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DAY 1 – Depart for India

Depart from London Heathrow Airport or your preferred airport on your scheduled overnight flight to Chennai. Your flight includes meals, drinks, and in-flight entertainment for your journey.


DAY 2 – Arrive Chennai

Welcome to India. Upon arrival in Chennai, you will be greeted at the airport by our English speaking guide and transferred to your hotel. The rest of the day is at your leisure to recover from jet lag and get ready for the adventures awaiting you! (India is 41/2 hours ahead of UK GMT).

In the evening transfer for dinner at an Indian restaurant.

Meals: Dinner | Overnight: Chennai


DAY 3 – Chennai – Mahabalipuram

This morning enjoy a sightseeing tour to include visiting government museum, founded by the East India Company, the 8th century Kapaleeshwar Temple, Santhome Cathedral and St Mary’s Church and a drive through the old part of Chennai. Next, travel to Dakshinachitra – a unique heritage centre for the living traditions of art, craft and architecture of India.

Afterwards journey to Mahabalipuram, once the main port of the Pallava Kingdom and now a UNESCO World Heritage site, this ancient city showcases some of India’s finest rock-cut art and architecture.

In the evening dinner at an Indian Restaurant.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner | Overnight: Mahabalipuram


DAY 4 – Mahabalipuram – Kanchipuram – Mahabalipuram

Today’s sightseeing begins with a visit to Kanchipuram. Featuring more than a hundred shrines, the Kanchipuram sky line features a stunning cluster of temple gopurams (ornate towers marking temple entrances). The city is also famous for its silk industry, with weavers making luxurious saris following designs which are hundreds of years old. Back in Mahabalipuram visit the Five Rathas, a monolithic temple complex, each carved from a single piece of pink granite. Next you will see Arjuna’s Penance – one of the largest open-air rock canvases in the world; and Krishna’s Butterball, a puzzling geological wonder. Your visit to this remarkable site concludes with the Shore temple, comprising two Shiva temples and a carving of Anantasayana Vishnu.

In the evening dinner at an Indian Restaurant.

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner | Overnight: Mahabalipuram


DAY 5 – Mahabalipuram – Pondicherry

Depart this morning to Pondicherry (3 hrs) journey. On arrival check-in to you hotel. Later visit Sri Aurobindo Ashram and the museum.

In the evening dinner at an Indian Restaurant.

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner | Overnight: Pondicherry


DAY 6 – Pondicherry – Tanjore

Today journey to south through the flat landscapes of the Kaveri to the temple of gangaikondacholapuram (3 hrs). Travel to Tanjore and the journey time is 3 hrs.

In the evening dinner at an Indian Restaurant.

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner | Overnight: Tanjore


DAY 7 – Tanjore – Tirchirpallii – Madurai

Visit Brihadeshwara Temple. Continue to Trichy (Tiruchirpalli), mentioned by Ptolemy in the 2nd century BC. Visit the temple complex of Srirangam and view the Rock Fort.

Travel to Madurai, which at 2500 years old, is one of south India’s oldest towns. The old city is a labyrinth of temples, bazaars and narrow bustling streets filled with stalls, rickshaws and livestock roaming freely.

In the evening dinner at an Indian Restaurant.

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner | Overnight: Madurai


DAY 8 – Tanjore – Tirchirpallii – Madurai

The morning tour includes rickshaw ride to Meenakshi Temple, which is resplendent with stone carvings and columns, and a local flower market.

This evening join in an excursion to witness the Night Ceremony of Aarti Darshan at Meenakshi temple, performed at the end of all ritualistic worship accompanied by the ringing of bells.

In the evening dinner at an Indian Restaurant.

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner | Overnight: Madurai


DAY 9 – Madurai – Thekkady

This morning drive to Periyar with the rest of the day at leisure. High in Kerala’s Western Ghats this magnificent reserve boasts wooded hills, a picturesque lake and a cool climate, creating perfect conditions for exotic wildlife, including elephants, deer, boar, kingfishers and the elusive tiger, of which there are thought to be around 40 living in the park.

In the evening dinner at an Indian Restaurant.

