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Silks, Spices & Serenity

The Road to Kerala & Southern India

Sample Itinerary

DAY 1 : ARRIVE MUMBAI

TAJ MAHAL PALACE HOTEL
Arrive Mumbai late tonight and after clearing Immigrations/Customs, transfer to your luxury hotel.

DAY 2 : MUMBAI

TAJ MAHAL PALACE HOTEL
Morning at leisure. Afternoon tour of India’s commercial capital and cosmopolitan hub, visiting the Prince of Wales Museum and the warm and welcoming Gandhi Museum, viewing British period architectural sites, the sea front and Dhobi Ghat, a huge open-air laundry where clothes are hand-washed. (B)

DAY 3 : MUMBAI / MADURAI

TAJ GARDEN RETREAT
Transfer to airport for the flight to Madurai. Transfer to your delightful hotel dating back to the colonial era. Afternoon at leisure. In the evening, witness the day’s closing ceremony at the Meenakshi temple. (B)

DAY 4: MADURAI / THEKKADY

SPICE VILLAGE
Morning tour of the grand Meenakshi temple, teeming with pilgrims, color and ceremony, and the fascinating markets around it. Early afternoon drive to Thekkady (94 miles), ascending into the cool, tea, coffee and spice growing highlands of the Western Ghats hill range. (B)

DAY 5 : THEKKADY

SPICE VILLAGE
Early morning trip into Periyar National Park where you view game from a motorlaunch in a preserve noted for its elephant herds that constantly visit the lakeshore to bathe. The morning is at leisure for independent activities. In the afternoon, travel by jeep for a tour of the nearby spice plantations. (B)

DAY 6 : THEKKADY / KUMARAKOM

COCONUT LAGOON
A leisurely drive this morning, descending from forested hills into “backwaters country” at Kumarakom (81 miles), where the afternoon is yours to enjoy in idyllic surroundings. (B)

DAY 7 : KUMARAKOM / BACKWATERS

PRIVATE HOUSEBOAT
Late this morning, board a houseboat specially adapted from the traditional old rice boat (or kettuvallom), once used to ferry cargoes of rice and agricultural products from villages to markets. During the afternoon, your houseboat cruises through a network of lakes, lagoons and canals known as the “backwaters”, a geographical feature of rural southern Kerala. Life on and along the backwaters is fascinating – the age old and sometimes precariously overloaded riceboats, commuter boats and flat bottomed punts. Walk along the shores to observe villages, markets, churches, mosques, schools, children at play, livestock rearing, and artisans workplaces. (B,L,D)

DAY 8 : BACKWATERS / MARARIKULAM

MARARI BEACH
Sail again at sunrise, watching life on the backwaters wake up to a new day. After breakfast, disembark at the busy market town of Alleppey for the short drive to Mararikulam. Here, indulge in two days of utterly peaceful relaxation – swimming, walking, exercising and gourmandizing – and you may opt for the holistic high life at the hotel’s outstanding spa facility, featuring native Ayurvedic treatment. (B)

DAY 9 : MARARIKULAM

MARARI BEACH
The day is free at leisure. (B)

DAY 10 : MARARIKULAM / COCHIN

BRUNTON BOATYARD
Late this morning, drive the short distance to Cochin and check in at your hotel on the historic waterfront of Fort Cochin. Later this evening, enjoy a performance of Kathakali, the epic dance drama of Kerala
that narrates episode from the religious epics, the Ramayana and the Mahabharata. (B)

DAY 11 : COCHIN

BRUNTON BOATYARD
Morning sightseeing tour of the jewels of the Malabar Coast visiting the Portuguese built Dutch Palace, the Jewish Quarter and the Synagogue that houses scrolls from the Old Testament, St. Francis Church and the Tomb of Vasco da Gama, and the ubiquitous Chinese fishing nets. Late in the afternoon, enjoy a sunset cruise through Cochin harbor before attending a performance of kalaripayattu, the riveting sword fighting martial art of this region. (B)

DAY 12 : COCHIN / MUMBAI

ITC MARATHA
Late this morning, transfer to the airport for the flight to Mumbai. Transfer to the nearby hotel where a room is provided until your late night transfer to the airport. (B)

DAY 13 : DEPART MUMBAI

EN ROUTE
Depart Dubai on your early morning return flight home.

COST OF ADVENTURE PER PERSON

Please contact Destinations & Adventures at 1-800-659-4599 and one of our expert travel consultants will prepare pricing for your own custom-designed journey based on exact dates of travel and number of persons traveling.

800.659.4599