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Southern India & East Coast By Rail

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days 14 From US$ 1,499 US$ 1,139
SavingUS$ 360
highlights
  • Live like a local in the Kerala backwaters.
  • Travel to the southern tip of India in Kanyakumari.
  • Explore temples and palaces up the east coast.
  • Visit bustling Kolkata.
Starting in Kochi and ending in Kolkata, the Southern India & East Coast By Rail trip is a guided train trip that takes 14 days. You will travel through Kolkata, Kochi, Alleppey and 6 other destinations in India. Southern India & East Coast By Rail is a small group trip which includes accommodation, transport, meals and others.

It’s common knowledge that India is a huge tourist destination — so what do you do if you want to get off the beaten path and check out some underexplored parts of the country? Get on the train, of course. Hop on board and go from the deep south of Kochi up the east coast towards bustling Kolkata, disembarking to explore temples and palaces along the way. You’ll have the chance to explore smaller cities and villages on the coast, getting a perspective on this country that few have the opportunity to experience. Once you’ve lived like a local hopping off and back on the train for your next adventure, you’ll be seeing India in a brand new light.
customer reviews about G Adventures
4.6 - Excellent Based on 68 reviews
Review for another G Adventures tour
5 - Excellent
“The tour is short but with a busy programme and lots to see so you feel you get the most out of this 7 days itinerary. Enjoyed the tour. Thanks”
Steve's review for another G Adventures tour
5 - Excellent
“The Everest Base Camp trek was tough, but enjoyable. It was great to be part of a larger group. The guide and porters were friendly and it really helped to get some of our stuff portered. Can't recommend this trip enough!”
Boris' review for another G Adventures tour
5 - Excellent
“Excellent”
Arrive at any time.
Accommodation
  • Hotel Fort Manor (or similar)
Included Activity
  • Meet Your CEO and Group
    Duration : 1.0 hr
    Your opportunity to meet your CEO and fellow travellers, and learn more about your tour. Opt to join the group for a local meal afterwards.
Take the early train to Alleppey to explore the Kerala backwaters. Walk in the paddy fields and take a canoe ride through the canals the region is famous for.
This evening enjoy a taste of local life with a homestay.
Meal
  • Dinner
Accommodation
  • Alasr Heritage Home (or similar)
Included Activity
  • Kerala Boat Tour
    Duration : 1.0 hr
    Enjoy a boat ride through the beautiful backwaters of Kerala. Take in the lush, green scenery and the multitude of coconut trees.
Transport
  • Train
    Duration : 1.0 hr - 1.5 hr
    Climb aboard, take a seat, and enjoy the ride.
  • Tuk-tuk
    Duration : 0.5 hr
    Scoot quickly around the big cities inside a three-wheeled mini-taxi.
Enjoy some more time in Kerala before an evening train to Kanyakumari for a full day exploring the area.
Meal
  • Breakfast
Accommodation
  • Hotel Singaar International (or similar)
Transport
  • Train
    Duration : 4.5 hr
    Climb aboard, take a seat, and enjoy the ride.
  • Private Vehicle
    Duration : 0.5 hr
    Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.
Spend the day in Kanyakumari. Drive to the southernmost tip of India and take a ferry across to Vivekananda Rock and the Ramkrishna Ashram. Take an evening Kanyakumari Express train to Madurai.
Accommodation
  • Rio Grande Hotel Madurai (or similar)
Included Activity
  • Vivekananda Rock and Ramkrishna Ashram Visit
    Duration : 2.0 hr - 3.0 hr
    Take an enjoyable ferry ride to Vivekananda Rock, a small island about 100m from the mainland. Mix with the many pilgrims going to visit this holy site—it honours the Hindu poet and philosopher, Swami Vivekananda. Learn about Hinduism at the peaceful Ramakrishna Ashram, an ashram maintained by the Ramakrishna Mission, which is a Hindu movement named after the late philosopher, Swami Ramakrishna.
Transport
  • Ferry
    Duration : 0.5 hr
    Get to the next spot on your route aboard a convenient and efficient ferry boat.
  • Train
    Duration : 4.5 hr
    Climb aboard, take a seat, and enjoy the ride.
Explore the Meenakshi Temple and colourful markets of Madurai.
Accommodation
  • Rio Grande Hotel Madurai (or similar)
Included Activity
  • Meenakshi Temple Visit
    Duration : 2.0 hr - 3.0 hr
    Visit the gorgeous Meenakshi Temple, considered to be the finest in South Indian religious architecture. This enormous temple complex is dedicated to Shiva and his consort Parvati, or Meenakshi. Even before you pass through the massive stone walls of the temple, the nine striking gopurams (monumental gateways covered with stucco figures of deities, mythical animals, and monsters all painted in vivid colours) loom high above.
Optional Activities
  • Cycle-Rickshaw Tour
  • Gandhi Museum
    Learn about India's struggle for independence at this museum devoted to the great man famous the world over, Mahatma Gandhi.
  • Thirumalai Nayak Palace Visit
    Visit what remains of the 17th century palace of the ruler Thirumalai Nayak -- he contributed extensively to the gorgeous Meenakshi Temple, which is located less than 2km away.
