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Destination

India

Duration

11 Days

Price

From $3,898 pp

Gently wind your way through rolling hills and verdant mountains and experience the utter tranquility of India’s southern states. Marvel at sprawling tea plantations nestled in pristine valleys and sparkling rivers that wind their way through this incredible highland of Kerala, India’s best-kept secret. Sail through the beautiful Periyar Lake, ringed by mountain peaks, on a houseboat equipped with exquisite chefs and a professional crew. Watch as herds of elephants quietly cross the lake and perform their bathing rituals in this sheer tropical paradise. Take in the profound culture of the area with an authentic Kathakali dance performance and dive into Hindu spirituality on your visit to Meenakshi Temple, one of India’s biggest temple complexes. Deep relaxation and sheer well-being on the warm sandy beaches of Mararikulam will bring your Travelous journey to a memorable end.

Days Activities Accommodations
Day 1
Kochi
  • Airport Transfer (Arrival)
  • Kathakali Performance
Taj Malabar - Superior Charm(Tower & Heritage Wing)
Bed and Breakfast
Day 2
Kochi
  • Kochi Full Day Tour
  • Dinner at Fort Kochi
Taj Malabar - Superior Charm(Tower & Heritage Wing)
Bed and Breakfast
Day 3
Munnar
  • Kochi - Munnar
  • Munnar Tour w/ Tea Museum
The Windemere Estate - Cottage
Bed and Breakfast
Day 4
Mudrai - Madurai
  • Munnar - Private Transfer Munnar to Madurai
  • Madurai - Evening Visit to Meenakshi Temple
Taj Gateway Madurai - Superior Room
Bed and Breakfast
Day 5
Periyar
  • Madurai - Periyar
  • Periyar National Park Safari
Shalimar Spice Garden - Elegant Room
Bed and Breakfast
Day 6
Periyar
  • Spice Plantation Visit
Shalimar Spice Garden - Elegant Room
Bed and Breakfast
Day 7
Alappuzha - Kumarakom
  • Periyar- Alleppey- Kumarakom
  • Kumarakom Houseboat Experience
Kumarakom Lake Resort - Luxury Pavillon
Bed and Breakfast
Day 8
Kumarakom
  • Day at Leisure
Kumarakom Lake Resort - Luxury Pavillon
Bed and Breakfast
Day 9
Alappuzha
  • Kumarakom - Marari
  • Cooking Lesson & Dinner
Marai Beach Resort - Garden Pool Villas
Bed and Breakfast
Day 10
Alappuzha
  • Day at Leisure
Marai Beach Resort - Garden Pool Villas
Bed and Breakfast
Day 11
Kochi
  • Airport Transfer (Depart)

Day 1
Kochi

Welcome to Kochi! Upon arrival at the airport, you will be greeted by one of our local Travelous, English-speaking representatives who will be holding a sign with your name printed on it. Private transfer to your hotel and assistance with check-in provided.

The commercial hub of Kerala, the city of Kochi, is where the Portuguese explorer Vasco Da Gama first landed to establish a trading station in 1499. With more than a thousand-year-old recorded history, the past and the present gracefully merge in this heritage city that was the oldest European settlement in India. With what is believed to be finest natural harbor in the world, Kochi has had cultural and trade relations with the outside world for centuries with varied influences leaving their distinctive imprint.

In the evening, enjoy a Kathakali dance performance conducted in an authentic Kathakali school. Kathakali is the ancient classical dance from of Kerala which is a grand mix of dramatics, vocal and instrumental music, dancing and mine. There are various centre where this dance show is performed on a daily basis. The show is preceded by the artists donning their elaborate costume and explaining the intricate hand and facial gestures. Only men perform this traditional dance form, which is now a dying art.

Taj Malabar - Superior Charm (Tower & Heritage Wing)

Day 2
Kochi

After breakfast, you will embark on an unforgettable sightseeing tour of Kochi and Ernakulam!

First, you will visit the stunning Dutch Palace and the Jewish Synagogue. Observe the mechanism of the Chinese fishing nets nearby, which dot the harbor as you drive along the coastline. The tour takes you to the Fort Kochi area where you can walk through hundred years old historical Dutch and Portuguese buildings. Some parts of this nearly 500-year-old Fort are still amazingly well preserved.

Visit St. Francis Church, originally named after San Antonio and dedicated to him as the Patron Saint of Portugal. St. Francis Church is the first church to have been in the new European influenced tradition.

