Welcome to South India

A Fabulous Heritage

Wherever you go in the south you'll be bumping into the magnificent relics of the splendid civilisations that have inhabited this land over two millennia – the amazing rock-cut shrines carved out by Buddhists, Hindus and Jains at Ajanta and Ellora; the palaces, tombs, forts and mosques of Muslim dynasties on the Deccan; Tamil Nadu's inspired Pallava sculptures and towering Chola temples; the magical ruins of the Vijayanagar capital at Hampi…and a whole lot more. It's a diverse cultural treasure trove with few parallels.

Luscious Landscapes

Thousands of kilometres of coastline frame fertile plains and rolling hills in South India – a constantly changing landscape kept glisteningly green by the double-barrelled monsoon. The palm-strung strands and inland waterways of the west give way to spice gardens, tea plantations, tropical forests and cool hill-station retreats in the Western Ghats. The drier Deccan 'plateau' is far from flat, being crossed by numerous craggy ranges and often spattered with dramatic, fort-topped outcrops. And across the region, preserved wild forests shelter wildlife from elephants and tigers to monkeys and sloth bears.

Delicious Dining

South India's glorious culinary variety and melange of dining options beckon hungry travellers. Some of India's most famous and traditional staples hail from here: large papery dosas (savoury crêpes) and idlis (fermented rice cakes) are the backbone of South Indian fare. Mouth-watering Mumbai is India’s top destination for gastronomic indulgence, be it vibrant street food or diverse haute cuisine; Goa's spicy, Portuguese-influenced fare is inventive fiery fusion at its finest; and Kerala's coconut-laced seafood is the stuff of legend – all resulting in a deliciously rewarding culinary journey for visitors.

Sophisticated Cities

The south's vibrant cities are the pulse of a country that is fast-forwarding through the 21st century while also at times seemingly stuck in the Middle Ages. From in-yer-face Mumbai (Bombay) and increasingly sophisticated Chennai (Madras) to historic Hyderabad, IT capital Bengaluru (Bangalore) and quaint, colonial-era Kochi (Cochin) and Puducherry (Pondicherry), southern cities are great for browsing teeming markets and colourful boutiques, soaking up culture and indulging in India's trendier side. Think fashionable cafes and coffee houses, imaginative gourmet restaurants and a blitzkrieg of hipsterised microbreweries and cocktail bars.

Top experiences in South India

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South India activities

$12.50 Cultural & Theme Tours

Dharavi Slum Small-Group Walking Tour in Mumbai

Meet your guide at Churchgate railway station and travel together by train, an approximate 30-minute ride at your own expense. Or, make your own way, meeting your guide and small group at Mahim Junction railway station in Mumbai. Alternatively, upgrade to include round-trip transport by air-conditioned vehicle from Colaba; logistical details are outlined in the Itinerary below. All three options can be done in either the morning or afternoon.On arrival in Dharavi, set out on your 2.5-hour walking tour that dissects one of India’s largest slums. Follow your guide down a maze of narrow lanes that comprise a mix of households and small-scale businesses run by Dharavi’s residents.Learn about the working conditions among numerous cottage industries — including textiles, recycling, pottery and leather tanning — in an informal economy that turns over millions of dollars annually. Passing through these small spaces, you'll learn about the sense of community that exists among the residents, whose diversity is reflected in the temples, mosques, and churches that stand side by side.Tour the recycling area, where old computer parts and plastics arrive from all over the world, and step foot inside a bakery where tea biscuits are made fresh daily. Watch artisans create pots from sun-dried clay, and see the women of Dharavi make popaddoms: the essential appetizer of any Indian meal. Visit a replica resident's house, observe the expansive view from a Dharavi factory rooftop, and see photos on exhibit — taken by children in a local art program. At an NGO-sponsored community center, you’ll see a vibrant gathering of people learning library, English, and computer skills, or engaging in activities such as dancing and yoga. Finish with a soft drink at the reception center in Dharavi, and then make your own way back from Mahim Junction or return by train with your guide. Please note: Your tour guide is sensitive to the issues and concerns surrounding slums and understands that this tour may not be suitable for everyone. Guides strongly believe that the purpose of this tour is for educational reasons alone and allows for a better understanding of Indian life inside Dharavi. Furthermore, the majority of the proceeds from your local tour operator goes back into the local community to support a variety of projects on education, health, and livelihood.

$28 Private & Custom Tours

Highlights of Mumbai: Private Sightseeing Tour of Mumbai

Our Tour Specialist will meet you at your hotel lobby in Mumbai. Your tour will begin by visiting Gateway of India, Mumbai's most famous monument, this is the starting point for most tourists who want to explore the city. Just around the corner is the iconic The Taj Mahal Palace Hotel, the hotel's original building was commissioned by Jamshedji Tata and first opened its doors to guests on 16 December 1903. We visit Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus train station (UNESCO world heritage site). Then head to Crawford Market which is more than a century old, here you will get to see and buy many Indian spices. We will also be seeing open air laundry “Dhobi Ghat”, and then move on to see Mahatma Gandhi's residence in Mumbai “Mani Bhavan”. On our way you will see the Haji Ali Dargah, it is a mosque located on an islet off the coast of Mumbai.We will be visiting Babulnath temple, Banganga tank and also Kamala nehru park at Malabar Hill which is the best point in the city to view the sky line of Mumbai. We will also be taking a drive around Marine Drive also known as “Queens Necklace”. At the end we will be providing a drop service to your hotel in Mumbai.

