Essence of the South - India Tour Itinerary
Essence of the South - 13 nights/14 days
If you were to look for a definition of South India, it would be found in the smells, sights and sounds; in its distinctive cuisine, people and temples – women in bright silk sarees, their hair threaded with white and orange flowers; the men in white dhoti-kurtas, foreheads smeared with vibhuti. The restaurants smell of curry leaves and coconut, temples of white mongra flowers and sandalwood incense; the rhythmic chanting of prayers reverberates in the atmosphere. Your journey begins on a beach resort at Varkala, followed by a fine wild life reserve in the hills of Kerala at Periyar. The tour includes a visit to the famed Meenakshi temple at Madurai. It goes through the tea gardens of Munnar to reach the port city of Kochi. The tour goes on to the North of Kerala at Calicut and
famous home stay at Sultan Batthery. You get to enjoy the local hospitality. Visit the medieval towns of Mysore and Bangalore and the ancient temples at Somnathpur. A long tour covering each state in South India, but one that gives you a well-rounded experience.
price on application
Cost Includes: Accommodation for 13 nights, transfers, excursions and sightseeing with English speaking guide in an air-conditioned chauffeur driven car, monument entrance fee, porterage, mineral water in car, boat ride at Periyar for wildlife viewing, Kathakali dance performance in Cochin and air travel in economy class as per itinerary.
Hotels Superior: Taj Garden Retreat (superior sea view) Varkala, Cardamom County (cottage) Periyar, Sangam (standard) Madurai, Tea County (deluxw) Munnar, Trident Hilton (superior) Cochin,
Tranquill (standard) Sultan Batthery, Reegalis (standard) Mysore , Bangalore International (standard) Bangalore. Deluxe (upgrade to): Taj Garden Retreat (cottage) Periyar, Taj Garden Retreat
(deluxe) Madurai, Windamere estate (cottage) Munnar, Le Meridien (royal club) Cochin, Metropole (standard) Mysore, Le Meridien (deluxe) Bangalore Luxury (upgrade to) :Spice Village (deluxe)
Periyar, Malabar House (suite) Cochin, Lalitha Mahal Palace (standard) Mysore, Taj Westend (luxury) Bangalore.
Day 01 Arrival
Reception and welcome at Thiruvanathapuram airport. Proceed to Varkala, a seaside resort and spa, 55km north of Trivandrum,
Day 02 Varkala
Make the most of a long sandy beach and soothing mineral springs.
Day 03 Varkala – Periyar
Leave for Periyar in the morning. Spending the afternoon exploring the magnificent natural treasures of this wildlife sanctuary.
Day 04 Periyar
The entire day is given over to appreciating nature at this hugely popular sanctuary.
Day 05 Periyar – Madurai
Drive out to see the Meenakshi temple in what is one of South India's most celebrated temple towns.
Day 06 Madurai - Munnar
Leave Madurai for Munnar, located amidst a sprawl of tea estates, and at 1600 mts. above sea level, one of the most popular hill stations in the country.
Day 07 Munnar – Kochi
Drive to Kochi [Cochin], a cluster of islands dotting a lagoon that is one of the finest natural harbors in the world.
Day 08 Kochi
Tour the diverse cultural heritage of this fascinating city, once the major centre of commerce and trade with the British, Arabs, Chinese, Portuguese, Dutch.
Day 09 Kochi – Calicut – Sultan Batthery
Fly to Calicut and make the journey to Sultan Batthery by road.
Day 10 Sultan Batthery
The day is spent with a local family. Watch your evening meal being prepared.
Day 11 Sultan Batthery – Mysore
A pleasurable day sightseeing in and around Mysore.
Day 12 Mysore
Full day excursion to Srirangapatnam and Ranganathitoo bird sanctuary.
Day 13 Mysore – Bangalore
Take the time to see the ‘garden city' as well as the ‘software capital'.
Day 14 Departure
Transfer to the airport in time for your direct flight out, or a connecting flight via Mumbai or Chennai.
THE BENELUX BONANZA
The journey I was about to undertake would not only in geographical terms span vast distances over land and sea......it was an odyssey which would cover a period of over four hundred years and one in which I would try to establish a "connection" with my ancestors.