(Bangalore, Mysore, Coorg, Wayanad, Cochin, Thekkady, Kumarakom)
Start your trip in Bangalore, once called the "Garden City of India". The city is now known as "Silicon Valley of India". Visit the famous Iskon Temple and Coban Park along with other attractions. Up next is Mysore; the second cleanest and most well planned city in India. Here you will have an opportunity to see the oplulent Mysore Palace. Continue on to the beautiful and lush landscape of Coorg. This region boasts endless mountains and is a paradise for any nature lover. Drive to Wayanad and visit the Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary along with a tour of the city. Proceed to Calicut for your five hour train ride to Cochin. No trip in India is complete without a train ride. Cochin is a bustling port and the financial capital of Kerala. Here, amongst other attractions visit the Paradesi Synagogue which was built in 1568. Drive to Thekkady and take a spice tour. Find out where and how the spices in your kitchen are grown and processed. And finally, end this mesmerizing trip in Kumarakom, better known as the "Backwaters of Kerala".
A transfer with private vehicle, driver, and English-speaking assistant between Bangalore and the airport is provided.
Private guided tour of Coban Park, which houses over 1000 species of flora which include rare and enchanting collection of tropical plants, trees and herbs. The Garden is the centre of attraction in the park. The Glass House is modeled along London's Crystal Palace.
Meet your driver for a private transfer to Mysore. The transfer takes approximately 3 hours.
15 km from Mysore, Srirangapatnam features eighteenth century Summer Palace of Tipu Sultan built in the Indo-Saracenic style. A small museum exhibiting Tipu's trivia, the Gumbaz, which is the mausoleum of Tipu Sultan and his father Hyder Ali and Jami Masjid with its slender minarets are other places to visit here.
Breakfast at the hotel & proceed for full day sightseeing of Mysore city. Sightseeing tour starts with the visit to Philomena Church – constructed in 1936 using a Neo Gothic style and architecture inspired by cologne cathedral in German. Thereafter visit Mysore Palace - The Mysore Palace is known as an excellent combination of Dravidian, Indo-Saracenic, Oriental and Roman styles of architecture. This Maharaja's Palace is a beautiful three storied stone building of fine grey granite and rich pink marble domes, overlooking this structure is a five-storied 145 foot tower whose domes are gilded in gold.
Next on the visit is The Jayachamarajendra Art Gallery – A Fine art gallery which has collection of paintings and artefacts that once belonged to the Wodeyars of Mysore. The Jayachamarajendra art gallery has a remarkable collection of Rembrandt paintings. This collection is so unique that such works of Rembrandt can be found nowhere in the world except in Russia. Post which you will break for lunch (on your own; Guide will assist you with the available options as per your preference). After lunch excursion to Chamundi hills (13 kms from Mysore) - Perched atop a hill is a 12th century temple of Chamundershwari. The gigantic 4.8 meter tall monolith of Nandi the sacred vehicle of Lord Shiva is a marvel to watch. Also close to the temple stands a gigantic statue of the demon Mahishasura. Retun to city for visit to local market – Devraj market famous for mysore silk, handicrafts & other ethnic products.
Meet your driver for a private transfer to Coorg.
Bylakuppe is the Tibetitan Refugee resettlement, location of "Lugsum Samdupling" (established in 1961) and "Dickyi Larsoe" (established in 1969), in the west of Mysore district. The nearest town is Kushalnagar in Kodagu 50 kms from Mysore. The Tibetian refugees make up a population of about 10,000 in India. Bylakuppe consists of a number of small camps/agricultural settlements close to each other, and has a number of monasteries, nunneries and temples in all the major Tibetan Buddhist traditions. Most notable among them are the large educational monastic institution Sera, the smaller Tashilunpo monastery (both in the Gelukpa tradition) and Namdroling monastery (in the Nyingma tradition).
