26 days in India & Sri Lanka Itinerary

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1
Mahabalipuram, India
— 2 nights
+2
Drive to Chennai International Airport, Fly to Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport, Drive to Mirissa
2
Mirissa, Sri Lanka
— 3 nights
Drive to Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport, Fly to Tiruchirappalli
3
Tiruchirappalli, India
— 3 nights
Drive
4
Madurai, India
— 1 night
Fly
5
Kochi (Cochin), India
— 3 nights
Drive
6
Kanyakumari, India
— 3 nights
Drive
7
Sri Jayawardenepura, Sri Lanka
— 1 night
+2
Drive to Bandaranaike International Colombo Airport, Fly to Madurai Airport, Drive to Kodaikanal
8
Kodaikanal, India
— 1 night
Drive
9
Ooty (Udhagamandalam), India
— 1 night
Drive
10
Thekkady, India
— 2 nights
Drive
11
Munnar, India
— 2 nights
Fly
12
Kandy, Sri Lanka
— 2 nights
Fly

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Mahabalipuram, India — 2 nights

Once an important sea port city in the ancient Pallava kingdom, Mahabalipuram today draws in visitors with UNESCO-listed monuments and temples carved out of rock during the 7th and 8th centuries CE. The structures showcase the decoration and form of early Dravidian architecture, and their distinctive designs, striking coloration, and scale still create an evocative atmosphere when studied closely and when seen as a whole.
Kick off your visit on the 1st (Fri): contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Shore Temple, then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Monuments at Mahabalipuram, and then explore the ancient world of Raya Gopura. On the 2nd (Sat), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: take an in-depth tour of Maritime Heritage Museum, then get to know the resident critters at The Madras Crocodile Bank Trust and Centre for Herpetology, then admire the striking features of Pancha Rathas, and finally Head underground at Mahishasuramardini Cave.

To find photos, maps, traveler tips, and more tourist information, you can read our Mahabalipuram attractions planning site.

Coimbatore to Mahabalipuram is an approximately 2.5-hour flight. You can also drive; or do a combination of bus and taxi. January in Mahabalipuram sees daily highs of 35°C and lows of 24°C at night. On the 3rd (Sun), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can travel to Mirissa.
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Historic Sites · Museums · Parks · Nature
Side Trip
Find places to stay Jan 1 — 3:

Mirissa, Sri Lanka — 3 nights

The fishing town of Mirissa has developed into a notable tourist destination.
Kick off your visit on the 4th (Mon): take a tour by water with Boat Tours & Water Sports, then enjoy the sand and surf at Mirissa Beach, and then relax and rejuvenate at some of the best spas. Keep things going the next day: stroll through Jungle Beach and then contemplate the long history of Galle Fort.

To find other places to visit, ratings, more things to do, and other tourist information, refer to the Mirissa online tour planner.

The Route module can help you plan travel from Mahabalipuram to Mirissa. In January, plan for daily highs up to 37°C, and evening lows to 27°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 6th (Wed) so you can drive to Tiruchirappalli.
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Outdoors · Beaches · Parks · Historic Sites
Side Trips
Find places to stay Jan 3 — 6:

Tiruchirappalli, India — 3 nights

Rockfort City

Located in the center of the state, the ancient city of Tiruchirappalli--or Trichy/Tiruchi as it is more commonly known--remains rich in Tamil culture.
Get out of town with these interesting Tiruchirappalli side-trips: Thanjavur (Sree Moolai Anjaneya Temple, Brihadeeswara Temple, &more). There's much more to do: contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple, don't miss a visit to Ayyanar Temple, contemplate the long history of Jambukeswarar Temple, and admire the landmark architecture of Pundarikakshan Perumal Temple.

To see other places to visit, reviews, ratings, and more tourist information, go to the Tiruchirappalli driving holiday planner.

The Route module can help you plan travel from Mirissa to Tiruchirappalli. Traveling from Mirissa in January, you can expect nighttime temperatures to be little chillier in Tiruchirappalli, with lows of 24°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 9th (Sat) early enough to drive to Madurai.
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Historic Sites · Museums
Side Trip
Find places to stay Jan 6 — 9:

Madurai, India — 1 night

Athens of the East

One of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world, Madurai sits on the banks of the River Vaigai and serves as a center of Tamil culture.
On the 10th (Sun), admire the striking features of Thirumalai Nayakar Mahal, take in the local highlights with Walking tours, then examine the collection at Gandhi Memorial Museum, and finally take in the spiritual surroundings of Vandiyur Mariamman Teppakulam.

For ratings, where to stay, more things to do, and other tourist information, you can read our Madurai trip itinerary builder app.