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Dinner tonight is arranged at Kochi's best seafood restaurant - Fort Kochi. This award-winning restaurant is located in the Casino Hotel and serves up the freshest delicacies from the Arabian Sea cooked to perfection.

Taj Malabar - Superior Charm (Tower & Heritage Wing)

Day 3
Munnar

After breakfast, you will drive to Munnar, the verdant land of tea plantations. This three hour drive is very picturesque as you drive through green hill slopes covered in tea plantations.

The breathtakingly beautiful Munnar is a haven of peace and tranquility, the idyllic tourist destination in God's own country, Kerala. It has the unending expanse of tea plantations - pristine valleys and mountains- exotic species of flora and fauna in its wild sanctuaries and forests and the aroma of spice scented cool air.

In the town, you will visit to the stone Christ Church, constructed in 1910. This beautiful church is embellished with fine stained glasswork. As the town has many tea estates, there are brass plaques inside the church, honoring the memory of the tea planters. Visit the Tea Museum where you can see the process of tea manufacturing from leaf to cup.

The Windermere Estate - Cottage

Day 4
Mudrai - Madurai

Depart Munnar this morning after breakfast and drive to the Temple town of Madurai. Check-in to your hotel and enjoy the afternoon at leisure. The drive time is about 3 hours.

Early this evening, visit the fabulous Meenakshi Temple, one of the biggest temple complexes in India (46 feet long and 790 feet broad) built in the 17th century AD. It is Madurai's greatest landmark, a virtual city within a city. The complex includes a bazaar that bustles from dawn to nightfall. The high point of the Meenakshi temple is Hall of a "Thousand Pillars". Non-Hindus are not allowed in the main Sanctum Sanctorum but can see the elaborately decorated temples from the outside.

Also, witness the night ceremony at the temple. This is a ceremony that takes place every evening when the temple bronze of Lord Shiva is carried to the bedchamber of his consort Parvati. Religious prayers and music accompany the elaborate procession.

Taj Gateway Madurai - Superior Room

Day 5
Periyar

After breakfast drive to the amazing Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary! The drive is about two hours long. The driver will be waiting for you while you enjoy your safari.After which he will take you to your hotel in Periyar.

This morning, a full-day safari is organized into the Periyar National Park! Enjoy a two-hour boat safari on Periyar Lake. You can also opt to extend your wildlife adventure with an early morning hike in the park with a naturalist.

Set high in the ranges of the Western Ghats is the Periyar National Park and Tiger Reserve. At the heart of the park is the wonderful man-made Periyar Lake, which stretches through most of the area open to tourists. Apart from wild Asian Elephants, the other animals to be seen in the Periyar Sanctuary are Indian Gaur, Wild Pigs, Sambar, Barking Deer, Mouse Deer, Dole or Indian Wild Dog and very rarely, the Royal Bengal Tiger. Also, four species of primates are found at Periyar: the rare lion-tailed macaque, the Nilgiri Langur, Common Langur and Bonnet Macaque. Periyar also happens to be the habitat of the elusive Nilgiri Tahr (a mountain goat), which is rarely seen. But keep your eyes open for the beautiful giant malabar squirrel - also known as the giant flying squirrel!br>
The birdlife here comprises of Darters, Cormorants, Kingfishers, the great Malabar Hornbill and racket-tailed Drongoes. The reptilian population boasts of Monitor Lizards that can be spotted basking in the sun, on the rocks along the lakeshore.

Day 6
Periyar

In the afternoon , visit an incredible spice plantation where you will learn about how various known and some exotic spices are grown, harvested and exported. You may find that the pepper you buy at home comes from these very fields!

Day 7
Alappuzha - Kumarakom

This morning, start your drive to the Alleppey where your very own Kettuvallam or houseboat awaits your arrival.The drive time is about 2 hours .On the way enjoy the scenery that comprises of plantations, small villages and paddy fields.

This morning, start your drive to the Alleppey where your very own Kettuvallam (houseboat) awaits your arrival. The houseboat will take you through the famous Kerala backwaters, traversing through paddy fields and villages, into the magnificent Vembanad Lake before reaching your plush backwater resort in Kerala.

The houseboat is fully equipped with a lounge and sun deck, and usually one bedroom with an en-suite bathroom and a kitchen. The three crewmembers are there to look after you every need. A hot lunch and afternoon snacks will be served before your reach your resort for the night. You will be met and assisted with checking in upon arrival at Kumarakom.

