FLY MUMBAI – HYDERABAD
HYDERABAD – CHENNAI – MADURAI
MADURAI – PERIYAR
PERIYAR – POTTAMKULAM
MUMBAI - FOR BOLLYWOOD, VADA-PAW AND STOCK EXCHANGE
EXPLORE MUMBAI - THE NEW YORK OF INDIA
WELCOME TO HYDERABAD - CITY OF NIZAMS!
UNRAVEL THE 400-YEAR-OLD CITY OF LEGENDARY NIZAMS
TO PERIYAR - THE FAMED SPICE COAST OF INDIA
ENJOY INDIA'S MOST POPULAR AND VAST WILDLIFE SANCTUARY AT PERIYAR
FOR FARMS, SPICES AND PLANTATIONS
TRAVEL TO CHENNAI (MADURAI) - THE CULTURAL CAPITAL OF SOUTH INDIA
KUMARAKOM – KOCHI
AN AFTERNOON DEDICATED TO LEISURE AT KUMARAKOM
KUMARAKOM - YOGA, HOUSE BOATS AND EXEMPLARY FOOD IN THE LAPS OF GOD'S OWN COUNTRY
TRAVEL TO KOCHI - WHERE CHINA AND INDIA COLLIDE
POTTAMKULAM – KUMARAKOM
GET TO HOLD THE VERY NERVE OF KOCHI
SOJOURN TO SOUTH INDIA
Arrive at Mumbai, the financial hub of India, and often compared as the New York of East. We stay for a day in Mumbai and get to see the important places here – and then fly to Hyderabad, the city famed for Nizams, Biryani and as a growing IT hub. Enjoy the 400 year old city with its unique culture for a day and then reach the temple town of Madurai, which hosts some humungous and unique architecture rich in South Indian architecture. The same day, we journey to reach Periyar – famous for its bird sanctuary and spices! Enjoy an elephant ride through the spice plantations the next day, and then sail through the marvelous backwaters. After another day’s stay at Periyar – drive to Pottamkulam, in a farm that grows fresh spices and vegetables. We will also cover Kumarakom, one of the best getaways in the world per Conde Nast Traveler, and then to Kochi to breathe in the unique culture of Kerala that makes it different from rest of India.
ITINERARY IN DETAIL
Day 1 Arrive Mumbai
After clearing all immigration formalities, you will be met by our Travel Manager and transferred to our hotel.
Mumbai was named by the original inhabitants, the Kolis, after their goddess mother Mumba Devi. Mumbai was once a group of seven islands given to the British as a dowry when Charles II married Catherine of Braganza. The British leased the islands to the East India Company, who in turn began initial development of the city. Today this cosmopolitan city is one of India’s most important centres for industry, commerce, foreign trade and bollywood.
Day 2 Mumbai
This morning depart your hotel for City tour. Our first stop is Gateway of India. After that you will be escorted for a walking tour of downtown Mumbai, where the amazing sights and architecture will fascinate you. Later drive through the Dhobi Ghat and hanging gardens.
This afternoon visit the Prince of Wales Museum, and Mani Bhawan, the memorial built for Mahatma Gandhi. Later explore local markets.
In the evening we will watch a Bollywood Movie followed by an informal interaction to discuss Bollywood Industry and its Journey.
DAY 03 Mumbai – Hyderabad
Today you will fly to Hyderabad and on arrival check-in at your hotel.
Hyderabad is an international gateway and home to some of India's best cuisine, a rich history, exquisite architecture, vibrant bazaars and one of the world’s largest film industries.
DAY 04 Hyderabad
The 400 years old city of Hyderabad was once governed by the legendary Nizams of India. You will explore the giant fortress, city of Golconda and the adjacent royal necropolis of its rulers, the Qutab Shahis.
You will also visit the Charminar and Mecca Masjid.
DAY 05 Hyderabad – Chennai – Madurai
Drive through the countryside to Madurai, one of the oldest cities in India and the soul of Tamil Nadu. Visit the spectacular Tirumalai Nayak Palace and Meenakshi Temple, considered to be the very best of South Indian temple architecture.
Day 6 Madurai – Periyar
Today’s drive takes us to Periyar, known as the spice coast. The region boasts India’s finest spice plantations as well as the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary.
Take part in an elephant safari as you ride an elephant through a spice plantation. You will have an opportunity to play, bathe and feed your elephant, as well as witness their tricks and skills.
Enjoy a typical tea worker’s lunch today before we take a boat ride through the Periyar backwaters. Enjoy the fragrant evening air in one of your resort’s unique cottages, thatched in elephant grass and set amidst a lush spice garden.
