A fascinating journey through India’s iconic south; do experience the diversity in scenery, architecture, culture and most importantly the people.
Karnataka is a tapestry of colours, cultures, flavours, landscapes, and timelessness. A place where vibrant worlds seamlessly melt into one another in every few hundred kilometres. Sedate plains suddenly rise to dizzying mist covered hilly heights, and then plunge with careless abandon in a white watered freefall to become languid rivers that flow past cities where time has stopped altogether, and cities where time rushes a relentless rush to keep up with the world
Kerala is a tropical bliss with an idyllic coastline and lush tropical hills. Despite its relative riches, A part of the population in Kerala life continue with agriculture, tea, coffee and spice plantations and the coir industry. Rightly Dubbed as God’s Own Country Kerala boasts of its Rich Flora, Fauna and The harmonious mixture of communities. Hills, Backwaters & Beaches – all at short travelling distances in between- combined with Wellness.
Trip Duration 16 days
Grade: Heritage& Culinary Experience
Accommodation: 15 night’s hotel stays & 1 night house boat
- Wine Tour and lunch in the Vineyard
- Heritage Walking Tour in Mysore
- Malabari Cuisine experience in Calicut
- Train Travel in India
- Guided Ethnic tour of Colonial Cochin
- Interactive Cooking followed by Dinner in Kochi
- Tea Tasting and Plantation Trek in Munnar
- Enchanting Backwaters
- Pristine Beach
Day 01: Bangalore Arrival
Upon arrival at Bangalore airport, meet and assistance by our office representative, followed by transfer to hotel for check-in. Rest of the day is free to relax after the long flight. Overnight Stay. (Bed & Breakfast)
Day 02: Bangalore (70 Km /2 hrs)
This morning drive to the countryside of Bangalore towards the Soma Vineyards (2 hrs drive) to understand the history of wine cultivation in India. After strolling through rows of grape-bearing vines, witness the entire process of wine-making–crushing of grapes, fermentation to the final labelling and packaging. Head into the barrel room, setup with real oak barrels, where ageing of premium wine is done. Then experience a wine tasting session of selected varieties of wines and a tour in the surrounding vineyard hills. Finally enjoy a lunch in the picturesque 100 acre vineyard. Drive back to your hotel in Bangalore. Dinner and overnight at the hotel. (Bed & Breakfast + Lunch)
Day 03: Bangalore – Belur – Halebid – Hassan (245 Km /5 hrs)
After breakfast departure for Hassan by a beautiful winding road. Enroute see the 58-feet tall monolithic statue of Gommateshvara located on Vindyagiri one of the twin Hills of the village Shravanabelagola. It is considered to be the world’s largest monolithic stone statue. Then continue onto Hassan, the name of the town derives from the name of the goddess Hassanamba. The city was founded by Channa Krishnappa Naik in the 11th century. On arrival check in at the hotel. Later the day proceeds to seer Belur and Halebid. This day is spent visiting sites of two major Hindu arts and especially of the Hoysala dynasty. A few kilometers from Hassan, Belur is the first site built by the Hoysala dynasty (11th and 12th century). The many and admirable reliefs recount scenes of battle between the Cholas Vishnuvardhana and his neighbour of Tamil Nadu. At Halebid, the Temple Hoysaleshwara appears like a jewel in the quality of its sculptures. No detail is overlooked in this stunning overview of the great Hindu myths. Overnight at the hotel. (Bed & Breakfast)
Day 04: Hassan – Mysore (120 Km / 3 hrs)
After breakfast at the hotel and check-out, drive south to Mysore. On arrival check-in at your hotel. Rest of the day at leisure.Mysore (or Mysuru), a city in India’s southwestern Karnataka state, was the capital of the Kingdom of Mysore from 1399 to 1947. In its center is opulent Mysore Palace, seat of the former ruling Wodeyar dynasty. The Palace blends Hindu, Islamic, Gothic and Rajput styles. Mysore is also home to the centuries-old Devaraja Market, filled with spices, silk and sandalwood. . followed by an experience in heritage Tonga ride (horse-drawn chariots). These vehicles ruled the streets in their heyday and now are used to ferry around the heritage buildings and provides insights into the local culture Overnight stay. (Bed & Breakfast)
Day 05: Mysore
Enjoy an Early Breakfast at the hotel before proceeding on a Heritage tour on foot – and get a feel of this charming city in a local way. Take in the city at your own pace as you past some lovely colonial structures, old local monuments, and temples, listening to the stories behind them. Back to the hotel: Later the day visit Srirangapatna (16km from Mysore) – the island fortress of Tipu Sultan and the early capital of the Mysore Wodiyars – Here you will find monuments such as Tipu’s mosque with its twin minarets built in 1787, Tipu’s Summer Palace – Daria Daulat Bagh, built completely on wood and converted into a museum that houses some fantastic artifacts and paintings related to Haider Ali and Tipu Sultan, and in the Gumbaz where lie buried Tipu Sultan, Haider Ali and others of the royal family. Tonight we go to the Gitanjali homestay to experience Kodava cuisine (from Corgi) and culture. Enjoy elaborate, ethnic Kodava dishes served on banana leaf platters, and interactions with your host Yamuna. Kodava or traditional Coorgi cuisine is bold in flavour as well as content and uses a lot of meats and spices. Back to hotel. Dinner and overnight stay. (Bed & Breakfast + Dinner).
