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Gourmet tour - South India tour

Gourmet tour - South India tour

14 Nights/ 15 Days

Detailed Tour Itenerary

Chennai - Bangalore - Coorg - Tellicherry - Calicut - Cochin - Pala - Alleppey - Goa - Mumbai

Day 01 - Arrive Chennai

You will arrive at Chennai’s International Airport. Following customs, immigration formalities and baggage collection, our representative will meet you as you EXIT the ARRIVALS TERMINAL building after which you would be transferred to your hotel.

Upon arrival at the hotel, proceed for check-in at the hotel. (Check-in time at hotel is 1200 Hrs.)

Rest of the day at leisure. Overnight at the hotel.

Day 02 - Chennai

After leisurely morning breakfast at the South Indian Saravana Bhawan famous for its Tamil vegetarian food. Your breakfast will comprise of Idli and Vada served with sambar and chutneys.

Later you will be driven to Kanchipuram (approx 1.5 hours). You will be taken to visit the temple- one of the seven sacred cities of India. From 6th to 8th centuries when Kanchipuram became the Pallava capital, the arts especially literature, music and dance prospered and King Mahendra Varma-I, who converted from Jainism to Hinduism and worshipped the God Shiva, constructed first South Indian stone temples. After visiting the temple you will be driven for lunch at Kanchi Kudil- this is a 90-year-old house, authentic in old-style architecture and functionality. It affords a glimpse of the life of an agricultural family in a small town - the master's room, room for the women and children, room for the gods, open-to-sky courtyards verandahs, and the backyard with agricultural implements. Enjoy a nice south Indian meals served in a typical traditional environment in plantain leaf.

Drive back to Chennai. You will be at leisure in the evening to explore the region on your own.

For dinner tonight (this dinner can be bit late due to busy programme) you will be taken to Southern Spice restaurant at Taj Coromandel Hotel. The restaurant evokes a rustic ambience with traditional artefacts from South India. Alleppey fish curry, Kohli Vartha Kozhambu, Mamsam Koora, Kori Kempu bazule,

Overnight at the hotel.

Day 03 - Chennai

After a leisurely morning, you will be taken for lunch at vegetarian restaurant Annalakshmi- Annalakshmi is a project of temple of fine Arts International dedicated to bringing the joy of Indian culinary, visual and performing arts to the public. Annalakshmi operates Indian Vegetarian restaurants that are decorated with the art gallery-like splendor of Indian art and handicrafts and use the space to stage regular Indian dance and music performances.

After lunch at Annalakshmi you will be taken to visit Madras city in a half-day tour. Visit Fort St George, built by the East India Company in 1653 and said to be the first bastion of the British power in India and St. Mary's Church, the oldest Anglican Church in the country. Visit the National Art Gallery and the Kapaleeshwar Temple - an ancient Shiva temple is a masterpiece in Dravidian architecture, fragmentary inscriptions in the temple date back to 1250 AD.

In the evening you will be hosted dinner at Mrs Meenakshi Meyappan's home in Chennai for some great Chettinad food. Mrs Meyappan is the proud owner of a heritage hotel in Chettinad region called The Bangala. Chettinad is known for its culinary delicacies. Chettinad food now is one of the many reasons why people get to know Chettinad. Chettinad food is essentially spicy, with a standard full meal consisting of cooked dhal, eggplant (brinjal) curry, drumstick sambar, ghee for flavouring rice, and sweet meats like payasam and paal paniyaram. The classical "kara kozhambu" is widely regarded as the best tasting south Indian sambar.

Overnight at the hotel.

Day 04 - Chennai - Bangalore

Today you will be taken to the airport to board your flight to Bangalore (9w-3510; departing Chennai at 0815; arriving Bangalore at 0915 hours). On arrival you will be met and driven to the hotel.

In the afternoon you will have rava dosa lunch at Mavalli Tiffin Rooms (MTR). Possibly the essential Bangalore eating experience, this is an excellent spot to sample the chaos of a traditional "tiffin" room, where scores of locals rush in for the Indian version of fast food, served since 1924 with attitude and gusto from shiny silver buckets by notoriously surly waiters in white. If you're here during lunch, order a thali and eat with your fingers from a silver tray onto which various authentic South Indian concoctions are heaped and continuously replenished. You sit in rather indecorous surroundings (the current venue was built in 1949, and hasn't changed at all in over 40 years) on brown plastic chairs at marble-top tables with orange steel legs; grab a table upstairs. Adjacent, the MTR Store sells a wide range of South Indian treats and delicacies, including popular sweets (like badam halwa and ladu) and ready-to-eat savories.

Post lunch you will be taken for a short city tour visiting the Vidhan Soudha and the Nandi Bull temple.

In the evening you will be taken for a fantastic Andhra dinner at Nagarjuna Residency on Residency Road. Nagarjuna group's first outlet began operations on residency road serving authentic Andhra delicacies. The menu at residency offers a wide range of varieties in chicken, mutton, fish and vegetarian delicacies along with acclaimed biryani's, the restaurant was the first to introduce "perugu polussu" a Andhra curry made of curds and vegetables.