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner | Overnight: Thekkady


DAY 10 – Thekkady

Before breakfast, embark on a truly wonderful experience – a ‘Boat Cruise’ on Lake Periyar offering an excellent opportunity to watch birds, butterflies and other wild life. Return to your hotel for breakfast This afternoon, visit a spice plantation where you will learn more about the pepper and cardamom which famously grows in this area, as well as a host of other spices.

In the evening dinner at an Indian Restaurant and enjoy watching a thrilling Kalari Payatyu (local martial arts performance)

Note: Due to the challenging nature of the morning trek excursion, some people may find this strenuous.

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner | Overnight: Thekkady


DAY 11 – Thekkady – Kumarakom. Backwater Houseboat Cruise

Head to Kumarakom this morning and board a traditional houseboat and begin a cruise on the backwaters of Vembanad Lake. We journey through the intricate maze of backwaters, which mesmerise and surprise at every turn with serene beauty and charm. Enjoying the countryside of Kerala from a delightful angle, we will see an array of coconut trees and endless paddy field and local people swimming and washing their laundry on the riverbanks, giving you an enthralling insight into hidden Kerala. Later transfer to your hotel.

In the evening dinner at an Indian Restaurant.

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner | Overnight: Kumarakom


DAY 12 – Backwater Houseboat Cruise – Cochin

Say goodbye to your houseboat this morning at Alleppey and drive to Cochin, a hugely important spice trading port since the 14th century, and now a cosmopolitan business centre. This afternoon, see the city’s Portuguese-built Mattancherry Dutch Palace, Jewish Synagogue and St Francis Church, which holds the palm-leafed title deed that the Raja handed to the occupying Portuguese in 1503. Also, marvel at the intricate beauty and rhythm of Kochi’s legendary Chinese Fishing Nets, unique to this part of Kerala.

This evening witness a superb Kathakali dance performance, based on stories from Ramayana and Mahabharata.

The dancers are elaborately made up with paint and masks, accompanied by drummers and musicians.

In the evening transfer for dinner at an Indian restaurant.

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner | Overnight: Cochin


DAY 13 – Cochin – Ooty

This morning we head to Ooty. Known as the ‘Queen of Hill Stations’, Ooty nestles in the slopes of the picturesque Nilgiri mountains and is encircled by lush vegetation and sweeping valleys.

In the evening dinner at an Indian Restaurant.

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner | Overnight: Ooty


DAY 14 – Ooty

We start today with a sightseeing tour of Ooty. Nestled in the Nilgiri Hills, this agricultural town is dependent upon its surrounding tea gardens, eucalyptus trees and forest. Board a miniature, narrow gauge ‘toy train’ for a wonderfully evocative journey meandering through green hills to Connoor, returning by road.

This afternoon we travel to Doddabeth Peak, the highest of the mountains surrounding Ooty, and a visit to Charing Cross Market and Bazaar will give a greater insight into the town’s various cultures and traditions.

In the evening dinner at an Indian Restaurant.

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner Overnight: Ooty


DAY 15 – Ooty – Mysore

This morning, drive to Mysore. On arrival proceed for sightseeing tour of Mysore, the city of palaces and often referred to as the ‘Sandalwood City’, as it is the country’s centre for incense manufacture. Charming and peaceful, this historic town has hardly been touched by modernity and overflows with magnificent palaces, decorative gardens and sacred temples. This afternoon’s sightseeing takes you on a drive past Mysore’s colonial buildings to the stunning Mysore Palace. The former residence of the Wodeyar rulers, the palace is a fine example of the Indo-Saracenic architectural style. From there travel to Chamundi Hill, the site of a summer palace complex housing an ancient temple and the Nandi, a giant depiction of a sacred bull carved from a single boulder.

In the evening transfer for dinner at an Indian restaurant.

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner | Overnight: Mysore


DAY 16 – Mysore – Bangalore

Today brings a visit to Srirangapatnam, a fortress built on a long island on the Cauvery River. Inside the fortress walls, visit the mosque and the Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple, the summer palace of Tipu Sultan, the legendary 18th century ruler. In the afternoon, travel to Bengaluru for an overnight stay.
Our last night in India, share wonderful memories of our journey at our Farewell Dinner with your fellow travellers tonight.

