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Southern India
Tour 2024

Kerala backwater and Fort Kochi

Date

24th November - 8th December 2024

Price
£1,500pp double room

£1,800 private room

 

Arrival and Departure Airport

Kochi (COK)

 

Destinations

Kochi
Munn
ar
Madurai
Kanyakumari
Varkala
Alle
ppey

Highlights

Wander around the quaint Fort Kochi, a place that was occupied by the Portuguese, Dutch, and the British

Wander through tea plantations

Visit one of the oldest cities in the world that we will explore by cycle-rickshaw

Be immersed in Hindu culture at the revered Meenakshi temple

Go to the beach and the southernmost tip of India, where we can see both the sunrise and sunset

Walk along Varkala Cliff and enjoy the views and the vibes

Experience daily life on the Kerala backwaters

 

Deposit

£350pp in a shared room / £400 private room

 

Full Balance Due

24th of September 2024

 

Group Size

8 min / 14 max

Availability

Spaces available. To contact us for more info click here.

Wayanad

Let us take you
there

Join us to cross the two southernmost states in India: Kerala and Tamil Nadu. To cross mountains, beaches, and backwaters. Think banana leaf thalis, rugged coastlines and cliffy beaches, colonial architecture, Kerala backwaters, tea plantations, coconut trees as far as the eye can see, lush rice fields and spice gardens, dolphin spotting, masala dosas, ancient temples and churches, Hindu rituals, traditional dance and martial arts, and so much more.

Most days, we will start at 9am but we will confirm the meeting time each day.

Day 1

After checking into the hotel and recuperating for an hour or two, we will head out together to share our first meal. This will be a delicious lunch overlooking the harbour. My business partner Paul will then take us to see some of the main sights in Fort Kochi.

Hotel: TBC

Day 2

After breakfast, we’ll drive to our first destination. A stunning hill station in India, Munnar is home to the lush green tea plantations for which India is well known for. On the way, we’ll stop at a local spice garden where we’ll learn all about the land and its abundance of ayurvedic herbs and spices. Once we arrive at the hotel, we'll have free time.

Hotel: Hotel C7

Day 3

After breakfast, we will set off to explore Munnar. We will visit the tea factory and learn about the history of the tea plantations, as well as see how the tea is made. In the evening, we will go to a cultural centre to watch a Kathakali (dance) and Kallari (marital art) performance.

Hotel: Hotel C7

Day 4

For the hikers among us, there’s an optional 5-6 hour morning hike around a tea plantation. It’s a challenging circular route through Shola forest and the plantations, peaking at 1950m. The hike is around 8km. It offers incredible views of the valley and the forest. The hike is guided by a local who knows the area well, so if you like the outdoors then this is not to be missed! The cost: approx. 1000 rupees per person depending on the group size. For the hikers, you can still have the opportunity to visit the tea factory in the afternoon.

For those who don't want to hike, we will take a leisurely stroll through a botanical gardens. We will also have time to do some shopping in the local bazaars. Munnar is a great destination to buy spices, oils, locally made chocolates, and of course – tea!

Hotel: Hotel C7

Day 5

After breakfast, we’ll set off to our next destination and next state, which is Madurai in Tamil Nadu. Madurai is one of the oldest continuously habituated cities in the world and home to Meenakshi Goddess Temple. This temple holds great importance due to its mythological and historical significance and is believed to be where Lord Shiva married Goddess Parvati, in the Hindu stories. After resting at the hotel, we will pay our first visit to the Temple to witness the beautiful evening Aarti ceremony. 

Hotel: Whestern Park

Day 6

Today we will do a guided tour of Madurai by cycle rickshaw. We will visit the temple again in the daytime, and experience life in the bustling narrow lanes surrounding the temple. We will also visit some markets and the Gandhi museum where we can delve deep into the history of India’s Independence Movement. 

Hotel: Whestern Park

Day 7

After breakfast, we will set off towards Kanyakumari, the southernmost tip of India where we can watch both the sun rise and set over the sea. Here we can also see the union of three major water bodies merging- the Bay of Bengal, the Arabian Sea and the Indian Ocean. When we arrive at the hotel, we'll have some free time, during which you can explore the town and visit the Tsunami monument, Gandhi monument, and some of the many churches and temples. In the evening, we'll meet to drive to the sunset viewing point. 

Hotel: Sea Shore Hotel

Day 8

We start early today, with a sun rise over the sea from our hotel rooftop, followed by an early breakfast. Then, we will take a boat ride to Vivekananda Rock. Swami Vivekananda is a revered Indian monk who was said to have attained enlightenment on the rock. In Hinduism, when a person attains enlightenment, they are considered to be a living God and are worshipped in person and after their passing. Once we are back on the mainland, the rest of the day is free to explore this quaint and quirky seaside town.

Hotel: Sea Shore Hotel

Day 9

After breakfast, we'll set off to drive to Varkala, crossing back from Tamil Nadu into Kerala again. We'll arrive at the hotel in time for sunset.

Hotel: Krishnatheeram Ayur Beach Resort

Day 10

Every day in Varkala, breakfast is included at the hotel but our days will be free to do as we wish to. Varkala is famous for its staggering cliff views and deep red sand. We will be relaxing here for a few days to wind down after all the adventures we have had so far.

 

Varkala has some fantastic cafes and restaurants and most nights you can find live music playing. There are also some really nice shopping opportunities here. The prices in Varkala a bit lower than in Fort Kochi so it’s a good place to get any gifts you want to take home!

 

Our hotel has 2 yoga classes a day in their yoga shala that is overlooking the sea. For those intersted, we can also help to arrange surfing or kayaking.

Hotel: Krishnatheeram Ayur Beach Resort

Day 11

A free day - after breakfast, the whole day is yours to do as you'd like to.

Day 12

After breakfast, we will drive to Alleppey with a lunch stop on the way. We'll arrive in the late afternoon with time to enjoy the resort, sunset, and a short shikhara ride on the backwaters, a taste of what is to come tomorrow.

Hotel: Warmth Lake Haven Resort

Day 13

After breakfast, we'll board a house boat at around 11am. We'll spend the day on board, cruising along the back waters and watching the world go by. Lunch and snacks will be served on board. In the evening, you can take another shikhara boat ride or just enjoy the views from the resort's infinity pool.

Hotel: Warmth Lake Haven Resort

Day 14

After breakfast, we'll drive back to Fort Kochi. There we will have a guided tour of the Jew Town and visit the Jewish synagogue and Dutch Palace. After lunch, the rest of the day will be free to relax and wander around the quaint harbour town.

Hotel: TBC

Day 15

On this last day, we will drop you off at the airport for your departing flights. If you have the flexibility, we highly recommend that you stay an extra night or two to enjoy Kerala, and go home feeling rested and refreshed. Kochi is a nice place to wander around and enjoy the many cute shops and cafes. 

Included:

All accommodation in 3* hotels
All transport in a private minibus that will be with us for the duration of the tour
All entrance fees to monuments/museums

Spice plantation nature walk

Cultural shows

Cycle rickshaw tour
Boat ride in Kanyakumari

Houseboat in Alleppey

Guides

Breakfast every day
Most lunches

Not included:

Flights
Visas
Travel insurance
Some lunches and dinners
Optional activities, such as hiking in Munnar

Other entrance fees and activities not specified in the itinerary
Tips

Any Covid incurred expenses

Booking Information:

A non-refundable deposit is required to book a place on the tour and the final balance is due 2 months before the tour starts.

If you would like more information before booking, please send me an email or contact me on WhatsApp:

bhavanaexperiences@gmail.com     07858951900

Check out my other tour happening in 2024:

Northern Tour

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