Day 06: Mysore– Calicut (240 Kms / 6 hrs)
Breakfast at the hotel. Drive to Calicut. Calicut is the anglicized form of Kalikooth, the name used by Arabs to refer to Kozhikode. The ports of the Malabar Coast have participated in the Indian Ocean trade of spices, silk, and other goods for over two millennia. Arrive and Check in at the Hotel. Later proceed to meet a Home chef who will share her expertise on the North Kerala Cuisine / Malabari food, Followed by Dinner.
There is also an option visiting Sweet Meat Street of Calicut – a very lively Marketplace. Overnight stay. (Bed & Breakfast + Dinner).
Day 07: Calicut – Cochin Train- ETD: 9 am: ETD 1330hrs
Breakfast at the Hotel, Transfer to the Rail station. The travel is in Push back Seats in air-conditioned Coach On arrival meet and assistance at the Railway station, then proceed to your hotel and check-in at the Hotel. Kochi (also known as Cochin) is a city in southwest India’s coastal Kerala state. It has been a port since 1341, when a flood carved out its harbour and opened it to Arab, Chinese and European merchants. Afternoon go on guided walking tour of the colonial town starts with the visit of the famous Chinese Fishing Nets of Cochin. The huge cantilevered Chinese fishing nets that droop towards the waters like over-sized hammocks have become a hallmark that represents Fort Kochi on every postcard… Next visit is at the St. Francis CSI Church, the oldest European church in India built in 1503, where the Portuguese explorer Vasco de Gama was originally buried and the Santa Cruz Basilica, one of the finest and imposing churches in India.. Overnight stay. (Bed & Breakfast)
Day 08 Cochin
Breakfast at the hotel. Today you will Experience the Real life of Cochin during an Ethnic tour –Take a tuk tuk– the most popular mode of transport among the localities. Go along with your local tour and stop at the Dhobi Khana (laundry station), once throbbing with activity, it is now a picture of slow extinction. Continue through the small streets of Mattanchery, and arrive at the Fruit market on Palace road where locals get a variety of fresh and organic produces at bargains prices. Don’t miss a stop at the Spice Market, where exotic odour of the finest ginger, cloves, cardamom, turmeric and pepper emanate from the spice warehouses lining the street and fills it. Make a pause at one of the tea shops –to experience the “one meter” Tea. Later visit the Jewish Synagogue at the heart of what is locally called the Jew Town, and finally the Dutch Palace with its beautiful mural paintings from the 17th century.
