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South India - 11 Days / 10 Nights

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Itinerary

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Day 1 Mumbai

Arrive Mumbai. After collecting luggage you will be met by outside the baggage claim area and escorted to a waiting vehicle for your transfer to the hotel.
From an obscure beginning as a set of seven small islands, Mumbai has risen to the eminent position of India's most important commercial and industrial center. Mumbai boasts a perfectly natural harbor crowned by the Gateway of India monument, built to commemorate King George V's visit in 1911.
Mumbai’s (formerly Bombay) original inhabitants, the Kolis gave the city its Indian name, Mumbai, after their goddess, Mother Mumba. The early Hindu rulers were conquered by the Sultans of Gujarat who were later superseded by the Portuguese. The British, who followed, received these seven islands as a dowry when Charles II married Catherine of Braganze. The British Crown in turn leased them to the English East India Company for 10 pounds in gold. A far-sighted President of the Company, the real founder of modern Bombay, was Gerald Aungier. He invited Hindu and Parsi merchants from Gujarat to come to Bombay and develop it. From then on Bombay never looked back! Today the cosmopolitan population of the city consists of people from all over the country. It is the center of industry, commerce and foreign trade, a city of skyscrapers and huts, a city of milling crowds and vitality.

Day 2 Mumbai

Enjoy a full day of exploring Mumbai.
Begin with a visit to ‘The Gateway to India’, Mumbai's most recognized monument. It was constructed to commemorate the visit of King George V and Queen Mary to the city. It was completed in 1920 and remains as a striking symbol of the British Raj era. After this era ended in 1947, the last of the British troops departed through the Gateway of India. The looming Gateway is designed to be the first thing that visitors see when approaching Mumbai by boat.
Mumbai has some captivating heritage buildings where you can marvel over staggering examples of intricate colonial architecture. Some of the best are the Gothic looking Prince of Wales Museum in the Kala Ghoda art precinct, Victoria Terminus railway station, the Bombay High Court and the buildings of Horniman Circle in the Fort area. The feature of Horniman Circle is its huge gardens, which provide a welcome respite from the hustle and bustle of the city.
Drive up Malabar hill to see the ‘hanging’ gardens and enjoy a panoramic view of the city and Queen’s Necklace (the Marine Drive). Drive through the Flora Fountain and Fort area and view the Gothic style buildings.
Continue to Mani Bhavan, Mahatma Gandhi’s home and Museum. This charming, 3 storied Gujarati house, painted brown and yellow, in a lovely Parsi neighborhood on Malabar Hill, was the home of Mahatma Gandhi from 1917-1934. Now overseen and maintained by the Gandhi Institute, it houses a library and a small museum about Gandhi’s life and birth. You can visit Gandhi’s room, where his simple belongings are displayed including his personal Bible, Quoran and Gita.
Also visit Sidhi Vinayak Temple ( Ganesha Temple) and Dhobhi Ghat
(Washerman’s hub). This massive open air laundry provides an unforgettable glimpse into the inside of the city. Dirty laundry from all over Mumbai is brought here
and painstakingly hand washed by the dhobis (washermen) in the seemingly endless rows of concrete troughs. The profession, handed down from generation to generation, requires incredible strength and determination. The thousands of dhobis spend hours every day standing up to their knees in water filled with chemicals, manually scrubbing and beating the dirt out of each item of laundry. This earns them approximately $ 2.50 US per day.
Stop at Crawford Market, one of Mumbai's most famous markets. It is named after Arthur Crawford, the first Municipal Commissioner. It houses wholesale market for fruits, vegetables and poultry. Completed in 1869, this Norman and Gothic architectural marvel was the first building in the city to be lit with electricity.
Included Meals: B

Day 3 Mumbai/Cochin

At approximately 10:30 AM be ready in the lobby of the hotel in preparation for your transfer to the Mumbai airport.
1:25 PM Depart Mumbai via Jet Airways flight # 403 direct service to Kochi. Total flying time: 2hour, 5 minutes.
3:30 PM Arrive Kochi. You will be met outside the baggage claim area by your local driver who will escort you to a waiting vehicle for your transfer to the Hotel.
Cochin is one of the most fascinating cities of coastal South India. It is a city with indelible marks of Christianity, Islam, Hinduism and Jewish traditions. Of Special mention is the older parts of the Fort Cochin area. It more or less exists as it used to be a 1000-year behind our times. This part of the city reflects an unusual blend of medieval Portugal, Dutch and English country life grafted on to the tropical Malabar Coast.
Included Meals: B

Day 4 Cochin-Periyar

This morning, you will be driven to Periyar (195 kms/ 4 hrs approximately).
En route visit Spice plantation + Spice Market
Lake Periyar is where animals come to drink. Sail within close range of elephant groups, feeding and bathing. Scout for statuesque sambar deer and giant wild oxen, or guar, browsing in the marshes. Search the green wooded shores for wild boars, monkeys, and an array of birdlife. If you are lucky, you will get a rare sighting of tiger. Spend the night in splendid isolation at your comfortable jungle cottage.
Included Meals: B

