Kerala and Karnataka small group holiday, India

“Join a two-week small group holiday in Kerala and Karnataka, crossing the Western Ghats that separate two fascinating and beautiful states. An immersive experience into regional cuisine, handicrafts, culture and martial arts. ”


Bangalore | Summer Palace | Hassan Hoysala temples | Coorg | Mysore | Kabini | Nagarahole National Park | Calicut | Kalarippayattu demonstration | Cheruthuruthy artisan workshops | Kumarakum | Allepey | Houseboat cruise | Vaikom | Kochi |

Description of Kerala and Karnataka small group holiday, India

While Kerala is becoming more widely known to savvy travellers, there is far more to India’s most literate state than simply beautiful beaches and superb cuisine. Not that there’s anything wrong with them! But if you’re interested in a more immersive take on life in this part of southern India, then this fascinating two-week adventure will surely pique your curiosity.

Departing from Bangalore, the ‘Garden City’, you’ll drive via the ancient Hoysala temples in Hassan to Coorg, for an overnight stay at an eco lodge on the edge of a plantation. This coffee and spice-growing region sees few visitors, and is therefore wonderfully picturesque and tranquil.

From Coorg you’ll move on to the renowned city of Mysore, to explore its hilly scenery, markets and palace, before a further drive to Kabini. This will be your base for a safari into the Nagarahole National Park, where over 250 species of bird populate the trees, looking down on Asian elephants, Samba deer and Langur monkeys.

Cultural highlights of the trip follow in swift succession. In Calicut you’ll visit a Keralan gymnasium for a demonstration of kalarippayattu, a type of martial art. In Cheruthuruthy, you’ll meet a host of local artisans, and perhaps take in a show at a performing arts centre. Then, arriving in Allepey, you’ll take a dreamy houseboat cruise through the backwaters and channels of the coastal plains. Didn't we tell you this trip was a little bit special?

Please note from 2019 this trip will depart directly from the airport to Hassan on day one without a stop in Bangalore.

Travel Team

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Responsible tourism

Kerala and Karnataka small group holiday, India

Carbon reduction

Your holiday will help support local people and conservation. We must also reduce CO2. Learn about the CO2 emissions of this holiday and how to reduce them.


We have a strict environmental policy to make sure that the environments we visit are not damaged or spoilt in any way. Our “Leave No Trace” ethic is applied to this trip and as tour operators, it is something we are careful to promote. Your guide on this trip will have been trained to uphold this policy and all clients are fully briefed on appropriate/responsible behaviour whilst in wilderness areas.

We are very aware of the economic, ecological and ethical impact tourism can have on ancient cultures and fragile environments. We realise that taking clients through this region can have a negative impact on the environment if not handled responsibly and as such, on all of our trips we go to great lengths to minimise the negative and accentuate the positive - after all, there are also many good things that the traveller can bring.

By keeping the group size to a maximum of 12, we can also minimise the human impact on the fragile sites we visit – particularly important as this trip visits some delicate ecosystems such.

On day 10 we will stay in the Rainforest Retreat eco-lodge on a plantation set in the tropical
rainforests of the Western Ghats. All proceeds from our stay got to an environmental NGO dedicated to nature by promoting organic farming.


In India we have spearheaded travel into rural areas ensuring that local people benefit from tourism in places where there are not many opportunities to earn an income. We have developed unique relationships with many people, and through our form of interactive, socially conscious tourism we have helped them adapt to the modern, changing world by providing the ability to financially provide for themselves.

All our India cultural tours employ the services of local guides and drivers, stay in locally owned hotels and guesthouses – often staying in our guides villages and homes, which again diverts important funds directly into the area. The wonderful thing about this kind of interactive tourism is that everyone gains – the locals financially, and our clients with the unique experience and social interaction.

In order to facilitate an enduring support structure for the communities we visit, and to show a commitment to these values, in January 2009 we set up a charitable foundation through which we can directly channel funds to both existing NGOs and our own development projects. In addition to organising ethically sensitive tours, having our own charitable foundation allows us to raise money – through the cost of our tours, charity trips and fund raising events – which can then be used to fund various projects in education, sanitation, reforestations and a number of other important issues facing developing communities.

We also support several other Aid agencies and NGOs around the world which are all carefully selected to improve the standard of living for the communities we visit such as:
- Tesfa an excellent community based tourist project in Ethiopia, set up by one of our former guides.
- the Hope Foundation which works to help the street children of Calcutta by providing education, nutrition and health care and ultimately removing them from the street into better lives.
- Shuxiong Schools Fund, another one of our guides set up schools and educational projects for Tibetan children in Eastern Tibet, Bhutan and recently in the harsh environment of Zanskar, Ladakh where the community school in Rangdum has been given a vehicle to transport the children to school in all weather conditions.
- Adopt-A-Minefield, with more than 830 square kilometres of land left to clear of this deadly menace, Afghanistan is the most heavily mined country in the world.
- Children of the Caucasus, set up and run by the British Georgiaphile, Peter Nysmith, this is a great little charity that helps orphaned children of Georgia and the Caucasus through art, theatre and education.

1 Reviews of Kerala and Karnataka small group holiday, India

5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed on 26 Feb 2019 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

The first Dravidian temple and discovering people were so happy to see us.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Be prepared for mixed quality bedding and toilet facilities. Take sandals you can slip on and off really easily as you will need to do this continually.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Yes, we visited eco lodges, took water filter bottle. I should have liked to purchase from co operative groups as well as watching the work of weavers, metal workers etc.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

A perfect way to experience many aspects of life in Kerala and Karnataka, architecture, religion, culture, politics, wildlife and food!

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