Traveling by car from Tiruchirappalli to Madurai takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of bus and taxi; or take a train. In January, daily temperatures in Madurai can reach 34°C, while at night they dip to 24°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 10th (Sun) so you can go by car to Kochi (Cochin).
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Historic Sites · Museums · Tours
Find places to stay Jan 9 — 10:

Kochi (Cochin), India — 3 nights

Queen of the Arabian Sea

A flourishing port city and magnet for the spice trade since the 15th century, Kochi (Cochin) proudly bears its distinct international influence and local Keralan culture.
Kochi (Cochin) is known for sightseeing, historic sites, and classes. Your trip includes some of its best attractions: don't miss a visit to Chinese Fishing Nets, take a stroll through Jew Town, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Paradesi Synagogue, and stop by Joe Ikareth.

To find reviews, maps, where to stay, and tourist information, read our Kochi (Cochin) driving holiday planner.

Getting from Madurai to Kochi (Cochin) by flight takes about 3.5 hours. Other options: drive; or do a combination of bus and flight; or take a bus. Traveling from Madurai in January, you will find days in Kochi (Cochin) are a bit warmer (38°C), and nights are about the same (26°C). Finish your sightseeing early on the 13th (Wed) so you can travel to Kanyakumari.
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Historic Sites · Neighborhoods · Classes · Museums
Find places to stay Jan 10 — 13:

Kanyakumari, India — 3 nights

Cape Comorin

Located at the most southerly point of mainland India, Kanyakumari has long attracted pilgrims and those keen to see the end of the road.
Start off your visit on the 14th (Thu): get great views at Sunset View Point, then don't miss a visit to Vivekananda Rock Memorial, then pause for some photo ops at Thiruvalluvar Statue, and finally contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Bhagavathy Amman Temple. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: take in the spiritual surroundings of Thanumalayan temple - Sthanumalayan Kovil, take in the spiritual surroundings of Jain Temple Kanyakumari, then take in the spiritual surroundings of Gandhi Memorial, and finally stroll through Kanyakumari Beach.

To find more things to do, ratings, and other tourist information, read Kanyakumari trip planner.

Getting from Kochi (Cochin) to Kanyakumari by car takes about 5 hours. Other options: do a combination of flight and train; or drive; or take a train. In January, plan for daily highs up to 36°C, and evening lows to 27°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 16th (Sat) early enough to travel to Sri Jayawardenepura.
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Historic Sites · Parks · Beaches · Outdoors
Find places to stay Jan 13 — 16:

Sri Jayawardenepura, Sri Lanka — 1 night

Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte or Sri Jayewardenepura Kotte is the official capital of Sri Lanka. Start off your visit on the 18th (Mon): make a trip to Sri Jayawardanapura City.

To see where to stay, traveler tips, and other tourist information, use the Sri Jayawardenepura online trip planner.

You can drive from Kanyakumari to Sri Jayawardenepura in 45.5 hours. January in Sri Jayawardenepura sees daily highs of 37°C and lows of 27°C at night. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 18th (Mon) so you can travel to Kodaikanal.
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Find places to stay Jan 17 — 18:
Highlights from your trip

Kodaikanal, India — 1 night

Princess of Hill Stations

A cool and relaxing hill station, Kodaikanal has long attracted visitors up to its privileged position in the Western Ghats.
Start off your visit on the 19th (Tue): take a peaceful walk through Pine Forest, go for a walk through Coakers Walk, and then contemplate the waterfront views at Kodaikanal Lake.

For photos, ratings, maps, and more tourist information, refer to the Kodaikanal online tour itinerary planner.

Use the Route module to find suitable travel options from Sri Jayawardenepura to Kodaikanal. When traveling from Sri Jayawardenepura in January, plan for a bit cooler days in Kodaikanal, with highs around 34°C, while nights are about the same with lows around 24°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 19th (Tue) to allow enough time to drive to Ooty (Udhagamandalam).
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Nature · Parks
Find places to stay Jan 18 — 19:

Ooty (Udhagamandalam), India — 1 night

Queen of Hill Stations

Tea gardens and eucalyptus trees scent the air of the fields surrounding Ooty, a popular summer tourism destination up in the hills.
Start off your visit on the 20th (Wed): take in the awesome beauty at Doddabetta Peak, then admire the natural beauty at Government Botanical Garden, and then explore the activities along Ooty Lake.

To find photos, more things to do, traveler tips, and more tourist information, read our Ooty (Udhagamandalam) online tour itinerary planner.

Drive from Kodaikanal to Ooty (Udhagamandalam) in 5.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi and bus. Expect slightly colder temperatures when traveling from Kodaikanal in January; daily highs in Ooty (Udhagamandalam) reach 30°C and lows reach 19°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 20th (Wed) to allow time to drive to Thekkady.
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Parks · Nature
Side Trip
Find places to stay Jan 19 — 20:

Thekkady, India — 2 nights

Centered on an artificial lake, Thekkady provides a sanctuary to a diverse set of animals and plant species.
Kick off your visit on the 21st (Thu): take in the architecture and atmosphere at Our Lady of Lourde's Roman Catholic Latin Church, then stroll through Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary, and then tour the pleasant surroundings at Elephant Junction. Keep things going the next day: explore the activities along Periyar Lake, then stroll through Periyar Tiger Reserve, then take in nature's colorful creations at Green Park Spices Thekkady, and finally look for gifts at Tropical Chocolate Factory.

