Ampersand’s preparation, attention to detail and interaction before and during our trip show exactly why good travel agents have a role in today’s internet booking age. They were a delight to deal with!
- Mr David Wallace, North India
So many highlights to choose from! The hotels were amazing but Maya Villa was a highlight… I loved just hanging out in the hammock reading my book and watching the peacocks chase the cows!
- Krista Weir, Sri Lanka
Without question, you put together the best trip I have ever taken. We were shown around like visiting dignitaries, the hotels were fantastic and the itinerary was just right. Everybody I know will hear about how amazing Ampersand is!
- Leslie Siben, India
I thought the Ampersand team was outstanding. We couldn’t have hoped for anything more.
- Mr Geoffrey Johnson, India

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