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Spices and Sandalwood - A Journey from Mysore to Kochi

17 days from £3990 per person

Traversing arguably one of the most beautiful and historic regions of India, this itinerary is a memorable journey from princely Mysore, home to a grand City Palace and monumental Nandi Bull, to the fascinating spice town of Kochi. Time is spent in Nagarhole National Park - arguably the finest in south India - before heading to the hills with a two night stay in the Raj hill station of Ooty where there will be plenty of opportunities to see the tea estates that surround the town. End your journey with two memorable nights on a private houseboat cruising the backwaters before relaxing beside the Arabian Sea on the beautiful Keralan coast.

Route: Bangalore – Mysore – Nagarhole – Sultans Battery – Ooty – Kochi – Alleppey – Mararikulam – Kochi

Itinerary Highlights

Historic Fort Kochi was one of the earliest European settlements in India. Heavily influenced by the Portuguese, Dutch and British, a highlight is the 400 year old Paradesi synagogue.

Ooty or Udhagamandalam, high in the Nilgiri Hills, has a natural beauty to beguile the visitor. Tea plantations and the famous Nilgiri Mountain Railway offer additional attractions.

What could be more enticing than slowly cruising through the Keralan Backwaters on your private houseboat. A skilled crew provides for all of your comfort and culinary needs.

Itinerary: Spices and Sandalwood - A Journey from Mysore to Kochi

Today depart the UK on the Emirates flight to Dubai. (N)
Arrive into Dubai and connect onto the Emirates flight to Bangalore. Once in Bangalore you will be met and driven to pretty Mysore. In the afternoon take a two hour specialist heritage walk in the city which starts at the Town Hall, visits the Devaraja Market and ends at the Jagan Mohan Palace. During the walk the guide will share various stories from Mysore's past and there will also be a chance to taste ‘Mysore Pak’, the city's famous sweet. (B)

Accommodation in Mysore: Gitanjali Homestay (or similar)

Upgrade option: Royal Orchid Metropole Hotel (or similar)

Over the next two days explore Mysore. Visit Chamundi Hill, site of the Chamundeswari Temple and Nandi Bull as well as the vast City Palace which was re-built by Henry Irwin during 1897 in an Indo-Saracenic style. The palace contains extraordinary wall paintings, stained glass work and inlaid doors. Also leave the city to visit the temple complex at Somnathpur and the exquisite Keshava Vishnu temple, one of the finest in India, as well as Srirangapatnam where Tipu Sultan was killed in battle against an East India Company army including Arthur Wellesley, the future Duke of Wellington. (B)

Accommodation in Mysore: Gitanjali Homestay (or similar)

Upgrade option: Royal Orchid Metropole Hotel (or similar)

This morning leave Mysore and drive to Nagarhole National Park. Considered southern India's finest reserve, Nagarhole is home to tiger, bison, elephant, panther and sloth bear as well as over 250 different species of bird. (B/D)

Accommodation in Nagarhole: KAAV Safari Lodge (or similar)

Upgrade option: The Bison (or similar)

Today explore Nagarhole with early morning and evening game safaris in the company of an expert naturalist. Established in 1955, Nagarhole is a beautiful reserve and predominately consists of lush deciduous forest covering a large area to the north of the Kabini River. (B/L/D)

Accommodation in Nagarhole: KAAV Safari Lodge (or similar)

Upgrade option: The Bison (or similar)

After breakfast leave Nagarhole and drive to Sultan's Battery, a small town in the Western Ghats and the centre of a region which produces some of India's finest coffee, cardamom and vanilla.  Stay for two nights at charming Amaryllis - a delightful homestay with spectacular views. Alternatively upgrade to Tranquil, a secluded 70 year old plantation bungalow on the Kuppamudi Coffee Estate. (B/L/D)

Accommodation in Sultan’s Battery: Amaryllis Homestay (or similar)

Upgrade option: Tranquil Resort (or similar)

Today enjoy Amaryllis and the surrounding local area. Swim in the beautiful pool or relax with a good book. The bird watching at Amaryllis is excellent and, for the more energetic, there are walking trails. (B/L/D)

Accommodation in Sultan’s Battery: Amaryllis Homestay (or similar)

Upgrade option: Tranquil Resort (or similar)

