THE BEST OF EXOTIC SOUTH INDIA


10 Days / 9 Nights

BEST OF EXOTIC SOUTH INDIA

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. Blend your own perfume in Hyderabad. Evening ceremony at Meenakshi temple. Tour a private tea plantation. Witness Kerala’s performing arts. Full-day cruise on the backwaters with lunch

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BEST OF EXOTIC SOUTH INDIA

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. Blend your own perfume in Hyderabad. Evening ceremony at Meenakshi temple. Tour a private tea plantation. Witness Kerala’s performing arts. Full-day cruise on the backwaters with lunch

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Day 1 : Fly to Hyderabad
Fly from London to Hyderabad with Emirates via Dubai. (N)

Day 2 : Hyderabad
Early morning arrival and early check-in at Park Hyatt 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. Visit the magnificent Chowmahalla palace, inspired by the Shah of Iran’s Palace in Tehran. 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)

Day 3 : Hyderabad
This morning visit the impressive Golconda fort, once a centre of Muslim power for 400 years. Afternoon tour of the timeless and luxurious Taj Falaknuma Palace with high tea. (B)

Day 4 : Fly to Madurai
Midday flight to Madurai. Afternoon at leisure. Visit one of India’s liveliest and most colourful temples, Meenakshi, for its spectacular evening ceremony. Travel by tuk tuk through vibrant markets to reach the temple. Overnight at Heritage Madurai (or similar). (B)

Day 5 : Pollachi
Depart for the stunning scenery of the Western Ghats and a 2-night stay at the Coco Lagoon, Pollachi. Afternoon visit to Appachi Cotton, a social enterprise where you can learn firsthand about cotton cultivation in India from true artisans of the craft. (B, D)

Day 6 : Pollachi
Full-day visit to 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 followed by lunch and a walk through a tea estate. (B, L, D)

Day 7 : Thrissur • Keralan backwaters
Head to Thrissur, in Kerala’s cultural heartland, to witness a Tholpavakoothu performance of traditional shadow puppetry based on stories and characters from the religious epics. Enjoy lunch with a family whose mastery of this craft dates back generations. Take the train to Ernakulam and travel by road to the Keralan backwaters for 2 nights at the Vasundhara Sarovar Premiere. (B, L, D)

Day 8 : Keralan backwaters
Full-day cruise on the Keralan backwaters. (B, L, D)

Day 9 : Kochi
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 Forte Kochi. (B)

Day 10 : Kochi
Optional morning visit to Neema’s Kitchen for a taste of traditional Indian cooking in an interactive cooking class. You will learn the techniques and spices behind authentic home cooking, or participate in a half-day tour to Kumbhalanghi village*. Afternoon at leisure to explore Fort Kochi on foot or by rickshaw. Farewell dinner in a local restaurant. (B, D)

Day 11 : Fly to London via Dubai
Take the morning flight to London, via Dubai, with Emirates. (B)

GROUP TOUR $3,535 PER PERSON

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