During your private guided city tour visit the Madikeri Fort, initially constructed of mud and later replaced later by stone under the reign of Sultan Tipu. Tipu’s Fort is an essential feature of the town even today. The next stop is Raja’s Seat, a favorite spot of the kings is from where one can view the sweep of the mist-covered blue hills and valleys with green fields. The kings used to sit here every evening enjoying the sunset and beauty of Coorg. After taking the breathtaking views continue on to the Omkareshwar Temple. The temple is dedicated to both Shiva and Vishnu and is almost 200 years old featuring surprising blend of Islamic and Gothic styles. The Nature Walk Coorg presents the perfect opportunity to discover the naturalist in you. Go trekking in the adjoining Dubare Reserve Forest with a guide. Learn all about the birds and the beasts, and understand how each tree has a story to tell. Listen to jungle lore under a canopy of multi-hued green. Return with a greater knowledge of the forest system and a higher sensitivity to the eco system.
Meet your driver for a private transfer to Wayanad. The drive takes approximately 2 hours.
Muthanga Wildlife Sanctuary – Better known as the Wayand Wildlife Sanctuary, established in 1973, is contiguous to the protected area network of Nagarhole and Bandipur of Karnataka on the northeast and Mudumalai forest. Rich in bio-diversity, the sanctuary is an integral part of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve, which has been established with the specific objective of conserving the biological heritage of the region. The sanctuary is rich in flora and fauna. In the afternoon, visit various plantations of coffee, tea, cardamom, pepper and rubber etc. Later visit Pookot Lake, a natural fresh water lake on the Western Ghats. This Lake is one of its kind in Kerala, and sports a fresh water aquarium with numerous varieties of fish. This natural lake surrounded by hills and meadows provides an excellent picnic spot, a opportunity for a relaxing boat ride or fishing in the lake.
Meet your driver for a private transfer to Calicut. The transfer takes approximately 2 hours.
Transfer today from Calicut to Cochin. Approximate travel time 4.5 hrs. 1st Class A/C Chair Car.
Your guide will pick you up from your accommodation for your private tour of Cochin. The first stop is the Paradesi Synagogue. Built in 1568, it is the oldest synagogue in the Commonwealth of Nations. The synagogue is magnificently decorated with Chinese tiles and Belgian chandeliers. Giant scrolls of the Old Testament can be found here. Take a short boat ride to Bolghatty where you find the Dutch Palace offering a fantastic view of the city. This palace is notable for some of the best mythological murals in India, particularly in the bed chambers. In that room one can see the entire story of Ramayana on the walls. The palace also contains rare examples of traditional Kerala flooring, which look like polished black marble but are actually a mixture of burned coconut shells, charcoal, lime, plant juices and egg whites.
Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant with your local guide.
Enjoy a Kathakali dance performance. Dating back to the 17th century, it originated in the south Indian state of Kerala. The word Kathakali literally means "Story-Play". It is known for its large, elaborate makeup and costumes. Usually performed only by men, the actors rely heavily on hand gestures to convey their story.
Meet your driver for a private transfer to Thekkady. The transfer takes approximately 4 hours.
Take a private tour of a Kerala spice plantation, where you can see how natural pepper, cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, vanilla, and nutmeg are grown. The spice plantations in Kerala are captivating farms to wander in and the various spices are cultivated in different sections of each plantation. On the spice plantation you can go for nature walks, bird watching treks, taste the various spices and breathe in the fragrant air.
Guided tour of Periyar National Park and Tiger Reserve set high in the mountain ranges of the Western Ghats. The park has a picturesque lake at the heart of the sanctuary. Altogether 62 different kinds of mammal have been recorded in Periyar, including almost 1000 elephants and gaur, sambar (horse deer), barking deer, mouse deer, Dholes (Indian wild dogs), mongoose and leopards. Though it's called the tiger reserve, there are hardly any tigers left in the sanctuary.
Meet your driver for a private transfer to Kumarakom.
Alleppey is spread through canals, lakes and lagoons. Your private guide will lead you by boat through a maze of canals where you can observe different scenes from the villages, paddy fields, coconut palms, fishermen and local life.
Enjoy a tour of the Kumarakom bird sanctuary. Spread across 14 acres the sanctuary is a favorite haunt of migratory birds and an ornithologist's paradise. Observe egrets, darters, herons, teal, waterfowl, cuckoo, wild duck and migratory birds like the Siberian storks that live here. The best way to watch the birds is on a boat trip along the islands.