Kumarakom is enchantingly beautiful. The blue backwaters and the surface of Vembanad Lake reflect the clear blue sky. Marvel at the amazing shades of green of the vegetation that includes mangroves, coconut palms, and paddy fields cover the verdant countryside. Channels and waterways wind their way through this green paradise. Water lilies and lotuses bloom in the water and birds from the bird sanctuary on Vembanad Lake call as they fly across the clear tropical sky. Enjoy your evening at leisure in this tropical paradise.

Kumarakom Lake Resort - Luxury Pavillion

Day 8
Kumarakom

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Enjoy a day at leisure and engage in any of the activities offered to you by your hotel.

Kumarakom Lake Resort - Luxury Pavillion

Day 9
Alappuzha

After breakfast, you will drive to the beautiful beach destination of Marari. This is a short drive through quaint traditional villages. Marari is a virgin beach located conveniently close to Kochi. On-route to Marari, you will stop at a coir factory. You can watch as the workers use their hands and antiquated milling machines to convert dried husk first to coir length and then to intricate sheets. After this visit, continue to Marari and check in at the Resort.

This evening join the head chef in the organic garden to pick ingredients for a fabulous local dinner. The chef not only explains various vegetable and spices but gets you to join him in a fun, informative cooking demonstration. The chef gets you to prepare a full three-course dinner from starter to dessert and then joins you for dinner while you enjoy the fruits of your labor.

Marari Beach Resort - Green Pool Villa

Day 10
Alappuzha

The day is yours to explore on your own or simply relax in a beautiful setting. Enjoy!

Marari Beach Resort - Green Pool Villa

 

Day 11
Kochi

Unfortunately, we say goodbye to you today. Transfer in private vehicle with full assistance to Kochi Airport for your flight home. Keep the memories alive and hope to see you again in India. Stay Travelous!

India is the world's seventh-largest country. It has more than one billion inhabitants that are divided into two thousand ethnic groups and speak over 200 different languages. Given its size and population, India has an endless variety of cultures, landscapes, monuments and places to explore. Be it the ancient ruins, fascinating religious structures, exotic cities or diverse topography, there is an vast collection of tourist attractions that will never cease to awe and fascinate the visitor.

Taj Malabar

Drive in from the airport delighting in backseat surprises (we're not revealing here). You'll see how we mean business in a quiet efficient way from the moment you drive in. Get set to be delighted with small surprises from the moment you enter. Our lobby is a unique mix of chic and classic. This arrival zone sets the tone for guestrooms and banquet facilities that deliver the ultimate in urban relaxation. The heritage wing, built in 1935, has graceful Victorian interiors that aptly reflect the inherent beauty of Cochin. And the tower wing houses newly renovated guestroom suites, each a delicate mix of the classic with the contemporary. Technology is woven through it all. Vivanta by Taj - Malabar, has all the entertainment and connectivity options today's traveller requires.

These stately rooms stretch across 420 sq ft. Take a trip down memory lane as you explore the old world charm and culture of the region all embedded in the wooden floors and carved ceilings. With king/twin bed options, hi speed Wi-Fi Internet, Elsafe, mini bar, tea/coffee maker, special built in work desks and other features. It's like traveling back to the future.

The Windermere Estate

The Windermere Retreat has plush home style accomodation. Comfortable wooden beds: all handmade with local teak and maple wood. 100% Cotton linen and hand embroidered settings give it a unique charm.

Every cottage is about 650 sq ft, and enjoys an unimpeded view of the valley. Named after the crops that grow around us, Windermere Estate has two Coffee cottages with a cozy sit in area,and the rest six 'Cardamom', Vanilla', & 'Tea' cottages have their own balconies.

Taj Gateway Madurai

Escape the din of city life. Perched atop the Pasumalai hill, amid 62 acres of peaceful, landscaped gardens, The Gateway Hotel is the epitome of colonial architecture. Here you'll find a charmed spot to relax and take in picturesque views of the Temple City and the Kodai hills.

Experience real comfort in these newly constructed, spacious rooms with bay windows and soothing views of the swimming pool and the city.

Shalimar Spice Garden

Built on a verdant land unscathed by modernization, the Shalimar Spice Garden is a perfect blend of European and Indian living without diluting the rich heritage of Kerala. The resort merges with the spice gardens that encompass it, is the verdant landscape bordering the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary, making it a great place for your holiday.

