Splendours of Southern India
FRC-717883/700822 India
16 Nights from
£4,149
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At A Glance

What's Included

  • Economy class international flights & internal flights
  • Rail journey from Calicut to Kochi
  • All overseas transfers with assistance and porterage
  • Hotel accommodation as detailed in the itinerary
  • Two night cruise on the Kerala Backwaters
  • Meals as detailed in the itinerary
  • Sightseeing as per the itinerary with services of an English speaking guide
  • All excursions, safari's and performances as detailed in the itinerary
  • All entrance fees to the Monuments and National Parks as per the itinerary
  • Taxes where applicable
  • Welcome and farewell dinner
  • Welcome drinks party hosted by your escort

What's Not Included

Itinerary
1
Day 1
Depart UK

Depart the UK this morning for an overnight flight to Mumbai.

2
Day 2
Mumbai

Arrive this morning and trasnfer to the Trident Hotel for you overnight stay.

5
Day 5
Mumbai - Bangalore - Mysore

This morning we fly to Bangalore, and then by coach to Mysore. En-route we visit the river island town of Srirangapatna, with its celebrated 9thcentury Hindu Ranganatha Temple. The Indian ruler Tipu Sultan made his capital here and opposed the East India Company forces in four wars until he fell in a siege in 1799; the temple and the island as a whole has become an important pilgrimage site.

(B, L)

6
Day 6
Mysore

This morning, we visit the Chamundi Hills, site of the 12th-century Chamundeshwari Temple with its 1,008 ancient steps leading to the summit.

Our next stop brings more magnificent architecture, as we visit the Palace of Mysore, the home of the Maharajahs of Mysore and one of India’s most popular attractions. We also visit to a local workshop to learn how the local sandalwood incense is made by hand.

The afternoon is free to relax or to explore the local markets, museums or art galleries.

(B)

7
Day 7
Mysore - Coorg

After a 3 hours drive to Coorg we arrive at the Orange County Resort. Set on a 300-acre working coffee and spice plantation, it has a dramatic backdrop of virgin forest and the Kaveri River. After lunch we take a walking tour of the plantation and learn about the coffee grown on it, the difference between an Arabica and a Robusta bean, and the special “monsooning” process applied to the beans.

We enjoy a cultural dance performance before dinner.

(B, L, D)

8
Day 8
Coorg

Today we encounter everyday life as we wander the narrow lanes of a nearby village. Here we see a traditional coffee pour, then experience the round “coracle” boats used by local fishermen; we ride comfortably and close to water level as our boatmen expertly manoeuvre these unique vessels. After lunch there is time to explore the extensive grounds, relax at the coffee lounge, enjoy the library or spa, or join the hotel staff on a walk to discover more of Coorg’s unique geography and culture.

(B, L, D)

9
Day 9
Coorg - Kabini

Early this morning, we embark on a birdwatching walk to see some of the 300 species - 25% of all India’s birds are found here.

After breakfast we leave for Nagarhole National Park, established in 1955, whose abundant wildlife, including leopard, Indian bison, wild dog, deer, antelope, hyena, and more, make it one of India’s finest reserves. In the summer months, this park also hosts the world’s greatest concentration of Asian elephants, estimated at 8,000-14,000, who migrate here to feast on riverbed pastures.

We arrive in time for a late lunch at our safari lodge, which is flanked on two sides by the Kabini River and was named one of the world’s 25 best eco-lodges by National Geographic Traveller. We then set out on a boat safari that takes in some of Nagarhole’s 247 square miles.

(B, L, D)

10
Day 10
Kabini

This morning, before breakfast, we take a safari in an open-air 4-wheel-drive vehicle through Nagarhole in search of wildlife. Later, we visit Orange County’s Butterfly Park with its many-hued occupants, including the Southern Birdwing, India’s largest butterfly. Then we drive to Gundathur, where we visit with a local family in their home. More of the natural world is on tap tonight as we embark on an after-dinner nature walk to witness the nocturnal birds and reptiles in their natural habitats.

(B, L, D)

11
Day 11
Kabini - Calicut

Today we drive to Calicut, dubbed the “City of Spices” in antiquity for its role in the thriving eastern spice trade. We enjoy lunch at a local restaurant on the way to Calicut, and check into our centrally located hotel mid-afternoon.

We have some time at leisure to walk on the nearby beach or enjoy the amenities at our hotel.

(B, L)

12
Day 12
Calicut - Kochi - Houseboat Cruise

Early this morning, we transfer to the railway station where we board a train and head south.

We then begin our leisurely cruise of the palmfringed backwater canals of the Arabian Sea, a distinctive region whose beauty and tranquillity have earned it the sobriquet “God’s own country.” A vast network of lagoons, lakes, and canals formed by the confluence of Kerala’s numerous rivers and the Arabian Sea, the Kerala backwaters run alongside the coast for more than 550 miles.

(B, L, D)

13
Day 13
Houseboat Cruise

Today we see Indian life up close as we slowly cruise past small farms and villages, old temples, and churches, stopping on occasion to go ashore. These labyrinthine waterways have served as a thoroughfare from ancient times, and the daily existence has changed little over the centuries. Along the way we may observe traditional livelihoods such as fish farming and toddy tapping.

(B, L, D)

14
Day 14
Kochi

We disembark this morning and return to Kochi, “Queen of the Arabian Sea”. Upon arrival, we visit the well-preserved European quarter, with its mix of Portuguese, Dutch, and British colonial houses and other historic buildings. Here we see the Mattancherry Palace (Dutch Palace), with its rare Keralite flooring and mythological murals, followed by the Synagogue and Jewish Town, home to the oldest group of Jews in India, whose roots stretch possibly all the way back to King Solomon. Later this afternoon, we attend a performance of Kathakali dance, where facial expressions and hand gestures combine with movement to create this traditional Kerala art form.

Tonight we celebrate our splendid journey at a farewell dinner at our hotel.

(B, D)

16
Day 16
Kochi - Return flight to London

We depart for the airport for our return flight via Mumbai.

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Enjoy this exclusive fully escorted tour including a Kerala houseboat stay.