Kerala and Karnataka small group holiday, India
Optional Single Supplement: from £910.
Please note some itineraries are reversed.
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.
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1 Reviews of Kerala and Karnataka small group holiday, India
Reviewed on 26 Feb 2019 by Aileen Barry
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!
PlanetBy keeping the group size to a maximum of 12, we can also minimise the human impact on the fragile sites and ecosystems we visit.
We attempt to reduce plastic bottle use wherever possible by promoting use of reusable and filtered water bottles. Our partnership with Water-To-Go provides a discount on filtered water bottles to our clients. We do not provide water from plastic bottles to our clients in country but always ensure there is regular access to drinking water on our tours.
We will be staying in a range of accommodations including an eco-lodge in Coorg in the fantastic natural surroundings of the Western Ghats. The Western Ghats are part of one of the worlds Biodiversity Hotspots. Therefore, staying an ecologically and environmentally friendly accommodation will ensure continued biodiversity in the region and minimal impact on the area. All proceeds from our stay got to an environmental NGO dedicated to nature by promoting organic farming.
Throughout most of the trip we will be travelling in minibuses. Travelling as a group in a small bus contributes less pollution than a multitude of vehicles. We will also be exploring the Keralan backwaters by boat, to not only soak up the amazing sights at a slower pace, but to reduce our environmental impact and footprint along our journey.
PeopleThe best way to share stories and meet new people is over a plate of great food and a glass of wine in hand. On Day 12 in Kochi, we will be enjoying a cooking class with a local family before sitting down and eating the splendour of our wares with them. India has a unique food history which uses spices that became the envy of the rest of the world. The spice trade and colonies brought many ingredients to India’s doors which soon integrated into its famous curries and other delights. Supporting the local food industry in India not only maintains the cultural identity of the country but connects cultures through the most ancient of pastimes, eating and drinking!
On Day 8, we will visit local artisans who create pottery, weaving and toys in a traditional way. We will also watch a performance of a traditional folk song and dance, unique to the area. The history of this art goes back centuries and was once used to tell stories of the gods and legends to the masses. Visiting artisans not only provides income to them via selling their goods, but also ensures they are able to continue their craft and pass it onto the next generations.
On each Group tour we use local ground handlers. This means that all operational costs go directly into the local economy and help improve employment opportunities in remote regions. Such support can also be seen in our incorporation of homestays, locally owned hotels, family run restaurants and the services of local guides and drivers into our itineraries, which ensures that the money you spend with us goes directly into the local economy and local community.