Package Cost Includes:
Package Cost Does Not Include:
Day 01 – Arrive Cochin
Arrive Cochin by International flight. Meeting and assistance upon arrival and transfer to the hotel. Overnight at hotel.
Day 02 – Cochin
Morning after breakfast, visit Fort Kochi which is the oldest European settlement in India (1500), and has a mixture of English, Dutch and Portuguese influence. The Mattancherry Palace was built by the Portuguese in the 16th century, but extensive renovations by the Dutch some hundred years later earned it the name the Dutch Palace. It has some of the best murals in India, depicting scenes from the Ramayana and other great legends. On our tour we visit the Jew town synagogue where Kochi’s surviving Jewish community come to worship. Nearby are the interesting cantilevered Chinese Fishing nets.
In the early evening we see a performance of Kathakali, which is thought by some to be the very essence of the culture of Kerala. Its origins may have come from traditional temple rituals and from an art form known as Koodiyattam. It is the face make up which makes this dancing so unique. The dancers can take up to three hours painting their faces – the features are heavily emphasised as it is the facial expressions and coordinated eye movements which are important in the dance. The dances usually portray events from the Ramayana and Mahabharata, great Indian epics. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 03 – Cochin – Kottayam – Alleppey
In the morning after breakfast drive to Alleppey (approx. 105kms / 03hours) en-route visit Kottayam, a town of ancient churches predating the European missionaries by a thousand years. Thereafter, we will continue your drive to the coastal town of Alleppey and we head for the canals and channels that make up the Kerala Backwaters.
Afternoon witness cooking process and enjoy a traditional Keralan lunch with a local family.
Late afternoon enjoy a traditional houseboat for 02hours through the region in the backwaters of Kerala. Along theses narrow channels, the villagers survive on narrow spits of land, keeping cows, chickens and cultivating vegetable gardens. This evening we will stay near the banks of Vembanad Lake. Evening is free for individual activity or relaxation. Overnight at the hotel / homestay.
Day 04 – Alleppey – Kanjirapally
In the morning after breakfast drive to Kanjirapally (approx. 70kms / 02hours) to know more about South Indian cuisine. Upon arrival check-in at the heritage bungalow and relax for a while amidst the comforts of your room. This place is surrounded by spice garden, rubber and coffee.
In the afternoon, we will prepare meal with the help of local ingredient and walk thru nearby area to explore more. Overnight at the bungalow.
Day 05 – Kanjirapally – Thekkady
Morning enjoy free time in garden and after breakfast drive through the Western Ghats to Thekkady (approx. 70kms / 02hours), a beautiful area of tea gardens, rubber estates and coffee and pepper plantations, located high in the Cardamom hills. Upon arrival check-in at the hotel and relax for a while amidst the comforts of your room.
In the afternoon, visit a spice garden where you will be introduced to different spices and shown how some of the spices are grown. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 06 – Thekkady
This morning our route takes us past rubber plantations and varied spice gardens to Periyar wildlife sanctuary, close to the border with Tamil Nadu. One of 16 tiger reserves in India, Periyar is it is perhaps better known for its elephants. There are about 40 tigers living in this park but, as they are solitary creatures, the chances of seeing them are very slim.
We go for a walk in search of other wildlife such as the wild boar, giant malabar, porcupine and the flying squirrel. The Park itself is made up of a variety of habitats, open grasslands, deciduous, semi-evergreen and tropical forests all of which have different animal species. The ecosystem of the tropical evergreen jungle is very interesting as the trees grow up to 40m, and the dense canopy only allows in limited sunlight. Therefore at ground level, there are abundant ferns, orchid and air plants- plants which need little light to survive.
It is a great opportunity for us to learn more about the real life of locals as well as an opportunity to have some delicious home cooked food. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 07 – Thekkady – Madurai
Today morning after breakfast drive to Madurai (approx. 160kms / 04hours). Madurai, known as Athens of the East, is the second largest city on the banks of the River Vaigai. The city is believed to be more than 2500 years old. The city got its name from the drops of nectar (Mathuram) that fell from Shiva’s lochs when he came to bless its people for constructing a temple for him.
Upon arrival, check-in at the hotel and some free time later in the day to explore local food shops which have real south Indian taste. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 08 – Madurai
After breakfast visit Madurai famous for the Meenakshi Sundereswar temple is the epitome of South Indian temple cities alive and bustling with pilgrims and religious preoccupations. The temple of goddess Meenakshi houses the hall of 1000 musical pillars known for their intricate work.
Late afternoon, we will visit your cooking class home where chef will give you briefing about all the spices used in food. Try your hand in this exciting activity. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 09 – Madurai – Chettinad
Today morning after breakfast drive to Chettinad (approx. 90kms / 02hours). This place is famous for mansions and unique cuisine. Upon arrival, check-in at the Chettinad mansion and some free time later in the day to explore nearby villages to observe there Art & Craft skills, visit local food shops of market which have real south Indian taste. Evening is free to relax in pool or just enjoy quiet surroundings. Overnight at the mansion.
Day 10 – Chettinad – Chennai (By Night Train)
Today after breakfast, spend whole day by engage yourself in different activities. Start your day by going on bullock cart ride to nearby village and see there farming.
Witness how local snack Murukku is prepared. The Chettinad style cuisine is famous all over India and serve in lots of restaurants. Staying in this place and enjoy cooking session with our chef who will introduce you with all local ingredient and spices.
In night transfer to railway station to board train for Chennai. Overnight train
Day 11 – Arrive Chennai
In morning arrive at Chennai railway station. Later proceed for the sightseeing of Chennai, “the gateway of South India”. P.M. Visit National Art Gallery and Museum (closed on Fridays) which has a selection of ancient paintings of almost all schools as well as section devoted to modern art, Fort St. George, St. Mary’s Church, Drive along Marina Beach (the second longest in the world) and San Thome Cathedral Basilica rebuilt in 1606 as a cathedral and in 1896 it was made a basilica; and Theosophical Society – the world headquarters of the Theosophical Society formed to encourage the study of comparative religion philosophy and science. Evening is free for individual activity.
In night transfer to the airport to connect flight for onward destination.