Join Hamish Van Gruisen for an enchanting tour in Southern India. Begin in Chennai, the sprawling capital of Tamil Nadu, for three days and immerse yourself in southern Indian history. We will visit the dramatic ‘Shore Temples’ of Mahabilipuram, overlooking the Bay of Bengal, and Kanchipuram, the ancient capital of the Pallava Kingdom and famous for its silk weavers.
We will then commence a pioneering cruise through Kerala from the ancient port town of Alleppey (Alappuzha) to the modern port city Cochin (Kochi), passing through Kottayam, land of latex and spices. Travel aboard a traditional 9-cabin wooden rice barge on what promises be an enlightening as well as an extremely relaxing holiday.
Kerala has an extensive network of water ways that lace its interior coastline, stretching along almost its entire length of around 600kms. It is a land of copious rainfall which flows from the hills and mountain passes in fresh water canals and streams to join the 40 odd rivers in the State. This labyrinthine network of canals, streams and rivers, which converge to form lagoons, make up the Backwaters and give rise to an unique eco system which is a haven for nature. The area has been named by National Geographic as the Green Venice of the East due to the green coconut trees which turn the backwaters an emerald shade of green, with the setting sun adding splashes of red, all contributing to the serenity of this tropical destination. The water-ways team with life as wooden boats are the only way of travelling between villages and along the way we will visit temples, churches, market places, paddy fields, beaches and boat building yards. We will learn about and experience the vibrant culture of the region including coir handloom weaving, snake boat regattas, traditional toddy tapping, local dances, martial arts and festivals.
4th April 2020
- Excludes international flights and visa
- Accommodation throughout as shown in the itinerary and breakfast daily; 13 lunches; 12 dinners
- All entrance fees, visits, excursions and transportation as per the itinerary
- Local English-speaking guide/s
- The services of your tour leader throughout