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India Holidays

Zamorin Tour

14 Night Itinerary from £2,495

Private Individual Tour

 

Journey from vibrant Mumbai to the tranquil south with temples, tea, wildlife and scenic beauty await.

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Tour Route

Travel Highlights

  • Explore Mumbai including the imposing Gate of India and a unique visit to an inspiring local slum.
  • Travel to Madurai and admire the incredible Meenakshi Temple.
  • Visit a colonial Munnar tea plantation.
  • Explore the wildlife at Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary on a guided nature walk.
  • Enjoy a one night cruise on the backwaters of Kerala on a traditional houseboat on a full board basis.
  • Visit local villages where traditions have remained the same for centuries.
  • Explore Kochi, rich in colonial architecture including the fort and St Francis Church.
  • Relax for 3 nights at a comfortable resort at Marari Beach.

This itinerary can be tailored to your preferences by our specialist advisors, who can provide a guaranteed price based on your choice of route, duration, flights, hotels, transport and excursions.

Tour Itinerary

Bombay India Pixabay

Mumbai (Bombay) - 2 Nights

Day 1 - Departure from the UK on an overnight flight to Mumbai

Day 2 - Arrive Mumbai

Day 3 - Guided tour of Mumbai

 

  • Full Description
  • Accommodation

Day 1

Fly from the UK to Mumbai (Bombay)

Depart from the UK on an overnight flight to Mumbai (Bombay).


Day 2

Arrive in Mumbai

Arrive at Mumbai airport. Our local Veloso Tours guide will meet you and transfer you to your chosen hotel for a 3 night stay on a bed and breakfast basis. Your guide will also give you a short orientation tour of your local surroundings and help you settle in. Rest of the day is at leisure. 


Day 3

Guided tour of Mumbai

Today we encounter India’s most populous city in the company of your local Veloso Tours guide, with some 13 million residents, as well as its commercial and entertainment capital and home to the world-renowned “Bollywood” film industry.

We begin at the waterfront Gateway of India monument, an impressive 85-feet high arch built by the British in 1924 to serve as a ceremonial entrance to the country. When India gained its independence in 1948, the last British battalion formally passed through the Gateway.

We then visit the Prince of Wales Museum. Founded in the early years of the 20th century, it houses approximately 50,000 exhibits of ancient Indian history as well as objects from foreign lands, categorised primarily into three sections: Art, Archaeology and Natural History. The Museum houses Indus Valley Civilisation artefacts, and other relics from ancient India. 

Later, we observe the impressive Town Hall, the most majestic structures among the other heritage buildings in the city of Mumbai. Another wonderful Gothic building is the Chhatrapati Sivaji Terminus, constructed on the site from which, in 1854, ran the first train in India. Designed by William Stevens and completed in 1887, the building looks more like a lavishly decorated palace than something as mundane as a train station.

Later in the afternoon, we embark on an unusual yet rewarding excursion to Dharavi, Mumbai’s giant slum considered a “city within a city” with approximately 800,000 inhabitants living in less than a square mile area.  Cottage industries and small businesses thrive here, accounting for Dharavi’s estimated annual economy of more than $650 million USD.  We learn about life in the slum, including the resilience and resourcefulness of the residents.

Fariyas Hotel

Mumbai (Bombay) - Tourist Hotel

 

Fariyas Hotel is a good tourist class hotel located in South Mumbai, located 26 kms from Mumbai Airport and only a 5-minute walk from Gateway of India and Prince of Wales Museum and 15 minutes walk to Rajabai Tower and St. Thomas Cathedral. 

The hotel has a combination of superior, deluxe and executive rooms. Each is air-conditioned with private bathroom, comfortable beds, free Wi-Fi, TV, safe, hair dryer, mini bar, telephone, fridge and tea/coffee maker.

Public facilities include 2 restaurants, swimming pool and tavern bar. There is also a poolside cafe.

The rates are on a room and breakfast basis. 

