Ker & Downey takes you on an unforgettable, luxurious journey through the sweeping landscapes and opulent properties of India.
From the moment you step off the plane in India, you know you’re someplace special. Its vibrant markets, opulently carved temples and colorful festivals breathe life into the large country, while its soul lies in the diverse culture and long religious history evident by the many sacred sites and rituals. Its landscapes are as diverse as its people. From bustling cities to quiet desert terrain, sun-drenched beaches to snow-covered mountains, India is a place to be explored again and again. With so much to see and do, where does one begin? We’ve crafted a journey that draws upon India’s history, brings out the sweet aromas of the country’s best coffee and relishes in the cool dew of the rainforest over ten incredible days.
Day 1 – 2 | Mumbai | Taj Mahal Palace & Tower
After a long international flight, you’ll enjoy a night to reset your internal clock at the Taj Mahal Palace & Tower, Mumbai’s iconic landmark hotel, offering the perfect respite. Rest up because your day starts early tomorrow with a boat tour to the Gateway and Elephanta Caves, a temple hewn out of solid rock. Be sure to take a walk to the top to spy stunning panoramic views of the Arabian Sea.
Your afternoon is packed with stops at some of Mumbai’s most popular sites, including the Gateway of India and the Prince of Wales Museum, where you can brush up on your Indian history. Continue onto the Jain Temple, the prettiest temple in Mumbai, beautifully adorned with an entrance flanked by two elephants. The Jain community is known for self-restraint, but they pour large sums of money into their places of worship, making their temples some of the most resplendent in India. You’ll also stop a fish aquarium, Dhobi Ghat, Mani Bhawan and the Hanging Gardens on Malabar Hills for sweeping views of Chowpati Beach.
Day 3 – 4 | Chikmagalur | The Gateway Hotel KM Road
You are met early for your transfer to the airport to catch your 7:35 a.m. flight south to Bangalore. From there, your driver delivers you to the The Gateway Hotel KM Road, Chikmagalur. It is a five-hour drive, but the scenery shifts dramatically from the bustling city, in which you started your day, to more bucolic sights. The district is nestled among the Baba Budan hills and surrounded by lush mountains, waterfalls and wildlife sanctuaries.
On your second day in Chikmagalur, you visit the Hoysala period temples Chennakesava of Belur and Hoysaleswara in Halebidu for an in-depth look at medieval Hoysala architecture. While Chennakesava Temple is large, lavish and took 100 years to complete, the structure ushered in a new style of architecture that the Hoysala’s became well-known for. You’ll finish the day in Shravanabelagola to see Gomateshwara, Asia’s tallest monolithic statue that stands almost 60 feet tall.
Day 5 – 6 | Coorg | Vivanta by Taj Coorg
After breakfast, you’ll meet your driver for a four-hour transfer to Coorg, set in the beautiful hill country, surrounded by verdant forests of rosewood and sandalwood. While at the forest retreat of Vivanta by Taj Coorg, your time is your own, but consider a guided walking tour of the nearby coffee and spice plantations that reveals the spirit of this hill country. For a special treat, immerse yourself in the culture of Coorg and share an authentic meal of Pandi Curry with a local Kodavu family.
Day 7 – 8 | Bekal | Vivanta by Taj Bekal
Today you head out of the hills and coffee plantations to the seashore town of Bekal, a three-hour drive from Coorg. You’ll check into your hotel, the Vivanta by Taj Bekal, and have a chance to get settled before an afternoon of sightseeing. Bekal is home to the 300-year-old Bekal fort, the largest and best-preserved fort in Kerala. It is spread over 40 acres and abuts the Arabian Sea.
On your second day in Bekal, you’ll enjoy a leisurely breakfast before embarking on a cruise on the scenic Valiyaparamba backwaters. The waters are fed by four rivers and dotted with several small islands. You’ll relax as your houseboat moves through the backwaters while you munch on a banana leaf lunch.
Day 9 – 11 | Hyderabad | Taj Falaknuma Palace | Departure
After breakfast, you are driven two hours to Mangalore to board the 1 p.m. flight to Hyderabad via Mumbai. You’ll arrive in India’s fifth-largest city, full of culture, history, beautiful mosques and minarets, a little after 8:00 p.m. An Eastbound representative meets you and transfers you to the resplendent Taj Falaknuma Palace to recharge your batteries after a full day of travel.
The following day, a morning tour of Hyderabad takes you to the Golconda Fort, famous for its acoustic system, palaces and ingenious water-supply system. You’ll get to witness its spectacular acoustic system in the evening as a sound and light show brings the fort to life with the depiction of the mighty Qutb Shahi dynasty.
If you’ve got the time and energy, take a jewelry tour through the narrow lanes of the Choodi Bazaar where local craftsmen are eager to share their stories, or a palace walk at sunset with a glass of champagne before you bid farewell to India in the morning.
Ready to see India for yourself? Contact your Ker & Downey Travel Specialist to begin planning your journey today.