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Southern India Odyssey

Enjoy an in depth exploration of South India's many wonders during this 26 day journey of discovery. Start in Bangalore and soak up rich colonial history.

26 Day
From (AUD)
$ 15,390
  • 2018/2019 Bangalore > Chennai

    Southern sojourn

    Enjoy an in depth exploration of South India’s many wonders during this 26 day journey of discovery. Rich in colonial history and flush with spectacular scenery and wildlife, this tour is the ideal way to see the whole of this incredible region.

    Start in Bangalore, heavily influenced by its British colonial history. From there, the amazing wildlife of Nagharhole National Park and the lush highlands of Coorg beckon, before you embrace your spiritual side during a visit to Bylekuppe, the second largest Tibetan settlement outside of Tibet. Arriving in Mysore, join a local family for dinner and witness the city’s impressive illuminated palace. Explore the harbour city of Kochi before heading to the famous Kerala Backwaters, one of the world’s great waterways. Opportunities for wildlife spotting abound in nearby Periyar National Park, while in Tamil Nadu you can enjoy several days exploring local temples, culture and traditional life. From French-influenced Punducherry, head to Chennai where your southern sojourn concludes.

    Tour Code:

    INSO

    Duration:

    26 Days

    Departure City:

    Bangalore

    Return City:

    Chennai

  • 26 Day Itinerary

    • Day 1 - Bangalore
      Highlights:
      Welcome

      We welcome you to South India and your hotel for the next two nights in Bangalore.

    • Day 2 - Bangalore
      Highlights:
      Bangalore winery tour

      Explore Bangalore visiting the Botanical Gardens, Tipu Sultan’s Summer Palace and the Bull Temple, and see the Government Secretariat, Legislature Building and Cubbon.
      Enjoy lunch and wine tasting at Grover Zampa vineyards to learn about the art of making wine before returning for your welcome dinner.

      Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    • Day 3 - Bangalore > Bekal
      Highlights:
      Relax at Resort

      Fly to Mangalore and continue to Bekal, located on the coast of the Indian Ocean. Relax by the sea during your two night stay at your luxurious hotel.

      Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

    • Day 4 - Bekal
      Highlights:
      Bekal Fort

      During your morning’s exploration visit Madhur Temple, Malik Deenar Mosque and Bekal Fort. The remainder of the afternoon is yours to enjoy the resort’s facilities.

      Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

    • Day 5 - Bekal > Coorg
      Highlights:
      Coffee and spice plantations

      Leave for Coorg and a two night Special Stay, staying in a Lily Pool Villa with your own private pool. After lunch, enjoy a guided walking tour of a working coffee and spice plantation. Enjoy tonight’s cultural show before dinner.

      Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    • Day 6 - Coorg
      Highlights:
      Enrich - Kodava village

      This morning drive to a Kodava village to interact with the locals and appreciate their age-old culture and traditional houses.

      Enrich

      After learning about their culture, enjoy a delicious home cooked Kodava lunch with the villagers.

      Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    • Day 7 - Coorg > Bylekuppe > Kabini
      Highlights:
      Sundowners over Kabini River

      Drive to Kabini, the base for exploring Nagharhole National Park and your two night Special Stay at the luxurious Jacuzzi Hut lodges of the Evolve Back Resort Kabini. En route, visit Bylekuppe Monastery, the second largest Tibetan settlement outside Tibet

      Sundowners

      Gather around the infinity pool with its views of the Kabini River for refreshing drinks and canapés.

      Tonight watch a troupe of Kuruba tribal dancers or a documentary about the local wildlife.

      Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

    • Day 8 - Kabini
      Highlights:
      Nagharhole National Park

      Rise early for a game drive around the park. Afterwards, visit a nearby Kuruba tribe village with a naturalist and learn about local agriculture. Later this afternoon keep your eye out during your boat safari along the Kabini River.

      Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

    • Day 9 - Kabini > Mysore
      Highlights:
      Enrich - local family dinner

      Leave for Mysore, known for its glittering royal heritage and colonial buildings and check into your hotel for two nights. Later visit Mysore Palace, Chamundi Hills and St. Philomena’s Church.

      Enrich

      Enjoy dinner with local residents related to the former Royal Family in Mysore. The host has converted most of the rooms of her home into a colourful local school.

      Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    • Day 10 - Mysore
      Highlights:
      Freechoice; Mysore Palace
      Freechoice

      Enjoy a morning walk through Devaraja Market or learn about the hand-painted Indian card game called Ganjifa.

      Drive to Srirangapatna Fortress, the former capital of the Tipu Sultan.Tonight, return to Mysore Palace and witness it being illuminated by around 97,000 lightbulbs.

      Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

    • Day 11 - Mysore > Bangalore > Kochi
      Highlights:
      Somnathpur

      Drive to Somnathpur, then continue to Bangalore and fly to Kochi. Upon arrival check into your hotel, your beautiful colonial-era home for the next three nights.

      Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

    • Day 12 - Kochi
      Highlights:
      Kathakali dance performance

      Head down to the harbour and watch the local fishermen expertly handling the Chinese fishing nets. Discover the different colonial influences during your tour of Fort Kochi, and visit Mattancherry Palace, Jew Town and the Synagogue. In the evening, watch a Kathakali performance, a highly evolved classical form of dance, drama and music.

      Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    • Day 13 - Kochi
      Highlights:
      Freechoice; Freechoice Dining
      Freechoice

      Visit a local market and learn the secrets of South Indian cooking or enjoy a ‘Me Time’ yoga workshop. Alternatively, visit Kumbalanghi Village to experience traditional village life and activities.

      Freechoice Dining

      Dine at Pepper, an all-day diner, or try Rice Boat, a seafood specialty restaurant. Otherwise try Dolphins Point multi-cuisine barbeque and grill.

      Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    • Day 14 - Kochi > Kumarakom
      Highlights:
      Kettuvallam cruise

      After a relaxing morning, travel into the Kerala Backwaters to Kumarakom and your hotel, your home for the next two nights.

      Luxury Houseboat
      Alternatively, take the opportunity to spend your first night in Kumarakom on board a houseboat, a converted traditional rice barge known as Kettuvallam, and cruise through the lakes and backwaters past small villages to witness the local life. Included at no extra cost but must be pre-booked.

      Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    • Day 15 - Kumarakom
      Highlights:
      Freechoice
      Freechoice

      Visit Philip Kutty’s Farm and enjoy a Keralan cooking class and lunch or unwind with a traditional Ayurveda massage before lunch at the resort.

      Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    • Day 16 - Kumarakom > Periyar National Park
      Highlights:
      Periyar Lake cruise

      Ascend into the highlands to Periyar National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary and take a private boat cruise on Periyar Lake. Your stay tonight is at the Spice Village.

      Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    • Day 17 - Periyar National Park > Madurai
      Highlights:
      Enrich - spice plantation lunch
      Freechoice

      Join an early morning guided jungle walk or take a jeep tour through local spice farms and countryside.

      Enrich

      Visit a family-owned spice plantation and learn how spices grow before enjoying a lunch prepared by the family.

      Cross into Tamil Nadu and drive to Madurai for a two night stay.

      Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    • Day 18 - Madurai
      Highlights:
      Sri Meenakshi temple

      Rise early for a walk through the heritage section of town to witness the early morning rituals. Later, walk through the local flower and vegetable market and the weavers market. Visit one of South India’s biggest pilgrimage sites, the Sri Meenakshi Temple. This evening return by Tuk Tuk to this Hindu temple to absorb the rituals and celebration of the evening puja ceremony.

      Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

    • Day 19 - Madurai > Chettinad
      Highlights:
      Chettinad city tour

      Travel to the village of Karaikudi in the area known as ‘Chettinad’. The merchants and traders (the Chettiars) amassed fortunes from their roles as bankers, building remarkable homes. Experience a bullock cart ride through the narrow streets, stopping for a weaving demonstration en route. Stay at a beautifully restored Art Deco mansion for two nights.

      Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    • Day 20 - Chettinad
      Highlights:
      Enrich - wedding feast

      Witness ‘Kolam making’, colourful designs made with dyed rice, then visit a pottery village to watch the colourful local tiles called Athangudi being crafted by hand. Later, take a heritage walk and visit Chettinad Palace.

      Enrich

      Witness the preparations for a typical Chettinad wedding feast before a private Bharattnatayam classical dance performance.

      Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    • Day 21 - Chettinad > Trichy > Tanjore
      Highlights:
      Freechoice

      Journey through the ‘rice bowl’ of Tamil Nadu to Trichy.

      Freechoice

      Climb the Rock Fort Temple or visit the island of Srirangam.

      Drive to Tanjore for an overnight stay.

      Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    • Day 22 - Tanjore > Puducherry
      Highlights:
      Enrich - meet a master craftsman

      Discover the World Heritage-listed Brihadishvara Temple.

      Enrich

      See a demonstration by master craftsmen to learn all about lost-wax casting, a method of bronze casting dating back 5,700 years.

      Later, drive to the pretty seaside town of Puducherry for a two night stay.

      Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    • Day 23 - Puducherry
      Highlights:
      Colonial heritage walking tour

      Journey to Auroville, ‘City of Dawn’, and see the Matrimandir, a metallic sphere covered in gold. Learn how the local Tamil population assimilated French culture with their own during a heritage walking tour. Stroll past charming Tamil and colonial fusion architecture and visit the Aurobindo Ashram.

      Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    • Day 24 - Puducherry > Chennai
      Highlights:
      Mamallapuram Shore TemplesFreechoice Dining

      Stop at Mamallapuram to explore the spectacular World Heritage-listed Shore Temples. In Chennai, enjoy a two night Special Stay.

      Freechoice Dining

      Dine at Spectra or China XO. Alternatively, try Jamavar, specialising in Indian cuisine.

      Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    • Day 25 - Chennai
      Highlights:
      Freechoice
      Freechoice

      Discover Georgetown and its markets and colonial laneways or explore the 8th century Hindu temples in Kanchipuram. Alternatively, visit a local Indian market and take part in a cooking lesson.

      Later, discover the history of the Basilica of San Thome before wandering along India’s largest urban beach, The Marina. Tonight reminisce about your wonderful journey at your farewell dinner.

      Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    • Day 26 - Chennai
      Highlights:
      Farewell

      With wonderful memories bid farewell to India.

      Meals included: Breakfast

  • Tour inclusions

    Scenic highlights
    • 5 exclusive Enrich experiences
    • Your choice of 20 Freechoice activities and dining
    • 1 Sundowners event
    • 3 memorable Special Stays
    • 66 meals – 25 breakfasts, 20 lunches and 21 dinners