Tour ItineraryThis tour can be adjusted or tailor made to suit your requirements – Please askDAY 01 ARRIVAL Chennai Meet and assist on arrival. Transfer to a period luxury hotel for overnight. Occupancy cannot be guaranteed before the check in time of 12 noon but every effort will be made for you to do so. Visit Fort St. George, built by the East India Company in 1653 and St. Mary’s Church, the first English church in India. The rest of the day at leisure. Overnight, stay at the hotel.DAY 02 CHENNAI-MYSORE Transfer to rail terminal for the train to Mysore (Shatabdi Express 06:00/13:00hrs – except Tues.), one of the most charming cities in the south and popularly called “Sandalwood City”. The Grand Palace was gifted by the Maharaja of Mysore to his sister Lalitha, and today it is the luxury hotel Lalitha Mahal Palace. We stay here for 2 nights.DAY 03 MYSORE The morning sightseeing covers the Mysore Palace built in the Indo-Saracenic style. Visit Chamundi Hill and the Nandi Bull. We proceed to Srirangapattanam for lunch by the River Cauvery and to see Tipu Sultan’s Summer Palace. The remainder of the day is free to explore the colourful markets. Mysore offers much for shoppers, especially silk and sandalwood products.DAY 04 MYSORE-OOTY-COONOOR In the morning drive to Ooty, the famous hill station, for lunch at the Hotel Savoy. Afternoon enjoy a short ride on the “toy train”, pulled by an old steam locomotive, up to Coonoor, a pleasant town surrounded by tea gardens. Transfer to your hotel for the night.DAY 05 COONOOR-COIMBATORE Spend the morning at Coonoor. Afternoon enjoy the ‘Toy Train’ to Mettupalayam. On your arrival at Mettupalayam, transfer to Coimbatore and check into your hotel.DAY 06 COIMBATORE-COCHIN After breakfast drive to Cochin. On your arrival in Cochin, check into the hotel. Go sightseeing in the afternoon. The colonial influence of Cochin becomes evident when we visit the Jewish synagogue. Built in 1567, it contains the grand scrolls of the Old Testament (if closed it will be visited the next morning). You will also see the Dutch Palace, with its 17th century murals of the Ramayana and St. Francis’ Church where Vasco da Gama, who first “rediscovered” India for Europe (Columbus having failed) was first buried. In the evening see a Kathakali dance performance.DAY 07 COCHIN-ALLEPPEY-PERIYAR (See options below*) We drive to Alleppey where we take a boat for a three hours cruise through the fascinating backwaters, an ideal way to observe village life, up to Changanacherry. We drive up the ghats on a route dotted with plantations of rubber, cardamom, coco, green pepper and areca nut, to the wildlife reserve at Periyar. We stay 2 nights at the exotic Spice Village (with swimming pool) in thatched cottages amidst spice plants.DAY 08 PERIYAR We enjoy a short walk through the jungle in the morning and a boat ride on Lake Periyar in the afternoon to view the wild life.DAY 09 PERIYAR-MADURAI After breakfast leave for Madurai, the 2000 year old capital of the Pandayan Kings, and check into Taj Garden retreat, a beautiful hotel on a hillock in the midst of acres of gardens. Afternoon sightseeing includes Meenakshi Temple, perhaps the grandest display of Dravidian architecture. It has gigantic “gopurams” or gateways, profusely carved, the tallest reaching 160ft. We visit this active temple during the “puja” ceremony. DAY 10 MADURAI-TANJORE In the morning drive to Tanjore, in Tamil Nadu, and check into the Parishutham Hotel, a comfortable modern three star, for 2 nights. In the afternoon we visit the serene Brihadeeshwara Temple, built by the Cholas in the 10th century AD, which is now preserved as a World Heritage Monument.DAY 11 TANJORE-TRICHY-TANJORE Make a full day excursion to Trichy to include the Rock Fort Temple. A stiff climb to the summit by the willing and able is rewarded by an amazing view of the Srirangam temple, with its sprawling complex of shrines and carvings, built on an island in the Cauvery River and covering a staggering 2.5 sq km.DAY 12 TANJORE-COVELONG Make a long drive to the fishing villages of Covelong on the outskirts of Madras. We stay 2 nights at the elegant Fisherman’s Cove Hotel on the beach. On our way we visit the 12th century Dharasuram temple and stop for lunch in the former French colony of Pondicherry.DAY 13 COVELONG or Mahabaliprram In the morning make an excursion to Mahabalipuram, a major sea port of the great Pallava Kings (8th/10th centuries AD), noted for its rock carvings and the shore temple. The rest of the day at leisure. Overnight, stay at the hotel.DAY 14 COVELONG or Mahabaliprram The day is at leisure. Overnight, stay at the hotel.DAY 15 COVELONG/ or Mahabaliprram -CHENNAI INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT Early morning transfer to the airport for your BA daytime return flight to Heathrow.OPTIONAL EXTENSION *At this point the tour can be amended OR extended as follows:
Option 1 ‘Watch the world go by’ from the deck of a rice boat gently navigating the backwaters. See people going about their business; washing clothes, preparing meals or fishing for their evening meal.
