Vast, diverse, deeply spiritual and utterly unforgettable, India is unlike anywhere else on earth – a melting pot of ethnicities and religions, a treasure trove of history and culture, and a curious mixture of chaos and serenity. Stretching across more than three million square kilometres, it encompasses a staggering array of landscapes, vistas and environs, and offers unparalleled travel experiences – from the beautiful beaches of Goa, to the compelling craziness of Kolkata, the sacred Ganges river banks of Varanasi, the snow-capped peaks of the Himalayas in Kashmir and the ancient, exquisitely crafted temples dotted across the entire country. Not to mention the vibrant, friendly people, and the incredible cuisine.
Days 2 - 4
Located in the Indian state of Kerala, the bustling city of Alappuzha, also known as Alleppey, is set along the coast of the Laccadive Sea. Dubbed the ‘Venice of the East’, it is renowned for its houseboat cruises which float along the tranquil backwater canals of Kerala. It is said to be one of the most popular tourist centres in the state. While cruising the palm-shaded canals is the main attraction, visitors can also enjoy visiting Alappuzha’s beautiful beaches, exploring the little riverside villages dotting the lush countryside and discovering an array of resplendent temples. Don’t miss the annual Nehru Trophy Boat Race held at Punnamada Lake.
Days 4 - 6
Days 6 - 8
A tourist attraction in Kerala, Thekkady is a district located at the Periyar National Park. Thekkady comprises evergreen forests and savanna grasslands, and is known for its natural spices such as black pepper, cardamom, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and clove. Elephants, tigers, sambar and many other species inhabit the park. Top attractions include the exquisite ancient Mangla Devi Temple, the aromatic Abraham’s spice garden, and the massive waterfall at the sleepy, picturesque village of Chellarkovil. Take in panoramic views of the extraordinary landscape from the Chellarkovil viewpoint, and picnic on the rolling, lush green lawns at Pandikuzhi. Don’t miss the opportunity to visit the Kadathanadan Kalari Centre, to see demonstrations of the best traditional martial arts. Thekaddy is home to India’s sole Tiger Reserve, and has a rich living tribal culture.
Days 8 - 10
Idyllically set at the confluence of three mountain streams, Munnar is a beautiful hill station in the Western Ghats mountain range in India’s Kerala state. The village once served as a popular vacation resort for the British Raj elite who flocked to here to enjoy the pleasant cool climate and the scenic natural surroundings characterised by rolling hills dotted with colonial bungalows, streams, waterfalls and 19th-century tea plantations. The main attraction in the area is the extraordinary Eravikulam National Park, which is famous for its diverse array of wildlife including the endangered mountain goat known as Nilgiri tahr. The park is also home to the exquisite Lakkam Waterfalls, some excellent hiking trails, and the impressive 2,695m-tall Anamudi Peak.
Days 10 - 13
Also known as Cochin, Kochi is a city in southwest India's coastal Kerala state. This attractive city has served as a popular port for over 600 years and is known for its eclectic architecture and its array of religious monuments, museums, galleries, cafes and antique shops. The city stretches across a number of peninsulas and islands, which can be reached by a network of water taxis and bridges. The majority of Kochi’s visitor highlights can be found on the peninsula of Fort Kochi. These highlights include the St Francis Church, the oldest European-built church in India; and Mattancherry Palace, which dates back to 1557 and contains some exceptional Kerala murals and temple art. Other must-see attractions include the Kerala Folklore Museum, displaying more than 4,000 cultural and ethnic artifacts; the 16th-century Jewish Synagogue; and the local market, where the air is filled with the aroma of exotic spices.
Days 13 - 16
Resting on the lush green slopes of the Western Ghats, Wayanad is the most sparsely populated region of India’s Kerala state. This spectacularly scenic area is ideal for trekking and is characterised by towering, mist-cloaked mountains, serene fresh water lakes, dense emerald green forests, breathtaking waterfalls, and paddy fields as far as the eye can see. Wayanad features a number of luxury resorts and elegant eco-hideaways where visitors can base themselves while exploring the many attractions on offer. Chief among these is the Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary which was established in 1973 and is now an integral part of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve. This sanctuary is one of the best place in India to spot Elephant in the wild as well as a number of other large mammals such as Indian bison, deer and tiger.
Days 16 - 20
Located in the beautiful state of Kerala, the town of Nileshwaram is known as the state’s cultural capital, and offers an authentic experience of India. The town is abundant in folk arts, music, dance, vibrant festivals, sacred groves and ancient markets. The Theyyam Dance is a special regional dance which can be seen at several temples in Nileshwaram. Visitors can enjoy a cruise on a houseboat along one of the two rivers; visit the Thaikadappuram Beach, famous for the rare Olive Ridley Turtles; meet the skilled artisans at Weavers’ Street; and walk over the longest footbridge of Kerala spanning 400 metres. The city is also famous for its numerous yoga and natural treatment centres, where visitors can experience traditional naturopathy. Don't miss the opportunity to explore the Nileshwaram Palace, which also serves as the folklore centre and location for swimming competitions.