India will humble, awe, frustrate, amaze, and intimidate -- all in the same day. Home to the world's most spectacular medieval architecture and largest slums; sacred rivers and filth-strewn streets; religious rituals and endless traffic jams; aristocratic tigers and casteless untouchables; jewel-encrusted tombs and pavement-bound beggars; ancient traditions and modern-day scams - there is so much to take in. Whether you are here to soak up India's spirituality, chill out on the beaches, rejuvenate at an Ayurvedic spa, or live like a king in the land of princes, this program will help you experience the very best India has to offer.
Day 1: Bangalore, India
Arrive at the Bangalore International Airport and upon clearing Customs and Immigration, you are met and transferred to your hotel for check-in and a day at leisure.
The Pride Hotel
Day 2: Bangalore - Mysore
This morning you are collected from your hotel for a half-day tour of Bangalore City.
Visit the Palace of Tippu Sultan (once home to the south Indian king famous for battling the British), the Bull Temple, the Indian Institute of Science, Vidhana Soudha, an imposing structure in granite built in the Dravidian style, and the 240-acre/100-hectare Lal Bagh botanical garden, with its pools, terraces, fountains, trees and herbs. This afternoon you will drive approximately three hours to Mysore.
Mysore, located in the hill country region of southwestern India, is cooler than the coastal cities - one of the reasons so many maharajahs chose to live there. Upon check in at your hotel, the rest of the day is at leisure.
Hotel Regaalis (B)
Day 3: Mysore
This morning, you are taken from your hotel for a half-day city tour of Mysore City. Visit Nandi Bull, carved from solid stone and a 2,000-year-old Hindu temple. Then, an evening visit to Brindavan Garden.
Hotel Regaalis (B)
Day 04: Mysore -Bangalore - Cochin
This morning you are transferred from the hotel to Bangalore airport for your flight to Cochin. Upon arrival you will be met and escorted to your new hotel for check-in.
Cochin is not the capital of Kerala, but it is its most charming city, blessed with its own international airport and a relatively good infrastructure, making it an ideal gateway. This has been the case since 1341, the year nature carved out Cochin's harbor with a massive flood. As a result, Cochin became the first port of call for Arabs, Chinese and, finally, European sea merchants, who sailed for barter into what came to be known as the "Queen of the Arabian Sea."
Day 5: Cochin
This morning, you are collected from your hotel for a half-day tour of Cochin City. Start at the harbor near Vasco da Gama Square, where you can watch fishermen hoisting their catch from the cantilevered Chinese fishing nets that line the shore, then head along Church Road to St. Francis Church. Keep going toward Parade Road (near the Malabar House Residency), making your way to Peter Celli Street to explore a few local shops before you drift down Bastion Street in the direction of Santa Cruz Cathedral.
Then head back toward Princess Street, where you can see Koder House. Built in 1808 by Jewish patriarch Samuel Koder, this is a good example of the hybrid Indo-European style that developed in Cochin. It's still occupied, so you'll have to appreciate it from the sidewalk. On the same road, the Pierce Leslie Bungalow is a charming 19th-century mansion reflecting Portuguese and Dutch influences on local architecture. This evening enjoy the Kathakali Dance Show.
Day 6: Cochin - Kumarakom
You are collected from the hotel for a morning drive from Cochin to Kumarakom for check-in to your hotel. The rest of the day is at leisure at the resort.
Coconut Lagoon (B)
Day 7: Kumarakom - Alleppey
This morning a houseboat will pick you up from the hotel as you embark on a backwater cruise to Alleppey to experience the tranquility of the water as you spend overnight on the houseboat.
The backwater destination of Kumarakom, on the banks of Vernbanad Lake inspired some to comment, "natures silent beauty provides a perfect setting for contemplation." The backwater provides splendid views of coconut groves, mangroves and paddy fields and you will come across traditional country crafts, boats and canoes as you make your way to Alleppey, the so-called Venice of the East. Step off your boat and try the traditional Keralese delicacies, particularly the seafood.
Private Houseboat (B, D)
Day 8: Alleppey -Cochin
After breakfast you will be transferred from your houseboat and driven to Cochin airport for your onward flight.
Depart any day! Contact an iExplore Adventure Consultant for details.
|High Season||Price per Person (USD)||Single Supplement|
|2 Passengers sharing twin beds||$1499||$540|
|Three Passengers sharing twin beds||$1399||$540|
|4 Passengers sharing two twin rooms||$1299||$540|
Prices valid February 1, 2012- April 2012
|Low Season||Price per Person (USD)||Single Supplement|
|2 Passengers sharing twin beds||$1349||$450|
|Three Passengers sharing twin beds||$1199||$450|
|4 Passengers sharing two twin rooms||$1099||$450|
Prices valid April 16, 2012- August 2012
- Accommodations for 7 nights at the listed hotels or similar
- Daily Breakfast at all hotels.
- Full board (all meals) on Houseboat.
- Transport using air-conditioned Toyota Innova Car (for 1-2 people) & Indian made Tempo Traveler / Mini Van (for 3-4 people) for all transfers, sightseeing & excursions as per the program.
- Entrance fees at all monuments (01 visit) and sights of visit as prevail currently.
- Services of English speaking local guide for sightseeing & excursions as per the program.
- Domestic airfare (for Bangalore-Kochi sector) in economy class.
- Kathakali Dance performance at an auditorium in Kochi.
- Air-condition Houseboat for an overnight cruise on the backwaters of Kerala.
- Basic porterage at airports and hotels
- Bottled Mineral water during sightseeing and long drives.
- Personalized meet & greet on arrival/departure by a representative.
- All applicable taxes.
- Expenses of personal nature like personal gratuities, telephone charges, laundry, Ayurveda Spa activities, drinks, etc.
- Meals not mentioned in the itinerary.
- Camera/Video fee at the monuments.
- Tipping to the guide, restaurants, driver and handyman.
- International airfare, visa fee, airport tax and any kind of insurance.
- English-speaking tour escort to accompany you throughout.
All prices are in US dollars and do not include international airfare, unless otherwise noted.
Prices displayed are based on the lowest season base price and assume double occupancy. Prices are shown in U.S. dollars and may or may not include administrative fees, taxes, meals, airfare (where applicable) and Single Supplements. Cancellation penalties, blackout dates and other restrictions may apply.