Overnight at the hotel.

Day 05 - Bangalore - Coorg

Early morning drive (before the traffic of Bangalore jam the road!) to Coorg (approx 6 hours) and check in at the lovely place called School Estate. You will have lunch at the guesthouse and enjoy the Coorgi cuisine. Coorgi cuisine is very distinctive, as are their clothing, customs, and festivals. The most delectable items in their cuisine are the pandi curry (succulent pork curry) and kadumbuttu (rice dumplings), koli curry (chicken curry), nool puttu (rice noodles), and votti (rice roti).

After lunch, do try and have a coffee and we bet you will not regret. Karnataka is the largest exporter of coffee in India and Coorg contributes 80 percent of the crop for export. Coorg’s coffee estates have produced some of the world’s best coffee with a variety of plants like Arabica and Robusta.The day will be at leisure to explore the region on your own.

Overnight at the hotel.

Day 06 - Coorg - Tellicherry

After leisurely breakfast, you will be driven to Tellicherry (approx 4 hours) and check in at Ayisha Manzil- a lovely mansion overlooking Arabian Sea. Tonight you will be hosted a most authentic Moplah Cuisine dinner.

The Malayalam speaking North Kerala Muslims, known as Moplahs, trace their ancestry to the Arabs who had come to trade with Kerala and later married with local people to a create a sub cultural identity of their own. This interaction of two diverse cultures naturally resulted in a food culture, which is specific to only this region of North Kerala and is known as the Moplah cuisine. By and large Moplahs are non-vegetarians – fish is a much-relished item on the menu and is prepared in a variety of ways. Stuffed fish and chicken are special varieties served on festive occasions. Not that vegetables are B lkjjkkjkjk

taboo – far from it, they form a staple item at all meals. The drumstick including even the leaves, Tapioca and yam are all prized vegetables on the menu. Pumpkin is used in the place of the present day potato in meat curries. The Moplahs also have their very own versions of biryanis.

Overnight at the hotel.

Day 07 - Tellicherry

Your host. Faiza Moosa is internationally renowned for her Mopla cuisine - Keralan Islamic cooking. The food can be very hot and spicy and is completely different to other types of Indian food. You can begin your day here with an early morning trip to the fish market and spice merchant and end it with a wonderful feast. The surrounding area is beautiful with a long, almost deserted beach nearby where you can walk off the meals.

Overnight at the hotel.

Day 08 - Tellicherry - Calicut - Cochin

After breakfast, you will be driven to Cochin (approx 7.5 hours) en-route lunch at Calicut and you will also see the famous ‘Kozikoddan halwa’ being made (time permitting) You will have lunch-the known Calicut Biryani, at the famous Bombay restaurant. Did you know that there are over 26 varieties of biryani made in India? Or that biryani comes from the Persian word 'birian' which means 'fried before cooking'? Yes they are true. The Calicut Biryani is served with vinegar pickles and papads fried in coconut oil, is a softer variety and light on the stomach has no relation in terms of taste to the other biryanis in the country.

Later (time permitting) you will be driven to the next place where you can see the Kozhikode Halwa being made. Kozikode halwa -a known delicacy is either black or brown coloured ‘halwa’, made of flour, ghee, molasses and nuts. Pack some for the road!

Arrive Cochin and check in your hotel.

In the evening you will be taken for dinner at Casino hotel in Fort Cochin- seafood specialty restaurant.

Overnight at the hotel.

Day 09 - Cochin

You will have Idiyappam & Puttu breakfast on side the roads in Mattancherry near the Dutch Palace. After breakfast you will be taken for sightseeing of Cochin (some of the sights are closed on Fridays/Saturdays) Formerly a princely state, which beckoned travellers from distant shores, Cochin is also called "The Queen of the Arabian Sea". The sightseeing of Cochin will include Mattancherry Dutch Palace (Closed on Fridays), the famous Jew Street and the beautiful Synagogue (Closed on Fridays and Saturday) built in 1568 and St. Francis Church. You will also be taken to see the Chinese fishing nets along the shore.

In the afternoon you will have lunch at the GRAND hotel in Ernakulam city where traditional Keralan non-vegetarian meal is served.

This evening you will be taken to witness the spectacular Kathakali Dance Drama. The most popular and sacred dance-drama of Kerala, Kathakali, evolved across the last 400 years. This classical dance requires lengthy and rigorous training to attain complete control of the body and sensitivity to emotion so as to be able to render all its nuances through facial expressions and hand gestures. Themes centre round the two great Indian epics – the Ramayana and the Mahabharata. We suggest arriving early in order to witness the artists putting on their makeup.

Tonight you will enjoy Keralan style of coastal food at Taj Malabar Hotel.

Overnight at the hotel.