Option 2 Experience ‘the real India’- stay with a local family for one or two nights.
Option 3 Alternatively – enjoy one night of each.
OPTIONAL VARIATION – Option 04The itinerary is the same as above up to DAY 06DAY 07 COCHIN-ALLEPEY After breakfast, drive to Allepey and on arrival board the Rice boat for a 22 hours cruise through the world famous Backwaters of Kerala. The rest of the day is on board the houseboat. Overnight on board.DAY 09 HOUSEBOAT-CHENAGIRI Spend the morning on board the boat. Later arrive at the small backwaters village of Chenagiri. Here you will be the guests of a farming family. Spend the rest of the day and overnight with the family.DAY 09 CHENAGIRI-PERIYAR Morning with the family. Later drive to Periyar (as DAY 08 above) and continue with the original itinerary. Making a total of 18 daysSEASON: All year. Temperatures in South India do not usually drop below 26o or rise above 34o. Tour ends TOUR COSTAll Tours are subject to an Acceptance Payment/Deposit of £200 per person.Cost per person on twin share basis as per itineraryOn application for the current Tour CostWhere prices are quoted in US$, the UK pounds price shown is based on current exchange rates.Payment 1. Acceptance Payment £200 per person (non refundable) by bank transfer or cheque payable to “S W & M Miller”Your Contract for all tour arrangements is directly with Creative Travel Delhi, India to whom payment for the tour is made.2. Eight weeks prior to arrival in India (or on Acceptance) – 50% of the cost is payable in US $, by Credit Card or International Bank Transfer, direct to Creative Travel, India. 3. On arrival in India – the remaining 50% is payable, in US $, by Credit Card or Cash.
Cancellation Charges35 days prior to arrival a cancellation fee of US$200 per person will be applicable. 30 days notice of cancellation a fee of 25% of the total amount will be applicable. 25 days notice of cancellation a fee of 50% of the total amount will be applicable Less than 25 days notice incurs the full amount. Acceptance Payment non refundableIncluded in the Cost
Excluded from the Cost
- Accommodation on a twin sharing, room and breakfast basis at the hotels specified,
- Any single room subject to a supplement shown.
- All transfers, sightseeing and excursions by air-conditioned car.
- Services of an English speaking local guide at all places
- Entrance fees at monuments (except camera fees)
- Cycle Rickshaw ride during Old Delhi visit
- Camel rise in Jaisalmer
- Boat cruise on Lake Pichola
- Jeep Safari in Jodhpur
- Elephant ride at Amber fort in Jaipur (subject to operating) or jeep.
- Porterage at airports and hotels (not tips).
- All currently applicable taxes.
- Prices quoted in US$ and the UK pounds price shown is based on current exchange rates.
- Expenses of a personal nature such as table drinks, laundry, telephone calls, Internet charges, mineral water, tips, shopping etc.
- Any other meals or services not mentioned in the programme.
- Any international airfare or any airport taxes.
- Any Government or State taxes subsequently introduced.
- Travel Insurance
- Any Christmas or New Year Dinner