DAY 07 Periyar
Float on a bamboo raft in the clear morning air on Lake Periyar.
Enjoy a scenic trek to view game. Hope to see endangered Asian elephants in herds up to fifty-strong as they come down to the lake for a morning drink, or catch sight of monkeys, bison, deer, and spectacular birds. Orchids are in abundance, with over 140 different species found here.
Later visit a nearby spice plantation, accompanied by an experienced naturalist, to learn about the traditional and organic techniques used to prepare the spices for the kitchen. Explore the local spice markets together with the plantation owner. After dinner experience a 'Kalaripayattu' performance, the traditional martial art of Kerala.
Day 8 Periyar – Pottamkulam
Today drive to Pottamkulam. The entire drive to Pottamkulam Farms in Kombai takes roughly 90 minutes . You would drive either by the Kumbam mettu check post or by the Kumily check post from to climb down through the Ghats to the plains of Cumbam. Cumbam and Theni districts of Tamilnadu is predominantly agricultural landscapes with several small yet vibrant vegetable and pulses markets spread across.
As you enter the gates of the Pottamkulam Farms what welcomes is live gallery of images: the swaying coconut trees, lanes of mango trees and stretch of farm land till the farthest end of the nearby hill called Salamai and there is a small temple on top. The 170 acres of farm has 50% mixed fruits like Alphonso variety mangoes, pomegranates, Chickoos, gooseberries, and varieties of tamarinds. The rest of the 50% equally divided for coconuts and table grapes. The varieties of table grapes found here are: Yielding varieties Paneer Muscat (black seeded), Red Globe (red seeded), Manik Chamin (green seedless). Soon to be yielding Sharath (Black seedless), Thompsun seedless (green seedless), Flame (Red seedless). During the harvesting season it is indeed a fulfilled experience to pluck grapes and walk along the narrow lanes of vines with your fiancée, friends family and children – a truly romantic experience like the nostalgic scenes in the Movie-“ Walking in the Clouds” immortalized by Keanu Reeves.
During your tour of the farm, encounter with the horses and pony will be a rare nostalgic experience.
Cycling in the tracks and hiking to the Salamalai could also be part of the itinerary during the farm tour. It will also be an excellent tent camping spot with lot of scope for farm and activity related tours.
Day 9 Pottamkulam – Kumarakom
Travel to Kumarakom, rated by Condé Nast Traveler as one of the 25 best getaways in the world. Along the way visit a tea factory to give you insight into the cultivation and processing of this crop. Board a boat to reach your exquisite hotel, constructed from fragments of Keralan palaces and set on an abandoned coconut plantation. Enjoy an afternoon of leisure.
Day 10 Kumarakom
Begin the day with a spiritually refreshing yoga session. Then, a deluxe houseboat will take you through the tranquil waterways of “God’s own country.” View a picturesque series of canals, lined with village homes and coconut trees, to witness the local lifestyle. A lunch of traditional Indian cuisine is prepared on your boat as you continue to enjoy the spectacular scenery.
Day 11 Kumarakom – Kochi
Morning is free to experience Ayurveda rejuvenation therapy. Ayurveda, which literally means the science of life (Ayur = Life, Veda = Science). It is an ancient medical science which was developed in India thousands of years ago. The ancient Vedic literature by sages has clearly laid out instructions to maintain health as well as fighting illness through therapies, massages, herbal medicines, diet control and exercise.
Later depart for Kochi, the commercial capital of Kerala. Kochi has the best natural harbor in the country and is set amidst lovely lagoons and backwaters, with swaying coconut palms in the background.
DAY 12 Kochi
Today you will take a tour of Kochi, beginning with St. Francis Church. Located at Fort Kochi, this Protestant church was originally built by the Portuguese in 1510 AD and is believed to be the oldest church built by the Europeans in India.
A trip through the Dutch Palace provides a view of 17th century frescoes, court attire and other artifacts. It is also known as Mattancherry Palace, built by the Portuguese and presented to the Raja of Kochi in 1555 A.D. It acquired the present name after 1663 when the Dutch carried out extensions and repairs in the palace. It is interesting to note that at no time did the Portuguese or Dutch actually stay here. Its interiors are decorated with murals from the Ramayana and there are some lively displays of royal costumes and palanquins.
Later visit the Chinese fishing net area and witness the spectacular Kathakali dance drama, a unique combination of literature, music, painting, acting and dance. Dancer wear extraordinary makeup, headdresses, and costumes meant to raise the participants above the level of mere mortals, allowing them to transport the audience to a world of wonders.
Day 13 Departure
Today you will drive to Kochi airport to connect your international flight back home.