$80 Private & Custom Tours

Private Mumbai Full-Day City Tour

Your tour begins at approximately 10:30 in the morning with pickup from your hotel by your private, air-conditioned vehicle. Your English-speaking guide will then transport you to some of the best landmarks of Mumbai, including the Gateway of India, Hotel Taj Mahal Palace, Flora Fountain, the Mumbai High Court, Jain Temple and more. You will spend approximately 10 to 20 minutes at each location so your guide can share the historical importance as well as the present day relevance of each landmark.Around 2pm, you will take an hour break to enjoy a delicious lunch before resuming your tour. You will be dropped off at your hotel or a preferred location in Mumbai at approximately 5pm.

$34 Shore Excursions

Mumbai Full-Day Shore Excursion

Select your desired tour option when you book. Then, when your ship is in Mumbai, meet your guide at the cruise terminal.Begin your explorations at the Gateway of India, Mumbai's most famous monument, and the starting point for most visitors wanting to explore the city.Admire the archway and head around the corner to view the legendary Taj Mahal Palace Hotel. The original hotel building was commissioned by Jamshedji Tata and first opened to guests on December 16, 1903.Pass the High Court, Prince of Wales Museum, and other landmarks, and visit the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus railway station, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.From here, continue to a viewing point to gaze over the Dhobi Gat, the city’s open-air laundry.Move on to see Mani Bhavan, the former residence of Mahatma Gandhi, and on route, take in views of the Haji Ali Dargah, a mosque situated on an islet off Mumbai’s shores.Afterward, visit Kamala Nehru Park at Malabar Hill to enjoy the best panoramas over the city's skyline, and then drive along Marine Drive, also known as the ‘Queen’s Necklace.’Your tour finishes with a drop-off back at the cruise port.

$88 Day Trips & Excursions

Mumbai City Tour with Elephanta Caves

8am - Excursion to Elephanta Caves Pickup from your hotel or the airport in Mumbai. Reach The Gateway of India from where you board an hour-long ferry offering panoramic views brings you to the Elephanta Island famous for The Elephanta Caves, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The walk from the jetty to the cave temple is less than a mile away, board a small toy train from the jetty to the base of the hill. There are seven cave excavations in the Elephanta group. 12pm - Visit Gateway of IndiaThe colossal structure was constructed in 1924. The gateway overlooks the Mumbai harbor, bordered by the Arabian Sea in the Colaba district.1pm - Lunch Break (at your own expense) Lunch at one of the best local restaurants in the area.2pm - Drive Past Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST) formerly Victoria TerminusChhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST) is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and an historic railway station in Mumbai, which serves as the headquarters of the Central Railways.2.30pm - Visit Mahatma Jyotiba Phule Mandai (Crawford Market)The very old, Iconic and famous wholesale market dealing in just about every kind of fresh food and domestic animal imaginable. A preferred location to purchase many festive decoration stuff, dry fruits, vegetables etc. 3pm - Marine Drive also known as Queens NecklaceBuilt on reclaimed land in 1920, Marine Drive arcs along the shore of the Arabian Sea from Nariman Point past Girgaum Chowpatty and continues to the foot of Malabar Hill. Its twinkling night-time lights earned it the nickname ‘the Queen’s Necklace’.3.30pm - Visit The Hanging GardensThe Hanging Gardens also known as Pherozeshah Mehta Gardens. It is a nice evening destination of Mumbai to enjoy sunset over Arabian sea. The tourists can enjoy the Panoramic view of the South Mumbai from atop the Hill.4pm - Visit Mani Bhawan A memoir of Mahatma Gandhi, Known by the name Gandhi Museum, the main highlight of this Gujarati style residence is that it is here Gandhi laid the foundation for many independence movements. 4.30pm - Visit Mahalaxmi Dhobi GhatThis 140-year-old dhobi ghat is the largest un-mechanized laundry facility and washerman colony in the world. Every day, hundreds of people beat the dirt out of thousands of kilograms of soiled Mumbai clothes and linen in 1026 open-air troughs. 5pm - Visit Prince of Wales Museum The Prince of Wales Museum is Mumbai’s biggest and best, displaying a mix of exhibits from across India. 6pm - Drop-off back at your hotel or your desired location in Mumbai.

$26 Tours & Sightseeing

Mumbai Small-Group Bicycle Tour with Crawford Market Visit

Meet your guide and small group in the early morning outside Cusrow Baug in Colaba. Then hop on your comfortable bike (helmet available upon request) for a leisurely ride through Mumbai. Your guide avoids major roads whenever possible and heads out before the streets become crowded, so you can take in the sights and cycle at a relaxed pace before the heat of the day. Your 4-hour bicycle tour starts with a gentle ride through the back streets of the Fort area, a business district that lay at the heart of the city during the 18th century. Watch Mumbai wake up as you descend upon Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST), and admire the façade of one of India’s busiest railway stations. Designated a UNESCO World Heritage site for its Victorian Gothic revival style, the historic station was also a filming location for the award-winning 2008 movie Slumdog Millionaire. Continue on to Crawford Market, where you’ll get off your bike to have a look inside. As one of Mumbai’s largest wholesale fruit, vegetable and meat markets, it was the first building in India to receive electricity. You’ll ride through the Kalbadevi and Bhuleshwar bazaars before stopping at Bombay Panjrapole, which shelters more than 350 cows and other stray animals right in the middle of the bustling city! Visit Mumbadevi Temple, where Hindu priests bestow their devotees with blessings, before riding through Mumbai’s flower alley for a colorful view of marigold garlands. After a quick stop for tea, cycle along the 1-mile (3-km) stretch of Marine Drive — a coastal promenade bordering the Arabian Sea. Marvel at the peace of this early morning ocean view en route to Sassoon Dock, a major fish loading and trading center in South Mumbai. Your bike tour ends at the Kailash Parbat restaurant with a simple Indian breakfast in the company of your guide and small group.