Day 5 Periyar

This Morning visit The National Park at Periyar boast of a rich and diverse Flora. The woody grass land to the center of the sanctuary as well as the tropical forests. The Savannah grassland and the thick vegetation bores different types of shoots and grasses. About 2000 species of flowering plants belonging to about 160 families and 823 genera were identified in the park premises. The major trees identified are Teak, Rosewood, Terminalia, Eucalyptus, Sandalwood and Jacaranda. Other common trees are Mango, Jamun,Tamarind and the Banyan trees. The open grass land is filled with tall and nutritious grasses.
Rest of the day at Leisure.
Included Meals: B

Day 6 Periyar-Kumarakom

This morning begin your overland journey to Kumarakom. The drive takes approximately 4 hours. The landscape is dominated by never ending paddy fields, mango and cashew groves, swaying coconut palms, meandering lagoons and backwaters, and mangroves nesting birds of a hundred varieties.
Kumarakom the charming emerald peninsula jutting into the ever-effervescent Vembanad Lake takes you into the heart of the scenic lake where you'll come across plenty of traditional country crafts, boats and canoes. The fresh water of the lake runs into the mainland making a labyrinth of lagoons, brooks, canals and waterways. The backwater houses a variety of species of both fauna and flora. They are rich with marine life namely the exclusive 'Kumarakom Karimeen' (pearl spotted fish), Konju (tiger prawns), Njandu (crabs), Chemeen (prawns) and many more.
During your stay you can arrange for an Ayurveda massage, an intricate system of healing that originated in India thousands of years ago. Genuine age-old traditions and treatments are practiced by highly qualified and reputed physicians. The Ayurmana spa caters to your total rejuvenation and therapy needs, in the ambience of an authentic, age-old Tharavad.
Included Meals: B

Day 7 Kumarakom

At 11:00 AM board a traditional Ketuvalloms or houseboat for a relaxing afternoon Kerala backwater cruise.
Feel completely relaxed as you enter a world of serenity and natural beauty in Kerala. Enjoy the green countryside, swaying palm trees, emerald rice fields and children waving from the banks of the backwaters. This labyrinth of shimmering waterways is comprised of innumerable lagoons, lakes, canals, estuaries, and the deltas of forty-four rivers that drain into the Arabian Sea.
Be transported to a paradise where land, sea and sky, come together in a union of elements. As you float on the backwater, the beauty of the serene waterways and quaint inlets and creeks along the coast of Kerala will enchant you. Experience an unforgettable journey, along the tranquil backwaters of Kerala.
Included Meals: B

Day 8 Kumarakom-Kovalam

At approximately 10:00 AM be ready in the lobby of the hotel in preparation for your overland transfer to Kovalam. The drive takes approximately 4 1/2 - 5 hours.
Rest of the day at leisure.
Included Meals: B

Day 9 Kovalam

Enjoy a day at leisure.
Included Meals: B

Day 10 Kovalam-Kanyakumari-Kovalam

At 9:00 AM be ready in the lobby of the hotel in preparation for your overland journey to Kanyakumari, where you will spend the day exploring. The drive takes approximately 2 hours.
The southern-most tip of mainland India, Kanyakumari possesses a rare natural phenomenon – the confluence of The Bay of Bengal, the Arabian Sea, and the Indian Ocean
right off its shores. The unique and privileged lands that make up Kanyakumari have resulted in a geographical location in which one may witness the rising and setting of the sun from the same beach, something few other places across the world have seen.
Visit the Thiruvalluvar Statue, dedicated to one of the greatest Tamil poets, Saint Thiruvalluvar. Sitting atop a small island, the statue stands at 133 feet, denoting the 133 chapters in the Thirukkural, Thiruvalluvar’s most famous work. You may climb to the feet of this imposing statue, and enjoy panoramic views of the spot in which two seas and one ocean come together.
Continue with a visit to the Vivekananda Rock Memorial, built in honor of Hindu spiritual teacher, Swami Vivekananda. According to legend, he swam to this rock and meditated, attaining enlightenment. The memorial features an attached meditation hall which incorporates the different styles of temple architecture found all across India.
Included Meals: B

Day 11 Kovalam-Thiruvananthapuram /Mumbai/Out

At approximately 9:45AM be ready in the lobby of the hotel in preparation for your overland transfer to Thiruvananthapuram Airport.
12:30 PM Depart Thiruvananthauram via Jet Airways flight # 389 direct service to Mumbai. Total flying time: 2 hours, 10 minutes.
2:40 PM Arrive Mumbai.
Included Meals: B


Dates & Pricing

Travel Dates Per Person Sharing Twin
(from)
Single Room Supplement
(from)
Local Fee


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Accommodations


Included

- Meeting & Assistance on arrival/departure at Airport and Hotel by Alluring India Destination's Representatives.
- Arrival, departure transfers, sightseeing & excursions using Air-conditioned Tempo Traveller.
- Accommodation for total 10 nights sharing twin room on bed and breakfast basis.
- Local Guides in all the cities.
- Entrances at the monuments as per the program
- All presently applicable taxes including service tax
- Welcome gift with your compliments
- Adequate mineral water in the vehicle during travel

Not Included

- Any services other than the ones mentioned above
- Any visa charges & Airport taxes
- Any still camera or video camera fees.
- Any airfare
- Any tips to drive/guide/escort/restaurants etc.
- Any extras like table drinks, telephone calls, any tips, laundry etc or any other items of personal nature



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