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London – Bangalore
Leave on an afternoon flight from London to Bangalore, landing early the following morning.
You’ll be met at Bangalore Airport and driven to Mysore; a journey of just over four hours. In this romantic southern Indian city you’ll be staying in a new hotel, close to Mysore Palace and many of the city’s major attractions, including the Mall of Mysore with its unrivalled shopping, dining and entertainment facilities.
Your sightseeing tour of Mysore includes the City Palace – known as Amber Vilas – featuring stained glass, a forest of carved pillars and huge inlaid doors. Jaganmohan Palace houses superb Indian miniatures, whilst Chamundi Hill features a monolithic Nandi Bull and breath-taking views over the city. Your afternoon tour takes you to Somnathpur’s Hoysala Temple with historic friezes that relate epic legends of geese, hippogryphs, cavalry and elephants.
Stay: Two nights in a superior room at Radisson Blu Plaza Mysore.
Nagarhole National Park
Today you set off for Nagarhole National Park and a safari that reveals the diverse wildlife, colourful flora and wonderful natural habitats of the park. You’ll be staying at a beautiful wildlife resort surrounded on three sides by the Kabini River, a spot that attracts any number of birds and elephants, as well as overseas visitors. Morning and evening game drives will let you photograph a huge number of animals in their natural environment.
The list includes elephants, gaur, sambar, chital or axis deer, muntjac, mouse deer, antelope, wild pigs, porcupines and pangolin, giant and flying squirrels, giant fruit bats, slender loris, langurs and the bonnet macaque. You’ll also have the chance to see sloth bears, tigers, leopards, Asiatic wild dogs, striped hyenas, jackal, jungle and rusty spotted cats. There’s also an abundance of birds like grey headed eagles, crested hawk eagles, serpent eagles, and honey buzzards.
Stay: Two nights in a Jacuzzi hut at Orange County Resort.
Now a totally refreshing experience awaits. A scenic drive of just over three hours brings you to a luxury 180-acre resort and biosphere, 4000 feet above sea level. Here you’ll be able to relax in a tranquil rainforest whilst indulging in a wellness spa or dining in a fine multi-cuisine restaurant.
Stay: Two nights in a superior charm room at Vivanta Taj Madikeri.
Time to go cruising. A drive to Northern Kerala’s Malabar Coast delivers you to a jetty where you’ll board a renovated traditional rice barge for an unforgettable cruise along the idyllic backwaters of Kerala. You’ll sail serenely through an area that is inaccessible by road; past loin cloth-clad fishermen poised on narrow canoes, women weaving baskets and gossiping on the shore. Not to mention gangs of waving, chattering kids playing at the water’s edge and busy local markets that beckon with their colour and bustle. And you’ll cruise through dense tropical jungles of palm and fruit trees, open paddy fields and time-untouched local villages.
Stay: Two nights in a standard cabin aboard The Lotus.
After your Lotus cruise, the beach beckons. You’ll disembark at the Neeleshwar Hermitage, a luxury resort on one of Northern Kerala’s most prized beaches. You’ll be staying in a charming thatched cottage with its own private courtyard and outdoor bathroom. When you’re not lazing on the fine sand, you can spend your time being pampered in an elegant spa, indulging in great regional food or going on sightseeing trips to the area’s many temples. Or you can visit the fort at Bekal, walk through the picturesque Western Ghats or explore local villages.
Stay: Four nights in a deluxe sea view cottage at Neeleshwar Hermitage.
Mangalore - Mumbai - London
You leave early for Mangalore Airport and your flight to Mumbai where you’ll connect with your flight to London. You’ll arrive at Heathrow in the evening.
Would you please pass on to 'your dream team' my heartfelt appreciation of their wonderful efforts to bring their unforgettable city to life for us all- LL, St Petersburg, 2013