Kumarakom Lake Resort

Kumarakom Lake Resort, acclaimed as the finest luxury heritage resort in India, nestles on the serene banks of the Lake Vembanad, the vast stretch of tranquil, emerald green backwaters, in one of India"s popular holiday spots, Kerala. Sprawling across 25 acres of lush greenery and set in soul-stirring ambience, Kumarakom Lake Resort, the winner of the much acclaimed World Travel Award as India"s Leading Resort for four years, exudes the charm of Kerala"s true heritage while offering a complete range of New Age amenities for a luxuriously comfortable stay. Luxury-laden rooms, villas and suites; Ayurmana, the Ayurveda Spa; swimming pools galore; health club; i-cuisine and specialty restaurants; traditional Kerala teashop and countless other attractions in and around the resort offer you the simple luxuries of life, in the grandeur of the royalty of yore.

Traditionally styled and luxuriously comfortable, these are an exclusive cluster of luxurious rooms nestling amidst the lush foliage at the retreat and each room is distinguished by its generous proportions and warm sense of cosiness. Heritage aesthetics and unostentatious luxury are its hallmarks, like elsewhere in Kumarakom Lake Resort. An ensuite bathroom and Jacuzzi merely add to the memorable pleasures of a stay here

Marari Beach Resort

Marari Beach, you'll find, is the one place where you can unwind completely, without the trying bit. You can't watch TV to relax, for example. There isn't one in your room. Marari is not merely an antidote to stress. It's a cure for that other vexing holiday problem: Trying to Take it Easy. Because here, you can throw away the to do list and be free with no effort at all.

This villa comes with its own private pool and a secluded green space for your enjoyment. The bathrooms are inspired by the old Kerala villa styles, where the bathing areas usually stood at a little distance from the main house. Often, these were open to the sky, partly for ventilation, but mainly because it was just so much fun bathing that way. At Marari, you can experience this idea in updated, contemporary form (Which means that all modcons are reassuringly present ). Few things can match the special joy of a hot shower in a secluded courtyard, open to the sky with only the tingle of warming sunlight and the swaying treetops for company.

Terms and Conditions

What's Included:

  • Accommodation, Activities, Transfers, Meals, and Fees as indicated on your itinerary. Local and international traveler assistance during your tour. Specialised and personalised services.

What's not Included:

  • Airfare to/from the Tour start point, including domestic or inter-country connecting flights, unless otherwise stated in itinerary.
  • tips and gratuities
  • items of a personal nature such as incidentals, excess baggage charges
  • airport taxes/entrance fees, port charges, foreign government departure taxes
  • Visas (unless otherwise indicated), Inspection, Customs, Immigration and Naturalization fees Additional fuel surcharges on cruises
  • Travel Insurance including Medical, Lost Baggage and Trip cancellation
  • Optional activities (golf, watersports, etc.)
  • any other activities or items not explicitly advertised as included in the price of a Tour

 

Reservations/Booking and Deposits:  To book a Tour, each Traveler (or leader of a Group of Travelers) must submit:

 

A.     A completed booking form signed electronically by the main Traveler. By submitting the booking form on the payments page, the traveler accepts our full Terms and Conditions.  

B.     A deposit of 30% of the Tour price (minimum $250 per person), is due immediately upon booking.

C.     The full balance of the trip cost is due ninety days (90) before the trip departure date.

D.      If you book your trip with us ninety days (90 days) or less before the departure date, the full cost of the trip is due at that time.

E.      In the instance payment is made by certified check or wire transfer, reservations will only commence once the check is cleared.

F.      Availability of Services and Accommodations cannot be guaranteed until a Tour is booked.  We will exercise our best efforts to book the Services and Accommodations described in the Tour Itinerary, however, in busy seasons and with client bookings made within 90 days of Tour date, we may be forced to offer substitutes.  In this instance we will notify you as soon as possible and try to substitute comparable Services and Accommodations based on availability.

G.     Ticketing & credit card processing for international transport and other select domestic airfare pertaining to a specific country is done by a 3rd party and not included in your total land package price unless otherwise stated.

H.     Cancellations of confirmed bookings 90 days or more prior to departure will receive full refund minus a $250 (per person) administrative fee and any non-refundable paid fees (e.g. non-refundable airfare, cruise or hotel deposits). 60-89 days will be subject to loss of 30% of program price. 30-59 days will be subject to loss of 50% of program price. 29 days or less will be subject to loss of 100% of program price.

       *NOTE: Certain destinations require a 30% non-refundable deposit at the time of booking and therefore, would supersede our standard cancellation policy prior to 90 days in this instance.

For our complete Terms and Conditions: www.travelous.com/travelous-terms-and-conditions-of-sale

 

 

 

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