South India / Tamil nadu


Tamil Nadu is the most romantic and spiritual state in India, 
where a timeless way of life is steeped in tradition. 


Introducing your host Dig Vijay (Diggi) Rathore

I have known Diggi for many years and he took over managing my India tours with me in 2014. He’s a professional luxury tour guide and manager and inexplicably for a 31 year old man, knows everything about everything – food, travel, shopping (he actually likes it), history, religion, geography and politics. He’s a big man with a big personality, a big heart and a big moustache. Here’s what Travel + Leisure Asia magazine said about Diggi 'Hands down the best local guide, he brought me to generations-old craftsman and young upstarts. His knowledge is encyclopaedic and he's funny.’

Diggi and his drivers meet you at Chennai Airport at 10am and drive you in luxury cars to the Bohemian-chic French-influenced Independent Union Territory of Pondicherry. Here you enjoy 2 days of cooking lessons, chic shopping and romantic colonial architecture. Next you head inland to Chettinad – famous for its spicy cuisine and palatial 19th century Art Deco mansions.

From Chettinad you head to Madurai for two nights – Madurai is considered to be the soul of Tamil Nadu. Here you enjoy the madness of one of the oldest cities in the world and dine on the fabulous local dosa made from bread, egg and minced spiced mutton. Your final two nights are spent in the heavenly tranquility of Rajakkad Estate in the Western Ghats –drinking coffee straight from the estate, enjoying a bird and spice walk, picnicking in the jungle and enjoying a cooking class. After breakfast on the last day you are delivered back to Madurai Airport.

IMPORTANT: For this tour you must be physically fit and healthy with no mobility issues. There is a lot of walking involved and the temperatures are hot.

peta and diggi in south india

peta and diggi in south india

French influenced pondicherry

French influenced pondicherry

Tour details

2020 South india tour

Pondicherry, Chettinad, Madurai,
Western Ghats

20 – 28 January



 NZD 6,999 per person
(based on twin share) 

This includes 8 nights accommodation, airport transfers on days 1 & 9, internal transport, Diggi & a local guide, cooking classes, visits & entrances and all meals. 

$1,200 single supplement subject to availability.

Maximum of 12 guests.


In Pondicherry we stay at
Villa Shanti

In Chettinad we stay at
The Bangala

In Madurai we stay at
Heritage Madurai

In the Western Ghats we stay at
Rajakkad Estate

About our tours

Our mission has always been to provide really authentic gastronomic and cultural experiences. We travel initially to lose ourselves and next to find ourselves, because travel cracks us open and so pushes us over all the walls and low horizons that habits and defensiveness set up.  

Behind every person and every household is a story of local traditions and daily life in villages and towns. Traditional food is about ancestral memories and looking back and holding on to old cultures – it is profoundly about identity.  Come with us and partake in the honesty, grace, generosity and fun that is a Peta Mathias tour. Suitable for fit and healthy gastronomic adventurers!

This tour was simply the stuff of dreams! I knew we could count on a quality experience with Peta as our charming and entertaining leader and the other guests were absolutely great. We packed in so much sightseeing in romantic and beautiful Tamil Nadu, the highlight for me were the visits to the ancient Dravidian Hindu temples. Thank you Peta for supporting us to have our dreams come true, this tour was a once in a lifetime experience of being in sensorial heaven.
— Josee Lebel, Whakatane, NZ