Meet your driver for a private transfer to Cochin. The drive will take approximately 2 hours.
The Chancery Pavilion Hotel offers a very convenient location in the heart of the largest city of the Karnataka Indian State, close to the airport, the train station and the Exhibition Centre. A stay at this luxurious Bangalore 5-star hotel is a unique experience for international business travellers, who can combine pleasant work days with a rich choice of leisure facilities. The hotel's numerous services include ample halls and rooms for meetings, banquets, receptions, conferences and seminars, world class international cuisine and dishes, served in the hotel's restaurants, each with its own distinctive character, a fitness centre offering health and wellness facilities and an outdoor swimming pool.
Windflower Spa and Resort is a luxury Spa located at Mysore (Karnataka, India). Windflower Spa offers rejuvenation and curative treatments from the ancient traditions of Bali, Europe and India and is one the best options for accommodation in the city of Mysore which is visited for the famous Mysore Palace and is part of South India heritage Inbound Itinerary. Windflower Spa is also a popular option for corporates for their meets.
Bordered by the legendary river Cauvery and surrounded by virginal forests, Orange County, Coorg is a 300 acre working plantation resort perched at a height of 800 m that gives you the most luxurious introduction yet into the deepest secrets of this mystic mountain. Come, allow the spirit of the land to infuse your very being and coax you gently on a personal voyage of discovery.
Vythiri Resort: at the heart of a picturesque Waynad district, 2600 ft above sea level-escape to the lap of nature at the heart of virgin, lush, tropical rain forests amidst pristine breathtaking vistas. A magical, romantic getaway tucked away in a lush tropical rainforest. Vythiri Resort it's a state of mind, a magical, romantic getaway. Ayurveda is an age old intricate system of healing that originated in India which deals with the mental, spiritual and physical body complex. At Vythri amidst a visual feast of the plantation, spice farms and wildlife, Ayurveda is more than just a medical system. The wellness packages included are based on scientifically proven Ayurveda therapies practiced in Kerala since ages.
Housed in a heritage building right in the historical center of Fort Kochi, The Malabar House faces St. Francis Church, the oldest European church in India. It is the first Heritage Hotel in South India to be classified as a Heritage Classic Hotel by the Government of India. Designed to the last detail and furbished with select antiques and art, The Malabar House seamlessly combines tradition and contemporary design. The feel is small, cozy and personal, a heaven amidst this vibrant yet historical harbor city. The Malabar House Hotel in Cochin has 17 rooms which are divided into different categories such as Deluxe rooms, Roof Garden suites, and Duplex Malabar suites. Dine at Malabar Junction and enjoy a show at the Malabar House.
The Land Where Pepper Grows. Spice Village is located in the Periyar wilderness, high in the western ghats of Kerala. For centuries, the area attracted voyagers and adventurers, mercenaries and empire builders, kings and merchant princes. Men and women drawn not only by the lure of spices, but by the romance and wild beauty of the land. The Portuguese and the Jews of Cochin visited as traders, turning the natural bounties of the area into wealth. Pepper and cardamom, cinnamon and ginger, nutmeg, mace and anise the Periyar hills became nature's taste factory in the 14th century, as Cochin became nature's harbour, the port of lading for a spice-hungry world. Today, it's the rainforests, the animals and the vast silences that attract the modern visitor.
Coconut Lagoon is a boutique hotel located in an abandoned coconut plantation on the shores of the Vemabanad Lake. An ideal getaway for romantic holidays and family gatherings, this hotel charms you with its serenity, country side charm and greenery. Kumarakom, where the hotel is situated, is a favourite among holiday makers who are longing for a respite from the bustling city life. Coconut Lagoon captures all the nuances of this quaint little island, and tops it off with supreme facilities. This resort is surrounded by backwaters and is accessible only by boat.
India & Area
Jim Allard ,
December 09, 2014
"Sunita Singh did an outstanding job
Overall an excellent trip, well carried out.
The drivers in Delhi and overland from Agra to Udaipur made a great impression. Both were accomplished and accommodating. Access to transport in Delhi and Mumbai on our leisure days was noted and appreciated.