Take the morning Vaigai Express to Chengalpattu before continue by van to Mamallapuram.
Accommodation
  • Hotel Mamalla Inn (or similar)
Transport
  • Train
    Duration : 6.5 hr
    Climb aboard, take a seat, and enjoy the ride.
  • Private Vehicle
    Duration : 0.5 hr - 1.0 hr
    Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.
Cycle around and explore the rock-cut Shore Temple and Mamallapuram Beach.
Accommodation
  • Hotel Mamalla Inn (or similar)
Included Activities
  • Shore Temple Visit
    Explore this impressive group of monuments that were sculpted during the 7th and 8th century, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Of these, the Shore Temple stands out for its a marvelous view of the Bay of Bengal's shore. Made of granite, it's actually a twin-temple dedicated both to the Hindu gods, Vishnu and Shiva.
  • Mamallapuram Beach Visit
    Duration : 0.0 hr
    Kick off your shoes and walk through the soft sand of this stunning beach. Watch fishermen take out their boats and bring in their catch.
Optional Activities
  • Mamallapuram Bicycle Tour
    Jump on your bike and enjoy a ride around this charming, historical beach town.
Drive to Chennai and explore Marina Beach and San Thome Basilica. Later, board an overnight train to Hyderabad.
Accommodation on the train tonight will be either in two tier or three tier bunks.
Included Activity
  • Chennai City Tour
    Get to know this South Indian cultural hub with a visit to San Thome Basilica and a stroll along the expansive Marina Beach.
Transport
  • Private Vehicle
    Duration : 1.0 hr
    Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.
  • Basic overnight train (beds)
    Duration : 13.0 hr
    Experience overnight travel like a local. Sit back and get some well-earned (and likely much-needed) rest en route to your next stop.
Learn more about the region's history with a visit to the iconic Charminar and historic Golconda Fort.
Accommodation
  • Treebo Grand Plaza Hyderbad (or similar)
Included Activities
  • Golconda Fort Visit
    Explore the remains of this former medieval capital.
  • Charminar Visit
    Visit Hyderabad's most iconic structure, sometimes called the "Arc de Triomphe of the East", and take in the bustling atmosphere. Swing by the nearby Laad Bazaar and browse the stalls.
Enjoy a free morning to continue exploring this state capital before catching an evening flight to Bhubaneshwar. Continue by van to reach Puri.
Opt to visit the Salar Jung Museum or the scenic Qutb Shahi Tombs with free time.
Accommodation
  • Hotel Naren Palace (or similar)
Transport
  • Plane
    Look! Up in the sky! It's a bird! It's a plane! It's... yup, it is a plane, actually.
  • Private Vehicle
    Duration : 1.0 hr
    Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.
Explore Raghuraj Pur village and beautiful Puri beaches.
Accommodation
  • Hotel Naren Palace (or similar)
Included Activity
  • Raghuraj Pur Village Visit
    Duration : 2.0 hr - 3.0 hr
    Distance : 24 km
    Enjoy the varied artistic delights of this heritage crafts village, including Gotipua dance troupes, palm leaf paintings, stone and wood carvings, and toys made of wood, papier-mache, and cow dung (yes, you read that correctly).
Take a morning Shatabdi Express train to Kolkata, with lunch provided on board. Arrive in the afternoon and take an orientation walk with the CEO.
Meal
  • Lunch
Accommodation
  • Dee Empresa Hotel (or similar)
Transport
  • Train
    Duration : 7.5 hr - 8.0 hr
    Climb aboard, take a seat, and enjoy the ride.
Explore the vintage monuments and streets of this former capital of the British Era, also visit Missionaries' of Charity the noble peace prize winner, Mother Teresa’s house and final resting place.. Opt to take a ferry ride across the Hooghly River. Opt to join the group for dinner at one of the famed restaurants on Park Street for the final night out.
Accommodation
  • Dee Empresa Hotel (or similar)
Depart at any time.
what’s included
Accommodation
  • Hotels/guesthouses (11 nts), homestay (1 nt), sleeper train (1 nt).
Meals
  • 1 breakfast, 1 lunch, 1 dinner
    Note: Allow USD315-410 for meals not included.
Transport
  • Train (seats), train (beds), private van, walking, plane.
Staff & experts
  • Chief Experience Officer (CEO) throughout, local guides.
Included activities
  • Backwaters canal ride
  • Vivekananda Rock and Ramkrishna Ashram visit
  • Meenakshi Temple visit
  • Cycle tour to Shore Temple and Mamallapuram Beach
  • Chennai city tour
  • Visit the Charminar and Golconda Fort
  • Jagannath Temple visit
  • Raghuraj Pur village visit
  • Internal flight
  • All transport between destinations and to/from included activities
what’s excluded
  • International Flights
  • Any international flights to Kochi and from Kolkata are not included in this price. We always recommend that you arrive 1 day prior to your tour starting date.
  • Travel Insurance
  • Travel insurance is not included in this Southern India & East Coast by Rail tour. Travel insurance is mandatory to buy. We recommend purchasing it from World Nomads.
Get a PDF file with detailed trip information: Download Trip Notes for Southern India & East Coast by Rail
Availability
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Good to know
Payment