To see maps, more things to do, and other tourist information, go to the Thekkady trip itinerary builder site.

Traveling by car from Ooty (Udhagamandalam) to Thekkady takes 5.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi and flight; or do a combination of bus and taxi. Cap off your sightseeing on the 22nd (Fri) early enough to go by car to Munnar.
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Parks · Wildlife · Nature · Shopping
Find places to stay Jan 20 — 22:

Munnar, India — 2 nights

Southern Spice

Sitting at the point where three mountain rivers meet, the hill station of Munnar has become known as a tea-growing center in the south of the country.
On the 23rd (Sat), see the interesting displays at Tea Museum, take in nature's colorful creations at Rose Gardens, then take some stellar pictures from Munnar Hill Station, and finally admire the engineering at Mattupetty Dam. On the 24th (Sun), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: delve into the lush surroundings at Photo Point and then admire the natural beauty at Tea Gardens.

For maps, more things to do, and tourist information, read our Munnar trip itinerary builder website.

You can drive from Thekkady to Munnar in 3 hours. Expect a daytime high around 38°C in January, and nighttime lows around 25°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 24th (Sun) to allow time to travel to Kandy.
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Parks · Nature · Museums
Find places to stay Jan 22 — 24:

Kandy, Sri Lanka — 2 nights

Nestled between mountains in inland Sri Lanka, Kandy proudly bears its World Heritage Site designation while remaining culturally independent and colorfully picturesque.
Kick off your visit on the 25th (Mon): take in the spiritual surroundings of Hindagala Temple, make a trip to Royal Botanical Gardens, then don't miss a visit to Kandy view point, then explore the activities along Kandy Lake, and finally stop by Earth Bound Creations Showroom. On the 26th (Tue), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: make a trip to Galmaduwa temple kandy, then make a trip to Degaldoruwa Temple, then don't miss a visit to Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic, and finally appreciate the history behind Bahiravokanda Vihara Buddha Statue.

To find photos, ratings, reviews, and tourist information, you can read our Kandy trip itinerary builder website.

You can fly from Munnar to Kandy in 7 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi and flight. Finish your sightseeing early on the 26th (Tue) so you can fly back home.
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Parks · Historic Sites · Wildlife · Nature
Side Trip
Find places to stay Jan 24 — 26:

India travel guide

4.6
Sacred & Religious Sites · Architectural Buildings · Beaches
It may very well be fair to call India "incredible," given its mind-boggling diversity of landscapes, climates, cultures, and languages. The world's largest democracy, and second only to China in terms of population, India contains majestic peaks dusted with glistening snow, sun-drenched beaches, ancient hand-carved temples, and sprawling cities jam-packed with people, vehicles, and animals. Many tour India during the country's devotional festivals, which range from immense parades that convert cities into giant performance stages, to simple farming fairs dedicated to relatively obscure local deities. Whenever you choose to vacation in India, make sure you see some of the country's World Heritage Sites, which include the legendary Taj Mahal and Chilika Lake, the planet's second-largest lagoon.
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Sri Lanka travel guide

4.2
Sacred & Religious Sites · Beaches · Nature & Parks
India's Teardrop
Shaped like a teardrop and located just below the southern tip of India, lush Sri Lanka boasts some of the greatest biodiversity in the world. Unless you time your Sri Lanka holiday for monsoon season, you can expect bright blue skies and plenty of sunshine, perfect for exploring tropical forests, historic temples, colonial forts, and many other buildings dating back to Dutch rule. Popular things to do in Sri Lanka include swimming, sailing, and surfing, though a growing number of visitors come here just to eat their way around the country. Greatly influenced by nearby India, the national cuisine also features many elements of European cooking--a result of the Dutch and Portuguese colonial years. Of course, a trip to Sri Lanka would not be complete without a cup of its world-famous Ceylon tea.
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Kerala travel guide

3.8
Beaches · Bodies of Water · Sacred & Religious Sites
God's Own Country
The south Indian state of Kerala stretches in a narrow sliver of land along the coast, rich in cultural heritage and natural attractions. A trip to Kerala takes you to a tropical paradise of sandy beaches and swathes of coconut groves. Considered one of the most literate states in India, Kerala is also a religiously diverse region, where Hindu temples stand next to Islamic mosques, and Christian churches rub shoulders with Jewish synagogues. Numerous wilderness areas dot this relatively small region, ensuring plenty of opportunities to spot rare birds, wild elephants, and the occasional tiger.
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