Guides in Delhi, Agra and Udaipur were standouts. The transfer reps all did an excellent job particularly since, on a number of occasions, they were there in the middle of the night.
All accommodations except for Mumbai were excellent. Memories of the culture of India ranks first but a close second in our minds will be the palace hotels.
The Leela Palace offers a peaceful and intimate refuge from the bustle of Delhi. Our reaction to the Nadesar was that it was the best hotel ever. Little did we realize each subsequent hotel in Agra, Jaipur, Jodhpur and Udaipur would top that, except for the last in Mumbai.
We were there at an important moment in India's development and the various viewpoints in different cities reflects the promise and challenges facing the country.
Some thought the shock of Varanasi could be better absorbed later in the itinerary, however, the geography preempts that alternative.
Always room for improvement so we would offer the following
Biggest disappointment was the Taj Tower in Mumbai. Small rooms that could be anywhere on the planet. Better choice would be the old wing which matches up better with the overall experience.
Not all of the guides were understandable. They all seemed intelligent and knowledgable but were lacking in delivery of a dialogue. Some speak in a droning monologue that is difficult to follow and includes blinding detail that is soon forgotten.
Two glitches that were remedied: The pickup of the van in Agra had an impossible seating arrangement but that was corrected overnight to our complete satisfaction. The Lake Palace Rooms in Udaipur were initially a problem. One room was lovely but the other two were substandard, although the hotel said they were in the same class. Basically, the better room had the bathroom and closet along the full wall while the substandard alternative used only half the wall resulting in a minute closet, no shower, a single sink and no window. They initially stated that there was nothing better but within an hour the duty manager had found two adjacent rooms on another floor that had the double sinks, separate claw bath and shower overlooking the lake as well as better closet space. They graciously moved us while we were at dinner on the rooftop.
Finally there is always the gouging at shops where the guides get a commission. At a couple of stops this seemed egregious but we are all seasoned travellers and work around that annoyance.
Some of the others may wish to add to these comments but those are my thoughts.
Good memories, thanks"
India & Area
December 08, 2014
"Seamless first class organization and management of our tour.
Sunita Singh did an outstanding job setting up all our accommodations, guides and internal transport."
India & Area
November 28, 2014
"My Husband and I recently traveled to India the had the most amazing experience..
India is a remarkable country. it is the oldest civilization in the world and we were constantly marveling at the continuity of the culture over the millenniums.
We highly recommend that you book your India trip with the Kensington Tours INDIA Specialist, Senior Sales Consultant Sunita Singh who has lived in India & travelled extensively within the country and neighboring countries.
The entire trip was well planned and ran without a hitch. The guides were excellent, well educated, very knowledgable and extremely solicitous of us. A special recommendation to our driver Rakesh (spelling?) who negotiated the roads and sometimes heavy and interesting traffic with skill and good humor.
This was a private tour comprising of my husband and I. We were most impressed with the way the trip was organized and with the quality and care shown by every Kensington representative along the way.
We visited all the important destinations which exceeded our expectations. A wonderful aspect of traveling in this manner was that our guides were able to take us off the beaten path and we experienced local India in this way.
Our travels took us to Delhi, Varanasi, Jodhpur, Jaipur, Udaipur, the temples in Ranakpur and Agra. Varanasi was the highlight of the vacation. It is such a spiritual and special place and well worth the detour. The hotels were all 5 star plus and luxurious. We especially loved The Lake Palace in Udaipur and the Rambagh Palace in Jaipur. The Oberoi in Agra was also amazing.
It was a treat and a privilege to travel through Rajasthan in this way. India is such a special country to visit."
India & Area
Mike Simon ,
May 06, 2014
"Kensington planned a wonderful fascinating itinerary for us. All of the guides were so accommodating and flexible, wanting to be sure we were being cared for. India can be a difficult place in which to travel without the proper drivers and guides. Kensington's staff was all top notch."
India & Area
Jim & Gayle Stinson ,
April 21, 2014
"Our individualized, private trip to India was just fabulous. Thanks to all for a trip of a lifetime!"
India & Area
Sharleen Dickson ,
April 21, 2014
"The driver and guides were excellent!"
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