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Intercontinental Marine Drive

Mumbai (Bombay) - Luxury Hotel

InterContinental Marine-drive Mumbai offers intimate modern hospitality alongside sweeping views of the Arabian Sea. Enjoy award-winning cuisine from world-renowned chefs, and experience the best rooftop sunset pool views with your plush luxury accommodation in the city. The hotels location on Marine Drive is close to Mumbai's top leisure facilities and famous sites.

The hotel has a choice of spacious executive rooms or suites, all air-conditioned with private bathroom, hair dryer, safe, TV hair dryer, tea/coffee making facilities, sitting area and telephone.

The most impressive part of the hotel is the wonderful rooftop bar and restaurant - the Dome. There is also a stunning rooftop swimming pool. It is a wonderful place to watch the sun set over the Arabian Sea. The hotel has 2 other restaurants: L & S Bistro and Kebab Corner. There is also a spa to relax after a days sightseeing.

The rates are on a bed and breakfast basis.

Image for: Intercontinental Mumbai 4065261733 2X1

Taj Mahal Palace

Mumbai (Bombay) - Luxury Hotel

Taj Mahal Palace opened in Mumbai, then Bombay, in 1903, and overlooks the majestic Gateway of India. This legendary luxury hotel has played host to kings, dignitaries and eminent personalities from across the globe.

Each of the rooms 285 rooms & suites are a striking blend of nostalgic elegance, rich history and modern facilities. All are air-conditioned with private bathroom, tea/coffee, sitting area, desk, hair dryer and safe.

The hotel has 9 restaurants and bars, from authentic Indian cuisine at Masala Kraft; world famous Japanese dishes at Wasabi by Morimoto; exquisite Eastern Mediterranean food at Souk and Chinese at Golden Dragon. Dine all day at Shamiana and choose from the exotic range of sumptuous desserts at La Patisserie. Unwind with a refreshing meal at Aquarius, the poolside restaurant; and visit the stylish Harbour Bar.

Signature experiences such as the afternoon tea at Sea Lounge and private dining at the Chef’s Studio make your stay with us truly memorable.

There is a spa, salon, lounges and a stunning swimming pool with views of the Gateway of India.

The rates are on a bed and breakfast basis.

Image for: View Of Hotel
Tamil Nadu 2 Bee

Madurai - 2 Nights

Day 4 - Fly to Madurai 

Day 5 - Guided tour of Meenakshi Temple

  • Full Description

Day 4

Fly to Madurai

Transfer to Mumbai airport and fly to Madurai. On arrival, you will be met by your Veloso Tours guide and transferred to your chosen hotel for a 2 night stay on a bed and breakfast basis. 

In the evening, we visit Meenakshi temple in time for the evening Aarti, a ceremony at the great Meenakshi temple where the Lord Shiva is reunited with his wife Meenakshi for the night.


Day 5

Madurai and Meenakshi Temple

Your guided tour begins with a visit to Thirumalai Nayak Palace, built in the 17th Century and partially restored by the British in the 19th Century. The Palace is built on a grand scale, with towering pillars and a large courtyard, where the ruler Thirumalai Nayaka received his audience in bygone days.

We then take a cycle rickshaw through the streets of Madurai and explore the banana market, vegetable market, other activities on the street and ending at the Meenakshi temple. Visit the Tailor’s market next to the Meenakshi temple at the east entrance. It is where all locals goes to get their clothing made or tailor work done. You can bring the fabric and they will give you the tailor made stitched clothing in just 2 hours.

We then explore one of the most important temples in the South, the awe-inspiring Meenakshi Temple, whose complex occupies an area of six hectares. The Meenakshi temple of Madurai is estimated to receive 10,000 pilgrims every day. A riotously baroque example of Dravidian architecture with twelve gopuras (towers), ranging in height from 130 to 165 feet, the towers are covered from top to bottom in a breathtaking profusion of multi-coloured images of gods, goddesses, animals and mythical figures. Legend has it that the temple was founded by Indra (King of Gods) himself. Every point in the temple has a legend attached to it. While exploring the temple, visit the “Hall of a Thousand Pillars,” with its fascinating study of “human expression” carved on the pillars, the walls and the ceiling. Just outside you will find the “musical pillars,” each emitting a different musical note when struck. Explore the Kambatti Mundapum (yet another hall) containing pillars sculptured with various manifestations of Lord Shiva. The Meenakshi Temple is arguably the preeminent example of South Indian temple architecture, and is also one of India’s most important places of pilgrimage.

