- Ground Operators
Since ancient times, India has been coveted as a prize by many a military force. From Alexander the Great to the modern British, India was invaded for its riches, its jewels, and its mystique. Somehow South India remained relatively unaffected by the invasions in the North. Here is where the true ancient Indian, the Dravidian culture survived.
Far Horizon Tours Pvt. Ltd.
#50 Charm wood Plaza,
Eros Garden, Faridabad-121009
Fax : +91-129-4098098
DAY TO DAY ITINERARY
Day 1: Arrive Mumbai
You will be met on arrival in Delhi and escorted to our hotel. Depending on your arrival time explore sites in Bombay.
Day 2: Exploring Mumbai
Spend the day experiencing the “Living Cultures” of Mumbai – Meet the dabbawallas (hot-lunch delivery system for Mumbai office workers) and see the dhobi-ghat (manual laundry system). The dabbawallas have been the subject of international attention from many management institutes as they have evolved a fool-proof system of pick-up of home-cooked food from people’s homes and delivering them to their offices – with virtually no mistakes, ever. In the afternoon visit historical sites like the Gateway of India, the Mani Bhawan Victoria Terminus before ending your exploration at Crawford Market.
Day 3: To Mysore via Bangalore
Earlymorning flight brings you to Bnagalore, where you are on arrival at the airport and transferred (3 hour drive) to historical city of Mysore. Afternoon visit the Chamundi Hills, where the 12th-century Temple of Chamundeswari and the gigantic sixteen-foot tall monolith of Nandi are perched on the summit. Continue to Mysore Palace, once the residence of the Wodeyars, built in 1912 in the Indo Saracenic style. We also stop at a workshop to learn how sandalwood incense is made by hand. Rest of time at leisure – perhaps explore the nearby local markets.
Day 4: To Nagarhole National Park
Drive (2 hours) to the beautiful Nagarhole National Park and check-in to the Resort. Lunch is included at the Resort, after which we take the afternoon safari on the Kabini River by boat where gaur (Indian bison), elephants and possibly leopards and tigers can be observed.
Day 5: Exploring Nagarhole National Park
The full day to explore the park. Enjoy sunrise and sunset excursions into the park in open-air 4-wheel drive SUV vehicles, in search of the exclusive Indian tiger and other wildlife. Lunch and dinner are included at the resort. After dinner, take a short, guided nature walk discovering the nocturnal birds, insects, reptiles that come to life after dark.
Day 6: To Bangalore
After an early morning jeep (or boat) safari, returning to the hotel for a late breakfast, before checking out and driving (6 hours) to Bangalore. Evening free to explore the city.
Day 7: Fly to Cochin
After breakfast do a sight seeing tour of the city ending at the airport in time for the early afternoon flight to Cochin. Met on arrival in Cochin and transferred to your hotel. Early evening, attend a Kathakali Dance performance, the most developed form of dance-drama of India.
Day 8: Exploring Cochin
After breakfast at the hotel enjoy a tour of Fort Kochi, where the Portuguese flag was first hoisted, is also believed to be their oldest settlement in India. Thereafter, visit the St Francis Church, Chinese fishing nets, first erected between 1350 and 1450 AD makes an extremely picturesque sight. This is followed by a visit to the Jewish Synagogue and the Dutch palace (Closed on Friday/Saturday).
Day 9: To Thekkady
After breakfast, drive (5-6 hours) to Thekkady in the heart of the spice growing region, bordering the Periyar Tiger Reserve and check into your hotel. Late afternoon visit one of the many Spice Plantations of the region to learn how spices are grown and their importance to the local economy.
Day 10: Exploring Periyar Tiger Reserve – In Thekkady
Full day to explore the National Park – while tiger sighting are rae the park has large Asian elephant herds and host of other wildlife. At sunrise and sunset take boat ride through Periyar Lake to see the wildlife in their natural habitat.
Day 11: To Kumarakom (Approx. 125Km / 3 -4 hour drive)
After breakfast, driving off the Western Ghats back down to the coastline, you reach Kumarakom in 3-4 hours. Set amidst the backwaters of the Arabian Sea and and the Vembanad Lake, take a short boat ride to Coconut Lagoon, a typical traditional Kerala tharavad, painstakingly transplanted and restored. Learn to cook authentic Keralan dishes and be witness to traditional art forms.
