History, culture & wildlife of India holiday

“This adventurous trip will please culture seekers and nature lovers alike as it winds its way through the beautiful landscapes of the Western Ghats.”

Highlights

Nilgiri Mountains | Coimbatore | Nilgiri Mountain Railway | Ooty | Mysore | Hassan | Hampi | Bijapur | Badami | Goa

Description of History, culture & wildlife of India holiday

We have designed this trip to ensure that as a traveller to South India, you get to experience the rich history, the distinct cultures and the diverse wildlife of the Western Ghats. This route starts in the Nilgiri Mountains where you will be spending four of your fifteen days soaking up the natural beauty and life of the tribes of this unique part of the Western Ghats of South India. From the Nilgiri Hills, we then make our way into the historic and cultural state of Karnataka where you spend ten days traversing its length. On the 15th day your trip comes to an end as we converge onto the sun kissed beaches of Goa.

Price includes: Accommodation (5 star/eco where possible), transportation, entry fees, guide charges, camera fees, road/toll taxes & soft drinks (water, tea coffee, juices).

Please note: I would be delighted to telephone you to discuss your individual travel arrangements, so please leave your telephone number when you complete the online enquiry form.

Day-by-day itinerary

Day 1:We make our way up from Coimbatore’s Airport to the Nilgiri Hills which will become your base at the homestay at Misty Heights for the next four days. We take a walk in the evening in a sub-tropical Rain Forest.
Day 2:We spend the morning trekking down the mountain with the destination being a Jeep Safari through a National Park in the evening. This National Park is now designated a Project Tiger and Project Elephant sanctuary
Day 3:We visit a modern-construct temple and proceed to a yogic meditation center nestled in the foothills of the forested Western Ghats near the City of Coimbatore. We return to Coimbatore to spend the afternoon in the city gaining an insight into window and textile shopping... truly Indian style!
Day 4:Catch an early morning ride on the Nilgiri Mountain Railway, now a World Heritage site, as it makes it way over gorges, waterfalls and through a maze of tunnels to finally reach a height of 7200 feet above sea level. Spend the evening strolling through the erstwhile Colonial summer town of Ooty which allows a glimpse into the people and commerce of this typical Indian hill town.
Day 5-6:We drive to the historic city of Mysore where we use a historic Palace Hotel as a base in this city. On arrival, we visit a Sanctuary, a nesting site to sixteen species of migratory birds and home to the Indian Marsh Crocodile. We spend the afternoon experiencing this city’s famous silk and the production of the South Indian silk saree. The following day we visit the opulent Amba Vilas Palace and the extensive farmers market on this former Kingdom State.
Day 7:We proceed north to the town of Hassan, which we use to visit the ancient Capitals of the Hoysala Kings. We spend the rest of the day at the 12th century temple site of Belur where we soak in the history and breathtakingly unique architecture.
Day 8-9:Spend the first of these two days traveling to the site of Hampi, widely believed to be the most ancient site of the Hoysala Kings. We devote the next day scouring the extensive and extremely well preserved ruins of this ancient Capital city of the powerful Hoysala Kings.
Day 10-11:We proceed further north to the ancient Mughal City of Bijapur, believed by many to be the “Agra of the South.” We explore the ancient monuments of this historic town at leisure right through breakfast the next day. Leaving the next day, we proceed to the town of Badami and spend the evening there at leisure.
Day 12-13:Using Badami as our base for these next two days, we visit two ancient 4th and 6th century temple sites that have now been declared World Heritage Sites due to their remarkable extent of preservation and their historic importance. We visit the ancient cave temples located at the town of Badami the next day. We spend the rest of the time, exploring the unique boulder strewn landscapes and the ancient town of Badami.
Day 14-15:Making an early start to our day, we proceed to a Wildlife Sanctuary but stop enroute to visit an ancient 11th century Fort Complex. Our evening and the next morning will be devoted to nature walks, safaris and leisure in tented cottages by the river’s edge. On the afternoon of the 15th day, we head to the beaches of Goa and Panjim, the capital city of this elegant Portuguese trading outpost.

Hello. If you'd like to chat about this holiday or need help finding one we're very happy to help. Rosy & team.

01273 823 700

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Departure information

This trip can be tailor made at a time to suit you and can be adapted to suit your interests, budget and requirements as necessary
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Travelling with a local operator

This holiday is operated by a company based in the holiday destination and they will be able to provide expert local knowledge. They will be able to tailor make your holiday to suit your requirements not only concerning the dates of travel but also typically the standard of accommodation, and thus price. It is rare for local operators to be able to help with the booking of your flights.

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: History, culture & wildlife of India holiday

This operator was created with the vision to run and manage a business that would offer our guests traveling to India an extremely personal form of travel, shared with members of the family.

We are based in the Nilgiri Hills of TamilNadu situated in the forested Western Ghats. These forested hills used to be home to the Toda tribes of the Nilgiris whose art consists of traditional garments spun from fibers and natural fruit and berry dyes sourced from the surrounding forests. With development, the tribes were forced out of their forest dwellings and were ‘rehabilitated’ in villages outside. However this drastic change in their life, threatened the very art that defined their identity and the means to the only livelihood they knew. Being a part of the local community here in the Nilgiris, we took it up to make sure this art form doesn’t die out like the ancient Toda lifestyle sadly has. We further their art today by sourcing all their products from their Community Center and encourage all our guests visiting us here in the Nilgiris to buy some artifact as a gesture of support towards the Toda lifestyle.

