5 weeks trip in South India with 3 young children

#1 May 28th, 2008, 21:54
Join Date:
May 2008
  • cedric67 is offline
My wife and I are planing a trip to south india next december. We have 3 children (3, 5 and 7 years old) that we'll take with us. It is our first trip to India. My wife is bornt in India, was adopted by a Swiss family when she was 5 and never returned to India since.

In India we will travel by car (with a local driver).

After many searches, readings (in particular this excellent forum) on the Internet I have planned the following trip and need advise if it looks ok. As we travel with young kids I tried to stay at least 2 nights at the same place and avoid big cities like Chennai or Mumbai.

Day 1 : Arrival at Chennai airport and drive to Mahabalipuram
Day 2 : Mahabalipuram
Day 3-5 : Pondicherry
Day 6-9 : Kumbakonam (my wife is bornt there)
Day 10-11: Tanjore or Trichy
Day 12-14: Madurai
Day 15-17: Cape Comorin
Day 18-22: Kovalam (Beach and rest for a few days)
Day 23-24: Allepey and Backwaters
Day 25-26: Periyar (natural park)
Day 27-29: Munnar
Day 30-32: Cochin
Day 33 : Flight to Mumbai
Day 34 : Mumbai
Day 35-36: Flight to Geneva, back home

Any advise, particularly regarding the kids, are welcome.

Last edited by theyyamdancer; Jun 22nd, 2009 at 16:44.. Reason: Deletion of link to a Fairground Park for children
#2 May 28th, 2008, 22:37
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Sep 2007
Minnesota, USA
  • Rachmilievitch is offline

I think you're on the right track with your plans. I'd probably stay more than one day in Mahabalipuram as it's a good place to start adjusting to India. For a car and driver, you might consider using Auroville Transport Service. They worked very well for us this year.
#3 May 29th, 2008, 00:54
Join Date:
Aug 2005
The Netherlands
  • dhans is offline
Hi cedric,

You've probably found the travel with kids section (linke below) by now. Also take a look there for recommendations on a good car hire compny. The schedule you've made looks excellent, with enough time for relaxing. You don't really need reservations, which keeps the shedule reasonable an achievable.

Have fun,


Tips for trips to India with (young) children: India with kids
Our travel blog (mostly in Dutch): Reisfamilie
Last edited by dhans; May 30th, 2008 at 02:00.. Reason: taipo
#4 May 29th, 2008, 13:35
Join Date:
Mar 2007
  • Radjesh is offline
A good plan with enough time for relaxation and sightseeing and December is the perfect time to cover these places. Since you'll be traveling by car, get a good driver, will be a lot of help...
#5 May 30th, 2008, 02:36
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Dec 2006
Brooklyn NY US
  • canoeberry is offline
Hi Cedric,
We traveled to South India a year ago February with our 2 kids ages 10 & 12, and had a wonderful time. I would advise perhaps a bit more time in one spot in the middle of the trip. Maybe more time at Kumbakonam? We found that simple things were so interesting: like watching people in the countryside plant rice, or threshing. You don't need a lot of big name tourist spots to make it very worthwhile. The indian countryside, especially in Tamil Nadu, is beautiful and captivating. Near Kumbakonam we visited workshops where they made bronze figures using the lost wax method, we visited a workshop where they were weaving saris. Much more interesting to the children than the museums... There are alot of day trips you could do from Kumbadonam. You could probably just stop one night in Thanjavur on your way to Madurai. I think it is ok to have some places that you stay only one night as long as it is sandwiched between places that you are staying longer at. Less adjustment for the kids.
In Thanjavur, I can recommend the Ideal River Resort. We stayed there and it was very relaxing. Nice grounds, a swimming pool, lots of space for the kids to run around. Western food was available, which the kids appreciated. While Hans is surely right that you don't need a reservation for most places, you definitely need a reservation at Ideal River Resort - they fill up with tour groups. We found other places that were likewise kid-friendly (but a bit more Indian) but they are not on your itinerary.
I think that Madurai to Cape Comorin is a really really long drive and from what we heard from people who had done that trip, it would not be worth it for us, so we did not go that far south.
If you use Indian Panorama, they will provide you with an itinerary that gives you travel time, so you check to see how much driving you are in for each day. With 3 young children, I would imagine you would not want to have any days where you spend the whole day driving. We wound up flying from Trichy to Calicut to avoid a long drive.
Maybe you could fly directly from Madurai to Cochin - or take a train. At least the kids can get up and move around on a train.
I think that Hans recommends a nice place near Cochin - maybe you could stay there for longer (and do day trips).
We went further north - up to Coorg and Mysore (flew back from Bangalore). For the beach, we went to Kannur and stayed at Costa Malabari. It was lovely. We then visited Tholpetty and saw several wild elephants from a jeep safari - such fun! We were there in February, and you are going in December. Good to check to see where the elephants are most likely to be spotted at that time of year. (That was how I picked Tholpetty).
Will you be visiting an orphanage? We visited one in Thanjavur and I could offer you advice on what was needed, at that orphanage anyhow. We took things, but once there we realized it was not necessarily what was needed.
Besides being your wife's birthplace, south India is a great place to visit with kids - I am sure you will have an amazing time.
#6 May 30th, 2008, 04:01
Join Date:
Dec 2007
  • Selkie is offline
My advice is -

