Starting in the former Portuguese enclave of Goa, explore the quaint colonial streets of Panjim, Old Goa’s churches and relax on Goa’s sandy beaches. Move on to the undiscovered state of Karnataka, home to India’s most ancient temples, marvelling at the 6th century cave temples in Badami, gravity-defying ancient boulders of Hampi and the regal splendour of Mysore Palace. Track elephants and other wildlife in Nagarhole National Park then cross into the unseen tropical mountain forests of Wayanad in Kerala, staying in Asia’s largest ‘Earth resort’. Finally head down to the palm-fringed backwaters and drift off to sleep on a Keralan houseboat as you glide along Lake Vembanad.
- Uncover Goa’s Portuguese past
- Karnataka’s ancient temples
- Safari in Nagarhole National Park
- Stay in Asia’s largest Earth resort
- Get immersed in Ayurvedic oils
- Learn Keralan cooking by the lake
- Houseboat on the backwaters.
Day 1: Arrive into Goa airport. Greeted at airport by our representative and transfer to hotel. Evening free to relax and unwind. Dinner and overnight in Goa. Meal plan: N/A.
Day 2: After breakfast, set off for half-day sightseeing in Goa. Wander the quaint colonial streets of the capital, Panjim. Head on to nearby Old Goa, famous for its unique style of Portuguese-influenced churches. Rest of day free to relax at beach. Overnight in Goa. Meal plan: B.
Day 3: Early breakfast and transfer to train station for morning train to Hubli (Karnataka). You will be greeted by your tour escort for the Karnataka leg of the trip. Stop off for lunch and then move on to the temple towns of Aihole and World Heritage Site, Pattadakal, home to 13th century temples. Transfer to hotel for dinner and overnight. Meal plan: B.
Day 4: Set off for morning visit to the amazing 6th century cave temples of Badami. Watch out for monkeys! Drive to Hospet (3 hrs). Check-in to hotel. After lunch, leave for Hampi, with its unique landscape of gravity-defying boulders and spectacular 13th century temples. Dinner and overnight in Hospet. Meal plan: B.
Day 5: Whole day in Hampi. Explore the vast terrain, intricately carved temples and take a ‘coracle' ride (small round boat made from bamboo) on the River Cauvery. Admire the craftsmanship of the stunning Stone Chariot. Return to Hospet for dinner and overnight. Meal plan: B.
Day 6: Set off early after breakfast for drive to Hassan. Lunch en-route. Check into the Hoysala Village Resort. Rest of evening free to relax. Overnight in Hassan. Meal plan: B.
Day 7: Morning visit to temples of Belur and Halebid. Belur is also referred to as 'Southern Varanasi'. The serenity of Belur is attributed to the celebrated temple of Chennakeshava, belonging to 1117 AD. Halebid has several strikingly beautiful Hoysala temples and Jain shrines. After lunch, depart for Mysore. Evening free. Overnight in Mysore. Meal plan: B.
Day 8: Full day sightseeing. Morning walking tour (2-3 hours) of Mysore, taking in the grand Mysore Palace and the Dev Rajah Market place, India's 2nd largest fruit and vegetable market. After lunch visit Chamundi Hill and Nandi (Bull Temple). Evening free. Overnight in Mysore. Meal plan: B.
Day 9: After breakfast leave for Kabini, on the fringe of Nagarhole National Park. Arrive for buffet lunch. Afternoon game drive in the park. Look out for elephants, Indian bison, deer, sloth bears and jackals. Return to lodge for buffet dinner. Relax and overnight in Kabini. Meal plan: B, L, D.
Day 10: 6:00 am wake-up with bed tea/coffee. Early morning game drive with a coracle boat ride down the river Kabini. Return for buffet breakfast. Refresh and relax. Rest of day free to do optional game drive, light walks, rafting. Buffet lunch and dinner provided. Overnight in Kabini. Meal plan: B, L, D.
Day 11: After buffet breakfast, cross the border into Northern Kerala, and the unseen tropical mountains of the Wayanad district. Check-in at the Banasura Resort, Asia's largest Earth resort. After lunch, drive to the Edakkal Caves and see the 4th century BC petroglyphs and visit the local tribal settlement. Evening free. Overnight in Wayanad. Meal plan: B.
Day 12: Free day in Wayanad. Use of driver the whole day. Optional activities include: morning walk to nearby waterfall, local treks, tea plantation walk, visit to Banasura Dam and more. Overnight in Wayanad. Meal plan: B.
Day 13: Set off after early breakfast for Calicut. Early lunch at Kayadu resort. Catch train (13:35) for train to Alleppey. Arrive just after 6:00 pm. Transfer to Vembanad House (homestay). Lobster fishing at night on the lake. Meal plan: B.
Day 14: Enjoy breakfast against the backdrop of stunning Lake Vembanad. Take a trip to the nearby sleepy fishing village of Marari with its sandy beaches and swaying palms. Visit the local market to shop for food for Keralan cooking class by the lake. Enjoy lunch. Afternoon and evening free. Enjoy excellent Keralan seafood (vegetarian options also available). Overnight in Alleppey. Meal plan: B, L, D.
Day 15: Take short boat ride across the lake to Kumarakom. Spoil yourself with an Ayurvedic massage. Other treatments also available. Afterwards board your houseboat for a relaxing cruise along the backwaters of Lake Vembanad (4 hours). Brunch served onboard. Return to homestay. Rest of day at leisure. Evening watch a Kathakali performance under moonlight by the lake. Overnight in Alleppey. Meal plan: B.
Day 16: After breakfast set off for the port city of Cochin. Check-in to hotel. Refresh and then set off on walking tour of Cochin (2 hours) wandering its narrow lanes encountering echoes of its colonial past. Dutch, Portuguese, Arabs and the British have all left their mark. Also visit one of India's few synagogues in Jew Street. Afternoon free. Sunset cruise on the harbour. Evening free. Overnight in Cochin. Meal plan: B.
Day 17: Breakfast. Transfer to airport for flight to Mumbai and then onwards to final destination. Meal plan: B.
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