South India vacation

“Explore historic cities, sacred temples and sweeping coastline as you follow in the footsteps of ancient traders in the beguiling state of Tamil Nadu. ”

Highlights

Chennai | Mamallapuram | Kanchipuram | Pondicherry | Gingee | Thanjavur | Chidambaram | Chola Nataraja Temple | Swamimalai | Chettinad | Madurai

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Departure information

This trip can be tailormade at a time to suit you and can be adapted to suit your interests, budget and requirements as necessary
Vouchers
Accepted
Vacation type

Traveling with a local operator

This vacation is operated by a company based in the vacation destination and they will be able to provide expert local knowledge. They will be able to tailor make your vacation to suit your requirements not only concerning the dates of travel but also typically the standard of accommodation, and thus price. It is rare for local operators to be able to help with the booking of your flights.

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: South India vacation

This operator was created with the vision to run and manage a business that would offer our guests traveling to India an extremely personal form of travel, shared with members of the family.

We are based in the Nilgiri Hills of TamilNadu situated in the forested Western Ghats. These forested hills used to be home to the Toda tribes of the Nilgiris whose art consists of traditional garments spun from fibers and natural fruit and berry dyes sourced from the surrounding forests. With development, the tribes were forced out of their forest dwellings and were ‘rehabilitated’ in villages outside. However this drastic change in their life, threatened the very art that defined their identity and the means to the only livelihood they knew. Being a part of the local community here in the Nilgiris, we took it up to make sure this art form doesn’t die out like the ancient Toda lifestyle sadly has. We further their art today by sourcing all their products from their Community Center and encourage all our guests visiting us here in the Nilgiris to buy some artifact as a gesture of support towards the Toda lifestyle.

We support of the local village ‘tea shops’ along our routes and the use of only local gasoline sourced from Indian Oil Wells and distributed by Indian Gas Stations. We use the local tribal guides on our teks. Their dedication and knowledge with regards to the forests is commendable and we make sure we give back with some monetary help after every trek and also in kind by supplying them with trekking shoes or clothes that we know they could use.

As long serving members of the Nilgiri Wildlife & Environmental Association (a local affiliate of the World Wildlife Fund), we had actively campaigned to halt the process of timber logging or for that matter clearing of natural forests for any reason whatsoever. As an organisation we represented our case in the Supreme Court, India's Highest Judicial Body, and received a decree that placed a blanket ban on any form of logging in natural forests in the Nilgiri Hills.

We have procured land on which, as a family we currently have planted 350-saplings with a 99% success rate. In addition, we sponsor the trees on lands owned by the forest department where over these years they have afforested with over 100,000 saplings, in this case with a 97% success rate.

Today we have seen a rise in the bird species that thrived in these rain-forested areas. Within our property itself we have seen an addition of close to twenty-five bird species. we actively encourage our guests to plant and own a tree or tree saplings of their choice. As of date, our guests have planted over 125 tree saplings of which all have survived. We keep our guests involved in this experience by emailing them progress photos of their sapling/saplings.

By contributing regularly to a Blind Orphan Childrens Home in a nearby town, we attempt to give these children back a life affected by blindness.

18 Reviews of South India vacation

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Reviewed on 16 Apr 2018 by

All of our trip was a real delight. Highlights were the temples at Mahabalipuram and Madurai, the backwaters of Kerala and Nagarhole wildlife park. Read full review

Reviewed on 27 Feb 2018 by

Wonderful interactions with fascinating local people, including story-teller guides, a classical dancer, a maker of beautiful bronze statues of gods from a prestigious family of temple bronze makers, an English literature student-guide in the Kerala backwaters... Read full review

Reviewed on 11 Feb 2018 by

Most memorable was not a specific place or activity, but instead having the opportunity to meet a variety of people in southern India and getting a better understanding of south India's culture and daily living conditions. Read full review

Reviewed on 23 Feb 2017 by

It was just wonderful; well organized; filled with activities we really enjoyed; the accommodation was lovely and we have great drivers. All in all a very memorable trip. Read full review

Reviewed on 02 Feb 2017 by

There were so many it us hard to pick one but the most outstanding was the friends and acquaintances we made along the way. From the drivers. Guides and of course Ravi and Rajat's family hospitality was second to none. A lovely family who made our stay relaxed, comfortable and thoroughly well looked after. They are very special people who feel like friends now. Read full review

Reviewed on 05 Jan 2017 by

All of Kerela was stunning. My favourite was the tea estate in Munnar and my family loved the houseboat. Read full review

Reviewed on 23 May 2016 by

The vacation was fantastic. There isn't anything we could fault, I wouldn't hesitate in recommending the company to anyone. The organisation, attentiveness and flexibility to suit our preferences was second to none. Read full review

Reviewed on 07 Apr 2016 by

Kerala was incredible from start to finish. As we came to each destination the only word that fit was ' paradise' Read full review

Reviewed on 20 Dec 2016 by

Excellent Read full review

Reviewed on 22 Mar 2016 by

A vacation to suit a wide age range. Safe, friendly and we were able to learn so much about the culture of Kerala. One of the best vacations. 10/10 Read full review

Reviewed on 08 Feb 2016 by

It was marvellous. We had local drivers and guides, stayed in locally owned guest houses/hotels, ate local foods, bought souvenirs from co-ops and government stores. Read full review

Reviewed on 12 Feb 2015 by

Stay as long as you can, it will be too short. We had three weeks and wished it was longer. Read full review

Reviewed on 11 Feb 2014 by

The vacation was completely wonderful in every way. The whole vacation was memorable beyond expectation but if I have to chose one element that was most memorable it's the organiser Ravi Kumar and his wonderful family at Aakriti who treated me like a loved family member Read full review

Reviewed on 07 Mar 2012 by

It was fascinating to experience a little part of this remarkable mixture. The visit to the backwaters - which included 24 hours on our boat - was particularly worthwhile. This is an area of lakes, rivers and small canals quite unlike any other we have visited. Read full review

Reviewed on 10 Nov 2011 by

Most memorable parts were - sharing the Diwali Festival during a homestay at Aakriti. The choice of hotels and the mixture of interests including an overnight journey on a train. Read full review

Reviewed on 11 Jan 2011 by

I think 4/5 reflects our vacation perfectly, we got out of the vacation what we wanted and with the help of our guide Rajat and the team we had some great adventures and lots of wonderful memories and pictures. Read full review

Reviewed on 25 Nov 2010 by

This tour company, tailormade vacation specialists for India are sincere and honest people, who I would recommend to book and arrange your vacation... The time that we spent with a mahout and his elephant was unforgettable. Read full review

Reviewed on 13 May 2010 by

Every step of the trip went very smoothly and having English speaking guides and drivers made the whole experience very personal. Often the local guides enriched our experiences as they espoused more than mere information, passionately imparting their knowledge and opinions. Read full review

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