In the southernmost tip of India, luscious hillsides of emerald-green tea plantations stretch out before you, touching powder blue horizons. Women in brilliant, jewel-coloured saris chat happily as they nimbly pluck tea leaves, flashing shy smiles as you wander past. The delicious scent of spice plantations wafts through the air, as colourful birds and butterflies glide through the hot sun.
This is a fertile, verdant landscape, nourished by monsoon rains. Nature’s colours seem more vivid in the south; cerulean lakes, crystal-mirrored waterways, dense green plains and undulating hills. The pace of life is mellow, and the cuisine rich in exotic fruits, vegetables, and spices.
Beginning in India’s garden city of Mysore, you’ll journey to Kerala’s beautiful hill region of Wayanad, nestled amongst the majestic Western Ghats. Here, walks lead us through terraced paddy fields, tangled forests and endless plantations of tea, coffee and spice.
Reaching the pilgrimage site of Guruvayur, we’ll see Kerala’s most important temple shrine before travelling on to the natural harbour town of Cochin. With a mercantile history dating back to 1341, you’ll see centuries of international influence: Chinese fishing nets, Dutch palaces, Jewish synagogues and Hindu shore temples.
At Kumarakom, on the eastern banks of Lake Vembanad, you’ll cruise along Kerala’s famous network of backwaters before spotting migratory birds on Lake Vembanad itself. Experience authentic Kerala as we share stories and learn ancient craft skills from locals in a nearby village.
Our walks from Munnar to the Raj-era hill station of Kodaikanal offer unparalleled vistas; spectacular escarpments of the Palani range, tropical shola forests, tranquil ancestral villages, and sheer, sparkling waterfalls.
You’ll visit the lotus-shaped city of Madurai, one of the oldest in South Asia, to explore 2,500 years of Indian culture. The city is home to the spectacular Hindu temple Meenakshi Amman, an endless, towering complex of elaborately carved deities in vivid technicolour. You’ll have time to explore before flying to Chennai for one night and connect with your flight home.