Journey from the vibrant markets of Hyderabad to Madurai to witness the spectacle of the evening ceremony at the astonishing Meenakshi temple. Continue into the scenic beauty of the Western Ghats, replete with tea plantations and elephants, before crossing over into Kerala to experience its colourful artistic culture and tranquil backwaters.
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Fly from London to Hyderabad with Emirates via Dubai. (N)
Early morning arrival and early check-in at The Courtyard by Marriott for 2 nights. Morning at leisure followed by afternoon sightseeing in Charminar, home to one of India's largest mosques, the Mecca Masjid, built in 1598. A maze of bazaars surrounds the Charminar arch, the best known and oldest being Lad bazaar. Here, you can buy almost anything, from colourful bangles and rosewater to silverwork, antiques, fabrics and elegant pearls. Tucked away in the labyrinthine streets are a handful of perfume shops paying homage to the Mughal legacy of ittar, an essential oil. Learn more about the blending of these oils and blend your own unique perfume. Welcome dinner in a local restaurant in Old Charminar. (D)
Tour the main highlights of Hyderabad including the Birla temple, the magnificent Chowmahalla palace, inspired by the Shah of Iran's palace in Tehran, and the Nizam Museum. Optional afternoon tour of the timeless and luxurious Taj Falaknuma Palace with high tea.* Visit the impressive Golconda fort, once a centre of Muslim power for 400 years, for the evening sound and light show. (B)
Midday flight to Madurai. Afternoon at leisure. Visit one of India’s liveliest and most colourful temples, Meenakshi, for its spectacular evening ceremony when the pillared halls are filled with hindu worshippers and exotic fragrances. Overnight at Sangam Hotel. (B)
Visit the colourful morning flower market before departing for the stunning scenery of the Western Ghats and a 3-night stay at the Coco Lagoon, Pollachi. (B, D)
Morning yoga lesson and visit to Appachi Cotton, a social enterprise where you can learn first-hand about cotton cultivation in India from true artisans of the craft. Visit the adjoining school, which this venture supports. Explore one of the local villages, where you can sample a traditional meal at one of the local houses, and the Temple of Consciousness with its meditation hall, museum, library and communal kitchens. (B, D)
Visit Valparai, set in the Anaimalai hills of the Western Ghats and surrounded by lush tea plantations and forest. Take a tour of a private tea plantation and factory. Visit an interpretation centre and rainforest project to learn first-hand about elephant-human conflict. (B, D)
Head to Thrissur, in Kerala’s cultural heartland, for an overnight stay at River Retreat. This afternoon visit Thrissur’s Art Gallery and witness Kerala’s performing arts, spending time with masters to learn about traditional Sanskrit theatre. Witness a Tholpavakoothu performance of traditional shadow puppetry based on stories and characters from the religious epics. (B, D)
Take the train to Ernakulam and travel by road to the Keralan backwaters for 2 nights at the Vasundhara Sarovar Premiere. (B, D)
Morning at leisure before an afternoon shikara (wooden boat) ride exploring the picturesque tropical backwaters. (B, L, D)
Travel to Kochi for an afternoon’s sightseeing of this enchanting port. View the cantilevered fishing nets, explore the 16th-century Portuguese-built Mattancherry Palace, the church of St Francis and the world’s oldest active Jewish synagogue. Wander through the local
spice market and visit the vibrant Dhobi Ghats. Spend 2 nights at Trident Kochi. (B)
Optional morning visit to Neema’s kitchen for a taste of traditional Indian cooking in an interactive cooking class where you will learn the techniques and spices behind authentic home cooking.* Enjoy the Indian delicacies that you have created. Afternoon at leisure to explore Fort Kochi on foot or by rickshaw. Farewell dinner. (B, D)
Take the morning flight to London, via Dubai, with Emirates. (B)
As per itinerary – B: Breakfast, L: Lunch, D: Dinner, N: No meals
The 14 August departure coincides with the 10-day colourful Onam festival.
These activites can be pre-booked or booked locally and incur an additional charge.
This tour is based in 4- and 5-star accommodation.
can be taken privately on a date that suits
you, for which guideline prices are shown.
Alternatively, it can be tailored to your exact
requirements. Please call 020 3930 5073 or email Info@CoxandKings.co.uk.
This tour can be booked / reserved online by clicking on one of the coloured links below.
XBS2018: 11 Nights
Kochi (Cochin), overlooking the Arabian Sea and once a strategic port on the spice route, is an enchanting blend of east meets west...
In 1590 Quli Qutub Shah started to plan ‘a replica of Paradise itself’ and Hyderabad, th...
Madurai, formerly the seat of power for the Pandya dynasty, is one of the oldest cities...