We support of the local village ‘tea shops’ along our routes and the use of only local gasoline sourced from Indian Oil Wells and distributed by Indian Gas Stations. We use the local tribal guides on our teks. Their dedication and knowledge with regards to the forests is commendable and we make sure we give back with some monetary help after every trek and also in kind by supplying them with trekking shoes or clothes that we know they could use.

As long serving members of the Nilgiri Wildlife & Environmental Association (a local affiliate of the World Wildlife Fund), we had actively campaigned to halt the process of timber logging or for that matter clearing of natural forests for any reason whatsoever. As an organisation we represented our case in the Supreme Court, India's Highest Judicial Body, and received a decree that placed a blanket ban on any form of logging in natural forests in the Nilgiri Hills.

We have procured land on which, as a family we currently have planted 350-saplings with a 99% success rate. In addition, we sponsor the trees on lands owned by the forest department where over these years they have afforested with over 100,000 saplings, in this case with a 97% success rate. Today we have seen a rise in the bird species that thrived in these rain-forested areas. Within our property itself we have seen an addition of close to twenty-five bird species. we actively encourage our guests to plant and own a tree or tree saplings of their choice.

As of date, our guests have planted over 125 tree saplings of which all have survived. We keep our guests involved in this experience by emailing them progress photos of their sapling/saplings.

By contributing regularly to a Blind Orphan Childrens Home in a nearby town, we attempt to give these children back a life affected by blindness. At this orphanage, these children are taught skills like basket weaving, tailoring, etc. in the hope that they may become self-sufficient in the future.

16 Reviews of History, culture & wildlife of India holiday

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Reviewed on 26 Aug 2018 by

It was a very good holiday, people were welcoming, helpful and friendly. Rajat was very efficient and helpful. Read full review

Reviewed on 23 Aug 2018 by

We got exactly what we wanted! I hesitate to call it a 2-week holiday in southern India. It was an immersive, fulfilling and rewarding travel experience which we'd happily do again. Read full review

Reviewed on 06 Feb 2018 by

Probably the most exciting thing was seeing two tigers (on separate visits - one on the boat safari and one on a land safari) in Nagarhole National Park - astonishing. But equally memorable was the temple tour in Madurai - it felt a privilege to visit when so many pilgrims were also worshipping at the temple. Read full review

Reviewed on 05 Dec 2016 by

My stay at the Wild Mahseer in Assam was very special. Great hospitality, beautiful lodgings and interesting environmental projects. Read full review

Reviewed on 26 Apr 2016 by

I have told the holiday provider that they do a great job . Read full review

Reviewed on 23 Jun 2014 by

The most exciting part was not on the original programme. We asked Rajat to give us somewhat more nature and less culture. He arranged for us to spend a day and two nights in a resort on the Kabini Lake, across from the Nagarhole National Park. On a boat safari at dusk, amidst myriad birds and beasts, we saw a male tiger emerging muddily from the river, slinking into the jungle. Read full review

Reviewed on 16 May 2014 by

Excellent, we enjoyed it all. The two home stays were an amazing part of our trip. Take the plunge and travel on an overnight train with shared accommodation. It's a great experience. Read full review

Reviewed on 12 Mar 2014 by

The most memorable parts were staying at the home of the Kumars, visiting Golden Temple at Amritsar and WildFlower Hall...Outstanding. Read full review

Reviewed on 20 Jan 2014 by

All brilliant...Mysore and Dewelokam were the highlights Read full review

Reviewed on 19 Mar 2013 by

This was the trip of a lifetime for us. We asked for a trip that would take us off the beaten track, give us a chance to meet local people and learn about local activities and customs, and give us a good introduction to the culture and history of India. This trip surpassed our goals in every way. Read full review

Reviewed on 10 May 2013 by

Udaipur was the most memorable part of the holiday Read full review

Reviewed on 30 Mar 2012 by

The whole holiday was a highlight, it really was. Our 3 night stay at the Aakriti homestay with Rajat, Mughda and Renu was really memorable. Such a lovely welcoming family, their hospitality and warmth is out of this world, we really felt like members of the family. Read full review

Reviewed on 18 Nov 2012 by

Excellent. Well organised and just what we were looking for. We were extremely well looked after.The whole holiday was wonderfully put together and the people that we met made the holiday particularly memorable. Read full review

Reviewed on 28 Nov 2010 by

There were several highlights. The Golden Temple at Amritsar, Jairpur's Amber Fort & Palace, the backwaters of Kerala and our homestay in the Nilgiri Hills. Read full review

Reviewed on 03 Feb 2008 by

As the sun began to set the State Director of Tourism turned up with his family, and brought with him an expert on playing the musical pillars of the dancing hall of the Vittala temple. Our guide was ecstatic to hear them played again, as this had been forbidden for over a year. A truly magical chance moment for us all. Read full review

Reviewed on 20 Oct 2007 by

The wide range of experiences was the most memorable part - wildlife, nature, culture, shopping and personal service we received, especially being made so welcome by the whole family. Fantastic. Not a single day wasted. Can't wait to go back again! Read full review

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