Periyar - 2 Nights

Day 6 - Drive to Periyar

Day 7 - Guided nature walk

 

  • Full Description

Day 6

Drive to Periyar

Today we will drive to Periyar. The journey by road itself is an experience, passing through bustling towns in the plains, rubber plantations on the foothills and undulating tea gardens and spice plantations on the mountains. We stop at the plantation homestay for the lunch. Continue to Periyar and check-in to the hotel for a 2 night stay on a bed and breakfast basis.

Later, we take a guided walk of a nearby private spice plantation which grows pepper, cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg and more. You will enter the magical world of Indian spices. What they are, how to use them, combine them, and savour the special magic they bring to even the most commonplace foods and understand how each tree has a story to tell.


Day 7

Guided nature walk

Early this morning we take a guided Nature Walk that takes one through dense deciduous forests and swampy grasslands followed by the exciting bamboo rafting. Packed lunch included.

Later this afternoon, enjoy a the Kalaripayatu (ancient martial art technique) performance.

Tea Picker 2466005 1920

Munnar - 2 Nights

Day 8 - Drive to Munnar

Day 9 - Tea plantation tour

 

  • Full Description

Day 8

Drive to Munnar

Today we drive to Munnar, A magnificent hill station in the Western Ghats at about 5000 feet above sea level. This is one of the best hill stations in Kerala and is the major centre of Kerala's tea industry. Munnar means three rivers and the town is located at the confluence of 3 mountain streams - Muthirapuzha, Nallathanni and Kundala. These 3 stream confluence at the heart of the town and meet all the water requirements of the settlers and visitors. Munnar has lakes, forests and several tea estates. Anaimudi, the highest peak in South India (2695 m/8883 ft.) is nearby. Munnar was the British Government's Summer Resort in the South and it has been the favourite summer resort of the European sellers for centuries.

On arrival, we check-in to your chosen hotel; the rest of the day is free at leisure.


Day 9

Tea plantation tour

The town of Munnar is one of the best places to preserve and showcase some of the exquisite and interesting aspects on the genesis and growth of tea plantations in Kerala's high ranges. With special emphasis to Munnar, and to the delight of tea lovers and tourists, Tata Tea recently opened a Tea Museum which houses curious, photographs and machineries, each depicting a turning point that contributed to a flourishing tea industry, as seen today in the region.

Backwaters Bee 3

Kerala backwaters cruise - 2 Nights

Day 10 - Drive to Alleppey and embark your backwaters cruise

Day 11 - Backwaters cruise

  • Full Description

Day 10

Kerala backwaters cruise

Today you will be driven approximately 5 to the docks in the Alleppey district to board your private houseboat for a 2 night cruise on a full board basis. An environmentally-friendly vessel unique to Kerala’s placid waterways.  Prior to their conversion to passenger boats with all the modern comforts, these traditional craft known as kettuvallom once plied these waters as rice barges.  Coir (coconut fibre rope) and resin from cashew kernels, not nails, hold the kettuvallom together – a ship making practice passed down through the centuries.

The uniqueness of Kerala has always been its backwaters, and no place in the world is blessed with this mesmerising beauty. It’s the reason; this heaven is called “god's own country”.


Day 11

Backwaters cruise

On this comfortable floating home you may spend your day relaxing and unwinding. As you slowly cruise along the backwater canals of the Arabian Sea, you may choose to stop and explore some of the many small villages, farmlands, old temples and churches that you come across.

We see Indian life up close as we slowly cruise along the palm-fringed backwater canals of the Arabian Sea, a distinctive region whose beauty and tranquility have earned it the sobriquet “God’s own country.”  A vast network of lagoons, lakes, and canals formed by the confluence of Kerala’s numerous rivers and the Arabian Sea, the Kerala backwaters run alongside the coast for more than 550 miles.  These labyrinthine waterways have served as a thoroughfare for boats like ours from ancient times, and the daily existence in the communities here has changed little over the centuries.