In the evening dinner at an Indian Restaurant.

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner | Overnight: Bangalore


DAY 17 – Bangalore – London

After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your flight to the UK, or extend your stay in a delightful beach resort in Goa.

Today, you will be transferred to Banglore International Airport to board your flight for London Heathrow Airport.

Your flight includes meals, drinks, and in-flight entertainment for your journey.

Meals: Breakfast


DAY 18 – Arrival London

On arrival at London Heathrow Airport, follow signs for arrival/baggage claim, clear immigration, collect baggage and follow sign for exit.

Note:

  • Return flight – If your flight departs in the morning, you will arrive in U.K. on the same day.
  • Return flight – If your flight departs in the afternoon / evening, you will arrive in U.K. on the next day.

 

** Your tour ends, leaving you with many pleasant memories of a wonderful holiday. **

Highlights

Chennai (1 Night):

  • City tour

Mahabalipuram (2 Nights):

  • City tour, Kanchipuram
  • Silk Shops & Shiva Temples

Pondicherry (1 Night):

  • City tour

Tanjore (1 Night):

  • City tour

Madurai (2 Nights):

  • City tour, Meenakshi Temple &Thirumalanayak Museum

Thekkady (2 Nights):

  • City tour, Periyar
  • Boat Cruise Spice plantation & Market

Kumarakom (1 Night):

  • City tour, House Boat
  • Cruise Back waters

Cochin(1 Night):

  • City tour, Dutch Palace, Jewish Synagogue and St Francis Church,

Ooty (2 Nights):

  • City tour, Train ride

Mysore (1 Night):

  • City tour, magnificent Mysore palaces, decorative gardens and sacred temples

Bangalore (1 Night):

  • City tour, Srirangapatnam, a fortress,
  • Summer palace of Tipu Sultan

Included/Excluded

Escorted Tour Package Includes:

  1. Meet and greet with our Tour Manager upon your arrival at London Heathrow Airport check in desk.
  2. International flights in economy class departing from London Heathrow Airport with Full ATOL Protection. We can also arrange departures from your local airport upon request.
  3. Return hotel / airport transfers at your destination.
  4. Twin / Double sharing room at quality hotels with private facilities including general hotel amenities.
  5.  Meals as per the itinerary – Key: B - Breakfast, L - Lunch, D - Dinner, N - No Meal. Indian dinners will be provided daily.
  6.  All International and Domestic flights during your holiday including airport taxes.
  7.  Sightseeing excursions and activities including entrance fees.
  8. Services of our multilingual Tour Manager including English speaking local tour guide.
  9.  Tips for local tour guides and drivers.
  10.  Entertainment and surprises.

Escorted Tour Package Excludes:

  1.  Travel & Medical Insurance – We request you to purchase your own comprehensive travel insurance to cover you during your holiday.
  2. Optional tours and Visas - Prices on the itinerary are approximate, subject to availability & can change at any time.
  3. Tourism and Room Taxes.
  4.  Any expenses of personal nature, for example: Room service, drinks, porterage, telephone calls, laundry, bar service and beverages with meals etc.
  5. Any additional expenses incurred due to flight delay, flight cancellation, unforeseen weather conditions, natural disasters, political unrests / closures and technical faults etc.
  6. Excess luggage costs.
  7. Any surcharges, taxes, fuel increases and rate of currency exchange prior to your tour departure.

Visa Requirements

  1.  British Citizens require a machine readable passport, valid for 30 days after the return date, when travelling abroad.
  2. Visas: India - British Citizen passport holders require visas to enter INDIA. Please ensure you make your own arrangements to obtain the Visas if you require them.
  3. Visa for India - E Visa for India - Valid for 30 days
    https://indianvisaonline.gov.in/visa/tvoa.html
  4. Ensure your passport has sufficient blank pages. Most destinations require that you have adequate un-used pages in your passport, allowing for any necessary stamps upon arrival and departure. We recommend for each country you are visiting that you have at least two free pages in your passport before any international travel