whatever you do, don't allow the children to swim or even paddle in the sea. At Kovalam and other places the waves are very strong, and the undertow very strong. The sea is difficult to cope with as an adult - a child would have no chance. People regularly drown.

if you can manage it, get accommodation with air conditioning as it will be hot at night and it may be good for the children to be able to cool off a bit with a/c. Fans just churn hot air around.

take some packets of food that they are familiar and comfortable with in case they need a break from unfamiliar food - eg crackers, biscuits etc

distances are huge, so don't try to make your itinerary too busy - factor in lots of rest and pottering around time. That's when your children are likely to enjoy themselves the most, just ejoying the small but interesting happenings and people on your doorstep. I think with three small children you are attempting to go to a lot of places with a lot of travelling - not so much fun for the children, maybe. I'd suggest scaling the itinerary back and spending a bit more time in places.

up at Periyar and Munnar there are spice gardens that you can visit - both adults and children might enjoy that.

let them take a little day pack each with their own small things in it to keep them occupied - e.g. crayons and drawing book, small toys and games, book, story tapes etc; maybe the older one might like their own camera.

obviously see your doctor and take all advice about injections and any medications to take before and during the trip

enjoy yourselves - and do come back and let us know how the trip was!
#7 May 30th, 2008, 09:17
Join Date:
Mar 2008
  • zoltan is offline
n Thanjavur, I can recommend the Ideal River Resort.
Absolutely... brilliant location and you can hire bicycles there and ride to some of the nearby villages - it's just so relaxing there.

I'd also add an extra day in Mamallapuram and maybe drop one from Pondicherry (I didn't think much of it).

And finally, cut back Madurai by one day (another place I wasn't impressed with) and put it into Mumbai.

#8 Jul 10th, 2012, 22:27
Join Date:
Jul 2012
  • tamil man is offline

Thumbs up hi welcome to south india

hi.. i am raj .. i am in coimbatore.. i invite to tamilnadu..

the tamilnadu is temple place in india..
many are here.. you can many village here, and so many historical temple...
#9 Jul 12th, 2012, 22:10
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Dec 2007
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  • cynic is offline
Originally Posted by tamil man View Post hi.. i am raj .. i am in coimbatore.. i invite to tamilnadu..

the tamilnadu is temple place in india..
many are here.. you can many village here, and so many historical temple...
Did you check the date of the message to which you're replying ?? A reply after 4+ years ????

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