Marari beach resort - 3 Nights

Day 12 - Drive to your beach resort at Marari

Day 13 - At leisure

Day 14 - At leisure

  • Full Description

Day 12

Drive to your beach resort at Marari

Disembark and drive to Marari. On arrival, check-in to your chosen hotel and you will have the balance of the day to enjoy the natural setting of the hotel on the Arabian Sea. Marari Beach, you'll find, is the one place where you can unwind completely.


Day 13

At leisure

Relax at your resort or on the beautiful white sandy beach.


Day 14

Relax on the beach

A final day enjoying the beautiful beach at Marari.

Kochi Dancer Bee

Kochi (Cochin) - 1 Night

Day 15 - Guided tour of Kochi (Cochin)

 

 

  • Full Description

Day 15

Guided tour of Kochi

After breakfast, we drive to Cochin the “Queen of the Arabian Sea”, the first of Europe’s colonies in India and the southern state of Kerala’s commercial capital. From antiquity the prosperous spice trade drew seafarers to Kochi:  Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans, Arabs, Jews, Chinese, Portuguese, the Dutch, and finally the British.

We have a walking tour of Mattancherry, the bustling part of Old Fort Cochin and the epicentre of the spice trade for centuries. It remains a densely populated place housing people from different ethnic groups and faiths in very close quarters.

Mattancherry is home to a small Jewish community whose origin dates back nearly 2000 years, during the period of King Solomon, when large scale trade took place between the Middle East and the Malabar Coast.

Our touring today reveals Kochi’s multi-layered past, a rich brew of Arab, Portuguese, British, and Dutch influences.  We begin with the Dutch Palace, actually built by the Portuguese as a gift for the Raja of Kochi in 1555. The Dutch renovated and expanded it a century later, earning it its name. The palace also contains some of India’s finest mythological murals; the walls depict scenes from the great Hindu epics, the Ramayana and the Mahabharata.

Then we see St. Francis, India’s first European church (ca. 1510), famed as the original burial site of Portuguese explorer Vasco de Gama, who died in Kochi in 1524 while on his third visit to India. Not immune to the turbulence of the colonial era, the originally Catholic St. Francis changed hands – and denominations – with each new power that took control of Kochi, becoming a Protestant Dutch Reformed church under the Dutch in 1663 then Anglican under the English in 1804. 

Next we pay a visit to the picturesque Chinese fishing nets unique to Kochi.  These iconic land-based nets combine elegance and ingenuity, their massive frames balanced by counterweights manipulated by teams of up to six men.  Long believed to have been introduced by the Chinese explorer Zheng He in the 14th century or possibly travellers from Kublai Khan’s court, these nets actually trace their origin to Portuguese settlers from Macau.

In the evening, we attend a performance of Kathakali dance, where facial expressions and hand gestures combine with movement to create this highly expressive traditional Kerala art form which depicts great Indian epics.  Distinct among the six classical Indian dances, Kathakali is a highly dramatic and mimetic  dance  depicting  various stories from Indian epics. It originated in Kerala during the 17th century and has developed over the years with improved looks, refined gestures and added themes besides more ornate singing and precise drumming.

Kerala Beach

Fly back to the UK - 0 Nights

Day 16 - Fly back to the UK

  • Full Description

Day 16

Fly back to the UK

Transfer to Kochi Airport and fly back to the UK.

Price Guidelines

Season High Season
Travel Dates October 2020 - March 2021
Room Arrangement Tourist First
Multiple Travellers - Twin Room £2,495 £2,795
Single Traveller - Own Room £3,495 £3,795

Prices are a guideline and per person. Please request a quote for Special Events, Christmas, New Year's Eve & Easter.


What's Included

  • Guidelines prices are per person based on 2 people sharing a twin room
  • 16 Days / 14 Nights
  • International flights (1 overnight)
  • Domestic flight from Mumbai to Madurai
  • 14 breakfasts, 2 lunches and 2 dinners
  • Transfers to and from airports
  • Transport  throughout the itinerary
  • Excursions listed, all with expert, English-speaking guides
  • Entrance fees 

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