January 10 - 23, 2024




14 Days


Open - Guaranteed
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Toto Tours has chosen for decades to visit various regions in India at times when we can observe and participate in one or more of its dazzling festivals. This particular tour has been organized so that our explorations of the Southern Indian states of Tamil Nadu and Kerala coincide with the three-day Pongal Festival – a Harvest Festival thanking the Sun God for abundance in agricultural harvests. This is one of the major festivals celebrated by Tamil communities, and we join in the revelries while at the same time experiencing all the glories of this region – the massive temple complexes that make up India’s heart and soul, the verdant national parks and hill tea estates, and the lush backwaters of Kerala.

South India is one of the most relaxed and congenial parts of Asia to explore. Accommodations are wonderful, and freshly cooked, nutritious food is always on offer. The widespread use of English makes communication relatively easy. South Indians are extremely friendly and outgoing, deeply interested in getting to know visitors. Prepare to fall in love with the South India vibe!

Our journey begins in the Tamil Nadu state, whose capital is Chennai (formerly Madras). Tamil Nadu is known as the cradle of Dravidian culture, and the icons of this unique civilization are everywhere – huge temples, intricate rock carvings, evocative music and complex classical dances. We work our way south along the coast, exploring historic temples along the way, then gradually turn inland to the beautiful highlands with their colorful tea estates as we cross into lush and romantic Kerala.

Whether under a dazzling sun or a cloudy sky, the brilliant hues of South India – the riot of colors on the temple deities, red silk saris, shimmering classical dance costumes, luminescent green rice paddies, lush tea plantations and rainbow-hued frangipani flowers – astound with a kaleidoscopic display. Join us as we explore the architectural glories, natural wonders and unique cultural events in Tamil Nadu and Kerala. This is an unforgettable journey to another world!


All plans for this tour are made considering the COVID procedures in effect at the time of publication. Entry requirements and vaccination requirements are subject to change at any time without notice. Please be sure you comply with the latest India entry requirements at the time of departure. For the safety of our groups, we encourage our tour participants to be fully vaccinated, and current with their covid vaccines (including any recommended boosters) by one month prior to departure. We ask our travelers to provide us with their vaccination records four weeks prior to departure.

Tour Highlights

  • Chennai, formerly known as Madras
  • Dravidian art and architecture of Mahabalipuram
  • Pondicherry and its French Quarter
  • Auroville, and the unusual Sri Aurobindo Ashram
  • Arts and handicrafts of Tanjore
  • UNESCO Brihadeshwara Temple, a huge Chola temple
  • Pongal Festival celebrations in a village with a local family
  • Unique Pongal sport where crowds attempt to tame a bull
  • Madurai, center of Tamil culture with the dazzling Meenakshi Temple
  • Wildlife viewing in Periyar National Park
  • Tea estates of Munnar
  • Lakeside town of Kumarakom
  • Vembanad Lake, Kerala’s largest freshwater lake
  • Boating on the romantic backwaters of Kerala
  • Kochi, beautiful port city formerly known as Cochin
  • Martial arts show demonstrating the amazing Kalarai dance
  • Kathakali Dance – the most classic dance of Kerala

Tour Map (click to view Google map with hotels pinned)