A deposit of 350 USD is required to confirm this tour. The remaining balance will be charged 61 days before departure. For any departures within 19 October 2019 full payment is required.

Travel Insurance

The Southern India & East Coast by Rail tour requires that you have adequate and valid travel insurance covering medical and personal accidents, including repatriation costs and emergency evacuation. We recommend using World Nomads' travel insurance.

Visa

For this Southern India & East Coast by Rail tour getting the required visa(s) is the responsibility for each individual traveller, as visa requirements vary depending on your nationality. We recommend to check with your local embassies representing the countries that you are travelling to, as part of this itinerary.

Other Practical Information
  • 1. Travel Style : RailGet closer to the big cities, isolated communities, and stunning landscapes of the world's greatest destinations via train-based adventures on iconic rail routes.
  • 2. Service Level : StandardComfortable tourist-class accommodations with character; mix of public and private transport.
  • 3. Physical Grading : 3 - AverageSome tours may include light hiking, biking, rafting, or kayaking in addition to walking.
  • 4. Trip Type : Small GroupGroup trips average 12 travellers per departure, depending on the adventure. The maximum is usually no more than 16, but some can be smaller or bigger, depending on the trip. Check individual trips for details.
CancellationNo additional cancellation fees apply for this Southern India & East Coast by Rail tour. You can cancel the tour up to 62 days prior departure and avoid paying the full amount, but your deposit paid is non-refundable. No refund applies for cancellations within 61 days of departure.
Trip Details
  • Accommodation

    Hotels/guesthouses (11 nts), homestay (1 nt), sleeper train (1 nt).

  • Checklist

    Cold Weather:
    • Long-sleeved shirts or sweater
    • Scarf
    • Warm gloves
    • Warm hat
    • Warm layers

    Conservative Dress:
    • Modest clothing that covers knees and shoulders (Long pants, long skirts, shirts that cover shoulders)
    • Shawl or scarf (for temple visits)

    Documents:
    • Flight info (required) (Printouts of e-tickets may be required at the border)
    • Insurance info (required) (With photocopies)
    • Passport (required) (With photocopies)
    • Required visas or vaccination certificates (required) (With photocopies)
    • Vouchers and pre-departure information (required)

    Essentials:
    • Binoculars (optional)
    • Camera (With extra memory cards and batteries)
    • Cash, credit and debit cards
    • Day pack (Used for daily excursions or short overnights)
    • Ear plugs
    • First-aid kit (should contain lip balm with sunscreen, sunscreen, whistle, Aspirin, Ibuprofen, bandaids/plasters, tape, anti-histamines, antibacterial gel/wipes, antiseptic cream, Imodium or similar tablets for mild cases of diarrhea, rehydration powder, water purification tablets or drops, insect repellent, sewing kit, extra prescription drugs you may be taking)
    • Flashlight/torch (Headlamps are ideal)
    • Fleece top/sweater
    • Footwear
    • Hat
    • Locks for bags
    • Long pants/jeans
    • Moneybelt
    • Outlet adapter
    • Personal entertainment (Reading and writing materials, cards, music player, etc.)
    • Reusable water bottle
    • Shirts/t-shirts
    • Sleepwear
    • Small travel towel
    • Sunglasses
    • Toiletries (Preferably biodegradable)
    • Watch and alarm clock
    • Waterproof backpack cover
    • Windproof rain jacket

    Light Hiking:
    • Hiking boots/sturdy walking shoes
    • Hiking pants (Convertible/Zip-off and quick dry recommended)

    Train Travel (Optional):
    • Slip-on shoes
    • Small container with lid
    • Travel cutlery
    • Travel or camp cup

    Warm Weather:
    • Sandals/flip-flops
    • Shorts/skirts (Longer shorts/skirts are recommended)
    • Sun hat/bandana
    • Swimwear

    Note: During the colder months (Oct-Apr) the mountains can be cold, so please make sure you pack warm clothes. During the months of Jul-Sep is the rainy season, so please make sure to pack waterproof clothes.