Day 10 - Cochin - Pala

This morning you will be driven to Pala (approx 2.5 hours). Check in at the homestay. You will have nice lunch and time to explore the region known for its spices and be surprised to identify various spice plants!

Have lunch at the homestay.

In the evening you will enjoy dinner- Keralan Syrian Christian cuisine. The Syrian Christian community's close association in trade to westerners, especially with regard to rubber, cardamom, coffee and others, saw both the adaptation of foreign cuisine into their own as well as the use of certain spices that have continued to remain the main focus of many of their dishes. The book not only offers various recipes of vegetarian and non vegetarian delicacies, but also traces the history of the community, their existence

Overnight at the hotel.

Day 11 - Pala - Alleppey - Houseboat

In the morning you will be driven to Alleppey (3 ½ hours) to board your Houseboat. Lunch will be onboard the Houseboat. A Cookery session on the Houseboat featuring traditional recipes that the backwaters are known for like the "Kuttanad duck' - Mallard & "Karimeen" (a local freshwater fish) by CGH Earth "Spice Coast cruise" chef. Formed by 40 odd rivers that flow down to the Arabian Sea from the Cardamom Hills, this network of canals, lakes and estuaries comprises one of India’s most enchanting areas - a rural, riverine expanse of verdant coconut groves and rice paddies. The scene is idyllic and the mood romantic as you meander through the tranquil network of water canals, dotted with busy hamlets, lush green paddy fields. Keralan dinner will be prepared and served on board.

Overnight at the houseboat.

Day 12 - Alleppey - Cochin - Depart Cochin

Early morning you will be taken for an excursion to Jodhpur (approx 1 hour of drive) and have breakfast near the clock tower like the mirchibadAfter leisurely breakfast you will disembark from the houseboat and you will be driven to the railway station for your train to Goa. The Nethravati Express departs Cochin at 14:15 hrs and arrives Madgaon at 06:15 hrs (2AC). Packed dinner will be arranged in the train.

Overnight at the hotel.

Day 13 - Arrive Goa

Arrive Goa at 06:15 hrs. You will be met on arrival and transferred to your hotel (Check in time is 1200 hrs). Remainder of the time at leisure.

In the afternoon you will proceed for brief sightseeing of Goa including the churches and temples. Time permitting visit the Fontanhas (Latin quarters) at Panjim which is the capital of Goa State. traditional Goan Lunch will be arranged at Spice Farm.

In the evening you will have cooking demonstration with the Chef Rui on Goan colonial Portuguese food followed by dinner.

Overnight at the hotel.

Day 14 - Goa - Mumbai

This morning you will be met at the hotel and taken to the airport for your flight to Bombay (IC866; departing Goa at 0700; arriving Bombay at 0800 hours).

On arrival you will be check in the hotel and later driven for some sightseeing including the Gateway of India and Prince of Wales museum. The Gateway of India, built to commemorate the visit of King George V and Queen Mary to India in 1911; Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya (formerly known as the Prince Of Wales Museum and is closed On Monday).

After the visits will have lunch at the fantastic restaurant called ‘Trishna” Trishna isn't about ambience but everyone is here for the food. Recommended dishes include pomfret Hyderabadi -- barbecued with black pepper, it's a true masterpiece; pomfret hariyali enveloped in green masala and baked in a tandoor; fish sholay kebab; Kolhapuri prawns (spicy, so order a drink); or squid expertly prepared with butter, pepper, and garlic.

Post lunch you will (if interested) will be taken for the remaining sightseeing which includes the Mani Bhawan Museum and the Dhobi ghat. A unique feature of Mumbai, the dhobi is a traditional laundryman, who will collect your dirty linen, wash it, and return it neatly pressed to your doorstep. The "laundries" are called "ghats": row upon row of concrete wash pens, each fitted with its own flogging stone interesting peep into Bombay's local culture.

The dinner will be hosted the much known and acclaimed Premila Lal, whose real name is Kiki Watsa but who is known within the Indian culinary universe by her nom de cuisine and apparently became the first cook to be a public figure in India.

Overnight at the hotel.

Day 15 - Depart Mumbai

Morning at leisure.

Check out from hotel at 1200 hrs.

Lunch at hotel.

Later in the evening (time permitting since the stall opens around 7 o'clock in the evening) you will enjoy excellent food at Bade Miyan's. Mumbai is the world's largest open-air kitchen. Street vendors, selling everything from pineapples to pigs' trotters, cater to the appetites of mubaiites, many of whom have migrated to this metropolis from different corners of the subcontinent.

This humble sidewalk cart is located in a seedy lane behind the Taj Mahal hotel. This doesn't deter customers in the least. Bade Miyan has earned legendary status for his egg parathas (Baida parathas) and charcoal broiled, onion smothered kheeri-Kaleji (uddr and liver). You can see them cooking/preparing the food in front of you and now they have tables are on the street for eating!

After you are through with this great food, you will be driven to the international airport for your flight back home.

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