Golden Triangle & Kerala holiday, India

“This 17 day tailor made trip combines the Golden Triangle with Kerala in southern India, with private driver and superb accommodation.”

Highlights

Delhi | City tour of Old Delhi | Agra | Sunrise Taj Mahal visit | Agra Fort | Fatehpur Sikri | Jaipur city tour | Cochin city tour | Munnar | Periyar | Thekkady tour | Spice plantation tour | Alleppey | Houseboat on backwaters | Marari

Description of Golden Triangle & Kerala holiday, India

This tailor made Golden Triangle and Kerala holiday, India, teams the unforgettable cities and sights of the celebrated Golden Triangle in the north with exploration of one of the country’s most beautiful and lush states, Kerala, in the south.

During this 17 day holiday you will stay in gorgeous, atmospheric properties and heritage hotels and will be driven by your own personal driver in a private air conditioned vehicle. Tour the historic cities of Delhi, Agra, Jaipur and Cochin accompanied by a private guide, taking in spectacular temples and architecture. Enjoy superb Indian food and discover India’s lush spice plantations in Thekkady. Round off your holiday with time relaxing on Kerala’s beautiful beaches. Throughout this holiday, you’ll be fully supported by our network of on-the-ground staff, so all you have to do is relax and enjoy these two beautiful regions of India.

Travel Team

If you'd like to chat about this holiday or need help finding one we're very happy to help. The Travel Team.

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Departure information

This trip can be tailor made throughout the year to suit your requirements
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Responsible tourism

Golden Triangle & Kerala 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.

Environment

Your tour will include stays at two CGH Earth Hotels that offer tourism respectful of nature and local ethos, in search for new harmonies. The CGH Earth Hotels adopted the construction methods of the Ooralie tribe of Periyar and the fishermen of Mararikulum and made them their own.

Your first hotel will be the CGH Earth resort Brunton Boatyard in Fort Cochin. With a giant rain tree in the middle, the hotel was resurrected from the remains of a Victorian shipbuilding yard in the 19th century, using the precise building materials of the time - brick, lime, wood and terracotta.

The eco-friendly hotel is one of the rare hotels where small refillable ceramic pots are used for shower gel and shampoo as an alternative to single-sized plastic bottles. Brunton Boatyard also adapted an innovative solution of rain water harvesting that supplies all year around, without putting a drain on the city´s resources. You will moreover find filtered drinking water in large refillable glass bottles from rainwater that has been purified. If you don´t mind the heat, you can also rent bicycles from the hotel to explore the city with your guide in a more sustainable way.

Kerala has taken a deeper interest in increasing locally produced food and organic foods in the last years. The state is now meeting over 70% of its demand for vegetables on its own compared with just 20% a few years ago. Large tracts of land are now being converted for organic cultivation. Initiatives by government agencies, social organisations and farmers are all participating in what is becoming an organic farming revolution in Kerala, that will not only benefit the environment but also your health.

Wildlife
The greenest state of India offers shelter to some of the best and rarest plant, bird, mammal, reptile, and amphibian species. Naturally there are many wildlife sanctuaries in Kerala that have been developed to look after and preserve the wide variety of birds and animals.

During your stay in Kumarakom you will visit the Vembanad Lake, the largest fresh water lake in Asia located in Kottayam. Kottayam is a vast network of several rivers and canals that drains water into the large expanse of the Vembanad Lake. The lake supports the large variety of flora and fauna, from mangrove forests, emerald green paddy fields and coconut groves to white lillies. You can also visit the famous Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary on the eastern bank of the Vembanad Lake.

Kumarakom, the clump of small islands on the Vembanad Lake, has launched a Responsible Tourism model, linking the local community to the hospitality industry and has won the national award for the best rural tourism project. Kerala Tourism’s “Responsible Tourism” model at Kumarakom also got the biggest international recognition when it was conferred the top United Nations Award, UNWTO Ulysses Award, for Innovation in Public Policy and Governance.