Day 12: Start Houseboat Cruise
Early morning wake up to the sound of birds. Start your day with a guided bird watching tour by the resort naturalist or opt for yoga to cleanse body and soul. Checkout, from the hotel and drive to the starting point of our cruise onboard a private luxury houseboat. Traditionally called a Kettuvallom, or rice barge, the shallow and rounded hull of the boat is made without using a single nail.
Day 13: Houseboating – canals of Kerala
On this comfortable floating home we spend our day relaxing and unwinding. As we slowly cruise along the backwater canals of the Arabian Sea, we may choose to stop and explore some of the many village, farmlands, old temples and churches that we come across.
Day 14: To Mararikulam
Mid-afternoon we end our Houseboat cruise and drive an hour to Mararikulam. Balance of the day is free to enjoy the lovely garden setting of your hotel and walk the picturesque Marari beach, watch the local fishermen coming in at sunset.
Day 15: In Mararikulam
Extolled as Kerala’s cleanest beach, Mararikulam (Marari) is a typical fishing village, located on the southwest coast of Central Kerala. Mararikulam or Marari would give a completely new experience as it offers an unblemished and pristine shoreline, swaying coconut palms, thatched huts, small paths that crisscross through courtyards and a striking view of the sunset.
Day 16: OUTBOUND
Transferred to the airport in time for your return flight home.
Trip Duration: 16 Days
Staring City: Mumbai (airport code BOM)
Ending City: Cochin (airport code COK)
Minimum: 2 participants
Maximum: 12 participants
LAND COST: October 2015 – April 2016*
Deluxe Hotel Option
(Mumbai – Taj Mahal Palace; Mysore – Radisson Blu; Nagarhole – Orange County Resort; Bangalore – Vivanta by Taj; Cochin – Vivanta by Taj; Thekkady – Spice Village; Deluxe Houseboat; Mararikulam – Marari Beach Resort)
2 – 3 participants: $4260 per person
4 – 9 participants: $3774 per person
10 + participants: $3585 per person
Single Supplement: $2741
Moderate Hotel Option
(Mumbai – Fariyas Hotel; Mysore – Radisson Blu; Nagarhole – Orange County Resort; Bangalore – Park Hotel; Cochin – Casino Hotel; Thekkady – Elephant Court; Deluxe Houseboat; Mararikulam – Abad Turtle Beach)
2 – 3 participants: $3071 per person
4 – 9 participants: $2578 per person
10 + participants: $2396 per person
Single Supplement: $1728
*COST NOT VALID for Christmas/New Year period (Dec 20 – Jan 5) and the month of February – Supplement cost applies
Internal India Airfare – (subject to change by airline)
Bombay – Bangalore: $90
Bangalore – Cochin: $75
Included in Land Cost
All accommodations based on double occupancy
All taxes and service charges
Breakfast every day
Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner in Nagarhole National Park and on HouseboatAll transportation using private air-conditioned vehicles for all hotel/airport transfers, all sight seeing excursions and inter-city drives
Bottled water (2 one liter bottles per person) every day
All arrival/departure airport/hotel transfers
All entry fees at all temples, museums and monuments on sightseeing excursions
Services of certified, English speaking Guide during all sight seeing excursions
All current Govt. of India Taxes
TourDirect’s Medical ($25,000), Accident and Evacuation Insurance ($500,000) and Assistance Plan
Not Included in Land Cost
International airfare to India
All internal India airfare – cost listed separately
Lunches and dinners in Mumbai, Mysore, Bangalore, Cochin, Thekkady and Marari
Items of a personal nature, such as alcoholic beverages, laundry, phone calls, etc.
Special Christmas/New Year gala dinners (if your travel dates include these days)
Movie, video and still camera fees
Tips/gratuity to local staff (guides, drivers), bell boys, porters, etc.
Trip Cancelation insurance
Trip Grade: Easy Touring
Visa / Travel Documents:
I cannot imagine anyone better at being a Trip Leader than Shagzil. It was a real pleasure knowing him and seeing Kerala through his eyes. Don’t lose him!
– Tony H, CA
I cannot thank you enough for helping us plan our trip across India. Your knowledge of India, combined with your sensitivity to traveling with children made us so grateful to have you guiding us through this! Thank you Sanjay!
– Laura T, CT
- Carol S, CT
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