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Tamil Nadu

Day trips

Our most recommended Tamil Nadu Day Trips

Chennai: Mahabalipuram Tour with Lunch

1. Chennai: Mahabalipuram Tour with Lunch

Your experience will begin as you are collected from your accommodation at 7:30AM, at which point you will make your way to Mahabalipuram. Once having arrived, Panch Rathas is your first destination. These are rock-cut monolith structures which are dedicated to the lead cast of the Mahabharata epic. They are dedicated to Draupadi, Arjuna, Nakul-Sahadeva, Bhima and Yudhister. There is also a sculpture of an elephant next to the ratha of Nakul-Sahadeva. Next in the itinerary is Arjuna’s Penance, a 100-foot by 45-foot open-air rock relief where an entire masterpiece from the Mahabharata epic has been carved. The River Ganga is at the center of the panel, and is surrounded by divine beings, hunters, animals, birds, and trees belonging to the Himalayan ranges. The next stop is to Krishna’s Butterball, a 5-meter ball-shaped boulder which is perched precariously on a slope and seems to defy Newton’s laws of gravity. Next up, the magnificent Shore Temple beckons you. This 8th-century structural temple is made of granite, and served as a beacon for seafarers of the time. Legend says that this was a part of a complex of 7 temples dotted along the sea, and the legendary traveler Marco Polo also mentioned Mahabalipuram in his memoirs, referring to it as the "City of 7 Pagodas". Following this final stop, you will travel back to Chennai where you will be dropped off back to your hotel by 3:30PM.

Munnar Private Day Trip

2. Munnar Private Day Trip

After an early morning pick-up from your Kochi hotel, travel in a comfortable air-conditioned vehicle for about 4 hours to Munnar. En route to Munnar, stop to see the Cheeyappara and Valara waterfalls, and take a break for breakfast. Your local guide will meet you in Munnar to start the tour. Munnar is a hill station that is known for its vast tea plantations and natural beauty. It was once a favorite summer retreat for British colonials. Start your tour by visiting Mattupetty Dam and a tea museum, then take a short walk through the tea plantations. There will be a break for lunch before heading back to your hotel in Kochi, with a stop at a spice plantation along the way.

Mahabalipuram and Kanchipuram Private Caves & Temples Tour

3. Mahabalipuram and Kanchipuram Private Caves & Temples Tour

Enjoy a full-day guided tour of Mahabalipuram and Kanchipuram. Starting in Chennai, you'll be transported to Mahabalipuram, famous for its splendid 7th and 8th-century art and architecture, especially its stone carvings. You will start your tour by visiting the magnificent 7th-century Shore Temple which is surrounded by lush gardens. In addition, you’ll also visit the 7th-century Five Rathas shrine, also known as Pancha Rathas. After visiting Mahabalipuram you'll stop to enjoy lunch at a local restaurant before driving to Kanchipuram. Kanchipuram is known as the "golden city of a thousand temples" and is also one of the 7 sacred cities of India. The city has some grand and majestic buildings that reflect the architectural experiments undertaken by different dynasties ruling the city over the centuries. Visit historic spots like the Kailasanatha Temple, Vaikunda Perumal Temple, Kamaskhi Amman Temple and Ekambareswara Temple. All of these are excellent specimens of the architectural splendor of the medieval period.   

Cochin: Full-Day Private Shore Excursion

4. Cochin: Full-Day Private Shore Excursion

Explore the historic city of Cochin and the backwaters of Kerala on a full-day private tour, customized to your preferences. Following a pick-up at your city center hotel, or from the cruise ship terminal, relax in your chauffeur-driven transport as you investigate the heritage of one of India’s most enchanting areas. Drive to a local vegetable and spice market to immerse yourself in the everyday life of the city and see locals going about their business. Marvel at the scents of the spices and the bustle of the market. Enjoy a backwater cruise of Kerala’s canals, gliding along a narrow waterway surrounded by tropical vegetation and traditional fishing nets. After lunch at a Vedic village resort, climb aboard a tuk tuk for a short 3 mile (5 kilometer) tour to the Bhadra Kali Temple. Then, it’s time for a tour of Cochin city center. See heritage monuments, such as the small church of St. Francis. Originally built in 1503, it is the oldest European church in India and once contained the remains of the Portuguese explorer Vasco de Gama before they were removed to Lisbon. You will also wander the first Jewish settlement of India, visiting the Paradesi Synagogue, the oldest synagogue in the Commonwealth of Nations. If there are any Hindu temple village festivals at the time of your visit, arrangements can be made to see caparisoned elephants and tours can be further customized to accommodate.

From Cochin: Fort Kochi and Mattancherry Sightseeing Tour

5. From Cochin: Fort Kochi and Mattancherry Sightseeing Tour

See the Chinese fishing nets introduced in Kochi by traders from the court of Kublai Khan in the 14th century. See also the 16th-century St. Francis Church, the oldest European church in India, and the burial place of the Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama. Next on the 4-hour shore excursion is Santa Cruz Basilica. Admire the interior decorated with frescoes, murals, and paintings depicting scenes from the life of Christ. Visit the Mattancherry Palace, built by the Portuguese. See murals with scenes from Hindu tales. Next door is the Paradesi Synagogue, the oldest active synagogue in South India. Admire the brass pulpit, glass chandelier, and hand-painted Chinese porcelain floor tiles.