  • Group_leader

    Chief Experience Officer (CEO) throughout, local guides.

  • Group_size_notes

    Max 15, avg 12

  • Highlights

    Live like a local in the Kerala backwaters, travel to the southern tip of India in Kanyakumari, explore temples and palaces up the east coast, visit bustling Kolkata.

  • International_flights

    Check-in times and baggage allowances/restrictions vary by airline and can change at any time. For the most up-to-date information for your flight, please contact your airline. We recommend checking in online in advance to avoid potential delays at the airport.

  • Introduction

    It’s common knowledge that India is a huge tourist destination — so what do you do if you want to get off the beaten path and check out some underexplored parts of the country? Get on the train, of course. Hop on board and go from the deep south of Kochi up the east coast towards bustling Kolkata, disembarking to explore temples and palaces along the way. You’ll have the chance to explore smaller cities and villages on the coast, getting a perspective on this country that few have the opportunity to experience. Once you’ve lived like a local hopping off and back on the train for your next adventure, you’ll be seeing India in a brand new light.

  • Meal_budget

    Allow USD315-410 for meals not included.

  • Meals_included

    1 breakfast, 1 lunch, 1 dinner

  • Minimum_age

    You must be 18 to travel unaccompanied on a G Adventures tour. For minors travelling with a guardian over 21 years old, the minimum age is 12.

  • Packing_note

    During the colder months (Oct-Apr) the mountains can be cold, so please make sure you pack warm clothes. During the months of Jul-Sep is the rainy season, so please make sure to pack waterproof clothes.

  • Start_finish

    Kochi to Kolkata

  • Transport

    Train (seats), train (beds), private van, walking, plane.

  • Whats_included

    Backwaters canal ride. Vivekananda Rock and Ramkrishna Ashram visit. Meenakshi Temple visit. Cycle tour to Shore Temple and Mamallapuram Beach. Chennai city tour. Visit the Charminar and Golconda Fort. Jagannath Temple visit. Raghuraj Pur village visit. Internal flight. All transport between destinations and to/from included activities.

  • Optional_activities

    Madurai
    - Cycle-Rickshaw Tour (350INR per person)
    - Gandhi Museum
    - Thirumalai Nayak Palace Visit (50INR per person, 1200INR per group)

    Māmallapuram
    - Mamallapuram Bicycle Tour (325INR per person, 1000INR per group)

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How our Travel Expert Service Works
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  • 2 The travel expert will help you with creating and customising a trip for you. If you have any questions or concerns relating to the trip, the travel expert will also be able to help you with those.
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The Advantages of Bookmundi
  • Selected Local Travel Experts All our local travel experts have been chosen based on rigorous selection criteria. In fact, we reject 98 out of 100 local travel agencies, and thereby giving you access to the top 1-2% local travel experts.
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  • Title: {{myRequest.title}}
  • Country: {{!!tripPlannerKeysNames[myRequest.id].geoLocation?tripPlannerKeysNames[myRequest.id].geoLocation:myRequest.country}}
  • Destination: {{tripPlannerKeysNames[myRequest.id].destinations.join(', ')}}
  • Activity: {{tripPlannerKeysNames[myRequest.id].activity.join(', ')}}
  • Custom Destination: {{tripPlannerCustom[myRequest.id].destination}}
  • Custom Activity: {{tripPlannerCustom[myRequest.id].activity}}
  • Group Size: {{myRequest.no_of_adults > 0 && myRequest.no_of_children > 0?',':''}} {{myRequest.group_type=='Single'?'1 Person':myRequest.group_type=='Couple'?'2 People':''}}
  • {{myRequest.departure_month || myRequest.duration?'Approx. Dates':'Travel Dates'}}: {{myRequest.start_date | readableDate}} to {{myRequest.end_date | readableDate}} {{myRequest.departure_month}}, {{myRequest.duration}} Not decided yet
  • Tour Type: {{myRequest.tourtype | tourtypefullName}}
  • Age Group: {{myRequest.age_group}} yrs
  • Type of Tour: {{tripPlannerKeysNames[myRequest.id].type_of_tour}}
  • Accommodation Option: {{tripPlannerKeysNames[myRequest.id].accommodation_option}}
  • Budget Per Person: USD {{myRequest.approx_budget_amount}}
  • Budget Flexibility {{tripPlannerKeysNames[myRequest.id].budget_flexibility}}
  • Trip Planning Stage {{myRequest.trip_planning_stage}}
""
Can you handle {{getFirstName(activeuser)}}'s enquiry? Rejection Reason
{{myRequest.reject_reason?myRequest.reject_reason:'Sorry, Your trip request has been rejected.'}}
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