We believe that there are a thousand small ways to give back more than we take from the earth. We are trying to keep the extra unneeded waste to a minimum in all our tours and actively promote that our guides educate local families that they visit with you to do the same.

Community

The CGH resorts we select for you endeavor to employ people from local community, be it the naturalist who guides you through the wilderness or the therapist who rejuvenates your mind and body. CGH instituted community based programmes that helped rehabilitate poachers and smugglers. Local tribes were taught organic farming techniques, which helped them to prosper and preserve their way of life. CGH Earth have adopted the local culture and way of life as a form of respect for the local heritage and traditional modes of living. They set up market mechanisms such us purchasing produce from the local community only.

Local Culture
In Kochi, our experienced local guide will take you on a very special tour in Fort Cochin, providing you with rare and researched inisights about culture, heritage and spiritual history of the the city and its diverse buildings. We will take you for example to the oldest synagogue in all the Commonwealth of Nations, the Paradesi Synagogue, built in 1568. It is run by the last and only Jewish woman in India.

We will take you to the local fishermen suspended on Chinese fishing nets, introduced by Chinese explorers. It is a very unique and unusal method of fishing operated from the shore. Set up on bamboo and teak poles and held horizontally by huge mechanisms lowering them into the sea, they look like hammocks and are counter-weighed by large stones tied to ropes.

You also have the possibilitiy to witness a very special and sacred Kathakali dance, performed by the local dancers, which tells stories from the ancient Hindu epic – Ramayana and Mahabharata, and maybe a Kalari spectacle, demonstrating parts of the origin of Martial Arts.

The Brunton Boatyard in Cochin also features a group of five Baul musicians. The Bauls are from West Bengal and combine heterogeneous spiritual and religious traditions, a mix of Hinduism, Buddhism and Sufi Islam — probably a good message for our fragmented societies today. The Baul community profess universal brotherhood and refuse differences of race, caste and religion. They wander from village to village detached from worldly possessions, except for their instruments, which are as simple as their singing - an ‘ektara’ has only one string while the ‘dotara’ has two - apart from their distinctive percussion, called the ‘dubki’.

On your boat ride or house boat visit on the serene lake Vembanad, you might be able to celebrate Onam (August-September), the most ancient Hindu festival, with a spectacular water regatta - the snake boat races. It is indeed amazing to watch oarsmen, at least a hundred in one boat, slice their way through the waters to the fast rhythm of their own full throated singing. All boats used for the races are home-made out of indigenous materials.

At Marari Beach, you can learn local & sustainable traditions by watching the fisherwomen using palm fronds to prepare sapling protectors, or the fascinating process of coir making, a wonder fibre that forms the basis of numerous items, from handbags to ropes to sandals to mattresses.

If you do want to shop, then we will take you to local collectives where local women of that very region craft there products and help keep the money earned in that very community.

1 Reviews of Golden Triangle & Kerala holiday, India

5 out of 5 stars
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Reviewed on 09 Jan 2019 by

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


We really enjoyed traveling to both the North and South part of the country as it was great to experience very different lifestyles and cultures. Our favourite part of the trip was meeting the locals and getting to try all of the amazing foods that India has to offer, along with learnings the history behind each of the architectural masterpieces and cities we visited.

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


It takes quite a lot of time to travel so book for at least 2 weeks and highly recommend staying in local hotels that have character, and also trying to do both the north and south part as they are very unique and can give you different perspectives on India.

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


Yes, we felt the local people really enjoyed our company and felt grateful that we wanted to spend the holiday season with them. They were always very
welcoming no matter what city we were in, and always did their job with a smile!

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


It was life-changing and a trip we would highly recommend to any traveler. It will give you a whole new perspective on life. It might be challenging to do this
itinerary with small children as we packed a lot in, but we can't stress enough how incredible our trip was for us as a couple and immersing ourselves into the
culture.

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