Saturday, January 06. (D)* UNITED STATES – MUMBAI
Depart this evening on any airline of your choice to Mumbai, India. Dinner and light breakfast served on the plane.
Subday, January 07. MUMBAI. (B, L, D)
Continue flying on your airline to Mumbai where you arrive late evening. We meet you outside customs at the Mumbai International Airport and transfer you to the hotel, where you will stay two nights. Light lunch and dinner served on the plane.
Monday, January 08. MUMBAI. (B)
Morning sightseeing of the most dynamic city in India begins with a close look at the Gateway of India, commemorating the landing of King George V and Queen Mary, arriving on their royal yacht from England in 1911. This afternoon we will drive on the wide boulevards down town commercial center, lined with massive monuments of the Empire and Indian free enterprise. Among the sights are Victoria Terminus, the largest and the most flamboyant example of a train station, built in 1887. We will also visit Crawford Market crammed with fresh produce and all kind of domestic animals on sale inside a huge, sprawling structure built during the British Raj.
Mumbai, consisting originally of seven islands inhabited by fishing communities 500 years ago, is today the world’s most densely populated city of more than 18 million inhabitants. When the last contingent of the British troops passed through the Gateway of India, in February 1948, it was crowded enough with a population of 1½ million. The roots of the overpopulation with resultant poverty, lie paradoxically, in the city’s amazing ability to keep on creating wealth, be it trade, industry, movies, construction or hi-tech. Mumbai generates 40% of India’s GDP, its port handles half the country’s foreign trade, its movie industry is the biggest in the world.
Tuesday, January 09. MUMBAI-TIRUVANDRUM – KOVALAM. (B)
Today morning we fly to Thiruvendrum from there we drive to Kovalam beach. Afternoon leisure for Swim and enjoy beach. Dinner at the hotel. Overnight at the hotel.
Kovalam means s groove of coconut trees. It is also known as the paradise of the south. It has three beaches separated by rocky outcroppings in its 17 km coastline. The three together form the famous crescent of the Kovalam beach.
Wednesday, January 10. KOVALAM. (B)
Today enjoy and rejuvenate your body and soul with an Ayurveda massage. Dinner at the hotel.
Thursday, January 11. KOVALAM –KUMARAKOM. (B)
Today we drive to Kumarakom. Afternoon is free for leisure. Dinner at the hotel.
Kumarakom is a hidden gateway to Kerala’s backwaters. It is very rich in marine life especially the exclusive Kumarakom Karimeen or Pearl spotted fish, tiger prawns, crabs and many more.
Friday, January 12. KUMARAKOM – ALLEPPEY –COCHIN (B, L)
This morning we will drive to Alleppey to take day cruise to have an experience of backwaters. These are traditional boats called Kettuvalam. We will enjoy our lunch at the cruise. Afternoon we will drive to Cochin where, we will stay two nights. Dinner at the hotel. Overnight at the hotel.
Cochin( aka Kochi) was founded in 1341, when a flood created a natural safe port, attracting Chinese, Christians, Jewish and Arab settlers. The Portuguese explorer Vasco de Gama looking for trade route for Indian spices sailed around the continent of Africa and landed nearby in 1498. He was followed by the Dutch and the British, all wanting to control the port and its lucrative spice trade.
Saturday, January 13. COCHIN. (B)
This morning, a sightseeing tour of Fort Cochin to include the Dutch Palace, with beautiful frescoes on the walls, depicting themes from the epic Hindu mythology Ramayana. Nearby is the Pardesi Synagogue built in 1568 and still is use today. Not far is the St. Francis Church, built by Portuguese in 1510. Vasco da Gama was buried here in 1524, but his body was removed later to Portugal. This evening we will see a performance of the Kathakkali Dance, it is a spectacular combination of drama, dance, music and ritual. Dinner at the hotel. Overnight at the hotel.
Sunday, January 14. COCHIN – BANGLORE. (B)
Morning is free for leisure. Afternoon we fly to Bangalore where, we stay one night.
Bangalore, the “GARDEN CITY” and capital of the state of Karnataka. Dinner at the hotel. Overnight at the hotel.
Monday, January 15. BANGALORE – MYSORE. (B)
Today, early morning we will drive south to Mysore by road. It will take 4 hrs to reach to Mysore. After lunch we will visit Mysore Palace. It is an amazing display of art and architecture from India and around the world with a lavishly decorated interior. Dinner at the hotel. Overnight at the hotel.
Mysore, now a center of sandal wood- carving, silk and incense production, was known as a “Mahisasur”, the town where the demon buffalo Mahisasura was slain by the goddess Durga, as per Hindu mythology. Mysore is a charming, old –fashioned and a great city just to stroll around. Within sight of the spectacular Maharaja’s palace is the Devaraja market, one of South India’s most famous produce markets.
Tuesday, January 16. MYSORE- BANGALORE – GOA. (B)
This morning sightseeing begins with short drive up the Chamundi Hills to see the colossal figure of Nandi the sacred bull of Shiva, carved from a single piece of black granite in 1659 and the 12th century Hindu temple. The Chamundi figure inside is made of solid gold. Then, we will drive back to Bangalore to catch the flight for Goa. Arrive in Goa. Dinner at the hotel. Overnight at the hotel.
Goa was established into India in 1961, when Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru gave up trying to negotiate with the Portuguese director Salazar and sent in the army. It was Portugal’s first toe-hold in Asia in 1511. Unlike the stiff upper-lipped British, the Portuguese people enjoyed the laid-back feel of the good things in life, which is still carried on today, attracting a vast variety of tourists.
Wednesday, January 17. GOA. (B)
Today we will have sightseeing of Old Goa, designated by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site will include the Basilica of Bom Jesus, where the body of St. Xavier lies in a silver casket, the church St. Francis of Assisi, built in 1521, and the Cathedral of St. Catherine of built between 1562 and 1623. Afternoon is free for Spa or swim at the beach as leisure. Dinner at the hotel.
Thursday, January 18. (B) GOA – MUMBAI- U.S.A.
Today afternoon, we take a domestic airline flight to Mumbai, where we will have our Gala Farewell dinner at a deluxe hotel near the Mumbai International Airport. Very late evening departure on your flight back home, arriving the next day.