Tonight join Mr Francs & Rosy for a demonstration of Kerala cuisine at a home demo kitchen, followed by a Dinner. This is a great opportunity to share thoughts, culture or simply discuss about the life of a Keralite.. Overnight stay. (Bed & Breakfast + Dinner)
Day 09: Cochin-Munnar (140 kms/4 hrs)
After your breakfast, drive to Munnar Hills. South India’s largest tea-growing region, passing through a beautiful hill road -from to the rolling hills and sculpted tea gardens to arrive at your next accommodation. Enjoy the rest of the day – its Nature, Views and You only. Late afternoon free to drive around Munnar – Mattupetty Dam, Tea Plantations and Lakes. Dinner and overnight stay at the hotel. (Bed & Breakfast)
Day 10: Munnar
After your breakfast, go on to visit Lockhart tea factory – one of the well maintained Factories from the British Era. After guided tour of the factory participate in a tea tasting session. Followed by a stroll though the Plantations up to a nearby village. Later visit tea museum which explains the history of Tea in Munnar, also a good opportunity to get authentic tea dust and related products. On your way back head to Srishti TATA project. This project is a venture of Tata Global Beverages for the rehabilitation of the differently able. Enjoy some shopping time in this community centre – Strawberry jam (handmade), handmade paper or clothing naturally dyed on site. Back at the hotel. Rest of the day free for independent activities at the resort. Dinner and Overnight stay. (Bed & Breakfast)
Day 11: Munnar – Kumarakom (160 Km / 4.5 hrs)
After your breakfast at the hotel, drive down hills to Kumarakom. This town slumbers on the banks of the famous Vembanad Lake, with its majestic canals, streams and distributaries along its banks, weave an intricate and enchantingly beautiful web. The bird sanctuary close by is an ornithologist’s paradise and a favourite haunt of migratory birds. Check-in at your hotel. Rest of the afternoon free to explore the Resort and its activities. Village Walks, Country Canoe ride, sunset cruise or a rejuvenating Ayurveda Massage (Payable Locally), to name a few. Dinner and overnight at your hotel. (Bed & Breakfast)
Day 12: Kumarakom
This Morning proceed on an excursion to Aymanam Village – the village in Arundhathi Roy’s novel ‘The God of Small Things’. Start the Experience with a canoe cruise in the Kingfisher Country, A tranquil cruise where chirping of birds is the only consistent activity other than the washing of clothes which occasionally catch your eyes. Get off to a relaxed walk through the village. Stop at the Snake abodes, many of them still alive. Snakes were dreadful to earliest inhabitants. The tour can take turns – visiting a temple, stop at any local ceremonies and activities, as it goes. Meet the ‘Kathakali Master’ – Kerala’s traditional theatre. The dance drama unique to Kerala is Visual presentations of human expressions. The talent, earned through years of practice, are passionately presented by our Maestro. Later drive back to your hotel for your overnight stay. (Bed & Breakfast)
Day 13: Kumarakom – Alleppy Houseboat (45 Km / 1 hrs)
Breakfast at the hotel. By Mid day drive to Alleppey to board your Private Houseboat for an enchanting cruise through the Backwaters. These boats are a reworked version of kettuvallams of olden times -once used to carry tons of rice and spices, today are converted into comfortable floating accommodation. Cruise through the palm fringed canals enjoying the beauty of rural village life. A sumptuous Keralan Meal is served on board. The trip continues through a wonderful area of the lush green vegetation of Kerala backwaters. Tea and Local snacks are served. Dinner and Overnight stay on Board (Full Board)
Day 14: Alleppy – Marari Beach (18 kms/30 minutes)
Wake up to the tunes of Birds, Breakfast on Board, Cruise further, Disembark and Proceed to Marari Beach. Marari Beach is dotted with a string of tranquil fishing villages along the coast. Free Morning to familiarize with the resort activities. – Free Time on the beach. You will observe a nearby Fishermen village with their traditional colorful wooden boats. The older generation of local fishermen uses some areas as they have done for generations. Indulge in many of the activities organized by the hotel. Marari Beach Resort offers thatched-roof villas with air conditioning. It has an outdoor pool while, beachside dining is available. The spacious and airy villas come with full length windows and some with a private pool or garden view.
Marari is best known for its medicinal plants, organic farming, conservation activities and Ayurvedic Experiences. Overnight Stay (Bed & Breakfast)
Day 15: Marari Beach
Full Day Free For Sun, Sand & Surf or Resort Activities. Overnight Stay (Bed & Breakfast)
Day 16: Marari -Cochin Airport (100 kms/21/2 hrs )
Breakfast at the hotel. On time transfer will be arranged to connect your flight back home.