This morning leave Sultan's Battery and continue to the hill station of Ooty. The capital of the Nilgiri ‘Blue Mountain’ district, Ooty boasts a temperate climate that once enticed the British to escape the summer heat of plains. Here they whiled away their time with endless socialising, bridge parties and Tiffin, which gave the town the catchy nickname of ‘Snooty Ooty’. Your recommended accommodation is the historic Savoy Hotel which first opened as a hotel in 1841 and has hosted many famous and royal visitors. (B/D)

Accommodation in Ooty: Savoy Hotel (or similar)

This morning visit the well-maintained botanical gardens which have over 1,000 varieties of plants, shrubs and trees. You may also wish take a ride on the famous Nilgiri Mountain Railway that winds its way down through spectacular scenery and breathtaking views to the nearby town of Coonoor. Alternatively travel outside of Ooty to visit a local Thoda village whose inhabitants are one of the ancient people of India and who are found exclusively in the Nilgiri hills of Tamil Nadu. (B/D)

Accommodation in Ooty: Savoy Hotel (or similar)

After breakfast leave Ooty for the drive to Kochi. Founded by Vasco-da-Gama in 1502, Kochi quickly developed into a principle port and the centre of the spice trade on the Malabar Coast. A picturesque town of tumble-down buildings, vibrant bougainvillea and a languid palm-fringed harbour, Portuguese, Dutch and British settlers have all influenced this charming city. (B)

Accommodation in Kochi: Eighth Bastion (or similar)

Upgrade option: Malabar House

Alternative upgrade option: Brunton Boatyard Hotel

Today explore Fort Kochi with your guide. Starting on foot, begin the day at the church of St Francis, the oldest European church in India, then walk to the town's waterfront—site of the iconic Chinese fishing nets and the many fish stalls that sell the catch. Later visit Mattancherry Palace, which was built by the Portuguese in 1557 as a gift to the Raja of Kochi, and the town's fine synagogue. The area here is also known for its many antique and curio shops. End the day with a sunset cruise around the bustling harbour. (B)

Accommodation in Kochi: Eighth Bastion (or similar)

Upgrade option: Malabar House

Alternative upgrade option: Brunton Boatyard Hotel

Drive south along the coast to Alleppey and the Keralan backwaters to join a private Houseboat for a two night cruise. Authentic and comfortable, all meals are cooked on board and the boat is staffed with a captain, a deck hand and a cook. Spend the remainder of day cruising the beautiful and peaceful backwaters. (B/L/D)

Accommodation: private Houseboat

At leisure. The backwaters consist of a network of lakes, coconut shaded canals and estuaries—tiled and thatched cottages bright with hibiscus dot the embankments and the cantilevered Chinese fishing nets hang over the water's edge. Witness local life with children swimming and playing in the water, women attending to their daily chores and men fishing from their canoes. (B/L/D)

Accommodation: private Houseboat

After breakfast leave your houseboat and travel the short distance to Mararikulam where you will stay for three nights close to the sandy shores of Marari Beach. (B)

Accommodation in Mararikulam: Marari Beach Resort

At leisure to relax and enjoy the Marari Beach Resort. (B)

Accommodation in Mararikulam: Marari Beach Resort

Today transfer back to Kochi Airport to catch the Emirates flight to Dubai. On your arrival connect onto the onwards Emirates flight to the UK. (B)
**KEY: N = No meals, B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner

What To Do Next?

We design unique, tailor-made holiday itineraries to suit you, by combining your ideas with our knowledge and experience. Once you have an idea of what you’re looking for, or if you require some advice, please call us or complete the enquiry form online for a quotation.

What's included

  • International flights from the UK
  • Private car with English speaking driver
  • Sightseeing with local English speaking guides
  • Hotel accommodation and taxes

What's not included

  • Cost of visas
  • Travel Insurance
  • Expenses of a personal nature

Guide to Price

The above price is based on two people travelling together and sharing accommodation in low season. The price is only a guide and can vary according to selected airlines, hotels and date of travel. If you wish to travel with your family, friends or on your own we will be very happy to assist you with your arrangements.

Experts in Tailor-Made Holidays

For over 30 years, Pettitts Travel have led the way in creating authentic, tailor-made holidays. Our knowledgeable team have first-hand knowledge of our destinations and no two itineraries we prepare are the same.

Please call us for more information or complete the online enquiry form to request a quotation.

01892 515 966 Request a Quote

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