From Cochin: Athirappilly Waterfall Excursion with Lunch

6. From Cochin: Athirappilly Waterfall Excursion with Lunch

In the morning after breakfast your driver will pick you up from your hotel between 08:00 – 08:30 am and you will take morning drive to Athirappilly. Athirappilly is a scintillating waterfall over 80 feet high. This breath-taking waterfall joins the river Chalakudy. Chalakudy, is 5 km away from the hill station Valparai which is famous for its serene tea-estate. On arrival to Athirappilly enjoy the scenic views and enjoy lunch in luxury resort or restaurant. After lunch you will be taken to another waterfall called the Vazhachal waterfall. The Vazhachal waterfall is also a part of the Chalakudy river and you will witness a wide variety of colorful flora and herbal plantation. This plantation is maintained by the forest department. Talking of forests, this breath-taking waterfall is situated amidst the lustrous green forest. After a heartfelt trip to the Athirappilly and spending the whole day amongst the waterfalls, go back to your Cochin Hotel in the evening.

Backwater Houseboat and Fort Kochi Tour from Cochin Port

7. Backwater Houseboat and Fort Kochi Tour from Cochin Port

Benefit from pickup at the cruise ship docks at Cochin Port, and journey on the road to board a houseboat on the backwaters of Kerala (approx 1 hour and 45 minutes). Cruise slowly through the hidden backwaters of Alappuzha (also known as "Alleppey"), considered the hub of the state's backwaters and home to a vast network of waterways and boats. Venture through village areas and the landscape of the Laccadive Sea to marvel at the lush vegetation, paddy fields, coconut palms, and much more. There will be 3 staff members along with your guide to look after you and make sure your experience is as relaxed as possible. Enjoy a lunch of Keralan cuisine as you gently navigate the waterways, which includes rice, vegetable dishes, fish, chicken, and more. End your houseboat cruise and later journey to the serene Fort Kochi area. Marvel at the Cheena vala (Chinese fishing nets) in the Arabian Sea, and see other attractions of the region. Then, benefit from drop-off back at your cruise ship in Cochin Port.

Same Day Backwater Cruise Of Alleppey from Cochin

8. Same Day Backwater Cruise Of Alleppey from Cochin

You will be picked up from your accommodation  and drive to Alleppey (1.5 hours), also known as Alappuzha. It is located between the Arabian Sea and a web of rivers flowing into it. On arrival at Cochin Port, you will meet the tour representative and drive directly to Alleppey, where he will assist you to embark on your private houseboat for a 3-4 hour cruise through the backwaters and village areas to marvel at the lush vegetation, paddy fields, coconut palms, and more. Enjoy a traditional Kerala lunch (both veg and non veg), evening tea, coffee and snacks. Later, you will disembark at the jetty point and be driven back to your accommodation.                                                                                                                                                                 

Jewish Heritage of Kochi: 6-Hour Tour

9. Jewish Heritage of Kochi: 6-Hour Tour

Discover India's Jewish Heritage in Kochi, home to the country's longest-established Jewish communities. Known as the Malayalam Jews, their history is vague but evidence suggests that the earliest settlers may have arrived in India after the destruction of the Second Temple of Jerusalem in 70 CE. You'll see the city's most important Synagogues, including Chendamangalam and Kadvum Bagam, some of the region's key places of worship. Visit the Jewish Cemetery and Kochi's handloom weaving center. Then enjoy lunch at a serene Vedic village resort. The tour continues with a captivating 2-hour excursion around the area's backwaters, and a trip to the Judeo-Christian Ancestry Tower.

Private Backwater Cruise from Bangalore

10. Private Backwater Cruise from Bangalore

The tour begins with a pick up at your Bangalore hotel or accomodation, to catch an early morning flight to Cochin.  Upon arriving at the Cochin airport, you will be driven the 1.5 hour journey to Kumarakom to hop on the tour houseboat. Enjoy a welcome drink and the friendly company of a professional guide. Relax and admire the tranquility of the canal, green forests, palm trees, paddy fields of the village, and the serene backwater. This package also includes a palatable lunch and tea with snacks to be served on the houseboat. The tour ends around 5pm, at which time a chauffeur will drive you back to the Cochin Airport for your return flight to Bangalore.  A driver will pick you up from the airport upon arrival and drop you back to your Bangalore hotel or accommodation.

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Frequently asked questions about Tamil Nadu Day Trips

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Other Sightseeing Options in Tamil Nadu

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What people are saying about Tamil Nadu

Overall rating

5.0 / 5

based on 2 reviews

The tour was well organized and full of interesting sights. I thoroughly enjoyed learning about Mahabalipuram, Tamil Nadu and India. Can highly recommend this tour!

Excellent tour. Very knowledgeable guide. Couldn’t have asked for a better tour. Took time to explain things. Would definitely use this company again.

Enjoyed this houseboat tour. Be prepared for a 2 hour ride each way. Interesting to see the communities. It is a long ride but worth it

One hour comfortable drive under the blue sky. A world heritage world created by shaving rocky mountains.

Excellent trip. Drive from Kochi is a bit long, though. Too much traffic.